I love the city - it feels like home for me - but I still find myself a bit nervous thinking about my return.
The biggest source of my anxiety right now is the uncertainty. Moving to California was nerve-wrecking in a different way: I had no idea about the town I would be moving to, but I had a job and an apartment and I figured the rest would fall into place soon enough. Chicago poses the opposite problem right now: I have an apartment in a good location and with a few roommates (which I am grateful for, both in terms of less rent but also, more people around - after my year in solitude, I think this will be very good). But there's still a great deal of instability; namely, I have a part-time job lined up, but not in my field. There was one full-time job posted a month or so ago, and a good friend of mine disclosed to me the other day that she'd just left her third interview for the position - I never even got a rejection letter. I'm scared about not being able to pay my bills, or getting hurt or sick since I will no longer have insurance, or having to quit the Ragnar team. Luckily, I saved up enough this year to have a good buffer - between that and the part time article writing job, I know I have at least a few months to a year before the situation is critical.
The job, finances ... this will all work itself out. My main goal, in the meantime, is to not eat that stress. Which brings me to anxiety source #2: I'm terrified about getting back to Chicago and still being in a bad place health-wise.
If I were maintaining my weight due to an inexplicable plateau, that would be one thing. But I know why the scale has hardly left the 190s since moving here: I've all but entirely relapsed into my old addiction, using food to soothe emotional hurt, trying to feed emotional hunger with something other than love and support. I've put on the bravest face I could, and it's been increasingly difficult lately to hide the fact that I feel so completely broken. I believe that a lot of this is situational, that the stress of the year and the stress of my second move in ten months and the stress of a few family issues is wearing me down. Still, I find myself concerned that it isn't.
I'm nervous about getting to Chicago and still bingeing. And I'm especially nervous because so many of the people I love are there, and I'm scared of enabling them. Of continuing to slip, and pulling them down with me.
It was certainly something I talked about with Claire in San Francisco - she has struggled this year too, especially while working through physical therapy for an injured back. And she assured me that she wouldn't let it happen, that she isn't afraid to remove harmful elements (people included) from her life. Still, I worry. And I worry about Matt, who has been doing incredibly well lately - I don't want to derail his progress by skipping runs or eating poorly. We're running a half at the end of July, we need to stay focused on our goals.
And I not only have the half, but my full marathon in October. And I want to look and feel my best that day, and every day leading up to it.
So, I'm making a challenge for myself, and I'm inviting whoever would like to participate to join in.
There are exactly one hundred days between my arrival in Chicago (June 29) and the marathon (October 7).
My goal for the hundred days is to be binge-free.
I want to make sure that I am focused and healthy, especially in the three months or so leading up to the race. When I initially started getting healthy, I did everything in my power to stop the binges, and weight loss followed. It was as if the weight loss was just a side effect, a pleasant result of taking control of my addiction and investing in my physical and mental health.
I'm ready to get back to that happiness, to that feeling of satisfaction. I am ready to get serious, and to get back on the path to recovery.
For anyone else who'd like to participate, I challenge you to commit to something for one hundred days. It could be no binges. It could be going vegetarian. It could be writing down something you're grateful for every day (I will be doing that as well!). It could be logging a certain number of workouts, of miles, of steps. Anything! Just find something you'd like to try, and give it one hundred days.
I am going to do a special Hundred Day Challenge post every ten days with updates on the goal. I look forward to sharing my progress with you all - the accountability of public challenges like this has helped me so much in the past.
What about you? What would you like to challenge yourself to do for one hundred days?