Life is Good!

Yesterday I shared how hard life was, today let’s look at what is good. The good is what keeps me going and staying on track. The good is that joy that pops up before us without warning. Are not the spontaneous moments we have some of the best times of our life?

I had a fun surprise when Sean Anderson from The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser mentioned me on his blog. I had been a reader for a while and loved how openly he wrote. We have since become good friends. I feel like I found my long lost brother. I love how some of the hardest things in our lives can bring us the best things as well. I cherish this new found friendship. I loved the new readers it brought me. I love how supportive he is in a world where everyone else is in competition. Sean finds joy in seeing people succeed and become happy. He does this because he has claimed his self respect as well. he has been on both sides of the fence, and loves to help others jump the fence. He does not depend on validation from the outside.

The good things in life are what I day dream about as my good health increases. Mostly when I lay in bed at night I fall asleep visualizing my new life ahead. The possibilities are endless. Of course the weight loss will allow me to physical do many more things. But the confidence and self respect  it brings is the biggest prize. The interesting thing is,  the self respect did not come after the weight loss started, it came before, and then the weight loss followed.

Life is good, and we have the magical ability to make it good. I see my life opening up, one step at at time. When I get discouraged or inpatient I just focus on staying firmly on track and the pay off soon comes. When we get ahead of ourselves is when things fall apart. When things get hard, we can sometimes think about how long we have to go or how long we have to hold on, wondering how in the world are we going to do it? The thought of losing over 300 pounds was almost more than I could wrap my head around. My hope was tiny, but I searched out places of encouragement and support. Then without warning it came. It came in friendships, it came in inspiration and information I stumbled across on the internet, and many other ways.  I have stayed committed, and when I felt my grip slipping, I trusted hanging on one more day. That is the moment when what I needed showed up at the perfect time.

The thing is, it is not going to fall in your lap. You have to try, you have to put in your time, and you have to be painfully real. Mostly, you have to be consistent. Even on your off days, holidays, and when the unexpected happens. The bolder your efforts the bigger the pay off, but it usually happens in a way you least expect from a source you never dreamed of. Expect the unexpected. Just keep doing the right thing one day at a time and you will be surprised what pops up around the corner to get you to the next level. Life is good.

Life is Hard

I have to be honest here, the week has been really hard. I do not write this to gain any sympathy. Do not feel sorry for me. I will be fine, I will be more than fine, I will be whole. Hard is not bad. hard, is just…well, hard, and sometimes you can not avoid it. I have no family, none. No family to spend holidays with. It’s hard, but I am not the only person on the planet in this situation. It also does not mean that its forever. This deep loneliness and isolation has an end.

It seems to me when we make great accomplishments or gain great stride, we have to go through the fire to get there. I am going through the fire right now, and it’s not pretty. It is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I have cried buckets of tears this week, grieving losses, by either death or just friends who have fallen by the wayside. Some losses were my responsibility from making bad choices, some were just life, and some were just human conflict. The loneliness has been deeper than I ever thought loneliness could be. But I am surviving it, and not hiding in fear.

I have been let down by many whom I trusted like family, but one choice I have not made this year, is letting myself down. The payoff from that is huge. I have a very long way to go with my weight loss. At least 200 pounds, but each pound is slowly making me stronger, physically and emotionaly. I am learning volumes about myself with every pound that I lose. I have given myself back the gift of self respect. I never put much value on my self respect until I gave it away.

Arrogance and self respect are 2 different animals. Arrogance demands validation and to be noticed. Real arrogance is insecurity wrapped in a pretty package. Self respect needs no validation. Self respect knows it’s value already, and is grateful. Self respect frees us to serve and love each other because we are no longer emotionally needy. There is great contentment in gaining your self respect. Contentment trumps happiness because it is not fleeting.

The good thing is, I am surviving it! I am alive, I got up this morning, I have eaten healthy all week. I am making progress, and the sacrifices are soon to pay off huge dividends. I am not perfect, and I am learning along the way. Unlike many times when I have proclaimed that I was not perfect to excuse my lack of effort, my imperfections are all teachers for me. I value my imperfection. I take each stumble and flaw and embrace it, examining what I could learn from each experience.

So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving, when most answer their family and loved ones? I am thankful for my imperfections, I am grateful for self respect, and I am mostly grateful that life is hard. All of these lessons are gifts from God. Blessings to all of you!

