This entry was going to come a good few months ago. I had it all outlined, talking about the latest progress in my workout experiment, what I’d achieved so far, and what would happen next.
If you’ve read any of my entries, you know the workout was to be done backwards (DVD months 9, 8 and 7, then months 1 through 6). Though I only wrote about months 9, 8, 7 and 1, I actually made it through up to part of month 3.
A few notes from that time:
I incorporated some cardio (not much, just started small, about 10 minutes each day). I struggled with some neck and lower back issues (which I blame on stress and an uncomfortable, crooked mattress). I also noticed a difference in my temperament when I didn’t get to work out, when internship and life ‘stuff’ got in the way and I made the choice not to exercise — I felt like the stresses got to me easier, I felt crabby, and my body wouldn’t loosen up.
I recognize that I will always need to work out because it lifts my mood and gives me energy. Food issues are a whole other topic and I have so much more work to do in order to fix that part of my life, but over the last 10 years or so I have come to need workouts. They are a constant in my life now. Even when I have to take some days off from it, unless I’m physically incapable I know I will always go back to it.
Despite my revelations about exercise, I continue to struggle with the emotional eating aspect. As the summer went on and the stresses increased, it felt like my brain shut down and the anxiety kicked in. I ate terribly. Too much, and not healthy foods. We’re talking fast food, here. Greasy, bad-for-you fast food.
And that is my huge issue. When I’m stressed, or upset, or super-anxious, my first thought is not, “How can I handle this stress and work through it in a smart, healthy manner?” I’m not sure my mind ever goes to that kind of thought process (though I need it to).
Instead, my brain’s immediate impulse is “What can I eat?” and the choices I run to are not always good. And it doesn’t matter if it makes me feel lousy — and that I know it makes me feel lousy — because my brain doesn’t stop to think about it; I just go there like autopilot.
Some days I don’t know how I’ll ever be free of that. Is it too fully ingrained in me? I don’t know. I sure the hell hope not! But it’s my biggest struggle.
The only positive thing I can say about it is that after the bad stuff, I go right back to my healthier patterns. The next day is a new day and I start out healthy again.
But the problem is, it’s not good to go back and forth like that. It doesn’t make for a balanced life, healthy body or mind.
Anyway, by that point I had made it halfway through month 3. I had 3 1/2 more months to go in my experiment, and lots I wanted to achieve.
And then it all fell apart.