I am chasing myself.
I cannot believe it took so long for me to see it, so ridiculously long to realize the pattern. I am caught in a vicious circle. I see that now. All along, I thought I was reacting to circumstance when really I have been manufacturing the scenarios and chasing myself. Over and over again.
What is the cycle? What is the self-made trap? What is the terrain of the depreciating circuit I keep running?
Step 1. I get fat. Maybe it’s because I just had a baby. Maybe it’s because I am nursing an injury. Or maybe it’s just because I have an emotionally abusive relationship with food.
Step 2. I react to getting fat with overreactive depression, heated frustration, or some combination of the two. I make a bunch of extreme resolutions and empty commitments while I mentally abuse myself.
Step 3. I begin with ravenous, obsessive commitment. I work myself out nearly to death. I eat exactly on plan, often bordering starvation.
Step 4. It works. The weight comes off; the work pays off. I am euphoric with success as my wounded self-esteem begins to recover.
Step 5. I relax. I loosen the leash. I let myself side step the diet, take rest days. I fall under the delusion that I have made it and can calm down on my campaign.
Step 6. Backslide. Backlash. I rebel against my own rigid design. I tell myself I can’t tell myself what I can and cannot eat. Like a rebellious teenager, I make foolish and self-destructive decisions. Let the binging begin!
Step 7. I get fat. Again.
And repeat. Repeat. REPEAT.
What I was failing to really accept was that Step 6 is all me. My youngest child is nearly 3 years old now. It’s not babies anymore. Or even my gimpy thyroid. Aside from having to behave for hamstring rehab, it is not even the exercise piece. That is always on high. It is ME.
What I realized is that my motivation might not be my long-standing, pervasive self-destructive tendencies. It might not be my last lingering addiction. Instead, what dawned on me is that I might need the struggle. I might need to always be obsessively driven and pathologically motivated to lose those pounds, regain that time, get to that distance. I might be addicted to the carrot.
Why I can’t just improve from a healthy place instead of restarting? I have no idea, but I believe we mentioned my self-destructive tendencies above.
Yet something about the idea rings true in my head. When the epiphany hit me, something just clicked into place. I keep manufacturing these scenarios. I keep manipulating myself back to the beginning. I am the warden holding all the keys to this cyclical trap.
I don’t exactly know what to do with this new knowledge. I don’t know how to break free of my little cycle. Well, I mean I know how, but I don’t know how to keep myself following through. Otherwise, I am just in Step 2-3. I need a sustainable solution. I need to fix the fracture in my brain and behavior.
I am not used to breaking cycles. Cycles are my life. Extremes are my familiar. I have learned to embrace them, rather than fight them, but they never go away. I apparently suck at riding this one. Maybe identifying what I am doing wrong is the first step. I hope so. I need to find a middle ground between my rigid resolve or excessive backlash. I need to just live between those two, where there is no sin to rebel against.
My hamstring is on the (slow) mend, so I am back to my exercise routine. Half-assed though it may be. That is helping with sanity and rationality. I just need to reign in the eating roller coaster. Long term.
It would be nice to not be my own enemy for once.