Slowly learning (warning: long, honest, and emotional post and a little bit of belly-aching)
Friday, February 22, 2013
I'd like to rant just a little bit:
Is it possible to eat right/lose weight *and* still stay above my anxiety and depression? I get so overwhelmed sometimes with just life that the thought of trying to count calories and fitness minutes completely overwhelms me. What am I missing?
OK, rant over. Now time for honesty.
This whole "healthy lifestyle" experience has been a real struggle for me.
I suffer with depression and anxiety and while I may feel great for months, January and most of February were not included in that greatness. Looking back, I feel like much of the last month and a half are in a blur. At one point I was so stressed that it was all I could do to just get up and go to work. Forget about counting calories and doing weigh-ins, exercising and drinking tons of water - I was just trying to survive.
Now that the worst has passed and I am feeling a bit better mentally and physically, I am trying to think about what I can do differently to stay on top of things more. There are times when I almost feel disconnected from myself - like my outer life is on auto-pilot and my insides are shutting down because I am so stressed. Usually after talking it over with my counselor and really facing my situations, things are better. But now I'm trying to process what I can do better in order to keep from getting to that place.
I know that stress is never going to stop. I know that deadlines are going to loom and frustrations will never end. What can I do differently to keep these things from shutting me down emotionally?
I realized as I was processing these things this past week that I viewed taking care of myself as doing something relaxing or fun (which it can be sometimes!). However, I forgot that taking care of myself is also a responsibility. It may not always feel like the easiest thing to do. It may not always be what my body *wants* to do. Either way, good self care includes doing the things that I need to do to stay healthy.
- getting adequate sleep
- moving more (a little is better than none. maybe I should quit aiming for miles and go for just one?)
- drink more water (so I didn't get eight glasses in - six is sure better than one)
- make better choices (last night, instead of binging on cookie dough, I just had a "cookie size" - and stopped there. yay!)
- healthy substitutions (tonight I'll be using light alfredo instead of full fat)
- processing the whole journey...writing and thinking things through
- don't give up after one bad day (oops, guilty!)
- talking to my support group instead of hiding in shame
Self care is not going to exclude doing something fun and relaxing, but maybe I can exchange my comforting rituals (sleeping, eating, watching TV) for something healthier (eating a better snack, drinking hot tea, walking on my treadmill while I watch a show).
I'm pretty much writing this to brainstorm and to prove to myself that I do know how to make better choices. That it is ok to not be perfect, but to strive for something better.
Oh yeah, I also realized last night that I have this craving/urge for food if it is available. If there is something good available (pizza, cookies, pasta) I feel like I can't say no because I'm afraid I'll miss out or feel dissatisfied. Hmmm, sounds like a mental/emotional thing I need to get over.
And now, if you are still reading, thank you for hanging in there with me. If you have any suggestions or advice, I would love to hear from you. Or if you struggle with depression/anxiety/anxiety disorders and have/are successfully losing weight, I would love to hear what works for you.