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Healing Wounds

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A few days ago I hit a rough patch. Out of nowhere, I woke up one morning and just felt... huge. I stepped on the scale--nope, weight was still about the same. Next day, HUGE. Stepped on the scale--eh, one pound up (salty dinner). The next day, H. U. G. E. Stepped on the scale--another pound up.

Now, thankfully I'm wise enough to know that one does not gain two pounds of fat in two days doing what I've been doing. There was a good combination of things at play--a few high-sodium dinners, hormonal pattern, too little water while doing lots of training, etc. And yet, I am completely amazed by how much I let those few extra pounds AND that feeling of being suddenly "HUGE" mess with my head! Yesterday, I talked about this with a little in a safe place and cried not over how I had been feeling (have I mentioned I felt HUGE?), but over the fact that I DARED to feel that way considering where I am and where I've been. CONFESSION: Some days I feel just as big in my body and unhappy with it as I did 130 pounds ago. I get no say in when these days will crop up, and I get no warning either. What brought on my tears is how unfair it was to the me who was 278 pounds, 245, 195, 172, and any number in between to say that NOW, HERE, THIS PLACE I WORKED HARD TO GET TO, I felt "huge."

I've heard people compare the process of healing from emotional pain to the process of healing from physical pain. These comparisons have generally been superficial for me, but yesterday I made a connection that had a bit more juice behind it. In many ways, healing the part of me that got in such a bad way with her body has been like healing a large gash. There is a time of early, initial healing when the bleeding stops and eventually a gash scabs over (sorry for that description there, but bear with me). Even when it scabs over though, there is a period of time--depending on how deep the gash is and on how well you're treating it and how well your body handles healing--that the wound is still sensitive. It is, perhaps, a raised bump, a tender, sore area, and if you're not careful to take care of it, it could bleed again and set you back to square one. Over time--days, weeks, months even--the wound heals and leaves perhaps little or no trace of its ever having been there; or, perhaps, a scar.

Healing from the wound that left me in such a terrible way with my body is going to be no different. I've been fortunate enough to experience, in just about 18 months, successful closing up of that internal "gash." But there is still a red, sore, tender area I need to be very careful with--and probably WILL need to be careful with for a long time going forward. I need to give that wound the attention and care it needs to keep healing, and I need to be patient with the healing process as it moves forward (at a timeline I have little or no control over). And you know what? I'm really okay with that!

I think it's easy to believe that because you've done some good physical healing--maybe even FINISHED your physical healing--your brain must, naturally, be right on track, be at the same place in its healing process. Without realizing I was doing it, I've put a lot of pressure on myself to be as healed on the inside as my body suggests I am on the outside. My brain really isn't nearly as far along yet. I've still got some work to do to make peace with myself, to accept my body as it is at any given moment, to not fall into the trap of disordered thinking. And again, this is really okay! I just needed to acknowledge, to SEE, and to accept that this part of my healing is a little behind. I may need to be mindful of that tender area quite a bit longer than I'd thought.

Healing is a tricky thing! What looks like healed may still be a work-in-progress. Patience, time, and good self-care. Those are the best things I can give myself.

Hope everyone's having a lovely week,
Melissa
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NYMALIN
    That's a really insightful blog post you've written.
    Thank you for posting this.
    2763 days ago
  • LIVIN-N-LEARNIN
    our brains are tricky suckers! I agree with mojorisin...this is such an opportunity to learn from and continue to grow. I believe we all are constantly learning, growing, and everyday we have to push to accept just who we are...no matter what.

