I recently entered a “Biggest Loser” contest at work. The way it works is that the person who loses the highest percentage of weight by April 9th will win the title of Biggest Loser, as well as a monetary reward. I thought this would be good motivation because not only can I use the money, but a weekly weigh-in is required and I figured that if someone will be seeing my weight every week, I am going to make damn sure it goes down consistently. It is now 3 or 4 weeks later, and I haven’t lost a blessed pound. The only reason for this is that I haven’t even tried to lose weight. Well, I tried on some days and not on others. I didn’t really try to resist the temptation to eat something I wanted, but shouldn’t have. I finally realized that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to try to diet. It’s not that I don’t WANT to. It’s that I just can’t do it right now. So, I felt like kind of a jerk about it. I let the group down, and I let myself down. I want to be thin, and look great in my clothes, and have people look at me and see a 47 year old, thin, fit, and healthy woman. But I’m not ready to do the work yet. And after really thinking about it, I wondered why the hell I should be feeling guilty about it.
I am not in a place in life right now where I feel I can take on a personal goal and be successful at it. I have more on my plate than the average person. I have a sick husband who has failing kidneys, and is on so much medication, that he spends his days sleeping, or severely lacking the energy to do much of anything. My weekdays start at 6 a.m. when I get up to make sure my kids are up for school, and to get myself ready to go to work. I’m in work by 8:30 and spend my days with 5 year olds. I am home by 4, at which time I have to make any phone calls that need to be made (if I remember to make them), run any errands, shop for and/or make dinner, help with homework, make sure there is some clean laundry for the next day, straighten up any messes (usually half assedly because I am out of energy by dinner), run any errands that didn’t get done before dinner, have at least a little conversation with my kids, and get ready for the next day. That is all I do on a good day.
In addition to my full time job, I just took on a part time “small business” that I’m trying to get up and running so I can make some “extra” money. So my evenings also now involve answering emails and FB messages, learning about the company and the product, and promoting my business. Soon, there will be evenings that I will be out at parties, selling my product. Then there are the evenings that my kids have appointments or activities that I need to get them to. Friday nights are often spent taxiing kids to friends’ houses or to meet them at the movies or ice skating, or even at the occasional concert.
The weekends aren’t much quieter. They are spent trying to motivate myself to get up and clean the pig sty that is my home. After a full week of working and running around, it’s all I can do to dust, vacuum, clean the toilet, straighten the mess, and catch up on laundry. I never catch up on laundry. My house always feels dirty and messy, even if I clean. I feel guilty about that, too. I wonder what kind of wife and mother I am that I can’t keep a neat, clean home, have dinner on the table every night a la June Cleaver, and have everyone’s clothes cleaned, pressed and put away. I try to do it all. But my weekends are also spent carting my kids around, or out and about getting things for them for school, or things for the household for the following week. At some point, I have to get to the godforsaken grocery store…a place I’ve come to detest. I’m tired all the time. This isn’t how I want to spend my weekends.
Recently, I thought about all that I do. When I list everything like I did in this blog post, I realize I do A LOT. And I do it pretty much on my own. My husband and kids will help out a little, but the majority is all on me. Why is it that I always feel like I’m not doing enough? Why do I feel guilty that I’m not a perfect housekeeper, or a perfect cook, or a perfect wife and mother? Why do I never feel good enough? Why do I always feel like I should be doing more? I compare myself to other women who have neat, clean homes, or who go to the gym and look perfect in their jeans, or who cook a hot meal every single night rather than order take out. It’s not just me. I think A LOT of women feel the same way. Why do we do it to ourselves? I don’t know the answer to that question. But at this point, I’m allowing myself to be okay with not trying to lose weight. I just can’t put that on myself right now. I need to let something go for now, and so I’ve decided to let the guilt go of not trying to lose weight and being the perfect size 10. I’m going to be okay sitting in my dusty living room, eating my chocolate chip cookies. Just for now.