Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends

I feel so good today - for the first time since last fall, I got up and walked to my morning AA mtg and then back afterward.  I didn't plan it, but when the inspiration hit at 5 a.m. it was like a divinely planted suggestion to which I said YES!  It's about 5 miles total, and usually I can only do this on weekends because I have to be at work at 8:30 and the meeting ends at 8.  However, I'm on spring vacation this week so I have the luxury of UNSTRUCTURED TIME, which is surely the most underrated commodity on the face of the planet.  Glorious to not have to be anywhere at a certain time unless I want to be!

I haven't been exercising near enough - just around 2 mile walks, if anything at all.  My planned trip to the gym yesterday didn't happen because..........because I continued to debate in my mind whether or not when I was going to go.  The minute I enter into debate with the lazy wench within, all bets are off, and dollars to donuts I'll not act on my own behalf.  But a couple of things from yesterday impacted me so positively that I took a different tack today, and it paid off.

First thing was at my AA meeting yesterday morning.  A fairly new guy shared at the end of the meeting.  This guy is really bright, pretty young (mid to late 30's maybe), and extremely overweight.  Obviously it's an AA mtg so food issues aren't discussed, but he usually manages to talk about his early recovery in a way that evidences to me he's also working on his food issues.  Like I do.

What he said was that he felt so good because he'd gotten up early and walked the way he "intends" to every day, but often doesn't.  He reported that when he first awoke, the thought of the walk was immediately followed by the "decision" that he'd do it "later".  He went on to say that all of a sudden, he sat up and said, "NO.  I'm just going to do it and not debate it.  If I start the debate in my mind about whether or not to do this simple thing, every decision I make for the rest of the day will be similar, and I won't make the best decisions for myself.

Maybe that doesn't sound like such a big deal, but it hit me square between the eyes.  YES.  No exercise yields debate about food choice, which yields debate about snacking, which yields debate about selecting crackers or junkier items rather than fresh healthy fruit and veggies, which yields more sketchy and  anti-self-care behavior over that which promotes my health and well being.  It was pretty deep for this blogger to ponder.

Second was a comment from the wonderful Biz, who reminded me of a post by Helen from Monday April 11th titled INO, which stands for "It's not an option".  It's a great post (check it out if you haven't read it), and I thank Biz for reminding me of it and telling me how much it's helped her.  And of course I thank Helen for the notion of countering my lazy overeating inner voice with the INO phrase when a self defeating thought/compulsion presents itself to my consciousness.  

Both the aforementioned mind shifts helped me this morning when the inspiration to walk to the meeting hit, and rather than turning over and pulling down the shade on such a potentially beneficial divine suggestion, I heeded it.

Can I tell you how much better I feel physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually for having gotten out and hoofed it to and from the meeting?  By the time I got there, I could already feel a shift in the sort of funk that has been looming in my periphery, and by the time I returned, I felt like a new woman.  They say exercise is the best remedy for depression, and while I wouldn't claim to have been depressed, the funk has contributed to my overall inertia regarding self care.  Also, my knees feel really good, and I know that the more they move, the better for my osteoarthritis.  They feel positively normal!  Gotta love it, and I do :).

The plan - more of the same tomorrow.  My food was great yesterday.  The walking substantially increased the odds that the rest of my choices for today will be good, including going to my meditation group tonight after dinner.  This could be a very good day.


  1. Being proactive is a vital part of taking charge of ourselves in my opinion. We KNOW we are going to face the challenge of whether or not to get moving. We KNOW we are going to consider eating when it would not be wise. We KNOW we shouldn't get too tired, too angry, too lonely. We need to get ahead of these things just like you did and the new guy in AA did. We also KNOW these are the things that help us be successful. I wonder what a good acronym for KNOW would be to say to ourselves when stuff happens? Any suggestions?

  2. It really is amazing how making that first good decision just leads to it being easier to make "best interest" decisions all the rest of the day.

    And to thank you and the Universe - I was in the process of having that same inner discussion with me about going to the gym at lunch. Obviously, sitting at my desk won - until now. I'm heading out to the gym. Thank you, Leslie and AA guy.

  3. Isn't it amazing how when we do what we should do, in the first place, everything else seems to align? Enjoy your unstructured time - structure will be back soon enough!

  4. GOOD for you for "hoofing it." And...I never thought about the option thing before. I really didn't. Thank you for sharing that!

  5. It still amazes me how good doing the right thing makes me feel. Why, oh why, don't I do it more often.

    Thanks for the comment this morning.

  6. I'm smiling because I hear you smiling:)

  7. You can probably appreciate this: Yesterday I woke up with my alarm to go to the pool, got up, brushed my teeth and had my bathing suit halfway on and thought "I should just do this later" - talk about not committing...I was 3/4 of the way there!!! We can be our own worst enemies, but I like it better when we act like friends to ourselves. Your walk to AA sounds like a perfect way to start your day. :)

  8. very good post

    PS - you could drive to meeting site the night before, leave your car, walk home, walk back for your meeting in the morning and then drive to work (assuming no heavy rain in forecast)

  9. I had a moment at the top of the basement stairs thinking of putting off whatever I was going down to get. I said to myself "we don't avoid stairs anymore" and ran down and back up. I wonder how many times the internal debate has taken longer than the actual trip to the basement?????? :) SO proud of you. You sound GREAT!

  10. Hi Leslie!! I am so far behind in my blog reading - hope you had a nice spring break - and love that you decided to walk to AA - walking always puts me in a better mood! :D