Well, I did it.
Yesterday I woke up and thought, “today, today is the day I am going to conquer my current trigger (my weight)” and I did. Just like that. Snap of the fingers, ya know? Super duper easy. Or easy peasy as my seven year old would say.
Ha! As if!
The day started at 4:30 as littlest man is getting his two-year molars and the poor thing was howling like a wolf and completely inconsolable. My go-to coping method for exhaustion? Eating and eating and eating some more. I guess I think that if I keep my arm and mouth moving it will literally keep me awake?! But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to eat and eat when I was tired but not hungry.
Come round 2:00 pm I wanted to crash my head into my kitchen counter. You see next to eating and eating my go-to method for exhaustion is drinking lots of Diet Coke, like lots of it. The problem with this plan? It most definitely makes me want to eat more and more and it most definitely makes me crave the “bad stuff.” But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to have more than one.
Then 7:00 hit like a ton of bricks. All four kiddos were tucked snug in their beds and it was time to work out. It was time to actually do what I told myself I would do tonight no matter what. It was time to remember that working out is important to me, that it does make me feel good physically and emotionally, that I do have time for it. But oh, oh I wanted to just plop on the couch, grab a glass of wine and do nothing. But yesterday for some reason I didn’t give into my desire to not exercise.
Nope, the only desire I gave into all day was my desire to achieve my personal goal. Again, it was super duper easy, easy peasy. Ha! As if!
Even though I plopped into bed last night giddy and proud and pumping with adrenaline that I finally “did it,” that I finally got back on track and found the energy and determination I needed to focus on eating healthier and being healthier, I plopped into bed UBER exhausted, perhaps more exhausted than I started the day. And not just because I had just exercised and been awake since 4:30, but also because I had mentally spent all day talking to myself. Looking back at yesterday, It wasn’t just “some reason” that I didn’t give into my desires that would steer me off track; it was this reason. It was these conversations with myself.
“Orange Rhino, you don’t want to eat the kids pancakes, you aren’t hungry.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. You are right. I don’t want to. I can do this.”
“Orange Rhino, I know you think you need another Diet Coke but you don’t, you need some water and a walk or a dance party.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. Water will make me feel way better. I can do this. I can do this.”
The most dominant and recurring conversation though, the one that felt like I was in ground-hog day? That would be this one.
“Orange Rhino, stop it right now. Right now. Stop telling yourself that working out for 20 minutes instead of 30 doesn’t count. Stop looking at your achievements from today as small and pathetic; instead look at your achievements as a step in the right direction, a step better than yesterday, a step better than nothing.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. I know, I know. Baby steps are big steps. Stay focused on the good. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.”
Or wait, would it be this conversation?
“Orange Rhino, stop it right now. Right now. Stop worrying about how you are going to get through the day. Stop worrying about how you will lose all the weight you want. Focus on now. Go one moment at a time. All the moments add up and will lead you to your goal.” I said to myself. Myself replied, “Right. I know. I can do this. I can do this.”
Oh yes, I spent much of yesterday reminding myself to stay in the moment and celebrate what I was doing right instead of thinking of all that I was doing wrong. And oh yes, was it exhausting but worth it! All the constant chatter with myself helped me to stay on track, to get through each tough moment. Each successful moment gave me confidence and my confidence just grew and grew over the day and carried me well into today, just as I knew it would, or rather, as I hoped it would. So tonight as I sit here writing, I am celebrating two days of feeling back on track, feeling good about myself and I credit it mostly to talking to myself.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I have had a lot of experiences in my life where I lacked enough confidence to get over a hurdle. As a result, I just stayed in limbo, wallowing in self-pity really that I couldn’t just “snap out of it” and find the courage to jump the hurdle. Whether it be as small as having the guts to finally accept my first kiss (I was shy, okay a prude), trying a new food as a young adult at a business meeting (I don’t like new tastes, at all), sharing a contradictory opinion (I greatly fear offending people), going down a really high slide with my boys at an amusement park (I fear heights, big time) or as big as not yelling at my kids (this one is self-explanatory) I have so greatly struggled to often times just do it. I have let fear and lack of confidence stop me. But every time I finally “just did it” by telling myself “I can do this.”
Okay, that is a partial lie. I did it by telling myself “I can do this, I just a small win to believe in myself, I just need to go one small step at a time.” Just go for a peck on the lips. Just take a small bite. Just share part of your opinion. Just get to the top of the slide. Just go one moment not yelling. And then two, then three hours, then six hours, then a day.
Yes, telling myself “I can do this one moment at a time” has always helped me finally find the courage, energy and determination to get on track towards meeting a goal or overcoming a challenge. While it might not be easy-peasy to remember to say this to myself, it certainly makes it a heck of a lot easier to accomplish something than telling myself I can’t.
(P.S. The other thing that helped me have two really good days? You all. Just sharing my struggle helped it be more real, it helped me realize how important it is to me. And you all sharing your support gave me the strength to wake up and get going. Thank you. Now it is my turn to return the favor. You can do this “yelling less, loving more” thing. You can! I know you can. Just go one moment at a time…..)