The amount that can change within 365 days is amazing, the amount that can change without you actively noticing is even more astonishing.
The first sentence from my An Unexpected Year post has never been more true, but in 2016 the things that changed were not for the better. I am not a perfect person and I have never claimed to be so, I’ve accepted that. My relationship with food (though improved) will probably never be “normal”, I’ve accepted that. My reaction to binge on foods to the point of feeling physically ill when overwhelmed by stress will probably never go away, I’ve accepted that.
Just because I’ve accepted these flaws it doesn’t mean I’ll never work to improve them. I am hindered by personal weaknesses but I am not powerless to them. They no longer hold control over my life because I can stare them in the face, accept them for what they are, and find ways to overcome them without letting myself stagnate. The reaction to feel a victim to circumstance can seem so welcoming when the thought of working for hard change overwhelmingly looms above you. Self apathy is so easy to slip into when you don’t even realize it’s happening, it’s not something that rushes you all at once, because the change can be a gradual accumulation of seemingly insignificant and small decisions.
I started out 2016 at a high. My life seemed in order for the first time in years and I was the healthiest I could ever remember being. I hit an all time low of 157! I was exercising regularly and my chronic depression was left in the dust, nothing seemed like it could go wrong. Then in January I lost my Maternal Grandmother, it was not entirely unexpected but devastating none the less because she was my BonBon. I stayed strong through the desire to turn to food and allowed the grief to run its course. Then in February we lost Mamaw, she was my Step Mother’s Mother but I still considered her my Grandmother. My brother and I lived too far away to be able to make it to her funeral safely in such a short amount of time, the weight of loss grew.
This was still not more than I could handle, I continued sticking to the foods that made me feel good and felt confident in my self control. I had a wonderful trip to see my Dad and Grandma O. right before my birthday in April and even kept to my goals on vacation. That trip almost didn’t happen due to delayed flights but I felt the need to risk missing my connecting flight though it was a short weekend trip and the possibility of having to head right back home existed. I’m so glad I listened to that overwhelming urge to GO NOW – this is not a trip to put off for a couple of weeks hoping for better flight conditions. On Mother’s Day in May my Fraternal Grandmother passed unexpectedly after a very short hospital stay due to health complications. This loss hit me like a train. It was unexpected, sudden, and overwhelming.
My Grandma O. was hands down one of my BIGGEST cheerleaders. We would talk weekly about how life was going and she would fill me in on how the rest of the family was doing. She talked me through the decline in my Maternal Grandparents health, she got me through the loss of my two Grandmothers months before, she was ALWAYS happy to hear from me exclaiming ” Hey Katie!” full of unconditional love when she realized it was me calling. Now she was gone and months later I can look back and see this as my tipping point. Then in what almost seems like a cruel cosmic joke after losing my Grandma O. on Mother’s Day we lost my Maternal Grandfather the next month on Father’s Day. Papa Connie was the last of my Grandparents. I lost them all within 6 months of each other and my will was no longer iron.
The spiral was slow. It started with going over in calories, then transitioned into binging keto foods every now and then, and it months later devolved into full on episodes of binging to the point of feeling physically terrible. The loss in control was so subtle I didn’t even see it happen. My depression was creeping back in, my PCOS symptoms were coming back, and I started to pull away from supportive friends and family. I had gone from a comfortable size 8 back to feeling stuffed into my size 10 jeans, I had gained 20 lbs in the course of year. The amount that can change without you noticing truly is astonishing.
It took me longer than I would have hoped but I am back to a better place mentally and emotionally. I once again feel in control of myself and my health. I’m back to regularly tracking and exercising. I’m back to working on my flaws and I’m not letting them rule my life.
I apologize for disappearing, it’s just taken me a while to feel myself again.
I aim to make my Grandparents proud by taking care of myself.
Until my next post just remember,
Hydrate. Satiate. Celebrate!