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Hard Habit To Break

“Don’t let anything become a habit where you emerge feeling worse.” I read that recently in an advice column. Habits, bad ones, in my experience are complicated and insanely difficult break.

As the glowiness of married life started to fade a bit, Marc and I settled into a comfortable, I’m wearing sweats at night, kind of routine. We sold my little house in the city and purchased a house in the burbs of Portland where I grew up. A big backyard for the dog and a great school district for our future kids. Marc worked long hours building his insurance clientele and hosting his late night radio show while I was busy trying to satisfy two hundred overworked, underpaid employees which felt like nailing Jell-O to a wall. After work, we liked to relax with take out, a cocktail, and political news shows. Mexican food and martinis with Hannity and Colmes, or Chinese and chardonnay with Chris Matthews (or Bill O Reilly depending on our mood). Friday nights were spent at our favorite pub enjoying cheesy enchiladas and strong, icy lemon drops. I pretty much ate what I wanted, but surprisingly, I was also drinking what I wanted. Not a good combo for a woman with body image issues.

I’d been known to enjoy a drink or two throughout my adult life (ok maybe a little before), but keeping my consumption in check was never difficult for me for one big reason. I was raised in an alcoholic home. I saw firsthand the chaos my mom’s drinking created in our family and I knew there was a genetic component, the risks. So, I was careful. But drinking was something Marc and I enjoyed doing together. Wine tasting on crisp fall days while overlooking the lush Willamette Valley, grabbing a drink at a crowed bar while listening to live music, enjoying flame lit Spanish coffees after a romantic meal on the coast. If our relationship was a jazz band, alcohol was the saxophone, without it, something was missing.

By this time, I had long been out of the habit of weighing myself, and quite frankly I was afraid to get back on the scale for fear of what it might read. I did however have an unspoken rule that I would never wear a size larger than an X. (When it comes to specific sizes and weight I will speak in generalities,triggers.) The weight was creeping on and this time I was noticing. I didn’t like the way my clothes were fitting, the waistband digging into my midsection. I hated the second chin that seemed to emerge when I smiled, and my stomach, ugh, the pooch was back. Our consumption habits, while fun in the moment left me feeling worse in the long run heavy, lacking energy and frustrated I couldn't control myself when it came to the amount of food and drink I was consuming. And yet, I wasn’t ready to give up Mexican martini Mondays, I felt stuck. Again. But wait, I had been in this conundrum before, and I knew exactly how to control this.

A break in the nightly take out routine for sunset sushi.(2000).

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1 comentário

Becca Pava
26 de abr. de 2019

Just by reading your writing I can see the struggle searing through it. I knew the relapse was coming, but I'm glad that you at least had some time where you had a healthy relationship with Marc without mental illness interfering and weren't overcome with obsession about weight and your body. It's ironic that you had two unhealthy habits though and that you just exchanging one for the other.

First you had the unhealthy binge/restrict cycles, then you replaced that with the unhealthy overeating and over indulging at night pattern, and now I have a feeling from what you hint at in the end of this post that you are about to return to the unhealthy binge/restrict cycles.

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