The circular effect of good habits

A couple months ago, I came back from a big international trip and panicked because I didn’t have any other trips planned until November. So, to compensate, I booked three weekend trips for October. Whoops. I’m now two trips in, and while I have had great times, I am half-way regretting my decisions. Mostly because I now won’t have a full weekend off/at home until December which is necessary for my sanity and Ginger’s happiness. The other reason for regret is because the first two trips were big parties. So, lots of alcohol and food, and a lot of dehydration and hangovers.

When I was coming back from this last trip, I was thinking a lot about how I was physically feeling. I felt all the normal effects of a hangover and lack of sleep, but I also just felt internally “blech” and in examining my choices over the last year, I haven’t been doing a good job of attempting to be healthy. Now, I’ve sworn off diets and extreme workouts because I don’t find them sustainable, but I’ve not been intentional about choosing food that I know will fuel my body versus just grabbing something that my mind is telling me that I want. I’ve shortened Ginger’s walks at night, so my daily exercise had gone down too. I’ve noticed that walking up stairs leaves me winded, and after a night of dancing my hips and feet were screaming. And I sat on the plane feeling really disappointed with myself. I have so many tools at my disposal to make good decisions, and my laziness has just been out here winning.

So, today, since it was nice outside when I got home, I took Ginger for a long walk and thought about some small things I can start doing to get me back into the habit of making good choices. While I was walking, the burn and sweat made me want to eat vegetables when I got home because I could feel my body burning energy (unfortunately I have basically nothing in my fridge, so grocery shopping will have to happen at some point…ANYWAYS), and because I wanted to eat well, it made me think about wearing cute clothes. When I made it home, and was eating dinner, I was thinking about how these choices all feed into one another. If I can just do one, the rest seem to try and follow naturally. And it reminded me of this quote (one of my favorite quotes):

Image result for i am mine before i am anyone else's

It is my job to take care of myself first: body, mind, soul and spirit. Only then, can I go out and give my light back into the world. I think what I need to learn though, is that I cannot just take care of one part of me, or focus on one area more than the others. I’ve been taking care of myself mentally and emotionally for several years now, but my body is still an area that scares me. I don’t like to fail, and for years, I’ve felt like my body was a failure, that it never lived up to what I wanted it to be. But there was a small window of time when my body surprised me. When I put it through difficult hikes, weightlifting, and bodyweight movements and it responded. Did I lose 100 lbs? No. Did I magically fit into a size 10? No. But it functioned like I never, ever thought it could, and I’m sad that I took that away from my body. That I let myself get back into a place where walking up stairs leaves me breathless. That was a total failure on my mind’s part to my body.

I don’t want to sit here and wallow in it all, I want to take some action. Small actions to start. I can expand Ginger’s walks twice a week and get more steps in, and even find some hills to climb with her (it is Seattle after all, hills are everywhere). I can do a basic bodyweight workout in my living room once a week. And I can grocery shop to cook two meals a week (which usually gives me enough leftovers for lunches). The rest will come with time, energy, and more positive feelings.

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