Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beauty and the Beast

My documentation seems to be getting more and more scattered these days. I have random thoughts and some how lose them before I have the opportunity to write anything out. I find that once I'm focused on one aspect of life, it's difficult to get myself focused on another again. It is beyond frustrating. As I was riding along one of our many trails this morning, I suddenly realized how alone I was. Normally, our multi-use paths and trails are filled with people walking, running, biking or skating, and it felt a bit strange to suddenly comprehend that I hadn't passed or been passed by anyone. Sure, it's February, and the colder temperatures probably aren't helping anyone stick to their outdoor routines (though it has been incredibly warm for this time of year), but normally I see at least a lone individual out walking his/her dog.
It really is a beautiful season, despite what I often tell myself. I get caught up in the idea that everything is dead right now, and I grow weary of seeing all the dry trees without leaves, and the remnants of de-icer on the roads. My mind wanders into thoughts about the chemicals laid down after each snow and how they are probably destroying my bike tires, and before I know it I've ruined a perfectly lovely ride.
This morning, however, I allowed myself to appreciate what was around me and decided to take a longer route in to my morning kickboxing class. I seem to be battling a lot of demons these days and no matter how hard I try to work through them, to get them out and dealt with, the big ones seem to pop their heads up on a rather routine basis. Riding is simply one of the few times I feel as though I can let everything go. It doesn't matter how fast or slow I am, it doesn't matter if I pass anyone who might think I'm crazy, because the reality is even if they do see me talking to myself or crying, I'll be gone and over the next ridge before they give it a second thought. My two wheels really are the best kind of therapy - and it doesn't cost me a cent (sans the occasional flat tire or minor malfunction).
Today, my thoughts took me into some of the darkest places of my mind. I want to believe that I am changing and growing, but when the tangible results aren't visible, it's a lot easier to beat myself up than it is to be kind. Being nice to myself isn't necessarily a strong suit anyway. I often don't feel I deserve to show any sort of mercy with self-related matters. After all, what have I done to deserve any kindness? In a few days, I will have reached what I never wanted to get to - my four-month-iversary with this damn weight loss plateau. I can appreciate those who try to encourage me by saying that at least I'm maintaining the losses  accomplished before this all started (believe me, I do appreciate this), but at the same time, I am not a tiny person and I do my best to work hard every day to see changes in this body. I don't mean that I go on leisurely strolls with my dog or count folding laundry or doing dishes as a work out. I mean the kind of sweating that has me coming home questioning whether I can possibly do it again the next day (or sometimes, later in the same day). It feels so incredibly wrong, defeating, maddening, and many other adjectives I could come up with to not have physical validation that my efforts aren't in vain. Sure, I'm not working out six hours a day like some of the contestants on reality television shows, but I'm also not expecting to drop 10 lbs a week. How about a pound a week? That doesn't seem unreasonable. At this point, how about a pound a month? Anything would be more acceptable than what has happened. I find I want to push myself even harder, attempting to force results that simply do not want to materialize. I literally fight with whatever this "thing" is inside of me - sometimes out loud - telling it things like, "You think you're starving? I'll show you starving!" or "You think you've been working hard? You haven't seen anything yet!" believing that I can somehow manipulate the "beast" into cooperating.

So, this morning I decided to appreciate the slowly melting river and the few ducks that were swimming by. I took the time to embrace the fact that I had solitude on my ride and that in just a few months, that same path will be full of individuals out for their morning run, or racing to get the dog out before they head to work. I relished the idea of being able to swerve back and forth on the path, knowing that someone wasn't going to come racing around a blind corner (don't worry, I was paying attention - just in case). In short, I enjoyed the cold and the ride. I let myself laugh, cry, argue with the demons and the beast inside, and have a much needed therapy session, and I'll do the same as many winter days as possible.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the bike ride. Spring is around the corner and new life will be sprouting soon. In the meanwhile, I try to find little projects that keep me busy waiting for relief!

    Regarding weight loss, one of the things I discovered this past year is when I don't get enough sleep, my weight picks up. And, stress. Either one does bad things to my waist line. Glad to see you're out and about again!

    1. I am a bit anxious for spring, admittedly, even though this part of the country has had a really mild winter thus far. I'm always so happy to see things turning green again. :O)

  2. Riding the bike is by far the best demonbuster there is!


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