It’s Ash Wednesday. Which means, as of one hour ago, I am no longer stepping on the scale. Well, I’m doing the cheaters’ version of Lent…so technically, I can get on the scale on Sundays. But this is still a far cry from the multiple daily trips to the scale that I usually take. I am reconsidering giving up the scale for Lent and switching to something easier – like food. Or water. Or breathing.
Regardless, as of about five hours ago, my anxiety reached such epic proportions that I completely freaked out. My small group was having a game night, complete with a table full of food and guess who decided to quell her anxiety with food and alcohol? Yes, that would be me. I think I might have managed to stick to the plan (dinner, a small “treat” of some sort of fulfill the rest of the day’s caloric requirements) had I not decided to stay a little longer.
The original plan was to leave at 9 pm on the dot so I could go to the gym for a run before bedtime. But we were still playing games, the one guy had left and it was looking more like a girls’ night. We were about to start playing my favourite game. I decided to stay. Within three minutes there was a beer in my hand and I was breaking open the package of sour patch kids I had brought along.
The most frustrating thing was that I knew exactly what was happening. In fact, I explicitly told the girls I was with, “Do not let me eat or drink anything after this. I am eating because I’m anxious about the fact that I’m not running right now and that’s not an okay reason to eat.” I KNEW.
And yet, I kept trying to stuff down the anxiety with food and, afterwards, exercise. Granted, I felt much better after a run and some stretches and a some time on the stationary bike, but I know my reasons were faulty. I felt the muscles in my legs strain, my stomach cramp, my back start to spasm as I ran too many miles on too little sleep. I briefly thought, “I have a race on Saturday. This is supposed to be a light training week.”
And then I thought, “To hell with it. I’ve got to burn off these calories.” Quickly followed by, “Dear God, I’m sorry. I’m-sorry-I’m-sorry-I’m-sorry-Please-let-me-do-this-my-way-just-tonight.”
So my prayer tonight is that I can somehow get up in the morning (er – four hours from now) and find in Him the strength to get back on board with the plan. To not let the anxiety so overtake my mind that I fall back into patterns of control and manipulation and self-destruction.
On the contrary, I NEED this anxiety. I need to sit in it and experience it and let God be Peace and Love and Comfort. This is so much easier said than done, but man. If I can stick it out, I can have a whole new understanding of God and myself by Easter.