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Conflicted Decision Made

Posted May 22 2011 7:31pm

Hello my lovely readers!

I hope everyone had a nice weekend and are enjoying the remaining part of it on this rather dreary Sunday (at least that’s what it’s like in the Northeast)! If you are catching up, I hosted a family get together with my grandma and ma and had such a wonderful time. I received such positive comments on that post, and seriously, every single person’s response made me smile :) You guys helped to make the evening even more meaningful by helping me to recognize how far I have come along in this journey. Thank you all so much!

However, this is where the title of the post comes in and what’s going on. Yesterday, I literally spent the entire morning and well into the afternoon sitting on my butt. I slept until 10:00 am (huge deal for me!) got up and came downstairs to find my brother, two of his friends and my grandmother and mom in the kitchen cooking breakfast. Now, if this scene had taken place a year ago and I woken up to find random people in the house “disrupting” my morning routine, I would have been very pissed off. I like to enjoy at least 15 minutes of my morning alone, sipping coffee and reading some blogs. This is my “Tessa” time that I don’t like to have disrupted, this is clearly my binding, structured routine coming into play.

When I came down the stairs yesterday morning, I saw everyone, started to get mad but then calmed myself down. I talked to myself (crazy person status) and had to remind myself that this was a normal situation and it’s fine to have mornings that don’t go exactly as planned! Throughout this journey toward recovery, I have slowly but surely letting obsessive tendencies go, and this was just another step in a positive direction. I walked into the kitchen with my head held high and socialized, had breakfast with everyone (they had omelets and I made oatmeal) and had a great Saturday morning. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had breakfast with others, as it is something I have been avoiding for quite some time. Eating with others is difficult for me, but it’s getting easier the more I do it!

Sorry, that was a bit of a tangent, back to the subject of the post! I have talked about this several times on the blog, the mud run I did last May. It was one of the most fun races I have ever participated in and the memories remain with me… and that’s where the third picture in my header is from! For the past two ish months, I have been planning to run this race again and signed up for it sometime in March. Well the race occurred earlier today, and well I did not run in it.

There are several (very good) reasons for deciding last minute to not participate in the race and yet… I am still dwelling negatively on the decision I made. I am not the kind of person that gives up or quits very easily. When I decide something is going to happen, I try my very best to accomplish whatever it is to the best of my ability. I believe this mindset is part of the reason why I am so “good” at restricting myself from certain foods and over exercising. I have crazy control over myself and this is clearly not always beneficial. Therefore, when I decided to not race in the Mad Mud Run, it was and still is a rather big deal.

One of the main reasons I didn’t run this morning was because of the exhaustion I have been feeling lately. I wrote about this a few weeks back, and although I am slightly less tired, the fatigue is still lingering. I made a major step today by listening to my body and realizing how much I needed to give it a rest. This morning’s race would not have been about speed, but it still would have been physically demanding with climbing over walls, running up very steep hills, net challenges, balance beams, and other obstacles. Yes it would have been a thrilling event, but one that most likely would have left me even more tired.

Another explanation was the elated feeling I was still experiencing from the previous nights party. I loved how “normal” the night was, a simple and entertaining night with family and friends, where I had a great time and laughed, unfamiliar and long lost feelings. I wanted to continue this “high” I had fallen into, so when my brother Tucker asked me to go into Boston with him and his friends that night, my mind started racing with conflicting views. On the one hand, I wanted to stay home, get to bed early, wake up for the race the next day and hopefully survive without my legs collapsing from under me. On the other hand, I only get to see Tucker a few times a year, and I had the chance to party in Boston with people my age. Again, such a normal thing to do on a Saturday night in your 20s, yet I was so reluctant to decide.

After contemplating and weighing both of my options, I remembered how wonderful I had felt the night before and that I wanted to keep holding on to those feelings. I fought with myself for awhile, arguing both sides- 1) running in a race where I know I am going to be exhausted, or 2) spend a night out with my brother in a city, something I have never experienced before! Even after Tucker told me that we would have to stay over at a friend’s apartment if we went in, I made the decision to join him.

