45.2 pounds lost so far
I am stuck, rebelling, resistant.
Something happens at about this point. 40-50 pounds down, and then… what? I start saying, “the heck with it” (well, I say something filthier; my brain has quite the potty mouth) and I start eating “whatever I want.” I put that in quotes because although a piece of cake is nice, I don’t think food is REALLY what I want at all, at least not this time around. OK, it’s complicated… I do want the food, I DO. But I want the feeling that stuffing myself leads to even more.
I think menopause plays into this, and not so much in a negative way. I am entering into really, the last stage of my life. It is a long stage, to be sure, and I am just at the beginning, but this is my last time to take a stand for myself. To accomplish my hopes and dreams. And I am blocking myself from that. What happened to the momentum I had over the summer? I felt powerful, exhilarated. I put my needs first. I felt bad-ass. I thought about my goals, and what I could accomplish. It was so much more than just weight-loss related. I was taking care of me. I was contemplating going back to work. I was thinking of long-haul bike trips, and working up to running in a 5-K. I was writing every day, and feeling good about what I was creating.
What’s going on now feels awful. But familiar. I am worrying about the house. I am bickering with my husband about little things, but really, I am sick to death of negotiating everything. Even buying a stupid chair feels fraught because I just want to go pick out a chair, get what I want, and not negotiate with my sweet husband or dither over my decisions. I feel like a petulant child. Or a woman on the cusp of freedom. I am not sure who I am channeling when I say: I want to do what I want to do!!
My daughter is a great kid, but there is a reason women tend to breed earlier in life. I didn’t have her until I was 39 years old. Something is happening as she and I are both growing older. She needs more independence, but isn’t quite ready to launch. I am at the age where many women have sent their children off into the world and are re-negotiating this new phase of their life, and I am still negotiating with a teen-age girl who is testing her wings, and a husband who is confident and has strong opinions. I want to add that they are just being themselves, doing their thing, and they are lovely. I don’t for a minute think this is about them.
I think about my friends who don’t have kids, or who have always had a career outside the home, and I think they will think all of this is stupid, indeed. I sound like a housewife from the 50s. But since I have chosen to live my life like a 50s housewife to a certain extent, well, I am where I am.
So… what happens at 40-50 pounds down? I start feeling better, more free, more independent, not held back so much by my body. More worthy, maybe? And I choke. The change feels like too much. What will happen if I really change? How will it effect my family? What if I have to put myself out there and do the things I have only dreamed about? Isn’t it safer, easier, nicer to just hang out here at home, with the cat and the dog and my computer. And the refrigerator.
So here is where menopause works in my favor. I have always thought, naively, that I have the luxury of time. And I see now that I don’t. This is it. This is my one life. I have made a bargain with life so far to choose safety and security and stuffing down my feelings instead of true growth, and the risk it involves.
I don’t want to be overly dramatic. Of course I have grown, of course I have made a contribution to my family and community, and challenged myself in some ways, yadda yadda yadda….
But a light switches on at about this point that says: You can more forward into unseen emotional territory, or you can retreat into what is familiar. Up until now I have chosen the safe and familiar.
I think this is the juicy stuff. This is what is going on deep down that keeps me trapped, but is also the key to freedom. It feels so deeply embarrassing to write about. I feel so childish. But I am noticing that as I write this I am crying, and sighing, and really feeling it in my body, instead of just my head. So I know that this is truth for me.
So, what is my next step? I am going to prep a healthy meal for tonight. I am going on a bike ride today. And I am going to write more about this. Sharing this keeps me honest, and I know you all have my back. You won’t let me forget that I am here, in this place, where I can change. I am changing. I am changing.