July 26, 2013

Roses and thorns

Last week, Matt and I were looking through our high school yearbooks. It was so funny to see how different we look now compared to then - and not only weight wise. It's funny, I didn't think I looked *that* different, but now, the girl in the senior portrait is definitely just a little kid.

Matt went to a much bigger school than I did, so his graduating class just shared their pictures. My considerably smaller class was able to have a little section devoted to each student: their birthday, memories, a few favorites, and future plans. At the time, this stuff meant so much to me. As I explained the inside jokes, though, it made me feel old, a million years removed from that time and place.

My future plans, though, made me smile.

Teaching, travel, family.

Realistic goals, all things I'd wanted for as long as I could remember. Next year, it'll be 10 years since I graduated from high school. And it's nice to know that I've achieved my future plans.

I have an incredible little family, with a loving partner and a happy and healthy son. I have traveled across the country and overseas, though I still hope to do more in the future. And I've taught at two universities, each very different from the other, but overall positive experiences at both.

And soon - very, very soon - I'll further the accomplishments with all three in mind.

I got the job.

So: Matt, Noah, and I are moving to South Carolina in two and a half weeks.

Full-time teaching, with benefits. I couldn't be happier. The money is of secondary importance - I'm just thrilled that I get to teach again.

It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks. I told my dad: to be honest, I almost liked the California situation a little better. I didn't have time to panic or overthink things - I had 48 hours to pack everything and go, and then we spent three days heading west in a pickup truck. With this much time, I'm a bit worried about feeling anxious - but I'm also keeping in mind that this time, there's much more to be done. There are three of us now, and we have much more to haul (last time, my dad and I sold or donated much of my big furniture - bookcases, bed, etc. - because it was easier/cheaper to start fresh and new in California). We're nervous - about the move itself, about what happens when we get there, about what the year will bring. But it's a good nervous. An excited nervous.

The one thing I'm not worried about, surprisingly, is my eating. When I left California to come back to Chicago, I planned out every meal so I wouldn't have to throw anything away or run to the grocery store in the last few days. I couldn't binge or even overeat because if I ate something one day, it would come out of the next day's food. This time, with a few weeks before we go, I know we're going to be eating out a few times - goodbye dinners with friends, etc. - but I know we're going to stay focused and in control.

That said, the night before I got the call with the job offer, I have to admit: I binged. Bad. The worst since ... probably grad school, honestly. I was upset that the scale was up 2 pounds for no reason, and I was anxious over not hearing from the school, and Matt was getting worried and depressed too - and in a moment of panic, I decided that talking to him wasn't what I wanted, but rather, I turned to my drug of choice. The next morning, I weighed in up 2 more pounds. I have to remember: if hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the solution.

I'm weighing in today at 260, a 4 pound gain from last week. I'm upset but not beating myself up over it any more than I already have. I spent the night crying, with a bad sugar headache. And I felt ridiculous. My binge didn't affect whether or not the school called. It was the wrong thing to do.

One good thing, though, is that after the binge, I went online and found a depression chat room. I should have talked to Matt - I should have admitted what I did, confided in him, explained how I was feeling - but I was so ashamed. So, I found a group of strangers. And one person, I didn't get his or her name, said something that really stood out to me.

He/she said that with suicide, one common suggestion is that if you're feeling suicidal, wait three days and see how things change. Suicide is forever, so three days really isn't a long time. By waiting on it, most people end up deciding not to attempt.

It resonated with me, and I decided that the next time I feel like a binge, I'm going to do the same thing. If I still want to binge the next morning, then I'll revisit my options. But almost always, sleeping on it makes the feelings subside. I forget where I saw it, but a year or so ago, someone (another binge eater) shared on his or her blog that he/she never wakes up and wishes he/she had eaten that [whatever]. It's so true.

I'm feeling overwhelmingly positive right now, and I hope this good feeling lasts. It sucks that I have to relose these few pounds again, but it's going to be alright. I'm going to be working! And with the job comes a paycheck and health insurance (to finally find a therapist!) and a set schedule (which helps with working out).

I can't wait to share this new adventure with all of you! And to be secure and happy, and to start feeling like my best self again. One of my all-time favorite blog comments (from a sadly now defunct blog) came a couple of years ago from a young woman:
I'm so excited for you. You're standing on the edge of great things - the next few years are going to be amazing. I know it! 
I think about that comment all the time. It turned out to be rather prophetic. The years that have followed have been surprising, with ups and downs, but always an adventure. And right now, I'm feeling very much on that edge. Scary, exciting, but definitely great, in every sense of the word.

What about you? How was your week? What do you do to avoid stress eating? And - any readers out there living in South Carolina? I've driven through it but never visited, and now we're going to be living there. It's going to be a new experience for the three of us, for sure! (Matt's a born-and-raised city-based Midwesterner, he's preparing for a serious culture shock.)

41 comments:

Angela said...

