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Making gentle bargains with myself

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yesterday I got a little low. You know how it goes.

My energy was depleted, I was fretting about something that happened with my boss, and I began to worry that this journey to weight loss was all just a big old pipe dream.

But I've made a commitment to go for a walk on my lunch break, even if it's just a short one. I was so hungry and my new low-fat salad dressing tasted like ketchup watered down with vinegar. Ew. Couldn't even eat the salad, it was that bad! So I scrambled to find a healthy alternative and there went half my break. But I still went outside, dragging my sorry, low-energy butt to the nearby park.

I work two blocks from Beacon Hill Park, a beautiful wonder that people come from all over the world to see. Right now it is full of flowers, the herons are roosting and the squirrels are a little too brazen! After a few minutes of strolling slowly along twisting pathways, my stride began to match the upbeat rhythms on my iPod. The sun warmed my shoulders. The wild grasses waved hello. And that was it: my funk lifted. Like it always does. IT ALWAYS DOES!

The way I get through the low patches has changed. I used to blame myself, chastise myself, get disappointed and hopeless and anxious, then isolate myself (because who would want to be around a loser like me, right?) Then I'd soothe all the pain with my drug of choice: food.

Now I talk gently to myself, like a good friend. I think: just go out and walk for five minutes, and if you really hate it, you can turn around and come back -- it will only be ten minutes of your life.

And I never do hate it. Soon enough, I love it, and I wonder why I resisted going in the first place. I skip the self-castigation and despair and move much more quickly into the bouncing back. I think I may be developing resilience or something! BOO-YEAH! Life is sweet.
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