HEALTHYASHLEY   20,867
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Today is my one year anniversary

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One year ago today I decided to stop making excuses and really change my life and I did. I gave up lying to myself and everyone around me and started on the path to becoming the person that I wanted to be. I never imagined it would be one of the most difficult, emotional but rewarding times in my life. The first few months were easy and the weight came off quickly. It was easy to become smug and believe I had beat my compulsion to eat forever. Then in fall came the long slow death of my beloved grandmother it it started to get hard for me.

My motivation and frankly my interest started to be tested and I fought back and continued to lose albeit much slower than I had in the summer. I truly believe that your body fights back after the first large loss and that is when it becomes easy to be frustrated and quit. When I hit the 65 lbs lost mark is when I truly started to see how much I had changed physically and I felt I crossed the thresh hold from looking obese to looking just overweight. It was when I started to see people treating me differently, better actually, and that brought about mix emotions of pride and anger. The physical change did not mean I was somehow a better person but that was still the reaction I got and I struggled with processing that.
This spring work took a difficult turn and since March I have being at a stand still. Not giving it my all but still hanging on. Fighting with my shame at not continuing to lose but also resisting the desire to eat my stress away. Without that crutch it has been difficult to find a way to deal with my stress in a productive way. I came close to coping by not caring anymore but I know that if I do that than I will go back to 300+ pounds and I will never go back there. It is too awful of a place for me. I am a million times happier now than I was year ago.
Last night for the first time since I started SP I saw myself in the mirror for what I truly look like. The rose colored glasses of my initial 93 lbs lost have finally come off and I stared at my body objectively. For a long time I had changed so much all I saw was how much better I look and it allowed me to become complacent. The reflection I saw did not fill me with hatred for myself but it did inspire me to get back to focusing on my healthy habits. While I look better I am not where I want to be, by any means, and I am grateful for that moment of clarity.
I can be proud of all I accomplished. I stopped hating myself. I let people into my life. I stopped blaming others for my unhappiness. I can shop in normal stores. I can buy a wedding dress this year. I can go on my honeymoon and swim and spend time at the beach. I stopped lying to myself and the people I can about to feed my addiction. I found the value in the simplicity of a fresh picked strawberry or a walk with my dog. I stopped thinking that a number on a scale would give my life purpose or value. I made some of the most special friendships I have ever had to my life. I made my fiancé prouder of me than I have ever seen him, not because I lost weight but because I kept my promises to him that I would live healthy and I made myself happy.
So as I look ahead for the next year I am ready for the next phase. I had originally typed I was ready to finish but that is another thing I realized. I will never be finished. There is no finish line and it isn't a race. Being jealous of another sparker isn't going to bring me anything good or make my situation different. I am at the place in my journey that I need to be at this moment. I am excited to see what this next year holds for me. I am absolutely positive it is going to be amazing things.
Thank you to all of my beloved SP friends for all of your support this year. It is all of you that helped me do this. You held me up when I was down and cheered me on when I was doing well. I am so very lucky to have each and every one of you. I love you all.
Now lets take this next year by storm.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THESHELBSTER 7/13/2011 9:59PM

    Great blog. You sound amazing. You are beautiful, inside and out. What an inspiration you are.

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CALIKIKI 7/7/2011 6:47PM

    YAY you!

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KATHLOW 7/5/2011 9:16AM

    congratulations on your one year anniversary and your amazing accomplishments. You rock my socks off!

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MEGA_MILES 7/3/2011 7:50AM

    Congrats, wishing you much continued success. You have what it takes...use it!!

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GREENMOUSE 7/2/2011 9:45PM

    Congratulations! And wishing you all success on the upcoming year...for sure it will be filled with more milestones! Thanks for the wisdom!


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JMERLAU 7/2/2011 9:30PM

    Hey Ashley....Happy Anniversary and CONGRATS on all your success!!

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SUSIEWHITE1109 7/2/2011 6:51PM

    Hi Ashley,
Happy Anniversary and congrats on everything you've worked on and through to get here! Reading your story encourages me again...because of how far you've come, and because we share so many of the same "mental" battles!

I salute you, Spark Friend! Keep pushing forward!
Susie

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CHICKENCHASER78 6/30/2011 2:52PM

    Happy Anniversary Ashley! Congrats to all you have accomplished in the past year and here is to a lifetime of healthy happy years!

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BRAVEHEART4ME 6/29/2011 2:31PM

  You have done so well, even under some stressful times. You're an inspiration! emoticon

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MUSTANGMISSY 6/28/2011 9:13AM

    Happy Anniversary Ashley! Love your blog and the inspiration that it brings. You've accomplished so much. Congratulations!

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NEENSTER1 6/28/2011 8:28AM

    Happy Anniversary Ashley. I am so very proud of you. One year down and a whole lifetime to go. emoticon Continue to keep up the hard work and be Encouraged. emoticon job. Love you too girl. emoticon

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JBMT08 6/28/2011 8:12AM

    CONGRATS Girl!!!! BRING ON YOUR NEW YEAR!@!! emoticon emoticon

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PJH2028 6/28/2011 8:05AM

    I so relate to the ride as you describe it. Perception is so movable.
May our hearts hold us steady. Sparktastic summer comin' on.
Happy Anniversary 2 u. p

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/28/2011 8:01AM

    Brilliant and beautiful, both you and your words. The shiny rose colored glasses... yeah, I have definitely had that moment too and the way you wrote it really resonated with me. Thank you.

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GOIN4GR8 6/28/2011 12:30AM

    I can SO identify with your comments about getting complacent as you watched yourself start to look better! You put it into words perfectly. I've called it "getting stupid" on my own page. :-)

Anyway, I'm glad for your moment of clarity, too, because you've come SO far, it would be a shame to get complacent at this point. You must feel incredible (not to mention how great you look).

Here's to another year of success!

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DWILCZKO 6/28/2011 12:15AM

  great job!

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SLIMTHICK2 6/27/2011 6:50PM

    emoticon all the best to you!

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STACIBUK 6/27/2011 4:43PM

  emoticon

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CALLEN42 6/27/2011 4:39PM

  today is my first day...I pray in one year I am where you are now...w/my weight and my emotions...THANK YOU Ashley

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2BFREE2LIVE 6/27/2011 1:57PM

    emoticonon your emoticon anniversary. You have done very well. Best wishes on the upcoming events in your life and on this next year with Sparks. Your going to reach that goal, just stay focused and dream your dreams. Sandy

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VONNIE41 6/27/2011 1:16PM

    Since I started in March, I have not been consistent with my nutrition or exercise. I know I want to do this, but I keep letting myself give up. The one thing it doesn't do is discourage me to continue. After reading your blog, I know it is a learning process every day! Congrats on your one year. emoticon

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JULIA1154 6/27/2011 12:32PM

  Congratulations, Ashley, and many thanks for a very thoughtful post. I suspect you've voiced what most of us have felt on many issues.

