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Huh, so there are things to do other than stuffing my piehole?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wait...what?

Who knew? Why didn't someone tell me this sooner?

All right, so I was well aware of the fact that there were hobbies other than eating, but for most of my life, eating has been my favorite one. Well, maybe not my favorite, because your favorite hobby shouldn't cause you to break down in tears after your done; I'll say obsession instead. If I wasn't eating, I was thinking about food, planning my next binge. The second I felt the slightest pang of hunger, I began to panic. I thought about food all day long, all the time.

All. The. Time.

It isn't so much that I haven't been able to practice willpower before, but something has changed on a much more basic level over the few months. I have essentially been maintaining my weight within a 5-pound range over the past 3 months, and that's great, except for the fact that I'm not at my goal weight yet. I appreciated the experience of maintaining in that range because I was able to prove to myself that my appetite can be normal. On days when I wasn't as hungry, I ate less. On days when I wanted more food, I ate it.

I know, crazy talk.

When you are used to food consuming every thought, the very notion of thinking, "Eh, food...it's all right," feels extreme. I would spend my entire day at work thinking about what I would eat when I got home. My habit after coming home from work would be to plop on the couch and start eating frantically. Sometimes when it gets stressful at work, the thought still whispers through my brain, "Damn, I want to eat pizza...and chips...and M&Ms, and..."; I simply respond with, "No, Erin, you don't do that any more." Even sitting here typing about these things used to be enough to trigger a frenzy, but I'm getting ready to do Pilates...so, no thank you. I would be deluded to say I will never overeat or binge again, but now those thoughts may consume a few minutes on occasion, and not my every waking hour.

Now, I come home from work and either put in some SparkTime, do Pilates or yoga, or over the past couple of weeks, play my saxophone. These activities are not distractions; they are genuinely what I want to be doing. My body and mind actually crave things that are not food-related, and I feel like I've lost 100 pounds just by having the weight of food obsession lifted.

This lack of obsession has worked it's way into my daily life without me really realizing it. I met my dad, step mom, and brother for brunch this past Sunday. Normally, a buffet would set off a feeling of panic: "HOW am I going to eat all this food?" This time, I looked forward to seeing my family. When I got there, the first table I ventured to had the fruits and salad. I filled up a large plate with several fruits and a large serving of greens. My brother, nonchalantly mentioning the 12 mile run he did the day before, had a plate full of waffles, pastries, and pasta. He looked at my plate, shaking his head, "You came here and you're eating FRUIT?"

I shrugged. "I like fruit. I'm getting other stuff in a bit, but I really wanted this first." And it was true.

I proceeded to have an omelette, a small caramel roll, American fries, and a small waffle. Yes, I had a big meal, but I had planned for it. I enjoyed every bite in the moment, instead of thinking about what I was going to shovel in next. My brother and I shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake; I had two bites, and that is all my brain wanted. They tasted perfect, and my brain simply stopped me. No willpower, no arguing with myself.

Also, eating a large meal used to set off a day-long (or week, or month, or year) feeding frenzy. Now, when I have the occasional large meal, I feel satisfied. Odd, I used to feel almost MORE hungry after a large meal like that; the switch would be flipped, and there was no satiating the hunger.

I like my new relationship with food. Now I actually get not only full, but I feel satisfied. I believe I have finally learned the difference between the two. I still truly enjoy food, I still have treats (I have to have some chocolate every day), and I don't worry about being hungry. If I get hungry, I know I'll eat again; it took me an oddly long time to learn that. My food is now served without a side of neuroticism. And you know what? It tastes so much better.





"Are you eating it? Or is it eating you?"
-Larry Cohen





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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINIAN1 6/29/2011 1:07PM

    Beautifully said. I appreciated all of it.
Thanks for taking the time to write this and share it.

I've had points in my life where "one wrong move" turns into a downward spiral (perfectionism). I can also relate to spending time in "maintenance mode". I lost 37 pounds back in 2009 and didn't lose anymore until, the last week of, 2010. I've also had times in my life where I'm eating and it's like, what's next?

Hey Sweetie, if you can hold it together at an all-you-can-eat?
You just went from Pre-K ... to a doctorate; in my opinion.
Good for you.
I feel you've made a tremendous breakthrough; in *several* areas.
Cheers ... Eat To Live ... emoticon

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PASTAFARIAN 6/29/2011 11:10AM

    Some day, I hope to write something half as good as that.