Keep Calm and put on your Stretchy Pants

 

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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and if the roads are not icy, I will be spending it with some good friends. I debated as to what I was going to do with my food plan tomorrow. I had 6 choice.

  1. Eat whatever I wanted for the day
  2. Eat whatever I wanted for that meal
  3. Eat all but the dessert
  4. Plan a set amount of calories I will allow myself to go over for the day
  5. Stay within my 1400 calorie budget
  6. stay home

I have decided to stay within my 1400 calorie budget. I know myself, and once I let myself have a little slack, I will struggle to get back on track. I believe we have to do what works for us, as long as we are being true to ourselves. If you have a thought in the back of your head, that finds pleasure in having all that extra food around, maybe you need to re-evaluate. If you are confident and prepared to have a day including a traditional higher calorie meal, and sure it will be just for that day or meal, there is nothing wrong with it. Many people have had very successful weight loss that included eating a big meal for a holiday. I just know myself, and I can not do that.

I seriously thought about adding 500-1000 extra calories to my day. Then I thought, what for? It will only set me back a week or so in my life plan. Yes, life plan. I want to live instead of exist. Giving myself an extra week to live longer on this planet is worth staying on track. No piece of pumpkin pie could possible be worth shortening my life.  I do not believe my staying on track with my food budget is going to have any negative affect on my relationship with the people I will be sharing a table with. Besides, there is a lot of food I can eat and enjoy, Turkey, mashed potatoes, maybe a small scoop of dressing, and vegetables. It’s not like I am going to suffer, and eat rice cakes with everyone around me eating rich food.

I thought about making my traditional scalloped corn to bring. It has lots of butter and tons of carbs. I use to not be able to imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without it. We all have one or more side dishes that remind us of our past. But I know my friends won’t miss it, I would have to make something that I would be temped to eat, and if I did allow myself to have it, I fear what it might trigger. besides, it’s loaded with calories.

I am still 200+ pounds overweight. I am at a critical risk to have an heart attack at any moment. I am pre-diabetic, I will die an early death if I do not lose weight. Mine weight is not cosmetic, and it’s beyond being uncomfortable. My obesity is going to kill me. So with that in mind, eating a big piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream seems redundant. I am just starting to be able to answer my front door without having to take a few minutes to catch my breath. Why would anyone who struggled to walk across a room take a day to eat my way into oblivian?

I use to rationalize all of this big eating by comparing myself with people bigger than I. I’d say “well I’m not as big as her/him, so I do not need to be that strict. If I am “that person” in your life, remember, I use to think that too, and look where it brought me. Is it worth taking that chance on that slippery slope?

When I am tempted to over eat, even just one Oreo cookie, it’s easy to justify and say, “Oh, just one will not put any weight on me” And that is true. One cookie will not make a difference on the scale. But for me, that one cookie is not about the calories it contains, it is the first step on that slippery slope to falling off track, maybe forever, and possibly dying. That one cookie IS death. If I do not eat the one, I will not eat  the two and three…four… and on and on. The rationalizing keeps spinning, the head talk..”oh well, I blew it, I can get back on track tomorrow” I have said that so many times, over and over through the years. And Thanksgiving is often the gateway to a month of eating, baking, cooking and eating, in the name of enjoying Christmas with out loved ones. And maybe I can eat just one, I may have once or twice. But with the hundreds of times that has been my first step down that slope, the odds are not with me.

I am sure many of my readers have left by now, because no one who does not plan on staying on track Thanksgiving will want to read this. I wouldn’t have a couple of years ago either. I would have rolled my eyes and searched the net for new recipes. That’s ok, its not my job to be the food police. I am not blogging to rescue people. I am blogging to keep my focus to good health stronger, and if I inspire along the way…bonus! If you are still with me, thank you. I hope this is the best Thanksgiving you ever have. I wish you happiness and health. Be blessed.

 

 

Urgent!

urgent : very important and needing immediate attention.

Important : of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.

