The last Friday in September will always be burned in my head as an anniversary of the most unhealthiest day of my life to date. Not when I was 250 pounds. Not when I was 127 pounds. When I was maintaining at my goal weight, my body was, in theory, healthy. I had just run my second half marathon with a huge PR. But mentally and emotionally, I was so far gone.
The weather in Cleveland this week has reminded me of that day last year. Cold. Rainy. The type of day that screams for blankets and chicken soup. Not only have I been struggling with the post-FitBloggin’ letdown, I’ve been fighting off that anxiety attack that stopped everything in its tracks.
The strange thing about this time of year is that there is always a huge shift in my life when the Fall season hits. Whether it be a marriage, a new house, a new pup, family moving, job changes: it all happens the second the leaves start to change. We’ve learned to hold on for dear life during the month of October as everything settles in.
After writing this post last November, I got refocused. I lined up some jobs, doing various freelancing gigs until very recently when I returned back to full-time employment. The structure and stability are both good for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity to still be planning events. Event planning won’t let me go and it’s finally crystal clear that I’m meant to be bringing people together.
The 40-hours-per-week means I have had to start saying “no” to things more often. Not as many nights out during the week. Not as many Girls Nights In or Out. Not as many opportunities to take advantage of. Not as many moments to give myself to as many people as I’d like to. That’s possibly the hardest part – which I view as me not doing enough, not being “good” enough. (Yes, it’s crazy talk, but it’s par for the course.)
Last weekend at the conference, someone quoted me as saying, “we’re all making a difference, whether it’s in our own lives or others: do not let the anxiety stop you.”
It is a struggle still. Every. Single. Day. I battle this anxiety to the best of my ability. Most days it’s easier to shake off. Some days the to-do list is too long to even worry about the worry. But on the few days when it’s too hard to ignore, I fight even harder. Cognitive behavioral therapy methods help. The yoga helps but a bum shoulder is causing my ego to keep me off my mat. What really helps is focusing on the people that really matter: my husband, my family, my closest friends.
I’ve been living by the phrase “do it now” for some time now. When I don’t want to do something, I think “do it now”. When the doubt creeps in, “do it now’ keeps it at bay. When I want to make a change, “do it now” comes out of my mouth. Mahatma Gandhi said “action expresses priorities”, so any action I take shows my commitment to not letting the anxiety win – even in my choice to not do something. Taking the action for self-care can be the hardest, but most important.
I like how today the sun is shining. That tomorrow I’m teaching yoga. That Sunday I’m working an event to raise money for an amazing cause. This is my life. Yes, anxiety is a part of it, but it’s not the driving force anymore. And that is a beautiful thing.