Does anyone else think people are full of crap when they tell you that you need to accept yourself as you are? I understand people tell me that whole "self-acceptance" shpeal just because that's what people say out of habit. I was talking to my best friend expressing my deep dislike for what I see in the the mirror. Is it healthy for me to hate myself? No but that's why I go to therapy.I just can't look in the mirror and tell myself that it is what it is. No...I will not do that.
Let's get my reality straight. I am an athlete. I have been an athlete since I was 12 first with softball and then track and volleyball in high school. Volleyball continues to be a constant in my life and I still play at high level indoor as well as sand and grass doubles. I'm good so I keep on doing it. It's one of my main passions in life and why I find my physical appearance so frustrating. Being overweight actually hurts my joints a lot when my main job when I play is to jump...a lot. I don't expect non-athletes to understand my frustration but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.
Another reality? From 2005 until mid 2010 I was in the best shape of my life. I was playing, running 5k's, the gym was regular part of my evening schedule. It was never "maybe"...it was a...I'm going to the gym, I'm sorry I can't go out to dinner with you. If you see my progress photos from the past, I was in shape. I was confident. I was happy to put on clothes that didn't involve elastic waistbands. I know what it's like to be in shape. I know what it's like to be on track. I know what it's like to eat clean and have a regular workout routine.
So, no, I will not accept what I see in the mirror. In fact, the person I see in the mirror is a complete stranger. I don't think that's something people understand when they accept the changes that come with age or life in general. Me? I know what it's like. I've done it. I've been there and I haven't been as happy as I was during that time. I support all these campaigns about "non-perfect" bodies...I really do. For me personally, if I express to you that I am unhappy with my body, don't tell me to just accept it. Tell me to get my butt to the gym and remind me of those years when that was a major part of my life. Why do I have to accept this just because I'm older? Or because I'm a single mom and full-time student? Those kind of seem like crappy, lazy excuses to not do anything and eat whatever. The truth is, I tried that and my unhappiness has merely become greater. Thus, changes are not only possible but absolutely necessary according to me!
I'm struggling. There are a lot of things going on in my life that I can't seem to sort out which affects my energy which then affects my schedule which affects both my eating and workouts. It's frustrating. Although I still regularly visit my therapist, emotional obstacles are still difficult to deal with. I'll have a few good days and then fall into a funk. I get motivated and then it disappears. Right now, there are a lot of things up in the air regarding my personal life and there are not answers. It frustrates me to not have answers. I am being told to separate myself from some important things including some of my family. How do you even do that? I have no idea..thus my conundrum. That's something major and it feels paralyzing.
The plus side is that my indoor volleyball season started back up and so my weekends are once again taken over by something I enjoy despite my knee pain. I'm hoping that my competition once again pushes me in a positive direction. Frustrated!
Since alcohol was my way of going to sleep (and probably one of the worse things you can do before sleeping) I am having trouble actually falling asleep. I'm spending about two hours, just laying there hoping to feel tired which keeps me up which makes me want to sleep in later in the morning which makes it impossible to feel tired a at a decent time...get it? Again, another cycle I need to take control of.
So now that my desire for alcohol is fading, it's time to implement more work outs and better eating. Other than being somewhat tired, there really is nothing else holding me back from fitting in at least 3 workouts a week (yeah, I'm starting out real slow). I have been lacking any sort of routine for a long time since I had to withdraw from this past semester due to my depression. I have done a lot of sleeping at odd hours and now my sleeping schedule is super screwed up. I can face the fact that I'm never going to go to sleep at 10....I'm not that kind of person but falling asleep at 3 in the morning isn't working out either. I'll keep working on it and more than likely I need to stop screen time much earlier than I actually do.
As far as my eating goes, I have really good day and then really bad days. The medication I was on actually took away my appetite and I would go days just eating one meal. I knew I needed to eat but eating stopped being an enjoyable experience and I didn't want any food. Now, my eating schedule is super messed up as well. I eat breakfast way too late or not at all (I'm eating my oatmeal right now and it's 2:30 in the afternoon) and the rest of my meals are non-existent or very late at night...you know...when you crave lots of carbs with cheese? I know, if you're a clean eater you are cringing right now. I apologize.I am hoping that with the alcohol out of my system, my craving for salty carbs will get a little lighter. I like salty carbs anyway but it increases after you've had a few.
