The Egg

Last I left off, I was having a moment of clarity and obsession in the middle of the night with a bottle of Gatorade. Since then, I have managed to completely change my life and the direction of my health.

This is a big thing for me. As much success I have had in other areas of my life, I had as many failures in caring for myself. I wish I could say that it was totally a result of work/life imbalance, because honestly, I had myself believing that too.

It wasn’t.

I know now that the struggles with infertility wasn’t the real issue either. It was tragic, yes, but not the crutch that hindered me from being a better version of me.

It was simply, me, being unkind to myself.

Putting myself last because I never, ever knew any differently. Since forever.

It is probably a blessing I don’t have a daughter. Somehow, I am sure that I certainly would have carried on my own insufficiencies into another human.

I have a plastic Easter egg in my desk at home, once shoved into the back corner of my junk drawer. In the egg, I wrote words on a slip of paper. It was an assignment I received at a weight watchers meeting in 2005. For the umpteenth time, I was trying to preserve any part of me that I could. Control SOMETHING, anything…. I was in survival mode, really. My WW leader asked us to each write a promise to ourselves and put it in the egg.

I wrote…
“I want to love me.”

I stuck that purple egg in the drawer. I knew it was there. I knew it was there each time I failed, fell off the weight wagon, again and again. I knew it was there each time I sunk my spoon into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because I wanted to deaden any emotion that even came close to admitting failure. I remembered it was there when I cried because I made a mistake, a bad decision, hurt someone, or let myself down.

Yet, in four years I just left it unopened. I figured I would eventually toss it out next time I purge the junk drawer. After all it was JUNK…. Right?

JUNK because I just couldn’t take seriously the thought of ever loving myself.

Then, the ultimate low. The last straw that proved that I was insignificant and not worthy of any goodness. Failing at completing my family, losing confidence in my professional worth, hitting rock bottom.

Then, with almost impeccable timing, my body started to revolt. It was pissed off over being mistreated and discarded. I got scared. I spent the last 6 months in a revolving door of doctors. My bones ached. I couldn’t walk. Was I depressed, sick, or going mad? I suddenly felt all of my 44 years crashing down on me. Tentative diagnosis as of now, Fibromyalgia and sleep issues, waiting another referral to rule out more bad stuff. Merely the tip of an iceberg, but a step to knowing.

A wake-up call indeed. It was time to get my temple in order.

This was my rock bottom.

I remembered the egg. It wasn’t going to gather dust any longer. I finally opened it this past January, and renewed my promise to me.

Something is different… this time. I can’t put my finger on it. I still have days I feel like I am 90 years old, but I also have days I feel I can conquer the world. I changed the way I view food. Which is insanity in my mind anyway… I have this bad habit of never breaking bad habits. But here I am, three months later, and finally giving myself the time to heal and be renewed. I am not going to let anything chip away at the progress I made. It shows on the outside.. I am a pound shy of 30 pounds lighter. In physical weight. Probably even lighter on an emotional level.

There is no reason I should feel so good while feeling so bad.

But I do.

Strangely, my newfound love is catching root in the oddest of places. My husband, my son. They don’t see the positive change around us, but I do.

I still have a long road ahead. But for the first time ever, I am walking in my own shoes, feeling my heart, accepting the unclarity of life, and not afraid to fail.

My egg, no longer collecting guilt and dust…

…now, my lucky charm.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Off the hook

Don’t stuff your face…
Face your stuff.

When I walked into W.eight Wat.chers in mid January I heard this phrase as part of the first meeting, and it was something that stunned me. Trust me when I tell you, it’s hard to be stunned at WW meetings.
How profound is that simple statement?

For those of us who have ever had an eating problem (or addiction of any sort), this is the root of it really. Emotions make us do whacked-out things.

Over the years, I have taken an introspective approach to my addiction of choice… food. I know why I am overweight. I know what it takes to lose weight. I just choose to do it or not do it.

The last five years had taken a toll on me physically. I was down on myself…. lower than the lowest I’ve ever been.

