It has been really hard finding the time to update my blog, hopefully it will get a little better when the kids are back in school and I have a bit more alone time…we’ll see. Anyway, this week was okay I guess, the scale did not tip in my favor, but I am surprisingly chill about it. It occurred to me this afternoon while I was doing some yardwork (where I do a LOT of soul-searching) that I haven’t addressed a subject that is very integral to losing weight and/or being healthy: mental stress.

These last few months I have been under significant mental stress. I ended up having to quit my full time job after months of being bullied and harassed by a coworker. My husband, myself and both of my kids lost our insurance coverage and with only one source of income are having to work very hard to make ends meet. My husband was transferred to a different work location and his boss makes extreme, sometimes even ridiculous, demands of him. I had major surgery that took over a month for me to fully recover from. My mom was laid-off from her job. My only brother got married and at the last minute I had to drop out of his bridal party due to financial reasons. Things have just been tough. Really tough.

In March things were so bad at work that I was literally breaking down into tears on a daily basis. I finally had enough and decided to get help so I started seeing a therapist. I was embarrassed and scared to go the first time but now going is something that I really look forward to. I go for an hour and sit and just talk about what is stressing me out. She asks me a few questions, sometimes she gives me a small goal to shoot for, but for the most part she just listens. When I lost my insurance I couldn’t go see her every other week anymore. I had a little bit of money in savings that I have used to continue seeing her once a month, and now every other month because I know it is so important to my well being to continue.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my friends. In general, my friends are really good people with really kind hearts and I enjoy spending time with them. However, this year in particular, I have felt very alone. My parents and my husband do an amazing job of listening and encouraging, but sometimes I really just need a friend. When you have friends to talk to you don’t put as much stress on your family and a lot of times friends can offer you fresh “outsider” perspectives that can be really helpful. However, most of my friends, if they can find time for me, they are so distracted or just seem uninterested. Try talking to a friend about fertility problems when she can’t stop playing peek-a-boo with her baby for even 30 seconds. Try talking to a friend about your struggles to lose weight when she can’t stop joking about how fat her size 2 body is. It’s frustrating.

After my surgery I was stuck on the couch at home for an entire week and not a single friend called or came to visit me. I got a few texts here and there, but that was the extent. It was the longest, loneliest week of my life. I had moments where I couldn’t help but wonder if my friends just didn’t care. Every year there is a 10-12 day period during the summer when my kids are gone and I’m utterly depressed without them. My friends are nowhere to be found then. Again, those feelings come creeping up making me think that my friends don’t care.

The good thing about my visits with the therapist is that she has taught me to question everything and not take things at face value. I know that my friends do really care. I am a giver and a lot of my friends are takers. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just a fact. I am a good listener and a lot of my friends love that about me and confide in me, maybe forgetting that I too have concerns and struggles to talk about. I still adore these friends and look forward to spending time with them.

The point that I am (very slowly) getting to is that I have come up with another goal for myself that will assist my mission to overall good health. I want to reach out and make more friends. I want to find others that are like myself and will be supportive to me reaching my goals. I encourage others to do the same. A good support system is vital to achieving goals of any kind. I am going to work on finding or strengthening friendships that have more give AND take. 🙂

Here’s to a healthier me and you!