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Defense Mode

Saturday, July 19, 2014

So my son was diagnosed with Autism at the beginning of 2014. (Would have been Aspergers if the term was still being used.) I had suspected it for a while, so it wasn't a huge surprise. I had started to learn some things about it, but began a greater search for things after he was diagnosed that would help my son.

One thing I have learned in that search is how his senses are much more sensitive than mine. And also that his ability to filter out all the information his senses are sending him can be very difficult. For me, if someone is talking to me, I can focus on them, but my son would hear the ticking clock, the dog barking, feel how hot it was in a room, smell the funny smell, and be bothered by the tag in his shirt, without knowing which thing was most important to pay attention to. Because of that, it is easy for him to become overwhelmed. And when that happens he can go into his autistic world, with only the things he wants to let in and with his own set of rules to follow. It is his defense against what he is feeling. This makes things hard at school, if when the class is too noisy, he can't handle his work because he is overwhelmed and begins to wander the classroom looking at the I-pads (he loves technology). And yet to force him to do work, when he is so overwhelmed by his senses can almost be painful. But remove the things that are overwhelming and he can do his work much easier.

Now I look at myself, and realize although I am not autistic that I can relate to how he feels. Because when I become overwhelmed by to do lists, stresses, or worries, I try to block it out to. In my world, that usually means, TV, facebook, games on my phone, and food. I'm also trying to block out what is painful. And when someone tries to ask me to do something else, or I try to convince myself to live healthy rules when I'm defending myself against the overwhelm it doesn't work. It is hard to learn something or do something else when you feel you are in defense mode, because then you just want what makes you feel safe, or comfortable and you don't care about anythings else, like what your weight is, what you are eating, or if you did exercise that day or not.

Upon coming to understand a little more about my son and what he is experiencing has helped me see why I may also be doing the same sort of thing. So now I just have to work on changing the rules in my little world to healthier ones, or learn how to keep myself out of defense mode, where I can follow the habits that I should be doing and make progress instead of always regressing, quitting, and starting over. I think that is why I keep starting challenges but never really succeed. I hit that overwhelm and stop trying, and hide out in my comfortable world instead. And since life is constantly full of challenges it is often easier to hide out where it is comfortable than where it is not. But no more. This is a new journey now. I have an autistic child to help and to learn from, and in the process I may also learn a lot about helping myself as well.

There never will be a time where life is completely easy, and if I keep waiting for that to happen, I will never be healthy. It is time to get out of defense mode, become uncomfortable and get to work.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MA_DIDDLES 7/22/2014 5:58PM

    Deep insight is right, but very interesting. We have been doing this weight loss thing together for awhile without to much success. Time to get the job done right.
Follow me, if you get lost I will come looking for you. LOL - No fair hiding anymore.

Lets get R Done emoticon emoticon

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KATELJM 7/19/2014 10:56PM

    Deep insight.

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Starting Over

Monday, December 30, 2013

It seems like I do this quite a lot. I try, I fail, I start over. Then I try I fail and I start over. Somewhere I get discouraged, give up for a while, and then feel the desire to try again. Then the stresses of life take over and it feels too overwhelming to try to make myself healthy when everyone and everything else needs my attention. Then I have anxiety, doubt myself, decide it isn't worth it and sink to the bottom for a while. Then I see someone I know lose a bunch of weight, and how happy they are. I see the things I'm missing out on. I feel the fear of what might happen if I don't get the weight off, and I start to imagine what being healthy feels like. I find myself excited for tomorrow when I start a new exercise program, or plan out new recipes and it is like the day before Christmas or going to Disneyland. That fresh start is always so exciting.

And so I find myself here once again. A new year is quickly approaching, new BLC challenge as well as a Health challenge at work. And it is exciting, wondering what this New Challenge and New Year will hold. I know in order to actually succeed a few things are important.

1 - A belief I can actually succeed.
2 - A meal plan - so I don't just give into what is convenient
3 - An exercise plan, so I have a set time everyday and get it done.
4 - A good nights sleep to help me have the energy to keep up my plan
5 - Drinking lots of water, to help keep me feeling a bit more full, so I don't eat as much and it keeps my body healthy.
6 - A continuous desire to reach my goal
7 - No excuses
8 - Not being afraid to leave behind my comfort zone.
9 - Asking for help and leaning on others for support in my weak moments.
10 - Realizing I do have to take time for me and that I am worth it!