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PAMELA6289 6/29/2011 10:29AM

  Oh Erin, I love your blog! This is my new favorite! So good to see you writing and know how you're doing. And, of course, I always learn tons from you! XOXO emoticon

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/29/2011 12:41AM

    Fantastic! I totally get it. Feeding Frenzy is a good description of what happens to me sometimes. Just like you, I think "heck with it" and eat whatever I want whenever I want for however long I want. And that's why I'm carrying around nearly an extra person's worth of weight. Great job figuring yourself out! It's inspiring!

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ASIRUAM 6/28/2011 3:49PM

    Way to go! I completely understand! It is very hard to change the way you think about food. I'm trying everyday and it's still a struggle. It seems to get a little easier everyday. You are right, the more you spend time with activities you enjoy or need to do around the house.... the less time you spend contemplating the next meal. Congrats! Best wishes in your journey. Sounds like you're doing fantastic!

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OWENSAUNT1 6/28/2011 1:33PM

    This whole entry resonates for me. But, I have to say, the part about maintaining at a particular (non-goal) weight really made me think. I went through a period of three months where I was within 3 lbs. of the SAME NUMBER (208.8, 208.8, 208.8). I was trying to lose, I had just hit a plateau. So, then, I got frustrated and instead of changing the right things, I changed the wrong things. Went back to EATING THE WRONG THINGS, or too much of things. Anyway. I'm back to working at the weight loss now and I would LOVE to be back at that lower number that I struggled with all those days. You're right, there is ABSOLUTELY something to be said for maintenance, for knowing your boundaries. Keep up the good work.

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MSDHARMA 6/28/2011 11:25AM

    That's great that your perspective on food changed. That is a big deal and will help you on your journey.

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FREECANDY 6/28/2011 11:03AM

    The title made me laugh, and I swear I could relate to every line of this. Awesome blog!

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DR1939 6/28/2011 10:05AM

    emoticon

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AK_MILLER 6/28/2011 9:27AM

    I love this:

"I appreciated the experience of maintaining in that range because I was able to prove to myself that my appetite can be normal."

Don't ever underestimate the importance of weight management and maintenance!! I've done this to my own detriment and have finally come to accept my frequent plateaus as successes too, and boy was that hard. Although this whole journey isn't near over, I've been learning along the way how to maintain and not go back, and I think that lesson is even more important than some of the lessons we gain during the whole process losing.

How awesome are you maintaining that 5lb window over 3 months?!! That's so so so fantastic!! And when you reach your goal, you'll be armed with the skills and tools to maintain that goal because you've done it at all the stages along the way. You should be very proud of these last 3 months!! Great job!

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EMRANA 6/28/2011 9:19AM

  "I feel like I've lost 100 pounds just by having the weight of food obsession lifted."

That was my favorite part, but I loved the whole thing! I haven't gotten there 100% yet, but 95% is still really cool! So happy for you!

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MARVEEME 6/28/2011 7:54AM

    YIPPEE!

You've got it now!

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NOMUFFINTOP3 6/28/2011 6:11AM

   

Good for you. It's not easy to replace those thoughts of food.
Sounds like you have a handle on it. Keep it up! emoticon

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COMINGBACKTOME 6/28/2011 3:27AM

    I just came to the same realization myself (though I am nowhere near my goal weight). There are so many hours in a day - why am I filling it with sedentary activities? Bravo, you!

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Dog Park Fun...and drama...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today was a very active day--I walked a total of more than 2 hours, and overall it was a fun day. One of my co-workers came over and we went to the dog park near my house. I have an American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix named Dugan, and she has a Lab/??? mix named Raleigh. The dogs had never met before. Considering that my foster dog Kaleigh does her own thing and doesn't really interact with Dugan, he loves having another dog around who will play with him. Kaleigh has shown dog aggression before, so unfortunately, she is not able to go to the off-leash dog park.

Dugan and Raleigh got along great and ran themselves around in circles and frolicked in the water. Here's some pictures, 'cuz, come on, who doesn't like pictures of cute dogs?



Dugan loves the Mississippi River.






Boy, they weren't having any fun at all.




