something told me to run

picture found here.
I fell asleep before 10pm last night. After the previous night's limited sleep and an early morning work out, I was exhausted and cranky and needed a reprieve from the world. I think the world also needed a reprieve from me.

I woke up, for the first time, around 4:00am. My eyes were blurry, and my feet barely lifted from the floor as I moved from our bedroom and into the kitchen. Somehow I made the coffee and tossed lunch and a snack into a lunch sack for my husband. We shared a quick kiss, and I stumbled back into our bedroom. The moment my head touched the pillow I fell back into a deep sleep. The kind of sleep that swallows you whole and makes you forget there is an outside world.

There was a window of ninety minutes between the time my head touched the pillow and the time my alarm would sound. I hoped it would be enough sleep but thought it wouldn't be.

My alarm went off once, and I immediately hit the snooze button. The second time it sounded I forced myself out of bed. I let the dogs out and moved into the kitchen. Each step helped me wake up a little more. Every blink cleared away the sleep I thought would swallow me whole until it was time to leave for work.

Minutes later, I was out the door with good company by my side and iPod in hand.

After two weeks of not lifting weights, every muscle in my body ached. Rather than pushing myself past my limit, I depended on a heavy dose of cardio with fifty crunches thrown in at the end.
When I first started exercising, I barely sweated. I thought it was my body's composition. Then I started to drink more water, and slowly, but surely, more sweat appeared. Still, though, it didn't seem like much. And what I figured out today was that it wasn't much because I wasn't fully pushing myself enough.

So I pushed myself. I pushed myself with walking on the treadmill with an incline. I pushed myself while on the stationary bicyle by increasing the level and moving my legs no matter how much they hurt. And even though I was tired, I felt even better than I had the day before.

And it hit me. As I sat on the couch waiting for the air conditioner repain man to arrive at my house (and then to finish servicing the unit), I realized that I finally broke through my wall. A week after writing about it, I finally broke through it.

I don't know when the last time was that I broke through a wall. In the past, I would hit a wall and then try for a few more days. Then, I would decide it wasn't worth trying (because it wasn't working anyways) and stop. But this time? This time I didn't stop even though I wanted to.

I felt lighter a few days ago. But today I feel even lighter. And more excited. After weeks of feeling like nothing was happening, and even wondering if it were possible for me to lose 100 pounds, I now know that it is possible.

It's another small moment. A much needed reminder that all of this is worth it - so very worth it.

And these small moments.. Some of them come by chance and by the grace of God. Others come by choice. Choices like snacking on dried cranberries instead of riding the elevator downstairs and then driving in the car to Sonic for a chocolate milkshake. Choices like eating half of a reuben sandwich for dinner instead of gobbling the entire sandwich down.

I miss eating as much as I want to. It's odd to post that here. Almost as if that's one of the things you aren't supposed to say. Why do I miss it? I'm not sure. Maybe it's because it's just what I did for so long. Maybe it's because I'm still adjusting to this new healthier lifestyle.

But what I don't miss is how I would feel after eating as much as I wanted to. Not just how I physically felt (bloated) but how I felt emotionally (dealing with whatever it was that made me want to eat the much to begin with) as well.

It's a balance. A balance of waking up early to go to the gym and sleeping in late to let me body rest and heal. A balance of eating what I want but not overindugling just because I want to. A balance of counting calories but not obsessing over the numbers. A balance of walking on the treadmill and lifting weights.

And that balance? The one that is so hard to obtain. It is the reason I finally broke through the wall.

There will be other walls. I know that. But now that I broke through the first one, I feel ready to face the next one when it comes. I just hope I have a few weeks worth of a break before I have another wall to break through.

(title from "where i stood" by missy higgins)

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