Friends, in times like these…

I was down two pounds last week. This has given me some hope. It’s the 2 pounds I gained a few weeks ago, but, I am once again at my lowest weight since 2001, so I’ll give myself that, and be grateful.

I went to that anniversary event for my friend’s 40th last week. I had a wonderful time, in spite of my anxiety worrying about people seeing me as a loser and pathetic. That just wasn’t the case, I let my head get too carried away on that one. I saw folks I have not seen in over 30 years. It was nice, and comforting to see old friends. It seemed to help me get out of my own head a little.

I use to believe that every friendship I had, should be a friend for life, and if I lost a friend, it meant I failed. This is probably due to not having any family, and my friends are my only anchor. It’s been hard for me to see that belief is not true for most. I really struggle with lost relationships. They always felt to me like a failed marriage. It was hard for me to see how people put blood first above everything else. I wasn’t really raised that way. My folks were rare in the fact that they had many friends over the years that were not blood yet ever bit as close as if they were. That was my normal, so any personal rejection or loss was really tough on me.

I attended a church as a child and teenager where we truly functioned like a family. Those friends remained friends throughout my lifetime. In fact, throughout generations, these special friends parents, were also my parents friends. Maybe it’s just a small community thing, or a church thing, or both, I’m not real sure.

I found myself thinking about who really mattered in my life over the years, and how important quality is over quantity, as far as friends go. The anchors in my life are these folks I have deep history with, and I am seeing clearly how very important it is to maintain and nurture those friendships. And to get past my ego, regarding friends who have walked our or faded out of my life. I have no control over that. It’s like being on a playground as a child, you can’t make other kids want to include you.

One meme on Facebook I keep seeing, is the one about friendships. It kind of refers to the kind of friendships that don’t need daily contact, or get togethers, that if its a true friendship, it will always stay the same. It may hang on by a thread, but shouldn’t we take care of the things we cherish the most? I do not agree with that belief. In fact, I believe it is often used as an excuse to comfort the person who does not find time to nurture or maintain a friendship. The best relationships require care and time. And the nurturing we spend on these important people in our lives has big payoffs. It’s an investment worth doing.

I have some long time friends that I have failed to nurture, and I have some that I need to let go of, simply because they are basically “fun friends” who don’t provide an anchor. And I’m not that important to them either.

This reunion of friends I experienced last week gave me the desire to nurture old friends that had been put on a shelf way to long. I plan on nurturing these friendships and taking care of them. I have some old friends that I see semi-regular that I plan on putting more focus on as well. I also have a couple of friends who I have not had very long that I want to hang onto and keep taking good care of.

I remember an old song we use to sing in church called ‘In Times Like These”. It is basically about the anchor we have in our relationship with Jesus Christ. But this old song reminded me of solid friends as well…..”Be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the solid rock”

Blessings to all of you, new and old friends!

 

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I’m very sure, I’m very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

 

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock
!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stupid Scale!!!!!

This week seems to be flying by. It is Thursday already. I didn’t want to tell this, but after being the most diligent I have ever been about my food and portions last week, I was up 3 pounds, pretty discouraging. But I don’t feel hopeless, just frustrated and discouraged. I know if I remain steady the scale will respond. I weight on Monday, I will let you all know either way.

I am still feeling a lot of anxiety about this big event I am going to over the week of the 4th. I pray I can gather up my dignity and just open up and have fun. I feel like such a failure. I don’t think I have ever fought so hard for a better future in my life. But you would never know that about me by looking at me. Lets be honest here, people always judge you by what you look like. When I am in this state of mind, it is so hard for me to make small talk. And parties are all about small talk. My life has been so serious and isolated for so long, I find it hard to lighten up. I am the very thing I hate to see in other people. But I am going to try. I really need to be with people.

I started an Overeaters Anonymous group at my local library. If you do not know about OA, it is a weight loss group that uses the tools of the 12 steps of recovery. It’s anonymous, and I’m not really suppose to to talk about it, I’m sure I’ll hear from the OA police if they read this. I have done everything I can think of to promote this group that is within the boundaries of the rules, yet no one has yet to attend. I have been going up to the library every Saturday at 11 AM for about 6 weeks now. I spread out all my pamphlets and prepare for a meeting, but no one comes. I’m not sure how to promote a meeting that you can’t talk about publicly. But if anyone wants to come I’ll be there. There are no scales, no fees, no diet, and it’s free.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Blessings!

