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Disclaimer: This is written from a really dark place.  If body image issues or food relationship hangups could trigger you, please don’t continue.  This post sounds dire and desperate and awful, and I suppose it is… but despite the darkness, I am actually quite happy with my life overall.  It’s just this one head space that I can’t get right.

I haven’t been blogging… and this morning I finally realized why.  I was reading Mish’s post (I am guilty if I eat) and here was my comment:

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!  I could have written exactly this today.  I have been really struggling lately because I have lost 40 pounds, but with the stress of grad school, working from home, a toddler, a marriage and my health journey… I’m slipping.  I gained three pounds in two weeks, and so far this week isn’t looking good either.  I’m eating terrible for me things on purpose, in crazy amounts, allowing myself to consciously and purposefully choose the worst options even when they aren’t what I really want.  I don’t know how to stop it…  I am terrified that I’ve done it again, had some success only to turn around and sabotage it all and end up so heavy, unhealthy and miserable again.

While I typed out that comment, I realized… I’m not blogging because I have nothing good to say.

I’m overwhelmed. Maybe even depressed.

I’m putting myself last because something has to give and I don’t know what else can, but me.  I know how important it is to take care of myself, but when the other categories are my marriage, my daughter and my graduate classes, I’m the only thing that I can let go of without destroying some bigger dream.

(Well, without destroying some bigger dream for all of us.)

Health is my bigger dream… but now I’m terrified that I just can’t get there.  I’m purposefully making terrible food choices.  And the worst part is that it’s not really about the food, but that I am choosing the worst options strictly because they’re bad.  I’m not exercising.  I feel unmotivated, uninspired, and unhappy.

All of my old thoughts about my body have returned, and all I seeing the mirror is a fat, unattractive woman and it makes me wonder why I bother.  If this is me anyway, why bother?

I’m sneak-eating again.  I’m buying food when I’m out and eating it in the car. Then I stop somewhere to throw out the “evidence” so that no one knows. Some of my smaller pants are already getting too tight again.

I know how this works.  I’ve been here before.  I know all of the arguments.  I know how much better I look and feel now.  I know how hard it was to lose 40 pounds and how much I don’t want to gain it back.  I know how proud I am of the work I’ve done, and I know exactly what I need to do to keep it going…  so why am I not doing it?  Why do I continue to make poor choices?

How do I choose myself when it means taking something away from my daughter, my marriage, or from the job that brings in a tiny but absolutely necessary amount of money each month? How do I choose myself when I’m taking away from the graduate work that will mean a better life for myself and my family someday soon?

I know I’d have more to give, in some ways, if I made time to take care of myself… but how do you do it?  When you’re standing there, making the decision between cuddle time with your daughter and getting up to exercise, or between making a healthy dinner and caving to take-out pizza so that you can finish your homework without staying up until midnight…

How do I choose me?