I’ve been feeling a little blue lately.
By a little blue I mean sad. Very sad. Bleak. And by lately I mean for about 6 months. Don’t worry; it hasn’t reached the level of hide-the-knives sadness. But I’ve come closer to understanding how someone could choose the cutlery route than I have ever done before; closer than I ever want to be again.
I hit rock bottom (I hope) two days ago.
Tuesday night I went to the Y and worked out half-heartedly. I’ve been going consistently, but tell myself “So what if some weeks I only go twice? At least I’m making the effort.” On my way home I stopped at the drug store to get a few things.
I picked up some shampoo, shopped for birthday cards, and used a coupon I had for Charmin. Then I somehow found myself in the clearance Easter candy aisle.
That was my goal all along.
Fat people try to disguise what they eat. Like a teenage boy loading up his basket to camouflage the pack of Trojans that is his REAL goal, they bury junk food under a mountain of stuff that “normal” people buy.
When I see other fatties going into a grocery store, Dollar store, anywhere that sells food, I figure they’re going for their fix. My sister-in-law, Jane, has been saying for years that sugar addiction is very real and she’s right. Because I’m hooked. Because that is me sneaking in to get a sugar fix.
I loaded up on discount chocolate and jelly-beans and went home and ate that crap until I felt sick. I have regained 25 pounds of the 63 I lost so joyfully, so smugly, so publicly, and I feel miserable.
Regaining weight is even worse than never losing, because it reinforces the feeling that you don’t deserve to be thin. That you don’t deserve to be happy. You eat and eat and the weight wraps around you like cotton batting, protecting you from a world that is not quite what you envisioned it would be, lo those many, many years ago when you were planning your golden future. You eat to feel better, then you gain weight and feel worse. Then eat to feel better and so on, and so on.
It’s the Circle of Life…except crappy.
I know that weight gain is a symptom of my unhappiness more than the cause. But it makes absolutely no sense to continue doing something that is making me miserable and I do NOT want to do it anymore.
I don’t want to be that sad, fat person. I want to be healthy.
Sitting, crying among a pile of Easter candy wrappers, I decided it’s time to get back on track. It was shaky, but this looked more like resolve than anything I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Yesterday was the first time in ages I didn’t go out for fatty, fried foods or gorge myself on sweets. I didn’t exactly embrace the treadmill with joie de vivre, but I got through it.
This morning I wore my winter coat to work, burrowing into it against a brisk, 30-degree wind in my face as I walked from the car.
I stayed in the office all day, had yogurt and an apple at my desk for lunch and repeated my mantra; “it’s time to get healthy.” My delivery was eerily like the guy in the Dunkin Donuts commercial who used to chant, “It’s time to make the donuts.” At 5 o’clock I changed into my sweats and trudged to the front door, uninspired but determined to go to the Y. I locked the door and turned around to discover….SPRING!
It was 61 degrees outside. The sun was shining, the robins were chirping and people were walking around in t-shirts. It was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy opens the door in Munchkin-land, right into to the first, color movie. Spring had sprung forth in 8 hours while I had my nose to the grindstone.
YMCA? Screw that. I hopped in the car and, with a squeal of tires, headed for a walk on the towpath, our little bit of country in the city.
I know that I get a special lift from walking, from nature, from throwing the two together with a little dash of sunshine. That’s been true for me, if not for my whole life, then for a long time. I don’t think I fully appreciated how necessary this is to me until today.
I could feel a weight on my soul lightening as I walked quickly, breathing the crisp air, watching the birds, and seeing the daffodils pushing up through dormant grass. It occurs to me that perhaps it’s not just sadness that I feel, but SADness – Seasonal Affective Disorder. A real, tangible cause with a very real effect, at least for me.
Don’t get me wrong – I know that losing a few pounds and taking a little walk in the sunshine will not solve all my problems. But for me, it really, really helps.
I had a fluffy little blog post all set to post automatically on Friday morning, but I rushed back from my walk determined to get this down right now. It’s almost 9 and I haven’t even eaten dinner! I guess when the light bulb finally goes off, it’s more important to try to share a little of that illumination with others who are struggling with the darkness.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, maybe this information from the Mayo Clinic can help.
PS. I was listening to Seal and Chicago on my iPod as I walked and pondered. I didn’t have it on shuffle, but as I finished the return part of the walk, it unexpectedly switched to “Roundabout” by Yes, my favorite. I could feel a huge smile spread across my face and, as I strode into the setting sun, a sweet-smelling breeze in my hair, it occurred to me that I looked just like a commercial for prescription depression medicine.
All that was missing was the obligatory voice-over listing the drug’s possible, horrible side-affects, like getting dead.