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    DAWNWATERWOMAN   336,501
300,000-349,999 SparkPoints

Tough Questions... Tough Love

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Monday, July 04, 2011

A water aerobic student/friend of mine, whom I admire very much for being very fit & in shape, asked me a tough question after class yesterday . She said that while she has heard my story & knows that I have lost over 100 pounds, she wanted to know HOW I LET MYSELF GET THAT BIG to begin with. Good question. Tough question. A question that I have asked myself over and over through the years as I have gone up and down the scale.

I really didn't know how to answer. I gained a lot of weight when I stopped drinking. In 12-step programs we call that transfering addictions. It's just another excuse. How does any SANE person get to weigh 450 pounds? Reality for me was/is what I call "DEATH BY SPOON". Self abuse. Self loathing. Emotional eating. Stress eating. It all boils down to negativity in the long run.

Someone I really love & admire made a comment to me back in the fall. It has been eating at me ever since. He said that I had a "martyr core". GOSH. Is that right? In 12-step programs we are told that when something bothers us it must ring true & it is something that we need to work on. That statement has been gnawing at me since he said it. I don't know what to do with it. Is the stress of that partially responsible for my plateau? I have only lost 9 pounds since Jan 2011. Am I punishing myself again? Do I need to head back to the therapist?

This is NOT supposed to be a negative blog. Today is July the 4th. In America it is the celebration of our Freedom! Today I am celebrating the freedom that I have found from the bondage of uncontrolled emotional eating! I am a survivor! I haven't come this far to give up now! I am NOT going to commit DEATH BY SPOON! I am NOT going to give up or give in. It doesn't matter what other people think about me or assume to be true about me. I am what I am and who I am and I will lift my head and celebrate it. I will try harder & beat myself up less. I will STOP giving in to negative thinking! I will NOT allow others to define who I am. Let Freedom Ring!

Yes, I suffer from depression. Yes, I have a lot of stress in my life. Yes, I need to be tougher and to use tough love on many of those folks in my life. Yes, I could do better. TODAY... I proclaim here & now that I am NOT going to give in to negativity! I will not allow darkness to envelope the Spark that I have found. I will nurse that Spark along until it blazes brighter than ever and I am able to find my way off this plateau & out of this "funk" that I have been in lately. I will make better choices for myself & I will stand up a little bit taller every day. I am worth it. I deserve it. SO DO YOU!!!!!

Today... take a look at yourself and your life. Embrace the freedoms that you have. Most importantly, remember that you have the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE! Choose good health! Choose to eat healthy & to exercise. Choose to track your food & fitness. Choose to spread the spark instead of hiding in the darkness of depression & despair. LET FREEDOM RING!

Happy 4th of July everyone... thanks for asking the tough questions! Remember to count your blessings! Love, Dawn

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GRANDMA_SANDY48 11/3/2011 2:42AM

    I have just read your blog which was linked from the Chair exercise new magazine. Thanks for sharing your story.

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QUIETUDEAGAIN 8/28/2011 3:09PM

    Remember, there is no "should". "Should" is a negative, guilt-trip word. The phrase is "If I wanted to I could" which is followed by "and I will" or "and i don't feel like it".

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MOMMYTO5CUTIES 8/19/2011 9:36PM

    Thank you, what a great blog :)

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ALIENANGEL 8/19/2011 11:07AM

    I am also in 12 step programs and have had a lot of therapy. I still remember when my therapist told me I was suicidal. I did not think so because I had never tried to kill myself.

he was like yeah right. I was anorexic and on all sorts of drugs, but i had not tried to kill myself?

Love those moments of clarity.

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MCHILSTR 8/15/2011 10:54AM

  What I liked most about the bolog is your openess to a question tht was hard to hear - but appears to have been asked from a loving place. YOu could have gotten defensive - but instead chose the opportunity for self reflection. emoticon

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THEIS58 8/15/2011 5:56AM

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    WTG on this being a Popular Blog - it certainly deserves it!

You are one totally awesome person and I am fortunate to be able to call you my friend!

Bright Blessings Dawn!!

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LEELEE1964 7/31/2011 11:40PM

    Good evening Dawn! Wonderful post!!

I can so relate to how you feel. I remember earlier this month when I was suddenly taken ill and had to go to the ER and the scales said "325". It threw me a bit. I asked myself, "How have you let yourself do this?". It is a hard question. I have been heavy all of my adult life. Food has been my drug of choice for quite sometime. And for the past six months prior to being introduced to SP, I didn't even enjoy the food anymore. I was just miserable all the way around. I referred to my eating habits as "slowest suicide". I have since decided, I really do not want to die. Not like that. Not for a long time after I have learned to enjoy this life I am blessed with now.