One way to re-frame "plateaus" is to think of them as your body taking time to consolidate its loses. I think of them as being "stable" rather than "plateaus" and, while I don't want to quit losing, I do try to make the most of these periods. It gives you, your mind and your body time to get comfortable with the reality of being smaller, healthier, more active and more involved. As long as you're not throwing in the towel, you're ahead in the game, and that's what counts.

I'm really impressed by the way you've persevered. Enjoy your successes. I know there will be MANY more.

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PAWSINAZ 6/27/2011 12:04PM

    emoticon

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MISSM66 6/27/2011 11:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROJAKHAN 6/27/2011 11:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NENELALA 6/27/2011 10:00AM

    Congratulations on your anniversary! It's Monday morning and I got off to a rough start. Reading this was exactly what I needed to get me going today. Thanks!

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FINALLYBEINGME 6/27/2011 9:53AM

    Thanks for such a heartfelt post about all the real issues that all of us go through. Congratulations on accomplishing so much! emoticon

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MCHILSTR 6/27/2011 9:38AM

  What a wonderfully mature approach! emoticon

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KIN59VARA 6/27/2011 9:22AM

    Happy Anniversary! emoticon



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JLEMUS1 6/27/2011 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEIS58 6/27/2011 6:27AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/27/2011 12:01AM

    good for you!

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COOKWITHME65 6/26/2011 9:47AM

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary Ashley! You have done amazing and are such an inspiration to me as well as many others I'm sure. You have such an exciting year ahead of you. I'm so happy for you.

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MSANITAL 6/26/2011 8:02AM

    Conrats girl you have worked hard and all the work you have done you deserve all the rewards that life has, I so can relate to the feeling diffrent and looking diffrent after a large weight loss, sometimes it is hard for me to accept it and I look at my old photos and say I am still that person when in fact I am not nor are you you are much healthyier stronger and happier, stay on the journey my friend there is so much out there for you and us

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LINDYLIME 6/25/2011 8:45AM

    I hope that by my one year anniversary, I can look back and feel the same sense of achievment as you do. Well done and thanks for sharing your journey with us. emoticon

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STASKER 6/24/2011 2:03PM

  Congrats!!! hope this year will bring you much success and happiness!!!! You seem like a very level headed and strong woman. I'm sure you can do whatever you set your mind to!

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RIGBY31 6/24/2011 1:40PM

    Beautiul Ashley... You are an amazing woman and inspire me.

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HOPE2011 6/24/2011 10:37AM

    Congrats on all you've accomplished!! And Happy Sparkversary!

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HANNAH_CALM 6/24/2011 9:16AM

    Happy Anniversary! You should be proud of all you've accomplished so far!
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BARBARAROSE54 6/24/2011 9:15AM

    emoticon congratulations on Sparking for one year, you have done fantastic.

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TRIGRAMPS 6/24/2011 7:26AM

    WTG! It's hard to hang in there. Here's that chocolate cake that you wanted: emoticon

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APPLES20 6/24/2011 7:04AM

    That was a terrific read. Congratulations on your one year, and your amazing successes. Yes, the next year will be equally as great or better!

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ECONLADY 6/23/2011 11:51PM

    Way to Go! You should look at being a motivational speaker!

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/23/2011 11:42PM

    congrats :) i'm glad you got to see yourself and your life for the beautiful things they are! happy anniversary!

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LKEITHO 6/23/2011 10:40PM

    Congratulations on your anniversary!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/23/2011 10:14PM

    Happy Anniversary Ashley!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 6/23/2011 6:50PM

    Its hard to REALLY look at yourself. But now that you have, use it as motivation!!! That's what I have done! The second half of my journey, I am taking by storm!!!I used to wonder how others had the motivation to make it to their goal quicker then I. I guess we all secretly have an envy monster within us!!!! emoticon

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BADASSBLONDIE 6/23/2011 5:02PM

    Happy Anniversary!!!!!! Thank you for being honest about your struggles. It helps me feel less crazy and alone. We can do this! :D

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DIANA_IS_BACK 6/23/2011 4:14PM

    congrats on your continued success! emoticon

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CJANSEN40 6/23/2011 4:03PM

    Happy sparkaversary you've come a long way baby!

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Family disappointment

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I called my brother last night to vent about my mother's total lack of desire to have any involvement in my wedding beyond criticism and repeatedly questioning if this is what I want. She is one of those people who thinks the United States is the best place in the world and everywhere else is horrible and she is scared to leave the country. Actually, she is scared to leave her small town as well. The level of paranoia she has is close to mental illness in my opinion but she also would never admit she isn't perfect so that can't be the case.

According to my brother she thinks my fiancé is a "phase" and basically I am just going to make another mistake by marrying him and that she will have to give me money to get out of it. That is the root of all evil in my family. Money. That is all everyone on her side cares about and now that my grandmother died the level of greed I am witnessing is even more than I could have imagined. Apparently she has never said these words but I think he is right. She also went and tried to convince him not to attend my wedding in Colombia because she doesn't want him to leave the country. He is so excited to go that he has been telling everyone and anyone that will listen.
The more that I am thinking about my mothers behavior the more sad and disappointed I have become. I always listened to her about my father and taken her side of everything. I trusted her. Now I am starting to see a lot of lies and I am questioning everything. It hurts me that she has the attitude that because I had a brief marriage in my early 20's I don't deserve to have one now with the love of my life. I never asked her for a dime for either one. I would never ask her for money now.
To give up everything and follow my dreams is something I am proud of but she is still bitter about it. Maybe because she chose to stay with someone for 29 years that she never loved. I refuse to spend my life scared. To hide in my house and huddle together with my nickels and judge everyone else. Life is too short and I wish she would have chosen differently but we can't decide other people's lives for them. We each have our own path. Some paths lead to adventure and greatness and some to small lives in small towns. Whatever makes us comfortable. I am lucky to have my brother and friends who support me and are excited for me. A woman at my work came to me and offered to go to dress appointments etc with me if I wanted because she never had kids and would love to help out. It really touched my heart to see such kindness. My path is going to lead to some pretty amazing places and anyone who doesn't choose to come along with me is the one losing out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 7/9/2011 12:03AM

    That is sad. I know if I were in your situation, my dad wouldn't go. He would travel within the states and Canada, but anything further would be out of the question. He would enjoy it if he got there though.

I'm glad that he hasn't denied my Mom any trip that she wants to go on.

I look forward to continuing to hear about the wedding (and PICTURES!!!)

