On Not Reaching Goals

A few months ago I wrote this post: 100 or bust.

The plan was from Feb. 1 to now to lose 1 pound a week for a total of 20 pounds.

The plan also was to move out of my current apartment.

Neither happened.

And though at first I wasn’t happy with this, all I can do is trust that where I am now is where I’m meant to be.

The truth is, I love my current apartment, I love the area that I live in, and I get along fantastically with my roommate. Still, I wanted a change. After a month or two of looking, however, I realized a change just wasn’t in the cards for me financially. My roommate and I happen to have a beautiful, sunny, spacious apartment that we pay a ridiculously low rent for in N.J. standards (ridiculously high for everywhere else in the country) and staying wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I had planned.

As for the weight, well, that’s more complicated.

As of right now, my weight is hovering around 155 pounds. That’s a total of 88 pounds lost. I’ve stopped calorie counting, I’m only stepping on the scale once a week, at most.

I’d be lying if I said this has been easy to accept. The sudden and scary return of binge eating has made it near impossible to have any control over my weight, but it’s also forced me to stop caring about my weight and start caring about my health, both mentally and physically.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it mystifies me that I’ve been able to lose this much weight. Truly and totally astounds me.

Wanting to lose more and struggling so much to do it (and still not losing) is hard, sure, but how could I possibly be disappointed in myself?

Tomorrow I’ll be boarding a plane for a two-week adventure around Europe. As I was packing, I found these passport photos that were taken in 2009 in order for me to get a cell phone in India. For comparison’s sake (and because it really is that hard for me to see change) I quickly snapped a selfie and put the two side-by-side.

passportcompare

There are no words to accurately describe what it feels like to look at those photos.

It’s overwhelming to the point of being uncomfortable. I don’t know what to think when I see my younger, fatter self. I’m just, astonished.

The last few weeks have really been a process of understanding that while my body is different, the thoughts in my head aren’t. Some days when I look in the mirror I think I get scared because I’m not sure how living this way actually works. I have to remind myself to breathe, and to take it one day at a time.

Losing weight has forced open other parts of my life that are really tough to deal with, parts of my life that I didn’t have to deal with because the fat gave me a pseudo-barrier against all of  it. It was my excuse to keep most things and people at a (chubby) arm’s length.

Losing weight has forced me to be honest about my past, about why I gained the weight, and has led to some uncomfortable conversations both with others and with myself through journaling.

Most days I’m grateful for this. But some days, it’s just fucking scary.

Despite all the scariness, I am truly excited about the general state of my life right now.

I’m excited about my vacation that starts tomorrow.

I’m excited to return to an apartment that is both familiar to me and that I love.

And I’m excited to have started an honest process of breaking free from binge eating, obsessive calorie counting, and daily weighing.

I didn’t reach the goals I set for myself in February. To be totally cliche, life took some different turns, some sharp curves, and some unexpected detours.

My favorite travel moments have always been the days where I’m exploring without a goal of something to do or some place to see. Where I get to wander in new surroundings. Where I’m allowed to gaze as long as I want at the beauty of something unfamiliar.

That is how I’m trying to live my life right now. After being so restrictive and purposeful for over two years, this isn’t coming naturally, but I’m getting better at handling the discomfort every day.

I could be upset that I didn’t reach my weight loss goals, but I choose instead to focus on the present. To flow easily with life, moment by moment, not tying my current contentment to a past that I cannot change or a future that has yet to be created.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

 

 

No more self pity

Well hello there!

Long time, eh?

I’ve sat down a couple times over the last two weeks to write, and well, it hasn’t gone very well.

The posts were, to put it kindly, self-pitying.

Maaa-aaa-aaaa-jor self pity.

Woah is me, I can’t lose any more weight, I have no motivation to work out, eating healthy is so hard.

Reality check: living my life the way I do is a PRIVILEGE.

