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For Amy (...and if I'm being honest, for me, too)... Keepin' it Real

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

When I joined SparkPeople, I thought it was because I wanted (needed) to take control of my weight and my health... and for awhile this remained a truth I could comfortably live with. I was undeniably fat (morbidly obese), and I was chronically ill.

Interestingly, while the weight was my most obvious symptom, it wasn't where my journey began. In fact, it was actually only after years of frustrating struggle, that the weight began to take care of itself... only after I discovered and embraced that which I needed to heal... emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Turns out my true and authentic reason for being here was to STRUGGLE... not unlike labouring to give birth... and my struggle was about giving birth to MY SELF... whole, healed, authentic, joyful, FREE, deeply engaged in the life with which I've been blessed.

...And once I fully embraced that struggle, once I stopped fighting against the invitation (call) to struggle, the journey to wellness and weight loss became comparatively easy.

My life today, while not looking much different on the surface, has become so much MORE in ways I could not have anticipated.

If you are over-weight, unhappy, unfulfilled, weary, feeling small... you have to cut yourself loose somehow from whatever it is that binds you, and holds you back. From this diminished, beaten-down state, you don't have the clarity of mind or the physical well-being to move forward (even with weight loss) without continuing to damage yourself.

I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what they need to do with any specificity (because for each of us the specifics are different), but I can tell you that I don't at all, not for a moment regret distancing (and even eliminating in some cases) the damaging influences in my life... whether they be food-related, relationships (toxic, hurtful people), bad habits, poor choices, fear to live fully... ANYTHING that makes your world smaller than you really want it to be.

I am MUCH happier without them all. I am healthier at age 56 than I have ever been or dreamed I could be. All of my relationships (with the noted exception of those which were toxic and damaging in the first place) have improved. I can see life in a clearer, more authentic, and hopeful way. I am accomplishing more for myself, those I love, and my community. I am healing on all levels. Food has become a healing force in my life. There is finally room for good, loving and enriching people in my life... because the toxicity is no longer taking up more space than it deserved (read: NONE). I am no longer perpetually anxious, insecure in my own judgement and desires, and exhausted... and my life is interesting, JOYOUS and fulfilling.

Oh! And, once the toxicity was eliminated and I was living a life that reflected who I really am, the weight came off! Funny how that works! Obesity is so often a symptom of a life unfairly starved of richness.

All I really want to do today is share some of the notions which inspired and carried me down this birth canal, and brought me to myself. It's my greatest hope for you, Amy (and anyone else reading), that these words somehow give you the courage to enter fully into the process of labouring for your own sake, rather than against all that would ensure you don't succeed! Stop fighting against, and fight FOR.

In no particular order...

Choose your storm!

...and lest anyone think it's been easy to be here for nearly 10 years:

Why I'm Still Here... my SparkJourney Saga

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight

How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'

CICO Shove Off! 'New Kid on the (Nutritional) Block' Hits Mainstream

(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)

I continue to maintain for the most part (one year at the same weight)... life has been too hectic to do anything else. I allowed myself to revert to some old habits (fruit and higher carb), and I'm using September/October to repair the metabolic damage (read: INFLAMMATION) which ensued. I'm within 20 pounds of my lowest weight (155 lbs.) and going DOWN (I could still wear all of my clothes, but the scale weight became alarming). I'll soon be blogging more about this part of my journey. I first need the return to school/activity schedules to stop kicking my butt, LOL.

(I started my journey at 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ALOFA0509
    "Obesity is so often a symptom of a life unfairly starved of richness"... I soo love this!!! I visit your page often to refuel and find strength in your blogs/wisdom. emoticon emoticon
    663 days ago
    I was just catching up on some friends' blogs I've missed over the last few hectic months and came across this one of yours, which gave me goose bumps of recognition. It is such an eloquent call to be who we are and live the life we were meant to live.

    You have expressed so well what I've been struggling to see:

    "Interestingly, while the weight was my most obvious symptom, it wasn't where my journey began. In fact, it was actually only after years of frustrating struggle, that the weight began to take care of itself... only after I discovered and embraced that which I needed to heal... emotionally, spiritually, and physically."

    All the food tracking in the world won't help me a bit if I ignore my own spiritual poverty. And I must tell you that this one following sentence, among all the other wise things you say here, has pierced my soul more than anything else I've ever read on SparkPeople:

    "Obesity is so often a symptom of a life unfairly starved of richness."

