As soon as I finished my last post I got dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, put my hair up in a pony tail, and went looking for a baseball cap. Unfortunately my coat closet is a mess, and looking through it was amplifying my anxiety, so I skipped the hat and just put on a pair of sunglasses. My husband had reminded me that before I go on my walk I should apply some sunscreen, so I did, even though I had a feeling that I would step outside my door and chicken out.
Despite my fears, and the blood pounding in my ears, when I headed out the door into the ninety degree heat I did not coward and run back inside, instead walking resolutely to the end of my drive way and up the block to the corner. I had every intention of walking for only five minutes this first time out so as I walked I counted out the seconds. I was walking at a nice even pace of two steps per second, and that made me happy and calm. At least it did until I rounded the corner and some one shouted “Give it up!”
Now, logically I know that they were not talking to me, I’m not even sure that that is actually what they said, but the irrational part of my brain had a hard time letting go of the idea that the person was condemning me for being fat in public. As I walked to the next corner my hands started doing this thing where they bent out ninety degrees at the wrists and repeatedly tapped my middle and ring fingers to my palms.
Luckily there was no one out in their yards, or driving past to witness me walking down the street like that, but as I kept going my palms started to sweat. I was mouthing the numbers as I continued counting the seconds. My mouth was dry and I started breathing heavily, not even pausing when I snapped the picture below. Needless to say, I was not having a good time. My eyes were darting back and forth, and I was really glad I was sunglasses.
Then I rounded the second to last corner and a little kid started crying. Again, logically I know it wasn’t my fault, but it made me feel like a monster. Still, I managed to keep the same steady pace as I rounded the last corner. I started getting a headache as I approached my house, but I just kept walking, two steps per second, counting them out as I went, still tapping my palms with my fingers.
I finally got home and walked a few more steps inside my garage so that I opened the door at exactly eight hundred seconds. So that means I walked for thirteen minutes and twenty seconds, and took 1600 steps. I flopped down on my bed and just breathed deeply waiting for my heart to stop pounding. My skin was crawling, though, and I needed to get a shower, even though I had just gotten one right before I left. When I got up I almost fell over because I was super dizzy and shaking, and it lasted for about half an hour.
Regardless, I’m feeling ok about the whole thing. I made it! Now hopefully I can convince myself to go out, and do it again tomorrow.