Dugan and his giant head


Unfortunately, a fairly aggressive unneutered dog showed up and started attacking Raleigh (my friend's dog). He was trying to dominate her and was being aggressive about it. When the owner finally did show up, she was actually confrontational when we told her what happened. We decided to leave, and the owner and her boyfriend followed us, yelling some kind of nonsensical blabber about how our dogs don't know how to behave. The dog once again chased after Raleigh, and this time they went out of sight and we heard Raleigh yowl. I yelled at them to get their dog and they were once again confrontational, saying, "You don't know the difference between playing and fighting; if he was fighting, you would know it!" (oh, what a great comfort.)

We leashed our dogs and walked quickly away. But of course I can't keep my yap shut, so I turned around and yelled, "It's people like you who make these dogs look bad," as we were walking away. The dog was an American Bulldog, and it really angers me to see irresponsible owners. While I was leashing Dugan, I said to the other dog that I know it's not his fault. I don't like dealing with bad owners at work, and I really hate seeing them in the real world. It seems to be such an insurmountable problem.

I have never had anything like this happen at the dog park before (although I have seen my fair share of fight injuries in the emergency clinic). I was so mad I was shaking afterwards. I don't like confrontations, especially one that could have ended by them leashing their dog (and an apology to my friend wouldn't have hurt). The "what-ifs?" kicked in and I seriously hope that dog did not end up injuring another dog today. In the end, it's the dog who would have to pay for the owner's stupidity. I am not mad at the dog at all, I'm sad for him.

Luckily, Dugan and Rolly had nearly 2 hours of running themselves ragged before that happened; now I have a napping, happy dog.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASIRUAM 7/2/2011 2:18PM

    I went with my brother to take his Great Dane to the dog park the other day and we had an interesting situation too. The Dane is 120 pounds of shyness. She basically puts her tale between her legs and rolls over if a dog comes near her. After she is there awhile, it gets much better. She just needs time to get comfortable. Some dog owner kept trying to pick her head up but was kind of aggressive about it. What gives him the right to be the next dog whisperer? I don't know. We ended up having to leave because this guy was really freaking the dog out. What is wrong with some people???!!!!!! emoticon

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BADTOFU 6/27/2011 10:43PM

    Man, I wish I could be that happy and carefree! To be a dog in the Ol' Mississippi...

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GEMINIAN1 6/27/2011 11:29AM

    Love the pictures.
They look so happy and loved. Too cute.
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Sorry to hear about the horny out-of-control dog and the real problem ... the owners. It's a shame.

I hope you're having a drama free day my friend ... :-)
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KVARNLOV 6/27/2011 10:32AM

    That really disappoints me that the owner behaved that way. One thing that I really appreciate about you, is that, although you don't like confrontation, you take action and let people know about their inappropriate behavior, when it happens. People need to know.

Dugan looks delighted!! He is always cute in photos, but the joy in his eyes in these, makes them irresistible! emoticon

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EMRANA 6/27/2011 9:22AM

  Oh my goodness, I loved the photos! Dugan and Rolly are adorable sharing their stick!

I'm sorry about the drama part. I agree with you completely, it will be the dog who gets punished in the end if something happens. Some people are too ignorant.

Thanks for sharing all the cuteness with us! Kissies to Dugan!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/27/2011 8:21AM

    Looks like such fun. My dog is intimidated by other dogs, so dog parks haven't been a huge success. We need to give it another try.

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JESSIKA_56 6/27/2011 8:05AM

    Sounds like you work at a vet clinic. I do, too, and we too see our fair share of dogs who have been hurt at a dog park. It's a shame that some owners/dogs ruin the experience for others.

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SCHWINNER! 6/27/2011 7:20AM

    First, cuuuute pictures! My dog LOVES playing in the water too. I love the one of both dogs sharing a stick :) And that definitely is a big ol' pittie/staffie head! Love it!

I love the dog park, but there is almost ALWAYS drama, and it's 99% the fault of the owners. There's always one, and that's why we don't go as often as we'd like :( Not a whole lot you can do, unfortunately, because those people never think it's their fault. Hope you still have fun, and I especially hope you don't run into that guy again!