So for the past 5 years or so I have been struggling with alcohol which I have expressed in my past blogs. I knew my intake was contributing to my weight, I knew it was messing up my insides, I knew it was disrupting my sleep cycle but none of those things motivated me to stop. Am I a full blown alcoholic? No nor am I a drunk. I am a nightly binge drinker though and, yes, there are differences regarding all those terms although the lines may be somewhat blurry. As much as I wanted to stop, I couldn't because I had tied alcohol to my nightly routine. I had tied alcohol to the shows I watch in the evening after my daughter was asleep. I know you're going to ask...wasn't your daughter enough motivation to stop? No, she was not mostly because I did it after she was asleep and I didn't feel I was doing her any harm. The reality is that I have a lot of grumpy days with her and it likely that it is tied to my alcohol intake.
I don't talk about it. I never admitted it to anyone how much I actually drink although some may suspect it since I can easily down 8 beers like water or drink an entire bottle of wine. Well, my doctors had put me on some anti-depressants that were just not working for me and when I brought it up to my doc, I finally told her how much I drink. I also finally told my therapist since many of my issues are probably tied to this addiction I've maintained for 5 years. Since telling my therapist, I felt lighter. I felt like finally I had someone to confide in and I expressed my fears about stopping which are obviously irrational.
The day after my birthday, I had an epiphany and decided to stop or at least slow down which I have done. The desire I had just isn't there. The fact is I drank a lot for my birthday...a lot...and some things ended up happening that night that made me unhappy. I'm currently watching someone very close to me battle a similar addiction which is encouraged by the person she is involved with who is very much an alcoholic and gets a little handsy past a certain point. I'm watching her spiral out of control and I'm watching the disrespect she's enduring. I hurts me to watch it and I realized that I don't want that to be me. I don't want that to be my life. I don't want to get to a point where I lose my self-respect.
I don't know how well you know alcohol but I know it pretty well. It disrupts your sleeping, your eating, your energy level and it's just one huge cycle that is spinning out of control. For 5 years I have been battling this...every single night...and then it just changed this week. My brain changed. I didn't drink Sunday, Tuesday, yesterday and I don't plan on drinking tonight and that's a huge show of self-control on my part. I'm still working on it. The truth is that I don't want to stop completely. What I mean by that is that I do want to enjoy drinks with my friends once in a while (my outings are very rare) and making a huge statement like I'M NEVER DRINKING AGAIN has never actually worked for me. I'm not going to punish myself if I happen to drink but I'm enjoying the control I currently have. Still a work in progress...
I celebrated my 32nd birthday on Saturday and I went pretty hard (with the drinks) and ended up regretting it very much. Not only was my hangover massive but I realized that I don't want that life. I don't want to be that girl. But don't judge me too harshly. I actually never go out especially this year since I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for most of it. Being around people isn't exactly my favorite thing which might be one of the reasons I drank so much...
Anyway, let's talk about the lesson I learned: I learned I don't want to settle. I learned that my unhappiness sometimes stems from the fact that I don't want to settle on many levels and I frustrate myself with the fact that I have settled. I suffer from jealousy. I look around and wonder why I ended up where I am and why everyone else was able to move on. Everyone is meeting someone and having year-long engagements and then marriage and babies. It's frustrating for me since I became a mom 10 years ago and have been alone the whole time. It's not exactly the best life ever. My kid is great but unfortunately she can't fix what goes on inside of me.
So I woke up with a massive headache on Sunday and went to sleep thinking about my actions and how there is nothing wrong with me not settling. There are a couple people who are very close to me in my life who have settled and I realized I feel sorry for them. I feel bad about the situations they are in regarding their love life, their weight, their habits...they have settled. They have settled with men who do not treat them like worthwhile, strong, smart women. They have settled with gaining weight as they grew older. They have settled with eating everything and not thinking about the consequences.They have settled with lives that I don't think truly satisfy them. They'll never admit it and I don't think they read this blog but I don't think they're happy and I want to be happy.
