Monday, May 4, 2020

The REAL (Unhealthy) Reason I've Seemed to Thrive in Quarantine...

I remember the months after I became a wife and the feeling of utter despair I felt when I realized I was falling so short of Proverbs 31. In fact, I had the whole passage printed out and pasted on my computer so I would remember all the ways I had to be a wife that God would be pleased with and my husband would adore. I'm not sure why it wasn't clicking at the time when my sweet husband would give that big gulp at the kitchen sink while cleaning up my newest chemistry experiment from the month-old leftovers I left in our fridge. Then there were the many times that I would leave the empty tp on the roll and then just leave a new roll somewhere sitting beside the toilet. I was the girl with the 10 half-empty water bottles beside the bed that never got finished OR made their way to the trash. I felt embarrassed that he was discovering my "secret single behaviors." They were patterns that no one else knew about...the things I would do (or not do) behind closed doors that I would be far-too mortified to share with anyone else. What's worse is that I wasn't a 20-something still living that teenage life. No, I was a 30-year-old, people!

After a while, though, I became more motivated to leave those behaviors behind in order to really impress my husband and save myself all the embarrassment. I thought it was all because I wanted to really make him happy that he married me. So, I started a cleaning routine and gave myself daily chores to cross off a list (I do really good with lists). Weekly I was making sure the baseboards were clean and the floors were scrubbed and everything was in pristine condition. Before I knew it, my attempts at impressing my husband became attempts to hide the poor behaviors I was so capable of. The girl who once allowed trash to overflow the trashcan FAR longer than it should have became the girl who literally had an allergic reaction to a single book her husband would leave sitting on the end table. Instead of benefitting him and impressing him, I became obsessed and pushed him away in the process. The truth of the matter was, I wasn't doing it to impress him, I was doing it to no longer feel embarrassed.

And then we ended up in quarantine and I can tell you for sure that I have LOVED not being around most people. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've missed my family. But honestly, I liked being able to hide. I would always secretly dread having to do social events because I had nothing to wear that fit me and, quite honestly, nothing to hide my protruding pooch and double chin(s). As events and activities started to be canceled one-by-one, I felt relieved. Once behind the walls of my home for a while, I started to then become more aware of my exposure on Facebook. There were always pictures taken of me that I'd be tagged in and I'd look at the images with disgust and embarrassment. When my husband would film things for church, I'd either hide behind keyboards, tables and pillows if I agreed to take part in them at all. I didn't and don't want to be seen so that people can't have their private whispers about how much weight I've gained. Why? Well, there was a time I was a little bitty thing. I fit comfortably in my clothes and felt good and stylish. These days I feel like an absolute slob and I'm embarrassed about it.

This picture recently popped up on my Facebook memories...and I cried.
I kick myself because I still thought I needed to lose weight at this point. 

The truth is, I'm the one to blame. I'm the one who put myself here. But doing so has basically pushed everyone else away. I don't feel confident to be close because of my own hangups. Do I think the answer is to embrace my overweight self? No. Sorry. I'm not one of those that are of the "love the skin you're in" mentality. No, I'm one of those that are of the "if you don't like something, change it" mentality. The problem is, as long as I'm able to hide away, I'll never be motivated enough to change. I can stay in my little cave and enjoy my donuts and frappuccinos and my increasing cholesterol. Sure, I probably need to get over the part about caring so much about what everyone else thinks. In fact, that would probably help me not become so obsessive (as is my track record). I can't say that I know how to do that. And, honestly, there are probably fewer judgmental people out there than I actually think there is. I've been around enough "mean girls", though, to know they DO exist and they DO talk.
My husband took this picture of me at the Plaza in KC this past winter.
I wouldn't let him post it on FB.

So what am I going to do? Well, I'm definitely leaning towards the "change it" route. However, I want to be healthy about it and not become obsessive in the transition. I'm not quite sure how to do that right now, though. The one thing I am going to do is to not place the value on the number on the scale. That number can be misleading AND it's also something I can easily obsess over. Instead, I'm going to go off of how I feel when I put on my clothes. No, not the clothes I'm already wearing a lot of (sweats lie just as much as the scale, y'all). But, in the many decluttering projects of the great Pandemic of 2020, I discovered many clothes I'd purchased a size too small and have never worn. I thought one day I'd get there again and a couple years later and they've never made it out in public. Then there are all the cute clothes I USED to wear before I threw all caloric caution to the wind. They need to make an appearance too. And they will. Right here at some point in the (hopefully) near future.
I really loved this wall while walking around downtown Knoxville on my 35th birthday.
My husband took it and I couldn't bring myself to post it.

Then I'm going to concentrate on my overall health. I will not be starving myself, but I will be eating things that are valuable to my overall health and wellness. Before I eat it I will say, "Is this going to eventually kill me?" If the answer is yes, I probably better leave it alone.

And, from now on, I'm going to be a little more transparent about this. I've hidden it away for far too long because I've been embarrassed. But if people can accept me at my starting line, they'll accept me when I cross the finish line too. So, will you go along with me for the ride? I have a really cute pair of shorts I've never worn that are begging to be posted here on the blog!

What do you hide because of embarrassment? What would make you brave enough to show it?


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