I don’t know why this thought didn’t hit me sooner, but I am maintaining a 90-pound weight loss and that in itself is AMAZING.

Even though I soooo don’t feel amazing.

I’ve had a really hard bumpy few months of my weight bouncing around in reaction to binge eating.

I’ve had a really hard bumpy few months of hating, that’s right, HATING, how I look.

I’ve had a really hard bumpy few months of feeling like I’m “on top of things” or “back in the groove” only to, days later, be back to not knowing up from down.

And you know what? Struggling so much just to EXIST is really tiring. Spending so much time wanting to be in a place that’s not where you are SUCKS and it sucks the life out of you.

I am done with it.

I just want to be happy.

Here.

Right now.

Where I am.

Crazy concept, right?

This acceptance thing, it used to be my way of life, and now it feels seriously foreign.

The truth is, I don’t know where this is going, I certainly have no idea what I’m doing, but you know what feels kind of comforting….I never did.

Stay with me.

This sounds ridiculous in my head and it’s going to sound even more ridiculous when it’s typed out, but I really did think all of that would change when I lost the weight.

I guess because I was (am?) able to get my weight “under control,” I thought the rest of my life would feel that way too.

It. doesn’t.

I struggle with the exact same things I struggled with 90 pounds ago.

Only, more so, because I’m not numbing them with food.

So in turn, sometimes things feel a lot worse.

Only this time around, I know the discomfort is okay. I don’t have to run from it. I don’t have to avoid it.

I can breathe. I can thank God I’m alive. I can be grateful for the discomfort.

I can choose to be in the moment with my thoughts, sit with them, and know the unpleasant ones will fade, to be replaced with positive vibes.

Recovering from binge eating is a process. The urges don’t just go away just because I lost weight.

I feel like, for me, the process of healing is just beginning.

There are so many days where I want to give up and eat, eat, eat. Those days are harder when my motivation to not binge eat is “weight loss,” those days are easier when my motivation is “happiness.”

Ahh, sweet clarity.

The same goes for all the healthy things I do. Going to the gym sounds a lot more urgent and necessary when the reasoning is to “work off the crazies” rather than “work off the pounds.”

Weight loss never was and still isn’t a motivator for me, and I lost my way thinking it was.

Loving life? Now that is some serious, lasting motivation.

Focus Jodester, because life is short but sweet for certain.

Begrudgingly Grateful

Just wanted to stop in for a quick hello 🙂

I didn’t blog at all last week. I didn’t have anything to say.

Truthfully, putting out all that truthfulness left me drained.

Usually when I write here, there’s some kind of spark and then the words just flow, effortlessly. But, alas, nothing in my life has felt effortless as of late.

Remember when I used to post bits of gratitude?

Let’s do that again:

I am grateful for my fan. The heat is on (!) in New Jersey. I don’t have AC, but I do have a lovely little fan that lulls me to sleep at night.

I’m grateful for mini watermelons, aka, a single girl’s summery best friend.

I am grateful for yoga. I bought Groupons to two different studios about a month ago and have fallen in love with the classes and teachers at Verona Yoga. I’m going to be a sad, stiff lady when they come to and end. I look forward to the hour that I get to spend bending and twisting with intention. Also, the language choices of  yogis makes me strangely giddy.  Instead of just telling us to “smile” during some of the more balance-dependent poses, the teacher soothingly advises us to “let the corners of your mouth turn upward.” Swoon.

I am grateful for all the kindness that’s come my way. From strangers, friends, and family. In everything from reaction to this blog to the return of a smile.

I am grateful for my body’s amazing capacity to be resilient. Seriously, bodies are the coolest.

I am grateful for iced coffee, helping me be a kinder person one delicious sip and a time.

I’m grateful for those gently reminding me to be grateful. It’s a hard, but necessary daily practice and the absolute best predictor of happiness.

I am grateful for my roommate letting me take up way more than half the fridge space.

 I am grateful to have been given space in the Universe to be.

Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.

-Rumi