A Long and Narrow Road

Here, the struggle begins, one step at a time.


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Purpose

It’s been a rough couple of days. My daughter’s cold turned into something a little more serious which required me to stay home with her. So, I missed my morning walk for the past two days.

Then, The Teen’s over-active, over-achieving self, literally imploded which forced me to actually put on clothes, as I had been wearing workout clothes for two days straight. Why dress when all you are doing is walking back and forth between the medicine cabinet and the pantry for crackers? Anyway, The Teen’s situation is that of “too much.” Too much everything. Over-worked and stressed, something had to give and it did, in a big way.

I am still dealing with it this morning which made this morning’s walk as difficult as it was needed.

I’ve always told my kids to “walk with a purpose” when they seem hesitant or unsure of something. It’s the best advice if you really think about it. Walking into a room of unknowns can only be made more stressful by entering it with your head down and a lag in your step. Today, I followed my own advice. I walked with a purpose.

Mostly, it was to rid myself of the negative talk circling around in my head but it also had to do with what I told The Teen last night. Make a commitment and stick to it. Uh? Oh, yeah. I said that, didn’t I? So when it came time for me to walk today and all I wanted to do was go to the coffee shop, I forced myself to hit the road.

At first I was irritable. It was really windy this morning and a cold 49 degrees which is freezing to this SoCal resident. But as soon as I got going, I thought, “this isn’t so bad” and then I found $5! That was a little perk. Oh, and did I mention that I lost 8 lbs since I started walking two weeks ago? Now, you may remember that when I first started walking my body freaked out and GAINED 5 lbs, so realistically, I am only considering this a true 3 lbs loss but I’ll take it!

As I walked, I worried about The Teen and his situation. And then I got to thinking about how important the act of walking is when things are weighing heavily on your mind. Putting the exercise piece of it aside, you’ve got that long road ahead of you, the wind is pushing you back and all you can do is put down one foot at a time. For some of us, speed is an issue but I never worry about speed. I just think about that first step and then the next and before I know it, I’m done.

In this sense, my walking with a purpose didn’t remove the problem at hand but it put things in perspective and now everything seems clearer and more manageable than it did when I woke up this morning. Walking can have that effect on you. I didn’t go far, my usual 1.5 miles and I didn’t go fast, but I went and that is the important thing.

When I am feeling down, it’s so easy to make myself more miserable. All I have to do is convince myself that it’s all pointless. What’s a lousy 1.5-2 mile walk really going to do for me? I could use that 28 minutes to take a cat nap instead or I could pop open a bag of chips and have a “few” and then maybe a glass of wine to go with? THAT will make me feel better. And yes, I have done that routine before and it NEVER makes me feel better. I always end up feeling guilty and yes, it makes me feel like a total loser and you know what happens then? Then it’s a free-for-all and anything goes which makes you feel like even more of loser. It’s a never-ending cycle and all because of some negative self talk.

I am not perfect and I can’t give advice to others in my position because I did fall off the Weight Watcher wagon in a huge, disastrous way, but as I learn what my weaknesses are, I hope that someone else can learn from my weaknesses and mistakes as well, because that would make me feel really good.

Right now though, I am off to make myself some coffee. Enjoy your weekend.

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