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A Tough Day Can't Stop Me

(blog written 5/16/2018 posted 5/20/20/18)

Yesterday was a terrible day. 

It was gorgeous outside but I felt miserable and I stayed on my couch most of the day.

I don’t know what came over me; I wasn’t physically sick but I just didn’t feel good. I even skipped Pound. I’d been looking forward to it all week and I skipped it so I could sit on my couch and feel sorry for myself and honestly, it was silly. I knew I would feel worse if I skipped the gym and I think that's part of the reason I did. If I feel bad, why not make myself feel worse?

My dog snuggled with me which is the only reason I didn’t get up and go to the kitchen more than I did. 
Tallulah cozied up between my legs. <3

If I got up too often she'd end up leaving me and it was comforting to have her laying on me, feeling her heart beat. (Our other dog was up in bed with her other mama) I did however, get up and eat to feed my emotions. I had a great breakfast of veggies and eggs with 2 pieces of cinnamon toast. Then about 20 minutes later I got up and put peanut butter and a banana on a third piece of bread. Why? I wasn’t hungry!! I just wanted it, except that I didn’t. Even as I was scooping the peanut butter out of the jar I was telling myself “you don’t have to do this.” But I did. I ate it. Then I cried.

I looked at my sweet, sleepy pup and told her how sad I felt, how I didn’t need that peanut butter and banana sandwich. How I hated feeling the way I felt and I was annoyed that I felt so overcome with anxiety and sorrow yesterday. 

It was my anniversary I SHOULD have been happy. It was my weigh in day I SHOULD have made better food choices. The more I listed all of the things I SHOULD have done, the more down I felt. 

I struggled to get up off the couch. Honestly it felt like I was sitting in quicksand. I felt heavy with regret and remorse. I wondered if I would ever pull myself out of this and reminded myself that I’ve felt this way before, it has never killed me. I reminded myself that though I feel like I’m drowning, I can still breathe and if I can breathe I can yell for help

Yelling for help is really hard. It means swallowing your pride and admitting you are struggling. Yelling for help takes a lot of courage and strength and it should be celebrated, not looked down upon.

I turned to Connect first, knowing I SHOULD post on my private Weight Watchers Facebook page but feeling like I couldn’t. I didn’t want to let anyone down by letting them see behind the curtain. Of course, if I had reached out I would’ve felt a hundred times better in a matter of minutes but anxiety sometimes clouds my vision and convinces me to make choices that keep me stuck. Anxiety doesn’t want you to feel free from its smothering grip.

Connect was helpful. It reminded me that there are other people like me who struggle and I remembered that the struggle is important. It is a reminder that I matter enough to keep fighting. I could give up and succumb to the overwhelming emotions, let them sweep me off to sea because that’s “easier” but I’ve been there done that. It is not easier

It may be challenging to stand strong in a hurricane while the waves are whipping around me. I may get knocked down and dragged into the angry ocean but I only have to swim back a few feet in the choppy waves if I decide to fight.

Allowing the ocean to take me might mean less fighting during the storm but when I wake up one day miles and miles from the shore, all alone and in over my head, it takes a lot more effort to swim back to safety in calm waters than it would’ve to stand strong during the storm.

I cried a little yesterday, I indulged my emotions a little yesterday. A wave I didn’t see coming knocked me off my feet, shook me, scared me and made me doubt myself but I dug deep and clung to the shoreline. 

There was a lot of self talk. When I listened to anxiety I challenged what it told me. 

“You’re worthless” 
... "is that real?"...

“You’re mine, I own you!”
... "is that real?"...

I told myself to complete just one task on my to-do list. I did and it felt good to make progress.

I reached for a lifeline in the form of a leash (2 leashes actually) and I allowed myself to walk slowly and purposefully with my babies. I enjoyed the scenery, the sunshine and the companionship of my girls who love me no matter what I weigh, no matter what I eat, no matter what my house looks like.

