It’s 5 a.m. The house is quiet and it’s still dark outside. I’m half asleep but I have to do it. I have no choice. The voices in my head are real and I believe them. I hear my dog wake up; he’s hungry. I tell myself that he’ll be fine and I will feed him when I am done. Can’t you see I am on a mission here?
I walk up the stairs, still wiping the sleep from my eyes, water bottle in one hand and headphones in the other. I walk into the room and spot the treadmill. The terrible, horrible, dreaded treadmill. Start. I convince myself that I love this. Finally, I establish a groove and I am on my way to five miles today. It’s already set it in my planner, so I have to do it.
I’m about 45 minutes in and boom. The treadmill resets. Blank. Where’s my data? What mile was I on? How can I be sure I was 45 minutes in? I remember seeing the number 45, but of course I can’t be sure of that.
Exhausted and anxious, I step back onto the treadmill and yes, I start the whole run over again. I am crying through the run, angry for my lack of trust in myself, and yet determined to do the run and see that beautiful number 5 next to the distance tracker.
Done. Now walk away. There it is, July 3rd. With my planner open on today’s date, I confidently put a line through today’s workout. The voices in my head say, “Victory!” I can breathe now.
Control. This is what rules me — my need to be perfect, mainly in my relationship with food and exercise. If I maintain a level of control around what I eat each day and how and when I move my body, I feel worthy and confident. Take away my rights to make decisions around these two subjects and I am a mess. Whenever I hear people say, “it’s out of your control”, I don’t believe them. I believe I can maintain control wherever I please.