heat waves + herniations.

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Let’s talk exercise.

Personally, I like exercising.  I love a nice brisk walk and before I gained all this weight, I even enjoyed some mild to moderately strenuous hiking.  I’ve been trying to get back into it as well as working in some strength training.  That was, until I had two roadblocks land in my lap this week.

First, my sleepy little hometown was hit with a disgusting heat wave.  I know that some people thrive in warm temps and sunshine, but not me.  My ideal weather is cool, maybe 50s or 60s fahrenheit and at least partly overcast.  My all-too-fair complexion needs a combination of SPF 1000 and cloud cover to be completely protected.  I’m even a fan of rain and snow.  But heat and humidity are an oppressive kind of hell for me.

So when my thermometer spiked to a record 90+ in the end of May, I was less than impressed.  Especially considering the fact that there was snow in my yard only about 6 weeks prior to that.  This kind of heat causes an energy-zapping phenomenon inside my body.  Just walking outside, I develop a thin layer of sweat over my entire body.  My eyes gets heavy and my emotional fuse gets much shorter.  My enthusiasm for outdoor activities drops exponentially as the temperature increases.

Two days after this heat wave, my mole hill became a big ol’ mountain when I tweaked my back while doing some chores on the farm.  Evaluation of my condition revealed a herniated disc in my lower spine.  I’ve been doing some exercises at home and taking my NSAIDs religiously with some manageable pain.  My biggest struggle is bending to put pants and socks on so I’ve spent my entire work week in comfy maxi dresses.

I gave myself the week off from exercise and looking back, I regret it.  I had been making progress and I let myself down.  My biggest weakness is my ability to find a good excuse.  While my back pain is legitimately limiting, I failed to evaluate the alternatives to strenuous exercise that could keep me on track.

I’m not putting myself down for this.  I have a long road ahead of me.  But, I’m also taking some time on this beautiful cool, rainy day to reflect on what I can do better and how I can do better.  I’ve come to realize that this is more mind over matter than I ever considered.  My addiction to food is as powerful as my aversion to fitness.  Neither will get me to where I need to be.

So, how do I revolutionize my mindset?  I guess, if I had the answer, I’d be making millions upon billions of dollars teaching my magical method to the world.  Instead, I’m another statistic amid millions of overweight Americans.  I’m searching for the end to my woes, and the cure to my bad habits.  If I could continuously remind myself that I can control my thoughts and actions every time I think I’m hungry or tired or hurt, I’d probably be okay.  It’s the moments of weakness in between my repetitive mantras of positivity that betray me.

As a new week approaches, this is my new goal.  In addition to the eating right and exercising that will make the ultimate difference on the scale, I’m going to focus on rewiring my brain.  I’m going to learn how to ignore the hunger pangs that boredom created.  I’m going to override this false idea that relaxation occurs best when seated firmly on the couch and instead, learn to relax and find calm in being active.

If you think this sounds overwhelming, trust me when I say that it absolutely is.  That’s part of the reason I haven’t addressed it and 100% of the reason that I spiraled out of control with my weight.  If I want to fix this, I have to start at the most basic, cellular level and work my way out.  I can do this, but it’s going to be an intense struggle.

In lighter news, I am 12 weeks away from marrying my soul mate and I’m excited to continue this journey and make myself look and feel beautiful on my big day!

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