Archive for October 14th, 2010

14 Oct 2010

Eating My Feelings and Feeling Like Crap

5 Comments Personal Crap

I really can not stop eating since my father passed away.  I never thought I’d be the kind of person who eats when depressed or anxious. But OH MY GOD AM I THAT KIND OF PERSON!!  I just sat down to write this because I polished off a huge bag of kettle corn without even knowing I was doing it, and I don’t do those things. I don’t. I never have. But now I do. I always do.

I recently lost about 9 pounds and felt thinner than I ever had in my whole life. I’ve never been fat, but I’ve always felt fat. That’s one of those truly American neuroses to have. It’s stupid and a waste of time, but I do feel fat about 90% of the time. The other 10% I’m just too busy to think about it.  But in this small window of time after I lost the 9 pounds, I felt thin.  I really, actually felt thin for the first time ever. Even when I was 5’5” and 98 pounds in high school I didn’t feel anywhere near this thin.  I was liking the way I looked in clothes, and I was strutting around the house naked. Okay, strutting might be an overstatement.  Naked might be an overstatement, too.  But I was walking around the house in boy shorts and tank tops feeling pretty MILF-like.  I think I might have even told my husband he was a lucky guy at one point.  Yup.  I was feeling thin.

But then my father died and I haven’t stopped eating since. Really, anything that’s been put in front of me, I’ve eaten.  I put a lot of the weight back on, and now I’m feeling fat again and afraid I don’t know how to get back to where I was before. If you were to ask anyone who knows me, they would tell you that any time I say I’m fat they want to slap me in my face. And I understand that.  I’m not fat. But I do feel like a stranger in my own body sometimes, and when my jeans get tight and my stomach seems to be hanging over my pants a little, and I have love handles and my arms aren’t tight… Well, I just kind of hate myself. So, what do I do? Do I figure out how to love myself with a few extra pounds on me? Or do I go back to being strict and take the weight off again?

In the past there wouldn’t have been any debate her, so maybe I’m making some progress. I’m grateful for the comfort that food gave me when I needed it, but now I want to find something comforting that isn’t as damaging to my body or self esteem. I thought it might be a good idea to start taking walks, doing some deep breathing, and trying to drink a glass of water when I think I need a snack.  These would be good starts.

But more than that, I think I need to learn to be more forgiving of myself, and more understanding. Why can’t I love me no matter what my jeans feel like?  My husband does. My son does. My family and friends sure do.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think one of them would give a rip if I was to put on 100 pounds. Well, they might worry about my health, but it wouldn’t make them love me any less.  How can I give myself the same consideration? I honestly can’t think of a way. Isn’t that stupid? I certainly don’t want to pass on these self-hating feelings to my son. So how does one begin to stop feeling this way?

I have no answers but I think I might be starting a journey that began at the bottom of a bag of kettle corn. Really good kettle corn. It was delicious… Salty, sweet, crunchy… Where’s that water?

14 Oct 2010


13 Comments Family

This morning, Garrett spun around too long in the bathroom and, when he stopped, fell on the tile floor with his cheek against the toilet. I only saw it the second after it happened and thought, “Why is he lying on the floor?” He started crying and, as I picked him up, he said, “Everything is spinning!”

His cheek was red and we iced it. I checked his mouth. No bleeding. He didn’t even bruise. He only needed a few more minutes of ice and several kisses. I felt like we dodged a bullet, I felt lucky, and I felt guilty all at the same time. “Why wasn’t I watching him? What was I doing? Brushing my hair? Yeah, brushing my stupid hair. I heard him but I thought he was just stomping, not spinning. That could have been really bad. Thank God it wasn’t.”

Clearly I can’t watch what my son is doing every second of the day. I can’t even do it every second we’re in the same room together. Sometimes a lady’s gotta brush her stupid hair. But all of my little fears come to the surface when something like this happens. Who’s watching him on the playground at school? Is he careful when he rides that bike on the bike path they have there? Is anyone paying attention to him when he’s eating the grapes I packed in his lunch? (They’re cut in half, of course.) I mean clearly, even when I’m the one in charge, shit happens. Shit is going to happen.

The thing is, I think about this kid all day. All the time. I sometimes struggle to find something to talk about besides the little, brilliant, funny, blond three-year-old that lives in my house. One of my big fears when I was pregnant was that there was going to be someone else living with Russ and I.  I remember saying to him, “Do you realize someone else is moving in? And he’s NOT leaving! How can three of us live here?” And now I don’t even blink an eye when that guy follows me into the bathroom to pee (or worse)! I never knew. I didn’t know.

And I want this kid to know no pain. I want him to make all the right choices and choose all the right people and follow all the right dreams. I want him to know more laughter than tears, and to live a beautiful, blessed life. But I know that shit happens. And our desire to protect every moment is an impossible one.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this except to say that as moms,  every little hurt that happens to our children creates a personal pain for us. The bigger the hurt for them, the greater our pain. On the other hand, their joys are ours too! When you have a kid, it’s like a piece of you is out there living a separate life, but one that you feel insanely connected to, and fiercely protective of. I never imagined having these feelings. Every mom should be connected by them.  Funny how Garrett NOT hurting himself today made me think all these things.  He’s incredible. I’m so grateful. I’m spinning.