Wednesday, January 05, 2011
At different points on my journey, I have had to confront a number of emotional issues i have had in order to move forward. I didnít get to be this big because all was right with the world and i had nothing better to do than eat. There has been alot of pain. I have a tendency to ''just forget it'' when it comes to having issues with other people. I thought that I was forgiving and forgetting by doing that, rather, all I was doing was just burying it and saving it for a rainy day.
I have found that emotional healing is a big part of this journey, if the causes are not confessed and dealt with, it will only surface again later. Itís almost like using fix-a-flat for a tire that has major problems. Food has been my fix-a-flat.
My flat tire is the need to be loved and to belong. Iím feeling a little raw emotionally as I write this but this is my confessional. This is just me talking, no woo hoo, no hype, no wittiness, nothing profound, just me.
I have always been the odd duck, weight was always an issue in school, lunch time was always at the ''unpopular table''. Gym class, donít go there. I have no idea what it was to chase girls or have a real social life when I was a teen. It was always ''what's wrong with me?''
Fast forward to the present. Give yourself to your job, do the best you can, take on the hard projects, strive to be the best and sacrifice your time and money to get the most certifications in your particular trade only to get called into the office and be told ''we are going to have to let you go''. Not once but three separate times I've had to change professions, to go into totally unrelated fields and start over from scratch. Somehow I had enough in me to pull myself up and through self study and a little luck, manage to convince a business owner to give me a shot only to have to go through it all over again anytime there is a burp in the economy. Iíve remade myself so many times there was a period of time where I didnít know who I was anymore. Men identify themselves by what they do and I felt lost, a man without a trade, an identity, betrayed after loyal service.
My friends remarks about my weight stung me so bad. Even though as adults we say things and not really mean it, it doesnít change the fact that it hurt. Instead of confronting it, I just dug deeper and ran from the issues. It also didnít help when I would hear about how well the guys did fishing or some other activity, funny, I was never invited but they always seem to find my phone number when something needs to be fixed. Over a long period of time I just gave up on trying to be friends, invite people over, have a social life, just simply gave up. Got tired of reaching out, only to seemingly have my friends have something else to do. That just drove me deeper into a self imposed isolation and it was easy to do working shift work. I figured that I donít need them, if they donít care, I donít care..... but I do..... and I hurt. It's easier to keep people at arms length than to risk pain.
One thing I am learning is that losing 100 lbs has not changed my life. I am just the same sad guy, 100 lbs lighter. big deal. I have a feeling that this may be where people crash and burn in their journey. People talk about doing a detox or a cleanse, I honestly believe that as you confront the issues that made you obese in the first place, that is where the progress is made. My first cleansing took place shortly after I started my journey. I remember squeezing out another lap in anger... I'll show them!!!! and feeling the hurt, the embarrassment. Being driven by a quiet rage rather than a desire to be healthy and feel good. That was almost 2 years ago and I think itís coming up again, more toxic emotions to expunge as I move forward. I guess deep down I have never been a secure person, always waiting for the bad news, for the hammer to fall, trying to read in between the lines for hidden agendas. Simply put, if you have been shot out of the saddle a number of times, you start listening for the click of a hammer being cocked.
Really, it is only after I started running, that I found my inner athlete, the champion that lives within. Now I think I now know why I run and want to run. Running consistently re-enforces the fact that I CAN do it, that I am capable and that I can have victory. If I start feeling shaky in my resolve, a successful run puts my fears to rest and reminds me of how far I have come. Every mile run is an applause that no one can hear but me. The finishers medal, the final AMEN, the stamp of approval of a job well done. No one can take that away from me. You can't brownnose your way to the finish line, you either did the work or you didnít. You either made the cut or you just watch. The run shows no favoritism.
I think that this is the draw of the marathon for me. The final exam, the Mount Everest, the last race to self respect. Opinions are a dime a dozen and there is no shortage when it comes to weight loss but nothing puts the exclamation point on your journey like finishing the Marathon. This is a journey of discovery, who am I now? Not mourning over what I never had, living in bitterness over something that is gone, years that have been lost, experiences never to be had. Who am I now?, what good can come out of all of this?
This is all part of my healing. I am convinced that unless the issues are resolved, the emotions that put me at 385 will bring me back. I am not running from my past, I am running to a brighter future. I guess I want to be for someone else what I never had myself, a coach, a mentor, a friend. Maybe it is to blaze a trail for others. Maybe this may make the journey easier for others, the appreciation felt, my reward. Iím not sure.