I allowed myself to recognize that they are not the only ones who love me and I thought about something a member had said to me on Monday night. She told me that she does a daily guided journal and that one of the questions was “who inspires you?” And her answer was me. 

I allowed myself to feel gratitude for her. I allowed myself to see the sincerity in her eyes when she told me this and I saw that she was being 110% genuine. I accepted her compliment in the moment and ruminated about it while walking.

Why would she say that? How am I inspiring? Then I listed all of the ways I was inspiring.

Being on that walk instead of the couch was huge so I started there.

You're up. You're moving. Good job! 

I was slightly uncomfortable and felt a bit conceited but I kept listing reasons I was inspiring and countering every negative thought with a positive. 

Today I feel so much better than I did yesterday because I allowed myself to indulge my sorrows but I didn’t allow myself to over indulge. 

What do I mean by that? I sat on the couch. I cried a little. I felt sorry for myself. I skipped my workout class and I recognized that I felt sad then I asked myself to accomplish one tiny task for the day. Check one item off your to-do list. I did nothing til about 1 p.m. and then I begrudgingly got up and accomplished something, pouting the entire time. The thing is, I just had to DO IT. I didn’t have to like doing it. I didn’t. But it got done.  

Once that was done I walked the girls. 
Walking gave me clarity.

Had I over indulged in my emotions and not set a timer I would’ve binged. The peanut butter and banana sandwich would’ve easily escalated to eating everything that was in my cabinets. There are not many snack foods currently in my cabinets because they are trigger foods for me. 

However, my wife does have snack foods that I don’t really like (when I’m in a good frame of mind) so I am not even tempted to eat them. She had a craving for a bag of extra butter popcorn a couple months ago and bought a box. She ate half of a bag and threw the rest away but there are 2 more big, unpopped bags in our cabinets. I do not like the way the extra butter popcorn smells or the feeling it leaves in my mouth, nor do I like the points so it’s very easy for me to not eat it. 

Yesterday could’ve been a day that I ate it because if I’m going to feel bad, I might as well feel REAL bad!!! It’s literally the only snack type food in the house and when I binge I don’t eat meals, I eat snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. Then a meal, then more snacks. 

I could’ve surrendered my year yesterday and started with the popcorn before ordering takeout. It probably would’ve been Chinese or a large pizza that I would’ve eaten more than half of. I’d only leave a piece or 2 for my wife and only so I could justify my behavior by saying “I didn’t eat it all”. There most definitely would’ve been dessert which I’d eat and then hide the evidence so no one would no it had happened. 

It would’ve been ugly and I would’ve woken up this morning feeling devastated. I know this because even though it’s been more than a year since my last binge, I’ve binged as long as I can remember and the feelings were always the same. Regret, remorse, pain, sorrow. Everything I was trying to escape would’ve become 10 times stronger so I’d binge again and they cycle would repeat until I got so physically fed up (nice pun, right?) that I would have to take a break. Then I’d promise myself it would never happen again.

I have been swept out to sea more times than I can count and I have had to paddle my way back in promising myself the 
entire way that it would never happen again, only to have it happen again. There are plenty of times I take one step forward and two steps back but when I am ready to take steps forward again I can because I have already done it. I know how to move forward despite the fact that I’ve been dragged back. 

Because I implemented the strategies I've been practicing for the past year yesterday, today has been very different. I recognized that TV is an escape for me sometimes and I’ve been relying on it more and more. If I start my morning in front of the TV than I’m far more likely to stay there so this morning I took the girls for a walk before I even ate breakfast. I started my day on the right foot instead of repeating yesterday where I went from the bed to the couch. I like that, so did they so I think it's something we will do more often. 

Yesterday sucked. I turned it around. I saw warning signs being thrown up left and right and I decided to fight because I love myself enough to fight and because I deserve it. Did I indulge yesterday? Yes. 

It happened. It’s done. It's time to move on.



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