For those that have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that during a lot of 2009-2011, I went to a therapist where I tried to get a handle on my weight loss, my poor relationship choices, and some childhood trauma. Turns out, they were all pretty linked. When you feel so dirty and awful about yourself, you tend to find comfort in the only ways that work for you. For me, that looked like food consumption and repeating the same dynamics in past relationships - one that made me feel less than good enough.
The great thing about therapy is that while it's pure hell going through it, on the other side is a slice of heaven you've only dreamed of. I finished my therapy journey and found that my relationship with Joe was filled with me chasing him and basically begging him to love me. Once I realized how messed up that was, I decided to end it and pursue other potential relationships.
There is really only person that I deeply regretted not being with. We only went on a few dates in 2009, but he was so incredibly sweet to me that I got incredibly freaked out. It's one thing to beg someone to love you...that I could do. It's an entirely different thing to start out on a pedestal and because you knew they would eventually see all your flaws, they would leave you because you weren't good enough. For someone that liked to play it safe, it was too risky to take a chance with him. After I finished therapy and ended my relationship, I immediately looked him up. But while I was with Joe, he got engaged and was married with kids on the way.
So I moved on.
But recently, he sent me a friend request.
I debated ignoring it.
But ultimately, I decided that I wanted to live my life authentically. I gave zero fox(es?) about whether he would think I was pathetic or not. I told him the truth. I wrote him that I would love to accept his friend request but that I couldn't because seeing pictures of him and his happy family would suck. I told him that I still had strong feelings about him and basically that he was the one who got away.
Annnndd....guess what? He's no longer with her.
We've started dating and to say it feels "right" would be a vast understatement. What took the place of anxious and tumultuous feelings is peace and calm. And ironically, sometimes, that makes me feel uneasy. Does it mean that there isn't enough of a connection? Am I attached to the idea of him, of everything that he has stood for in my mind for the last 7 years, or is it truly this wonderfully special?
But every time I'm with him, it just feels like this is where we're meant to be.
So ANYWAY, why is this on my weight loss blog and not my other one?
Because last week? I gained. A lot. Why? Well, because I ate. A lot.
He had his kids for most of the week. They're young, like mine, and between the nap schedules, early bedtimes, sick kids, and LIFE, we weren't able to connect much. Stuff at work has increased my stress level dramatically too. We're going to have to start laying off people. Working for a small company means I'm the one who decides who goes, does the laying off, and may be at risk for a reduction of my position.
I'm not proud of this, but my old habits started to creep back up. I started freaking out a bit about how I could possibly make something like this work. What if he didn't think I was a good mom? What if he doesn't grow to love my daughter? What if we have different parenting styles? What if his ex is a raging bitch and we all won't be able to co-parent? What if my particular brand of crazy is too much for him? What if I lose my job? Where will we live? Should I try to look for different jobs now?
And I ate. I didn't binge. But I did eat almost anything I felt like eating.
I didn't count points. I didn't measure. I didn't take inventory of how full I was. I just ate whatever I wanted to.
I thought of my weight day, Friday, edging closer and closer and I KNEW that what I should do would be to stop the overeating right then and there. I knew that if I stopped eating that way, I could maybe have a 0 gain for the week.
But I didn't. I realized that at that time, I was facing a lot of uncomfortable things that I had no control over. And food was providing a serious comfort to me. I think, lingering in the back of my head, was still that feeling that I had to be perfect - in weight loss, in trusting him, in planning ahead.
But the thing with that is that way of thinking is that it means there is a right and a wrong way to do things. I'm no longer sure that's true.
So I challenged myself to think of this as a human week where I returned to my old habits. I am at the beginning of this journey (weight, being , relationship) and I don't have to do it all perfectly right now. I don't have to have all the answers. I can just be curious of what the choices I'm making. I can take inventory of how I'm feeling. And I can proceed anyway.
I went to the meeting on Friday and proudly realized I gave no fox about what that scale said. This is a journey. My value isn't based upon how I reacted in one week, but over the course of many weeks. Even that thought is a bit scary - I find myself listening to a voice in the back of my head warning me against that thinking; warning me that this could be a dangerous precedent to set.
So I stopped, was curious about my choice to not care, took inventory of why I was feeling that way. And realized that part of working towards progress, not perfection, is just letting it go.
Folks, two weeks ago I ate a lot and I gained almost 3 pounds.
It doesn't have to be more than that. I don't need to waste time re-thinking and re-evaluating. I can weigh in, clock the gain, and then let it go. I can not care about the past and focus on the future.
It feels really good and really freeing. And this week, I've kept the thoughts at bay, for the most part. I've tried to come into the situation at hand remembering that this was a situation I was not expecting...so I need to have no expectations of how it can be done the "right" way. The way I'm feeling is not good or bad. It's just a feeling. I need give all my thoughts permission to be thought of without judgement and let them move on.
A friend shared a great visual with me. She said thoughts are like birds. It's perfectly normal for them to fly around above your head. You don't need to encourage them to make a nest in your hair.
I like that idea. It feels much more freeing, much less judgmental, and much healthier.