I have a messed up knee. A torn ACL, torn meniscus, possible compression fracture. Today I’ll be seeing an orthopedic doctor to find out the course of treatment. Since the injury two months ago, I haven’t been active. That’s been hard for me. Being active is a part of a life-long strategy of healthy living as a recovered bulimic. It’s not something I take for granted.
This week, I put my running shoes on and decided to walk. We’ve had several inches of snow with temperatures in the teens, so walking outside is not an option. Using our elliptical is too strenuous on the injured knee. Obstacles to exercise have kept me sedentary. I finally decided to overcome the obstacles.
As I walked a circle for forty-five minutes in my basement, the mundane act was life-giving. I realized how tempting it was to tell myself that if I couldn’t run, I might was well not try. I knew the longer I stayed away from healthy behavior, the easier it was not to engage in it again. I realized how easily lies creep in when you need to overcome obstacles.
Sometimes, you just need to walk.
So, how do you overcome life’s obstacles?
- Walk in the direction of the obstacle. Obstacles have power over us when we feel helpless in overcoming them. Walking towards them makes them more manageable.
- Doing what you can is better than doing nothing at all. I’ve felt helpless in the area of physical activity lately. But when I began walking, I gained energy and was encouraged in what I could do.
- Don’t aim for perfection. A lie of the enemy is “If I can’t do it the way I’d like, it’s not worth trying,” or “If I don’t think I’ll succeed, I won’t try.” Perfection shouldn’t be a life goal. Doing your best regardless of circumstances should be.
- Think outside the box. My elliptical has been a vital tool in being active during snowy Midwest winters. Part of me wanted to believe I couldn’t do anything with a bum knee. I resolved to do what I could to get myself moving again. My tennis shoes and a basement free of furniture were options for me. Not ideal, but it worked.
- Don’t lie to yourself. No matter how much time transpires between the present and the eating disorder days, old, familiar lies quickly can creep in. Cognitive distortions and unhealthy thinking patterns are obstacles to most of us. Recognizing triggers for faulty thinking is essential in overcoming obstacles.
- Keep moving. When I speak on addictions and overcoming obstacles, this principle is an essential truth. As long as you are moving forward, you’re overcoming something, you’re not being defeated, and you’re taking steps toward healthy behavior. Living addiction-free is a lifelong process. Walking forward towards the goal is the action plan.
What obstacles face you? What fear is holding you back from stepping toward healthy behavior, healthy relationships, or achieving hopes and dreams? What steps to you need to take today?
Whatever you do, keep walking.