One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Why Do We Put so Much Pressure on Ourselves?

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So I haven’t blogged since Monday and even that was more of an opinion post than a personal post.  Normally I rock the personal as it’s the whole reason I started this blog (almost 10 years ago, yikes!). Back then I wanted, no, needed a place to get out of my head when it came to all the crap I was dealing with around losing weight, my body image and overall confidence. There is no denying it has done wonders for me and my wellbeing. Literally, it changed the course of my life!

That being said, I can truly say this is the first time in my 10 years of blogging I feel like I walked away from my “therapy.”  It may not seem like it from your perspective, but I’ve been avoiding writing about a few personal things I’ve been feeling.

Guess how I’ve been dealing with them instead.

Yup…

food.

Last night was the epitome of a binge, something I haven’t done in quite awhile. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty details. Let’s just say it involved a lot of chocolate, hmmmm, and chips, aaaaand crackers.

It wasn’t pretty.

I’m trying to put my finger on when I started to feel so, well,  for lack of a better word, glum — I fear calling it depressed because I’m still functioning and running the household (kids are fed, the clothes are washed, work is getting done, etc.) but I’m just really blah about it all. I feel like I went from unstoppable to ugh in a matter of moments.

I guess it all stems from having to put my marathon training on hold because of my injuries. I’ve still been going to the gym and modifying my workouts but my running has pretty much just stopped cold turkey. When I tried to start back not only did the pain on my lateral lower left leg flare up but my right did as well.

Professional opinion: Peroneal Tendinitis:

…a condition involving damage to one of the perineal tendons with subsequent degeneration and inflammation of the affected tendon.

I’ve been working with the physical therapist mostly on my neck because it was causing me the most pain but now we are shifting to my legs.

Thankfully, it doesn’t cause me constant pain. It only flares up when I run a few miles or jump rope.

I’m a bit distraught, not only about the potential long-term treatment of this injury but I’m registered to run the Baltimore Half this Saturday!

I really WANT to run the Baltimore Half this Saturday.

I bounce back and forth between…

“I’ll just go, have fun and run or walk depending on how I feel!”

to

“Why bother going at all. I can’t run. Do I really want to risk further injury? What’s the point?”

I really don’t know what to do and, to be honest, I’m doubting myself and my true intentions. Walking is a viable option and I know I’d have fun but I feel like just saying screw it!

I really can’t tell if I’m using the injury as a way out or not.

Today I decided to pull my head out of my ass and — you are going to get tired of me saying this — do what I can when I can.  I went to the gym and did a really fun non-impact workout with my friends. I know it sounds crazy but 6-7 a.m. is truly one of my favorite hours of the day. I love my gym. Then I came home and asked The Husband to take the morning shift with the kids so I could clean and organize my desk.

My office

I needed to declutter and create a more ergonomic work place for my sanity and my neck.  I’m writing this right now in that chair and focusing on my posture.

While cleaning I found this candle. I think I got it at a conference a while back.

No Pressure Candle

It made me smile. A little reminder that all my “problems” are self-induced.

Why do I put so much pressure on myself?

Maybe I should make that a more generic question:

Why do WE put so much pressure on ourselves? 

Whether it’s to look a certain way or run a certain speed or weigh a certain amount or lift a certain weight — why can’t we just do the things we love with no pressure to always be better or faster or skinnier or stronger?

I think about how I advise the 9-Year-Old. Yesterday he ran his third cross country meet.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 5.47.51 PM

Again, he’s not the fastest, not even close, but he enjoys it and I couldn’t be MORE PROUD OF HIM!

I watched him pick up speed that last tenth of a mile with his face beet red and his friends already at the finish — something that could be pretty darn disconcerting to a 9-year-old — but he still pushed himself.  He did the best he could and really, REALLY, isn’t that all we ask of our kids?

Isn’t it what we should ask of ourselves?

It reminds me of a post I wrote last year called 10 Things You Tell Friends That You Should Be Telling Yourself.

So I’m taking my own advice, removing all this self induced pressure. Race or no race, I’m still proud of myself for doing the best I can, waking up and then doing it all over again.

Isn’t that really all we can ask of ourselves? 