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NORAHNICK 7/6/2011 7:15PM

    You've gotta do what you've gotta do but try to be patient with your Mom. I dont' have kids but I'd be terrified if my baby girl was taking off to Colombia to get married too. Just because I know nothing about it and all you hear is drugs!!!

I know! Educate her! Have the fiance sit down with the two of you and show her pictures of how nice it is there and where exactly you're going on a map and just whatever tangible stuff he can give her. Something she can see with her own eyes.

Good luck!

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MADEMCHE 6/22/2011 11:11AM

    Ash I think you mother is just scared. Scared of life and scared for you. If she never does anything then she can't be hurt and so this is her way of protecting herself. And she thinks that will work for you as well. If you never do anything, nothing will ever go wrong. But we both know that is a lie. So do your own thing, be happy, get married and have a wonderful life with A. I hope that she will come around. And if that doesn't, I hope that you know that your happiness and well being is more important. Love you. Hugs a million times over.

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CHICAT63 6/21/2011 4:15PM

    I totally understand your situation with your Mom. I went through the same thing with my Dad for my 1st wedding...had to pay his tux for him to wear one! You have amazing friends and your brother is there go on, she will be the one left out. This is a joyous, happy celebration and unfortunately single-minded people don't always join in.

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OCTOBER2842 6/21/2011 9:15AM

    It sounds as if you are able to make your own decision and will Do that. Too bad for your mom, it is her choice. Move on without her. Some day she will want your love. I hope it won't be too late for her. I feel sorry for selfish people like her. They miss out on the most beautiful things in life.

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KLASSIE 6/20/2011 8:29PM

    Congratulations on your wedding and I'm sorry your mom is not on board with you. I hope things will eventually work out for you both. Try to keep open arms and a tender heart for her and pray that God will bless you both with a better relationship.

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BADASSBLONDIE 6/20/2011 4:40PM

    *hugshard*

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BTRTHANEVA 6/20/2011 4:24PM

    hmmmm... a mother you can't and will never be able to please. gee, I know what that's all about!
The most important thing I've learned in my 55 years of living is to live my life for me as well as to treat people with respect. Both lessons came later than sooner...
I'm not far from you and come into Quincy at least a couple of times a week. So if you need any positive mother mentoring, please feel free to ask! I've been blessed to have the world's most wonderful mother-in-law (Miss Daisy), daughter-in-law, (Miss Charity), daughter (Miss Stephanie) and surrogate daughter (Miss Liz, my next door neighbor whom I assisted with her wedding plans by making her save the date cards as well as having all the pre-wedding pictures at my home). Funny that although I never got the love I wanted or needed from my own mother, I'm able to give and receive that to the other important women in my life. So I can really relate to what you're feeling.
Please let me know if there's anything you need a hand for. I'd be more than happy to assist (especially as I'm not working anymore!!!)
Sending lots of love and positive energy your way,
Christelle

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BELLALUCIA 6/20/2011 3:55PM

    I'm sorry your Mom is a manipulative wench but don't worry about her, live your life sweetie. U are a treasure and don't ever forget that!

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CYNDERROSE 6/20/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon Your mom sounds a lot like my mother. She moved to Singapore with my dad for a 3 year job, but was so negative about being around people of other cultures that it was a miserable experience for her.

Sometimes the people who should be there for us are the ones who hurt us the most. Don't let her current negative behavior hang a cloud over your big day.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 6/20/2011 11:42AM

    I'm so sorry your mom isn't more supportive. Sounds like jealousy to me. Sometimes, unfortunately, parents aren't meant to be part of the big picture in our lives. (Saying this out of experience) I hope it doesn't end up that way for you but you need to ask yourself if the relationship is 1) worth fixing and 2) is SHE willing to do her part to fix it. You can't do it alone.

Regardless of her attitude, your wedding will be beautiful, your marriage long and your "phase" will last a lifetime! So pffft to mama!

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KELCEE75 6/20/2011 11:02AM

    I totally understand what you’re going through. I had no support from my parents when I got married and only support from my sister when it was convenient for her. Long story short, none of them showed up for my wedding. It was such a good wonderful day that all I could think of is that they missed out big time. It changed things and relationships and I know I grieved a bit when the changes happened (for what was…or what I had perceived the relationships to be) but in the end I had to do what was best for me. I know I’m living my best healthy life right now, and it’s their loss for not coming along for the ride. You have to do what’s best for you and what will make you happy not anyone else. :)

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TREASURINGLIFE 6/20/2011 10:44AM

    Rock on girl. I'm sorry your mom is acting in such an unsupportive way, but thank goodness you have amazing friends and other family members to support you and help you enjoy all the blessings of your life. That, my friend, is good stuff! :)

- Michelle

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TEEMARIE_2011 6/20/2011 9:38AM

    Well one thing I have learned is in regards to relationships and pretty much anything else is life my mother was always right! hind sight 20/20 I should have listened. But she also never put me down she let me make my own mistakes in sense

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ERIN4771 6/20/2011 6:51AM

    families are challenging all right....it's hard when the "light" goes on, so to speak, but the others in the room are still looking for the switch....you definitely have to follow your own path, find your own happiness, and not let her attitude towards the whole thing get you down...i am a firm believer that just because you gave birth, doesn't automatically make you a parent...being supportive, caring, loving and not jealous, now those are good qualities in a parent....stay focused on the path you are on and continue to be on my friend, if people want to join you on it, they can lace up some sneakers and make it so.... emoticon

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KATHLOW 6/20/2011 5:23AM

    i'm sorry about this, but you're right, you can't change someone. I hope you can still enjoy the preparations, albeit with somone else. Hugs, Kath

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CANNIE50 6/20/2011 12:37AM

    "I refuse to spend my life scared." I think that is the crux of the problem, at least in my experience. I have experienced some of what you are dealing with. I think there are basically two ways to go through life, in fear or on faith. The two sides have a hard time understanding each other. I am with you, though. I listen to fear in case there is something there I need to discover but I am not going to be ruled by it every day of my life. You have a new family now. It's sad that your mother isn't being open and respectful about your choices but, fortunately, she is not in charge of your life. I love the offer your co-worker made - what a sweet gesture. It is nice that your brother is so supportive. You will have plenty of love at your wedding. Maybe your mom will come to your 25th wedding anniversary party ;) emoticon

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/19/2011 11:39PM

    I'm glad you've made a decision to be positive and not let fear cripple you. Hopefully your mother will come around and be there for your special day. And you're right, you're lucky to have a group of people who support and are happy for your joyous upcoming nuptials.

