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Thursday, February 16, 2012

I guess this is where I hang out my dirty laundry. I'm okay with people seeing the not so great side of me because I feel that people trust you far more if folks know you struggle than if you present that perfect, always motivated, never have a down day online image.

For me, the depression came like a sucker punch and it is always amazing how something small can trigger it yet at the same time come through unscathed under some pretty tough situations.

Without TMI, it basically was a relatively minor family situation that triggered it. It was like something inside melted and I didn't care anymore, felt numb, and totally shut down inside.

I got a good look at the addictive tendencies that I still have. I found myself staring down at some junk food in much the same way an alcoholic would stare at the bottom of a glass of whiskey. The same old forces that used to drive me were driving me again.

You are never totally free from addiction, it is only managed.

The good news to all of this is that none of it really satisfied at all which is a good thing. Also, the amount that I had was actually extremely small and that is as far as it got before the athlete inside was like "dude, what is up with this? You are alot bigger than this"

I didn't feel the out of control feeling I used to feel. As quickly as it came on, it also got cut off which to me is progress. I was far more in control that ever even though the emotional plunge was really intense.

That really gives me hope. Before, an episode like that would have been a no holds barred eating attack. This time, even though the depressed state was the same, the emotional eating was a little more than a pothole in the road and nothing more.

I could have really yielded to it and gone all out but there was enough strength in me that it just wasn't an option. There was a large gap between the stimulus and the response. Inside this gap exists the ability to choose ones response. I am convinced the longer you live a balanced lifestyle, the larger the gap becomes until you have much greater control when the crap really hits the fan. Feelings will always come and go like a wayward breeze and the ability to feel them, without being controlled by them, is freedom.

Now that I am through it and on the other side, I am not feeling at all in woo hoo mode but I do feel like I have really shown what kind of progress i have truly made. I am not a slave to food any longer.

I have goals that make me feel better than food ever will.

I want to wear the medal of a Half Ironman finisher more than I have wanted anything, I want to RUN a marathon and do well, heck, I want to qualify for Boston. I even want to write a book someday and lay it all out there so that someone else might have hope that reclaiming your life is not a pipe dream but is a very real possibility to someone who will never give up on themselves.

I'm even crazy enough to believe I might even have a finishline picture from a FULL Ironman in that book...

To some, 140.6 miles is a distance. To others, it is insanity. To those who live with a longing in their hearts, 140.6 is a calling.

Its good to be crazy.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v MISSLISA1973
    Thanks for sharing your victory with us. There is no victory if there is no challenge. We are all challenged, and seeing how your long-term efforts are paying off in a quick return to the life you want to live instead of the life you once lived, well that is inspirational. It helps keep us focused when we struggle to reach our goals, or to change our lifestyles.

    In example, I was doing better at going to bed at a reasonable hour but these past couple nights I've been back at my old ways of staying up late. I would maybe stay up for a while longer, but you have helped me remember that I desire to change my sleeping habits. As soon as I'm done here, I'm getting up and finishing getting myself ready for bed. Thanks!
    1616 days ago
    "Feelings will always come and go like a wayward breeze and the ability to feel them, without being controlled by them, is freedom."

    Wow. That is seriously real right there. Hits home big time. Thanks for sharing
    1619 days ago
    I'm very happy for you that you were able to turn it around. My son was in a car accident at Christmas time and left with a broken back which was a miracle as it could have been so much worse. It has triggered something in me and I have been in a downward spin since. I just can't seem to pick myself back up. Thank you for sharing.
    1620 days ago
    You are among the few that can live in their own skin and really be at ease! emoticon Sure, it's not easy. It's not meant to be. But your journey has brought you here and your ability to share this with others is a gift. Not just for you, but for the many who many follow you. emoticon Who knows maybe a few Sparkers will follow you on that 140.6 emoticon
    1620 days ago
    Not only do I love your writing style, you convey thoughts and emotions so well, that many can truly relate to you. I'm slowly realizing these the very same things you described.

    You will write that book, and that picture will be on the cover of that book.
    1621 days ago
  • v NUMD97
    "I have goals that make me feel better than food ever will."

    I just LOVE this!

    Thanks for posting, Robert. What an inspiration you continue to be, even on the off days. ESPECIALLY on the off days.

    Thanks again,

    1621 days ago
    1622 days ago
    sounds like you have learned a lot on your journey.
    1622 days ago
  • v HIPPYCHICK5005
    Love your blog and your honesty! emoticon
    1622 days ago
  • v SMARTIN421
    1622 days ago
  • v DOODIE59
    Your decision to turn away from the addictive foods is a massive and very, very heartening victory. Yes, an addiction can only and must always be managed rather than eradicated, but it is clear you are living the proper perspective. Your values are weighted the way you want them to be: You are aware of your needs and desires, and you've given them proper priority. Huge congratulations -- that is the battle the rest of us need to win:) I hope you are feeling really, really good about yourself.
    Your calling awaits ...
    1622 days ago
    I have goals that will make me feel better than food ever will...

