|Peggy, Keeping her promises|
"It’s January. A whole year untouched in front of me, stretched like clean canvas on its frame. Now that’s something to ponder.
This week, I expected to be excited about that clean canvas. But instead, I’m feeling a vague sense of dread, and angst. I am so aware of how fast the time can slip by. And how easy it is to become less attentive to things that matter most, like my health -- specifically, my commitment to a lean, healthy diet and daily exercise. So honestly, I’m anxious. I’m excruciatingly aware right now of the number of times I’ve “lost it”, that “it” of attentiveness; and how a few blown-off days of exercise and a few grabbed meals (if you can call bombing into 7-11 after putting gas in the car a “meal”) on the run can and do turn into pounds regained. And before I know it, that head-smacking, soul-deflating sense of failure and defeat return.
At times, I still feel so vulnerable to the return of those old habits of inattention and emotional eating it’s like my own personal big black vulture, sitting on a boulder right behind me just out of sight, all ratty feathers and hungry for death, impatiently bobbing back and forth from one foot to the other, waiting for me to get distracted so he can get his clutches into me again. I’ve spent years at a time, in a dreadful relationship with that vulture, gaining weight I’ve lost before, and more, just by losing my focus and letting those old habits take hold again.
In fact, giving in and letting go of my discipline seems easiest. As easy as letting gravity have its way. But the result is not easy at all. It’s miserable. I know this. I’ve lived it. And I don’t want to live it again.
So what am I going to do in this year, this 2017 stretched out in front of me? It’s not a small question, and it’s a question I need to hold on to as though my life depends on it – because it does. I can’t afford any two week long New Year’s Resolutions. I have to find a way to keep living differently. And I’m a little scared. I can feel the bulky presence of all those past failures right now, in a giant mound of unpleasant life experience with weight loss and gain. But I think the key for me is just attention. Focus. Commitment to catch myself fast when my focus gets vague and I get sloppy with my daily decisions about what I eat, and when; whether or not I exercise, and for how long, and how hard I choose to push myself. For me, it still seems like the journey is about a thousand small decisions, every day. And every day, committing to make just as many good decisions as I possibly can, forgiving myself the occasional bad decision and getting right back to work making as many good decisions as I possibly can – in the next ten minutes, the next day.
|Peggy at the end of a workout. Making her fat cry.|
I may have to live with my personal vulture of inattention hanging out with me for a long time yet, but we are going to have a different relationship. I’m going to watch him like a hawk. I’m going to be the more vigilant and more powerful bird. We’re going to get acquainted, and he will learn that I’m not going to be a victim to my old bad habits any more. I won’t let him get the best of me. Who knows, perhaps one day he’ll just get bored and fly off, and I’ll discover that my new way of living has actually become what is more familiar, more normal, and I won’t feel so vulnerable to losing it. But that’s not how it is just yet. For now, I have to really pay attention, every day. And that’s ok.
Carpe diem, indeed."