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Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Hard Things

I often keep a mental list of topics that I would like to write about.  Many of them get crossed off the list because they are just too hard to write about.

1.  I don't want to offend anyone and I know (or at least think, assume) that not everyone feels the same way that I do on certain topics - religion, politics, etc.

2.  I don't want to write anything about my family that would upset them (and right now they are all very, very curious).

3.  Why do people even want to read whatever it is that I have to write?  (self doubt, such self doubt)

But I keep coming back to this and I need to just get it out.

I just can't not talk about it any more.

We bought a treadmill this summer.  (which you obviously know because I posted about running last week and have mentioned it on the facebook)  It was a big purchase and we hemmed and hawed over it.

You see, from November of 2010 to June of 2011 I gained twenty pounds.

And people said that I looked good.  That I weighed {as my father used to tell me all my life} 100 pounds with a brick tied to my ass before and that I had finally "filled out."

I actually had my doctor test my thyroid. {Apparently there was nothing wrong with it.}

In July of 2011 we joined the gym.  We went all.the.time.  We changed our eating habits.  We drank lots of water.  We hired personal trainers.

And then some time around the end of September or so we just couldn't do it any more.

We have a commute to work + picking up/dropping off children.  We have a dog.  I have a side business and a blog and books to read and well, there are only so many hours in the day and the thought of racing home after picking up the girls to change clothes, put my hair in a ponytail and go to the gym for 25 minutes before having to race to pick Q up just got the best of me.  And that only worked on days that I did not have after school meetings.

Chris's schedule changed and he got home later.  Some days he would walk in from the garage loosening his tie and immediately turn on the stove to cook.

{in case you aren't is his chore, laundry is mine}

And now that we were both working in Athens, where there is every kind of take out imaginable, (especially compared to where we live)...Well, you get the picture, take out happened a lot more frequently than ever before.  {Not McDonalds, but hibachi take out...that made me feel better about things.}

So we have weight gain + time loss + falling off the physical fitness wagon + general unhappiness + addictive personality = drowning my sorrows in bags of Chex Mix, potato chips and cheap wine = more weight gain = more unhappiness.

Do you see where this is going?

And so, what did I do?  I ate more.  I drank more.  I gained more weight.

I was hoping to plateau on the weight gain at some point.

But I haven't thus far and that is slightly alarming.  I just keep gaining the weight.

Ok.  I know that there are people out there reading this and saying Give it a rest, Angie.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  You look fine.

To which I say, that is your opinion and this is my blog, where I get to share my opinion...not yours.  :)

I am not fine though.  This summer has taught me about sweating in places that I have never sweat before.  I walk differently.  My shorts ride up the middle of my thighs in ways that are just not ok.  I carry myself differently and judge, judge, judge myself in a bad, bad, bad way.

Since last summer, I lost 6 pounds and then gained another 20.  I went up 4 to 6 (depending on the brand) sizes in pants, two cup sizes in my bra - after buying new clothes last August, then again in December, then March, new summer clothes in May (because last summer's shorts wouldn't.even.button.the.bastards.) and now I have purchased new clothes to start the school year in...because I can't pull my khaki pants that I bought in March up over my thighs.

I know that some of you out there are thinking Then stop over eating.  It's easy.  Just stop.

Part of my problem is that I have poor body image.  Not in what I think about other people but in what I think about myself.  (We all do this, right?)  Growing up, I was always told that I was too skinny, my feet were too big, my boobs were too non-existent.  I gained about 75lbs+ when I was pregnant with the girls and I was told that I was as big as a house.

I lost all of that weight.  Returned to normal and then did the same thing with Quinn.

I lost all of that weight.

And then began to gain.  And it was depressing.  I felt badly about myself...

I blame part of it on my addictive personality (thank you, society, for giving me that term).  You see, I have struggled almost all of my adult life with smoking.  I would quit and start, quit and start, quit and have one only every once in a while...I would quit while I was pregnant and then start when I had too much in life to handle.

