Confession time

I took a few weeks off. I told everyone I needed a break. That I needed to catch my breath. That I've been too busy. Reality is, I am completely and utterly exhausted. I feel drained. No, that's not really true. I don't feel anything anymore and I haven't for a very, very long time. I have only been working. I have been working my ass off ever since I started high school because I always wanted to be the best. I don't know why. To please myself? To please my parents? To make up for the fact that I have always known I was socially awkward and fat? I don't know. Everybody has issues and these are mine.
It could have been much much worse. I know I have been lucky. I come from a loving home. I had four grandparents until well into my thirties. I was born in a great time and in a first world country. It could have been so much worse. But in reality all I have is work. I am alone and while I am perfectly happy about that, I am reaching a point where I really miss talking to someone. My parents are getting older. I cannot keep confiding in them. And I also cannot really tell them everything because some things are just too private. And maybe it's not true that having a significant other person in my life would make things easier. But my hopelessly romantic heart yearns for a soulmate.
I am a scientist. I know I don't deserve anything. That all of this is happening as sheer coincidence and that I am just a little speck of organised matter in the midst of great chaos. But there are times when I wish I had done everything differently. When I wish I would've have had my teenage nose anywhere else than in books and movies. That I had lived a life instead of dreaming about it. That I had taken better care of myself. That somebody had taught me how to do that instead of algebra.
The real problem is that at this point I don't even know how to do that anymore. I don't know how to eat properly. I don't have any fixed schedules because there is just always me and so it has never mattered when I eat, when I sleep and when I don't clean. I have no structure. I pour all of my control into work and it has gotten me to where I am, but I have lost all control over my own life and over my body. I know I have eaten like a slob. I haven't enjoyed a bite of food in forever, no matter what I have been shoving down my throat on those late nights when I come home from work at 10pm.
When I started this job I was already heavy, but in the past two and a half years I have gained 13 kilos. All the statistics tell me I am obese. My mom has told me she is worried. I hate myself but I don't know how to start fixing it. I am scared to get help, but I know I need it. My house is a mess because I don't think it is big enough to hire a cleaner. So how sad is it to go to someone who is going to have to teach me how to eat properly and how to take care of myself? I feel like such a loser, but I know something has to change because I have not been happy in a long time and I cannot keep hiding in books and movies.
I can blame it all on stress, lack of exercise and poor eating habits. And I know that I have nobody to blame but myself, but at some point along the way I have just stopped caring. I stopped caring about my body ever since I was bullied in elementary school. Ever since the family physician said it was just how I was built. Ever since I noticed I was not popular with boys. Ever since strangers called me fat or ugly or just looked at me like I was. Rationally I know it is never too late. And rationally I know it has to stop. But when my parents call me I just tell them I am okay. I always tell everybody I am okay. But I am not. I am stuck in a body that I have loathed for as long as I can remember and that I cannot blame anybody else for not loving either. I have spent the best years of my life hating myself, and I have dealt with that by just completely neglecting myself. I don't know how that is even possible because I am a huge control freak in every other area of my life. I have so many talents that I know other people admire. So I always sort of thought that maybe this was my one weakness. But it is starting to get in my way. And I really want to feel again. I want to fall in love and experience heartbreak and live. But I just don't know how to fix this - if I have never found a way to fix it before, how can I possibly fix it now when even with 120% of my energy focused on work there is not enough time to do everything I need to do?

2 opmerkingen:

  1. You sound a fair bit like me. I think it's important to recognize you can't do this alone and that it's okay to get help and nutritional coaching. Do sign up for some sort of program, preferably one that pays, so you'd not be compelled to quit because you've invested money. I recommend Weight Watchers, and don't just do it online but get a local program, because it will force you to go to weekly meetings and see people and hear yourself and others talk about struggles with food (one colleague jokingly calls Weight Watchers "Overeaters Anonymous"). There is no shame in needing a nudge, and in reality everyone who's lost a lot of weight long term has simply dedicated themselves to forever carefully tracking what they eat. It's not the worst thing if it helps you reconnect with your body.

    I started the tenure track with a 4-year-old kid and a normal BMI (I always thought I was fat, but the truth is I never was until the tenure track, even though plenty of boys commented that I would be really hot if I lost weight). Twelve years later (and a total of 3 kids) and I am obese and quite disconnected from my own body.

    Do whatever you gotta do to reconnect with your own body. Love it; it's the only one you've got.

    From your other posts, you might also suffer from a thyroid malfunction or depression, so you might want to go do a full physical and get checked for depression. Sometimes people need meds to get back to feeling like themselves.

    Best of luck!

  2. Thanks a lot. As it turns out, all I needed (I think) was to step away from my regular life (which was, well, quite irregular) and take a deep breath of (fresh mountain) air and actually move around. I think I caught this just in time...