Note: I wrote this post last week ad then didn’t share because I still get nervous sharing the real stuff. But this morning I was cranky as a bear. Addy decided to let a metal bucket swing from our stairs to make a “trap” and it made some nice gouges and scratches in our TV, Finn had a little accident so our day started an hour earlier than usual and didn’t allow for my pre-craziness personal quiet time. My new necklace (that I got last night!) was used as a rope for Finn to pull himself out of the tub, and of course it broke, and a litre and a half of maple syrup spilled in the fridge after one of the door shelves broke. I am pretty sure I will be finding maple syrup in and on things for a good loonnnnnggggg time. It was one of THOSE mornings, but though I was frustrated, I didn’t spiral in my thoughts like I did last week (see below) I am believing that this is progress!
Here’s the original post:
I didn’t have the best of days today. I honestly kind of felt like crying from the moment I got up this morning. I don’t know if many of you mammas know the feeling of losing your sanity a little bit at a time due to lack of sleep, and the truth of having toddlers…but it’s legit.
All day today I felt like something more was going on.
I have learned to listen to myself pretty well, and when I am not in a good mental state things tend to spiral downward pretty quickly. Not being able to find my keys turns into : “Why can’t I find my keys? Why am I always losing things? If I could only get my house more organized. I am obviously a failure as a housewife, and now I may be late for Addy’s field trip, so I am a bad mom too. I wasn’t eating sugar this week, but if I don’t take yogurt in the car I will not eat breakfast. So now I am failing at that too. No wonder I am still fat.”
(note: I am not saying this so you will tell me that I am not fat, in fact, I’m asking that you don’t. I am healthy and getting stronger, but I am clinically actually obese class 1…so though I am still beautiful and valuable…my body is currently fat. I share because I want to be honest about what goes on for me sometimes, because so many feel like they are the only one that this happens to!)
The day goes on with not being able to get into my office, spilling lunch on myself and finding out I had a cavity…and a handful of other things that in and of themselves are not really a big deal. And to be honest, I know really are NOT a big deal. If any of these things happened to my kids I would say:
“Everyone loses things sometimes, and spills happen but we’ll wash your scarf when we get home…” etc. Oh what having kids does for perspective.
But because I am me, and I am big into feedback these days, I wanted to not only NOTICE that I was feeling this way, but wondering WHY. Why do I associate a mistake with complete failure, why do I think that anything less than perfection is worthless, but only when it comes to me?
A big realization today was about food. It’s always been a thing for me.
When I was talking with my dad the other day he mentioned feeling guilt that we struggle with our weight, wondering if he fed us too much balogna, but that the effects would have worn off by now. And that is totally true. The balogna didn’t make me struggle with food (I actually had some the other day and it was fabulous) but the thing is, somewhere along the way I really did learn that some food was “bad” and I felt shame about eating it. I remember being a kid and buying “junk food” at the store on the way home from my school and hiding it in the closet and eating it a little bit at a time. Maybe it was because my parents were often dieting, or that I ate more than my friends, or the time a family member scolded my brother for eating smarties. It could be the marketing of things that surrounded me, or things that classmates whispered behind my back. I really don’t know what brought it together, and it’s likely a combination of many MANY things. I am not blaming anyone, I am a grown adult who now realizes that I have stories about food (and many other thing) (Mom and dad if you’re reading this, I love you to pieces! And look, I turned out pretty awesome and I’m strong and healthy and overall getting happier and healthier by the day… so high fives to you guys!)
Fast forward to now, I have NEVER struggled with my weight like I have in the last couple of years. Stress, anxiety, fight or flight and more medications than I had ingested in the rest of my life combined left my body in a constant state of “what the heck is happening!”. Things that I had always done to lose weight were not working, and it was stressing me out, and that was making things worse. So then I kind of gave up. It wasn’t worth it to me.
So I let the pendulum swing the other way. I would just have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I was going through enough. If I wanted ice cream, I was going to eat ice cream. And to be honest, I still feel like there are much worse vices that I could have leaned into.
Rewind to last month, in Florida. I was working out, feeling great, eating balanced and having fun with my kids. And then my headaches started to come back. Doing high impact workouts hurt my neck and head, so I slowed those down, I got tired, my eyes hurt. And so, I turned back to the treats. Until I was pregnant I didn’t even like sweets. I would have opted for another piece of pizza instead of birthday cake….well not anymore. Somewhere along the lines I had become a full blown sugar addict.
I was feeling convicted about it. Like I was relying on a substance for happiness, instead of dealing with what was making me sad. Maybe a less dangerous one than cocaine (though I hear sugar is more addictive, but I’m still gonna keep away.).
This week I cut out sweets and refined sugar, and caffeine. There has been a little sugar in a couple of things that I have eaten, but in general have been eating really well. I have been praying more about what has been going on and haven’t eaten at all to “fill the void” though I can tell you, I have wanted to, and that is eye opening in and of itself!
I want treats to be something that I enjoy to celebrate something with people I care about. Not just things to pick me up when I feel tired, cranky or bored.
However, in order to get to that place, I had to get off the all-the-sugar-all-day-every-day wagon. And that has been a tough one for sure. It has been a pretty good week, other than my day one meltdown with the kids and a couple of killer headaches and energy slumps.
But today, this was the day when I realized that when I tell myself that I can’t have something at all, it reiterates to myself that it is BAD, and then I am obviously BAD for wanting it, bad for having enjoyed it.
We could debate on whether sugar is bad. Sure, studies show… but also generations grew up on homemade sweets made with real sugar and they were less obese. So I think that for me, as I am learning with all the things in my life…it comes down to balance.
I am going to finish off this week by staying off the sugar and caffeine and then I am going to thoughtfully and carefully consider how I want to integrate it in my life. I don’t want to be ruled by it, but I don’t want my life to consist of daily rules of what I can and can’t have.
The bible says not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear, and I definitely want less worry in my life.
Here’s my thoughts. I want exercise more (because I have learned when I start my day that way, it really does feel better!) and take joy in making tasty food and truly enjoying treats when I have them. I want to fill my life with the things that bring joy and simplify my closet and surroundings so that they fill up less of my mind space.
Sound like a plan?
Let’s get after it.
PS I am guessing that I am not the only one who has stories about food, and I also know that many people will likely read and think that I am a wackadoodle, because food is just food to you, but thanks for reading anyway.