Tuesday, October 22, 2013

De-cluttering My Soul

I've been thinking about what it means to be me.  I'm wondering if I met me, what my first impression would be.  Fat?  Chip on her shoulder?  Nice teeth?  Well spoken, but salty?  Funny?  I wonder if hypothetical me would get past fat and chip on her shoulder to see the truth.  The truth is, that I have a hard exterior made up of guilt, sadness, fear, anger and confusion covered in a thin veneer of sarcasm.  With a little pressure, that shell yields to a gooey center of love, hope and dreams.  I'm basically a Cadbury Cream Egg.  No wonder my husband likes me.  I need that shell to protect what is really worth protecting.  You can have my anger and my sarcasm, but my dreams?  Not without a fight.  

The truth is, that up until just a few days ago, fat was all I was seeing. You'd think since having my last baby 13 years ago, I would be used to being fat, but I'm not.  There's fat and there's FAT.  Right now, I am at FAT and I'd like to get down to fat before spring comes and I can start training for some kind of crazy physical feat; like a triathlon or another marathon (read my condensed marathon story here ).

More about those plans later.

So, up until a few days ago, I was hyper-focused on what was going on with my exterior, to the point that it was exhausting.  I still had obligations to family, friends and the various committees I am involved with, but doing even the most basic thing felt monumentally hard.  I blame it on being heavier than ever before and being just a tiny bit depressed about it.  You know that things are not going well when brushing your teeth seems like a real chore; like something you need to cross off a list.  Forget the actual lists I have.  That shit is on the back burner.  

Now, the list has only one item:  Be the person I was meant to be.

That's it.  Of course, there are sub-headers and lines a through z.  There's a lot that goes into being that person.  But, the way to get there is simple:  Do the things that move me towards a goal and don't do things that move me away.  For example:  I want to complete a big, physically demanding goal by the end of next year.  In order for me to do that, I have to be physically and emotionally ready.  It will take many weeks, many smaller goals and many setbacks to achieve it, so I need to give it a good long time to be accomplished.   

I am not very patient and that has been a big part of what has kept me FAT.  It took too long to see results and I got mad and punished myself by gaining more weight.  It's a long and complicated journey, this one with food.  Everything I think about myself plays into how I treat my temple (it's a god damned temple, you hear me?!?  It just needs some slight retrofitting and remodeling and it will be a thing of beauty for years to come).  
This journey is not about being hot again.  That ship has sailed.  And you know what?  I think that for the first time ever, I don't care.  I was talking to my sister the other day about this.  I said something to the effect of being invisible; that I have gotten to the point where I could grocery shop wearing a clown wig and no one would notice because I am a chunky, middle aged mom. 

Somehow, I've gotten to the point where no one outside my circle of family and friends really sees me.  Sometimes, I wonder if they even see me; me how I really am.  I think my husband usually sees the girl who met him at the end of the aisle eighteen years ago.  I can't keep up with that girl in a race today, but I sure am more thoughtful and more compassionate than she was.  I wonder what my kids see.  Do they judge my weight?  It makes me think of my maternal grandmother, whom I loved so much, and who passed away this summer.  She was heavy most of the years I knew her and I loved her.  My grandfather loved her.  They were happy and laughed and had fun, even though she was bothered by the weight and was always trying some kind of weird diet.  I hope that at some point she stopped measuring her worth in pounds and more in love; that which she gave and that which she received.  I wonder what she would tell me now about wasting time on things that don't ultimately matter.

Speaking of my grandmother:  I am also realizing that I have not fully processed the losses of this past summer.  I lost three significant family members, including both of my grandmothers and Oliver; a boy I never met in person, but learned to love just the same.  I've tried to channel my feelings into advocacy and writing and doing things that make my existence on this planet mean something, but at some point, I just need to sit with my grief.  I've been catching myself from falling into that vast, unwelcome valley, but maybe it is time to explore it a little.  We all have to walk through this valley time and time again as we age.  It should be like going home, but instead, it feels like an endless mire of tears and silence.  It's murky and dark and I am afraid.

I don't need to fill that valley with food, or approval, or laughs.  I only need to sit there and see that I can survive on my own.  All I need is a hanky and a hug when I emerge.

And to the people (they seem to be coming out of the woodwork) who want me to find Jesus/go into business with them/join their cult I want to say thank you for making me see that I am the only one who can fix me.  I think I am on the right track and I will burn your business card keep you in mind, but I need to step away right now.  I have enough crazy up in here, thanks.

So, the to do list:  Be the person I was meant to be 
     a) lose the weight
          1) make a list of achievable goals to meet the ultimate one
     b) sit with my grief
     c) start today


  1. " The truth is, that I have a hard exterior made up of guilt, sadness, fear, anger and confusion covered in a thin veneer of sarcasm. With a little pressure, that shell yields to a gooey center of love, hope and dreams. I'm basically a Cadbury Cream Egg."

    That's me. My first husband actually gave me the nickname "Rambi" - a combination of Rambo and Bambi.

    I really liked this post. And I really like you, Hernando.

  2. Grief stays in the background until we welcome it. Always lurking until it's acknowledged. There is much to be said about good old fashioned bawling, I mean gut-wrenching, animal-like bawling. It's true that I only see you through our cyber-lives, but what I see is glowing, full of life, full of passion, full of love...Right before my first wedding, my mom came to me in tears, barely able to speak. She was worried that I was ashamed of her size, that she would 'ruin' the day. It broke my heart that she would even think that, I never saw her size, I saw the love within. The mama bear beast that she was. You too are a mama bear. xo