Lightweight

It’s Wednesday night, yet it feels like it should be Friday night. It’s been a horrendously long and stressful few days, and apparently I’m not the only one feeling it. Maybe because of the full moon on Monday? Maybe because we’re waiting to find out what our children’s school days will look like? Who the hell knows? We’re all just damn tired and stressed and so fucking sick of being tired and stressed. Right?!?

Yet, I know I have it good. I have a job, as does my husband. We’re still relatively healthy. My kid is happy some days. This is about all we can hope for right now. But for whatever reason, as soon as I got home tonight, I started searching for the wine. Then I remembered I had all the fixings for a margarita.

My husband was kind enough to cook dinner, so I made my drink and headed out to my porch. Our boy was watching videos about the Declaration of Independence (seriously, this kid is freakin’ awesome), so he was ok not spending any time with me. I sat down on my porch in the warm air but with the loveliest of breezes, opened a magazine and took a few sips. After a bit, I listened to a podcast (Fake Doctors, Real Friends), sipped my margarita some more and put my feet up on the railing. I have not been that relaxed in such a long, long time. My husband came out after a bit to say dinner was ready, but I wasn’t ready to go inside. More time passed and he came back out, but I told him there was no way I was going to stand up (not sure I could) and I intended to stay out there for as long as possible. The good man brought me a bowl of food after that.

My son came out a few minutes later and we chatted and laughed and talked about the upcoming school year, but then with our morbid humor discussed hazmat suits and gas masks because that’s where we’re at. My husband joined us and we laughed and chatted some more while relishing the warm summer evening. We really had a wonderful time, just being together at our home enjoying one another.

Of course then I had to get up so I could go pee and the moment was broken.

Yet afterwards I felt energized. I did the dishes, made my lunches for the next few days, did a load of laundry and took a bath. I finally found that bit of motivation that I’ve been lacking. I even shaved my legs! I think I just needed those few hours to find a way to relax and forget but also spend quality time with my family. It was literally less than 30 minutes, but it was exactly the amount we all needed to become reconnected to one another. It was our version of perfect.

I’m not saying you should drink every night to ease your stress. I, the daughter of a recovering alcoholic, would never say that. It might be ok with you and if it is, then go for it. But both my conscience and my pancreas say it’s not good for me. Plus the level of relaxation I had tonight is not typical for me. I had to let everything else go and not think about work or relationships or the world or even myself. I just had to breathe, read a bit, and listen to others. I had to lose myself for just a little while. And if you can find a way to do that with yoga or meditation, then do it. Hell, if you need a drink or a smoke to relax and let go occasionally, that’s ok too.

We all need to lose ourselves sometimes so we can find our way back again.

Hang in there, friends. I’m thinking of you.

The Comforts of Food

Since I was 7 years old, I have turned to food to ease my anxiety, to diffuse my anger, to make me feel good…or at least better. I have eaten away every emotion until only what appeared to be happiness remained. Looking at it now, I’m sure it was the sugar and fat that gave me that euphoric feeling.  And yet knowing this, and after losing over 80 pounds to finally get out of the fat lady’s clothing store, I *still* turn to food when the going gets tough even though I promised myself I wouldn’t ever again.

These past few weeks have been extraordinarily stressful. It’s not the best excuse, but there it is. Fortunately, my food choices have at least changed since my big girl days. I used to eat lots of chips or ice cream or leftover Chinese takeout as my binge foods of choice. Now, when I’m feeling blue or need to take the edge off, I eat rice mixed with canned peas and shredded cheese and a teaspoon of butter or a big bowl of Cinnamon Rice Chex with almond milk.

I know, I know, I’m so naughty!

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Me, 4 years ago, eating a scrumptious gluten-free cupcake from Babycakes in Orlando.

It may not seem like a big deal and honestly, in the big scheme of things it’s not. Since I lost this weight, I’ve been obsessed about keeping it off. I still intend to keep it off and I’m sure I’ll keep counting those calories and running when I’m able, but I also realized this week that I have to start making some kind of effort to let this go. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be overnight that’s for damn sure, but I have to find a way to make myself a little happier and a lot less stressed. That may mean I’ll skip a morning workout and read instead or maybe have a snack between breakfast and lunch so I don’t maim any of my co-workers.

Does this mean I might gain a pound or two? Maybe. Will I freak out if I do? Of course I will. I’m not naïve enough to think that just by saying, “Hey, I won’t get stressed by that little bit of weight gain!” that I *won’t* get stressed. I most certainly will because that’s who I am. What I’m shooting for, is to not get AS freaked as my normal. To try to take it a bit in stride and realize that it’s not the end of the world.

This past week I thought a big chunk of my world really was about to end, and gaining a pound or two doesn’t feel like that at all. Gaining a bit of weight can be resolved at some point by eating less and exercising more and going to bed hungry more often than not. It’s a serious pain in the ass, but it’s not the apocalypse.

 

So tell me, what are YOUR comfort foods? Anything funky or boring (like mine)? I’d love to hear it if you’d like to share.