I’ve been thinking about how I would write this post all week. I missed a week of updates (life/work got in the way) but week 20 was too important to ignore. I initially thought I would just do a weigh-in update for week 20 and move on to this past week, week 21. However, week 20 needs to be discussed.
I’ll try to get through this as quickly as possible. Let’s give this a date reference because we’re going a bit back in time here. Week 20 started on Monday, July 31st and went through Sunday, August 6th.
I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I dealt with anxiety and depression for many years. The two years prior to The Camp being the worst of all. However, since I started The Camp (February 27th) and focused on my health and wellness, I had not experienced a single “heavy day.” A heavy day is what I call a day that I have major anxiety issues (an attack or otherwise) or I feel like depression is allowing the world to open up and swallow me whole. I don’t mean heavy as in pounds on the scale because they would all be heavy days if that were the case. These are days where I literally feel heavy. Like I can’t lift myself out of the bed and I am weighed down, body and spirit. Unless you’ve experienced this, it probably all sounds a little weird.
Like I said, I had not experienced even one heavy day since late February. Five months without an episode is the longest stretch of time I’d gone having “normal” days. Naturally, I thought I was cured. (I actually thought I was cured about a month into the process.)
Even as I’m writing this I realize how it sounds… Stupid. I’m not a medical professional. I just know good days are good and bad days suck.
So on Monday, when the telltale signs of heavy days on the horizon started to rear their ugly heads, I did what all people in denial do, I ignored them. When the feelings didn’t go away and started to worsen I said, “Exercise more!” Instead of taking it easy and letting my body and mind rest that week, my crazy brain said “Shoot for 10 hours of exercise. That will make you feel great!” I exceeded that goal. I’m not proud or boasting about that. I knew better, but I didn’t want the quicksand I was sinking in to be real.
By Thursday I was losing my mind. I couldn’t breathe well, I couldn’t see straight. I was bogged down with this wave of depression that came seemingly out of nowhere. Try as I might to shake it off, (and I mean that literally) I couldn’t. I hadn’t said anything to Michael about it because, again, I was determined that it wasn’t actually happening. I mean, why would it be happening?! I have nothing to be depressed about. I was “cured” for Pete’s sake! So Michael walked in from work on Thursday evening to find a basket-case standing proxy for his wife. Thank God for this man and his supremely calm spirit. He didn’t freak out or over react, he just listened to me freaking out instead.
I failed to mention earlier that Michael had already suggested to me a couple of times during the week to take a day off and let myself rest. Michael is a counselor and deals with mental health issues all the time so he probably noticed that I was a bit “wound up” and was trying to help me avoid this crash landing. But I am stubborn as a mule, so I did what I wanted to instead of listening to reason.
After I’d cried enough tears to flood the Euphrates, I calmed down and finally made a rational decision. I was going to rest. I slept in on Friday and took the day off from working out. In the past when I’ve had moments like these I usually felt better the day after a meltdown because it was over, but this time I felt amazing. One, because I had let myself rest and I knew the entire time that it was what I needed. And two, even though I made a huge mistake in thinking I was “cured” and ignoring all the symptoms, I was learning more about myself and how to really listen to my body.
By Saturday I was feeling good again. We went hiking at Pedernales Falls and had a wonderful time. I took some time sitting on a rock to reflect and just be still for a moment. I thought about all the challenges I’ve overcome and all the goals still ahead of me. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I hope to be, but I love working on myself. I think I get little better everyday.
When Monday’s weigh in rolled around, I didn’t expect to lose anything. I thought I might even gain because it had been such an off week. Fortunately, I lost 1.5 pounds which isn’t a lot but I will take it! Especially after a week like that!
At this point I was down a total of 3 pounds for the challenge and 80.9 pounds overall.
I also found these “I lost how much?” pictures online. I love them! And before we get there, I know it says 81 pounds and I technically lost 80.9, but if you are going to question this over .1 pounds, then fight me. 😉
I promise to make this a quick update.
After the whirlwind of Week 20, I slowed down. I decided to go the entire week without doing doubles at The Camp. And because I was going back to work on Wednesday, instead of working out in the morning and waking up at 4AM, I let myself get some extra sleep and worked out in the afternoons instead. The only extra work I did was jogging with my Couch to 5k app every other day. I even took Saturday completely off. I didn’t workout at The Camp or jog in the afternoon. I simply lived and rested. And it was beautiful.
There are lots of other details and NSVs and good things that happened this week but I think Week 20 was more important so I’ll close quickly.
I think I took an extra long amount of time to write this blog because I was feeling a little ashamed of myself for Week 20. I am generally candid about my life and its ups and downs but this was a mental health mistake on my part. And there is a stigma that surrounds mental health issues. “We live in a world where if you break your arm, everyone runs to sign your cast, but if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way.” We accept the breakdown of any other part of our bodies except our brains. No one wants to be “crazy.” Everyone wants to be “normal.” And that is just not real life. I had to discuss this because talking about it brings awareness to a subject that is generally swept under the rug, or at best looked at with disdain and/or pity. The more we talk about mental health, more people will be able to gain understanding and maybe one day we’ll break that stigma.
The message is this: Don’t be ashamed of what you are going through. If you have a dark or heavy day reach out to someone. If you need help, ask for help. Listen to your body. Take care of your body. Love yourself. Don’t be normal.
I found this picture online and it is perfect.
Week 21 Weigh-in
This week I lost 3.8 pounds
Total for this challenge: 6.8 pounds
Overall pounds lost 84.7 (4 Turkeys!)
I didn’t pull a huge number this week, but I celebrate every ounce I lose. Every single ounce is a victory and I will not discount that. I am simply happy to be moving in the right direction!
Hubby update: Michael joined the 21 day detox challenge! For the next 3 weeks he’ll be competing against the other Detox Challengers to lose the most weight. The winner gets 6 months free membership at The Camp! Praise Jesus and pray for him to win!!
See you next week,