Dear Me, Stop Eating Crap.

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Oh look, it’s been like a month since my last post. Here’s the deal:

I. Am. An. Idiot.

There are no excuses. I was too busy to post for the first three weeks, and I was too ashamed to post last week. Because I’ve been eating like crap. One splurge led to another, then to another…until it was a complete free for all.

I stumbled at first, and then I pitched head long over the cliff. And now, I’m sick as a dog. Fever, chills, achy-ness all through my body, and it is 100% my fault.

A little more than midway through my eating spree this week, I started feeling lethargic and miserable. Tired, cranky, and so not awesome. I complained to my husband, who said, very simply and reasonably, “It’s your food, babe. We know that. It’s always the food.” I wanted to slap him, because I knew he was right. But let’s face it, I really wanted to slap myself.

Eating clean is hard. Eating clean forever is harder. Sometimes it feels really easy, but when there’s picnic after picnic, get togethers with friends, work-provided lunches and ice cream and cake, and everyone else is eating the good stuff, it gets easy to tell myself that it’s no big deal if I splurge (AGAIN. and AGAIN. and AGAIN.) And that’s just exactly what happened.

When I look back on the last week and what drove me to this most excruciating form of self-sabotage, I do realize that there was some stress with a few personal things happening, but nothing major. It came to this: I was 12 weeks in, feeling great, fitting into smaller clothes and realizing I could no longer wear other clothes that were ridiculously too big, BUT NO ONE WAS NOTICING!

I’ll tell you what people were noticing: my husband. Now, let meĀ  give him his due. He looks AMAZING. He’s getting super jacked, and since he only had a few pounds of fat to lose before leaning up, it’s more immediately noticeable. Rationally, I understand this. I have far more fat to lose so it is not as obvious. I got fat, and he didn’t.

But on an emotional level, I feel like it is so much harder for me given my relationship with food, and so easy for him. And when I know that I’ve lost much more than him, but his victories are so much more obvious.

Whine, whine, whine. Why is the validation of others so important to me? Well, it just is. It’s a nice reward for hard work, but I should know better than to let that control my actions. But I did.

I got discouraged. I got angry. I turned into a big, fat, stupid baby and fell back into my old “screw it” mentality. Screw it! I’ll eat some nachos. Screw it! I’ll eat some cheese. And some more cheese. Screw it! Here come the chips. Screw it! Now it’s the cookies.

I told you I’m an idiot.

And here’s the funny thing: just as I did this, during my week of disgusting loathesomeness, I had two genuine compliments come in from friends I really respect. One friend, who came into a 6am workout class behind me said that she barely recognized me from behind. She said that I looked amazing and like a completely different person. The second came from another friend who pulled me aside after my workout and told me I looked great and that it was obvious my hard work was paying off.

I felt like such an ass. Let’s face it, I am an ass.

So here I am. I fell off, and now it’s time to get back on. I’m sick, I’m tired, I’m miserable and I’m hating myself, and it’s all because of crappy food.

How many times do I have to learn this lesson? How many times am I going to let stupid excuses and feelings get in my way? It is my fault I look like this, and no amount of rationalizations is going to change that. Even when it feels like everyone else is going to 10 parties a week, and eating whatever they want, I know I can’t get away with that. I feel like crap when I do–it actually makes my physiologically sick–and I know what it feels like to be eating clean and firing on all cylinders, and I love it.

Today, I move on. Today, I stop the vicious misery cycle I’ve been on for a week (loathe self, eat, loathe self more, eat more, loathe self to a disgusting level, eat to a disgusting level….you get it) and keep pushing forward.

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Being the One Who Got Fat.

Be honest. If you were going to attend your 20 year high school reunion, what would you rather be?

  • The one who lost his/her job
  • The one who went to jail
  • The one who got fat
  • The one who died (okay, you wouldn’t actually be attending, but let’s not linger over the details)

I read a study/blog/article/something or other once that said that there was a significant number of women who would rather be dead than fat. (As you can see, I am committed to providing you with completely reliable and specific facts.)

You know it’s true, though, even though I don’t have the exact details. Watch any stupid movie about reunions, or mean girls, or any girls, and the cardinal sin is always being the one who got fat.

Hi. I’m the one who got fat.

I wasn’t fat all my life, I wasn’t an unpopular nerd in high school, I wasn’t an outcast or anything like that. But here I am now. And I’ve spent about 7 out of my 10 years as a fat girl trying to hide that from anyone who knew me when I wasn’t one. It is a sad and shameful way to live.

Why do we do this? Why did I do this? The fact that I gained all this weight does not make me a bad person, or less smart, cool or generally awesome. But I let it. I let it define me for so many years and, even as I got bigger, I became smaller and smaller inside. It. SUCKED. It still does.

So I have a post brewing about scary shit that I do to make sure I don’t live in my comfort zone too often…and one of these things is joining Karin’s new dance crew. I almost didn’t do it. It’s terrifying! Why do I want to be the fat girl on a dance crew? I don’t! But I knew that I wanted to do it, and that I had to make the commitment and set it as a goal. Then she created a FB group for dance crew peeps, and lo and behold I saw a girl I went to HS with on the list.

I’m not going to lie. I kind of panicked. I hadn’t seen this person in 20+ years. And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m fat. I’m not proud of this; I’ve worked so hard over the last few years to change the way I view myself and know that even though I’m not where I want to be yet, that I am getting there. But I was totally thrown by having to see her.

I had no reason to believe that she would be unkind to me, and of course she wasn’t. She’s a lovely person and she gave me a big hug and asked me about my 2 kids and why I joined the dance crew, etc. You know, general catching up like normal people do.

Obviously, the problem lies with me. I have actually hidden from people I know when I’ve spotted them out in public–nice folks that I would be happy to catch up with and who likely wouldn’t likely bat an eyelash at my changed appearance. But I would imagine what they were thinking…”Oh, it’s Steph, she’s cool but MAN did she get fat! How did she let that happen? What a shame.”

Maybe some of them would think that. But who knows? Either way, it’s my hangup and I have to deal with it.

The other day, I told a friend about my interaction with the girl from HS, and how scared I was to see her, how I imagined her thinking, Why would she join the dance crew when she got so fat?

This friend looked me in the eye and said it didn’t matter, it was what was on the inside that was most important. I immediately tripped and nearly fell, generally making an ass of myself. Then I thanked her, because she was right, of course.

I know she is right. I know that I have some pretty swell stuff inside of me. I have a great job where people love me and my boss praises me and my contributions on a regular basis. I have good friends who like and respect me. I have created a fantastic family with a supportive and adoring husband, and we have two fun, cool, respectful and fairly well behaved kids. I volunteer; I make a difference in my community.

But still…but still. Being fit and LOOKING fit are two different things. I am fit right now. Like, seriously fit. Probably I could kick your ass. (Unless you’re one of my trainers, and in that case, Hi guys! See you soon!) But anyone I saw in the store would never know I heft 30lb weights in an exploding shoulder press.

What I need, what I want, for myself (and, yes, for the world to see) is for the outside to match the inside. Because really, being the one who got fat sucks. But guess what? Being the one who is super thin but a total weakling ALSO SUCKS. But being the one who can rock deadhang pullups and do burpees all day long, well that’s pretty awesome. And that’s where I’m headed.