I know, I know

It's been ages... but I think it's a good thing, to be honest.

I just feel pretty great overall.  I don't feel the need to obsessively restrict or hate on my body nearly as often as I had in the past, oh, almost ten years.  On the flip side, I am consistently the heaviest I have ever been, but so much of me is tired of caring.  It's exhausting to be pre-occupied in that way.

That being said, at the slightest hint of serious stress or conflict, my mind immediately races to restriction and fixates on my thighs.

One of my colleagues started dieting earlier this year.  It's been three months so far and she has lost fifteen pounds.  She just needs a modest diet with no sweets or excess sugar during the week.  On the weekends, she allows herself to drink a bit of wine and eat some dessert if she wants.  Like me, she just has to be a bit strict in order to maintain a healthy weight.  She doesn't find it constricting, it's just a lifestyle shift.  I feel like I can do that.  I suppose that is how weight loss is supposed to work in the first place... all of the disordered behaviors and fad diets never really support a healthy life anyway... I know I am preaching to the choir here.

And in other life news, my husband and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary and we managed to buy the cutest little house.  It is small, but it is ours, and we are truly enjoying transforming it into our home.

So that is about it.  I will continue to post from time to time, since I think there might just be a few stragglers out there who care enough to pop in and check this blog. I am even trying to limit myself in reading blogs in this community these days because I feel like they trigger me... but then I am so attached to the bunch of you that I really cannot abandon the community altogether.  Usually, when I read a post that moves me to respond, I shoot an email or text if I can.  I certainly do still care, so don't think I have forgotten about anyone.

Changes for a new season

I honestly have not really attempted any sort of organized diet or conscious effort to curb my absurd eating habits in over a year.

But I guess the glow of my newly-wedded life might be fading now and I am tired of feeling heavy and round and out of shape.

In my defense, I am still rather active - I run one average twice a week and am usually going to the gym another two times.  But when you compare that to my super-health-conscious, pre-Benjamin life, it's pathetic.  From 2011 to 2013, I ran on average six days a week.  Now, because I am heavier and out of shape, even twice a week seems like a burden.

And then there's the issue of my closet.  I am terrified to bring out last year's spring and summer clothes only to discover that nothing fits.  Can I just keep wearing sweaters all summer?

So this week I am taking some initiative.  My husband is away in South Africa (any tips, Piggy?  He's in Cape Town!) until Sunday.  I have no social commitments at all this week.  So today I am shooting for under 1,000 calories and I will definitely go to the gym.  Tomorrow is supposed to be lovely, so I should have a repeat low-calorie day and I feel encouraged to get outside for run and enjoy the good weather.  All of that can easily continue until Friday.  I think it's going to rain and I am babysitting... so unless I can be super motivated to wake up early, I'll have to skip the running/gym altogether and make up for it on Saturday.  I know we are having pizza for lunch on Sunday for my friend's birthday - I can get away with two small slices and salad for dinner.  

I have my overdue annual exam with my OB/GYN scheduled for the first week of April.  I MUST lose weight by then.  Ideally, I want to be 140, but I think realistically I can reach 145 (a number, that as I type it, makes me absolutely cringe.  There was a long time when I swore up and down that I would never, ever, ever be over 140... UGH).  I am also going to make a more conscious effort to eat mostly vegan.  Dairy products and eggs have really crept back into my life (that's what you get for marrying a Frenchie) and while I think its ok to eat them in moderation, I would like them to be more like seasoning, instead of star players.  And finally, I am going to reinforce my "no alcohol during the week" and add "no restaurant/non home-made food during the week."  In addition to it saving calories, we can also save some money (which is important since we are in the midst of buying our first home!).  There really is no reason for us to go out during the week, since my husband travels approximately two weeks out of the month and also could use some good, healthy food when he's home.  Mainly, I need to be more organized with meal planning to accomplish this.  So when he is here, I can at the very least control the ingredients and portion sizes, since meal-skipping is not really an option (and isn't a good option to begin with).

I know that is not a very solid plan, but it is a good start, no?

Part of the reasoning is that I am quite ashamed of my body and what has happened to it.  But there is also a large part that knows that gaining weight is not good for me at its core.  I am not striving to be underweight or to starve myself.  I just know that sensible "dieting" never works for me.  In order to lose weight, I need to take more drastic measures.  I am sure this must sound familiar for some of you, no?  Calorie counting/hyper caffeination begins again today.  

