“Why is it so hard to be good at my job, write, work out regularly, work on my fellowship project, be on a synagogue board, have a social life, and continue to spend time growing a serious relationship?” I asked my therapist recently. I should have also added: and be a good sister and daughter, be a good roommate, learn to cook, learn to drive.
“You can’t do it all at the same time,” she answered.
The truth is, I’m trying. But there are only so many hours in the day and I mostly just want to be happy. My therapist went on to say that as different pieces become important, my priorities and how I spend my time will shift.
Suddenly, I began to look at my on-again, off-again, years-long Unbuttoned Pants Deadlock in a new way.
I am fifteen pounds heavier than I think I should be. At least, I am fifteen pounds heavier than I was a year and a half ago, and that knowledge has driven me slightly bonkers as well as to the gym. I learned to run, and I run on the treadmill and sometimes in the park close to my apartment. My weight has gone up and down and up and down… or, lately, just up and up. In recent months, every time I stepped on the scale I thought “Wow, I’ve never seen that number on here before.”
My pants—a pair of jeans that I wear almost daily—haven’t been fitting me but I put them on every day anyway. I’ve always refused to buy larger pants because I thought that would be “defeat”. This logic served me well in the past, as I was moved to buckle down and get the weight off. This time, months have passed and more often than not I just feel like a packaged ham busting out of my clothes.
I surrender. Dear God, I look fine. I look good. I eat well, and I’m working out regularly, and damn it: I’d rather be comfortable in a pair of pants that actually fit me. As my therapist said, I can’t do everything at the same time. So if I sit down at my job, or at a board meeting, or to write, or to work on my fellowship project—I don’t want to unbutton my pants anymore.
Yesterday I bought a new pair of jeans. They’re black skinny jeans and they’re a size that I’ve never worn before in my whole life.
They look great. Best of all, I feel great in them. I’m done obsessing. I’ll buy a smaller size if and when I get there.