With Ups and Downs

With Ups and Downs

In my last update, I shared what a horrible year I’d had, but how I was slowly climbing that mountain again.

Today, I want to share a thing about ups and downs. 

Because we don’t share downs online. We share stunning pictures when we’re traveling or have big smiles plastered on our faces when we’re out with friends. We post life updates when we start a new job, get married, or have babies. But we don’t share when we’re lying in bed all day because we’re too depressed to get up. How many bags of chips we’ve binged on to try and find comfort that week. How exhausted we are after only a 4-hour work day.

So here’s a down.

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It’s a slippery slope

In January and February, I was doing pretty well. I was going to the gym twice a week, I had my unhealthy snacking under control (somewhat, I still allowed myself 3 evenings a week of comfort eating, but limited it to a lot less than I would’ve). I was doing social things again.

But for some reason, in March, I slid back down that mountain like an avalanche.

I was exhausted. My cravings got the better of me. Instead of building my work hours, I didn’t even get to the hours I was supposed to. I was definitely not excited to do anything with my courses or try new things.

Why? I have no idea. It could be because I did too much in a short time. I went to Rotterdam by train (by myself) to visit one of my best friends for the weekend and went out for dinner with friends two nights in a row, plus I went for a long walk and tried going to the gym three times in a week (this all was spaced out over about two weeks at the end of February). Maybe I needed time to balance it out?

It could also just be because bad times happen.

But from slowly climbing, I slid down that slope. I didn’t feel it coming, it was just suddenly there. I didn’t fall back into depression (thank God), but I was definitely feeling dark.

I felt fat and disgusting, due to all the unhealthy food I was eating in an effort to comfort myself. Food has been a crutch for me since high school, but while I’m temporarily comforted when I’m eating all that bad food, I just loathe myself afterward. And that loathing lasts a lot longer than the comfort.

I was unmotivated. To get out of bed, to start work, to go to the gym, to go for walks, to start doing new things.

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Climbing again

But at the end of the month, I was fed up. This was supposed to be my year. I’m supposed to get better. Be more active and be happier.

So in April, my mom and I set ourselves a challenge to not eat chips, chocolate, cookies, candy (etc.) for a month.

Succeeding at this relatively simple thing (I wasn’t craving it because I’d felt so disgusting in March) helped my mindset so much. I felt so much better!

It motivated me to keep going to the gym and kick ass. To start cooking again (only once a week for now, but that’s more than before!) and learn new recipes. To do well at work and be productive, instead of ‘just doing my job’. To walk a little bit more.

A little over a month (37 days) later, I…

  • have gone to the gym 10 times (twice a week except when…)
  • …I traveled to Italy by myself to hang out with a friend in Naples for a week
  • where I walked an average of 15,000 steps every day and didn’t need weeks to recover from it
  • went to the theater by myself to see Avengers: Endgame
  • work 4 – 6 hours a day, instead of 2 to 3 hours
  • and don’t stress out about annoying customers or delays nearly as much (and fast) as I did before
  • pitched a new client
  • haven’t had chips (or anything we banned) since April 1st
  • lost 4.5 kg (10 lbs) without having to really diet and deprive me (still had pizza, pasta, and gelato every single day in Italy, yo!)
  • have not had any craving for chips/chocolate/etc.
  • tried a yoga class without knowing anyone or yoga (and loved it!)
  • have started planning two different trips abroad of at least a month
  • asked my manager for a performance review
  • am cooking a healthy meal every Saturday, and also do the planning and groceries
  • started going for walks at least three times a week

and I’m simply ready to try and do new things!

Still with baby steps of course, but I’m excited to build towards cooking more often, walking more, going to the gym three times a week, traveling again, blogging more, trying new activities, and being more productive at work (ideally without having to work more hours, lol).

So I’m definitely on a high right now, and I’m sure there will be a down again. But that’s normal. When I wasn’t sick, I’d have bad days, weeks, and even months too. The downs just weren’t as deep as they were in the past year and I didn’t have to be worried about falling back into depression.

It definitely feels good to improve my health and try to figure out what works for me now.

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