Tuesday, June 25, 2013
It has been about 4 months since I have blogged on SP or tracked food and fitness.
During that time, I have occasionally logged in, spun the wheel, read an article, looked up a recipe...but I've mostly been absent, and I have missed SP in my life.
After releasing 40 pounds, I went through a psychoeducational course on Toxic Shame, along with my dear husband. An overwhelming amount of old memories, pain, and emotional confusion came up (naturally!), for both of us. We stuck with the entire 15 weeks of the course, finishing in the beginning of May. We have both changed individually, and as a result, so has our relationship. Some of the change is welcome, some is difficult, and a lot of it still seems confusing.
Like so many Americans, we have seen our dreams and plans derailed over the past approx. 5 years, due to the combination of job loss, health issues, financial collapse, and homelessness. We have been in our "new" apartment for almost a year now, and we still feel a profound sense of loss and "shell shock," I suppose you could call it. We are grieving the loss of youth, physical ability, and time....
I think some of this is "normal" in the aging process. This is a time of evaluating where we've been, what we've accomplished, and how we've grown, thus far. It's a time of letting go of what may never come to pass and what we CAN'T control or change. It is a time of ACCEPTANCE. And wow, am I ever finding these hard to swallow!!
I need to get this out of my head and into this wise forum of SparkFriends. I need your wisdom, courage, encouragement and hope - because I am finding it hard to take the next steps. I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of hearing "no, you cannot have ______________."
But I'm also weary of being "stuck," stuck in limbo between survival as a homeless family and moving on, trying to better our situation, now that we are basically stable, in a home, etc.
Tomorrow, I will turn in two Release of Information (ROI) forms to Sr. & Disabled Services (SADS), from my doctors. Then I will make an appointment to meet with SADS. They will determine whether I am disabled and if so, I will be able to get medical/dental/vision/mental health coverage - which I have gone without for over 4 years. I'm hopeful, and I'm scared, to do this. I do believe I qualify for it, and I know I need it. My pain management doctor has been very understanding during my time of struggles, but my balance owed him is getting up there, and my small payments are not making much of a dent.
Without the support of my pain management team, I know my functionality will decrease to a point where I am in excruciating pain and mostly bedridden. So, I know that I MUST follow through with SADS. After that, I will apply for disability with the SSA.
Why have I procrastinated so long on this? Do I imagine my fibromyalgia, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease will just magically fly away one day, and I'll be "normal" again; get a full-time job and move on? Do I feel unworthy of the help? Or am I just afraid to hear "no," again, in my life?
I just have to get this out...it helps me so much! I will check back in after I have made the SADS appointment. Why? Because I know that when I share my life, my joys, and my challenges with you, dear SparkPals, my life has meaning and connection. I KNOW you understand. I KNOW you have "been there," and to me, that's everything.
Thank You So Much for listening, for being here in friendly cyberspace. I am very grateful for all of you!
Much Love & Light,
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!
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