    You inspire me so much!! I get caught up in the should and shouldn'ts of eating but you are so right...we need to focus on our feelings before anything else can fall into place. you are a perfect example of that! emoticon
    2790 days ago
  • ME_HERE_NOW
    i am so with you! my brain is late in catching up, after the years of emotional distress inflicted on myself that is no surprise! i did catch a glimpse of myself in a new mirror i had never looked in before and i was surprised to see the girl who was looking back at me...it's so strange we are with ourselves everyday, we overlook change, we can feel as big as always - it is all tied into our thoughts! let's just keep telling each other how great we look, it can only help ;) days like these are what spur our personal growth tho - so keep exploring, learning about & loving your fab self!
    2796 days ago
  • SCHENPOSSIBLE
    Wow, this blog is a resounding truth to me! Each day I feel like I felt when I was 296 lbs, albeit I have more energy and find more comfort in doing normal things, I still feel fat all the time. I know I've lost weight because the scale says so, and people are constantly commenting about it. But I can't see it at all. Even when I look at comparison pics, I still can't see it. Which is really weird considering that for the longest time I didn't realize how much weight I had actually packed on....until someone called me a fat sloppy b*tch ( but that's a totally other story) But I guess we just get so used to seeing ourselves a certain way and our mind has a hard time catching up how we actually look to others. Your wound will heal because you always practice self care. Putting your feelings out is a good start to the healing process. Keep fighting!
    2797 days ago
  • JAMIEJOYNER
    I have a long way to go to reach my goal weight but sometimes even when my clothes are loose on me and I feel like I really need to get a different size I still feel huge. I just wake up feeling that way! blah!
    Good Luck
    2797 days ago
  • LIBBYFITZ
    Wow that was a great blog! Totally agree, there is alot going on that brain of ours!
    2797 days ago
  • NANHBH
    This totally makes sense, Melissa. In fact, often times, when we stop using food as our source of comfort, feelings come to the surface that we had no idea we had. Good for you for recognizing the two parts of healing.
    emoticon
    2797 days ago
  • HAPPYPATTY1
    These are some really great thoughts... While I still have 70 pounds to go, it is hard to remember sometimes that the journey is am much internal (maybe more!), than external. thank you for sharing your journey!
    2797 days ago
  • SCARECROWISCOOL
    emoticon
    You are so insightful... I am proud of you. Take good care of yourself. You are so NOT huge. You are perfect.
    2797 days ago
  • BANAN2
    I think for a lot of us who have gotten considerably overweight, there is a large disconnect between our actions and our physical reality. There is all that denial that goes into using food for solace, and telling ourselves if we don't get on the scale, if no one saw us eat it, if we take bites from the carton rather than using a bowl, if it's "just this one time"... etc., etc., etc., it doesn't count and we won't gain more weight, we just might not start losing yet. I think we train our brains over the years it takes to establish those habits in a sort of "new math" (sorry, that's way before your time, LOL!) about our bodies and consequences. Since our bodies didn't play along with the lies we were telling ourselves, and gained weight when we were saying it didn't count, I imagine that we learn to fear that our bodies have a mind of their own and can unexpectedly get fat when we're not looking. The fact that you stopped monitoring as closely probably leaves you more vulnerable to this fear, and a little weight fluctuation which is normal in any woman, reinforces that you OUGHT to be afraid. Just remind yourself: it wasn't that your body wasn't following the rules, it was that the "rules" were lies and your body told the truth. Hang in there, Melissa! You have worked hard to learn to be truthful with yourself and to listen to and respect your feelings. Your body is not the enemy and you can trust it! I think the first year of Maintenance is probably as full of learning as the time spent losing weight. (I wouldn't know...I have never maintained that long, but still haven't given up hope!)
    2797 days ago
  • KLAD_COCKERS
    I have had HUGE days . . . even when looking my best. And I know that self-deprecating feeling that comes along with a "fat" day. I often feel the urge to throw in the towel and succumb to my huge-ness. But the truth is, I (and you!) have come too far to let it all go to waste now.

    Lots of insight in your post, as always. You are such an incredible person to be able to share this with everybody Melissa . . . not everybody could. So thank you for sharing.
    2797 days ago
  • YOUNEVERFAIL
    If you have any skinny friends hang out with them during there period time. As women we all have fat days. It has nothing to do with the way you look on the outside. It has to do with the way you feel on the inside. Happiness nor Health are determined by the number on the scale. Focus on all the things you can do now that you couldn't do before. As women we will always have our fat days its just part of our body mechanics, how you choose to deal with them is what separates the 5% from the 95%.
    2797 days ago
  • LCHADBOURNE
    Wow, I know exactly how you feel. You put this into words beautifully. It amazes me how much of an emotional and mental thing losing a large amount of weight and changing your lifestyle truly is. Really, both of us lost a person...I still have a lot of days like that. Then I have days where I worry that I will wake up and be the old me and just stop being healthy and gain it all back just as quickly as I lost it. I try hard to be conscious of the mental aspics of it, too. It sounds like you are in a healthy place with it.
    2797 days ago
  • FREES1
    you've lost a lot of weight in not a lot of time.. you body not only needs to heal from losing half of itself it has to get used to how it feels just to be. I've lost less than half of what you've lost in just about the same amount of time. Because my rate of loss is slower I have more time to get used to the new way my body is feeling, and yet there are those days when my body feels like it was much heavier. Remember too, with as little as you weigh now 2 pounds is a much higher percentage of your body weight than it was at 278, 245, 195, 172, so of course you'd feel that extra more!

    be good to yourself - you've made some mighty big changes in a year and a half.. the brain does take longer to catch up!
    2797 days ago
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