Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dressing Room Breakdown

I had planned to write a post today called "Waiting for the Guilt."  A week ago, I spent the day wine tasting in celebration of a good friend's birthday.  The event was a blast and we continued the celebrations at various parties and bars in DC later that evening.  In the past, a day like this would have given me serious guilt and anxiety.  I would have shamed myself into thinking I had no will power and consumed way too many calories in the form of alcohol and carbs.

But to my surprise...the guilt never came.  I was waiting patiently the next morning as I layed in bed.  Waiting for the urge to exercise off the regret.  Waiting to fight back against the voice that tells me I am disgusting.  Waiting for the urge to eat only vegetables for the rest of the day.

I felt... good?  I felt like eating pancakes and coffee with cream and sugar and laying on my couch.  I hadn't felt this way in a really long time and it was weird.  My mind was quiet and I felt like a normal person.  Had I turned yet ANOTHER corner? 

Right when I think I am in a good place, I realize that I have the potential to make even more progress.  Could I really escape the guilt and anxiety around calories completely?  It seemed possible on that Sunday.

Then...exactly a week later, I had a breakdown.

In a fitting room.

It all began with a casual trip to my parents jacuzzi while Travis and I were in California last weekend.  I put on my new-ish swimsuit and to my surprise I was exploding out of it.  It was borderline inappropriate.  I covered myself embarrassed as I removed my towel to get into the jacuzzi. I guess I didn't realize I had gained more weight...just in my chest apparently.  I know, I know, a blessing you say.  Trust me, you wouldn't feel that way if you had to carry those things around every day.

Considering I am going to need to wear a bathing suit again for a trip in just a couple of weeks, my first task the following day was to get a new one.  My mom and I went store to store and nothing fit me quite right.  About 20 swimsuits later, under the florescent light of the Nordstrom fitting room, something in me broke.  The tears came pouring and the defeat set in.  I wanted so badly to have my old body back.   Then the frustration came.  I thought I was doing so well and now I am crying in a fitting room imagining how happy I would be if I were thinner.  Will I ever be truly happy with myself, will I ever accept myself completely as I am?

I wiped my tears and took some deep breaths.  I pulled myself together and walked out of that fitting room.

I guess what I learned from this is that it is important to appreciate how far you've come and to be proud of that. And it is also okay to feel like crap every now and then.   But you have to pull yourself together.  You have to remind yourself that you are worth it.

The truth is that I know that having a thinner body is not going to make me any happier.  And skipping the ice cream that night after dinner was definitely not an option.

 I ended up finding the perfect bathing suit at the next store :)


  1. As usual, I can 100% relate to this post - both aspects of it!!!
    I lately have been actually missing that desire to overexercise and restrict foods after a big weekend. Isn't that sad? I often find myself thinking, man I wish I had the willpower I used to, maybe then I could get away with these weekends without gaining weight. I woke up on Saturday in Nantucket this past weekend after a super-indulgent day on Friday in terms of cheese and alcohol and carbs. I laced up my sneakers to go for a run, and quit after a mile, because I just didn't feel like doing anything. And then I went to a brunch and had a bacon-infused scone, and a whole lot more. And I almost felt annoyed that I didn't have those old voices stopping me from doing that. I can now follow an indulgent day with a normal, or even another indulgent, day and not get that heart pounding anxiety and fear. It's scary to me to be in that place.
    And oh dressing rooms. Oh bathing suits. I'm going to a wedding in Mexico in a couple of weeks and my fear of the bathing suit is making me dread it. I feel so guilty saying that! But I felt that way about my family's cruise and it ended up being great fun. Oh, and the boobs thing. I am sick of my bigger boobs lately. I know I should embrace them but they make me feel big in general. I'm starting to miss my itty bitty titty club (IBTC) membership.
    But I don't miss the negative associated with my old lifestyle...I just so often have to actively remind myself of it.
    I'm glad you found a good bathing suit at the next store and I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed those pancakes and laying on your couch. That sounds BLISSFUL!
    Sorry for the novel :)

    1. That sucks that you are feeling guilty about not feeling guilty! I am so proud of you and happy for you that you have escaped some of those negative feelings. Gaining weight sucks, but I just try to remind myself that it is not important, my health and happiness is. Dressing rooms are the worst, why do they have the most unflattering mirrors and lighting? I did find a bathing suit that held up the ladies, but I hope I can bring myself to feel confident in it. The body image stuff is the hardest part of this. Have a GREAT time in Mexico, I am going to New Orleans for my bachelorette party and I refuse to let any bad thoughts ruin that :)

    2. AH what a fun bachelorette destination! Enjoy!