Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I did it!

So here I am blogging again. Yay me! I'm wearing regular clothes and sneakers, another point for me. I've finally started on the finishing touches of the purse for LH (why I waited so long to start will be a discussion for a another day.) Also, I've tried sit still and really listen to the kiddos this week when they come home all full of "Guess what happened!" So I'm doing good with my five step program.The best thing this week, though?

I finally lost the first pound of 2014!

Now, the fact that I seem to lose and gain the same 2-3 pounds, makes me a little leery, but I am going to count this as a loss (and not a fluke) because exactly one week ago, the scale read one pound higher than it did today. No, I'm not quite comfortable enough to write what that weight is yet. Besides, its significance only pertains to me. The same number on me is much different than on someone of average height (you know, anyone ABOVE 5 foot tall) or any woman with an average bust size (that would be someone able to use the first three letters of the alphabet when sizing a bra.) I don't want to get into a debate with someone about "You weigh THAT? I would KILL to weigh that! You must be messed up!" I'll just keep my number to myself for now.

Anyway, this one small accomplishment makes me feel really good. I'm purposely taking things slow and only making one or two small changes at a time. I'm trying to build a healthier lifestyle, not fad-diet my way into a skinny body that will be hidden inside a much larger body before 3 months has passed. I know I'm not able to hit the gym. Frankly, I'm not sure if I will EVER be ready for that. Making small dietary changes and pushing myself for a few extra minutes of activity each day is all I can manage right now, so I'm going to be proud of that. Any major changes or extreme energy usage almost always results in a Fibro Flare Up. That is the last thing I need. I've got to go really slow.

Unfortunately, I'm really tired of waiting and being patient. In my head I'm all "Why don't you get out and walk, or maybe even jog." So, I stand up to grab my running shoes and I'm instantly reminded why I haven't gotten out before now. Because it hurts. And also because every time I give in to that voice that says, "Just do it!" I end up stuck in bed and not able to do anything else. At all. I need to exercise my patience as much as my body.

Of course, this is when the Ugly Voice tells me that I'm just being lazy. That I'm in this place because I've been too lazy for too long. That Ugly Voice is a silver-tongued viper, I tell you. Doesn't it seem like the right thing to say? Doesn't that sound like good advice? Why do I let the FM stop me from walking several miles at a time like I used to do? Why do I crawl into bed at the first sign of pain or a headache? Isn't that the very definition of laziness - not doing what I should because it is too hard? Shouldn't I be digging deep within my soul and finding the energy and motivation to just stop being so lazy?

It make sense on the surface, but I'm beginning to see the Ugly Voice for what it is. An Ugly Lie. All the most believable lies have some shred of truth to them. The difference between a lie and the truth can be very subtle. Sometimes it comes down to how this thought makes me feel. Telling myself I'm being lazy... well that's not very nice. When I think thoughts that make me feel guilty, that is the first sign that I need to stop right there. Tough love is good, but it isn't ALWAYS the right choice. Being honest with myself can sometimes BE tough, but it needs to be LOVE first.

I am truly in this place not because I'm lazy. I'm not just making fake excuses so that I can sit down and ignore the world so I don't have to deal with the hassle of it. I don't cancel plans with family and friends, miss work, or sleep all day because I am a bad person. I have a medical condition that prevents me from living life the way I used to and it isn't laziness to make accomodations today so that I can have the energy I need tomorrow.

Does it sound like I'm defending myself and my actions, as if someone is accusing me of crimes?
I'll bet it does. Because I AM. I am defending myself. And the person making these awful statements about what a horrible person, and mother, and wife I am? That's me, too. I am my own worst critic. I see my faults plainly, even when I try to hide them from others. I am much harder on myself than I would ever be to anyone else. That isn't fair, is it?

Some people believe that physical ailments are a product of how we live our lives both physically and spiritually. The idea is that certain actions, thoughts, or habits reflect on your physical being and manifest as aches, pains, or illnesses. For instance, stubbornness and a refusal to see both sides of an issue could be reflected as a stiff or painful neck. This is just one of the interesting articles I found today when looking this stuff up. Here is another good one.

Whether you hold to these beliefs or not, the idea that you can "make" yourself sick is not that far-fetched. If doctors can say that things like headaches and stomach ulcers (just to name a few) are caused by "stress", and that you can improve your health by changing your lifestyle, it just makes sense to separate yourself from negative or "stressful" things and surround yourself with positive things. Beating yourself up and calling yourself names sounds pretty negative to me. Now, I'm not going to say that the last 10 years of pain, fatigue, and depression are caused solely by my own negative thoughts. If fixing this were as easy as just "thinking HAPPY thoughts" then I'm POSITIVE I would have beaten this long before now. (see what I did there?)  I do believe, however, that the more negativity we harbor in our minds, the worse our body will feel because of it.

My goal now is not to ignore the negative, but to be mindful of the bigger picture and treat myself the way I would treat someone else that I love. I need to be HONEST and LOVING with myself. That means thinking constantly about WHY I do or do not want to do something and allowing myself the freedom to choose both my actions and my moments of rest. It means being understanding of my limitations while still striving for a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. It means forgiving myself for what I can not do as well as being proud (instead of embarrassed) about the small steps I make towards recovery.

One measly pound sounds pretty minimal compared to all the weight I still have to lose. However, it is a positive milestone for me because it has come out of positive changes in my life. Just like I have been doing for the last week, today I am choosing to eat more veggies than starch or meat and replace 2 cokes each day with iced tea or plain water.  I will decide to not hit up the cookie jar (again.)  Tomorrow, I will endeavor to make the same smart choices, and keep on making them until I'm so used to those choices that they become normal. Then I will add another change. And another and another.

Here's to sticking with my goals!

Deb "Positively" Lollar

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