Welcome to "Slim Chance," a bi-monthly series in which author Amber Petty documents the bliss and pain of losing weight.
Weight: 230.2 pounds
Lost in 2 weeks: 2.8 pounds
Total Lost: 22.8 pounds
I took a nap and was always still tired. I went to bed at 9pm … still tired. I let myself fall asleep and was shocked by all shocks, still tired.
The last week began with this infinite drowsiness triggered by the nature of the flu. I call it the "type of flu" because I was dizzy, painful, tired and hot, but actually no fever or the crippling symptoms that usually accompany the full flu. Still, it was not fun.
But I tried to be positive. You're sick – that happens to everyone. Take this opportunity to rest I thought reassuringly. This kind of optimism is not easy for me: I tend to be all or nothing and want to work all the time. About six months ago, I heard the words "work-life balance." "The sentence sounded like a teacher to Charlie Brown in my head. Add to this mentality years "the show must go on" indoctrination from my theater days, and you have yourself a woman who does not rest easy.
Still, my training seems to work with positive attitudes.  I got more sleep, reduced my workload and felt better slowly. "It's all over by Monday, and I can be my productive self again," I said in delilahish tones.
After my rare week of rest and recovery was complete, I expected to wake up on Monday as I was being reborn Oh, the energy and joy that I will bring to this world. Thank you, work-life balance and thank you, self-care, that you have rejuvenated my mind and make me feel healthy again!
But a week later I wake up and I'm tired. Later I take a nap. Still tired. Go to bed at 9 o'clock. Still tired!
But then it happened: All day I had the feeling that I had stones in my stomach, my chest was tense and the blood that flowed around my chest felt like acid. I might have been a bit sick, but that was not the type of flu – it was scared. I immediately woke up scared and could not shake it off for the rest of the day.
Why was I scared? Yes, I had to work, but that was not much. And the work I had was mainly stuff that I liked! But my rational mind has not deterred the army of timid ants who have decided to crawl around my body all day long.
OK, stay positive. You had a day off. Just rest and tomorrow will be better I thought. So I rested, went to bed early and woke up … and felt the same way. Well, I was angry.
At that time, I had had a full week off (sure, I had to work a bit on all these days, but it was not like I was in the coal mines), worried day, and I still could not get my crap together. You know what?! Positive Snail, I thought. Let me use my self-obsessive, supernegative ways.
So for the rest of the week, I cooked a mixture of fear and self-criticism. Honestly, I was incredibly mad at myself for being so tender: What may I have to be so worried about? Why can not I just overcome it? Why do I have to be a lazy, stupid idiot?
As you may have guessed, my pep conversation helped "I'm not a lazy, stupid idiot", things did not help.
The reality is, I'm scared, and sometimes it just comes out to play. Do not I hate that I can have these attacks that cause me to spend half a day in a dark room under the blanket? Yes. I really hate it. I feel weak and incompetent. But it happens and I know that it does not matter to me if I'm pissy with myself.
After a few anxious days, I slowly began checking things from my to-do list, which helped me relax and calm myself back into a positive attitude. I mean, it was not all sunshine and unicorns, but at least I tried.
And while I was meditating, I heard the Buddhist parable of the two arrows.
To say it, the parable says that sometimes it can be hit with an arrow. This arrow is a pain that you can not control, such as illness (check), loss of a job (check), or finally finding the pumpkin pie halo top ice cream that you buy, then discovering that it is not gluten free and in sadness as watching your husband eats it (check). You know, the true, terrible pain of life.
The first arrow will cause you pain, and that is inevitable. We will all have this pain. But then, essentially, we shoot ourselves with another arrow: the mental torments we add to the pain. For example, getting angry with myself because I am sick and need free time. Instead of feeling the pain of a normal illness, rolling with it, and continuing after it was over, I melted in and made everything worse.
If you are a Buddhist scholar, please forgive my version history. I am sure that it is far more beautiful than what I have said. But the idea of it was so right for me! Although I've worked hard not to eat stress or use food to relieve my pain, I still have so many harsh, critical voices running through my head and arrows shooting straight at me. I have to learn to feel the first arrow and then avoid my negative archer. Self-bullying can only lead to more stress.
This week I was plagued by a combination of illness and anxiety. I did not go for a walk every night and was not so active. But I did not need food to make EVERYONE feel better. When I was ill, I did not have a whole bunch of frozen macaroni and cheese (were you unaware of the healing powers of mac and cheese?). I ate well all the time, and I'm very proud of that.
Besides, my fear has gone down for the time being. I know it will come back, but hopefully I'm a bit more prepared. And in the meantime, I'll try to be a little nicer to myself and work on my almost constant stress.
Amber Petty is a L.A-based writer and a regular contributor to Greatist. Follow her as she describes her weight loss journey in her new bimonthly Slim Chance column. Take her singing lessons on Sing a Different Tune and follow her on Instagram @ambernpetty.