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Friday, September 16, 2011

Proverbs 17:1 A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife.

The summer is over and my birthday is coming up: 11-11-11. I had planned to spend these past 12 weeks working out and eating right so that I could give myself the best birthday gift of all: the fittest adult body I’ve ever had. Instead, I did very little and I ate too much. So, I’ve been kicked out of 100’sville for a little while until I can get my act together.

It would be too easy to say I’m lazy. People have been telling me that for over three decades, yet it has had virtually no effect on my behavior. And, besides, no one is as skilled at casting aspersions upon Ginger as Ginger. So what is really going on here? In order to escape this bondage, I must identify the straps that bind me.


I have always defied anyone telling me what to do and how and when to do it. Though I was suffering terribly at 350 pounds, I snubbed the guidance and support wisely offered by nutritionists, commercial programs, and medical doctors. One reason I refused to accept help was that I was afraid if I followed somebody else’s advice, he/she would get all the credit. I wanted all the credit. I wanted to be an idol.

Over the past three months, I had every opportunity to skate, bike, get on my elliptical, go to the gym, go to the pool, go to the lake, but I snubbed it all. Part of the reason I refused to be good was that I saw good behavior as optional. I must surrender my will and accept that exercise is no more optional than doing the dishes. Sure, I can let them pile up one day, but two days? Ewwwww.

Demanding my just desserts

Before I began this journey, I refused to divorce myself from the one thing in life that gave me pleasure. Since I didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, I demanded sweet, salty, and fatty foods to make me feel good. I fasted all day so that I could get high off of junk food at night. But that high never lasted long, and biochemistry defeated my best efforts to recall that feeling twice in the same day. Worse yet, intense guilt and shame quickly and powerfully took over (especially the next day).

Entitlement began to lap at the shores of my mind again, inviting me to playfully enter the shallow end. Not mindful of the undertow, I got carried away. But I've swum back to shore and, drying myself off, accept I am entitled to nothing.

Abdicating leadership

The most damaging action I took was inaction; I failed to guide and support others. I ran from the battlefield and went awol. When I am out here in Cyberspace, extending empathy, providing guidance, and cheering victories, I keep myself on the straight and narrow, or otherwise suffer the label of hypocrite.

Whipping myself

I saw “Contagion” last weekend and was shocked to learn that we touch our faces 2,000 times a day (which is probably an exaggeration, but still…). It made me wonder: if I mindlessly touch my face so often, exposing myself to harmful bacteria and viruses, how often do I mindlessly put myself down? Like the saying goes, for every roach you see, there’s dozens you don’t. Could one negative thought about myself – “I’m too lazy.” “How stupid can I be?” “My arms are so flabby.” “Why couldn’t I have been a better mother?” - indicate that dozens of others lurking in the shadows? If so, how can I get this under control? Certainly, one bug at a time is not gonna work. What I need is a roach bomb for the mind.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So much love here and so much hope! Ginger you as always hit a chord with me. Please don't weary of the battle. You are so worth it! Please be strong! I believe in you! xo
    2238 days ago
    2340 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/23/2012 12:34:42 AM
    Awesome blog! Keep on going Ginger. Your blog touches me in many ways.
    2340 days ago
    Old Soldier, carry on. Keep wielding your sword. I often feel like Don Quixote, fighting my dragons that are really windmills. In fact, the battle's already been won...I just need to accept the victory!
    2352 days ago
    I've strayed from healthy eating too my dear. U can do this!
    2366 days ago
    I *so* need this blog right now... your willingness to share all that your going through helps in so many ways.

    THANK YOU!!!

    2366 days ago

    WOW! A lot to take in. I do know that when I put my hurdles out in the open, they seem to shrink. It's as if Idetifying the problems makes them easier to over come.

    You must fail to know what will work and part of failure is identifying what went wrong. Looks like you are definitely on the road to finding the path to healthy for ever!!

    2369 days ago
    You got some excellent feedback here and I can't think of anything to add other than I am glad you got it out and I definitely think you ARE entitled to many many things! Our respect for one. You are a huge success. You will get back on track and persevere.

