Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mental Health Day

I'm trying really hard to not skip classes today. I feel like it's not going to be a good day and that if I go I'm going to have a hard time paying attention. My exercising is frustrating me today. I got up to run this morning, but I didn't do it. I was on the elliptical about three minutes before I said I wasn't doing it this morning. I went to set up faculty coffee and decided I'd try again. I made it four minutes and said, "I'll just do 20 today instead of 40, that'll get something done." At five I quit again. I just have no motivation to run today. I'll try to make it up on Saturday, but right now I feel like a failure.

I had a mini-freak out Tuesday during the work out. I'm unfortunately so self-aware that I know that a lot of the frustration is media body image stuff...but knowing that doesn't make me say, "I don't need to look like that," when, in fact, I do want to look like that...but I want some kind of motivation to work toward it or feel like getting there isn't hopeless. I'm not expecting overnight changes, but something four weeks in wouldn't hurt. I went to the doctor yesterday for a first meeting. I weighed 204. I thought I'd lost four pounds in these four weeks. I actually may not have weighed 208 in January; I may have actually weight more like 213-214. While on the one hand that'd mean I'd lost closer to ten pounds, it also means I'd gained more weight than I'd realized.

All the one liners about exercise are feeling empty right now. No, I don't have more energy through the day. No, I don't feel better in general. No, I don't feel great right after a work out. I'm still sore from Tuesday which means that I did something, but tomorrow I'll still be sore and I'll try to push myself and I'll feel like I'm failing and I won't want to keep going. I'm a pretty healthy 23 year old, and that's not from exercising five days a week. It's hard to keep going when I'm just in pain, feeling like I'm doing the exercises wrong or not as well as I just should be. I'm in general hard on myself and get really frustrated about things that don't come naturally to me.

I hate that I feel like I'm fat sometimes. I hate that I feel like I look fat. But those are two things I feel, particularly moments like now when I didn't run. I know I'll never be rail thin, but I'd like to be thinner. Looking at people's heights/weights is deceptive because my frame is just bigger. I'm getting tired of eating the same fruits in the refectory every day as I cut back my sugar intake and feeling like it's for naught...all the while looking at all the cookies and cheesecakes and brownies. I think my relationship with sugar has improved; when I do eat it I'm very conscious of how much I'm eating. That's a step in the right direction if nothing else. There is lots of positive, but it's hard to see right now. I couldn't do my 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Now is a perfect time to reflect on Lenten stripping down, I suppose. I don't need to look like an Abercrombie model, even if I want to. I don't need to be as thin or fit as some of my classmates are. I need to be healthy, and that doesn't mean being ripped, even if that's what I want. I need to consciously not let that be an idol. I think it's okay for me to exercise to look better, but I need to be exercising to be healthy. I have to figure out how to slog through one to get to the other, though...and I have the distinct feeling that, like so many other things, it won't be on my own.

So, people of Chelsea and people of Chelsea Square. If you are interested in doing exercise on the elliptical or treadmill or running around Chelsea at about 6:05 three mornings a week, be in touch with me. I don't know how far I can go, I've just been trying to be active for forty minutes. I am taking a mental health morning, missing Old Testament, and will be in Church History.

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the same boat. I got out of my excercise rhythm yesterday because it was 34 & pouting rain (I jog/walk outside). Been at it for a few weeks now and even though I feel a little better, there's not obvious change, which is frustrating. What's helping me is a: having someone to do it with, and b: trying to think very long term (even if I don't see immediate or large returns, I'm improving my overall health, establishing good habits etc.) I doubt any of that would help today, but it's what keeps me at it and hey, everyone needs a mental health day and some cookies every now and then. Not a thing wrong with that.