fail, fail again, fail better

So, I gave up Starbucks for the month of August. My plan was to write my next blog post in September and talk about what a win it was for me to go a whole month without Starbucks. I was going to relate that to celebrating baby steps and being proud of yourself for accomplishing a goal no matter how small; there was something in there about discipline being more important than motivation and how we don’t give ourselves enough credit. It was shaping up to be a really insightful post. I had all these reasons why I had to wait until September to post again when I realized I was stalling. I was stalling because I’m embarrassed.

I started this blog with the intention of taking everyone through my weight loss journey and in all honesty, that journey has yet to begin. In fact, since I last posted, I’ve actually gained weight. That’s right, not only have I not progressed towards my goal, I’ve actually set myself back. But wait there’s more, I’m also a hypocrite. Remember my post about how much I hated the gym and how I was going to work out at home? Well, I joined a gym. AND I paid $200 a month for personal training sessions (I quit after 2 months btw). Honestly, I don’t know if you can trust anything I say anymore, I might start selling detox tea at the rate I’m going. Seriously though, is this part of the ups and downs of the struggle? How long will I be stuck in the down phase? When do we start the climb to the top?

I have fallen asleep every single night for the last year telling myself “tomorrow is the day you get your shit together, tomorrow is when you start working out on your own, and meal prepping, and drinking water without Kool-Aid packets in it, you’re gonna jump out of bed at 5 am and hit the floor running, yes tomorrow is THE DAY” however, in that time I have had exactly ONE day where I’ve felt productive and proud and it was yesterday! I woke up early, read a book for about an hour and spent the rest of the day cleaning and organizing my apartment. It might not seem like a lot to most people but if anyone reading this battles with depression, having a day like that is huge. The sense of accomplishment I had when I went to sleep was better than an Ambien. Maybe no one wants to keep hearing about my depression or maybe you don’t care but this is my truth. If you’re reading this blog because you’re my friend then you already know how bad my depression can be, if you’re reading because you’ve also struggled with weight loss and you want to see an honest journey- well, this is honest. If you’re reading this because you don’t like me, go to therapy.

I know there are books, blogs, Instagram accounts, and public speakers who preach that they struggled for years with weight loss and that their journey was hard but hearing someone say “I struggled for years” when they look like Thor is kind of hard to believe. Hindsight is 20/20 and I FREAKING HOPE I can look back one day on my own journey (preferably while I’m lying on a beach in a thong bikini drinking rum from a pineapple and watching the glare from my oiled-up abs blind a beautiful man from across the pool) and appreciate the hard times but, right now, living in the hard times is a different story.

If you’ve ever listened to a Tony Robbins talk you’ve probably heard him ask people, “Whose love did you crave as a child between your parents and who did you have to be for that person”. “Who did you have to be?” That question haunts me in so many ways. When you think about it, everything that makes up who we are is really just a melting pot of contributions from everyone we’ve met or been influenced by throughout our lives. Maybe you’re from New York but you cheer for the Orioles because your dad was a fan or your big sister’s favorite flower is a daisy and you wanted to be like her growing up, so it became your favorite flower too. How much of what we are is really ours and ours alone? The more I thought about why Tony Robbins asks that question, the more I questioned my own motives for weight loss. Was I trying to lose weight for my parents? Did they ever give me a reason to think I needed to be thin? I tried for a few weeks to be more aware of any hidden cues or comments I might have missed and you know how people always say “if all you think about are yellow cars, all you see are yellow cars” well, I saw quite the traffic jam. A few months ago, I was in my parents’ kitchen and I was about to open a bag of chips and my dad grabbed them out of my hand and said, “do you really need these” then proceeded to pinch my side. If you ask him about this interaction, he will deny it, BUT IT HAPPENED. Another time, I overheard my mom say to my sister “I can’t believe how big Sandi has gotten” that was also a really fun experience. What I don’t understand about all of this is why my weight matters so much to them? Do they assume that weight gain= health issues? Do they see me as less attractive now because I’m heavier? Will I be even more unlikely to find a husband with all this extra weight on top of my feminist, career-driven attitude? Where does this come from, some primitive mindset that I must find a mate and reproduce? Subconsciously, I’m sure some of my motivation comes from wanting my parents’ approval and maybe 10 years ago it would be the majority but not now, now it’s for me. I think so many of us live in a constant struggle between our ideal self and our actual self. For example, my ideal self is this smart, tenacious, kind, life-changing, meditating, sensitive but impervious, fit, tan woman with a great ass and flawless eyebrows. In reality, I’m at about 32% of that total package. That is my ideal self, mine. It’s not what I think my parents want, or what society wants, it’s what I want. Maybe your ideal self is a stay at home super mom who makes the best meals for her family and has the most well-behaved children. Maybe you dream of owning a law firm with your husband and living life on your own terms. Whatever your goal is, it’s yours and you don’t need to justify it to anyone.

Once I started gaining all this weight and writing this blog people felt like they had a right to make comments because they were “trying to help me stay on track” or maybe they felt entitled to voice their opinion because I made my struggle public? Either way, I don’t like it. Friends, coworkers, even STRANGERS have given me unsolicited advice on weight loss. One of my coworkers makes comments INCESSANTLY about what I’m eating “do you know how many calories are in that, why aren’t you having grilled chicken instead of breaded?” This shit gets old fast. I’m not out here looking for advice on weight loss or trying to find the secret to harnessing willpower. I’m just sharing.

Oh! Also, I haven’t had Starbucks for 12 days, I bet you guys were thinking “she never finished the Starbucks story because she probably failed at that too” well, no I haven’t and I’m not going to 🙂