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Up From Rock Bottom-ish

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So first of all, I would like to thank those who visited my blog last weekend and left words of encouragement. I’m not sure that I hit THE rock bottom last weekend, but I did hit A rock bottom. I was in a funk and feeling sorry for myself and it all felt pretty hopeless. But by sitting at the bottom of the pit for a while, my thoughts gradually transformed. I have spent so much of my time waiting for the better body to arrive that I have been neglecting the one I have right now.
The last couple summers I have worn two pretty frumpy pairs of capris, two pairs of hand-me-down sandals and whatever t-shirts Walmart had that didn’t look too crappy. The thought of going to work and classes and wherever looking like my best friend Paula’s mom when we were growing up—polyester, elastic waistband pants and hideously patterned nylon blouses—made me cringe. I know that this may smack of retail therapy, and perhaps it is, but I went online and bought two new pairs of sandals, three pairs of capris (non-polyester, thank you very much), five tank tops, three cardigan-type jackets and the piece de resistance, a pair of hot pink converse mules. It was not inexpensive (over $400), but I figure I can put together at least ten somewhat fashionable outfits that make me feel better about me. And they are all in a size 28. And I deserve to do kind things for myself even though I am a size 28.
Now I am going to go out on a limb here, because what I have to say next may not sit right with my fellow Sparkers. What I remembered down in that pit this weekend was that it’s not about the food. It’s not about the exercise. If it were, I would be a size 2. I know how to count the calories and read the labels and walk on the treadmill. I could have my PhD in what to eat and how to exercise. What my “education” never taught me was emotional intelligence. I can pull myself up by my bootstraps and reign in my free will to follow a diet and exercise plan, what I can’t do is listen to myself and my body and feed myself whatever it needs, whether it be a piece of cake or a comforting nap. That is where my attention needs to be right now—on learning to cope and take care of my emotional needs. Perhaps there are people out there who can work on the food and the emotions at the same time. I have learned that I am not one of them. So for now, my meals will consist of a hefty helping of attention and awareness, along with a side dish of whatever food appeals to my palate.
One last thought—I wrote about how constricting it felt to squeeze myself into size 26 jeans, how my body threatened to spill out at any moment, and I later wondered if that was a bit of a metaphor for my life. In the last year, my life has expanded in ways I could never have imagined—I am in school, working toward the career of my dreams, I am in a job now where I have become quite well-respected and influential in my organization (even though it isn’t what my heart desires), and I am looking at my life with an eye toward the possibility of being single again after 20-some years. I have outgrown my old life, is it possible that that is part of why I have outgrown my jeans? And if it is possible to outgrow myself, can I please not do it physically?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm totally with ya on that! When they say take baby steps, they mean it! I set some very small goals for myself this month...a little walking, no chips, no candy and that's it. Otherwise I eat what I want. My goal this month is to do the walking and no chips ( a big weakness for me) every single day. To purposefully get up every day and do this little for me. Because my problem is that I never do anything more than a day or two in a row. To have the mentality to do these things for my health no matter how I'm "feeling". I know there are a lot more things I need to do, watch portions more carefully, add fruits and veggies, and I will do all that in time...right now...I just want to do these few things everyday for ME! so far, I am up to 12 days...

    All this being said, (sorry for rambling) I think you are right on track! You are figuring out what is best for you and how you need to take care of yourself! You can do it!
    2664 days ago
    I know how it feels to hit bottom. I can hear the anger and pain in your post and appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. I have hit many bottoms in my life-emotional, physical, spiritual. What I have found is that all of the coping mechanisms (compulsive overeating, alcohol) that I have used was to drown out emotions or feelings of some kind. I did that at an early age-when Dad left Mom, when my grandfather died, etc. And I never learned how to live life on life's terms because I pushed everybody away. Doing this on my own has been impossible for me and I HATE asking for help. And I need it. Your help and the help of all those in SparkPeople. I am going for a gastric bypass surgery. But I know it won't take away my compulsions. I don' t know if any of this is encouraging or helpful. I only know that this process is much easier working together. It sounds like your life is on the cusp of becoming great. Good for you. You are worthy of a good life. We all are.

    2664 days ago
  • SNOOPY6180
    From what I've seen in spark so far, the emotional intelligence is one of the greatest assets of sparkpeople. And yes, it's one thing to know all the good stuff, but it's another to know and feel it. They say here, it's little steps to focus on, and if your "little step" is the awareness of your emotions, that's STILL A STEP!

    I think it's awesome you got the new clothes. I was thinking about this myself this morning. It's hard to feel good about your body when you're not comfortable in them. For some people, it's a motivation to lose. But it's hard to keep your spirits up mentally and emotionally when you're tight and sore and uncomfortable physically. And if you have comfortable clothes, then you can feel like you CAN move and can do things. So maybe good things will happen.

    Good luck, and take care!
    2665 days ago
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