I am super happy for you Mary! This is a huge thing for you and your family. New adventures give us all a great spring board into finding a new status quo in our lives. You are gonna do great!

LynnieG said...

Congratulations on the exciting news! Such a thrilling adventure to share with your two favorite people :) Forget about those 2 pounds & the binge - they're in the past and there's nothing but the future to think about now...and what a future it will be! Any anxiety you feel in the next few weeks will be valid - so accept it, move through it and grow...don't try to eat your way out of it. Enjoy these last days in Chicago with family and friends - not worrying about what/how you'll eat - celebrate the time with rational food and drink and move on. Take care of yourself and your baby during this time - do the best you can and most of all, ENJOY! Cheers!

Sarah said...

I am so freaking excited for you right now! Yaaayyyy!!! :)

South Carolina is absolutely gorgeous. I know it's only a couple weeks away, but you've already fallen for some places (as you mentioned), and you know the community has a Jewish population, etc. So you're at least that much prepared.

Oh my gosh. I cannot get over this. I'm seriously bouncing up and down for you right now. :) I am really, really happy for all of you! How exciting!

glenna said...

I am so incredibly happy for you. I have been stalking your blog all week waiting for updates and when you finally posted I was so on edge about what was going to happen that I had to scroll down to the middle to see that you got it before reading the whole post! It's funny to feel so invested in someone's life that you don't even "know". Welcome to the south, Mary! Hopefully you and your little family will love it. Congrats to you all! And as far as the weight goes... I have 35 lbs left to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy (but still obese) pre-baby weight. My son will be 4 months old next week. I started running again this week. It will happen, we will get there. And I will continue to read your blog when I need inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your life! I wish you nothing but good things in your new job and with your move!

Melissa said...

I'm so happy for you! I was crossing my fingers for you. I hope the move goes well for your family.

Spoonful of Me said...

I am so happy for you. I literally screamed in excitement when I saw that you got the job. I know how much you wanted it. I can't wait to read about your upcoming adventures.

Losing The Rolls said...

Congratulations Mary!!!! I'd been hoping and waiting with you and am excited that you landed the job. Best wishes for a smooth move.

I know you will lose the four pounds. Keep working on it. You'll be fine.

I've live in the Northwest all my life except for three months in Texas. I haven't traveled East, so even Chicago would be new to me. South Carolina sounds fun. Turn the page, the next chapter in your life is starting. Again, congrats!

Dena said...

I just have to say I quite literally thew my hands up in the air and cheered for you when you said you got the job. :)

Life comes with ups and downs, and this is definitely an up! Enjoy the process and enjoy your new area! I can't wait to hear all about it!

Angela Lee said...

Congratulations Mary! I'm so happy for you and excited you'll be doing what you love again.

Amy said...

I am seriously SO happy for you guys. You really deserve this break, and I think a fresh start will be so good for your little family :)

I think for me when I am slipping, it's a control thing and I lose control, and I know I have. It's in everything. I eat bad, I spend money badly, I make impulse decisions, I'm lazy (aka my house is a mess) and it's just out of control everywhere.

Getting out of it is huge. For me - I am really exploring a lot of alternative therapies. I got really into Body Talk a couple of years ago, and right now I have been getting EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which is addressing a lot of my deep seeded fears about WHY I can't succeed in my deepest struggles. What stops us?

Today she suggested I start tracking everything I eat and I basically shoved it back down her throat because it doesn't ever work for me. I always fail at that. For me it's figuring out the bigger reasons why I struggle so much, and we're slowly chipping away at some pretty big stuff.

I wish you guys all the best. Try not to think about those four pounds too much! I know it sucks gaining and relosing the same pounds again (and sometimes again and again) but if we just keep swimming we'll all eventually get there!

Happy packing :)

AlisonMK said...

Congratulations, Mary! Your post made my day - and you WILL do great things in SC - so excited for you and your little family!

Bonnie said...

Congrats on the job. So happy for you and your family!

Angela @ Honey, I Shrunk the Mom said...

I am so happy for you! Congratulations! :)

Kali said...

Congrats! I've been silently reading your blog for a while now and that it is so very exciting to read you got the job!!

Poison said...

OMG YAY! So happy you got the job. I visited South Carolina for a week back in October of 2011 and it was absolutely gorgeous there. I hope you love it! Great advice on the binging episode though... I have trouble with it a lot and so if I can actually convince myself to sleep on it, lol, then that just might help me out, too. :)

barksandbaking said...

Congratulations! I've been checking your blog constantly this week, waiting to hear the news. The South will definitely be different from Chicago (I'm an Iowan and am now living in Virginia just outside DC, so I know whereof I speak) but I hope you'll all enjoy it. Best of luck with the move and starting your new job!!!

Debby Bongers said...

I knew you'd get the job!! Congratulations, that is so exciting. And brave! I greatly desire a new job but am too afraid of moving. Also, good for you for working through the binge and not letting it keep you down. You're so honest Mary, and that's why I love reading your blog! I can't wait to hear where South Carolina takes you and your family.

timothy said...

congrats and you're gonna love the east coast! and I agree 3 days is nothing in the scheme of things great idea!

