I don’t know why, but it still never fails to amaze me how quickly things can change, especially when it comes to my emotions, attitude and general outlook on life. Early last month I was not in a good head space. It was nasty and messy, but it was something I just had to work through. As is the case with me, a big part of working through it was getting all of that stuff off my chest.
I really was unhappy with myself, but the real root of the anger wasn’t with my body, but with decisions I’d made.
I don’t like confrontation, so it was easy for me to just not say anything to Medifast and just quietly fade away and out of their minds, despite the fact that I truly was angry with them. I was mad at myself for that, truth be told. I took the coward’s way out, which is something I’ve been trying not to do since I went through therapy. I was also mad at myself for letting things get out of control, and for turning to food yet again (looking back now, I think I almost needed to hit that low point, though).
I wasn’t mad at my body–but myself. It’s just really easy to be a bully to your fat than it is to admit that you made some poor choices.
Getting all of that off my chest helped, as it clarified some thoughts for me. The thing with me is that until I get crap off my chest, I have a really hard time moving on to the next step. That’s probably true of most people–we all work through things in steps and phases, and usually have to work through each step on its own (sometimes we can combine steps, but this isn’t a conversation for a psych course here).
I’m a bit of an obsessive compulsive sort of person (not that you could tell that by looking at our house, that’s for sure). Some people obsess over washing their hands, or having the towels folded a certain way, or everything being in its exact and proper place. Me? I obsess over data and numbers. Despite the fact that I’m a creative type who writes and tells stories, I’ve always obsessed over numbers. I’ve counted things since I was a little girl–it was a weird distraction and way to soothe myself when things got shitty (which was often). My obsession with data and numbers–combined with my ability to tell a story–is probably one reason why I ended up marketing. My obsession with data and numbers is also why I’d started going down the rabbit hole of orthorexia.
I struggle with my obsession of numbers. I know that when it comes to calories (in or out) that I can’t allow myself to get too obsessed–I drive myself bonkers and would often mentally berate myself if I went five calories over or if my macros weren’t in perfect ratios.
So how does someone who’s obsessive compulsive about numbers and data and who turns to food as comfort get to a place where she can be happy with her choices, not berate herself and feel good about herself?
She gives herself permission. Permission to eat the food and practice moderation. Permission to workout–and to not workout or take it a little lighter when her body tells her she needs to. I haven’t lost a pound in the past month. I bought jeans on Saturday in size 18, 20 and 22. I bought shirts in XL, 0X and 1X. You know how many fucks were given?
Because the jeans fit perfectly and were cute. The tops fit perfectly and were cute. And I saved a fuck ton of money.
Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started working out again (I’d admittedly taken a bit of a hiatus) and took gluten back out of my diet, I started feeling better. The scale hasn’t really changed (I think it’s gone up, but clothes are still pretty much fitting the same), but I’m sleeping better and as long as I work out regularly I’m not snoring at night. That last one is kind of amazing. We thought it was weight-related; when I lose weight I don’t snore, but when I’m heavier I do. It ends up I can still be “heavy” and not snore as long as I’m working out. Hmmm.
The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a trial, unfortunately. Phillip and I both stopped taking Zyrtec for allergies, and we’ve both been going through withdrawals. The fact that an OTC antihistamine would cause such nasty withdrawals is a bit mind-boggling, and it’s left both of us feeling like crap. Phillip’s gotten the worst of it, but I’ve had vertigo, nausea, achy muscles, exhaustion, headaches, loss of appetite and weakness. As a result, I know I haven’t been eating enough (even though I honestly haven’t been tracking), but I’ve only seemed to get my appetite back over the past day or so. I’ve barely worked out, too. I did a few times last week, but it was a chore and pretty much sucked. Instead of berating myself, or feeling bad or some stupid crap, though, I’ve just accepted it for what it is. I do what I can, I listen to my body, and that’s that. I know that this won’t last forever, and soon I’ll be back to normal.
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. I know that I gained the weight back not because I’m a horrible person with no self-control, but because I lost it in a totally disordered, unsustainable way. If anything, I exhibited TOO MUCH self-control while on Medifast. This whole thing has brought me back to my original feelings–weight doesn’t matter, but health does. If I never lose another pound, whatever, as long as I keep nourishing my body, not starving myself while not turning to food as an emotional coping mechanism, and moving my body. In other words–the important thing is loving myself, my body, and the things my body can (and even can’t) do.
I guess I sometimes need to go to that really dark place, for a myriad of reasons. I like the light, but sometimes in order to appreciate the light you need to be in the darkness for at least a little while. And to be fair, some of my best “stuff” has happened when I was in that dark place and needed to come back into the light. Sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to find yourself. Certain parts of me had been lost for quite some time–parts of me that I’d really, really missed. Lo and behold, as I was coming out of the darkness I found those things on the way to the light–and it feels wonderful.