Checking In

Let me start off by saying, this is a way for me to get it out, a way of journaling. By sharing it here I feel like I might help someone else know they aren’t alone in feeling the way that I do. I talked about this last night with my husband and he listened – but I really think he just doesn’t understand all the emotions (or lack there of) that I’m experiencing. So if you aren’t into reading about all my current woes then here’s your chance to bail.

When we started “stay home, stay safe” for COVID back in March, I thought it would be fine – temporary. I figured I was home most of the time anyway. How hard could it be. Then weeks turned into months and shit just kept getting weirder in the world. All of the things I enjoyed doing – grocery shopping, regular shopping, visiting state parks, geocaching- the list goes on, became an unpleasant experience. Grocery Shopping felt like the Hunger Games and only now feel slightly better. Shopping at Target or Walmart is depressing – shelves are bare and everyone looks sad. I haven’t even tried to go to one of my favorite places – IKEA – because I just don’t want to ruin it for myself. I just don’t find it to be an enjoyable experience anymore – now I only go to the store for purpose or necessity. State Parks are busy and limited capacity – when before some of my favorite places were near empty. I haven’t even gone to some of my favorite nearby places to visit for the same reason – not wanting to ruin the memory of it. I miss my summer trips to Newport, Salem and Mystic.

We’ve also had some crazy family stuff happen during all this and there’s all sorts of emotions that happen with that. I only mention them to add to “where I’m at”, but haven’t really shared much outside of my house. There are some things that are meant to stay in house. It’s just been… emotional.

I’ve been trying to keep my boys out of the general public during all of this too. I hate seeing them wearing masks. Yes, I know the importance for wearing a mask – so don’t come at me for that. That’s why I just keep them home as much as possible. I don’t take them out for errands if at all possible and we are keeping them home this fall to continue distance learning for this same reason. I think the mask wearing and social distancing will be more detrimental than keeping them home with me. I am hopeful it’s short term. Most of my friends are sending their kids back in person. I respect them for that. It’s a tough decision either way. I wish I could do it too, but I also think my anxiety would be in high gear all the time. Keeping them home with me if for my mental health too. Hopefully I won’t have to fight with them as much this time around to do the work!

So after all of that, I completely lost my mojo about a month ago. I took a week off from working out, that turned into two and now I’m pushing four. I’m sleeping late and can barely find the motivation to do the simple day to day stuff. Yesterday was the eye opener for me that I am on depression’s doorstep y’all. I’m about to knock to have her let me in to join in her misery. I’ve got all the classic signs. I know them well. I’ve travelled this road a few times, it’s been a while since my last visit and I’m really wanting to bypass this stay. By classic signs – for me – I mean – no joy in the things that used to make me happy, not working at my fun job (my Etsy shop) as much as I would like, feeling empty, stopping working out, getting up late, going to bed early, not wanting to socialize with friends as much, not wanting to leave the house, eating…a lot, but then not wanting to cook dinner. There’s some of the things I’ve noticed. There’s also a lot of negative self talk happening and constant jealousy of anyone experiencing success-in anything- I have no limits on that one. It’s an awful trait that I tend to have. Comparison to others is a toxic trail to take. I need to pull a u-turn and come back to home base on that. It makes me feel ugly and pulls me deeper into where I don’t want to be.

I’m hoping that by writing this and sharing what I’m trying to do will help me climb out and get back to “normal”. I want to workout (weirdo right?) because my awful body issues are also rearing too. I keep thinking – “if I lose 10, 20, blah blah pounds I’ll for sure feel better” – then I eat two snickers ice cream cones – yep that happened yesterday. Here’s the thing, my brain knows that working out provides endorphins. Those endorphins after 30/60 minutes of exercise can be similar to taking an antidepressant. It’s proven to work if you can get your depressed ass moving. BUT THAT’S THE STUPID CRAZY PART! You’re so deep in your head that you talk yourself out of getting those endorphins!

