It Only Looks Like I’m Going in Circles

October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

So for the past few weeks,  I have returned to my original philosophy of this:

GO SMALL OR GO SMALLER

Because for a really long time I’ve been struggling.  And while I’ve tried to make progress, my motivation has been lacking.  I could only get inspired in random spurts.

Success is achieved by doing things daily.  Not randomly.  But if I can’t make myself be consistent then how do I ever get back on track? For quite awhile, I couldn’t even think clearly.  It was as if my entire mind had been wiped out of any and all knowledge of how to move in the right direction again.

Have you ever felt that way? Like your mind is muddled?  Even when you want to figure out the right way to go, you can’t.  It’s as if someone spun you around a thousand times and now you’re dizzy.  You try to walk straight but you can’t.  So you just sit down until the spinning stops.   That’s been me.

But here I am now.  Finally feeling some hope.  As if God lifted the fog and I can see once again the path I need to take.  The path of SMALL STEPS.

But I’ve regained weight.  

I lost so much time.  

So much progress.

I should have been at my goal weight long ago.  

That line of thinking leads to pressure and discouragement.  And when you start thinking like that, it doesn’t help!

Sometimes in life we get discouraged.  And you know what is the most discouraging thing to me of all?  Believing that I have wasted something.  That I have lost something.  And that nothing I can do will ever get it back.  That feels pointless to me.  And I hate it.  Gaining back weight can feel that way.  What’s the point of having made progress if you lose it? What’s the point of having lost weight if you regain it?

I felt that way when I got divorced.  Like I wasted my time.  Like I had just wasted 10 years of my life.  That is all I could think about too when it first happened.  All day long.  The nonstop prevailing idea that an entire decade was for nothing.  And that I could never get it back.  Even if I started to have a good day, that obsessive nagging thought would enter my mind again.

But your husband is gone.  You screwed that up.  You’re divorced.  All the time and energy you put into that relationship was pointless.  Now you’re 10 years older and 100 pounds bigger.  All the best years of your life were wasted.  You’ll never get them back.

It doesn’t matter if your thoughts are true or accurate.  Thoughts can lie.  But you hear them and it can leave you feeling bitter, depressed and dismal.

Until God turned it around.

It didn’t have to be a waste! It didn’t have to be a loss!! I started seeing the good in it.  The possibilities.  It sounds crazy but it’s possible.  When you embrace the promise that God works everything…and I do mean EVERYTHING out for our good (Romans 8:28)….then how can anything ever be lost?? If you think I’m crazy then check out what God says about even our tears.  He says not ONE goes unrecorded.  NOT ONE.

You have recorded my misery;
   listed my tears on your scroll-
are they not in your record?
           -Psalm 56:8 

Why would God do that?? Why would He count every tear?

God is the ultimate Recycler.  Nothing is wasted.  He even records every tear that falls from our eyes.  And if we believe in and trust Him, He can use every single thing in our lives for good.  He can recycle it.  Turn it around.  How is that possible?

Because if God is for us then who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)  

God has used my experience with divorce many times over.  I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have received random phone calls from individuals who were going through a divorce.  A friend of a friend might have sent them my way.  They wanted to help their friend but they had never walked that path.  They felt compassion for them but they didn’t know what else to say.  But they knew that I had survived it even with 4 small children to raise.  I LIVED.  So they sent them my way.  Because  sometimes that is what you need to know in that moment.  That you WILL make it.  That someone else lived through it.  So you can too.

I have been helped in the same way.  By talking with someone who has been down that same road.  I believe those are the people that can help us the most.  We don’t wish that anyone would have to go through painful circumstances but I think we can all admit that it’s the people who have really walked in our shoes that know the best how to relate to us.  That is how God can use the most painful experiences for good.

I would even say that I have a unique relationship with my children that I would not have had otherwise.  Being a single mother has made our lives in many ways an adventure.  While it has been truly scary at times (and still often is!), some of our best memories are THOSE times.  I wasn’t allowed to drive very often when I was married.  When my husband left, I was thrown in the fire.  I had to drive everywhere and on the highways of San Antonio.  I went from a small town to a big one.  And for someone with anxiety, it was terrifying!