As far as accomplishments so far. I had lost a few pounds in the last couple of months, by cutting back on calories and not eating later at night. I know food is a hard one for me although the holidays have been a bit harder for me.

As far as my goals:

1 - Drink 8 cups of water a day.
2 - 30 minutes of exercise a day, and work up to 60
3 - 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night
4 - Track my food & plan out my meals....aiming to get 5 servings of fruits and veggies and staying in calorie range 5/7 days each week
5 - Doing something each day to de-stress (journaling, meditation, time to myself, etc)

I am looking forward to new goals, a new year, a new challenge and whatever 2014 might bring (hopefully good).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARONSIZE8 12/31/2013 2:33PM

    You sound so much like me that I think I could have almost written this same blog. I am adding you as a friend so we can encourage one another! Have a happy, blessed, and successful New Year!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 12/31/2013 7:00AM

    So nice to see you! You CAN and you WILL! It is so important to take care of yourself, nurture yourself and love yourself in order to be all the things you are to others. emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 12/30/2013 11:20PM

    Hi Reesa! Glad to see you back!! Here's to a wonderful 2014!! :-)

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Future Me

Sunday, January 27, 2013

There are times, when I'm laying in bed, or just sort of daydreaming, that I wonder what it would be like to be at the end of my weight loss journey instead of at the beginning. What would it feel like? What would I be doing? And so I thought I would write about a few of those things I could see myself doing.

First I think I would have more confidence in myself. I could walk in to any store and try on clothes. I could go into any activity or party, and feel like I was my best. I wouldn't feel like I had to hide on the sidelines or hope no one noticed me.

Second I could participate in any activity I wanted to. I could ride my bike wherever I wanted to go, play tag with my son, go hiking on all the different trails in my area, be a part of the church basketball teams, or even run a 5 K. Nothing would hold me back.

Third - I would never have to feel embarrassed by being out of breath after climbing the stairs or going for a walk.

Fourth - I would have more energy, which means more of the projects around my house would get done, because I wouldn't have to sit and rest between things I need to do.

Fifth - If I decided to go back to work when my son is in 1st grade, I would feel comfortable in a job interview, because I wouldn't feel like someone is judging me because of my weight.

Sixth - I would feel less stress and anxiety, because the exercise would help me deal with those emotions and struggles a lot better.

Seventh - I would feel happy, because I actually stuck to my goals and accomplished them, proving to myself I can do anything I put my mind to.

Eighth - My relationships would be stronger, because I wouldn't be worried about my weight getting in the way, or crying over how I just couldn't lose weight. And instead my focus can be on the other person.

Ninth - I would be able to give more service to other people, because I would have the strength and energy to help others, and I wouldn't be caught up in Self - Pity for myself and my situation.

Tenth - I will have made healthy living an everyday part of my life, so I won't ever have to go back to being the fat girl, but instead, I will have the healthy habits that will make me healthy. And in so doing will help my family be healthy as well.

Those are just ten things I see for myself at the end of this journey. I know the feeling of accomplishment and happiness is probably even more than I can imagine, and what I will be able to accomplish will be more than I can imagine. So I can't wait to get there and experience it.

I admit that even in the last couple of weeks, I have started to feel just a hint of some of those things, and I really like the taste and feel of it. So here is to becoming the future me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZECOOKS 3/20/2013 2:52PM

    You have come a very long way and you are getting closer to your goal! You can do this. I totally relate to every think on your list. Soon, it won't be your imagination. You are awesome! emoticon

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    That is a great blog.

You should keep this list near, so when you feel less motivated, you could read it.

I can relate to some of your points.

We can do it!

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KRZYKAT3 1/27/2013 11:30PM


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MARYBETH4884 1/27/2013 6:25PM

    Well thought out, you are on your way to a fantastic life!

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CM_GARDNER78 1/27/2013 3:52PM

    Reesa - this is some POSITIVE thinking!!! You are seeing the future - of where you are headed to...and you have to believe that you will get there!! You CAN DO THIS!! Keep telling yourself this - and one day you can reread this blog and smile knowing that you believed in yourself, and talked yourself through getting there!!!

~ Christa

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HM_JACKSON 1/27/2013 11:08AM

    At first I felt sad when I read your blog because you currently feel all of those negative things. Then I reread it and I focused on where you will end up at the end of this journey and that made me happy. I think it is so great that you visualize the person that you are going to be. I know that is a very important tool in reaching our goals. Any goals.
I am excited to be a part of your journey.
Thanks for sharing!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NANCYPAT1 1/27/2013 11:06AM

    What a super blog. That will probably provide you lots of great incentives and inspiration on your journey. You can do all those things. . . YOU have the power.

