January 15, 2011 up and down and back again
today the sun is shining and i am smiling. and i am thinking.
yesterday, katie, of chocolate covered katie, penned a post entitled chase away the blues. in it, she offers tips on beating seasonal depression. winter and lack of sun (and, therefore, lack of vitamin d, the “happy vitamin”) often leave people feeling less motivated and more introverted than they might be in the summer time.
the post sparked a really interesting conversation, one i am urging you to read. most people loved and agreed with katie’s suggestions. some people, however, did not believe in the power of exercise and eating well.
which got me thinking. i am most depressed when i eat poorly and skip my work outs. depriving myself of my healthy habits leads me to cave to the negative chatter of my mind and treat myself poorly. i self medicate with food and drown myself in thoughts of unworthiness. on the flip side, however, when i treat myself well by feeding myself nourishing foods and sweating at least twenty minutes of day, i feel so much more grounded and sane.
i’ve never been diagnosed with depression but i’ve certainly felt it. i do not think, in any way, that i suffer from depression but i do suffer from intense blues (as i’m sure most of you do, too) from time to time. over the summer all i felt was intensely blue. it was awful and i wasn’t treating myself right. i binged, i restricted, i compulsively exercised to the point of pain. i drove the sanity right out of my world and felt completely lost.
fast forward to now. things are not perfect, nor do i ever anticipate they will be because nothing ever is. but candace said something to me the other night that sparked another thought. while discussing with her the thoughts which, as of late, have sent me into moods i cannot shake, i told her that i was five pounds away from where i started my weight loss journey. she told me this: “so what?”
so what? it caught me off guard. so what? so i was going to be ‘fat’ again. so i am uncomfortable. so i am critical, obsessive, and miserable.
so what, she told me, then added “think of it this way: you’ve gone through all of this and you’ve ended up where you started, okay. but you’ve learned so much along the way. you know what foods you like to eat now and what foods your body likes. you know you love yoga now. think of all you’ve learned.”
think of all i’ve learned. think of all i’ve learned.
the words kind of floated in my head for a moment, mulling about the forefront of my mind. think of all i’ve learned. after a few days of contemplation, the positives replaced the negatives, and all these lessons learned became clear.
i’ve learned exercise is something to be done in order to feel good, not something to be used as punishment. i’ve learned my mat is my happy place and yoga brings me more peace then running everwill. i’ve learned a plant-based diet best suits my body and mind. i’ve learned smaller portions help keep me sustained through out the day. i’ve learned to evaluate the reason why i feel the need to binge. i’ve learned, above anything else, that self-love is the key to true happiness.
i’ve been up and i’ve been down and back again but i know there are ways to have more up days as opposed to down days. in order to keep the ratio of up days to down days uneven, i know i need to focus on a few things:
i cannot fight the shape of my body. it is curvy, not straight like my mind wants it to be. i need to accept the person i am on the outside.
i need to accept that maybe, just maybe, my body likes being at the weight it is at right now.
furthermore, i need to accept that weight is not important. if your insides shine, your outsides shine no matter what you look like.
no one cares whether you gain weight or lose weight. they like you, the person, not your appearance.
eating well and exercising bring only happiness into my life. when i slack on either of these things, i feel shitty. health brings happiness.
and for today? well, today’s a good day. maybe it’s because i spent the night with my boy or maybe it’s because i have the day off work. or maybe it’s because i went on a short run this morning and finished it off with some yoga. or maybe it’s the sun, or the fact that cooking dinner tonight is far too exciting. or maybe, just maybe, i’m one step closer to loving this person i am, inside and out.
regardless, i am counting my blessings today and thanking the universe for granting me the power to feel solid in my person today, to be happy and whole. because i always am. i just have a hard time remembering that.