But do you know what my kids love to talk about to this day? One of their favorite memories is of us driving on the highway for the first time.  We were all praying and screaming at the same time.  My youngest were babies in their carseats.  I was scared out of my mind and freaking out.  Screaming and yelling and crying.  Then suddenly I was doing it.  And we lived.  Then we were all screaming with excitement because we knew we would make it.  We would be able to get around town on our own and survive.  Cheers erupted.  Laughter ensued!!  Still to this day my kids remember that.  It’s shockingly one of their favorite memories!

At one time, we had only one television.  A very tiny one at that and no cable.  We owned three movies and would watch them over and over again.  We would all huddle around that one TV together watching ‘UP’.  It seemed like we had nothing at that time.  But now we have a big TV in the living room and a couple of TV’s  in different rooms. You know what? My kids still to this day prefer to huddle around the smallest one all together!!  They often talk about how we should go watch the smallest one and cram together in the bed like we used to.  These are not bad memories.  They are good ones.  A life born out of pain but brought into joy!

God can use anything for our good.  Even things we have done to ourselves.  Even mistakes we have made.  So no regrets!! Only life lessons! Only more material for the bigger story!  Just one more chance to relate to someone who has experienced the same things.  Nothing is wasted.  NOT ONE THING!  Our worst mistake has already been made by hundreds of people out there.  Do you think you can come up with something new?? Maybe your darkest secret is held in someone else’s heart as well.  When we share, we turn whatever was meant to destroy us to help others.   We become stronger in the end for it.  How amazing!

I thought I was going in circles.  But I was just learning.  I thought I was wasting time.  But I was just growing.  I thought I was regaining weight but I was just taking another class.  One that teaches how to deal with setbacks.  Because most people that are on the weight loss journey DO regain weight at some point.  Most people that I have talked to have.  So why shouldn’t I too?? And why shouldn’t that be part of the learning process?  After all, one of my biggest fears on this journey was that I would regain weight.  Well I don’t have to worry about that one anymore! My biggest fear has happened.  Now I can learn  how to deal with it.   I will just have more knowledge on how to beat it!  And one less thing to fear.  And as we all learn things, we share them.  So we only become stronger!

I’ve been heading out every morning for my half mile walk.  I am doing 5 Day streaks.  Here is where I started with that idea .  And it’s going well.  But there is a problem.  Where I now live, there are NO street lights.  The only lights come from houses if their lights are on.  And it’s very dark in the morning.  I’ve just about fallen in a ditch a few times hahaha  but so far so good.  The fact that this is a bit of a safety issue for me has made it difficult.  And let me tell you what we do NOT need.  We do not need additional obstacles when it’s already difficult enough to find the motivation to take the small step.

 The idea is to make it simple. So simple that you will do it.  So simple that you have a 100% chance of accomplishing your goal.   Mainstream philosophy might tell you that we should go hard or go home.  But I believe that we should make it exceedingly easy on ourselves to accomplish the task.  If we choose a task that is too difficult to make happen then we run a high risk of not doing it.  And doing it is the only goal we are trying to accomplish.  Not pace or time or even distance.  Just doing whatever it is that we set out to do.  It’s hard enough because  I will find any excuse at all to not do something.  So keeping it simple and eliminating as many obstacles as possible is key.

I live in the cul de sac.  And several times I’ve gone out there and found Amanda walking in circles.

“She’s walking in circles again!”…the kids would say

At first I thought maybe she wanted to talk to me but didn’t want to ring the doorbell.  Maybe she wants to hang out but doesn’t want to bother me.  I mean this whole living across the street from each other is still new.  Maybe that’s it.

Or maybe she’s upset.  Maybe she’s stressed out.  So she’s hopped into the cul de sac to walk in circles.  Uh oh….Maybe I shouldn’t go out!

It’s funny the things we think.  The perceptions we have.  We so often think we know why other people do what they do.  So those were my thoughts.  But when I went out there, she was just walking.  That’s how she was getting her exercise in.  She has a 3 year old (Or is she 4 now?)  Well she’s active!! And while Amanda walks circles in the cul de sac, the little one can run around too.  Perfect!  So yesterday I hopped in and did some loops with her.  To my shock, it was a whole mile.   The funniest part to me was how it shows up on the Map My Walk App.  As if a child scribbled a thousand circles on it!

