I don’t like to sit still. At all. I have gotten better over the past couple of years and I can now comfortably sit through a long meal with friends, a Blazers game and even an evening binge watching the Game of Thrones. But man, the past ten years my body has seen a lot of standing, pacing, running, jumping, anything but sitting.
“Why do you think have a hard time sitting and resting?" My therapist, Kirsten asked during one of our first sessions, as I sat, legs crossed, my foot kicking in a nervous, rhythmic fashion.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable,” I answered without hesitation. Movement had long become more than a calorie burning thing.
“Physically?” Kirsten inquired, giving me a knowing look, “or emotionally?” Yes and YES!discomfort with inactivity.
Sitting still wasn’t a problem for me seventeen years ago, not that I had much time for it. I had returned to work, about twenty pounds away from my precious Gianni’s (fifteen if you count the giant safety pin I eventually used as a fastener), and I was trying to figure out life as a working mom. Marc was traveling more as his insurance book was growing which left me feeling frazzled and overwhelmed most of the time. Although I had little time for exercise, I managed to do something every day, mostly walking. I quickly got back into the routine of daily hill hikes with my coworkers at lunch hour, and then again in the evening, taking Dylan out for a walk in the jogger to the Jamba Juice by our house. It was not exactly strenuous exercise, in fact in later years I would not consider walking "real" exercise at all, but at that time, as long as I was doing some sort of purposeful movement, I counted it towards calories out and I needed to burn those calories. Something had been weighing on me for the past eight months since returning to work, and when something was bothering me, it was food I turned to to deal with it, or more accurately, NOT deal with it. Most evenings I found myself eating past the point of being comfortably full. One too many slices of Hawaiian pizza or helpings of pesto pasta, just enough to numb the guilt, and assuage the sadness.
You see, I liked my job as the Human Resources Director at The Christie School, I had worked hard, and I felt like I was making a difference for the employees, and ultimately the kids we served, ( and I loved the paycheck). But, I adored Dylan and dropping him off at childcare for eight hours a day was taking a toll and I was pretty sure crying every morning at drop off was not exactly a sign of emotional stability. I wanted so badly to be with him but being a stay at home mom wasn’t high on my bucket list. So instead of making a decision either way, I talked incessantly about the pros and cons of each, to my mom, to Marc, to my friends, and to the checker at Thriftway. And I ate, sometimes mindlessly, sometimes purposefully, waiting for an epiphany, a sign, anything that would give me the right answer. I was years away from realizing, if I would listen to my gut rather than trying to silence it, the answers were usually staring me right in the face.