Side notes... Congratulations Ruby on your purge-free streak!  And Happy Birthday, Lou! And I hope you're feeling much, much better, Bella.

Hey, over here!

So where have I been?

Yes, I know it’s been a while.  I suppose it is actually a good thing that I haven’t felt the need to haunt around here too much in the past months.  In all, my posting has been sporadic for more than a year, but the reasons for that are good ones.  Not good in the sense that they are well justified, but good in a way that my life is feeling complete and fulfilling enough to leave me feeling whole and supported.  Good in a way that I no longer break down in tears over the fact that my pants don’t fit or the number on the scale is much too high.  It’s still a relatively new feeling, but I certainly like it.

I don’t want to give all of the credit to my husband for this revolution in my thoughts, but it is obvious that he is the biggest positive influence.  Getting older and maybe a little wiser is surely helping too.  Of course I would still love to be much, much thinner.  Of course I still get insanely jealous when I see girls who are thinner and more beautiful than I.  Of course I have moments of sadness and frustration when I realize that just a few years ago I was fifteen pounds lighter, thinner, and in better shape.  But then I realize that my life can still be happy and full without those things; that my ability to contribute good things into the world is not contingent on my dress size.  It feels good to be appreciated and loved for who I am and what I have to offer.  Everyone deserves to feel that way and it’s the greatest crime in the world that so many people go through life without that.  And that’s not to say that I think this feeling needs to come from a husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend.  I think our blood relatives and friends (the family we choose!) can play the same supporting roles.  The feeling of unconditional love and support leaves you at the same time more vulnerable and open (in a good way) and well as stronger to give your best to others.  It’s honestly an amazing thing and incredibly protective against the horrible negative thoughts that plague so many of us around here. (Disclaimer: I am certainly not trying to claim that having good relationships will fix all ED struggles or related mental illnesses… but good relationships certainly help and maybe for me, a person not too deeply consumed, it is enough to keep me healthy)

So my wish for all of my community sisters (and brothers if you’re out there!) in this holiday season and upcoming New Year if for everyone to have a life filled with love and support.  While that love may often present itself in challenging and at times difficult ways, I hope you can be open to receiving the love you deserve.  When I think back to the years I have lost self-loathing and the sort of horrible self-hatred I often read on our blogs, it honestly makes me sad.  I know there is more to life than that. We all deserve love and some measure of happiness.  So to make it through the holidays, please try and love yourself; ultimately, you are the one who has to protect you and fight for you. And when your friends and family try to show you their love and care – be open to receiving it.  You deserve it!  And if you feel like you have no one, please know that this is not true.  This community proves that you are not alone and that you are loved.  

It’s incredible to me that I can feel like I truly know and love girls who are literally across the country (Lulu! Miranda!) and the world (Ruby! Bella! Piggy! Peri! Cursum Perficio! Avy!), or even around the corner (Mich!) who I’ve never met in person.  My heart breaks and swells when I read your posts or get your emails.  I feel genuinely invested in your lives over the years, even if our communication is sporadic and mostly electronic.  I hope you don’t find me phony or shallow.  I want the very, very best for all of you.

So I suppose that is what is new around here and a good way to wrap up the year for now. All the best for the rest of December and to a healthy, blessed, and love-filled 2016.

One week to go

My husband is arriving a week from tomorrow. I still find it odd to call him my "husband." And it's stranger still to realize that my days alone in my little house are over. Surely, I am looking forwar to it, but it is still a strange prospect. I've been living independently for some time. On top of that, I have never shared a bedroom or been in close quarters with anyone for ore than a few months. I suppose it's equally scary and exciting.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective), I have managed to mostly maintain my cool through this stress and not resort to restriction and self loathing. My weight hasn't budged a bit, which makes me horribly sad, but it's good that it's not consuming my life. I know already that I am nervous about eating around Benjamin day in and day out. I don't eat like most people and I'm nervous to adapt. If I was smarter, I would have tried to adapt already. I would have been eating much less and simply square meals these past few months. If I had done that, I'm sure my wedding dress would be loose and I would, at the very least, feel more comfortable in my body.

On the upside of all this, in preparation for my best friend's wedding in October, three of us (including the bride) started Insanity at the beginning of the month. I've done it before (and was in the best shape of my life, at the same time I started dating Benjamin) and so far, so good. It has only been two weeks, but maybe it will change something.