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I couldn’t believe how far we went by just walking the loop.  So this morning when I woke up at 5 am, I decided not to walk that half mile in the dark almost falling in ditches.  I decided to do the loop and I did.  I even jogged a whole lot of it.  At MY pace.  At the tortoise pace.  But I did it.  And it was great!! I even enjoyed it.  I live directly in the cul de sac.  It’s literally right out my door.   Amanda has to actually walk a few houses down to it but it’s right out my door.  What could possibly be my excuse now??

If I’m out there running loops my kids can look out the window and see me.  And it’s as simple as it gets.  The light from the houses make it easier and safer.  And now that potential excuse to not do it is gone.  Suddenly it’s as if God placed my own personal track right outside my house.  I just never saw it that way before!  Thanks Amanda :)))  Now I am thinking I might get out there a few more times today.   When CJ is playing basketball, I can do a few loops.  Sure it might look like I’m walking in circles but I’m actually getting things done.

Here was what I accomplished this morning:

 photo.PNG-82

And do you notice the heart button that says “Unlike”.  That’s because I liked it myself.  I liked my own status.  And you know what—I’m going to do it again tomorrow!  It may go against etiquette but I don’t care.  It’s time I start celebrating each small victory once again.  And giving myself credit when I do something. I don’t care if it’s small.  I did it.  So you know what….

LIKE! LIKE! LIKE!

You may notice I shaved 7 minutes off of yesterday’s time.  That is because I was totally unmotivated yesterday.  Yet today, I felt stronger.  Once again my time doesn’t matter to me right now.  If it ever will.  But I just wanted to point out that my internal motivation is higher today than yesterday.  And that will keep growing as time goes on.

Yesterday was also my 1st day at my 5 Day Streak to get back on track with food. My goal is to do one round of liquids for the first part of the day.  Like this:

Coffee

Bottle of Water

Atkins Shake

I made it so easy and so simple that I can’t screw it up!! WOO HOO!  And day one was in the books yesterday.  I checked that off my victory list and that means I am a winner!  The rest of the day wasn’t so hot if I’m being honest but that is neither here nor there.  What matters is that I set a goal and I accomplished it.  Victory is coming!

We may make mistakes.  We may fall in a few ditches along the way.  We may even gain back weight and have to lose it again.  But you know what I’m learning??

IT’S OK!!

It may look like we are going in circles but we’re not.  We are just learning more lessons. We are growing on the journey.   How fast we grow makes no difference.  Only that we move forward. Only that we take steps in the right direction.

However small.  Forward is forward.

It is 10:22 Am as I write this and I have already achieved total victory for my day! I have already accomplished BOTH of my goals for the day. And I’ve checked off the boxes on my Victory List! Whatever else may happen today—I WIN.

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How is your day going?

 

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda W October 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I love your little laps! I actually do laps around my neighborhood and was also surprised how much mileage you can get in. Much nicer than walking on the treadmill. I have even done laps in my house when it is raining outside… it works!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 21, 2014 at 8:38 pm

I have done laps in my house too Rhonda!! When I first started out I did laps in my hallway. I would just walk to one end, touch the wall, walk back, touch the wall. It got me off to a great start!

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Alison C. October 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I love go small or go smaller! That is what I do when I “set myself up for success.” You already know these smaller victories lead to bigger ones, and that’s awesome! I can’t help but thinking, every time I read about your walking, “How’s Allen’s dog doing with his walks?” LOL! Enjoy your victories!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 21, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I like what you said about “setting yourself up for success”. SO good!! I am going to remember that. We do have to give ourselves every advantage. Losing weight is hard enough without setting ourselves up for failure, right? Ok and Allen’s dog LOL …He is still at it. And I think he’s ramping it up. They did 1.7 miles at the crack of dawn this morning!!

