Dealing with Setbacks

Posted January 3, 2019 by Graceful Serendipity in Life Challenges / 0 Comments

I wrote the introduction in June thinking I would be discussing minor setbacks.  Lurkers and those enchanted by details would notice the post was never published. Instead, it lingered in the draft section of my blog, turning to dust. Behold, at the original introduction:

About a month ago, I had this lovely plan to share my weight loss strategy to readers. I came up with a system, that I thought was working. There were a few minor setbacks and health issues, that barred me from exercising, but overall I was ecstatic.

Then I had to take grad school courses again to help me with a career goal of mine. Originally, I chose the online courses, so I could better manage my time. However, the university’s last minute changes to the department changed my online course to an in person class on Monday and Wednesday night on top of my other obligations. I was bogged down with work and the grad school course load.

Needless to say, exercising became a fantasy.

As my stress increased, so did my negative eating habits. Terrible food issues since high school have plagued me. I am a grown woman who still battles with food during periods of heavy stress. Once I combat them, I can accomplish anything. Whereas in high school I restricted what I ate staying a slim stick figure with no curves, in graduate school I ate to survive. During my second stint in grad school, I swore I conquered these demons.

I eat. I  don’t eat. I’ll overeat. My husband has seen me bring back most of my lunch, because I was too busy. That is what stress does and how I cope with it. Late night ice cream runs to simply deal with the fact that I will be up late working on some new research paper, as my current job is intense and requires more than the average 8 hour work day. Waking up by 5:30 am to get to work early to find decent parking is the norm. If I’m not careful, I can still be at work at 4 or 5 p.m.

End results?

I am at my largest and for me personally, that is the largest size I can allow myself to be. I won’t tell you that number, not because I’m embarrassed, but because if you’re reading this and need help what good will it do for you if my number is smaller than your number? Are you weaker? Uglier? Truly, what good can that number do?

So, what is the life lesson in all of this? Two actually. I know what issues I will need to work on this upcoming year, but two I know now that our demons can be vanquished, but they lurk. We are mere vessels and chinks in our armor come out to destroy us.

My goal was for a healthier 2018, but my health corroded and crashed several times and the weight gain exacerbated all theses issues.

Secret’s Out. Now On To Better Things.

So, what is the lesson in all of this? Get up. Get up and try again. I don’t have a diet issue-I have food issues. With  stress issues, no diet or exercise plan in the world can work if my inner voices are working against me. Until I learn to deal with my triggers, anything I plan is a mere fantasy.

Dealing with destructive behaviors is exhausting, because it never ends. Whether you’ve dealt with alcohol or drug addiction…sex or gaming…it’s all the same. You turn to these sources, because it helps you numb the true problem. And once you deal with it, you have to be aware that sometimes there are downturns in life. Low hills and battles that you are not prepared for.

You may fall.

But I’m telling you, get back up.

Figure out what is causing you to react that way. Find that therapist. Take those classes. Invest in a self-care strategy that will help you deal with stress. Most importantly, forgive yourself.

This is not a road with one destination. It has curves and detours, but only you can decide whether you want to be stalled on the shoulder or willing to find the nearest exit to ask for help.

I’m getting back up.

I thought I conquered my food issues, but I lost a major battle recently, and its okay. All my progress? Gone. My choices are to either continue blaming myself or do something. I am choosing to believe that I can fight this again. I am choosing to believe in me.

And if I can start over, I believe you can too. So get up, stand up, and once again take that all important first step.



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