If you are following me, waiting to read how well I have done, stop reading.
I can honestly say that for the last little while I have been feeling a level of hopelessness I have never experienced before. Not hopeless like I want to die, or do something rash or drastic, but hopeless like I have let my life pass me by and I have fucked up my body and metabolism so much that there is no going back from this. I feel hopeless in a way I imagine a drug addict feels hopeless. I know what I want, I intellectually know how to get what I want but I seem incapable of taking those steps for any constant period of time to get there. I know what foods to eat to be healthy. I know I need to move my body. I even know that neither or those things need to be on any extreme level. I know that moderation in all things is the key. I know that slow and steady wins the race. I know that if I want to live a long and healthy life I need to make changes. I know that I want to be healthy. I know that I want to be more fit. I know that I want to feel and look better. I know all this but it seems the desire for these things is not as strong as the desire for what can only be described as death wish behavior.
It is no secret that I am lonely. But there is a catch 22 here. I am a social person and I want to meet more people. I want to be in a romantic relationship but I can't meet new people the way I look and feel now. The more isolated I am, the more lonely, sad and bored I am and so the more I make excuses to eat.
Something really weird happened to me last week. I was feeling like crap, I had just dropped my kid off at their fathers, which meant a few days alone for me, so I was sad and feeling lonely. I had been doing nothing consistent for months to try to get healthy. I needed a few groceries and driving to the store I had that old familiar conversation with myself about how it was time to get back on track. How my May deadline was coming up and I hadn't lost any weight or inches. I told myself I was going to get busy. How I know I will feel absolutely shitty at that event in May if I don't do something. I pepped talked myself into not wasting any more time. I got to the store and started shopping with the best of intentions. Then the weird thing happened. I started to think about how maybe I should have one last day and enjoy the foods that I loved and craved before I got back at it tomorrow. I convinced myself that since it was already afternoon it would be fine to finish out the day eating those things I know are triggers and will avoid for the next 7 weeks. I completely rationalized buying ice cream, a couple donuts and some chocolate chips to make cookies. I even convinced myself that buying the smaller ice cream carton so I wouldn't have any left over in the house was sound judgement. All this wasn't even the weird thing that I earlier referenced. I have probably convinced myself that tomorrow would be a new day hundreds of times in the 37 years I have struggled with my weight. I would just get this out of my system, blah, blah, blah. No, the weird part was what happened while I was driving home. I suddenly noticed that I was looking forward to going home and eating all that crap with the same feeling of excitement I have felt before when I was getting ready to see my former boyfriend. I realized that I felt happy and excited in a way that I hadn't felt in a long time. It was weird and it freaked me out! I felt happy and excited about going home and eating a bunch of crap! Once I realized how good I felt about this, it made me feel bad. It made me seriously question what the hell is wrong with me? It made me wonder if the idea of eating food could make me feel this good, how was I ever going to battle that? It made me realize that I haven't felt happy since I ended things with my boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, I have had pockets of happiness and good times since then, but they have been too few and too far between. I would like to say that I don't need a man, or more specifically 'that' man to make me happy but the fact is the only time I have ever felt truly happy, day in and day out, for an extended period of time was when I was with him. It was the only period of my life that I felt like I was enough. I never felt it with my husband. I may have felt it with previous boyfriends, but I don't remember that feeling of belonging and acceptance as profoundly as I did with him. To be fair, that may have been because I was quite young, or it may have been that I didn't notice how important it was when I was young because I always felt it, or possibly because I hadn't gone through any lengthy period of profoundly not feeling it like I did when I was married.
So realizing all this on the drive home made me sad. One might think that seeing all this clearly would have made me more determined than ever to stop using food to make me happy, one might think... Truth is I felt shitty, so I went home and ate those feelings too.
The next day after eating the ice cream and the donuts and the chocolate chips, (I couldn't be bothered to make the cookies so I just melted a bunch of them and mixed in some peanut butter,) I did, once again resolve to do better, and I did. I ate well all day. I had three good meals with snacks and it was a good sensible day.
Then the final reason for my current despair occurred. For some reason that I can't even figure out I started to tell myself that it would be ok to have a package of sesame snaps for my evening snack. Now a package of sesame snaps in of themselves is not all that bad. I had eaten well all day, why not? So despite having a lengthy conversation with myself about if I really should have them or not, and about how I wasn't really hungry, and about how it would feel great to have a really good day of good eating behind me I got up and walked to the cupboard and got the sesame snaps. It was almost like an out of body experience. I didn't really want them. I knew I didn't need them. I knew that it could possibly set things in motion that I didn't want. I got up and I got them anyway. At the risk of sounding even more crazy, it was like there was a second person there trying to talk me into it. I wasn't hearing voices, per se, but there was a voice in my head that no matter how much I said no, would not drop it and shut up. So I had the package of sesame snaps, then I had another. Then I had a granola bar I wasn't desperately craving or even particularly wanting, then I had some more chocolate chips with peanut butter. I hated myself I little more with each thing I ate, but I couldn't stop! Ok, I could have stopped, if the stakes were real and immediate, (gun to head,) but without something that extreme I carried on until any remote chance of calling the day a win completely evaporated. So that is why I feel so hopeless. How do I combat so many years of yielding to that voice in my head? I'm 54 years old, every day my metabolism slows a bit more. Everyday I become more and more ensconced in my habits. Everyday I feel older and more like there is no hope for health, for fitness, for thinness, for happiness.
I have never felt this way before. I definitely did feel a degree of hopelessness when I was in my dysfunctional marriage but not like this. I could stand that because I had a family to raise and I believed it was important to keep my family together. I also had more social interaction because little kids get together to play, so their Mom's get together to talk. The difference now is that my family is all but raised and I don't have as much social interaction.
I know I can't spend the rest of my life feeling and looking this way, but for the first time I feel like it's hopeless. Before I always knew that when I was ready I could lose weight and get fit but now I wonder if I have waited too long. I wonder if that ship has sailed. That makes me so sad and it scared the shit out of me.