During yesterday's jogging meditation, something big and painful surfaced. And damn, it was fricking hard to come to grips with. In the Dhamma Brothers movie, one of the inmates said that doing the 10-day Vipasasna meditation program was harder than anything he's endured in maximum security prison.
I haven't been to prison, but yeah, this stuff is hard! It's not physically hard, but emotionally hard because in meditation as you get present and start living in the now, wow! all kinds of stuff deep down starts to surface. I can say for myself, stuff is coming up that I thought I had entirely dealt with, but apparently have not.
I've been kinda upset with myself that since I started this walking meditation challenge that I haven't been able to walk one day since the first day. Earlier in the challenge, I started becoming conscious that I may be using running more as an avoidance mechanism versus for health and fitness. The lines are blurry.
"Why can't I just walk?" I've been asking myself that question for the last four days. There's been no answer until yesterday.
A truth comes out
I've run 6 days in a row, and on Sunday I thought for sure I could walk because it's normally my rest day from running but no. I started jogging, and I asked myself again, "Why can't I just walk?"
I was silent, and waited to see what would come to me.
More silence except the rhythmic sound of my feet hitting the pavement as I jogged.
"I'm afraid of getting fat. I can't walk because I'm afraid of getting fat," said the inner voice calmly.
WTF! I stopped in my tracks...and then I started crying. I didn't like hated what I was feeling so I started running again. See avoidance. I couldn't be with my pain over this revelation. I felt compelled to keep running as if I could run away from this truth.
A cornucopia of mighty feelings ran through me as I continued to run: shock, embarrassment, frustration, fear, disappointment, shame, guilt and sadness.
With my weight, I thought I had come to a place where I was finally content and I was no longer preoccupied with fat. I thought I was in that place of peace with my weight. I believed I was in a place where my weight was no longer the boss of me. On the surface, I thought I was all those things, but apparently deep down, the truth is no, not all.
I also thought I had gotten rid of those judgmental words from my self-talk, "You're fat." Those two words used to cause me so much anguish and suffering starting when I was a kid. I was a round girl with four eyes and pigtails, and kids at school and relatives would tease me for being the chubby one. I grew up believing I was unlovable and undesirable because I was overweight.
Now I know why I can't stop running
I have come very far with my health in the last ten years. I have done much healing work and have accomplished a great deal with my health habits replacing destructive habits with healthier habits. That part is truth. But what is also truth is that a part of me is still afraid of getting fat. Now that I'm back in my skinny jeans, apparently hidden in the deep crevices is still the fear that I will gain weight and be fat again, and that's why I can't stop running.
In my mind, I went back to the last time I was overweight which was the summer of 2007. On the BMI chart, I was 2.5 points from being obese, and ironically one of the top healthy living bloggers at the time. I had gained 25lbs during the 3-year relationship I was in at that moment. During that relationship, I stopped working out and running and ate to self-medicate because I knew but was in major denial that that relationship went on 2 years longer than it should have, and that he never really loved me.
Three months before we broke up in the Fall 2007, I got my act together and started losing weight. I've dropped 40lbs since then and have kept those pounds off minus a five pound gain here and there, which is really no big deal. I see a five pound gain as a sign that I'm starting to veer of my health path.
Then it hit me during my jog yesterday that ever since 2007, I have run at least 3-4 times a week. In almost 5 years, I have run every single week. There has never been a time since I was 40lbs heavier where I have gone more than two days without running at least one mile. I have never just walked. The last time I stopped running, I gained 25lbs.
So, my emotional attachment to running has become clear to me now. I have emotionally attached running to being slim because a part of me is afraid of getting fat like the last time I stopped running. The word "fat" for me has so much emotional attachments which I thought I healed, but no, there is still more to work on. Logically, I run because it's my favorite way to exercise and stay healthy. But emotionally, I'm now seeing that my motivation to run is born more from fear and that truth is what I've been metaphorically running from seeing. See, avoidance. Me and avoidance.
It was really hard and painful to come to this truth. Getting real with yourself and facing those ugly yet true things takes courage. It does! But, as I get older and continue to do healing work, I know that the pain of facing the truth is only temporary and sets you on a path where you now know what you're dealing with so you can heal it and move forward.
Overall feeling: Awkward faced with new truths but grateful