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Discussion

There are 22 comments so far.

    Tammy Cole

    October 15, 2014

    Boy oh boy, I think you’ve taken up residence in my head! I, too, have been feeling glum! I also went from feeling unstoppable to ugh. Started after my first half. Got within 2 pounds of my goal weight (the weight I promised myself I would reach before running the half), fought through months of training (I’m slow and ungainly – or so I see myself), talked myself out of pains and injuries, ran the half (well, ran MOST of the half), I felt unbelievably proud of myself because it was on the bucket list. I came home and promptly started having problems with my back again. Couldn’t run anymore. Heck, could hardly WALK anymore! Now, I am facing spine surgery at the end of this month and I am feeling not in a good place mentally. I haven’t been able to exercise at all, which was the only stress relief and mental outlet I had. I feel your pain, and it comforts me to know I’m not the only one going through this. My thought is this — the surgery — these injuries — they are mere speed bumps in the road of life. How can we possibly be feeling ugh, when we look at all our bodies have enabled us to accomplish thus far in our lives? Look how many race bibs are on your wall!! How many times have you stepped out of your comfort zone? These are the things we should be proud of. We are not supposed to be keeping score of our accomplishments, or feeling down because our best plans were waylaid. Because there WILL be another day when we can try! This weekend is not the end of the road for you — it’s just a speed bump!

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      You. Me. LUNCH!!!

    RG

    October 15, 2014

    Well there are biological reasons people like to work out, aka endorphins. probably doesn’t help that its been dismal outside recently. Your body needs a rest, take the time to: read a book, volunteer at a school or senior center, meditate, go to an art museum, learn about physics from Richard Feynman, learn a foreign language, listen to Bach… Or maybe perfect a new recipe, bone up on a web skill you have been putting off…

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      RG first, let me say you always leave comments that get me thinking and you have positively affected my life in so many ways. I’ve been meaning to tell you that for some time!

      That being said I think I’ve been doing exactly what you said and not even realizing it! I’ve been cooking up a storm, coming up with new recipes so fast I can’t keep up with myself and I was just looking at volunteer opportunities in Baltimore that I want to get more involved in!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts. I really appreciate them!

    Mehgann

    October 16, 2014

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and while I am not a mental health expert, it concerns me how much your happiness and good moods are tied to external things. And believe me, this is NOT coming as much from a place of judgment as it is coming from a place of observation. It would be flat out silly for me to judge YOU, as am as guilty of this as anyone. I have suffered for years from a bad back, and when it goes out yet again, believe me, those feelings of “this is always going to happen” and “why do I even try” start sneaking their evil selves into my innermost thoughts, and it is SO hard to fight it off. But, as a fellow sufferer, I have a little advice (which, of course, you can choose to listen to or ignore as you please). First of all, put the label on it. Roni, this really sounds like classic depression. Sometimes we, as humans, have stresses in our lives that we feel guilty for having, especially when everything else is going well. But honestly, if these feelings were logical, we’d NEVER have them. It’s okay to own it if depression is something that you deal with from time to time. And, honestly, I’d challenge you to look back at some older posts over the years. You talk a LOT about being in a “funk” or how overstressed you are, etc. I think you’d be surprised at what you’re putting out there.

    I don’t know you from a hole in the ground, and maybe I’m totally off base, but I’ve read a lot of this kind of post from you, and I felt compelled to say something this time, especially since you seem to think that the fact that you are “still functioning” means that you’re not depressed. You’d be amazed at what I have managed to hold together while suffering from severe clinical depression. I won’t just lay down and die, but that doesn’t mean I’m not horribly depressed, nor does it mean that something else doesn’t suffer (usually, it is my physical health that pays the price…cue the binge eating). Just a thought. I genuinely hope you’re feeling a bit better soon.

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      I appreciate your comment but I think we all tie our happiness to external things whether it’s hobbies we enjoy or spending time with loved ones or participating in activities that challenge us. Really isn’t that what life is all about?

      I also think I fear calling it depression because my Dad was such depressed man I really don’t want to admit how much I may actually be like him. Crazy, right? And I do talk about it a lot because it’s what helps pull me out of it.

