Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

... you may choose to make lemonade with it, but it still hurts like a mother when you get squirt in the eye along the way.

This past week or so was really really hard for me. On the exercise front, I am proud of how I did, and eating too, but everything kind of came crashing down yesterday when I spent an hour trying to calm a screaming baby with the loudest construction happening right below her window, and when she finally went to sleep I totally overate. Then it hit me just how hard it has been the past 10 days or so, and how much I need to process.

I already shared in my last post what had been happening sleep-wise at the start of our vacation. That continued until we came home the following Saturday, although Daniel let me sleep in a separate room a couple nights so I could at least get some more sleep, which helped some (I still woke some though). Thursday I stubbed my toe so hard that I spent a few hours believing I had broken it. This was also scary for me. After talking to a friend who recently broke her toe, and after hours of elevating, icing, resting, etc. the next morning I woke up and it felt a whole lot better - no bruising, no swelling, mobility, etc. I still stayed off of it for 2 more days after that, but now I am quite sure it's not broken and pretty much have full mobility back (in terms of walking around and doing normal activity). I think I just stubbed it really hard.

Layered on top of this was not only anxiety about spending some condensed time with a family member who pushes my boundaries, and around whom I have to work hard to protect those boundaries. I found out that a couple that Daniel and I care a lot about are splitting up, and I also had some painful encounters with 2 other family members who I care a lot about, but who are making or have made bad choices. I've spent most of my life trying to fix them and am only recently realizing how much I have lost by trying to do that, and am now instead trying to just grieve what is not.

And it just hurts.

Most of last week I was not in a position to actually feel that grief - just kind of had to see it, let go of trying to fix it, and then put it away until I could actually process it. But you know, grief just sucks to feel, and it's so much easier to put it out of mind if it's out of sight. So once we were away from the family members and I would have actually had space to process I completely forgot about processing it. Except that I felt depressed. And then starting this past Sunday it started to build more. And then yesterday (Mon) it built even more. When the whole loud construction "nap" was not happening yesterday, and I got so upset afterwards, it was so noticeable to me that I couldn't help but sit back and think, "whoa... ok something is really not ok." Then when I began to write out all that had been going on in the last 10 days, it sank in how much stress I've been under, how much pain I've pushed down, and how much I need to process.

In a lot of ways this shows me that I actually have made a whole lot of progress this past month with my emotional eating. For one thing, I realized that it has been a whole 4 weeks of not overeating at all! That's a pretty big deal for me. For another thing, it only took one time of overeating to realize something was wrong, and I was actually able to identify it and begin processing it. I've battled depression in my life several times, and - although painful - it feels good this time to connect the depressed feeling to actual feelings underneath and begin to stir those up instead of feeling trapped in this numb, dead feeling. At least it feels more alive, and there is some fresh air and hope. But I still hate grieving. Hate it.


Exercise. I am proud of myself for the past week, how I dealt with everything that came my way. Up in the mountains, I was able to do shred a few times (when we were staying in a cabin), I did a couple runs that were really challenging, and I took a few hikes. Yet at the same time I rested instead of working out when I was lacking sleep, and when I injured my foot I completely rested it and didn't do anything for a few days. One of the days I was resting my foot, I did crunches and pushups to challenge myself, instead of giving up on doing a workout completely. I was flexible and enjoyed being on vacation and with others, and didn't go to either extreme of completely abandoning my workouts and overeating, or holding on so tight to my scheduled workouts that my schedule has trouble meshing with the group schedule (both of which I've done in the past). Sunday I was starting to feel the motivational inertia of taking time off from working out (plus the depression), so I figured out something I could do that would still give my foot a break but let me get a workout: I went to the pool and swam some laps for about 25 minutes (which felt great - my triceps were KILLING me!! Shred just isn't the same as swimming!) Yesterday I tried "shred" again, and my foot was fine, so today I did half of my usual run and it is still fine. I think I can go back to normal exercising now. I am proud of myself for not giving up completely, but not pushing myself too hard and listening to my lack of sleep and my injury and letting myself rest.

Eating. I am also proud of how I've been eating, even though I could feel really discouraged that I overate yesterday. Looking back at the last week, I realize how much stress I was under, and am so pleased that I didn't turn to food like I could have. Instead, I realize that I have grown in using my voice to set boundaries (rather than using food to deal with frustration when boundaries are crossed), and in letting go of things I can't change (still far from perfect in this area, but a lot further than I used to be).


  1. You are doing GREAT, Katie. Reading through your struggles this past month or so, it seems like eating is definitely the major issue for you physically and it looks like you have definitely come along way. Good job! This is good not just physically but spiritually, as you have often said, because physical manifestations of emotional struggles often get in the way of dealing with those said emotions. Following your struggle has really encouraged me to look at my own life and the different ways I *distract* myself.

    On another note, I am sorry about your friends. We've had to deal with people we look up to divorcing this last year. It is hard to process and scary. We'll pray for them and you.