Sometimes in life, we struggle…sometimes we overcome. Sometimes we just lay there, floundering, trying to find the balance in life and in all that we do. Right now, I am floundering.
2013 begins with a lot of uncertainty in Bill’s and my future. Bill is being laid off from his job of 32 years. This is a tough one for him – talk about a struggle. I am more concerned for his well-being than the financial aspect of the situation. I make an adequate income. We are carefully planning so that by the time his job ends in September we will have nearly all of our short term debt paid off. When you have a plan, life is a lot less terrifying, at least that has been my experience. And while it is completely disheartening that his career at his current company is ending, we are thankful that we have been afforded a lot of lead time so that we can make the necessary preparations to weather the storm. I keep telling him, it is not a setback, it is an adventure into the next chapter of his life. A positive outlook does wonders.
My inability to find life’s balance comes from inside me. I’ll be 48 years old next month – just two years away from the big 5 0...wow. I’m not sure where the first 48 years have gone, but it’s been quite a rollercoaster ride. I’ve overcome a lot of adversity in the first 48 years, and enjoyed many triumphs. I’ve made mistakes, some of them sizeable. But I have no regrets. I own my past – good, bad or otherwise. I am the sum of my experiences and all paths to this point have led me to right here, right now. I love my husband, my daughter, my family and friends, and my career. I count myself as blessed in so many ways. But at the end of the day, the struggle comes from looking in the mirror and trying to find the guts to really like my physical appearance. And it comes from inside me, not from anyone else. Ok, I know I’m not “homely.” I know I have great hair and pretty green eyes. There are many things about myself that I actually appreciate, maybe even love. Yes, I have been known to dabble in botox, and spend more than my fair share on skincare, but at the end of the day, I don’t look anywhere near my age. I don’t want to look 20. I just don’t want to look 50, so it’s all good.
In the end, my insecurity (yes, I said insecurity) comes back to the whole “weight thing.” It’s the thing that haunts me, follows me around like some sort of shadow. It chips away at my self-worth, taunts me at every turn, and ruins my fun at the most inopportune moments - like today. My prevailing thought when I woke up this morning? It’s a new year, summer is just around the corner, need to start worrying about how I am going to cram my ass in a swimsuit. Did I gain weight over the holidays? Are my jeans a smidge snugger than they were a week ago? Maybe. Maybe not. Does it matter? Yep, it does to me.
I look at my scale as some sort of mortal enemy that doles out my torture, one day at a time. Even when my clothes fit the same and the needle hasn’t moved, I worry. If I gain one pound, that will turn into 3 which will turn into 5, then 10, and so on. Going to a restaurant can be just as painful. What did I eat today? Was it healthy? Too many calories? Should I order the salmon or the steak that I really want? No, I don’t want any sauce or butter on my entree. “Would you like dessert?” Are you freaking crazy? Yes, I want it. No, I’m not having it. I’ve been having these conversations in my head since high school. I thought I was fat then. I hated myself. Now, I look back at those photos and think to myself, “You looked great, what the hell was your problem?” My problem? After 30 years, I still look at myself the very same way. I never see thin, only "if I could just lose five more pounds" or "does my ass look big in this outfit?" It’s mentally and emotionally exhausting. I’ve battled my way through eating disorders on more than one occasion in my life, and it’s still a struggle, much like being a drug addict or an alcoholic. And with it comes shame, hopelessness, and fear that it will rear its ugly head again. I’m tired of being afraid.
So here is my resolution for this year. This is the year I am going to find TRUE balance. I am going to stand up to the demon scale and tell it to fuck off. I’m going to “walk the walk” instead of just “talk the talk” to my daughter when it comes to self-worth and being healthy. I am going to stop comparing myself to every size 2 woman that crosses my path and realize that I look good, REALLY good, for almost 48 years old. (I’m not owning 48 yet, I have 30 days to go before I cross that bridge.) I am going to concentrate on being healthy, instead of being skinny, and I am going to order the cheesecake once in a while. While I take on this challenge, I am going to document my progress in my blog, It is not always easy laying your thoughts and emotions out there for people to see, but if it helps someone else who is fighting the same battle, then it is worth it. I know I’m not the only woman on the planet who struggles with her weight so maybe it will prove to be beneficial to someone else if I share my journey.
Have no fear, I will attempt to throw some humor into the equation, just to keep it fun. And above all, I will try to convey the positive in everything. With the positive lies hope, and without hope…well, life just sucks, so hope part is important.
I hope you’ll bear with me on my path to a happier, healthier mind and body. I can’t guarantee the ride will be smooth, but it should be an interesting journey this year.
And so it begins…