    We're rooting for you!

    2371 days ago
    I need a roach bomb over here also..Great blog as usual.
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    2374 days ago
    This is why I love this place. You shared from your heart and your friends responded with theirs. We care about each other here. We understand the struggles of battling our demons. We may have different one or come from different places BUT we share many of the same feelings. I don't think I could add to what has already been written by your spark pals BUT I do agree with them. We have our ups and downs--sometimes even after great success, we flounder, we become defiant, we become apathetic or just take a break from the work. Whatever it may be, we need to get back here and work on it with the help of our friends.

    As Kathy noted, we take turns with needing help. I also think that on some level, even after we finally meet our goals and have been at goal for years...we will need to tweak our programs or get back in the saddle or need support along the way. We are human and will have momentary (sometimes longer!) lapses. As in M. Scott Peck's "The Road Less Traveled", on the very first page, first sentence, he proclaims that "Life is difficult." Oh really? Hadn't noticed! This is one of the greatest truths and we need to somehow accept that this is the way it is, that life, indeed, is difficult. This declaration doesn't seem as bad once we accept it. Yes, life is hard and challenges will be abundant. OK, that makes sense. That's why I keep struggling!! Well, enough already, right? Sometimes we are "up" for those challenges and other times we are not. Simple as that. Simple as understanding that Life is difficult. But nothing is really simple, is it?! Like losing weight and facing our demons, sometimes we feel so strong and like we are on top of it all, doing what needs to be done, dropping the pounds, unlocking all our mysteries....and then ....we aren't. We whip ourselves, we hurt ourselves, we don't want to admit we stumbled or fell flat on our faces.

    When we need help, we need to look for it. What makes us really smart is to seek it rather than stoically ignore our needs or think we have all the answers and don't need others. Embarrassment, shame, pride and defiance have kept me from seeking the help I need. NO MORE. I know I need support. I may not always ask for it right away and may struggle longer because I refuse to ask for it (because of those 4 words mentioned above!) but my sparkfriends seem to pick up on these things too or just at the right time, I spark around and feel empowered enough again to face whatever it is I need to face.

    Thank God for this wonderful place of support and honesty. I'm so glad you shared your feelings here, Ginger. We are here for you always-- no judgment or agenda--just support, care and understanding. Keep asking for what you need, friend. We all need to get better at this!!
    2375 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/17/2011 7:28:06 PM
    I hesitate to do this for fear of you thinking I am not interested enough to post my own comment but I really feel like Kathy covered it all!! I hope you know how loved and needed you are here but not because you are perfect or have succeeded where so many of us have failed. But because you are you and we love you.
    2375 days ago
    "The most damaging action I took was inaction; I failed to guide and support others. I ran from the battlefield and went awol. When I am out here in Cyberspace, extending empathy, providing guidance, and cheering victories, I keep myself on the straight and narrow, or otherwise suffer the label of hypocrite"

    Herein lies some of the issue (in my humble opinion) You feel as though you are not allowed to be just like everyone else... You have had huge success and you are a master at helping others... but that doesn't mean that you are the Dr. Oz or Dr. Phil of sparking and you must always have the answers... we are all in this together, and your issues are my issues are everyone else's issues... it is all a matter of timing! Sometimes you need a shove, sometimes I need a shove... (and sometimes she does and sometimes he does) That is the beauty of this site. Your journey is not easier because you unlocked the secret for the great work you've already done... not at all, so don't feel you must be the expert or "be labeled a hypocrite".

    Ginger... sweet, smart, beautiful, intelligent Ginger.... let it go... just be! You belong here, you need to be here. I left for such a long time and was under the same impression... that I would let people down if it was my turn to lean on others instead of sharing the enthusiasm for victories I had won...

    You are in another "hard part" just like beginning was a hard part... so allow yourself to regroup and get over the hard part... and then... share with all of us just how you got over the hard part!

    You are a consultant of sorts... you know what has worked and you cheer for those who need to get past the hurdles that you knocked down... but again, it doesn't mean that you have the answers for this phase! Seek and ye shall find!

