It’s been a tough week.
I’ve been thinking lately that when we alter our life style so drastically it can whip us up into a tornado of fast paced change and progress that we get carried along in and whilst that seems to be a good thing we have to be mindful that there could come a point where that tornado dumps us, from a height, flat on our faces on the ground again if we’re not careful. I feel I’m at that dumping point, I’ve hit a wall, I’ve been dropped on my face.
I always talk about step by step… it taking one small step to start a long journey… to make small changes because they add up to achieve the whole. I really believe that’s the way to win this battle and yet I feel that I’ve forgotten my own mantras and started to not only stride along the path but to positively leap along it. I fear I’ve hit a point where I’m just totally exhausted, knackered as we Brits like to so eloquently put it. Not in a physical way but mentally.
I am doing so many positive things that strangely it’s started to be counter productive. I’m not talking about weight loss, that’s happening as it should as are all of the other physical health and wellness benefits and the aesthetic improvements but not my emotional and mental health. I think that my body is moving way faster than my head is prepared for. It might take a fellow addict or another person who has had a lifelong struggle with obesity to understand this because it just sounds such a messed up concept… that doing too much good is bad for you. But I do think it can be true, I think it IS true in my case for sure.
I’m calling to mind a post by Debs over on her blog who worried if she was somehow afraid of being slim and healthy and felt kind of safer as the fat girl. I thought I knew what she was talking about when I read it and I did to some degree, but now I’m starting to understand what she was talking about in a very different way or at least to relate to it in a very different way.
I think for some of us who are fat because we’re comfortable and safe that way, we use it, wittingly or not as our shield, we might find catapulting towards slim and healthy scary at some point. I didn’t think I was one of those people, I didn’t think I could be one of those people but I think that I am and wonder if we all are. I think the important words back there were ‘at some point’ because that point might come anywhere along the road for us and for different reasons. For me I think I’m scared that I’m heading there too fast and that I’m getting there by substituting addictions.
I’m feeling very low of mood, bordering on depressed and as someone who has battled depression I’m not using the word lightly. I’ve always said that this fight is won in the head not the mouth or the stomach and for me that is so true and I think I’ve reached a point where my head is getting a bit uncomfortable with the pace of change. At least that’s how I’m self diagnosing this out of the blue way I’m feeling.
Because of this acknowledgement of the discomfort with the pace and asking myself why it’s happening, I’ve realised that I’ve gone from being addicted to food to being addicted to exercise. I’ve just replaced one addiction with another and neither are healthy. I can’t sleep if I’ve not done at least several hours of rigorous exercise a day and I mean rigorous as in nearly throwing up from physical exhaustion. Is that any different to not being able to sleep knowing there’s a cake in the fridge or nearly throwing up because I’ve stuffed my face beyond my body’s capacity to cope with it? I don’t know it is although on the surface it appears far more healthy, is it really?
I’m a total maniac, there is no other word to describe it and I’m making myself laugh now because that’s exactly what I am now that I just took a second to look at myself from the outside in (I love that blogging allows you to do that, even forces you to do that sometimes. Excuse me a minute while I go and enter a post on my music blog sharing Maniac from Flashdance as it’s so apt for how I see myself right now and it’s a song I love).
Back to the subject now even though I feel better for that moment of light relief: I’m a woman possessed, to get through a movie of my day quickly would not require a fast forward it’s just super fast forward as it is.
I really think I need to curb it a little, I think it’s doing me harm rather than good. I think it’s too much too soon, I’m feeling like I’ve been caught up in that tornado and I’m out of control and I really need to be in control of myself, that’s what this is all about. Addictions happen when we lose control or when we want to control too much and all I’ve done is gained control in one area and lost it in another. I need to be moderate. I need to be in a place where everything doesn’t have to be all or nothing, where things do not have to be taken to extremes to be valid. I need to be able to eat what I need and exercise enough.
I really believe that if I’m to emerge from this healed and well mentally and physically I need to notice when I’m developing addictions and when I’m losing control or taking too much control and take action to moderate whatever it is that’s the problem. In that respect I’m glad that I’ve noticed this, I’m glad that in spite of things going well in my life, I’ve developed this sad feeling to indicate to me that something isn’t quite as right as I might think it is. I do feel this is the problem, I’m over doing it, I’m exhausting myself. Feeling like I’m coping is an illusion brought on by the high of the addiction, the high of having my ‘fix’ which masks how ‘the drug’ is really affecting me. Just like it was back in the day when I thought food was making me happy.
