The hardest part of any change is getting started, so they say. If you read back on this blog, you’ll read about a time I did get started and I did make changes. My abscence from The Awkward Dancer is partly because I lost that motivation and partly because my life has changed pretty drastically.
The first time around, I was single and I worked from home. This time, I am in a four year relationship with a wedding in four months and I work in an office with an hour long commute on public transit on each end of my day.
I now understand why getting into a healthy lifestyle is so hard for so many people. When I lost 130 pounds, I didn’t have a partner to indulge with at resaurants or ice cream or takeout. I didn’t have a commute to wear me out and kill any motivation I had for a workout. I didn’t have constant office lunches, happy hours and birthday parties. I was able to make all of my food at home, on the fly, because my office was six feet from my own kitchen. Now, I need to plan everything in advance.
Three years ago, I put on about 35 pounds from when I was at my lowest weight, and it has not budged since then. That’s a good thing, I suppose. Perhaps this is my body’s “normal” when I’m not being militant and when I’m not over-indulging. It’s not all 130 pounds back on. It’s not the worst place to be.
But it’s not my best, because I don’t feel my best. My body has felt like it was falling apart over the past two years, starting with knee pain that eventually revealed itself as a back problem, thanks to my desk job. It took three doctors and an MRI to figure out that the way I was sitting was putting an immense amount of pressure on my neck and spine, resulting in nerve pain all up and down the left side of my body. During all that time, my workouts went from 6-a-week to lucky-if-I-get-one-a-week, because whenever I tried to go back to my old routine, I’d be in crazy pain for several days.
With marching orders from my physical therapist, I have a plan to turn things around. I know what I need to do. He warned me that it’s going to be a rough six weeks of pain and I know I need to make myself power through it. I long for the days when I would go for a run, lift some weights and follow it up with a pickup game of softball. You’d think that I’d be chomping at the bit to get back there, to do anything it takes, but I haven’t been able to make myself do it fully. Not yet.
In my head, I am raring to go, until it comes time to take that first step. Then my mind fails me and I get angry and discouraged.
Before bed last night, I set an alarm for an hour earlier than I usually get up. I told myself, as I drifted off to sleep, that it was time to get this going… for real. I woke up a little before that alarm was supposed to go off, went to the bathroom and crawled back into bed, turning that alarm off as I fell back to sleep.
I was awake! I got out of bed! And I still couldn’t make myself do it. Why? What is the matter with me?
I don’t know the answer to that… yet. But I do know nothing will change if all I do is wish for it. I need to keep trying, no matter how many times I fail.
I can’t keep quitting and I can’t keep hating on myself. This new journey is off to a slow start, it’s time to figure out how to get that first mile under my belt.