I have a confession, devoted blog followers. This whole healthy lifestyle thing is really a lot of work for me. I know for some people it's something that just comes naturally. Maybe they were brought up eating clean and having exercise be a part of their everyday routine. I was not one of these people. And so it is something that I work at (literally) every moment of every day. I mean, I created this blog as part of that. To hold myself accountable for actually doing the work.
And, honestly, I'm beat. I sometimes feel like I'm running (again, literally) uphill. A really steep hill. With potholes. I sometimes feel like I spend so much time counting calories and planning workouts that I'm missing something else. Maybe even something more important.
"But what could be more important than my health?" I ask myself.
Where does one draw the line between enjoying life and giving one's self a break and staying committed.
This week has been a bit of a nightmare. Our property taxes skyrocketed, the IRS lost the amendment that I sent in as part of last year's taxes and now I owe them a butt load of money, I'm trying to plan a wedding (kinda sorta), my work is wonderfully hectic and I haven't had a good night's sleep in at least 3 weeks (think awful back pain and lots of tossing and turning). I've pretty much been crying for the past two days and I don't even know why. All I wanted to do tonight was sit on the couch and watch a movie, maybe take a bath, read a book. And I started to do just that. But then this god awful guilt kicked spoke up. "You skipped your workout on Monday," it said. "If you skip today too, then you'll have to workout Saturday AND Sunday to meet your goal."
"But I'm exhausted!" my real self said. "I have had such a long week and I even lost two pounds this week. I deserve this night off."
"If you take tonight off, those two pounds will be right back on your ass next week," it continued. "You can take days off when you're 20 pounds lighter. Or dead."
It went back and forth like this for a bit until eventually my real self agreed with my guilt that I would, in fact, feel much better after I went for a run.
And so I draaaaaagged my butt of the couch and put on both of my sports bras (yes, I have to wear two and yes, it is a HUGE pain in the ass) and laced up my sneakers for a run.
I let my real self catch a break and I only ran two and a half miles instead of three. "Big deal," said my real self.
And half an hour later, I'm sitting on my back patio (WHEN did it get so NICE outside!?) drinking some water and watching the cats roll around and chase bugs. Turns out, I didn't miss anything more important, except maybe the last few minutes of "What Not to Wear."
I feel better that I went for a run. But I don't know when I'll ever give myself a break. I want to lose these last 20 pounds SO BAD. And not just lose them, KEEP them off (which, as we all know, is the toughest part).
I know that in order for this all to work, I need to make it a part of my lifestyle and I have. But not inasmuch as it doesn't require thought or planning or effort. And that worries me a little. Am I always going to have to work THIS hard?
Will it ever get easier?
Ahhhh, life's persistent questions.
Even as I type, I'm sitting here planning what to eat for dinner, and then breakfast and then lunch tomorrow, all while doing quick caloric adding in my head.
I know it's important. But I only get a few short months with blooming roses in my backyard. I really should worry a little less about calories and a little more about taking a few minutes to enjoy the gorgeous utopia of a vacant South Philadelphia lot...