Clawing My Way Back

The cold (or whatever it actually was) pretty much knocked me out for the week, but I’m staggering back to my feet now. I almost feel whole again, that normal you always take for granted until all you can think about is sleep. Like, oh yeah, this is what it’s like to be awake and healthy and not lightheaded and dizzy and exhausted.

I have a tendency to rush back into things once I feel remotely well, but I’m trying to take it easy this time. No lifting until next week. Ease back into longer walks. Lots of sleep. Lots of liquids and tea.

I also have a tendency to start self-hating after a certain amount of inactivity, and the last three weeks have been everything inactive. First airplanes and airports, then family and cold weather, then this sickness. I feel puffy and my skirts are all tight and when I look in the mirror all I see is chub. If I let my brain idle, I start to think about how fat I am, how I should eat less, how I need to run myself ragged and go to the gym every day and walk until my legs hurt and go low carb and stop shoving food in my mouth –

I used to let that mantra go for days and weeks and months. I’ve learned to shut it down sooner and sooner, and I’m trying to snuff it out right as it starts. That’s part of this year’s resolution, this year’s desired feeling: healthy. But healthy starts with loving your body. Healthy starts with remembering what your body can do and what it needs.

And what my body needs right now is not to be nagged into health. It needs rest and love and understanding and opportunities for movement when it wants. It also needs good food, and not the cookies and bagels and ice cream I’ve been giving it.

It also needs to not be overwhelmed. Heck, I need to not be overwhelmed. I had all these plans for January, but we’re almost halfway through and I’m just now getting off my ass. So: breathe. Set small goals. A short French lesson here. A little writing there. And a long walk at the end of the day.

I’ll get there. I’m getting there. I just need a little more time.

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