Thinking back to Deb’s post I think what I’ve done without realising is dressed up the fear of heading towards a new me to look like enthusiasm and the very fact that I’ve allowed myself to lose control shows that it isn’t all enthusiasm, it’s still fear.
I still believe that the key to alleviating the fear is to take it slow, step by step, to get used to the new me. We change in so many ways on such a long life changing journey from super morbidly obese to normal weight. It’s not just about the outside but the inside. For once in my life I have not turned to food to comfort me when I’ve been feeling down and that is fantastic, it’s great it’s what I’ve always wanted but it’s so unusual for me to realise that, to have lost my appetite when things are bad rather than want to stuff my face, it’s just not me.
It’s a shock when something is just not you, more than you realise. It’s like you wave good bye to a part of yourself you’ve known your whole life, even if you’re glad to see it go, it’s a change, a huge change.
We experience so many changes we find ourselves thinking so often, that is just not me… I’ve experienced it with clothes I’ve bought, wearing bright colours and patterns is so not me. I love it, I think it looks great but it’s a huge shift in who I have been for so long, dressed in black plain clothes from head to foot. Looking at colours and patterns and feeling it’s OK to buy them to wear them now is such a huge change. It sounds crazy but it’s really not, wearing them is not me but it’s becoming me.
I’ve had my hair dyed back to my youthful blonde and had it cut into a style that just is not me. I love it, it looks fabulous and I see that it suits and flatters me but it’s not me and it takes getting used to when I’ve worn my hair the same way in the same colour for so long, scared to draw attention to me, hiding, trying to blend in. That decision to change it, to change me was a scary one, it took courage and every day I look in the mirror now I’m still surprised to see that hair colour and style on my head. It’s not me but it’s becoming me.
I swim and run and those things are just not me, I don’t do them and I love that I do them now but they’re new they are alien and take getting used to and sometimes when I’m in that pool in my swimsuit pushing through that water with other people around me and I realise I don’t care I’m also reminded that it’s not me. It’s not me to not care, it’s not me to be this big still and to be comfortable in public in a swim suit, it’s not me to be pushing myself through so many lengths in the morning before I go to work, I’m the person who swims for fun, couple of lengths, some breath holding, jumping the waves, falling off an air bed, serious swimming, powerful, aware of my muscles working, that’s not me, but it’s becoming me.
I have learned to let my man spoil me and pamper me and arrange surprises for me but that is just not me to be out of control and not to be the one making the arrangements and surprises and as much as I love it it isn’t me but I’m enjoying it and it is becoming me.
I’m starting my own business, it’s not what I do, what I do is work for other people and get frustrated by it but the confidence I’ve built from losing weight had made me change and made me believe I could be happier as a business woman working for me. It’s not me but it is becoming me.
You see where I’m coming from? I hope so. All of these changes are happening in one tumultuous short period of time. I’ve been me for 47 years, I’ve been this version of me for a few days, weeks, months and it’s scary. Daft as it sounds it is scary and it’s a lot to be happening at one time. My over zealousness is my way of coping and I’ve worn myself out. I need to rethink and re-plan my regime and factor in some down time.
I had a word with my trainer today and he was shocked when I told him what I do every day, he said that I need to rest, I should have days where I rest completely and I don’t even have hours where I rest completely. He reiterated that if I was preparing for something or wanted to reduce or tone up fast then I can step my efforts up but for steady progress and over all kindness to my body I should be exercising less.
I feel like it’s one thing after another, I cure one thing and another one pops up but then I am not letting it get me down any further, I know there are lots of things to cure or resolve and it’s good that I’m doing this and making the progress I’m making and ultimately I will reach my goal healthy and strong in body AND mind. I need to spot my issues, I need to notice them and contemplate them and work them out so that I can find my way to a better place where I can feel happy and healthy and stay that way. I don’t want to self destruct anymore, I don’t want to go back to the size I was, I don’t want to fall off the wagon before I reach my goal and being aware of all of my issues and hang ups is important to ensuring I succeed. Sometimes stumbling blocks are actually steps up to the next level, to the next phase of the journey, they just take a little readjustment and setting straight before we can climb up on them that’s all.