Food Urges and Character flaws

I don’t know about you, but once I get a few days, and weeks under my belt, the food urges are still there but not as strong. But, they still come, and that is when I can fall into the “Stinkin Thinkin”. I can rationalize anything in my head, it is one of my biggest character flaws. I believe the lies I tell myself. And one of them is, telling myself I can eat a “little” something because I have been so good. Our food behaviors are neither good or bad. Overeating is not a moral issue. The shame the world has put on fat folks has created this lie. The things people say about fat people, if said about someone of a different race, or disabled would never be tolorated. It is one of the last discrimination category in existence. 
A little taste in the spirit of moderation can spin me out of control, or create such deep cravings that I simply can not resist. I use to fight the urges in silence, white knuckling it, and keeping my secret to binge to myself, because I saw myself as a flawed character. It’s a delicate line to cross, between seeing that I have a disease, vs seeing myself as a loathsome glutton.
There is the other side of the pendulum as well. The victim. Oh I played that card to the max! My life falling apart was the perfect excuse to become needy and manipulate what I wanted. That is something I am deeply ashamed of. It was fear driven, but none the less, it was wrong. No ones owes me anything, no matter how down and out I get. With being a victim comes a lot of whining.
I am still responsible for my actions, no matter what they are based on. There is a way out of this fat purgatory I am in, and only I hold the key.
When those strong urges come over me, I need to take positive action. I use to fight this fight alone, and when I failed, I would be super hard on myself and hide in shame. The action I now take instead are;
  • Being prepared, having healthy food available, and plan ahead, setting myself up for suscess
  • Be totally honest to God, myself and the people around me. Secrets will destroy you. If you are lying or creating a false facade, trust me, people will see right through it. Mistakes and failures have nothing to do with your integrity, but lying will destroy it all.
  • create an army of people to support you, not one, not two, but an army
  • take action when the tiniest struggle arises. Which includes, reaching out, stepping outside my tempting environment, writing, reading and praying
  • Stay humble, and not just on your terms, but completely unafraid for the world to see your flaws. It keeps you honest, and makes you trustworthy

When I do these things, that’s when the magic happens. Somehow, the urges lighten, and I make physical progress.

One huge piece of my army is the weight loss group I lead with Sean and Jordan. Between the 3 of us we have dropped over 700 pounds. What I love the most is the diversity. When in any other place in the world would a young father, a radio personality, and a retired widow find common ground? Yet these guys I consider close friends, and we totally connect on so many levels.

We are starting our new weight loss groups Monday and Tuesday, and it is not too late for you to join. This group is not a diet, we don’t require weigh ins. It’s cheaper than most weight loss groups across the country. We hold our group meeting on the phone, so you can participate from any place in the world. We have a secret Facebook page that is very active, we share our victories and struggles, with absolutely no judgement.  And boy do we have success stories! Membership is only $120 for the 8 week session. Below is the links to join. If you have any questions call or message me. 712-259-1736

Monday June 19th Group 7:00 PM Eastern

http://totalkathy.com/?event=monday-june-19th-group-600-pm-central

Monday June 19 One on One 8:00 to 9:00 PM Eastern

http://totalkathy.com/?event=monday-june-19-one-on-one-800-to-900-pm-eastern

Tuesday June 20 “Lunch with Kathy” 1:00 PM Eastern

http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-june-20-lunch-with-kathy-100-pm-eastern

Tuesday June 20 “Early Bird” 5:50 to 6:50 PM Eastern

http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-june-20-early-bird-550-to-650-pm-eastern

Tuesday June 20 Group 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern

http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-june-20-group-700-to-800-pm-eastern

 

5 days and 5 nights

It has been 5 nights and 5 days of extreme accountability with my food. I do not think I have ever in my life tracked in such detail. If I look at doing all of this for the rest of my life it seems overwhelming. When I think of things like, the fancy smancy party I am attending over 4th of July week, and how I am going to weight and measure my food like I have this week, it makes my head whirl! And the cake! Oh my goodness! The cake will be the “piece de résistance” since the celebrated couple own one of the best bakeries this side of the Rocky Mountains.

Speaking of this Anniversary party. Have you ever looked so forward to something and at the same time terrified of it? I will be around people who I have not seen in 20 or 30 years. Some last saw me when I was on top. Some have seen the bottom, the pathetic broken and bitter side of me. They will all be attending wearing their most dapper attire, sharing pictures of their children and grandchildren. Telling about their traveling adventures and bragging about their successful children. I have none of that to share. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for my friends who are bursting with success. I love my friends. I’m just embarrassed of my life. Even though I have lost 165 pounds, Some will see the heaviest version of me because they didn’t see me in my 500 plus pound days. And of course old age has set in. My face is saggy, my hair is grey, and the years of self abuse are evident. Oh to only get back all the lost years I spent in bed, wallowing in self pity, and fear. I can only use them as a teacher, and a lesson in what really matters in life.

