Resistance and a possible cure

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Resistance and a possible cure

  1. Jen, this is the first time I’ve left a comment but I felt compelled to help after reading your post to get you out of your stuckiness (yes, that’s a word). I highly recommend seeing a doctor or PA who is trained in bio-identical hormones. I was thrust into shock menopause after surgery with no warning and I did not know who I was. When the many, many hormones that run your body stop producing it will effect EVERY part of your physical and mental state and YES no matter how many calories you cut down to, you will have more of a problem losing weight. It takes awhile for the doctor to get the amounts right through blood tests so start soon. I can assure you that you will feel better. When I first saw the doctor I said, “I have a new theory of why Marilyn Monroe died. She started menopause and said the Hell with it.” Neither my grandmother or mother claims to have noticed anything different. Looking at them, I beg to differ. I think they are not aware of it or were taught to live with it. There are so many great books, articles and websites in 2016 that there is no reason for you to suffer like this.
    Having gone through weigh ins in order to be paid as a dancer, being judged all my life by what size I was and 16 years of eating disorders, I can “say for sure” that you can be a healthy weight and eat whatever you want. Instead of smoking, drinking, gambling, doing drugs, you are eating. Zoning out. If you have weights at home, (I have ten pound ones) pick them up and walk around the house and see how hard it is. You are carrying this baggage and hurting your poor self that deserves so much better. Would you carry around a fifty pound suitcase for someone else all day? Why is it okay for you? It hurts to see you hurt.
    Be glad to provide further info if you’d like, but had to throw it out there. It’s like hearing a dog cry and not being able to do anything about it when I know I can just open the door for you. Good Luck! You’re in my thoughts.

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    1. Thanks, Gretchen! I know you have my back. Hormones are a roller coaster ride for sure. By the way, I love hearing what you write in class; love your ability to go deep.

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  2. Jen, your authenticity and willingness to look deep within deeply inspires me. Thank you for sharing your growth along with your growing pains, modeling for all of us how to write into and feel into beautiful and difficult transformation. And I so relate to your “woman on the cusp of freedom.” This is big, big, BIG!! Thank you! XO

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  3. The universality of your insights resonate with me. We are caught in a trap of our own making. After all the swirling thoughts, second guessings, judgements about ourselves (a grooved pattern in our brains)…you emerge in the simple place of taking care of yourself, your body, your actions which will lead you back to more self care. I find the disruption of my healthy patterns (the holidays and children…not complaining btw) sets me back and I have to climb up and out to get back to my self care…
    Thank you for your continued writing and sharing. Breathe, act, celebrate the small victories.

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  4. Really interesting observations here, Jen – I can’t imagine going through menopause while dealing with a teenager, and a daughter (with her own set of hormones) to boot…a husband is difficult enough. Just the very fact that you are seeing this will help, although it’s still going to be a bit of a wild ride, I suspect. Strap yourself in and hang on!

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