Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Big Picture

**Disclaimer: This will be my only blog post this week, while I work to regroup and focus on my goals.

For the past two weeks I've lost sight of  my goals and my bigger picture...

I've gained back four pounds, and I'm not proud of that.  But bigger than my weight gain, I've lost sight of my goals.  Again.

When I came back from the near-disaster that was my trip to Montana, I was hurt and disappointed.  I decided the best thing for me was to kept on a strong face and push myself through it.  I had hoped things would blow over and I would be back in a normal space.

That didn't happen.

After a week of thinking things were going to be ok, I was slapped with the harsh reality that they weren't.  I kept my strong face on and tried to get through it, but I wasn't doing a very good job.  At one point I baked a cake, bought some ice cream and ate all but a slice and a scoop in the span of 3 days.   I've skipped all but one workout and one healthy breakfast in the past 2 weeks, and have been sleeping until 11:30 a.m. or noon.

Obviously, things are not ok.

I've been having a hard time dealing with the fact that someone I love and care about has completely cut me out, over a ridiculous drunken spat.  Even worse, is that I've realized we're in two completely different places-- and it's causing us to drift a part.  This conundrum has caused me to fall back into some old and harmful eating habits while I work through my emotions.  Over the last few weeks, I've eaten more than my fair share of sweets and carbs, I've stopped working out, and I've removed myself from a lot of my social engagements.

And then, on Thursday I got some amazing inspiration.

One of the bloggers I follow posted a link to this woman's posthumous letter to her daughter.  It made me laugh, cry, and think.... a lot!  I recommend you read it, immediately.  There are a few parts to this letter that really struck a chord with me:

"Life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES.  However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, 'NO! NO!'  Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, 'When I rise in three days, the disciples aren't going to believe this when I tell them about it.'"

Jason and I have been through hell and back over three of our last five years together.  The first year was amazing, and this fifth year is shaping up to be wonderful... but those three in between were crap.

In the course of three years we:

  • were unemployed
  • were so broke we were digging for gas/ money in our change box
  • suffered through the loss of several beloved family members
  • gained nearly 200 pounds total
  • sunk, simultaneously, into a deep depression
  • nearly broke up dozens of times
  • had at least 3 screaming matches a week
  • found out who our true friends are
  • stopped laughing
  • missed some life events of really good friends due to money/emotional problems
  • pushed away family and friends, to the point of near isolation

It was a dark time to say the very least, but I wouldn't change a thing about it.  Over the last 5 years, I've grown more than I ever would have if life gave the the "easy" map.  We've been through things that would have broken other couples up, and we're still putting along.  What this difficult time in life has taught me, is worth more than all the gold and money in the world.

Plus looking back at all of my best stories, they came from a horrible life moment.  They're all things I can look back at now and laugh at. It's funny how life has a way of working itself out, without giving us any insight into the final outcome.

"Always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren't having a full-on nervous breakdown-- you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit.  You'd be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two.  Get a big biscuit tin."

After reading this, I thought: 'I should really invest in a biscuit tin.'  And then I thought, 'What is a biscuit?'

It's kind of like a cookie, in case you were wondering.  Crazy Brits :)

I can't tell you how many breakdowns over the last three years could have been solved if only I had a biscuit tin.  Over the course of our relationship, Jason has nick named me "Kerstin "Queen of Overreacting" Lock.  And apparently I work in the Department of Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills.

I'll own up to it, I have a tendency to blow things out of proportion (I can already hear my mom saying, "That's the understatement of the year!")... but I come by it naturally.  Thanks women on my mom's side of the family.   But hey... despite genetics working against me, I've been doing a really good job of owning my feelings and apologizing when I take them too far.   It's a big step for me to even allow those feelings to be said out loud, and to own up to them is an even bigger step.

Plus, my skin has started looking so much better.  There's something to be said for letting your feelings show.

"Choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you're in your best outfit when you're with them, even through you're just in a T-shirt.  Never love someone whom you think you need to mend-- or who makes you feel like you should be mended." 

This one hit me like a mac-truck!

Since returning from my not-so amazing trip to Montana, I've been doubting myself.  I had to hear things like "Can't you control yourself?"  And, "I don't need another person's life to fix."  It really heard hearing those things coming from a close friend... and it really made me start to feel like a bad person for having emotions.

Then I read this letter... and it was brought to life after I spent a fantastic weekend with some amazing friends.

I spent Saturday at a winery with some of the wonderful women I met when I lived and worked in Eugene several years ago.  It was amazing to see everyone again.  We've all come to such a different place than when we met SIX YEARS AGO!  There was a bachelorette party happening nearby, and it was such a funny contrast in more ways then one.


One of my friends told me that I looked "happier, healthier and stronger than the last time" she saw me.  It made me tear up, still does just thinking about it.  Like I said before, I've been doubting my progress weight-loss wise and emotionally since I got home from Montana.  I feel like I've been fighting to get people to see it... but then, my friend Amy offered up this compliment out of the blue and I made me feel like all my hard work has been paying off.

Then yesterday, we spent a few hours at Ikea with my college friend Erin, her husband Matt and their son Wade.  Erin is expecting a little girl now, and it's become sort of a tradition to meet them at Ikea on their way out of town and help them get stuff for their new addition :) They were here for a the weekend for a friend's wedding, so this was all the time we could squeeze in-- but it was well worth it.

Even though we don't see them often, every time I see them I just feel happy that I know them.  They're kind, genuine people and it's incredibly refreshing.

Then I had a light bulb moment!

I have such a wonderful support group.  I've come so far in the past few years, and even though I felt like I was doing it alone-- I had a great group of people rooting form me the whole time.  This weekend was the perfect reminder of that.

"Stay at peace with your body.  While it's healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure.  Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run."

I haven't been very nice to my body lately.  For nearly a month, I've been filling it full of crap and staying away from the gym.   It's not my body's fault that I had a crappy experience, that took a shot to my confidence.  And it doesn't deserve to be treated that way, especially after everything it's done for me over the past year.

I've climbed two mountains, trekked 14 miles around a mountain lake, and lost 41 pounds.  That's amazing folks!  And I don't talk myself up enough.  I'm lucky to be 29 and have done some pretty amazing things...

This long-winded post of mine today is meant to say that I started my journey at the beginning of this year to better myself, my body and my relationships.  It hasn't been an easy road, but I was on a good path-- until I wasn't.  And it's time to get re-focused.

After I finished reading this letter, I called my therapist and scheduled an appointment.  It has been about a month since my last appointment, and after some days of wallowing, I think it's time to get back into the swing of things.  This morning I went to the gym, and kicked some ass!  Then I hiked to the top of Powell Butte.  It felt really good... and I hope that good feeling stays throughout the week!

So now it's time for me to take some time and focus on me, my mission and my goals.  I'll be back next week with more adventures!  Thanks for sticking with my long-ass post today :)


  1. Thanks for sharing! The thing I always tell myself is that it's okay to cry. You don't have to have your shit together 24/7. None of us do. You may have caught my mini-breakdown in the newsroom on Sunday. I'm thankful for friends who I can be so brutally honest around that I could let the tears fall and be comforted simply by their friendship.

    1. Thank you Sophie, for your kind words. And I'm sorry it took me so long to respond! This was an emotional one for me to write, but it was good to get it off my chest and share it with the world. Finding true, lasting friendships has been a challenge for me. But, I think I'm starting to figure it out. Hopefully by 30, I'll know what I'm doing :)


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