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MAMADWARF 6/19/2011 11:29PM

    Hey ash. I can hear the pain in your words but also the resolve to have a different kind of life. I do not know your fiance but I know from you that he is a wonderful man, who stands by your side, will fight for you, laugh with you and support you. What else could anyone ask for? You have your own life to live and you are doing it. With or without your mother. I will be your mother and you have my blessing (but I dont think I can make the wedding...rofl.). Hugs to you, my girl!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 6/19/2011 10:19PM

    Your mom sounds like my dad. Instead of being proud of what I'm accomplishing in my life, his jealousy means he has to try pulling me back down to his level.

My dad also discouraged me from travelling anywhere. I had the chance to go to Russia when I was in high school and it was the best experience of my life.

Stay your course. You know your heart.

And I bet you & your brother are going to have an AWESOME time in Columbia!

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STLSUE01 6/19/2011 7:10PM

  I understand your frustration and hurt. I am sorry. huggz.

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NMK1980 6/19/2011 6:14PM

    There is definitely greatness and adventures for the small live, small town folk like me;) Its all about attitude, and unfortunately your mom doesn't have a positive one. But I get your point:)

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AMBERROGUE 6/19/2011 4:56PM

    I know we don't know each other, but I was browsing pages and ran across yours. First, congrats on losing 90 pounds!! Way to go!

You sound like a very strong, independent woman! It's wonderful to hear that you're following your heart and living your life and that you have friends and family who do support you. It also sounds like you can set aside the anger and sadness you feel because of your mother's words and actions so that you can move on with your life. That's not an easy thing to do and I think it's awesome that you are following your heart!

Congrats on your upcoming wedding! I hope you'll post pictures!

All the best,
Amber

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BETHV10 6/19/2011 4:10PM

    Unfortunately we can't pick our families. However,you have a great brother and friends who will be very happy for you to marry the love of your life.

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RIGBY31 6/19/2011 3:04PM

    Oh Ashley, I sooo get this! My family will not come to Massachusetts from Calif for my daughters wedding because they don't see the point. Family can be freaky, just choose not to participate in their freak show. Your brother sounds like a sweety. When is your wedding? How exciting!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 6/19/2011 1:35PM

    Moms can be wacky!!!I hope not to turn out like either of mine LOL emoticon

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LEANNROCKS 6/19/2011 11:44AM

    Ash, you said it - everyone chooses their own path. YOU have to live the one you've chosen. Go For It With Passion.

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CJANSEN40 6/19/2011 10:42AM

    There's alot of advice out there but just because you love your mother doesn't mean you have to like her. Gather close friends about you and go on with your life. A close relationship with mom is great but some moms can't handle it. ((hugs)) and prayers for you

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GIANTMICROBE 6/19/2011 9:59AM

    I'm sorry Ashley. My mom likes to be miserable too. I'll spare you the long story but basically I realized that that's she way she chooses to be. I can't help her because she doesn't want helped. I got out and started living my own life the way I saw fit. And you do the same emoticon

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SEESTARS 6/19/2011 8:44AM

    You're right. It is a major disappointment when your own parents don't want to support your marriage. I have had to watch it with my husband and his parents. And there was a good deal of overflow to me as well. They couldn't even give their gift graciously, saying "I guess this is want you wanted because it was on your registry." *shrug* Neither of them make a toast (both my parents AND step father did) They left the wedding early while we stayed with my parents and some friends to pack gifts, clean, and have a final round of hugs with those closest to us.

It was heartbreaking. I think the worst part was that our guests could tell that they were not supportive. But you have to just adopt the attitude to brush it off because those non-supporters are the ones loosing out (as you said so well at the end of your blog). And it sounds like you have a great many others standing behind you to support you. Hold your head high and deal with your mother on your terms when it comes to the wedding. It is sad she is not on board, but you have to play the long game. Eventually she may come around and see your happiness is not a phase. My in-laws are finally starting to... after ONLY 2 years post wedding. LOL

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MIZCATHI 6/19/2011 8:41AM

    Although our family's opinions are important to us, I found that what is truly important is how I feel, and I have to suck it up. I can't change anyone, only myself. I've learned to put blinders on and not take their opinions to heart. It's not easy, I know.

At my age, I've discovered that people are WEIRD. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and opinions. Each is uniquely shaped because of genetics, location, and raising. What they say and judge means squat when it comes to anyone outside themselves.

As long as you are honest with yourself, work hard to climb out of denial, and follow your heart, you cannot go wrong. And when you make a mistake, start over. We only live once.

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HANNAH_CALM 6/19/2011 8:00AM

    I'm sorry about how your mother's being. Some people develop such a fear of marriage, they think everyone is making a mistake when they get together. That could be the problem. Or is she annoyed that your fiance's from another ethnic group? "Just a phase" sounds really harsh! So maybe that's the case, or part of it. It doesn't seem like you'll have time to win your mother over before the wedding. I hope you'll still be able to enjoy it, and have many happy memories.

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_AIYANNA_ 6/19/2011 5:05AM

    Hello Ashley,

Although we're not Spark friends I couldn't help but relate to your story. Sadly my father is a lot like your mum and lets his fears and insecurities govern his life. He's such a control freak that he told me on my wedding day that he bet I would be divorced within the year just because he didn't want me to get married :( Needless to say that I have been married for 17 years and now my husband and I have a loving family with two lovely children and my father still believes that I have failed him.

I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that you need to live your life as you see fit and try and see past the negativity of other people. It's sad when such people are members of our own family and especially our parents, but at least we can choose to surround ourselves with other people who love us and respect us.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and I wish you all the best in your life.

Elen xxx

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GIRANIMAL 6/19/2011 3:05AM

    Fear sure can do terrible things to people -- including belittle their own children. It's really very sad to me. I applaud your courage to live your life by following your own heart!

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CINDERELLA_MAN 6/19/2011 2:55AM

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding emoticon

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ANGELOO29 6/18/2011 10:08PM

    At least you have some people in your life supporting you (as well as your friends here). I am sure your wedding will be special and beautiful and those that miss out will be sorry they did.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/18/2011 9:06PM

    that is a bummer Ashley. i am sure that your Mom is really struggling. if you seriously think those thoughts about your Mom, you might do yourselves a favor with a bit of intervention or at least a heated talk. it will wind up ugly if you don't confront her, as an adult and discuss this.

you may never find resolution for it, but at least it will all be out in the open. take a referee and a note pad.

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DYA177 6/18/2011 8:43PM

    Family is a trip. You story reminds me of my mother is a odd way. Many people are afraid of change. Fear is a crippling thing, but when you transcend that fear to your children, that's abuse, if you ask me. For instance my children's father is afraid of planes. Never flown. It took him YEARS for him to sign the application for passports for my children because HE is afraid of flying and therefore his children SHOULD be too. Isn't that ridiculous? Do you,sister girl. Your mom is missing out. But please don't spend your time venting about your mom. She will never change and you are just spending wasted time venting when you can spend being excited about your upcoming nuptials and your new life.