But my God is full of grace and sweet little surprises. I have been worrying a lot about what I will wear. I have not told this to a soul. I never want to cry “poor me” and milk favors out of my friends. But He spoke in a friend of mines ear, and she is sending me some new beautiful things to wear that she found while shopping. A lovely robe, and a pretty new top to wear on the causal get together game night. It will be ok.

I weight on Monday, I pray the scale will show some evidence of my efforts this week. If not, I will continue, trusting the fact that as I move forward in truth and honesty, that God will take care of the rest.

Blessings to all of you!

 

2%

I stepped on the scale today, I had no loss. It’s been months since I’ve had any serious weight loss. I don’t post on here as often because I don’t know what to say. And I am ashamed. I am scared, and embarrassed. Im going to write more often in spite of my struggles. Because it’s real, and these are the times most bloggers stop writing then start to gain weight. But these are the times blogging is most useful. I will not give up!

It’s been a couple of years since I have eaten any of the things that a considered fattening foods. Things like pizza, cake, ice cream, candy, bagels, bread, or pastries. In fact, I am a model dieter 98% of the time.

If an employee was productive 98% of the time, they would be praise and get a raise. They would be considered a success and a valued employee. But losing weight is not like that. The 2% is keeping me from living the life I dream of.

When I started this journey, I dropped weight by just breathing. I cut out those highly caloric food, and the first 100 pounds fell off me. It was pretty easy, and I got all kinds of attention and pats on the back. I was a weight loss roll model. I estimated portions, licked the spoon, and tasted everything I cooked before I ate it. It did not make a difference, I lost anyway.

We are all different. I wish I could be like my friends who just made a decision to lose the weight, found a plan, stick to it, to the letter, and never looked back, having solid continuous weight loss. But I have noticed those blessed folks are few and very far between. Besides, they have struggles we may never know about. It’s best I never compare myself with anyone. We really don’t know what someone else deals with in there most secret moments.

I do not believe I have a medical excuse,  that explains why I am not losing weight, I do not believe its water weight, or “Muscles weighing more than fat”, In order for me to continue losing weight, it is going to take extreme accuracy. The kind of accuracy I have often poked fun about others, as being ridiculous. I have said I do not want to be in bondage to tracking, weighing and measuring my food to the extreme. But in reality,  I am in bondage to food when I don’t take care of the details that are important, like tracking and weighing everything. Once again, I eat my words.

It is so easy to clearly see the dishonesty with some else who is struggling to lose weight, yet be in complete denial of my own.  I have seen people post a 100 calories serving of sweet potato fries in My Fitness Pal, yet show a picture of their food with a plate full of deep fried batter coated sweet potatoes that were clearly not 100 calories. Or something so covered in melted cheese you could not recognize it, and count it as one ounce of cheese. I only see this, because I have done and do similar things with my own food many many times over and over. And have been in such deep denial I could pass a lie detector test. I can rationalize almost anything. I hate this defect in my character. It makes me sick to expose something I am so ashamed of. When I see it in others, it only reminds me of my own dishonesty that I struggle with.

So I had a phone call with my accountability partner, AKA my sponsor. He is one of the few people who can help me look at my flaws in the face, and my screw ups, without judgement. I don’t feel like I am his project to fix, and he really listens to what I say when I pour my heart out. Then partners me toward the solution. What a gift.

But for me to solve a problem, requires someone to just hear me talk about it, so I can sort through it. I really have to think something through in order to change it. I wish I was one of those people who did what they were told without question or understanding. Maybe I have trust issues. It’s part of my personal process. Now, Im not talking about an extreme where I wallowed in it. I have done that and gotten very stuck, that is not what I am referring to. Sometimes wallowing in your own crap, is familiar, and warm, but it’s still crap. It’s best to get out as soon as you can.

I am an analytical person, I want to understand the situation first, before I jump in to fix it. I’m smart, I can usually figure it our or pull resources to get through something. But for me the biggest obstical is, to be bare naked honest with myself without feeling ashamed of my flaws. Ideas are not something I lack in. What I appreciate about my Sponsor is that he lets me share, then we figure out a solution together. It must take a lot of patients for him to listen to my description of what a special snowflake I think I am.

So here I am, spinning my wheels. I have been on the phone most of my morning, with the two most significant  support people in my life. I must exhaust them. I exhaust me! I am committed to planning my food for the day the evening before, weighing and measuring every morsel, and writing. I also have committed to texting my friend in the middle of the night if I have the urge to eat. Night eating is something  I have to be very aware and accountable for. Once I get started it is like a wild fire taking over.