That’s right, I partied in Boston last night, after going out the evening before, and was okay (ish) staying over some random man’ house (my brother’s friend) I didn’t know! Now this might not be a big deal to some, but it was a humongous one for me, especially the sleeping over business. I can honestly not remember the last time I have slept away from a comfortable, familiar setting, either my room at school, my house in my town, or my dad’s place when I visit. My controlling mentality certainly plays a starring role in this situation. Obviously I don’t like when my routine is disturbed in anyway, so the idea of sleeping in an unfamiliar location is simply terrifying… talk about being out of control. I was guaranteed an air mattress to sleep on and the apartment was not some creepy, dirty, gross guy’s place which helped to quell my anxiety.

Overall the night was fine. It was not spectacularly fun yet not terrible either, it was just a normal social Saturday night in the city. We stayed out until 2:30 am and by that time I was practically falling asleep where I stood. We made it back to the friend’s apartment and I fell asleep within minutes, waking up a few hours later around 10. Once again my controlling routine was tested because before my brother and I drove home, we went out to breakfast. Immediately the scared and anxious voices erupted in my head, yelling warnings at me that nothing on the menu would be alright for me to eat, and I perhaps coffee would be my only option. However, I shut those voices up, looked over the menu and ordered a normal breakfast of oatmeal topped with strawberries and blueberries. It was very healthy and this helped to prove that there was no reason to fret all along.

It was on the drive back that I started to feel “off” about the decision I had made to go out in Boston and skip the race. Initially, I was thrilled with the choice I had made as I had really stepped out of my comfort zone and woke up the next morning the same weight and in one piece. Unfortunately the all too familiar guilty feelings seeped into my mind- that I had chose being social over exercise, that I had eaten breakfast without exercising before, that I had made the decision to drink and act like a normal 2o-something year old. Basically that I chose being “fat” and unhealthy as opposed to fitness and health, something I had not done in… well a very freakin long time.

To be honest, the guilty feelings have lingered with me all day. I have been in a foul mood since returning home because I am letting myself dwell on the “missed” race and the fact that I overate and drank for a few days without compensating it with copious amounts of exercise. I feel fat. I was going crazy earlier, unable to tolerate my own thoughts, and yet still trying to listen to my body to take a rest day. In the end I decided to drive to the gym and simply walk on the treadmill while reading a magazine, just to get do something. As always after exercising, I felt so much better and returned home in a much better mood.

Writing about this is also helping to alleviate my horrible piss mood from earlier. As I talk about this, I providing myself with evidence that I made the correct decision to skip the race and go out with my brother. For such a long time now, I have chosen exercise and structure over indulgences, food and spontaneity. Yes the former of these has provided me with some kind of sick comfort, the routine has obviously done nothing to improve my overall well-being. Last night I took a chance, I went with the flow, and although it was not the most fantastic time I have ever had, I took a chance and spent time with my family, met new people and had a new experience. The race would have of course been a memorable time and I’m sure I would have gained some great memories. But I know the run would have been an exhausting struggle and most likely, I would have regretted not trying something new.

This whole weekend has provided me with so many different lessons and answers. I won’t lie, it has been a struggle, as I was constantly battling the disordered eating voices that were raging in my head. They were telling me to not take a chance with new foods, go out past my “bed time,” drink a bit, spend time with family and friends, because doing so would make me FAT! I mean, choose being social as opposed to running, exercising and burning calories?! I don’t think so! But NO. I fought against these and acted like a NORMAL young woman who is trying to enjoy that all of life has to offer. This will never be accomplished if I do the same damn thing day in and day out.

This truly is a journey that is going to be hard at times and will not always be perfect. For example, when I chose to go out on Saturday night and not race the next day, I felt that I HAD to run that afternoon to really enjoy my night out. The need I feel to restrict and exercise is not going to suddenly go away, it is a process that I simply have to keep working through. I have got to get it through my stubborn mindset that it is okay to shake things up and to become involved in things that are different! Weight gain will not be the result if I choose not to run or exercise for a few days or if I eat and drink more every so often. These changes could actually result in amazing memories and life experiences that I would not have had otherwise.

Please remember to take a chance, modify things, break out of your routine, because if you do not, what will you remember years from now? If I don’t continue to change and recover, my memories will be filled with the food I have not allowed myself to eat, the enormous amount of exercise I have participated in, and the sheltered life I have lived.Nothing terrible happened to me this by mixing things up for the past few days. Yes, I was in an awful mood earlier because like I said, the disordered eating will take time to work through. Recognizing this and the where my thoughts are coming from, allows me to work through them and I am excited to continue battling this!




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