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MELLYBEANS0919 6/18/2011 8:39PM

    Sorry your mom is making life so difficult for you. But we cannot change people sadly. Do what you want to do, knowing it makes you happy and you do deserve love and a wonderful marriage too. I hope your day turns out to be a beautiful one and everything you have wanted.

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ECONLADY 6/18/2011 8:24PM

    I'm probably old enough to be your mother and if I was your mom I would be very proud of you. It is hard to face our challenges and win. Take your friend up on her offer and surround yourself with friends who want to support you on your journey. Please blog about your wedding, I want to hear about it. That means the good, the bad and the ugly! I'm here!

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CRESHA20 6/18/2011 8:03PM

    That really sucks about your mom. This is a time where you really do need support from people. Sometimes the most help will come from the people you least expect it from. I hope all of your wedding planning goes beautifully.

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MADDEELOU 6/18/2011 8:02PM

    emoticon Ashley, I do not know who I am sadder for you--you or your mother. Actually, I do know and it is your mother. You are an amazing woman and living an amazing life. She is missing out on so much. I hope you take your work friend up on her offer. You will both be all the better for it.

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Fear of Failure

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I went out for dinner last night with my "Man of Honor" so someone would listen to me yammer on about my wedding (not just for that, he is my best friend too and I hadn't seen him in awhile) but since so few people seem to actually care about my wedding it was nice to have someone listen and be excited for me. We also chatted about his relationship and how his SO has such a fear of failure that he won't even try to change his life for the better. He would rather live in fairy land and let people think he is brilliant that do anything that is risky.
This really got me thinking about my own weight loss situation. Today I was nervous all day. Nervous that I can't control myself in the face of sugar. Nervous that I will fail at this new lifestyle. The fear is paralyzing, yet sneaky because I had not heard it creep silently upon me.

Fear is the enemy. Fear prevents change and progress. It is ok to not be successful on a first attempt. It is not ok to not even try. That is true failure. To give up, to refuse to adapt. No this isn't easy. Yes, I will have to fight every day for a long time, maybe my whole life, to overcome my compulsion to eat. What I need to focus on is the desire to eat versus the need to eat. I have lost that feelings somewhere along the way. What is true hunger.

Sometimes I think that all of these are just words. That they have no actual value. Are we all just talking about it but it any of it real?

Sometimes I think food is the only constant in my life. People leave and disappoint you. You get rejected and abandoned. Only food is a constant that makes me happy. I used to believe it would never hurt me but that is a lie. The comfort, the numbness, is only temporary. I want to be free of this disappointment with my body. I don't hate it anymore but just feel this lingering apathy. That damage I did to my body I am positive is irreparable. Having to pay for my addiction the rest of my life is sad and overwhelming. I had tried to convince myself that I would snap back. My body would be the exception or surgery could fix me. I need to face the reality that this isn't true. Maybe I will shrink back a bit but not enough. Are the scars from surgery going to be worth it? I wish it was that simple. One easy surgery and I would be free. Somehow I doubt it happens with so little consequence for everyone.

Is it vain to want to be hot even for a few moments of my life? To enjoy the attention? I never got to experience that in my 20's or even teens. I was the "fat" friend. the one insecure pretty girls hung out with because I wasn't a threat. I want to float down the aisle in whatever fluffy confection I chose to ooh's and aah's from our guests. For my first marriage I wore a dress off the rack I bought 6 weeks before the wedding because I was too scared to try on real wedding dresses. How sad of an experience is that??? No joy in it at all.

I will find the right dress for me and not be ashamed. My label size does not make me any more or less of a human being. I had a good day today. Laughing with coworkers, talking about wedding dresses, dreaming of my future and wishing I was "normal". I want that dark cloud to go away. I am going to do everything in my power to make this experience nothing like the first one. I have the power to do it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADEMCHE 6/22/2011 11:14AM

    Dark clouds happen, and then they pass. It will be ok love, you are going to be a beautiful life. And who wants to be normal? How boring is that? YOu my dear, are far from boring. Not normal, exceptional! That is you. Love you!

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KATHLOW 6/20/2011 5:24AM

    you're gonna be a beautiful bride!

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BADASSBLONDIE 6/17/2011 1:16PM

    It is so wonderful to hear you so empowered!!!! :D And thank you for speaking about fear - I really need to look into some of that and how I'm working with (or maybe against...) my journey lately.

*hugs* YOU CAN DO THIS!

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OCTOBER2842 6/17/2011 11:52AM

    You look great, so you can't be a failure. You are qa Super Star, give yourself for all you have accomplished

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CJANSEN40 6/17/2011 11:25AM

    You are great, or your fiance would not have choosen you! You will look beautiful in your dress no matter your size, ((hugs))

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LIVIN2LOVE1 6/17/2011 10:57AM

    I think you are completely normal. You will be a beautiful bride on your wedding day because you already are a beautiful bride today.

On SP we can fight that compulsion to eat. For me it is an addiction, complete with obsession, compulsion, exhilaration, and regret. Not only is it abusive to my body but my mind suffers too. Giving in to the compulsion is defeating my mind and spirit.

We all face that dark cloud. You are not alone. You CAN do this!

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TWINSMOMMY607 6/17/2011 8:21AM

    You are the most normal woman I have met!!

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ECONLADY 6/17/2011 1:11AM

    You hit the nail on the head and I will be thinking about what you said. I would love to hear about the wedding, so please blog about it!

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DUSTYGIRL25 6/16/2011 11:06PM

    Just concentrate on the positive. LIKE YOUR WEDDING!!!!
Planning your Wedding is going to be sooooo much fun! Just think of all the beautiful things you are going to be shopping for, Dresses! Flowers! Cakes! Healthy Food! Gifts! (registering)
Decorations! A Venue! A Honeymoon!
emoticon Wow, I'm so excited and I'm not even the one getting married.
Enjoy every minute of it. Your gonna Love It! It's For YOUR OWN VERY SPECIAL DAY!!!
emoticon

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NOT_BIG_BONED 6/16/2011 10:09PM

    You will be a beautiful bride no matter what size. And the size is just a stupid label that doesn't mean anything anyway.

I think that food issues will always be a struggle, at least they are for me. I just had to accept that I will always have to work at keeping the weight off. Oh, and I know what you mean about wishing you were happy with your body at leas once. I did unrepairable damage to my body being big, and the loose skin is a reminder, but it does get better, and if I could do it all over again, I'd choose being fit and not perfect over being overweight and unhappy all over again.

Good luck in finding your dream dress.