I am a little bit sorry that I am not the kind of blogger, who rants on and on about my success, sharing past victories, to inspire my readers. Telling little antidotes about my previous struggles that I no longer have. Recovery for me, is messy. I am in the middle of a mud puddle up to my neck, and all I know how be is be real. I do not think I will ever be that person. I don’t think I want to be that person. I’m not someone who has an archive  of mantras and slogans to share. I simply want to show you the path I am on, as transparent as I know how to be in search of good health and a happy life. Blessings to all!

 

 

Aloneness and Loneliness

Down a pound, one measly pound! But maybe it’s the beginning of a downward trend. I have lost 165 pounds now. For that I am thankful. My patients are running so thin.

Several of my closest friends are going through losing parents or care taking them. Such a tough thing to go through. Yet, we all must go through that rite of passage. I was in my late 40s when I lost my folks, and just 50 when my husband died. It seems so long ago. I remember my head being a whirlwind, and lots of fear. I didn’t have anyone to morn with. And the responsibility of care taking and funeral planning was all on my shoulders. Walking my friends through this process brings back a lot of tough memories. I wasted so many years just spinning my wheels. I am so lonely today, and wonder if I will ever feel joy again in this lifetime.

There is a big difference between being alone and lonely. I do not mind being alone. But I have never felt so lonely in my entire existence. I miss day to day people in my life. Those people who bring rhythm to our lives. It’s something you don’t even think about until it’s taken from you. A tribe, a group of people who you have history with, who care about your mindless chatter, know your favorite color, what shows you watch on TV, and how you drink your coffee.

In the past, I use to latch onto a friend, or family that would sometimes call me family and include me in their lives. Their was always the best intentions, but over and over again, my neediness chased them away. I use to be the victim, blaming them for dumping me, or even my church for not caring for their widows. I see now family is not something you can choose, it has to be created organically.

I have been very critical, in my head about some of my friends who have been single, widowed, or divorced and recently found new romance in their lives. I thought at first it was jealously. I’m not so sure what is really is. I don’t think it’s all jealously. Because honestly, I have no desire to go on a dating website, or go looking for someone. It seems exhausting to get to know someone new all over again. Yet my heart is so weary. I just ache for family. I can’t stand seeing someone newly single jumping right back into a new relationship. To me it would be like getting a new dog, or having another child right away after you lose one. It seems to be a way to avoid the deep loneliness we all experience. But it only repairs the aloneness, not the lonelyness. I believe we all have to stare that monster in the face at some point in our lives eventually. And when we do, that is when the change happens. It is too much to expect anyone to carry our loneliness. It is a hole, only God can fill.

I am fighting every day to do the right thing, to create a purpose to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes when I wake, I just lay there begging God to let me sleep the day away so I don’t have to fake it one more day. I have always felt too flawed to be loved. That is my deepest issue, and it is connected to my loneliness, my eating, my relationships, finance, and everything else in my life gone wrong. I do not believe I am lovable.

I remember my Aunt Lindy experiencing this. Her husband died, she had no kids, and came up from Florida to live near us, (my Mom, Dad and me) in Nebraska. She started acting strange. She started losing her spark, then her memory. I use to go pick her up to go shopping with me, or just hang out. But I would catch her in these moments, where she seemed so distant and alone. When the Alzheimers started setting in, she would put her face in her hands, and close everyone off. In one of those moments, I asked her what was wrong, she said she didn’t know. I said, are you afraid of being alone? I’ll never forget the tears welling up in her eyes as she shook her head yes. I said, Lindy, as long as I live, you will never be alone, I will always be here for you. I wish I could comfort myself the way I comforted my aunt.

So if you are surrounded by a loving mate, and family all around, count your blessings. And please don’t get smug seeing someone like me and think “I’m glad it’s you and not me”. Because no matter how many people are around you, you will at some point have to look this monster in the face. People need people. We all receive as much mercy as we pour out. Blessings to all!

Out of the Dark

I have been really hard on myself lately. The scale has not moved for almost 2 months. My food could still use some tweaking. It’s so hard to change a lifetime of behaviors. I have not been posting because it’s hard to write about not losing weight and I never want to become a whiner and excuse maker. Most weight loss bloggers drop off when they stop losing or gaining. That is a lot of lonely blogs needing attention in cyber space considering successful weight loss and keeping it off is less that 1% of 1%. The odds are not in my favor. But I’m not letting that statistic defeat me! NO WAY!