What makes me happy? Being in shape...which I do know about since I used to be in top shape. It makes me happy when I can fit into my clothes without struggle. It makes me happy when I feel I ate well. It makes me happy when I get a good night's sleep and have the energy to keep up on housework and workouts. Those seem like shallow goals but my therapist said that's okay. And this is not a New Year's resolution. I hate resolutions. This is a life change. This is me going back to what makes me happy and stop concentrating on the things I cannot control. My year was messy and chaotic and painful and lonely...the worst one yet in my 32 years of life and it's not a sustainable life which means changes need to be made. I used to be jealous of the gals I spoke about until I realized they settled and somehow I was able to let go of my jealousy because I don't want to be them and I don't want their lives. I don't want any of it.
I haven't logged in here in a very looooong time. I guess I hit a major speed bump in my life. In fact, I hit several of them and I can't go back that far. In general, I think I have mentioned that I was back in college after 8 years and I'm still there which has caused my mental health to decline in many ways.
I had to withdraw this semester due to high amounts of anxiety and panic attacks. I noticed early on in the year that I wasn't doing so hot mentally. I was losing the light at the end of the tunnel and I started feeling very desperate. Rather than addressing it, I thought it would go away and instead it got worse and worse and worse. I came to the point where I could no longer leave my house and I had to seek out medical help. Needless to say, my workouts were the first thing that went out the window which is unfortunate because I was doing really well. I was taking weight lifting classes and was finally losing inches and getting my muscle mass back and then I imploded.
This feels like it has been the longest road ever. I have been on different medications, I started seeing a shrink and I have slept a lot. Today I found I have hit my heaviest...201lbs...I wasn't even that heavy when I had a baby in my belly. At this point I feel like I'm at a crossroads. I have been very honest with my shrink and obviously his job is to give me challenges and to help change my way of thinking. After being weighed in today I pretty much said no more. This is not me. This is not who I'm supposed to be. I am not supposed to be the fat girl. I haven't recognized the person i see in the mirror or see in pictures in at least 3 years. I have gained 60lbs in 4 years which seems absolutely insane to me since my goal in 2009 was to do a competition and I was in the best shape of my life.
But, as we all know, life changes. I'm not 26 anymore. My current life status as a student is a huge change from banking. Things are harder in many ways but I kept living the same life rather than adjusting. I have let many things, especially silly heartbreaks, deter me from who I am and who I want to be. So it is like I am starting over again. All the things I knew are still there but the good habits are long gone and I have to choose which way want to go. I have to choose if I want to continue to be the stranger I deal with on a daily basis or embrace that things have changed and that I do have some control over who I can become.
I was doing really well with my eating but have been struggling for the past few weeks. I feel like I'm on a binge and can't stop seem to stop myself. There is something that I'm trying to fill up inside of me and I can't seem to satisfy it.
I play doubles sand volleyball and I play with some really good players. I used to be one of those players but the past 3 years of drinking and eating have taken their toll on my body. My joints hurt, my vertical is almost non-existent and I'm just slow in general. I now play lazy volleyball which is what volleyball players say when we're getting along in age and our bodies are tired. The thing is, I'm only 30. Some of the girls I play with are about my age, even older and they have more than one child. I've had one and she's 8...I've had plenty of time to get back in shape. Their kids are all under 4 and immediately they went back to living their healthy lifestyles...they did not give up...and they are in superb shape. They keep pushing themselves.
I don't know when I gave up but I have. I keep putting off my health. I used to to be like them and all of a sudden I stopped caring. This morning, as I played with these girls, I felt pathetic. I could feel my breakfast wanting to come up and even though it was nothing super heavy (homemade beans on a whole wheat tortilla with a couple egg whites) I would have probably felt more comfortable eating some fruit with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. But it wasn't just today's breakfast...it's a cycle which is catching up to me big time...it's the food I take on a regular basis is unnecessary. I can feel my body crying while I play...which makes me want to cry. I joke about my extra weight and how it effects my playing but inside I feel embarrassed.
I love food...or at least I used to. I actually don't enjoy eating anymore because it's so out of control...all I feel is guilt.
Not sure how many blogs I have written that state my need for change and how I'm going to start ASAP. But my reality for the past 3 years has not been that. Random workouts here and a major battle with food and alcohol. I'm a little shocked that I'm not heavier because I probably should be. Volleyball is probably my saving grace which I continue to play competitively.
