“Hey, do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of the lost gone found. It’s the sound of the mute gone loud. It’s the sound of a new start.”
-A Fine Frenzy, Now is the Start
I’m not quite sure how to even begin this post. So much has happened over the past two months that to try and put it into words here, now, seems intellectually and emotionally exhausting, if not impossible. But I’m going to try. Stick with me, friends 🙂
When I started this journey, I honestly never expected it to be this difficult. Yes, I anticipated attempting to beat down the old familiar food cravings and literally working my butt off in the gym, but I didn’t realize the overwhelming toll this whole “overthrowing of the old me” would take on my emotions. Losing weight is more than a physical change. It’s psychological, too. It’s a complete overhaul of your mind—the way you process feelings, react to situations, see yourself…it’s never ending, effecting each and every breath you take.
Looking back, I think I’ve been building to this complete and total falling apart that’s been happening for the past few weeks. I’ve been making the physical changes, dealing quite well with any insignificant hang-ups that came along. But then, at the end of September, the pounds stopped coming off. Completely. I saw my doctor and a nutritionist, I made tweaks to my diet and workouts, I stuck with the program and tried my damnedest to trust the process.
Things continued to unravel. My personal life got a bit messy. I began doubting decisions I had made and contemplated rekindling toxic relationships. My financial situation (always on the brink of being a complete and utter disaster) imploded. I absolutely love, love, love my job, but it’s just not paying the bills right now. Again, I continued to try and persevere. I made tweaks to my spending habits (buh-bye cable TV, internet, anything remotely fun), overruled the part of my brain telling me to call up those toxic people.
I was hanging on by a thread. But I was hanging on nonetheless.
And then I wasn’t anymore.
I’ve spent the past few weeks falling completely apart. At work, a promotion and much needed pay increase I was supposed to receive was delayed until next year. Yet, this being our busiest time of the year, I was suddenly working longer hours than ever, consistently pulling 12-14 hour days. I was too exhausted to do anything but go home and sleep. But I couldn’t sleep. After skipping my workouts and eating crap food, because I was too tired and depressed not to, I would lie awake in bed for hours at night, running over the next day’s to-do list, feeling guilty that I was slipping backwards and letting so many people down in the process. Going public with this journey is a great way to hold myself accountable—it’s also a great way to feel serious amounts of shame when you slip up.
The most shameful part, though? The part that really killed me? My eating. I completely reverted back to old ways, not eating all day only to then go seeking comfort in cheeseburgers and ice cream at night. Not only can I not afford the calories, but I can’t afford that junk financially. Thus beginning a vicious cycle I thought I had finally learned how to control. If not completely, at least to the point where huge glaring missteps like this could be avoided.
On election night, I lost it while talking to my mom on the phone. I started sobbing. Since then, I’ve been a sniffle-nosed, watery-eyed mess. I’ve cried while sitting at my desk, driving down the road, mid-sentence while talking to a co-worker, and (most horrifying of all) while ordering coffee at Starbucks. Yep, I cried in front of the Barista while she asked over and over if I was okay. No, kind keeper of the coffee. I am not.
Without meaning this to sound like the completely morbidly depressing thought that it is, lately, I haven’t seen a point to…anything. I felt like I was finally doing everything right and for what? I was eating great, working out like crazy, succeeding professionally, finding balance in my personal life, finally getting my shit together. And then the Universe just continued to crap all over it. It’s like, I can never just be fucking happy. No qualifiers, no conditions, just pure happy. And it’s the most endlessly frustrating thing, and it’s something I’ve felt tortured by for as long as I can remember. I thought I had finally found it, as these past six or so months have been blissful. But experiencing these past few weeks…my doubts linger.
When my mom came to visit this past week, in that amazing way that only she can, she zeroed in on exactly this mess of unfair unhappiness, on what I was feeling but hadn’t been able to verbalize to anyone. She also firmly reminded me of something that I’ve been forgetting lately: I need to put Amanda first.
I can’t let the circumstances of my life override the me I’m trying to become. I have to consciously each and every day put myself at the forefront of all I do. Every aspect of every thing I do, say, think, and feel needs to be done, said, thought, and felt only with regard to how it will effect this journey of mine.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m appreciating the past few weeks/months for what they’ve shown me about myself, and then I’m kicking them to the curb. I’m done with that bullshit. I have hope. I will never completely lose that hope—that’s not an option. I will get back up each and every damn time I’m knocked down. Because one of these times, it’s going to stick.
Here’s to a new start: being happy, physically and emotionally.