Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Maia in the Mirror

In each person's life we are faced with many challenges.  Challenges that come in many shapes and forms.  Some are physical challenges, others are mental.

Since I started my quest to live a healthier and happier life, I achieved a lot.  I lost a lot of weight and I accomplished physical feats I never dreamed my body could do.  The one aspect that I've never quite conquered is the mental.

And that's what brings me to today.  I'm 30 pounds heavier than my lowest weight.  I'm back at the weight I was when I first went on tour in 2011.  The old Maia's thoughts have taken over and her negativity has firmly entrenched itself in my brain.  I am no longer proud of myself.  I am no longer able to look in the mirror and see the good.  I just see the flaws and get upset and disappointed.  I beat myself up for having "let myself go" and the loss of control I've shown.  Every day I eat like it's a "cheat day."  I can't seem to get myself back on track.

I know some of the reasons that have led to my current state.  This past year has been incredibly stressful.  I'm working on a difficult show that has a different schedule.  I've had to learn how to manage my time and my stress level differently and unfortunately I've returned to my previous coping mechanism: food.  I haven't gone completely dormant exercise wise, but I've also not kept my pace I was at before.  I've been lazier, but not completely slacking.

The other factor is that this past year I've been dealing with a new added twist:  my boyfriend is working on the same show as me and I'm juggling my new work schedule along side spending time with him.  Unfortunately when it comes to relationships, as we all know, so many outings revolve around food.  And since I have so little free time I don't always want to be spending it working out.  Sometimes he and I do exercise together - for instance, he got me back on a bike for the first time in over 20 years and we go on at least one long ride a week.  But we've tried to go on runs together and I just can't do it.  I worry too much about how slow I am, how many walk breaks I need, that I'm holding him back, that he needs to go for a longer run.  So I usually just get upset and beat myself up afterwards.

So that's where I've been the last year.

Here is where I'm going in this coming year:

Brian is unfortunately leaving the tour to explore ventures back home.  He's been on one show or another for over ten years and he's ready to be home in his own house for a while.  I'm incredibly sad about it and I'm going to miss him terribly, but I know most people on the road are able to cope with being separated from their loved ones, and if they can do it, I can do it!

With Brian being gone, I'm going to spend more time in the gym or outside working out.  I'm getting back into the mindset I was in before when I lost weight on tour.  I will stop eating out as much, and I will be moving more.  Less calories in, and more calories burned.  That's the equation that has worked for me in the past and it WILL work for me again.

My goal is to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with myself again.  But this time, I want it not to be linked with my size or the number on the scale.

There is so much press out there right now on body shaming, and learning to love yourself at any size.  I read the articles and I agree with them, I just can't follow them.

If anyone has any tips as to learn to be nicer to yourself, I'm all ears.  I've had 34 years of experience in finding my flaws, but I would love to be able to be a little nicer to the person I see in the mirror.

Please stay tuned.  I don't know when exactly, but I will start updating more.  I will get back to my weekly weigh ins.  I will get back to posting more than once a year.  I will get back to what worked.  What worked for me was sharing my story and posting it here.  I don't know how many people actually read it, but it worked.  It kept me accountable.

I will be strong again.

And I, for one, can't wait.