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COMINGBACKTOME 6/27/2011 2:48AM

    I feel your pain. Irresponsible pet owners are the worst - and it makes it so hard for that breed to be adopted. I think you were right to point out their error, but many folks today think being corrected gives them license for attitude.

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APED7969 6/27/2011 12:42AM

    Too bad you can't report them to someone. I hate stupid dog owners. My Mack is male dog aggressive due to only being castrated by me at the age of 7 and he is always on leash around other dogs. I hate when other dogs run up to him without the owners trying to catch them. I have visions of the leash breaking or the other dog trying to fight with him and it would become mine/his fault even though I keep him on leash. I would have had a very hard time keeping my mouth shut too!

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WILSON425 6/27/2011 12:16AM

    LOVED THE PICS. WONDER WHAT THE STUPID OWNERS WOULD HAVE HAD TO SAY IF A BIG MASTIFF OR SOMETHING BEHAVED THAT WAY TOWARDS THEIR DOG?

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MILLISMA 6/26/2011 10:33PM

    So sad that there are so many "stupid" pet owners and, you're right, it's the pet that would end out suffering.
But, glad you did have a good 2 hours of fun and I love the pictures. They look like to good buddies!

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Hey can you come here for a quick second?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Uhhhhhh...yeah...look, we need to talk.



No no no, it's not bad! It's not anything bad. We just need to have a quick talk.



Look, Same 5 Pounds, we've been doing this dance for 3 months now. You leave, you come back, you leave, you come back...I...I just can't anymore...



Aww, c'mon, don't do that...naw, don't do that...you always do that, get all mushy...



No no no, it's so not you, it's me!



Okay fine, it is you. You're just always...I dunno...THERE, ya know? Not just near me, but always ON me...ya know?



No, I don't want more time...I just feel so heavy and weighed down with you...



But that's just the problem, you never change, so I'm DONE.



I...I'm sorry...so if you could be gone for good by the end of July, I think that would really be best.



No, I don't need to think about it, I want you gone.



Well, you need to deal with it and leave, because I will do whatever it takes to get rid of you...



So...uhhhh...yep...um, I think it's best if we never see each other after you're gone, 'kay?







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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHIRLEDTRAVELER 8/5/2011 9:19AM

    So did it stick to the agreement?
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AMYISSUCCEEDING 7/31/2011 12:23PM

    Those are great! Thank you for sharing.


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ERLYWA 7/31/2011 12:13PM

    Love it!!

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KVARNLOV 6/28/2011 12:09AM

    You rule.

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NELLLUCAS 6/27/2011 12:39PM

    emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 6/26/2011 4:45AM

    emoticon

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HIKINGSD 6/26/2011 3:01AM

    Cute :)

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GEMINIAN1 6/25/2011 11:40PM

    h*i*l*a*r*i*o*u*s
That was great, on *so* many levels.
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FRAN0426 6/25/2011 9:33PM

    A wonderful blog, love the humor in it too. Hang in there you will free yourself of those 5.

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KRISKECK 6/25/2011 8:47PM

    Love it, I am ROTFL! I think I'm going to have that talk too!

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LADYNEST 6/25/2011 7:05PM

    This rocks!

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BECKYANNE1 6/25/2011 6:57PM

    Cute blog!

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ANDREA409 6/25/2011 3:38PM

    I had a smile on my face the entire time I read this. Thanks for making me giggle.
emoticon So long, 5 pounds. You are being kicked to the curb!

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EMRANA 6/25/2011 3:06PM

  That is brilliant! I loved it and I just read it out loud to my husband. He said it's cute.

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Seriously, I was fighting with two pounds and I know exactly where you are coming from! You just expressed it better than I did.

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THISYEARSMODEL 6/25/2011 3:03PM

    emoticon Sometimes, you just have to break up for good! emoticon

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GSWINNIE 6/25/2011 2:53PM

    OMG I had to giggle. Great post.

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/25/2011 2:25PM

    Now that was just too cute !!!

It sounds like you and those five pounds are on a "lather, rinse, repeat" cycle that needs to be broken.


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Comment edited on: 6/25/2011 2:25:35 PM

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SOUTHPONDCAMP 6/25/2011 2:08PM

    I literally laughed out loud. awesome post. buh...bye.... (channeling david spade...)