    In that one sentence, you have sent me the most powerful message. I recognize it as something I knew deep down but needed to remember from the time before I got lost. I'm grateful that you wrote this blog and that I found it today.
    670 days ago
  • FABFIT52
    So eloquently and beautifully written! This is written with so much depth that truly cuts to the very core of so many issues wrapped up in our journeys. You should be an author! And I would buy your books! Your words inspire much internal processing and provide clarity to so many things that most of us never consider or could not put into words. Thank you!
    693 days ago
    Read this and July 23rds blogs after posting mine today. I have been here forever, never getting results and aging everyday. Now my one knees been replaced, my shoulder may need to be, i had breast cancer this yr... and am just sooo tired. One paragraph in your 23rd bog hit home. Please read mine and just talk to me. I have been around off and on but obviously I need to be more consistent, I missed all your progress! Congratulations! I will be 61 end od dec and somehow things have to change.
    757 days ago
    Ramona, you are a natural teacher!

    Thanks for sharing!
    804 days ago
  • *JENNIE*
    Beautifully written and eloquent as alway! Yes, yes and yes! You have fabulous points - I recently had this conversation with someone. I had to learn to have love for myself to find the love of my life. Then I had to learn to BE loved by him to learn how to treat myself with love. And with that love, I found the strength & confidence in me that made the weight loss finally possibly. I often say: If only I'd found my husband earlier... if only I'd discovered LCHF earlier... but I wasn't ready. I had battles to engage in before I could get to the place I was ready. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to me, and others, that progress is not linear and isn't just numbers, but it's a process, a struggle that we just have to keep working at as who we are is being Refined by Fire :-)
    807 days ago
    I've been living with a lot of anxiety for a long time, and today was really a rotten day for me. I called again for help, and found the two people who have helped me in the past and they are still helping. I'm hoping to feel better soon.

    Then in the quiet of this night I found your blog and was lifted a little out of my fears and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Thanks you for sharing. I am grateful for whatever led me to your blog tonight!

    I'm hoping to bring peace into my life. emoticon

    808 days ago
    Thank you emoticon
    808 days ago
    Thank you for sharing, yet again, an inspiring and eye-opening blog.

    Keep on sparking xo
    809 days ago
    Thank you Ramona. I have always felt that all women are deeply fierce, powerful, progressive, wise and loving and that only those who are challenged by that notion are ultimately hurt by their beliefs and actions. They are the losers.
    Your journey is a treasure. emoticon
    809 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    RAMONA!!!!!!! What a Fantastic Blog emoticon I'm soo glad you and I are friends, because I've been diving into your blogs, and cross referencing all this wonderful information your sharing!! It's been fun reading your older blogs, and finding new revelation's abt food that I never really thought of. What a god send you are!! Thank you for sharing your journey. emoticon emoticon
    809 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    810 days ago
    You definitely know what is what and you won't take any guff, which is a good thing.

    On my journey, I had to learn to embrace all aspects of myself, in order to gain the light that I needed to really start on this journey. It has been an amazing journey, just as yours has been.

    Thank you for this blog!


    - Nancy Jean -
    810 days ago
    I really want to print this out and hang it on the fridge and the bathroom and various other places (maybe not while selling the house, but other times, totally! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself!
    810 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    810 days ago
    What a heartfelt, powerful blog. Love you insight . . . that obesity is so often a symptom of a life unfairly starved of richness (but not food).
    810 days ago
    810 days ago
    love, love this
    810 days ago
    You have put into words ... my thoughts.

    I started this journey to lose weight and lots of it.

    What I have gained ... is a life full of clear thoughts and feelings, ability to move through my life and the courage to ... be ME.
    810 days ago
    Such an inspiration! Such a journey!
    810 days ago
    OMG this post is EXACTLY what I needed to read, on so many levels. Thank you, _Ramona!!
    810 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    810 days ago
  • BERRY4
    emoticon definitely a JOURNEY / process. Way to persevere for YOU and making choices that count for YOU!
    (So true about "toxic" people & their methods. Yes, the TRUTH will eventually win out! Just hard to wait sometimes...)
    810 days ago
    OMG YES! My journey started out all about changing the physical me -- weight and looks. BUT to say the least, the MOST important work I have done on this journey (and continue to do in maintenance) is emotional and spiritual. The physical definitely happens when you take care of emotions and spiritual needs. Took me a long time to 'catch onto' that, but i it truth!

    810 days ago
    Well written, thanks for sharing.
    810 days ago
    Thank you. I woke up emotionally 'not good' today. This is exactly what i needed to read. Your "toxic person" and "gift of absence" quotes also cut to my core. It's something I'm struggling with. Thank you for sharing with us!!!
    810 days ago
    Wonderful blog.
    810 days ago
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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.