I mapped out my 11-miler for Sunday morning. I just could NOT do another circular run around my house. During the week I have to stay close to save time, but why on earth would I trace the same steps again when I have the freedom to roam?
I traced a beautiful route online through the dunes and marsh in Saugatuck. It’ll be great, I thought. I can run, change clothes and grab some quinoa porridge at one of my favorite resting spots. I was so looking forward to the adventure. The only downside was the rain in the forecast. It wouldn’t be the first time I got drenched on a run, though, and almost always it turns out to be fun.
The run started on a bicycle path, and I found myself enjoying the straight line. The roadside scenery wasn’t as interesting as I imagined on my adventure, but I was drawn to the simplicity of it. I missed my turn and rambled forward.
I’ve always longed for a straight path to take me where I’m going. If I’m going to quit sugar, I want to quit and be done with it. Getting sober would be so much easier if it was a straight path to success and normalcy. Building a relationship should resemble the one and half hour path of a romantic comedy. We meet, act silly, fall in love, have a problem and are cemented together in love until the end of time.
Nothing ever happens that way in real life. Choices are difficult, and I almost always have to compromise. My journey with sugar has been years long even though it really does a number on my body and probably my health. But as I look back over time, I’ve been consistently declining my consumption. And every time I got off the path, I felt so bad that my resolve to quit strengthened. Losing the path is part of the journey.
This week I was in a lot of anxiety. When I have night after night of insomnia, my body craves sugar. Thursday night, it was chilly out, and I was craving warmth and comfort. A tsunami of sadness washed over me, and I had a good cry. I wanted Mujadara from my local Mediterranean restaurant. I didn’t want Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Chocolate wasn’t dancing in my head. I wanted a healthy lentil and wheat dish with creamy homemade yogurt. And to my pleasant surprise it came with some lentil soup that was flavored with cinnamon and spice. My meal was warming, comforting and healthy. And I CRAVED it.
I got bored about 2/3 of the way into my run. The straight line led me to some beautiful places, but I had to turn around and run the same way back. It was efficient and simple, but I had to listen to music and podcasts in order to distract myself. I needed that yesterday, and I got a lot of thinking done, but my preference is to go the path of more resistance. The twists and turns often bring something new and unexpected, and it’s just so much more interesting.
What change are you trying to make? Do you need to quit beating yourself up because it’s not taking you in a straight line to victory?