There are moments which test your resolve to face the world, or at least your decision-making tendencies. Mine usually occur first thing in the morning. Mornings are amazing in what they reveal between the alarm clock (and flirtation with cardiac arrest) and the moments before you actually swing the feet out of bed. Lots of peculiarities and interest, if you let yourself listen to it. These “resolves” occur when I’m on the verge of trying to change things for the better. Somehow during the night some cement shoes will end up on my feet: as my mind screams for me to get up and do something, I just lay there and hear it, but I can’t move an inch.
This morning I planned to get up nice and early to work out at the gym for the first time since re-joining and getting over my cold. I ended up laying there another hour instead. My mind was yelling that I needed to get up and go, to get my day started because I had my volunteer work and teaching that already shortened my writing time. Inside my mind, my conscience or whatever it is screamed at me to get up, to move, to get on with the day. It yelled that I wanted to make a better life for myself, and working on my health and losing the weight would be very helpful. It yelled that I’d finally have proof that I could make major life changes for the better instead of slipping back into depression and helplessness.
For over an hour, my mind alternatively shifted from that inner drill sergeant yelling at me to move and mulling over other little random thoughts, the quieter voice telling me that maybe I should skip and sleep in, that it’d been a long week and I deserved to lie there a while. Admittedly, I had gone to bed later than I planned. I knew I wanted to write today, regardless of how short a time period, so laying in bed eating up the clock on my first exercise morning wasn’t a good plan. Eventually I focused on that drill sergeant, yelling at myself what steps to take—yes, actually what steps I had to take—to get out of bed, get my exercise clothes, turn off the fan, get my shoes, etc. It was crazy.
And somehow it worked. I just wish it’d worked an hour earlier.
I don’t know how I self-sabotage so easily when I know what I need to do for myself, that I need positive changes in my life—especially to lose weight for my health by working out and eating right. But that inner drill sergeant isn’t that strong, and even though I’m telling myself I’m being an idiot (nearly losing my hearing from its insistence), my body won’t budge in the right direction, but goes through the motions.
It does feel like I’m wearing cement shoes and while my mind tries to propel me forward, I’m stuck and can’t find a way to move in the right direction. No trusty sledgehammer to break it all apart. No real helping hand. I know better—usually after the fact—and somehow never remember when I need to. What I really want to know is how I’m so susceptible to self-destruction.
The past decade, without fail, I’ve had a major crisis or problem with my body just as I’m at the peak of ready and pumped. I am always centered in my mind, shopping list of healthy food in my purse, ready to exercise and be more active, ready to do or die (to use a damned relevant cliche). Then I get that unexpected cold, a flu, an abnormally painful “girl thing,” or something else along those lines. Somehow it’s like a psychosomatic issue—when I want to do something good for myself, that’s when it overrides the “Rocky” theme music playing in my head and sends me into pain. I get furious, frustrated, and then resigned that I’m gonna spend another decade obese and eventually develop really bad health problems. Thankfully, I’ve lucked out…so far.
I was determined to break that cycle today, and finally started it…but it took screaming inside my mind to accomplish it. I hate how my mind and body are not in sync and cooperative when it comes to my well-being. How my body is so good at sabotaging itself is beyond me, and makes me want to research more on the mind-body connection.
If this goes well for me for about a week, at least, then I can say I have a good habit to keep up and work with. I also just got a paycheck, so I can stock my shelves with more fresh fruit and soup and other lighter stuff.
Change does get harder the older you get. I’ve barely budged as it is, thanks to these damnable cement shoes. When lying there this morning, at least one useful thought came into my head—even if it’s convenient and dad doesn’t mind, there’s no way in hell I am going to live in this house forever. I am going to go out, get a life, and be the best possible grown-up me I can be…which will take a lot of work. Since I didn’t get any practice doing it as a teenager (and I’m metaphorically kicking my own ass for not seeing the use of that sooner—repeatedly), I’ll have to take steps to leave the confines of a basic, safe, and boring existence. I have to break loose of the bullshit that’s been weighing me down more than the tire around my middle.
I am eager to make changes, and perhaps it will work, perhaps it won’t. But maybe it’ll help others who want/need to make the change (though I do sincerely hope I end up a success story instead of a cautionary tale). First thing’s first—make this healthier living a good habit, take care of yourself, and get decent sleep.
Hey, if this works out, maybe I can work on my chattier self, too. I just have to remember—trying to change everything at once just makes for a terrific cluster of crap to deal with and I’ve gotten nowhere in the past. Small changes, day to day. The drill sergeant will thank me for it, anyway.