Fear and Loathing in Lunch Phases

 

Credit: Jana Greene

 

It’s time.
It’s time to make some changes. Again. As with making any other change, I have to get to the point of absolute loathing before I am willing to seriously commit.
I am on cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes medicines, overweight and out of shape. I absolutely loathe the way I feel and look.

Beware the dreaded “always” and “never;” but I am keen to use it here: I always feel bad. I never feel healthy or attractive. I don’t eat “a lot,” but what I do eat is done in excess. In binges. After a binge, I feel guilty and fat. So I skip meals. Then I’m starving, so I binge again. Mad cravings for foods of very little nutritional value – fast food.
Lather, rinse, repeat. On and on. (Why is this cycle so familiar?)

I almost never exercise, because when I do, I am so winded –  and depressed that it makes me so tired. With one surgically rebuilt ankle held together with plates, pins and screws, it’s true that I can only do limited walking, and no high-impact workout. But you know, I really could do yoga. I have an exercise bike in the bedroom right smack in front of the damn TV! The cats think it is furniture for them, since they’ve never seen a human sit on it, much less sit on it and move.

And here, now….I am owning an actual goal – admitting (for the first time, even to myself) that I have gained 30 POUNDS in the seven years since walking down the aisle to marry My Beloved.  Thirty pounds in seven years seems like a lot. Just typing “30 pounds” makes me feel like failure incarnate. My husband loves me unconditionally, and I know that. But I know I’ve failed myself. I would love to lose 30 pounds. Okay, 25 (you have to factor in that I am, after all, in my mid-forties now…)

There are perfectly good reasons that I’ve gained so much weight. Let me go ahead and get the excuses out of the way …

In short order, I quit a 2-pack per day smoking habit,  cold-turkey. (Again, I had come to the ground zero of absolute self-loathing about it to make any changes.) And then I had a hysterectomy (TMI? Well, this may not be the blog for you….) Those two major health choices are responsible for 20 of those pounds. Other health-related issues, requiring many stints on treatment with steroids through the years, are responsible for the last ten. The broken ankle didn’t help things at all.

It was like this in getting sober thirteen years ago, too. Excuses I had aplenty, and they allowed me to stay active in my addiction disease. Excuses are now keeping me from being healthy and fit.

But (oh the inequity!) I am still responsible for taking the weight off. Where they came from – surgery, age, or a few late-night Haagen Dazs ice cream binges – is a moot point. Excuses – even the ones with valid origins – keep me from taking any action, right until the moment Self-Loathing lunges out of the shadows, beating Excuses up and stealing its milk money. Then it is GAME ON.

And like drinking, perpetuating my pattern with food is not only willpower, but a willingness to surrender. I’ve proven myself pretty powerless over food (see tomorrow’s blog post: Food: a short history of dysfunction.) I must learn a better way to live and trust God to make it possible in my mind, body and spirit. And I am a little afraid of failure.

So God….a little help here?

GAME ON. It’s time.