I’m struggling.

Like Susie just told me, I have to be honest. I do. So here it goes.

I’m struggling. I’m struggling a lot.

I’m struggling with being here. I’m struggling with wanting to workout and the motivation to do what I know I need to. I’m struggling with the desire to be elsewhere. I’m struggling to do all the things that just 5 weeks ago were so exciting and fun.

When I got back from Boston, a new reality set in for me. I’m not sure what it was or why it happened then, but it did. Maybe it was all the people I started with leaving. Maybe it was the fact that I knew I had only completed one third of my time here. Maybe the atmosphere changed a bit for me and I felt a little bit more alone. I’m not sure what it was.

There are just so many little things that add up to make this a struggle for me.

There are just so many little trivial things – like my lack of money to spend like other people, lack of choice, lack of freedom – that add up to make me feel this way. My world has gotten very small, and I think that is what bothers me. I don’t have a car so I’m essentially stuck here. I work, workout, eat, sleep, play, relax all in the same small building. Even in college I didn’t have to leave campus but still had to leave the building to go to class or workout. Here it is all contained into a very small world that increasingly feels less and less realistic for me. I can leave the building to walk in nature and that is about it. Everything is controlled, everything is timed, everything is perfect if you want a retreat where you don’t want to think about anything.

But I’m not on a retreat. This is my life. And I miss my friends. I miss my mom and even my brothers. I miss my freedom. I miss my car and the ability to drive around when I want to. I’m a super independent person and I feel so stifled and stuck. Just stuck. In a tiny building in the middle of nowhere with very little options to leave. I’m only a few hours away from major cities, but that still does very little to comfort me.

I’m surrounded by people here but I still feel very alone.

So I’m struggling a bit with that.

I’m not sure there is anything to do to fix this. Even with access to someone’s car or even the GMFR vans, I still don’t have freedom. I’m still stuck within constraints. I don’t think there is a solution to make me feel better, or less alone, or happy to be here today. Because today I’m not. And maybe that’s not what you want to hear. Maybe that’s not what my bosses are going to want to hear if they read this. Maybe tomorrow it will be different (it probably will). But its the truth. And that’s all I’ve got. So there it is.

The great thing is, that this isn’t a physical struggle at all. My body is happy and strong. Just this morning I bumped up my weights in upper body and I flew through it with little trouble. So, go me. The program here is working wonders on my body and I need that. I know I need that. But still, I’m struggling. I’m struggling mentally.

The thing is I’m trying to learn how to get through these struggles where as in the past I might have turned to food. I’m emotional, sure, but I’m not going to go drown myself in calories because that won’t solve anything. That is something I’ve learned and am grateful to know. It’s hard to get past some of the mental roadblocks that come up like this, but I know I can. I know I can. I’m struggling, but it won’t be the end of me.

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  1. I for one, have no pity for you. I could’ve sworn you said this vacation. And it is a vacation, was on the house. So you’re lonely and you don’t have a car. Grow up. People work endless hours to save up to experience what you’ve obviously taken for granted. I hope your post pisses off your bosses to the point where they send you home. It’s clear that’s where you want to be.

  2. @Crystl
    I don’t think I asked for your pity. I’m grateful for this opportunity (which is not a vacation, I am working while I am here) beyond belief but that doesn’t mean every second of it will be spent in pure bliss. I have not taken this for granted and still feel it is a life changing and wonderful thing, even if I will have some hard moments in the middle. Does someone struggling with a certain emotion that’s negative wipe away the positive ones they feel? No. I’m sorry you don’t think the same way, but that’s your right I guess.

  3. I think you’re just homesick and you can’t help what you’re feeling. It takes guts to say it out loud. Hang in there, tomorrow is a new day. Use the resources you have there to help you. You are a strong woman and you are growing each day you are there. Go you! We’re all behind you!

