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I have my demons.

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Robert,

    This article was so well written, and I feel like I know you better after each one I read. There is so much I could comment on and say 'Me too!' but I don't want to write a book in response. emoticon

    You have a gift for opening up and telling it like it is. emoticon

    1007 days ago
  • v LAURIE5658
    I may look perky and giddy on the outside, inside I have my own demons that I don't even want to "go there". I deal with it in my own way and take it one day at a time.

    I was a very chubby child and remained that way until I lost the weight my Sphomore year of high school. before that, I was always chosen last in gym class, ridiculed and hurt all of the flippin time. It has left me with very deep scars that may never competely heal. My Mom was always very very critical of my every move and was that way until she passed. Now I carry the guilt of actually feeling good because she can no longer be critical of me.

    Running has changed my life in so many ways and I thank God every day that I stumbled upon this wonderful sport. It has given me a chance to grow and my self esteem has shot through the roof. I am now 52 years old and I plan on running until I am 92. RAWK!

    Robert, thank you so much for writing this blog and allowing so many fellow Sparkers the chance to finally think they are not alone with their own demons.

    Love you, my friend!
    2022 days ago
    I like your description of the marathon, I know when I did mine it was a battle where I fought to rise above a lot of things I battled my inner demons and I battled external ones too. You will do it just like I did, cause your a stubborn...!
    2023 days ago
  • v JANX218
    Wow...I can't even tell you how much I can relate to this, especially the parts about being the "odd duck" and feeling the need to be loved. I've been the same way my whole life, and food has definitely been my "fix-a-flat" as you put it. I'm working up to running myself. That's sort of my ultimate goal. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I found your blog quite inspirational. I can imagine how painful it must have been to write, but sometimes the most painful things to share are the ones that are most likely to help others. Thanks for sharing :-)
    2023 days ago
  • v VIVRE5
    I cannot acccurately express how I felt as I cringed, winced, and sighed along with you as I read and *identified* with this blog. THANK YOU for speaking your heart. Not only did it help you, it helped another, too. emoticon
    2024 days ago
  • v NIKKIG125
    What a fantastically honest blog. Thanks for writing it! You put into words something a lot of us experience!
    I hope the hopefulness of this blog! It is inspiring that you have found running so helpful. I hope that my experience will be similar!

    2024 days ago
  • v COOPAH
    That's some deep stuff my friend. Aint a soul here that isn't fighting the same battles. Your one tough dude for not only confronting it, but baring it for all to see.
    2024 days ago
    I found your blog hopeful, but rather sad too. This is a long journey for many of us and some never even take the time to figure out how they got to this point in their life. You have done some soul searching and I am so glad you found running. I am just a beginning runner and I find, at times, it gives me such peace of mind. I can actually get "out of my body" and not be concerned with the stress of my surroundings. Keep looking forward, you have made so much progress.
    2024 days ago
  • v PIXIEMOM13
    This was a raw, powerful blog.. I want to respond with the eloquence it deserves.
    2024 days ago
    There isn't much more to say, that the others haven't, but I know each one of us can relate. There are drug addicts, there are alcoholics, and there are food addicts. Each addict has used their "choice" of pain relief.
    We who are over weight used food to ease our pain, instead of facing it. So, just like other addicts we have to learn to deal with all the emotions hidden underneath.. And, it's just as hard to overcome our addiction, but WE CAN.
    Thank you so much for opening up and letting us in!
    2024 days ago
    Wow! What an amzing, raw, emotional and honest blog! Hooray for you, putting into words what I believe many of us are not far enough along in out journeys to be able to. For those of us that are in this for LIFE, though, I think that these are realizations that we will all have to come to grips with in one way or another, kind of like peeling back layers of an onion. I am just getting to experience the first of many stinky layers of my own onion....but when dealt with properly, I am sure that my layer will be what provides the flavor to my life. Imagine as we dig deeper down what tasty dishes we will become ..... physically, mentally and emotionally! Thanks for opening up aqnd giving the rest of us the encouragement and courage to do the same!
    2025 days ago
  • v TAYLORB08
    I really connected with you on this... As I read this post, I became pretty overwhelmed with emotion and then realized that what you had gone through and may be going through again, is what I'm going through right now. And I'm sure the logistics are a little different, and my discoveries and breakthroughs will be different, too, but it was encouraging to read someone who had been so successful in many areas of life deal with such a deep battle. I know you will overcome this! Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me to overcome, too!
    2025 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    Awesome, awesome blog!! It always amazes me that no matter what the circumstances are, when you listen to the words from someone else, it just makes the fact that we are all the SAME that much more glaringly realistic. We are all people, in the same boat, trying to head in the same direction. You have come this far because you have figured out SOME of it, and because you at least acknowledge it, you will get through this too! Way to go!
    2025 days ago
    Thank you for this blog. I hope you know how many people you have touched...not just with this blog but with your story. You give me hope and enthusiasm!! I dont know if i will ever run, but i am walking!!
    2025 days ago
    Your honest words are a reminder to us all that we carry our pain and have often carried it under out layers of pounds. The same innate healing potential that allows our body to heal after a cut, is that same force that supports and allows for the healing or our mind, our emotions and our hearts. We are challenged to create the correct conditions for that healing to occur. You have found that in your running. It is truly yours, and nothing can take that from you. Run with the sun and wind in your face. Run with the soaring of your heart to continue to find your true self. As others have said, you, my Spark friend, are awesome.
    2025 days ago
    All I have to say is emoticon to you!

