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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

My girl Karvs said it best yesterday when she said, "I'm glad that May means that you won't be fixated on getting to the 200s for good..." She's right you know? I have been fixated on this one goal since about 2005. I busted my butt to get out of the 400s and then the 300s just mocked me for years. "You're 300 pounds!" became quite the negative mantra in my head. I belittled myself and berated myself while I watched other people enter the 200s and even the 100s without looking back.

What was wrong with me?
Where did I go wrong?
Sure, I'm not perfect...but certainly they weren't either.
I was making excuses for myself.
I was doing everything I could and nothing was working.
I was meant to be 300 pounds.
I was never going to succeed.
I was never going to have what I wanted.
Eat less, exercise more.
Eat more, exercise less.
Eat whatever, don't exercise...because it doesn't really matter anyhow.
Ooh! 298! Yay! I did it.
Oh, sh!t. Back to the 300s. *sobs*

Truthfully, I've put my family through hell over this. I can't tell you how many times I've started a week yelling and screaming and acting like a 5-year-old ranting about how life isn't fair and telling them that something MUST be wrong with me. Telling them I was weak. Telling them I wasn't good enough. And all the time still trying to make it work. I'd spend the better part of each Sunday in tears, and then I'd pull myself up on Monday and try again. And got disappointed again. And round and round we went.

I'm sure that my AB girls and my Spark Friends are sick to death of hearing about my struggle to reach 299...or, as I prefer, 298. (Because, for some reason, 299 isn't "good enough" either.) I've ranted and raved and talked about giving up more times than I can count.

But the worst part of all is that I've let myself believe this BS I have floating around in my head.

I'm going to have an Oprah moment here, so bear with me. The other day as I was flipping through the channels, I saw one of Oprah's "Life Class" episodes on OWN and Tony Robbins was on. I caught a few glimpses of him talking to some woman about success, and why we think we always fail to achieve it...and how we can get past that and grab success by the horns and ride off into the sunset. He had the woman stand up and he asked her, "Whose love did you want more than anyone's growing up? Mom or Dad?" The woman was taken aback. Whose love did you WANT the most? I answered the question in my head along with the woman on stage. Dad's. I know this. I fought for years to MAKE him love me...and he never would...nothing I could do could make him love me the way I wanted him to...the way I NEEDED him to. Tony: "And what could you never be for him?" The woman thought for a while and then finally answered in an "ah-ha moment" type way...but I don't remember a word of what she said. Because the one word that popped into my head (and hasn't left since) is "enough". I could never be enough for my father. I wasn't strong enough, brave enough, smart enough, pretty enough, clever enough. It didn't matter what I did, I lived my entire childhood trying desparately to simply be "enough"....good enough for him to love me. And time after time I fell short.

I remember camping once. My parents were Girl Scout leaders and we didn't have a lot of money so camping was a go-to vacation idea for the summer. We were camping as a family once and my father and I were tossing a softball back and forth. I remember so clearly him throwing the ball at me with all his might, me missing it in my glove and it pummeling me in leg. I felt like my lower leg bone was shattering. I collapsed and starting crying. Holy HELL that hurt! And then I remember the remarks that came flying out of his mouth. I was a wimp. (Not strong enough.) Why the hell was I crying? (Not tough enough.) He wasn't going to "play" with me anymore if I was going to act like that. (Not worthy enough of his time.) I got up. I made myself stop crying. It still hurt. I could still feel it burning. I wiped my tears and grabbed the ball, but he was gone. And we never played catch again after that. I kept thinking in my head that I wasn't "boy enough" for him. Even from a young age I knew he would have rather had a boy than a "stupid, silly girl". He already had my sister and she was why did he need a flawed little girl after that?

This memory haunts me to this day. And there are plenty more "not enoughs" to go with it. (And if my father were to read this, he'd go on and on about how horrible I am because I only remember the bad things and none of the good. But all of the good I remember was followed by moments like these...moments of "not enough" berated into my head over and over again.)

