No lifestyle change comes effortlessly but it doesn’t have to be hard.
My greatest enemy is my own negative thoughts about myself. The catastrophic events I imagine in my head are much worse than reality. Feeling fear is much greater than experiencing the very thing I’m afraid of.
A month ago, I fell off the wagon hard. Further off than I have been in 3 years. Shortly after celebrating my 3 year “sobriety”, sweets entered my diet regularly again. Once a week, then twice, then 4 or more. I went to that deep, dark hopeless place where I am powerless against temptation and there is no way out. I was imagining there was no one who could help me. No thought pattern that would work. Failing was my fate. Then… I emailed my trainer about it. I admitted to not logging, as if not taking a picture would somehow mean it didn’t happen. I shared my inner thoughts, even though when reading my words I felt insane. She wrote back words of encouragement. She told me about her struggles and her tendency to compare. She revealed her insecurities about knowing someone smaller (this from a 5’2 solid rock of a beautiful lady with arms that put Michele Obama’s to SHAME!). She suggested thinking about how I wanted to feel and asking myself if that particular food would truly make me feel good instead of weight or size.
Somehow, being honest and sharing with another trusted human being helps. I felt better after sending the email and improved even more after reading her response. I know that healthy body image comes from inside, not out. She was another good reminder of that fact.
After only a few days of being back on track, my mood was better, my workouts consistent and my weight was on a downward trend. I have been told you have to embrace the “process” in recovery. Such a concept is very difficult to grasp for a performance based workaholic stress addict. Yet, I see that it works. By being more concerned with the process, everyday choices, and practicing being aware of thoughts, feelings and experiences in my world RIGHT NOW, I am happy. I dont’ try to be happy, it just happens. If I wasn’t attempting to be so aware, I might even miss it because it comes so naturally. Things just work out. I can’t explain how but they do. The disappointments aren’t paralyzing. The bursts of anger aren’t an unforgiveable death sentence. They just are what they are. I try to learn from what happened and aim to make a better choice next time.
Today, I ran a 5K as part of a sprint triathlon relay. My teammates are incredible, hard working, free spirited survivors. They lift me up, give me strength, and fill my heart with love.
The great thing about completing triathlons as a team is there’s no competition between friends. It’s not even possible to compare a run time to a bike time or swim time, each are their own sport. When part of a team, somehow “my best” gets better. Although ability may always be there, there’s something about knowing that someone is counting on you. A race is just another workout without people to cheer you on. I am grateful for the volunteers, friends, and, most of all, my husband who came out to cheer us on today! You help keep us going!
If you have a desire to race but something is holding you back, sign up for a local event and start training. Just do it. Make an attainable goal and accomplish it. No matter how slow you may go, you’re still doing laps around anyone on the couch. You are worth it! Don’t listen to any little voice inside that says “I can’t because…”, you can!
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading