More Progress

I am down another 3 pounds, for a loss of 161 pounds. I was starting to lose faith in myself. But I believe I broke through to another level of acceptance about the food I eat. I can see a big change in what I am eating and feeling about some of the foods I have eliminated from my diet. It’s sort of a relief.

I have not been writing as faithful as I would like because I feel if I don’t have good news I sound like I am whining or rationalizing my food plan. And you know, sometimes I am. I am very good at honestly believing my excuses. Some of them are valid, but still excuses. There is a very fine line between complete blatant lying and extreme self care and coddling to the point of not owning responsibility for the scale not moving. I know this about myself, if I give myself too much mercy, I will start wallowing in it. That is how I gained so much weight in the first place and ended up at 537 pounds laying in my bed all day for years. It happens so slowly and gradualy you do not realize it until you feel you are past the point of no return.

Sometimes I think its easy to rationalize being sloppy with portions and what food I eat because I never ever eat cookies, brownies, ice cream, Pizza or fast food. I can get rather smug about it. This is the most dangerous denial I can be in, because I can talk myself into being a victim and not own my part.

I am making bath bombs to sell to friends. I am a bit short of the money I need to get my property taxes paid by March 1. So I am trying to earn it. So if you want some beautiful smelling bath bombs to put in or tub, or give someone for Valentines Day, let me know. I will be posting pictures and prices soon. So far the ones I have made are pretty cool and really fizz up. They smell wonderful, Orange Dreamsicle, vanilla, Musk, Lavender, and a fresh Cotton Scent. I am going to make some Bubble Bars too. They are solid bars you can crumble up and put in your bath water for bubbles. I’ll be back in a few days with pictures!

 

I get by with a Little Help from my Friends

I ate last night. I stood in front of the fridge about 2 AM and ate a cheese and ham wrap, and a huge handful of granola. There I said it. This is where my biggest struggle lie. The other struggle is in portion control.

I knew I was in trouble last night, I wrote a post in my Facebook weight loss group that I could eat the pictures off the walls. I got some support, I couldn’t sleep, and I cried out to God to please take away the strong urge to eat. I got up to pee, and walked straight into the Kitchen. I had failed to put the hamper in front of the doorway to stop me and make me think. I have tried and tried to find the answer, “Why did I have such a strong urge to eat?” What is it that needs to be fixed? I will be 60 this year, and that is almost 60 years of struggling with binging and being overweight. At 4 years old I was taken to at weight loss Doctor. It was 1961, back then doctors gave you pills, or Speed, being the street name. I remember at 4 years old taking a black and white capsule that was actually speed. TO A 4 YEAR OLD! I remember being awake all night, my Mom sitting up with me in the living room, she, asleep on the couch, me, a 4 year old so wound up I was scribble coloring in a color book with so much fury I could not possibly even try to stay inside the lines.

Am I broken forever? When will I get relief? I honestly do not believe surgery is the answer for me. My head is much fatter than my body, and I know I would be one of those weight loss surgery people who melts chocolate to pour down my throat to digest it easier. I am an expert at getting in extra calories. I have the skill to pack a tremendous amount of calories on a buffet plate, yet have it look like half as much. (You can hide a lot of mashed potatoes under a slab of ham) I can binge on anything, I have actually binged on oatmeal!

Once I can quit feeling sorry for myself and quit being a victim, I see a woman who has successfully lost 169 pounds. I see a total change in my eating behavior, in-spite of my occasional times of eating off plan. I see progress. I see a level of maturity I never had. I am a better friend, and better at handling my life.

I get in trouble when I compare myself to my friends who just made a decision to eat healthy and never looked back. Those folks are a mystery to me. Will I ever in my lifetime reach that level of abstinence? I don’t know. But perhaps God is using my flawed openness to be approachable to someone who needs hope. Perfect people are not very approachable. I want to always be a welcome place to run to. So I guess perfection may not be in God’s plan for me. I am broken, and will always be a bit broken. But broken does not  mean unsuccessful, or worthless.

My keyboard on my computer had one key missing. It is broken. When I saw the missing key a while back, I was so upset. My beautiful Macbook was flawed! How can I fix it? Where is the missing part? But now after a few months, I hardly notice it. In fact, it is part of the charm and character of my computer that had given me so much. Had I been so upset about this missing piece that I threw away my computer, and found it unusable I would have missed out on being able to write this blog, communicate with friends, and do that administrative part of the weight loss group I co-facilitate.

This is the same as my flaws, and mishaps. They are only small inconveniences, I learn to manipulate around them and in time, they add to my character. Sometimes we can fix it, sometimes we find a way to work around it, and sometimes others help us with the repair. Either way, it does not stop our progress or decrease our value.

Today is a new day, I actually woke up very late and had a late breakfast, so the food I ate early this morning I tracked on todays food diary. I weigh Tuesday, I hope this does not affect my weight. But if it does, I’ll work around it and get by with a little help from my friends.

4 pounds down!

I broke my long 3 month plateau. I lost 4 pounds this week. I’m telling ya, I was losing faith in myself.  But the biggest think I learned about myself in this long 3 months, is that the little things count. I know, I know, I know! Weighing and measuring my food, drinking water and exercise only count when we do it daily. I thought I was doing pretty good, but in reality, I was cutting a lot of corners. Is all it takes is a few extra pieces of cheese stuffed in your mouth while you are cooking, and all that tasting, and you can quickly eat 500-1000 extra calories before you even get to the meal. When I cook I often fudge on the portion. Something that is meant to be 8 servings suddenly becomes 4. I almost wish I could say I ate a chocolate cake or drove through Dairy Queen, but that stuff isn’t my biggest problem, it’s the bites and licks, and nibbling in front of the fridge at 2 AM.

I’m not a big salad eater. But I ate salad. I had all the stuff on hand, but it takes time to make a good salad. I have to drag out of the fridge a little baggie this and that, wrap back up the rest of the avocado, tomato and red onion. And once you are committed to having the stuff for a salad on hand, you have to commit to eating it more than once. But there is something therapeutic about chopping the veggies, weighting the amounts, and assembling this masterpiece. It’s self care, and slows you down a bit to really enjoy what you are eating. And after you finish eating, there is no guilt. It also takes longer to eat a salad than to wolf down a cheeseburger.

I now weight 378 pounds! I have a 159 pound loss. I’m still bigger than that football player years ago that was nicknamed “The Refrigerator”. Few woman would confess this. It’s not very feminine. But I’m trying to save my life here, not trying to fit into a pretty dress. I just want to have the stamina to shop at the mall again, go out with friends, and not be in constant pain. I need to say the number, I need to break through the shame that that number can bring if I let it be my identity. Secrets keep us sick.

Thursday is the 16th anniversary of my Moms death. I’m pretty sure I will be the only one who remembers. I miss her. No one has ever loved me that much since she passed. My relationship with my Mom was not always healthy. I have yet to know someone who has not had a little bit of disfunction in their relationship with their parents. But we came full circle. By the time she passes we were in a good place. My Mom had trouble letting me grow up. Probably because she was not all grown us either. She was sometimes emotionally needy. But she was a giver, and loved deeply. And she genuinely loved everyone. If you were her friend, you were friends for life. You never left her house without a gift. She loved giving gifts. One of the most beautiful things I remember about her ability to give, was a breakfast we had in a Hardee’s down the street from my Beauty shop. It was a cold winter day, My mother was a very brittle diabetic and the cold was so painful for her. But that day, she saw a lady come in with ragged clothing and no coat. When we were ready to leave, she went to the counter, gave the employee her coat, and told her to give it to the lady after we were gone. It was a personal sacrifice, but she did it with so much grace, and without tooting her own horn. The woman’s dignity was important to her.