I have accountability buddies, and friends whom I confide my deepest most shameful eating habits to. The secrets have to be exposed, in order to let the light in and heal. It is one of the hardest things I do. Mostly because I often don’t see my dishonesty myself. Before I get too far into this, I am not sneak eating chocolate cake, fast food, or ice cream. In fact, when I was at my highest weight, the amount of food I am currently eating would cause me to drop pounds rapidly. That is part of the reason very obese folks lose a bunch of weight, and then stall. Not because they have started eating more, but because the inaccuracy and volumes of food intake they got by with early on has caught up with them. I no longer carry that 163 pounds around that burned off so many calories. I have also noticed, due to my inactivity, and age, my muscles are not as big. My legs and arms seem unusually skinny. I sometimes feel like a “Spongebob round pants.” Since it’s our big muscles that cause the most fat to burn, I’ve slowed that down a bit. I’ll get it back, but it takes time. I can hear the clock ticking. I am into the 3rd act of my life, I have things do that my weight is standing in the way of doing.

When me or anyone struggles and confesses this, the next thing that is usually said is one or more of the sentences below;

  • “When I lost ### pounds, blah blah blah….. usually referring to past success to convince your self or others you are still capable of controlling this.
  • It’s water weight
  • Muscle weighs more that fat (no it doesn’t, pound for pound it weights the same, but muscle is a more solid mass)
  • I’m building muscles (again, false, even the hardest working body builders can’t gain 3 pounds of muscle in a week)
  • Last time I lost weight I did this………..I just need to do that again. closing down anyone who may have ideas to help you.

A weight loss plateau can be caused by many things. I have had an adjustment on my meds recently, that may be part of it. But I still know I can do better with my food. Exercise is great, but few people can exercise their fat off. An hour of walking for instance loses under 300 calories for most, and you can consume an extra 300 calories in just the condiments you use in your regular meals.

I have notices some people avoid talking on a feelings level. And this rings so true to obese folks. That’s why some of us will crack a joke, or poke fun at ourselves to avoid that level of conversation. If we say something about our fat ourselves, it relieves the awkwardness, and shuts out any hurtful comments someone else may say.

Bottom line, is, I just want to be real, open and keep moving forward. I have been painfully lonely lately. Deeply aching for family and the security of daily people in my life. I own my part in the the isolation I’m experiencing. When I got so fat, I ended up in bed and the world around me were either disgusted with me, or just moved on without me. Sometimes I feel like that old sock monkey that was left in the bottom of the toy box.

So for today, I will weight and measure every single thing I put in my mouth. I will plan my food and stick with the plan. I will contact my support people. And I will encourage someone else today.

By the Way, a very kind friend sent me the new Mandisa CD the other day. It’s called “Out of the Dark”, If you want to be encouraged, and need a second chance, I would suggest you go get that CD right away. And if you do not know who Mandisa is. Well, she was the overweight girl who tried out for American Idol, and was told by Simon that she was too fat for the show. She has overcome many obstacles in her life, and has a very successful music career. I’m so grateful for my friend, who listened to God’s voice and sent me this encouraging CD.

 

I’m still here  <—-click to listen

Be better than yourself

 

 

 

I wanted to give an update about my blood test results from the Doctor last week. I have been diabetic the last few years. Some might call it pre-diabetic, but I’ve been told there is no pre-diabetic, it’s kind of a word people use who’s blood sugars have not really skyrocketed, and an easier way to accept. Kinda like calling a heart attack, a cardio event. Well, my blood sugars were perfect! This was great news considering my Mother died from complications to diabetes. So I am on a small dose of Metform, but will probably be off the stuff in 6 months. My blood pressure was perfect, so I got to cut back on BP meds. And my thyroid, which I was taking the maximum dose of meds for, has started functioning again, so we cut that back. I’m thrilled.

I’m hoping now with my clean bill of health and my meds adjusted, I’ll be losing weight more regularly.

I’ve been reading the book Bright Line Eating, by Susan Pierce Thompson. She is a nurologist who had here own weight and addiction issues of her own and has been abstinent for years. She tells the science of how foods actually do become addictive to some people. She suggest getting off sugar and flour, and how the cravings lessen cravings. I can give up sugar. I have done that for years. But flour is going to be tough. I’ve been trying to keep my carbs under 150, and around 30% of my food for the day. I’m not where I want to be, but I am on my way. Just being mindful of this makes a huge difference.

The night eating has been going well. But I say this holding my breath, because it comes in waves. I’m not out of the woods yet.

I also got a UA band. I love it! I never really wanted one due to my inability to walk any real distant, but it has become a little game, I try to walk more then the day before. I think sometimes I don’t even try something because I compare myself to others. But to make true progress is actually comparing ourselves to ourselves.  We get inspired by each other, but while we are working our program, we need to only try to be better than ourselves. Blessings!