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/25/2011 1:45PM

    Bwahahaha! Awesome! Great post. emoticon

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AHEALTHIERME44 6/25/2011 1:05PM

    Love it!
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The Universe According to Thin Erin

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 20th was the anniversary of the car accident that had killed my older brother, and I had blogged a bit about that event a few times earlier this week. The ensuing aftermath of the accident ultimately shaped who I am today, for better or worse. I had post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and I saw a therapist from the time I was 5, immediately after the accident, until I was 17. I didn't really grasp why I was in therapy at first, but it turned out that I indicated that I thought I had killed my brother Brian. He had removed his seat belt to lean over the front seat to give me a hug, and that is when the truck went through the red light and hit us. The fact that his last act was showing me love haunted me, and I thought I should have been able to hold onto him. If I had, he would not have gone through the windshield, and he would be a 35-year-old man now. I punished myself intensely throughout most of my life over something of which I had no control at all. My punishment was to never stop eating, to never get to feel satisfied.

My best friend and my worst enemy was food. I got up in the middle of the night to sneak into the kitchen and eat cereal or anything else that could be snatched quickly. I shoplifted candy from various drug and convenience stores. I begged my mother for more food and stole change from her to buy snacks. I never, ever felt satiated. When I wasn't eating, I was thinking about food. I ate myself through the grief and pain. My inward struggle was not private--everyone knew I had a problem because they could see it in my fat.

It took me many years to learn that I wasn't rewarding myself with the food. I joined WeightWatchers in 2006, when I felt I was really ready to address my relationship with food. I did manage to take control over my relationship with food and lost 95 pounds. As many have experienced, we picture our problems simply melting away with the body fat. I obsessed over how wonderful my life would be if I could just lose the weight. The Thin Erin I had pictured since childhood was always smiling, was always happy, and was super popular. The interesting thing is, I am an introvert, and I probably still would have been an introvert had I never been overweight because most people in my family are introverts. Since "normal" people are friendly and outgoing, so was Thin Erin. She was as normal as they come.

For some reason, I was always so happy as Thin Erin in my head, but I could not to this day tell you why that would have been. Brian was still not there, my younger brother still struggled intensely because of his head injury from the accident, my mother was still grieving, my relationship with my father was shaky at best, and the bullies followed me everywhere. Thin Erin didn't have any of those people in her world; I don't think she had any actual family or friends. She was surrounded by beautiful and smiling people, and none of them had any names. Perhaps it was simply that Thin Erin had not been in the car accident, had a normal and happy childhood, and was an extrovert. Guilt didn't exist in her universe, because Thin Erin did not have a brother that she felt she should have been able to save. Thin Erin existed in an alternate universe where problems simply did not exist. There were no bullies, no bad grades, no drunk drivers, no angry fathers, no dead brothers, no sad mothers...she was simply thin and happy. She seemed to have a very empty life and shallow existence, but that seemed to be enough.

As I said yesterday, I don't regret being fat. As a matter of fact, I don't really regret regaining the weight that I had lost on WeightWatchers; regaining 95 pounds has taught me so much. I almost got to my goal weight, but my crappy job, my house payment, and the same toxic people were still there. I thought I would create Thin Erin's idyllic world simply by losing the weight. I was shocked to find out that I had not really changed at all. I started to build up my protective layer of fat again, and it has stayed on until Thin Erin was able to learn how to emerge as a real person, and not a dissembled shell of a human being.

Thin Erin will probably not always have a smile on her face, will stomp her feet and cry out in frustration sometimes, and will laugh until she pees her pants on occasion. This time, Thin Erin is going to exist in the real world, with all the happiness, sadness, frustrations, successes, good days, and bad days that ensue.



"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 6/30/2011 7:20PM

  Sooo true! I had all those same feelings about getting thin. And none of it came true when I got to my goal, I was SHOCKED to find out that I was the same person with the same life, I was just smaller.

I do try to celebrate the things that I can do now that I couldn't: I can sit in the middle seat on an airplane and be comfortable, I can shop in 'normal' stores, I don't avoid all social situations because I feel so bad about how I look.

But honestly, all those things came from inside me, no one else really cared that much or paid that much attention.

Learning to be authentic and being ok with being an introvert is a journey. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this as we both figure it out!