Years ago I went to a class regarding how to use a Franklin-Covey planner. This class changed forever the way I viewed urgency verses importance. If you have read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you know what I am talking about. What is urgent, is not always what is important, and what is most important, is not always urgent. I use to get those mixed up. Some are one, or the other, some things are both. If your house is on fire it is urgent and important. house-fireNeeding to prepare a healthy meal or exercise, is important but not necessarily urgent. I use to run to anything that was urgent, regardless of how low it was on my priority list. I still have to stop sometimes and think about it.

We can get distracted so easily. Often we run around taking care of these urgent distractions and neglect what is truly important. Sometimes the feeling of hunger can be so distracting it feels urgent to eat what is available and easy to grab right away instead of taking the time to prepare something healthy even when we have the ingredients available. The same holds true with being tired. Exhaustion can feel so urgent we neglect what is really important like exercise.

I can sometimes run around taking care of urgent events, or spontaneous tasks and overlook what matters most. Our children are good at creating urgent situations that are not necessarily important, or at least not needing immediate response. It’s kind of like the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but there are a lot of squeaks that can wait a bit. This does not mean they don’t have value or don’t matter, it just means we prioritize.

I think we often run to what is urgent to avoid what is truly important. Urgent can often be easier or produce immediate gratification. We live in a world where we want what we want right now. Doing what is important sometimes take a while to see results, like eating healthy or staying committed to that exercise plan.

Some of these urgent things become excuses for not dealing with the important matters. A way we rationalize behavior. A lot of mothers do this with their kids. imagesThey use an urgent situation with their children to avoid self care. The reality is, if your not taking care of your health, you may not be able to be there for your kids.

I love the healthy food I prepare. If I have a craving, I can usually plan a way to have what I want to eat within reason. I love pizza, but in order for me to have it, I have to make my own with healthy ingredients, and probably adjust what I’m eating earlier in that day to allow the extra calories even a home made pizza might have. It’s so much easier to just pick up the phone and order take out. But taking the time to make something healthy not only helps my weight loss efforts but it’s more satisfying and cheaper too.Unknown Also I do not have the guilt, or the beginning of a downhill spiral. That is important, it is likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or my well-being.

So next time you feel an urgency, take a moment to think of it’s importance. Do what truly matters first, and work down that list. You won’t believe how much more order your life will have and you will probably be more productive as well.

My Secrets to Suscessful Weight Loss

When I was at my very highest weight, and eating a lot of unhealthy food I had so many friends who loved me that were very worried. They worried they would be attending my funeral very soon. Many of them tried to have heart to heart talks with me. I had been so good at rationalizing my self abuse to people that I would tell them what they wanted to hear, admit to my problem, and give them just enough hope to ease their concern. I admitted to all of my many of my transgressions. I was so good at convincing even myself I was a victim, it was easy to convince my friends too. It was not intentional deceit, I believed the line of crap I was feeding them.  I did try, I thought I was trying. I even had success on occasion. But when I got stuck, I blamed the scale, and water weight, or anything but the fact that I was eating too much. I mean, compared to how I normally ate, I felt I was truly dieting.  I believed I was a victim of the circumstances around me. I said I owned it, but really didn’t. Many people with the best intentions rallied around me, and tried to work with me on a solution to my obesity. I feel a lot of shame about all of this. I am so blessed with a lot of friends, they have been so good to me. Better than I deserved. I was a pro at turning the conversation around and about them, asking questions and being very personal, and listening to them deeply.  I played the sweet girl card, the nice Christian girl, the good daughter, and niece. The sad widow. The giver…. when you are obese you do super sweet things that block people from becoming critical and would normally confront you for your self abuse. I truly love people and care about them, but I used all of this to become too sweet and kind for my friends to get very mad at me or confronting.

I have observed the shields fat people use to compensate for their lack of self care and self respect. Some people get very sarcastic, and cynical. Some are clowns, always talking first about their size before anyone else does and cracking jokes about their weight. Some a sappy sweet. Super kind, thoughtful and giving, yet emotional distant about themselves. Some are super caregivers. In fact these sweet fat people seem very emotional open, but if you listen very close, they use that sweetness to shut down the truly deep issues they don’t want to speak of. You see, if you get people to talk about themselves, you don’t have to talk about that huge void inside of yourself that you try to fill with food. Most people are so flattered if you ask questions about them, they don’t notice. Some fat people are just mean, and bitter, making people fear their crudeness. Some are very, very opinionated, spewing their “expert” opinions about everything to everyone. Becoming obsessed with things, be it movies, their dog, computers, video games, anything to avoid looking at themselves or feeling anything. Some are know it alls. All of these characteristics are walls we build around us to avoid any confrontation or emotional pain. These are ways we push people away, almost making them fear getting to close. Being emotionally vulnerable AND fat is an overwhelming thought.

