I have been writing a lot about my successes here for the past couple of weeks, because since deciding to make a change in my life almost two months ago, I have been on a roll. I have been sticking to my plans and I run when I say I’m going to. I have been writing almost religiously about this journey, which is something I have struggled with in the past. I have been eating better, just as a function of trying to eat out less, and trying to not abuse my fragile stomach, or my fragile wallet. I have been making slow and steady progress, which is exciting because it is sustainable.
As successful as I have been, I find myself falling into a rut. Anyone who knows me quite well knows that I am prone to, simply put, getting sad. I chalk it up to being a young twenty-something that has been unhappy with herself for the better part of her life. It’s not usually about being overweight–that is something I have become quite used to–I get upset about any number of aspects of my life that I haven’t yet figured out. While I think this is normal to a certain extent, I don’t find it productive.
I have a hard time pulling myself out from being upset. I usually fill my bed with tears while listening to Les Miserables on repeat for hours. I wish I were kidding. Last night, as I talked to my mom on the phone, she kept urging me to watch a video she had posted to my dad’s Facebook wall. She said it would inspire me, and pull me out of my funk, because there was no way to watch it without feeling amazing. After an hour of inconsolable despair, I finally gave in and watched this video. It is a photo and video montage that shows a man’s running and weight-loss journey. It really is amazing to watch him lose 120 pounds and I encourage everyone to watch it. But I think the part that really hit home was that he decided to get healthy because he was sad. At the end, he is in incredible shape and has achieved amazing physical feats, but his biggest change was that he could call himself happy.
While overall, I would not classify myself as an unhappy person, I would like to minimize the days when I feel like everything is out of control and my only response is to curl into a ball and hide. I don’t really have a strategy for eliminating this completely, but my hope is that as I maintain more control over my body, everything will feel more manageable. Not loving how you look, or more importantly, how you feel, manifests itself everywhere, be it confidence at work or in relationships. Having a positive self-image is instrumentally important in how you present yourself when alone and to the world.
This journey I have set out on is not easy. I think in a lot of ways, it is easier to ignore your problems and put on a happy face than to dig deep inside and put work into improving yourself. I wish I could say I pulled myself together last night and ran it out, but that would be a lie. I would also be lying if I didn’t mention that I split a Taco Bell twelve-pack with my friend, his taco count being seven to my five. Sometimes you have those nights. But moving forward, the only thing I can do is to keep running, to turn my three miles into four, to recognize my successes when they happen, and to pull myself up when I’m feeling down.