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Stand up and Be Counted .... Please.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What separates the person who is standing on the precipice ready to make “the ultimate commitment” -- who stands up to be counted vs. the person who chooses to lay in a fetal position in the corner of the bedroom begging the world to please go away??? Sadly, I was both of these people at different times in my life... And, one day, in a moment of lucidity, the realization occurred to me that my very life was hanging in the balance ... And, as I had known in the back of my mind, I was behind the 8 ball -- big time -- and my life no longer worked … I was miserable… so miserable that I could isolate and get away from everyone else but I couldn’t get away from me … I knew instinctively that I needed to take a long, hard and brutally honest look at who I was and the mess that vaguely resembled my life …

Being overweight brings with it a multitude of peripheral issues which exacerbates the whole shooting match... The game I chose to play was the intellectual equivalent of “what came first: the chicken or the egg? “ Except in my elaborate game, the question was: “Did I get fat first -- which precipitated all these problems; got depressed because of it -- or, was I depressed first, got fat and my life fell apart due to all my problems??? As if either option even remotely mattered one way or the other --- It was, however, the subconscious mind games I played for self-preservation -- each one a more elaborate rip off than the next --- delay tactics all -- the intellectualizing; mind games played with great precision … Putting off the inevitable --- because, on some level, I felt I deserved to live yet another day suffering in my fat suit --- the one of my own creation -- in pain and misery.. Wishing, hoping... waiting for each day to melt into the next …. Until I was no more. I was afraid to open that Pandora’s Box with years and years of hurt and pain -- stuff from so long ago that I might fall apart if I revisit, remember, relive it, one more time … And, I dare not go on one more diet, lose 100 lbs, and live with the embarrassment and shame of putting it all back on -- yet again, and then some -- and be seen as that pathetic loser, Earl’s wife, Tom and Tiffany’s mother -- “… the children with the real fat mom” -- said in sinister, mocking voices as if I didn’t know I was fat -- as if I was unaware that they were laughing at me behind my back -- as the mom and wife who couldn’t or wouldn’t put the fork down long enough to quit overeating …. That is the real reason I lugged around the extra weight for as long as I did is I didn’t want to do the necessary work that would heal my heart, body and spirit. There I said it. Once I spoke my truth, I was free -- free to become everything I had dared to dream --- to do whatever I wanted my life to be about … To reach for the highest stars; To do my Life’s Purpose -- what I always knew I wanted to do; and to live each and every moment as if it were my last ....

The inspiration for this blog was precipitated by the above picture sent to me by SNIX66 (Dianna). Dianna and I have enjoyed some much-needed levity since she and I met -- and I think she knows that I adore her…Especially since she allows me (at least thus far!!) -- in the space of possibility -- to be brutally honest -- so as to fully support her on her journey. D and I both knew instantly, innately, that we chose to trust one another -- two strangers with common goals and dreams -- both daring to dream, to open our hearts and trust one another, in this safe place called “Spark…”

Dianna somewhat sheepishly sent me that first SPmail and said that the picture of Bman (renamed by Faith “BarbieMom”) and I were adorning her refrigerator for inspiration -- she said: “the picture is on my page.” Embarrassed but somewhat curious, I went to Dianna’s page fully expecting to see a tasteful 2”x2” picture of Bentley and me on her fridge... With great shock and embarrassment, I witness what appears to be an 8x10 --- Lordy!!! Thank You, Dianna.

The attached quote is from someone who I adore and who said to me: "Although we met on SPARK, I know we'd be friends offline, too ... friends forever!!" Yes -- Lauren .. You are absolutely correct.....

Lauren wrote this quote after being inspired by the above blog, as follows:

" Inspiration is the beginning,
Motivation is the power,
Action is making it happen;
And only you
Can make your dreams come true
By turning Inspiration into Action."

-Lauren Engelhardt
February 6, 2008

I dedicate this blog to a very special person, SabineJade, whose birthday is today 02/03/2008 when I originally wrote this blog; who loving showed up in my life and already is my angel ... To YOU SabineJade!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Just one word "Thanks"
    4021 days ago
  • FITJEN48
    I acn't believe I missed this blog entry. What an awesome lady you are. Such a wonderful inspiration to so many. Thanks for your presence here on spark. Your story means a lot to all of us.
    4149 days ago
    So on top of everything else awesome about you, you are also a gifted writer? Wow. That brought tears to my eyes, thank you. Good tears, the kind that come from having the embers in your heart blown on. I don't know why it is so neat to me that you wrote this on my 33rd birthday.
    4191 days ago
    I am Standing and can count on you with another fabulous posting. Each word is chosen carefully to inspire all of us to listen to your life experience with your struggle to find the real "you". Princess~You deserve to be happy and hold yourself in the highest regard. Motivation is also an adjective I can use to describe your personality. Thank you so much for putting everything into prospective for me. Weight loss can be a mental anguish just as for the physical side. I am thankful I found you on sparkpeople and look forward to being friends offline...truly! Hugs, Trish
    4193 days ago
    Joannie, I just got onto your blog and read the entry for Feb 3rd because my grandson, M'bake, was 7 that day. He is one of the lights of my life. I have three other grandchildren that will be coming up to visit this week. They live on Cape Cod now. It is school vacation week here in MA. My grandson, Anthony, a teenager. He gave me a wow moment when he said, "Grandma, you are looking good!" Maya is just 4, and she is so special. She often tells my Amy that she wants to visit Grandma and go to church. Marley is just a year old. She does not see me as much as Maya had when she was young. Back then, Maya was in day care in the same town that my husband I worked in, and we picked her up often to help out Tom and Amy.

