|Photo by pchow98 via flickr|
I think a big problem is that I have been feeling frustrated with some things at work. I have been feeling like there is something wrong with me, because I have my "dream job," but haven't been feeling very happy with it lately, and that makes me feel guilty. There are some real reasons that this can be difficult. Our terms are short and intense. Teaching at night (my classes are four hours long and I sometimes don't get home until 10 if a student stays after to talk) is a real drag. It's hard to wind down to get to sleep afterward. My husband gets up early to teach high school so that means I find myself short on sleep. I only teach two nights a week, but because the classes fall across the dinner hour, it does make it tougher for me. I also have to be on campus a lot during the day for meetings, office hours, and more meetings. I need to plan what I am going to eat and bring it with me. I have to also realize that I need to get my grading and other work done earlier in the week so I'm not stressing out about it. I find that I tend to stress-snack when I'm under the gun. I think I need to manage my time and energy better.
Going back to the basics will help on the food front: Tracking, planning, slowing down to decide if I'm really hungry or just want to distract myself. It's just a course correction.
In other news: I have noticed that being matter-of-fact and honest about wanting to lose weight makes people uncomfortable. Maybe it's just weight talk in general that makes people uncomfortable, but I think there might be more to it in this case.
A [much thinner] friend of mine seems to be obsessed with trying to figure out what is wrong with my foot. I have explained that I am seeing a podiatrist for it but she keeps bringing up weird, unlikely possibilities. I explained to her the biomechanical explanation that my podiatrist gave me, I said, "I also think that it will help to take some of this extra weight off. If I drop 20-30 pounds, I would be putting a lot less stress on my foot." She quickly said, "But, who wants to be a toothpick? It's good to have curves." I said, "I think there's a difference between trying to be stick-skinny and wanting to get to a healthier, more comfortable weight." I let it drop, but I thought the whole thing was a little weird. Maybe she was trying to reassure me, and didn't see it the way I saw it: A matter-of-fact statement that I want to make a change. Maybe she thought I was being mean to myself or thought I was fishing for compliments.
I really think it's possible to honestly want to lose weight without hating myself now. I had plenty of curves and was far from a toothpick when I weighed a lot less. I actually feel less "curvy" at this weight, because my waist is thicker. I think I will look more shapely when I'm not carrying so much weight around my middle. I think I am being realistic in my goals, that they are achievable but will just take some work.
But I definitely do feel some distress and despair about my body sometimes, so maybe it's not surprising that she felt the need to jump in and "fix" how I was feeling, just like she was trying to fix my foot problems. I think that since this kind of talk is distressing to her, I will just save it for my blog.
Maybe that isn't even safe. Kim recently posted an honest question about why she felt the need to compare herself to other people after being unhappy about a photo of herself, and all of her commenters (including me) felt the need to jump in and say that the photo looked good. I could see what she was saying, though, and tried to acknowledge that too.
This stuff is so hard. A fundamental question I continue to wrestle with is, "How do I accept reality and work toward change while still respecting the person I am today?"