“MY DRIED UP FOUNTAIN OF ETERNAL YOUTH”

September 12, 2012

Wow had an interesting experience this afternoon.  Let me preface this with the fact that it’s that time of the month for me.  No, not bill time – “Aunt Flo” time.  I mean, don’t I get a “eat what you want” free pass right now? You know, the same one women get when they get pregnant – it’s the least life could give us, “eat what you want free passes” every time we go through these forced hormonal, emotional and physical changes.

Anyway, I indulged a little today.  Okay, indulged a lot.  I started the morning off well.  Had some oatmeal, and packed a series of small meals to take with me to work (boiled egg, cauliflower, salad, roasted chicken, orange and a yogurt).  But come mid morning I felt ravenously hungry, but it wasn’t a physical hunger it was a crraavvvinnggg.  So I pulled out my daily planner, counted back, and AHA, here we are, in the week of welcoming Aunt Flo again. I mean come on, I can’t be expected to not indulge at this time.  So I had a bag of chips, a burger with sweet potato fries for lunch then downed a couple of peanut butter cookies for snack….and the most horrible thing happened….

I was walking to the other side of the office later in the afternoon, and physically felt myself get winded, by WALKING.  I had shortness of breath, seriously, from walking in my heels!  Was it an allergy? Am I really at that point now where I get winded by walking?  It was pathetic.  My empathies for all over weight women who experience this. It’s embarrassing! I was even trying to pace my breathing while I was talking to people today too….hoping that no one noticed how awkward I felt trying to mask the intentional pacing of my breath.  Weird, gross, embarrassing, strange are but a few of the words I can come up with to describe today.

I had lost 5lbs, but I’m sure over the past few days I’ve probably put on a couple, which means then, that I’m only a couple of pounds down.  I’m a yoyo.  I realize today, that I don’t want to be this yoyo.  I don’t want it to be a constant give and take of a couple of pounds. What do I need to do to make it deeper than these superficial gains and losses? What will it take to actually accomplish a transformation?  Is it perspective?  Is it just sheer determination? Am I missing some connection between food and myself?

Frankly, being overweight makes me want to believe that I must be internally unhappy, in such a way that I’m using food to compensate.  But when I look at my life and where I am, sure there’s been much up and down, but I’m not unhappy.  I’m actually quite happy and feeling blessed.  So why then am I being so abusive and toxic to my body?  Why am I eating until I’m winded??

My other theory is, maybe I am in the throes of a transitionary period, transitioning out of my twenties and early thirties.  Hmmm, how should I refer to that time?  “Eternal Youth” It didn’t matter how I treated my body, what I fed it, how many hours I slept – I functioned perfectly.  Use and abuse.  Oh goodness, I recall the days of late nights, clubs, fast food for lunch, fast food in the middle of the night – soundly sleeping until mid-afternoon, working early shifts on mere hours of sleep, tight clothes, short shorts…

Those days are long gone.  I’ve deliberately enforced certain things to accommodate the ways that I’ve evolved.  I make it a point to sleep more knowing that I need sleep to function productively the next day.  I’ve learnt to manage my money more responsibly and not live on the virtues of the ever abundant well of credit.  I’ve learnt to speak my voice because people pleasing felt good to everyone but me.  I’ve learnt to ask for what I want and need from people because my past passive aggressive ways only cause more conflict than peace.  I’ve let go of acquaintances to invest the time into real friendships.  I’ve challenged some of my “childish” behaviours, stopped holding on to things that I held on to for years, dogmas, beliefs, apprehensions, friends….because it wasn’t reasonable to keep them anymore.   I don’t like everybody, I don’t need to pretend I do, I don’t really care what everyone thinks of me, as long as the ones I love, love me.  I will act fairly, no more yet no less.  I do think God and spirituality is more than fervent praying for what I want and a balance sheet of rights and wrongs. It is possible to outgrow friends.   I realize my parents won’t live forever.  I buy “age appropriate” clothes.

So much had to evolve out of my “eternal youth” stage into my “It’s My Life” stage; the preparation and acknowledgement that I am responsible for everything I put it, everything I take out; my life relies on me.  I’m sure most people have reached this stage much earlier in their lives, unfortunately, but it’s no surprise, I’ve always been a late bloomer.

The one thing though, that hasn’t evolved is the way I treat my body.  Well, let me correct myself; I don’t drink until I’m sick, I don’t smoke cigarettes, I take my make up off before I go to sleep, I moisturize, I consciously drink more water, I use sensitive toothpaste and make sure I see my Dentist regularly, I don’t drink coffee before I take a blood test… but I still eat like I’ve bottled some of that “Eternal Youth”; as if I take a swig of it now and then to counter my indulgences and inconsistencies.  I do really want to learn how to transform these patterns, mature mentally to allow myself to evolve in this aspect like all those others….why aren’t I growing up??

6 Responses

  1. Oh Betty, how I love the way you write! I’m laughing, contemplating, and empathizing through your blog. I feel your pain. At 44 I’m still wondering when I’m going to grow up. I have so many suggestions (a.k.a. advice) but this is your journey and it sounds like your going to be just fine. Your self awareness is enlightening.

  2. My beautiful Betty! I love this article. It hit close to home when you said you’re a “late-bloomer”. I am one myself… ah hah…VERY VERY LATE!! And you question when you’re going to “grow up”. Girl! You writing this article is more grown-up then alot of people who are just going through life, unconcious. Just cruising through life and not really stopping to smell anything. I love how you’re so self-aware of your feelings and thoughts and your environment. Now that’s maturity. Sorry to disappoint you, but you’re grown up already! :) Keep writing girlfriend!

  3. Wow Betty! That picture from the bridal shower takes me back. Were we ever that young and thin? I said to Beryl once that we all spent WAY to little time walking around in underwear and bikinis back then.

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