So it comes as no surprise that it's taken me a while to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to taking care of myself on a consistent basis. Emphasis on consistent.
I've had several wake up calls over the past few years. My car accident in 2009. That was a big one, and it definitely shaped my desire to live life to the fullest and not take any day for granted. It also made me grateful, albeit in spurts, for my body that was healed in what I consider to be a miraculous manner.
My doctor's diagnosis of "obesity" was another one. As a matter of fact, that's the one that inspired this blog.
My cardiologist's prescription for Zocor was another one. The fact that I had to take a pill to correct my LDL was a bit embarrassing. Boy was I on a health kick after that.
Here's the thing. I kept hitting "snooze" when those alarms went off. Oh, I acknowledged them, but then got complacent. You know the drill.
I saw a sign on a dentist's office once. It said "ignore your teeth and they'll go away." That's about the only thing, right? Cuz my weight didn't go away when I ignored it. Neither did my cholesterol. Nope, they stuck around.
Over the past few weeks, my proverbial wake up calls have been getting harder to ignore. I've slowly been "waking up" to things I've chosen to ignore. You've read about most of them in my posts.
Tonight, I feel like I had a huge wake up call. I have been struggling with my Couch to 5K program. Not physically so much, but mentally. I just finished Week 3 last week. And when I ran on Tuesday, I did the last day of Week 3 again, just in case. Ya know, to make sure I "had it down." I had kind of a bad day on Tuesday and I actually went for a run to make myself feel better. THAT's new. Usually I'd do this to make myself feel better:
|This is NOT me, just a model who exemplifies how I feel. LOL.|
I struggled, internally, with so many feelings this week. Letting go of what's familiar is scary. Even if it means you're doing something good for you. It's still scary. Not everyone will understand that. I wanted to hang out in my comfort zone. They know me there. I KNOW some of you are feeling me now.
So, about tonight. I laced up my sneakers and headed out. And I wasn't even sure what I was going to do. I just wanted to run, but a nagging little voice whispered that I was gonna hurt myself if I tried the new week. But I slid the ticker to Week 4, Day 1, and I started off. And when that hunky guy in my phone said "run" I ran. I just did it without thinking, and when my time came to run more than I ever have before (5 whole minutes) I ran. I remembered when I first ran for 60 seconds and I cried. I was sure, 100% sure, that I would not be able to run for 5 minutes straight. I was waiting for my knees to start screaming or something. I was thinking I wouldn't be able to catch my breath. I was counting the seconds (um, no, minutes) for Captain Handsome to tell me to "walk" again.
Something in me made me go (is that you, God?) and keep going. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do. And guess what...I had to do it 2 more times.
And I did it. Ha.
The streets were awful quiet tonight when I was running (not sure if that's because the heavy breathing and funny noises I was making scared away the small animals and neighborhood children?) and I was able to reflect on the past few weeks. I recalled my small victories along the way, and acknowledged my small failures as well. I gave myself props for not staying down when I got down. I thought about the different challenges I made it through. I'm in a state of mind where I need a lot of encouragement, and when life gets crazy and I can't regulate my emotions and I feel fragile and alone and I don't get the encouragement I need, I am finding a way to slowly, slowly, realize that I am worthy of feeling good regardless of external influences. It's so hard, and it can be lonely, but at least I am no longer relying on food to be my comfort.
When I walked in the house tonight after my run, my husband asked, "Well? Did you do it?" and I said "Yes- week 4". He asked me if I cheated (know me well, he does) and I said "Nope" and then I cried. I cried because I was proud of myself. And that's new. I cried because I realized that I woke up on the first alarm tonight. I didn't snooze. I made it past my own self- and I believed for the first time, truly believed, that I was "fearfully and wonderfully made". I cried because I was so happy and relieved and joyous. I have been sad about a few things this week, and none of it mattered when I realized that I took control of myself tonight and accomplished something I never thought I could.
Wake up call - I'm 40, not 20. I get it. But it's not too late for me to be the Best Me I can be, and I'm slowly waking up to that fact. I'm sure there will be more days when I "sleep in" but overall, it's been a refreshing few weeks.
How many wake up calls have YOU ignored? What are you hitting the snooze button on?