The most recent thing I feel the worst about is the kind girls at the YMCA that came to my home several times a week to work with me and get me going. I half way tried, I ate somewhat good, but in the 6 months that they worked with me, I lost less than 10 pounds. These girls were young and very frustrated with me. In fact a few times they got so frustrated they really yelled at me. That was hard to take. I remember trying to work my charm on them, being a cool buddy, showing deep interest in their lives and families. I look back now and feel kind of silly, I tried way too hard to be their buddy. They did not buy it. I don’t blame them.

Today, I am so full of hope. I feel like I am making good progress, and have dreams of a future I never thought I would have. It’s very hard for me to see a fellow fat friend, who is struggling. I see through them, I don’t buy into the games and manipulation. I want to run to them and share all my new awarenesses. I want to help them flip that switch to health. In fact some of the friends who I love very much I have tried to enlighten. They get defensive, and resent my efforts, seeing me a being judgmental, bossy and maybe even a bit cocky. I honestly am not trying to come across that way. I know I am always on the edge. Once I get comfortable and over confident, that’s when things can spiral very fast. There is no arrival. EVER! Only progress, and even that comes in waves.

I have made the mistake many times with my fat friends to go to that emotional and open place that many fear. Most of the times I get shut down fast, then resented to the point the relationship has been damaged.

I had a conversation with a fellow weight loss buddy today that is doing very well. We shared concern  about a mutual friend who not doing so well. She said they were doing somewhat ok with food but feared they did not get the “head stuff”. That was good way to explain it. 95% of losing weight for an morbidly obese person is the fat in their head. There are many food plans that work, the secret is the head stuff.

I get approached almost daily with people who want my “secret”. I get questions everyday asking about my food plan. I don’t mind being asked at all, ever! I want to help people succeed and get healthy. But the one thing I can’t make happen is the head stuff. I would be so rich if I had the magic formula to flip that switch. That’s what we are actually seeking when we buy new diet books, exercise plans, and the latest diet pills. We all want that switch in our head flipped. Or we think if we can just get the weight off that switch will automatically flip.

The best advice I can give is;

  • Never give up! Seek your path to good health with all your might.
  • find a healthy food plan
  • stick with it, always, make it your #1 priority. NO, really! This includes weekends, and all Holidays.
  • For me, no cheat days or meals
  • get anything and everything that is tempting out of your house. Even if it means your husband and children will miss it. Trust me, missing you in their lives is way more devastating than those favorite cookies you keep for your grandkids.
  • Find a few people who you can be bare naked honest with, I mean totally transparent.
  • create an army of people who you are accountable to, not just on your terms, but always!
  • be ridiculously honest, and don’t rationalize anything
  • scour  your community and the internet for people who are having the success you are wanting, and reach out to them. Most will recognize if you are truly sincere and want to be your friend or help in some way.
  • READ, READ and read…. blogs and everything about healthy eating, and the psychological side of weight loss
  • Journal or better yet, blog. Blogging has been life changing for me.
  • connect with your spiritual side. Seek a divine connection. If you truly seek it, you will find it.
  • Stay positive, read motivational quotes videos and materials
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Accountability, daily or even more. I have a group I have access to 24 hours a day. I report my morning goals, and report how I did with them at the end of the day. Priceless!

These are many of the things that I do. These are the common threads I see in people who have the success that I want to have. If you are not willing to do these things, you are probably not ready. If you are not, be honest about it. Don’t lie about it just because it’s what you ‘should” do. I have more respect for someone who is honest, about not being ready or struggling to stay on plan than someone who is not honest. Being honest is much more than confessing you are struggling or “not perfect”. It includes focusing on exactly where or what you struggle with. Saying your are struggling or ‘not perfect” is cop out. It gets you off the hook without really looking at it. Be specific with someone safe. Losing weight is about constantly sharpening the saw and always fine tuning. Be loving and patient with yourself. Love who you are. Make a list of the things that are beautiful about you no matter what your size. These are what last. A healthy body is simply a healthy body, so you can live longer, be in less pain, and move around easier. Seeing what it is about you that is worth saving is the biggest motivator of all.