Just so you know, you can always be the REAL ERIN with me, I like her the best! XOXO

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GEMINIAN1 6/25/2011 11:00PM

    I really appreciate you sharing all of this.
It is not your fault.
It's time to love yourself; Brian would want you to, I just know it.

I've been obese, thin, all the in-between.
The only thing that really changed was "societies" (strangers) perception of me; but, they can go suck it.
You are emoticon
BTW: I totally love that quote; I want to memorize it.
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ANDREA409 6/25/2011 3:41PM

    Wow, Erin, what a story. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Incredibly powerful and moving.

You are a fighter, that's for sure. You rule.

- Andrea

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JESSBRAUN 6/25/2011 9:49AM

    That was so moving! It seems that you've really had a breakthrough on a deep level and that you can now appreciate it even more because it's been such a long time coming.

God Bless - emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/25/2011 9:50:27 AM

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LIOCORO 6/25/2011 6:11AM

    Thank you for sharing this, it was a wonderful read. I think there should be no Thin Erin nor a Fat Erin, it's just Erin and Erin is awesome just how she is. Introvert or extrovert doesn't matter that much, you are a beautiful person inside and outside.

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/25/2011 1:50AM

    What a beautiful, emotional post, Erin. It was a really good caution for me. I find myself thinking how wonderful it's going to be for me socially when I'm thin, but really, I'm still going to be same ol' quiet, introverted, self-conscious me. I'm glad you figured it out. And thank you for sharing it with us.

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MSDHARMA 6/24/2011 4:40PM

    Good luck your journey, fellow Erin. I am sorry for your loss.

I have often thought that I would be a different person once certain events in my life happened, but it's never the case. I like the quote- "Where ever you go, there you are." It helps me remember that no matter what I change, I am still me and unless I am comfortable with that I will never be happy.

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GABENSEBSMOM 6/24/2011 4:39PM

    Another amazing blog. I can relate so much to what you're saying. If you live in an overweight body, you assume everything changes once you become thin. Thin people just seem to have it so much better, but problems still exist. Thin does not always equal happy. Hell, my soon-to-be-ex cheated on me with a woman who easily outweighs me by 150 pounds. Thin won't keep bad things from happening. It's the person inside who chooses to triumph over those bad things. You, my dear, are strong from the inside out. You are a survivor.

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JONICACALDWELL 6/24/2011 4:33PM

    emoticon

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HIKINGSD 6/24/2011 4:27PM

    Thank you for sharing such deep emotions with us. emoticon

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MY9STONEJOURNEY 6/24/2011 4:12PM

    You are freaking awesome!!! I absoultely love your blogs... But this one was like reading my mind.... I often think of how awesome the thin Stephaine would be.... But if you dont truly change your habits, thinkings and etc you will be right back were you started from.... THANK YOU..... That is truly food for thought...
And dealing with the loss of a loved one is so hard.... TRUST ME i know... I once told my friend I wished there was a handbook on how to grieve, BUT its not and everyone grieves differently....

Just keep rocking girl... emoticon emoticon and more emoticon!!!!

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I don't regret being fat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"When we lose twenty pounds, we may be losing the best twenty pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty."
- Woody Allen


Weight loss journeys seem to be riddled with so much pain and regret. The focus tends to be on how much time we've "wasted" with being fat. The truth is, being overweight doesn't actually waste any time; we have the same amount of time whether we are fat and thin. It's a perceived barrier or, dare I say, an excuse to deny ourselves our dreams. I do wish I had learned this basic principle 6 years ago when I lost 95 pounds on WeightWatchers, but my brain wasn't ready, and I didn't have the tools to help me get to that realization. WeightWatchers is a great program, but I really needed tools to change how I think about myself in a very fundamental way, and not just change my relationship with food. The weight crept back on because, despite being thin, I still hated myself. I did not learn basic love and respect for my body. This time, on SparkPeople, I know my weight loss will be permanent. I will (and have had) ups and downs, but I don't get derailed by slip-ups, and I approach the scale with a neutral attitude. Essentially, I have taken the emotions out of the weight loss and improved my relationship with my body.

