Monday, August 17, 2009
Faced my fear and weighed in today. I now officially have a new highest weight ever, and weigh two times my lowest ever weight in high school eleven years ago. Two times!!!
Rather than overwhelm myself trying to get back to my smallest weight of 145 pounds, I have decided, in the spirit of my post on getting rid of my tiny high school clothes, that I will instead focus on getting below 200 pounds.
Last night, I decided to give myself a mini makeover and take pictures for a new profile pic, since the kitty cat one is almost three years old. I hardly ever wear makeup and I NEVER curl or straighten my hair, but last night I did both (though not at the same time, of course!). Turns out, using a flat iron on my already straight hair makes it flat and emphasizes the roundness of my face, while a gentle blow dry upside down and/or curling with a curling iron gives my hair body and makes it accentuate the fullness of my face in a flattering way. I never knew that. I also realized I'm not sure which you're supposed to do first--hair or makeup???
I took lots of pictures, and I'm proud to say that I think I look beautiful in them, which is progress for someone with such low self-esteem who hates having her photograph taken. I look at them and I tell myself that I have a pretty smile, gorgeous caramel colored eyes that purple eye makeup makes pop, and shiny, thick dark hair.
Taking the time to pamper myself, try new things with my hair and makeup last night, and take picture after picture until I got shots that I love and that make me feel good about myself was AWESOME! It made me feel beautiful in a way I haven't felt beautiful in years, if ever. It reminded me that beauty is not contingent on size. It made facing my weight today on the scale less of a crisis, which in the past would have sent me straight into the food. I highly recommend that you gorgeous people find ways to remind yourselves how lovely you are at any and every weight!
I'd like to also mention a link a friend of mine sent me in response to my blog about finally exorcising my tiny clothes from my closet because I think it influenced my impromptu photo shoot last night and I hope it inspires all of you to reconnect with the truly amazing people you already are: www.operationbeautiful.com--THANK YOU, Deedra!
Now if only I could find the cable for my camera so I could upload the photos!!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The past few weeks, ever since a series of conversations with my best friend Suzi and my sister, I have been thinking about my weight and the reasons for it. It hasn't been easy. And I can't say I haven't eaten compulsively since then. But I have been making myself face some things. And I have been visiting websites that celebrate the BBW, because I feel like I have to start by accepting where and who I am now, not by idealizing all you sassy, gorgeous, THIN women who are also way shorter and smaller of build than I am. Tonight, I perused a blog about fashionable fat women, and I realized that I don't have to be a size four to look good. And frankly, wanting to be that small and punishing myself for not being that small is part of the problem. I am 5'10" for pete's sake!
Which led me to my fashion "hope chest". This huge, blue plastic tub has been the home of all the clothes I have hoped for years to fit into "someday". Many of them are size 11-12, and are things I haven't been able to fit into since high school eleven years ago! All are things I had a hard time letting go of. Some are brand new items I bought to "motivate" myself into losing weight. Some are size 14. Many are size 16, and things I fit into in the past couple of years. Tonight I took what I consider to be a big step and bagged up everything below a size 14, as well as most of the size 14 clothes that I don't plan to wear again, because I have to accept that I am almost 30 years old and can't realistically see myself getting quite that small again. I mean, I only managed to be a 10-12 for my junior year of high school because of an incredibly athletic marching band show!
This doesn't mean I've given up. Far from it. It means I am taking one more step toward loving myself at any size. And it means that I'm being gentle with myself by setting a more realistic, less punishing goal. I can be a size 16. It isn't the end of the world to be that size and not smaller. And I have the makings of an amazing wardrobe in that size just waiting for me. 16 is doable. 16 is beautiful. 16 is perfectly acceptable. I would enjoy being a size 16 again. I can lose enough weight to be a size 16 again. It will take some work, both physical and mental, but I can do it.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
This is not a New Year's resolution. I have resolved to lose weight at the beginning of every year since I was in high school, and I never succeed for long.
I just turned 29. And I'm at my highest weight ever, which is eleven pounds more than my previous highest weight from January of last year, despite having lost 40 pounds between January and May of 2008. Gained it all back, and more.
