The internal battle has been waging for months. As I have been learning from Brené Brown, we can choose comfort or we can choose courage; we can't have both. The voices in my head go from soothing to questioning to critical. While I have tried to sort myself out, I have often taken the path of least resistance, succumbing to my need for comfort, and shrinking from the choice of courage.
"Take care of yourself," the kind voice in my head said. Along the lines of self-care, this past winter, I tried to be gentle with myself, allowing myself to mourn, giving myself permission to rest, and feeding myself foods that provided warmth and comfort this winter. I listened to music, soaked in the bath tub, wore my softest clothes, and reached out to friends when things were tough.
"Where is your self-control?" my questioning voice demanded. My voices weren't always approving of this self-indulgence. I would balance out how gently I handled myself with being hard on myself. My fears and loneliness drove me out of the house, and into the canyon, hiking long and hard on many a winter's day. I knew I couldn't continue eating for comfort, but it was just so...comforting.
"You are crossing the line from self-care to letting yourself go," my critical persona chided. Out of fear of regaining all that I had lost on my WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY, I would try different things, trying to reset whatever button was needed to get my eating under control. I gave up diet soda. For two weeks, I managed to live without sugar, but when I began eating it again, it was with a vengeance. I signed up for My Fitness Pal, recording my food intake and exercise. I tracked my walks with Runkeeper. And yet, at night, I would find myself seeking solace in the kitchen.
|Yes, after my four day "streak," I lost steam, and started doing my own thing again. Big surprise, 0 pounds lost.|
You've seen me grasping for straws as I try to make sense of my eating and exercise. I've tried to out-exercise my eating with extra-long hikes. Somehow I felt if I courageously hiked myself for hours at a time while comforting myself with food, I could balance everything out. (By the way, it just doesn't work like that, and I know it.) As much as I hate to admit this, I have turned to food for comfort, and I've resorted to hiking myself silly trying to ease my anxiety. Consequently, I'm chubby and strong. Not exactly the result I was hoping for to start my summer.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I enlisted a friend as a workout partner not long ago. That was a good idea. At first it was just once a week, then a couple of times a week. Now we're getting serious. Being accountable to someone else worked once before. Hope is beginning to flicker.
This morning when Laura picks me up, we're heading to the gym to sign me up for a membership. There was a time when I worked out faithfully in the weight room twice a week, and walked at least six days a week. That was a very long time ago. And, sadly, about 40 pounds ago.
I don't have any grand goals; I just want to start being sensible again. I want to eat to live, not live to eat. Perhaps the fitness mentality I once had will return to me once I establish a relationship with my gym. I feel a little nervous, and slightly excited. The voice of Brené Brown is trumping the others this morning: "Comfort or courage?" she's asking me. Today, I'm choosing courage.