Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wind up that chick and get a moving

While doing some shopping for Easter items a few weeks ago, I purchased a little fuzzy wind-up baby chick toy for the “Yorkie”, named G.G., in my life. I figured it would amuse her, for a few minutes anyway, to watch it waddle across the floor. I was right, and when I wound it up and put it down, she barked and carried on as if it were a real bird.

Yesterday morning I wound the little toy up and smiled as I watched it move across the floor. Every so often, the little chick would topple over on its side and the legs would just keep moving away, getting nowhere. I’d pick it back up and set it right side up and away it would go again. Often, it would run out of “juice” before it went very far, and I’d have to wind it up again.

That silly little toy provided me with a few minutes of ‘entertainment’ (hey, what do you expect, I just finished my college semester and I’ve been deprived of “amusement” for several months now …J). The “food for thought” those few minutes inspired, however, lingered on long after the novelty wore off and the dog walked away bored.

As I’ve been sharing in recent posts, these past several weeks have been a bit challenging for me, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I’ve felt over-extended, exhausted, emotionally drained, and all-around a bit “off my game.” Certainly the lousy weather for weeks now in northern Michigan has played a role. I let myself lose focus for a little while but fought to stay on track. I shared a couple of days ago that I ate four protein bars in one day, an act of emotional eating at its worst. I felt like that little baby chick that had toppled over and lay there kicking its feet but not getting anywhere. Fortunately I’m right-side-up again and am back on track!

I kept thinking about the little toy yesterday, and throughout the night, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of our journey. So many times along the way we experience a similar situation. We get “wound up” (in a good way) with motivation, momentum, and determination and we are ready to do whatever it takes to succeed. We plow full-steam ahead; eating right, getting exercise, counting calories, making better choices, etc.  Perhaps we go several days in a row without a cigarette or drink. Perhaps we stick to the plan and lose 5 or 10 pounds. Maybe we manage to pay off a credit card or earn a 30-day chip, or even fit into a smaller size.  All is going well…..we are seeing progress…..we are feeling good…..and THEN….we hit a snag (a spot in the carpet that isn’t smooth enough to keep going; we run into a piece of furniture; or worse yet, we run out of “juice”) and we just topple over. I’ve felt so much like that baby chick lately, kicking my legs and not getting ANYPLACE! Does anyone know what I mean????

It is during these times, when we feel off track, that we need to ‘dig deep” and do whatever necessary to get right-side-up again and back moving in the right direction. Sometimes it’s okay to just ‘kick those legs for a bit” and give yourself a breather or a time-out, but ultimately, we know that engaging in that  behavior won’t get us to the place we want to be.  I had a couple of weeks like that….not eating like I should; not wanting to do any type of activity; not getting enough rest….and almost giving into temptation and doing some STUPID things in ALL areas of my life. I wanted to call in to work sick, stay in my pajamas, and eat a carton of ice-cream…just take a “time-out or Theresa for ONE day”…but I didn’t!   That would have only made things worse.

For me, it is in those times…..(keep in mind, that WE ALL have them, even those of us further along the journey)…that I need to draw strength from my faith. I allowed myself some time to ‘regroup” to feel the emotion and confusion, to process the fear and doubt about my future, and to contemplate the value of this journey. Certainly life was less “complicated” 250 pounds ago. I gave myself permission to take a mental time-out, but not a very long one….and then it was back to the plan.

So….How did I get right-side-up again?  How did I get “wound back up” (in a good way)? I prayed and reflected and I allowed GRATITUDE to overtake temptation and fatigue. I focused on all the blessings in my life. I concentrated on the people that make my journey meaningful. I looked at photos of “Old Theresa” and I reminded myself of the life I left behind.  And I thanked GOD…humbly and sincerely, for the gift of this miracle. I repeated over and over in my mind….each time I walked down the hall to the bathroom at work, each time I found myself weary or tempted, each time I felt any kind of negative emotion….. “Thank you, Lord…Thank you, Lord….you have SET ME FREE!  Thank you, Lord, Thank you, Lord….for this VICTORY!”  Over and over again.  Or one of my favorites: “Not by might, nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT says the Lord.”  I replaced anxiety, doubt, and negativity….with sincere gratitude.

I also reminded myself of the motivation I had when I began my journey; the same motivation I have today: I WANT TO WALK. At 400 pounds, I couldn’t physically walk more than a couple of steps. Now, I struggle with peripheral neuropathy and my feet are numb and painful 24-hours a day. I often wonder how long it will be before I lose the ability to walk.  Therefore….my motivation to keep on track is the same now…. I WANT TO WALK.  I want to do whatever I can….experience all the wonders around me….tell my story in all the ways that I have been given……see all the places… all the people…..enjoy all the things….that I can. Life is VERY SHORT!  And the only way I’m going to do that is to STAY FOCUSED….do what I need to do.....allow others and God to “wind me back up”, to give me momentum and energy….to draw on His grace and power… that, like that little baby chicken…..I can move in the right direction and just keep on going as far as I can. 

SO, my friends…..if you happen to be one, who like me, has been “knocked on your feet”, “bumped into a wall” or have been feeling “out-of-sorts”, take comfort in knowing that ….IT WILL PASS…..It is only temporary… are entitled to a ‘break” once in a while. But do whatever you need to do to get RIGHT SIDE UP AGAIN!  You’ll never get ANYWHERE when you lie there kicking (and screaming).  I’m back and heading in the right direction now. My classes are finished; I’ve gone three days without a protein bar; I’m back to lifting my weights and walking; and LIFE IS GOOD! 

This coming week will be an exciting one. I have a magazine feature story debuting on Tuesday and a big speaking engagement out of town on Friday. I hope it is a good week for you as well. Now wind up that “chick” within and get a moving!  You can do it!!!!!