“I deserve a treat, I’ve earned it.”   

“It’s been a bad day, I need something to lift my spirits.” 

“I’m tired- I need the extra energy.”

“I’m celebrating.”

“I’m stressed, this will help.”

“I’m hurting.. this is medicinal.” 

I’ve used each of these excuses to have a cupcake. Or two. Or, a cookie. Or, more pasta. Or a little more creamer in my coffee.

The cupcakes have been piling up. (Mostly on my backside. There’s a word picture for you.) And I’ve finally discovered, they are not a coping skill. They are making it even harder to cope.  Cupcakes offer a sugar rush that leaves me even more tired, down stressed, than I was before I ate it. Not helping. (Cupcakes- just one of the myriad sweet/ starchy treats I use to medicate myself… sugar is my booze, people. Ugh. There- I said it.)

And it’s been getting worse.

A little over a year ago I had started walking. I moved onto running. I set goals. I met them. And…..I over did it. To make a long story short (albeit one with really cool illustrations that make my leg look bionic) -I ended up in the hospital with surgery to fix stress fractures because I had run my left tibia to bits. I was in pain. To top it off-I managed to remain almost exactly the same weight. Pointless pain. Excellent. Except not.

I got angry. I got depressed. “If you work this hard, you are supposed to lose weight. If it won’t make any, why bother?” 

Since I couldn’t work out (And it wasn’t helping anyway) I got cupcakes. (Yes- I know- others would get even… not me- I get cupcakes.. I’m nice like that.)  I got cupcakes when I was sad. I bought cupcakes when I was happy. I bought cupcakes to celebrate writing. I bought cupcakes when I was stressed. (Stressed IS Dessert spelled backwards, right?) (We’ve been doing some home-improvements, making some changes in our financial plan and my husband travels weekly for work… umm stress is a way of life.)

Honestly?  My weight has not changed much. But, I feel crummy. I feel: Flabby. Tired. My back keeps giving me trouble, and everything aches.  The doctor keeps saying the same thing: “You need to lose weight.” To which I respond: “DUH. And do you have any suggestions for how to do that?  I TRIED the whole exercise and eat right thing and ended up with a titanium-blinged out shin, remember?” 

“Dont run. Swim. Ride a bike.”  

 “That or we can try taking you off the Zoloft.”  I’ve written before about my struggles with PMDD and my need for Zoloft… suffice it to say, losing zoloft is not an option if I want to be able to function.

He may as well have suggested I lift butterflies. I was not convinced. “Riding bikes is for children and for fun. Maybe for green commuting. Not for weight loss. I have to run to do that.” 

I was not just wrong about cupcakes.

I was wrong about the bike thing, too.

I started riding this week. I was sucking wind in about 10 minutes. And I was shocked. Because- I could keep going. Yup. My thighs felt like figurative in addition to literal Jello. Yup, I had to walk up part of a freeway overpass. And, I kept going. I needed water when I got home, but my tibia and shins feel fine. I feel like I had a work out- not a beat down.

The truth is, when I was running- it hurt so bad, that I hardly ever made it to wind suckage. I struggled to keep my heart rate up. I was logging miles….(A lot, in fact) but I just couldn’t move fast enough (without pain or injury) to do some serious cardio work.

The bike, however, is kicking my butt.

So… here I am… 6 months past surgery. Recognizing that cupcakes are not a coping skill, and that biking can be a work out. Who knew?

Not sure where you’re at today…. but if you’re struggling to feel healthy, or struggling with a weight issue…. I suggest you go ahead…try that lame thing that people keep suggesting… it just might work.. better than cupcakes.

Dear Lord- this body has to last me the rest of my life, please help me to maintain, feed and care for it in a way that both honors you, and honors the gift of life you’ve given me….I love you lord- amen.