    You've expressed what many of us have experienced.
    2025 days ago
    This blog rocked! Sounds like you are making progress toward exorcising your demons. The pounds are gone and now the real work begins. Getting to a point where you are okay with yourself despite all those terrible things from child/ early adulthood is a huge thing. Ive found that my 40's have been very kind to me in this area. Instead of asking "why me?" I've started to ask... "What now?" What will I do now that I no longer have my parents to blame? What will I do now that I am feeling better about myself?


    2025 days ago
    I can't add much to what everyone else has said; you obviously hit a painful note in many of us. But have you ever thought of talking to a therapist? Not that you are crazy or anything even remotely like that, but because..of your statement, "I am convinced that unless the issues are resolved, the emotions that put me at 385 will bring me back."

    Take care and good luck.
    2025 days ago
  • v FELICIA1963
    More power to you for having the courage to face and discuss your feelings!
    2025 days ago
    The truth has set you free! emoticon
    2025 days ago
    Sounds to me like you are expunging those demons. Good for you!

    Glad that you found "Runner Dude" buried deep inside and that you are working on bringing him to the forefront. Keep cheering yourself on - you deserve it. I think You Rock!
    2025 days ago
    I can relate, and I know you will cope with this too. emoticon
    2025 days ago
  • v CELEST
    What a wonderfully and brutally honest blog. Just a thought, ever considered taking kids who suffered the way you did and creating a type of "friends boot camp" where you teach overweight/odd man out kids to run and have a good time?
    I think your compassion would stand you in good stead for looking at self employment, using your youthful sadness and weight loss and running as the guideline.
    You've done it...and you can teach kids how to do it. If you ran a camp, I'd join!
    2025 days ago
  • v RIGBY31
    *Every mile is an applause only I can hear*.

    So well said. Your blog hit me hard. You are a thoughtful, sensitive guy... keep up the fight. I just came across your page/blogs a few days ago. And I think you're awesome!
    2025 days ago
    What a beautiful blog of truth. While it is painful, it is a fact that people treat overweight.....okay, FAT......people with contempt and ridicule. I wish it weren't so, but that is the way it is.

    You are so right in knowing that you were eating at something. Emotions get us. We eat to give self comfort. But we don't have to do that anymore. There is help out there for us.

    One avenue I would strongly suggest is Overeaters Anonymous. It doesn't cost anything except your time attending meetins and working the steps.

    There you will find a wonderful support group, and as you journey through the program, you will be sure to find someone else you can mentor and help.

    This program is a very honest journey into the self. You will find, and CONFRONT, those demons. the only way to deal with the demons that chase us is to turn around and face them. It is not always easy, but it is always rewarding and life changing.

    i hope you can check this group out. I know many who have benefitted by it.

    In the meantime, continue to congratulate yourself on such a fantastic job.

    And you know those "friends" (?) who only call you when something needs fixing? Give them the address of the local 'fix it" shop. emoticon
    2025 days ago
    Demons ~ yeah we all have them. Some of your sound similar to some of mine, some not so much. I gotta tell you though ~ being your SP friend ~ that motivates me ALOT!


    Though we are recent friends, you always check in with me and motivate me! I so appreciate your words on my page and this blog in and of itself will make me get up, put on my gym clothes and go to the gym.

    It'd be easy to stay in the snug and warm house with the puppies, but since you ~ my mentor and motivator ~ are training to run a marathon...I'd better get my rear in gear.

    Keep fighting those demons ~ you didn't chose your screen name without thought ~ On2Victory! You'll be successful.

    2025 days ago
    Robert, we all have demons. Thank you for putting the things most of us feel into words. I wish I had that ability but as I don't, I can really relate to your journey. Go for that marathon-you will not regret it. Life is a journey, who knows where our paths will take us.
    2025 days ago
    Robert, keep on running. You will find your answers, and probably when you least expect it. You have done amazingingly well so far and I have little doubt you will continue to reach your goals.

    Amen brother! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2025 days ago
    emoticon blog Robert. I identified with many of your points. Keep strong and face those demons head on. You will run through them!
    2025 days ago
  • v KLEENH
    This moved me so much! Incredibly well written and you really put yourself out there - both good and bad - to help others and please know that you've succeeded with me. Thanks for sharing your true experiences to help others like me. It really means a lot. And congratulations for continuing your journey even in the face of old demons and all the challenges they present.
    2025 days ago
    I just can't help myself. I SAY LOUD AND CLEAR emoticon . I say it again. emoticon

    I only know the you I see now via SP. That person is a coach, mentor and friend. I mean that. I don't really have friends except my pups and my wonderful man. Anyone should feel blessed to have you as a friend, mentor and/or coach!

