New job, new perspective

I started a new job at an insurance company that so far I think I am going to really like and be pretty good at. However, I am now surrounded by powerful, attractive, extremely well-dressed professional women and I’m feeling very inferior.

There, I said it.

I think inferior is the feeling I’m experiencing that is triggering my bingeing. I can’t afford new clothes. I’m not skinny or sexy (but I’m skinnier than I was!). I don’t know how to dress my body in professional attire and feel cute. At my old job I wore more casual clothes. Not jeans, but sweaters, leggings as pants, tall boots, etc.

At this new place, EVERYONE wears heels. They all look like dynamite every day. Like they could have blogs with #ootd every day and I’d be following them and constantly amazed. For me…. I just feel like an out of place, grumpy slob. My clothes don’t fit that well because I had many of them from 70lbs Ago and so they look loose and messy.

Not feeling good about the way I look always triggers me. It’s almost hilarious. It’s so self destructive. My thought process is “I look gross in these clothes and they make me look bigger than I am. Now I want to eat all the food in the world” … and then be bigger than I am.

So backwards.

I now have identified the emotion. I just need to figure out what to do with it besides eat it!!

A pic of me and hubby last night. I feel like I look cute! Didn’t binge, even tho we were out without kids at bars with great food. I can do this. I need to feel good about how I look.

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Survival

Today I was very busy at work. The nagging hunger that isn’t actually hunger was there but I was able to manage it with some popcorn and an assssssload of work! It’s been a pattern at this job so far that Mon-Weds are boring and by Friday I’m swamped. Why can’t there be balance?

The short answer is probably that nothing has balance anywhere in life and I need to get used to it. It’s just tough to be so bored I could sleep at work one day (also triggering munchies) to days later where I have so much to do I leave a little late.

I’m proud of myself for getting back on track with my eating today, even when I stopped on the way home to grab dinner. I was going to get twice as much food as I got and instead limited myself to one sandwich. Yay!

Binge eating is a real thing that needs real attention.

In other news, my step goal streak continues – 1 month, 5 days. Awe yeah! Thank goodness for afternoon walks to the park!

Accountability

I binged after work today. It was totally about being bored and useless and under stimulated. Taking this new job is full of promise of being so overwhelmed and busy… but instead I’m just waaaaiting for the next thing to happen and trying to casually beg my boss to give me more to do.

I’m also on my period. I think that plays a tiny role, but I didn’t recognize it until later when I recognized my sugar cravings.

I’m going to the gym tomorrow and I cooked for tomorrow at work so I’ll be back on track and be forced to not let the binge continue.

Ugh.

Sometimes I really hate that this is my life.

Oversharing

The name of my blog is inspiration by introspection, and I feel like I haven’t done enough introspecting since I had my babies. I’ve done a good job of focusing on them and their needs, as well as my basic needs (improved diet, exercise, fulfilling job, etc) but I had a little breakthrough this last week and it felt good to have some self awareness.

I was listening to this podcast about binge eating and it hit home for me. The girl had become an amazing athlete and lost a bunch of weight, and had this binging episode four years later that seemed to come on by nothing.

Except that she had insight. She knew it was coming on and saw the indicators that triggered it.

I had this weird epiphany. Remember how I was talking about my story recently and how I hadn’t had some big event that led to weight gain? Well. I was wrong.

I attempted suicide when I was sixteen (about two weeks before turning seventeen). I was depressed and had been thinking about it for months, maybe even a whole year. In that time I was prom queen, well-known athlete, and all-around likable girl. But I didn’t have that much security. Because I was a chameleon, I wasn’t popular, but the popular people liked me. I was a jock, but that wasn’t a separate thing at our school. I had close friends who were emo, but I wasn’t, so even they kept me at somewhat of a distance.

I felt isolated even though I was surrounded. I attempted suicide and thankfully survived. About a month after getting out of the hospital, I had my first remembered binging experience. I don’t know if that’s fair to say because I had snuck a box of cheese it’s here or there, when I was up late at night and had the munchies, so maybe this had been a long time coming, but the thing that I remember so clearly is getting several bags of a variety of Hershey’s kisses (dark chocolate, caramel, almond, etc) to give my mom for her birthday… but I ate alllllll of them before her birthday arrived. I sat at my computer on AIM (haha I’m old) and ate them ALL. I don’t even like dark chocolate. I hate almonds. I ate them all.

Then I hid it.

Then I bought her more for her actual birthday since I’d devoured the original gift… and I ate half of those too. That’s the first time I remember binging, hiding it, and feeling shameful about it.

