As I sat around thinking about blogging topics this week, I realized it has been a while since I have checked in with my mental health. Some weeks, moments of anxiety and/or stress force me to consider my emotions, but the last few weeks have been pleasantly anxiety free. In fact, it's been two months since I wrote this post after finding myself in a not so great mood one morning. So what's the difference between then and now? Did my negative emotions simply disappear?
It's taken me a while to finish this post. I have been thinking about it for weeks, but have struggled to translate my experience into words. I don't want this to sound like a lecture or research paper, and I certainly don't want to sound too preachy. I think I know what writers block feels like now; maybe I need an editor.
So where should I even begin? I think I may just have to start with my medical history because there is no way to understand how I ended up laying on a table, almost naked, with needles tapped into all sorts of places (did I mention I hate needles?) without it.
If you are reading this, we are now close friends because only my close friends know this much about my inner workings.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my (at the time) bold move to donate a large pile of clothing that no longer fit for various reasons. I felt empowered after deciding to rid my closet of my body shaming demons; holding on to pants no longer working for my body encouraged negative thinking. In many ways my boldness worked, but it was not a cure. I held on to one pair or shorts, a favorite pair I bought at a consignment store last summer (perfect length, and already worn-in softness). I kept hoping the button would easily come together as I remembered, but guess what? It still doesn't.
Last week I asked you to think about leaving your New Year's resolutions behind for the sake of sanity, and self love. This week, I am trying to take my own advice. I sailed into New Year's Eve weekend feeling strong, and confident in my ability to fight the cultural pull of eating better, or exercising more in 2017, but then reality set in.
I started this blog as a personal project; an outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and anxieties on my continuing journey toward finding sanity in today's crazy, body image obsessed world. I feel my own experiences, plus my professional background, allow me a voice in the larger discussion. I sometimes forget, however, that Finding Normal didn't completely solve my struggles; that in fact, bad food anxiety days still occur, and some days the body I see in the mirror appears in contrast to reality.
It's that time again; we all sit around contemplating how to make improvements in the coming year, but what if your New Year's resolution actually derails your progress toward lowering anxiety, and reducing stress? The tradition of choosing a resolution reaches back thousands of years, but history may not lead us down the best path in this case. I understand you may want to use the new year as a time for self-improvement, but indulge my thinking for just a moment, because I am entering 2017 without a resolution in sight.
Last year, I divorced my scale. I spent years weighing myself daily, if not multiple times a day (read more about that here). The reality on the scale each morning directly affected my mood; too much of my life revolved around a number. I ditched my parasitic sidekick as part of completing a Whole30 challenge last March. While I do not agree with 100% of Whole30, I do 100% support its focus on non-weight (or what they call non-scale) health goals. Whole30 does not require participants to physically throw away their scales, but I sensed too much temptation lurking beneath my bed each day. My scale went in the trash.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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