One of my problems...which I think is the main one...I make great big goals that eventually intimidate me and tear me down. When I think about never drinking again or never having a certain food again it scares me and it makes me dive into it harder.
I think my goals are still centered around the younger more fit me that was working towards being a fitness competitor. I'm not saying that's off the table but at this point...I simply would like to fit into smaller clothes...I would simply like to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I would like to look in the mirror and recognize the person I see.
How am I going to change this? Well, I signed up for a couple P.E. classes this semester. Pretty much I'm working out for a grade. I had always taken fitness courses when I was younger but have been holding off on it since going back to school simply because of my discomfort. It has been a very long time since I felt like I belonged in a gym but I finally put that behind me and signed up. I'll be taking a weightlifting class as well as a yogalates class and I will be playing a lot of volleyball every weekend.
I need to stop looking back and stop wishing I still was what I used to be. Many things have changed since but I need to realize that these changes don't have to keep me from living a healthy lifestyle. I'm not willing to give everything up but I definitely need to stop treating my body like a free for all. I need to stop being afraid of letting go of things that are not beneficial. I don't want to be crazy strict...I don't have that kind of personality...some people do and good for them but not me. I enjoy my mom's food, I enjoy a beer with friends...I enjoy life. Unfortunately, my enjoyments became bad habits and that's where the problem lies. For my weight lifting class, I have to do a pre and post physical test and my goal is to see change in my post test. Definitely looking forward to lifting again and will be doing cardio on M,W,F...wish me luck!
I've lost 10lbs...yay me! Finally controlling my food intake and exercising more than I have in a long time. It's mostly volleyball but that is what I enjoy the most and doing it almost every night really helps me feel accomplished. When I don't play, I do plyos and core training at home. I can't seem to get myself to enjoy the gym the way I used to...I don't know why and it does make me a little sad but instead of using that as an excuse to not do anything, I play and work out at home.
Unfortunately my bad days seem to continue. I still battle deep depression at times and still battle my alcohol cravings. Since I'm not working and I'm not going to school this summer, I'm struggling with finding my place. I have my daughter all day, every day, just the two of us and it can get a little overwhelming not having any time to myself. The night is the only time I have to myself so I end up staying much later than usual and if I happen to have alcohol, I drink way more than I should and, at times, eat things I shouldn't. It definitely gets frustrating that the night is the only time I can zone out. I know what you're thinking...suck it up! Make the best of it! I'm trying.
But, like I said, playing almost every night does spark something in me. It makes me work hard. It makes me want to work on my vertical since I'm hitting on a men's net most of the time. And it also offers me some sort of social support which is really non-existent in my life and I've realized how dire it is to have supportive people your life.
I realized that the idea of me getting back into shape is very daunting. When I look at myself in the gym mirrors, I think two things: 1)Who is that gross fat chick and 2)When will I finally not look like that anymore? It just seems like such a huge task. Recently, a friend took pictures of me playing volleyball and, needless to say, I was embarrassed by them. I don't know if people are being kind when they say I look just fine but I see something completely different. I do feel like I'm being judged and people are constantly wondering what on earth happened to me since one minute I was thin and the next I blew up like a whale. I'm not being dramatic either...I gained about 40lbs in 6 months...especially in my chest area. I gained weight everywhere but my back, shoulders and chest seemed to have gotten the worst of it. It sounds strange but I'm huge up there.
Anyway, I've been pretty consistent about my gym attendance and pushing myself as much as I can. Unfortunately, I struggle with my eating. It sounds simple when I say it...just stop eating crap...but I only seem to be able to go a few days without it. In my head, night time and junk food go hand in hand. I am having a really hard time breaking that mentality. My evenings are boring...I am literally trapped in my house after my child goes to bed.
I think about my days of fitness and try to figure out what was so different back then. Two things were different...I didn't have a computer and I had a boyfriend and/or some sort of social life. I had a lot of motivation for some reason. I was young, pretty and wanted to be a hot mom...it just made sense to take care of myself. As I've gotten older, I feel a lot of things have slipped. My mentality has changed about life and despite me continuing to be pretty vain, I don't feel that level of motivation that I did back then. I'm motivated to do well in school and always motivated to take care of my kid...I have put myself on the back burner and makes excuses to be mediocre. The idea of being lean again and in control of what I do is such a strange idea.
