Writing

Stuck in Limbo

Hello, lovelies.

So, this post is going to get personal and it’s going to go everywhere, so…

here we go batman GIF

My mental health for the past few months has been…not great. But it’s been a weird-not-great, in the sense that, it’s not like I haven’t been happy, per say. Because I have been. I’ve had a lot of really happy moments and days and events. But there has also been this depressive cloud hanging over me, pretty intensely, and it’s been really hard to shake off.

So, of course, I came here to write about it, because this is my safe space and this is where I go.

I know the surface source. It’s the fact that I gained back the 25 pounds I had lost, getting back up to 200lbs after I moved in with my boyfriend (losing the convenient running trail right outside my door) and stopped working out on a regular basis. My clothes aren’t fitting as well anymore, I’m dreading looking in the mirror again, I feel self-loathing and self-hatred creeping up around every corner. Sometimes, even my boyfriend’s insistent and persistent claims that I’m beautiful and he loves me no matter what I look like or what the scale says, isn’t enough to break this black cloud that hangs over me like a relentless shroud, slowly suffocating until I just feel hopeless.

But it goes deeper than that.

Dule Hill Crying GIF

Not only has my self-confidence taken a hit, but it’s like…my entire identity is in limbo, right now? People started to associate me as an active person. My family, my coworkers, friends. All of them knew I was making working out a priority in my life and they could physically see the changes that it was creating.

Now that I have struggled to get back into the groove again or even find any desire to do it in the first place (honestly, I’m just at the point where I don’t really want to, even though I should), I feel like this massive failure. Not only because I’ve gained weight again, but because I’m no longer associated with being active and working out, things I liked being associated with. I feel like this disappointment, because I couldn’t keep up with it; because I continue to ride this wave of being really motivated and working out on the regular, before going weeks without ever going to the gym, because I just…don’t want to? I want to use that time for other things, but then I feel guilty, because I always talk about how I’m being active and everyone was so proud and impressed, so now that I’m leaning towards not wanting to, isn’t everyone going to chalk me up as a failure?

*sighs heavily*

Friends, this is…a lot of emotions to unpack. And it’s just exhausting, because I am tired of fighting this mental battle with myself, especially since no one is telling me these things. Feeling like a failure every time I choose to stay home and play my PS4 instead of going out for a run is exhausting. I know working out is good for you. I know it has so many benefits. And I miss having that confidence within myself, of loving how I looked, of being proud of my strength and my body and what it could do; of actually wanting to go shopping and get a new outfit or not avoiding mirrors or having my picture taken with every ounce of my being. That confidence came from working out regularly.

But I selfishly what that confidence and self-love now, even if I choose to never work out again in my life. I want to love my body the way it is now, curves and jiggling and all. I want to still stride into a room with confidence, instead trying my best to blend in and not be noticed. I want to go to the gym when I want because I enjoy it, not because I feel all this pressure to–because if I don’t, I’ll end up feeling like this every day and hating myself, so then when I don’t, I end up feeling worse. I’m tired of these mental battles, these black clouds, this draining loop.

I don’t want to hate myself anymore.

I just don’t fucking know how to stop.

Psych GIF

Sorry for the ultra-sad and super-personal post today, frandos. I set out to write an extra motivational post for myself, about how I can create my own happiness and fight off what I’m dealing with now, but as you can see, that’s not exactly what decided to come out when I started writing.

I hope you all are doing well and finding ways to smile, no matter what you’re dealing with. Always here with an ear if you need it.

Cheers.

24 thoughts on “Stuck in Limbo”

  1. Ugh, you poor thing. I wonder if changing the focus of your activity would help, like instead of focusing on losing weight, focusing on lifelong healthy habits.

    Blogging is great, isn’t it? It’s like therapeutic journaling, except online.

  2. Oh Nicole, it sounds like you need a great big squeezy hug: I’m so, so sorry you’ve been feeling like this. It’s so fucked up how much our brain can screw with us, ignoring how worthy, how wonderful, beautiful, funny, kind and basically fantastic we are ❤ I hope blogging this all out has given you some peace. Have you thought about doing some daily affirmations of self-worth to see if that helps? A lot of people say it feels weird when they start, but it helps re-wire our brains, because there is DEFINITELY nothing wrong with wanting to stay home and relax rather than going for a run. If you ever want to chat or need anything, let me know ❤

    1. Thank you so much, Ana. It positively BLOWS MY MIND the shit my brain comes up with sometimes and what I find myself believing about myself. Will prolly give you a proper rant in the form of an email tomorrow. ❤

  3. Oh Nicole, take all my love. ❤ ❤ I totally understand that head space. I had a lot of issues around food and self-image around highschool and uni and starved myself down to an unhealthy weight. I didn't look closely at *why*, and I only just realized last year (because of a book) that I've been dealing with an eating disorder. Which was like, a major shock. So now I'm trying to gain back the weight, which is…not fun. Are you into any sports? I've found that doing specific activities (kickboxing, swimming) can be more motivational than just gym-going.

