Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Year

Ah, the joy of a new year. For the most part it is rather exciting, empowering and refreshing to think of a new year as a time to start over, be re-energized and motivated to maybe "get things right this time around." On the other hand, it is also a bit of pressure to really think of it that way. Sure, there are so many things I would like to work on, improve and strive towards each-and-every day, let along just once a year when the clock strikes midnight on Jan 1st.

As an overweight, slightly unmotivated thirty-something living in the big city with all of the beautiful people, it is fairly easy to get caught up in all that living in New York means when you close your eyes. When I say that, I refer to the New York City you see in the movies and on tv. The New York City you close your eyes and dream about when you think of all of those people saying "I want to make it in New York City." The city is full of beauties, fashionistas, many I could never compete with or compare to.

It is funny because I often feel like I am a bit of a split personality. On the one hand, I am extremely confident and happy in many aspects of my life: career, love life, social life and the atmosphere that NYC truly offers. On the other hand, I never quite feel like I fit in, or "good enough" to be in this wonderful city. As I walk to the subway every morning I am overwhelmed by the fashion, apartments and cars I could never afford and the bodies, hair, eyes and heels I could never fit into. As an overweight woman in the city I can be very self-conscious at times. In a city where fashion is key, to know that most of those places the city holds to be Most Fashionable (ie 5th/Mad/Park) I could never fit into any of the clothes sold in those stores. That along can make a girl feel out of place, not accepted and like I truly and not "built" for NYC.

Time and again I will find days when I am suddenly motivated to try and lose weight, get healthy and maybe even when I am feeling really savvy start a work-out routine. It will last for a day, or two, maybe a week if I am lucky and then I fall right back into my routines. I often wish for motivation from above, but it never seems to come for longer than a week. Losing weight and getting physically fit seemed so much easier even 5 years ago. I always remember hearing people say, as you get older it becomes more and more difficult to lose weight, I guess I just never realized I was already in that category.

It is amazing how I can feel so good about myself some days and so bad about myself on others. I know that I am not alone in this. Losing weight is hard, being motivated is hard, starting a work-out routine is hard, but I think what is hardest is really realizing that I am currently overweight and also lazy when it comes to exercise. I was always and "athlete," through high school and college. I think for far too long I have been using this as a clutch, allowing me to feel like, well, I was an athlete, so it is ok, I am not really out of shape, I am not really unhealthy and I was able to also hold on to the belief that very easily I could bounce back into shape.

I have finally come to the realization that I can no longer claim either, nor can I use it as a clutch. I am not only overweight, but I am so out of shape that it would take me weeks to get to the point where I could run even a mile comfortably, and not feel like I am going to pass out. It is really hard for me to realize this and even sad for me to say this outloud. I am not proud of how far I have let myself go.

To understand the entire story, I think I need to start back at the beginning, well, not entirely the beginning, but maybe chapter 10 out of a 25 chapter book. Shortly after I graduated college, I began Weight Watchers. While on Weight Watchers, I was able to lose lose 30 rather easily, granted I was only 23 years old and the weight came off fairly easily--not too far removed from my college days. I basically went from 180 lbs to 150 lbs. It was great, but when I reach 150 while I was excited and felt a bit better, it didn't really magically fix anything. This is when I realized that just losing weight would never make me feel better about myself and love myself truly if there was more going on. Apparently there was more going on. I kept the weight off successful for almost two years.

Then, the big move happened. Greg and I moved to NYC in Aug of 2004 to attend graduate school. While I agreed to the move, looking back at it now, I was not ready to move, was not happy to move and really resented moving--especially when I had no luck finding a job. Greg was attending law school full time and was out of the apartment basically all day at least 5 days a week. As I continued searching for a job, I continued being depressed, and doing what I did best when I was upset and depressed--I ate. Shortly there after as the weight started to slowly creep back on there were a few traumatic events that occurred within my family. These events sent me onto my current trajectory, where I have been completely unable to focus on myself and lose weight.

By the end of 2005 I had pretty much gained back all of the weight I had lost. I tried a few times to get back on track through Weight Watchers, as it had worked so successfully before. The only problem was that it had completely lost it's luster and it's excitment. It was no longer new and I felt smarter than the program. Oh, I didn't really need to do this or do that, I know what I am doing. Well, obviously I didn't as I never lost another pound after that.

I was luckily able to find a job at temp agency that carried me until I found my dream job at a non-profit in the city. I was attend Robert Wagner School of Public Service at NYU for non-profit managment (MPA) so finding a job in fundraising at a non-profit was perfect. Over the years I was able to find myself more comfortable in the city, career-wise.

While I was able to find find my way as far as my career went the traumatic events still cast a shadow over myself, my mental health and my ability to focus on myself. I continued to attend graduate school part-time at night, try to establish my career and keep my relationship over the next few years.

In March of 2007, I had two more traumatic events that truly changed me forever, the death of my Grandmother Landry being one of them. After these two events, I quickly realized there was so much going on in side of me that really would not let me focus on myself, and now with these additional stresses, there was a lot I needed to discuss, work through and get some help with. I immediately began couseling, and have been going ever since.

It has been almost 3 years now since I began attending couseling, pretty much once a week and I have to say while I have come a long way, I still have a lot to work on and I continue to learn about myself daily.

With two more job changes, an attempt to enter the world of education, and then finding my way back to the world of non-profit I left, I finally find myself settled. I am really hopeful to soon find myself in a place where I am ready to focus on me, focus on my health and a place where when I am able to get down to my goal weight of 140 lbs when I get there, there will not be other "stuff" holding me back from being my happiest and feeling my best. For so long I was so discouraged and frustrated to realize that losing weight would just magically fix everything, but it didn't.

It has been a long process of learning about myself, trying to work through things, accept the things I cannot change and change the things I cannot accept. Some things I am not so sure I will ever be able to change, or accept, but I continue working on everything every day.

I hope that when I get to a place where I am looking to lose weight and get back on track that I will possible use this blog to keep track of my progress and help keep myself motivated. Sometimes I feel like I need a little extra to really keep myself on track.

Well, it is after 1:00 am and I have to get up early tomorrow fo work. While I realize no one is reading things, thank you cyber-land for letting me work through my demos, challenges and successes!

and that's all she wrote....

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