Thursday, February 03, 2011
I am getting inspiration all over the place from my Sparkfriends and it is awesome. I just commented on a friends blog about how she felt inadequate so she looked to binge and even though she ate a healthy meal she still felt unsatisfied. The answer to feeling like this is something I discovered on my own. If we suppress our feelings and just keep swallowing them eventually we try to eat them away. People all cope differently. Some people yell, hit, break things, work out, most of us? We eat. When we feel marginalized, hurt, angry, scared we eat.
A big lesson I learned was standing up for myself. I was bullied my whole life. First by my father, then by kids at school, and as an adult by coworkers and friends. I hated making waves, hated confrontation. I realized that whenever I had negative feelings I sought sugar to comfort me. We all know how that turned out. Morbidly obese and looking 15 years older than I was.
When I finally began to draw boundaries and stop letting people treat me poorly I started to have less urges to binge. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I have the desire but they are much fewer and farther between. I had written a blog back in December about how a friend blew off my birthday and how much it hard hurt me. Truthfully I wanted to yell at her and then I wanted to just avoid the confrontation all together. I waited until I was no longer angry and I told her how I felt it was thoughtless and hurtful. Her response was "well I was just trying to make everyone happy". I responded "that isn't true. You did what was good for you and you didn't consider anyone else's feelings. If you truly care about a friend and you already have plans you don't treat them the way you treated me." She was surprised and embarrassed and it made me feel so good that I had calmly stood up for myself. No tears, no anger. It is what it is and nobody is going to make me feel that way anymore and if they continue to do so I will be cutting ties with them.
This is a huge HUGE movement forward for me. I was the world's biggest people pleaser and I can tell you that chapter of my life is closed. I will still continue to be a good and loving person but with the people who deserve it. The stronger I get the less I need to binge. This all goes back to my blog about getting healthy being 100% mental. This whole journey is a mental one. Fighting our own demons. Our biggest obstacle is not the plate of cookies, but our own self destructive behavior. I am snuffing out my demons and so can you my friends. Make it happen.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Thanks to SCHENPOSSIBLE for giving me this blog idea. Her status was about not making any more excuses and it got me thinking. Excuses are nothing more than lies. Lies to ourselves, lies to our trainers, doctors, loved ones, and friends. There are no excuses for not living a healthy life. It is a do or do not and accepting responsibility for choosing the do not is one of the big lessons we all need to learn.
When I took a 2 month hiatus from the gym I had my reasons but I never blamed anyone else. I blamed me. Not in a harsh self defeating way but in a realistic way. I was stressed out and chose not to make time for it. Period. It wasn't my grandmother's fault she got sick. It wasn't the person who broke into my car at the gym. I kept telling myself it wasn't that important and it was okay but as the weeks passed I knew I was lying to myself. Working out is important. It keeps your heart healthy. It is the key to changing our bodies and to keep losing weight.
A friend texted me yesterday and asked me if I would "help her lose weight". This is an on going thing with her and honestly I don't believe her anymore because it is a lie. She has millions of excuses and it is all lies. Finally I responded to her and said "you don't really want to do this and until you do there is nothing I can say or do to help you. It has to come from inside you. When you reach that point I will help you any way I can but I am done with all of your excuses." Harsh, yes. Reality, yes. To get respect you need to give it and to continue to lie to me while at the same time asking for my time and support is not respect. I have very little time as it is and I am done giving it to people who take advantage.
Her response, "well my tailbone hurts so I can't go to the gym." Boom, another lie. It got me thinking about how easy it is to lie, to make excuses when you really don't want to get healthy. I did it for years. Excuse after excuse. The reality of the situation is nobody can do this for you. Your hubby not wanting to take a walk with you so you didn't is an excuse. Your kids want Mc D's so you got it too is an excuse. Nobody in your family likes "healthy food" or it is too expensive is an excuse. You can make this happen for you. If you CHOOSE to make it happen. Let go of the excuses and you will find solutions. Eating healthy does take more effort but what in life that is worth anything that doesn't take effort? Would you do a half a$$ job raising your kids because it was easier? Of course not. So why do you do that with your own health? YOU ARE WORTH IT. So let go of your excuses and this will get easier. Once I made that decision I immediately started to see changes again.
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I tried on off for 14 years to lose weight. I failed time and time again. Tried every single diet known to man other than pills and surgeries. When a doctor who had never even looked at me suggested I get bariatric surgery to my horror and the horror of his nurse, I gave up on the medical profession. After he left she looked at me and said "honey, you do not need surgery. You are young and have no health problems. You can do this and not have all the side effects and complications of a surgery like that." I still am grateful to her for looking beyond the formulas of Western medicine and caring about me as a human being.
This experience made me keep searching for the answers. I never fully in my heart believed I was destined to be fat for life. There had to be an answer, an aha moment, when I would find what clicked for me. Intellectually I did not want to accept defeat and believe I could not overcome this and be free. The addiction kept sucking me back in and with every failure I sunk deeper into depression.
The thing is about weight loss. The more you fail, the harder it is to try again. Here is why...
