I’ve had a good month. My training is basically on track apart from a few blocks of days due to illness and travel. I’ve been watching my sugar intake (I’ll never do one of those detoxes, but because of the emotional instability I suffered even attempting one, I knew sugar was a strong influencer on my moods) and making sure my calories pack the nutrition I need for my training. I’ve been limiting my nightly beers to the weekend or the periodic week night. Nothing whatsoever has actually changed on the scale, but I look in the mirror and like what I see because I like who I am when I’m NOT looking in the mirror.
But man…when I am struggling to find time to be active and the gray mood sets in and I console myself with donuts and beer…I feel with 100% of my heart, mind and soul that I am the ugliest and grossest person on the planet.
Again…the scale doesn’t have to change AT ALL. I don’t even have to have put on any weight to feel like a fat slob. Although I know the cycle well enough to know the pounds will come, but they don’t have to come before I change the outlook on my body. And sometimes the gray moods sets in first and that mood is what keeps me from being active and then that just spirals the whole system towards the individual servings of cake that Publix sells by the cash registers.
The funny thing is, when I’m falling down one of those unhealthy spirals of hatred and shame, there’s a part of me that KNOWS how connected everything is. How I need to be active and avoid these sugar binges and daily beer and that if I don’t…I suffer terribly emotionally. I know this with every logical part of my brain. BUT…if someone (like my husband) reminds me of that I will DENY THE CONNECTION WITH EVERY BREATH.
NO! It’s because I’m missing Dad. It’s because I haven’t gotten any sleep. It’s because our house isn’t selling. It’s because the kids are misbehaving. GOING FOR A RUN WILL SOLVE NOTHING.
YET! Every time I get it all on track and I feel better…those other things are often still there. I only got 5 hours sleep last night. I’ve been missing Dad a lot lately. Our house didn’t sell and is now off the market. All of those things depress me greatly but I can handle them and stay at a more level emotional existence when I’m also working out regularly and avoiding sugar and nightly beers.
So, if you see me and I’m in my gray period and not running and possible hiding in my van and eating donuts…just know there’s no point it telling me to stop with the sugar and go for a run. I’m going to hate myself and hate you for suggesting the thing. BUT IT IS THE TRUTH.
I think I just want my emotions to be more complex that that. I want my body image to be something that relates to a journey and a system of checks and balances but you know what? It’s just very simple. If I avoid sugar and nightly beer and get my workouts in? I can walk past a mirror and think, “Damn, girl. Looking cute!” But if I’ve been getting too much sugar and not being active and having 2 beers before bed…I don’t even like to go in public with my husband because I feel like the only thing anyone thinks when they see us is: What is the prince doing with that troll?
Some people might say it’s all the sugar and I might not argue with that. I’ve learned how sugar affects my mental stability by trying to give it up. I can’t even do those detoxes because the one time I tried I fell into too deep of a depression. This is obviously a sign of how addicted I was/am, but I just can’t give it up 100%. But, I avoid the bowl of chocolate at work and go for the hard candy. I’ve been grabbing Larabars instead of the cheaper granola bars. So I’m keeping under control, but I’m not giving it up cold turkey.
I feel good. It feels nice to feel good. The numbers on the scale haven’t moved and that dress I want to wear in two weeks still has bulges in unflattering places but I like myself in it because I’m feeling good about myself in general. The trick is being aware of that and avoiding the missteps that lead me down the spiral. Yesterday was one of those almost-misstep days. The pressure in my sinuses was killing me so much my eyes hurt and when I don’t feel good I want to eat to console myself. I had a few beers with Sunday dinner which already had me feeling a little sluggish so I did eat more than usual at lunch…but I tried to at least make it healthy binging. I was already considering skipping my Tuesday morning date with the treadmill. Then a friend needed a running buddy and it was perfect because she’s been going through the same stuff – the I NEED A WORKOUT OR I GO CRAZY stuff – so that run kept me from falling into that pit of despair. I’m up early enough now to get my 6 miles in before work, and I didn’t consult my sugar addiction in a dark parking lot last night.
It’s exhausting keeping it in check sometimes. But I have to keep an eye on all of the unhealthy emotional triggers in my life because it kinda all needs to be in balance for me to stay above the gray. I’m glad I’ve been able to do that lately, teeter in the gray direction but shift other parts of my life (maybe get more sleep that night, or eat super healthy) to try to get the whole system back level. I’m not depriving myself of anything, I sometimes have that nightly beer, I sometimes enjoy a donut…but I’m just trying to keep it balanced and continue being active.
Because it feels good to love yourself, you know? That self-hatred thing is exhausting.