The Break up

 

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I have been reflecting a lot lately. This time of year always does that to me. Most people with family are so busy planning for the holidays they don’t have as much time to think as I do. I have felt very meloncholy the last few days. In fact I have been very weepy, still greiving losses from years ago, wishing some of those losses were filled with new things, and regretting the time I spent feeling sorry for myself. The feelings are there, how I act on them is still my choice. I choose to move on and stop wallowing in my pity. I spent a lot of years wallowing in my own crap. It was my crap, and it was warm, and familiar, but it was still crap and yes, it stunk!

I am still not where I want to be in my head about food. I still find myself stratigizing how I can get more “bang for my buck”. Before you get concerned, I am not falling off, I am just trying to sharpen the saw. I fear failing, because I am dangerously obese, and failing is death to me. I have to be meticulous right now.  Honestly, I do not think there is any standing still in this relationship I have with food. There is and never will be an arrival. This is not like shampooing your hair; wet, rinse, repeat. Everyday is a new and different challenge. I have found that as long as I keep my head forward, and take one step at a time, all else falls in place. God puts right what I need in my path at that perfect moment. But it’s important for me to remain open to what is before me and not step over it.

For instance, yesterday I was really struggling with that cloud of sadness over me. I have been weepy for days. I got the kindest message from a former pastor offering support and encouragement, commending me for my success. This was the little nudge I needed to feel hope in the very moment I was questioning myself. It was very gracious of him, since he has seen me at my worst, when I was most bitter and resentful spewing my pain on all those around me. For someone to see hope in you when they have seen you at your worst, it a gift. I was humbled.

So I move on, in spite of my tears. I just let them fall, yet continue the commitment on this path to good health. I keep telling myself feelings are just feelings, but I do not need to act on them, just feel them.

So this comes back to my love affair with food. I believe love is a choice, whether it be food or a lover. I choose life regardless of my affection for food. It is the worst relationship I have ever been in. break-upFood has lied to me, broke promises. Destroyed my future, and is never reliable. It has robbed me and abused me. I can not trust it’s promises. The fantasy I have in my head how it will enhance my life is all fictional. Right when I think food is going to be there to bring relief and joy, it either failed to show up, or disappoints. The short moments of pleasure it has brought have never lasted, always leaving me disappointed. Food is so demanding, it is like a jealous boyfriend everyone can see me in this self destructive relationship, but I am in denial of how critical it is, to the point of isolation and sneaking around to be with my lover, food. It demands all my attention and focus. I am exhausted, the pleasure it brings is no comparison to the destruction it creates. I see the carnage it leave behind me and many of my foodie friends. The lives it has destroyed. How it has paralyzed so many. I’ve seen relationships with food destroying marriages, like a cheating spouse or turning spouses into caretakers, robbing both of the relationship they once had. Or like in my case, isolation that went from weeks, to months, to years of missing out on life.

I will always need food in my life, but it has to take a back seat to the real prize. Life

 

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Does anyone really have that? A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving-Norman-Rockwell-1943We all have sweet memories I hope, but I’m pretty convinced we don’t always measure up to the famous painting. Honestly, I do not remember my Mother ever presenting a beautiful browned turkey to the head of the table for my Father to carve. If I am wrong please correct me, but most people I know slice that turkey in the kitchen while making gravy, sweating from the heat of the kitchen, rushing to get those last minute sided cinched up. While everyone is getting seated. My Mom never sat down to eat for more than 5 minutes. And the kitchen was a crazy mess from all the cooking. My Mother spent days preparing, it was not for a lack of being organized. Then to top it off, the meal is mostly eaten in less than 15 minutes. She did not even get the sweat wiped off her brow before she was scurrying around getting the mess cleaned up. Then we sat around all afternoon mostly napping, maybe your family watched football. My family was not big sports enthusiast.

Actually my sweetest memories as a young adult living at home, was waking Thanksgiving morning with the aroma of a turkey being roasted. Hearing my Mother clamoring in the kitchen, and having a Hot cup of coffee with her at the kitchen table. We would work together getting things prepared, anticipating the arrival of extended family. Most of the time we had a displaced friend or two that had no family join us. My Mother could not stand to even think of anyone she knew spending Thanksgiving alone. The actually eating of the turkey went so fast, it’s hard to remember.

