Today is Sunday, a day of rest, right? Wrong. Nothing about the day is restful for me. I will spend the morning at my wonderful little church, sitting with my amazing grandparents and singing old hymns and listening to a sermon that I am sure will speak something to me (they always, always do). Then, I will come home and work. Why? On a Sunday? Really? Yes, really, because in the past year or so, maybe longer, I've allowed too much to get in my way and in my head. Working for myself takes a LOT of discipline, and I've lost that somewhere along the line. Now, I'm behind and trying to make up ground, and that has my head all in a tizzy. I'm stressed out, angry at myself, and terrified of not being able to catch up, and in the midst of all this, I just want to curl into the fetal position beneath my favorite quilt and chow down on a bunch of Goobers and Ruffles.
Stress and I are, unfortunately, caught in a very dysfunctional and destructive marriage, and we have been for many, many years, probably decades. I'm one of those people who doesn't handle anything well, not even the run-of-the-mill, everyday stresses that other people deal with every day. Something as simple as an electric bill or my dog having an accident on the laundry room floor can make me feel as if Planet Earth is on the verge of blowing up and taking me along with it. When I feel overwhelmed, which is often, I become paralyzed. We may all have a fight-or-flight instinct, but I have an exaggerated fright instinct. I don't even attempt to fight most of the time, and as for flight...well, I'm certain that I'll just plummet out of the sky if I even try to flap my wings. I lose a lot of sleep every week over matters big and small, and I try to seek mind-numbing things to help me escape, things like too much television and definitely mindlessly filling my face with snacks, as if that is going to finish my work or pay my bills or clean up that doggie mess for me.
I say all that to say this: Today is one of those days that a dieting girl goes through. I am SUPER stressed out. I'll probably bawl when I sing any of those old hymns today, because they'll be convicting, me going on about God's love and faithfulness while, in my head, I'm a scared little girl who feels she's buried herself far too deep for even Him to dig me out. (I know in my heart this is not true, because all things ARE possible - something He has proven to me time and time again, but my head tends to bully my heart around a lot). I will probably have to pull a couple all-nighters to catch up on work the best I can, and that's okay, but it's even more difficult to focus on work and try to be positive and proactive when you're sitting on pins and needles. In the midst of all of this, it's VERY easy to seek comfort in cheesy, salty, sugary, greasy things or to deny my body of the sleep and consistent meals it requires if I'm ever gonna lose those 6.6 pounds.
If that's not bad enough, stress and anxiety cause a buildup of cortisol. What does this mean? Belly fat. Yep, that's right. Stress literally makes you fat! If you don't believe me, get a second opinion from Dr. Google. (Just be careful, as Dr. Google is evil and insists on assuring you that everything you have is a fatal form of cancer, even if it's just a hangnail. His nasty cousin, WebMD, is just as culpable for inducing panic.) For years, we've recited that cute little rhyme about Santa's belly jiggling like a bowlful of jelly, but maybe the poor old guy's just stressed out. I couldn't really blame him, as I'm sure it's pretty stressful dealing with elves and reindeer and squeezing down chimneys. I'm rather certain Mrs. Clause has to spike his hot cocoa with more than a little chamomile, if not some sort of stronger Christmas spirits.
See what I mean? My head, in its effort to escape stress and worry, travels. Christmas in March? Um...no.
Dieting is hard. Life is hard. Bills are hard. Work is hard. All of these things can impact each other in negative ways (or weighs), and it's no easy task keeping any of them from paralyzing us, holding us hostage, and crippling us from doing the things we need to do. My challenge today is to focus on church while I'm there, then come home and edit like a maniac, till I literally cannot hold my eyes open to see the poorly placed semicolons on my screen--all while NOT blowing my calorie count. God may have rested on the seventh day, but I am glad He'll be on the clock today to help me through this, because otherwise, I'd just cry and eat my weight in cheese and Sugar Snaps and cry myself into bankruptcy.