humiliation & hope

I haven’t written in here in a while again, and it feels like time. Again, it feels like a lot of things have recently happened and it’s time to get them down (up?) on the screen. It’s another rainy Saturday morning after a week of perfectly hot summer weather.

We got back from our trip to visit the in-laws a week ago. It was the most humiliating and embarrassing trip back so far. I had countless instances of feeling humiliated about my weight and just wanting to shrink away and/or fall into the earth. It was horrible. No one said anything to me directly (they’re probably all so horrified that I’m looking like this), but there were so many indirect comments made about other people and their health and their weight. It’s hard to be there in those situations–I feel like I can’t participate in the conversation because what legitimacy do I have?? And when others talk about those topics in front of me, I can’t help but think they must all be thinking about me too, like “There is one person in our company who is also so overweight and unhealthy and unattractive…” I can’t even describe how much I wanted to disappear in those situations–like completely melt away into the ground. It was the most horrible feeling. I even had a time where I was sitting in a chair outside and I felt like my butt and thighs were spilling out in every direction, and I was literally worried the chair was going to collapse under me at any moment. I felt horribly ugly and unattractive every single minute of the week. These visits are already stressful and exhausting due to other reasons; adding this layer of feeling overwhelmingly humiliated and unattractive made the visit almost unbearable. I was so glad to get home. I never want to visit again at that weight or looking like that. Never again. Assimilating back to life at home has been challenging too, especially for E. We all had a pretty rough week, but E really struggled with resuming regular activities (even and especially fun ones) and seeing familiar people again. It was both strange and unsettling, but also sad. I hope she settles back into regular life again. It was certainly a week of extreme emotional highs for her–she is excitable to begin with, and MIL stokes that fire like nothing else. It’s no surprise that it’s been rough for her to come back down to earth.

Things have progressed with my TrueNorth plans. I finally ended up talking with Dr. Goldhamer several weeks ago. I think I was so awestruck that I was talking to someone “famous” who I really respect that I got kind of flustered and didn’t actually ask all the questions I wanted to ask. However, he confirmed that a water fast could really reset my body and optimize my fertility. The catch is that he thought I needed to come for 3 weeks. So expensive! I talked about it with J, though, and he was supportive. He understands my need to change course in my life, and he thinks that if I’m going to go, I should do it right, i.e. do what Dr. Goldhamer recommends. So my visit is set for July 5 – 26. I’m both nervous and extremely excited. I’m making a list of things that I want to discuss with the doctors. I’m coming up with quite a list of things that I feel like is pointing to my increasingly deteriorating immune system. Everything feels so intertwined, of course. I do think the root of everything is food and sunshine. In my opinion, all of my negative experiences are rooted in that, and those are the two things that I need to get RIGHT, once and for all, before trying to conceive again. With healthy food and sunshine, I think that my immunity will improve, my hormones will regulate, my weight will go down, my anxiety/stress/depression will improve, and as a result of all of that, hopefully my fertility will finally improve. So I’m excited for my stay because I’m interested in tracking my blood work and seeing if things can dramatically improve in a short amount of time. In addition, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the education that they provide and rebooting my body and palate. I need a big change with my food and what I find appetizing. Fasting for 2 weeks will provide that in a way that absolutely nothing else can. I know that following the fast, I need to adopt a new approach to food. Basically, I’m a food addict and moderation isn’t an option for me. I need to come to terms with that and accept that I need to live the rest of my life that way. What I think I will lose in tasty and pleasurable food, I will actually gain in feeling healthy and vibrant and attractive again. Wouldn’t it be amazing to improve my self-confidence? Although I’ve always struggled with my self-confidence, in the last few years, it’s been decreasing consistently all the time. How can it not, when I keep disappointing myself by not being able to stay on the right path with my food, health and weight? Every time I fail, my confidence takes a hit. It’s been such a long time since I’ve actually left the house and felt proud of how I looked. Years. I hate slinking out of the house feeling ugly and always wanting to fade into the background when I’m in public. I hunch over unconsciously because I erroneously think it hides my body. I’m tired of hiding and wanting to feel invisible. I’m hoping that my time at TrueNorth will change all of this. Of course, I know it’s not going to be a magic fix, but I do think it will shake things up and turn my compass so that it’s pointed in a more hopeful direction.

I’ve really been struggling again in the last few weeks with binging on unhealthy food. It disgusts me, and I’m not even that hungry most of the time. But then I stop at the grocery store and buy all kinds of terribly unhealthy things, and the cycle keeps perpetuating itself. I’ve enjoyed not being on progesterone this month and not feeling the pressure of trying to conceive. At the same time, it’s like I let that liberation just give me permission to be supremely negligent with my health. I stopped taking iron and stopped going to acupuncture. I’m not sure if any of this has been contributing factors, but my cycle was a lot longer again this month. I got my period two days ago, and it was heavier again. So obviously my cycle and menstruation (and therefore, my hormones) are very sensitive and easily affected. That feels both frustrating and encouraging. Frustrating because it takes so little to make things go off track, and why have I allowed this imbalance to continue for years at this point? But also encouraging because it suggests that even little improvements will have big effects, so what would big changes do? Have massively dramatic effects? I sure hope so. I really hope so.

Not only am I looking forward to the physical break for my body, I’m also looking forward to a mental break. Quiet time to just escape from life for a while and focus on things I don’t usually get to do. Maybe try to process events that have happened in my life in the last 5 years. Perhaps work on some projects, especially writing. I would have so much uninterrupted time to re-centre myself and maybe figure some things out. At the very least, the quiet and slower pace would be rejuvenating. I’m also excited to possibly meet with Dr. Lisle to discuss my food addiction, but also other issues in my life – past trauma, depression, low self-confidence, uncertainty about how to follow my passions and turn that into a career that feels more meaningful. I’m under no illusion that the 3 weeks will be easy though. I’m going to desperately miss J and E, and that thought alone scares me. It will be so hard to be away from them for so long. So hard. Ugh. I already feel sad thinking about it. But I think it will be worth it if I can return a happier, healthier, and more confident wife and mom.

I’m currently at a pretty low place with my food. Dr. Goldhamer said that I need to eat a clean diet before I arrive so that I can hit the ground running once I get there. At first I was thinking in my old addictive thought pattern: “I’m going to binge like crazy before I get there because it will be my ‘last chance’ to taste those foods.” But the more I think about it and the more I learn about peoples’ experiences with fasting, the more I realize that that’s such self-destructive behaviour. It wouldn’t help me optimize my experience at all. That would essentially waste precious days of my visit. In addition, it would make the transition to water fasting even harder and more miserable since it would be such a huge shock to my system. I would like that transition to water fasting to be as smooth as possible (knowing that it’s going to be miserable regardless, but if I can avoid some of the more extreme detox systems like nausea and vomiting, I would really like that). I have 3 1/2 weeks until I leave. I plan to eat as cleanly as possible. And fit in some exercise (just walking/sprinting) and lots of sunshine too. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could drop 10 lbs before I even got there? Then I would lose more during my stay, and maybe by the end of the summer I would be close to a weight where I felt comfortable trying to conceive again. It would feel so fantastic to end the summer in a body that made me feel attractive and amazing. I have images of myself as a lean and tan and healthy-looking woman at the end of the summer. I think I would be filled with new-found confidence if I felt like I had finally succeeded at turning things around. This binging and increasing weight has been like a sack of bricks on my back, weighing me down and getting heavier and heavier all the time.

So, there is hope…


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