Since I have been alone the last 7 or 8 years, I have been honored to be a guest in several other Thanksgiving celebrations. All of them were great experiences but none depicted that lovely Norman Rockwell painting.

I have been really weepy the last few days. Yesterday, if my husband had not died, would have been my 15th anniversary. Like I have said before, my marriage was not the Cinderella Story marriage. We struggled, a lot, so with great respect to my late husband Paul, the love affair was not the biggest loss for me. My anniversary reminds me of all the time I wasted getting fatter, wallowing in my own self pity, and wishing I had done things differently. I regret terribly not keeping the weight off that I once loss, I regret never having a child, I can not speak of that without tearing up. The last 15 year was full of loses and regrets.

I do not have the opportunity to a do-over, so what can I do with all the regret and sad memories that keep flooding in my mind today? I can learn from them. Pretty simple. I can tell you what I would do now if my folks were still alive. I would not get so caught up with the food and preparing. I would make sure NOONE I knew was going to be alone on Thanksgiving. And even if they were too depressed, fat or shy, I would bring them a plate of food to their doorstep. Believe me, it’s not what you do as much as your effort to connect with them and not fix them that matters most. (I’m not fishing for an invite, I already have one, so thanks for thinking of me anyway) The next thing I would do would be to really embrace the family I have. Even if there is some conflict in the relationship. I would try to stay connected.

I would not stuff my face into oblivion. And I would IMMEDIATELY get rid of ALL the leftovers by bedtime Thanksgiving evening.   (maybe at most, keep a little of the turkey only). How good it would feel to wake up the next morning, feeling great and not miserable or guilty?  How good it would feel to not have that fridge and counter full of left over food screaming my name? leftoversHonestly, if you are morbidly obese, and still so emotional connected with your food that you secretly keep a stash of leftovers for later, in the name of not depriving the other in your house, you have a dysfunctional relationship with food.  I remember in the past eating perfectly at the Thanksgiving meal, but it was those left overs that got me.

For me, I could not stick with a food plan until I broke up my love affair with food. Once you do this, you suddenly see the twisted thinking, and you recognize it in others. It’s almost shocking the extreme measures we go to maintain our relationship with food. You can surf the net to find lowest calorie recipes. Tell yourself and other that you are going to just have a little taste of everything in moderation, but trust me, most of the time, you will cave somewhere, sometime. If you do believe you can handle all that food left over in the fridge, and eat little potions within your calorie budget, well, honestly, you will be eating turkey and leftovers way until after Christmas.

For many of us, food is our love language. The thought of not having a huge spread with all the traditional high calorie food not available for the ones we love is something you can not fathom. If you are morbidly obese, and planning a food feast this year, just be prepared to accept, this may well be the last Thanksgiving you have with your loved ones. In my eyes, there is no piece of pie, or piles of mashed potatoes and stuffing that would be worth leaving this planet for.

So for sure, if I could go back in time, even though my Moms Thanksgiving was so tasty, what I would bring back would be that cup of coffee, at her kitchen table. My advice to you is to embrace your family and friends, and not the Turkey.

Quantity vs Quality

I have been noticing how my drive to eat large amounts has been changing. I use to eat massive portions. When I started really watching what I was eating, I would try to find ways to extend my portions mostly with tons of vegetables. I like the way it got me to eat my veggies, but I just don’t seem to have quite the drive to eat so much. In fact, times when I have eaten a large portion, I don’t like that stuffed feeling. I never use to feel full, and I rarely let myself get truly hungry. I have to freeze most of the bread I buy and thaw in the toaster or it gets moldy. My food is lasting longer, the huge tubs of sour cream I use to buy goes bad before I can even eat 1/4 of it.

Now this is not all the time, believe me I still struggle. But I have noticed how satisfied I feel when I eat, instead of stuffing myself. Could this be a sign that I am changing on the inside? Am I losing the fat in my head? I hope so, but meanwhile I will still stay on my toes. That slippery slope to Bingeland happens fast. Like when you are walking alone and hit an ice patch and BOOM, your on the ground, without even remembering how you slipped. If not nipped in the bud right away, it gets away from you. Once down, it takes Herculean power to get your mojo back.

