Friday, March 01, 2013
Hello Dear SparkFriends,
Just 3 weeks ago, I was writing my happy blog about releasing 40 pounds and celebrating my 6-month SparkVersary, and bless your hearts, you are still logging in your loving and supportive comments on that blog, cheering me on. Oh, I am SO GRATEFUL for all of you!!
Without you, I would not have the courage to write THIS blog, today. But many years of recovery, counseling, and working through my past wounds - healing - has taught me that I must share the tough stuff, when I'm IN it, just as much as I need to share my successes and happy times.
When we share ALL of ourselves, we release that debilitating, paralyzing sense of isolation and uniqueness that keeps us in shame, sick, alone, and plunging slowly into that dark abyss. We reconnect, or we STAY connected, and though it can be agonizing to put the raw pains of our hearts and the torments of our minds on the blogpage...even though it can set our brow to sweating and our hand to shaking as our finger hovers over that "Post Blog Entry" button, it IS worth it to forge ahead through our fear and do so. More to the point, WE ARE WORTHY of this connection!!
We're only as sick as our secrets, I learned in 12-step groups. That means, when I do share my secrets, I take the first step to healing. When you respond to my sharing with your loving support, I take the second step in my healing. And when I begin to feel loved, worthy, connected, right-sized and more whole, I am really feeling the healing working :)
So here's what's going on with me: today is weigh-in day, and I'm hesitating to step on the scale. I weigh in every Friday, but I have not weighed in for 3 weeks. I haven't been tracking my food or exercise for 2-1/2 weeks. I know I've kept to healthy choices, for the most part, and have exercised every day (mostly walking, my usual choice), except for 3 of those days when I was ill.
What changed? I had a success, I reached a milestone. I released 40 pounds and have celebrated by 6-month SparkVersary. SparkFriends, my son, my husband, my support group, and others have commented and congratulated my on my downsizing :). I feel much lighter and better. I have less pain (I have fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease and arthritis), I'm more comfortable, my clothes are looser, stairs are easier, my knees don't hurt, I don't have heartburn and acid reflux ( a HUGE relief!!), and I have even been forgetting to take my cane on walks!! This is amazing, positive change in my life, change that I have begged, prayed, cried for - so what gives? Why am I resisting embracing this beautiful new "Me"?
Actually, this is NOT a new challenge for me. Rather, it is a cyclic pattern that has been present in my life since I was a child. Highest of Highs, Lowest of Lows. I build myself up, try so hard, work myself to the breaking point, and ACHIEVE! Then, I crash. I run from intimacy, connection, love, and I hide out in my misery. The dark clouds of depression and old shame come rolling in, and I slip into the abyss.
Then, when I can't STAND it one more second, I reach out for help, and the cycle begins again. Truth is, I don't know how to live on an even keel, accepting what IS, loving what I have and who I am and how my life is.
But here is the Spark of Hope: today, I WANT to learn that! I want to learn how to love myself, my life, exactly the way I am/it is, in this moment, and then keep on doing that. And, I BELIEVE I can achieve this - but only with your help, and only with my willingness - to keep coming back to SP and sharing ALL of me, reading your blogs, cheering YOU on, participating in our journey TOGETHER!!
This being overweight thing. I have finally realized that if I am to become my true self and release all of the extra weight, I need to THINK about it differently. I must discard the media, cultural, societal ideas about what this extra weight means. I AM NOT BAD because I am not at my natural weight. I am not defective, lazy, stupid, slow, or any other nasty connotation that society leads me to believe!
This extra weight, it came on an ounce, a pound at a time. It has an emotional and core belief source. It is connected and driven by old pain, wounds, and shame. It represents my struggle in life. And, it must be released by working backwards through the process that put it on. From wounding, I must now engage in healing. From negative input, I must now choose positive input. From coping the only way I knew how, I must now learn and apply healthier methods of coping and healing. And so on...
Just like with the gaining of pain and weight, there will be easier days, then harder days. My life is a continual flow of change. If I expect the lovely feelings of happiness to stay forever, or the horrible feelings of disappointment to stay AWAY for always, I set myself up for a fall. So I must learn that "This, too, Shall Pass," and that's just okay! I must be GENTLE with myself, HONOR myself, and when I forget how, I need to log in to SP and connect with you. Then, practice some small measure of loving self-care - take a walk, meditate, bubble-bath, nice music, journal, read, ask for a hug or a massage, play!!
I have already written long, and if you are still with me, reading along, thank you! It feels so good to get this out of my own head and heart.
When we share our pain, it is divided into small, manageable pieces.
When we share our joy, it is multiplied and we all benefit greatly. :-)
That is the magic of connecting with one another!
So, here I go - downstairs to the bathroom scale, chanting my favorite weigh-in day mantra: "FEEDBACK, NOT FAILURE, FEEDBACK NOT FAILURE."
Whatever the number, I will just log it in, and keep on going, making one choice at a time.
I love myself and this really is a WONDROUS JOURNEY. Without the sharing, with all of you, it would be flat, meaningless, and lonely. Thank you so very much for coloring my world and helping me find my way back to my natural, beautiful self! I love you!
