Day 16. Of 42.
One question has been crossing my mind lately, and it is:
Has my addiction just changed?
Let me explain. If you remember from the original post about this journey of getting closer to God, while getting rid of my scale…the goal here is to not let a number on a scale determine my self-worth. I need to take care of my body, but I really need to take care of my soul. But yet, I wonder if I have just traded one number for another that I am allowing to identify myself. Also, have I gone off the deep end, and am I exercising too much?
I don’t have the answers to those questions. At least not yet.
I am in a recurring weekly competition, through Fitbit, with some friends. Who has the most steps throughout the work week? Well, the last few weeks, I have been blowing away the competition. And all I have been doing is taking a walk with Cheese the dog a few evenings a week. And I have made a greater effort to actually reach my daily step goal every day (on days that I don’t go for a walk).
But then, after the first week, I noticed that there were a few moments where I legitimately thought I was going to pass out. But that one, I figured out. Turns out, I had increased my activity level…but I hadn’t increased my caloric intake. So…no wonder I thought I was going to pass out. So that’s a easy fix. For someone that loves food…just eat more food! Woohoo!!
But the nagging question still resides in the back of my brain…how much is too much?
The first time Cheese and I went for a 5 miles walk, he lost the energy to pull me after about 3 miles. Our last 5 mile walk was absolutely his fault. I had had one of those days at school that was just busy. And I ended up walking. A lot. In fact, I had 12,000 steps in by the time I walked in my back door after school. In case you were wondering, 12,000 steps is approximately 6 miles. And that’s just walking up and down the halls at school. But then, I knew I needed to take Cheese for a walk. Part of my goal is taking him for regular walks is he needs the exercise. He’s full of energy, and this has proven to be an excellent way to burn off the excess energy he has. So, I get home from school, already half done for the day. But we hadn’t taken a walk the night before, and he needed to just go. So we walk. My goal was 3 miles. We get to the turning point if we are going to go 3 miles, or extend for another mile…and he’s still full of energy. So I agree to go the extra mile. Literally.
The problem was…nearing the time that his energy level normally starts to wane, he is still raring to go. So…we ended up walking 5 miles. And he could have kept going, like the Energizer Bunny.
I was pooped.
So, again, I’m asking…how much is too much? After months of inactivity, is this simply just a return of activity to my life, and the change appears drastic? Is this the marathon runner in me, in it for the distance, because what’s the point of a 5k?
So let me get to the point of why this question keeps nagging at me. There was one summer I was at home from college. I had had mono during the semester before. But I was also going dealing with some pretty serious anorexia and bulimia that summer. It was the first summer that I ever weighed less than 200 pounds.
That summer was awful.
In addition to the eating disorders, I would walk and work out. Relentlessly.
I would walk for miles a day. And then I would come home, and work out. And I wouldn’t eat. Or if I did, I would throw it up.
I was crazy.
Ok, technically, I still probably am.
Because, who wants to be normal? Normal is boring.
But the past fear has made me pause. Because no matter how far in the rear view mirror that summer is, I remember it. But maybe, just maybe, that summer is sitting there as a reminder of how not to do things.
So here’s where I’m landing:
I’m not going off the deep end. Because the activity level feels good for me. And it feels really good for Cheese. The goal being for him to exercise enough so he stops acting like a lunatic.
But it has also brought about opportunities that I might not have had otherwise. On Sunday, I met one of my neighbors, and had a lovely conversation. I have lived in my house for 7 years. And she has lived there the entire time I have been living there. And this is the first conversation we have ever had. I knew who she was. She knew who I was. But it took 7 years for us to actually talk to one another. That wouldn’t have happened if Cheese and I hadn’t been out walking.
Also, it led me to not feel guilty when I went out with a group of teachers Friday after school. I hadn’t planned it. But I also didn’t condemn myself for taking in way too many calories. I let myself just enjoy the time. It fed my soul.
I still have not weighed myself. And I’m not going to lie and tell you that I’m not curious. Because I am.
But I can also tell a change in my body. My legs are more muscular (even after only a few weeks). I’m sleeping better. But oh…I haven’t gotten to the best part yet.
I have been spending time talking to God. I spend time while I’m walking talking to God. Because how magnificent of a landscape does God paint? And I sing while I’m walking. Worship, while I’m walking is so amazing. And, of course, reading my Bible.
Ok, I have a confession to make.
I have never read the entire Bible.
I had never read the entire book of Acts before last week. And I’m now in Romans. Whew, Romans is going to take me awhile.
Because every single word that Paul writes is said with so much conviction that it blows me away!
So here’s the true measurement.
I feel closer to God.
So whether I’m walking 20 extra miles a week, or indulging in chocolate chip cookies…the thing that really matters is I’m succeeding in feeling God working in my life more and more every day.