Thank you so much for sharing!! Thank you for being you!!!


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CTUPTON 7/29/2011 6:24AM

    I think Sylvia hit the nail on the head. Fat is obviously seen by everyone and "our" reactions to problems in life show for all to see.

There is a fish, damsselfish, that turns dark from a beautiful bright blue when it is frightened. Most people can hide their feelings and addictions from the world. We can't. I wish the woman who asked you that could answer for her self-destructive tendencies.


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SMYLEERED 7/27/2011 3:12PM

    Thank you so much for sharing! As a compulsive overeater myself I understand how difficult it would be to answer that tough question because we don't exactly know the answer ourselves. Our quest is to find out through the Steps and try one day at a time to stay "clean". Huggssss ~~Red

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BIBS4664 7/27/2011 1:31PM

    Let freedom ring. We are divinely guided. Keep on keepin on..
Blessings and miracles fellow sparkler.

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SUNSET24 7/25/2011 11:23PM

    wow talk about balls... that person who asked you that question had a LOT of nerve! where does she get off trying to go into your personal business? ugh!

sorry sis, just got pissed for a second.
A person bothers one of US spark people and it affects us all.


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ENUFF81020 7/25/2011 7:03PM

    Hi Dawn,
i really think that the person who asked you that question had a lot of nerve. You didn't ask her about how many traffic tickets she ever had or how many times she bounced a check or how many times she yelled at someone in her family or how many smokes she had had... You get the idea. Some of the things in our lives aren't great. Some of our personal behaviors are not perfect. However, with weight, it is out there for everyone to see and some people seem to think they can stick their nose into anything that they want. The real deal is that you chose to make it better. Hooray for you!! Not only have you lost over 100 pounds, you have inspired others and supported many others who are doing well and losing weight with your help.
if she were to have asked me why I let myself get that way, I am not sure I'd have been so kind. Again, here's another positive about you and the kind of person you are. I'm glad that you share your kindness with us. You are the best, my friend!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
Gentle hugs,

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SALSACHIC 7/24/2011 9:59PM

    Hello Dawn, great blog. Instead of getting defensive you thought about how those comments affected you. I love the tone & perspective of this blog. Sometimes the insensitive comments of others will push us to the next level. Your best is yet to come and I look forward to reading you about the next level in your journey along the way.

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WILDLOTUS16 7/17/2011 11:04PM

    Dawn, this is a very lovely blog. It's great for you to take a stand and say "I'm worth it!" So many people say this in vein.( I do) I firmly believe that when you think it you believe it. I admire you very much I always have!!!


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DEBRAC219 7/15/2011 12:55PM

    Dawn, what an inspiring blog! You've come so far and done such a wonderful job of taking back your life. And you're so right, we DO have the freedom to choose. We choose our life with every day, either by consciously making the choice that is right for us or choosing an unhealthy life by refusing to choose that which can make us whole. I'm with you, let's continue to choose health and freedom! Thanks so much for your inspiring words emoticon

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RUBYCLAIRE 7/12/2011 7:03AM

    What an awesome, inspirational blog, Dawn! I am so very proud of you! You CAN do it and what's even better is that you KNOW you CAN do it!!
I'm here for you kiddo, don't let a plateau wipe out all that you have already accomplished. Keep that strong positive out you showed in this blog. Keep it & make it even stronger. With love you, Dawn, you can do ANYTHING!
Let's see what you can do with this challenge. GO FOR IT!!
Love you, Kiddo!

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CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 7/10/2011 9:12AM

    Half the battle is knowing the cause of your problem. And you have that part taken care of. You are a strong willed lady who won't let a plateau get you down. I know you'll never give up.

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2CATS2LOVE1 7/8/2011 4:15PM

    Dawn, you hit the nail on the head when you said: "I will NOT allow others to define who I am." Sometimes people say cruel things but remember: opinions are like noses, everyone has one. You have done remarkably well in your weight loss and continue to inspire all of us w/ not only losing weight but your joy and smiles!! How did I ever get to be over 200 lbs? That's not the issue what we weigh BUT WHAT WE ARE DOING ABOUT IT!! Keep on keeping on...
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASHLEEWEBART 7/8/2011 12:40PM

    I am so glad you are writing about a variety of issues we do face when we are on this journey. You are to be commended for your success, and for being our friend, so constantly.

For so long you have been able to remain focused on your program and the priorities in your life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts along the way!


Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 12:50:28 PM

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/7/2011 10:56PM

I've decided that life is just one big learning curve! We learn more about ourselves and why we do the things we do to ourselves by reflecting upon and thinking about those comments that "stick with us."
Someone asked me a question the other day that really helped put me back on track. It was a simple question but I've been thinking about it for days - have come up with several answers but am still searching for the definitive one. The question was "Why have you lost faith in yourself?" It stopped me dead in my tracks!
Stay positive!

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CHATTIECATHY10 7/6/2011 11:58PM

    this is are amazing and you can do don't have to do it for anyone but you. I love the inspiration that you give us all. Keep on keeping are worth it. emoticon you are emoticon

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QTEALADY20031 7/6/2011 10:28PM

    Dawn, this is an excellent blog. I admire you very much for facing your addictions and moving on them to make you the healthy person you are at this point in your life. You are quite an inspiration and example to many of us on Spark people. There are not too many people that have overcome what you have and managed to come out on the other side. You hold your head up high. You have every right too. God bless you for being the person that you are to all of us.
Hugs & Smiles, June emoticon

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CANBDONE 7/6/2011 3:59PM

    I know she's your friend...but really, HOW RUDE can people be? I honestly don't think they realize how their words hurt! I'm blowing on your spark..get that flame burnin' hot! Sure wish I could come to your aquasize class. I jogged for 40 minutes in my pool today.

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DYNAMICDEB53 7/6/2011 12:40PM

    You are strong and learning to love ourself is not easy. You are making great strides and although a plateau is not fun and can cause downward sliding you have not let that stop you. Yes stress can cause all kinds of havoc in our health. You are growing and learning.
We do need to keep negativity out of our lives as much as we can, but there are times we just cant, then we have to deal with it and learn and find a way to not let it hurt us. I know you are working on all of that.
I am so inspiried by you and your journey, always have been. I see you and hope to one day be able to shine are brightly as you do, even if you dont see it yourself.
Love you dear friend and keep sparking and the light will only grow brighter.
Love and hugs

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FUNGRANNY72 7/6/2011 1:17AM

  I am so glad to see you facing your problems head-on. I have a 66 year old brother who has multiple problems. Everybody knows this. He is the only one who does not know this. It really is sad to watch. I have tried to talk with him, but all it did was make him mad. CONGRATULATIONS!
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YOUNGNSMYLIE 7/5/2011 9:36PM

    This is a great blog. You are very strong, and you're right on target for addressing those comments that are gnawing at you. I admire you so much for sticking with your program, re-evaluating your progress, and vowing to move forward. That's what it takes to succeed, and I am going to follow your example. Thank you for your inspirational words. emoticon You will succeed. emoticon

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GRNDMOM43 7/5/2011 9:16PM

    My dear friend, You were one of my first Spark Friends when I joined Sparks almost 2 years ago. Do remember your guidance when I was trying to find a trainer at the Y and the first one walked off from me to talk to a sexy young thing and refused to even show me around?
We have come a long way. Our stories have brought us here and helped others because we shared. Many people do not understand that especially if they have not walked in our style of shoes. WE are strong. WE have made it through some very bad times. I can't relate to the alcohol because I have not walked an addictive path but believe me I understand struggle to overcome adversity. You are emoticon and don't you forget it!
Continue to heal and strive and keep your Spark to light the way for those of us who love and respect you! emoticon Nola

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LINDAGRAVEL 7/5/2011 8:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IUHRYTR 7/5/2011 8:36PM

    Let's not use the word "only" when talking of our weight loss. You have lost nine pounds so far this year. Be proud of that and think of all the people who would love to be able to lose that much weight. And, you have kept off what you had already lost. Be proud again and hang in there, day by day, sometimes minute by minute. emoticon -- Lou

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LOOZINITNOW 7/5/2011 8:25PM

    Love this blog! Celebrate you because you are worth it! emoticon

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MARYHOLMAN 7/5/2011 3:40PM

    Maybe you should question your friend about the "martyr's core" comment. I mean sometimes such a person could be respected. If it's bothering you that much, you should clear it up.

You have come very far--just managing the addiction is an awesome accomplishment.

I think everybody should make an occasional trip to the therapist, especially when you think it will help you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/5/2011 2:50PM

    You are right to feel proud of your accomplishments.

I would be willing to bet that you are not the same woman who put that weight on in the first place. That woman is gone.

It seems only right that it would take a few months to hold your weight in place - especially after losing so many pounds. It's just a little time-out to adjust to this new permanent low weight.

Soon, when all is ready, you will begin to drop the pounds again.

