I’ve allowed myself to get distracted by and from all kinds of stuff. And I’ve gotten away from my three goals:
1) Make this space awesome
2) Lose weight
3) Be More spiritual
I don’t really know exactly how or why this happened. Just got busy and distracted and discouraged and stressed out and told myself it didn’t matter, even though it does.
I wasn’t in a very good place though mentally for a while. I had not only given up on my goals for the short term, but worse, began to doubt that I could ever get them at all. I was terrified that I would not ever feel motivated again. I was terrified at how big my goals seemed. They felt so far away and insurmountable. I felt my momentum taking me farther and farther away from my goals and the farther away I got the more scared and discouraged I became.
I had a mental shift though from “fuck all this, I give up” to “I’m back and ready to kick some ass!” and I’m going to try to describe it in the hopes that it helps you do the same.
Step 1: Get Thee a Reality Check. Stop avoiding your pain. Accept it, then reduce it.
You may recall my post about how I am quite strict in keeping only clothes that fit me. Well, one day, not that long ago, my last pair of jeans didn’t fit me anymore.
I realized that I had to do something I really, really, really didn’t want to do. First, I had to accept where I was, even though I wanted to change. I had to accept that I had gained weight. Super bitter pill to swallow, most definitely. I went to the store, and bought myself some clothes in a larger size. I also raided my Goodwill donations box, and had to pull clothes back out. Yeah. Things that were once too big, now fit again.
This sucked so hard. It was really really hard to do. It sucked so much. I can’t even tell you how much I hated to do this.
I also went back to the first thing I did when I finally started having success losing weight. I tried on everything in my closet, and set aside everything that didn’t fit in a stupid ugly pile.
That sucked a lot too. A lot. I was upset, I cried. It was hard to see all the clothes that used to fit, not fit me anymore. I was literally down to one pair of shorts I could go out in public in.
But, it was healing, too. I was done squeezing myself into clothes that didn’t fit quite right, and I was done constantly feeling uncomfortable in my clothes, and noticing that they didn’t fit the way they used to. I gave myself more ease as I went about life, and accepted myself. Yeah, they were bigger clothes, but at least I was comfortable. At least I felt better in my new skin, even if I didn’t like it quite as much as I had before. And I could finally stop staring at all of the clothes in my closet that judged me. They were out of sight. And I knew that whatever I touched and pulled out of that closet fit me now. And that wasn’t something I could say before.
So. I stopped avoiding the pain, and felt it instead. Then I accepted it, and took immediate action to ease it up, at least a little.
I also reduced my stress level. I think this means different stuff for different people at different times in life. But in this instance, for me it meant, fuck everyone else, and go be selfish for a while. I decided to put me first, and block out other people’s needs. Even if it eventually hurts other people’s feelings or makes things awkward for other people. Which it inevitably will. But… I recently decided it’s a price worth paying. And it has helped.
Step 2: Circle the Wagons.
Okay so, with step one, you stem the bleeding and you stop some of the negativity and ‘bad’. Step 2 is all about conjuring up some good, whatever that means to you.
I didn’t do this intentionally. I sort of did it on accident. I’m only realizing after the fact that this was the process.
To me, ‘conjuring up the good’ basically meant ‘find support’. I did this two ways: I engaged in self care, and I found support outside of myself.
Oddly, this time around, my version of self care was something new that I had never done before. In addition to the Step 1 phase of acceptance, I was oddly inspired to start doing a meditation with the purpose of shoring up energy and self-love. It didn’t solve my problem, but it did help me stop burning the candle from both ends and find some energy replenishment.
I also was randomly inspired one day recently to reach out to someone else I knew who happened to have a story very similar to mine – major weight loss followed by regain. And I asked her if she would be willing to be each other’s ‘diet buddy’. It was a risk. I don’t even know her. She’s a friend of a friend on Facebook. But she said yes. 🙂 So I took a risk. But it paid off. That helped too, but not entirely. I still had an evening binge or two after that. It wasn’t my smoking gun.
So – you could consider trying self care, and try enlisting support. If it doesn’t help, I think the take away then is, pay attention to your thoughts, whims, ideas in this area for a while. If you find one that feels right deep in your center, or at the very least, gives you the thought “hey, that might be a good idea” – follow your gut feeling. Don’t get discouraged. It took me weeks to find these two little pieces of my puzzle. Just stay open and keep trying things. If you do, you will find some relief. I promise.
Step 3: Refocus, go back to what you know works, build a web of goals, and then TAKE ACTION!
I had enough mental energy and fortitude to recommit to what I knew worked. Counting calories and running. That is what gave me a weight loss graph that looked like this over 8 months.
This was a super successful time in my life. It also was hard though. I am not a fan of running, and not eating. Dieting is uncomfortable! Further, I happen to really like sitting on a couch eating ice cream. One of my favorite past times. And it takes mental energy to do something hard and uncomfortable and not easy and comfortable.
I had considered the idea before. But instead of having it fill me with dread, This Time, I was able to say, Yes, I’m going to do this. I had found my mental shift! Which I had unknowingly prepared for, with steps 1 and 2.
It also turns out that these two goals reinforce each other – the more weight I lose the better I run, and the better I run the more weight I lose, and the better I eat the more weight I lose, and the better I eat the better I run.
Then I went, and I ran. Hard.
And that was something I really needed to do.
I do find that exercise gives me energy now. It didn’t when I was really overweight. But it does now. But, it’s more than that.
There is so much power and elation and energy in finally feeling like you are on the right track. Like you’re on your path. Like you’re on the way to what you want. Like maybe you’re not there yet, but someday you will be. Having a goal and knowing how you’ll get there and what you’ll have to do to get there and being on track starting Right Now.
This is motivation! This is how I found it.
I milked that feeling a bit and told my ‘diet buddy’. She probably got like 10 stupidly excited text messages.
Then that gave me the energy to further go back to basics. Remember how I said I had gone through my closet, and threw on the floor everything that didn’t fit me anymore?
I went back through those clothes. I tried them on, again. But instead of unceremoniously dumping them in a pile in a fit of depressed rage, I folded them, and I sorted them. Into clothes that will fit me soon, and clothes that will fit me a little later. Like last time.
I don’t want to dwell on the past funky thing I was in. I can’t change it. Also, I’m not quite sure what I can learn from it, because I don’t really get it. Just got into some kind of stupid mental limbo that I couldn’t pull myself out of. So this is all I got for you to avoid doing it in the first place and learn from my fail:
Don’t get too busy!
Don’t take your eye off the prize!
Stay positive and don’t give up!
Don’t let stupid stresses take you away from what you want the most in this world!
Yes it does matter so stop lying to yourself!
But if that fails, try Steps 1-3.
And notice your life change so fast. Mine already has. I came into some unexpected money. And now I’m writing to you, after a several week break! And that makes for TWO happy kitty cats!
Hope it helps, and thanks for reading. And I’m back! 🙂