For the photo shoot “There & Back Again” click here.
Blog post: I got my heart broken and my confidence shattered. I gained pounds. I stopped writing. I went to Italy… regained some of my confidence with handsome Italian men and Renaissance Art (and gaining a few pounds because… Hello, Carbonara!) I started a new teaching job. Exhaustion and depression left me coming home at 4:00 and binge eating anything that delivered in Burbank while binge watching old friends like Parks and Rec and Grey’s Anatomy until I fell asleep at 8:30–every day. I have eaten and watched my way up to twenty-five pounds. I’ve gained twenty-five pounds since my lowest Embraceable post, “In the 90s,” where I weighed 199.5lbs on June 30th, 2016– most of which was gained between March 2017 and last weekend’s Christmas cookie extravaganza. I now weigh 224lbs… by most standards I have failed. Again. Hard.
I have a long-standing relationship with failure. I have romanticized failure. All of my favorite quotes are about failure. I give full lectures on failure all the time. I have J.K. Rowling’s speech about failure memorized (I wish I was kidding. You can quiz me.). I have run from failure and been pulled back into his arms for the entirety of my adult life… until now.
I gained 25 pounds in six months. Failure.
First year teaching did not go as planned. Failure.
I accidentally paid $400 for a year and a half worth of an eHarmony subscription that I only used for a month, because it was so painfully dreadful I deleted it having had no actual conversations with men nor dates, but… I didn’t take it off automatic renewal. Failure.
I am back to being a single, overweight, under confident, broke student with more debit than collateral. I even lost my life insurance policy, so I’m not even worth more dead than alive. Failure…
But this round, after the shit hit the fan and I was back to ground zero–again, I looked around and there he was standing in the corner, waiting. This time, I greeted failure as an old friend.
Sometimes, there is comfort in failure. Comfort in the ability to start again. Comfort in knowing you have failed before, picked yourself up, and that you will do it again.
Losing my salary, my benefits, my life insurance policy, and all the security I had been working towards did not leave me battered and broken… it placed me gently into the familiar arms of failure. It placed me into the budgets I’ve already had for this level of income. It placed me into the paperwork for Covered California I already had. It landed me at my old Weight Watchers meeting with people who already care about me … all of which to say, my past “failures” are my current success–meaning I have never really failed at all.
I am not a failure. Yes, I gained 25lbs and failed to unsubscribe from eHarmony… but it’s nowhere I haven’t been before. It’s not a challenge I haven’t conquered already, and I’ll conquer it all again this time. I’ve been there and back again, but this time I’m not afraid.
Weight: 221.4 lbs (Down 3lbs since going back to my WW meetings two weeks ago!) How do you feel?: I caught that winter cold everyone has, but otherwise…hopeful. Small Victory: I have been weening myself off of take out/delivery. Biggest Disappointment: I had to say no to Ramen with Ashley today because I don’t have the money, I’m sick, I’m trying to eat healthier, and the ulcer I got last month from stress and delivery food was acting up again. Thing I appreciated about my body this week: My fingers are good with a quill and ink. I was able to make a cool project for a friend. #embraceablenow: Because I am not a failure.