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MATHISC4464 1/27/2013 11:05AM

    Congrats those are awesome things to look forward to! Enjoy the journey because it will lead you to a happy healthier place! Keep sparking! emoticon

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Forgiving Myself

Friday, January 25, 2013

I have always had an easy time forgiving other people who have hurt me. I may feel pain for a short time, but I let it go. And by the next time I see them, I treat them as though nothing ever happened. I guess I don't like to hold on to those negative feelings towards others.

However, when it comes to myself, I hold on to mistakes for a long time. I feel the guilt, and the negative thinking tells me how awful I am. I obsess over the issue. And so when I saw the challenge of forgiving ourselves for something from our past, I started thinking about what I needed to forgive myself for, and it was interesting the thoughts that came to my mind.

When I was a Preteen, or maybe my early teens, I was going through those fun body changes, and so parts of me were becoming a bit chubby in places, but may have eventually evened themselves out. I was shy and didn't really hang out much after school with friends. I mostly came home to homework and T.V. My brothers and sisters were all out of the house by then, so I felt a lot like an only child. But since I was the youngest, I became daddy's little girl, and so I could convince him to do just about anything. He loved to buy me candy bars and slurpees and it wasn't hard to convince him to order pizza, or fast food. And so food became my friend. I looked forward to us ordering pizza, or going to McDonalds. But as I was starting to develop that habit I remember my mom telling me that if I kept eating that way, I would gain a lot of weight. And that one day I would regret gaining weight, like when I started dating, or was an adult. And I said to her (I don't remember the exact words) something like "I don't care if I'm fat. I would rather be fat, than have to give up the foods that I like". Of course I was hitting those teenage years, and so I wasn't exactly wise. But the sad thing is, I feel like that was a defining moment for me. Because I could have chosen to change my eating, especially since we had a garden and healthy foods were around me. But I didn't. I kept on my course of eating huge meals, a lot of fast food, and not a lot of freggies.

Now I bring up this moment, because although I haven't thought about it for a long time, I realized that subconsciously that statement I made that day, has continued on. Nearly every time I am faced with eating challenges, I find myself using a version of those words. I find myself saying things like...."It isn't fair that eveyone else can eat it, so I will eat it too." or "It isn't worth the sacrifice, it is just easier to stay fat." It is sad, but subconsciously I think I have let those words define my life.

And so it is time to let go of the past. It is time to stop letting my past define me any more. I don't want to dwell on my regrets and bad choices when it comes to my health anymore. And so today I say. I forgive myself. I forgive myself for ever thinking that way. I forgive myself for the statement I made. I forgive myself for the choices I made because of that thinking. I'm not going to hate myself anymore. And I'm not going to let that statement define me any more. Today I change that statement from "I'd rather be fat, than give up my favorite foods." to "I'D RATHER BE HEALTHY THAN LET FOOD CONTROL MY LIFE" I am becoming a new me, and I'm breaking the chains of my past!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEHOPE1 1/25/2013 8:32PM

    Great blog! Sounds like you really dug deep and gave a lot of thought to your past. I loved your honesty, and how you have forgiven yourself. We always seem to be harder on ourselves than we would ever be on other people. You're starting to turn that around! emoticon

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 1/25/2013 6:32PM

    Good job!! You have to forgive yourself first before you can truly forgive anybody else.

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JAXMOMMY 1/25/2013 3:24PM

    Congratulations Maria! I've been thinking about this very same challenge all day. Good for you! Forgiveness = freedom! You go Girl!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 1/25/2013 3:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJK0430 1/25/2013 1:43PM

    I love the new you! Heck, I love the new us!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 1/25/2013 12:54PM

    This is HUGE Lareesa. Hold onto this gift you are giving yourself sweetie. emoticon emoticon

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MARYBETH4884 1/25/2013 12:33PM

    You have broken those chains simply by admitting they are there! You are right, food does not have to control you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 12:34:57 PM

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ZORAHGAIL 1/25/2013 12:25PM

    emoticon Great blog!

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KMG3366 1/25/2013 12:04PM

    You are awesome! emoticon

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SKINNYSOON13 1/25/2013 12:02PM

    Love it!

