getting ready to breathe

getting ready to breathe

This week on t.v. the crazy amazon guy didn’t get “Eaten Alive” by the gigantic anaconda.  {BIG SURPRISE}.  Those snakes have to break your bones to crush you into a small enough swallow-sized package.  I, for one, didn’t think the dude was going for it.  Besides, my husband Peter reminds me — they also squeeze the life out of you, to kill you before they take the first g.u.l.p. — to make sure you won’t hurt them while they do the time-consuming deed.  So — odds were not in the amazon guy’s favor.


But he did let himself get all tangled up in anaconda and squeezed within an inch of his life.  The ironic thing about being in the throngs of such a suffocating moment — is that every breath you take trying to hold onto life — the snake takes that opportunity to tighten its grip and take juuuust a little bit more of your life from you.  Every breath…takes you closer to death…not life.  The only chance you have is to relax and expand yourself.  Become as BIG as you can.  And pray some of your buddies are nearby to unwrap the sucker.  This entanglement…is gonna take buddies.

For months…I’ve been twisted up and suffocated by my own struggle with Weight Watchers.  Every move I made to save myself, by eating less, by devouring salad….lead me closer to ice cream, and cake, and all the mindless, unhealthy things that just packed on the pounds.  I’ve actually felt unwell.  Sick.  Bloated.  My mind full of sugar headaches.  The scale was climbing back to where I started 3 years ago — and my soul was slowly suffocating, being squeezed to death by my fear. What I feared most — re-gaining all that weight — I was making happen.

Then last week… little things began to happen.  Little moments of…, well…hope.  Yea,  I guess “hope” is the best word for it.   It started with tea.  Jasmine tea.  I just WANTED it so bad.  I wanted its warmth.  Its softness.  its comforting familiarity.  Next came the truth.  I called Marathon Brian from work one day.  Geez….just the sound of his voice made me … emotional.  He was his normal upbeat self.  He’s in off-season, but preparing for his first Full Ironman.  LORD ALMIGHTY.  He really is going to earn a cape after this one.  Well, the best thing was — he let me say out loud all the things I have been feeling about myself these months.  I told him….“that some days, when I close my eyes….I can see myself running down Old Stage Road – heading to Timothy and back —  one of my many 6 mile runs.  And there I went.  Running with such ease, the flow of my body, the S.T.R.E.N.GT.H.”   My voice cracked.  Tears filled my throat.  Just the image of…the Old Me, the Runner Me, ….made me cry.   I miss her.  I miss her so much.

Brian told me to remember how mentally strong I am.  And to realize that I was using that strength against myself right now.  But that I could turn that around…any time I wanted.  Ugh – I wasn’t so sure.   Our chat ended like it always did.  With a challenge!  Ha!  He asked me to run for 10 minutes.  Just 10 minutes.  Pace didn’t matter.  Take it at whatever speed I needed to be able to get it done.  This was a mind challenge…not a body challenge.  i thanked him, told him I missed him (which IS true), hung up the phone and went back into my thoughts.  I wasn’t ready yet.  I couldn’t breathe.  I was still being squeezed.

Saturday came.  I went to Weight Watchers after 2 weeks of avoiding.  I was up another 3.4 pounds.  My weight back over 256 pounds.  I sat in my chair — listened to my leader Denise talk about how “being over weight was hard, how losing weight was hard….and we had to choose our hard.”   I took a deep breath… first breath in a LONG time….and shared with my WW friends how I had been feeling — I broke down, and cried…there amongst my friends.  They caught me.  They saved me, again.

I went home…and I felt empty.  But not the bad kind of empty.  There is a good kind, you know?  I felt like I had left all my shame and sorrow behind, and decided that it was time to save myself AGAIN.  I was done mourning the Runner Girl who ate 6 miles for breakfast.  I decided…to go and find her.  I don’t know if I will ever run like I did before.  I don’t know what lies ahead of me.  But….I liked who I was 2 years ago.  I loved how I felt in those dresses that are catching dust in my closet.  And I want to feel STRONG again.

So.  I laced up the shoes today….and I ran for 10 minutes.  Oh, it wasn’t fast.  And I was panting.  I had to FIGHT for it.  I had to talk myself through it, like the old days.  AH HA!!!    YEA — JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS.  10 minutes or 10 miles…it’s all the same.  I had the Ah Ha moment.  I had to fight for me!  The challenge Marathon Brian gave me was to help me learn how to fight for myself again….and to shake off my doubt.  The d.o.u.b.t. was my snake.  And it was squeezing the life right out of me.  Trying it’s damn best to swallow me.

But…I’m a lucky girl.  My buddies were INDEED nearby..and with their help…..I uncoiled the sucker and the snake didn’t eat me alive either.   All in all – it was a sad week for snakes.  Too Bad, So Sad.  Better luck next time Snake!    I’m learning to Breathe again….

Ciao for now….Diane

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