Monday, March 11, 2013
I've always found it hard to be an optimist. I don't think I'll ever actually be one of those blessed (cursed?) individuals who tends to see the glass as half full as opposed to half empty. Perhaps somewhat unfortunately, I have conditioned myself over the years to expect the worst as much as possible, to try and minimize the effects of the inevitable disappointments that life will throw at me. It is a defense mechanism that has stood me in good stead, for the most part. I suppose I might be shooting myself in the foot to a certain extent, because I do believe in the power of the mind to influence wish fulfillment. However, whenever I have tried to expect the best, and the worst is what comes crashing down all around me, I have found the results to be near catastrophic to my fragile psyche.
This is a personality trait that I have been struggling with a lot as of late. I have not kept it much of a secret that life has been incredibly stressful for me for the past few months. I might not have been explicit in the details, but what it boils down to is this: the fates seem to be conspiring to knock me down, over and over again. I know I am being melodramatic, but I honestly have received quite the pummeling from life since the new year started. And, if I recall correctly, I did try and put on a positive front at the beginning of 2013. I stated that I felt that 2013 was going to be a good year for me. And I believed it. Then, one bad thing after another began to happen to me. True, the year is still young, and things are finally slowly beginning to resemble some sort of normalcy, but still; I can't help but feel like my stubborn ways of expecting the worst might have saved me some grief.
So what has been going on? Well, a lot of it I can't actually make mention of here. But from what I can, a big part of my woes as of late have had to do with taking care of an aging and ill mother. This takes up more of my time than anything else. I am constantly drained from having to deal with her demands, which, while sometimes are perfectly legitimate, at other times are completely out of line. I hate to see her suffer, but there is only so much I can do to help her. So a lot of my time as of late has been trying to deal with how to balance taking care of her, with taking care of other aspects of my life, including taking care of myself! Apart from that, there are other scenes of family drama that are of a way too personal nature for me to divulge here, so suffice it to say I've been drawn into the middle of them and can't see myself untangling myself for some time to come. On top of that, there are the relationship issues I am still facing with my boyfriend. Yes, we are still together, and yes, we are trying to work things out, and things are overall better between us, but there is still a lot of stress and friction to be addressed. I am trying to be hopeful, but, again, I can't help but wonder if I am doing myself a disservice by being too hopeful. Time will tell.
A few more things to whine about: first, I have recently been informed that my condo, which was supposed to have been ready for me to move into by this summer, actually isn't projected to be ready until the beginning of December. This totally throws off my plans, and the only plus side of it is that it gives me a chance to save a little bit more money to put towards my down payment. Secondly, there have been rumours at work about certain departments being contracted out, which of course lends a whole new uncertainty to my future here. While I can't really see the library being one of the departments that is contracted out, you never know. And so, I can't help but be a little bit stressed that before long, I will be out of a job, and then, what will I do? Jobs in my field are very hard to come by, and I'm not really skilled to do much else. Plus, losing my job at this point could put my whole property buying venture into jeopardy. I don't want to lose what I've worked so hard to gain! I've also been waiting for a raise since last summer that still has not materialized. My manager says it has to do with delays put out by HR, but I can't help but think that they're not bothering to put this through because before long I'll be made redundant anyhow. So I worry, worry, worry.
There's the personal stuff out of the way. And how does this affect my whole weight loss effort? Well, let me tell you, it's been very hit and miss for me since the middle of January. I've been very close to giving up, more than once. I believe I touched upon my frequent flirtations with binging in my last journal. I was constantly turning to food for comfort in my times of stress. It started as being a weekend only occurrence and then was rapidly turning into an almost daily occurrence. I was not tracking my food for the most part, and was not exercising nearly as much. I did find, however, that even when I wasn't using the food tracker, SP had trained me to count my calories regardless. So even though I was overeating, I knew very closely by how much. And miraculously, during this period when I lost so much self control, I did not gain crazy amounts of weight. I fluctuated between 140-155 pounds, but a lot of that was water weight. In the end, I met my February goal weight of 140 lbs, somehow. I don't know how I did it! And now, I'm just hovering under the 140 mark. I haven't binged for nearly two weeks now. I've been tracking again regularly, and exercising regularly. I think I'm on track of meeting my 135 lb goal weight for the end of March. I feel like I'm in control again. SP really has helped me to develop healthier habits, even when I've given in to temptation repeatedly over a period of a couple of months. This is a HUGE deal for me. In the past, this was the crucial point for me, the one where I broke down (usually, again, due to remarkable amounts of stress), gave up and ate and ate and ate. Stopped exercising. And inevitably, the weight piled on again. This time, I've passed this hurdle and continued onwards. I haven't given up the fight. I've learned that no matter how stressful things may get, I don't have to let myself fall back into my old habits.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters, I am finally within my healthy BMI range (for the first time since university)! I can't wait for spring to hit so I can buy more new clothes. Even my new clothes are starting to feel loose on me now. Having size 8 pants feel too loose for me seems like a dream. I think I'll be able to get into a size 6 the next time I go shopping. I'm going to keep on going. You're going to be seeing more of me on SP over the weeks to come, I'm warning you. Even though I've come to terms with the fact that I am not a positive person overall, in regards to my health I'm going to keep soldiering on. I will NOT give up. I've proven to myself that not only can I do this, I can keep doing this, and I can maintain it. I will reach my final 125 lb goal weight, I will. Maybe not by June 1st like I had originally planned, but I will. I still have so many areas of my body where there is a lot of fat to get rid of (thighs, belly, hips, upper arms etc), but I know that over time with regular exercise, that fat will be minimized too. No, I will not have my high school body ever again, but I CAN be the healthiest that I can be, even in my mid 30s. And I still feel younger than my age, so that's a bonus, I guess. Just a couple of pounds more and I will have lost 90 pounds. In just 91/2 months. That's nothing to sneeze at, and I'm still very proud of myself, no matter how down in the dumps I might get. I've learned that while I might never be an optimist, at least I'm not a COMPLETE pessimist. I will stay strong for as long as I can.