My Jeans Are Tight
I’m sitting here writing this and my pants are tight. I am too aware that the waistband of my jeans are cutting into my waist. I should have changed but I thought hmm maybe these will loosen throughout the day. A classic example of my mind playing tricks on me and more evidence that my first thought is often not the wisest thought…
This story below is an example of how we give so much power in our day to day lives to the externals.
So, I woke up this morning thrilled. It is October 1st (my favorite month) and I have been really feeling myself. My business is growing, I’m not putting myself and my body through hell obsessively working out, my skin is free of painful acne, I eat what makes me feel good, I am sober and I am no longer in a deep depression about my father’s death. My relationship is solid and even though I do so much god damn work on myself, i’m proud of it and only want to do more. Just the other day I said to a friend, “I am so excited to be on this journey”.
I open my jean drawer and finally pull out my dark jeans that I haven’t worn since last winter. They feel a little tight on my legs but I know I also just put lotion on. They get up to my waist and the feeling of dread hits, oh fuck I am going to need to suck in to close this button. I breath in, button and look in the mirror — I am panicked. My body is different and the clothes are the proof.
In about 10 seconds my good vibes are flushed down the toilet. I immediately think “should I work out later”? Next thought (recovery thought), share this with someone Sydney.
I call a trusted human and get these thoughts out. I am not looking for comfort or suggestions I just need to be emptied of these thoughts that do absolutely nothing for my mind or soul but spiral me into what I like to call, the vortex of hell.
Once cleared I can see the truth of this situation and I will share it with you.
In August 2016 I was probably in a similar body to how I am now and then my dad died unexpectedly. With anxiety and depression comes zero appetite for me so I lost a significant amount of weight after that tragedy. About 9 months after his death I entered recovery and got sober. I gave up the alcohol and drugs but other obsessions flooded me. I worked out daily through horrific back pain. I ate unbelievably clean. I couldn’t sit still and when my back pain got so bad and an acupuncturist suggested I “take it easy” I cried saying “I can’t bear to be on the couch with myself” but I surrendered. Outside you saw a girl who was thriving despite a heavy loss, despite scary moments with alcohol. I had a 6 pack damn it, I was doing awesome. The truth is that inside I was crumbling.
So with the help of a therapist who told me no more Barry’s Bootcamp, I began exploring new ways to really take care of myself. Turns out sprinting at an 11 isn’t really self care (for me anyways). I journaled, I followed meditation videos, I got curious about different kinds of yoga, I dove into recovery more. I got honest with safe people about where my head can go.
For the last year I have moved my body in relation to how I feel not because I believe I “should” look a certain way. I prioritize sleep and connection with other humans and ultimately I really just try to enjoy the fuck out of life and thus my body has changed. That is reality.
See for me, the worst comparison I can make is to the previous versions of myself. I compare my current softer parts to places that were more toned. I compare my external body to previous forms and yet I never stop and compare my insides to my previous forms. This morning it wasn’t until 1 hour later that I was able to say wow, Syd you are the healthiest you have ever been. You are calm, steady, present, happy, optimistic. I immediately jumped to the external version of myself that my mind told me was best. Sure my small jeans fit but it turns out that the girl who fit into them was sad, chaotic, lost, obsessive and so afraid.
So what is the solution to this little microcosm of something way larger?
Put on new pants
Cut yourself some damn slack and then turn your attention to another. Obsessing in the mirror helps no one especially you. It is not useful
Check the facts, how are your insides today? Jeans aside; do you feel excited, strong, clear, useful, loved, valued? If the answer is yes to any of those, focus on that
Find humans you feel safe sharing with and if that isn’t an option, explore something bigger than you. I am not religious but I do have a spiritual life that is continuously evolving and has filled something for me that nothing external can
Watch your mind. If your first reaction is “I will fix this, I will work out today” ask yourself if that is really what the sweet human inside of you wants. We all need to be a little more kind to ourselves
Should I keep going :) Get professional help
Know you are so not alone
Write about it
Do the opposite action of whatever your mind is telling you (unless your mind is being kind, loving and compassionate to you then ride that wave hunny)
Say thank you to you, this is all one big journey