Trapped.

Leading a rigid lifestyle based on severe routine puts you in a jail cell. When you learn to live in a jail cell for a significant amount of time, you begin to forget how great life was outside of the bars. Stepping out into the unknown is… suffocating, and borderline unimaginable.

It’s not that I didn’t want to be with my friends more, make lasting memories, try new things, etc… it’s that I literally couldn’t. I was trapped.

I remember feeling this way as early as high school. Again, what started as a harmless and healthy habit developed in to a full-blown jail cell. I began with walking to relieve stress. It was a 2-fold blessing because I had finally found a method of physical activity that I was actually “good enough” to complete. I mean, almost anyone can walk (without tripping? that’s another story. GUILTY!)… and with a little practice, most can walk REALLY fast or for a REALLY long time. That was me.

Another teacher and I were known for our “power walks.” People would joke about the MPH that we were clocked at. On the days when we weren’t zipping through the streets, I would walk the length of the town and then some.

I know at some point it was out of enjoyment. It always is. When I “get” to walk in a new place, it’s something that brings me such… peace. (My creativity ROCKS while I am working out. Someday I will own a computer attached directly to my brain to capture my thoughts in real time.) It never takes long until my competitive side comes out…

Suddenly I feel the urge to walk just one more block. or just five more minutes. And each night it compounds, until I’ve absolutely maxed out my time available. This includes the time I’m choosing to give up with family and friends in order to fill a daily quota.

I’m known for being a distance walker, and I’ve taken it very seriously. Unfortunately, that’s not the only extreme I’ve taken in the last 10 years of my weight loss journey.

I knew that at some point I was crossing that realistic line. But I just didn’t know how to stop. I would almost give thanks for the times that someone would visit me so I was unable to workout as long. It also gave me tremendous anxiety. Something in my head screamed “FATTY!” whenever I happened to miss a workout. I irrationally believed that one slip-up would result in an instant regain of nearly every ounce.

I’m working on being OK with taking a day or two (or even three) off in a week. When I do workout, I tend to push. And I want to enjoy exercise again. Things like Zumba certainly help in that… but I mean I want to do it because I like how it makes me feel, not because the clock says I still have to torture myself for another hour… OR ELSE.

A new year, season, or even week can be really challenging on many levels for people. On the one hand, you have those people who really and truly do need to start adding exercise and healthy eating into their lifestyle. Then you also have people like me, who are also bombarded with the messages of diet and exercise and feel obligated (aka TRAPPED) to step up our game as well.

I’m learning about balance. And sanity.  And the importance of treating myself right. Exercise is a beneficial activity on so many levels… within reason.

I’m learning.

I’m learning that a day off doesn’t result in 100 pounds. It means being a little more careful about what I consume in the day and enjoying the time off. After all, our bodies do, at some point need a break to work optimally.

Small breaks don’t make you weak.
They make you stronger.
No need to beat yourself up.

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Posted on April 2, 2012, in Emotional, Environmental, Physical, Social, Spiritual and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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