Today, I bought a pair of shoes. They are a deep teal color and oh so perfect. The moment I put them on, it felt like heaven on my feet. So comfortable. They were $85. And I immediately felt guilty buying them.
It’s not because I’m in debt and the money needed to go somewhere else. In fact, I’ve been making extra payments on my student loans recently in an attempt to get them down. It’s not even because I felt somewhat bad buying something nice for myself.
It’s because buying shoes means something than entirely different to me than it does to most people.
It means I’ve gained more weight than I should have.
I hopped on the scale when I cam home today. I had just eaten. I weighed 174 pounds.
I can’t help but feel like a failure.
Two years ago when I was fed up with my weight I was nearly 200 pounds. I ran my ass off over a four month period, literally. I ate right with the help of Weight Watchers online. My weight bottomed out at 154. For the first time in a long time, I was happy.
My face had thinned (which is good because any weight gain for me automatically means my face balloons). My arms had too. I hadn’t looked that good in years. Really. It was life changing, game changing.
I followed the plan really well until sometime in May. Then, life happened.
My husband and I bought our first home. The day we moved in, I got a call to interview for the part-time position at the college I now teach at. It took us more than three months to settle into our new lives in a new house. For me it meant a somewhat longer commute, now across town before I got on the freeway. Lots of changes.
Then a very unplanned surgery for pain I’d been having in my abdomen for some time. It needed to happen. But I let it go and go until on the days it was bad, every step I took was excruciating. That set my running back for about six weeks. It also was my “fall of the wagon” moment.
I’m ashamed to say, I never got back on.
The two jobs didn’t help. I was crazy taking a part-time job when my full-time job was already stressful. My diet got way out of whack. I wake up at a different time. My schedule is never the same from day to day. My husband has a hard time keeping track of me.
I have excuses.
And I didn’t need the shoes.
I already have lots. (This is only one snapshot of my closest. I have lots and lots of boxes.)
I bought the shoes because shoes are kind of one size fits all. That size for me is an 8 1/2. Whether I gain or lose weight, the shoes will fit. (I have flat feet, inherited from my grandfather along with a predisposition to diabetes).
One size fits all. No matter how round my stomach is. No matter how fat my arms get.
I realized it almost immediately.
Probably because I headed over to Old Navy and started looking a shirts. Specifically a striped shirt. That’s not bright for a girl whose curves now seem over exaggerated and out of focus, wrongly proportioned.
I settled on two shirts that would hide my belly and cover my arms.
And a tank top. Because wearing a tank top under my shirt helps smooth out my belly hanging over my jeans.
I’ve failed myself.
Because this wasn’t the first thing I bought for myself with the same mentality.
A couple weeks ago it was a scarf at Target. I grabbed a bracelet somewhere else.
On payday this week, I bought a necklace.
It’s never about the shoes. There’s something much deeper at work here.
I need to drop those 20 pounds. I need to get back to where I was two years ago. I need to do better.
I need to make better choices.
Because right now I’m buying accessories to avoid buying clothes. I’m wearing cotton shirts and avoiding all other clothes because I need strength and comfort.
I’ve tried and failed in the past three weeks to start back on Weight Watcher again. I keep making up excuses about how I need more food in me to run, how I’ve have no energy if I don’t have the extra taco, etc.
But the truth is, I need to do better.
My wallet will thank me. But my body will too.
Here’s to finding a path back to 154.