Sabotage is a good word for what I often engage. Why I do it, I may never know. Perhaps it is not as important to seek the origin of my multitude of bad choices, as it is to continue to develop healthier goals and stick to them.
As I slid into the dentist chair this morning, I felt small and vulnerable like that third grader who despite her mother’s coaxing did not brush her teeth as often as she should. The suggested regime is clear. I do brush everyday. I floss when I think of it and if the rinse is handy, I might swish. I am a self-described multitasking procrastinator who is perpetually in a rush otherwise known as a working mother.
Is it the mothering and working part or is it something that is inherently deficient in my character? Through the decades I have lost hundreds of pounds, only to gain and lose and gain and lose. Historically, fall is the season that I begin to focus on my health. I begin to walk again, make better eating choices and ease into a routine. Does the structure of school help me to function through all the stress that life flings my way? The analysis does not contribute to a change in behavior, but delays the actions that inch toward lasting change.
I have been reading a lot about grit and how it is an important ingredient in success for any individual. Today I stumbled upon my health file. Among my written goals of a little more than a year ago was to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. Nothing got in the way of reaching my daily goal. I visited the local YMCA and announced the goal to my family and the physical trainer. They encouraged me through the lows. Over time, I began making healthier eating choices and benefitted from increased energy. My journey to health required grit, more than merely persistence, yet is also meant that I needed to be patient and kind to myself. Somewhere along the way, I dropped all of it.
The realization has come to me slowly. I no longer wish to live my days consumed by bowls of ice cream and chocolate bar wrappers. It works for me as well as trying to drift off to sleep with a rock as my pillow. Try as I might, it just doesn't work. I must seek a new normal that serves my body and soul. I must do it because of self-love. For me, that is the hardest part.