Every human needs support in some regard. We all have individual struggles that affect us in different ways whether it be physical, mental, or emotional (sometimes all 3). For me, the struggle has always been food, even before it was an active struggle. When I think about my life as an obese individual – it was an easy life. It wasn’t always a happy life, but it was a life where I didn’t have to resist something I didn’t know that was patching my mental health on a daily basis.
After losing the weight, the real issues came to the surface. Part of my coming out process was directly related to losing weight, which was one of the best and difficult things I have ever had to do in my life. I was accepting myself, and thus I had to accept all of who I was. There was no reason for no one to not love me, and so I had to go through a new journey. After moving to a new city, after coming out, starting a new job, the stressors (and inherent excuses) allowed my transformation to shift focus. Even with therapy, the last two years has had varied success. Although I’ve learned a lot about myself, having those mental doors open has provided me with a heavier burden of being hard on myself.
So, what do you need to be successful. When I started this whole thing, it was a plan. A plan for the week – when would I run, when would I meet with my trainer, what was I going to eat? If I followed each of these things, I could continue to lose weight. It felt nice, and the obvious results charged my battery in a way that I never saw coming. The overwhelming support I received on social media, my friends and family, and even strangers kept me at 100%, for a few years, nonetheless. I moved from one things to the next – Zumba to running to CrossFit.
I don’t know if I have food addiction. I certainly have an addictive personality (when I hear a new song I love, I will play it until I hate it). I do not consume, I absorb with my being. In losing weight, this was a fantastic trait. Can I run an extra mile, can I go another day? I was addicted to the process. Then, it all sort of fell apart when I moved. My job was stressful, and I hated it. I loved the new city, but my support was gone. My physical network was now gone, my mental support of being in school was gone, and my emotional support after losing weight faded. Of course, all this can be viewed as an excuse, but it was a lot going on at once.
I joined the gym down south, which was a great support, and has been a source of positivity for the most part.
The last month has been a pretty extreme version of the last two years for me. I was doing well at the gym and with food, then I got sick, then went on a cleanse, and took a 3-4 week break from the gym. Then I gained 10 lbs. (after having lost 10 lbs.). The power in which food seems to have over me sometimes feels pervasive. In some ways, that is a narrative I tell myself and distinguishing between a self-fulfilling prophecy and a true struggle.
I saw a video earlier that brought me a little to the surface. It can feel deep and lonely when you submit to your addictions – like you are the only person who must feel this crazy and feel this out of touch with yourself. Having someone else say the things you are feeling and thinking may not solve the problem, but it affirms that you aren’t an alien. It’s so easy to get off track, especially for someone who’s default ecosystem has not always erred on the side of the healthiest choices.
So far, this week has been a mixed bag. The gym and fitness has gotten back on track, and despite the brownies I have been having for lunch (chocolate sea salt caramel…..) I have been under calories. I am always trying to find ways to nail traction down to the ground, so I don’t have to worry about this – that my motivation will be as unflinching as it was 3 years ago when I was in the midst of a 100 lb. weight loss. I don’t have the answer. I am in a transition yet again. Normally, my posts offer some sort of “I am here, and this is how I am doing” with some measurement of progress. What I have to offer today is that I feel unfocused and unclear, even 5 years later. I hope that provide at least hope and support that you are also not alone. That my journey is indeed incredible, and I do not discredit my accomplishments, but I will not avoid the facts or dismiss my struggles because from the outside it may look like I figured it all out.
So, what do I need for support? Right now, it is just the push to get to the gym, someone to nudge me when I am eating the brownie, and someone to understand me. I am writing because even though it was just a YouTube video that I watched from someone on the other side of the country, I got the last point checked off today. Off to the gym after work.