I am always striving to be more. Every since I can remember, I have always been comparing myself to the people around me and compiling elements I think will improve me for the better. These improvements involve both physical and emotional improvements. Whether the changes, it is never easy. What makes it even harder is those far to often moments when I become weak. When I relapse…
Last summer, I worked so hard to lose the extra weight I collected while Tyler and I were dating. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a salad for lunch, no soda pop, exercised five times a week and ate very little fast food. The 30 pounds came off in just a matter of months. It was pretty easy to change when I was feeling so miserable and so sad. My world was completely shaken and I was starting from scratch anyway. But then school started. With football and the crazy hours, I relapsed my no pop rule. My second semester came and I had a lot more free time, which lead to diet relapses. Then after graduation, my closest friends leaving and summer, I again had a relapse with exercising. All these physical relapses led to weight gain, the ultimate relapse. Apart from a friend telling me I had child bearing hips, I don’t think many people have noticed. Then again, they don’t see me in my most vulnerable state either.
I have been struggling with my weight and the way I see my body flaws since I was in the fourth grade. It was the first time I was ever called fat by someone. That is when I started comparing myself to the people around me. I can remember that it was in the winter of my fourth grade year. It was the year we had a lot of snow days and it was too cold for my sister and I to go outside and play most days. We would sneak into the kitchen and steal the granola bars and fruit snacks that were usually saved as an after school snack. Mom only allowed Brenna and I to have one a day. My favorite was the oatmeal cream pie cookies. Not the homemade cookies, but the soft Little Debbie brand. Brenna and I would take handfuls into my parents bedroom and we would sit on my parent’s bed and watch tv all day. Winter started to pass and my weight was noticed by a classmate. You know the rest.
All these relapses then led to an emotional relapse. Out of all the changes I have made in the last year, the hardest was getting happy again or at least staying happy. The hardest part was not isolating myself. If there is one trend in the way my friends have described me to myself, it is that they all have said that I wear my heart on my sleeve. They tell me I don’t hold back, which is why I get so hurt so fast. I always put my whole self out there. The biggest change has been feeling again. The biggest change I had to make was to un-numb myself. And for a while, I was able to do that. School had started and I was surrounded by great friends. With happiness, I relapse about as often as I relapse with soda pop (which I drink very often). When I am alone, I usually have a breakdown. My friends have always been good about shifting my focus, but its summer now and everyone is gone.
All these moments of weakness are overwhelming. I feel like I am failing myself over and over again, because I am not being my best or happiest me. I burden people around me with these internal struggles, which isn’t fair to the people around me. I should enrich people’s lives, not burden them. I feel like these relapses should just be my internal fight for improvement, but I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t have a poker face. And I don’t know where I went wrong or how to stop the relapses. The hurdles are higher this summer and my short comings are harder to get past. So what do I do? What changed?
I guess to be vague, life changed. The difference between this summer and last summer is that now I have a lack of motivation. I am sad again. I miss my friends and don’t understand why they had to move to places like Montana and Texas and Ohio or why the USA has to be so damn big. Last summer, I looked forward to school. I was motivated to get back on my feet because I had so much to look forward to. I had my old friends coming back, athletic training rotations, and old roommates. This year, I am done with all my rotations and my friends aren’t coming back, which leads to disappointment in myself and the school year. I had this unrealistic expectation of the future because this year was pretty great. I got my hopes up too high and got knocked down. Every time I get back on my feet and start being optimistic again, I relapse and get knocked back down. I can take a hit. That’s life. It is full of ups and downs. But I have been getting knocked down pretty often lately and it’s taking its toll. I get up slower and slower. I am fatigued by the fight. I question why I get back up. I know I am strong, but in this clouded closeness with myself I can’t see that. I just see my weaknesses. I just see my relapses.
So how do I block the knock downs so I can recharge? How do I gain clarity? How do I find motivation? How do I get my fight back? I am a stubborn German and feisty Irishwomen for crying-out-loud and my friends and family may be spread all over, but they are always there for me. I just need to be there for them again.