  4. Girl, you cannot appreciate the good until you have gone through some bad. Writing this out is awesome and it will help you not to forget this feeling. Now you will recognize it faster next time around. Just remember what you do to deal with today and this’ll be a positive thing for later on…:o)

  5. Everyone has ups and downs in their journey…without the downs, the up’s would be so much less exciting! Yes, it would be hard to miss everyone, but this is the time for you to get to know yourself. What you are missing is the distractions that keep you from looking inward and discovering the things about yourse;f that you need to.

    Weight loss and getting healthy, is just as much an inward as an outward journey.

    Don’t take negative comments to heart…that is “their” issues coming to the surface…not yours!

  6. Tina2967
    Yeah, tomorrow is a new day and I feel like it will be a good one, once I get past this feeling. Thanks for the support!

    I will. I know they will pass so I know its not the end of things, or the end of a GREAT experience. It’s just a bad day mixed into the mix of lots of of AWESOME days. So it kinda feels strange. But it will pass, you are right.

    Thanks. Yeah, writing it helped. Something they teach here is acknowledging feeling and asking what you are feeling before you turn to normal bad habits like eating. So just the fact that I’m saying I feel these things feels like progress. It’s actually a lot easier to bury most feelings than to feel them if they aren’t good feelings. Yes, I’m dealing with this now so I will have a great time later!

    True. I guess I need one slightly sad/bad day or two. Even the slightest of bad days here feels horrible because every other day has been so awesome.

    I’m glad you pointed out that I’m missing the distractions. I forget that sometimes. I’m so used to them and comforted by them that I forget it is good to be away and only focus on myself. Focusing on myself is hard! Looking inward can be sooo much harder than just lifting weights and running around.


  7. “The thing is I’m trying to learn how to get through these struggles where as in the past I might have turned to food.” I’m not in the exact same place of understanding where you’re coming from with the difficulty of so many constraints, but I’m definitely with you on figuring out how to get through the struggles without foods. It’s so hard. So so so hard. One step at a time, YOU CAN DO THIS! Thanks so much for your honesty. It is seeing posts like this as I have been digging deeper into reading weight loss blog posts that are so helpful for me. I love to read so many positively inspirational posts on blogs, but I also love and find it inspirational to read the posts that are so real and understandable in everyone’s individual struggles. The fact that you’re so aware of your feelings and doing something to try to deal with them by writing about it is a great step!

  8. i know exactly what you are feeling!! two years ago i was at the wigmore institute (a raw food school in puerto rico) which I did actually have to pay for, but for which i saved up very very hard knowing that i had just been very traumatically broken up with and was very toxic and unable to fix it on my own, but it was the same sort of program which had a turn over (this one was at two weeks) and when those people left who i was finally feeling close to i felt so lost and alone. And then the new group moved in and i wanted to hate them because i was suddenly so lonely. It was also a similar situation concerning the money issue, because the program was mostly filled with women and men who were much older and more affluent than me. I had spent all of my money getting there, and I didn’t have enough left over to “split the bill”, ESPECIALLY when i had ordered carefully and within my means.

    long story short, I barely remembered any of those aspects of my time at wigmore until reading this post. when I think about my time there i really only remember it as an amazing turning point moment in my relationship with my body and for finally making me realize what it means to take care of myself (something which of course has not much to do with weight but with attitude and self preservation). I have been closely following your posts while you have been up there, and I have to say that as an outsider and stranger, I am very proud of you for sticking through everything. It is not a “vacation” and it is not easy to be in an isolated place confronted by all of your issues.

    just wanted to make you feel a little less alone…
    thanks for your honesty.

  9. It’s really impressive that your first thought isn’t that you want to down a box of fudge. That is a huge transformation. It’s hard to be in such a controlled environment, it’s hard to be in any routine because routines get stale. You are right that you will feel differently soon. You are also right to be posting about this. It is so amazing that you are not turning to food. You are learning to struggle and find other outlets for the struggle. That seems huge. You are doing such a great job. Thanks for posting such a real post.

  10. Ugh. I didn’t know so many of your readers were enablers. I don’t know what your job is while you’re there. I assumed your job was this blog. But I stand by my original comment. I’ve got friends who are also away from home in Iraq and their letters home don’t give off the ‘woe is me’ vibe your post does. In fact, they sound downright cheery and optimistic compared to your travails.

    Only in America would someone complain about spending time at a wellness retreat on someone else’s dime. Jesus wept.

  11. @Lillian
    It is hard to figure out how to deal with stuff without food when that is your normal go to method. But I can do it. And so can you. I’m learning that no one has the right to put other people’s struggles down. Just because you haven’t dealt with something as hard as the other person doesn’t mean its not real and you can’t learn from them. So, yeah.

    Thanks for sharing that.

    Thanks. For me it’s a big thing, even if it seems small to someone else. And thanks for supporting me. :)

    Well I’m sorry I’m not cheery today. It happens. This blog is not my job nor do my opinions here reflect my employer. I’ve got friends in Iraq too and I know they are cheerful quite often. Sorry, but that doesn’t make me feel bad about what I feel.

  12. @Crystl Rominger

    Wow, I guess your friends in Iraq have never told you that as part of a support team, you never leave someone behind. Everyone has a bad day or two, and the circle of support is there to reach back and pull them along…through their moments of doubt, regret and lonliness.
    Shit happens…and you never grow from the easy times, you grow from the experiences in the hard times.
    If out of these tougher days, Mary learns that life goes on and the people that matter will always be there to talk or complain to, or cry to…and that she is the focus of this retreat, not her distractions, she will have learned more than most of the “suck it up and take it like a “man”” crowd.
    Your opinions are valad, as signs of your experience, I hope Mary has a better experience, and more patient and caring teachers.

  13. We’re all entitled to bad days. I apologize for the harshness of my posts. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll both be in a better mood?

    Good luck!

  14. My first instinct was to slap you upside the head, Mary. After all, people pay hard-earned money for the experience you’re going through. But I was young once (a few weeks ago, actually), so I decided to give you a pass. I’ll just echo what Jennifer said: you grow most from the hard times. Buck up and get the most out of this experience, Mary.

  15. @Crystl
    Thanks. I am already in a better mood and hope you will be too. I want to post about things like this because no one is free from having bad days, no matter how lucky, how amazing their life is. Things can still pile up and bad days happen. That doesn’t mean it ruins everything. It just means you have a bad day and learn from it and move on. So yeah, lets move on tomorrow. :)

    Jeeeeez Jack. Always wanting to resort to violence first! Dang! Thanks for the pass though. It would be hard to workout with a concussion. I am definitely getting as much as possible from this. I promise. Days/minutes of feeling like this make me realize how awesome the rest of the time is.

  16. First, the fact that you are not turning to food is a good thing! Maybe being there has helped you with that! as for money, I don’t have the money to do things a lot of people do too & I am going to be 52 next month so you have plenty of time to correct that.

    I think Jack said it right.. learn from this & make the most of it as people would love to be in your shoes. Sometimes these emotional lows are part of the process to something bigger & better & I bet that is with you.

    Remember, at home, you said you ate due to the issues at home so maybe this will strengthen you mentally to get thru tough times without turning to food AND you are getting stronger & healthier physically!!!! Awesome!

  17. No…it won’t be the end AND I’m proud of you for sticking it out with the feelings and being honest about that. That is huge for those of us that have learned to turn to food and unhealthy things when we feel bad. AND just saw on Twitter that you are feeling better! WooHoo! I’m so glad!

  18. Hi Mary – Sorry to hear you are struggling, but think it is great that you wrote about it and didn’t pretend everything was perfect. I am working on a post for today that talks a bit about struggle too. I am working on learning from the good times as well as the bad, but the truth is the bad and hard times teach me so much when I allow myself to feel the feelings and come out on the other side. Congratulations on increasing your weights and fitness plan. I think you are doing great. You have a whole community of people that care about you and are interested in your process. Here’s to making it a good week! xoxo

  19. I’m the first to admit that I’m in a good mood most of the time, but we all have days that aren’t so perfect. That’s life…and anyone who disagrees is either in denial or simply lying.
    You have been honest with yourself and your readers which isn’t always easy to do so finish up your bad day and look forward to better days. And hang in there…

  20. @Jody – Fit at 51
    Yeah its a great thing that I’m not turning to food or anything else destructive.
    I wish everyone could be here so I’m trying to honor that by having an experience that benefits me in the best way possible. Your comment about emotional lows being part of the process really helped me to see that I needed this to progress and really make my time here worth it to help me move on from old behaviors. So thanks.

