I hate bathing suit shopping almost as much as I hate going to the dentist. I think both should be classified under worst things in life category for sure.
Recently I’ve gained about 5 pounds – maybe 6. I can see it in my belly and I don’t feel good about myself at all. Has this changed my eating habits? Not yet. I keep thinking something magical will occur and those 5 pounds will just go away. However, with the Holidays behind us and a rapid push into 2016, I feel I have no excuses – especially because I live in Florida. It’s warm here and we have glorious sunny days year round (not lately, but….) and there is no reason for me not to get out of bed at 6 am and hit the gym, go for a bike ride or take Lucy on that 30 minute walk. Zilch.
Back to my question of how bad do I need to feel before I have to forgo the bikini and throw on that fun sexy one piece? I think I’m at a place in my life where I should be able to do and wear whatever I please without feeling self-conscious about my body. You’d think that a women in her mid-40s is comfortable in her own skin by now. Well, not this woman. I’ve struggled with my weight issues for most of my life. In High School, which goes back over 25 years ago now, I was an acceptable size 8. I was never slim, but more so had an hour glass figure that showcased my buxomy 36 D bra size by my junior year. By the time I was 19, I went through a bad break-up which had me imbibing in anything and everything; alcohol, food, cocaine, cigarettes, sex, anything I could do to fill that my never ending black hole. I had ballooned up to 198 pounds and the sad thing was I didn’t seem very affected by this. I knew I had gained some weight, but I seriously didn’t think I looked thatbad. My dad had nicknamed me Mamma Cass – the famous 60’s singer from the Mamma’s and the Pappa’s; the lady who died by choking on a ham sandwich. It was a family joke that was being tossed around and I barely paid any attention to it.
By the time I was 22 I had quit my office job and was waitresing and found myself on my feet all day long – 11 am until 10 pm most days. I gave up eating red meat and just focused on working in the restaurant industry – which for an alcoholic coke fiend like me was a perfect career choice. The weight started falling off and I started feeling better about myself. This whole process took about two years and by the time I was 25, I decided that having a 36D+ wasn’t going to work for me long-term. I opted to get a breast reduction and walked out of the hospital with a respectable 36C, and again soon thereafter I was able to shed some more weight and was back down to my size 8. However, my alcoholism and drug addiction kept humming right along.
Very soon the trend setting Tankini blasted onto the scene and I jumped into that with full gusto. I was feeling okay with my body – but seriously I didn’t care that much as all I really cared about was boozing and doing blow. Those were my two best friends for over 20 years and they didn’t disappoint. I never went to the gym, or worked out. I would flirt with it here and there, but nothing ever took. Fast forward to 2004 when I got sober. I was 37 years old and within the first few months of getting sober, I started to really take care of myself and be more health and fitness focused. I was living along the coast of San Diego and it was pretty easy to be healthy in that environment. I started running along the beach, doing hot yoga, working with a personal trainer and eating uber healthy. I became very SoCal and fitness trendy. I started looking healthy – in all areas of my life. Yay for me. I embraced this lifestyle for the first few years of my sobriety while living in California. In 2010, I moved back East and was able to continue a moderately healthy lifestyle; Bikram, CrossFit, going to a Gym and Hiking Valley Forge Park, however, the eating healthy wasn’t as good as it could have been, darn those Philly Cheesesteaks.
Now at almost 12 years clean and sober, I find myself stagnant. I’m older, I’ve had some injuries over the past few months that have curtailed my physical health and I’m back in my corporate career working more than the average 9-5. Needless to say, none of these things are excuses. But today they are. Not seeing much progress here, but then again, I’m better than where I was 12 years ago. And ya know what? I’m totally okay with it today because I like who I am and feeling physically good is an added bonus. I am comfortable in my own skin today, maybe not all the time, but its progress not perfection. So, I better get out my one piece, and the two piece as well. Off to Miami next weekend to see Madonna and I’m sure I’ll be ready to Vogue.
It seems my life in sobriety is a constant process of evaluating where I am emotionally. I have had to re-teach myself on the whole image of self talk. I am sure you realize what a challenge I face. I am 7 years sober this month and find that when I become complacent in my sobriety is when I need to get in the rooms and get my butt kicked. I treasure those moments. I finished reading your book today and want to thank you for the candor and openness you have shared your story. Reading books like yours provides me with an infusion of continued strength and the ability to remind myself of the entire process of the "one" drink which truly is never enough.
Laurie! Thanks so much for your comment and thanks for reading my book. I so appreciate your support! Feel free to post a review on Amazon.com if you have time!!! Thanks again!