Point/Counterpoint

New Zealand postage stamp, 1933: Public health.

Image via Wikipedia

Unhealthy:

  • Dedicating a good part of the day to thinking about how satisfying it would be to: a) continue eating *just enough* to have eaten something but not enough to have gotten the slight feeling of hunger to go away; b) purge; c) engage in some kind of exercise to an excessive degree.
  • Feeling frustrated, angry, and stressed about things that are going on at work, and either bottling it up or trying to convince myself that everything is fine and I’m perfectly calm.
  • Continuing to feel so stressed that it feels a little bit like I may have strained something in my sinuses by my right eye, resulting in a dull, aching, and enduring headache.
  • Feeling guilty for how little I’ve run this week.
  • Feeling guilty about the fact that it’s only January 20th, and I’ve already kind of slipped on a lot of the goals I set earlier in the month.
  • Thinking (because of all the guilt) that maybe I should completely overhaul EVERYTHING I’m doing and start doing a bunch of crazy things so that I can feel like I’m accomplishing something (i.e. run every day for 100 days!  Do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day for the rest of the year!  Stop eating sugar!  Go from vegetarian to vegan!  Note: any of these things in and of themselves are fine if you want to do them–the problem here is not so much the thing itself but the motivation behind it).

Healthy:

  • Being honest about the fact that these things are going on.
  • Eating enough to make the hunger pangs go away; not purging; not exercising excessively.
  • Realizing that this week has been difficult, and if I don’t meet a mileage goal or I only run 3-4 times instead of 5, it’s OKAY.  Also, remembering that running is something I enjoy, not a form of punishment.
  • Letting myself experience anger and frustration and burning it off in healthy ways: pounding the pavement; a yoga practice that focuses a lot on the core (this is an area where lots of anger can be stored, working it can be very satisfying if you’re trying to work out frustrating and anger); turning up and/or belting out some Fiona Apple, or maybe some Rage Against the Machine.
  • Recommitting to my January goals and appreciating the fact that they are not hard and fast rules and don’t change anything about the person I am if I don’t complete them 100%.
  • Forgiving myself and accepting that perfection doesn’t exist (so I don’t have to keep holding myself to an impossible standard) and that life is much better when you act like a friend to yourself, not an enemy.
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11 comments

  1. Okay, well, don’t feel guilty about how little you have run this week. I think there is actually something associated with the “dead of winter,” which I believe this week is. I haven’t run at all this week, and I was talking with someone else tonight who mentioned that they haven’t been able to get up at the usual time this week. I think it has to do with the time of year and all that good stuff.
    Your healthy points are great – read them over and over again.
    Love you!

  2. Thank you for this post. It gives me some peace to know that others are struggling with the same thoughts and possibly behaviors, knowing that they are unhealthy. And that we KNOW what we need to do to be healthy, sometimes it’s difficult, but WE CAN DO IT!

  3. Chère Emilie, tu oublies certainement qu’un de tes objectifs pour la nouvelle année était de bloguer tous les jours, objectif que tu continue de remplir tous les jours et de manière exceptionnelle. Si le reste te paraît plus difficile, tu peux au moins te félliciter de cette victoire et de tout ce qu’elle t’apporte(ra). J’ai bien aimé ton idée du point-contrepoint et, comme toujours, la sincérité avec laquelle tu écris.

    1. Thanks for the offer, Jill! I did Core Yoga #1 the other day (from Yoga Download, where else?!) and it was really great. I highly recommend it, I felt so strong and calm afterward.

  4. girl sometimes my monthly goals are ‘too big’ and i lose track. sometimes you just need a goal for the day or week, and there’s nothing wrong with that. also, we definitely can’t overlook the things we do accomplish. like, i didn’t run today, but i did make some new blog drawings! that’s an accomplishment, right? 🙂

    1. That’s definitely an accomplishment because your blog drawings are the BEST. And maybe taking things day by day or week by week for a while is a good idea.

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