First Real Signs of Strength = Small Wins

I do not know where it came from, but it’s very welcome.

I think it started with Maggie’s idea to get dressed in workout clothes first thing. And then just one small thing (I charged my Fitbit). Piled on top of Ann’s suggestion to read the book about Habits.

I have a whole day, every day to myself. I could be filling it with many things, but I don’t. The worst usurper of my time is digital. The TV is now relegated to post 6pm only. I’ve had small, barely noticeable tinges of regret for wasting this much time. The feeling is fleeting. The heaviness of emptiness is pervasive. I still feel dark and empty on the inside.

But there is a very small, yet immensely strong soul inside me that refuses to give up. Yea, she’s the same one who never gave up on Tony, too so she’s delusional but when put to good use she is mighty.

I noticed on the first day I convinced myself to exercise it was because I talked myself into sleeping the rest of the day away. I didn’t do that, but the self-talk convinced me I could, should I want to. Based on that inkling of promise, I reframed the amount of time I have to myself and I was able to make some positive steps forward.

Go to bed by 10pm, period. Get up 7:30am consistently to get the kid off to school. Get dressed in workout gear before leaving bedroom (put it out night before so no excuses). Wear the Fitbit (no monitoring steps yet) Then, come home and enjoy a quiet morning scrolling media or reading with my coffee. Finally, Peloton workout. 30 mins is the requirement.

If I can change this one thing, getting dressed and then committing to some exercise for 30 minutes daily, I will not require myself to do more during that day unless necessary.

Nice deal I made with myself, right?

I can do this well before 11am. And, so far when I do, I see the energy to do other important tasks such as work related or finance related items. I won’t force myself to do more, I just seem to be more restless doing nothing after the workout. It’s a bit harder to sit still when I created good energy.

I also know the absolute best way to manage my food intake and stick to my keto macros is to log my food. I have been doing this on and off since surgery but I’m paying more attention now. I have an app that I can scan the UPC code and it makes it super easy to keep track. I’ve also knocked almost all my sugar cravings and have found the right kind of food substitutes. It helps that I don’t go out drinking and eating as often as well!

I realize this isn’t a big commitment. But it’s a start to getting my head screwed back onto my shoulders. I’ve been off the rails for close to a year. By the end of April last year I began to lose the will to live, so time slipped right through my fingers. I don’t think I will be remembering my 51st year with any fondness.

I’ve learned to avoid making morning commitments so I can adhere to my small routine. I still overwhelm easily which is worrisome considering how much I’ve been able to shoulder in the past. I still feel like part of my mind (as well as my soul) is broken and disconnected.

My small win this week has been rewarding. Every day I remind myself I’m doing this for me. I had surgery and lost a ton of weight, no reason I can’t tone up and be strong also. I want to be strong again. So while I’m fragile emotionally, the least I can do for myself is begin to make my body stronger. I’ve misused my body, mind and soul this past year but only I can recover what I’ve given away.

By the time this posts, I will have completed and entire week of routine. Good eating, good sleeping and exercise. Other than pure physical recovery (which was no small feat based on my surgeries) this is the most I’ve accomplished since surgery. I am happy it’s a start.

I’ll take it.

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

13 thoughts on “First Real Signs of Strength = Small Wins”

      1. That’s a really good plan. I tend to do that related to job stuff- other things- I have to do my dish mountain. Or my job search. And the motivation to be active seems to be low on the totem. Maybe I should start with active and see if it makes me do the other stuff

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was great at doing work when I was working. Always the most motivated. Never motivated for fitness. I do feel better and sleep better.

        I just have to do 20 mins, and I’m out. I’ve been doing more but that’s the bribe I tell myself!


      3. Gonna give this a shot. I did yoga every morning when I was working, usually about 20 minutes and then 10-20 of stretching and meditating. I need to work on this. Start with 20. I can do this

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, this is awesome!!! I can so relate to your doldrums. This post really resonated with me. I too sank deep and it was a struggle to drag myself out of the muck of my funk. My suggestion would be to maintain your current course — you picked all the right steps: bedtime, waking time, fitbit, clothes laid out the night before. All of those small habits get you in the right frame of mind. Logging my food has always been a challenge for me. I too have the barcode app and that does help a lot. I use MyFitnessPal which also allows you to multi-add favorites. That helps too, but it’s a drag regardless.

    As for tackling the bigger tasks of finances and job search, once again, small steps. Just set an alarm for 20 minutes and work on something. I set a timer for 20 minutes and work on something I loathe. Once the timer goes off, I can go do something more enjoyable.

    Right now I have to dig into some projects and I’m not feeling them. I have to get it done today, so I’m about to take a 20-minute walk first. Then I’ll come back and tackle one. Then I’ll grab something to eat, then I’ll do another and so on. I’ve burned up all my procrastination tricks (like reading your blog), so now I have to up my energy level with a walk.

    You are doing GREAT!! I know you don’t think so, but we over-achievers tend to be so hard on ourselves. Keep up the small steps — they work!!! Hugs to you!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s funny you mention the 20 minute trick. It’s how I convinced myself to exercise. It’s getting started that’s the hardest. But once I’m in the clothes (best suggestion ever) and have had my coffee, there’s little reason to continue to avoid it. So I start. Once I start I can do more than originally intended but the pressure is off because we can really do anything for 20 mins, right? Reframing it has helped.

      I’m now wearing the Fitbit every day and struggling to get 10k steps in so that’s next.

      But the start was really good and I feel proud

      Thanks so much for your encouragement it really means the world to me! I always admire how hard you work because I know I couldn’t be entrepreneurial!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea I noticed that I really move very little during the normal day nowadays. At first I was at 3-4K steps and now around 6-7k because I’m more mindful and jumping on a treadmill to pick up extra steps. But you really need to be actively moving around to get 10k steps every day!

        Liked by 1 person

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