Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Underdog

Yesterday as I was leaving the gym, I felt so alive.  I was thinking of the lyrics of a song I used to fire me up when I was doing my final 5k.  The lyrics were from a FloRida song, Good Feeling:
/Giving up's not an option, gotta get it in
witness I got the heart of 20 men
no fear, go to sleep in the lion's den/
And I realized that I felt strong because I was doing something that was contributing to my strength. 
This morning when my alarm went off at 4:30 am I felt exactly opposite as I did yesterday.  The strength training I did yesterday made me sleep so deep that I was disoriented when the alarm went off, and I made the decision to go back to sleep.  I was still exceptionally tired when I woke, and I beat myself up a little for not taking the opportunity to get some work done, especially since the food side of yesterday challenged me every step of the way, but I prevailed over it.  I thought, what was yesterday for, if I'm just going to be lazy today?  I wondered why I keep knocking myself down, why I keep standing in my own way of making my dream happen. 
I started thinking about food, and how it has been such a hindrance for me, such a horribly misused drug.  I think I will always fall into the same vicious cycles of ups and downs until I spend some time examining my relationship with food.  Sounds absurd to call it a relationship, but it is filling an emotional place in me, so it's fitting I guess.  I need to get to the root of why I turn to food, and impliment some healthier (and more effective, to be honest) ways to handle my emotions.  On-track vs not on track, food is a very different entity in my mind.  When I'm on track, food is a tool, a way to keep my muscles vital and to keep my stomach from getting the dreaded nausea-hunger it gets when I am eating clean.  When I am off track, it is all about pleasure.  I want to eat as much as I want of the very thing that (at the moment) will make me feel the most pleasure.  It is a guilty, taboo, rebellious feeling and like food itself, I have a love-hate relationship with it. 
I think in the end, it comes down to focus.  When I am so burnt-out from the rest of my life, I don't have the energy or the drive to focus on what often feels like deprivation.  I like the idea of being on target most of the time, but giving into small temptations when they arise, but my problem is stopping at one serving, or two servings.  In my house, if we have a bag of candy, we generally eat it in one sitting until it's gone.  That is how I grew up too.  My parents were far too young when they started our family, with my older sister being born when my mother was 17, and I just before my mom turned 19, so to say they were poor is a dramatic understatement.   Treats and goodies were really rare in my household, but when we did have them, we ate until we were sick.  I know some of my food issues go way back to those days, maybe in an attempt to cover up or sweeten some of the very dark thoughts I had about my life back then.  And maybe some of it is just assuring myself that we have what we need to get by, that we are not going to starve, even when things are the most bleak.  I have even given thought to the popular theories about fat being a protective, warm blanket that shelters us from the cruel world.  I can't take that argument at face value, I do think there is a protective factor of the actions behind what makes us fat (ie, the freedom we afford ourselves when we are not holding ourselves accountable for our health), but I don't believe for a second that being fat makes us feel comfortable.  What it does is set us up for more failure because we figure, I'm already a fat blob, I might as well eat whatever I want.  At least, that's how it works in my little world.
As I said, I have food issues that I need to start focusing on.  I ate totatlly on-plan for two days now, the sugar addiction is broken again.  I know I will eat whatever I want this weekend when I am away, and that is already in the plan so I don't count it as a failure, but I still have plenty of work to do. 
I liken myself to a boxer, the underdog who keeps losing.  But you know what underdogs do when they lose?  They take time to heal their wounds, and they step back into the ring, because underdogs always have something to prove to the world.  I know in myself that I am a bulldog, a fighter, both passionate and a brute.  I have something left to prove, and I'm almost done licking my wounds and getting ready to go.  I don't care how many rounds, how many fights it takes, one day I'll get my feel-good ending.
Happy Wednesday Champs!

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