I kind of forgot that I’d planned to write my words here this evening. It’s the risk of evening words, that I’ll miss the 750words.com deadline and break my streak. (I know, a streak shouldn’t be everything – but it’s part of what has helped me write nearly all the days of the past year plus, and I believe this has been a therapeutic endeavour.)

Anyway, I got distracted by looking at old photos of my family – mainly the twins – on Facebook, back to when they were a year, younger. I was sort of looking for photos of myself too, because I wanted to see how I’d changed. I wanted a kind of affirmation that I have changed, and I wanted that to appear shocking and stark.

So, I’ve lost weight obviously enough in the last year (less than year) and I know it is of the obvious sort of physical change because people say things and clothes fit lots differently and the numbers on the scale are of the “wow, that’s a decent amount!” type. But all of this journey over the past while – over years and years in truth, but concertedly over the past 2.5 years, and with some traction in the last one year – all of it has not been about weight-loss.

But that’s there. It’s present like a spectre at every feast I have for myself and I judge, I do, I judge myself for that. For being so superficial. Am I not “woke”? Am I not self-actualised?

Well now. I guess maybe the simple answer there is that I’m not. That I’m still trapped within the dictates of society’s demands for “healthy” female-appearing bodies.

I mean, I could totally totally argue that my BMI is pretty staunchly in that orange “Overweight” section of the chart. I’ve been so pleased with myself for getting out of the scary red “Obese” though that I actually don’t think too much about that though. Because it’s not even about society, it’s not even about health. It’s about winning.

No, I know it doesn’t even make any sense. Surely “winning” would be being content and appreciative of the meat-capsule that carries you around day after day? Surely winning would actually be achieving health regardless of chart numbers and scale numbers and clothing sizes?

Not for me. Winning is about more. And it’s ironic that I just accidentally typed “wining” there as a first attempt at the start of that last sentence because that’s what went so horrifically wrong in my relationship with wine too. More.

Not even more for the sake of something I actually want! No, that would be too simple, that might make sense, that might be something I could challenge with logic. But more as in most as in extremes as in – “How far can I take this game? What’s the ‘top score’? I don’t care what it takes to beat it. I’m in. I’m all in, even if it’s the death of me.”

Coz there’s a part of me that feels like that about nearly every part of my life. What the hell, part? What do you think you’re up to? What do you think you’re going to achieve for us?”

I think that part is at least partially to blame for the 5+ years of my life I wasted on Mr. X, because that part saw the roadblocks in our relationship not as massive fucking warning signs but as challenges, goals laid out, a bar set that goddamnit I was going to reach. Because I wanted to win.

It doesn’t matter if the race is to the bottom. That part will win that race too.

But I think I’m learning to step back from this impulse a little. To pause and self-examine for enough of a moment to bring my actual self and my actual needs and even my actual wants back into the whole equation. It’s a shambles of an unbalanced nonsensical equation, a contradiction with negatives equating to nulls, without the presence of me in it.

I’m starting to feel the warm glow of my present self in situations where I would have previously driven myself into complete unhealth – either physically or emotionally. I’m not always winning (ha! the irony) that particular war. Not yet at least, but I feel like I can see the potential. I feel like I’ve got that first foothold in now and it’s wedged fast and I’m no longer scrabbling futilely at the side of a slippery cliff – I’ve got some goddamned purchase now. Maybe not climbing yet, but not falling either.