Usually reflecting on how you and your life have changed is something that’s reserved for special occasions, like a birthday or the start of a new year. But I’ve been feeling pretty reflective lately. I’ve spent the last few weekend mornings waking up and laying in bed for awhile, thinking (often OVER thinking). I’ve been noticing how different my life is now than it was a year ago, and am having a hard time digesting, accepting, and being OK with it. I can’t even figure out if I SHOULD be accepting or OK with it. Maybe these changes need to be changed. Maybe not. My mind certainly spends enough time telling me they need to be.
For example…going out. I love going out. Since moving to Boston there has barely been a Friday or Saturday that I stayed in. I did start going out more back when I was still living in CT, but now I stay out later and have more beverages because I don’t have to drive, and the city is just so alive. I attribute much of the weight I’ve gained since moving here to my love for going out. Alcohol has calories – a fact I know all too well. I go out more now, I weigh more now. So naturally my mind constantly berates me for how I spend my Fridays and Saturdays. I wake up most Saturday and Sunday mornings with anxiety and terrible body image. I’ve had a few really rough ones lately. I’ve woken up and wanted to do nothing but curl into a ball and lay in bed hating myself all day. Thankfully texts to friends and family have motivated me to get out of bed and go on with my life. The “easy” solution is to just, well, not go out. But…that’s not fun. That’s not what I WANT to do. This whole recovery thing has been about letting myself do what I want to do. But when does that stop being OK?
Another change has to do with working out. Yes I ran a half marathon – a huge accomplishment! But my right IT band still is giving me problems (first PT appointment tomorrow though!) so I continue to have gym days without cardio – more than I’m used to. I also have skipped the gym after work for absolutely NO reason on a couple of occasions now. Just left work, and have been starved, and the thought of eating a snack to get me through a workout and then come home to eat dinner just exhausted me. Deciding to eat a snack that I did not plan on eating is mentally taxing for me. What snack should I eat? Will it spoil my dinner? I know this is over-thinking and irrational, but it’s just been easy on those couple of occasions to instead just skip the gym to go home and eat dinner. And then I inevitably wake up the next morning before work to work out because I’m tortured by the thought of being at work all day just thinking about how I hadn’t worked out in X many hours. So where I’m going with this is overall, I feel like I work out less and do less cardio. I just keep trying to remind myself that I do what I can and it’s still more than many others do.
I also used to be strictly 100% all about waking up on weekend mornings and getting straight to the gym before I could allow myself to continue with day off. But the last couple of weekends I’ve woken up and not necessarily felt ready to go to the gym. Sometimes I do (see above photo’s caption) but other times, like yesterday, I wake up and just lay in bed for awhile. Then I decide I’m hungry and would rather go to Refuge Cafe and have coffee and eat something before I work out. And then I decide I want to do an errand or two. Or wander around TJ Maxx (living around the corner from one is a blessing and a curse). The only reason I don’t work out first thing when I wake up on weekdays is because I go to work. I have something I need to be doing, and once that’s over, I go to the gym. Weekends I’ve always woken up and felt like, well there’s nothing I need to be doing, so I have to work out first thing. And if I didn’t, I never trusted myself to get it done later in the day. Yesterday I didn’t get to the gym until about 4:30PM. But I did it – I went! I even ran into my favorite spin teacher there, and when I brought up that I hadn’t made it to her class Saturday or Sunday, she just shrugged and said, “Well you’re here now!” And I needed to hear that.
Finally, I feel like my introvert status is becoming just slightly less intro and a bit more extro. I’m not extrovert now by any means, but I’ve found myself craving company more and more. Sometimes when I go home at the end of the day, I wish there was someone around just for me to have a 15 or 20 minute conversation with. I’m making NO plans to look for a new apartment and get a roomie, especially since I realize a 15 or 20 minute conversation is a very specific desire. But I just have really been enjoying being around people more. Last Thursday I went to my beloved Regal Beagle and sat at the bar by myself for dinner. I had stayed in the last three nights and was craving company, but anyone I asked was either busy or staying in. So I just sat at the bar and lo and behold made a couple of new friends! I brought my book with me but as usual, sitting at the bar alone resulted in new connections. Did I feel SO guilty about going out to eat when I had no reason to? Absolutely. But did I need to be out and about that particular night? Yeah, I just did. I definitely think it’s a good sign that I’ve been more willing to let people, from friends to strangers, into my personal space and “me time”.
I’m glad I got all of this off my chest. But now I need to figure out what to do with these changes. Do I change them? Accept them? Is it OK to accept them? Is my current lifestyle “OK”?
What typically causes you to reflect on your life and how it may have changed?
What’s an example of a change you’ve noticed in yourself and/or your lifestyle as of late?