The emotional component is the worst. I am so depressed, and so tired of this. I am so afraid that I will never succeed at losing weight. I'm sad, so I eat. I'm lonely, so I eat. I'm anxious about the future, so I eat. I'm not sure how to deal with or even name what I'm feeling, so I eat. I feel guilty and ashamed for eating, so I eat some more.
And the last few weeks, I've been even more isolated and alone. It started when I moved back to Texas from Virginia so I could eventually go to grad school. I left all my friends in Virginia, and came back to my home town to live with my mother, which is two hours from where I went to college and where my Texas friends are. I took a job at the hospital I worked at years ago, and haven't made friends at work--not one. I hate my job. I haven't made any other friends here either in the four months I've been back. My fifteen-year-old cat was my child, confidante, best friend, and the best part of every day, but he died of liver cancer three weeks ago, and now I'm all alone.
My mom doesn't understand. And she can't fill this void, because I already feel like she and I are codependent and I constantly adjust myself to her moods. It's not a real friendship. I can't set boundaries with her or talk to her honestly about how I feel. She tries to help me, but her comments make me feel worse most of the time.
I am to the point I don't want to leave the house if I don't have to. I don't want people to see me. I was at a stoplight the other day in my car, and this car full of four college guys pulled up next to me. One of them rolled down his window and motioned for me to do the same. I did so, thinking there might be something wrong with my car or something. He asked me where the nearest McDonald's was. He and his friends were laughing, so I shook my head and smiled--baffled--and pointed to the McDonald's on the corner across the street and said "there's one right there". To which he replied, "You look like you would know where they are, you must eat there a lot." And all of them laughed at me. It was AWFUL. And since then, I hate to be anywhere in public.
I got invited to a New Year's Eve party with my college friends about a two-hour drive away. At first, I was excited to be going. I talked to a friend on the phone before getting ready, and he told me who would be there. I showered and dressed. And then I just SAT. I sat on the bed and thought about who would be there and who would see how much weight I've gained since the last time I saw them, and I couldn't do it. I couldn't go. So I called and told my friend I was too tired to drive, that I was afraid I'd fall asleep at the wheel. But the truth is, I was too afraid and ashamed for them to see me.
Then on New Year's Day, I watched a marathon of documentaries about super-morbidly-obese people, and I thought, I am going to end up 800 pounds and they'll have to cut me out of my house like these poor, poor people. Over and over the medical professionals on the shows cited a statistic that fewer than five percent of people who are "morbidly obese" are able to lose the weight and keep it off.
I want to be part of that five percent. But I'm so scared my scarred psyche won't let me. I'm a compulsive overeater. I don't know if I can change that.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Gentle Eating: Achieve Permanent Weight Loss Through Gradual Life Changes
By Stephen Arterburn, Vivian Lamphear
I am currently re-reading a book about food addiction . . . . and how I punish myself and reward myself by abusing food.
Yeah, food. My drug of choice. The scourge with which I flagellate myself in hopes of expiating my pain. Food addiction. The only thing you can be addicted to that is also something you must have to survive. Sound crazy? You have no idea. NO IDEA.
Reading the journal excerpts from people like me in this book is eerie--their thoughts are my thoughts:
"I wonder if I am punishing myself? I wonder if perhaps I am the very culprit who has turned my body against myself?. . . A hungry soul is a painful companion."
"My hunger is much more in my mind and in my soul. I long to be complete and feel complete. I hate feeling like a dumb, stupid loser."
"I feed my heart and for a few moments feel some level of satisfaction. But I am never satisfied. I always need more. I always want more. Then my private ritual begins."
"I think that many people eat to ease a deep and growing depression. I believe that there are many like me who medicate themselves in the dark hours of the night with the dependable friend called food. . . "
"One of our problems as overeaters is that we internalize our feelings. Rather than express them, we hold them in and bury them until they can no longer stay down. We try to smother them with food or feed their pain. Somehow, we didn't learn to process how we felt. Another problem is that we are reluctant to be who we are. We are always trying to impress others. We often think that if we ever stop faking it, we will collapse and fall apart. We spend our lives acting out what others expect us to be, and cram who we really are inside the smallest space of our existence."
