Choosing Success

I’m having one of those honest-with-myself days. They’re never very much fun, are they?

I’ve been getting increasingly stressed out about several areas of my life, just because it’s coming down to the crunch and probably also because I’m incredibly skilled at making things more difficult than they need to be.

As a result, I’ve had sort of the perfect emotional storm that every recovering fatty wants to avoid. I know, all too well, that I’m an Emotional Eater. I nearly got to 300 pounds because I can be a very emotional girl, apparently.

I lost 70 pounds by proving I could overcome that. And then life just kept on coming and slowly I stopped overcoming and just coping.

But the last thing I needed last weekend was the Dad-has-cancer thing. Then I probably didn’t need to distract myself by being The Ultimate Hostess for a chicken pot pie extravaganza a few days ago. I also didn’t need my guests to be the incredibly awesomely generous people they are, and feed me BadnessThatTastesSuchGoodness. Because god knows I’m far fatter this weekend after everything that’s happened this week.

Now I’m taking stock. I’ve been avoiding my emotions, avoiding writing, avoiding people, avoiding honesty.

Shit happens.

I bounce back better when I bottom out. I’m not sure what it is, maybe the riccochet of shitty from hitting bottom HARD gives me the jump I need to effect effective change in short order. When I’m just gradually sucking, I feel like I have time to sort it out. But when I bottom out with style like I feel I have this week, I take a couple days of really digging deep, then I spring into action.

My problem right now is fairly simple. It’s accountability. I lost 70 pounds by KNOWING that EVERY little thing counts — whether it’s another flight of stairs you chose to climb or another pat of butter you chose to eat.

My body — my gut, my ass, my blood pressure — doesn’t give a shit if I have a good excuse to find solace in a cookie. And find solace, I will. I am an emotional eater. I will always be an emotional eater. Any one who claims they can change that about me is lying. But if I eat that cookie, regardless what my heart or soul feels, my body’s going to own that cookie in all the ways I wish it wouldn’t.

I can justify that cookie six ways to Sunday on a shitty day, but it’s science and my body WILL NOT justify that cookie. That cookie WILL expand my ass. Especially when I have 6 of them.

There are times when I’m strong enough to realize that. But maybe sometimes life feels like such a fight that the little things like, say, an easily attainable cookie, a moment of chocolate happiness in the midst of it all, maybe they really do make the difference between the eternal slog sucking or not.

Maybe? Good luck with that. Cookie’s got nothing on real happiness.

I’ve been weak, in every way. I’ve been emotionally at the point where you really just want Mom to tuck you in and say it’ll be okay in the morning. Of course, Mom’s dead, so good luck with THAT, needy girl.

OH, DON’T WORRY. It’s the emotional equivalent of wanting your blankie and wishing life’s problems could be like they were when you were six and Joanna wouldn’t give you back your Smurf figurine, okay? This “grownup” thing wears thin, I’s still a toughie.

But when the cancer thing was thrown into the mix, then the stress of having to pull off a dinner party on a work night, and THEN I got handed tasty wonderful things, well, yes, it’s the Emotional Eating Perfect Storm.

As a result, I’ve eaten badly. I’ve eaten incredibly badly. Add to that the rather-failed-experiment of getting up at 5 to work at 7, for the last month, and how that’s cut into my ability to write, and my tendency to shirk my exercising of late… and, yeah, I’m not in my happy place tonight.

It’s good though. I’m glad I shook up the mix and honestly tried a different schedule to see if that would help things, but the reality is, no. It didn’t. There’s nothing WRONG with me going into work late if it means I work out and write every morning. I can’t AFFORD a life, so why work earlier so I have one? None of that computes.

Tomorrow, I’ll go back to The Way Things Worked. I’ll be up at 6. I’ll work out. I’ll eat. I’ll write. I’ll work later. All good.

I tried to solve my problems the wrong way a month ago — I shook up the mix so much that it shook me up too. Then life shook me up more. To cope, I ate.

And I’m glad. I’m glad it’s all come apart at the seams. I’m glad I’m paying the price. I’m glad there were consequences for going off the wagon. When there aren’t, I get lax and push boundaries further.

None of this scares me. I’m pissed off at myself and in touch with my insecurities all over again, sure, but I’m also angry because I KNOW I can kick this shit. This is exactly like last Christmas when I blew my success all to hell after the arrival of THE BEST FOOD BASKET EVER. (Hull-less caramel popcorn still makes me titter and moan.)

Then I lost 12 pounds in 3 weeks by channeling that anger.

The hardest part of this will be getting off the drinking. I’ve become an emotional drinker, too, and it daunts me. Too much. Far too much.

For me, though, will power is ultimately a switch that gets flicked on and then is very hard to flip off. And vice versa. But I do flip it.

So where am I tonight? Somewhere between pissed as hell at myself, disappointed that old patterns re-emerge in tough times, and exuberantly excited at the knowledge that I’m about to prove everything I know I can prove to myself.

You know what it is? It’s choosing differently. That’s all. All of this — every bit of what troubles me now — all of it, it’s my choice.

I can choose differently.

And I am.