And I felt terrible about it.  If you know me in real life, you may not have ever known.  95% of the people in my life didn't know.  Secrets = shame, right?

I hit my breaking point with it.  I was so disappointed in myself.

I knew that my life would be so much better without it and I blamed all of my problems on that one habit.

So I saw a therapist and planned for my official quitting.

Which I did.  Successfully.  It has been almost two years since I quit.

Each and every day is a struggle.  I think about it all the time.

But here's the bottom line for me...

I did not quit smoking to begin over eating.

I did not do this amazingly hard thing to turn around and have another struggle with something else.

I did not chose to become a nonsmoker only to become obese.

(Which, according to my percentage of body fat, I am.)

I have a lot of friends that are doing different things to lose weight - Advocare, HCG, cleansing, fasting, etc - and I admire them because I don't think that I have the willpower to tackle something so huge.

I also can't let myself do that because I am still sitting on my couch every night eating chips and salsa, so I feel like I can't get a free pass on the weight loss.  I have to do the hard things first.

But, I am going back to the beginning.  We bought a treadmill.  And I am using it.

I am eating better.

I am making better decisions at the grocery store.

And I'm talking about it.


CB said...

I know how you feel - I can tell you all day that you look great, but it matters what you think.

Just to go on the record- I don't look at you and think about weight gain- I think Angie is a talented and funny wife, mother and friend.

Angie said...

Thank you, my friend. Truly, thank you.

natalia said...

you are absolutely beautiful. to be able to take all the fluff away & just share your heart. i as a woman appreciate that. thank you for being real.

we all struggle with some sort of body image. i was a disordered eater all my life. binge. then work out till i was sick. not eat. not workout. and so the cycle went. i am FREE now, but it was a long hard journey.

keep it up girl. & know that you aren't in it alone.
keep moving & moderating those things that enter your mouth. enjoy your life in new ways every day.

Unknown said...

I commend you for the ability to verbalize all of your insecurities. I am in a similar situation. With the real world comes stress and in my case, here comes the weight too. I think you are an amazing person and since 8th grade you have been one of my role models. I have confidence that you will overcome this obstacle and one day look back and smile at your accomplishments.

Valerie said...

For some reason, I feel like you I need to introduce myself. LoL

I'm Valerie. You don't know me, but I read your blog. Every post. I admire you in many ways, through your blog, obviously.

First--who in the Hell told you when you were pregnant that you were big as a house?!!

Second--I'm going through the same thing. I'm gaining weight & hating it, yet life seems to be working against me to fix it.

Regardless of the 'why', it sucks. And I relate.

Janelle said...

Like Valerie, you don't know me, but I feel like I know and love you through your blog. I feel like we would be good friends should we ever have the good fortune to meet.

That being said, take it one step at a time. You can do hard things. Maybe not alone, but you don't need to do it alone.

Emily said...

As much as you probably don't want your sister in law weighing in (no pun intended) on this, I'm going to anyway. And this is me sharing something I've never shared before. When we are family events or whatever, I usually feel inferior to you. You are beautiful, and a great mom, and even though I know you struggle, it feels like you have it together way more than I do. Your kids are cute and well dressed and well behaved. I'm lucky mine are dressed at all. I have to suck up my insecurities so no one realizes how I feel. Of course, this has nothing to do with you and it's all my problem - my crazy. But I just wanted you to know that we all have it. You are just brave enough to talk about it. And I love you even though you are beautiful and a great mom with a successful career. :)

Angie said...

Tosha - You made me tear up! I love you, Honey. Seriously. And you have grown into a marvelous adult!

Valerie - Nice to meet you! :) To be fair, no one said I was that big until AFTER I had the girls. :) I think talking about it feels less alone.

Janelle - Thank you for your kind words! I really do appreciate it!

Emmy - Believe me when I say the phrase "coming apart at the seams" applies to me more than anything else! And you are fantastic! You have a wonderful family and do a job that I could NEVER've gone back to school..big sigh...I am glad that I am not the only crazy out there. :)