    Yeah, yay twitter! Hehe. Thank you. It is huge for me, so I’m pretty proud of it. Not everyone understands that as a success but I’m glad you do.

    I can’t wait to read your post. Struggles suck but it would be silly to pretend they don’t happen and this is all super easy in a controlled environment. Its important that even though we have bad times we learn from them! You are right!

    Kenz @ All The Weigh
    I’m actually in a great mood most of the time. :) So yeah, no one is perfect 24/7/365. So I’m just trying to be honest. Thanks for appreciating that!

  21. I never realized the whole thing was just one building. I can see where that would be claustrophobic. Especially if you have no easy way to get anywhere else… ive felt that before, and its like being a trapped animal. And im sure youre homesick. That’s normal. Hopefully writing about it maybe will help you… feel better :) I absolutely think you have the right to express your bad feelings on a blog. That is a main purpose of a blog, to get things out instead of keeping them inside. If you were cheery and happy 100% of the time there would be something wrong with you. And I don’t think you should have to justify how youre feeling just because others in a “worse” situation react differently. Hugs!

  22. I love that you wrote this and shared it with us. You are doing GREAT MARY! Like will all things there is a honeymoon period where everything is fun, and we love it. But now is when the real work begins. You can’t go anywhere, escape or distract yourself, you are stuck with you, and that is wonderful. I know this is hard, but try to use this time to really think about what you want to do with your life, take advantage of the facilities as much as possible, read, walk and then read, walk & write some more. We very rarely get an opportunity to really spend time with ourselves to explore. Pretty soon this time will be over and you will be in the “real world” again. Just take it one day at a time, and spoil yourself with love, exercise, delicious food & solitude :-) HUGE HUGS!!!

  23. I can completely understand feelings of isolation. When I first became a stay at home Mom, I felt totally cut off from all of my former co workers and friends. When our second vehicle died and hubby had to take my car, I felt hopelessly stuck. I felt totally blessed to have a hard working hubby who was okay with me staying home to raise our son, and that while we didn’t have a lot, we had enough, but I still had bouts of self pity and depression. It passed, and while my situation is completely unchanged, my outlook is a much different one now, and I am content, even happy with everything, most of the time (cause we all have our moments, right?) It passed for me, and it will pass for you, too. Having the opportunity to blog helped me through a lot of mine, so good for you for venting on yours, no matter what some people seem to think!

  24. You know, one thing i’ve learned through all the different “new experiences” and “learning” experiences is that they’re NOT a picnic all the time, and they WILL have rough spots. I bet you’re homesick, and of course no one wants to work out all the time! THAT is not fun! Just know in your heart that you’re doing what’s great for you :) Many hugs and love to you my dear!

  25. @merri
    It is just one building. Which is super cool and convenient for normal stays. But a long term stay with no way to leave for someone who is used to driving lots every day like me, and its a bit hard to adjust to. Writing about it and then talking about it with people did make me feel better. It helped to let the feelings out instead of internalizing it all. So yay blogging about crappy feelings!

    @ Fitarella
    I LOVE your comment. Yeah, now the real work begins because I am stuck with ME 24/7. Hehe. That’s hard. Wonderful in a way, but hard. I am trying to utilize this time to the fullest and I like your suggestions. I’m definitely going to try and write more while I’m here and explore that side of me more. I know that won’t be possible in the real world when I have to work full time and jump back into things. Thanks, I <3 u!

    Even if we are completely blessed its hard not to have moments where we feel alone and isolated. I think those feelings should be expressed and then worked on to make sure they don’t happen. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge!

