Ahhh, dear Eyelash Curler. You represent so much of the person I often wish I was. The person who knows how to be trendy, who understands how to do her nails, who showers every day even with a young kiddo.
But instead, you remind me of the person I actually am. The one who spent hours as a teenager reading Seventeen Magazine, learning the best way to use a crimper in her hair, and yet could never manage a look any more sophisticated than a mix between Chewbacca and Cindy Lauper on Celebrity Apprentice. The girl who understood intellectually how to fold up her trouser legs and match layers of neon socks in the perfect way to complement her jelly bracelets, and yet could never manage anything beyond a walking frumpy cotton candy machine explosion.
Ah, eyelash curler. I loved you for the simple elegance you promised. Spend a moment in the morning, and you would be set for the day. Maybe apply a lashing of mascara, and boom, done. Just like Gwyneth Paltrow advised.
But I could never figure out your physics. How am I supposed to hold you without poking out my eye? And I can’t wear mascara without it clumping, or even worse, getting underneath my eyes, making the tired bags underneath them look overstuffed.
No, lovely green eyelash curler, I’m afraid you have to go. Even though I love what you represent, even though I love the person I think I would be if I used you, I love the present me even more, and I don’t like the way you make me feel bad about myself. Like I’m incompetent and bumbling. I love who I am enough to separate the me I am from this fantasy me who would use you.
I’ve been fighting with my weight since I was about 13. That’s nearly 30 years of fighting with myself over food. And I’m so. freaking. tired of it. So tired. So tired of worrying about what I ate. Feeling bad about what I ate. Then feeling like shit because I ate too much. Having a sugar headache. A diet coke headache. Feeling like crap generally.
I’m sick of bargaining with myself. Eat this cake now, then just eat veggies for the rest of the day (never happens). Be good today, then you get to eat chocolate tomorrow.
I’m sick of being afraid of the scale. I’m sick of being scared every time I go to the doctor that they’re going to tell me that I have diabetes. I’m sick of being afraid of my own body.
I’m sick of justifying it. Heather, you should love yourself no matter how big you are, I tell myself. That’s true. It’s also not particularly helpful in terms of ensuring that I live a long life and get to see my grandchildren grow up. Especially since I didn’t have a kid until 37.
The ultimate form of loving myself would be to treat my body with honor.
To put good food in it that nourishes it. To recognize that my body is the vehicle that makes the rest of my life possible, and to treat it the way I would treat a great car that got to take me everywhere I wanted to go.
It occurs to me that I treat my cars better than my body.
I wash them regularly (as a mompreneur with a young child I literally need to schedule in showers, and sometimes they get postponed). I put good petrol in them. I get the oil changed. I run them regularly. I treat my Ford Cmax better than I treat my own body.
Part of that is because of all the psychological crap we have associated with bodies. Our bodies, ourselves and all that. It’s easier to take care of a car when it’s not distracting you with chocolate cravings.
But all of these things – the diet coke addiction, the sugar addiction, eating without even thinking about it – they’re all habits. And habits were learned. There was a time before I craved sugar. I’m not sure that I can even remember it, but I know it was there. I didn’t come out of the womb craving chocolate.
Ten days ago I started a Body Love Reboot, and I have lost 5 of the 50 pounds I want to lose. But even better, as far as I’m concerned, my sugar cravings are way down. Fruit actually tastes sweet to me. And when I tried to have cake on my birthday, I was able to have just a few bites, and then put it down.
Somehow, in the past ten days, I have come a long way towards treating my body the way I know it should be treated.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
Religiously logging every piece of food that goes into my body
Eating a lot of really healthy food, thereby not leaving enough room for the stuff that isn’t as great
Drinking a ton of water
That’s all I’ve been doing for now. The results I’ve had, in ten days, are:
Five pounds lost
I haven’t had a diet coke in 2 weeks
I feel so much more energized
So in terms of food, I’m still eating more sugar than I’d like. I start every morning off, before breakfast when I first wake up and do my Morning Pages, with a cup of instant cappuccino, which is nothing besides sugar. I make myself an iced mocha at breakfast with chocolate syrup. I also put sugar on my oatmeal. And throughout the day I will likely have something else sugary. It’s a work in progress. The goal is to lower the amount of sugar I have, not totally get rid of it. Progress, not perfection.