I use to attend Weight Watchers, she was my biggest supporter. When I got my first cell phone I would call her after that Saturday morning weight in and report my loss. She and my father loved to go out to breakfast on Saturdays with Bert and Gerry, two of their closest friends. She would immediately convey my loss, and they would all celebrate while I heard on the phone. Oh how I miss being cared for and loved that much! Today, had she been alive, I would have immediately called her, and she would have been thrilled. She never ever gave up on me. Never!

God doesn’t give up on us either. Success is not measured when the road is easy, but when we blindly move forward and trust, regardless of how many times we stumble and fall.

 

 

Transparency

Being transparent and honest, and writing a blog is a two sided coin. My last post had several folks concerned. I even purposely did not post on Facebook that I had a new entry. I just didn’t want to appear that I was milking sympathy, and to be honest, I was a bit ashamed. I remember hitting ‘publish’ thinking maybe I should not post it. I’ll end up with people on my doorstep that what to fix me. But I am glad I did.

Sean called me, (the dear friend I co-facilitate the weight loss group with) offering a generous offer. He said he would take over the group for the next 8 weeks alone, so I could just be a member and get all my wheels back on track. My defensive response was, “Oh, so you and Coach Gerri have been talking about me.” I was not really being as snarky as it seems.  but being needy, and weak and having friends rally around trying to think what to do with me, feels weak. It threatened the few things in my life I still have control over. But it was that very control that was so self distructive. It is so hard to be a leader and still save myself.

I had this same sort of struggle 20 years ago while I was marketing tool for Richard Simmons products. I specifically remember the morning of January 1 of 1998. I was in Philadelphia getting ready to go on QVC with Richard that morning. I had been on New Years Eve the night before on live TV celebrating the new year pitching his products. It was glorious, I was that moments “Golden Child, in that bizarre world of Richard Simmons. My friends and family were watching me on live television all over the country, there were friends, fans and staff of Richard Simmons all over the place, and I was the star (only in my own mind of course) The pressure was enormous, and I am so ashamed, I did not handle it well. I went to my room about 2 AM, and had a deep craving to binge eat. I had been at at party right after the show with all the staff and friends of Richards and there was plenty of healthy food, but I never ate a thing. I never binge in front of people. When I got to the room, I binged on all the snack food in the mini bar fridge. QVC and Richard’s marketing company were footing the bill, but I can only imagine what the cost was. That mini-bar snack food is very pricy. I went to bed in a fog, and woke up the next day in a fog with wrappers strung around the room.  I had to get all dolled up to be on the air again by 9:00 AM. I felt like such a failure and hypocrite. I had only gained back less than 10 pounds of the 200 I lost, but it may as well have been the whole 200. I knew deep within, I was spiraling, and I had to keep my secret, because too many people depended on me for inspiration. The pressure was enormous! I couldn’t break free from my shame to ask for help. Today is different, when I seen I may be in trouble I catch it before it becomes too self destructive.

I have put in place an extra amount of support, and surrendered to doing what I can instead of what I should. It’s no secret that exercise or just movement is one of my biggest struggles. So I have decided to walk around the local grocery store 3 times a week. I have not  been in a grocery store in at least 7 years. My groceries get delivered. My friend Pat and I went there and is all I could do is walk up and down the produce isle at first. I was kinda sad I couldn’t do more. But my friend Jordan, who has lost over 160 pounds assured me my stamina will come back quickly. So I will be walking again tomorrow. I have an exercise ‘thingy’ my friend Pat gave me to use between the walks at the grocery store. The bonus is, the store has a coffee shop and I get a cup of coffee and a little socializing afterwards.

I believe I have a small degree of Agoraphobia, Fear of Leaving the House. I did not want to admit it to myself, let alone my friends, but as I got fatter and fatter and never left home, when I did make an attempt it became harder and harder to go out. Then the mobility became an issue, and a deep fear set in. My brain thinks of things you could not possibly imagine. Being fat in a skinny world is hard enough socially, but physically is beyond explanation. Chairs with arms, the walk up to someones home, across a parking lot, steps, being winded, the pain in my whole body, and knowing if something happened to me like a fall, I could badly hurt myself. And then there is the fact that I have no living relatives who care to be part of my life makes me even less apt to venture out or take a risk. This also makes me feel unloveable, and not worth much. So, laying in bed watching TV was the only activity I had for years. And of course binge eating. It was the only thing that did not give me immediate pain, but the after effect left me with a pain so deep, I couldn’t save myself.

