This morning, when I checked my email, I found that yesterday two different Spark friends visited my page to ask why I was AWOL and whether I was okay. If I'd checked my email last night, I wonder if I'd be writing a different blog this morning, but their genuine concern is giving me the courage to write the blog I have to write today.
Last night, after almost two months of sticking to an eating and exercise program that has brought me weight loss, toning, and enormous relief, I took a detour that returned me to familiar and frightening territory.
Yesterday had been a good day. In fact, in so many respects it had been an exceptional day. It started with a gathering of very good friends, moved on to me signing a new and exciting contract for work I love to do, and ended with a well-received performance of the show I’m currently doing. But after the show I came home and instead of going to bed, I turned on the television and stayed up most of the night watching bad movies and eating two days worth of calories.
There are lots of reasons. None are excuses, but all are pieces of the puzzle that I want to understand so I might be able to better protect myself in the future.
- Not enough sleep for almost a week.
- Long drives to and from a stressful visit with my increasingly confused mother.
- This new contract comes right when I thought I would be taking a break.
- This new contract means my plans to visit my friend with cancer and my sons at their schools have to be put on hold.
- I didn’t get any exercise yesterday.
And, perhaps most important of all…
Over the past week, I've fallen almost completely out of touch with my Spark community.
I’ve been logging my food and exercise every day but since last Sunday, I’ve barely posted, emailed, read, or commented on a single blog. I have been busy but the truth is, I forgot that connecting with all of you is a gift to myself. I allowed it to become more of a chore.
And so, last night, when the “f**k-its” crept back in, it was like a staph infection finding an open wound. I was too detached and too tired to stop and say no. The binge was large and varied and deeply UNSATISFYING. All I've ended up with is stomach ache, a sugar hang-over, and most importantly - a big, old dose of humility that has landed me on my ass.
So, now what do I do? The one thing I will NOT do is beat myself up about this. If I do that, I will only make this rut deeper, as I have so many times in the past. Instead, I will just climb back out and after I finish writing this blog, I will:
1) Brush my teeth.
2) Eat breakfast. That’s hard for me to do after a binge like last night but I have to create some semblance of healthy routine and skipping meals won’t cut it.
3) Go for a walk – at least to the end of the block and back. It’s not my usual five miles but I need something to get my blood moving. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the end of the block so even if I just do that and turn around I will have walked 20 minutes. A Spark friend shared that trick with us.
5) Take a shower, wash my hair, and brush my teeth again.
6) Log my food and exercise. Send a few Spark messages.
7) Take a nap before tonight show.
8) Take another quick shower to wake up.
9) Eat dinner and go do the show.
10) Come home, log on to say hello and good night to all of you, and go to bed.
If I am really living this one day at a time then yesterday is over and today has just begun.