73 Days ago, I made a decision.
I made a decision to STOP and GO IN A NEW DIRECTION!!
I have struggled with depression and eating issues for a while now. I am an emotional eater and I knew I was losing my grip on my health, and that was keeping me up at night.
My depression was overwhelming me. I just had so much going on, so many people depending on me- and I could not do/be everything for everyone and that was making me feel so badly! I ate myself into a frenzy trying to cope with living in an emotional hurricane.
Something had to give.....
so one night, I decided that I was going to STOP and balance myself. (This is how I am- a cold turkey kind of girl.) I needed to pick one thing and try to make that better. Trying to make everything better was not possible...and some things just are what they are and I need ti find peace with that...like my Mom's failing health.
I decided the one thing I would focus on was my attitude towards food.
I have a terrible relationship with food. It is my reward, my comfort, my joy, my anger, my hobby, my boredom buster, my best friend and my enemy at the same time. I needed to get that attitude in check. 73 days is not enough time to cure all of that, but I have been making very positive strides each day.
Some of the attitude awakenings I have had:
~I need to stop playing with numbers (my weight) Although I wish (so hard at times!) that I could pick a magic weight and a magic date and have those two things meet, that has not happened and I need to stop wishing that it will.
~I need to stop feeling guilty. If I want it, eat it. If I don't, then don't. I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted when I wanted. I have been doing that all along- not very disciplined- but letting myself finally just "go"- that is something I have never done. That freedom cost me over 10 pounds and a lot of bad feelings. But not the kind of bad feelings that you get when you also have the bad feelings as you are eating. I gave myself the freedom to eat whatever, and also gave myself the freedom to realize that I do not really want that. I am dangerously close to 200 pounds....somewhere that I never thought I would ever, ever be. I started to see that it wasn't the food I wanted....I didn't need that kind of crazy freedom....it is the control and discipline I desired so much. I do not know if this makes sense to anyone else, and that is OK because this blog is for me! It made sense to me and was a step I needed to take. Kind of like when you finally let your teenager do as they wish and knowing all along that they will find the right path on their own. I let myself go, and I realized where my right path is!
~so now, I can start thinking about the next phase of my growth- making up with food and making it my fuel, not always my friend! I do need discipline and structure to help me lose weight, and I have that. But I will fail and not eat perfectly healthy and balanced at all times, and I know this. And, I need to be OK with it. I just cannot spend the rest of my days beating the crap out of myself because I really want to eat a pumpkin muffin! I know that carbs are not my good friend- my body loves the way it feels when I am not eating them. I need to focus on that and try to spend more of my time not eating them. I also am learning that for me, there are days that an ice cream sundae is what I really crave for dinner and I should just go ahead and have it and move on....instead of eating the salad, then more salad, then an extra chicken breast, then another piece of cheese...and on and on...and the finally eating the sundae that I wanted in the first place! Some days, you just know what you want and while I work through all of this, there are days I will adjust how I eat because I did allow myself to do something i need to allow for. Again- may not make sense to you, but perfect sense to me!
~I needed new clothes for my new job. UGH! Seriously- no choice available but to go out and buy size 16 pants. I have never worn that size. Again- numbers just have that way of weighing me down. But, I needed clothes and needed to look nice- so I went out and shopped and bought several new outfits...all larger than I wished for....and they all look nice. I look nice. I look fatter than I should be, but I wear makeup, do my nails and wear clothes that look nice. I want to look nicer.....and getting a bit more fit might allow me to wear the 14's and 12's that are in my closet- and that motivates me! But I realized that wearing old clothes until I magically hit a size and would shop....well that was just not a nice thing to do to myself. I need to look nice now, today...and tomorrow! My job forced me to take off the fleece and find a way to look good....and I did.....even at this size. I don't always want to hide anymore! not that I feel great the size I am....but I can accept and love myself here. That is new for me!
~I finally became a member of the "smart Phone" world. WOW! Love it! One thing I found was a countdown app. I love it. I have been counting my way up from my turnaround day...and I sure would hate to reset it to ZERO! I am counting down to the day we arrive and see my son for Parents weekend. I have a few other countdowns I look at every day. Everyday, I look at those days adding up and feel proud. I am celebrating those small victories and letting it sink into my head that my only victory in life is not the one reflected on my scale!
~I ran into a few health issue over the past few months. I had to have an ovarian biopsy...thankfully all was OK. All the stress led to a major breakout of shingles. NEWSLFLASH- it is not only for older people!!! I think God was helping me realize how badly I want my health! I do not want to be a sick person if I can help it! I want to do all that is in my power (and I only have so much power) but do all I can to keep this body healthy. I should stop taking my good health for granted.
So, 73 days ago I let myself go. I realized that I really can eat anything I want- any of us can. I have spent so many years thinking I can't and feeling so guilty about it. I can eat whatever I want! I can do whatever I want. But, the two of those things do not go hand in hand. Just like I reminded my college age son as I set him free and let him go off to school- your behavior has consequences. We all only get one shot at life- make it a wonderful shot! Choose wisely. I think that because I was so focused on successfully cutting him free, I finally had the clarity to realize that everything I told him I should be telling myself. I can eat what I want....but that may mean I cat do everything I want....and what I really want in my life is not a taste in my mouth but a taste in my spirit! I want so many things for myself- but none of them come without my good health coming first. I want to be healthy! Not thin, not running a 5k....healthy. Although thinner will become a part of that, I will get thinner in a healthy way. I will dress up for this day...the one I am living...not for a better day or a different day or a future me....I will be present in the place I stand and I will value where I am and know that tomorrow, I may be in a different place....and I will be happy about both of those ideas!
So my plan going forward is simple. Just to really try. Try to remember what I want. Try to be kinder to myself. And try to help myself when my path gets a little wiggly. Pull myself through.
My son is away at college. His first weeks were what I expected- lots of late nights, some drinking, and struggling to keep up with the demands of school. I let him go and he sure did "go"!!! Now, that is mostly out of his system, he is learning some moderation, and he is finding his way back on track. He and I are more alike than I ever realized!!