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Sherri October 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm

You are AWESOME! Thank you for your uplifting words. I often too feel like I’m going in circles. I think my biggest frustration is that I feel like I put my all into healthy eating & exercise but still feel like I’m standing still. When in actuality I’m not, I’ve lost almost 35lbs of weight that I put back on. However when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m still not satisfied. I’m not sure I ever will be. All the excess skin from being 372lbs at my heaviest & all the ups & downs from weight loss has taken its toll. I may be 197 now, but still feel enormous. I know I will never be “skinny” & that isn’t my goal. I want to feel good in my own skin. I’m not sure I ever will. I guess if I keep making small strides, maybe in circles, I might someday get there. So thank you for providing an uplifting take on our bumpy road to being healthy. It really helps lift me up on those days I just don’t have it in me!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Congratulations on the 35 lbs. It is great!! I totally understand excess skin but that’s ok. No one is perfect. I just view it as proof I have been through a battle and survived. Stretch marks are battle scars. It shows we are warriors! So happy you are here! Thank you for sharing your story.

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Jane t. October 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

That’s great..there’s always a way. When my oldest was a baby and napping, I would go in the back yard and do laps aroung my yard, lol! I walked the other night in my neighborhood and it was just getting pretty dark. I actually turned my ankle pretty hard on guess what…a dead squirrel! So, yes, walking in the dark can be dangerous, ha!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 21, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Oh my gosh!!! I cannot believe that happened Jane! I am completely freaking out now over that possibility! Ok that settles it. I am not walking in the dark anymore!!! I hope you are ok!

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Christine October 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm

My motto has always been: “It’s all in your mind”. It applies to SO much in life. If you think you can, you can, if you think you can’t, you’re right. Don’t let doing what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do. Our minds are so powerful that we can invent, create, experience, and destroy things with our thoughts alone. Congratulations on your many victories. Amanda did have an awesome idea walking in circles. I lived in a cul-de-sac and never thought about it either. Now we don’t have to worry about you falling around in the dark or worse…

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I am in total agreement with you, Christine. I believe that our thoughts are a major player in our efforts to change. We must renew our minds daily and actively point them in the right direction. If I don’t do that, I go off course. And thank you for worrying about me falling in the dark. It is so nice to know someone out there is thinking about me!!! Thank you!

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Holly October 22, 2014 at 12:37 am

So proud of your new victories!! Yay!!! I am on Day 2 of my one veggie per day streak. Feeling ok! Almost halfway, right?
Holly recently posted..The One with the Regrets (and Thanks)My Profile

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LHA October 22, 2014 at 7:48 am

Thank you for a terrific blog. This was inspiring! I have a small section in our neighborhood that is exactly half a mile and I have decided to walk that every day for five days. Thanks for the idea of starting small, as it is SO MUCH better than doing nothing at all!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Awesome!!!!

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Wendy October 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

I have just went through the same thing, with being off track for quite awhile and feeling like my ind was muddled and that I couldn’t think clearly. I remember at one point, feeling like I couldn’t even think of how to get myself back on track. It’s was really a strange time. But, it feels great to be back on track, even though it was so hard to force myself back on track.
Wendy recently posted..Cravings and craziness!My Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Good job Wendy!! I am so excited and happy for you. I know it is tough but one step at a time gets us there!

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Anneli Byrd October 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I LOVE it!!!! Nothing is ever wasted. I’m going to send this on to my sister. So proud of you!!
Anneli Byrd recently posted..Fast food revoltMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 22, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Thanks Anneli!!

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Rusty October 23, 2014 at 1:13 am

I was looking at that last night & wondering what was going on… I thought maybe you were walking the perimeter of your yard or something! Makes sense now. 🙂 Keep it up!!

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Susan October 26, 2014 at 3:51 am

I loved this one. Life’s little lessons. You get out there and walk those circles with your friend. I have a walking buddy. We have been going in circles for 20 years. We call it our therapy walk. We have an indoor track at a local college. So we go rain or shine- every Monday & Thursday. I think it is about 3 miles – we go by time. We walk for an hour and stretch before, after, and once or twice during. We have not lost weight, but we have stayed active, and feel like that has helped a lot. Those 2 therapy sessions each week have helped too. Our families now know that is our walking time, and we seldom miss a day. Sometimes we go out to a local park to walk, but mostly we go in circles. I cherish our time together.

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