I'm not totally at peace with my body, with an incident a few weeks ago serving as an example. I was supposed to do the bike leg of a sprint triathlon with my old running and triathlon training buddies, and because of the torn meniscus in my knee, I wasn't able to do it. I went with my friends anyways, to cheer them on. As we were driving there, one of my friends asked me why I haven't been to swimming practice. I grimaced and said I didn't want to be seen in a swimsuit since I've gained weight. She looked sideways at me for a moment, and then said, "That's stupid. I mean, I don't mean to insult you, but that's just f******g stupid." Well, she's right, what a dumb excuse to miss out on doing something that I love. At least I have honest friends who will call me out on my thinking mistakes. Sure enough, I will be joining my old training buddies to swim again (and I've somehow been talked into doing the swim leg of a triathlon next summer).



Me (on left) and a couple of triathlon training buddies


Despite the occasional slip in self-confidence, I don't regret being fat. I'm ready to be healthier, but my happiness is no longer based on how much I weigh. My thoughts no longer begin with, "I can't wait to be at my goal weight so I can...;" I just do those things now. I have certainly wasted a lot of time thinking that being fat was stopping me from pursuing things I wanted to do. Well, I am done punishing myself. So I'm fat. So what? Is that really a reason to deny myself playing the saxophone, learning to play new musical instruments, singing, belly dancing, boxing, swimming, and seeing friends?

When I started being active on SparkPeople in August, 2010, my main goal was to get ready to lose, and more importantly, to be able to maintain weight loss. I wanted to stop hating myself over something as superficial as my body weight. I did even better than that: I found that being overweight has actually had a positive influence in my life. Being fat has shaped who I am today, and I mean that in a good way. I sincerely do not believe that I would have the compassion and kindness that I have today had I never been overweight. I have a strong desire to help others, and now I have the experiences to help them work through problems. I can face and overcome any adversity, all while asking friends and family for support when I need it. I think people of all shapes and sizes are truly beautiful (which is one of the reasons I get sad when I see SparkFriends speaking negatively about the way they look). I have dealt with a lot of toxic people because they have bullied me about my weight, and now I can tell who is a true friend and who is not. Instead of wishing I had been thin my entire life, I am grateful for these experiences for making me an awesome person.

The only thing I've wasted is a lot of energy and hatred. That is my only regret. The time was there, but I chose to wallow and blame my body weight for my unhappiness. But now, here I am, 270 pounds, and I'm the happiest I've ever been. My attitude is no longer, "Oh the things I will do once I'm thin..."; now I say, "Oh the things I will do today!"


"If nature had intended for our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies."
- Elmer Rice

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEEKY1000 7/6/2011 10:41PM

    What a truly wonderful post. I have not yet reached this level of enlightenment...but I'm working on it. You are emoticon!! Thank you so much for sharing and when I start to say "no" to a friend who wants to do something, I'll reconsider. Not saying I'll start saying yes all the time, but I won't dismiss it so quickly just because I'm overweight.

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PAMELA6289 6/30/2011 7:24PM

  So true! You are SPECIAL because you're YOU!

Weight has no bearing on the wonderful woman you are and that you share with us.

Kindness, support, spunk, love, motivation...you name it, none of those things have a space limitation, ya know?

You are GREAT right this minute and I"m glad that you see it.

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GEMINIAN1 6/25/2011 9:04PM

    You're Blog has me all choked up.
Wonderfully said. "I Liked This Blog'ed" you.
(I don't regret being fat either.)

I am so happy you're going to swim. *So* happy.
Not so hard on the knee either ;-)

I'm sorry to hear about the bullies.
It's their problem; hold your head up.

You're beautiful.
Cheers ... To The Things You Will Do Today ... emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 6/24/2011 2:15PM

    I read your post a couple of days ago, and just keep thinking about it. I had a sort of similar revelation, or realization, a few years ago.

My mom died in a car accident when I was 16 years old, and in lots of ways, her death shaped my life. Not all of those ways were positive. I got with a guy who treated me poorly, then got pregnant at 19. The usual struggles ensued.

My dad also experienced significant change and started hanging out with some folks I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have if my mom had lived...and through those people I met my husband.

Years later, it occurred to me that, if my mom had been around when I graduated from high school, my life would probably have taken a very different path. And that path might not have included my gorgeous, wonderful daughter, or the husband that seems to have been created as just the right match for me. Then, there wouldn't have been our funny, adorable second daughter...

