Let’s be honest, sometimes life sucks.
Maybe you had a tough day at work, and came home to Fido chewing on your favorite slippers. (Does anyone wear slippers around the house anymore?)
Maybe your significant other broke up with you.
Maybe you finally start eating healthily and intuitively but you lose control one night and binge.
Maybe your grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.
Bad things will happen to you. And other people will say, “chin up, buttercup!”
Easier said than done, right? Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is plaster a (fake) smile on your face and pretend like everything’s hunky dory and wait for the rain to pass.
Sometimes, that may be the best way to deal with a situation.
But other times, maybe we don’t have to be happy and cheery–maybe we just need to redefine optimism.
I found this quote recently, and it intrigued me.
Seligman defines optimism, not as the belief that everything will get better, not as the belief that everything should be rainbows and butterflies, but as the idea that you can make everything better.
I’m still struggling with binge eating and overeating. It’s gotten better since my letter to my body, but it still rears its ugly head every now and then. The night of a binge and the day after, I always feel like crap. Part of it is probably from the intense amount of carbs and sugar I consume during my binges, leaving me in a food and sugar coma.
But a part of the post-binge-crap-feeling is self-inflicted. Guilt. Shame. Fear. Fear of how it affects my health, fear of how it affects my outward appearance, fear of how it’ll affect my running, fear that I’m not taking care of myself as well as I should be, but most of all, fear that it’ll happen again. That I’ll fail again.
When the fear threatens to overcome us, we need to remember that we’re human. Things happen. We make bad choices. But those things and those choices don’t have to define us. At any moment in time, we’re in control of our actions.
This has applied to my running, too. Not every run is a good one. Sometimes you even have weeks at a time where you and running just aren’t getting along. You may have missed your PR by 30 seconds. You may have gotten injured, sidelined for 3 weeks, and chose to not race what was supposed to be your big race. (Sound like anyone you know?)
But there’s always something you can learn. There’s always something you can take away. And even more importantly, there’s always something you can do to put yourself in a better place, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually, than the place you were in yesterday.