So as I've fought for this milestone I thought was the most important thing I could ever achieve in my life - hitting the 200s - and didn't make it, it became very clear to me...I wasn't good enough at this. I didn't deserve it. I wasn't worthy.



Hold the flippin' phone there, buddy!
You aren't "good enough" to lose weight? WTF is that about?
How does that even make sense?

When Karvs (Okay, I know her screenname is RUNNINGCHUNKY now, but she will always be my Karvs) said that it hit me right square in the gut. In a good way.

"Single-minded to the point of recklessness." (2 points if you know what movie that's from.)

I promised you all progress pics...but I don't have them taken yet. But even taking my monthly "face shot" hit me well as looking at some pics on my phone I'd taken of myself throughout the month of April.

That's me in 2009. See me? Hiding WAAAAY in the back. Covering myself up with my own children as human camera shields? You gotta look closely.

I had given up the fight then. I didn't think I was strong enough to keep fighting. So I just gave up.

And then April 19, 2010, less than a year later, I woke the fluck up. Finally.
I joined Spark and stopped hiding. (You can note, I even let my Sparkversary pass without a second thought...because I didn't seem to care about that number either.)
At 416.2 pounds, I thought nothing of whether I was any "enough" to do anything. I just put my chin down and went forward. Come what may. If I failed, so what? If I succeeded, cool. But I just wanted to try.

It came on like a storm.
*I* came on like a storm.
I did things I wasn't supposed to be "enough" to do.

I wasn't skinny or fit enough to walk a 5k - especially not one with a monster hill to start - just 4 months after trying to lose weight.

I guess I didn't realize that at the time.

I wasn't "cool enough" to meet one of my Spark idols. Someone who inspires me still to this day.

It took two seconds of Hello to vanish that thought from my mind.

I wasn't cool enough to be anyone anyone wanted to know about.

But I became a Spark Motivator anyhow.

I wasn't tough enough to brave a gym with all the hard bodies and rock hard abs staring my fat belly in the face.

Well, maybe sometimes I just "faked" my way through...

Suddenly...I stopped hiding and started shining. I kept a strict record of each recorded weight for each picture I took and, yet, I don't remember how "big" I was when I hiked for 5.5 hours after getting lost in June of 2010. I do remember being brave enough to climb over rocks bigger than I was and walking down narrow slick paths that should have meant the death of me. I remember my family telling me how great it was that I remembered to pack filling, healthy, protein and fiber packed meals. To this day Hubs remarks that had I not packed properly, we likely would not have made it through that hike in one piece.

I was silly enough and good enough to be included in "reunion" type anniversary photos of my aunt's wedding (I was the flower girl around age 4 or so).

I was "brave enough" to buy my first car...and take a full-body side shot in front of it.

I was chic enough to visit the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.

I was "fit enough" to start running.

I was strong enough to run a mile without stopping.

I was seriously done hiding.

And I began to reclaim the life I once dreamed I would have.

It didn't matter that I was "still 300 pounds". It didn't matter that my weight loss had stalled out like the fading embers of a fire long forgotten. None of that mattered the tiniest bit.

And as I looked through my pictures and thought, "My! How I've changed!" A thought occurred to me...

No...I haven't...not really.

I've always been bold and silly and goofy and wild and crazy.
I've never accepted that what other people say I can do is the limit of my abilities.

For no matter how many times I was told I was not "enough"...I knew that I could show myself, if not anyone else, that I was more than enough. I mattered. I was important.

I'm not here today to boast that I'm in the 200s now.
In fact, I refused to weigh myself this morning.
I'm done weighing myself right now...because Karvs made me realize how reckless I've been to become so fixated on a silly number.

I've come to celebrate the fact that not only have I lost 115 pounds with Spark...and not only have I lost more than 165 pounds through simple changes in diet and exercise since biggest accomplishments are a different set of numbers entirely.