Not long after that, I got my first car, which gave me an opportunity to binge alone with no witnesses, which began my fast food addiction.

Although I only gained 10-20 lbs my senior year and 20 more my freshman year in college, I was bingeing. And it was a fucking problem.

I haven’t talked about that stuff with anyone. But the suicide attempt leading up to the binging really hit me recently. I think I managed the depression with food after that, which was totally not successful, and led to further depression, horrible self image, and a lack of confidence.

I’m building my confidence now, which is helped by the half marathons and consistent running… but it’s a struggle. I feel fat in my new workplace as I’m surrounded by super fit, well dressed corporate women; making me feel like a fat chump in Walmart clothes. I’m working on that though — I want to feel confident and attractive in what I wear, even if I’m stuck at 210 lbs for the rest of my life. If this is my body and it can do great things, I want to feel pretty in it.

So I’m working at that.

I hit the gym again today and did arms. I benched 60lbs when last week I only did 45. Seeing improvements is inspiriting and I’m hoping to feel like my upper body is improving as I continue.

For now, I’m enjoying the relief that comes from what seems to be a breakthrough about being honest with myself in my mental health history.

Recovery is a process.

Today I can appreciate my ability to comfortably cross my legs and enjoy how I feel my legs look!

An update on goals

Although my running has slowed down lately, I’m on a 28-day streak of at least 8,500 steps per day. BOOM!

My weight started creeping up again though, so it’s not enough. I do want to update my goals though. Right before my weight started dropping after I had Sebastian, I made a list of things that I wanted to be able to do. Here are the ones from August 2016:

1. I want to play with my kids. I mean play hard. Like run around the yard until they collapse hard. I can do this! I do it regularly!!

2. I want to not be afraid to do things cuz I don’t think I can. For example, not go to Watkins Glen because I don’t think I can hike it and I don’t want to fail or be embarrassed. I’m loving this one too – I even volunteer to do things I think will be hard because I’m confident I’ll be able to keep up with others.

3. I want to have pants last a long time cuz my thighs rubbing together don’t wear them out. Mostly true, but still a little thigh wearing.

4. I want to wear jeans or shorts whenever I want, not feel like I have to wear leggings just in case we end up taking a walk and I don’t want my fat thighs to rub together and get uncomfortable. This! So much thisss. I can walk miles in jeans with no issues. #nailedit

5. I want to WANT to be in pictures. Each time I’ve lost quite a few pounds I’ve started taking more and more pictures with my family and I want to have pictures of me that I’m proud of. I’m getting better about this for sure.

6. I want to feel pretty. I always start getting more confidence and feel pretty and sexier when I’m working out and losing weight and that’s something that I want to be permanent. Still a work in progress.

Some were running-ish related, but most weren’t. So I’m gonna do another list, one that is more updated.

1. I want to be able to do cartwheels. Like, a lot of them. And look cute doing them.

2. I want to get rid of my side-boob armpit fat so I feel more confident in a tank top.

3. I want to get into triathlons.

4. I want to be strong enough to water ski!

5. I want to learn to eat intuitively and be mindful of what’s happening internally before a binge… and use coping skills!

6. I want to feel sexy. At work, at home, in general. Some of this is my need to address my lack of abdominals, but much of this is changing the way I see myself.

7. I want to join a team of some kind. It could be a running club, or a volleyball team, or something. I just want to be part of something more!

8. I want to be able to do the monkey bars at the playground!

Also, it would be really fucking nice to get under 200lbs 😂

My story

So. I’ve been listening to podcasts a ton lately. Like in a crazy obsessive way. And every time someone shares their story there seems to be some crazy thing that causes the weight gain. I almost feel guilty that I don’t have a ‘thing;’ as if that makes me less than someone else.

Here are my irrational and negative thoughts. It’s like I don’t deserve to be successful because I failed in the first place for no reason – nobody died, nobody left me, nobody raped me… I just started obsessively eating fast food. Like literally OBSESSED with it.

But why?

I talked to my brother about it this weekend and he’s had the same experience. What is it with fast food being like crack? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but it just makes me so angry at them.

Anyways, so I’m listening to the same 300 pounds and running podcast that has like many episodes but they all have the same format – how did you gain weight in the first place, what was your ‘aha moment,’ what products changed your life, what would you say to someone who DNF their first race, etc – and I always get choked up at the reason for gaining part. Some people just happened to gain in college, but usually not.

I’m just a girl who is fat. Now I’m a fat girl who is trying to keep it together who weighs slightly less (okay 80lbs)…

Why is it so hard to be proud of my story and just own it? I turned my life around for my family and that is something. I’ve kept it that way for a year and that is something. I have run two half marathons and that is something.