 

Doctor, Doctor, Give me the News…….

I went to the Doctor last Friday. It had been a year, and my Doctor who is also a friend, was worried I had fallen off the wagon and gained back the weight I had lost last year and hiding it from her. When I went back to the examining room I could see into the Nurse and Doctor station, I saw my Doctor and she got all happy and emotional. They blew an air horn and everyone in the clinic came running like it was my birthday at Applebee’s or something. They all applauded and some got teary. I kinda like grand gestures and attention, no one admits that, but I do, but it was bit overboard. I was a bit embarrassed, but so touched how much they cared. I spent so much of my life explaining myself and trying to have the world see that my obesity does not define my character, that it was very touching to be so cared about.

My visit went well. I got to use the regular BP cuff instead of the one for chubby arms and body builders. Last year the long walk from my vehicle to the front door then down the hall to the examining room felt like 10 miles. Friday I hardly thought about it. My Doctor was very pleased.

I have an extreme fear of Doctors. I really need to write about this so please just indulge me for a bit this might be long. I am very careful these days to not be a victim, but sometimes events in our lives channel deep emotional scares that happen. Sometime they are done by those who love us, unknowing what effect they have on someone. I want to address my relationship with my folks, but I need to defend them so it does not appear I am throwing them under the bus. My folks did the best they could, and when they knew better they did better.

I have been overweight my whole life. I was almost a 10 pound baby, and pretty sure my Mom had gestational diabetes while carrying me, and it stayed with her after I was born. She went undiagnosed for years, and when they found it, she was a very brittle diabetic.

I was fat as a toddler, I remember hearing my Moms conversations with her sister, my Aunt Lindy and her girlfriends. My mom was a compulsive talker. So her chatter was always there and in my head. I have always felt broken. I was taken to a weight loss doctor at 4 years old and prescribed what they call now speed. I remember laying on the floor in the middle of the night frantically coloring, while my Mom fell asleep on the couch. I lost 20 pounds as a 4 year old. I was on every diet known to man. I had a babysitter in the afternoons because my Mom worked, and I remember my lunch being packed, and lots and lots of carrots. So many that I turned orange. True story.

Every Summer I would vow to lose the weight, and come to school thinner. In high school I longed to be a cheerleader. But there were no fat cheerleaders. I always tried to lose weight over the summer in order to try out, but it never hapened.

At a very early age, I fell in love with my Abba Father, Jesus. Abba means Daddy. The name Jesus is not PC these days, but I hate using the word “universe” referring to God. I like using His name. So that was my source of strength as a child. My folks both had a deep passion for God, so my household was built not only on going to church, but a deeply personal relationship with God. It was not unusual at all for my Dad to lead the family in prayer. We prayed out loud in the care before a big trip, we prayed out loud at mealtime, we prayed out loud when there was any struggles.

I was very close to my aunt Lindy my Moms sister,  who was more of a grandma to me, she was 9 years older than my mom. She and her husband Lionel, had no children. Attended Weight Watcher meeting all her life. She lost and gained, but not a tremendous amount. My mom was Lucy, and Lindy was her Vivian. Lindy and Lionel did all sorts of things to help me lose weight. When I was a child they lived in Omaha, about 2 hours south. She would offer me $1 for every pound I’d lose. When I was on Weight Watchers, my uncle Lionel would buy me cases of water packed tuna. When I visited her in Omaha over the Summers, we went to Weight Watcher meetings.

I’d lose a little, then fall off the wagon. I tried everything as a child to lose weight. Fat Doctors, Exercise machines, Aydes caramels, Dexitrim, I tried it all.

The Doctors I visited as a child were not nice to me. They told me I could do this if I tried, I needed willpower. As a child I would go to church and go up to the alters to be prayed for and have God heal me. I felt like a failure, and learned to develop a personality that would attract people since my looks were not going to. As with every fat girl, I have heard “you have such a pretty face” over and over again. It is one of the biggest insults you can say to a young overweight girl. Instead we hear “Too bad you’re so fat, because you could be pretty if you were thin”

When I got older, I was the primary caretake for my Mom, a diabetic , my Dad, with Alzheimers and  my  Aunt Lindy, who had Alzheimers.  And my Husband who had serious heart issues and on top of all that he was an epileptic, having grand maul seizers several times a month that took him to the ER over and over.

My folks both worked, and I actually have a brother. But he never liked me, at all. I honestly have no memory of any moment in time when he was nice to me. At best he ocasionaly tolerated me, those were the good days.  We don’t have any connection to this day.Im quite sure if I died, he would not attend the funeral.  Altho, I would love to have a relationship with my big brother. His picture of our family is way different then mine. I was a very lonely isolated kid. I’d come home from school and food would fill that void.

