Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Journey

This is a hard post to write. One of the (many) benefits I derive from a few of my favorite bloggers (see list at right) is how gut wrenchingly honest they are. Their honesty helps me - and when I cover things up or gloss over the details on my own posts, I feel as if I'm taking their honesty and using it for my good but not putting anything back into the honesty pot.
It doesn't seem fair.

I've chosed to keep this blog mostly anonymous - I provide the name of my husband, the girls, and enough details about where I live. I never mention my name and so that makes me feel safe enough that the masses could not definitively connect this to the real me. Different people use their blogs for different purposes, and I use this for mine.

Sometimes I wish this blog were totally anonymous, because there is one topic that I struggle with so much and so very badly want to write about, but doing so might let others see the cracks in my facade and suspect, perhaps, that all is not quite as good as it seems. But really, who am I fooling? Don't the people who know us, really know us, don't they almost always see the cracks in our facade anyway - and they still like/love/care for us? I know I do - out of all my closest friends (with a couple exceptions), I'll bet I could tell you the issues they struggle with - whether they talk about them or not. In fact, I can usually tell within a few minutes of meeting a person whether they are mostly at peace with themselves (or not). The ones who seem to want to portray most that everything is good and fine are almost always the ones who are most troubled. Sometimes, I think I can even tell that they think that other people think that their life is great - and that seems even sadder.

But I digress and blabber because I'm nervous. As I'm writing I'm thinking "Do I really want to do this - do I really want to expose myself? But I do, and so here goes...

I really struggle with eating healthy and exercising regularly. I know exactly the right things to do and I think I'm fairly well informed about healthy food choices, in no small part because the girls eat so healthy. Unfortunately, I have such a weakness for sweets and it is so time consuming to cook healthy meals for myself and David. But that's just another excuse, isn't it? To give myself credit, I have cut out a bad habit that I used to have that contributed to excess calories. I've got a good food plan in place and a good plan for sticking to it. I've gone to the gym regularly for the past 2-3 weeks and I noticed this last time that my current level on the treadmill and elliptical didn't seem quite as hard this time. My goodness, it's hard to get there regularly. Once I started teaching ESL two nights a week, going to the gym on the other nights just didn't seem quite as fun - I missed our family time in the evening. Although both girls now cry when I drop them off in the daycare room, they both stop after a few minutes. I'm interviewing a babysitter on Tuesday morning who could possibly watch Ruthie on one morning while Esther is in school, so that would give me an additional chance to go. Unfortunately, there's just no way I can afford the FABULOUS personal trainer that I had two free sessions with, so I'm hoping to find a buddy to share her with me. For a while I've been keeping a counter of when I exercise - it's incredibly satisfying to see the regularity of the days add up.

It's just such a ... struggle. I feel like I have to be mindful of it almost every minute, lest I forget and consume some unnecessary calories. If it happened once in a while it's no big deal, but with regularity...

I know that one of the basic tenets of behavior modification is really believing that you can make the change. And I really don't believe it whole-heartedly. I just feel so fortunate in every other area of my life, this just has to be my cross to bear. I almost worry that to get rid of this cross would make room for another cross - and I don't want to take that risk. But simply put, something must be done. It just must.

So it will be.

For the love of God, please do not offer helpful suggestions on "tips and tricks" I can do to help myself lose weight. For I am embarassed about this lack of self-discipline and you mentioning it will only embarass me further. I feel shameful about it, and anything beyond a little bit of shame never did anybody any good.

(but I don't mind a little encouragement or cheerleading)

9 comments:

Stimey said...

Woman, you are not alone. Although I am honest about many things, my weight and body-image issues are things I am don't write about.

Good for you for putting it out there. And GREAT for you for exercising and doing something about it. You can do it!!

dc604 said...

I wonder if so many will read the post-but it will just be too hard to comment on...
I so hope that you find people to work out with. I wish personal training wasn't so expensive-it's ri-dik-ooo-lus how much it cost- just to take care of ourselves. My nutritionist (ever the disassociated scientist) said something interesting the other week "how can you find the relief you are seeking without getting it from food?" It made me realize that I often use food to seek the comfort/relief that I did not receive that day....
I wonder what people who don't struggle with food struggle with...

Fiona said...

My god - you had me worried - the long lead up made me think you were about to spill the beans on a drug addiction or that you had a 2nd or 3rd hubby tucked away somewhere!

I am so impressed that you even get to the gym once a month let alone weekly! And to fit it in with ESL classes and doing the daily drop off/pick up, etc, etc. Seriously - they're all my excuses gone. But you must care enough and believe in it to some extent to move beyond the excuses, which is where most of us stop. I think you are incredible ... so there!

I wonder how many of us will now blog about the things that have been under lock and key for a while ... I will just have to decide which one to reveal (I'm not doing all of them!).

Marya said...

Ellen you have simply read my mind. I 100% empathize and actually feel everything you are saying. I am so sorry because I know and live how just plain yucky it is to not be happy with the outside of who you are.

I'll save you all the "your beautiful inside" crap because I know you already know how many people think you are a rock star. And because when someone says that to me after I have opened up about my weight I begin to debate whether I will stab them in the eyes or the heart.

I will, however, remind you every day we all to the very best we can. Some days my best involves exercising and eating healthy and some days my best is simply getting out of bed. Being human is a beautiful thing to embrace and pass that onto your girls.

One day at a time, my friend. You are an amazing women.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

I'm with Stimey. I write about a lot of things, but this is one I have a hard time facing myself in the mirror about.

I can find motivation at times but something always makes it wane. It is so.very.hard. And this time in our children's lives makes it harder - it's all about them and it is hard to carve out that time.

Great job writing about it and great job getting to the gym regularly! Maybe reading about your motivation will help motivate ME!

AwwwTrouble said...

Wow, you really touched a nerve here. Though (since it's all about me) I wonder which of my issues you'd identify as primary?? I worry incessantly about eating and body image, and since we don't do a great job on the healthy eating front at home (too many sweets/packaged food), I worry I'm setting E up.

The Lowe said...

You're reading my mind. For the past 2 years I haven't been able to resist the temptations before me. Is it replacing something missing in my life? What I don't know. A second child? A meaningful work life? Fun?

Can you tell me?

Elaine said...

You are such a strong, positive force in your children's lives. I've seen you radiate happiness on the playground. You're busy, you place a high priority on your kids, it's not surprising to me that you forgo a trip to the gym for a snuggle with them. I always figure when my kids are older, I'll have more time to get back some of the "me" things, though I know this is not a good way to look at life. Sigh. We're with you, babe!

Sandy said...

I have wished many, many, many times that there was a magic pill or other intervention I could relay on to help with my poor eating habits and lack of exercising. You and I have talked about this very same topic, so I understand COMPLETELY what you are facing. I wish I knew how to help you more....hell, I wish I knew how to help myself more. I say to myself "today is the day I am going to eat healthy and exercise" and I am fine until I walk in the door from work....I am hungry and tired so my mind goes to food and the recliner in front of the TV, not to a few baby carrots on the way to the treadmill. Perhaps reading your blog will motive me...(and then I will read it over and over again) to take it just one day at a time. Thanks for being so open and honest!

 
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