I am rising above all of this. It is no surprise losing over 300 pounds were going to have some bumps in the road. But I’m doing it! The humility and shame have been the hardest part to break through. But I believe I am  not alone. Many of you reading this may be in the same place I was in April 2015, 20 months ago. If you can identify with any of what I am saying, the first thing you need to do is complete honesty and transparency. I am talking about a bare naked honesty that will have you shaking in your boots. The biggest part of this kind of honesty is being honest with yourself. Shining light on our flaws, fears and shame disintegrates it. And you may find out in the process that your situation is not as unusual as you think. There are many of us.

 

Too tired to fight

Happy New Year! I am hoping the coming year will be one of the best ever. But I am really struggling today. My self esteem has had a bit of a hit the last few weeks. I feel like I am spinning my wheels. I can’t get that scale to move. I am questioning my ability to actually have a happy life someday. Am I only fooling myself?

I have also felt misunderstood and not very loveable. It’s probably the holiday season. I have done much better this year than in the past but still struggling. Today was harder than Christmas Day. It’s hard to see so many happy families while I am alone. I need to stay off Facebook. I try not to feel sorry for myself, but sometimes I am not as strong as I want to be. I am paying the price for my bad choices in the past. Yet have to figure out that I am worth saving, in order to move forward.  Ok this is going to sound so immature, but I am going to say it anyway, “What is so wrong with me that no one wants me in their life?” Romantically or even as friend or family?  It feels my whole life has been either being a caretaker or servant, or alone. Who would ever want me to be a part of their family? Was my mother the only person who has ever had me on the front burner of her life? Am I really that pathetic? Oh I get those invitations to be included from well intentionded friends. But you and I know the truth, I am not really part of their family, It just feels less guilt for them to say that. People feel sorry for me and I hate that. This may sound bitter, but every time I trust, I get let down. I’m not trying to milk sympathy, I’m just tired of trusting. No one will ever love you like family other than family, and I have none. it’s like a child that knows better than to stick her hand in the fireplace, but she keeps doing it expecting different results. What is my true value?

I was told today that I am a drama queen. That really hurt. I questioned if my feelings have any valitation. Am I just an attention whore? Why can’t I let things roll off my back and not take it personally? I am ashamed being so thin skinned. How do people call themselves Christians knowing I am dying here? Rotting in this house. I have family who are in the church whenever the doors are open, but choose not to include me in their life. I have made some awful choices that I am very ashamed of. I did a bad job of taking care of those relationships many years ago. I have not treated everyone with the kindness I should have. This is the repercussions of it all. I guess I am getting what I deserve. Why do I hear about the mercy of God, yet feel so shut out by those who claim to know Him best? I’m just so tired. I’m not sure how much fight I have left. My hope is fading.

Two of the biggest human needs are to have a sense of belonging and a purpose. I am questioning both of those things today. Where do I belong? And what is my true purpose? Is this something I need to experience so I will be able to help other out of this self destructive thinking? Does God really care about me?

when I finally get it together, regain my health, and quit feeling sorry for myself, will I be to old to be of use? I have watched everyone live their lives around me while I just stood frozen in time. Fear and a lack of self worth have paralyzed me. The only relief I get is binging. When I am not binging, and I am not, this is what happens. Everything just comes to the surface and the feelings become larger than I am. I pray they pass.

No one talks about these feelings. It is simply too painful to say or hear. But if I don’t, they stay buried deep inside me destroying me from the inside out.

Maybe I will wake up tomorrow with a different outlook, but for today, I am too tired to fight.