Many people are wondering what I eat and what I’m doing to lose all the weight, so I’ve decided to start sharing more about exactly what I’ve been doing. But first, some background …
After a difficult few years, I found myself at my record high weight in September 2020. The number on the scale doesn’t really matter, but I had gained almost 100 pounds in just under three years. What truly matters is the way I felt. Emotionally, I had been a wreck for a long time, I think even more of a wreck than any of my family or friends suspected, but perhaps they knew and I just think they couldn’t possibly understand because I don’t know anyone who has been through what I’ve been through since 2009. I can’t find a support group or another person to swap stories with, and I’ve looked. I guess it doesn’t matter anyway because I am a person who processes things slowly and internally, mostly on my own. I think A LOT! I NEED to write A LOT too! Because writing helps me to understand, reason, and process my feelings.
When things happen other people might immediately yell, scream, or cry, other people might talk to friends, family, or even a professional about what is happening, lean on others for support. That’s not how I do it. There may be some crying and some initial talk, but I very quickly go inward to figure it all out. If I’m writing all that internal stuff down everyday, then I am releasing some of the pressure in my mind as I work it through. I call it “writing it out of me”. But if I’m not writing things down … I am all in my head, all the time, and the pressure builds and builds and builds until I can’t hold it anymore … and then there’s an explosion. I know this isn’t a good way to be, but I have been this way since I was a child and I really need to be conscious and present and working very hard in order to be any other way. I can’t phone it in. There’s nothing natural or automatic to me about sharing my feelings and thoughts before I have them very well figured out.
I cannot tell you the number of times that my best friend forever, who I’ve literally known since birth and is more like a twin sister to me … I cannot tell you the number of times that she has said to me, “Dude! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about that!” after I’ve revealed something I’ve been internally working through for three months or much longer. If I’m not talking to her about it, you better believe I am not talking to anyone. And if I’m not talking and I’m not writing, then I am alone in my mind trying to make sense of it and figure it out. Often, I am looking for the logic. And just as often, there is no logic.
As anyone knows who has been obese, carrying around the equivalent of another person on your body 24/7 is both physically and mentally exhausting. There is swelling and aches and lethargy and stiffness … and everything you do requires more effort. This includes cooking, reading, talking to your BFF, cleaning your home, cleaning your self, writing your thoughts, working through issues and obstacles, holding down a full-time job, dealing with things like the loss of people you love, a worldwide pandemic, a national shut-down … Being morbidly obese, in 2020, carrying so much personal grief, not talking to anyone, not writing anything down, not finding any logic in my brain … I could feel the impending explosion.
I was taking some steps to ward it off. I started a daily meditation practice, which was helping me to cry again, because after almost a year of constant and frequent tears I had stopped crying sometime in the early spring. I had a start date to begin a new way of eating that I was learning about by listening to an audio book, the first full book I completed cover to cover in probably 8 or 9 years. A way of eating that I knew would improve my health and bring on the weight loss. I was definitely taking steps to ward off an explosion that might drag others into my emotional mess, but I hadn’t acted quick enough.
In mid-September, all the pent up pain, suffering, sadness and anger that I was storing in my body, while trying to sort through it slowly and methodically on my own, ripped out of my skin and burst into the world in one horrific rage-fuelled devastation. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen while I was alone in my apartment. I much prefer having my break-downs at home on my own. I’m sure everyone involved would agree.
In hindsight, I see that the universe was giving me some pretty big signs to stay home that day … a power outage, a fire alarm, a building evacuation. In hindsight, I see the extremely frayed edge of my sanity when I burst into tears and curled into the fetal position on the drive to the event. I wrapped my arms around my head like I was trying to push the emotions back into my brain, crying that I just couldn’t make one more decision, I just couldn’t, I had no more room to process information. A healthier, more energetic person would have demanded to be taken home right then, while we were only about 5 minutes from my place. But I was neither healthy nor energetic. I had no capacity for decision-making, no energy to fight and demand anything.
In hindsight, I should have eaten a peanut butter sandwich or something as soon as I arrived instead of waiting for the group supper, because I hadn’t eaten all day or much the day before. In hindsight, I should have cooked more supper for myself when I went looking for a second sausage and discovered there was nothing else cooked. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have drank any wine on an empty stomach when obviously my nerves were shot. You know what they say about hindsight, 20-20 vision today, but 0 insight while it unfolded, 0 capacity to make a good decision or any decision. It was the perfect storm for a breakdown. I see that now.
So I exploded, lost control, embarrassed and hurt myself and others. It was one of those events that change everything. The kind of thing you look back on at the end of your life and say, “Nothing was ever the same again.” No matter how much I wish I had just stayed home and had my breakdown all by myself with nobody being any the wiser, no matter how much I wish I had just taken an ounce of self-care so I could white-knuckle my way through that day until I could get home again to breakdown alone, I can’t turn back the clock. As my late ex-husband was so fond of saying about every crappy thing that happened, “It is what it is.”
The day after my meltdown, this phlegm-like obstacle that had been lodged in my throat since before Christmas last year just disappeared. I was supposed to see a doctor about it on St. Patrick’s Day but then everything shut down that week. None of the over-the-counter drugs I took or all the theta healing sessions I did seemed to fix it. The most I could hope for was easier breathing and swallowing. But whatever it was, it vanished. I think I released it when I lost control and exploded.
For about a week and a half after the incident, I just cried all the time. I feel alone most of the time anyway, but I was truly alone then, just going through the motions of my daily routine.
When the crying lessened, I picked a new start date for my lifestyle change and began to prepare myself and my home to transition. I downloaded some apps for my phone. I purchased a mental health journal, a food journal, a five year daily journal, a bunch of my favourite pens, a digital food scale, and a new audio book, The Late Bloomer by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I strung journals and pens throughout the house in the places where I would need to write, on the kitchen counter, my bedside table, and the end table beside the couch.
The day before my start date I filled my fridge and pantry with healthy food, mostly vegetables and fruit. I took full-body before photos of my front, back, and both sides.
I started on Monday, September 28, 2020.
Two weeks later I adjusted my lifestyle slightly to better fit what feels most natural to me. I purchased an air fryer, a set of wireless headphones and several more audio books.
Recently, I’ve had more theta healing and scheduled an appointment next month with a reputable psychic/ medium. There are just some things that I’ll only be able to be comforted about if it comes from the spirits, because no answers remain among the living. Whether you believe in psychics or not, I know this will help me, and may finally bring me some peace. I think my soul has been tortured enough. It’s enough.
Today, it’s been almost two months since my emotional collapse. Nothing is the same, the future is uncertain, but I am basically okay. I’m a Gemini and a creative and a late bloomer … I simultaneously see all sides to most things, I sleep less and dream more than most people, I make mistakes and learn lessons then make bigger mistakes and learn from those too … I will always be okay.
Do I think I hit rock bottom? No. It was bad for sure, but it could have been so much worse. I can’t even think about how much worse. It wasn’t a bottom with nowhere else to go but up. But it was definitely a big nudge in the up direction. It certainly dried up any urge to procrastinate and drag out my shift into a healthier lifestyle.
Mood: grateful for insight and opportunity
Drinking: coffee! of course! and ice water
Listening To: 72 Hours, true crime tv show
Hair: messed, greying, short still but getting fluffy