Blessings Abound in Your Life,
Saturday, February 09, 2013
I'm so very happy to blog that as of today, I have released 40 pounds of excess weight - but it isn't just fat and water that I've released...
Shame, Pain, the Illusion of Control, Isolation, Hiding Out, Running from Intimacy, Terror of Being Vulnerable, and more....40 POUNDS of those things have left the "building."
And there is not a day that goes by that I don't feel profound gratitude to all of you, and Chris (SparkGuy), for being here on SparkPeople, to help me feel better and live longer and healthier!!
Thanks so much!! Please join in my celebration, no matter where YOU are on your journey.
If you keep coming back, no matter what, even if you regain, relapse, or give up for awhile - JUST KEEP COMING BACK, okay?
We all need this amazing thing that happens on SP - the Spark between us!!!
Light and Love Be Yours!
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Oh, I am so excited! After 4 looooong months in a weight loss plateau, I have left the "230's" behind!
I weighed in this morning at 228.5 lbs; that's a 38.5 total weight release, from my highest weight of 267 lbs.
I accomplished this not only by exercising and staying within my caloric range (especially over the past 4 days, he he), not only by tracking my food and using many, many tools to get through cravings for chocolately yummy things, not ONLY by praying hard for the Universe to help me, but by tapping into what truly has become the one resource I simply CANNOT live without: YOU!!!
Yes, YOU, all of you wonderful, wise, dedicated, warm-hearted, honest, caring, supportive fellow Spark Friends!
I know this because I have spent the past 32 years trying every freaking diet, short-term starvation, nutrition research, and exercises, including Weight Watchers, SlimFast, OA, and diet pills (popped my first one at the age of 12, and got only a rapid heartbeat and shaking hands!).
I have logged portions, calories, points, days without food, and grueling exercises.
I have punished, tricked, manipulated, praised, and begged myself to get thin, eat less, look fantastic, not be a "wimp."
I have gained, lost, ok, mostly gained :) so, so many pounds.
SparkPeople is the FIRST and ONLY place I have not had to spend one penny - only my willingness, joy, and time - the only place I have felt such a wonderful sense of belonging and community, with such a limitless supply of wisdom, experience, and diversity.
It's the blogging. It's the stories. It's just the right words of encouragement and support, just the right the SparkGoody sent at the time when I most needed it. Yep, it's YOU!!!
So, today I not only celebrate a "new" all-time low (for the first time in 5 years!). I not only celebrate leaving the "230s) behind forever. I celebrate the longest sustained weight loss I have EVER had (6 months and keepin' on goin')!!!
And, of course, I celebrate me, and I bless each and every one of you, because without you, there would BE no SparkPeople!
Thank You So Much,
Blessings Abound for You and Yours!
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
For the past 2 weeks, I have really immersed myself in the Spark way of life, and this has shown me why I've been on a weight loss plateau for about 3 months.
I've been exercising daily - that's good - but I hadn't been tracking my food much, and although I only gained 5 lbs. over the December holidays (released them already :), I can see after 2 weeks of tracking my food that my portion sizes had crept back up to way more than I need; my food choices had slipped out of balance (too many simple carbs and sweets; not enough lean protein and complex carbs), and I was getting kinda lazy with my workouts.
FEEDBACK, NOT FAILURE :)
One thing I'm struggling with right now is craving creamy, chocolatey yummy stuff - and lots of it, especially right after I eat lunch or dinner.
Over the December holidays, I had taken to a very unhealthy habit: putting a handful of chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (or a combo of the 2) in a small bowl, adding a good dollop of peanut butter (about 2 Tablespoons!), 1 or 2 marshmallows, and a little butter or milk or both. Then, I'd microwave this dangerous concoction for about 20 seconds, stir it up, and shovel it down my throat. It was hard to get the sticky substance out of the bowl at times, so it's no mystery to me why, after a month of this poor habit, my intestines became bound up and I was miserable!
Finally, I got so sick from this habit, I knew I had to let it go. But I craved the chocolately yummy stuff still . . . so, now I have 1/4 to 1/2 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt, 2 Tablespoons to 1/2 Cup Cool Whip 1-2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup, 1 Tablespoon oven-roasted sliced almonds, and 1 Tablespoon soy protein powder - stir it all up and eat it slowly.
If I need to limit my caloric intake, and/or fat intake, I subtract the yogurt and use the lesser amounts of the other ingredients.
This satisfies my craving and I can fit it into my SP food plan, also - the yogurt is GOOD for my intestinal tract, and, no "guilt."
Yesterday, I discovered an awesome new tool, or tactic: because I often get my craving for more food or the chocolatey yummy things right after my last bite of lunch, I will be dressed and ready to walk out the door for my after-lunch workout, and, I put a stick of sugar free gum in my mouth after my last bite, instead of more unecessary food or chocolatey yummies. :)
Well, I have to take my kiddo to school now, so I'll close and share more cool tools I discovered yesterday, later with you!
Have a wonderful, Sparked day
With Love and Blessings Abounding in Your Life Today,
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