It’s a vicious cycle; workouts lapse, health declines, motivation wanes, time evaporates, fitness gains are lost, pounds are gained, then comes the crushing guilt every time I think about getting back on the straight and narrow.
The over use of “if only” echoes in my brain.
“I wish I had kept up with it.”
“I can never get back there.”
“I’m a failure.”
I imagine myself in the middle of a deep lake, I know how to swim but the shore is far and it’s growing dark. I try to swim but the shore is so very far away and I am tired. The panic rises up, it takes over. Panic is the worst thing we can do in a situation like this. Why does it seem like the first response that comes to me? Panic is so natural, like sitting down on the couch and eating a bag of cookies whenever I think about working out. I do what I think I CAN do. This is the control I show, I can sit down and eat a bag of cookies. It doesn’t make sense but the shore is so very far away. I can never get there.
Then, I have this one moment, this one small, tiny, nearly un-hearable voice in my ear saying, “Stop. Wait. Look here.” When I stop looking at the shore I see a series of shallow spots, mini islands, stepping stones leading between where I am swimming and where I need to go. THAT is how I get to where I want to be.
Here is my reality- I’m never going to be 24 again. I’m never going to have THAT body. I’m going to have the 44 year old version of that body. I want to have the healthiest version of that body. If I want to get there I will have to go on step at a time, one island in the lake at a time and I will get there when I get there.
I know that I cannot live on these resting places, I have to get to shore because life is good there, but life happens here too, on these in between places, the places I have to stop and rest so that the shore can actually be in my future at all.
That next island does not have a bag of cookies on it. That’s where I’m heading next.