I spent 10 years really fat and totally miserable. Although when I really reflect on it I had been building a lifetime practice of food dysfunction and always had a tenuous relationship with my body. I did not know how to respect and really inhabit my body in a loving way. Food felt like it might be taken away at any point (especially the “good stuff”). So I learned to hoard it or hide it away (sometimes in my mouth).
Growing up I was an athlete and very active as a gymnast, softballer, and player of pretty much any sport. But particularly as a gymnast I knew how to push myself but did not respect or reflect on any of my abilities. Nothing was ever really good enough. If I practiced a position I could always go further, train harder, jump higher, rotate more fully.
1. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
2. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Where does resilience live? Is it born from experience solely or is it innate?
On Monday, October 14, 2013 I thought that my resilience was in good shape as I participated in my 5th Tufts 10K. I walked solo this year. My choice, partially driven by not feeling connected enough to anyone in particular to walk with. It now seems emblematic of my journey. How much I invite and accept others in my life and how much do I crave to stand on my own and walk solo on my journey?
I had trouble getting to the race. I left too late and got stuck in traffic. I started the race in a fluster. I got going and felt good. Pushed hard. Made good time. Noticed different groups of colleagues and co-workers along the way. Cheered on the elite female runners. Marveling at their individual strength and stamina. Walked the same pace as a senior woman (70+) who ran the majority of the race. She floored me with her enthusiasm and how her spirit infected the crowd around her. At the very end of the race I was joined by my favorite little person who walked across the finish line with me and we put our hands in the air.
Next day, in the morning of Tuesday, October 15, 2013 I was in the emergency room at Newton Wellesley Hospital with severe abdominal pain and trouble breathing. What was going on with my body? Continue reading
When one door opens another one closes. I am reminded of this as I reflect on my history, my present and my future.
I have gone through tremendous physical and emotional changes over the past 6 years. Every experience I have had in my life (good and bad) has made me who I am today. I am grateful for all of those lessons and people who have helped me and cared for me along the way.
With all my heart, I am grateful and proud to have been in a loving and caring relationship (although not perfect but none is) for the past 16 years with one of the most decent men I have ever met. We came together under different circumstances (he was my roommate), we stayed together under difficult circumstances (my severe weight gain and his 9 years of struggling through college) and tried to forge our own path. We are very different people but I think I learned a lot about myself from him and when I needed it I used his strength and rational insight to cope with difficult situations around me. I think he learned from me perhaps how to be kinder to people and not be so hard on himself. Even though our paths are no longer pointing in the same direction I will always love and appreciate the time we spent together.
He helped me along my journey to get where I am today. Sometimes it was not the support I expected or wanted but I understand now how hard he tried. We both made mistakes and sometimes our communication styles worked against us. Even in the dissolution of our relationship I can still appreciate his support and love and admire his strength. I see his efforts to love me when I felt not worthy as pure. I can understand why we stayed together as long as we did because we needed to. We both derived comfort and found a home in the stability of our union or at least the need to keep that connection. At times we were both unhappy but tried to connect to the foundation of what kept us together. Our humor, common interests, ability to admire and sometimes even appreciate our differences, and our genuine care and concern for each other.
In our separation I can see him struggle now through his pain, anger, and hurt to try to be supportive of me and my new path. It is difficult as I struggle to balance my sense of freedom and find my own happiness. I realize how much I value and love all the positive contributions (even if I didn’t see them or appreciate them at the time because they didn’t look or feel like I needed them to) he gave to me and the relationship. We may never be a couple again but I feel so very lucky to have shared my life with him for so many years. I struggle now to envision a new life that he may or may not be a part of. Our relationship and connection brought me to this place and I am a different, changed, and humbled person because of it. For this I will always be grateful.