The Comeback Kid {Part 1}

Get ready, guys. Here comes a brain dump.

I’ve been thinking about this post for a really long time…months even.  But I  have hesitated because I didn’t want to post before I was ready.

I’ve been in a tough place for the past few months.
Call it being in a funk.
Call it apathy.
Call it being downright lazy.

Call it what you want, but the results are the same: for the past few months I’ve struggled to take care of myself physically.

My diet sucked and I was doing well to only workout two to three times a week.  I struggled to care about how I was treating myself.

All while simultaneously watching the scale go up, noticing my clothes getting tighter, and feeling generally awful when I had to get dressed or find something to wear.

It’s been a vicious cycle and it’s difficult to tell if I started out apathetic or it was my lack of physical activity and poor diet that got me there.  In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Being apathetic is the farthest thing from who I truly am as a person, but that’s what I’ve felt like for almost a year.  Numb.

Brad and I have explored various ways to help me get over this.   One of the ways we have worked toward creating a healthier place for me, is resigning from my job, which turned into going back in a part time status with increased flexibility (for which I’m so thankful), which has allowed me to explore my passion — food, cooking, and writing.  It’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders but also created new expectations for myself, being a perfectionist by design (more on that in another post).

Brad has been wonderful.  Beyond wonderful, even.

In getting over this hump — because that’s exactly what it is, just another obstacle in life — I’ve taken stock of my patterns of behavior and what changes in behavior have resulted and/or contributed to my current physical and mental state.

When I stop and think about the changes in me in the last year, here is what I’ve noticed:

  • I no longer put a lot of effort into cooking. It’s a chore and a challenge most of the time.
  • Instead of turning to quick and easy healthy meals when I don’t feel like cooking, I turn to eating out.
  • Exercise is not a priority.  Instead of five to six times a week, it’s more like twice; three times if I’m lucky.
  • I turn to carbohydrate dense meals, instead of vegetable dense meals.
  • I don’t take the time to put together healthy quick meals, opting for convenience foods or whatever is lying around in the fridge.
  • I’ve rely too heavily on caffeine.

In reality, I made this list over a month ago and I’m proud to say that I have been making progress.

Truth be told, I’ve been afraid to blog about this because I care what people think and I didn’t want to announce a goal to get back in shape and take control of my health before I was ready, resulting in another failed attempt to bounce back.  So, I waited until I was making headway to revisit this post which I outlined in August.

I’ve made it a priority to take the list above, think carefully about my behaviors, and slowly make changes.  And finally,  I feel like I’m making a comeback. And it’s not just about weight.  In fact, the weight is just a symptom of the greater root issue.

What it is about is my health, plain and simple.

When I first wrote the outline of this post in August, I wrote:
I’ve been exercising regularly for at least two weeks and I feel like I’ve cleaned up my diet a bit.  I feel rejuvenated and more like my old self.  It’s been strange to feel so apathetic the past 10ish months, but that exactly how I’ve felt.

Of course, now it’s almost October.  And for all of your darlings who have emailed, tweeted, and commented to say that you miss my fitness posts, you have been another source of inspiration to me. I felt silly writing about fitness while struggling to regularly exercise, which is why that has been lacking from Foodie Fresh.  I can’t write about something I’m not passionate about.

However, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to bring fitness back and from a different perspective.  I began this blog in excellent shape, but now I get to write from the perspective of someone who is making a comeback, which is a place I’m sure many of you can relate to.

And not only that, I’m positive that many of you can relate to my experience over the past year and although this “comeback” is about taking care of myself, I put all this out there to offer reassurance to those of you who have went through this yourself.  Everyone at some point feels down, experiencing this at different severities. We cover this up, feel ashamed to admit it, and further plummet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  We can create a healthy dialogue and take comfort that this is a very common experience.  Maybe I shouldn’t, but I feel like I owe my readers an explanation of my period of blogging absence (several months ago), lack of fitness and style blogging, and general check-in with something a little more thought provoking than my latest muffin recipe. You guys take interest in me as a person and I want to be real with you.

After all, this blog is about a healthy life and that also means a healthy mental health.

More to come in Part II…