What I Have Control Over....

Post from 07/08/11:

In the past, when something went wrong, I had a tendency to throw my hands up and declare "WHAT'S THE USE?!" This would generally be followed by eating whatever I wanted and laying around feeling sorry for myself.

This process did not get me very far the first 30 odd years of my life so I've developed a new process. Now, when something goes wrong that I have no control over, I make a list of everything I DO have control over. Then I start ticking off items on that list.

Here's a "for instance": I currently have an infected tooth. I'm taking antibiotics which is screwing up my stomach and can't work out without my mouth completely throbbing. So here's the list I made:

I don't have control over:
The infected tooth

I DO have control over:
flossing and rinsing my mouth w/ warm salt water
lots of rest
eating antioxidants to help my body to heal

I don't have control over:
What the antibiotics are doing to my stomach

I DO have control over:
eating more fiber
drinking more water
taking probiotics
eating a clean diet free of sugar (which constipates)

I don't have control over:
not being able to workout

I DO have control over:
making sure I adjust my calorie intake accordingly
using this time to learn about & plan new exercise routines & psyche myself up to start them soon
doing lots of deep stretching to reduce the amount of tightness I'm feeling
closely monitering my protien intake (and frequency) to avoid muscle loss

These kinds of lists make me feel so much more in control of my life and I find myself more & more doing things I DO have control over without even making a list when stressful things happen to me. One of my go to "things I have control over" items is working out. No matter what crappy thing is going on in my life I know that I can (most of the time) get in a good workout and feel INSTANTLY better about the situation. This is sooo different from how it used to be. In fact, it's opposite. In the past, a horrible day would've been the perfect excuse to NOT work out. Now I realize that a horrible day is the EXACT REASON why I MUST work out.

Other than just feeling mentally and often physically better, staying in control helps prevent emotional eating which is HUGE for me. I finally feel free from this life long affliction and I sincerely believe this is a big reason for it.


  1. I JUST started learning that I feel better after I work out. I also have learned that now that I am eating better and working out more the anger (at family, coworkers, the subway, whatever) that I never thought I had because I was stuffing it down with food, seems to be coming out more. If I work out it releases that stress but the first step was actually FEELING it because I spent the first 30 years just stuffing it down. Now i can feel it and beat it up and feel amazing!

  2. Oh my gosh. I NEEDED this. My husband and I actually just had a huge misfire in communication yesterday. There is a LOT of pressure in our marriage because of my health failing, and the way this impacts my heart and head. I'm clouded so often, and I start to make progress, and then I have a rough couple of days emotionally, and that takes a HUGE toll on him anymore. And he asked yesterday if I feel like I need to be doing something else / something different - a new doctor, a different specialist, etc. I said no. No, I'm where I think I need to be for the best help I can get (doctors keep trying to take routes I'm not comfortable with at all) - and he brutally said, "Then you have to let it go. You are doing everything you can do and you are doing what you feel is right, so you have to move on." or something of that nature. It was brutal and kinda stunk, but I totally get what he means (and he NEVER speaks that brutal about anything, so I know HE'S feeling a lot of pressure about it all anymore, too).

    So, when I'm feeling SO futile, THIS is my immediate recourse. What a beautiful post! Thank you, Tammi!