Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up

Sunday I woke up with a smokers hangover...plus a regular, red wine hangover.  I had a vague memory of smoking and drinking while playing video games, listening to sad music, and thinking a lot of bitter thoughts about my ex husband.

I smelled it when I woke up. Even though I'd left the window open all night I knew it would take days to clear out. I woke up coughing and it didn't stop for hours.  I don't have what's known as the 'smokers cough,' but that morning I did...which meant I had gone through A LOT of cigarettes.

The really good thing about overdoing it the night before is feeling like you never want to drink or smoke again. Unfortunately that feeling only lasts about half a day for me, just when it starts getting dark again. Then it's time to have that cigarette, even though I don't really feel like having it...just because I know I won't be quitting today or tomorrow...I might as well.

Well, I stopped the cycle on Sunday. No cigarettes or alcohol since (I am trying out e-cigarettes though. Quitting cold turkey is really difficult for me. I could go days or even weeks without having a cigarette, but once something really frustrating or hurtful happens I forget how much progress I've made, buy a pack and light up. The cycle continues).  I'm not a huge fan of how the e-cigarettes taste. Which I hope will be a good thing. I need to do something with my fingers, and the occasional hit of nicotine.

I've been thinking of ways to make myself feel happier. I finally took the step of removing anything and everything that reminded me of my ex (for someone who left the marriage with nothing I seemed to carry a lot of mementos) and stuffed them into a box in the back of my closet. I bought new sheets and tossed the old ones. I finished 'redecorating' on Saturday night and promptly had a breakdown, lamenting all the time I had wasted and how little I was left with, nothing to show for all my troubles.

On Sunday morning, I looked around my apartment and realized that everything I could see was mine, and most of those things I acquired after I finally left. It wasn't much, but it was mine.

And it was intoxicating.  It's no coincidence that I was able to make my first step towards breaking the cycle that day. I hadn't realized how much I needed a space where I wasn't being constantly reminded of a negative time in my life.

I allowed myself to be nice to me.

So, this is me. Starting over, not giving up, and most importantly: being nice to myself.

Week 1: Continue to not smoke. Do not drink during weekdays.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Baby steps

I have a few tell-tale habits when I decide that, 'This time, I really mean it when I say I'm going to get healthy and exercise and go totally hardcore. Then, I'll have the body I've always wanted."

Usually, I'll say this the night before I plan on going for a run at 6am(even though I was stuck tending bar until 1am and I'm used to getting up at 7:30). Then I'll have a 'last meal;' something unhealthy of course, because I won't be eating that kind of junk again until I've reached my ideal goal.

Note: At no point in my life have I ever gotten up for a run at 6am unless my dog was whining at me to take him out.

I've also convinced myself to shell out money for a gym membership even though I hate gyms.

In the past 2 years, I've spent more time reading Runners World than actually running.

I've bought clothes that I didn't quite fit into as 'motivation.'

The list goes on...

 I start too big. My goals are unrealistic and almost unattainable unless I had the willpower of stone. I focused on big changes that had to start right now, and I wouldn't allow myself to slip. Except I would, very quickly, and as soon as I slipped I'd fall a little further back then where I started.

'If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.'
-Jack Dixon

Ever since I read this quote, I've been trying to prove Mr. Dixon wrong. And Mr. Dixon('s quote) has kicked my sorry butt up and down the treadmill time and time again.

So let's start small this time. One challenge per week. Keep adding to that and see how I can become healthier. Some challenges will be bigger than others, but once a week I will be trying something new.