The Dreaded Topic

So, I’m going to tackle a subject I really, really don’t want to… health and fitness.  If you’ve been following, even in an half-hearted sort of way, this blog, you will know this has been a tumultuous relationship all my life.  Issues with body-altering substances predate issues with mind-altering ones by a lot of years.

When I hit my personal bottom, I was at the lowest weight of my adult life.  But, let’s face it, active addiction is not a beauty regime… I looked like shit.  Not that I was paying close attention to the numbers on the scale, but, then again, the fact that I can tell you the first fact of this paragraph means it registered in some way.  So, fast forward through the past 16 months, and life is exponentially, magnificently, miraculously better.  So much better, in fact, then let’s have some celebratory food… you get the picture.  And up the weight has gone, through the past 16 months.

At first, I was just so damned happy to even want to eat, I was actually relieved to see the scale go up.  I am not a therapist, but I don’t think it takes one to see that low weight (for me, that is) and active addiction are connected in my brain.  So seeing a weight with which I am familiar is now connected with sobriety.

Except that is the stupidest form of logic ever, because my low weight is still well above the ideal weight for someone my age and height!

And here’s the other part, the part that is all about how my addicted brain works… if I am choosing not to worry about my weight (which for a long time I did, in order to make recovery my focus), then why not just go whole hog and eat whatever I feel like?  And if I am eating whatever I feel like, then why bother with the gym?  And so on, and so on, down the spiral we go.  Which, as anyone who has tried to lose weight will tell you, the further down the spiral you go, the harder it is to turn it around.

Meanwhile, all the regular bloggers that I follow are, for one reason or another, going on cleanses, giving up sugar, running marathons.  And you want to tell me God does not speak directly to us?!?

So, for all sorts of reasons, health and fitness have been on my mind.  And every time I try to get up the gumption to do something about it, I feel overwhelmed, and I fall right back to my normal routine, which, as you know, has been a beautiful thing for me for the past 16 months.  But, still, even though I had taken no action, I really have been thinking about it, praying about it, and trying to get quiet and listen for the answer.

This weekend, something new came to me.  I have no idea if it is the answer, or just a load of crap, but any action is better than the total inaction of the past few months.

I realized that part of what overwhelmed me about trying to get myself “in shape” was the magnitude of the task.  I mean, I have probably 6 or 7 major things that I should change, immediately if not sooner, to live a healthy lifestyle.  But every time I thought of taking on this task, it tired me out just thinking about, plus that whiney little voice in my head saying, “oh great, yet another thing we need to give up!”  It was just easier to think about it “later.”

So this weekend, it occurred to me:  perhaps this all-or-nothing thinking might possibly be the stumbling block?  Perhaps just taking one or two of the 6 or 7, focus on them, and see how I feel, might be the starting point.  And, while I’m at it, I can address the whiney little voice by doing this… take 1 or 2 items that don’t require me to “give up” something; rather, take 1 or 2 items on the list that just have me add something in, and see how it goes.

And, of course, because there are no coincidences, Christy over at Running on Sober, right at the same time I am formulating this plan, asked me to join her in a new fitness regime, which I gratefully accepted.

So, like I said, no idea if this will work or if it is just another lame-ass attempt on my part that will fall by the wayside in a few hours/days/weeks.  I hope not, but my track record is not good in this department.  I do know this:  since the idea came, and Christy asked, I have been to the gym every day (oh, and, for the record, the second item is to drink more water).

Sorry for the long-winded post.  Interestingly, this is the first time in a long time that I have to actually stop myself from writing more.  I could honestly go on for a lot longer with this thought process, which tells me that I have been putting this idea off for far too long (and should warn readers that this is not the last you will read on the subject).  Wish me luck!

Today’s Miracle:

Summoning the courage to write about a sensitive topic… my normal way of thinking would have me achieve a goal before announcing my intention, so I am scared to reverse the order, but it’s time to try something new!

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Posted on June 5, 2013, in Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Good for you! Realistic goals – that’s the key for me. Sure, I should drink more water and eat less sugar, but I can’t do everything at once. I try to make it to the gym most days and in the process I work on the other stuff. Progress, not perfection! Love that idea, especially since I’ve lived most my life trying to aim for perfection – not fun! I’m cheering for you!

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    • Thanks, Chenoa. You are one of my inspirations… in a gagillion years I could not imagine participating in a mud run, you are a miracle in and of yourself, and I hope some day to be just like you 🙂 I really appreciate the support!

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  2. This is such a great post. I first started exercising semi-regularly years before I gave up drinking. I never lost any weight, but I did find I felt better on the days I exercised. Once I stopped drinking, I gained 12 pounds in pretty short order. I figured better to eat too much sugar than relapse, and I still stand by that. Eventually I just found myself ready to commit to a tougher workout regime. It happened naturally and it was hard at first but I found myself enjoying the challenge and the endorphin buzz. I alternate between running and elliptical – both at home (well, running around the neighborhood) and at the gym or elsewhere – so I don’t ever feel too bored. I find myself grumpy and out of sorts when I skip it for too long. You strike me as a determined, organized individual. This is totally something you can do. You will feel amazing if you take it at your own pace and see it as taking care of yourself. You can do this. Promise.

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    • Thanks for the encouragement. Deep down, I believe it is possible, I have just had little practical success. I am hopeful that I can handle it like I did recovery… one day at a time. I mean, if you had told me 16 months ago some of the things I do on a regular basis today, I would have laughed very, very hard. So here’s hoping that 16 months ago I will fondly look back and say, “gee wasn’t that cute when I went 20 minutes on an elliptical machine and thought it was great?”

      As always, thanks for the encouragement, K!

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  3. Yes, yes, yes!!! And that all or nothing thinking, I can relate so much to. We don’t have to go from 0 to 100 over night though. If we just go 5, we’re still going 5 faster than we were and we’re actually moving forward. Then 5 becomes your new baseline, and you can add another 5, then you’re up to 10! See where I’m going with that? Any progress is better than no progress. And how did you do the Steps? You didn’t do all twelve immediately and at the same time.

    But please take it slow too, and give yourself time to establish routine. Baby steps. No crashing and burning. Pick a goal for each week, and take it one week at a time. Every third week on my plan is a step back week, a breather and a chance to heal, rest, and re- energize.

    Your desire to write and write about this is great! Shows enthusiasm and excitement! It’s contagious 🙂 yay you!!

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  4. Loved this! It is about exactly where I’m also with, this dreaded topic! Fear does keep me stuck when it comes to exercise. I have always been overweight, and in active addiction, I never really lost it either. But know I need to get healthy. One day at a time. Thanks for your blog! Good to know others struggle the same as you do!

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  5. Very much can relate to this old, tiresome subject. I look at this subject now a little different: the little things I do that make me proud of myself is gym/walk/swim 4 times a week (should be more), writing on myfitnesspal.com and really seeing what a normal day of calories should be, eating fish and vegetables more often. So much easier to start with little things that add up and become habits..

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  1. Pingback: Using the Recovery Toolbox to Build a Fitness Routine | themiracleisaroundthecorner

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