For breakfast I have an egg white omelette with spinach and zucchini, and a bit of cheese. I also have oatmeal, and the aforementioned iced mocha. And some kind of fruit like berries in the oatmeal. Breakfast is the most structured of my meals, and it never really changes.
The other food that I have eaten every day since I started this is a smoothie made from frozen strawberries, spinach, with chia and flaxseed, and water. It actually is a lot better than it sounds. I was nervous about it the first time, but I can say hands down, it’s amazing.
Those are the major changes I’ve made over the past ten days, and what I’ve accomplished with them. The first thirty days of any change in habits are the hardest, and I know that I’m not over that hump where this becomes second nature to me yet, and so I am very vigilant about it.
Here’s to being satisfied with more wonderful things and less crappy things. I know that applies to me in many areas of my life, not just food.
I’m starting out my Life.Reboot by Decluttering. So many Wise Women have talked up the life changing art of the Mindful Declutter, which is both a physical and emotional cleansing.
We moved to Spain almost 2 years ago, and only brought 2 suitcases each with us. Before that time I did a massive Declutter as we were getting the house at home ready to rent out. But somehow (IKEA. Hipercor) we have managed to amass more shit (toys, clothes, makeup) than I ever dreamt we would in a “temporary” move.
And so, I’m getting Ruthless again. I’m convinced that the reason I lost my phone yesterday is because I carry around too much shit, I am trying to watch a 3 year old, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Not only do I carry around Too Much Shit, but I have Too Much Shit in my home. BabyGirl has Too Many Toys and Too Much Crap.
So we’re paring down.
First thing to go – this scrunchie I got while feeling very nostalgic about the 90’s.
I saw it at the store, I think maybe The Proclaimers were playing in the background, and I thought, “damn, you know what would make my Mom Ponytails look really young and fresh? A scrunchie. Like the kind I wore in high school. Maybe I’ll dig out my Grunge Flannel Shirts, and be all moody and stuff. I’ll talk about Nafta earnestly as if I have any understanding of what it actually is, and smoke clove cigarettes on the hood of my Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra behind a Kmart store.
All of that will be possible with This Grey Scrunchie. So much depends on a Grey Scrunchie.
Only it didn’t.
Farewell Grey Scrunchie. You graced my wrist twice, and held my ponytail in place two or three times. Beyond that, you just sit there. Reminding me that I’m not 16, and Bill Clinton isn’t still president.
Actually, it’s 12:35, so I suppose I’m turning 41 today. When on earth did that happen? How did that happen? How am I still carrying around these extra 60 pounds?
How am I still not the Magical Whimsical Grown Up I always thought I’d be by this age?
Today I lost my phone in a C&A in the La Canada mall in Marbella. I had it literally one moment, and somehow it just disappeared. A few weeks ago I lost my car keys in an IKEA, which is an extremely inconvenient place to lose car keys when you don’t have a spare hidden under the car in a little magnet box.
I may be getting early onset dementia, or it could be that I’m a sleep deprived mother of an energetic 3 year old who carries way too much shit in her bag because it’s some kind of security blanket thing that dates back 35 years to when nobody would sit with her at the lunch table and she had to look super preoccupied in order to comfort herself that it was really okay. Me, not my daughter, that is.
I’m not sure what the hell is going on with this Being a Flustered Grownup Who Can’t Evan Seem to Shower Everyday, but I’m reclaiming my time. This is my time, dammit, and I’m not going to let another year slip by without doing something about this shit.
This year is the year I will declutter, I will grasp motherhood and quit beating myself up for screen time. I will cook actual food, I will have bonding time with my child (in lieu of screen time sometimes). I will meditate sometimes, and not stress when I don’t. And I will fit into a size 14, which I haven’t managed to do in 20 years.