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.

 

14 thoughts on “Fear and Loathing in Lunch Phases

  1. Here’s what I have to say – I am right there with you. I recently quit smoking (yay me!) And by recently I mean 12 days ago. Hard to do as you know but determined, God supported women can do anything. Last week, I started walking the outdoor track at work one lap which is 1/2 a mile. Baby steps but isn’t that how we all have to start? I too have numerous “reasons”: the baby weight I gained with my 2 boys (did I forget to mention the youngest is now 21?), both knees with total knee replacements, extremely bad arthritis. Oh, and that 50 year landmark. But like you, desperate times call for desperate measures. You post was just the encouragement I needed to keep going. I still am hurting over the end of a 24 year relationship because my significant other could not get past his addiction and I finally had to force him out. I responded to your very powerful post about everyman after the death of Seymour Hoffman. You helped me see things in a different way then so maybe we can cheer each other on in this “desperate” time. It’s time once again to let go and let God. Good luck and I’ll be sending prayers your way as well!

  2. Thank you for being so real and honest with us. I feel that posting could’ve been written just about me. Such a daily battle and the fear of failure. Thank you for letting us know we are not alone in this fight. Praying for your great success!

  3. Good luck – you can do it! I did and was just as addited to food and just as unwilling to exercise (with a broken and pinned shoulder to boot). I go for balance and suggest making one change at a time. I really liked Dr. Morneo’s approach and wrote it up on my blog if you’re interested – and mid forties is still young 🙂

  4. Cool, Vinny. I will look into Dr. Moreno’s approach. I’ve heard about him. I am currently doing the Whole30 (okay, a modified version. I cannot live without dairy. OKAY, I probably could, but I’m not willing to 🙂 )
    Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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