Numbers like:
3.1 - My first 5k, and several that have followed
1 - The first mile I ever ran without stopping
5 - The total number of miles I was able to run without stopping
2 - The number of children that have changed their eating habits and have started playing outside more and exercising and being more active
1 - The number of Husbands I aim to shock each and every time I hit another NSV

And even more important are other numbers that don't even have a definite value, because they are too numerous to count...

The number of pictures I've "posed" for without trying to hide since April 2010.
The number of times I refused to give up even when it got hard.
The number of people whose lives may have been touched just a tiny bit by my unwillingness to give up, even though the road is long and full of dusty, rocky, bone-shattering pot holes.
The number of people I have encouraged to try, or to keep going, or to give it a go simply by setting a good example.
The number of times I've allowed myself to be brave, and goofy, and wild, and vulnerable in front of other people, always afraid I won't be "enough" for them, but never letting that stop me from trying.

Remember, the scale is not the end all, be all of this journey.

It's in the number of steps you take toward living a healthier life.
It's in the lowered risk of death and disease from having a healthy heart and lungs.
It's certainly in the number of pounds you can squat on a barbell! ;)

For now, the scale has been excused from this journey.
I don't know if it will return on Sunday for weigh-in, or if I will stay away from it for several weeks or all of May.
It's really not all that important.

What IS important is...

...the number of beads of sweat pouring down your face in the gym.
...the number of grunts coming out of your mouth when the going gets tough and the lift is pretty hard.
...the number of swipes of a gym card.
...the number of minutes spent cooking healthy meals, making healthy plans, feeding a healthy heart with the proper nutrition and exercise.
...and the number of breaths that this new chosen life of ours has allowed us...simply because we took the first step, and followed it with another, and refused to give up or give in or say die.

I'm good enough to put the time and effort into....are you?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I read your post with great interest. Your "not being enough" is one I share, as well. I always feel like I have to do more, be more, ___ (fill in the blank) more -- I am never quite good enough. Everything I read resonated with me -- but your last question really rocked me! Hmmmm . . . am I good enough to put the time and effort into myself, into my health, into a different future? I want to rush to say "YES!" But the truth is, that I have to figure out why I don't think I am good enough for even that. When I do, then I'll be ready to put forth the effort. Thank you for asking the question. Your story is inspiring. But the internal dialogue you shared with us, was what caught me. I send you my love and gratitude for your courage to share. Peace and blessings.
    2238 days ago
    Loved it! You are so strong and such an inspiration! Thank you.
    2238 days ago
    You ROCK! I'm glad you finally recognize the strength and beauty and inspiration that the rest of us have seen in you all along. The scale does not define us, but it's so easy to let it become a dictator to our emotions. WOO HOO!

    2238 days ago
    Wow - congrats on your success - losing 115 took courage and guts. And bigger congrats on realizing that you are not just enough - you are AWESOME! Whether or not you change your weight any further - you have already won because you are stronger and healthier and prouder of who you are! I needed a boost today - thanks for reminding me that the scale isn't what defines us - it is who we are and what we DO that defines us...
    2238 days ago
  • DRB13_1
    wow, wow, wow. enthralled to read to the very end. you are a WINNER! emoticon
    although I don't put my weight gain on my dad, I sure relate to your experience as a chhild - I was always trying to win his approval, knowing he wanted a boy but only had affected every male relationship I've had in my life (not in a good way). Time to release that and remember all that I AM enough of.
    I'll be following your lead and focusing on my fitness minutes instead of reaching a number on the scale - it will happen if I do the work.
    Really, really, really appreciate your taking the time to post such a brave and wise blog - and thanks for the pictures, too.
    Behind you all the way! emoticon
    2238 days ago
  • IN102WIN
    Thanks a lot for your really, really gr8 blog. I know what you mean cause I've been gaining & losing the same amount of weight for the past 3 years, I just want to reach 100land and its soo hard. Sometimes I just throw my hands in the air cause I don't know what else to do. Its depressing... but then you've encouraged me. Thanks I'll keep trying!!!
    2238 days ago
  • RINA2002
    wow, you're awesome!
    2238 days ago
    This si the most inspiring blog I have read in a long time. Thank you for writing so openly and honestly and congrats on your many victories! emoticon
    2238 days ago
    You are beautiful inside and out my dear. And STRONG!! I love seeing your numbers... the photos, the gym card swipes. That's a GREAT way to track stuff!! So much better than a number on a scale.

