Monday, May 16, 2011

I might be quitting my circus act.

Have you ever felt like changing things in your life requires a precarious walk across a tightrope, and one step in the wrong direction can throw you off course, tumbling to the ground?    I feel like I have been walking that tightrope for SO LONG, and today....I think I stepped off.....and nothing happened.   Perhaps this tightrope is just an illusion and the path to change is simply wider and a little easier to navigate than that.

I tend to work well in very tight parameters with very clear rules.   If you move more and eat less...you will change your body.   If you eat healthier and make better choices, you will lose weight.   And the list goes on....   I like these rules.    They work.   They get me moving in the direction that I want to go.     But the problem is...when I set rules.....I inevitably end up straying from them....and then find myself tumbling to the ground.   And honestly....no one can live by the rules that I set.   They just aren't realistic.

So....a little background and then the moral of this story of stepping off and not falling.  

Eight weeks ago I started working with a new trainer.   His name is Jonathon and he's really a super guy, although he kicks my a$$ once a week.   I made a new commitment to working out with him, and have been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week.   I also made a new commitment to eating better and really putting forth effort to change habits....and I have been STELLAR at following my new set of rules for the most part.   I've lost some weight, some inches, and generally am doing well.   But then...a slight change in the wind and the rope began to shake.

This past weekend was a family event that involved me eating outside of the  safety zone of home I had set up for myself and wasn't going to give me opportunity to exercise in the fashion I have been.   I went back home...ate food off the safe list.....drank beverages off the safe list.....didn't go to the gym....and threw caution to the wind.   I gave up a little of the precious control I cling to that gives the illusion of balance, let myself waiver a little, and stepped to the side a bit.

The funny thing is...and I attribute this to the journey I have been on for the past year or so...is that I didn't fall.   I didn't wake up this morning with a feeling of dread.   I knew I had to go meet Jonathon, and that he was going to weigh me.   I knew that because of the dietary changes I would probably be up in weight slightly, and.....here's the kicker folks.....I didn't panic.   I didn't freak out.   I regained my footing and continued down the walk.

I got up...went to the gym.    Told my trainer about my weekend and that I fully expected a weight gain...got weighed....worked out....came home, and continued the work I started.   I ate well, I didn't obsess, and had a good day.

So, when I really stopped to think about this tonight, I realized that maybe the rope is widening into more of a plank.   Something that is a little easier to navigate.    Something that is more realistic to walk on, and is leading me to the life that I want.   I stepped a little to the side over the weekend, and instead of falling to the ground in a heap, I simply regained a different footing and moved forward.   Something new.   Something kinda cool.   Something much more tolerable than the mental beating I would have given myself in an earlier version of this life.    

So what I am wondering is if it might be time to quit my circus act.   Maybe tightrope walking isn't for me....maybe there is a kinder path for me to take.    One with less strict rules, one with wiggle room.   One that won't send me tumbling when I take a step to the side.  It's not nearly as exciting or "death defying" but it's certainly more sane, and isn't that what I'm looking for?