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I have been on a diet for a few months now. I’ve lost 30 pounds. Losing steadily week by week. And then a few weeks ago I began to struggle. I stepped on the scale fo r my weekly weigh-in the day after Thanksgiving and had only lost 0.8 pounds. I was upset. I was pissed. This was not acceptable.

I decided I was going to show my diet who was boss. So, I began a fast. I wasn’t not eating at all, I reasoned. And really, Advent is a time you’re supposed to fast anyway, I reasoned. I was, of course, full of shit. I ate very very little for a week and, not surprisingly, when I stepped on that scale a week later I had lost 8 pounds. Eight pounds! In a week! Woo hoo! I’ll be at fighting weight in a few weeks!

I imagine you can guess what comes next.

I continued my oh-so-religious-not-unhealthy-at-all “fast” a few more days and then I crashed. As happens. I ate a whole lotta junk. So, I told myself, well, I’ll just go back to the weight watchers. 30 points a day. fruits and veggies are 0 points. I’ll just go back to that and then I won’t regain the 8 pounds. Still dreaming of the holy grail of being at Goal Weight.  I reasoned that since I don’t have any clothes that fit me right now and since I can’t justify buying any new clothes until I am at my end weight, why it only made sense that I really *needed* to lost 3-5 pounds a week instead of that BS “1-2 pounds a week for healthy weight loss” they were always selling.

I imagine you can guess what comes next.

I didn’t stick to my 30 points. I bargained with myself further: okay, self, if you must eat more than the allotted 30 points a day, then at least *record* everything eaten. At least stay on track *that* much.

I imagine you can guess what comes next.

It’s been two weeks of my Angel making various bargains with my Devil. And the Devil laughing as she inhales candied nuts and dairy free egg nog.

I raised the white flag last night and decided to sit down and journal it out and see what’s going on. There are a lot of factors at play: my hormones are out of whack because I’m weaning my son, it’s THE HOLIDAYS and yummy comfort food is EVERYWHERE, being on a diet for 12 weeks is really hard and gets a little old after a while, I worked six days straight right as this downfall was starting (I work 12 hour urgent care shifts so this is no small thing. Honestly, working more than 3 in a row is pretty awful), and I’m pretty damned stressed since this is my first Christmas without my family. Also, my son with autism starts getting a little… shall we say, difficult this time of year because routines are getting out of whack with the holidays. Also, we’ve all been sick with colds (#UrgentCareLife).

But it isn’t just that I’ve been eating a bit more than I should or saying Yes to more cookies passed my way than I’d planned. I’ve returned to an old pattern of eating I’ve had since I was ten. (See this entry for more on that). So, I journaled away.

It’s this feeling that I have this hunger in me that will never be filled. Like I could consume the whole universe and I would still not be satisfied. It would still not be enough. I try and try to fill it. It’s exhausting. It’s a big black hole that won’t go away.

Because it is not something that can be filled with food. It’s trite but it’s true.

It is a hunger so wide and so deep. An ocean. No land in sight. And I am alone on a little boat. You can scream all you want but no one will hear.

It is something that must be filled with love and joy and speaking your truth and having someone hear and knowing you’re resilient and having faith it’s going to be okay. all of it. Filled with my son’s drawings and my daughter’s songs and my other son finally learning addition and my baby saying Uh oh! Filled with God and his saints and Hebrew prayers and oplatka and incense and chanting. Filled with the rhythm of the year and laughing when you really want to cry and doing what’s right even when it’s hard. Because life brings pain but we decide how much we suffer. And joy is a choice.

I am blessed with four beautiful children. I am blessed to be a physician. I am blessed to have been called to Catholicism. I am blessed to live in a warm home and drive a safe car and to be able to buy my children the things they need and some of the things they want. I am blessed to have grit. I am blessed because I am not alone. And it is not an endless ocean. Just puddles we’re jumping through. And in between, we laugh.