the past few months have not been easy. in fact, since i stopped working out altogether due to my back, things have gone downhill quite a bit. when i stopped exercising, i lost my stress relief outlet. when i lost my stress relief outlet, i became more inclined to eat emotionally. when i ate emotionally, i gained weight. when i gained weight, i started to feel bad about myself. and when i couldn't work out to combat the weight gain or the stress, the intensity of my frustrations increased ten fold. i've been walking around for the past few months with what has felt like an extra 100 pounds of emotional and physical distress pulling on my body.
my mind has been screaming for some type of relief. i started to feel like it might be coming with being able to graduate to the elliptical but miscommunication between my physical therapist and doctor has kept me out of physical therapy for almost three weeks now and i'm feeling like i've taken a step back. i was hoping by april to be running on the treadmill but it doesn't feel like that is going to happen. oh, and by the way, i ordered a treadmill almost a month ago and it still hasn't arrived so add that to the list of things that is making my frustration level higher and higher.
my weight has crept back up to numbers that don't make me happy, but what bothers me more than the increase in number is the loss of muscle mass in my body since i had to stop strength training. the weight i've gained is fat mass, and it's taken the place of the lean muscle i worked so hard to develop over the past two years. to see my progress deteriorate in front of my eyes is heartbreaking. it makes me mad at myself and mad at my stupid injury.
but i'm not reflecting on this to whine and complain and continue a negative train of thought. in fact, i'm working very hard to do the exact opposite. i'm trying desperately to pull myself out of this dark hole i've fallen into and it's taking every bit of strength i have. it's so easy to continue to let situations in my life weigh me down and it's even easier for me to allow myself to feel miserable about it. after all, isn't it my right to feel miserable? i can't run. i've gained weight. i can't manage my stress effectively... i have every right to be unhappy and cranky and upset! but if there is one thing i've learned through gaining maturity it's that allowing myself to be miserable doesn't get me on a path to improvement. it doesn't get me where i want to be and it allows these situations to have negative control over how i feel.
i found this great quote on pinterest that sums up perfectly the bridge i'm metaphorically crossing over right now:
on one side of my bridge is misery. this side of the bridge is allowing myself to let all the factors in my life feel negative and feel like something i can't overcome or something that controls me. on the other side of the bridge, the side i'm wanting to get to, is not letting factors set or control my emotions. it's fighting and finding ways to work towards what i want even when all seems lost. i don't have a tattoo that says "strength" for nothing. strong is what i want to be and i'm going to fight to get there.
this week i started calorie tracking again, and i've been able to stick to it. even though calorie tracking sucks, i know i need to do it in order to get to where i want to be. i've also taken moose for extra long walks each night to get some level of physical activity in while i figure out what the next step is for my back. i'm trying to be active. i'm trying to be mindful of what i'm eating (and working crazy hard not to stress eat) but maybe most importantly, i'm trying to change my thoughts to focus on what i can do to change small parts of my situation even if i can't change the situation in its entirety. it's not easy, but it sure beats allowing myself to stay in a place of misery on the dark side of the bridge.