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Bringing Your Body Into Balance

My 100+ pound weight loss is what grabs people's attention. However, my weight loss was merely a side effect of finally taking my health and happiness into my own hands and finding that perfect balance. Body, mind, spirit. It all matters.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kicking the Habit--My Addiction to a Man

I recently got out of a 2-year relationship with a guy that I was absolutely crazy for....problem was, when I say "crazy", I mean that quite literally. I think most females (or maybe most people) can relate to this feeling at some time or another. The feeling of no longer being a rational human being the moment you come into contact with, or even think about, a certain someone. Well, that was definitely me..to the nth degree. Part of it was, no doubt, because he was an intelligent, unbelievably funny, exciting and passionate man who I just couldn't keep my hands off of and still, after two years, managed to give me butterflies. Unfortunately, enough bad stuff happened in our relationship that the butterflies turned more into bats. I don't blame our relationship for my crazy, unbalanced bouts, I blame my unbalanced bouts for, well, about half of the problems that we had in our relationship anyway.

We met online and, when I looked at his pictures, quite honestly he didn't really do anything for me. When I talked to him on the phone we instantly clicked but I still worried about the lack of physical connection. (Actually, on both our ends, but that's a story for another time.) But, with every late night phone conversation, I I fell harder for this guy. I had never had a connection like this with a man (I wasn't related to) before. 

The first time we met face to face I instantly learned that a picture is not always worth a thousand words. One miserable frozen morning in January '10 I pulled up in the parking lot where we were meeting and there he stood. I thought, "wow, he's a lot cuter than his pictures." Then he smiled and...it's all kind of fuzzy from there. From that moment on this dude made my head spin every time he kissed me, hugged me, and sometimes just looked at me.

I was fresh out of my marriage (a little TOO fresh many would say) and here was this fun, adventurous guy so full of life and showing me all these new, exciting things that I had never experienced in all the years I spent parked in front of a t.v. But our relationship was bumpy, to say the least. The exact details don't really matter at this point but it was definitely one of those romances that, when it was good, it was so SO good. And when it was bad...well, you get the idea.

To say I was unbalanced during this time could imply that I had a cute quirk here and there that made me a little kooky and unpredictable (again, in a cute, quirky, romantic comedy kinda way). This was, sadly, not the case. I was a hot mess. I would cry over everything. I was insecure and paranoid and, although there were some times when I was completely justified to be those things, most of the time I was coming up with crazy notions in my head that just had no foundation in reality. I was full on crazy at times and sometimes I think he must be full on crazy to have put up with it but, underneath all the dysfunction, I really do believe we both did (and still do) love each other very much.

Problem was, I wasn't just in love with this guy, I was addicted to him. I mean that literally. Yeah, you can be addicted to a person. When someone makes you feel a certain way it is due to chemicals that are being released within you and when those chemicals make you feel good, you want more. And when you're depressed and unbalanced, you really REALLY want more and you'll put yourself through just about anything to get it.

I can't pinpoint one exact cause of my imbalance but, over time and with work, I started to become more stable and began see things more rationally. That's the thing about being imbalanced, it's not always cut and dry as in "don't do this anymore" or "do this one thing" or "take this one pill and everything will be okay." Quite often we have different things in our lives that are contributing to the lack of well being we are experiencing.

I'm still trying to sort through all the things that caused my mental instability to assure it doesn't happen again. Very recently I gained some insight into this by almost slipping back into my role as crazy girl. I was staying with a friend for the weekend and my ex came to visit for part of that time. By the end of the weekend I felt myself feeling irrational, unhealthy feelings toward him again even though I've spent time with him since the breakup, talk to him on a very regular basis and had felt like I was really starting to move on with my life. So what gives?

Then it hit me!!! When I first started seeing him, I was not sleeping well. And, when I say "I was not sleeping well," what I mean is that I was staying up until 4am a lot of nights and getting awakened for the day by my son an hour or two later. I basically wasn't sleeping at all. I had started dabbling in exercise a little before this but nothing nearly intense enough and not frequently enough. When I really started working out hard and consistently, this did 2 things for me. First, it greatly improved my mental stability. Second, it helped me fall asleep earlier at night. As a result of sleeping like a normal person should, I saw an even more drastic improvement in my mental stability.


So how does this relate to my weekend brush with crazy? Well, that Friday night we had stayed up late watching a movie. I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30-2am and my son woke me up at 5am. Saturday, basically the same thing. In case this wasn't enough to push me back into "I'll die without him" land, I also didn't work out the whole weekend.

By the time I went to bed (early!) Sunday night I had eaten foods that ordinarily would never pass my lips now because I know the science behind just how bad they are for me and I wanted to get back with a guy who I also knew just how bad he was for me.

When I woke up Monday morning at 4:30am, I was feeling a bit better, still sad but more manageable. I drug on my workout clothes and headed downstairs. Something in me knew I needed to push hard and really work up a sweat. An hour and fifteen minutes later I semi-crawled back up the stairs feeling like my old self again. Yes, I still missed him but he was back in his "compartment" in my mind where he belonged.

Sleep and exercise (along with nutrition) are tools that we have at our disposal that can greatly improve our lives. Not just how we look but how we feel physically AND mentally. When we aren't utilizing these tools, it's much easier to give in to our addictions (and we all have them) whether they be food, people, alcohol, whatever. Now, I'm not saying "exercise and get a good night's sleep and it'll fix all your problems" but what I am saying is that by controlling what you eat, how you exercise and how much you sleep, you will be much better equipped to make rational, healthy decisions when you are faced with problems.

I also want to add, when it comes to exercise and eating healthy, I think that it's more than just hormonal balance. There is so little we actually have control over in our lives but these are a couple things in which we do! I spent my weekend away from my house, my stuff, my priorities, my life!! When we don't have a firm grip on what we want and are actively doing everything we can to achieve our best life, we feel out of control and that makes us more vulnerable to allowing external things to control us instead.

1 comment:

  1. i think this is so well said... i can't tell you how i lose my head over a certain someone, when all rational thought tells me to move the heck on! and just as you describe... he became so much more attractive after i fell for him. is he really attractive or is my head just all loopy for him? really, it doesn't matter. it's not going to work. and no amount of wishing or hoping or blindly diving in again is going to make it work.

    sleep deprivation as a single mom with a little one is probably my biggest culprit on contributing to my loopy thoughts. and when i don't sleep well my eating habits crumble. i let other things slide. then i run into him & POOF... i'm back in "what if" land again.

    sticking with what I AM IN CONTROL OF is key here. and while this can be applied to my mental state or relationship status... I think this is entirely a HEALTH issue. do what i know works for me. and keep doing it. even when it's inconvenient to do so.

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