Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bad dreams

About a year ago, I wrote a post about a nightmare I'd had:

Last night I had a dream- a nightmare, really- that I was attending a family gathering. Everyone kept staring at me with a look of pity in their eyes. I'd see them whispering, then they'd abruptly stop when I'd get within earshot. Was my zipper down? Did I have bird shit on my forehead? Why were they looking at me like that?! I frantically searched for a mirror, and when I found one, I saw my former, fat self looking back at me. Every pound I'd worked so hard to get rid of was back- strapped to my belly in three massive rolls. My fingers looked like sausages, and the jawline that I'd once admired was obscured once again.

Now, a year later, that nightmare has become a reality. I've gained back about 75% of the weight I lost. I've spent the last few months eating, drinking, sitting in a sedentary stupor, and feeling pretty damn awful about it. I'm an addict in the truest sense of the word. My habits and behaviors bring me a constant cycle of pleasure, quickly followed shame, pain, and hopelessness. Desperate to change, but seemingly powerless to do so.

I've tried so damn hard to just accept myself- fat or thin. I thought becoming thin and athletic would magically get me what I needed, but that didn't happen. In fact, my weight loss gnarled my self-esteem until it was virtually gone. Even as a size 10, I still thought I was fat.

Now, as I sit here in my size 20 jeans and look at pictures from just a year ago, I wonder what the fuck happened. Good question. I think part of it is that I was totally exhausted in all possible ways. The physicality of marathon training put me through some stuff I don't think my body was ready for. Mentally, I was a total wreck. After 18 months of scrutinizing the caloric values of a million different foods, my brain didn't know how to think of much else. I just got so sick of thinking about it all the time. I stopped seeing my psychologist because I was sick of talking about it all the time. I stopped writing this blog because I was sick of writing about it all the time. I just wanted it to go away.

I'm not quite sure what to do now. Part of me wants to just let this blog die and be more private with my struggle. The support I received as a result of blogging was immense, but I also felt some pressure. My time away has been, if anything, a relief. But, I'd get comments here and there... "What happened?" "We miss you!" "Hope you're doing okay." It made me wonder if I'd made a mistake in cutting ties.

I'm still very confused. I spend every day trying to decide which life I want to have. Do I want the life where I can eat whatever I want but feel sick and tired most of the time? Or, do I want to deprive myself and feel healthy? Some people can have both, but I don't think I'm one of them. I'm a food junkie. I'm a hedonist. It's all or nothing.

For today, I accomplished a 20 minute walk and stocked the kitchen with healthy food. That will have to be enough, just for now.