I’m struggling. I am really struggling.
I was on such a positive path for 6 months solid and wham, pow, thwart – I was knocked off course and have yet to get back on.
It seems like such an obvious thing to know, but at 38 I am finally learning that there are only so many balls I can juggle in the air at one time and keep them in motion.
When I was younger, it seemed that I could balance a lot more balls in the air at once. But if I take a moment to analyze the situation, I come to realize that I simply had different balls I was juggling. For example – there were no kids or husband, I wasn’t focusing a good deal of time on nutrition, physical activity or sleep for that matter, and as those who knew me in my teens and twenties can attest to – I did not keep a clean room or house – so no true time spent there. Those are a lot of balls that I wasn’t worrying about adding into the mix.
But now things are changed and each one of those elements noted above are vital to me, which means there are only so many additional balls I can add before I drop them and find myself scrambling to pick them up.
In order to add another ball into the mix, either one has got to drop or I have to be juggling those balls for so long that it is an ingrained habit and then I can slowly add in a new ball with precision and care.
In reality, six months is not enough time for anything to be an ingrained habit and when I completed my 12 week workout program, my momentum stopped and the balls dropped.
I kept trying to get the balls back in the air, but truth be told I picked up a few extra balls along the way (and the flu) and I just couldn’t get going again.
Okay, analogy over, back to my current struggles.
From August to January I was so focused and committed to clean eating – with the help of the Whole 30 program for the first 3 months. I looked better than ever – felt better than ever – and believed that I had overcome my food demons. I had completed a 12 week workout program and thought I’d be hitting the summer season with confidence in my swimsuit for the first time since I was 10. Ha.
Newton’s first law of motion certainly came to play in this situation. As a reminder to all, it states that “ An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Well, that unbalanced force was the flu – which put me at rest – and I have just not had it in me to create the force strong enough to get my momentum back.
One regretful choice I have made, which I need to just forgive myself and move on, was allowing myself to have sugar again. This happened when I had the flu. After many days of barely eating and a raw throat – the only food that sounded even slightly appetizing was a hot fudge sundae with all the works. And so it was. But it unlocked the small sugar dragon I had locked up for the past 6 months.
At first it was okay, I wasn’t feeding the dragon too often, just a nibble here or there. Perhaps eating at a restaurant that I know uses sugar in their sauce. But as of late the dragon has grown into a monstrous beast who demands cadbury eggs and syrupy pancakes.
In my mind I am justifying my decisions by telling myself “you only live once enjoy the sweet treats life has to offer”. But the reality is that the sugar makes me feel horrible both physically and mentally.
I know it’s not worth it because when I cut it out I actually felt amazing, but Newton’s law is back in action and feeding the dragon has been the motion that I allowed.
So now I have gained back half of the weight I lost and because I have not been able to successful restart the weight training program that I was engaged in from November through January, I’m noticing my body revert back into the shape it was prior to all my hard work.
This unlocks the negative self talk.
And there is just so much of it. My inner demons can taunt me and berate me like no other. And the negative self talk that tells me I am not good enough and that I will never be good enough.
It makes me feel weak and unable to make decisions that benefit me in the long term. The negative feelings leave me craving instant satisfaction and comfort – which I seek out in food or television. I feed into the weakness which only leaves me feeling more fragile and vulnerable to poor decisions.
I work to keep the voices away, using positive self talk, uplifting music and audiobooks, and distraction, but lately, it hasn’t been enough.
So I am clinging to faith to pull me out. Reminding myself of God’s love for me and that I was created perfect – so I don’t have to try to recreate perfection through my human eye – I just have to focus on being – and focus on God’s one request – to live a life of love.
To treat myself with love, which means to stop feeding the dragons and demons that are pulling me down and to start providing comfort to myself with true self love. And if I truly love myself than I will only engage in activities that strengthen me and feed myself food and thoughts that heal me rather than hurt me.
I believe that these states of struggle can be as temporary as I allow them to be, but it is hard to pull out of sometimes and I thought that if I shared here that it could be a two-fold benefit. First, offering some accountability on my side that I am committing to pulling myself out of this funk and working towards better self care.
And also, I know I am not the only one who struggles like this. I believe that sharing helps normalize our personal battles and shatters the outward perception that we are in anyway even close to perfect in a human standard. And that at the end of the day, our imperfections are what make us so perfect. Because when we shine light on the darkest parts of ourselves, we realize that we are raw and beautiful regardless of what our perception is of our outsides. We are enough.