It's been a long time coming, but I've finally realized something.
It took someone else pointing it out for me to recognize my anger for what it is, and I've given a lot of thought about whether to even talk about it here. Mad isn't a nice emotion, and I like to stay positive. In fact, it's been so important to me to be positive that I've ignored and pushed down other, less happy emotions. Part of this personal revelation is that trying to put a good face on everything all the time is --- well, duh --- not all that healthy.
So, it's time to acknowledge that I'm really mad that losing weight and keeping it off is so damn hard for me. I'm mad that I could work as hard as I have and still have to constantly worry. I'm mad that I did all that work and still managed to gain so much weight back. I'm mad that it makes me feel so bad, that it makes me afraid for my health, that I hate not being able to wear the clothes I like. It makes me mad that I feel like I have to defend myself to society, that I feel ugly even though I know I'm not and even if I am SO WHAT?
I'm mad at the expectation society at large has that women should be decorative at all times and if they're not up to some impossible standard, any of their other accomplishments are worthless. The biggest insult you can give a woman is that she is ugly, and the word "fat" is a synonym for ugly in most people's lexicons. It's the first thing morons say when they want to shut a woman down for any reason.I'm mad that I can't just tell those morons to go f@#$ themselves and go my merry way, being fabulous, never giving it another thought. I'm mad that every magazine and advertisement and tv show and movie you see glorifies a single, impossible standard of beauty, all in the name of getting us to buy stuff, and I'm madder that I know this and yet sometimes it still works.
I'm mad that I have this injury that is keeping me from being at 100%, that worker's comp is taking so long to kick in so I can get it treated, and that being heavier exacerbates the problem. I feel guilty and mad at myself because it's such an effort right now to work out.
I don't regret my efforts, yet I'm mad at myself for my failures, for my foibles, and for not being able to just get over it. And that brings me to the next part.
What good does it do to be so mad? None, not really. But it's good to acknowledge it, and to acknowledge that being mad and trying not to is really stressful. It's a step in releasing the anger and moving on to something --- well, you should forgive the term --- more positive, or at least more constructive.
Which brings about another acknowledgement. This blog was once a great tool for me, a source of motivation and inspiration and accountability. Lately, it's just been stressful. I haven't written much in the past several months; not only because I really have been busy with other projects, but because it's become a struggle. I'm not doing very well in my battle for health and fitness right now, and I feel like I'm letting other people down as well as myself (while fully acknowledging that I put myself in this position)!
And I feel guilty for not keeping the blog up. More stress.
There is so much that is amazing in my life. My husband is a wonderful guy; I have a great family and friends. My dogs are ridiculously cute. My singing career is keeping me very busy, and I have a lot of side projects like my Business of Singing workshops and consultations, Spotlight on Opera, writing for Classical Singer Magazine, and my voice studio.
While I am still very much interested in health and fitness, and in no way giving up on my pursuit of them, I am forced to acknowledge that the number one health issue in my life right now is the stress, and in order to bring everything else back into line I've got to deal with it. I need to cut some things out.
You see where this is leading.
This isn't the way I wanted to end this blog, but it's appropriate. I've always tried to be very frank and open --- haven't always succeeded --- and this is as open as it gets. It's time to move on.
This isn't the end of my blogging. Writing has always been, and always will be, a great outlet for me. My story will continue at Mezzo with Character. I've decided to shift to a more general focus, blogging about my adventures as an opera singer, on and off the stage; and that will include my adventures in cooking (with recipes!), travel, exercise, weight, food, and all the other weird and wonderful things that life brings us. Such as day before yesterday, when one of my colleagues suddenly found a raft of text and voicemails from horny guys in Baltimore --- seems that a certain professional named "Desire" had posted an ad seeking clients and gotten her cell phone number wrong by one digit. My friend was very popular that evening, and we had a really good time replying to the would-be johns. ("Thank you for calling the Baltimore FBI Sex Offenders Register. Your call is being monitored.") You can't make this stuff up. And in recounting it, I might be tempted to share the time yours truly got mistaken for being that kind of working girl.
The Next Hundred Pounds will stay up for the time being, but I won't be monitoring it except for spam removal purposes. If you'd like to reach me, please visit Mezzo with Character and leave a comment there, or email me.
Thank you, to those who have followed my story and written to offer me advice and encouragement, or shared your own stories with me. Thank you to those who have commented, or emailed me privately. Thank you for letting me know that my writings helped you. I truly am so glad. Thank you for reading me.
See you around. :)