I’ve always considered myself a positive person. I don’t like to dwell in the negative. I’ve always felt that being negative and allowing pessimism to run my life is a recipe for unhappiness. So it is with some surprise that I realize that most of my thoughts in the last few weeks have been almost overwhelmingly negative.
I realized it suddenly. I was getting ready for work yesterday, and I was going over and over in my head ‘I don’t want to get up’, ‘I don’t want to go to work’, ‘I don’t want to ride my bike’, ‘I don’t like my hair today’. I haven’t had a morning like that in so long. It took me through most of the day before I was like ‘Hey, stop being so negative!’. I had to stop and look at myself and figure out what was going on?
It started slowly. I was eating clean for awhile, but a few night outs and late meals screwed up my meal plan. The rain started so I stopped riding my bike to and from work every day. I broke a tooth, and had to pay out way too much money to get it fixed, making my budget limited for awhile. My Nana passed away, bringing up memories of losing my father. And to top it off, yesterday was my Dad’s birthday, which is always a hard day.
All of this life stuff came together and took away a bunch of the things I didn’t realize I was relying on to keep me happy. Exercise is a big one. I got away with not going to the gym because I was getting enough movement out of my daily routine. My body was working wonderfully because of my eating habits and I didn’t have to worry about if I was getting the right nutrients. I was sleeping well, which is the biggest thing. Now, everything has flipped. I’m tired, irritable, not sleeping well at all, unmotivated and having a hard time seeing past the negative.
So what happens now? I’ve realized what’s happened, but now what? It’s like starting again! You can’t flip a switch and be happy again, or get your motivation back. All of a sudden, after weeks of feeling great and doing well, I’ve slipped right back down without even noticing. That’s how fast it can turn if you’re not looking, not paying attention. When you tell yourself ‘I can cheat today because I did so well yesterday’, suddenly you cheat a few days in a row, and you’re done. I’m craving sugar again, and heavier foods. I’m looking at vegetables and cringing. I have to force myself to push past my cravings in the early afternoon like I used too. All that work I did, undone in a few weeks.
Luckily, I realize it, and this time I have the tools to understand what needs to be done. It used to be a daunting task, trying to come back from where I was. I used to look at a healthier version of me as something I could never reach. Now I know it’s only a few steps way. A few hard steps that take effort, but I know the steps, I know which ones to take first, and I know which ones will follow. It’s still a daunting task, but having the knowledge and the tools really put into perspective what this takes.
So goodbye negative version of me. I refuse to let you back into my life permanently. You have a few days to struggle against me, and then we’re going to squash you.
It would be so easy right now to get down on myself and call myself a failure. I could give up and give in to the idea that I’ll never achieve my goals. But I won’t. Why? Because I want to be one of those people who say ‘It sucked, I worked hard, sometimes I failed, it took me years, but I finally made it.’ The future is going to come no matter what I do. But I would rather say ‘it took me five years’ then say ‘it’s five years later and still no change’.