February 17, 2011


I spent most of last week in what can only be described as a first-class funk. I was easily annoyed, cranky, perpetually sleepy, and just uncharacteristically down-in-the-dumps. Part of it was Dan being gone and part was the stress of the past few weeks catching up with me, but I think it was mostly brought on by the fact that I knew I had to wear a bikini this past weekend.
Go ahead, laugh. Judge me for being overly sensitive and insecure. Chuckle at the fact that I let a piece of clothing ruin my week. It's ok, I can take it. It's all true: even though I work out a lot, try to eat right, and struggle to keep my self-image at a healthy level, the thought of this body in a bikini in February is enough to make me want to head for the hills. May? Perhaps. June? Definitely. February? Absolutely not.
This handy little rule of thumb created a problem, though: Dan's grandparents have a glorious hot tub on their back porch, and one of our favorite things to do when we visit them is enjoy a little late-night dip -- a glass of wine (for me), a perfect view of the lake, and the two of us relaxing under the stars. It doesn't get much better than that. This time around, however, I knew that things would be a little different. Dan's entire family would also be with us. In the hot tub.
Don't get me wrong, I am marrying into one of the nicest and most welcoming families you could ever find. From the day Dan and I started to date, his family treated me as one of their own, and I have never once felt out of place or awkward spending time with them. It's really not that I feel uncomfortable wearing a bikini in February around them specifically, but that I would feel uncomfortable wearing a bikini in February around anyone. Ever. I would hate to cause anyone, especially a future family member, to become prematurely blind.
The reality of this situation hit me like cold gust of air last Monday morning. A bikini. February. (I know, I know. But really, I don't think it can be stated enough.) I immediately knew that I was going to have to be on my best behavior all week. I'm definitely not a crash-diet, starve-myself-skinny kind of girl, but I was prepared to up the exercise and shrink my portions a little bit in an effort to make this hot tub thing as painless as possible. So Monday, I went to the gym. Tuesday, as you may recall, I went back to the gym. Wednesday, believe it or not (I sure didn't), I went to the gym for a third day in a row (definitely a first around these parts). All week, I tried to eat well and avoided all the good stuff -- chocolate, pasta, baked goods (hold me). I worked hard to only eat when I was actually hungry, and I cut way back on the mindless munching that takes place at my desk on a regular basis. I skipped my Starbucks and opted for salads at dinner.
By Thursday, I was doing really well, but my little funk was in full swing. Usually when I'm trying so hard to be good, I will occasionally just give in and splurge, but last week I stuck with it and instead seemed to get progressively angrier and angrier with myself. I knew all my efforts were good for me and would help in the long run, but I was seriously ticked off at myself for putting myself through this. I was annoyed that it mattered so much to me and got a little more resentful each time I denied myself something I knew I shouldn't have. So Thursday after work, I resolved to go out and treat myself to something as: 1. a reward for doing pretty well all week and 2. an attempt to drag myself out of my bad mood. I headed to one of my favorite places to shop: Target. No matter what I go in for, I always leave this store with several items that I never knew I needed (but clearly do). So I searched. I browsed through the clothes, looked at their scarves, searched through electronics and shoes. I picked up a Valentine's day card and a small gift for Dan. I doubled back around and walked through the clothes section again. Nothing. I have never in my life not found a single thing I wanted to purchase in Target, but apparently I was so deep into my funk that nothing looked good to me. This realization only made me more angry. I did make one purchase for myself (more on that later), but it was exercise-related and I didn't think it was really fair to reward myself for a good week of exercise with the threat of more exercise (or at least that's what I told myself).
Frustrated and dejected, I left Target and drove down the street to Dunkin Donut's to buy myself an iced coffee. I knew that this was my last line of defense before slipping deeper into my pit of grouchiness and angst, and luckily it did the trick. Of course, all night I felt a little guilty for those extra calories, but I was really happy to be feeling more like my normal self. Lesson learned: next time, instead of wasting time searching for something I don't need, I will skip straight to the $3 cup of coffee.
The kicker? When we got down to Dan's grandparents' house on Saturday night.... the hot tub was broken.



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