A Little More Personal


In 2012 I started working for Target for a year after deciding to take time off from university. My life was going nowhere and in 2011 I decided to go back to school, but my social anxiety and crippling low self esteem made the experience awful. I stuck out like a sore thumb and I knew it and often it's all I could focus on. I had to get out of there. So after a year I decided to "break" and eventually got a job at target. I hated it and loved it. What I loved about target was my coworkers, I feel like I'll never be so fortunate to have another team of people so genuinely nice, and fun to work with. What I didn't like was the chronic pain I was in from standing. After standing for about 45 minutes each shift my feet would become inflamed and a tremendous pain would overcome me.

Working 3 to 7 hours was excruciating, it made my life miserable and hindered my work experience. It would take a week for my feet to recover from just a days work, so when I worked multiple days  in a row I was in a very special kind of hell. This experience shot me into a deep depression, I started hating my life(more so), aside from having to work with the public and pretend to be numb to the stares and remarks Id get from customers, passersbys, and their children, I had this miserable pain that could not be tamed. I tried getting new shoes, I tried getting shoe inserts, I tried pain medications, nothing worked. I'd arrive home from work limping and barely able to stay upright and once I finally sat down the shock from trying to move was earth shattering. My feet would be swollen and red and pulsing with pain. I Can't describe the intensity, it was a nightmare. My days at home were spent mindlessly binge watching tv shows to keep me from thinking about returning to work, and very little movement to reduce pain.

In late 2013 my mother decided to have Total Knee Replacement surgery and needed me home to take care of her, I had to put up a show like I didn't want to quit work, but I was incredibly happy. The idea of not being in chronic pain was like a miracle, I had sunken into such a dark state of mind so severe that I considered suicidal thoughts more than I had regularly (I've always exercised the thought as an escape, but that's another story). But my moms surgery was an out. My mom has completely recovered, and I haven't worked since 2013.  I had no hurry to rush back into work or school upon moms recovery, because the experiences I had were traumatic. I often would get anxiety just thinking about the pain I endured at target(I'm getting it right now). Our financial situation at home has been rough and it's all been on my mothers shoulders for a year now.

One of the reasons I started cutting back, was because I knew I needed to go back to work eventually and losing weight is key, and I was just informed our situation is more dire than I expected and I need to go back to work, and I'm worried. Working doesn't bother me, if I were thin Id be working now, but the idea of returning to the pain has scared me from jumping back to work, that, and not wanting be seen and ridiculed, and laughed at. One of the things I did to keep my mind from work, when I worked, was to eat. I binged on TV shows, but in addition binged on food, chips, surgery treats and whatever else tickled my fancy, the idea of dieting or having a lifestyle change back then was impossible because I was just trying to survive the pain (emotional and physical), and food was a strong outlet.

Now I'm scared, I started off this month slow, and with poor decisions and now I need to go back to work and I honestly broke down earlier thinking that this was over, that I might not have the strength to overcome my weight facing these new obstacles, I waited to long to start my journey, and now I may be stuck with this life, and I'm scared. I don't want to be fat, ugly and miserable all my life, but I don't know if I can juggle this healthy lifestyle change while battling mental and physical hardships.

UPDATE 2/5/2015 2:00PM

I started writing all this around 11 pm last night, and I decided I needed to wait till today to post it, I'm still kind of in a bad place, but now I'm torn, I still have that scared defeatist feeling stirring inside, but there is also this will inside me that says I need to do everything I can, and lose as much as I can because it will only get easier, Ill only get lighter. I need to push myself like never before, and its terrifying, but I really do want this journey to be a success. I still have a lot of issues with my self, and my weight, and its far from over, but since I've embarked on this weight loss journey I can say I've been the happiest I've been in years, specially in the last month, because I continue to feel little changes, I cant necessarily see them, but I feel them, and its so early in the year that if I keep it up  the results by the years end could be radical. I'm stuck between these conflicting states of optimism and defeatism. Please stay tuned


  1. It is such a vicious cycle, isn't it, we feel bad about being overweight so we eat to make ourselves feel better... I hope things get better for you and I'm glad you are starting to feel a bit more optimistic (at least some of the time). Just keep trying, every day.

    1. Thanks Natalie, it is indeed a vicious cycle and completely counterproductive, but sadly there is comfort in food. All I can do is live in the now, and do what I can, and see what happens when it happens, ya know?

  2. Hello,
    If you want this dieting thing to work and see wonders in a year, go LOW CARB. Find the cheapest, greasiest meat you can find and pretty much just live on it, and just stick with it. Believe me these words come from a lot of experience.

  3. So, I know you didn't ask for advice, and forgive me if you've already been this route... but I thought I would throw this out there: have you talked to a work placement service? They can potentially find you work that accommodates your needs. Being in excruciating pain isn't ok, and it's not something you should just have to accept. It isn't a punishment and it isn't required. There ARE jobs that should help accommodate whatever it is you need to do to avoid causing yourself such pain. You're smart, well spoken, and motivated. Your only obstacle is really the physical pain (and injury, frankly) that is caused by the wrong job. So, maybe there is something else that can be found for you?

    Temp services (like Manpower, and others) often have temp-to-hire positions that pay better than retail work would, and can help find a position that takes into consideration your needs. It's just a thought, I have a friend who has all sorts of problems and they work with her on this sort of thing all the time.

    1. Honestly, I hadn't thought of the tempt services but I will certainly check into to them, we have quite a few offerings here in town (not sure of there names). Thanks for your understanding and advice!

  4. Yes to the temp service idea! How I got my current FT job.

    Just take things a day at a time - weight loss and career both included. Focus on what you can do today to make it a great day, despite the circumstances.


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