So you know, I’m getting a divorce and my husband and I were living in the same house for four months during this proceeding, because basically he cut me off financially and we had not decided who would keep the house. He also cut me off my gym membership, the gym being a place I went for at least an hour daily to manage stress and be fit and healthy. It wasn’t very nice. But, hey we’re getting a divorce and lots of people think this gives you carte blanc to be a jerk.
As you can imagine this was very stressful for everyone. Me being me, I decided that I had been working out religiously for six years and was in pretty good shape. I thought my body would let me slide for a few months until I had my finances back together.
I was simultaneously having a difficult time buying supplements that help with weight, nothing weird, just fish oil and that type of thing. I also quit taking my bio-identical hormones, also an expense. Add to that I was having difficulty buying the fresh, healthy food I had a habit of eating.
Then I just started eating crap. Well, this giant bag of Doritos won’t hurt, or this giant bag of Robin Eggs, or this box of cheap Milk Duds. I was drinking a bottle of Brianna’s Asiagio Caesar Dressing every week, it’s on fruits, veggies and nuts, so the calories don’t count I lied. I pounded calories like a drug.
There was a mass quantity of beer in the house every day, also a serious issue in my marriage, which I started consuming more than I wanted to, more than I should, which too makes a person bloated and fat.
Essentially, all of my habits went out the window. And it’s all the teeny, tiny, seemingly insignificant habits that keep a person healthy and fit, as opposed to flabby and tired.
And I was hard on myself. Giving myself shit the entire time. Stepping on the scale and making excuses, oh it’s only 5 pounds, I can still wear my jeans. Until I couldn’t. Then it was only one size, until those got too tight. I am now wearing sundresses everyday, not only because I love them, but also because I am not surrendering to the next size up in jeans.
“Give yourself a break Tracee, you’re going through a divorce,” I told myself over and over and over as a way of calming my anxiety and guilt and anger about my body’s refusal to forgive a few months of poor habits. “As long as you don’t start smoking again you’ll be doing great.” And I haven’t, started smoking again, of which I am very proud. This is the first personal crisis that I have not smoked my way through.
“Give yourself a break, Tracee, you’re going through a divorce.”
So I did. Give myself a break.
I flew off a pink Barbie razor scooter and broke my clavicle fiercely. And took pain killers. And laid in pain, without any activity at all for two weeks. And my weight went all sorts of crazy, skyrocketing back to my post-Zack weight.
Suck. It’s so unfair that it took me six years of hard work and dedication to get fit, and only about five months to put everything back on. How is that fair? Why won’t my body just do what it used to do when I was in my teens and 20’s?
Then the other day it occurred to me that in my 20’s I didn’t eat food. I was poor, poor, poor. I would go the entire day without eating anything and then stop at whatever fast food restaurant was having a sale and eat a .99 burger. Or I would starve all day long and then eat yogurt or Raman for dinner. I was broke and needed to spend as little money as possible.
Then as I got richer, and was able to afford more food, I got bigger.
Maybe, just maybe, my natural weight is bigger than it was in my teens and 20’s. Just maybe eating food, even healthy food, is going to make me a larger, healthier, fitter person. Certainly starving all day is not “health.”
I’m back on track and have lost about 10 pounds in a couple of weeks. Most of it was water weight, from pills and inertia. I am walking the dog an hour a day. I still can’t hit the gym for another month due to the clavicle. I started tracking calories to give myself a reality check on my consumption.
I’m also under less stress, though still grieving.
Now, I’m focusing on taking care of myself. And instead of instructing myself to “give myself a break,” I am simply telling myself, “I love you Tracee, I love you.”
My body is not going to let me slide. I just have to accept that. It just is. The other thing I have to accept is that 80% of it is food. I hate this. I love to exercise and I love to eat. But, again it just is. I have to forgive my body for this.
I will love myself back to fitness, back to great health. With good food, good exercise, lots of rest and meditation and some joy mixed in. The difference this time is that I’m returning to habits I have already established. I already know it’s the tiny habits that make the difference long-term, not binging and dieting. Which makes it easier.