I am trying to enjoy the last bit of summer. I haven't taken advantage of it, honestly. I spend most of my time indoors instead of out on the patio enjoying a glass of rosé. I suppose buying a new car might count? I managed to find and afford an adorable red Fiat. It isn't often that I do anything simply for pleasure... This was the closest I'll get, since it was mostly for fun with a healthy dose of practicality thrown in.

My next post might not be for a bit (not that I post very often anyway). I hope you are all well, or at least stable. 

So slow

I went to a local trail running group tonight. 4.5 miles in the mud and rain. It would have been a ton of fun if I wasn't almost last, insanely out of shape, and horribly fat.

There is no one to blame but myself.

I have to do something.


Dealing with stress

The past few weeks have been full of stress, and old habits are starting to creep back.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I am not resulting to over-exercising.  I am quite out of shape at the moment, and combining that with being way too busy, I have only carved out a bit of time for a bit of biking and running and yoga.  Most nights I have simply been too tired when I arrive home to bother going to the gym.  Of course I then feel insanely guilty and my self-destructive thoughts are reinforced.

Work has been crazy for more than a month... which is ok.  I do like to be busy and I am working on great projects.  This week, I directed an emergency training exercise with evaluators from our state agency, hospitals, the Red Cross, and more than twenty-five staff members and volunteers.  For the most part, everything went off without a hitch and my boss and the state evaluators were thrilled with the exercise.  Its nice to see your planning and efforts some to fruition.  But, since I have several more pressing projects, I need to write myself a detailed schedule to prepare for the next six weeks before Benjamin arrives (more on that in a moment).

Personally, my life has been fine with the exception of missing my husband and trying to support a friend through a VERY difficult time.  It is hard to be strong and supportive for her when the situation is so challenging and depressing.  I am trying my absolute best to be there for her, but she has made a handful of bad choices in addition to being dealt a crappy hand at the game of life.  I hope that something starts looking up for her soon... in the meantime, it makes me viciously miss my husband... I just want to talk to him in bed before we fall asleep and have someone to give me a big hug when it all makes me so sad that I cry.  It makes me miss my family a lot too, since many of her problems stem from her toxic parents and how they have really messed up her ability to have normal relationships and be independent.  My parents and I do not always get along perfectly, but the situation makes me incredibly grateful to have loving, supportive parents.  It is hard to realize how lucky you are when a good family is your normal.

As a result... and maybe it is a good sign that I so quickly recognize that the stress + loneliness = weird eating patterns... old habits have been resurfacing.  Nothing major... skipping a breakfast here, enjoying a rumbling stomach there.  I haven't bothered to see if I have lost any weight - though I doubt it.  It would be nice, but I want to try and hang onto healthy, even if it still makes me super sad that I am too heavy and too many of my beautiful clothes don't fit.

Not really sure where I am going with all of this...

Benjamin arrives soon.  August 24th to be exact.  While it would be lovely to have jet-setted to France to being our new life, it makes much more economic and practical sense for us to begin here.  So for the time being, I will have to be satisfied with a trip or two to Europe every year and my beautiful, kind, French husband by my side here in the States.  We are obviously so fortunate, so I wouldn't dare complain.  At this point, we are simply so excited to be on the same continent, that it wouldn't matter if we were in France, America, or Siberia.

It is weird to be excited and stressed and sad and hopeful and hating my body all at once.  I suppose it is fortunate that the positive thoughts mostly beat out the negative ones, but I feel like I will never be able to let go of the desire to be thin.  I didn't know how good I had it when I was easily and consistently fifteen pounds smaller.  Even then, I was sure I was fat.  Now that I actually am, I lust after the past and have trepidations for the future.  What if the feeling goes away?  What if I am never comfortable in my own skin?  What if I am doomed to a life of trying to be thin and never achieving the goal?  It's a bit heavy (pun intended?) to think about.

I miss writing here and interacting with everyone.  I's my own fault for neglecting the space. How is everyone?

We did!

So there you have it, I'm a married lady now. I left my husband behind in France after our lovely (until the last four days when I got horrific food poisoning) trip across the Alps and am back to reality.

I miss him terribly, but we only have to wait 10 more weeks.

Oh, and at least falling terribly I'll led me to return five pounds lighter. Silver lining?


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