It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a Bible on a day that wasn’t Sunday. I haven’t prayed for direction, purpose, or peace in months. I was content with not sharing my fears and dreams because addressing them, naming them, seemed messy and like such work and I could not be bothered.
Instead of nourishing myself with good, wholesome foods, I quelled anxiety and depression with sugar. I found comfort in french fries and ice cream. I ate because I was bored, because my soul was starved, because that’s just what I did.
I distracted myself.
I watched so much stinking TV. I reread books instead of learning something new. I talked to friends and read the internet because being alone with my thoughts and feelings was unacceptable.
For a long time I wasn’t bothered by it. I lived my life without any real direction or desire to better myself. I loved God but wasn’t in pursuit of an authentic relationship, not because I didn’t feel like he couldn’t handle my shit, but because I was afraid that I couldn’t. Coming face to face with everything that I had been bottling up was scary, so I hid in some cookies and watched mindless sitcoms until I could handle things.
I am not better for it.
Every step forward I’ve made has been undone by my own inability to understand that I am worth it. I did a Whole30 and felt great and then allowed a piece of news to unravel me. I felt confident in our decision to adopt until the doubt crept in and swallowed me whole. I have been too reliant on myself to fill in the blanks instead of allowing on the Author of my life to march before me and make my path straight.
Danielle’s wedding is best summed up in pictures.
Garrett’s wedding is best summed up in words. (If you want to see some pictures, check out the wedding’s Instagram feed.)
I only cried once during the ceremony, while I was walking down the aisle with Jason as part of the wedding party. I took one look at my brother standing there, ready to get married, and promptly lost my shit. If Jason hadn’t been holding on to me I would have just sat right down in the dirt and cried out of sheer happiness.
When I left Florida Garrett was 21 years old, full of piss and vinegar with a penchant for beer drinking. He stood up there on his wedding day in a dark grey suit and I hardly recognized him. He was a man ready to get married; he was sure about her. I felt a surge of pride when I saw him and I so desperately wanted to give him a hug. Instead I wiped the tears off my cheeks and remembered to smile.
His eyes welled when she walked towards him. He looked like he wanted to run to her, to swoop her up and carry her towards the officiant just to speed the process along. They exchanged their vows–the two of them were so full of emotion that the air was thick with it–and when it was over they were husband and wife, just like that.
Both weddings were special to me for completely different reasons. Danielle has been one of my bestest best friends since I was 15 years old. It was a reunion and a party and there was lots of fun and silliness and shots and dancing. Garrett’s wedding was sacred in a way that I was not familiar with; he added another member to our family on Saturday, and I felt nothing but joy.
The time is currently 7:30 a.m. I have been up for five hours and twenty minutes.
We set an alarm for 2:30 but I was up and at ‘em at 2:10. I took a shower and made breakfast (some leftover ground beef and scrambled eggs; a coconut milk smoothie) and was running on fumes and half a cup of coffee for a while little, and now I’m sitting in the middle of the San Francisco airport and feel a little bit like I have a hangover. I’m moody and the PA system is too loud and these lights are too bright and GET OFF MY LAWN.
I’m drinking some green tea, though, so I hope to be fine once there is caffeine inside of my body.
Awesome things so far:
+ we managed to cram all of our clothes into one suitcase, which clocked in at 48 pounds. We win at traveling!
+ free airport wi-fi
+ I got to listen to a woman read a Dr Suess book about dinosaurs to her son so I learned some things
+ my tea is awesome and it was free since I brought the tea bag from home and just got a cup of hot water from the coffee stand.
Not awesome things so far:
+ gym yesterday + cramped plane today = sore ass muscles
+ Jason just went to charge his laptop, leaving me to watch our bags which would ordinarily be fine except I have to pee now.
+ I am hungry and the only thing to eat in this terminal is a really green banana and some pastries.
Before there was a Whole30, there was me and my food issues. They had been a part of my life for so long that I didn’t realize how burdensome they truly were until they were gone.
The fixation on a specific food.
The eating so much of that specific food I felt like maybe my guts were going to explode.
The inability to pass by anything processed and sugary, regardless of how much I just ate.
The discontent I felt at myself on a near-constant basis.
The first few days of my Whole30 were rough. The cold-turkey quitting of sugar, breads, and baked goods gave me headaches and made me moody.
“This sucks,” I thought on an hourly basis. “I miss so many things.”
It did suck.
And then, at around day 8, it stopped sucking.
I felt great. I felt like I had boundless energy. Each time I said no to an off-limits food, my sense of accomplishment soared. I stopped thinking about everything I couldn’t eat. They didn’t matter. I was eating real, nourishing food. I was being kind to myself in a way I’d never been before.
It wasn’t all fun and games and feeling great. There were times when I didn’t want to cook anything. There were times when I really wanted that ice cream or cookie or glass of wine. There were times I just wanted it to be flipping OVER because thirty days can feel like forever sometimes.
Mostly it was good.
I lost ten pounds and nearly nine inches. I lost my dependance on sugary lattes and learned to love tea. I gained an appreciation for a well-roasted chicken thigh and honed my grilling skills. I tried weight lifting and began noticing definition in my arms where there was previously just fat parts. My collarbones came out of hibernation. I can do two real push-ups.
It wasn’t a perfectly compliant Whole30, but it was exactly what I needed.
I no longer doubt my ability to say no. I feel confident about myself and almost feel excited about seeing what else I can accomplish (maybe a whole three push-ups!).
I feel free.
Yesterday for breakfast I had coffee (with coconut milk) and oatmeal. Oatmeal is not Whole30 (coughcoughgrainscough) but, when faced with the choice between absolutely nothing in my stomach for four hours or oatmeal, I went with the oatmeal. The other option was banana bread. Or starvation.
I thought we had more hard boiled eggs but there was only one. The level of disappointment I felt to learn we were out of eggs was a little bit crazy, actually. Disproportionate to the situation, I think. Because I nearly cried.
Over the past few weeks eggs have been my safeguard against hunger. They make any bit of leftovers more substantial. One night Jason and I had no meat taken out for dinner so I scrambled some eggs, sauteed some asparagus, and said, “If you have eggs, you have a meal.”
I was standing at the fridge, a mere 10 minutes before I had to leave, with only one hardboiled egg to my name. I ate it, of course, and then drove through the coffee stand to get some oatmeal. There wasn’t time for anything else.
I felt okay after the oatmeal. Kind of jittery (because of the high that breaking the rules brings?), but no other symptoms were detected.
Today will consist of going to the gym, grocery shopping, dog park, and doing the laundry because FLORIDA VACATION IN SIX DAYS WOOOHOOO!! and all of our laundry is in various states of clean in every corner of our bedroom.
We are adults. How does it get this way? Ugh.