My parents kitchen had no or very little food in it. Just basic staples, because it was my Moms way of controlling my intake of food. She stopped at the store on the way home from work almost everyday. We ate a lot of stuff out of my Fathers garden.

My Dad on the other had, was a foodie. He loved to cook, try new things, and had a very diverse palate. He would eat anything! And he loved to cook, so it was not unusual to come home from school and there was a beef tongue  sitting in the fridge. Food meant security to him. He grew up extremely poor. He talked a lot about eating lard on bread for dinner. He worked in the original Raddison in Minneapolis Minnesota where he met my Mom, who was attending bible college. She was the naive farm girl, he was the swanky City Boy. She was mesmerized by him. They had no clue of each others baggage going into the marriage. My Mom was insecure, and my Dad was a risk taker. My Dad a spender, and my Mom always worried about money. My Mom worried about everything, and talked about it in my presents all the time. My Dad was not a feelings person in his younger years, sort of shut off, and we knew not to ask too many questions of his sad childhood. My Mom was a gusher! So I became, at a very young age, her surrogate emotional spouse. I took it all on, and hide my own struggles.

When I would get made fun of by my childhood bully Dennis, I never ever told anyone. He would make fun of how I walked or skipped, he oddly, always called me “Hamburger” and yelled it when I got on the school bus or playground. And of course having the last name Miles, I “heard miles and miles of fat” throughout all my life. I felt so ashamed of who I was. I knew it would hurt my Mom to tell her about my bully, and I was so ashamed of being fat, I kinda felt I deserved it. I remember crying in the night, in my bed, hating being fat, and feeling so alone. When I ate, I felt nothing. Emotional flatline. So this became a deep habit of stuffing down my feelings.

At 16 I refused to go to the doctor every again. I went off my thyroid meds, and never went back to a Doctor until I was 42. Fat people get reminded daily of the health hazards of being overweight. I just felt I had a death sentence waiting. Having  Doctor scream at me about being fat and self indulgent, was awful. I’d rather die.

Plus, my Dad refused to see a doctor when I was young, and almost died from bleeding ulcers. This is when they did surgery similar to weight loss surgery to treat ulcers.They cut out 1/2 his stomach. Now days they treat it as a virus. His fear of doctors became mine. he would bleed so badly his skin was pale. He finally got the help he needed, but almost died.

My Mom was constantly worried she would go blind, or lose a limb. She talked about it all the time. I became a bundle of nerves, and carried all the stress of the family. Her Doctor visits were terrifying to her, and I would hear endlessly about how scared she was.  Meanwhile staying out of the way of a brother that did not like me at all.

I learned in my adult years my Mom had a terrible relationship with food. She was not fat, maybe 150 was her top weight but she was about 130 most of her life. She obsessed about food, counting calories, and talking herself out of eating stuff. I finally put the pieces together when I realized all those laxatives around the house were not normal. And the bathroom toilet always looked as if someone had thrown up and not flushed twice.

My Dad rewarded me with food. It was his love language. Food was sacred, the word “ick” when referring to any food, be it cow tongue or liver was as bad as swearing. We were to be thankful for what ever was on the table, and if you did not like it, too bad, there were not substitutes.

I just remember being so scared all the time. I was scared I was going to be left behind, or lost. Which didn’t help growing up in a pentecostal home. I constantly feared Jesus would come and I’d be left behind. I would run to food to find comfort, or do something creative. I was always doing art, or creating something. That made me feel good about myself sometimes.

I was loved deeply by my parents, yet the baggage they brought into the marriage spilled over onto my brother and I. I took it on as mine, and I think my brother just fled. I was the beloved child, even though I was flawed, and he saw me as spoiled, favored and coddled. I kind of was, because no one could ever get close to him.

My relationship with my folks came full circle before they died. I got to forgive them for the stuff they screwed up in my childhood. By the time they died, we were very close, and it was the biggest loss of my life, still to this day. I felt truly abandoned. Every family member that I ever loved died within 5 years. Boom, they were suddenly gone, and I felt like an orphan. So again, food was my comfort, and it ran rapid! It escalated into eating crazy volumes. I am too ashamed to ever tell you what I binged on. There were no fast food places in my little town, and I spent a lot of time alone cooking enormous meals and eating them quickly before anyone came home.

So you can now see how going to the Doctor is scary for me. But until we push past our fears, nothing will change. This take a level of honestly that can make you feel week and transparent. But it’s the only way to get strong and  through to where I want to be. Have a good Sunday everyone. Thanks for reading.