This is ALL a mental game. A very small percentage of people have a true medical reason they can not lose weight. It is easy to try and believe you are one of those people but the chances are very slim. Who doesn't want to believe that they aren't the reason for their own misery?
My truth is I felt so badly about myself by the time I reached 345 lbs that I had no hope left. I didn't even bother to try and lose weight because I didn't even believe I could do it anymore. That fire inside me had slowly suffocated and I buried it under excuses and lies to myself for years. Then one day there was a spark again and I knew if I let it die that I would end up like my aunt, 600 lbs, almost a shut in and I could not spend my life that way. As my fiancÚ and I built our life together and started dreaming about kids I knew that I could not sustain a healthy pregnancy at the weight I was at. One thing I haven't shared is I have a medical background and a BS in pre-med as well as grad work in nutrition. Ironic right. I knew the risks, I knew what would happen if I got pregnant. I had to make a choice. Love myself, love my fiancÚ and desire this life or let him go to live the life he wanted and I would eat myself to death. It sounds rather dramatic but I don't sugar coat things. It is the reality.
One day, I chose me and our life together and I started fighting my own negativity. I never drew a mark in the sand and said "I am on a diet". I just put the knowledge I already had into practice. I went to the gym with my mom once a week. She was already a trainer at that point so she created a program for me and I felt confident standing next to her that people wouldn't tease me. The first time I got on the stepper it sank to the floor and I couldn't make it move. I was sad but not defeated. Every single time I got on it and tried and the first time I could even get it going was a victory.
I started making better choices food wise. If you don't get the emails from "Eat this, not that" I highly suggest you check it out. I never weighed myself I just made better choices. No more heavy snacks on the couch, I had pickles. No more endless margarita's. I have maybe a glass of wine or 2 on the weekends but the days of high calorie cocktails are over. I thought about what I put in my body. The whole time battling the voice that said I couldn't do it and telling it to shut up.
I went to a doctor's appointment for something not weight related and again the doctor brought up my weight. I replied, "well I have been eating really well and exercising. I know I have lost weight but I don't know how much or even what I weigh." She looked at my chart and said "well you were 345 when you were here last year and so you have lost 35 lbs". Her face lit up and she said "that is amazing, keep it up". I was excited to learn I had lost so much and wasn't even aware of it. However, I was deeply ashamed I had gotten so high and didn't even know it.
I joined Spark a few months later when I hit a plateau and lost another 45+ lbs. I have always had all the tools and information I needed inside me. What I needed was the confidence and desire to implement them. I had to love myself enough to keep fighting like I am now. To choose me and my future over a donut or a piece of cake.
So I say to you, all of you. Whom are such a huge part of why I am able to stay sane and focused. This is mostly a mental game and you are fighting against yourself. You have to dig down deep and find it within you to keep going. You are worth it and you can do this. It is a choice, a choice to live. A choice to be free. To choose you.
Friday, January 28, 2011
It really isn't much simpler that that statement. I want to be strong, focused, confident, athletic, toned and healthy. Focusing on the negative things you don't like is easy but to put into words WHY you want to lose weight and get healthy is harder. There is no magic place that will make you happy. I talk to so many people who believe weight is the only reason they are miserable, have few friends, no love life but I see many overweight people in happy love matches so that can't be true. Being happy is something inside you that you have to find. A boyfriend can't give you self esteem. Believe me, I tried that. It doesn't work. Self acceptance is when you stop looking at all the things you dislike about yourself and it spurs you to change them. To make yourself better. When I complete a work out or eat foods that are good for me. That is what makes me feel good about me. That I set a plan in motion and I executed it. Plain and simple. Do I have to be perfect? NO. But if I gave it my all and worked really hard than I can never fail. Lying to myself about why I overeat and skipped a workout. That is what chips away at self esteem. Because it is that simple. It is a lie and you know it is a lie and it makes you feel bad. You let down yourself and you let down people in your life that try and support you. I don't believe in "cheat days" because that implies that foods are intrinsically bad and something that you have to sneak around to enjoy. That idea couldn't be farther from the truth. When you work hard and take care of yourself planned indulgences are a healthy part of life. I don't want to live in a world without some chocolate goodies in it now and then.
Sitting down and taking an honest look at myself was the hardest part of this entire process. It is painful to admit sometimes ways that you behave are less than flattering. Hiding and sneaking food creates shame and embarrassment. It is one of the big reasons I was unsuccessful in the past. I was unwilling to look at the emotional root of why I had those behaviors. My mother worked 3 jobs when I was a kid and so I took care of my brother and myself. Being so young I just fed us whatever we liked without true regard for balance or nutrition. The more we were alone the more we would eat out of control. It became comfort. When she was home she cooked healthy meals and I can remember her asking my father what he fed us for dinner and he didn't even know what we ate. Most of it came out of a box or the freezer.
The person I want to be now is someone who eats and enjoys food for its value. Who doesn't eat away emotions but process them in a healthy way. A person who finds pleasure in a good workout and being active for the joy I get, not because I see it as a way to be thin. To have a body that is strong and healthy and have that be my ultimate goal rather than just a specific number or pants size. To be able to look in the mirror and not just be pleased with my aesthetics but also RESPECT the person who looks back at me.
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