December 11, 2013

Extended silence

You don't have to have been blogging for a long time to know what extended silence usually means.

"I've been busy..."

"Things got tough here..."

"I gave up for a while..."

And for me, it's been all of the above.

Thanksgiving was surprisingly not bad, weight-wise ... after all I ate and the choices I made, I was surprised I didn't come back more than just two pounds up. 

The week or so since then, though, has been a disaster.

For Thanksgiving, we went to Matt's grandparents' house in Florida. It was really great to see them and for them to get to spend some time with Noah, since the last time they saw him (the bris, a week after he was born), they both had colds and couldn't hold him at all. So the pictures and memories we got over the holiday are absolutely priceless.

But Noah is a lot bigger than he was when he was born, and he knows what home is, he knows where he is comfortable. So it was a rough week for him. He had been sleeping through the night before we left, but in Florida he was up at least once a night, and more often than not would end up sleeping in the bed with Matt and me. Besides his sleeping, his eating was strange too - eating more often and being almost insatiable when he ate. And he was moody. He's almost always happy, or at least easily soothed. That wasn't always the case in Florida.

As soon as he would fall asleep, I'd eat whatever I could find. Matt's aunt and uncle,  who live a mile or so away from his grandparents, offered us use of the gym in their condo building. I lied and said I didn't have gym clothes with me. Any free moment I could find, I wanted a nap, not a workout.

Since we got back, work has been hectic. It's finals week this week, so last week consisted of reviews, oral exams, making the final exams, and getting my grading in order.

I'm not sure when I snapped exactly, but at some point in the last week, I adopted a "screw everything" attitude. And I ate, and I ate, and I ate. And I brought Matt down with me.

I feel like a horrible and unsupportive wife for doing it. I know he is an adult and can make his own choices, but I also know he struggles as much as I do with weight and food choices, and when I say "forget the fish and veggies, let's order pizza instead," I already know what his answer will be. When your wife is stressed, overtired, and overwhelmed, it's easy to give her something you know will make her happy right now, even if you know in the long run, it's bad for both of you. You can't fix everything, but here's one thing we can take care of, even if it's really just a bandaid.

Pizza one day turned into fast food the next, then barbecue later in the week. Even when we cooked at home, it was unhealthy - spaghetti squash is only good for you if it isn't covered in cheese.

The scale has shot up accordingly, and my mood, incidentally, has gotten even worse. Instead of less stressed, I am more so. Instead of relieved, I feel anxious. Because now we're facing down the barrel of Christmas with my family, and I've backtracked ten pounds. I'm uncomfortable and sad.

I'm trying to learn from my mistakes. I keep making them, but someday I won't. I know the lessons, it's just hard in the moment to make them stick. Overeating will. It solve your problems, it will create more, or at least make some of the current issues worse.

This time of year is habitually challenging for me, and this Christmas will be no different. I find myself dreading visiting friends and family, not because I don't miss them (I do, terribly), but because I am so ashamed of what I have let happen to my body yet again. And because my friend (who had her baby less than a week before I had Noah) has been back in her pre-pregnancy jeans for months, and because my sister (whose due date with her first baby is exactly on Noah's birthday) is looking adorable with a baby bump and has a positive attitude about the whole thing.

Their struggles are not my struggles. Still, I feel inferior. My failures protrude out from my hips, they hang from my stomach and sag from my arms. I wear my addiction. My disorder is publicly broadcast. Even the widest of smiles can't completely distract from the evidence of my shortcomings. The majority of Americans are overweight or obese. Three years ago, I set out to not be a part of that statistic. Instead, I ended up a different one: the one that says that most people who lose significant amounts of weight are unable to keep it off.

Clearly my top priority for 2014 is getting back into therapy, this time with someone who is a better fit for me and my needs.

Every single day lately is a challenge, but I fight on. Even when I feel like an entirely lost cause, I know that deep down, there is a glimmer of hope in me still. Even on days when the task seems insurmountable, I know, honestly, that it is not. I wobble a bit, I stumble sometimes, but I never completely fall. I won't. I can't.