      Thank you so much for your comment! I really do appreciate it!

      Sonya

      October 16, 2014

      No matter what you call the phenomenon, you have so far been able to cope with “it” in healthy ways. You recognize that you’re not feeling like yourself, you exercise, you find diversions, you express those feelings, and the cloud gradually lifts. But not naming that cloud “depression” doesn’t change what it is or how it affects you. Depression is often passed from generation to generation and just because you might share the propensity with a person who caused you a lot of pain doesn’t mean you are like him in those hurtful ways. You should just be aware that if that cloud gets too heavy, you might at some point need intervention and because you’re used to kind of brushing it off, you should be especially vigilant. Just like a sore foot or an aching neck or not participating in a race because it’s not good for the long-term goals you’ve set for yourself. Self care is self care. And, last, if you aren’t depressed, some of your readers might be and it’s important to point out that there is no shame in admitting it.

      Mehgann

      October 16, 2014

      Not crazy AT ALL. My mom and I share a mood disorder, and I think I’ve spent my whole life trying to NOT be her. Lol! But I admit now (in my wizened old age…lol!) that we suffer from the same stuff. And in all honesty, I know she could have done better, but I am a better person for being more able to see things from her perspective. You are NOT your father, even if you have similarities, even if you have inherited traits…what is it they say…it isn’t having a problem that defines you, but how you handle it? I think you handle things EXTREMELY well. Honestly. What I wrote was not a criticism, just food for thought. :)

    Emilia

    October 16, 2014

    I’m so sorry to hear you so down in the dumps! Roni, I think you should just sit this one out and let your body recover. If this was me, I would get so frustrated with myself for not being able to make it all the way, or have to stop and walk that it would just stress my body out even more. It might even take you longer to heal. Instead if you let you body rest you will heal faster…I’m not a doctor but this is what I think the best thing to do would be. You are NOT depressed…you are just going through a lot right now and sharing your feelings does NOT make you depressed… Good for you for venting and letting it all out. Most of us are afraid to speak about our fears/worries and keep everything bottled up inside. I would think this is worse than sharing your thoughts. I hope you feel better soon.

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      I am leaning that way. I don’t want it to side line me any longer than it has too and think that’s making me see how easy this decisions really is.

    Elliene

    October 16, 2014

    The blog has commercials now? Just when I thought you couldn’t sell out any further.

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      Actually, I’m not sure it can be considered “selling out” if you are a professional blogger and make no qualms about it. Those ads put food on the table for my family and it’s one of the only ways to have a daily consistent revenue stream without “selling out” by working directly with companies or products you don’t believe it.

      That being said, I’ve been NOT happy with my ad provider for some time because they do use too many pervasive ads even though I only opt into 9% of their options. I can’t even imagine how horrible it would be if I was at 100%

      My redesign is almost done and then ads will be at a minimum. It takes a lot of work to run my sites, why shouldn’t I be compensated for it?

      syd

      October 16, 2014

      People don’t seize to amaze me, in a very negative way that is! Someone turns their hobby into a full time job and does something they enjoy instead of suffering through a less than ideal job like the rest of us and you are criticizing them for making money from it! Especially someone who has been very open and honest about, well, everything. If you are getting compensated for your job, whatever it may be, why wouldn’t Roni be compensated for this? And why are ads considered selling out? If something catches your eye you can follow the ad tread, otherwise ignore them and you don’t even know they are there. For you to be convinced that someone is writing a good blog do they have to not be making any money from it? This is just the most absurd comment I have ever read, no thought put behind it what so ever. I don’t know how much money Roni makes from her blogs but I wish she was making 10 times more, with more ads and all.

    Tracy Hansen

    October 16, 2014

    One question for you regarding the race. If you don’t go, what will you do instead? I have skipped a race before and sat on the couch like a slug which sent me into a despair pity party. If you choose not to go, do something! Go to a local fair, spend time with family, anything that makes you forget that you skipped the race and thankful instead that you got to DO what you did.

