Oops! I sure didn't intend to be MIA for more than a month, but I'm bursting back into your lives on a ray of sunshine! I'm thrilled to tell you that the dark clouds of sadness are behind me, and I'm feeling about a million times better than I did in the fall!
The truth is I've been feeling better for a while now, but I didn't want to say anything about it lest I jinx myself. Fear of relapse hung over my head like an aura of impending doom. When I was first coming to grips with what was going on inside my head, I was dreading the holiday season. It's common knowledge that the holidays can be difficult if you're dealing with stress or sadness. I've struggled through the holidays with grief before, and was not looking forward to a similar season of sadness.
Then an amazing thing began to happen -- as I lowered my expectations of holiday joy, and embraced the truest causes for celebration (my faith and my family), I started to feel okay. I didn't feel GREAT...but I felt okay. And I felt a teensy bit more okay each day. As much as I'd wanted to hide from the world when I was at my lowest point, I decided to take a "fake it till you make it" approach, and force myself to go through the motions of everyday life. Surprise! This approach actually worked, and the more I thrust myself into holiday preparations, the more I felt the season's cheer. I had a very merry and blessed Christmas, and I thank God for granting me that grace.
Unfortunately, the fear of relapse still lingered. Even though I embraced the new year with optimism and a very positive resolution, I worried that once the holidays were over, the bleak, dark winter would seep into my psyche and bring me back down. Maybe the mild weather worked in my favor (though I have been longing for a good snow!), because somehow I never did slip back into the darkness! Instead I have continued to gain strength and return to what I would consider a "normal" state of mind.
I still have bad days, and stress, and feel overwhelmed at times, but it all has a very different feel to it than it did last fall. I realize fully how "off" things were then, compared to how much more clear my head is now. There are days when I'm feeling down or grumpy, and all of a sudden I have this moment of clarity where I realize that my thoughts are not completely irrational and I don't feel CRAZY! Then I get so happy about not feeling crazy that I just have to smile, before resuming my perfectly normal bad mood.
Life is good, and I am thankful.
So now it's time to get back on track in all the ways in which I had come undone. This year, in addition to focusing on my highest priorities of faith and family, I will be working on making my finances more stable, my home cleaner, and my life more organized. What I'm doing differently now is tying all of these facets of my life in with my health (instead of making health/fitness its own, lower-priority category). I want to take a more integrated approach to my health, because it's so important, and so interrelated with everything else. When you feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, etc., you are better equipped to handle any curveballs that life throws your way. Meanwhile, it's easier to make your health a priority when you feel confident that other aspects of your life are not spiralling out of control.
From here forward, this blog is going to cover more topics than just exercise or weight loss. I'm still going to talk about those things, but I'm also going to include my thoughts on an array of other subjects. I still want the focus to be health, so I'm not going to start posting a bunch of random junk. Well, it might be junk, but it won't be completely random. ;-) Just don't be surprised to see posts on such topics as teaching kids good nutrition, healthy ways to deal with stress, or how I incorporate prayer into my fitness routine, just to name a few examples off the top of my head. I hope to write much more often, and I'll try to include more pictures and graphics to make the blog more visually interesting. As always, I will welcome your comments and feedback.
Oh yeah....and I'm still aiming for a triathlon, so don't think I've given up my dream! I'll post again soon about my event goals for 2012. I hope to "tri" sometime this year! I might as well, right? :)