I want to be human. We all have pain. We all go through stuff. Whatever it is. There is no comparison. It doesn’t matter what one person’s pain is compared to mine. These things we go through are deep. They are also here to teach us. And they stay with us until we have learned the lesson. Perhaps even beyond. It is part of being human. Now I want to go beyond this place. I want to embrace my humanity, including my pain. And I want to move past that pain. I want to embrace it, so that I can let it go.
On January 4, 2014 I had had enough. Seriously. I hit the wall, and I was DONE. Enough of the feeling of being overweight and all the negativity that came with it. Over the course of the year, I dropped 4 pant sizes. Woo hoo! I used my positivity as my main source of strength. Everything else stemmed from that. Eating better and exercising became much easier, because I was finally being kind to myself.
Just before the holidays, however, things began slowly drifting away from me. I became fearful. What if it doesn’t stick? What if I go back to the “old” me? I knew the holidays presented lots of yummy eating opportunities, and I didn’t want to miss out on them. I did pretty well, too. I enjoyed the foods of the season, mostly in moderation. And I was confident that after the holidays, I would get back on track.
Only that hasn’t happened. Mostly I get inspired one day, then find I’ve come down with yet another cold. I feel like we’ve hardly had more than one week at a time with a healthy family. Ugh. It’s wretched. Every time I get sick – or over-tired from taking care of the kids – I start eating. Not healthy foods either, of course. Why is it that we want to eat junk when we’re sick?? I know I’m not the only one.
Okay. So I get over a cold and think, “Great. Now I can get back on track again.” I start tracking my food again. I start exercising again. … And then I get sick again.
I don’t know how much weight I’ve put back on, but I know my pants are snug. The clothes I was fitting into last fall are snug this spring.
I’m now getting over a 3-week cold. Here we go again. I’ve been trying to track my food. Not doing so well with that. I’ve been exercising. (Although I have found out that I actually really like exercising! But I think that’s another post.)
Here’s the thing, though. I’m getting that feeling again. ENOUGH. I’M DONE. I do not like that image staring back at me in the mirror. I don’t like the way I feel in my clothes. I don’t like the way I feel, period. So what am I going to do about it? Time to get back to the things that worked last year. But also find some new sources of inspiration.
- Track food – especially works when I plan the night before for the next day
- Exercise (as I said, I can definitely do that!)
But those are the physical things. I really believe that the emotional work is what’s most important.
- Be kind to myself
- Say only positive things about my body and myself
- Appreciate my body and all that it does for me
- Go easy on myself if I have a less-than-perfect day
I also believe it’s important to take care of myself. Have time for myself and with my husband and my friends. Get a massage, go to the chiropractor, schedule health sessions with my acupuncturist. Talk to people who are uplifting. Laughter feels so good!
Ah yes – be light about all this!! It should feel good! It should be fun!
So this post is in essence my very own pep-talk. Let’s go! It’s spring! It’s time to feel fabulous again!!
I love chronology. Things in order. Nice and neat.
However, that is not how my life is most of the time.
And so, part of embracing my authenticity is being okay with the bits of chaos that I float around in all day long!
I would love to go back and begin my story somewhere at that beginning (although I’m still not even sure where that is). But it would take too long to catch up to where I am right now. And I want to write … right now.
So here I go. Into new territory for me. Jumping off into the deep end instead of carefully slipping my toes into the water at the first step of the pool.
That might mean it’s a bit difficult for any readers to follow along. Sorry about that. This blog is really for me, though. I’d love to know that some of the wisdom I’ve gained is helpful to someone out there. But for now, this blog is a way for me to sort through what’s going on and all that I am learning.
Last December I turned 39. Apparently, this is a really big year for people. I am no exception. It wasn’t exactly on my birthday. It was about 3 weeks later (after the chaos of the holidays had died down). On January 4th (yes, this was the actual day), something began to erupt in me.
ENOUGH. — I. am. so. done.
I was ready for a change. A big change. It had been building up for a long time. A lifetime, even. But certainly over the past few years, things had really begun to boil and bubble inside. In my 30s, I met my husband, got married, finished my graduate degree, and gave birth to two beautiful baby boys. It was time to focus on me again. The timing was perfect.
After a lifetime of struggling with my weight and self-image, I was ready to look myself square in the eye (or body) and make a change. No more negative talk. No more judging perceived imperfections. Positive words only.
On January 4th, my husband and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite steak restaurants. But that night, the food wasn’t very good. Nonetheless, I sat there and ate it, maybe wishing the next bite would be better. But it wasn’t. I came home feeling over-stuffed. Heavy. Weighed down. It wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling, alas.
I happened to sit down on the couch and pick up the latest issue of Cooking Light. With the first issue of the new year came an article from the editor about losing weight. I’ve read countless articles on losing weight. I’ve done the yo-yo dieting, each time thinking I’d found “the one,” only to end up 10 pounds heavier than when I’d started. The weight had piled on. By the time I was getting married, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.
But this time, something did click. I read about an app I could get for my phone to track what I was eating. Oh, I’ve done that before, too, and it didn’t work. Although, never with the ease of clicking away on my cell phone. There was a big learning curve as I taught the app all the foods I eat. I began tracking meticulously. And I weighed and measured all my food. That part, I don’t actually mind. The nerdy math side of me rather likes playing the numbers. I told the app about some of my behaviors and entered the focus to lose one pound a week. One pound. I could do that.
It wasn’t just the app, though. There has been so much more that has led to my success. For one thing, I was ready. That’s such a nebulous idea, I know. It’s one of the inexplicable things. You just have to feel it.
I also had this new idea. What if it took me until I was 40? Would that be so bad? Not really. I could definitely deal with that. So instead of wanting results in a month or a week, I had a long-term focus.
It’s now September. I don’t know how much weight I’ve actually lost. (One of the lessons I took away from previous dieting attempts: I can’t handle having a scale in the house. I become too obsessive.) But I’ve gone down 3 sizes. I’m wearing clothes in sizes I’ve never worn in my entire life. It feels amazing.
There is so much more to delve into. There are so many layers. So many aspects that have contributed to my success. I want to go into more detail in future posts. I want to process it all. And I also want to remind myself of all that I have learned. Because now I am entering the next phase of maintenance, and I do not – under any circumstances – want to go back. Not ever again.
I am embracing my new self. I am exploring this person. Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I want to present myself to the world? Still many questions to be answered and explored. Here’s to the next phase of my authentic self!