I feel like crap today. Emotionally, that is.
One think that I really haven't had to tackle so far in this journey is emotional eating. It has been a major problem in the past, but for the first 50 - 60 days of this journey, things in my life have been going pretty good. I like my job, my family, and classes. Everything was peachy, and then my life started sliding down hill...fast.
First of all, we're broke. My husband hasn't worked since the beginning of June. He was hurt on the job, and as soon as it was time for him to return to work, they fired him. It is damned near impossible for my husband to find employment because he is a convicted felon. It doesn't matter if that felony happened when he was 18 (he's 36 now). No one will give him a chance. Although I know he has been trying, it is still frustrating as hell to me that he's not working. It is seriously damaging our relationship. We want to get a divorce, but we can't afford it! We can't even afford to separate! Needless to say, home life is beginning to get unbearable. We fight and argue all the time, and never have anything nice to say to each other.
Now we are facing losing our home. We have depleted all of our savings and resources and have nothing. And to top it off, our main source of transportation is broke down, and we can't afford to get it fixed. So we're having to use one car, a 1988 Crown Victoria. I pray every day the car will just last until we can get the truck fixed. Which won't be soon, I'm afraid, since I only make $600 every other week at my job and that barely covers utilities and gas for the car. Oh, did I mention that it has been between 30 - 50 degrees this week and we have no heat? It costs $280 to get the gas turned on, and we don't have that either. So it's cold in our house, and I have three kids who don't understand why we can't just turn the heat on.
The only solution that I can see to this problem is getting a second job, or another job altogether. The reason why I'm working this low-paying teacher assistant job is because I am in school to get my Master's in Special Education. This job is giving me on-the-job experience, and is also counting toward my college credit. It was also intended for me to work here to get my foot in the door with the school system, so that by this summer I'll have the college credits and experience needed to start teaching on an alternative license. At least that was the plan before my husband lost his job. Now I am devastated because I know that plan will most likely not happen. Since I am the one in the marriage with the degree and clean background, it is going to be up to me to get us back on our feet.
So now I'm looking for a job that I don't want. Ideally, I would love to find a second job where I can work evenings and weekends to supplement my income from the day job. That way I can keep my job at the school and complete my Master's and still have the shot at teaching next school year. But if I can't find a second job within the next week or so, then I'm going to have to quit the school job and get another 8 - 5 job that pays more. I don't have a choice right now. It's either that, or lose my home and not be able to provide for my children.
But not only am I facing the fact that I might have to ditch my dream of being a teacher 8 months before it might come to fruition, but I am also going to have to make a serious decision about my marriage. Right now, I just don't know if it can survive the disappointment and bitterness I will feel if I have to give up my dreams. Like I said, I know my husband has tried to get a job, but I know he has not given it his 100%. More like 70%. He doesn't like to work, and puts too much effort into finding the next "get rich quick" scheme. He's a dreamer, and I'm a realist, and times are hard.
All this story just so you can understand where I'm at right now, and how I think I am battling emotional eating. At first I thought it was PMS, then I thought it may be TOM that was causing the uncontrollable urge to eat things that are bad for me. But last night after crying my eyes out and feeling like I was at the end of my rope, I realized that it may have something to do with how unhappy my life is right now. The only thing that gives me any joy right now is my children, and I'm trying so hard to be happy in front of them. But I'm not. I am miserable. I want to crawl under a rock and stay there until I have enough money in the bank to pay my mortgage and turn my heat on. But I can't. I have to deal with this. And I have to do it without using food for comfort.
But how do I do that? Honestly, I don't think I've ever tried! Food has always been my friend and comforter during the bad times! Of course it's never made my problems go away, but it's still been there. I've never once wanted a substitute. But now I do. I do not want to eat my problems away. I want to get healthy and lose weight, and that is my priority right now. In a crazy life where it seems like everything is out of my control, my weight is the one thing that I have a grasp on. And I don't want to lose that grasp. I'm desperate to maintain it. So now, on top of everything else, I'm trying to learn how to change bad habits.
One thing that has seem to work are books. I've been reading A LOT in the past few weeks. Hell, I've read 5 novels since Friday! I don't eat when I read, and reading allows me to dive into someone else's life, if for only a brief time. Someone else's blog reminded me today that exercise is also good for improving your mood. I haven't exercised in almost two weeks, so I definitely need to get back on track with that. It has just been so COLD in my house that it's hard to leave the warmth of my covers. But I promise to try. The truth is, I'll do anything I can to maintain the momentum that has allowed me to lose 24 lbs. forever. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. This time is different. Failure is not an option.