I lost five pounds!
But then I gained seven back last week.
I watched The Biggest Loser last night (hey, does anybody know why they didn't show Shay's up-to-date stuff last week and only Daniel's? Did she go off the deep-end or something?) and I realized something that I hate, hate, hate:
"Do it for you!"
I mean, yeah. In retrospect and now-a-days-spect, taking the time to take care of yourself is pretty good advice. We really should do nice things for ourselves like showering, eating, and wearing clothing that isn't made of palm fronds. But I think there may be a little too much going on with the "do it for you" crap that keeps circulating.
This morning, I thought "Wow, Alison Wonderland (who is seriously one of my favorite people and one of my heroes to boot) and I have started this exercise dealio so long ago, and I have exercised about 5 times. Total. I'm a failure!" and then I had this conversation with myself (because I often have conversations with myself, thank you very much):
Self: You need to take better care of yourself!
Self: You need to exercise every week-day morning.
Me: That's easy for you to say.
Self: What do you mean?
Me: I don't have TIME to exercise. I don't. Unless I want to force my husband to nurse the baby so I can go running 5 miles each morning (which would be awesome, to be honest...not the husband nursing the baby, but the running 5 miles!).
Self: Do it another time.
Me: When? Every moment of my day is swarming with little children and responsibilities that I can't even seem to keep caught up with --not to mention that when the kids are finally in bed all I want to do is crash and burn myself.
Self: Well, maybe exercise isn't working --but what about other things?
Me: Like what?
Self: Shopping for clothes that fit and aren't falling apart? You know, that you haven't shopped for yourself in about 2 years.
Me: Has it been 2 years? Really?
Me: But I don't have money for that. We have debt. I can't justify buying myself something pretty or nice while I worry about buying the kids shoes that fit.
Self: Then why do you keep doing fun stuff that costs money, you hypocrite!?
Me: Like what?
Self: Eating at Bombay House (your decision, remember?). Flying to San Francisco. Turning on the fireplace instead of wearing a sweater.
Me: Oh, yeah.
Self: Okay, well, if those things don't work, why don't you just shower every day? That would be a nice change.
Me: Don't I know it.
Me: You're kidding, right? Showering everyday? Like the baby would let me. Or the 2 year-old.
Self: So, you're basically resigned to not take care of yourself? Is that it?
Me: No --I just don't see the point.
Self: What do you mean?
Me: Why does it matter? Where is the law written that one cannot possibly be happy if they don't exercise every day? Where does it say that if one doesn't shower each day, or buy new clothes every few months, or spend money, or do super-nice-chocolaty things for themselves on a regular basis that they will end up lonely and depressed? I'm tired of being told that I have to be all self-indulgent in order to make it through my life. Or my day.
Self: Yeah, well, you're just taking it the wrong way. It's not about being selfish. It's about taking care of yourself so you don't end up in a puddle of wallowing despair. Your kids need you to be happy.
Me: And why can't I be happy with B.O.? Hmmmm?
Self: Yeah. Uh...
Me: Touche. Point taken.
Self: I'm not saying you have to be completely selfish and ignore the kids and the house in order to get your mani/pedi that you can't afford --just do something for yourself every once in a while.
Me: Like showering?
Self: Like showering. But even more? Like exercising. Eating right.
Me: I know.
Self: Remember how it felt when you lost those 40 pounds in 2008?
Self: Remember how it felt when you ran that 5K?
Self: And how you were running 4 miles each day? And the weight training?
Me: Yes! I do! And whenever I watch The Biggest Loser all I can think about is how awesome it felt to do all that. But then I think about how I don't know how or when or where to start because I feel so overwhelmed with all I have to do. I'm feeling the crisis crushing down on me on every side and to be quite frank, the claustrophobia of it all is killing me.
Self: Well, you have a lot to worry about. Without making the list, your time is really scarce.
Self: But you've got to figure it out. Maybe see it from a different point of view? Maybe start a new routine? Change expectations? Get some help?
Me: That's the rub. I have no idea where to start. It's that trapped feeling.
Self: I hear ya. Oh, how I hear ya.
So, dear reader, if you are not now completely freaked out about the fact that Cheryl does, in fact, talk to herself in such detail (hey, I may be happy, but I'm still crazy, right?!?), lay it on me. It's your turn for advice. I'm actually ASKING for it!
In the comments below, help me out:
1. Have you ever had to change your life's routine to accommodate a new way of living? (vague, I know)
2. How did you do it?
3. Where did you start?
4. What elements did you include and/or exclude?
5. What was your biggest support through it all?
6. And do you think it's okay to just let things go for a while until things get easier, or are you on the side that says you should seize the day now and make the changes while you can?