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JABULONESTAR 7/5/2011 1:57PM

    emoticon You have a fabulous attitude! Yes we can :) Keep fighting the fight because you are worth it! emoticon

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HINDYPATTI 7/5/2011 1:47PM

    I have noticed as I reflect on the past three years in my own walk that I was also working on death by spoon. It's take some work but I have been able to address most of the issues that put me in that place. Your blog has reminded me where I was and where I've come to. Thanks for that.

As for the "martyr core" - can you ask your friend for some clarification? He may mean something different than how you have interpreted the comment.

Happy 4th of July Dawn. Happy Freedom Day!!

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_KATHY 7/5/2011 12:00PM

    You have said it all Dawn, and said it quite rightly. Regarding that gnawing thing, you're right, it has to be addressed so you can then let go of it. You might find that, in this case, things don't need to be fixed, they just need to be accepted. And in acceptance, serenity returns. 449

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SRHALLIN 7/5/2011 11:37AM

    Somehow, I heard a raccous musical score toward the end of this blog. Sort of like that timid music during the president's speech in Independence Day? :D

You're inspiring to so many others every day. It is important to remember that we must also be inspirations and motivators for ourselves as well.

So, yes, down with the negativity and up with the positivity. Take in the light of those around you and those whom you've given light to. You are smart enough, loving enough, and deserving enough of your goals.

If you're on a plateau, review your diet. See if your needs have changed. Think about how your clothes fit. Is it that you're the same weight, but some of it is less fat and more muscle? A pound of fat and a pound of muscle is still a pound of either. It just feels different inside of us.

Sometimes we aren't so much not 'losing' fat, as we're not aware that the fat is going away and the muscle is coming in.

Of course... it could just be a shortage of fiber... emoticon

Just sayin'...

Best wishes! Hope you had a positive and brilliant 4th.

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DONNA_VT 7/5/2011 10:18AM

    Good thoughts for many of us to ponder. I wish you well my friend and hope that you find the success you deserve soon.

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LIGHT1112 7/5/2011 9:08AM

    I love your honesty and the integrity you show by asking yourself these questions! You are an example and an inspiration. Thank you

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WENDYLEE15 7/5/2011 8:47AM

    Wow!! I love your determination.You have come so far.You are doing emoticon ....

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1BEACHWALKER 7/5/2011 4:33AM

    I know the reason I got overweight and it was emotional/stress eating abd then loving the food too much! You are so right! No to negativity! Choose to be positive and know we are going to beat this and win! Win the battle of the bulge! Whatever it takes-we will do this! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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QUILTINGB52 7/5/2011 3:06AM

    Emotional over-eating isn't just about negativity, it's also about celebration.

More important it's how we over-come and find substitutes for EOE!!!

We must be on the same wave length ~ as I blogged about this earlier today....

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YATMAMA 7/5/2011 12:27AM

    Tough questions, indeed, and good ones. I'm not sure I have the answers, either, but I suspect that it has a lot to do with what we feel we deserve. I hope we discover the answers together, my precious friend. I love you.

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DEVORA4 7/4/2011 9:37PM

  I hope your blog wins and I voted for it. That was a tough question thatm she asked you. You a a tough lady and you took it on the chin graciously. emoticon I know you will!

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LVMAMAW 7/4/2011 8:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I have faith in you!! Yes you can! Yes WE Can- together!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WISLNDR 7/4/2011 7:06PM

    Here's my thought for today (it was thought of for me but I'm happy to share.)

Have you ever heard stories about women who could not get pregnant and once they adopted a child, THEN they got pregnant? (There was something about not stressing about babies anymore after the adoption and they were finally able to conceive.) I wonder if there's a lesson there for us who are stressing about not being able to lose weight.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday!!

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/4/2011 6:46PM

    You are right and are on the right track. You won't let this beat you down.
You will be, you are stronger than the spoon. We are all not perfect, none
of us is. We just keep going, day in and day out & we WILL WIN! emoticon

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JOLOVESRUM 7/4/2011 6:37PM

    Dawn, Stand tall, You have done so well, heck you are an aqua fit instructor. How many BBW (big beautiful women) can say that. You have your own fan club here on spark people. One person to how many on your fan club rooting for you.

I love and believe in you and we have never met. Your past no matter what was in it, has made you the woman here on sparkpeople that we all look up to.

You are a special women, friend and roll model.
thank you for being here.

If and when you find the answer to that "how did you/we get there?" question, let me know. I have been looking for the answer to that same question for about a year now. I have yet to find the answer.

Look after yourself,
hugs Jo

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TRAVELNISTA 7/4/2011 5:09PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MRS*RADISH 7/4/2011 4:49PM

  The true spirit of Independence Day...I absolutely love it, Dawn! The FREEDOM TO CHOOSE...


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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.