    And man, I can't help but want to run a marathon with you. I feel selfish to want to share such a thing. I want that because I can just feel the excitement and emotion of running with such a quality person. This is why I am with my man. He is quirky I must say and trusts no one with good reasons. But he is a wonderful man and has found happiness through working our acreage (in the peace and quiet). I wish that you find what brings you peace.
    2025 days ago
  • v AMOHAME2
    Great, great blog! I can totally relate!
    2025 days ago
    I think you just testified for so many of us.
    I stand witness to your revelations.
    2025 days ago
  • v MASONK
    Great blog. Thank you for being strong and admitting all of the things that most of us continue to tuck away. You will reach every goal you've ever imagined.
    2025 days ago
  • v MID3035
    Wonderfully well written! I can relate to many of the things in this post. Thanks for blogging about the journey and your perspective. Somedays it's hard to remember that there is a point and that I am not just going through the motions.
    2025 days ago

    We all have our demons. Anyone who is morbidly obese didn't get that way because they are happy and well adjusted. We all have to work on our insides as well as our outsides. To come to peace with or to conquer and release the demons of our past to become a new person in the present and future. You are just proving how wise you are.

    As for this:
    "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."

    You are an amazing mentor to everyone here on Sparkpeople. You are setting a wonderful example to your children and to everyone else in your sphere of influence. I for one will be cheering very loudly when you reach your marathon goal, because I have nary a doubt that you will achieve what you have set out to accomplish.

    Rock on, my friend.

    2025 days ago
    Great insight! You are not only working on being healthy on the outside, but on the inside, too, and that's a much more difficult journey. Keep up the hard work. There are great things waiting for you in life.
    2025 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I love the blog! It really made me think about my own journey, and you hit on so many similar points. I find myself breaking down into tears during some of my workouts and then I just push harder. I know once I get through the workout I will have proved what no one seemed to have thought possible. Thank you for sharing.
    2025 days ago
    All I have to say is emoticon

    Loved this blog, I know many of us can relate to it.
    2025 days ago
    All I have to say is emoticon

    Loved this blog, I know many of us can relate to it.
    2025 days ago
    All I have to say is emoticon

    Loved this blog, I know many of us can relate to it.
    2025 days ago
  • v REEKU731
    This is an amazing blog my friend! You are making fabulous progress towards your goals! I know that most of the time it feels like you are alone with your frustrations - but there are always people there to support you, even if you don't realize it! We all have our demons, but learning to live with them (instead of fighting them) is the only way to truly achieve happiness and peace. You are getting there my friend, one mile at a time! It is one of my goals to overcome some of my demons this year too - we will work on our progress together!

    You are going to ROCK that marathon when you finish it! Who knows - maybe after that you can take on an Ultra Marathon!!! 50+ miles perhaps???

    2025 days ago
  • v KAYATLANTA2010
    You are a courageous and lovely person.
    2025 days ago
    Your blog really touched me so deep. The same repressed anger and bitterness, reading between the lines because I know there was a "poke" there somewhere. I would lose weight just to gain it back because I still felt unworthy, my teenage years were hard I didnt establish friendships .. I didnt think I was worth it. Most of my adulthood I was just waiting for something bad to happen, when I would be blessed I would turn it to something negative and the only comfort I thought I had was food. Over the last 4 years not only have I lost over 80 pounds I have really grown, realizing imperfections are natural and everyone has them, it doesnt mean I dont deserve in life.

    I just wanted you to know your blog was inspirational, and honestly just wonderful to read. You are amazing. Thank you.
    2025 days ago
    Awesome blog! I love the perspective of running towards something. Here I thought I was trying to run away....
    2025 days ago
    Great blog. I think you are correct about dealing with the emotional issues. I have a friend who has lost the weight twice and I feel there are some emotional issues she doesn't have a handle on and contributes to re gaining the weight. You are so brave for taking them on and trying to figure this out instead of pushing it to the side. It is such an inspiration to see all the progress you have made on your journey. Totally amazing! I know you will figure this out and push thru to the person you want to be. emoticon emoticon
    2025 days ago
    You are writing a lot of our stories to one degree or another. You are an inspiration to lots of people. I am so happy to be your Sparkfriend and would love to run in a race with you. You have so much to tell the world - It would be so great if some kid having the same issues as you did in school read this and was able to change their life and outlook for the positive earlier rather than later.

    Thank you for putting your feeling into words - I learned a lot from you and this blog.
    2025 days ago
  • v JENDEM1121
    Wow -- what a great blog! You are so right -- this journey is so much more about what's on the inside than what's on the outside. I have always been able to catch myself before my weight has gotten out of control, but I am still struggling with my emotional eating. Food makes happy -- not much else does. I am still fighting my demons too!
    2025 days ago
    Wow! I can so relate to you on this. I am dealing with very similar demons myself. Hugs to you!!! emoticon
    2025 days ago
  • v TORNADO40
    Fantastic blog. Thanks for sharing the emotional side of this journey. Much success to you in the future. emoticon emoticon
    2025 days ago
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