Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thanks and update

Thank you for the feedback on the last post. I swear it was not a cry for attention or a manipulation to get you all to tell me nice things; nonetheless, I appreciate your kind words!! And Maile's comment meant so very much to me. I need to e-mail and tell her that. I just bought her book from Amazon, it arrived today, and I really can't wait to read it.

Anyway I want to let you know that life here is changing in some very unexpected ways. Sunday was a very hard day for me -- I went to the movies just to get out of the house, and I found myself crying more than I'd like to. If I had to describe it in a few words, the feeling would be "crushing loneliness." I made some important and big decisions as a result. Although the path forward is not clear, I at least am trudging forward on it and am certain that one way or another, things will change. (Sorry for the vagueness - one of the times I wish I either had more anonymity, or that certain people who I know read this blog didn't)

Some of this change is coming in a very timely and unexpected ways, and is teaching me about myself. Tuesday I was at water aerobics. I found myself talking with Gina, someone who has gone to water aerobics forever but who I don't see and talk to much since I started to work out mostly in other ways. At the end of the class, we were stretching and I was asking her about her favorite fruit and veggie stand because I had a huge craving for BLTs and I just couldn't shake it. To have a really good BLT, however, I think the T part is huge -- an anemic tomato from Walmart just won't cut it (plus, I love tomatoes in general it's not unheard of for me to go through about 3 lbs of cherry tomatoes a week). Next to Gina a stranger said "This is weird, but I have some tomatoes in my car that a coworker gave me. Do you want one?"

After the usual "Are you sure?"'s that ensued, I was delighted to take her up on her offer. On the way to the car, we were making small talk. When she learned how long I had been here and what I did, she asked me how I was liking things in Arkansas. Instead of just emphasizing the positives (as I usually do, especially with strangers I don't know too well or at all), I was honest with her. I told her how I really liked the area (which is the absolute truth, even though it has been averaging about 100 this week with heat indices reaching as high as 115), but how I had had a tough time finding a group of friends. She was not only sympathetic, but had solid suggestions on how to meet people, invited me to lunch the next day, and introduced me to someone who -- among other things -- is part of a very cool-sounding book club! WOW! In addition, I ran into someone at work who I hadn't seen for awhile who I like but had not really hung out with much outside of work. Instead of flashing my smile and telling her things were going fine, I was honest with her and told her a bit about how much my summer has sucked. She said she would invite me to one of her potlucks that she and her friends regularly have. WOW!

I am always afraid of coming across needy or broken. As a result, I try to put on a strong face and hold my head high in public, even when times are tough. Apparently, this can be pretty convincing. While I hate whiny sad sacks and hope never to become a huge needy mess, I think I need to be a bit more vulnerable and hold a little less inside. This honesty thing and letting people know when you are broken and need help may have some merit. The two solid connections I made this week to meeting more people and perhaps finding some friends here is evidence. I feel more hope on this front than I have had here in a long time -- maybe ever.

Lately much of this blog has taken a decidedly non-WL turn. Although many of the issues I am dealing with are not related directly to WL, they are all paradoxically so very related to it. Food has been my friend in the past. Food has helped to numb loneliness and pain. Binging and gorging yourself is so much easier than actually facing up to the feelings and stress and anxiety. I think it is no coincidence that my gaining the 60 lbs. I lost the first time back coincided with losing my grandma, traveling manically around the country trying to find a job, finishing my dissertation, moving somewhere where I knew no one, and ... continuing to know not that many people and having no really close friends in a new place.

Facing the pain, dealing with it, and finding ways to overcome it and let myself heal is where I am right now. I absolutely need to overcome this and not let this derail my decisions to become (and remain) a healthier me.

I decided to rejoin WW. I have such convoluted feelings for WW. On the one hand there are the positives: most notably, that if you follow the plan it absolutely works and you will lose weight. It helped me learn portion control. It helps me to be accountable for my decisions. It lets me plan for and enjoy occasional treats. Lots and lots of pros. The negatives are largely a function of my own neuroses (becoming obsessive, thinking about it all the time), but I am willing to give WW another shot to push on to becoming healthier. If I become too obsessed, I will stop.

That's life in Casa de Sarah. Long update. Lots of hard work going on here -- most of it mental and emotional -- but I am really determined to overcome my addiction to food and my depression, and to live a fulfilling life in every sense of the word.


  1. Lots of good stuff here lady!

    We are so very similar.

  2. I loved you already, but even more so for properly pluralizing "index." :-D


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