Here we are, with 2013 nearly at a close, and I'm down to one pair of jeans, a shirt or two, and sweatpants and sweatshirts for things to wear, because nothing else fits.
I've gained back every bit of the weight I'd lost in 2011-2012, plus 20ish pounds more. I could sit out here and pour out excuse after excuse as to why, but I think it really boils down to few things. And in reality, those few things come down to one thing in particular-- I quit believing in me.
The bullshit that happened with the trainer at the gym coincided almost perfectly with one of the last conversations I had with Patrick. The conversation where he actually came right out and said the reason he hadn't ever come to visit was because of my weight. That the reason he acted like a dick when I made the 8 hour trip down to see him and go to the job fair? Was my weight.
At the time that we were having this conversation, I had lost around 80 pounds. But I still wasn't "making changes and improving myself" enough to suit him. And that hurt. I never started this journey to better health because of him, specifically-- I did it because I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in years. I wanted to be able to do things I wasn't able to do.
But I'd be a liar if I said that a person you'd cared about since you were 14 telling you were beautiful and sexy, when no guy had EVER told you that before, and then ripping it away, telling you (in so many words) that it was all a lie, didn't hurt.
And maybe I didn't know how to handle how badly it hurt. Maybe Crown and Coke and copious amounts of chocolate and cookies seemed like the only options. After all, they were the things that had got me through all the other really hard times in my life, right?
So when I gained weight at the next weigh in at the gym, and I had to hear again about how I was doing everything wrong, and when I said it had been a rough couple weeks, and the response I got wasn't understanding, wasn't a "well, we'll work harder this week" but instead was more yelling about how I didn't know what I was doing and was a fuckup (again, in so many words)...
Well, maybe it didn't inspire confidence in myself. Maybe it just added to the steaming pile of self-doubt.
The crazy thing is, after I felt extremely bad about it for a few weeks, it became motivation to push myself harder, and I got to my lowest weight in more than a decade on my own. I did it. I did it without a trainer telling me what to do.
And then I don't know what happened. I don't know what was the catalyst for me losing that belief in myself again. I had a scary experience with a dude hitting on me at the gym in the middle of the night while we were alone, and I slacked off on going. I started going in the early evenings, taking my mom along to wait in the lounge area. And things were going fine with that, until some guy came over and gave me the unsolicited advice that I needed to be over on the cardio equipment instead of lifting weights, because that wasn't going to take the weight off. And he insisted, even after I told him "hey, look, I've lost 90 pounds in the last year. I know what I'm doing."
That killed my enthusiasm for going to the gym. I switched back to the other gym, but felt like I could only go in the middle of the night because I didn't want to bump into the trainers.
And even though I was back at the newer, nicer gym, I was going less often. I was back in that mindset of only wanting to be there when I could be alone, because I didn't want any more unsolicited advice or unwanted advances.
And at some point, I started taking the "you can't do this, Claire" to heart. I stopped going to the gym regularly. I went back to eating crap. I gained back 18 pounds. And instead of buckling down, taking it back off and continuing on my journey to being a better me, I just... kept eating. And kept believing I couldn't do it.
And here we are. Back at square one.
I just really want to believe in myself again.