I arrived at yoga a few minutes before the class started. My friends were already seated on their mats, chatting and laughing- until I arrived.
“Hey Kat, how are you doing?” B asked.
“I’m ok,” I replied with a scowl.
“What’s wrong?” Lala immediately inquired, intuiting that I was not, in fact, ok.
“I don’t know. I just feel off.”
I still feel off- just a little on edge, as if the slightest inconvenience is going to cause me to snap. Not like psychotic break snap, just perhaps grind my teeth before yelling and bursting into tears. What is going on with me?
Hormones? Poor attitude derived from excessive heat combined with humidity? The fact that I decided to deep clean my cabinets this weekend and the cheap paint from the prior owners began to peel off upon getting wet? Perhaps. All those factors are certainly in play, but I can’t list an overall assignable cause to my bad mood. My life is good. I just feel- well, off.
I know something is playing out because I’m even annoyed and angry in my dreams. Multiple nights, different scenarios- all ending in me fuming mad and screaming at some person, waking and wondering what’s this all about? Hmmmm.
Part of it is the plague of all people- not enough time in the day. Precious “free” time becomes a battle of the wills- am I going to do the things I want to do (watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns, take a long bath, write, draw my silly doodles), or am I going to do the things I need to do (workout, clean, grocery shop, clean some more because my house has officially reached the gross stage)? I feel like Michael Keaton in that REALLY horrible movie Multiplicity– I just need a couple extra versions of myself to take care of the bullshit chores and tasks, so I could do the stuff that makes me happy.
The other part is, as much as I hate to admit it, the body struggle. I hate it. I HATE it. Why am I still battling this shit at nearly 41 years old?
I recently came to terms with needing to recommit to health. And like all people who make this deal with themselves, I did great- for a few weeks. Then instead of feeling rejuvenated by the change, I became angry. And bitter. And exhausted.
I think naturally healthy people look at those of us who struggle and think we’re just not trying hard enough. Or we don’t want it bad enough. Or we are lazy. But imagine the mental struggle of not being able to have what you want to have. Health nuts, imagine if you had to eat cookies instead of kale chips, and how drained you would feel from not being able to have the thing you really want.
I know what you are going to say- moderation. Sure, sensible. Except when I eat a brownie or drink a beer, it mostly sends me into a mental flurry of wanting to eat ten more brownies and drink a six pack of beer. Stopping that flurry is, as I said, exhausting. Denying that urge is, you guessed it, exhausting.
I assume that people that are naturally healthy enjoy healthy foods. They like eating salads and quinoa and kale chips, and feel satisfied when they do so. If I never had to eat another vegetable again, I would totally be ok with that (except that cauliflower that Pita Jungle makes which in no way resembles a healthy dish). If I could live in the Bizarro world where cupcakes had the nutritional content of broccoli, there would not be one thought of “oh, but I’d miss Broccoli.” Nope, not even a half a thought.
I’ve recently been focusing on strengthening my core by doing planks, pushups, crunches, and leg lifts. Have I also mentioned I hate non-cardio workouts? I know, bitch bitch bitch. But hey, this is my blog. If I can’t complain here, where can I vent?
I’ve had success with the core workout. My stomach is smaller. I can do a plank for two minutes, which from what I’ve read, is a measure of good health. At yoga, I can hold a hover on a chatarunga. I can do a legitimate elbows in, triceps burning push-up.
I should be looking at my body and loving how strong I am. I am strong! But mostly I just wish my stomach didn’t have so much pudge on it. I wish I didn’t have to dress strategically to hid my muffin top. I wish I didn’t have to consider chub rub when putting on a dress or skirt. I’d like the number on the scale to budge lower. I’d like to move down a size in my shorts. All things that seem destined never to happen, and which make that nagging “Eat! Drink!” voice become deafening to the point that I stuff caramel corn in my mouth just to drown out the voice with crunching (also, I like caramel corn).
My friend, B, has a teenage daughter who has an instagram account. She posted a photo of herself with text along the lines of “don’t you hate it when you look somewhat good and have nowhere to go?” Lala commented on how cute that was.
“You remember those times, right? Where you just wanted someone to pay attention to you and say you’re pretty?”
Remember those times? That’s my Tuesday. I take and post ridiculous amounts of self portraits for a woman in her forties. Partially because I enjoy the process of the work, but also because I need that validation of “You’re ok. You look fine.” Which is really, so sad. But at least I own up to it.
So what is this post other than a indulgent look at my intermittent self loathing? I’m not really sure, but I hoped perhaps if I wrote it out, at least I’d get it out of my head and back on that “healthy,” non-bingeing path. Which is impossible of course because as soon as I hit the “publish” button, I will think Oh shit, you’re a psycho, and now everyone knows it.
But if you have hung out with me at all, you were already privy to that info, so what, me worry? Ok, I think a brownie, a bath and Grey’s Anatomy are in order. Back to health- tomorrow.