FAILURE is my trigger. FAILURE makes me sad, and worse… it makes me eat. Food won’t judge me like people judge me. Yes, it’s the oldest excuse in the book, but it is what makes me tick.

Sure, I wanted to change… but every pregnancy loss, every failed attempt at pregnancy, every job change and shift, illness, EVERY TIME I ran into a roadblock… my body revolted against me. I morphed into my own personal speed bump.

And anyone who has ever been in this dark place knows that it’s so goddamn hard to pick yourself up. Sometimes we rely on others to lift us up when we can’t. In the end, the buck stops with us. The reality is just as the phrase my Dad has always lived by…

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get goin’!

Over the holidays I had an epiphany of sorts. Even IF I achieved all I wanted I would still be unhealthy in body, mind, and spirit. Let me tell you, hitting 40 was a major wake up call. I had pains I never had before. I felt slower. Things were just different.

I started to think about THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Yeah, heavy stuff.

I made pact with myself that day in January.
1. I will attempt to lead a healthier lifestyle.
2. I won’t berate myself for making mistakes along the way.
3. I will nurture ME.

So, how’s it been going? Even with the donor disappointment, and my work life on the verge of collapse I stuck to my pact. I feel the emotions, but I am not letting them control me. For the first time in my life.

I am treating myself well. I’m still doing WW, and happy to say as of yesterday, I’ve lost 30 pounds (still MANY to go.. don’t get too excited).
I am walking again.
I started reading again (a pastime I gave up, until I realized how much it soothed me).
I ate an entire cheese steak last week and felt no regret (hence, did not fall off the WW “wagon”).
I bought a pair of jeans in a size I have not worn in 10 years.
I made an appointment for a facial.
I now listen to music when I feel my blood pressure rising.
I let myself off the hook for my past.

And it feels good.

All things random…

I found out last week that my hair stylist is moving to Florida. accccckkk! She is a good friend as well. I’ve known her for nearly 17 years, and it won’t be the same without her. Now I have to find a new stylist (I’ll probably stay with the same salon), which is a big decision. What to do, what to do…..

I’ve also been a little silent on something else I’ve been doing, which is losing weight! So far, I’ve lost 13 pounds. I figure there are so few things I can CONTROL in my life.. while I’ve been busy trying to wrap my arms around infertility and adoption I think I found something I can do that is positive and somewhat controllable…

Speaking of infertility… I haven’t been talking much about it because I am still in a holding pattern. I need to make a consult appointment with the RE for next steps, but we are not in a rush. Reason being, we have vacation coming up in 4 weeks and I can’t do IVF remotely from Hilton Head, SC. lol. So I am taking a little “infertility siesta”. I just don’t want to think about it right now. I figure we will do the consult before vacation so we can get the insurance and meds out of the way in the meantime. Or whatever we decide to do (or NOT do).

The adoption front…. is moving slow. Truth is we are in a weird spot deciding on an agency. Our country choice (did I mention this before?) is China… but because the waaaiting is draaaawing out so much on a China adoption, we are likely going right to SN (special needs). Still long, but not as insanely long. The question is, go with a China only agency that has a stellar reputation or another agency with other country options? You would think, duh, Shelli go with the latter… but there’s some positives and negatives that don’t make for an easy answer. So we think and research more and think some more. My goal is to get the wheels moving in the next month.

And lastly, but not leastly (is leastly a word? I think not), I am an Auntie again. My BIL and SIL had a little boy last week. This is my third nephew (first on my husband’s side). He is cute as a button. J- I know you are probably far too deep in diapers and doctor appointments to read my blog, but a hearty congratulations (again) to you and C.

Rehab here I come

Or I should say, rehab for food junkies like me. Yes, I am going back to Weight Watchers this week.

Yeah, it’s on my list of resolutions, and don’t laugh, I am back on the wagon for like the 100th time…. but better to try than do nothing, right?

After all, I’ve got a bathing suit I have to fit in for vacation…. in MAY.

Heaven help me….!