nothing and no one is fixed

by ann

_20140126.FarmShare.1This past week was a doozy.

Since I made a decision to focus on eating healthier and exercising more, I have been eager to see results. Now. It’s impractical but the sense of elatedness that rushes through when I jump on the scale and see the numbers go down is addicting. And to have that number rise right back up the next evening absolutely frustrating. Especially when you eat cleaner the second night.

There were moments I felt defeated. I skipped workouts. I ate a pain au chocolat. Mostly I am uncertain of everything. Insecurities about my ability to be consistent in my healthy habits pester me and ebb into other parts of my life, like doubting the endurance I’ll need for the hard month of midterms to come and the board exam soon after.

I want to get things right and because of that desire to be perfect every step of the way I fear every morsel I eat and wonder if I exercised enough. I feel guilty when I eat desserts that seem too decadent even if I made them myself with healthy ingredients. The loaf cooling on my sill above was made with oat flour, bananas, maple syrup, coconut oil and a handful of dark chocolate chips. And I felt guilty because of its moist, sweet crumb. It’s no way to live. I don’t want to give up on enjoying food or dread dining with friends over a meal. It is maddening and unnerving and I am
overwhelmed. So I turned to where I always find solace: in words.

I downloaded The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön and have begun to read a chapter before bed to try to understand how to calm my soul.

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“We cling to a fixed idea of who we are and it cripples us. Nothing and no one is fixed.”

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So, in the midst of my uncertainty and self-loathing, I pressed play on a workout video. I did squats and crunches and in the middle of a chaturanga I could feel a lump in the back of my throat as I thought, “This is hard. I don’t think I can keep doing this. But here I am. I am doing it right now.

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I’m not sure how this will all pan out but I won’t know if I don’t try wholeheartedly.

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