- I tried a new medication to help my "adult acne"- and happened to be one of the >3% of patients that experienced the weight gain side effect to the tune of 20+lbs in 6 weeks. Devastating and triggering.
- I got a new job and began drinking with donors, eating on the run, and working longer hours. But, I joined a gym and learned that I love midday workouts and spin. I began to feel confident in my capacity to grow, in my skills and capacity. My weight- although heavier- remained stable.
- My marriage began to fall apart. I avoided my home, ate out, and drank to sleep. I hurt my wife and hurt myself with my absence. I started crying and stopped going to the gym. My weight slowly crept up another 10lbs. Yet, I reached out and found a therapist for the first time.
- We separated and I moved out- and I coped the best I could. With less of the best coping mechanisms: food, drinks, and work. I learned to be by myself and where I struggle with that.
- I began a new relationship- which then officially became a relationship. And I was reminded that body size isn't the only factor for attractiveness. I remembered how femme I am, and that I like to embody femme. I learned to communicate. I shared my fears, failures and needs. And despite expecting to, I didn't get burned. I found patience and caring.
- I began to burn out at work- working hours that added up and still didn't leave enough time for my one-stop shop position, wrestled with the politics of human resources, and did it with little praise.
- I slipped into a depression that I didn't share with anyone- simply cried and drank glasses of wine until I could sleep at night. I held my feelings in- about my marriage, the devastation of cancer in friends' lives, my own brush with cancer re-occurring, my body, my job, my decisions. And it manifested in insomnia and panic attacks.
- I moved again- to a new home that would allow my dog to come home to me. I moved in with a new roommate and with (at the time) the "guy I was dating" (now "boyfriend") and had tough, good conversations about setting boundaries, our needs and wants for this change. We wrestled through the holidays with the stress of moving, the stress of impending divorces, and (for me) the stress of hating my body once again.
- I began to settle. Painted my room. Decorated. Bought a Christmas tree and new decorations- turquoise, pink and sparkly. A femme tree. I shared a new tradition of a Jewish Christmas- watching a friends' cats in the morning while talking to my family, opening stockings then making big breakfast with my boyfriend, opening more presents, napping, movie-ing, and eating Chinese food at 10pm. I truly enjoyed the difference- and appreciated my bf's efforts to give me a holiday. I realized I'd been drinking too much for months and the implication of that in a family that's wrestled with alcoholism. I realized needed to try something new for my body. I vowed to try to be nicer to myself.
- I kept working and working, pushing for my hour a day at the gym, and in the fighting, realizing that I needed to leave. And, then, I was laid off eight days into the new year. To say it took me by surprise was an understatement. I panicked. Reached out to my therapist, family and friends for support and found it.
And here I am. My body is still reeling and my psyche is still reeling from all of the transition. I am, today, 35lbs heavier than I was last April. I hate it. I question my body every day and I'm wrestling to be gentle to my body- to my self. Most days I don't have an appetite and am convincing myself to eat. Some days though I want to binge of chocolate and sweets. I'm figuring out that balance. My weight isn't changing- the pounds aren't "dropping off" or "adding up".
I've not wanted to write about my experience of the past few months because it's felt like body-failure. I'm back to the weight I was when I began dating my ex-wife in 2007. I tried so hard to change my body, and I managed to. Through Weight Watchers, running and consciousness. And here I am again- at the beginning. I've not wanted to admit that I didn't make this weight loss, my new body, stick. That I added on the pounds like so many others who wrestle with weight do. I've wanted to be different.
And yet, I have grown in healthier ways. I'm learning through therapy to talk about the dynamics underneath my body/weight issues. I'm learning to compliment myself. I'm learning that alcohol is not good for me. I'm learning that exercise is. I'm learning that I need to sing and move. I'm learning to slow down. This lay-off is a blessing, giving me time to reflect on who I am and what I want. Who I want to be. What I want to do with my life. Which patterns I want to give up.
So, I'm not going to end this blog entry as I have with so many in the past with a plan or a promise. I don't know what yet to do for my self and my body. I'm figuring it out as I go. I know I need to move for my psyche and so have joined the local (cheaper) gym. I'm signing up for a few races- one a month through May- to keep me motivated and as an experience to share with my new friend Erin with whom I go walking and talking every week (we ran a 5K winter race together in December and loved it!). I'm keeping sacred space and time for reflection and prayer. I[m writing. I'm surrounding myself with lovingkindness. And, that's all I've got folks. No plan. No promises. Just a few thoughts and some steps I'm already taking- to increase my self-love and release this shame I've been carrying.