Caron said...

Awesome! I'm so happy for you and your little family. :)

jd4ever39 said...

Hi Mary, I've been reading your blog for close to a year now, but I've never commented until now. I just wanted to tell you that I am so happy you got the position! For some reason as you talked about this job I became really hopeful about it. I've been praying that this would be the opportunity that God had in store for you. I was at work when I read the news and I gave a little shout out loud that you got it! I think that you are an incredibly intelligent and gifted person. You write so eloquently and I'm always excited to read your new posts. Congratulations again on the job and I am sure that this will be a wonderful new beginning for you and your family in all aspects.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I'm so happy you got the job and you'll feel so much less angst about all of the unknowns. My sister's ex lives in Greenville and my niece is there right now visiting him for the summer. It's HOT!

Lisa said...

Congratulations on the job and best of luck for the move!

Tibou1421 said...

Félicitations Mary!
Bon courage pour le déménagement!

smalltownamericana said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am SO happy things are moving forward for you. Have fun and enjoy the ride!

Jen said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy to hear this news! I read your blog regularly, and have been waiting to hear this news! My day could not have started better!

Chrissy C said...

Yay, Congrats to you and your family! This is the news I have been hoping to see on your blog! I hope the move goes smoothly!

Marla said...

I am unbelievably happy for you, Matt and Noah. This is wonderful news. I hope your move goes smoothly.

Alizey said...

I got goose bumps for you! I knew you would get that job!!! You will be so busy the next few weeks it will keep your mind off food! Dont stress about the binge, every time we fall off it makes getting back on that much sweeter. I am so so happy for you. I love the advice you got from some people. Your blog is so inspirational, dont ever forget that. I can not wait to see what is yet to come for you and your family! Congrats!!!

Katie Mann said...

I am so excited for you and your family! I understand about the binge and not wanting to talk to Matt about it. Sometimes those feelings seem too personal to share with someone that you know in real life. I've shared many times online with strangers, because it was easier to not risk being judged by someone who's opinion I value. Big hugs, Mary.

That Loud Redhead said...

Yay!!! I'm so happy for you!! Congratulations--it's going to be great, I just know it!

Amber said...

I'm so happy for you! I've been checking your blog hoping for good news! We moved from Virginia to Iowa last year so I have had the opposite culture shock! I hope y'all enjoy it. You shouldn't be too far from the beach either! I am so jealous!

I love your advice on binging. I have been really bad lately and wake up sick with myself the next morning and I have never been sorry when I passed on the binge. Good things to remember. I'm also in the process of losing a 4 lb gain. 1 1/2 lbs down then I can start with "new" weight loss.

Good luck with the move!

Rusti said...

Congrats on the job Mary!
~RustiAnn
www.texasgirlgettinfit.blogspot.com

gymnauseous said...

YAY you!! I'm so happy for you! I was hoping there would be good news about the job!

Jordan said...

Congratulations! I lived in SC for 3 years and it definitely WAS a culture shock. I lived in Camden and worked in Sumter, which are smaller towns in the north center of the state. For example, It was not as easy to find the fresh lettuce I like to eat. In many ways, it was like trying to understand the culture of a foreign country.
Lots of surprises. I'd be happy to email about that, if you like!

Molli said...

Yay! I am a big fan of your blog, and have definitely been pulling for you. I am not in SC, but grew up in Georgia, so I know the South. There are many wonderful things about it, and some that are not so great (like everywhere, of course.) Good luck getting everything packed up, and I look forward to hearing about this newest chapter of your life!

Best,

Molli

Denise said...

I am so happy you got the job that I stopped reading immediately and scrolled down to comment on how happy I am for you.

Seriously.
It's been a long, long time since I've felt happy for anyone about anything. It was nice to feel it again. I want to help you pack.

Congratulations!

Denise said...

Okay I read the rest of you entry.

My weekend started out shitty and then got better. I so badly wanted to cram my face with something sugary and bready and/or fried, but we had nothing in the house and I had been crying too much to go out, so I cried some more and everything ended up being okay.

You're so awesome. I'm so happy for you.

Ann Freeman said...

Hi lady -
I used to live in Charleston, SC! I can tell you as much as I know about Charleston or the surrounding cities - I've even made my way up to Greenville and Columbia before. I'm so happy for you and your family - CONGRATULATIONS!!! <3

Susan Sitze said...

Congratulations on the new job! SC will definitely be different than Chicago, but keep an open mind and I'm sure you'll grow to love it. I live in NC, but know a good bit about SC, so happy to try to answer questions if I happen to know anything about the area of the state you're moving to.

My Kid's Mom said...

I'm so happy for you! Good things are coming your way - stay strong.

CarolineCalcote said...

You'll be closer to Florida! I have lots of relatives in South Carolina and grew up visiting there all the time. I'm very excited for you all. Congratulations!