Monday, April 12, 2010

Waiting To Care

The weather is gorgeous here in New England in the spring (except, of course, when it's not).

For most of the past couple of weeks the sun has been shining, the temperature holding at a pleasant 50-55 degrees.   Flowers and trees are blooming, and we've been spending more and more time outside.

I'm excited for summer this year.    We have a rustic beach cottage we go to every summer.   It's so rustic it has no electricity (except some solar power and a gas generator to pump water).    That's right - you can't plug anything in - no coffee maker, computer or television.    We get completely off the grid.    

As the days get warmer, I fantasize about long, lazy summer days at the beach, board games at night, long strolls along the water at sunset.   It's amazing out there.   This is the first year I'm able to be truly excited about being out there sober.  The first summer was difficult - it takes some getting used to, winding down after a long day at the beach, barbequing and watching the sunset while sipping club soda and lemon.    The first summer I thought about drinking a lot.     Last year, less and less.    This year I'm actually looking forward to being there sober - a day that I wasn't sure would ever come.

But a shadow crosses my mind when I think about summer, too.     Gad, bathing suits, I think, shorts, tee shirts, summer dresses.   The thought makes me cringe inside.    It's been a long time since I felt comfortable in a bathing suit.    Ever since my first child, to be exact.     I invested in gauzy cover-ups, sarongs, cute capri pants.    I avoided strappy summer dresses, shorts and tank tops.   

Just part of being a 30-something Mom, I'd think.   Now I'm a 40-something Mom, though, my baby is 4 1/2, and nothing has changed.   I still have those cover-ups, the stretchy capri pants, the oversized tee-shirts.

But I'm done.

I'm done covering up.   I spent the past two and a half years working on sobriety, cultivating a gentle self-honesty, trying to live an authentic life.    Getting sober is a big deal, and I wasn't ready to tackle anything else.  

Now I'm ready.   I want to lose weight.

I'm not a really heavy person.    I have always been - shall we say - statuesque.    I'm 5' 10", large boned and strong.    Getting sober I learned to be comfortable in my own skin, and these days I'm more grounded and self-confident than I've ever been before.     I'm confident enough to begin a journey like weight loss for the right reasons.    I want to be healthier.   I want to have more energy.   And, let's face it, I want to look better, too.    I want to go to the beach and think about splashing around in the waves with my kids, not how I'm going to get out of my capri pants and shirt and into the water before anyone gets a good look at me.

I'm not one to focus on the scale - I hadn't weighed myself in years.   It was eye opening.    To get to a healthy weight I could stand to lose thirty pounds, at least.    

I have been exercising more and eating better.   I feel better about myself, just from the exercise.   But I'm almost 41 years old, and I need to up my game.    

Today, I'm upping it.   I joined a popular weight loss program (more later on which one, and why).

What changed?   Everything and nothing.    I have been waiting to care enough to try.    I'm not unhappy with myself the way I am.    Until that internal switch flipped in my brain - until I was ready - I knew it was fruitless to try.   I don't need one more thing I have to be doing.   I was waiting until I wanted to do it.

That day is today.   

Wish me luck, although I won't need it.     

I'm ready.


  1. That is absolutely terrific! You go girl! Thank you for your optimism, honesty, and strength as I too am trying to be healthier. It is difficult right now with being so new to sobriety because my obsessive and cumpulsive thoughts win still win at times. Your words are inspiring! Thank you as always and I know you can do it!!

  2. The Care Bug must be in the air. I turned 38 yesterday and started a fruit and veggie cleanse for a few days. After that I'll get back to tracking everything on Sparkpeople. I feel better already. And you are right that trying before you are ready is fruitless.

    There's a theory about the stages of change:
    Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance. I always try to think of this when I'm not doing what I think I "should be doing." I just realize I'm in precontemplation, contemplation or prep phase. There's a lot to do before action.

  3. you totally had me smiling about this beach house - esp the no electricity - until you said "no coffee"

    that would hurt me. hard! :p

    Here's to getting healthy!

  4. Julianne -

    The Gurnet - that picture looks out over Saquish.

  5. Hey, I'm "statuesque" too. Except that I'm only 5'6". Actually, I look taller and I used to be very athletic. Softball, volleyball, etc til I blew out my ACL in 2001. Now, I'm getting "lumpy" as my 3 1/2 year old says. Guess I'll have to start walking after dinner.
    The word verification is ableappl. able apple. Apples are able to help me lose this "lumpiness"

  6. Hi El, Is there possibly a local soccer league that you could get involved in also? I know that you were great at soccer in HS.

  7. Funny, right before checking out your blog I was looking into bootcamp style personal trainer as I just purchased my last "fat pants". Capris of course. I need to make some changes too.

    Good for you Ellie. I am right there with you!

  8. That beach house sounds lovely! We always go up to Maine w/ my husbands side of the family... and my sister in law (his brother's wife) is a huge trigger for me, drinking wise. This year we won't be staying overnight if she's there... just the thought of it sends me reeling.
    Good for you Ellie! You can do it :) Screw cover ups and stretchy summer pants, be daring!

  9. Getting healthy is not about the weight. It's something that we and only we can do for ourselves by trying to do healthy things every day. Good for you. Wishing you all of the success in the world!!! Here's to GOOD HEALTH! :-)

  10. Nice! We have a little cottage on Duxbury Beach...near the Bath House...right on the Marshfield line. It's the last cottage on Duxubry Beach before the public parking lot, there are no other houses around it. We get it for one week a year. Family house.... We go to Saquish for 4th of July every year. Most beautiful place on earth!

  11. When I read your last few posts together, it seems you are ready for a project. Go for it!

  12. LUCK!! I lost 30 lbs doing Weight Watchers last year. Go figure - eating right and exercise really works. :)

  13. That cabin sounds wonderful! I feel the pressure to lose weight for summer too, but with just 8 months sober I know I am not ready to tackle that along with my alcoholism. I'm glad you found the right time for you.

  14. Getting healthy is not about the weight. It's something that we and only we can do for ourselves by trying to do healthy things every day. Good for you. Wishing you all of the success in the world!!! Here's to GOOD HEALTH! :-)