You may have noticed a rather large gap here between my last post and this one.
That’s because I’ve been having a complete freak out. The sort that involves binge eating as many carbs as possible, withdrawing completely from everyone, giving up any sort of self care and generally self destructing in any way I can find. There was a fair amount of alcohol, a steady supply of junk food and junk TV and as little interaction with anyone that I could possibly manage.
So what kicked this all off? We picked up our tickets for England and quite suddenly it’s really happening. It’s happening soon. I’m going to be away from home for over a month, investing a rather large chunk of hard saved money, and when I come back I’ll have to create my own business out of nothing.
On the one hand it’s pretty much everything I want in my life right now, and on the other, oh my fricken God! I think I’m going to hyperventilate every time I think about it. So I’ve not been thinking about it. I’ve been hiding away from the reality as much as I can, which is not much, since it’s pretty front and centre in my life right now.
I completely blew off the exercise program I set myself earlier in the month. I stuck with it for a week, a week and a half, then life intruded and I missed one day. Then another. And then, well, I just blobbed.
I was so ashamed of myself I couldn’t share my failure on this blog. I just wanted to hide and eat cake and feel sorry for myself. So I blew off this blog as well.
I did all those things that I worry me the most: sitting for long periods without stretching, eating crisps or fries or any one of a huge number of foods that fuel my anxiety about health and weight. I became my own version of a bad fatty and revelled in it at the same time as criticising myself relentlessly.
In three weeks I’ve blown off everything I’ve learnt about HAES, fat discrimination and the way media influences our opinions and ideas about health. I’ve bought into the idea that there are good fatties and bad fatties and that by eating cake I’m going to die a horrible self induced death.
Yesterday I went shopping for some clothes. It’s a 28 hour flight from here to England and I a comfortable, stylish pair of pants are high on my must haves. I’ve been saving for this trip for months so clothes have taken a very back burner so it was weirdly stressful to finally shop for clothes again.
I found my pants.
They are a size 22. That’s a dress size up from when I last shopped. And that dress size was a size up from the time before.
Cue the inevitable slide into insensibility. I beat myself up relentlessly. How could I get so big! I went over and over all the things I’ve done in the last three months that contributed to this weight gain. All the many, many things I’ve eaten that I really shouldn’t have eaten. Seriously, I should not eat at all!
I vowed to exercise religiously and eat salad every single day, before beating myself up some more.
I told my partner, I’ve gained weight.
“Oh no!” he mocked.
I stared daggers at him but he just laughed. He thinks I’m gorgeous whatever size I am. Clearly he was not planning on joining me in my downward spiral about how big I am.
Today I got up and went for a walk. And then I felt better. Not because of launching into a new diet, but because it feels good to exercise. I like it.
And while I was walking I reminded myself that this is not about me conforming to an exercise program. Or a certain dress size or anything other than feeling good, both emotionally and within my body. That is the important thing, not the size of my pants.
Then I wore my new pants. My oh-so-comfortable new pants and I felt great. So I decided to write about it here and that feels great too.
It turns out change is hard. It turns out that it’s really, really simple to slip back into those old, uncomfortable routines because they fit like a glove. And getting back on track is hard as well.
But when you do, it feels good. It feels more comfortable, more familiar each time I do it, and the thoughts and motions become easier. I guess that’s what change is really all about; persistence.