Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas everyone! I want to thank each and every one of you for all your support and encouragement this year. I am far from a perfect roll model. Sometimes I get into comparing myself with others who seem to breeze through this weight loss thing, and I can really beat myself up mentally. It baffles me how some people can just decide to lose weight and breeze through it. I am forever studying those folks and trying to find that common thread, I have yet to find it.

I have only lost 1 pound in the last 6 weeks. It’s been tough emotionally. It makes me question my ability, and if I can really ever beat this. I have tried several things to shake this up. Like, spreading out my food more evenly throughout the day, lower my carb intake, even putting a hamper in front of my bedroom door at night so I do not night-eat. Some has been effective, some not so much. The night eating is much better. I have a friend whom I speak to every night before I go to bed, we are supporting each other through this. I never feel judgement from her, and we are painfully honest with each other. We always end the conversation in prayer, taking turns each night. I can not begin to express how much it means to me that we can pray together on the phone and have such deeply honest conversations. My friendship with Liz has been my lifeline.

I went to church last night with my friends Ken and Linda. It was good. I’m having a big struggle with all the changes in the world ever since I started getting out and about. My church has always been an anchor I believe I could rely on. But time has changed all of that, I feel insignificant and invisible. I have been very critical and sometimes sarcastic regarding the changes in the church these days. Some people take pride in their sarcastic humor, but its a very bad sigh when I get that way, even tho sometimes it can be very funny, it is usually deep pain coming out of me sideways. I kept my expectations and critical spirit in check last night and I ended up actually enjoying the service. I prayed that God would give me a sweet spirit and let all that irritated me roll off my back. It was really hard to do at first, but I left the service with a grateful heart. Ken and Linda came over afterwards and we had oyster stew.

I was invited to my friend, Juli’s house for brunch today, but the weather was really weird. It was down poring and thundering, on Christmas Day! In Nebraska no less! That’s a first. I was really worried about the drive over there and possible ice, Catastrophizing things as I do, (one of my many character defects) I visualized myself in a ditch alone on Christmas morning with no one to pull me out, so I stayed home. Now I kinda wish I had gone, the temp never went low enough to freeze. Fear stops me from doing a lot of things. I was really beating myself up about that today, which turned into me crying and then wallowing in self pity, when my friend Liz called me. I know God whispered in her ear to call. She gently reminded me that I was ok, and I can get myself out of the weeds once again. So I did, and decided to blog and get my head sorted out.

I have been avoiding writing here because I have no good victories to share. But you know, I would rather be real, than write a blog that says only what I think people want to hear. Recovering from a life time of Morbid Obesity is messy. And it will continue to be messy. I have no instruction manual on how to do this perfectly. It’s painful, lonely, and it’s scary, and sometimes I struggle. But it is also full of hope, second chances, finding true peace, and personal growth. I have come to realize, it truly does take an army to lose over 300 pounds. But maybe, just maybe these honest posts will someday help another person who is on this path. Please don’t give up on me. The fact that I have managed to lose 157 pounds and stuck with it this long is far from failure.

I am looking forward to 2017. I believe it will be the best year ever. And it can be yours as well. Never give up on yourself. Stay strong and build an army of support around you. Then be brave enough to be “Bare Naked Honest”.

Speaking of support. Sean and I are starting our next weight loss support group on January 2. What a great way to kick off the New Year. it’s an 8 week session and the price is only $120. We offer support and accountability and the members of our groups have had great success losing weight. Here is the information if you are interested.

 It’s going to be a great year! Here are the links to sign up. 
Here is the link to the Monday Night group ………….http://totalkathy.com/?event=monday-night-group-january-2-2017
Here is the link to the Tuesday night group …………http://totalkathy.com/?event=tuesday-night-group-january-3-2017

Here is the link to the Tuesday One on One PREMIUM group……….http://totalkathy.com/?event=premium-group-january-2-2017-800-pm

Kindness

 

 

The world and social media is a lonely place for someone who is alone over the Holidays. I, am alone over the holidays. I just wanted to take time to share something deeply personal to me. And I hope it creates an awareness for those of you who have friends that are alone this time of year, and an opportunity to bless someone. I am not writhing this to milk an invite, I have a place to go this year. I was going to write this on a Facebook page but realized it was not an appropriate place to share what’s on my mind.

My first Christmas after my husband died, and, after all those who I loved had died as well, was one of the hardest times in my life. My husband died in January, so I spent that year bouncing around like a pinball in a pinball machine. I clung to everyone who was kind to me that year, too tightly, being a victim. Every Holiday was hard, every birthday was hard, then came Christmas. I made the huge assumption that those friends who were in my life at that time would surly invite me to their home for Christmas. After all I had been included in Memorial day, 4th of July, Labor Day and even Thanksgiving. I grew up in a home where my folks never considered blood a prerequisite for family. I can hardly think of a time when we didn’t have some displaced friend around over the holidays. But that Christmas I learned we are not all the same. And perhaps having your 500 pound friend sitting in your lovely decorated living room among your family, was not something that you wanted to happen. The friends I counted on that year, became radio silent. I was alone all of Christmas eve and day. The fact that there was no one to even send a sympathy card to when I died was haunting.

