Y’all, I’ve been having some big fun for the last few weeks: the ZOOMA half marathon, a few after-work happy hours (with cocktails!), a visit with my parents (with unbridled eating), two school-night concerts (Bruce Springsteen and Gavin DeGraw), murder trial jury duty, and a handful of missed workouts to sleep later than usual.
In short, I’ve been living the way I perceive “normal” people live.
You know the ones… they don’t follow any kind of prescribed eating plan or worry about getting to bed at the same time every night. They think getting up at 6:00 a.m. is inhumanely early, and if they want to see a show, they don’t fret that if they do, they’ll miss their workout and maybe their sensible breakfast, and then their whole day will be screwed up. They can eat anywhere they find along the interstate, drink a coupla beers if they feel like it, and have probably eaten chicken wings sometime in the last year. They go running when they feel like it, and if they choose to skip a workout, it is not a 30-minute-plus, soul-searching ordeal that makes them question their entire self-worth.
On my blue days or in the throes of hormone poisoning, I am envious of these people.
But whenever I loosen the screws on my diet and training, the first few days feel fun and indulgent… and then my attitude and general well-being start a downhill slide.
I am currently at the bottom of the hill, and I’m ready to get my ass back up to the top.
Time for “fun” has passed. Time for “happy” is about to begin.
I’ve talked about this fun vs. happy conundrum before. And as I approach my 41st birthday (ahem), I’m learning to accept that my life goes in cycles of determined focus and discipline (a.k.a., happy) and indulgent playtimes (a.k.a., fun). I’m getting OK with that. I mean, I don’t want to never have fun at all, but I do need to keep a balance, and I tend to fare better when I err on the side of more discipline than less.
So it’s with a sigh of relief and optimism that I say these words: If you ask me to do something “fun” in the next few months, I might say no.
But trust me when I say, “It’s me, not you.”
I want and need to focus… on my nutrition… and getting enough sleep… and feeling excited about my workouts… and working toward some long-term goals that I have to change my life and what I do with it. And that means saying no: to staying out late most nights of the week. To booze. To food that’s not Zone-friendly. To anything that is a roadblock to my true goals. I need to sacrifice what I might want right now for what I really want.
But this state of being is not forever. It’s just for a while, so I can re-charge my batteries and emerge feeling strong and happy.
You like me more that way, don’t you? I know I sure like me more that way.
But please keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. I LOVE to be wanted. But you might hear no. Just trust that I would say yes if I wasn’t working so hard to be a superhero.
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