Making Changes*

I haven’t really been feeling myself the last few weeks.

I seem to go through these periods where I feel a bit adrift, and then know I need to make changes to anchor myself again. Does anyone else feel that way?

No? Just me? Cool.

For starters, I knew my eating habits were way out of control again. It’s almost painful for me to think about how well I was doing last February before my brother’s wedding compared to where I am now, just six months later. When I get in a cycle of eating poorly (eating excessive amounts of sugar) it triggers me to just want more sugar. I am not someone who can handle eating sweets in moderation… I never have been. There was one day last week where I ate three ice cream cones in one day. THREE. And I wish that was all the junk that I had eaten that day. I crave more until I feel sick. It’s so awful. And I’m so aware that I’m doing it, but can’t seem to stop unless I go cold turkey and cut it all out.

I’ve tried six or seven times to get off sugar again since falling of the healthy eating wagon last winter. Each time I made it to day three or four before I got stressed out and binged on chocolate chip cookies.

I do the same thing with social media on my phone. I have been spending way too much time on my phone. Again, I’m so aware of it, but can’t seem to make myself stop. Scrolling through the newsfeeds on Facebook or Instagram is just so relaxing and addictive… it’s such an easy way to escape for a minute.

Except for me, it’s never a minute. I’ll tell myself it will be, and the next thing I know it’s been 30 minutes. And then there’s the quiet voice inside that sometimes compares our own lives to what’s being portrayed online by others, and it never matches up.

About a week ago I was sitting scrolling on my phone, and I picked it up to take a photo of something.  I was trying to come up with a clever caption, when I was suddenly struck by a thought:

“Why am I posting this? Am I honestly sharing real parts of my daily life, or am I manufacturing moments simply so that I can post them?

While I think it’s a bit of both, lately it’s felt more like the latter. Instead of being in control of my social media use, I felt like it was controlling me. So, in a moment of strength, I logged out of Instagram and deleted it from my phone. Then I made sure my new, friendless blog Facebook account was set up the way I wanted, and deactivated my personal Facebook account. (This way I can still access my blog page and several of the groups I enjoy, like my book club, mom discussion group, etc… but with no newsfeed.)

Two days later, I decided to get my eating habits under control too. I’m on day five of no sugar, and so far so good. I’ve only ever made it past day 4 twice, so I’m hopeful I can keep it going.

I know it’s only been a few days, but it feels really, really good. I haven’t missed social media nearly as much as I thought I would, especially considering how much time I spent on it. I’m using my phone way less and I hope to keep improving on that. I don’t think I’ll stay off Instagram forever, but I would really like to be done with Facebook. It has changed so much since I first signed on, and while I enjoy the happy updates from friends, it also seems to be a breeding ground for negativity. So, I cut it out. And I’m glad that I did it.

I feel like I’m sailing on course now, instead of just floating adrift. I’m sure I’ll mess up and need to start again at some point, but I’ve learned that I do so much better when I share my struggles (and triumphs!) with you.

And starting to get these two bad habits under control feels like a mini triumph to me.

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