    @Mara @ What’s For Dinner?
    Thanks love! Yeah, even the BEST experiences aren’t fun every day. I’ve learned that before (when I studied abroad I was in EUROPE and still had boring days, etc) but it feels almost wrong to have rough spots when it is an experience where you are so lucky to be there. But yeah… I’ve learned a lot just from having a bad day, so I think its good.

  26. email me if you want.
    Ive been through a similar experience (and get comments like crystals) in an entirely different “venue” and I GET what youre feeling.

    for me it was the notion of G-d not giving me courage but the opportunity to be courageous which carried me through.

    it’s hard and my situations was like yours in that I was living in a commune, surrounded by others, yet felt really alone.


  27. I love the “people in Iraq are dying and you’re whining blah blah argument,” which is completely bogus and worthy of general scorn.

    One way to look at it is that you have, in effect, packed up and moved recently. That can have a disorienting, alienating effect after the buzz of novelty wears off. It sounds like it’s something you’re working through, in part by writing this.

    I enjoy your writing because you are unafraid to reveal more of yourself than most. And because you’re a good writer. So keep it up!

  28. Is anyone entitled to have a shit day? For Pete’s Sake people!!! Yes, Mary you have an incredibly opprutunity. Yes, you are blessed. Yes, why aren’t you enjoying this experience?—because you’re away from home. HELLO!

    I was given an expense paid trip to live in Australia–to the point where I made money from getting EVERYTHING paid for. I WAS LONELY. People would say to me ‘Michelle, look at what you have! Quit complaining’. I think what this emphasizes is that yes it is about where you are…but more importantly about what you do to fill your soul. People who battle weight, most of us–well me included–is about what our soul is aching for. The eating healthy and dieting is something which can be controlled and most people can recite what needs to be done. It’s about looking after your soul, finding grace where you can, and being reflective.

    You are allowed to have a down day. It’s part of the growing process…the MOST important thing is how you deal with it. I send vibes/prayers/positive thoughts your way. Hang in there and be ok with being with you. ~M

  29. Mary, as you know doubt know, life is full of ups and downs. Perhaps this is just one of those downs that will be gone in a day or two. Perhaps you just need to get back in the groove with the new group of people. Either way, you are a third done with this. You can do anything for another 60 days. I hope tomorrow is better for you.

  30. I had so much to say to you and then I read all the comments. Crystal made me mad, then everyone said all I would have said, and then Crystal became human (go Crystal ~ takes a big person to admit when she has been a bitch)! Damn, we all have days when we do not “feel it”! You have been having a great time and you have been working so hard! You got to know the other participants and they went home. Now you are probably feeling the first bit of real homesickness. Give it some time and you will get to know and like the new peeps. Steve is totally right, you can do ANYTHING for 60 days! I know you feel stuck and I get that…lack of funds is the worst way to be stuck! If it helps I am in the same boat – I only really go to work and home!
    You have friends and we love ya! We are here to talk and listen whenever you need it! I think it is great that you are being so honest and open on your blog….that is not always easy!!
    I hope tomorrow is a bit easier but keep getting it out and do whatever it takes to not fall back on bad habits!
    You got this!! and your friends got your back!!
    keep it real,
    <3 jen

  31. Mary,my sweet little girl, don’t be discouraged, especially with negative comments. You and I know that negative comments is why you were in the shape you were, notice I said were, in and now my dear there will be days when you will still have those feelings pop up. If your commentors have never had a bad day then they are blessed beyond belief. We all struggle daily with our own demons, and we all pray God will give us His grace to overcome them. As far as your bosses seeing your blog and firing you, well that would be their great loss, for you are one of the most gifted writers they could ever have, your true feelings give each one who is thinking about coming to this most expensive resort a knowledge of the facts, quiet confined rest in this day and age can become very overwhelming. You did right in sharing your feelings.
    Let me say to your friend Jack St, you may be older and you may have given her good advice, but from her 60 year old mother, try to slap her and you will find your self on your ass!
    Love you Baby. Mom

  32. Mary I understand where you are coming from. I caught the harsh post from crystal and I get that too. If she was in Iraq, people coming backfrom Iraq have a hard time hearing about the ‘problems’ here. That’s why people coming back from Iraq have a very hard time dealing with family and friends. I understand what you mean about feeling stuck. If you were out ‘in the world’ I have a feeling you would feel ‘stuck’ too. It’s just one of those inevitable moments we all have when we realize that food isn’t going to fix what we are feeling. This time you get to skip the binge and the guilt and just deal with the feelings. I really do feel for you. I hope it passes within the next few days. take some time in the quiet to sort out your feelings. This is the perfect time to do that. If you were in your real world, this could get shoved to the side. This time you can sit down and sort out where these feelings are coming from, and you could really deal with them once and for all. Rooting for you.

