Oh, breaking up sucks.

As I thought, the new guy brought our relationship to a close tonight.  It wasn’t a fun conversation.  He’d been planning to move across the country in a few months, but this past weekend’s trip to see his hometown made him up the move to June.  (I don’t mean to sound like a crazy lady, but I had a very strong feeling that would happen.)  I was briefly open to the idea of seeing each other until he left before realizing that it would only prolong the sad feelings for me; so a clean break.  I think we were both on the verge of tears when we hung up.

I listened to sad music and cried and called my mom and called my best friends and went for a long drive up and down the coast.  I feel like crap.  This one hurts.  A stinging kind of hurt.  I know I felt more for him than he felt for me, so there’s some sadness about that.  It sucks not being important to someone who was important to you, at least for a little while.

If this is what dating is, then — ugh.  God.  Awful.  How do you all find your partners?  Seriously.  And what happens when a partnership ends, and not just a courtship of three months?  How shitty and weird.  I don’t give up, but I reserve some serious skepticism for this process.  I’m gonna need time.

Sorry, I know I keep blogging about relationships, but that’s the stuff that’s happening (or unhappening) right now.  Maybe once the grieving period is over, I can focus back on weight loss and fitness.  Tonight?  More sad songs.

When you can’t sleep, blog.

I went to therapy today.

First, I really like the therapist.  She has a great, relatable energy that manages to be both empathetic and no nonsense at the same time, and I loved how focused she was at the end of the session: tasks for me to work on until our next session, what to do if I feel the need to binge, how I can contact her between sessions if need be.

Second, I really like her office is within walking distance of my apartment.  It couldn’t be more perfect: a solitary, thoughtful stroll to and from therapy to reflect on what needs to be reflected on.  Plus I don’t have to worry about parking (super bonus).

Today’s session was the usual first layer of groundwork that needs to be established before the real work gets done.  I’m sure the next couple of sessions will be more of the same.

A few things stuck out to me.

1. She was astonished when I told her that I’d gained and lost 100+ pounds twice.  It doesn’t seem that astonishing to me, but it’s the first time I’ve said that out loud to another person in a while, and — maybe it is astonishing.

2. She characterized the issues I had with my sister when we were kids as trauma, which I found really interesting (I don’t disagree, but the word trauma is so traumatic, if you know what I mean).

3. Actually, in just the 45 minutes we had, she pretty incisively got to the heart of some of the key stuff.  Which means she’s smart and a good listener.  Two good things in a therapist.

4. I kept thinking to myself, the whole time, that I was blowing all my stuff out of proportion.  Like there’s nothing really wrong and I’m just making a big deal of it.

5. However, she seemed genuinely concerned about the anxiety symptoms I reported and urged me to connect with a psychiatrist this week to possibly go on meds.  I’m not crazy about the idea, but I’d also like to not feel so anxious.  If meds can help…

What’s weird is that after the session, I was filled with nervous energy.  I went home and immediately cleaned up my apartment, which had been falling apart, and did all my laundry, too.  And now I can’t sleep.  I’m very tired, but I can’t turn off my brain.  I keep thinking about the new guy and how I’m going to handle connecting with him this week, and all the contingencies that might arise — essentially preparing to be broken up with.  I go over and over in circles.

No sleep, but lots of repetitive thoughts.

It’s funny.  Not funny ha ha, but funny oh no.  I really honestly felt reset from Guatemala.  Then Saturday’s weird date happened, and I got that feeling the new guy might be on his way out, and I felt depressed.  I thought maybe the anxiety was over.  But this?  This is anxiety.  Low grade, not as bad as last winter, but anxiety nonetheless.

I’ve never experienced depression AND anxiety before (it’s always been the depression), so this is new.

Just when you think you have it together.  You keep living.  Things keep happening to you.

What’s the point of it all?

Note: Oh man, you probably shouldn’t read this post because all I’m doing is whining and wondering what everything means.