    Just keep on coming back... don't hide... You are on day three and HOORAY FOR THAT!!! What a great stride forward you have taken in the last 2 1/2 days! Keep on inching forward... don't look back on this summer's lack of full attention as a failure... look at it as the eye opening experience you needed to take the next steps toward knocking down the next hurdles...

    I for one am so very happy to have seen your blog today! Yessssss! Come on back in to daily sparking my friend... you are missed! And not because you have the answers... be easier on yourself, don't touch your face so much and smile a little bit!

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    2375 days ago
    Ginger, you are always finding new ways to re-invent yourself. I admire that in you. I always have. You are one gutsy gal! You have such a keen and quick insight that you're able to slice straight through to the the core of the matter with just a few well-aimed strokes. Not everyone can do that.

    I have full and complete confidence in you, Ginger. I am absolutely certain you will reach your final goal and become whatever size you want to be. You've worked long and hard for it, and I don't think anything, or anybody--including yourself-- will keep you down for long. You are unsinkable!

    And that bit about you running from the battlefield, failing to guide and support, and perhaps laying yourself open to the risk of being called a hypocrite, is just not true. Not even one little bit. However, you do run the risk of being called HUMAN, and imperfect--like the rest of us out here (a lesson I have to learn my own self, too). Those of us in this war--and it IS a war--know there are repercussions from constant combat. There are wounds that no one but yourself can see or understand. Let's just call your (and my own) MIA days a result of Combat Fatigue--and let it go at that.

    You try harder than anyone I know, Ginger, and you've helped so many of us here. PLEASE be kinder to yourself. You are loved by so many. I'm one of them. You know, it wasn't just your weight loss that inspired me so. Those are just numbers--and whether they go up or down doesn't matter near as much as the the driving force of the remarkable woman that is YOU that made it all possible. You are a rock star in my eyes.

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    2375 days ago
    "accept I am entitled to nothing" yes you are ... you are entitled to naturally sweet juicy fruits and fresh crispy veggies... you are entitled to be tired, sore, and achy in order to reap the glory of victory over self... you are entitled to be the very best you that you can be. Losing weight is hard... being fat is hard... choose your hard.

    Defiant I understand... so does my family... sooooo.... they told me there was no way I could lose 50lbs... wasn't happening... I had to prove them wrong...LOL.... my family knows me too well.

    So tell yourself you refuse to do what everyone expects and fail...you will not be put in a box... you will be strong, beautiful, and wise... you will succeed and prove everyone wrong... because you know something they don't....

    YOU CAN!
    2375 days ago
    My hunch is that most of us berate ourselves often. But that is a behavior and behaviors can be changed. Just identifying the problem is a partial victory. Not sure if you want to do this, but my goal is to switch to "an attitude of gratitude" when I start thinking [bad things] too much. It helps me snap out of too much introspection. When a person lives alone the way I do, it's easy to slip into stinking thinking.

    Great thoughts from the other Sparkers here! Lots to feed on.
    2375 days ago
    You always look so deep into yourself Ginger, whether you're comforting yourself with gentle touches of love or looking at how you strayed a little. I've been straying and working to find my way back...sometimes the negatives become more overwhelming than I like to admit. Your honesty here encourages us all to look more honestly at ourselves. Defiant.Demanding. Whipping. Drowning. I'm there.
    2375 days ago

    Your honesty and forthrightness is eye-opening. I too need a roach bomb for the mind, or maybe an exterminator to come "spray" once a month! :)

    I KNOW you will shake this and move back to onederland real soon and you STILL have almost 2 months before your birthday... you still got time, girl!

    2375 days ago
    Ginger, I have so much to say to this. Please read the message I am leaving in your inbox. Best wishes, as always, Darlin'.
    2375 days ago
    I love the way you write. A roach bomb for the mind - too funny! You have thoughtfully reviewed the issue and are now trying to further hone in on what is going on.

    You are a brave and determined woman and I know you will set yourself right and be back in onederland real soon. Afterall... you cannot over stay your welcome in the 200's ville.