"Dear God, I would give anything to be free from this hulking weight that drags me down as I drag it around. . . . oh, well, just keep smiling, look happy, and maybe it will be better someday."
"Most people with a weight problem are victims of their own emotional abuse. They think things that are so negative that they make themselves emotional wrecks while they undermine their best intentions."
"I eat because for a moment, that wound feels a little better. If the world is going to neglect me, I will not neglect myself. Maybe I eat to punish the person who got wounded. If it's not the wounds, it's the fear. . . does anyone else feel so afraid? Do others feel safe? I wish the food could finally heal the fear."
"We are so hard on ourselves. . . few people have been gentle with us, and we follow their lead and beat ourselves up on the inside."
"The depressed eater feels badly about herself. . .she sees little hope. . . she feels sad and trapped and she eats to comfort herself. . . "
"The anxious eater is uptight, worried. . . the savior to anyone who is in need. . . [she] neglects personal needs and compensates. . . with massive quantities of food. . . food is [her] tranquilizer. . . [she] is afraid of what might be and what might never be. . . [she] feels inferior to the rest of the world and is afraid that the world will pass [her] by or cause [her] more pain than [she] has already known. In [her] insecure misery, [she] believes that no place is safe; gloom and doom may be just around the corner."
"You find comfort in food and seek it out as your drug of choice. You know there has to be a better way that will not trap you in a body that you deplore. You have not found that way. . ."
"Emotional trauma has never been something that is quickly overcome. To cope with it, a person must undertake a journey of learning and healing. It is often a painful journey, but that pain never exceeds the severity of pain that builds up when a person refuses to resolve the negative emotions gathered in the soul. A person who has been abused and neglected will always be reluctant to face more pain."
"You needed unconditional love, but you got only standards you couldn't live up to. You needed someone to meet your needs, but you ended up meeting someone else's expectations. . . . you know the futility of trying to find love and meaning in a world that could not find enough love to make up for its absence in your life. So as a deprived struggler, perhaps you turned to food in an attempt to medicate a wound that seemed to be beyond healing."
And finally, if you have read this far:
"I'm afraid for anyone to get close to me, where I really live. I don't want that. I don't want to finally reveal who I really am, only to have that part of me turned away. And I don't want to have to answer to anyone. If I want to be irresponsible, I don't want to have another mother figure or father figure reminding me I'm not measuring up, I'm a failure, and I have to do better. I expect so much of myself and fall so short of my expectations. All I need is one more person to expect something of me that I can't deliver."
"We have been shamed so often by others that we don't want to set up a relationship that will leave us feeling worse about ourselves."
I feel worthless most of the time. My inner monologue tells me so, in so many voices of so many people from so many instances. Many of them were perhaps not meant to hurt me, but they did, and I continue to reprimand myself with them. I feel judged constantly. I feel self-conscious and ashamed. I isolate myself from all of you to relieve some of the pressure I feel. Pressure to conform. Pressure to be what people expect me to be. Pressure to be a good girl. Pressure to relate to God the way other people relate to God. Pressure to not do or say or think things that would shock people. Pressure that is slowly killing me. Suicide by calories.
I hesitated in writing this and posting it. I do so hate to be Debbie Downer. And I hate to reveal this huge shortcoming to you all--I'm really a perfectionist. I'm ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED at how all of you will react. Afraid that you'll start staring whenever we eat together. Or you'll start to try to "help" me with comments about my weight and my eating and my exercising like the ones I've gotten almost all of my life, the ones that have driven my emotional eating to this out of control place. DON'T DO IT!! "Words of affirmation" is my love language, so imagine how much power your words have over me and how I feel. Please be gentle with me. Continue to love and support me. Continue to be my friend.
I needed to open up about this so that I can begin to address it. I'm scared of the journey ahead. Scared of failing again. But I'm tired of being depressed. And tired of watching the world pass me by, tired of not attaining the things that I want the most, and tired of feeling like change is impossible. I'm tired of constantly apologizing to everyone for everything. I just almost wrote that I'm sorry to burden you all with this, because I feel like that's all I am at this point. But you're my friends, so maybe you'll understand, and maybe apologies aren't necessary.
I don't want to live like this. Or die from it. I need to do this NOW.
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