I am trying to tackle these negative thoughts. I watch a lot of Biggest Loser and similar shows and it's obvious that I am not a lost cause. There are people out there who have it much harder because despite my self-judgement, I'm not that fat and I continue to be physically active because of volleyball which has helped me stay mostly healthy. I don't have any major issues going on like other people do.
With that being said, my mentality is still a work in progress. Still looking for everything to click back to normal.
I have refused to weigh myself for months now. Not sure of the last time I attempted but I remember it being around 190lbs which is about 50 to 60 lbs overweight for my height as well as compared to what I weighed around January of 2012. I have my scale in my kitchen (my bathroom is tiny) and the only people that ever use it are my daughter and my best guy friend, Adam. It sits there collecting dust for the most part because I know that when I step on it, it's going to tell me something I don't like.
Well, Adam fluctuates with his weight but since getting his new job and not having a car, he walks from the bus stop to his work which takes about 20 minutes one way. He has lost 10lbs with just walking because the truth is that he doesn't do much else and loves food as much as me. Definitely a big part of our bond.
So he came over yesterday and of course stepped on the scare and he was down to 150lbs from being up in the 160's. He's looking good! This morning I get a wild hair and decide to step on the scale because the truth is that I stopped gaining and I'm looking a little better. Now I'm thinking that it's all in my head! I step on and guess what...I'm 191lbs. Needless to say, I am not happy. Am I trying as hard as I should? No. Am I trying harder than I was? Yes. Which is why I was hoping that maybe...just maybe...I had gone down some. People tell me I'm looking thinner...I guess that is where my positive outlook came from. I was hoping they were right...
Obviously all the fault falls on me. My motivation has come back in the past couple months (FINALLY!) which feels great. My eating goes up and down...I can tackle the exercise...the eating is a little more difficult since I do find comfort in it like so many people do. I have my breakfast down...I've been eating eggs and oatmeal everyday going on 6 years now. In reality, I know what to eat in general. I was taught by a trainer a while back on top of me just reading everything I can get my hands on. I question my "want"...how bad do I want this? It's as if at night, I forget everything and all I can think about is eating...privately...because I'm a closet eater. I know I'm doing something wrong and I'm ashamed of it but the shame just isn't enough to stop me.
I'm still working thru the thought process of this. Am I bored? Lonely? Am I just addicted? It's gross...I don't like that person that I become after 8 o'clock. No wonder I'm 190!
The truth is that throughout the past few years, I haven't really MADE the decision to change my habits. I keep telling myself I'll try harder next week but it never happens. Why? Because I have yet to actually DECIDE to change. I'm definitely sitting on the fence waiting for something to happen...not sure what...but I've been waiting. I think I've been waiting to go back to "normal" which will never happen by being on the road I'm on right now.
I have been dealing with a lot of changes in my life. The major one being the fact that the road I'm on when it comes to school and my relationships is not the road I had planned on. I'm not complaining, I am enjoying my life and I'm making very grown up decisions like working hard towards a degree and master's as well as getting rid of toxic people from my life. Honestly, I used to think that by 29 I would be married with more children and, instead, I see living my future alone and doing my own thing. It's a strange idea to grasp after spending so much time attempting to find "the one" but I am ok with the road I'm on and realized that not everyone is meant to follow the same road.
It's hard not to feel weird about it. People ask me if I'm dating or interested in someone and that's probably the farthest thought from my mind. They think I'm bitter or broken and I'm really not...I'm doing just fine! I don't need to be fixed and I don't need to hear silly cliche statements about finding someone when I'm least expecting it and blah blah blah. I find it really silly.
Anyway, since I have come to terms with this, it's time I start tackling my bad habits. I used to drink and eat to drown out all the bad feelings I used to have. My head and heart are a lot clearer now so I don't NEED those things but I'm addicted to both. My evenings feel abnormal if I'm not drinking and eating and living alone doesn't help...I have no distraction to keep me from feeling that need.
So I'm making the decision. I am deciding to stop and deal with the withdrawals! Food and alcohol have become my security blankets and I can't do it anymore. I can't afford it financially, my body can't afford it physically. I'm getting rid of it just like the toxic friends I got rid of a couple months ago because it does not benefit my life in any manner. I wish I didn't have to do it alone but such is my life! I've raised a child on my own for the past 7 years...pretty sure I'm strong and tough enough to do this.
