Tuesday, August 20, 2013
My 21-year-old son and I have always gotten along. Except of course when we butted heads a few times when he was finding his independence as a teenager. We always made up and hugged. He was the sweet boy who kissed me on the lips nightly before bed, until he was 8 and asked if it was ok if he didnít kiss me like that anymore.
When I was 210 pounds, he was in early elementary school. I used to try to go sit with him for lunch regularly. I was embarrassed because all the other moms were fit and trim (at least those were the ones I focused on), and it was hard to fit at their tables, but I knew how important it was for me to be involved in his school life. I was never able to do this with my older kids, I canít remember why.
One day after school, he and I were talking about his school day. He surprised me by telling me that he was embarrassed to have me with him at school and please donít come any more. So I stopped going to his school except for meetings, and then I was even more self-conscious. If my 6-year-old observed my size was an embarrassment, it gave me more fuel to be ashamed. This was a catalyst of the beginning of my diligence in losing weight.
When I did lose a good bit, my 13-year-old daughter was hugging me, and as she reached around me she exclaimed,Ē my arms can reach all the way around you!Ē That was a revelation to me and really meant a lot. The kids were acting proud of me and my efforts. I was truly making progress!
I continued to lose weight, and I have a few vague recollections of complements from the kids. I knew I had done what I set out to do.
My son, the one I started out talking about, and I have spent hours at coffee shops over the past 4 years. We love to sit and talk. He is a bright insightful young man. (Heís VERY attractive as well! But he doesnít realize it.) He likes to eat healthy and exercise. He is aware of all my current struggles and goals for myself and we discuss the mind games we play with ourselves to help motivate ourselves. Overall, we have very lively discussions. I love him to pieces!
Heís learning to feel confident and have a better self-image. All his life he came across as very confident and cool. But he was insecure. I never realized that until he became an adult! Poor kid! He now has a life-coach who is helping him with all of that. This man is a perfect helper for him; we have seen tremendous growth in him.
Sunday after church, he and I were talking out by my car. He told me something that made me feel really good. Something unexpected. He told me that I look really healthy. That itself was wonderful to hear from him. He added that that really means that I am attractive. Woah! I never thought Iíd hear him say such a thing to ME! He said, ďHealthy is attractive.Ē Iíd rather hear these words instead of, ďYou look like youíve lost weight.Ē I never think of myself as attractive. (Hubby hasnít said it very much through the years.) It doesnít bother me, I donít think Iím ugly, but I almost always think I look like I need to fix my body.
I wish you all could meet my son. He is a gem!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
This morning as I was listening to Pandora, Piano Solo Radio, which plays mostly works of a sacred nature. I heard, ďHave Thine Own Way LordĒ You know, the one about God being the potter and I am the clay?
Lots of things about our journey in life can be considered while thinking about the words to this song.
I used to make pottery, the pieces you throw on the wheel and fire and glaze in the kiln. I love the process of doing that. It has been 7 years now since I was taking lessons and practicing this wonderful craft.
I made some not so wonderful pieces and many that were quite decent, I have never thrown a single piece away. I was told I was quick to learn and good at it. The expense kept me from continuing. I gave away a few of my better pieces, and kept even more, though to my eyes and touch, I knew every flaw. I was critical of my work, at least I was when I first made these pieces. As the years have passed, each one has become precious and even perfect in my sight. I have learned that though each one has different thicknesses (something professional potters have to be very careful of) and they have differing imperfections, I really no longer look at those. I donít even see them. I love them just the way they are. I love holding them and looking at them. I appreciate the work that I had put into each one. They are perfect just the way they are. I even love the chunkier ones.
As I was thinking about these things, I was simultaneously making parallels in my mind about loving and accepting my bodyís imperfections. Am I fond of it? Do I look at all the work that has gone into making it what it is today? It is strong, healthy and maybe still a little chunky. Do I treasure it? Why would I worry what others think or say about my size, like I used to worry about othersí opinions about my pottery? I like the pottery, which is what really matters, imperfections and all. My body is something that is becoming more precious to me as time goes on and I see a purpose for it.
Our bodies are a vessel. They are containers made for a purpose: to hold or carry something. I have an art studio. In my studio, on the tables, I have many pots Iíve made in assorted shapes and sizes. Each one contains something different. One has a set of markers, others have other types of markers. A couple of them hold paintbrushes. Yet another has pencils and scissors. Some hold balls of yarn. I like them for their individuality. The hard work and thought I put into each one makes it special. I am no longer embarrassed of them, because I see their value. See the parallels?
Keep working hard and love the process, as I loved the process of making pottery. Admire and value the results you are getting. Be proud of your vessel. And donít forget you probably love the individuality of each person you know, without seeing them as a body, but as another human.
Friday, August 16, 2013
You all know about how difficult it is for me to keep things under control with my eating, while having guests in my house. Well, I think I'm over and done with my difficulties with that!
We had the 9- and 10-year-old grands here for 3 days. Day by day I began to see that my stress eating while having company wasnít happening! Either I am no longer stressed by them being here, or have begun to really practice good coping skills for any stress Iím feeling. No matter what it is, and itís probably a combination of the two, I am so relieved!
In general I have found a peace around food that I havenít ever had. And Iím choosing over and over, day by day, to make myself slow down and not think I always wish I could have something to eat. I am being picky and eating only what will satisfy me. I am busying myself as soon as I eat so I wonít linger in the kitchen and find something more when I should have already had enough.
I used to have a hard time transitioning between activities, and would eat if I were thinking of what to do next. It was like every time I had a pause in my day, I felt compelled to reach for food. Iím finally seeing that itís not food I need, itís just time to decide on my next activity. Just move on.
Though I may have eaten something recently, I often get a buzzing feeling in my body which I always used to read as something signaling that I needed to fill myself with food. Now Iím more relaxed and look at it objectively and recognize that this feeling doesnít mean I have to eat. Just get busy and the feeling will pass. And it does!
This is a major breakthrough!
Another exciting thing is that I have not binged since August 1st, which is two weeks! That is so cool because I made it through the wedding party, traveling and babysitting for three days! Iíd had a .5 pound loss from last Thursday to Monday, then from this Monday to Thursday, another .5 gone! Hubby thinks itís due to the decrease in medicine, but I want to take all the credit. Though maybe he has something there, that my mind is thinking more clearly, enabling me to not be so desperate for food. I clearly haven't had to fight as hard these two weeks to not binge. (That medicine isnít supposed to cause weight gain. But maybe it makes it difficult to lose while on it. Who knows?!)
I didnít worry about getting exercise while the kids were her, but we did go to a pool for 2 hours, in the water the whole time and swimming or being active the whole time. I taught the 10-yr-old how to do handstands in the water. That was fun, he is so proud of himself!
Iím looking forward to each day now, not feeling such a bondage to foodÖsomething Iíve been praying for!
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