Learning to Love Yourself

You wouldn’t know it by the weather this week, but summer time and bikini season is looming.  Usually, I’m always amped to throw on a swimmy suit and hit the beach or the pool, but this year, something is different…..

I think I’ve given myself unrealistic body goals.

I believe the root cause is in the fact that I sort of inadvertently lost so much weight last summer.  While struggling with and trying to get my anxiety and panic attacks under control last summer, I basically quit eating.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be eating, I’m not one of those girls who doesn’t eat…..food is always my jam!  I was just way too worked up all the time.  Eating just a couple bites of anything would just make me feel sick and nauseous.  I remember distinctly sitting at work trying to eat a cliff bar…..it took me 4 days to get through the whole bar!!  During this period I was also working out a ton, because ya know….that’s what they tell you to do when you’re stressed.  Run a bunch, lift all the heavy things and put them down, and get those happy endorphin feelings flowing!  I’m not sure how exactly I managed to function, but apparently anxiety gives you super powers….just not the sort of super powers anyone really wants or should have.

IMG_6543IMG_6515

It turns out that loosing 15 pounds in two weeks has a dramatic effect on your muffin top.  It also has a dramatic effect on your psyche…

I know that I only achieved my slimmed down self because I was unhappy, and that unhappiness and stress changed my body in ways that I normally cannot and would not do.  The worst part though….is that I felt so accomplished.  Maybe it was just the sense of control I had over things.  Nothing felt good, but I had finally achieved the look I had been craving since high school but never had.  It was the one little thing that seemed to be going in my favor.  I finally had reached a point where I didn’t have to squat stretch out my freshly washed jeans, I could throw on anything in my closet and there wasn’t a lump or bump to be found, and I think it just gave me this inflated and superficial sense of self-esteem…..which when you talk about it sounds super awful and unhealthy……BECAUSE IT WAS!

My body is obviously not meant to existing in a muffin top free state….I’m honestly not sure that even the strictest diet would have kept me looking that way.  Once I started feeling better the muffin top slowly but surely started making a come back.  I’m naturally curvy and just tend to carry and collect all my weight generally on my love handles and around my belly button…..a spot I’ve nicknamed “The Doughnut of Awful”.  I’m right around 5’10” so I’m overall very proportional and quite a healthy weight for my height.  I’ve never been told that I need to loose weight by any of my doctors, and even in high school at my most active, swimming and dancing for several hours everyday, I still was no where near as slim and lean as I was last summer.

jeans

…..this photo stresses me out…..as much as I hate to say that and I want to rise above it all…..it still does.  I know that it’s only 12ish pounds and some summer time tan, but I’m not sure that this picture makes me feel as happy as the other one, which is my continual struggle.  There’s some muffin top and tummy squish, and my ribs and hips aren’t poking out of my body.  Idk….it’s not bad, I can rationalize that, but at the same time I don’t exactly feel good about it either.

Lately, I’ve been trying very hard to convince myself that a slightly squishy Miss Happenings is a happier Miss Happenings.

  • I try and remind myself that I’m in a happy relationship, and if I eat out a bit more or drink a bit more now than before it’s because I’m with someone who wants to spend time doing things and having fun with me.
  • I should be happy that my brain finally realizes that skipping a workout to have lunch with friends IS NOT AN ANNOYANCE OR AN INCONVENIENCE!!!  That’s just how my anxiety made me feel about it all the time.  It’s a rare chance to spend quality time with some of my favorite people.
  • I should realize that I rarely hang out in bikinis alone, so even if I’m looking slightly squishy in a bikini I’m still surrounded by people who love and care about me regardless of my muffin top.

I do honestly remind myself of all these things and more when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see.  I suppose that I probably will always occasionally struggle with my weight and how I look.  I always have from time to time, so it doesn’t make sense that it would mystically go away anytime soon.  The most annoying and hardest part is the small little diva voice in the back of my mind that sometimes quietly whispers that if I just stopped eating for a couple weeks I would slim right down again.  Ugh….go away crazy diva voice…..I have burgers and shit to eat, new beers to try, and things to do that have nothing to do with you!

alice

Going forward, the best I can do is continue to work out, maybe reign in the diet and kick up the cardio a bit, and just generally live the best and healthiest life I can live!  You only get one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.  I refuse to believe that anyone looks back on their life and regrets the fancy desserts they ate, or the summer time patio drinks with friends they drank.  That simply can’t be reality…..and if it is, I don’t want it to be my reality.  If I had continued on the stressed out path I was on, I know looking back that I would have regrets.  I already regret the things I did or didn’t do because my anxiety controlled my life.

I lived that life once, and I refuse to go back there.

side

This summer, in the same jeans as last summer.  A little bit squishier than last summer, but I’m happy!  Ignore the sass face, The Engineer was mocking my photo skills….but he’s just jealous of my shooting skillz!

Happy is healthy….and that’s all there is to it!

