Obviously it's been very long since I've posted...
I get asked fairly often why I stopped blogging/will I blog again - especially now that it's marathon training season. The short but vague answer is I stopped for a few reasons, which I don't want to get into. And I honestly don't know if I have it in me to post with any regularity again. That was such a different time in my life and sometimes I wonder how I did it. I do appreciate hearing that you miss me or miss my writing, so thank you, but I just don't know. Things changed. I changed. I've been through a lot since then. I just don't know...
That being said, I have been kicking around some thoughts in my head lately that I feel the need to write/talk about, so here goes:
I don't know what it's going to take for me to get myself back on track. I've been off so long now I barely remember how to do it. I don't know how I ever did it. I tried a few times with new meetings but for 2 years now I haven't been able to find a meeting I like and commit to it. Therefore I haven't been going to meetings. Of course that means I'm not tracking. And that leads me back to a lot of terrible habits and things I'm not proud of. And it's been so long that it feels like I just can't even snap out of it at this point.
I've been trapped in a circle of thoughts that goes kind of like this: I hate where I am and I hate how I feel and I hate how I look. But then I remind myself that when I lost all my weight, and was at my smallest ever and felt amazing - I sometimes missed being 'thicker'. I'd see women who were bigger than me, and looked great, and be jealous of them and I missed being bigger! It didn't make any sense to me! Here I was, having finally done what I thought was impossible - losing all my weight and feeling more amazing than I ever felt in my life, but part of me missed being bigger like them. This confused me at the time and I still don't understand it. But it made me realize the thoughts I've always had in my head about my self acceptance had less to do with actual weight/size since I was experiencing those same thoughts even at my smallest size. It's hard to explain - though I was glad to be at my smallest weight, and didn't want to go back to a higher weight, I wanted to be seen both ways - small and fit but also thick. It might not make much sense. It barely makes sense to me now and I've had 4 years to think about it.
I guess I got my wish? Since the marathon I've put on 20 pounds. Mostly because the winter was so terrible and I let all my old habits return. It was so bone chillingly cold (the coldest winter of my life), so dark, so dreary, so soul-sucking. I spent every night eating too much and sleeping. I was definitely in a minor depression. I saw very few people socially for months - I purposely avoided them. As a result, by the time spring rolled around I'm clocking in the scale in the 170s and I feel terrible! I HATE IT. I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I was smaller - and why I missed being bigger - because I'm here and I hate it so much. I remember this feeling and it sucks. I hate what I look like and I hate how it feels on me. I hate having to search for something to wear because nothing fits. And I hate how it affects my mood/attitude/personality. But here I am. And I know I did it to myself. And I know I'm the only one who can change it. Yet that's the problem - I don't change it. I still drink way too much beer and order dinner out at least 6 nights out of the week. If it wasn't for eating pretty healthy at work and keeping up with most of my activity, I'd probably be at least 200 pounds again.
Of course this means I also negatively obsess about all the parts of my body I've always hated and been self conscious of - especially (of course) my legs. My thighs especially. I'm so horrified by the sight of them. Nothing fits me. Walking is a chore. Running isn't easy either. I carry so much weight in my inner thighs and am reminded of it every second of the day with every step I take, every time I look down at myself on my bike or on my chair at work. I see them. And they're huge. And I hate them.
I try to force myself into a better space mentally by reminding myself how lucky I am that I have 2 legs and that they actually work. These legs have carried me everywhere for nearly 43 years. They've given me the ability to bike over 15,000 miles (? maybe more) so far and they can walk and they can run! They don't run fast but they were able to get across 26.2 miles of roads so that I could cross the NYC Marathon finish line (a memory I will treasure forever!) So I try to never take that for granted - the fact that I have working legs. But I know they can be better - stronger and leaner - because they once were. If only for a brief time.
Side note - On May 29th I was having a beer with a very dear friend. We were both complaining that our weight that had crept up over this winter, and both trying to make the other feel better about it. Three days later he was in a horrific collision while on his bike. He was in a coma for a while. He had brain surgery. It's been more than 2 months now. He's still in the hospital. He's out of the coma but hasn't spoken yet. I visit him every week and think about him every day. I've made it part of my marathon training to run to the hospital to visit him. I want nothing more than for him to make a full recovery and get out of there, but it will take time. The thing is, he's lost weight since he's been in there. Probably the same winter weight he had been complaining to me about. But I am certain that if he had the choice he'd keep the extra weight in a body that can move around vs being an "ideal" weight in a body that can't do what it used to do. Every time I run I think of him. I tell myself I'm running for him because he can't right now. And despite my unhappiness with the size of my legs or what they look like, I'm so so so thankful that I can use them. I try to never take that for granted because I know nothing is guaranteed and it can be taken from me at any minute, especially considering how callously cyclists are treated by some drivers in NYC. They'll endanger your life just so they can get to a red light 3 seconds faster. It's revolting. Anyway… please keep my friend in your thoughts. He has a huge support system of people pulling for him, but the more positive vibes, the better.
It's been a long time since I felt good about myself. And when I get compliments from people regarding how I look or if they tell me I'm an "inspiration", it's hard to accept those compliments. I feel worse than I've felt in years and I'm not sure why anyone is inspired by me when I feel like such a failure. And to be clear - I do not define myself as a failure because I gained weight. I define myself as a failure because at this time I feel like I've given up - I know what the problem is but I'm not doing anything to fix it.
But I'm so tired of living like this. Of feeling like this. I'm so tired of being a slave to food. I'm so tired of thinking about food. Obsessing about food. Eating food. I'm just so tired of it. But I don't know how to turn it around.