    That is the belief that helps us get better and stay better...
    1622 days ago
  • v BANDMOM2012
    Really proud for you that you recognize what is going on in your own skin - and dealing with it. Good luck with your 140.6 miles. I know you can do it!
    1623 days ago
    BIG BIG BIG HUGS!!!!!!
    1623 days ago
    You are growing stronger! Without those trials in our life we wouldn't get in any practice and grow those emotional muscles~ Spark on my friend.
    1623 days ago
  • v JULIANNEC123
    It's wondeful that you recognize your triggers. That's half the battle!
    1623 days ago
    Isn't it great when you realize you are taking things in stride. Letting your self feel them with out overwhelming you. Learning and seeing how strong you have become. I too suffer from depression and hit a major snafu last week, I wanted to crawl and hide and mope, but something inside of me wouldn't let me. And I just hear the voice in my head, you are better than this.

    Thanks for all your kind words and your blogs and your journey is so inspiring!

    1623 days ago
    Wow, very inspiring attitude!! I will be buying that book start writing emoticon
    1623 days ago
  • v BRE7482
    This is a powerful bog. Thank you for sharing. I will be first in line to get that book!
    1624 days ago
    you are right it is good to be crazy but truthfully goinng out for something you really want so much that you can actually taste it really that crazy?seems quite normal to me. i have also been leting myself down by allowing life to get in the way of my dreams but as of today that is over the dreams are going to become my life.even wrote a blog today to my body to let it know lol.seems we are on the same wave length even if i am running a bit behind you.way to go can do this and i canīt wait to see your photo crossing the iron mans finishing line. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1624 days ago
    good for you, Robert!!! I am proud of you!!!!
    1624 days ago
    Way to fight back, you're so right the addiction, the demons they are always there it's just how we deal with them that matters
    1624 days ago
    Thank you for your honesty. You will never know how many of us can totally relate and how many of us you have helped on this journey.

    You can and will do all that you wish to do emoticon emoticon
    1625 days ago
    Way to grow!!! Handling the bad times is really telling in how far a person has come.
    1625 days ago
    Way to overcome...and learn!!

    emoticon emoticon
    1625 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this. The last two weeks have been stressful. Yesterday and today were the absolute worst. Last night, I ate like crazy, and I did the same today. So, the reason I say thank you for sharing this is because it shows me that one day, I will be able to be better than to stuff my face when times gets rough. Right now, it doesn't feel that way, but you've given me hope that it will one day.

    Well done on not choosing food as comfort. You, dear friend, are an inspiration.
    1625 days ago
    I kind of feel like the empty, mindless eating I've been doing and the amount of stress I've been under might be a mild depression. I've always been a "live in the moment" kind of girl, it's a coping mechanism and has allowed me to always outrun depression, so for this stress to weigh me down (emotionally and physically) as much as it has is a new thing for me. I'm going to counseling but we've been dealing with marital issues rather than what might be really going on inside me.

    I'm under a tremendous amount of stress - I have a demanding job where I work 8 AM until 6, 6:30, 7:00, depending on the needs of my job...and being in school for so long, and raising a toddler, and grocery shopping and paying the's all dragging me down. I have so little down time and I'm desperately needing some.

    I've got FIVE classes left until I graduate but now I have financial concerns with that in addition to all of the other stress. After next term my student loans cap which means I have three classes I have to pay for out of pocket. I'm not sure how that's going to work because it's a private school and the fees are really astronomical. It would be devastating to not be able to finish my degree with only three classes left to go because of financial issues.

    Sorry for pouring it out here but your posts always seem to hit home to me!!
    1625 days ago
  • v JENNYBTHIN2104
    WoW! That is soooo amazing! I am soooo proud of you for the honesty and the realization!

    I am inspired by your truths and see that sooo many people are going through the same thing that I am and have so many times gone through myself!

    Keep it up you will feel better! and This too will make you stronger!
    1625 days ago
  • v LINDAKAY228
    Thanks for sharing your struggles. You openess helps me. I'm struggling through some family issues that have knocked me into depression mode again and I'm still working at coming out of it but know I will. Hearing your story really does help me.
    1625 days ago
    You are a far different person than you used to be. The same, but different. Your addictions may still exist (mine still do, too) but you have a better handle on them now. They do not rule your life.
    I do not doubt you will make your 140.6. You are on the path now and will not be deterred.
    1625 days ago
    This is why I love Sparks, it is a safe place to let out your struggles, frustrations, triumphs, etc....

    Glad you were able to see what was happening and had the strength to stop it. You HAVE made progress and have come so far. I have no doubt that it will just continue to get better for you!

    1625 days ago
  • v LIV2RIDE
    emoticon It's awesome when we can see our progress. you are allowed to have feelings and actually feel them. It's what you do with them that matters and you took control. This blog was so open and real. You have some great goals and I think you should definitely go for all of them. You can do anything you put your mind to. So start training for that Ironman even if you don't do it for several years. Start writing that book. It will happen!!
    1625 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing your downs as well as your ups. I can't tell you how much it inspires and helps me.

