When a red flag flies, it's a warning.
There's something going on you need to be aware of, to keep your eye on, to watch out for.
Yet, even when the red flags get posted, not everyone heeds them.
On the beach, they mean stay out of the water.
But, sometimes, someone decides to dip her toe in the water anyway. It's doesn't feel dangerous. It doesn't look risky. And, maybe it's even a little bit rebellious to go where others say "stay away."
Or maybe it's a matter of just not caring what the signs say—you just don't feel like giving a damn for a little while about what you know is right for you. In fact, things just feel off and wrong and it's all too hard to juggle.
There's an unexpected diagnosis of a virus you've spent two years doing all you could to avoid.
I'm a rule follower. Always have been. When precautions were given, I followed them without question--primarily to protect friends and family.
I've done what I'm supposed to for 4 years to take better care of myself. I've tracked my food, my exercise, my water, my progress faithfully (not perfectly) for so long. That's the rules of the game of healthier life for me.
But something sort of snapped when that pink line popped up on that test. While I didn't experience major illness, there was a lot of anxiety of how this would affect my progress and my family.
It touched both.
Just as I rounded the corner, my husband tested positive. The quarantine cycle began again. His entire work life has been upended. Our girls were not able to come home because it's not safe---their own home. We missed their birthdays and yeah, we could celebrate any time but it felt horribly unfair.
My routine has been shot for weeks now and everything started to feel muted around me. RED FLAG #1
My energy has been sapped from the virus, from the isolation, the winter cold, the lack of activity. RED FLAG #2
The mindless eating in between meals to fill my days, to shut down my sad and anxious feelings. RED FLAG #3
The feeling of not wanting to face the mindless eating, so I stopped tracking consistently. RED FLAG #4
Flags on the field and in the air everywhere. But it took me days to finally realize that what started out as dipping my toes into seemingly harmless water was quickly dragging me into a riptide and had me floundering.
This morning, despite the continued fatigue and fear, I decided to start back to shore. It's more like a doggie paddle for me because I suck at swimming.
I got on the scale.
I planned my entire day's worth of meals.
I accepted that exercise is going to continue to be harder than I'm used to because I'm still recovering.
I realized that COVID triggered my depression more than it affected my physical health.
I couldn't control the fact that I got COVID.
But, I can control where I go from here.
I talked to my husband about what was going on inside my head. That helped a lot. And I think he appreciated me coming to him before things got really dark.
It felt good to take action. It might be small. It might be slow.
But, I'm coming out of the water.
And maybe next time, I'll heed the red flags a little sooner.
I'm Marie. I'm working toward a 200 lb. weight loss goal. I'm doing it with baby steps. Follow my journey here.