A Shift

Being closely in tune with your body has its ups and downs. Frequent body scans let me know when certain areas of my body are holding stress. Sometimes I can make adjustments, but sometimes I have to simply accept that I feel off and hope that eventually the off-ness goes away with time.

Often I ignore the things my body is telling me and “push through” whatever discomfort, stress, or pain I’m experiencing. This ignoring of stress became a big problem after my mom passed away and I kept trying to run, work, be a mom, be a wife, and essentially, “do it all.”

Physically I felt wrong. Mentally I felt very wrong. I tried everything to feel better. I tried talk therapy. I tried yoga. I tried meditation. Eventually I was exhausted from trying to feel better. I went to the doctor. With her guidance, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, something I now recognize that I have dealt with on and off my entire life.

I went on what my husband refers to as my focus medication, in addition to my anxiety medication. The combination of these medications stopped the panic attacks virtually overnight. They allowed my head to clear. I could think linearly. I accomplished tasks that I had put off for months and even years. This clearing of the head also made me realize something. So much of my identity was tied to feeling weird and crazy and manic. I ran to fight off the crazy. I drank coffee to fight off the exhaustion and busy brain. With the new mental freedom created by my medications, I decided to make two big changes…

I stopped running. As of today, I have not run since July 26th. And I stopped drinking an unhealthy amount of coffee. Instead of 8 cups a day, I drink one large cup only in the morning.

And I feel amazing. Even though I’m not running, I’m still moving my body every day. I’m walking. And when I say walking…I mean WALKING. Power walking with a purpose.

In the month of August, I walked a minimum of 3 miles every day. I walked a total of 135 miles for 31 days. Between the medications controlling my food fixations and the walking being less stressful on my body but still burning calories, I’ve lost 10 lbs! I saw some incredible sunrises too.

The moral of this story…if you feel off and you’ve tried everything, try evaluating the activities you see as part of your identity. Maybe those activities are actually toxic and clinging to them is contributing to the problem, instead of helping it.