body image / change / Mantra / Motivation

Then the real work begins…

Wow! It has been a LONG time again.  How did that happen? I hope this post finds you well, healthy, and happy.  Today is going to be a bit heavy but I promise light-hearted running inspiration & green smoothie talk will be back soon.

Since my leap of faith post and my moving away from San Francisco, my life has shifted in more ways than I can describe.  Who knew that being open and vulnerable on the internet would be a beautiful beginning to me actually being… ME.

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As I have mentioned before, eating disorders (and many addictions I believe) rely heavily on secrecy and denial.  Long standing patterns and addictions aren’t easy things to brush away and from what I have learned so far, staying healthy takes daily work.  

When I started to eat “normally” again, I was quick to tell myself and those close to me that I was “back to normal”, “fixed”, “totally fine”.  What I know now, is that breaking a habit is only one tiny piece of the puzzle back to your true self.  For me, gaining weight was the “proof” to people around me that I was in fact, “totally fine” again.  It didn’t matter that I was still secretly hating every inch of my body, lying when I could, holding onto other addictions to compensate for my lack of control, or berating myself in my head.

What I know now is that breaking a habit is an amazing beginning.  It is a START.  Then…. the real work begins.  If someone would have told me this when I started the process of healing, I would have told them to f*ck off.  I would have told them that I wasn’t strong enough, nor did I want to try.

Moving away from San Francisco was one of the most painful experiences of my life for many reasons.  When I got to this small town in Arizona, I was literally stripped of anything that my ego used to hold onto- my job, my love, my friends, my house, my habits… my comfort zone was gone.  It is amazing how quickly your old coping mechanisms sneak up on you when discomfort settles in.

I have done many, many things here to make sure that I keep walking forward and not backward.  Of course, it is a work in progress.  Here are two mantras that continue to help me every single day:

I AM EXACTLY WHERE I NEED TO BE RIGHT NOW

I am sure you have heard about mindfulness- mindful eating, speaking, living.  Every time I used to hear this I would cringe and have the urge to yell “What if I don’t want to be freakin mindful?!”– or a variety of other really negative/hilarious things.  For me, being told to be mindful is sometimes stressful because I feel like I am failing at yet another thing.  So instead, I started to say this mantra- I am exactly where I need to be right now.

To me, this means that if I am struggling, hating Arizona, missing decent Indian food, totally blissed-out-of-my-mind happy, or having mad cravings for things that I am trying to avoid … I AM EXACTLY WHERE I NEED TO BE.  Each of these moments which I used to call “good” or “bad” are just moments and when you take the time to acknowledge the present (being “mindful”) you are experiencing life.

Sometimes, my tendency here is to feel a lot of regret and worry that I should have made things work in San Francisco.  That I failed by moving away or that I am messing up my life by taking a new path.  Again, I come back to the mantra — I am exactly where I need to be right now– and I realize that yes, in fact I am, because I am alive & well and what could be more important than that?

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DIVE INTO THE UNCOMFORTABLE

This mantra has been huge for me.  If you’re trying to break a habit or make a big life change, or are just simply a human being, you will likely encounter a great deal of discomfort.  I was very accustomed to avoiding discomfort at all costs or when I couldn’t avoid it I would numb out.  There is nothing like a 19 mile run to do that.  I am not saying that running is bad.  Running is one of my most favorite things in the world.  But, what I realize now is that I was literally running away from the discomfort the second it crept up.

Diving into the uncomfortable for me, means putting myself out there;  meeting someone new even though it would be SO much easier to isolate myself and not have to feel the pain of being self conscious.  Diving into the uncomfortable means taking a rest day after a few hard days of working out.  Diving into the uncomfortable for me means being totally alone and not distracting myself with my phone, TV, or computer.

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Diving into the uncomfortable is writing blog posts like this, that expose my deepest fears and biggest struggles and then not worrying that people won’t like to hear what I have to say.  And last, diving into the uncomfortable for me, is appreciating my body for its strength instead of working to make it shrink.

 

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Today marks my 100th blog post.  Looking back, I realize that this blog has taken some dramatic twists and turns but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here is to healing & self-care.  Here is to being strong and brave enough to face this mad, crazy, amazing world.  Here is to anyone and everyone who has struggled with or is struggling with an addiction, self-hatred, doubt, anger, regret… 

LOVE to you all & huge thanks for inspiring me to be the best version of myself every single day!

XO,

CS

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2 thoughts on “Then the real work begins…

  1. Congratulations on your 100th blog anniversary. I’m delighted to have the real Hali in a blog, instead of a truncated instagram appearance. But then I am the dinosaur generation. Whatever, I have been where you are now and having emerged from that sickness log ago, I can tell you that healthy and strong is better than fashionably scrawny. I think it’s great that you are embracing that concept at this point in your life.
    Keep us “posted”

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