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OJIBWEEQUAY 6/16/2011 9:34PM

    WHy do we feed the emotions? I need therapy every other day I swear on this issue!!! You will be a stunning Bride! If I was your friend in high school I woulda have been jealous of your hair! Oh curls!! emoticon

Oh yeah I forgot. My wedding dress was a 12 and needed to be altered to a 10 when it came in. Um yeah...didnt quite turn out! I kept eating all the fancy chocolates I bought for the reception and had to keep buying more! Needless to say It fit quite well minimal adjustments. Dont be me emoticon
LOL

Comment edited on: 6/16/2011 9:38:23 PM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/16/2011 8:43PM

    You HAVE made those positive life changes. And YES, I believe they're permanent. Most woman struggle with body image and being "normal." What the heck is normal anyways? I've been with you on this journey for an entire year, and I know you want to be healthy. Can you say that you are healthier now than you were a year ago? I bet you can. You've done wonderful things for yourself and for a lot of people here on SP. Because you have this bright light that shines through, you will be brighter than ANY cloud that you may feel is hovering.

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ILOVEDOLPHINS73 6/16/2011 8:37PM

    All that you're feeling is completely cool. It's understandable and there's nothing wrong with feeling these emotions. They are in fact, what helps you to grow!

Relish in EVERY moment and emotion that you have because you're being groomed. Congrats on your wedding planning and trust me....you WILL be the center of attention! You already are. I'm thankful that I know you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BILLIEK17 6/16/2011 7:05PM

    You are more “normal” than you know. It seems most of us women yearn for body perfection and have food issues. You’ve come such a long way and are such an inspiration. I’m not sure that the dark cloud goes away permanently for anybody. Your positive choices, putting good food in your body, exercising--all those things, however, should help keep that cloud away more days than not. I’m like you so I understand. Your body may have damage from years of abuse but it’s still beautiful AND strong. You will definitely float down that isle to “oohs and ahs” and as far as being the “hot girl”--well I think you already are.

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Nothing profound to say

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have been losing interest in the whole process. A bit by bit, day by day. Mostly I have been in denial that it is happening but it is. I am starting to think it is just part of the process. That at this stage this is the biggest obstacle because I am seeing so many of my other successful sparkers who started around the same time I did go through this as well.
I believe this is one of those time that test us. Do we give in and go back to our old way? Gain the weight back and come back on here a year from now 20 lbs higher than when we started beating ourselves up and feeling full of shame. Or do I just suck it up and do what I need to do to be successful and keep losing. It is my choice and has been on my mind for weeks.
Work is good. Finally planning the wedding and dreaming of my dress which is something I never thought I would be excited about. I have stopped hating myself and feel a renewed sense of confidence in myself. People are no longer treating me as an outcast which at first was hard to adjust to and still shocks me each and every time. I am even no longer afraid of children which was a big surprise. I was at the store the other day and there was a man there with 4 children and they were the rowdy say anything kind of kids that normally terrified me. For some unknown reason kids are drawn to me but in the past I have had them say some horrible things about how fat I am or if I was pregnant etc. This time this adorable blond little girl dressed as a princess, flanked by her 3 brothers came up to me and stared at me for a second. Then she said "I really like your necklace" and smiled at me. When she started speaking a pit in my stomach formed and I felt sick expecting the worst. I smiled at her and said "I liked your tiara" she gave me a matter of fact nod and danced away. That was when I realized I truly am "normal" now. There is nothing left to be afraid of and it is ok to lose this weight and be happy. I don't need to keep holding onto anything and I don't need to keep up this wall around myself to keep people out. It is ok to be me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 6/30/2011 3:12PM

    I so understand this. I have been slowly gaining for the last 18-20 month and am currently about 30 lbs higher than my low. I know that I need to do better, but I see so many of the old habits back . . . It is a fight that I wish I didn't have to work through.

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GODDESSELLIE07 6/16/2011 10:39AM

    I hit that point and I made the wrong decision and gained some of my weight back. It took me at least a year to come back (although I never completely left) and get myself back on track. But now, I am at my lowest weight ever and I definitely think I've learned from the experience.

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ECHAVEZ2 6/16/2011 3:33AM

    Sometimes sucking it up and JUST DOING IT is best. I teach unforgiving middle school students and they surely let you know point black what is on their mind. They aren't afraid to ask, and among a group of peers, about any new weight that one puts on. Therefore, having been on this rollercoaster ride and dealing with students comments, I've decided that it is best for me to really make this my lifestyle change and work harder than ever to get to my goal weight. I would say that since you are enjoying the little ones comments and friendliness, perhaps you might JUST DO IT! You are doing great so far. Falling off the wagon is a small battle, so get right back on the horse and ride........You deserve it. You are great for it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJH2028 6/15/2011 9:57PM

    Loved and related to this a lot. Thank you for being You, being There and Here, and staying with your process. ;-) paula

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/15/2011 9:12PM

    I was just thinking about this myself... all of my constituants who have been with me have started to fall away, I've been falling for 6 months...

Nothing but love.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/15/2011 7:35PM

    *like* - great blog!

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KATHLOW 6/15/2011 10:10AM

    it is ok to be you? hell yeah, from my point of view, you all all kinds of shades of wonderful!

Have fun planning the wedding! And yes, this tiredness of the process too shall pass :-)

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HOLLIHOCK6 6/13/2011 3:53PM

    I lost my "focus" a while back and now I'm regretting it terribly. I think about it all the time, where I could have been if I had done what I needed to do.....but instead, i'm starting over and this time I'm having a hard time getting my momentum back. Don't give up. Don't lose your focus! You can do it.

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AARONSGIRL420 6/13/2011 1:04PM

    Kids can be cruel, even with some "positive" observations such as one my 6 year old recently had: " Mama you are not fat anymore". The innocence does not yet have social filters and they speak what is on their minds at all times without realizing what it does to people.

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SEPPIESUSAN 6/13/2011 11:14AM

    You may think you have nothing profound to say, but this really resonates with me:

"I am seeing so many of my other successful sparkers who started around the same time I did go through this as well.
I believe this is one of those time that test us. Do we give in and go back to our old way? Gain the weight back and come back on here a year from now 20 lbs higher than when we started beating ourselves up and feeling full of shame. Or do I just suck it up and do what I need to do to be successful and keep losing. It is my choice"

I don't know when you started Spark, but I have been around for over 4 years and in that time I HAVE gained the weight back and come back full of shame multiple times. It took years to finally get to a point where I knew to "suck it up and do what I need to do to be successful." Thank you for writing this!

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CYNDERROSE 6/13/2011 11:13AM

    I usually feel uncomfortable around kids, even my own at times emoticon emoticon, but had to say what a wonder interactoin with them. Kid smiles are the best.

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MARTELLA3 6/13/2011 10:00AM

    "The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value and possibility." Geenen Roth in Women, Food and God.

This statement rocked me to the core. It sounds as if you are in a place where your beliefs are changing to catch up with your body's new shape.