I am weeping as I write this, and I have this debate going on in my head as to what I want to say. There is a part of me that is still hurt and even resentful of those who I felt should have been there for me that Christmas and were not, but I have come to realize most of us are just doing the best we can. The whole point of this post is to create awareness and help spread a little bit of Christmas spirit, in places you may not be aware of, not to throw anyone under the bus or gain pity. Most of us at some point in our lives face something devastating.

I was kind of blindsided when I realized I was not getting even a “pity” invitation,  so that Christmas Eve was tough. I  was questioning my value as a human and if God really did care about me. I remember crying and eating junk food all evening. The more I cried the more I ate. The more I thought about how alone I was the more resentful I got. Then I decided to go for a drive and look at Christmas lights, I got out to my garage and shoved my 500+ size body into my car and just sat there and wept, feeling so ashamed of who I had become. I must have sat there for 20 minutes trying to  muster up the courage to end my life that night. I had the garage door shut, and my hand on the key. I thought, “that will teach them, wait till they find my dead body here a few days after Christmas.”  But I just couldn’t do it. I did not have the courage, but even more than that, in that moment alone in my dark garage on Christmas Eve, I knew I was worth saving, and there was value and purpose buried somewhere. So I got out of my cold car and went to bed. I got through the next day somehow. I’m sure I was either sleeping or eating the whole day away. The memory of that day is blurred.

Today I am still alone, but I am in a better place. I DO have a place to go this Christmas, and I feel hope for the future. I no longer wallow in self pity or carry around resentments. When the resentments start to rise, I list all the things I am thankful for.

If you have a friend who is alone, let me tell you what meaningful things you can do for them. The deepest  need of a single person is a longing to belong. The basic human need is to have purpose and to belong. Some single people feel it too awkward to be included in someone else’s Christmas traditions. We long for the days we had out own traditions with our own loved ones who have passed. But invite them anyway. Even if you are sure they will not come. Just an invitation makes us feel loved. Offer to pick them up. The hardest part for me, being single is going and driving someplace alone, particularly on Christmas. That alone time in the car and coming home to an empty house is haunting.

One huge thing you can do is offer to go to their home and decorate, and when the holiday is over, go there and take it down as well. Bring them a poinsetta. Or even a wreath for their door. It does not have to be a huge decked out Christmas tree. The best part of the decorations is the family decorating the tree together, and the nights when the house lights are down and the Christmas lights twinkle. Some remnant of this can mean more than you could ever know.

If they don’t want to come over for Christmas dinner, bring them a plate of food later in the day and check up on them. It does not have to be a long visit. In fact we singles are use to being alone, but a visit makes us feel cared for. If you know of a special treat or tradition in his or her life, find that out and bring it to them. And let them tell you the story about what that tradition is about and the memories attached to it. You can not imagine what a ring of potato sausage or some Bondost cheese means to your Swedish friend. Find out one thing that is from their family traditions and you will be sure to bring a smile on their face.

Another thing you can do is to pick them up and bring them along to a Christmas Eve service at your church. Or ask them to come with you to your child’s Christmas program at school. Even if they are not your faith., ask them anyway.  I love a Catholic Mass on Christmas Eve, even tho I am not Catholic.

Gifts are nice but your company and presents mean more. It cost nothing to be a kind friend.

It hard to be so lonely while the world is stressing out about how they are going to find a parking place at the mall and maxing out their charge cards.

My situation is far from unusual. Lonely people are not all homeless, or old widows. In fact, most of us will be in this position at some point in our lives.

So, this Christmas, love someone who is alone. Be kind to those who the world considers unloveable. and remember the best thing you can give someone is your time and kindness.

Wounded Soldier

 

gade_hero_520_320_c1_center_top

There was a time, not so long ago that my skin was so thin, that at some point, most of the people around me did something offensive. I was so empty, and emotionally needy I spewed my hurt and pain all over the people I loved. I can still struggle with this on occasion, but now I realize when I start feeling resentful, there is something off track inside of me and it’s time to stop, and take an inner inventory. Or in my case, take some time to pray and listen to God, basking in His love.

I got a phone call from a distant relative, who’s voice I had not heard in 6 maybe 7 years. It was awkward, she had shut me out of her life long ago, in the biggest turmoil in my life. I have held resent for this person for years and years.  In that call, she never once asked me how I was doing, what was new in my life, or any apology what-so-ever why she never checked in with me for so long. After the call, I was hurt for a short time. My head is clearer now more than it has been all my life. I came to realize, in spite of her lack of warmth and social skills, she may be doing the best she knows how to do.

I use to think people did offensive things intentionally. But when I started working the 12 steps of recovery and got to step 4 “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”, I realized I did many offensive things to people that were equality offensive, and hurtful. Deliberate or not, my transgressions were a reaction of the pain I held inside for so many years. It is hard to see these ugly things in my life. I am so ashamed. And I am certain I still have a lot of emotional pain left to deal with. Whenever I start to feel resentful, get sarcastic, or act out in any passive/aggressive manor, I now look inward, instead of outward. This creates a lasting peace in my heart that sarcasm and resentfulness could never fill. These are the things that were killing me much faster than the cheeseburgers I ate that eventually turned into weighing 537 pounds.