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Victory over negative Thinking

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I struggle so much with an anxiety disorder, that really seems to attract negative thinking about myself. I let myself wander into the "What if's" about everything. And I often come to conclusions that are way over the top, that cause me to worry when it isn't worth worrying about. I spend a lot of time, thinking I know what someone else is thinking of me. And it causes me to think the worst about myself. I spend a lot of time, thinking I will never be what I want to be, because I'm not worth it.

It is time for me to kick that thinking to the side. It is time to change the thinking to something more positive. It is time to learn to calm the anxiety's and see life for what it is, not my weird negative perceptions. The journey of losing weight isn't just about the exercise and eating for me, it is also a mental and emotional journey. It is about small victories every day and so I hope many of my upcoming blogs will be about my small victories!

Today's Victory - I woke up late, because I slept through my alarm. I started to wonder if I had time to get my exercise in before getting my son up for school. But I didn't want to miss out on my exercise, because I knew if I waited it probably wouldn't get done, because I was going to have a busy afternoon. I finally put my workout clothes on, but a bunch of little stupid things happened that kept slowing me down even more, until I just felt frustrated. I decided on a 30 minute Tae bo video that I have. After the first 3 minutes, I started having excuses come into my mind, like "you don't have time for this, or you are to tired today." Then I started feeling "Why do I keep starting challenges I never finish," and "Why am I even trying". I almost turned off the workout, because I had those same anxiety driven feelings that I always have. But then I found another voice. And it said "Don't quit on yourself", "You can do this", "Just take it one step at a time". And so I let that voice speak louder than the negative one. I clung onto it, and soon I found myself at the end of my 30 minutes. I would like to say I immediately felt better, but I found myself frustrated by what time it was, and wondered if I could keep my exercise going every day. But then I realized my victory in getting my workout in today. So I wanted to take a moment and celebrate that today I found the strength to exercise, to overcome negative thinking long enough to get my workout in.

I know I have many days ahead, and it may not be easy, but one day at a time, I will figure this out. I will declare victory! I don't want to give up on myself this time. So here is to many more victories ahead.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMEEHERNANDEZ 1/18/2013 5:10PM


Great job! One day at a time!

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MA_DIDDLES 1/18/2013 1:03PM

.( `\( ). .•°*”˜ ☆Έ.•΄―`•.Έ☆
..` /♪\_/―…………`•.ΈΈ.☆―`•.Έ&
…\ \ .... “Let go of your past so you
…/ /..have a free hand to open
…\/… ☆ the door of your future.”
•.Έ☆ -Hugs to Ya, MA•.Έ☆

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CM_GARDNER78 1/16/2013 11:54PM

    ABSOLUTE VICTORY!!! Way to go!!!!!! One day at a time, and you gotta just SHUT that voice up, and get the positive one to be LOUDER! You did a great job and should be SO proud of yourself! I've offered before, but I'll offer again, I, too, suffer from panic attacks and anxiety, so feel free to SparkMail me if you wanna chat! (((HUGS)))

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NEELIXNKES 1/16/2013 1:43PM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have really been letting the negative voice win way too much lately. Thanks for the reminder that it is my choice to listen to it. Keep pushing forward! emoticon

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NEWNIKKI50 1/16/2013 1:20PM

    Yayyy! You go GIRL! Negative thinking is one of my fantastic challenges as well.
I'm 50 years old with grown children and young grandchildren.

At the end of 2012, after 20 years of on again off again, I finally got out of a toxic relationship that had nothing at all to do with love and was very bad for me.

I joined SparkPeople to get lose weight, get fit and focus on my positives.
Your honest sharing of your victory really made me know that I am NOT the only person who struggles with negative self-talk. Thank you so much for sharing and making my day!!

Comment edited on: 1/16/2013 1:22:02 PM

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SNOWJESTER 1/16/2013 1:04PM

    Good job! Negative thinking...I'm just realizing how much it effects weight loss. People give up before they even start. Keep celebrating those victories.

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MARYBETH4884 1/16/2013 12:30PM

    I think negative thought are how most people end up over weight. It really is fighting a war with our inner thoughts! You won a battle today and with many winning battles you will win the war! Positive thoughts encourage positive actions! Keep those positive thoughts and victories coming!!

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GREENEYES334 1/16/2013 11:47AM

    It's so easy to get overwhelmed, and being able to take one meal at a time, one workout at a time makes is so much more attainable. emoticon

I believe we all have those negative feelings, and I 100% believe that staying positive, even if you fake it for awhile, helps. That positive energy is infectious. We geckos need you! emoticon

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