One Day at a Time

I have had lots of great ideas lately. In fact, I have several blog posts in the works. I think they’ll be pretty good once I actually write them. But that drive hasn’t been there, the light bulb hasn’t really gone off. That is a pretty good summary of how I’ve been feeling lately. I am the light bulb, and my productivity is flickering.
With those flickers, my thoughts have been all over the place. Recently, I wrote about finding motivation in failure. While I still believe what I wrote, I am having a hard time with a lot of things. Falling back into that horrible routine of not being able to get out of bed, of convincing myself to get up and take a shower, and just doing everything I can to get by day after day.
As indifferent as I felt to most things, my lack of exercise was really bothering me. When it came to dieting and eating healthy, I had a goal in place. I started Invisalign about three weeks ago – I can only drink water with them in and I wear them around 22 hours a day. So it has really cut down on my Coca Cola addiction and my snacking…mainly because its too inconvenient. It has been small changes, but still change.
Unfortunately, this had no impact on the mental aspect of my health. The demons were there, front and center. It felt like any second my thoughts had quieted, they raged, reminding me that I failed. That I had never gotten this stupid fitness thing to work out before, what would be the difference now? These thoughts lit me on fire. Not in the sense that it reignited my passion to meet my goals, but in the sense it felt like a slow burn; that these thoughts were to leave a permanent scar on my mind.
I covered up the scar before with a tattoo. A daisy, a reminder that something beautiful can grow from pain. But it still burned.
The temptation was strong, it was there, it told me I deserved it. It was my failure. There was no point to keep trying. It wasn’t going to make a difference. I had not yet reached my goals when it came to working out. I fell off from Weight Watchers and never got back into it. I wasn’t liking what I was seeing. My struggle was apparent in more ways than just aesthetic and gaining weight.
It had led to me failing in a way that was painful to face, and I didn’t see a way to come back from that. I forced myself to face the conclusion that it wasn’t meant for me. It made me sick to my stomach but I told myself some realities needed to be faced, and they weren’t always what we wanted to see. It was breaking my heart, but I told myself I had to face this.
Some told me I had to do what’s right for me. Others told me it would make me miserable. And then there were those who said I wasn’t giving up, that that wasn’t who I was.
I’m still waiting for my Apollo Creed to show up, by the way.
Facing your failure and accepting it as a reality sucks. It was painful; I felt like I was being torn apart. And I’m pretty sure this drove me deeper into depression which didn’t help anything and continued the cycle. My depression only solidified my idea that this was it and I had to accept it.
I felt a lot of mental turmoil. I went back and forth on what to do. I didn’t reach out to anyone. I only told a select few that I thought I was slipping back, and even then, I didn’t give the entire scope.
When it came to this, I was afraid to reach out to anyone. Putting it in a blog post is still easier than telling someone directly. I felt like it didn’t matter. That I would be brushed off as overreacting. That it would be okay, even though everything in the past indicated otherwise. I also knew how emotional it made me and didn’t know how to get the words out. I’m still not.
I had plans, dammit. I had goals. I didn’t know what was holding me back. And the first person to tell me that the only thing holding me back is myself is most likely going to get slapped in the face because I’m fucking depressed and anxious all the time. I am what is holding me back. Or rather, the illness is. But I digress. The point is, I don’t know how to beat this. I know I have people in my corner, but it takes a helluva lot of build up to reach out or bring it up. Sometimes, it doesn’t let me reach out. And then I have never felt more alone.
It is a jumble of thoughts that I can’t untangle, even though I know the end goal. There is still part of me that feels like I can do this, that I can fight. But something still feels like its missing. I don’t know what that is.
I reached out, anonymously, for advice on a forum. It wasn’t so much reaching out for advice as it was to put it out there. I mean, I wasn’t totally specific but enough that I felt like it was out there. I really didn’t expect advice.
I also didn’t expect to sob. I just broke down. I realized how lost I felt.
I had made plans to go the gym the next day. Instead of going before work as I liked to do, I was going to go after work. I couldn’t do that all the time because it wouldn’t fit with my schedule. I really like to plan ahead and keep a routine; I had to tell myself more than once to take it one day at a time.
I was nervous to go to the gym. I have absolutely no idea why. Initially, I thought about taking a kickboxing class but that idea really made me anxious (would I be able to keep up, would it be overwhelming, etc.) so I decided against that.

I really love kettlebell. It’s good for endurance and I feel good from it. Also, it kicks my ass. So I decided to start with that. I took a 15 pound weight for the two handed exercises and a ten pound weight for the single hand ones. There were a couple times where I thought about upping my weight but ultimately convinced myself against it. Again, one day at a time. I think that was part of my problem before. I wanted to go back and go off running. In retrospect, I don’t think that was the best idea physically or mentally. I was setting expectations too high.
But today, my kettlebell workout? It felt good. I was gross. Like dripping sweat gross. But I did it. I was okay. My workout playlist on Spotify was on point today. I shuffled it, and it kept giving me songs from the Rocky soundtrack. Is there anything more inspiring? Win.
After kettlebell, I did the rowing machine. I hate the rowing machine. My cardio endurance sucks. I hate admitting this in some ways, but I only did five minutes. And I took a couple ten second breaks in there. I also haven’t worked out since mid-July. It’s going to take time. I guarantee tomorrow I feel it in my legs. But the next time it might get easier. I’ve thought about buying a cheap, foldable one. The rowing machine is like my nemesis. I hate that thing. But I really want to build up my cardio endurance. And, I’ll admit, it is a good workout.
I finished with yoga. That is a habit of mine. A few minutes of yoga to wind down and relax. I was still pretty gross. But I really felt like I did something in the right direction. I had a hope that I hadn’t felt in a long time. It was slow, but it was steady and it was there.
When I was exercising, I thought of great things to put in this post. I felt motivated. I don’t think they actually made it into the post, but overall I think I got the point across.
My tank said “Just do it, don’t quit.” When I bought it, I sent it to my brother and told him I thought it was a sign. Seeing that reflected back in the mirror helped me today, I think.
Tomorrow? I’m probably not going to be able to workout. I did like working out after work, at least until I get my energy/sleep problems worked out. I told myself that it was okay. I’m just getting started back up. And I am probably going to be pretty sore tomorrow, if I am being honest.
I hope its a step in the right direction. I don’t know what kind of success that it’ll result in, if any. But it is something. A small step is still a step.
When I started writing this post, I turned on Spotify and shuffled songs. Lin-Manuel Miranda sang out that he was not going to throw his shot. Me too.
I have to still try.

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