This morning, as I’ve done almost every Saturday morning since I started this lovely project over three years ago, I dragged my ass out of bed and weighed myself for my weekly weigh in.  The needle flopped back and forth between 154 and 155.  I noted the number, shook my head at my mid-week eating behavior of bingey pasta dishes and ice cream, and had the sense to acknowledge to myself that the two pound drop was merely the moving and scuffling around within what is clearly a weight range I’m maintaining.  I posted the weigh in here, reported the results to my WW page, and then I made myself a cup of coffee, sat on my couch to drink it, and wondered what was the point of it all.

I’ve been wondering that a lot this week.

I started strong.  Saturday’s workout consisted of running on the treadmill (I didn’t do half bad!), a new core routine, and my upper body weights routine, plus some stretching and limbering up.  Sunday I went for a walk around my neighborhood.  Not really a workout, and I didn’t count it as such, but I got up and moved around.  Monday I went for a run in my neighborhood, and while it was short (2.5 miles), my time was decent.  It looked like a solid start.

But then Tuesday, I cheerfully ate a giant chile verde burrito for lunch instead of the soup and salad I’d planned, and from then on it was off and on: sometimes binge-y, sometimes not.  I skipped yoga that night, and from then on, I pretty much laughed at the idea of working out again for the week.  I started sleeping too much and was sluggish and withdrawn at work (my boss even checked on me yesterday out of concern, since I didn’t seem my “usual self” at the our Thursday meeting).  I almost bailed on a couple of plans I’d made with friends.  So let’s see: sudden loss of motivation, hard to get out of bed in the morning, hard to focus at work, low energy, not wanting to see people, and stress eating mindlessly.  All my classic symptoms of a mini depression.

So what happened?  Good question.

Probably first and foremost, it’s this thing with the new guy, who’s not so new anymore and is probably going to be the gone guy in a week or so.  Suffice it to say that things seem to have changed between us while I was in Guatemala, and last Saturday’s date was awkward and off somehow.  And then I didn’t hear from him all week.  Whatever’s going on with him, it’s clear he’s pulling away.  That makes me tremendously sad, of course (he was so wowsa!), and I am really not a fan of the disappearing act — I’d much rather it just end officially and upfront than get dragged out.  But these are things I can’t control, and I know he’s going through a lot right now, so while this is sad, it kind of makes sense.

So that brought me down.

And made me feel tremendously tired.  Dating baffles me, really.  It’s strange that you can be so intimate with someone and then not anymore.  The idea of going through this over and over again until I meet “the one” is exhausting.

So that brought me down, too.

Who is the one, anyway, and why am I expending so much effort searching for him?  Why do I feel like this is some kind of project, like my other projects: with a goal and mini deadlines and plans and aggressiveness?  Isn’t it profoundly fucked up that the language I keep using when I talk about this includes “making it happen,” like a quality relationship is something I’m going to hammer into existence?  What happened to the affection and delight between the new guy and me?  Where did it go?  Did my eagerness drive it off?  Can I only inspire a month or so of good times?  Am I fundamentally unlovable?

All those thoughts also brought me down.

When I posted my weight this morning on the Weight Watchers website, I felt a profound sense of disgust.  What is this, I thought.  Why am I still weighing in after all these years?  Have I still not achieved my goal?  I’ve basically been maintaining my weight since October, and it’s a good one — 155 pounds or thereabouts, at 5’8, is healthy and the goal of so many bloggers that I follow or have followed.  I was told three times this week that I look “skinny.”  Why can’t I be satisfied with that?  Why am I designing up stupid beach body plans as if the fact that I’ve managed to lose 105 pounds isn’t a good enough victory?  On the other hand, what’s wrong with wanting to work on my body?  I live in Los Angeles, after all, the city of great bodies, and I just want to fit in.  Fuck that, I just want to feel acceptable to myself.  Why has that remained so elusive?