My something is as much as other people’s somethings…. just keep saying that Jess.

Speedwork intervals – overall pace isn’t impressive but that’s with a 5 minute walk in and walk out so I’ll take it. All 7 intervals were at 8-something pace. Woo! I am enough. I am enough. I. Am. Enough.

A week of SICK

I’ve never been sick for so long in my life. Sebi had a stomach bug last Sunday and Monday, but was good on Tuesday. Felix started to act a little off on Tuesday, and had a tummy ache Wednesday and Thursday. I had the stomach bug from Tuesday alllllllll the way to Saturday, and then somehow it morphed into a sinus infection (wtf??). So I actually haven’t run since the half marathon.

I spent dayyyyys feeling like crap and sleeping like crap. Even today, my sinus infection is full blown and my face is chapped from blowing my nose constantly.

Whatever.

Anyways, through all of that sickness, I ate random things for a week – ramen noodles, grilled cheese, even Taco Bell. It’s been weird. So today I had to get back into the eating routine even though my nose made it so I can’t taste anything – that usually leads to bingeing on crappy food (like a pizza) because it’s more likely to have flavor. I didn’t do that today. Today I was victorious over my appetite. Tomorrow I hope to get my 8,500 steps in.

Negative self talk

I made a crappy decision this morning to creep on the 2017 results of the half marathon I’m about to do next week. When I’m racing, I feel really good and proud of what I’m doing, but when I look at the results and I’m last out of a lot of people, it kinda eats at me. Like, I know I’m not fast and I’m not even a middle of the pack runner, but I don’t see my speed improving much and I’ll NEVER be as fast as these other people (sub-2:00 half? HA) so some of my self talk right now is just telling me “WHY BOTHER?”

Part of the reason I do this is that I reeeally don’t want to get last place. I know that’ll totally kill my mojo and I don’t want to see that happen. So if it’s a tiny race and there aren’t any other poky people, it’s usually not the race for me. However, this one is fairly big so there are some that’ll PROBABLY finish after me.

I recognize this is not helpful thinking and I want to cut it out… but it’s there in the back of my mind. Today I’m running 10 miles and actually looking forward to it, so I need to remember that feeling when I’m thinking about the negative stuff.

Perfect reframe: I may be slow, but 2 years ago I almost quit when couch to 5k had me running 3 minutes at a time… now I’m talking about 2 hours and looking forward to it! I’m slow, but I’m strong.

If I dropped these other 40 lbs I’m carrying around I’d prob be a bit faster…

This week I’m down 1.2 more so I’m on my way! It’d be cool to lose 40 more but I’m thinking losing 20 more would put me at my college weight and I think I was pretty confident then so I’d take it as a stepping stone. Even just under 200 would be a mega milestone. But I’m not rushing it and I’m doing it the way I should so the weight stays off… little by little.

I’m such a math person it’s embarrassing (because I went into a career avoiding math) but I’m constantly thinking about “if I do such-and-such for ‘this’ amount of time then THAT will happen…” This goes for while I’m running, how long until I lose a certain amount of weight, etc. It gives me goals and things to think about while I’m trying to get shit done.

I know this has been an odd rambling post but I just have a lot in this big head of mine lol

A 10k PR

I had an awesome weekend! I had the St Patrick’s 10k in Erie this weekend and had a great time (pun intended 🙃)

I know my times aren’t fast as far as other runners are concerned but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come! Anything under 11:00 minute miles are worth celebration, so if I have negative splits and the last ones are in the low 9’s… well now we’re talkin! My time was 1:03:54 I think, which I’ll take! I mostly wanted to beat my time in November, which was 1:06 something so I killed it!

I have another half marathon in two weeks so I’m just trying to keep up the training and good vibes. I did 11 miles the weekend before my race, so I’m sure I can do the 13, but I haven’t decided how far I’ll go this weekend. I want to be well rested but I also want to be prepared. Today I did 4.5 which is great for a week day! Usually I only have time for 2.5-3.5 so it’s always nice to take advantage when I have an extra half hour.

I also had a good weigh in on Friday.

Another 1.4 down this week. I’m so dying to be under 200. I feel like every time I say that though, I lose my mojo and go backwards. If I stick with losing 1lb per week, in two months I’ll be where I want to be. And who knows, I may even keep going!

I’ve been trying to stay within my food limits on the Fitbit app and that seems to be working so I’m gonna try to keep consistent with that. Other than that, just trying to keep my head above water with mom life haha.