 

Advertisements

Chapter 11: Math has Never Been My Friend

I realize it’s been quite some time since I have written about any of my dating escapades.  There hasn’t really been a particular reason for this, other than the fact that I guess I haven’t been going on as many dates!?!?  I’ve long since given up on all of my online dating apparati.  (Apparently the “correct” plural of apparatus is either ‘apparatuses’ or ‘two pieces of apparatus’……I personally think apparati sounds better so that’s what I’m gonna go with!)  I believe this is the first blog about a guy I actually had a long relationship with.  Of course, long is a relative term, but since all the relationships you’ve read about how been flings or short lived, I’ll consider this to be long.


 

Ahhh college, it’s a great time.  However, it’s also a time where you might make some questionable life choices.  I will be the first to admit that college me made some truly questionable choices.  Probably one of the most questionable……was ADD 3.  I refuse to look back on experiences with regret, because they have brought me to the life I live now.  Despite all my “middle class white girl struggles”, I really am loving my life right meow!!  Honestly though, if I knew that I would end up in exactly the same place I am now if I could just delete those two years from my life….I would.  I’m struggling with how to write this, because it could be quite long, but also because the majority of it was not good or healthy in any way.  I’m going to try and provide just enough background that you can grasp the situation I put myself in, and then I’ll try and just focus on the positive things I learned.

move-on-quote-relationship-text-true-Favim.com-274768Graduating college on the heels of an economic recession isn’t great.  You’ve put in tons of time, money, and energy, and done all the things you’d always been told you were supposed to do to be successful.  The ending result of all this time and money was that I was unable to find a job, despite all my best effort and hours of filling out seemingly identical applications.  I was firmly committed to the belief that moving home would be an admittance of defeat, so I did the next best thing I could think of….I moved in with ADD 3.  I knew the sort of jobs that were awaiting me back home…..essentially nothing.  I wasn’t willing to admit that sort of defeat, so against the wishes of my family….and probably my friends….I soldiered on with my plan.

After about a week, I didn’t want to be there!!  I had already known that ADD 3 had a rather substantial collection of tubs in his basement.  One of the perks of dating a guy with a house in college was that I got to do laundry for free….in the basement…..with the tubs.  Being the nice, unemployed, “housewife” that I was, I thought I would organize the basement!!  Most where garbage……random things….some of his old Army stuff…..and then I found them, TUBS FULL OF VERY NSFW THINGS!!!!!!!!

…………………………………AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH……………….!!!!!!  

Somehow, I let him convince me that it would be ok to stay, that we would work it out, and everything would be fine.  I think part of me gave in to him because I felt like I had worked so hard and upset so many people by moving in with him in the first place that once again….I was unwilling to accept the defeat that would have been moving out.  Something about college me was apparently really into winning at this point….

I eventually got a job where I traveled frequently, so I was around less to put up with his crazy.  Yes….he was crazy.  Granted, I only know ADD 3 as a PTSD suffering Army veteran. I have no idea who he was or what he was like before he served our country and saw the things he saw.  In that sense, I have only the greatest amount of respect for him, his family, and the sacrifices they made.  He discovered that he could win any argument by playing the “Army Card”.  Honestly, there was never anything I could say or do other than sit there and take whatever random insult he had to throw my way because I could never bring myself to say anything back when he’d play the Army card.  You have to remember…..I was younger and stupider then……I’ve grown up a lot….he’s partly to thank.

3bf4581cf5b57b296e8104474e22665b

This basically continued for a year, until he decided to move to Florida….and I was so relieved.  I packed up all my stuff, and we drove it to my Dad’s house in Sturgis and honestly….I was happy!  I was happy he was moving away, and I was happy that I felt like I had finally found an out.  I really thought everything was going to change for me.  It did…..but at the same time, it didn’t.  I saw him twice more after that moving day in August…..once when he flew to Minneapolis for my birthday that December, and once in the Spring.  I….the girl who was so ready to let go of the relationship, just let him continue to have one with me.  I didn’t really encourage it, but I didn’t stop it either.  I suppose that’s partly to do with being young, and partly because those who are in bad relationships always seem to have a really hard time getting out of them.

548831ba25fd04080b0ec6bd7213b12e

Ok….enough of this seeming like a pity party for me….that’s not at all what I want.  Again, I don’t regret it.  I survived, I’m stronger, and I’m the person I am today because he taught me I didn’t want to be the person he thought I was….AKA a spoiled rotten, Tinker Bell obsessed princess who would never survive on her own because I knew nothing about life.  He had a few positive impacts on my life, and that’s were we will end this….the good things.

  • My relationship with ADD 3 taught me that if you set aside your pride, your family and friends will always be there to support you…..no matter why you think you don’t deserve it
  • He bought me my glorious pupperoni Scout, who has been with me through everything for the past 5 years
  • He introduced me to my fabulous hair stylist who I still drive 6 hours to see
  • He taught me how to play poker…..kinda
  • When I’m told I can’t do something or I’m not worthy of something, it just pushes me to prove them wrong.  So……I guess I should thank him for my new car, paying my own bills, and everything else he ever told me I couldn’t do
  • He introduced me to Korean food…..which is delicious
  • Spicy hot ramen is now a favorite lunch food for one of my UBS girls because of him
100_4239

The night we brought my little Scout-a-rooni home from the shelter.  #Adoptdontshop