    Enjoy the last vestiges of the comfortable weather this weekend. The brutal winter will be upon us soon.

    2375 days ago
    Hey sweetie - are those tear drops along the way. While bearing your soul you've torn yourself apart. From what I've learned along this pathway is just about anyone wiling/wanting to give you advice, teach you, guide or instruct you isn't doing it for the credit! It's been my experience that especially the people who have "been there ~ done (and doing) that" just want to pass on the guidance they themselves have received and have always given the credit where it is due - to the individual fighting the good fight. Because all the advice in the world is useless unless it is used. And you have to be the one to choose to do it. Therefore the credit goes to you. And in doing so - you will directly or indirectly inspire others, guide and instruct others. It's a huge circle - and where better than here in sparkpeople.

    Consider letting someone else guide you - they may not be as hard on you as you are and you may find this healthy lifestyle thing isn't half bad.

    It's not about getting to the final number (Just repeated that to myself out-loud cause I can preach it, but have a hard time living, but I'm trying) It's about finding a healthy way to live and enjoy life. Once you allow yourself to enjoy life while living a healthy lifestyle you will have untold surprises. The confidence and self acceptance my shock and surprise you - but in a good way.

    I hope this makes sense - I have so much I want to say - but don't want to preach or overwhelm. Ginger - we are here for you - just allow yourself to accept our support and guidance - and in doing so we will learn from you.
    2375 days ago
  • MEME102
    I so enjoyed your blog!!! It made me think how far I have to go in this journey - and I don't mean JUST the weight! To understand and know myself is the key and I'm working hard to unlock it!! Thanks so much for sharing your innermost thoughts - you are an inspiration truly -- and don't you forget it!
    2375 days ago
    Some days the battle is hard and other days it's almost easy. I think about the first time I abused food and wish I could turn back the hands of time. I didn't have a weight problem until I was 12, diagnosed with lupus and prescribed 80 mg. of prednisone daily. If you've ever had to take steroids, it causes a craving for carbs. I can't blame my weight on that because I don't take any meds now...but the siren call is always there. I'm an EE and a compulsive eater...it's my drug of choice. Remaining food sober is a daily conscious decision. You did it once...you'll do it again. If we could only catch a glimpse of ourselves through the eyes of Jesus...
    2376 days ago
  • GUMDROP123
    Thanks for sharing! You know yourself very well and thats part of the battlle. You have accomplished so much and I know you will get back to it!!
    2376 days ago
    WAY TO GO! Way to identify all of the "straps that bind you."

    First of all, please allow me to remind you again, you have done wonderful! Have you ever seen someone in an event, trip and fall and then get up and finish anyways? (or something of that similar nature)


    The "event" isn't over and you have two choices!!!! I already know your choice, but... You COULD forget about it. Forget all the hard work you've done, forget how absolutely gorgeous you look in your little black dress, forget how much you've inspired other sparkers- like me, forget how good it feels to have an exercise "high" and how good it feels to say, "I did it!" OR do Exactly what I know you are doing and would want others to do....GO FOR IT!!!!!

    Your "race" is still going! You are tough! I know it! I know you've got this! I'm here for you!

    I'm in this boat with you! I spent a week in ONEderland and I'm back...JUST VISITING.. the 200's too. I've been back in 200ville for a few weeks now and I'm ready to leave! FOR GOOD! Let's get packing and leave together!

    See ya in ONEderland my sparkling lime friend!
    2376 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    You are very hard on yourself! There must be a way to find a balance between effective self-discipline and being a tough cookie about your goals without being so unforgiving.

    Please let yourself off the hook. Just start over every day and just do it. Please don't analyze things down to the very cellular level because it is just too, too depressing.

    My dear, you lost it for awhile. Now accept it and go get moving again.

    Here's a hug but don't slow down to return it. Just get moving right now!

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    2376 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/16/2011 6:10:00 PM
  • SPRING1973
    Wow- talk about "know thyself", I think you've got this one nailed. You keep those truths in mind; I know your indomitable will & spirit will prevail!
    2376 days ago
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