As I was fighting my way through traffic to get to a doctor’s appointment the other day I had a thought. Well, I had two thoughts. The first was allergies and driving do not mix well, every time I sneeze and my eyes water while I'm speeding down the road, I'm pretty sure I'm riding the line between life and death. But, the second thought was “I'm an idiot.” And here’s why:
There are three things that are currently true about my life. My three realities that consume so much of my thinking energy I should be making a salary.
Yup. I used the F-word. Fat. Fat. Fat. Sure, you could say I'm overweight but really, I'm fat. Or, to make my mum happy, my body is fat (because, I'm Angela and fat isn't really an identity… but for me it kind of is.) At 5’4 inches, I weigh north of 200 and south of 245. When I got married almost 10 years ago, I weighed 145. Two kids, too many fast food meals and a desk job later… well here I am. I don't like being a fat person. I hate it. I hate myself for getting this way.
I want to take vacations every year. Particularly to Disneyland and the beach and fancy schmancy hotels. I don't care if I don't live the fancy life the rest of the year, but on vacation, bring it on. I want to live in a house. We live in a pretty nice apartment complex. It’s quiet and the neighbors are nice enough. But I hate that we don't have our own space. I don't like having to tiptoe at night so we don't disturb anyone. I want to paint my walls and make my kids mow the lawn. But, we can't afford it. Are we broke? Not really. We have debt that we are trying to pay off. Much of it comes from the 8 months my husband was unemployed/working at a dead-end-job for less than $9.00 an hour. The problem is we don't really budget and we spend far too much eating out.
My third reality is that I’m pretty damn unhappy:
It’s true. I love my husband. I love my kids. But I feel like this dark cloud smothers all of that. When I think about why I'm unhappy it’s because (and here’s where the I'm an idiot part comes in) I’m fat and I can’t afford to live the life I want. Yikes. It also hit me that I have one problem that’s tied to all three of my realities, I eat out way too much. It’s not even that I'm too lazy to cook. I don't mind cooking really, even on super busy days it’s not impossible to toss something into the crock pot. I know how to cook healthy or at least mostly healthy dishes. It’s just easier to eat out. Also, I'm an emotional eater. I get bored, pass the chips. Feeling stressed? I'll take that cookie. Not only do I feel emotionally comforted with my food, I feel like my life is better when we can spend money to eat out.
This is going to sound really weird, probably. But, I think if we're sitting down together as a family eating out, which must mean life is good. That must mean everything is okay because we can eat out like normal people. I told you, it isn't rational. But, it’s just what I think and while it’s usually subconscious, sometimes it’s not.
There are a few other things I could do to make my life a little easier, but I had this thought in my mind that this really is a huge problem for me. A stressful day with work or the kids is a huge trigger for me. And when we head out to do something fun, I feel like it has to end with a good meal. And sometimes, that’s fine. Hanging out with friends? Okay. Planning a meal out with a fun activity, cool. But eating out whenever we step outside: Not okay.
Now that I've figured that part out, I just need to figure out how I'm going to nip that habit in the butt. Of course I’ll need to find my emotional blanket elsewhere, but I feel like this baby step change could make a huge difference… Have you had to give anything up to make your life better?