Breaking The Wheel

I plan a lot. I like making plans and seeing them come together. I like making plans to make plans. And sometimes I make goals. But as good as I am about seeing my plans from start to finish, I can’t always say the same for my goals. I love the idea of goals, but I get into my head a lot and one (minor) slip can cause me to throw the entire goal out the window. Sometimes with my goals I bite off more than I can chew, so when it comes time to start executing my goal I feel that unmistakable panic of taking on too much … and that goal falls into the pile of all the other failed and forgotten goals.

After my last entry, where I had a bit of a breakthrough on why the January Blues are hitting harder than usual, I had a lot on my mind. And this weekend a few things happened that is inspiring this entry. To start, I went jean shopping. Despite my undying love for jeans I do not enjoy shopping for them. I’m picky, I have a definite style that I like, and find them usually exceptionally over-priced. A couple of weekends ago my last pair died, and BF and I set out to the mall where I hoped to use my epic deal-finding to my advantage. I was already feeling a bit down on myself, and this shopping trip did nothing to help that mood. I ended up settling on a pair that didn’t fit, but that fit well enough and I figured I would just “make it work”. They didn’t. They were obviously too big for me, and I felt even more uncomfortable wearing them. So this weekend I resolved to get the jeans I liked best, and I set out in a snowstorm to get them. Oh, I found them alright, but I also found that I’ve gained two sizes since I bought these jeans last year. At the time in the store I just shrugged my shoulders and bought the pairs and moved on. Later that night BF and I went out to dinner, where a small disagreement caused him to remark that I sounded “more emotional than usual”. I explained to him that I had mentioned the jean sizing earlier that day and we were both surprised when I started to cry a bit. As we talked I explained it wasn’t necessarily that the size was bigger, but the knowing that it meant I had gained more weight due to a change in my life style (no longer walking to work; my office moved further away which requires a bus to reach so I don’t have a 90 minute walk to work) without adding anything to compensate for that. I knew the walking every day helped, but I had no idea just how much that one thing was doing for me. I explained that it isn’t necessarily numbers – I haven’t weighted myself and I know that the sizing for women’s clothing is arbitrary and means almost nothing, but it was knowing that I’m not feeling comfortable about myself and I haven’t for awhile. I feel like clothing doesn’t fit me well at all and while I know I could take things in to be tailored as needed, the whole point is that for the first time in a long time I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. We resolved to give it some thought on how to move forward. Happening at the same time, earlier that day, a dear friend asked me if I wanted to do a book club with her. Yes, I’m 1000% in already, what’s the book?

49907482_621954674927913_3124931486169657201_nI didn’t know anything about the book, despite following the author on Instagram. So I read up on it and realized this definitely a book I need to read. This woman had a body shape that was considered skinny and “acceptable” by society. But she also had an eating disorder trying to maintain it. In her recovery she learned to let go of society’s expectations and learned to love her body as it was, whether it fit into what society was trying to sell her or not. This is exactly the type of recovery I want, but I’m not there and I know it. So on Sunday I braved frigid temperatures to head to the book store in town that had only one copy left. We start our reading of it today and I look forward to many discussions about it.

These events got my wheels turning about how to proceed with how I’m feeling. I’ve been feeling very stuck in a terrible cycle, one that started 3 years ago with my first serious break-up, which got more intense after my separation. As I explained to BF during our dinner – it was always something that had me putting off working on this part of my recovery. The first break-up, trying to manage my marriage during that, the betrayal of Wasband, and needing to just survive until my divorce was finalized. Then I met BF and it was far from my mind because I was enjoy being with him. As we’ve settled into our routine and have been living together for awhile it’s obviously becoming more and more important that this is something I work on.

I’m tired of this cycle. I’m tired of the ups and downs. I’m tired of feeling unworthy and less than. I’m tired of feeling like I’m not enough.
I’m going to break this wheel.

This blog is the best platform to do this on, as I’ve shared every entry I’ve written for the last few months on FB and other social media it occurred to me that this was a way I could hold myself accountable. That if I announced I was going to break this wheel and talk about it on my blog and then I didn’t, there is at least one person (perhaps more) that would ask me how the progress is going and if I’ve done the work. I know that change comes from myself and from within, but also knowing my specific brand of anxiety – if someone asks and I have no updates or worse, have made no effort, I would feel embarrassed. That might be enough to motivate not only starting to make a change, but also to keep with it.

I haven’t entirely thought out what I’m going to do. I know that I tend to make lofty huge goals that are too hard to accomplish as written, and that is obviously something I need to work on and consider. But this isn’t a numbers game. Through all of these feelings the last few months I haven’t stepped on a scale and I really don’t plan on it. While I have a general idea of where I’m at based on the process of recovery and knowing myself, the number on the scale isn’t important (except if it’s creeping towards my fear weight, but I’ll touch on that subject another day). Overall I’m looking to achieve a feeling. I know that in the past when I was more active I felt good … not just in a feeling good about my appearance way (though it is important), but that I felt good about myself and comfortable and confident. That is what I’m after. I don’t actually care about losing weight, being thin, or dropping dress sizes. I care about not worrying about how my stomach looks in this shirt, or whether I should worry about a muffin top, or just not worrying about my body at all. That has nothing to do with losing weight or slimming down, it has everything to do with learning to accept my body as the strong, wonderful, powerful flesh-bag machine it is. I would love to get up and go about my day and not give one iota about what I think other people might think of my appearance.

My plan so far is thus: I commit to doing a bit more research, a bit of reading, and to come back next weekend with a plan on how to begin. I know I can’t go too big, I know I can’t go too hard, but I am committing to starting. I am committing to writing about it. I’m committing to stop planning and start doing. I’m committing to actually trying.

I’m committing to end the cycle. I’m going to break this wheel.

~ J

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