Birthdays as an adult are, to say the least, complicated. To make a birthday simple is to make it better, the older you get.
That being said, I told my family that I wanted underpants, towels, and mixing bowls for my birthday. It was quite funny, then, when I opened two sets of mixing bowls and two sets of towels, later learning that the towels had been bought at the same time. Wouldn’t that have been the weirdest coincidence. The gifts were wonderful, and the families, both by blood and by marriage, were loving and understanding when I told them I couldn’t eat certain things or I’d saved up calories for certain others.
I managed to lose weight during the week of my birthday, even with unplanned eating, going over my daily calorie limit a couple of times, and exercising only because I’d been walking around a store for a long time. This is, as far as I know, the first and only time I’ve lost weight during the week of my birthday, and it made me feel good today to learn that, especially since I almost started crying in Wal-Mart yesterday when I went to buy some new panties.
It hadn’t really hit me how much I’d hurt myself by letting my weight get so high, and thus my underwear size get so big. It didn’t hit until, after searching through just about every pack of “normal” size underwear, that there was a plus-sized section of underwear to my right, and that I couldn’t find the style I liked anymore, because it wasn’t available in my current size. That hurt. It hurt to think how much self-harm I’ve done in the past through sugar, saturated fat, and my own self-hatred.
This morning, I woke up to a message from my husband, who had seen my rapid change from my normal, bubbly self, to a quiet, sad Rachael:
“Do not abhor the first step, because it isn’t the seventh.”
So I’m not going to focus on how much harm I’ve done to myself in the past, but how much good I’m doing now. I’ve lost 7 pounds since starting down the path of tracking calories and getting in walking during The Walking Dead, or getting back to the gym and swimming (because I am a mermaid at heart). I’ve also discovered the joys of avocado toast. Call me a hipster Millennial all you like, but it’s delicious. Fight me.
For all of you out there, wherever you are on your wellness journey, let’s focus on the good things we’ve done to ourselves, even if only today, or in the next hour, rather than focusing on our past harm.
(Also, focusing on the good in the past is good, too. Like how my mom, sister, and I were together for my birthday for the first time in a decade. And my grandmother, nephew, brother-in-law, and my husband were there, too. Plus my in-laws are wonderful people, and I got spoiled rotten by my husband, so all in all, a pretty great birthday.)
Thanks for being here for my birthday, dear readers. You’re a part of the good in my life right now, too.