T Minus Two Type Two Diabetes and Other Passions

23Nov/133

Rising Against the Dragon

So, as you may know, I've been able to make some healthy changes in the last few months. There's quite a bit of exercise, both walking and things I do in my *ahem* home gym. (The "home gym" is a living room cluttered with dumbbells and exercise bands.) I'm eating right, and recording what I eat. Emotional eating hasn't been a problem. The home gym exercises can be a challenge some evenings, and some days bring other kinds of challenges Still, I've had a lot of initiative, and it hasn't been killer-hard to keep going.

And then, over the last week or so, ever so slowly, I've been slipping. The home gym sessions got skipped or foreshortened. I had a couple of days when I ate over my calorie goals … then a couple of days when I'm pretty darned sure I did, but I can't be absolutely sure because I didn't bother to record it. The eating was starting to feel out-of-control and intended to feed my heart rather than my body.

I came into the weekend feeling the hot breath of failure on the back of my neck, and I had no idea what to do about it. Then, as I was desperately trying to think of how to turn it around, I remembered the dragon.

See, as far back as the eighth grade, I've struggled with episodes of depression. These episodes can come at any time, but the midwinter months are usually hard, and those episodes have sometimes been deep.

You'd think that, since I know all this, I'd start watching for the signs. But, at least for me, depression tends to arrive pretty quietly. This morning, I realized that my healthy changes were being drug down by the challenges of emotional health. As I thought about it, I came to think of the depression as like a dragon. (You can blame a movie ad for the image.)

My initial thoughts for how to make accommodation for the dragon's presence were along the lines of partial surrender. Perhaps I shouldn't even try to do the gym exercises. Maybe I should raise my calorie limits. Maybe I should….

And then I got mad.

"Why," I asked myself, "should I give in to this? Why should I let it make me a failure?" I then talked aloud, perhaps just to myself, perhaps to make dragon, feeling all smaug over there on his gold. (See what I did there?) I would not, I said, give in. I would maintain my standards. I am not (I continued) the same person I used to be, and I will choose what I eat and how I exercise. There were other things I said as well.

Of course, telling a dragon off is not the same thing as defeating him. The dragon is still here, and he will remain here until he decides to go sit on his treasure someplace else for a while. I'm going to have to be careful, for example, to know exactly what my exercise plan is for the day. And, though I will be tempted, this will not be the time to make ambitious additions to my goals. And, I do think it's appropriate to restart the gym work a little slowly. But I will do these things because I CHOOSE to – not because I feel that choice has been taken from me.

And I must never forget that the dragon is there: he is most dangerous when I'm unaware of him.

Take that, you nasty overgrown lizard. And do something about that breath.

This post was edited on 11/25/13 to rearrange a tiny bit and to improve the post's resemblance to English.

Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You’re not alone :)

    Keep being strong!

  2. As a fellow diabetic who battles with the dragon – love that imagery, btw! – I salute you for recognizing what was happening and taking steps to deal with it. For me, the realization that it’s back seems the hardest part now, because once I know, I have plans in place to do things differently. Hope it moves along (but not to my house, please) asap.

  3. Thanks Bob for sharing. The dragon is certainly a goo visual. And its odd how stealthy a dragon can be, sneaking up on us like it does. Then when we realize its there its all fire balls and tail thrashing. Yup – you’re not alone Bob. Thank you for sharing. I know recognizing it doesn’t make it up and pack its bag – there is always the battle. glad you aren’t trying o reason with it – it sucks at communication – stand and fight and we all have your back. Hugs.


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