All that has been swirling around in my head all morning.  All week, really.  All that has been interrupting my workout mojo.  All that has been triggering me to eat away the feelings.  All that is pointing me down an unhappy road.

Essentially, folks, I can’t really go on like this.  After months of anxiety this winter and now what seems to be the classic symptoms of an encroaching depression, I can’t keep wading through this on my own.  From relationships to body image issues to the lingering weight loss project that I just can’t seem to bring to a conclusion, it’s clear that I need help.  So.  I’ve finally done it: found a therapist and booked an appointment (this Monday!).  I’ve been talking about it since December, but now it’s actually in gear.  I’m scared but excited.  Therapy for me has always been difficult and strained but always, always beneficial in profound ways, and I’m ready — I think — for the next step in this journey.

Mini Project: Beach Legs 2014

I’ve blogged before about how I feel about my legs, but to recap, here’s the short story: not great.

I’m going to Australia this summer to visit my little sister who lives near the Great Barrier Reef.  Our holiday plans already include lots of swimming and snorkeling, so I will certainly be in a swimsuit in public.  But instead of feeling horrified by the prospect, as I have every summer for the past, oh, seven or eight summers, I am energized and determined.  I am going to have a great time on this trip, damn it, and worrying about the way I look in a swimsuit ain’t cuttin’ it!

Hence my mini project: Beach Legs 2014.  By the time I leave for Australia in July, I want to feel better about how I look in a swimsuit and perhaps even actually look better in that swimsuit.  Some of the issues here are just basic genetics: I was born to store fat on my thighs and my ankles are what they are.  And probably some of the loose skin stuff won’t be fixed without surgery, and there’s no way I’m opening that can of worms.  But there’s still plenty I can do to tone my leg muscles, lose a bit more fat, manage the cellulite, and even tighten some of that loose skin.

The Mini Project

1. Burn fat through diet and exercise.

2. Focus on leg exercises that will help tone and shape the muscles of my thighs and my calves.

3. Massage legs daily with shea butter and dry brush twice weekly to manage skin appearance.  (My grandmother swore by massage treatment for cellulite, and she had killer legs through her 50s, so despite my skepticism, we’re giving this a go.)

4. Drink even more water than before.

5. Eat and drink foods and beverages that boost collagen: fish, red vegetables, dark leafy greens, white tea, oranges, eggs, berries, and flaxseed.

6. Take up swimming again at the gym pool or one of the community pools.

7. Go to the beach (the L.A. ones) at least once every two weeks between now and July and slowly reveal more and more leg: long shorts, mid-length shorts, swimsuit, etc.

8. Buy at least one killer swimsuit that makes me feel super foxy.  Go to town on this one.

9. Take and track accurate measurements of legs every two weeks.

10. Take and track pictures of legs every two weeks.

Ground Zero: April 5, 2014

Measurements
Thigh: 23 in
Calf: 15.5 in

Pictures

Ground Zero - 4.5.14

Ground Zero - 4.5.14

Things to Do

I had plenty of time to evaluate all that’s been happening over the past few months (anxiety, relationships, slacking off on fitness, wandering around in the garden of no appetite, generally losing focus), and here’s my to do list to get things in order.

1. Buy a new pair of running shoes since I destroyed my old pair in Guatemala.  (Done!)

2. Start running again.  Figure out how much fitness I’ve lost, recalibrate, make a plan, and stick to it.

3. Go back to yoga, twice a week minimum.

4. Hike now because it’s still spring and not too hot.  Hike every week.

5. Blog about fitness stuff instead of the endless anxiety and whining.

6. Commit to the goal I set last December: get to 22% body fat.

7. Stop losing weight once I hit that goal and transition to maintenance.

8. Get a therapist (work through this anxiety).

9. Come to terms with reality of my body and stop thinking of it as a work in progress.

10. Stop thinking of myself as a work in progress.