I am fully aware that a new year is nothing more than an arbitrary cycling of the way we humans track time; however, in our minds and in our culture, it represents a fresh start. I am willing to entertain convention to create a mental break for myself, to permit myself to wash the trials and mistakes of last year from the present and file them more distantly in the past. I embrace being given a blank slate to start coloring on again.
Last year saw me desperate and crazed to claw my way back into the self that existed before my last child was born. It took half of that ill-fated journey for me to have the low level epiphany that such a reversion was physically impossible. Yet, even with realigned priorities and clarified expectations, I still did not see the results I wanted on my body, in my running, or in my fitness in general.
I worked my body to death. I starved myself then binged with disappointment. I fell into familiar and unhealthy patterns as a way to horribly cope with not feeling like myself in my own skin.
I also got sick. In September, I suddenly felt as completely and randomly awful as I did while I was pregnant with my son. I had an entire laundry list of digestive symptoms and spent months experimenting with eliminating foods, seeing doctors, having tests and procedures done–to include an endoscopy during which I woke up (a horror story for another day). The months of misery went by, and all doctors seemed to think childbirth had undone my gallbladder. A restrictive gallbladder diet did help but certainly did not cure anything.
Then, a couple weeks ago, as quickly as the symptoms appeared, they vanished. The only correlation that I have been able to make is that the symptoms appeared when I weaned my son and resolved themselves as soon as the milk finally dried up. With how much the sickness felt like when I was pregnant, it would not be a stretch for me to see it as hormone related.
Whatever it was, I do not care as long as it is safely behind me in last year.
So I come to this year a bit bruised and beaten from last year, both of my own device and circumstances beyond my control, yet I am angling for a fresh start. I mean to put all the poor decisions and uncomfortable periods behind me and start over fresh. The timing on my mystery sickness seems to support such an approach.
I do not really do resolutions, but if I did, they would be the same as my day-to-day goals.
To work my way to a body that feels healthy and like my own.
To accept my body for what it is and what it does not need to be.
To get back into running in a way that is realistic for the current state of my life.
To continue to indulge in other fitness that makes me happy or stronger.
To get stronger and include the strength training I loathe in my routine.
To have a healthy relationship with food that is neither restrictive or indulgent, a relationship that lets it just be food instead of something more emotional and controlling.
That’s it. Those are my goals for this fresh start and this new year.
I took vacation over the holiday, traveling to England with my family and I TOOK VACATION. I ran once in Wales, just a short gaunt on a dribbly day. Beyond that, I did NOTHING for two weeks. Except eat. And eat a lot. And drink. And drink even more. It was glorious; it was necessary, but I certainly could not have continued on that way another day.
This week, even still recovering from a European cold, finds me back to my routine. Back at the gym. Back on the trail. Back to eating and drinking more reasonably. The first step this year has been a good one; hopefully the ones that follow behind remain in a similar track.
Happy New Year!
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