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Progress and an emotional dump (This is a long one. Read at your own risk.)

Sunday, February 02, 2014

I weighed in this morning and was surprised to see another pound gone. I have reached my first goal, to have my weight below 260! It feels good to see those numbers drop. Today I was at 259.4 and my next goal is to be below 250. Right now, I am losing faster than the goal I had set (250 by mid-April), but I know that weight loss is not like a math problem. I am going to treat my body with love and respect, and the weight will come off when it comes off.

I lost about 7 pounds in January, which was far more than I was expecting. The weight really started moving when I started using the mini-tramp; it was so much fun that I started using it nearly every day. I think that since I bought it, two weeks ago, there has only been one day that I haven't used it. My legs are feeling a lot stronger, and I can even feel it in my core, back, and arms. I guess your whole body has to work to stay balanced, so it's a good whole-body exercise. I have read many times here at SP that it is important to find a type of exercise you love to do, so it won't feel like a chore and you will be more likely to stick with it. I like walking, but then I had all kinds of foot issues and wasn't able to walk as much as I wanted. I have no interest in team sports of any kind, and I'm not really interested in joining a gym either. I was starting to feel like I was never going to click with any kind of exercise, when I discovered the mini-tramp. Thank goodness there is something I like to do!

This morning, I have been thinking about my 7-pound loss in January, and comparing the experience to my first weight loss with SP back in 2012. I looked back at my weight and fitness reports and compared them with last month's. It was very interesting. I joined SP on March 3, 2012, and immediately began making changes in my eating and exercise. I was tracking my calories, my water, and fitness (getting 1100+ a month), and I dropped 9 pounds in 3 months. 9 pounds. I just lost 7 pounds in a month. I am not tracking calories, I know I need to drink more water, and I got 600 fitness minutes. Logically, this doesn't make sense, that when I was working harder and being more diligent, I lost weight slower than I am now, when I am taking a more relaxed approach. So what's the difference?

I think that the difference is that I am believing in myself more. I am more forgiving of myself when I make mistakes. Two years ago, I thought I had a healthy , positive outlook on eating and fitness, but I didn't. I was expecting perfection, which is a recipe for disaster. I also just wasn't ready to like myself and treat myself right. I gained back the nine pounds, and 11 more. I knew that weight-loss was a mental game, but I didn't understand how to play the game. I think I am starting to figure it out now, two years later.

I'm about to get really personal. If you continue reading and decide to comment, please don't judge. I don't want to debate or argue or feel like I have to defend the choices I've made. I just need to get some stuff out, to put it in writing, so I can let it go.

In the past year, I have started to let go of some serious emotional baggage. In 2006, I got divorced from my first husband. We had been married 7 years and were together for 10 years before that. It was a terrible, emotionally and verbally abusive marriage and I was miserable and felt trapped. I had gotten pregnant the year before, and placed my child for adoption in 2005, because I was desperate to protect her from the life I thought I was doomed to live. I didn't want her to suffer. I didn't want her growing up with a mother who was constantly humiliated and ashamed and hopeless. When you are in a situation like that, for many years, you start feeling like there is nothing better in your future. It wears away your self-confidence and self-love. I hated myself and I hated the situation I was in, but I felt like there was nothing better and that I must have deserved to be unhappy. If you have never been through this, you probably won't understand what I mean. If you read this and can't grasp what I am talking about, that's okay. You don't know what it feels like unless you've been there. I had a lot of self-hatred, during the relationship and after the divorce. I especially hated myself for giving up my daughter. I drank too much and did crazy things, like just walking out into traffic, because I didn't care about myself.

A short time later, I met the man I am married to now, and I quickly moved 600 miles to live with him. That ended up working out great, but it was actually a pretty rash thing to do. Fortunately, he is a great person and I love him and we have a good marriage. It's the first healthy relationship I have ever had, aside from friends and some family members. For the past 7 years, I have been slowly relearning how to like myself and treat myself well. I think that part of the reason I have gained all this weight (about 80 pounds since my daughter was born, I think) is that I felt so ugly on the inside that I was trying to make myself ugly on the outside too. I think I was also trying to somehow put up a barrier between myself and other people. A lot of people are very judgemental of women who place their children for adoption. We have a certain respect for the pregnant teenager, or single woman in her 20's who decides she is unable to parent, but people are downright shocked to hear that a married woman in her 30's, as I was, would choose to give up her child. I got so tired of defending myself and trying to justify my choice, that I just stopped talking about it. I'm getting to the point now where I am tired of not talking about it. I'm tired of carrying this baggage around. I'm done hiding.

During the past year, I have talked more openly about being a birthmother and about my experience. I have a co-teacher this year who was also in an abusive relationship, and we have talked a lot about our experiences (which are eerily similar). This has started to help me let go of the past. I know I have to just get this stuff out, so I am not carrying it around with me. This is the month my daughter was born, so I am not surprised that all this is welling to the surface right now.

If you are still reading, thank you. I just needed to dump, and decided that this is a safe place to do it. I have known that I needed to write about this for a long time, but I felt nervous doing it. Now that it's done, I feel much better. I have a mental image right now of an orange balloon floating away into the sky. If you comment, don't feel like you need to give advice or console me. Just support me. Thank you.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    I am the VERY grateful mother to the beautiful daughter I carried out of the hospital eight hours old... given life by a 36 year old woman who raised an 18-year-old daughter.

    I have never doubted the courage and love it took for that woman to give birth to my daughter... nor did I doubt the complex mix of emotion and pain it caused her to do so.

    Never forget that you did a wondrous thing... you helped to complete a family that may not have otherwise been, and despite the pain it would cause you, you honoured the life God created through you.

    Not one day goes by that I don't offer prayers for my daughter's life-giver... and our daughter prays for her every night by name (I pray the girl you birthed and her parents do the same).

    The child you birthed needed a hero. I am so glad that you found the strength to rise to the occasion for the good of all concerned.

    1410 days ago
    emoticon I'm so glad you're happier now. There's nothing worse then feeling trapped.
    1410 days ago
    I have a daughter myself, and I think what you did for your daughter was a very brave and loving act. I am so happy you got yourself out of that terrible marriage and have a healthy relationship now. Thank you for sharing your story. Here's to your good health!
    1410 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I have never had children and have reached the age and time of life where that is highly unlikely to happen. I put on tons of weight to shelter myself from abuse and have long hated myself. A lot of what you said resonates for me. No judgment here - I have not walked in your shoes. What I do feel is empathy. A lifetime of mental and physical abuse has made me a very flawed human being with my own internal obstacles to overcome.

    I salute your courage in sharing this blog. Who knows how many people may be encouraged when they read yours and learn they are not alone in what they have experienced, that we can come through those dark valleys and there really can be life worth living.

    You have my support!
    1410 days ago
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