Sometimes when you fall, it’s hard to get back up again.
Starting this journey has been like trying to start rolling a boulder uphill. I’m straining to support the weight of the boulder, while gravity is trying to pull it down on top of me. I’ve started and stopped fad diets so many times in the past, there is a small corner of my mind that is waiting for me to give up. It’s just a small corner, because I know that I am not just trying on a new way of eating–I truly am changing my lifestyle.
But even so, there is still that small corner of my mind where a very obnoxious voice speaks words of dis–courage when I am at my weakest.
Yes–I know I wrote discourage instead of discouragement, but dis-courage seems to be so apt for what that corner of my mind tries to do. That negative voice tries to take away my courage, to separate it from who I am, so that I don’t finish what I set out to do.
But in the last week, I’ve been feeling like maybe I’ve done some of the hard work, and that boulder is starting to roll downhill on a gentle slope. The workouts have been getting easier, and it’s definitely been easier to make balanced choices in my eating.
I should have known when I encountered THIS on my 10-mile bike ride today that it was like a
hard-hearted harbinger of haggis* (movie buffs unite! Try to guess the origin of this reference).
Rather than heeding the warning, I laughed and took a picture. It seemed so incongruous sitting there, conveniently next to a trash can, on such a beautiful path.
My next clue that I was on the road to doom came from the Oracle** (movie buffs???).
Look into my eyes, the Wise One said. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back!** But of course, I once more laughed and took a picture, completely oblivious to the pain and suffering on the road ahead. I smiled at the sun, laughed at the wind, and found a beautiful spot to eat my almond-butter and banana-honey sandwich. I know it sounds disgusting, but it was glorious by the lake with that sandwich. I made
several friends with roaming dogs and their owners, mostly because said dogs tried to eat my sandwich during the photo-op.
Back to the road of doom. I was five miles from home, finally headed back, when I rounded a blind curve to see a man-child and his father sprawled out across BOTH LANES of the bike path. Both lanes. Bodies and shoes and rollerblades and bikes were everywhere. There was a brief moment when I thought, I got this, and then the next thing I knew, I was crashing to the ground. My pinkie was potentially broken, and I had what appeared to be an extra patella, but I was mostly angry that I ripped a hole in the knee of my new running pants. The extra patella seemed to be a large hematoma combined with road rash. Interpretation: It was swollen and red and looked like I had an alien growing underneath my kneecap.
Keep in mind that I was five miles from home, and I am no Lance Armstrong, even if I am from Texas. I know serious biking enthusiasts would laugh at this, but I really wanted to call my husband to come pick me up at the nearest stopping point. I was five miles from home! (Have I said that enough?) But I got back on my bike, and I rode home.
I think that there have to be others like me, who are overweight and the walking wounded.
We carry the shame of failed diets and secret binges, and we allow those self-inflicted wounds to keep us from trying.
We allow those wounds to dis-courage us into giving up. We want to go back to those comfortable friends–our comfort foods and our comfortable, sedentary routines–when we fall down. But what we really need to do is to get on the bike again. Get. Back. Up. Have courage. Raise your arms and embrace all that is good in your life. Lift up your head, smile at the sun, and laugh at the wind.
It is a new day, a new year, and we can do this.
**Please don’t disappoint me–this one was so obvious! The Matrix