    2238 days ago
    FYI - For those of you misreading...I am STILL 300 pounds. I've just chosen not to care anymore.
    2239 days ago
  • EUEK098
    emoticon on being able to meat your idol
    2239 days ago
    emoticon emoticon An absolutely inspirational story. Am in a rut at the moment because of a plateau but your story has changed that! ...and about the scale thing....I'm keeping mine away and will only weigh in frtnightly. Ready to hit the gym with Oooomph!
    2239 days ago
    I am so happy hear that you made it into the 200's and even more impressed with your other list of numbers.

    You are a definite inspiration and motivation to me and many many others.

    Keep doing what your doing!
    2239 days ago
  • DJSHIP46
    You are an inspiration!!! And I know that you will continue to find success because you are definitely good enough!!!
    2239 days ago
    Inspired. Just joined -- and this is what I needed! Thank you for sharing.
    2239 days ago
    I this most important thing is for me to remember that I am the most importatant and I can struggle to lose the weight, but to stay at it. I am around 418 and I am trying to break through to 399. I am in a fight for my life.
    2239 days ago
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    2239 days ago
    Wow! What an amazing person you are! Thanks for a fantastic, and very motivating blog. And very moving too. You've come a long way!!!
    2239 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story!
    2239 days ago
    2239 days ago
    Wonderful blog. I admire you for your perseverance and good spirit. You look great! what an inspiration to us all. Keep up the good work. YOU ROCK! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2239 days ago
    What a beautiful, wild, goofy, magnificent woman you are!!!
    2239 days ago
    Wow! Awesome "real" blog. Thanks for having the courage to share so openly. Thanks for the encouragement!

    2239 days ago
    Wonderful blog honey...the scenario with your father playing catch with you as a young girl almost brought tears to my eyes and brought back a heck of a lot of ugly memories from my childhood. That being said, we all heal....and we are good enough, smart enough, funny enough, worth enough to make the effort! Don't ever let anyone ever tell you different again! You go girl!!!

    Hugs, Wendy
    2239 days ago
    Wow! You are amazing! Thank you for writing that.
    2239 days ago
    Do you realize that I joined right before you in march 2010? That I have been through all this with you? That I have seen you fight and continue on even among the doubts and the set backs? I have had a front stage seat to your life and your struggles and your success. You are an amazing person and you are not enough. You are MORE than enough. Congrats on that huge milestone. Welcome to the 2's!
    2239 days ago
    Thank you so much ... I read your story at a low moment in my weight loss effort. I'm only three weeks into changing my eating and moving more and I felt so hungry, I just wanted to give in to bread and chips and chocolate and cheese. Tonight, you have made me stop in my tracks and rededicate myself to my new journey. emoticon
    2239 days ago
    I so needed to discover you today. Thanks so much for the motivation and sharing your story. What an awesome person you are!

    Thank you!
    2239 days ago
    Wow...thank you! Your story hit ME right in the gut. I was never enough for my Mom and that pain is always there. You can chalk up another point for touching a life...because you sure touched mine with your blog. Best wishes on your amazing journey.
    2239 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/2/2012 10:24:10 PM
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. emoticon You are amazing! Makes ME wanna be amazing too! emoticon
    2239 days ago
  • JAS9096
    Thank for posting this amazing blog! Sooo inspiring.

