Well, hello there! It’s been a long time since I wrote this column. I met the love of my life, we got married, I became a stepmom, and I took on a new job all within a year. Life was a little crazy to say the least and I didn’t know what to write about. My column which was focused on dating now seemed irrelevant so I decided to take time and focus on my new roles. But today it hit me, the urge to write. The desire to share my current struggle because I know I am not the only one.
In January 2013 I went through my last session with Key Hypnosis in West Springfield, Mass. and packed my car to move to Georgia. Within five months I was the smallest I had been in years and with little exercise; just clean eating. As time went on I gained weight here and there but it really was within the past year I have lost and then gained back to where I started when I finished Key Hypnosis. Some may say “it’s because you are married now, it happens, fat and happy” but it wasn’t until today it truly hit me, I am NOT happy because if I was I wouldn’t be gaining weight. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and my stepchildren, they are my world, they make me HAPPY but it wasn’t until complaining about being ‘fat’ and the past few weeks at church I realized I have lost myself over the past year and a half and haven’t really figured out the new me yet.
Now I know I am a wife and a mother but I lost the “work identity” we all know; that piece of us that defines who we are during the work day. I was single for so long and a development professional. I was queen of the gym and networking in western MA. Everywhere I went I was known. Moving to Georgia was a leap of faith, one that I am truly thankful for, but I have yet to find my niche so to speak. I don’t have a rolodex like I used to, it takes at least 30 minutes to go 15 miles and frankly I love my job but I am still unsure of who I want to be professionally as I continue to grow up. A lot changed in a short amount of time for me and with a focus on family I questioned my role in the working world and with that I questioned what I should do for work in order to find balance or would I ever find balance?
Finding Your Way In The Working World When Life Throws You A New Beginning
Like a new mom who decides to stay home after the birth of her baby and questions who she is now becoming leaving the work world behind; I too struggle with fitting in to my new normal. And as this struggle twisted and turned inside of me my addiction to sugar came back. I would eat the occasional bread, pasta, potato but my real struggle came with the memories of a fun childhood – donuts. As a child we would have Dunkin Donuts for every holiday, my nana and I would get a donut on Sundays after church and as I got older my mom and I would run errands and stop for an iced coffee and a donut. Donuts were a part of my life and good memories so I am realizing now that subconsciously I would go for donuts to feel good. Yes, I love other things like cake and ice cream or chips and queso but frankly they are all something I can control; getting donuts is not.
Months of negative self talk and “today is the day” continued to plague me as did the “we don’t have a gym close by like I had back home or there aren’t any good classes I can take” gym excuses. As I look back on those excuses I know now I wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to change the negativity. I would look in the mirror and tell my husband I am fat or use words like fatso, pleasantly plump and so on. I was always speaking negatively of myself. I wasn’t ready to be positive and today I finally had enough. Call it the “shower epiphany” if you will but that is where I made up my mind. I took my time washing my body noticing the tire around my waist, my swollen toes and fingers. I looked long and hard at myself in the mirror after my shower and said today I will regain my control, I will regain the positive self I once was and accept all 201 pounds of myself. I am accepting who I am today but I will not let it define my future self. I have learned to ask God for help for many things but sometimes I forget to ask him for help with me. I also don’t always trust my confusion about my professional self in the future is part of his plan; therefore, I can’t let food, well donuts, control me and my lack of knowing or trusting.
I have big hips and thighs, today I have cankles, my wedding ring doesn’t fit and I feel like I have a tire around my stomach. There is a muffin top, that shows itself and clothes in my closet that don’t fit but I am beautiful, I have an infectious laugh and a sparkling smile and my husband tells me I have a kind heart. I am a wife; I am a stepmom and pretty dang good in both of those roles. I am a doggy mom and a kitty mom. I am honest, caring and many times put others before myself. I may be overweight, or even obese according to the doctors, but it certainly doesn’t mean I am fat or ugly; that’s just the feeling I have allowed myself to believe but not anymore. I am overweight today but I am beautiful.
After my shower I decided it was time to break up with donuts. I went to Dunkin Donuts and got my four favorites, Boston Crème, Jelly, Glazed and Chocolate Frosted with Sprinkles. I came home, got a plate and laid them out. I spoke to them about the times we shared and how it was time for them to become memories and a part of my past. I sat there and picked up each donut, spoke to it, and with every bite I savored it. When I was done I said a final goodbye and thank you for the memories. I did this for all four donuts and admittedly I think it was the longest it ever took me to eat for donuts! I am sitting here writing this and instead of the normal feelings of “disgust and how could I?” after eating four donuts I feel peace and thankfulness. I am at peace with donuts and thankful for the memories we have had and the comfort they have given me but it is time for me to let them go.
I am a sugar addict and today isn’t the end of my struggle, in fact it is just the beginning. I need to re-program my brain to speak positively to me and to work to ignore sugar. I also need to trust the good Lord has a plan for my professional future and with time it will be realized and donuts will not make the realization come faster. I need to focus day by day on eating clean and eating when I am hungry and only hungry. I am beautiful and I can do this.
Goodbye donuts, thank you for all those years of comfort but today we must break up.