Today's FreEDom From Perfection post couldn't have come at a better time, since I realized something this weekend and can now take this opportunity to share it. Thank you, lovely Sloane, for giving me an excellent opportunity to do so, and please take a minute to check out her post for today and the contributions of the other amazing participants. There could be no better use of your time.
The past few weeks have been very unusual for me. I've only had to work once (or twice if you include yesterday) since December 21, so my usual structured, scheduled life was....shall we say... incredibly open. With the exception of Christmas Eve and Day (and my lone working day on January 2), we had no set plans and no where we had to be. Sure, we made plans with friends, but they were usually either spur of the moment or came about a day or two ahead of time. On the whole, we had a lot of time just hanging out, and I learned fun things like how to sleep in past 7:00 a.m. (usually made it to 8:30 or 9!), how to stay up past 10 (on some nights), and running somewhere between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. is much more enjoyable to me than 5:15. I think I had a salad for lunch three times (maybe four) during these few weeks, had froyo and cookies almost every day (ok, the cookies did happen every day, thanks to my blends and family...the froyo didn't, but it was close) and I consumed more adult beverages during the past two and a half weeks than I had in the past two and a half months (if not more). Instead of salads, I had burgers, french fries, chicken sandwiches, leftovers from Christmas Eve and Day, swedish fish (totally counts as a side dish), pizza, risotto and scallops, pasta, fried pickles, Meat and Potatoes, and many yummy pancake breakfasts (and that's just the stuff coming to mind right now...running on five hours of sleep tonight thanks to Downton Abbey so my head's a little foggy). I definitely did a fair amount of running, but it was either with the boy (so fun) or on my own sans pressure to beat a time (i.e. I just wanted fresh air and had some time to kill before Mr. Sleeps A Lot woke up...I say this with love and envy since I wish I had his skills, although they did appear to rub off on me a bit). And you know the part I regret the most about all that? The few moments where I let my head get the better of me...where I let myself believe the lies it was telling me and want to curl up in a little ball and not move for the rest of the day or night (or run like a maniac for hours)...the night where I did just say, "I'm going to bed now" with no explanation for why my mood was so low and seemed to come out of nowhere...the one run where we he tried to stop me, actually had his hand on my arm, but I pushed him away and went anyway....those are the only things I would take back. Nothing food, drink, or exercise/rest related (save Thursday's run). And that's a huge first for me.
You know how I fought those thoughts after that Thursday run and truly freed myself for the rest of the weekend? This post from this lovely lady. Because I want all of those things that she mentions near the end, too. I want to be known and remembered as someone who lived life the fullest, went after her dreams no matter how unrealistic or scary, loved with her whole heart, and had fun, enjoying every moment and opportunity that came her way. Sometimes, for me anyway, that's going to mean that I have a shorter than expected run, a big, juicy burger and french fries for lunch with a ginger ale and Jameson drink, froyo for dessert, a nap, pasta for dinner, and a night in a bar near my apartment with some friends...and that's awesomely ok. Following it with a rest day? Also wonderful. This is life, and it's so incredibly precious and special, and we only get so little time with our loved ones in the end that who really cares what I did or ate when all is said and done. Am I (and the people around me) going to remember that I had that burger, fries, and delicious beverage followed by my favorite treat, or am I (and they) going to remember that I had a blast hanging out, laughing, and enjoying unexpected ridiculousness with friends? Methinks the latter (although I/they may remember that burger, since it is one of my favorite things to eat in the burgh for good reason). And that won't happen if I keep letting these thoughts win and dictate my mood and actions. I've spent too many days and nights forcing myself to get that salad and go for that run and then hating myself for every bite and minute (leading to isolation and a downward spiral of thought and mood), and I don't want to do that anymore; it's not worth it So anytime an ED thought threatened after I got back on Thursday, I just asked myself, "Is this how you want to be remembered?" And the answer was always, unhesitatingly, "NO." More than enough for me, and that's what I'm going to keep in my head for now. Will it always work? Probably not. But I think it's one of the most powerful counter-thoughts I have at the moment, and I'm rolling with it. So yes, I'm still eating the cookies I have each day, having something other than salads for lunch (leftover Chinese food from yesterday...thanks Mum!), and consuming more carbs than I'm used to, while experimenting with a little less running and a little more yoga and circuit/strength training. And I can't remember the last time I was this at peace with my thoughts and actions. It doesn't get much better than that. It truly doesn't. This is me. And I feel like I'm embracing me for the first time ever. And guess what? I kind of, sort of think I like me, especially like this. Who knew?
Have a terrific Tuesday.
FreEDom confession this week? Thoughts on life in general?