It was interesting for me to go back home and see old friends and people that I haven’t seen for a while. I feel like they see me as the old me and in that old environment, but I went back as this new person, or this changed version of myself. The hardest part is when it’s not an immediately noticeable change. How do I handle that?
It’s crazy to come back to Knoxville, such a college town, such a drinking / bars town. People expect me to go out and drink and get drunk and be super social but now when I go out I’m not focused on that. I want to have fun and be entertaining but I’m not here to get drunk. I’ll have my drink or a few drinks but it’s not fun to say hi to a bunch of people I may not know or meet people who won’t remember me tomorrow. It seems like a waste of time for me. I would rather go to sleep and wake up rested tomorrow, have a productive day and not feel like crap and like I drank my calories. I know a lot of people in my situation would say ‘you don’t have to drink to have fun,’ which is true, but unfortunately I’m kind of uptight and as much as I can work on that, it’s hard for me to loosen up enough without having a couple drinks. So I have to have a few drinks to allow myself to get on their level, especially when I’m with people I don’t know. It’s an interesting thing to come here and it sucks because I know for my sister, who wanted to have fun, go out and party and have a great time, it’s not fun for her to see me yawning or refusing drinks. For me at this point it’s about my tomorrow and my future. It’s just a really hard line to tow.
It’s an interesting line to tow because I don’t think I’ve been a selfish person my entire life and I think that from now on I need to be more selfish. I didn’t grow up that way. My family is all about family and sharing and togetherness; we don’t do selfish. Especially for special occasions, we show up for a person and do what they want. I’ve always been cooperative and loved that environment but I’m realizing that environment isn’t necessarily conducive to how I want to live my life and how I feel like I need to live my life to get myself to where I want to be. So it’s hard to manage those expectations and the expectations I have for myself with goals I’m setting. It’s just really hard. I hate feeling like I’m letting people down, because I do feel like I let my mom and sister down and I know they think I’m a buzzkill but at the end of the day, my body is not their body and I have to be very careful about how I treat mine. They can drink more than me yet I’m the one who will gain the extra weight or I’ll be the one feeling extra hungover and that’s just the way my body reacts. Unfortunately, that’s not something people will understand. They’ll think it’s an excuse or think I’m lame, don’t want to have fun or I’m grumpy, boring and a killjoy. It’s just that I’m trying to meet certain goals and to meet them, I feel that these are things I need to do.
I saw a quote that said “I’m working on myself, for myself and by myself.” It’s interesting because up until this point everything I’ve worked on in my life has been very much a group effort. I have an awesome support system in my family, with my parents and sisters and close friends. Maybe because we had the same goals, it was easier for us all to help each other, because we were all trying to achieve the same thing. But with what I’m doing now, my family doesn’t have to deal with what I have to deal with. They don’t have to work as hard as I do. My dad knows exactly what to do to lose weight and knows exactly how foods affect him. I’m still trying to figure it out and trying to do it in a slower, more permanent way. My sisters have always been naturally thin, so small modifications and small temporary modifications can make all the difference for them, so as much as they might mentally support me or want to support me, they don’t and won’t ever truly understand unless they eventually get to where I am (hopefully never). They won’t have to know the work I’m having to do and won’t ever understand it. What sucks is that I’m in it alone and that they feel like I might be letting them down by doing what I’m doing when in reality that’s not it at all, it just comes across that way.
It’s a lonely undertaking.