Everything is falling off of me. Absolutely everything. It’s kind of awesome, I have to admit. Even my shoes. Did you know when you lose weight and exercise, even your feet get smaller? I mean, I’m still Sasquatch, but instead of being tight, now I need to go find some of the little grippy things to keep my heels from slipping. I had shoes stashed in my closet that were like Drusilla trying to shove on the glass slipper, and now- whooosh, right in, baby.
In this picture, the shirt and jeans are Mo’s old ones. It feels so good. I’m down a whole human being since my divorce. Now, here’s where you’re gonna want to kick me: It hasn’t been hard. What I mean by that is I stopped focusing on food as my problem- because it never was- food was a symptom. When I tried dieting, counting calories or measuring what I ate, all of my focus was still on food. What I needed was to forget using food as currency, and learn to pay attention to what my body needed. This was finally how I figured out the gluten allergy- something that had effected me all of my life, and has now been confirmed medically- but was nearly hospitalizing me. My gluten allergy had me taking nebulized albuterol three times a day and still not being able to breathe. Since I cut out all gluten, I have not taken my asthma medicine. Not once. This from a lifetime asthmatic who has been hospitalized before. Turns out it was the mother of all allergies.
This was the beginning of my figuring out how to listen to my body.
I no longer use food to soothe hurt feelings or painful emotions. Sure, sometimes I still eat too much- but since medicating with a bag of Oreos is no longer an option without several epipens on hand and ready to go, I HAD to find and face what was hurting me and deal with it. The ironic thing is, once I let go and started truly taking care of myself, the weight issues kind of solved themselves. Yeah, I exercise now. Not fanatically, I don’t even go to the YMCA anymore, with gas prices being what they are. I jog around the block a couple of times a week and have some 5 lb weights in my room that I play with. That’s it. It’s moderate.
It’s also about putting myself on the priority list. Yeah, I’m a single mama to three busy kids, and a fulltime student. Some days are horrific, but I make sure I take a few minutes to do things for that make me feel good. It’s not about trying to impress anyone- a lot of days I don’t see anyone besides my kids- but I feel better when I take the 20 minutes to do my hair, put some makeup on and get out of a my workout clothes.
It’s a fine balancing act, and it kind of feels like that part in Pirates of the Caribbean, where they have to flip the Pearl over to get back to the land of the living. Everything looked one way, but it just wasn’t. It’s a fine line. I make myself look nice because I already like myself, not because looking nice is where I get my value. Does that makes sense? So rock the boat, ladies. Take a look around, and figure out if you’re in the land of the living, or if somehow you lost yourself somewhere. Maybe it’s time to flip the ship.