    P.S. is the movie quote Sisterhood of the Travelling pants?
    2239 days ago
    2239 days ago
    this is so great, the best personal story iv read in a while and so inspirational, let me keep track of the right numbers. 1 sweet little girl, who never has to compete with anyone but the video game for her dads attention. I wish I had a dad like that. She complains that he is strict and gets on her case, but some day she will appreciate it.
    2239 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2239 days ago
    I was reading this and nearly crying when at the last paragraph amercian idol started singing you are so beautiful.... Girl you are beautiful, I too am beautiful. I am so thankful that you are learning it now and not at 55 like I slowly am.
    When I was reading this, I thought hmmm who did I want to impress, guess be mum more than dad, dad didn't do much with me, but mum berated my sewing ability, my whatever ability. so guess be mum and sometimes now my hubby. I feel as if I sometimes cant quite measure up to what he wants but mostly when I am helping him with renovations and he and I both know I cant lift, move ect cos of back and knee issues.
    So girl lets love ourselves, be beautiful and thankful that we can be healthy, fit and happy. HUGS
    2239 days ago
  • SHIRE33
    Oh, my! Fabulous blog. It really hits home to me today. My dad is having a hard time right now dealing with health issues, and he's pretty down on everybody. Today he informed me I will never be able to quit my teaching job and farm full time because in 9 years I've never made any real money. I started making about $3,000 my first summer. Last summer we made over $20,000. Now that's gross, not counting expenses. But what we lack in cash we've been able to create in our barn and workshop, tractor, a couple trips, and other things that we'd never have been able to do without extra income. My plan is to triple that income in the next couple of years.

    I sucked it up and told him, in a very nice voice, "I believe in myself. I don't need other people to believe in me for me." And I know it's true now. I never farm right, according to Dad, because I'm farming intensively and sustainably and organically. I should be doing it the easy, common sense way (i.e., his way). I decided a long time ago that I just can't care. I'm very proud of what I've been able to do. And what I will do.

    In a sense, it's kinda sad that he can't appreciate what I'm doing and share it. He has no idea how much I just don't talk about with him because I now refuse to let it get me down.

    Thanks for sharing your story and making me feel like there are kindred spirits in this.

    : )
    2239 days ago
    Thank you for your amazing beautiful inspiring incredible blog.. So many of us can relate to the Tony Robbins story.. so many of us. You are an inspiration!
    2239 days ago
    Awesome journey. Nothing like realizing your own self worth. Good on you!
    2239 days ago
    Awesome blog!
    You are inspiring and amazing!

    You ARE good enough!
    2239 days ago
    Great blog !!! Keep up the good work !! I'm rooting for you.

    2239 days ago
    I have tears in my eyes right now. What a beautifully honest piece! Thank you!
    2239 days ago
    Such a great blog! You are definitley an inspiration!
    2239 days ago
    The change in your face alone is absolutely remarkable. I have always found your story so inspiring. Keep you the good work! You look beautiful
    2239 days ago
    There are no words.... You are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for sharing this blog.
    2239 days ago
    You are truely beautiful, inspiring and amazing!!! As Clairbrock said I am also a Re-newbie. I weigh 230lbs and would love to loose 80. My heart goes to you about your dad because I remember feeling a little like you about my father. But my daughter, her father, my exhusband, he has absolutely nothing to do her. It hurts me. She wants sooooo very bad to be loved by him or even at least acknowledged but nothing. We were at a wedding and she stood by him like a puppy wanting attention and he looked at her like looking through a window and turned completely around giving his back to her. Hurt me so bad. He goes to bbq's with his other kids and doesnt invite her. So hurtful! I want her to read your post. Thankyou for your post. Big Hugs! You are an inspiration to me ;)
    2239 days ago
    You are beautiful and amazing. You can do it. You are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the good work. I know it is hard, but you can do it. emoticon emoticon
    2239 days ago
    Amazing... emoticon
    2239 days ago
    You are an amazing resilient person you reminded me of myself as a child seeking my dads affirmation and not getting it but pushing on and seeing the value that God has placed in you thank you for the inspiration I needed this today.
    2239 days ago
    Wow, fantastic blog. What an "a-ha moment" for you - as though it played out that episode and got you watching just for that!
    2239 days ago
  • BANDMOM2012
    Wonderful blog! You look amazing! I love the change in your smile.
    2239 days ago
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