Sanctuary on a Sunday

Sundays are hard.

I don’t know why this is – I mean, I don’t hate my job, so it’s not a dread for Monday or anything.  Could be something as simple as a couple days off from the regular routine, I suppose – differing hours of sleep; variation in eating patterns (and more likely to be consuming things I shouldn’t be eating, like fat, sugar, salt, sugar, and sugar.  Oh, and sugar.)

So today, I was visiting the in-laws with the hubs and all of our kids.  I feel like I need to clarify something here – my in-laws freaking ROCK.  I married their only child, and they’ve totally adopted us – not only me as a daughter, but my kids as their grandchildren.  (Which means that my kids have way, way too many Christmases.  Three sets of grandparents will do that for you.  Lucky them.)

My mother-in-law is the sweetest person ever, and she spoils us rotten.  Unfortunately for me, this usually means she’s got our favorite treats prepared when we come to visit.  This weekend, for example, she had at the ready two batches of cookies, a pumpkin pie, a sheet of apple pie squares, chocolate pudding (the good kind that you have to cook, not that crappy instant pseudo-pudding that tastes like sad puppies), and vanilla ice cream AND whipped cream to top them off.  WE WERE ONLY GONNA BE THERE FOR 24 HOURS.  Sigh.  Oh, and there was wine. 

I walked into this temptation trap after a week of overeating – and yesterday, when I took a picture of my tattoo, I saw how fat and squishy my back has gotten, and…just…ugh.

Boom.  And there it goes.

It’s no surprise that I overate, right?

So today, I’ve been anxious and restless.  My mind has had more deer flies than the standing water in a swamp.

You’re so fat. 

Your thighs are HUGE. 

Look at that back fat. 

Everything squishes where your clothes touch you. 

You look pregnant in that shirt.  All the lumps show.

I tried batting them away, attempting to distract myself with something – anything.  But you can only swat so many away before you’re drained, sore, and defeated.

And, as bizarre as it sounds, while I’m degrading myself for taking up so much space, I simultaneously CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT FOOD.  I want ice cream.  Popcorn.  Pudding.  Ice cream.  Pizza.  Cookies.   Ice cream.  Peanut butter.  ICE CREAM.

I’m in the uncomfortable, illogical dichotomy of wanting to eat and wanting to be thin.

I hate the wanting.

I decided that I needed to get out of the house for a while.  Because it was sunny and bright outside, and the sun makes me feel better.  It was really warm, which meant no one else would want to tag along.

(Side note:  Midwesterners are weird.  They’re absolutely stoic in January when it’s 26 degrees below 0 – they actually SIT OUTSIDE and go ice fishing and drink beer and stuff AND THINK THIS IS FUN – but turn the heat up above 80 with just a TOUCH of humidity and they wilt like a puff of cotton candy at the State Fair. I’d like to see them survive a DC summer, where we counted 90/90 days – over 90 degrees and over 90% humidity.  Being an orchid, that’s my kind of weather.  But the locals whine and complain, and I return the favor when the temperature dips below freezing.  Or below sixty.  Like I said, I’m an orchid.)

(Additional side note:  26 below 0 is stupid cold.  I mean beyond OMG and WTF.  This is a new level of cold.  You can actually throw a pot of boiling water in the air and it freezes before it hits the ground.  And one time?  A friend of mine took a deep breath outside on one of those mornings, and his PORCELAIN TOOTH SHATTERED.  Like I said.  Stupid cold.)

Recently, the hubs installed a trailer hitch on my truck, and we invested in a really good bike rack so we could take more rides in more interesting places than around our neighborhood.  I had brought my bike along for this overnight trip thinking that I might need some exercise (because food – see above.)

I was so glad I did.

I headed out, not having any clue where I wanted to go.  The in-laws live in a very rural area; while there aren’t really many landmarks, or road signs, if you don’t turn you can’t get lost, right?

It was hot, but there was a great breeze.   There were lots of hills, but the sun warmed my skin and sweetened the bitter messages my brain had been telling me.  I pedaled faster.

And it was a gorgeous day.  Plenty of gorgeous wildflowers:

lake2I saw some bulls – with REALLY intimidating horns – chilling right next to the road.  Clouds of butterflies and flocks of ducks scattered as I rode past.  A wild turkey crossed the road a few feet ahead of me.

And there were lakes everywhere.

Lake18.6 miles later, I felt a bit better.  With that sort of scenery, how could you not?

I’m home now, and unfortunately, I’m still fat.  I really need to hunker down and focus on eating healthy amounts of food, and eliminate some bad habits (OK, destructive patterns.  I’m trying here, people.)

But my journey to seek the sun nudged the beat-myself-up-meter just a little to the left. I’m disappointed in my body, sure.  I wish I hadn’t indulged in so many treats.  And I certainly am not looking forward to this week’s weigh-in.

But despite its flaws, my body did something well today.  I rode hard and rode well, uphill (yes, both ways were uphill, you weren’t there so you don’t know) in the hot sun.

I rode my way to just a little piece of sanctuary for my soul.

Despite all the things I still need to work on, I can be thankful for the ability to do that.

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3 thoughts on “Sanctuary on a Sunday

  1. Way to go! Exercise always makes me feel better and I still struggle with the food. I ran 7 miles this morning and somehow justified a large bowl of ice cream and full-fat barbecue. And now I feel gross. Not sure why we do this to ourselves- I guess the person who figures this out gets the billion dollar star award!

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  2. I think we share the same brain. Wow. I can relate to this something fierce. I also engage in the defeated, “screw it anyway eating”. It’s the way I self-soothe. I mean, nothing says, “Boo, I’m fat and sad” like a Double Caramel Magnum bar. I’m actually looking into hypnosis, because my problem is mental. It has to be. Either way, this post was highly entertaining, well-written, and inspiring *going for a walk now*, but it’s to get candy…

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  3. I giggled hard core with this post as I could identify with about 99.9% of your feels. Haha “I’m home from my bike ride and I’m still fat.” LOLOL Dude! I KNOWWWW!! (dying)
    Anyway, hang in there. Change comes with consistency. Routine. Get one. Pretend like it’s the most fun thing in the world and you are doing it with the most hilarious friend ever. That’s one of the ways I tricked myself into starting a new good-for-you habit. A funny podcast may help, or even a great play list. Mix it up. Do different stuff to keep it interesting, but PLAN to do it. You will love yourself for it. ❤ Hang in there!! 😀

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