Rainbow Bright

n735577360_985982_1009Pretty much the only thing that kept me going during my husband’s deployment in 2005 to Iraq was the trip to Italy we were planning to take when he got back that fall.

During many moments of heart-ache, longing, fear, uncertainty, great anxiety… that trip was the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for us.

And, as it turned out, the trip symbolized the (almost) end of our long-distance romance and the (almost) official beginning of our life together!

Buzzing with excitement, though separated by great distance  (Washington, D.C. and Al Hilla, Iraq), we plotted out all the details our trip according to the cities we’d visit: Rome, Florence, Venice. 

But even with all the meticulous planning, Googling, and tour-book reading, we couldn’t be prepared for how amazing the country was. We’d both been to Europe before, but never together, and never to Italy — and seeing it for the first time, together, was just awesome. I could devote twenty posts to that trip, but I want to share a little anecdote from the day before we got engaged.

October 3, 2005 found us in Florence, and we were exhausted after walking/sight-seeing for days. In addition, the weather was horrific — unseasonably freezing, and rainy. We’d been drenched in Rome a couple times the previous three days, and when we got to Florence — for all its beauty — it was equally freezing and rainy.

(All the cute new skirts and dresses I’d planned to wander around Italy in … yea, they never left my suitcase. We ended up bundling up in the same light sweaters we’d packed over and over, and had to buy leather coats to stay warm!)

Anyway, we got to the Duomo , which is Florence’s cathedral, and we were just zonked. Once inside, however, we were mesmerized; we did the tour and started to perk up, even though outside the sky was dark and gloomy.

A couple hours later on our way out, I noticed a sign offering visitors to climb to the top, which was something a friend of mine who had studied in Florence had told me we just had to do.

My husband wanted to pass — his feet were killing him, and he was spent. But I encouraged him that we should do it, when else would we be here?!

So we made our way up the gazillion stairs, tripping a little along the way, and needing to stop to catch our breath a couple times. (It’s like 400 stairs or something).  And once we got going, we just wanted to get to the top — which everyone said had the most incredible view of the city.

Um, they weren’t lying!

n735577360_985977_9435Not only was it an amazing view, but at the top, it was like a scene in a movie.

Within moments of getting to the outdoor overlook (when the picture at the beginning of this post was taken),  the charcoal sky changed before our eyes.

The clouds parted … the sun came out … and a rainbow appeared.

We literally couldn’t believe it. After days of cold rain, suddenly we were overlooking all of Tuscany, bathed in the warm glow of late afternoon Italian sun.

It was the most surreal moment, one not lost on either of us (or any of the other tourists up there!)

I share this story today because in many ways I think of recovery as I felt while climbing those stairs … it’s painful at times, I’ve tripped along the way, needed to stop and rest at a ledge … but the view at the top is worth everything.

Ultimately, there is an end in sight, and once I get there — completely — perhaps another rainbow will await me.

Until then, I need to keep climbing the stairs of recovery. I feel like I’m almost there; the only wars I’m waging are in my head as I deal with my weight and emotional eating — a far cry from where I was a year ago.

I feel blessed to have the love and support of my husband, family and friends, but this is something I really need to do  on my own, one foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

What keeps me going is the possibility of seeing another rainbow, one that might shine even brighter than that awesome rainbow we saw in Florence on October 3, 2005.

How about you? Where are you on your recovery journey? Still climbing? At the top, enjoying a rainbow of your own? Hanging by a ledge? What keeps you going?

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14 thoughts on “Rainbow Bright

  1. I`m definitely still climbing. Sometimes I feel like I tumble back down a few flights. Things have been frustrating lately with way too much eating for reasons other than hunger. I`m not really binging as much as I used to but that`s because I`m not dieting. Unfortunately I`m still overeating regularly so I`m just gaining weight and it`s well past my comfort zone. I`m really wondering if it`s possible for me to stop the gain and lose cycle. I am rarely in a maintainence spot. And the last time I was I was so messed up that I didn`t realize it and was trying to continue losing. I feel like I`m more in a maze than a flight of stairs unfortunately.

  2. I would say I have one foot at the top. I conquered the binge eating that plagued me last year and just recently got to my weight goal. Being able to do that gave me great motivation to continue on with my plan and helped keep me on track. For me, maintenance is the tricky part. When I have maintained for a few months I will then feel I am at the top admiring the view.

    1. Lara, overcoming binge eating is awesome!! The only time I really do that is during my midnight incidents, when I can add 200-400 unnecessary calories to my day — hindering any possible weight loss.

      1. my binges were probably more than 200-400 calories 🙂 They were most often stress/emotional related and then almost became like a habit I had to work at breaking like any other bad habit. Anxiety was definitely at the root of them!

  3. i’ve been hanging out in the lobby of that stairway for a long time, but i think i’m finally actually making my way up the steps. just one or two at a time, but it’s still progress. right now, what’s really keeping me going is therapy. i never thought i’d STILL be going after all this time, but it really does help me to get a new perspective on life and i’m lucky enough to have it covered by insurance so i’m going to take advantage of that as long as i can!

  4. I’ve been climbing my way out, inching along, but I guess it’s been pretty steady. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was little, and am on the “trek” down, I guess, to try and get to just a “healthy lifestyle.” I’ve always obsessed about food and everything that goes along with it, but if I can just keep a steady pace, it makes it go a lot better. 🙂
    Thanks for the post!

  5. Like many other military wives…I tend to lose weight while my husband is deployed (wanna look sexy for when he gets back home!) and then gain it all back when he’s home.

    This last time around, I had baby weight to lose and had a 9 month Iraq deployment to do it in. I not only lost all of my pregnancy weight but got down to the weight I was at when my husband and I started dating! I made the colossal mistake of not researching my new birth control, Implanon, and gained 14lbs in a matter of 3 months and was severely depressed and became an “emotional eater.” I hit rock bottom when 2 weeks ago I had to dig out maternity pants to wear because I had nothing left in my closet that fit me.

    I just got the Implanon taken out last week, am feeling better and eating healthier, working out, etc. But I came across your blog and have tons more to read because very quickly I found myself becoming obsessive and compulsive about working out…taking it out on my husband if his work schedule had prevented me from getting at least 2 workouts/day in at the gym. So I’ve taken a step back for a moment and need to get a handle on my situation and the most healthy way to try and lose this weight…again.

  6. Tracy, I am so sorry to hear that happened to you!! It sounds like it was all the pill, and how frustrating!! Glad you’re feeling better and definitely don’t abuse exercising — I can tell you, it sucks!!! Enjoy the time with your husband when he’s home 🙂

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