    And totally DM me if you want to rant! (Aaand I just realized I've not been following you on twitter. *facepalm* Remedying that now!)

    1. Kathy, you are way too sweet. ❤ ❤ ❤ I'm so sorry you have dealt with this, too, and you are way too incredible to share that with me. Also, that is incredible that a book helped you come to that realization! I do like to play soccer, but I like to play with others and I'm not sure if I'd find a group thanks to my weird work schedule? But I haven't looked, so maybe I will. But, getting a puppy will force me to be active, which will be awesome!

      Ohmygosh, I can't believe that, either! I think I tried to find you once and couldn't, so I'm glad you found me. That offer is right back at you! ❤

  4. I think that so many of us go through these issues particularly of low self esteem, and of course it’s a vicious circle because you feel ‘down’ so you eat comfort food and exercise is something that makes you feel so good at the time, but once you get out of the habit it can feel like such a hurdle.
    I think the advice above is good advice. Lifelong healthy habits. Don’t think about dieting, think about the food you eat, not the calories or the amount, but is it good, healthy food. Go for a walk instead of the gym, it’s free and you can listen to music or a book so kill two birds with one stone.
    And, most importantly be kind to yourself.
    Lynn 😀

    1. YES, exactly. That cycle can be really vicious, sometimes. I think I could definitely use a mindset change, for sure, and trying to focus on building healthy habits, without the self-imposed pressure, should hopefully help!

      Gosh, yes, I need to work on that, too. Thank you so much for your kind words, Lynn!

  5. Oh can I relate. I was sick for about three years with various things and my physical self is now crap. I know I want to be healthier and yet it is so hard to gain the momentum to do it. I just want to eat fat and sugar (tasty!) and read and play video games. But I also want to gain back stamina and muscle mass. But working out is HARD. It has been a mess trying to be consistent in me goals. I am super hard on meself in this regard and also consider meself a failure when I don’t exercise or when I do something for fun that is not also useful. The first mate is also a workout genius and loves working out and I keep comparing meself to him. Not helpful. So I try and focus on celebrating whatever I do. I am currently walking the stairs for 5 minutes a day to start. It seems silly that 5 minutes is rough but I tell meself baby steps. Then I actually do a happy dance when I am done. Me goal is to do something healthy every day in addition to the stair walking. Self-love of any kind even if it doesn’t involve exercise. I gave meself permission to play Zelda this past week and played for 8 hours straight and had so much fun. I realized that I needed a day of no thinking and plain fun. So take a bath, watch a movie, walk outside for five minutes, eat a salad. Stuff like that. Weight is not the issue. Feeling healthier is. I don’t know if this is helpful advice at all. But I am listening and I do care. I know ye have yer boyfriend and close friends to talk to. But seriously if ye need a one on one pep talk I will be that person. Stay awesome and strong. i know ye are. Arrr!
    x The Captain

    1. Yes, exactly! It’s like, there is so little free time to begin with and so many games I want to play, so I want to spend my time doing that! But that post working feeling is also so wonderful and I miss that feeling, too, and I usually am so much more productive and happier when I work out. I do have others, too, who are killing it with their workout goals, and it’s hard not to get jealous or comparative, which is super not helpful or fair to anyone involved. I’m so glad you had a good Zelda playing experience (I’ve been addicted to Borderlands recently).

      No, your advice was super helpful. Perhaps if I try to focus on just something every day–not a routine that feels broken if I miss it once–but just something to get me moving and foods that make me feel good, while still enjoying those sweets and fats–I might do a better job of being kinder to myself. And your offer to talk means THE WORLD, Captain. You have absolutely no idea. ❤ Right back at you, *always*.

      1. I looked up Borderlands and have to admit it seems like a game I would suck at. I don’t do well with the first person shooter style. But the storyline sounds fun.
        x The Captain

      2. You might be surprised! I am *shite* at first person shooters, yet I’ve figured this one out and am doing pretty well! I do still die a lot, though. 😛

  6. Fellow self-attacker in the brain department here. Really, I have no words or advice that other people already haven’t given. The brain is a crazy stupid thing that I fully believe has the capacity to do more harm than good – and that seems to be its def strength for some people. Like me. And apparently you. Like why can’t legit horrible people have these thoughts instead of being over-confident assholes?

    The only thing I can offer, is that things done out of guilt are never going to truly make you happy. Regardless of how they make you feel in the moment. You can never make a permanent positive change from a place of guilt, it just doesn’t work. Because in the end you resent the guilt.

    I hope that all of the people’s words and advice have helped and that you are feeling better. Love and hugs!

  7. I wish you weren’t going through this! Our brains certainly conspire against us, which is so disheartening at times.

    “Relapse” isn’t a failure, it’s a natural part of the process of setting new lifestyle changes. Because it’s /hard/. You’ve done wonderfully and sometimes doing everything right can be exhausting too – then it can feel even more constraining because you’ve adapted it to your identity and if you “let go” it feels a lot more like /everything/ is wrong.

