Weighty Matters

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Apathy and Laziness

A long time ago, I shared the acronym H.A.L.T. It’s a caution that reminds me not to get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. (We 12 Steppers are big on helpful acronyms!) For the last couple of days, along with the uncharacteristic case of the blues, I’ve noticed that I’ve been particularly shoulder-shrugging-whatever about my efforts and downright lazy about my exercise.

Today I opted to amend the acronym to replace angry and lonely with apathy and laziness. The good news is that I had the realization while I was finally up off my ass, out of my chair, and out for a walk with Nat and Pyxi. I’ll bottom line it for myself. I have work to do. Always. The effort to be a healthy weight and create a life of health and fitness has not ended, nor will it. Ever. This is not something I can do for awhile, get where I want and then stop. It’s my life. I want it and I embrace it.

There are various theories about how long it takes to change a habit and forge a new one. I don’t think there is ever a set number of days or months. It’s more like it takes forever because the commitment to the new lifestyle habits has to be made every single day going forward. Diseased thinking and old habits that are comfortable even when they are ultimately destructive do not magically evaporate. They’re always around, lurking on the fringes, looking for an opening to reinsert into my life. Apathy and laziness are cracks in my foundation, the little openings through which the crappy behaviors can seep. If I don’t seal up those cracks and reinforce my core determination and the new foundation I’ve been building, enough disease can build up and completely screw me up.

I’ve talked before about determination and the need for vigilance. This post is another reminder to myself. Recovery is not an event. It’s a process.

I feel better today. Just having gotten up and gone out for a longer walk than I’ve done since the beginning of the week helps my mindset. It’s a counter-measure to the laziness. Thinking about this, writing about it, and connecting with my determination beats back the apathy. I have the tools. I know what to do. I’m putting on the brakes, calling H.A.L.T. and continuing my journey.

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Why Slow Is Great

I’m back from my fun-filled road trip. It was a long day, with the long drive and all, but fun too. I’m tired but I just had this great realization. I’m afraid that I’ll lose it out of my brain if I wait to write this post tomorrow.

I posed my sea lion picture so some family and friends could see it. A cousin that lives across the country sent me this wonderful email of congratulations and love and also some of the things he realizes. He talked about being inspired to witness my “slow and steady commitment in a world where immediacy is pitched, pawned and prevalent”.

I’ve read his email a few times and just now, when finally having a chance to respond, I had a big “aha” moment. I need to stop whining and bitching complaining about how long it’s taking me to lose these remaining 30-40 pounds.

These months have been incredibly important, I would even call them vital, to my overall recovery. They are giving me the time I need to really learn how to consistently live a life in recovery from my eating disorder. Because I continue with this effort day after day; because my journey hits speed bumps sometimes; I am fully integrating the techniques, the mindset, the tools that I need in order to sustain the weight loss and overall healthy lifestyle.

What if I’d lost all 200 plus pounds non-stop without ever hitting a slow down? I don’t know if I would have developed the new habit of consistently exercising. The commitment to creating a physically fit body might not have grown. It could have been one of those temporary efforts like I’ve made so many times in the past. Instead it feels real. It feels part of me.

Same thing with gradually learning to make healthier food choices — not just in the small stomach restriction of quantity and volume, but the slow experimentation with different foods, with different ways of cooking, with embracing healthy meals.

Tonight’s realization is so amazingly healthy for me. I love it. For the first time, I am free of resenting the plateau and the slow weight loss. Each day is a day of progress. Each day makes me stronger. I am so grateful!

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