Thursday, July 24, 2014


I had a bad day yesterday, entirely of my doing.

A few years ago, long before I ever needed one, I was given a wedding dress. A friend of mine had purchased the dress with intent to sell it on eBay but, while it was in her closet, her cat decided it was a good place for claws, so there are some tiny punctures in the outer tulle of the skirt. She decided she couldn't sell it like that so she wanted to give it to someone who could use it. Long story short, it ended up in my lap. And it fit me perfectly. I was planning on altering it into some cool bustle thing, but it hung on my dress form for a year and then ended up in a bag in my closet. And then I was engaged! Yay! And I already had a dress!

Except, after I was laid off in May of 2013, I put on a lot of stress weight. A lot. I was heavier than I had ever been in my life by the end of that year, and the dress that I suddenly had a use for no longer fit. I started working to lose all that extra weight at the beginning of the year. I lost 13 lbs by March and put 4 of them back on. I've been yo-yoing around that weight ever since. Sure, things get in the way like Renaissance Festivals and vacations, but I'm doing my best: exercising at least 3 days a week where I can, adjusting my food.

My best is getting me no where. In fact, it's the opposite of what I want. The scale keeps going up, my clothes fit tighter and tighter. And the dress is no where nearer fitting like it used to. Yesterday morning, the scale went up again, and I have never hated my body so much. Why is it betraying me? I'm working out, daily now, with weights and cardio. I'm eating less calories and more protein. What more do I have to do? Do I need to spend every waking moment exercising? Shall I drop to 600 calories a day so my body will starve into the size I need? And I hated myself for hating myself so much.

I know that none of that is the answer. Having a fresh look at things today, I think the main problem is the goal. The last time I had a lot of weight to lose, some 11 years ago when I took my very first desk job, my only goal was to stay healthy. And I did it and in three months, I was in a good place, and in three more months I was in the best shape of my life. It was never about my shape, it was always about taking care of myself. That's not the goal right now, taking care of myself. The goal is to fit into the dress, because with less than four months to go, having a dress that doesn't fit is the same as having no dress at all.

I have a solution for the dress. I dreamed about it, actually, and I know it will work. I can cover the back zipper and add some loops so I can lace it up like a corset. That will take care of the sizing issues. But, even with this plan in mind, I'm still focusing on fitting into the dress. It's time to take action, to make those alterations a reality and complete them. That will remove the unhelpful goal and put the focus back where it needs to be, on being healthy.

I haven't quite forgiven my body for betraying me, but it's a process. I know what I need to do. The good news, though, even as terrible as I felt about it all yesterday, I still got up at 6 am and did some exercising this morning. I didn't hate my lack of progress so much that I gave up. One step at a time. Take away the deadline and focus on what I should have been focusing on all along.