    You’re lovely and wonderful no matter how often you work out. I hope you give yourself a break and the benefit of the doubt. There is a lot of great advice above. Make changes you want to make for you to make you happy. When/If you’re ready to get started again, it’s ok to start small if it’s easier. Research tells us the health benefits can be significant with even a little extra activity. Go for a walk with a doggo because they’ll love it, or decide to go outside because the weather is being uncharacteristically kind. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else.

    I personally do awful when it comes to work-out goals – and have never really succeeded at setting a habit. I’ve never gone to a gym consistently. Right now is the first time I’ve been good at keeping up a running schedule and it’s only because I have a specific race both Matt and I are going to be in the next few weeks. And then the only reason I was able to start was because it’s a super low-key race. It’s the first time I was able to find something that gave me motivation but also didn’t turn up the pressure too much. I’m already getting nervous about what’s going to happen after the race.

    Lots of love ❤ ❤ ❤

  8. It’s okay to admit you’re not doing okay and I’m sending you tons of love and support because it’s a hard, but leaning into it sometimes makes it easier to wrestle to the ground ❤

  9. Hi, Nicole. How much of this do you think is winter doldrums? The weather this year has sucked, and since most of what you like to do for exercise is outside, it’s no wonder you didn’t want to do it. See if the warmer weather makes a difference. You were walking on your breaks at work – start doing that again. It’s a small thing, but it might get you going again. If I’m available I would love to go with you. I love walking. And the sunshine will do you good – get that vitamin D going again. They say that lack of vitamin D can cause Depression. And Nicole, my husband has always told me that I’m beautiful and sexy, even when I was at my heaviest and/or pregnant. I had a very hard time believing him. I always thought he was just saying that to make me feel better, or because he felt he had to, or because he’s stuck with me. It took me YEARS to realize that he really means it. I’ve been married 40 years this May (OMG!!!), and he still honestly sees me that way. And now I have wrinkles and loose skin, too. He looks at me through eyes of love. He’s a special man, and I get the feeling that your boyfriend is, too. Take him at his word and bask in his compliments. The next time he tells you you’re beautiful, just say something like, “I know!” Or even just, “Thank you.” Nothing else. No “buts.” You’ll shock him. And you’ll feel so good! The sun is shining out there now. On your break, go outside!! I’m here if you need me.

    1. Kathy, ohmygosh, hello! ❤ ❤

      Thank you so much for this reply, truly. It was so kind of you to write such a long, detailed response, let alone read my blog in the first place! It truly made my day, I don't think I can express that enough.

      I think you're onto something about the winter weather, because you're right: this winter was particularly harsh. Once I'm working 8am-5pm (for that small window, anyway), I will definitely have to see if you're ever free to go walking!

      And thank you for saying that about Edward and sharing that advice with me. It's something I really need to work on, but your insight will definitely help me to do that!

      Thank you so much again, Kathy. This really meant a lot. ❤

      PS: Congrats on 40 years, that is INCREDIBLE and I'm so happy for you both! ❤

  10. I know this is an older post, but you are so not alone! University is bumming me out (I was looking forward to this module, but it’s nowhere near as good as I expected), I was rejected for a couple of jobs I wanted, and I’ve not made much progress on my stories. Last month I ate loads and barely exercised.
    Thing is, my personal life’s going great. We’re getting our kitty, we’ve been playing so many board games and video games together, and we’ve even been adulting and sorting the mundane things like chores and bills. I think the reason I’m feeling so down is because I’m doing none of the things I expect myself to do (work on projects, eat healthily, exercise, etc) and I’m constantly beating myself up about that. I think we both need to take a step back, give ourselves a break, and celebrate whatever we have accomplished, however small it might seem 🙂

    Also, don’t sweat the weight gain: I gained 42 pounds when we moved in together, and I think if you ask anyone it’s probably common. You become comfortable, eat more, and exercise less (because there’s another person to play video games with, and who wouldn’t do that over exercise? :P). It totally helps if you adopt a healthy lifestyle plan together 🙂

    Hugs and take care 🙂

    1. Aww, thank you so much, Louise!! Doesn’t matter if it’s an older post or not, I will always take advice and warm wishes, no matter what. ❤

      I think you really hit it on the head, though. We're both getting so caught up on slipping up over things we *thought* we'd do, that we forget to be proud of what we are currently doing. A little empathy and flexibility go a long way!

      Thank you so much for y our advice and your wisdom! It means a lot and I hope things continue to look up for you! ❤

      1. You’re welcome (l)

        I’ve started writing a list of whatever I accomplish each day, even if it’s chilling and gaming or reading, so I can contradict those thoughts and hopefully stop beating myself up so much 🙂

        Hope things start looking up soon (l)

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