  33. @Chris
    Moving can be totally disorienting! The first bit was so fun I didn’t even notice that. So yeah. I’m working it all out. And thanks for calling me a good writer! :)

    I’m glad you understand. You make such a good point. It’s not about location at all. Its about what you fill your soul with and I realize that I had neglected that aspect for a week or so and it came back to bite me. The food and exercise part is easy, right do this this and this, but figuring out what you really need to be nurtured is sooo much harder. But I’m learning. :)

    YES! I can do anything for another 60 days. And I’m going to completely rock this experience for two more months!

    I actually really appreciate the interaction with Crystl. She had the right to feel that way but I’m glad she eventually came around. I appreciated the fact that she stuck around. But thank YOU jen for your amazing support and love. Thank you so much!

    Thanks Mom. Haha! Don’t hurt JackSht, he is a nice dude, with an *interesting* sense of humor.

    You made a really good point about feeling stuck in the real world… I think you might be right. It’s a weird realization, but an important one.

  34. The idea of a wellness retreat treat sounds like fun at first, but when I think hard about it, I believe it would becoming boring and fake all too soon. Not to mention, the fact that you are taken out of a “reality setting” really makes it a lot less useful in my opinion. So, yeah, I understand what you are going through. As long as you aren’t taking this opportunity for granted, I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you are struggling with. People put in a new environment will always have trouble adapting. That’s juts life. Hope you feel better soon.

  35. I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said. I’m just proud of you. Proud that you’re facing the struggles and overcoming them rather than letting them overcome you. I’m glad you saw the positives in that you didn’t turn to food. And I’m really glad to know you’re feeling better now. :)

  36. Mary – I was wondering if you would really like being there for so long. Perhaps it’s the parent in me!

    Take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to make the choices we know we need to make. To stay or to go. You will make the right one.

    Kudos to you on not eating out of frustration. That’s an awesome step.

  37. Tony
    Yeah if you are staying too long like me, maybe. But actually the four week program that is what the program really is, was great and really effective. I think being taken out of “reality” helps most people really. And its not like they don’t have the ability to go do what they want, the program doesn’t force you to do anything. So, its actually not that unrealistic. Its still all about choice which is what the real world is about. But anyway, thanks for the support. I already feel better. :)

    Funny. That is in fact how I say you’re name incorrectly. And thanks.

    @Diane Fit to the Finish
    Hehe, the parent in ya is coming out! Yeah, its never really a choice of going home for me because I need and really want to be here. But it was a couple of rough days and I’m glad I talked about it instead of letting it fester and turn into something negative. So it’s all good!

  38. Sometimes, for some people (read me) that kind of restrictive, tailored environment feels a lot like imprisonment. I can totally understand. But there are times we benefit from letting go and yielding to the process. I’m going to advise you to try to do that, but also recognize it’s something I personally don’t know if I could handle. I do know that people who DO surrender to the process come out better for it. I have faith that you’re strong enough to do just that.

  39. I definitely see how confinement would have adverse effects on an independent person such as yourself. Taking about it is a very important part of the process. Hopefully the first comment on this page doesn’t take away from your ability to be honest and open with not only the community, but yourself as well.

    Your last paragraph hit me like a ton of bricks. The world can sometimes morph into a very different place once your safety net has been placed on the sidelines. I like that you’re using this opportunity to tackle the deeper meaning behind your temporary (I saw temporary because you seem like the type of person who grows from every experience) unhappiness.

    This, too, shall pass.