Marty

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MIZCATHI 6/13/2011 6:44AM

    I used to feel uncomfortable around little children I didn't know as well. Now they just smile at me, and it's lovely.

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DSJB9999 6/13/2011 1:44AM

    I know what you mean its great to be "normal" weight wise again! And to blend into the background! But it gives us confidence too adn that is fantastic.
emoticon

Don't stress about the plateau we all go through this.

Its worth it! emoticon



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SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/12/2011 11:43PM

    wonderful change

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KTTAYLOR21 6/12/2011 11:33PM

    One of my fav shows is "Say Yes To The Dress"... makes me want to go wedding dress shopping and I'm already married.

Be happy!! You are awesome, anyone who don't know that is insane and I only know you through your blogs. Plan that wedding and be excited about it, your already have an awesome man to go with your awesome personality!!

emoticon

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ECONLADY 6/12/2011 11:10PM

    Unfortunately no one said this was going to be easy. You are doing terrific and just hang in, because you can do it! Start blogging about your wedding. I've been married for almost 22 years and I love hearing about other people's wedding!

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ANITA_NM 6/12/2011 11:08PM

    I've decided that it's what you do when you hit the plateau that matters. You're keeping on the right track, and keeping your attitude up - perfect! :) And glad you had that positive experience in the store with the little girl.

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CJANSEN40 6/12/2011 9:44PM

    Great change isn't it! Keep up the great work

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IMIN2GENES 6/12/2011 9:40PM

    That's great! I know what you mean though... it seems like a lot of people have been blogging about a similar place in their journey. I haven't quite hit it yet; but, I'm so glad to hear you talk about it so openly. It makes me less afraid to face it when I get there. So, thank you for that!

What a wonderful interaction with the kids, that must have felt great! Have fun finding your dress. I'm sure you'll be gorgeous!
Chris

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OJIBWEEQUAY 6/12/2011 9:21PM

    I was there!! Stayed awhile and wish I hadn't. It took me 18 months to lose 35 pounds! And look at you! You have done amazing!!!! Sometimes I say to heck with it, then I notice small things, like TRICEPS and I get motivated again!!!! LOL! You got this girl!!! emoticon

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 6/12/2011 9:19PM

    You are wonderful! Glad you had that great moment with the little girl.



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TWINSMOMMY607 6/12/2011 9:15PM

    Everyone hits a plateau, it makes you stronger person to break through it and to gain speed on the other side. You can totally do this, look at how far you have come!!

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AGALAVIZ 6/12/2011 9:02PM

    Hey girl!
The reasons you listed above are reason enough to keep on going!!! :) You're doing fantastic you have to hang in there for sure!!! Maybe joining a new team or setting new goals would help?? Or maybe hiring a trainer for a couple of weeks to re-energize you?? I am working my tail off on a 10.5 week challenge if you want to join me?? I am going to California in August with my daughter and want to be looking fab! I am just starting today so the timing would be good. I wish you luck and to be fully re-energized on your journey!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADRIANNALOUISE 6/12/2011 8:57PM

    emoticon what a wonderful feeling! emoticon

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Getting out of my own way

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A recent blog of one of amazingly insightful sparkbuddies MEZZOANGEL and the movie "Country Strong" made me do an enormous amount of thinking yesterday and today. Not that I don't do that every single day, my brain is constantly swirling full of thoughts, but they both gave direction to those thoughts.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4278146


The honesty about feeling numb in this blog is what really touched a nerve for me. Country Strong was one of the most emotionally honest movies I have ever seen, also about coping with trying to numb pain. Emotional pain is one of those things that is largely ignored or downplayed yet affect every aspect of our lives. Somehow victims of physical abuse are considered to have it worse than people who were psychologically victimized. As a survivor of both I can tell you one is not any less scaring than the other.
As work as started to get better I realized that my deep seated emotional problems have been holding me back professionally. I am defensive and don't criticism well, really who does, but I believe excessively so because I have spent most of my life being criticized. When I feel attacked I go into attack mode. My coping mechanism is eating. It is for most of us on here. When I am eating I don't have to feel or think or care. Drinking provides the same release but I rarely drink anymore. Hiding my eating enabled the habit. As I had to deal with the stress of work and potentially losing my job I put my healthy eating on the back burner. This morning I took a brutal look at my behavior and I have been eating like I was when I was 300 lbs. We all know were I would end up again if I didn't put a stop to this.
Instead of an empty promise to "start again tomorrow" or the phrase I hate more than anything on earth "get back on the wagon" I decided to really think about why I have been eating to cope again. Having my bosses attack me the way that they have over the last 2 months has been traumatizing. In an effort to keep my job I had to swallow my pride, nod my head and tell they are right, and make the changes they wanted me to make. Do I think they are right? A little but not completely. However I made the decision that I can not spend my life acting like a rebellious 13 year old and quit my job every time I don't like the way someone else does something. Part of life is getting along with other people and if I was going to take anything away from this job it was going to be to learn to handle conflict better.
This week my boss told me she never thought I could do all the things she asked of me to do. There were still a lot of things she said I disagree with but I have made the conscious decision to start taking what I want from situations and leave the bad stuff behind. This can apply to my whole life. Maybe I will never be able to wash away all of the abuse I suffered, in fact I am positive I can not, but I can let it go and stop letting it control all aspects of my life. I am not a victim anymore and eating to numb myself is counter productive to the life I want. In the last week 2 different members of fiancés family told him they were stunned by how much I have changed and how happy they are for me. I want to keep feeling this way.
Not hating myself had interesting side effects. It also made me complacent. Once I reached a weight that I was attractive again and felt good about myself I stopped trying so hard. However the reality is I am not where I want to be yet. If I was there I would not be eating to hand stress the way I have been these past few weeks. The only reason I think I have not regained weight is because I haven't been doing it daily. More like alternating good and bad days. Emotional scars are the hardest to face because they are hidden. There is no physical reminder of our pain, just emotional. Those are easier to ignore or misinterpret.
A healthy life is a life that is in balance and lets go of pain. As we let the pain go and improve ourselves it does get easier. Tonight I went to the gym and attacked the weights and I could feel the anger melting. Finding a way to cope is what this is all about. It may be different for each of us but there is a solution outside of destructive habits. It might be easier to eat or drink but neither of those things will bring us what we desire. The life you want is possible. Opportunities exist for those who show up and take them. So I am going to stop being the only roadblock in my own road to happiness and let myself let it go and be happy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUSCHIA6 6/12/2011 1:14AM

    Thanks you for your honest sharing. It bugs me how my sisters can go into extreme denial on Facebook about how we grew up. Last week, it was remembering "the good old days" when parents didn't swear. I asked my sister if we grew up in the same house (every second word my father spoke was a swear word.) That prompted my other sister to tell me not to air our dirty laundry in public. What do I think of it? Denial reigns supreme. Those who forget the past are destined to repeat it. Everyone has crap & we night as well be honest about our problems instead of covering them up. If you are lying to "friends" about who you are, are they really your friend? I have big issues with feeling like I belong. Every so often at work I absolutely melt & can not get a grip. I really need to face the beliefs that I have about myself on this issue. Pretending doesn't help.
I love your blog.

