Not to be dramatic, but I shutter just thinking about posting anything about my latest health journey. I have fallen off the horse so many times trying to do this that I am pretty sure the horse is riding me now just for good measure. Yet here I am again. I know that when I fall, I must get up where I fell. Awesome advice, and surprisingly helpful. I always tried to go back to the beginning and try the same path that had not worked over and over and over again, so when I heard the phrase “get up where you fell” it dawned on me, stop doing what doesn’t work and come up with a “loose” plan of something that will (hopefully) work.
When I say loose, I mean open to change. On any journey we do not stay the same, we grow, we prosper, we achieve, but before all of those things happen, we might also fall down, skin ourselves, and just lay there and not want to get up. For me this is because I feel in some way that I kept failing myself, I would reach a goal and then just stop lay down and fall back into bad habits. I am not here promoting anything more than a healthy mindset. I studied nutrition in an online program, hoping to “unstuck” myself, but that didn’t work either. What I am hoping works is my commitment to my mental health, my spiritual self.
I want to commit to that part of me that controls everything else. Without a positive mental health, I become overwhelmed and I let life overwhelm my thoughts and that’s dangerous for me. My coping mechanism for far too long has been emotional eating, and it has become like a sport to me. Trying to hurdle the obstacles of not wanting to feed my pain, my feelings, any emotion I was having, then losing that game, and trying to come up with a way to fail, oops, I mean not fail. Mhm. It used to be that I just fed sadness, but then it just became whatever emotion decided to strut on in, it got fed.
As person who loves to write pretty much anything, I also love to journal*, so I decided on this particular journey I was going to start there. I knew in my heart that when I started this is where the start and finish line was/is going to be. I had to be honest with myself, but I didn’t put down my goals or decide to use it as a food diary, I decided to make it my confidant. A place to put my thoughts void of recommendations, or the usual “I do this…”, “Try this”, “Try that”, “exercise”, “meditate”, etc… you know, it is the place where I can just lay out my thoughts and then leave myself to deal with them as I see fit. On day one, February 1, 2022, I was already trying to self-sabotage, but instead of picking up something to eat, I picked up my journal. I didn’t write more than one or two sentences, but I brought the action into reality and not just in my head, and I gave it a brief stay in my psyche and then let it go. It was in that moment I knew what I needed to do to make this work.
This health journey wasn’t going to be about keeping a food journal, which was the initial plan, no, this journey was going to be about letting go of the harmful food/mental processes that no longer served me. I did decide to give up fast food for February (to start), because I do need some discipline in my life, as well as a way to create better habits, like cooking and eating at home, but also, I need to show myself that I can do it. I don’t want to be all talk and no action, or brief action, then blah again. This time I decided it wasn’t about proving anything to anyone either. The only person this journey is meant for is me, but I am choosing to blog about it in the hopes that even if there is just one person out there like me, it will help them, because this journey is about the person taking it and no one else, even those that think they are helping, or want to help.
Do I want to eat better? Yes. Do I need to exercise more? Yes, because I actually don’t mind it once I get out of my head and start doing it. Do I want this to work this time? Of course, I want it to work every time. Do I think it will work this time? Yes, because I am not setting ridiculous goals for myself. I am adding where I need to add and subtracting where I need to subtract and I am not forcing myself to do anything, because unlike many people, I also need to convince myself that I am worthy of this journey. I have to give myself the mental permission to see that I too can enjoy the beauty of life – health journey or not-, but also, I am deciding that it is time to put aside my body shame and to truly embrace the self-love I keep telling everyone else to have. If you’re struggling, give yourself permission to love yourself and do what you need to do to help yourself grow on your own personal journey, it’s not about losing weight, it’s about gaining confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, self-love and nurturing it with self-care. Remember, you ARE worth it. You ARE safe. You ARE loved.
*Whether writing is your thing or not, I strongly recommend journaling, even if it is something you just do on your computer. This is the place where you can be honest with yourself with judgment, without anyone telling you that you are wrong or right, it is your personal space and the place where you can allow yourself to grow and flourish if you choose.