Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why Did I Let it Weigh Me Down?

Bloggy Moms' Blog Dare -- Why Did I Let It Weigh Me Down?

The Blog Dare on Bloggy MomsI was surprised that running ended up being more of an emotional accomplishment than a physical one. My anxiety/depression is a weight and a voice. It tells me that I’m not good enough, that I won’t be able to prevent things that are… inevitable anyway. It tells me that I’m awkward, goofy, ugly, strange; and every day is a battle to fight against that weight.

The first day I started running, I ran about 30 seconds, felt miserable, and told myself: “You’re too old, you sat too much during your pregnancy, you don’t eat well, you don’t drink enough water. You can’t do this.”

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Then, the next day I ran for 45 seconds and repeated my negative thought process. In that moment, I felt sad, defeated.

But this time, I reacted differently. Every day my daughter falls down. I pick her up. She cries, “Ellie fell down!” and I say, “I’m so sorry, let’s get up!” I tell her, “You can’t eat cookies for breakfast, but you can have fruit.” I tell her, “You can’t play with a steak knife, but we can pretend to cook with your kitchen set.”

So, could it be that I’m even better prepared to deal with my own whining? I found myself responding to my own ridiculous complaints:

“I’m ugly and awkward.” – “Maybe, sure, but can you change it? No. Move on.”
“I’m old.” – “There are people who started training older than you.”
“I sat too much during my pregnancy.” – “You had a lot of anxiety, it’s okay.”
“I don’t always eat well.” – “A good reason to start running and eating better. Just do your best.”
“I don’t drink enough.” – “Drink more water tomorrow.”

And I did! I did all of those things. Also, the first day, I ran in a more public place. I felt like everyone was watching me. I was so uncomfortable. So, the next day, I ran down the main street in town – fewer people on the sidewalk, but more traffic on the main road – so I didn’t feel completely isolated if I, say, collapsed from exhaustion and needed a senior citizen to let me push their Life Alert button.

It took about a week to overcome my fear of exercising in public, but now it seems completely natural. Then the physical stuff was even easier to overcome – once I found a decent sports bra. You’d be surprised what that can do for your balance and confidence – when your boobs aren’t smacking other runners in the face as you fly by! Each day, I ran further and felt better. Now I can run up to 2 minutes at a time for 4 sessions! 8 whole minutes! It’s also getting easier to go beyond those 2 minutes, so I know that soon I’ll be able to do a full mile non-stop.

I’m also motivated by the fact that I’ve kept this up now for 3 months. That’s a big accomplishment for me, and I should celebrate it… [[dream sequence]] by eating steak and garlic mashed potatoes, buttered carrots, chocolate cake, and a fruit & cheese platter (happy sigh). And I can actually eat that – guilt free!

I also find that I can chase my daughter around – really chase her. Every day she gets faster on her little legs, and I don’t have to struggle to keep up with her.

The other day, traffic was stopped, waiting for me, and I had to run across an intersection. When I got to the other side, I felt confident, was breathing normally, and didn’t pray to the heavens, “Take me now, please, merciful God!” And when E ran off to the park, I was able to catch up with her and race to the swing-set.

Now to take this "Why did I let it weigh me down?" moment and apply it to other areas of my life! Here's to striving for "better," to believing in myself!

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