I began this experiment simply in order to give myself a goal to focus on, so I could get moving and heal, rather than sit in grief.
Looking back from day 95 to the beginning, what has changed: everything!
My relationship with food has completely changed from day 1 to now.
I don’t really get hungry, for one thing- so I have to remember to eat, which is a new challenge.
I’ve been away from the monthly challenges with my trainer for a few weeks, and I think for now I’d better stick with them – having the structure and accountability of recording what I eat and drink has the effect, for me, of making me eat and drink.
And life is better overall when one consumes food and drinks water.
I am steadily losing weight, but I can tell you for sure now: the weight we lose when we’re eating consistently and drinking water is much more strong and healthy- looking (and feeling!) than the weight we lose by not eating. If you’re a person who is going for aesthetics, eat food. Just measure and document it , keep it clean and enjoy it, that’s all! Treat your body with loving kindness, and it will reward you.
When we binge or have a “cheat day,” what that does (I’ve found out through trial and error) is it sends the blood sugar out of whack- the body is scrambling to figure out what the heck to do with this new stuff (and maybe a bigger amount than usual,) and then I find I’m overly hungry for a few days afterward.
This can lead to a cycle of giving the body more food than it really needs.
How to heal from a “cheat day”: focus on drinking water. That reset me pretty quickly. My body was like “oh. Oh… I’m not really hungry after all.” 😆
What has changed emotionally in 95 days of a shift in focus: well, I’m still figuring that out. I have really bad days, and really good ones. There’s a certain kind of freedom in heartbreak – there’s a feeling that nothing can hurt me now, so I am free to live more courageously, I suppose. I’ve discovered anger, and sat in the burn of it – highly unpleasant – and I’ve found that on the other side of that is a deeper clarity, release, and peace. As long as I clung to “love” and “friendship” and steadfastly refused to acknowledge anger, I wasn’t able to completely put my past where it belongs: in the past. It is over and gone now, and one day its colors will fade and mellow into something with softer edges, with warmth and a gift to give. For now, it is a story that feels like it happened to someone else- and I guess that’s where it needs to live for a while, like a bottle of port set away in a cellar to mature. If I shook it up, or exposed it to light too soon, it would simply become vinegar. (I’m not sure if that happens to port. But you get the metaphor, yeah?)
My social world has expanded and grown shockingly fast.
Project Ahsoka began as a life raft in the middle of a really hopeless-looking shipwreck. It felt like a ridiculous spar I was clinging to, half ashamed to be “doing this at my age.”
Well. First of all, never say that crap to yourself. “At my age” is a dumb gate to build in your life.
I met people who are causeplaying characters they love, who are older than I am. They are cheerful and happy, confident and lovely in their freedom.
This is energy, regardless of age- it is contagious goodness.
Once I was accepted (which felt incredible, to get that email!) I plunged into a world that is faaaaar bigger than I had imagined it would be.
And now I’m making more costumes, because it brings me joy, and these people are kindred spirits in many ways.
So that’s day 95. I’ve had a few weeks of setback due to illness (writing convention crud!) but a pause isn’t a stop – I kept doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and walking/ running even while ill. I know that may sound nuts, but keeping your body moving even if it’s at a much slower pace, is giving your muscles love and getting the oxygen/ blood flowing to them in a way that they seem to need. I don’t know: I’m no physical trainer, but that’s what it felt like.
TL:DR: If you’re going through it, keep going.
A pause is not a stop.
Yes, listen to your body, but also know that your body is like a toddler, and sometimes you need to have good boundaries with it, and give it water when it insists it’s hungry. 🙂
Do things you enjoy, that are fun. That’s a great way to meet people you enjoy, who like what you like. At any age.
If you are depressed and having trouble getting moving, set one small goal. Or set a big, funny one, like “become Ahsoka Tano from Clone Wars.” You just never know what will grow out of being in action toward that goal.
And a teeny tiny goal like “write for 15 minutes, focusing only on that for 15 minutes,” can 1) have you feel great, because you complete it, and 2) have you surprised at how much you actually accomplish with that teeny, tiny goal.
Whatever you are trying to do, be, and build, you’ve got this. We’re in it together.