Well it’s Christmas Eve. Usually this is a time of year when I totally pig out. Eating and drinking everything in sight. Chocolate for breakfast was not unusual. I used the excuse “it’s only once a year it can’t hurt”. Well it did hurt. Also I was using the eating to cover the hurt. Whilst I absolutely adore Christmas it does also serve to remind me that there are things that I don’t have in my life that I have always really wanted. Things like having my own children and partner to wake up with on Christmas morning and share the joys of the day with. Someone to help me decorate the house, or even to appreciate the decorating once they are up. For a single woman living alone, Christmas can actually be quite lonely. I have fabulous brothers and sisters in law who welcome me into their homes at any time of year, and are more than happy to have me at Christmas, but sometimes I still feel like a burden…. you know like the crazy old aunt that your parents used to argue about whos turn it is to host her as she has nowhere else to go and its wrong to leave her alone for Christmas. My family would no doubt be horrified if they knew I felt this way – its definitely more about how I feel about myself than how they feel. So anyway I used to eat and drink the pain away.
This year has been different though. There have still been numerous functions, parties and get togethers, and there have still been lonely hours at home alone, but this year I have something I havent had in previous years. Hope, inspiration and an absolute belief that I can change. I’m not saying I’ve done a complete turn around overnight. I havent. I still cry at night sometimes and wonder whether anyone (other than my brothers, their wives and my nieces and nephews) will ever love me. I still wish I had my own kids to spoil on Christmas morning, and a family of my own to share Christmas traditions with and I still LOVE chocolate. I havent been eating it for breakfast though. As a matter of fact I have hardly eaten any at all. Yes I bought myself 4 individual little ones when i was buying the gift boxes at Belle Fleur but I have so far only eaten 1 even though they have been in the house for days. Some of you may tut tut and say I shouldnt have eaten any, but you don’t realise what an achievement that is for me. Last year for example, I bought myself a full gift box (justifying it by saying it was a “spare” in case I had forgotten someone), and had eaten the 5 or 6 individual ones i bought within 1 hour of getting them home. The giftbox was devoured (by me) by new years… and only lasted that long cause I’d received others at christmas. So one bit size chocolate in 3 days is bloody close to a Christmas miracle!
You don’t know how many calories you have saved me just by being able to connect in a small way with you all here (on the 12WBT forums). Reading your stories and your struggles moves me and lets me know I’m not alone. Reading your hopes, and your positivity inspires me. I know I have eaten way less “junk” over the last couple of weeks and in a large part its because of you. When I’m lonely and/or bored at home I jump on here instead of opening the fridge (which doesnt have any junk left in it anyway cause I refuse to buy anymore so once its gone its gone). Hopefully I can keep that up over the next 3 days which are the biggest food days for me.
Another someone who will probably never know how much she helps me is my 4 year old niece. I may not have my own kids, but this little girl gives me more joy than I could ever hope for. Just as an example… Saturday evening, I was sitting on a blanket alone, waiting for my brother and his family to arrive at Carols in the Domain. Surrounded by laughing families, snuggling couples etc I was struggling to save the space we needed on my own and starting to lament my status (and thinking maybe I should have brought dips and chocolates to snack on). Just when I was starting to feel sorry for myself this little ray of sunshine bounds into my arms with a huge grin on her face screaming “Aunty PEEEEEJ!!!!!). After engulfing me with precious hugs she looks me in the eye and says “Guess what Aunty Peej?”
“Santa comes in 3 sleeps!”
“Ohhh” I say. “how exciting!”
“And guess what else?” exclaims this adorable little bundle of love
“Its only 2 more sleeps until you come to my house!!!”
So if a visit from me brings the same level of excitement to a 4 year old as the coming of Santa how could I possibly feel unloved? Definitely not the crazy old aunt no one really wants to host.
Knowing how much she looks up to me, helps keep me on track. I want to be the fun aunt she can do things with, that can keep up with her and run around with her. Once she arrived I no longer missed the dips etc I would normally have consumed at an event like that.
The positivity followed through to the next day too. I went over and visited my other brother, and as it was a hot afternoon took my swimmers to take a dip in their pool. Instead of my usual melancholy at how horrid I look in swimmers, I was actually thinking “gee cant wait till I no longer have to wear boardies to cover my thighs.” , “by this time next year I’ll be back in that bikini”. Instead of just sitting in the pool, I found myself constantly moving around, not doing laps or anything but just using the water as resistance to work my arms and legs a bit. My sister in law even noticed the little bit of weight I’ve dropped since last seeing her, which was lovely especially since i cant see it anywhere but on the scales yet. Not even the guilt trip laden Christmas card my mother sent me could dampen my spirits. (and that is a HUGE leap forward for me)
So here I am, looking forward to spending Christmas with my family (well the important members of it anyway). Yes I will still eat the Christmas roast etc, no I probably wont count the calories in that meal, but I have a sneaking suspicion I wont be finishing it so full I feel sick and can barely move. I also know that instead of eating to dull my pain, I will be embracing the love that does surround me and maybe even loving myself
So to my fellow members on this journey, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you all are surrounded by loving and supportive people. I KNOW we can get through this period without stacking on the kilos but still having a wonderful time with family and friends.