I committed myself to a 18.9 mile virtual race this month. That I told myself I would complete by the last day of September. That means I have to move at least the amount of time it takes me to complete those nearly 19 miles. If I walk for 15 minutes a day I’ll hit my goal. I have to do something to motivate myself because the idea of being uncomfortable in my skin isn’t quite enough right now.

At the same time I’ve been trying to eat a little better. But that’s truly laughable, because who eats right when they’re stressed and feeling miserable. I’m trying to track what I eat and I even signed up for a nutrition webinar in about a week. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re still with me-thank you. I’d like (to try again) to update more regularly. I mean I pay for this freaking blog, you’d think I’d publish more. (Facepalm) My kids are heading back to school (in my office) on the 10th – so wish me luck. I need to find that “me” time quickly in order to manage having them here all day again. Just sitting in the office with me from 7:30 to 3 every day. At least the first two days are early release?

Value Yourself

No matter what the scale says!
Well then! What’s funny to me is the timing of this post.  This was the meeting room topic at Weight Watchers for May 28-June 3, HOWEVER, I need this today!  I am taking this mornings weigh in to heart and I’m taking it hard.  I know that if I go back and have a good look at what went down last week with food I would be able to recognize it right away.  I’ve been hiding under the belief that you can run from the scale (working out, then validating your food) and I also know deep down that you cant do that.
Last week I posted on my Facebook page a video of two friends reading their lists of horrible things they have said to themselves about their body and body image.  These friend then had to read each the lists out loud and direct them to each other.  It was hard to watch because I know how guilty I am of this.   We all know we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the way we perceive ourselves.  Some days are better than others when I’m trying to talk myself out of body shamming.  I try and hear the positive things that others have said to me or spin my thinking to a positive.  Such as when I was running last week and I ran by a crowd of people, the first thing that popped into my head was “man they must think I look ridiculous!”, but then I heard my WW leader, Donna, in my head when she spoke about when she say someone that was running in her neighborhood one day, someone that you may not call “fit”.  She said “I thought to myself wow, look at that person go, while I know I’m going home to sit on my couch!”.  I was able to switch my thoughts that morning to “hey I’m jogging and they’re just sitting there”.  I wish I could do this more often and I hope to as I get more practice at it.
The Weight Watchers Weekly on this subject discussed how you need to remember that the number on the scale doesn’t define you.  It’s just one of the many factors that describe you (like your eye or hair color).  Putting it simply, it means that your self worth shouldn’t be connected to how much you weigh.  There are so many reasons to value who you are.  How it helps is to recognize and appreciate yourself as a complex, interesting and loving person-rather than only as an “overweight” person.  This can have amazing physical and emotional payoffs.  People who have a healthy self esteem are more likely to take better care of their bodies, adopting healthy behaviors and engaging in less unhealthy behaviors, like overeating.  When your self esteem is high, you re also more likely to have a better body image – which in turn can boost your ability to lose weight.  Ultimately feeling good about yourself can make it easier for you to move forward.
An exercise they put in the WW Weekly was “what to do:see yourself through in loving eyes”.  You might think that criticizing yourself and being hard on yourself helps, but in turn it makes the journey harder because it hurts.  Seeing yourself the way a friend, relative or maybe even a stranger does, with love and appreciation rather than criticism and judgment.
THINK – about someone in your life who cares about you.
FOCUS – on that person for a minute and describe them in words and pictures.  What do they look like? Height? Eye color? Hair? Do they smile a lot? Do they have a soft or loud voice? Personality?
CONSIDER– what makes this person special to you.  Does thinking of this person make you happy?  Excited? Loving?  How do they make you feel?
IMAGINE –  that you are this person who loves you and start to see yourself through their eyes.  What do you like about this person you see?  Write down your thoughts, feeling s and behaviors you love about yourself.

COME BACK – to yourself and read what you wrote.  Notice the growing appreciation you feel fro yourself.

I really need to do this for myself.  Take some time to find the positives in my journey thus far.  I know there are more than I think.  I just need to stay positive and trust that eventually things will start moving in the right direction.  I just need to get the momentum going!