    My wish for you is that you are back in Woohoo Land soon.

    And seriously well done for how you're handling this blip. Life will chuck these at us from time to time and learning how to deal with them is all part of the journey.
    1625 days ago
    I think your blogs are the bits of your book. You are already writing it. Someday is now.
    1625 days ago
    My friend you are on the right track!!!!! when u are sad, defeated or frustrated your old comfort habits come to d surface reminding you of the pseudo bliss it would lead you too.... BUT u took in a bit and punched it right in the face emoticon that itself is something to "WOOOOO HOOOO" about .... another thing i have learnt is that when u are sad or depressed , pitying yourself is like calling 800 DOOM..... its gonna take you down like house of cards...... INSTEAD be your own coach!!!!!!!!!! motivate and push yourself even if u gotta do push ups to remind your self of how STRONG you are !!!!! u are half way there friend.... dont look back ....

    AND yeah when u write your book ..send me a complimentary copy emoticon
    1625 days ago
    Thank you for being willing to share your struggles as well as your triumphs. There is encouragement in knowing that other people fight the same demons you have to battle as well. I completely agree....there is no cure for addiction...but you are winning the battle to control the tendencies. On the flipside of every moment of weakness is a moment of enlightenment. I found a quote that really reverberates with me when i get to thinking about the athletic feats I want(need) with every fiber in my being to accomplish...outlandish things that make no sense but to that which is within me demanding I try. As surely as I find courage and determination in your is with equal certainty that I know each thing...each dream you bring into will see through to completion. Can't wait to read that book! Wishing you easier days ahead! Here is the quote:

    "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." ~author unknown

    Keep dreaming BIG!!! emoticon
    1625 days ago
    Thank you for your post tonight. I can identify with your situation and, even with what you have gone through, you still inspire.

    Spark on!
    1625 days ago
    You HAVE progressed. emoticon . You encouraged me that there is hope for me, that I can get my emotional eating under control too. Thanks for that encouragement.
    If you do write that book, tell us the title. I will be willing to buy it! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1626 days ago
  • v LABGIRL1231
    Hey Buddy!!! You will be an Ironman I know it!!!

    I'm sorry you had some issues this week but so glad you got back on track quick!!

    I got my first Runner's World magazine today and been reading all night!

    Keep your chin up and if you need to talk we can chat sometime soon
    1626 days ago
  • v HYDR0GEN
    Not being swept away by that out of control feeling is major progress and congrats! I yearn for that kind of progress and am working to increasing the "gaps" where I test myself. You continue to motivate and inspire. I would buy your book in a second. emoticon
    1626 days ago
    I totally HEAR you friend! I agree that blogging about our down times is necessary, not only for our own sanity, and journaling, but so that others DO know those of us who seem rock solid often, or commited and positive "most" of the time, DO still have those moments. It's important to share how we deal with them also, so that others can use that helpful advice. I am sooo proud of you for getting through it so well! I took my focus off of my own emotions only briefly to help others with theirs, and the depression hit me like a side punch also! One thing I realize now being healthy, I am positive and healthier most of the time, but I also notice without the chocolate, or sugar in my system, I can get upset more quickly than normal also! emoticon over small things.

    Well, I am just glad to see you saw the light and bounced back quickly! emoticon
    1626 days ago
    another AWESOME blog!
    1626 days ago
  • v KAREN_NY
    No PF can stand up to the kind of crazy. emoticon
    You're a hero!
    1626 days ago
    You DO need to FINISH your book - you know, the one you have already started here...
    1626 days ago
  • v DUXGRL1
    That was a real victory! You should feel proud!
    1626 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    emoticon AWESOME!!! Glad to know you worked through it - worst time of year to have a "need" for sweets, huh?? Ugh. You WILL be an Ironman! I know it!! Can't wait to hear about it! :-)
    1626 days ago
    Glad to hear you are doing better.
    1626 days ago
  • v FITFOODIE806
    Yes! I know you will be an ironman.
    1626 days ago
  • v CIVIAV
    Well for sure I want to read your book. I know of what you speak!

    Much Love and Management!
    1626 days ago
  • v _JODI404

    I have so much respect for you.. your candidness... your accomplishments. I think it is not realistic to always be Up & Wooo Hooo! I appreciate you being real. I think this does help give hope to others who face the same struggles.

    I *LOVE* this: "Feelings will always come and go like a wayward breeze and the ability to feel them, without being controlled by them, is freedom". Feel them... don't try to eat them!! LOVE that!!!

    I also equally LOVE: "I have goals that make me feel better than food ever will".

    KUDOS to you for using that gap to make better choices for yourself and not autopilot down familiar, unhealthy paths.
    You are strengthening all kinds of muscles on this journey!!

    So glad to hear that you are feeling a lot better. I was concerned!

    Take Care!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1626 days ago
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