It’s been an eye opening experience to stop being the victim, own my part, and forgive someone who I felt hurt or rejected me. It’s a battle, and sometimes a war zone. And like any battle, there are casualties. There is friendly fire, and there are wounded veterans. I am a wounded veteran. I have not had my legs blown off, I have repercussions from my own war that have changed me forever. But my value never changes, it never has. God in His mercy, restores us. Not back to our old self, but He creates something new and useful out of our pain and rubble. My wounds and battle scares suddenly have purpose and use.

This week I am connecting with someone close to me who received the pain I spewed all over her. One of our last conversations which was a heated argument she said “I am not going to sit here and let you emotionally throw up all over me!” and proceed to walk away. I was so angry when she said that. How could she say that to me? I was a widow, I have no family, I’m broke and over 500 pounds! But she was right. I was wallowing in self pity, and not only that, I often used that self pity to guilt people into taking care of me. That’s called manipulation. Ouch, that is still  hard to confess.

I weigh myself Tuesday. I am anxious to see results on the scale.  I have been watching my carbohydrate intake. I’m attempting to stay under 150g of carbs. Which is low for me. (if you care to follow what I’m eating on My Fitness Pal, my name is totalkathy, feel free to request to be my friend) I am also not eating white flour or sugar. It’s been a bit of a challenge to do this. I grew up in the mid-west. A starch was always included in a meal, that was balance to me. But I am learning I do not need a starch with every meal. It is more expensive. Carbs are cheap! Protein is expensive. I am living on a budget, and  I have had to trust God to provide. He always does. As an example of his care, a friend spontaneously stopped by last night and brought me a 3 pack of Laughing Cow cheese (1 carb per wedge) Could God be any more faithful? Why oh why do I stress over my needs being met?  If He provided daily food for the sparrows, He will surely take care of me.

So there is my thoughts and update of my personal journey. It’s sometimes very messy. Recovery is messy. it’s likened to when we clean out our closets. We remover all the stuff, and strew it all over the room, and everything looks like its in total disorder, and then if we stick with it, we suddenly see the clutter removed and order.

 

We are as Sick as our Secrets

img_1292

A close friend of mine says, “We are as sick as out secrets” And boy did that ring true with me this week! I purged my kitchen from anything with white flour in it. I filled a whole box full to the top with pasta noodles and macaroni. What was I thinking having all that stashed away?

Another one of my smart friends once said, “we are so capable of rationalizing away any bad or self destructive behavior.” The box I filled was even surprising to me! Words like Secret, dishonesty, denial, and cheating are often associated with someone who is evil, or bad. But so much of our deceit can be wrapped up in shame, and fear. Holding onto something, knowing its not good for us and believing we can handle it in-spite of how it messes up our health and our lives.

I guess that is a true definition of an addict. I am a food addict. I’m not proud of it, but I am no longer ashamed of it. It’s simply who I am. No surprise here! When someone is 300, 400, or over 500 pounds, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But I always believed my obesity was something I could control with will power. I’m sure I still have battles ahead, but there is a surrender that I have experienced this week when I finally looked at my possible white flour addiction, and taking a serious look at the amount of carbs I am consuming.

I always kinda poo pooed people who referred to the affect  eating white flour and sugar had on them. Talking about withdraw symptoms when they changed their diet to healthier food. I kinda thought that was mostly results of someone who had more of a drama problem than food problem. I have always been a realist, and don’t easily buy into things that do not prove concrete evidence. OK, OK,I am a skeptic. But I think there maybe be something to this! I felt awful the first few days without white flour and processed food. I have pretty much been off sugar for a while now. But giving up my pasta, bagels and bread was the last thing I wanted to give up. I’m still not able to scream from the rooftops that I will never eat white flour again as long as I live. But, for today, I will stay abstinent. Whole wheat and grains may be optional in limited amounts, maybe not. But just for today, I am off the stuff!

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-8-04-32-pm

Now, I’d like to mention once again about our December Speaker Series with the weight loss group I run with Sean Anderson. Starting December 7th, this is a 4 week series. One Tuesday a week the whole month of December you can listen on your phone, live, with some of the countries biggest experts on weight loss from a health and recovery perspective. If you happen to be shy, no one will call you out or ask you to say anything, is all you need to do is listen. We will give listeners an opportunity to write in questions anonymously. This is NOT about a diet or new weight loss product. We are not trying to get people to sign up for anything or buy anything. Sean and I simply pulled our resources of people we know who are experts at weight loss. And have had long careers assisting people who want to get healthy for life.  These folks are all about ending the struggle with your weight forever! Wouldn’t this be an incredible gift to give yourself this Christmas? Imagine going into the New Year with a weight loss instead of that dreaded holiday gain. And it is so affordable. The cost of a meal in a nice restaurant will cover this “life changing” event. This also includes a membership to the Secret Facebook page created exclusively for this event.  Here is the link to sign up!

                                 December Speaker Series

img_9619-copyIf you have any questions you can email me at totalkathy@aol.com

or call me at 712-259-1736