 

Mentors, Friends, and Forgiveness

I had a long talk with my accountability buddy about my food. He took the time to really look at my food over the last few weeks, and from a non-judgemental perspective, talked it all over with me. Never, in my entire life, has anyone ever done that with me, consistently. I didn’t feel judged, or picked on, I did not not feel controlled. I know he took a deeply honest look at my food, and worked with me. Because of this I did not get defensive or  hide in shame about something I have eaten.  He understands I am sick, a food addict, and knows I am not one to make excuses because I WANT to get well, and willing to work at it. It created a path for me to be open and not defensive. I am willing to try harder, because I know he knows what he’s taking about. He lives it, and is very open about his own plan. I can see at any time exactly what he is eating on his My Fitness Pal food diary, like me, he has it open and is consistent with posting it. This sets a good example, and proves his integrity, I trust him. I hope some day I can pay this forward.

He has had tremendous success. He has lost 230 pounds in less than a year! We started at the exact same weight, both 537 pounds. He’s a foot taller then me, but that’s beside the point. He gets me. and lives it, and does not share endless antidotes, with underline meaning.  I never feel talked down to.  It’s hard enough to hold on to your dignity and yet be open, it’s so important for me to have someone who is transparent with me on every level. This is the kind of person I attain to be. These are the things that make or break us.

We decided to lower my calories from 1600 to 1400, watch my sodium intake, and lower the carbs. Now if you are saying what I would have said a few years ago like “I don’t want to live married to planning, weighing and obsessing about food. I can’t be that ridged. I want peace with food so I can eat the appropriate amount and stop naturally.” I use to joke about those who were so detailed about their food plan, saying they switched addictions from eating too much food to obsessing about what they are eating, and used it to call attention to themselves. I was WRONG on every level.

But, what I have learned from this generous friend is, It won’t always be this way. Right now its a lot of busy work. Tracking, counting, and weighing, shopping and planning. But in time it will have the opposite effect. I take 10 minutes in the morning or the night before, to plan my food. We tend to repeat things we eat anyway, and MFP remembers this so the searches just appear as if it can read my mind. And, I find I am not thinking about what I am going to eat several times a day or get side tracked. It FREEs my time. I have the time currently in my life to get this worked out, but soon I won’t when I am working again. This will make that process easier. I am carving out a path of self care for a lifetime.

I think for me, eating 3 meals a day instead of several small meals and snacks, keeps me from making so many food decisions and temptations to dig around in the kitchen and finding a snack.

I just wanted to say, when we honestly seek help, it comes in many unexpected ways. It always comes when we take acton to seek it. In fact it requires action. You can’t learn to ride a bike by watching someone ride. You have to get on it. And yes, you will fall. Some people walk you all the way through life, some are temporary teachers. Some are catalyst to open up new doors to new people. Some are teachers for what we should avoid or not do. But everyone had a purpose in our lives. I am someone who makes friends for life, I have walked away from very few friendships. But sometimes in my most crazy moments I can chase people I love away. I’ve made some misjudgments assuming I meant as much to some people as they did to me. It hurts, friendship are extra valuable to someone who has no or little family. Sometimes that makes me a little clingy or put too high of expectations on friends. But I forgive them all. And when the resentment creeps its way back up, I pray for them. Praying for someone is a powerful way to crumble resentments.

I lost some friendships over the last few years that meant a great deal to me. I was an awful, needy, pathetic mess, striped of my dignity several years ago. I was hard to love. I also said things I regret.  Sometimes when we lose our self respect, we lose the respect of those around us as well.  Some people can’t watch this, but I was deeply hurt. Rejection is so painful.  I’m still baffled a bit, wounded and feeling abandoned. I probably will always feel a little of that. I wallowed around in self pity for years, and let myself become a victim, in order to shame them for what they did to me. I gained an obscene amount of weight.  But we have no control over how people treat us, or their commitment to our friendship. When we recover it can teaches us so much. I am a bit guarded to let people in too deeply these days, but boundaries are a good thing to learn. I did a lot of oversharing in my past. This is not a lesson in closing down and shutting people out, but a huge education on how to be a good friend. Even the worst experiences we have in our lives are valuable teachers.

Accept your friends for who they are, believe in them but don’t set high expectations on them that they can’t live up to. Most of all take deep care of those few who get you, and love you just as you are, flaws and all. Those are the true jewels of life, they come far and few between. They are God’s kisses to us. Walk out of being the victim, forgive and love. Sometimes the resentments we carry are far heavier than any amount we may weigh. It’s all connected. I let go of my resentments and the weight loss followed. Blessings to you all!