I'm sensitive. Then again I'm not. It's definitely a weird balance I have going on with my feelings. The things that probably should bother me don't and the things that do, I should really forget about. I was excited about my new semester starting only to run into some personal drama which causes all these bad feelings inside. I'm not surprised I ran into this nonsense because it was a long time coming but it's still hurtful.
I have a very hard time battling things like this which is why I turn to food and alcohol. Living alone can be very lonely when you have very overwhelming feelings. No boyfriend, no husband, family is scarce...I'm alone with my thoughts a lot of the time and that is not a good combination. I mean, really, when you're alone in bed at night, there's only so much you can do to escape your thoughts.
So I'm battling this need to drown out my reality but really trying to figure out something that can make me stronger. You can live a healthy life and still be stuck with yourself on the inside
The last couple years have been rough emotionally and physically in so many ways to the point where I no longer recognize myself. Well, in the past couple months, I've slowly come to accept these changes. Not the fat part but the part where my view on life has changed. The truth is I have compromised my health for other people. I've always had this thing about being popular and accepted by everyone which has caused me to let go of so many things I found important. Not all at once but slowly and surely, I let go of everything that made me...me.
The truth is that when you give people and inch, they take a mile so when you show even an inkling of weakness, they take advantage of that because it makes them feel better. I am finally willing to let go of those relationships and start surrounding myself by positive and supportive people.
If I tell you, as my friend, that I abuse alcohol, why on earth would you push me to drink more just because you don't want to drink alone? If you obviously see I've gained weight and have an issue with it, why would you push me to eat just because you don't like eating alone? Sounds ridiculous, right? But there is a female person in my life that has been doing that to me for years upon years. The truth is, she likes being the best and brightest in the room so she will do anything to make you the fat, ugly, funny friend and I have been her target for a long time because I show weakness. Not that I want to be heartless but I'm done compromising my integrity for the amusement of others. The truth is, I have found it quite difficult to stop being what people expect me to be. You'll never be able to change that unless you are ready to do so. You might experience discomfort, backlash, gossip...because people are immature like that...but in the end, you have to worry about yourself...you are number one.
So as slowly as I let go of myself, I'm slowly getting myself back. I don't necessarily want to go back to who I was before my weight gain but I want to be an improved version of that. I want to be stronger. I want to make decisions that benefit myself and my kid. I want to keep useless people out of my life. I'm pushing 30...it's time to grow up and look out for me. If it's not good for my mind and body then I don't want to do it and whoever is pressuring me to do anything different is getting kicked to the curb. It's time to have respect for myself and only accept respect from others. It's silly that I have let this go on for so long but sometimes you just have to be ready to make the change and I'm finally officially ready.
I'm not really sure how I ever ran 5k's. Do you know how horribly uncomfortable it is to attempt to run with an extra 60lbs on your body? IT'S HARD! It feels quite disgusting actually. The truth I have to do the whole run/walk thing because my endurance is non-existent. I used to enjoy running so much...it was a great escape and now it's just a struggle. Don't get me wrong, I'll push through it somehow...I have to...I can't stand myself anymore. And I was running my 5k's in under 28 minutes at one time...
So now I'm sitting here reading for class tomorrow (I'll continue after this blog entry!) after running/walking my 1.65 mile and eating a good dinner (tuna with cucumbers, celery on top of spinach and drizzled with balsamic vinegar). No drinking tonight which is a rare occurrence in my life for the past couple years. The craving is very faint...usually it's very overwhelming. Truthfully I'm tired of disappointing myself. I'm tired of failing over and over trying to stop this thing. I'm not depressed anymore which you think would mean that I no longer need to numb my feelings but at this point, it's an addiction and the answer is not that easy.
It might seem like I'm making a resolution but I don't believe in making them. Too much pressure. I rather just go back to who I was or be even better than that. Being the "fat friend" is getting really old. I'm already a single mom...I don't need to be fat on top of everything else I have to struggle with.
I guess I just have to take it one day at a time. Stop looking at my past wishing this never happened to me and keep my goals simple until I reach my greatness again. Tonight I feel accomplished with my cardio and my healthy dinner and tomorrow will be another opportunity and another step forward.