Happy New Year Dear Diary,
2015 and another year of promise.
You know how ill I have been this past year. And you know that illness has gone so much deeper than skin deep. And you also know that I have been avoiding the inevitable, the obvious, the thing I must confront before I can even begin my journey back to mental health.
HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND
I haven’t wanted to face it. I haven’t wanted to take responsibility. I have been waiting for some divine intervention, some bolt of motivation to enter my body that would render me incapable of doing anything but answer the call of fitdom.
And so my body broke down. Again and again.
I am a slow learner it seems.
I will often imagine the time when I die and pass over to wherever it is my soul might go and I interrogate the people that handed out willpower and motivation and ask them why they didn’t dole out copious amounts to me. And I imagine imploring them as to why they not only decided to make me fat, but also bald and an alcoholic as well, like some cruel twist of sadism. I imagine them cowering at my anger, spewing out excuses promising never to do that to me again. I look at them, smugly, nodding my pleasure at my indignant voice and how they bowed to it. I feel vindicated, pompous, my job is done.
Except it isn’t done. I’m dead. I lived my entire life lamenting my weight, my hair, my inability to drink and a whole heap of other things besides. And in all likelihood because I failed to act, my demise has come early. I never did get to taste the sweet taste of health, vitality, peace of mind.
And that is the point. As far as we know for absolutely sure, we only have one life. We only have one crack to make it a good one. What a good one looks like is different for everyone and what looked good yesterday might not be good today, but without your health it doesn’t matter. Without health we have nothing. And when we have done being not healthy, we die. Often earlier than expected.
Nearly two years ago, I came across this youtube video. Two years. Despite all the evidence I ignored all the signs. I did not want to get up off my ass and do something.
But today, dear Diary, this the first day of the new year, I am making changes. My body is not liking it one bit. My body is yelling its displeasure at me, but I am overruling it. For today, I am overruling it.
For that is how I conquer my addiction to alcohol each day. I simply don’t drink for one day. Nor the next, or the next. One day at a time, I am taking my sobriety to five years in just a couple of weeks time.
I have to be able to replicate that for my body.
And so it is, my first step to HEALTH this year – Exercise.
Just writing it, my mind recoils. We have never enjoyed exercise, my mind and I. I have stark memories of coming last in every race, of never hitting the hockey ball for the entire match, of being selected for the netball team based on my height alone and being told to avoid the ball at all costs due to my inability to actually catch the thing, of being wonderfully at home in the water swimming, but never being fast enough for any team. My brain is screaming at me “why are you putting us through this!”
But this time, all I am doing is walking. I have invested in a Fitbit and all I am going to do is move my body every day. For the recommended 10,000 steps. I am told that this is about an hours worth of walking every day. I can do that. I absolutely can do that.
My brain, as you know, dear Diary, is telling me I can’t and I won’t lie the walk around the lake was tough. As Mr C and I walked, all I could think of was the jiggling belly and the chaffing underarm fat, and the sweating back fat. I kept imagining people looking out of their net curtained windows, in shock, some laughing, at this lily white obese woman walking past their door. But 7,000 steps later and I had made it home. Sweaty and slightly red in the cheek I grant you, but after my 30 minute walk I had made it two thirds of the way to my goal. I still have to walk the dogs tonight, so I am hopeful I can achieve it.
It’s so much more than just losing weight isn’t it Diary? People think that willpower alone would cure the obesity problem, but it won’t. It doesn’t. It requires facing your demons. It requires facing your fears and doing it anyway. And that is no mean feat. No one tells you that really. No one tells you the gut wrenching fear that grips you as you step out into the sunshine to take your first walk, or your first healthy food shop, or your first green smoothie (which taste surprisingly good, by the way). No one tells you that.
You see it, of course, on programs like The Biggest Loser, but until you experience it, you can’t know. Much like giving birth.
But today, I pushed through that fear. I did it. And tomorrow I may just do it again.
Until next time Diary,