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WSPDAVE 6/11/2011 10:30PM

    Hey Ashley, what can I say other than great Blog.

As I read your words I thought a lot about my career and the people I have had to tolerate. I was reminded of the things that I did to myself because of how I felt about the people I really did not like or did not respect. I was reminded of something that a very good friend of mind shared with me, that may help you through the same difficult times. The Serenity Prayer when understood is truly the answer.

It took me a little while to figure it out, because I am not a religious person and only a bit spiritual. When I looked at the message and figured it out, it was quite a realization. Today, when I am confronted with the same type of difficult people I try to remind myself of the message in the Serenity Prayer in order to keep my sanity.

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OJIBWEEQUAY 6/10/2011 1:54PM

    YES! Even the title slapped me along side the head!!!! I have been falling under the same trap!!! No pounds lost!!! But I got this and so do you! Lets turn the tides girl! emoticon emoticon

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ERIN4771 6/9/2011 11:32AM

    very insightful my friend..i have to agree, we never really forget the abuse we may have gone thru, but, we learn to cope and realize it's not what defines us...
acting like a rebellious teenager happens, i do it at times as well, although with my sarcastic comments, most people never realize it, but, it's hard not to get defensive and want to bite back when you are being bitten yourself...but, like you said , we can take what we want from any situation, the good, that bad, the ugly, the choice is ours....and i am glad you are choosing to let yourself go be happy....you deserve it my friend...

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DEBBIE19580 6/8/2011 3:22PM

    you are so right ashley. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BADASSBLONDIE 6/8/2011 2:43PM

    *hugshard* Thank you for this post. It's given me a lot to think about. *hugs*

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CHRISTINA791 6/8/2011 12:51PM

    A very well timed and insightful post. Thank you for this.

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PATTILYNN224 6/7/2011 9:20AM

    Thank you for sharing. You have brought a lot of thought to the table with your post and I am grateful.

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RUNNINGSAVEDME 6/6/2011 6:47PM

    I love you. It's as simple as that.

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RAVENSONG37 6/6/2011 4:02PM

    Thank you for being awesome and sharing yourself with me.

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MADEMCHE 6/6/2011 12:34PM

    "A healthy life is a life that is in balance and lets go of pain." That may be one of the most inspirational and insightful things I have read in a very long time. Thank you. Thank you for putting into words what I have been trying to do for the last few years, and why I feel better every day. Be happy Ash. And whatever you have to do in order to get there, do it! You know the way, you can do anything that you put your mind to. You are something special, I am so happy we are in this together!! Hugs.

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 6/6/2011 10:55AM

    I couldn't agree with you more that emotional abuse is not as recognized as other types. And I totally understand how hard it is to heal. I'm still working on not eating to smother the feelings.

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VEEJAY3 6/6/2011 10:20AM

    Wow, woman! Your emotional workout is even more admirable than your physical workouts! And your achievements in both mind and body are what make you a fierce finisher.
See how many of us are here, cheering you on from the sidelines? WE ALL think you're amazing.

Comment edited on: 6/6/2011 10:20:45 AM

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KATHLOW 6/6/2011 10:07AM

    very good blog. This is true for so many of us

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BEINGGUIDED 6/6/2011 9:26AM

    Thank you for these open and honest words

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CRE8URHAPPY 6/6/2011 7:39AM

    emoticon for sharing! Wow! So many can relate to this. I know most of us have, at one time or another thwarted our own efforts. I know I have. Way to acknowledge, adapt, and advance forward. You are a strong woman, who can do ANYTHING she sets her mind to accomplish!

Kudos girl!

Great blog!

emoticon

Tiffany

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WSPDAVE 6/6/2011 12:08AM

    Hey Ashley, what can I say other than great Blog.

As I read your words I thought a lot about my career and the people I have had to tolerate. I was reminded of the things that I did to myself because of how I felt about the people I really did not like or did not respect. I was reminded of something that a very good friend of mind shared with me, that may help you through the same difficult times. The Serenity Prayer when understood is truly the answer.

It took me a little while to figure it out, because I am not a religious person and only a bit spiritual. When I looked at the message and figured it out, it was quite a realization. Today, when I am confronted with the same type of difficult people I try to remind myself of the message in the Serenity Prayer in order to keep my sanity.

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IBSHAUN 6/5/2011 11:28PM

    I am not sure which comment to start with - it's already been said, "thanks for sharing." But really, thank you for sharing. It helps you to work thorough it, it makes us think about things in our own lives, and it brings more connections in this journey. Sending you wishes of strength as you continue forward.

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KRISKECK 6/5/2011 9:36PM

    Great job in taking control of the only thing we can control -- our responses to the challenges life throws our way! I've been struggling with some similar issues and I am happy for your successes, as I am for mine. Let's keep it up - I have faith in us!

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SKYEPHOENIX 6/5/2011 9:31PM

    I LOVE your blogs. I love how they trigger a-HA! moments all over my brain. And I love how you're CHANGING, not just your body but your mind as well. Your blogs are almost like a little map--a window into a way of changing the stuff on the inside, of...getting out of your own way. :) Probably one of the hardest things for people to do is SEE that they need to change stuff, let alone take the STEPS needed TO change. Awesome, awesome post. :)

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 6/5/2011 9:13PM

    Thank you for sharing with us. I think, in looking back, that I went to being even more sarcastic and quick to anger after a break in that shook me.



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ECONLADY 6/5/2011 8:57PM

    I understand and appreciate where you are coming from. I am also a victim of both and it is difficult to tell anybody. They treat you differently afterward. I think they don't want to admit it happens. I have spent almost 50 years beating myself up and have recently said enough. Good Luck!

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HAPPYCUPCAKE 6/5/2011 8:37PM

    Wow, I can really relate to this blog on a lot of levels. Food is how we numb the hurt and pain. And no, your past will not go away, but you are on the right track by venting, and pin pointing what has triggered you.

Also, you've inspired me to rent "Country Strong"-- it sounds like an awesome movie!

Great blog!

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KAMAPERRY 6/5/2011 8:32PM

    Awesome, awesome blog. We make our own choices and therefore shape our destinies, no matter what has gone on before.

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MAMADWARF 6/5/2011 8:21PM

    Yes. Please. Be happy. I want that for you on every level.

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