We all talk about the importance of enjoying the ride. Enjoying the journey as you develop and accomplish goals and figure out how to create some kind of balance in your life. It’s not a 50/50 balance I’m seeking and I think most of you will agree that you’re not looking for that either, but some days 60/40 feels equal or 25/75 gives relief.
I’ve heard it be called a tightrope because it really does depend on what’s important at the time. I’ve mentioned before that there were times my career or education were more important and my weightloss took a step back into a planned plateau.
This is the first holiday season I’m not losing weight. I talked about that at Thanksgiving. I said that for Thanksgiving, I knew what would be offered and what I needed to supplement. With tracking my macro nutrients, I’ve always given myself permission to try new things at the table, but remembered to be mindful – try to stay within my goals. I take smaller portions so I can have or try more things and I ask what the ingredients are because of new sensitivities that have developed since my life became healthier.
This year I followed the same principles, but enjoyed a few more cookies than I have in past years. I am working hard to figure out what my balance looks like for this point in my journey – this point in my life. I have felt more relieved the past few weeks, but like I mentioned during the Thanksmas party we attended a few weeks ago, my anxiety gets the best of me and this much social interaction drains me.
I have interacted with over 34 people in the past two days, not including JP or the barista at Starbucks. I’ve answered questions regarding my weightloss and how much more I want to lose – answer: I’m not losing weight and haven’t been losing weight to be healthy in quite some time. I did attempt a competition prep in August, but ended it in the middle of September around the time of my anxiety and PTSD attacks. I’ve been answering questions about coaching and macro counting and if I’m allowed to eat carbs – answer: I eat all the carbs and champagne is one of the best carbs to drink. Thankfully, no one this year questioned my plate or the portions, however, someone did comment to JP that he had such a small portion of something…when he had seven other things on his plate that he was ready to eat. They’ve started to slightly understand that this is my life, but still have a hard time understanding how it’s part of his.
But it’s not just this aspect of the holidays that in a way stresses me out and makes me want to nap.
When JP and I finally had the present talk, it was late in the game and aside from bills or classes I want to take, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted. I could list a bunch of things I need, but if we’re going to be honest – I don’t need presents at 27. We decided to not really do presents this year. We would do some stocking stuffers, but of course he broke the rules when I learned that he bought me two Disney movies he knew I wanted, but would never buy because of price. He saw my candy cane Joe Joes and raised them a copy of Snow White. Thoughtful, but it left me frustrated. I want to give him the world, but to me the world doesn’t come in a small box with a bow. I was the only “kid” to not provide a wish list for Christmas when his mom asked us for one.
Christmas and the holidays to me aren’t about the presents. I wasn’t raised that way. The holidays were never that much fun and someone usually ended up in tears – me or one of my sisters for one reason or another. I don’t really remember a lot of good from this time of year other than cookie baking. So to me, it’s more about the experience – I would rather go out to dinner than exchange presents that may never get used. I would rather play games than stay seated at the table with bowls of food in front of us.
My lifestyle is healthier now, which means holidays don’t derail me like they did when I was in college. Candy and chips around doesn’t tempt me and I know some of you can’t relate to that, which is fine, but that’s just not the kind of food I enjoy now. So for me, I get frustrated with the holiday’s because I’ve been trying to make my whole world a healthier place overall and that’s not just about what goes on my plate and in my mouth. It’s also about where I put weight or emphasis on things – like experiences over material items.
On the surface, JP bought me two Disney movies because he knew I really wanted them, but internally, for me – I felt terrible because I don’t have the kind of money to buy the gifts he desires. He asked for mostly car parts and thankfully, what he didn’t buy for himself he asked his parents to. When we talked about not exchanging real gifts, I told him I wanted to focus on paying down some of my debts and getting things in a place where we could potentially buy a house sometime in the next few years. I told him I would rather make dinner with him or go on a date than buy things that I could buy myself if they were really that important. He sees gift giving as a loving gesture, which it is. However, I also see it as a way people measure their relationships and love of and from someone else.
I look back on the past 87 days and I measure our love in doughnuts shares, apples picked, movie watched, tears wiped away and journal entries. I’m measuring it in things that were consumed together or seen and experienced. I’m measuring it in acceptance of faults and nights on the kitchen floor.
I’m looking back on the past two days and trying to count the smiles we had, but I’m slightly struggling. I’m recalling stepping out of the living room last night because I could clearly hear two conversations happening near me that didn’t involve me – I just happened to be sitting in the perfect place. It was overwhelming hearing them so clearly and not being able to focus one at a time. I’m thinking of yesterday afternoon and I’m reminded of lattes together. Perfect temperature. It was stress from being excited and stress from being in a position where I lacked control of my emotions and felt wiped out. Even as I write this I’m thinking about how long I think I can last during the movie we’re planning on watching. Will I make it half way through or will I just crash? I’m thinking about the hour nap I had during the movie this morning in between breakfast and getting ready to head out to “dinner”.
I’m seeking balance in a place where others put importance on things that I used to, but have learned have little true meaning. I’m learning to love myself through both the good days and bad when others just sit back and complain about wanting to “be better” but actually have no desire to “do better”. I can’t relate to that. Either do something about it or stop talking.
I thought this year would be a lot easier around this time of year because I know what to expect and how to be assertive where it counts. But I didn’t realize that I would be measuring my world in anxiety and butter cookies equally.