That’s why I fear letting myself have a cheat day. I’m planning on staying on track for Thanksgiving. I can eat the turkey, maybe a small portion of mashed potatoes, and a vegetable. I’m not a big sweets fan, so as long as I don’t start I’m good. But eating a huge meal is not worth it for me. I realize everyone is different, but I have seen so many people who take a day off like Thanksgiving and never really recover. Some do, but I it’s just not worth it for me.

I have to make food a non-issue in my life. Having a day where I stuff myself when I have lost so much weight this year, seems redundant to me. I am certain where ever I end up this Thanksgiving, the amount I consume will make no difference as to how I enjoy the people I am with.

This winter is going to be a metamorphosis time for me.  The next 50-100 pounds off and my whole world will be different. My mobility will greatly increase and I won’t be a prisoner to my home. Altho I will always be grateful for the refuge my home has been to me. It is the only thing in my life that has remained. My home is very important to me. It has been a constant friend when I felt alone and scared.

I’m looking forward to being free from this cumbersome body I carry around. It’s not only exhausting physically, it is always something I have to consider all the time whatever I do. I’m so happy to have a vision of the freedom that is around the corner.

Butterfly

 

 

The Beauty of Me

I was challenged to write a list of some of the beautiful things about myself now, right now. Not “if I lost weight” but the authentic Kathleen. A list of the beautiful things about who I am regardless of what condition my body is in.

This is very hard for me. It feels arrogant. I have spoke many times about my Religious Fundamental upbringing. I have a very solid love for my Lord, but I was raised with some legalistic ideas that have had a lifetime of negative affects on me. One of those fundamental beliefs was to be very humble, and think of yourself last. “Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31. I’m not going to make this a Sunday school lesson, but I do want to make the point that I got this verse all wrong.

Love my neighbor as MYSELF! Or, Love myself as my Neighbor! It’s OK to love yourself, Even God says so. Where this gets twisted is when we think we have to neglect ourselves, and believe we are less than everyone. I spent a lot of time developing my sweet, kind personality and spirit to compensate for my looks. I was always last, I was the servant. In fact I was never a bridesmaid in any of my friends weddings, I was the personal attendant dozens of times. I don’t fault my friends, I put myself in that position. I created myself to fit that mold.

There is a line between confidence and cocky. I do not like cocky. I never have. Probably because I struggled with such low self esteem most of my life. But it is very possible, to be confident and humble. This is about knowing your worth, yet realizing everyone else has worth as well. I can celebrate my value and celebrate those around me as well.

The transgression comes when we think we are better or more important that our sisters and brothers. We not only have the right, but God wants us to celebrate the gifts he has given all of us. He gives them to us to use! Have you ever given someone something you are so excited about, because you know it’s something they need and can really use, then they never use it, or they save it? That’s how God must feel when we don’t appreciate or use the gifts He has given us.

Well, here is my list. These are big and little things I am good at, now and forever. One of the perks of having this realization and new confidence is that it removes jealousy, and allows me to celebrate other peoples gifts as well.

A Creative spirit which includes;

  • being a really good hairdresser
  • an artist
  • creative sewing
  • crafting
  • a writer
  • a really creative cook
  • a progressive and tasteful eye in fashion and decorating

An ability to have a heart for people, this allows me to;

  • being a good friend
  • understand complex people
  • a drive to help when there is a need
  • The ability to love and nurture many people
  • The ability to allow people to safely open up around me
  • helping others to see their talents and gifts
  • helping others feel good about themselves

intelligence

Quick wit

A sense of humor ( not to be confuses with sarcasm which I use to do, it was my pain coming out sideways all over the people I loved. Or I used the shock factor to gain attention.)

A deep love for all living things

The ability to become childlike and play with children on their level (I am really good at playing with Barbies)

Comfortable being alone and with myself

And most of all, a deep love for God and a desire to show that love through loving others.

I am not perfect, and some of these things I have failed miserably. But when I am confident and feel complete just the way I am, some of these things just flow out of me naturally.

What are the beautiful things about you? My list is no better or bigger than any of yours. I’m just learning to embrace them and be grateful for what God has given. I encourage you all to make a list of your own. Only until we know what we have can we fully use it.