Spoiler alert: This has nothing to do with how I take my martinis.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to express how the last few months have been for me that led me to the point in my weight-loss mission where I find myself today. In particular, the last 6 weeks of that have turned me into a raw, exposed nerve at times. When I saw that today was #007 in my numbering scheme, a bit of an opportunity presented itself. It’ll be a bit of a stretch, but hey, that’s been true for my pants of late; why should my writing be any different? 😉 So, let’s say I’ve been feeling existentially shaken, but somehow not stirred to action. (It’s tortured, but whatever. I’m sure I’ve done worse.)
Most of the year was pretty decent, just extra busy. When things weren’t busy, I didn’t use my time the right way. If I could go back to the summer and kick myself in the ass, let’s just say I would. I did have an ankle sprain in there, but even still… I leaned hard into excuses that allowed me to stray from my healthy eating and abandon exercise altogether.
Zooming in on one cross-section of time, I take you to the period of late November through late December 2017, AKA the holiday season. Call me over-analytical (and be correct), but a highly symbolic thing happened out of precisely nowhere. The week leading up to Thanksgiving, the piercing I got to mark the halfway point in my mission got irritated. It was slightly warm to the touch, and I could feel there was some sort of ball of nastiness between my earring and the hole in my ear. I the area as best I could without taking the earring out, but after a few days of those attempts, there was no change. I finally decided to do the obvious thing my body wanted me to do and remove the earring to give the hole a thorough cleaning. The second the post left my ear, the nastiness ball got even larger and warmer, and the hole was imperceptible. For the ensuing 2 weeks, it became a one-to-three-day cycle of cleancleanclean, scab slowly forms over site, scab falls off, repeat. I haven’t been able to figure out what could have caused the sudden flare-up, but it was a week before I dared try getting an earring back in. When I did, it was my sharp piercing stud from when I got my lobes pierced at age 11 — ohhhh, yeah, I still have those little pink studs in all their juvenile glory — and it hurt more than the original cartilage piercing did. I’m pretty sure I partially re-pierced it.
That long-winded account is to say, I don’t view it as a coincidence that this happened at a moment in time where I’d solidly backtracked to the pre-halfway mark. My piercing might as well have said, “You no longer have the right to this. Come back when you’re serious.”
This saga is persisting even now, albeit to a lesser extent; but I am mostly leaving the earring out, periodically re-piercing the hole to drain it of blood (there’s a blood bubble that’s shrinking, but still present) and cleaning it. I am not about to let that sucker permanently close. At one point, I tried to insert the earring I got that hole pierced with, but my ear swelled up around it immediately and I had to take it right back out. It was several days before I could do anything with it again. I don’t know if I’ve developed a sudden allergy to sterling silver — is that a thing that can even happen?! — but it was wild. I guess I’ll have to keep watching it.
Right after Thanksgiving, I had a minor car incident when a friend’s mom hit my car in her driveway. No one was hurt, but it was enough that my car needed significant repairs, and I was without it, out of state, for over two weeks. This meant a huge inconvenience at home; hours on the phone with insurance adjusters, rental car agents, and the auto body shop; and an unplanned trip back to my hometown that cost me 8 hours on the road and personal time off work to pick up my car when it was finally fixed. It was an unwelcome bout of stress and annoyance.
Then, just before Christmas, my grandfather died. I don’t think I need to expound on that. Suffice it to say, I loved him very much and everything about letting him go was awful and painful, sometimes physically.
When I finally got back to my place after the unexpected, prolonged time at my parents’, I was drained. I couldn’t get out of the terrible mental spiral of, What will they say about me when I die? I need to quit my job and do something that matters. Life’s too short. I’m so unhappy. Like a broken record, over and over again. And I came damn close to doing something rash. When I would re-pierce my ear during that period, I liked the pain. I admit to doing it more than usual because I liked the pain. The psychology attributed to cutters suddenly made sense to me: giving myself this physical pain was a type of release valve for the internal pain I was feeling but didn’t know how to express, let alone work on solving.
I needed to get myself back into some semblance of control over the situation I was downward-spiraling myself further into. That’s why I decided to do a fast to end the year.
After devouring breakfast on New Year’s Day, I signed up and weighed in for a new DietBet. The pot is currently at $195,870 with 6,532 players.
This past week, I signed up for two additional DietBet games: a Kickstarter that currently has 13,355 players and a pot of $400,650, and a Transformer that currently has a DietBet record (!) of 7,022 players and a pot of $932,400. (Both are still open to new players — join me!) These three new bets are in addition to the Transformer I joined in November that’s still in progress — and that I have lost both rounds of so far, but that I will come back and win!
Even after all the turbulence of the fall, I remained in a sort of helpless stupor where I knew what I needed to do, but I just couldn’t get myself there. I’ve had to force myself back into meal prep and ratcheting up my give-a-shittitude, and the mental effort of babysitting myself has been tedious and exhausting. It’s starting to take hold, though. I’ve gone from being emotionally shaken to having finally shaken myself out of that rut. I’ve gone from being emotionally not stirred to having finally stirred myself into taking charge.
I’ve already made some progress in spite of that, dropping 3.2 pounds since Monday night. I’m definitely a long way from being all in, and I have yet to get a proper workout under my belt this time around, but it’s coming. I’m going to get myself there. There’s no alternative option.
Life’s too short for regret.