I do regret the fact I didn't have more time with my mom, but I do NOT regret the shape of my life right now.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your post was touching, and made me think pretty hard for a couple of days :)

Comment edited on: 6/24/2011 2:16:03 PM

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LIOCORO 6/24/2011 3:25AM

    Awesome blog :) You are so right, this was a read I needed this morning. Thank you :)

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MILLISMA 6/23/2011 9:13PM

    What an inspirational blog.....awesome. When you go for the swim, I'll be cheering you on! Don't change your attitude.

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EMRANA 6/23/2011 8:16PM

  That is a truly MAGNIFICENT blog! Thanks so much for sharing it with us all!

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TERIANA 6/23/2011 4:46PM

    you have written one of the most inspirational blogs ever. wow.

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HIKINGSD 6/23/2011 4:28PM

    Excellent blog! thank you!

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GABENSEBSMOM 6/23/2011 3:57PM

    I love this! It is so true. The sad thing is, I also used to tell myself, "I'll do this when I'm thin." It's amazing how much you miss out on. Kudos to you for being so courageous and so inspiring!

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MAMADWARF 6/23/2011 2:52PM

    I love your attitude. They say that God never wastes a hurt. I love that saying becuase anything painful we have been through sets us up to help someone else through the same thing. I am also grateful for those opprtunities. Good job!

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IDLETYME 6/23/2011 2:49PM

    I'm so proud of you! And I'm proud of your triathlon friends (who REALLY are friends) for helping you figure out what's really important in your life. Keep your wonderful outlook!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REBECCAMA 6/23/2011 2:45PM

  Awesome post! I feel self-conscious in a bathing suit myself, but I go to the beach because it's good for my kid. I tell myself that even if I look ridiculous at least I'm there for my kid and that's where I need to be.

I do go to a beach where it's not all skinny women at least. If you look around you will see that you aren't the only overweight woman out there and if they can do it so can you.

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KERRY1106 6/23/2011 2:37PM

    AWESOME post. I know where youre coming from because Ive been there. Many days, Im still there. Your words of wisdom are encouraging! Thank You!!

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MUSICALLYMINDED 6/23/2011 1:54PM

    I FEEL THE SAME WAY! To think of all the times I DIDN'T do because I thought I was too fat! I skipped pool parties as a child, refusing to wear a bathing suit until I deemed myself "thin enough". GAH! I didn't date anyone for years for fear that they would reject me based on my size. I was rejecting myself by not going out! I could slap myself...I regret not living my life..I don't regret being fat either. I can't believe the things I've missed out on for being "too fat." This blog is so inspiring! I want to share it as well!

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ARCHIMEDESII 6/23/2011 1:33PM

    Fantastic blog ! I love your outlook ! It's hard to let go of the past, since we tie so many of our emotions to the past. but doing it can be so liberating.


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SKYWATCHERRS 6/23/2011 1:26PM

    Flipping awesome post. I totally relate with you and I love the way you have expressed these feelings. Sounds like your triathlon buddies are extremely good friends - you are all lucky to have one another.

Bravo for you, friend. I am so proud of you and I hope you don't mind if I share your blog with others.

Bravo.

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LEONALIONESS 6/23/2011 1:17PM

    Excellent post! Reading things like this is useful for me as I continue to stop being so weird and self loathing. A month without tracking food, just eating well (most of the time!) and staying active and my size hasn't really changed. I am done with the scale since I can't come at it without emotions. Just avoiding is better for my brain. ;)

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FREECANDY 6/23/2011 1:09PM

    This is great. It's true, you don't have to be at goal weight to do the things that you really want to do. We hold ourselves back from being the best we can be.

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ZUGASAURUS 6/23/2011 1:02PM

    Great attitude! I've been thinking about the same kind of thing lately; I've actually been writing stuff like "No regrets" on my hand with a Sharpie to remind myself.

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SYZYGY922 6/23/2011 12:58PM

    It was so difficult for me to start swimming again, and there are so many things I haven't done or enjoyed because I'm fat. And yeah, it's stupid. I struggle with those thoughts daily. It's something to work on.

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DUCKLOVE1024 6/23/2011 12:39PM

  This is a great post. I think it's really important to remember that no matter what our weight, it is our attitude that determines how we live. I'm glad you've chosen to give up regret!

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