I’ve subconsciously had the realization–more than once–along this journey, that a lot of my physical weight is from emotional weight that I’ve been holding onto and carrying through the years. When I shed my weight initially (170 lbs) I faced a lot of things from my past–from physically being taken advantage of to self-doubt directly related to my intelligence. There were things that I didn’t even realize that they had affected me until they were resurfacing.
Since hitting me physical best in 2013 I’ve struggled at managing my weight and endurance. A lot of it connects back to mental/emotional choices versus physical/nutritional choices–you can still binge eat on healthy food. I’ve put on a significant amount since that time. Worked super hard for about year to stay as close as I could to that “magic” number but it literally consumed me–I felt like I was going to lose relationships and career opportunities if I didn’t just stop my fight with this, it was turning unhealthy. Maintenance is my hard part. Why? 170 pounds loss sounds like quite a challenge right? It was, but learning, understanding and managing why I got to that point is the root of it. I could easily get back to that point if I just gave up on myself–giving up consists of small continuous choices that compound on themselves until all control feels lost. I didn’t want to do that again. I know the work I’ve put in to get here and my achy knees today remind me of my alternative.
So about two weeks ago I wrote about and realized that I needed to take my motivation back! To do so I’d have to make it a regular/continuous effort to make sure I didn’t take on and bury emotions like I used to. I thought that it was mostly pertaining to the death of my Mom but I’m realizing it’s more than that. I had a dream this passed weekend that really shocked me. It was already after having fully woken up and during my nodding back off–usually those aren’t deep sleeps but I had a vivid dream so this time it was! I had an elder of my family–who past away a while ago–appear before me, hug me and tell me “I’m sorry”. They proceeded to speak to me in their native language, which at the time I could understand fluently but lost all memory of when I woke up. I thought I’d laid our issues to rest when we laid them to their eternal rest but apparently I was wrong. I woke up instantly and felt a huge weight lifted off of me.
That was Saturday, after getting out of work I decided I needed to take care of me and make the day full of “Me Time”. I ended up going on a long run that afternoon. I had no idea where I’d end up just knew I had to get out and go. I changed out of my work clothes, into my running clothes and walked out my door. Running/jogging/walking is very therapeutic for me–I wish my thoughts would instantly end up posting themselves into a blog, I get profound stuff while I’m out there! I was so deep in my thoughts that I was nearly almost to my Mom’s gravesite. I guess subconsciously I knew where I needed to go. I stood in front of her plaque and just stared at it. The body that brought me so much comfort for 25 years was kept from me by a marble slab. I could feel the hot tears consume my eyes then roll down my sweaty/make-up melted face until I buried my face in my hands. I wasn’t mad at her, I was hurt….hurt that she gave up. I remember pushing her in a wheelchair through the hospital hallways one day after PT and whispering to her not to give up that we needed her. Less than a week later she came home and a couple of nights later she took her last breathes in front of us. At time all I said was “I love you and it’s ok…we’ll be ok” but there’s been many times that I haven’t felt that way. I left that hurt there….I wiped my face, felt the peace consume me and continued on foot.
Today I had another “aha moment” while walking to my parent’s house. I was born and raised in the same house in which my Dad still lives and my Mom died in. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac which made for a tight-knit neighborhood. There were no shenanigans that were going to happen while our parents weren’t around; someone on the block was always home and didn’t have a problem letting our parents know if we were acting out. That block was and still is my “village.”–they helped raise me. Growing up I’d want to make them proud of me almost as much as I wanted to make my parents proud of me. Luckily, I don’t live far from any of them so I’m always (and always will be thanks to my hard-working parents) able to go back. Like last night when we had an impromptu potluck BBQ dinner. No celebration or reason, just did it because we could. During the summers growing up we all pretty much lived outside and dined together. Last night my Dad made an observation/comment that the group of us women at the end of the table were sitting there conversing like a bunch of sisters. That made me smile, it was comforting to think of us like that. Now that everyone is grown up, our relationship have evolved into that. I’m digressing…Today, I had a good day. I was productive, had minimal down times and I even made my bed–but that’s probably because I knew Katie would be stopping by and that’s her pet peeve–but I still felt something lurking. So instead of driving I decided to lace up and take a walk to do some errands.
Walking to my Dad’s I ended up giving myself a pep talk–started of kinda like a whisper then full booming voice. “I am enough. I am able. I am good enough! I have accomplished a lot. I have done more than what many others can even begin to think of doing. I need to be proud of me as much as–and MORE than–I am proud of those I love. I earned my Bachelor’s degree. I successfully completed my Masters–do you know how small that percentage is?!? I have lost and kept off 150 lbs! I have completed almost 20 half marathons–since 2012! The more accomplishments I kept adding in my head the more I was realizing how much I personally/singly have done–how small the percentage kept getting as I kept adding. I’m unique, I am valuable…I am still here so I have a purpose to live out to better this world and myself. It may sound silly but I needed this–I was and often am quick to focus on what I don’t know and/or have versus what I DO! I know (and am grateful for) how blessed I am.
Towards the end of my pep talk a thought rushed in like a bull in a China shop and I could feel my heart clench and my eyes wandering for the answer. Growing up I have SO many wonderful memories, but there’s one that I don’t tend to revisit often because it’s dark. At thirteen I became very depressed; I remember shutting out my parents and crying constantly in my room. I’d thought about how to end it….all of it. I tried to plan it but I couldn’t picture the end, my end. I “joke” that I was too much of a wuss to experience pain so it had to be something that would be painless–I couldn’t come up with anything. So I’m still here, gratefully. But the root reason for that happening at that time is I’d felt like I lost the one person who “got me”. They were the one person (other than my parents/family) that I’d know since we were in diapers…and just like that, they left me. There’s a story there but it’s not mine to tell. It wasn’t quite “all of a sudden” but at 13 it felt that way to me. This person got labelled a problem/trouble maker in time but to start they were my tree climbing buddy, my make mud pies together person, my dig holes in the backyard to see what we could find. Then they weren’t–ripped from my side and not allowed to communicate or say goodbye to me. At 13 I couldn’t understand the “why” and “how” of it even though my parents tried to explain. I didn’t even think anything was really that wrong until their violent side was direct toward me, which left me even more perplexed and hurt–literally and figuratively. On my walk today I realized I’d been holding on to this….I held onto that hurt for almost 20 years. That was the root of my “everyone ends up leaving me” feeling. My brain gets the whole concept of people come in and out of your life but my heart has always struggled with the concept. In holding onto this grudge I’ve ended up pushing people out of my life before they get the chance to leave me–I always expect the “other shoe to fall.” It wasn’t going to but my thoughts which turned to actions lead to that happening. I don’t blame anyone, I simply know why now and have now let it go. I don’t need to continue to carry that, believe that, or live that. I forgave myself.
Moving forward this has to become a regular practice. Just like showering is a daily routine self-care and reflection is going to become one of mine. Maybe it will be while I’m out on a run, lifting weights, in hot yoga, or just lying around. Practice makes progress….
“Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on.” — Marlon Wayans