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      This is such a great question!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    Joy @ WhatIWeighToday.com

    October 16, 2014

    First of all, I’m so sorry to hear you are feeling glum. I don’t think you are depressed necessarily; I think you are having a normal emotional reaction to a situation that would leave anyone feeling bummed out. Injuries and pain are psychologically tough in any situation. I can only imagine the frustration it brings when it directly interferes with you goals, hobby, and stress relief. Obviously writing is a better coping mechanism than emotional eating, but it requires a lot of effort. It’s harder. I do the exact same type of thing. We’re all in this together!

    LG

    October 16, 2014

    Thanks for your honesty, Roni! I had a bad night last week…I was so tired and I ate many cookies…uggg. (Um, like over 10.) But really, I don’t know EXACTLY why I binged. Sometimes I just don’t know, regardless of how much sleuthing I do! Anyway, I just really tried to “clean the slate” and get on with life, but it IS hard when there’s so much physical AND psychological fallout from such an incident. I have a note on my screen saver that says “Self-Trust, Self-Compassion, Self-Love”, which was a great review the next day.

    Also…I recently read an askgeorgie article that may (or may not) be of interest to you. Take it or leave it! http://askgeorgie.com/why-do-we-do-that-eating-because-we-ate/

      RoniNoone

      October 16, 2014

      That was great! I totally related to what they were saying!

    Robby/FatGirlvsWorld

    October 16, 2014

    Sometimes I think #wycwyc needs another wyc.
    what you can recognizes that sometimes we have physical limitations
    when you can recognizes that we need balance in our lives
    why you can recognizes that sometimes we need momentum, to psych ourselves up after every setback. Why you can asks us to remember who we are and what we want out of all of this. Even if it is the ability to eat a potato chip or 20 and not have the world end.

    Autumn

    October 19, 2014

    It’s ok to grieve the loss of something that you wanted, and not allowing yourself to grieve is also a form of self induced pressure… don’t you think? Personally, I get really down when I don’t have a goal of some kind for my physical body. When a knee injury sidelined me from a marathon I was lost for a long time. Finding a new way that I can experience how my body performs lifts me out of these moods. Right now I am learning Hoop Dancing. It’s allowing me to exercise, have fun and learn something new all at once, all while allowing for my current physical limitations.

    A couple of thoughts from a psychological perspective … first, one way to understand what motivates us is to “look through the lens of what we need to matter”. In other words, are you feeling pressure to do the Baltimore Half so that you can “matter” on some level?

    Maybe you are; maybe you’re not (if this is not a viable theme for you, which it may not be, it will be for some of your readers). If you are feeling pressure because of a need to “matter”, it raises another question – why do you need to “perform” so that you can matter?

    A good question that cuts to the chase of this issue is … On a scale of 1-10, “1” being REALLY DON’T like, love, care for, respect, trust, and cherish and “10” being RELLY like, love, care for, respect, trust and cherish … how do you feel about you? If this number is not in the 8-10 range, there is an opportunity to take steps toward a compassionate, uplifting, caring, kind, gentle, respectful relationship with self.

    Here’s the point, a relationship with self based in compassion, kindness, love, respect and trust cuts in to the need to perform so that “I can matter” b/c “I matter whether I’m performing or looking a certain way or not”. “Mattering” is independent, not dependent. This type of self-relationship gives rise to a more peaceful, content, and happy moment-to-moment existence as well. It’s also important to understand that a pattern of self dis-like or even self-loathing is learned, almost always during formative years and that much of it can be “driving the bus” from behind the scenes deep in the subconscious mind – which can make the source(s) tricky to find and get corrected. Hope this helps with the “why do we put so much pressure on ourselves question” …

    Mindy Lee

    October 22, 2014

    I think often the pain comes from denying the feelings. If you believe it could possibly be depression, don’t judge it, it is what it is. The sooner you go to a doc and get it checked out, the sooner you will be on the mend. Whatever you hear, it will just be a relief to be honest and admit you aren’t feeling your best. If it’s not depression, keep doing what you’re doing. If it is, address it. You push yourself in every other way, think of this as a mental pull-up :)

    I am familiar with fearing I might be like a parent and it’s no fun. Just the fact that you’re thinking about it means it’s probably not true.

    I appreciate your honest and thought-provoking post. As usual I was tearing up through the whole thing!