On Starting Over (Again)

...yeah, I've been here before. Yeah, it kind of sucks. Last time I was here, five years ago, I even wrote a blog post describing exactly how I once again feel. I told myself, I have it in writing, that I'd never come back here. And yet, here I am. I'll be honest. It's frustrating. It sucks. I hate it.

I can dwell on that, and say it's pointless, and I should just give up entirely. Or I can use that to look at my mistakes: what did I do wrong, what was out of my control, what can I prevent from happening again? There are a lot of factors that add up to me being back at my starting point. Moving, money, depression, injuries. They're all excuses I leaned on, saying it was fine that I was backsliding because these things were out of my control. But you know what? I'll be honest: they were just excuses. I've lost weight while navigating most of those hurdles. Hell, losing weight and working out has helped a couple of those things. But, let's go down the list and see if I could've done things differently/will do things differently if they happen again.
  • Moving: This was a big one, and the reason I initially let myself "take a break". I said it would be for the winter while I got settled back into Chicago (I moved the end of November 2014, and Chicago is notoriously holed-up and immobile during the winters). This is the one hurdle I haven't been able to navigate while losing/maintaining weight. Moving is stressful, especially when you don't already have a job or apartment lined up (and I didn't have the latter for a gooood long while), and often involves a lot of take-out and delivery meals. But honestly, the problem with this one was that I gave myself an allotted amount of time off, and went beyond that. Way beyond that.
  • Money: Hey, if I could get fit while being unemployed for over a year, money should be no object, right? But I kept using it as an excuse. "I can't afford a gym membership" was something I often said with genuine sadness (you all know I love the gym!). But there's a ton of other stuff I can do without a gym, and I know it! Granted, some of that required having workout space in my living area (which I didn't, I tried, but I didn't) but running outside is an option and a lot of parks here have workout areas to do strength training as well. And I've still got my bikes! So, lack of money was just an excuse.
  • Depression: Okay, it's hard to get motivated when you're depressed. But I also know that working out helps my depression a ton. Want to feel better? Work out! It's that simple, self.
  • Injuries: I lost 20 pounds with a sprained ankle five years ago. But last year when I sprained my other ankle (yeah, yeah, I know, so many sprains), I used that as an excuse to sit around and do nothing. I didn't focus on upper body or core or yoga or anything. I just... stopped doing everything. There are things I could've done still. I could've focused on eating healthy, at the very least. But instead, I let my inactivity snowball for another year. But I know from experience that an injury does not have to mean the end of exercise.

So I can look back, and say "What's the point?" or I can look back and say "I've done it before, I can learn from my mistakes and do it again". It's all about perspective. I've been here before. I know I can do this again. How about you?