Fat Fridays: The Juggler

Fat Fridays. The day we talk about diet and exercise and triumphs and failures. 

I did not write last week because I was neck-deep in failure and I had nothing to say. The last couple weeks have been rough. And the hardest part is that I haven’t been sure why eating healthy and exercising suddenly became so hard again. 

I think I finally got some insight today. 

As a mom with eleven kids, I’m keeping track of a lot of things. I have made the comparison before of being a juggler who is trying to keep a bunch of balls up in the air. I’m juggling away, getting into the swing of it. Yeah. I got this. And then someone offstage suddenly starts pelting me with a bunch more balls. You’re keeping ten balls in the air? Here, take five more. And then I start dropping balls all over the place, everything gets out of sync, and I end up picking the most vital balls (how about let’s keep everyone fed and alive) and tossing them in the air while I regroup and try to start getting everything back up in the air and going in rhythm again, with five new balls added. 

I think that is what has happened this month. Extracurricular activities starting up for the kids, several home repair crises that we’ve been putting off for as long as possible, and now they can’t be ignored anymore. All of our vehicles suddenly having problems and needing various parts and repairs. And as all these new things got thrown my way, the first ball I dropped was diet. I kept exercising, but even with that, this week I ended up missing two days in a row. 

This morning I woke up at four am and lay in bed stressing over all the things I needed to do. I finally fell asleep maybe a half hour before my alarm went off. I did not wake up in a good mood. I was grumping at my husband and he blessed me by not responding with an equally grumpy mood. Instead he helped me sort out all the things I was stressed about for the day and helped me figure out some solutions. Then later in the day, one thing got cancelled, and that made it possible for me to do three other things on my list with a lot less stress. And as I realized how much my mood improved just from one cancellation, I started cluing in to how our newly busy schedule was throwing me off kilter in all areas of my life. 

When I reach a certain level of stress, I start grasping at anything to make me feel better and I tend to fall back into my unhealthy coping patterns. Which includes using food for comfort. 

Do I have a solution for this? Not really. But at least I know a lot more what I’m up against. And for me, understanding my behavior always has to be the first step before I can change it. 

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