None of this is related, but it is all related

I made a huge mistake yesterday. 

Well, I tend to be making a lot of mistakes lately, but this one has already been detrimental. I took a picture of myself, which sounds totally harmless, but it 100 percent confirmed my suspicions: I am uncomfortable in my own skin lately because my body has changed.

It is... not good. 

Last May, before beginning a clean-eating challenge, I snapped some "before" photos. Turns out I never snapped "after" photos, but I did spend a lot of time analyzing every single inch of my bikini-clad body, generally disgusted. Yesterday, against every ounce of my better judgement, I put on the same bikini and snapped identical photos.

The result: GODDAMMIT

And no, I absolutely will not share the photos here. Not for one million dollars. OK, maybe for one million dollars, but doubtful.

I want my original "before" body back. Why did I hate my body then? Because if my body then could look at my body now, it'd be cowering in the corner wishing it could disappear. Much in the way I am today. 

The difference -- and not a good difference -- is noticeable. For the first time, other than scoffing at the number on the scale and feeling a smidge uncomfortable in last spring's clothing, I have actual, physical proof of my downfall. 

I don't even know what to do with this information other than feel sick about it. Because until now, I could just imagine it's all in my head. That my running is fine, my body is fine, my eating is fine, my adjustment to Bend is FINE. 

IT IS NOT FINE. 

The problem is, last year at the time of that photo, my diet was crap. My running was strong as hell, but my nutrition? A JOKE. Today, my diet is significantly cleaned up, but my running has suffered and I've become a slave to the snack drawer at work. I'm currently shoving roasted veggies and quinoa into my face as a way to keep my hands out of the candy in the room next door. 

But the candy in the room next door is good, and my job has been stressful, and life has been difficult, and my running has been weak because, for those not keeping track at home, I just recently recovered from a broken hand and am now sidelined by a strained groin. I literally can't even stand on my own two feet without damaging something. 

I feel like a mess. It is possible I am a mess.

I miss having people. My people. A best friend that I can cry to or run with while crying (yup, totally happens). Someone who gets me and knows me and doesn't judge me. I want to belong somewhere, rather than just sort of fitting in here and there. Bend is full of good people, and I've made some great friends, and I know it'll take time to feel settled, but I'm feeling a little lost and impatient and my jeans are a little too snug and none of this is related, but all of it is related, and I just needed to vent, OK? 

I miss venting over coffee and peanut butter toast with my best friend on a Sunday morning. What if I just become this weird, lonely, sad person with terrible running luck that no one wants to be around because all I do is break body parts and run too slow?

By 11 p.m. on Friday night, my feet will be on solid Wisconsin ground, and I'll have a full week to soak up every ounce of love that's been waiting for me. Enough to fill my camel hump and remind me that I am actually a good, strong, worthwhile person who deserves love and friendship and to fit into last summer's running shorts with ease. 

I'm totally going to shrivel and die without Luna and Chicken for 11 days, but at least I know I'll come home to 11 days' worth of love when I get back. And those fucking running shorts.

File this under: Things I Write While Having a Bad Day, and tuck it deep into the archives. I'll write more another day when I've had more coffee and less strained groin.