    I have had two emotional times...yes, when I realized that my children grew up with a fat mom. I had RNY gastric bypass surgery on Jan 3 2008 so that my grandchildren do not see a fat Grandma any more.

    I was inspired reading your page. I will continue to read what you have learned on this weight loss journey. I too have lost a lot of weight. I too need to examine why I gained. I hope to continue this conversation with you.


    4202 days ago
    You've done it again!! Once more you have inspired me to keep going. I'm so happy that I am finally taking hold of my life, kind of giving myself another chance. Reading the things you have written is like walking around inside of my head.

    Thank you for being such a great role model. Whenever I need a boost, all I have to do is look at your blog!
    4203 days ago
    You are an amazing person! I thank you for being so honest. When I read your thoughts and it as if I wrote them myself!

    I have always been afraid to fail once I lose my weight. If I fail after I lose weight then it is not the weight's fault, it's my fault. That's a very scary proposition. If I don't lose the weight I don't have to worry about failing. Even though I haven't really been living. You are right about being afraid to face myself. Boy, I have a lot to work to do mentally as I work out physically. But I can and I will do it. It is different this time around.

    You and others on this site are really helping me and I can't thank you enough! I am not the only one who has ever struggled like this. I CAN get stronger mentally and work things out. It helps me so much to talk to others that have walked in my shoes.

    You know, I have always been fascinated by the Ironman triathlon. My husband has always told me that I could do it. He tells me that I can do anything but I am the one who needs to believe I can do it. As he tells me this he points to his head and says this is what you have to overcome. This is where you need to believe it.

    4204 days ago

    4209 days ago
    You are so loved. Know that you are truly so loved! I still have a hard time putting together your old pictures and your new pictures. Your cocoon has come off princess!
    Thanks for posting to me...You are real, and I love that about you. I only want real and honest in my life. No need for pretend.
    I don't ever want to lay in that fetal position again, and I know you don't either. It feels too good to keep going. There is no other way. No reason to go back, but for the taste and feel of bad food, and laziness. No thanks. Its just not worth it.
    I took most of last week off, but I got back up. When I started working out again, my calories burned were way up again....I could tell I was already getting back out of shape. They are already leveling back down again, but it was a good visual to see what happens when you take more than 4 or 5 days off. Which is fine...just get back on that beautiful horse.

    Ok, I am rambling, and this thing doesnt leave spaces where you put them, so its going to look like one big bloopy post. lol

    Yes. Warped! lol! Good thing I have you to ground me!

    Love ya dahlin'! Lets go to FL soon...I am freezing up here in WI. Its Still below zero! grrr!

    4209 days ago
  • ANGIEEM0505
    Oh, wow, yeah!! I have been there done that with the whole figuring out the "why" and "how" I got to the point I did. I racked myself over the coals and came out feeling like you FREE!! Thank you so much for sharing this because it was SO ME!! You are so beautiful and so inspiring, God has His Hand on you and it shows. It shows in the gift He has given you through communication and writing. You would sell tons of books if you wrote about this and your whole journey in a book!! People love you and love to read your thoughts!! You DO have a gift!!! God bless you!!!

    “Even if you are on the right track,
    you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

    4209 days ago
    Do you know you are amazing? I don't have words to express how much you have helped me in these short weeks since I've met you here with just your words! I am doing well. I lost only 1lb this last week but I have a feeling I will lose at least 2 this week. I have been doing really good this week so far! I hope all is well with you. Take care and keep the great attitude you have! Much love! *hugs* Tami
    4211 days ago
    Well you've done it again, wrote a wonderful and inspiring blog like only you can.
    4212 days ago
  • no profile photo LAUREN419
    Great post sweetie! But you already knew that ;) You have a beautiful heart and a talent for writing. I am honored that my little quote got to be attached to such a wonderful blog.

    I love you Joannie!
    4212 days ago
    I am so happy I found you! I think you are beautiful, and I love the way you write. I also like the Valentine background! Talk again soon!
    4214 days ago
    you are amazing, you touched my heart more than you will ever know with that blog........
    4214 days ago
    Hi Sweetie, I totally agree with Dianna that you and brother Dave should write a book... your inspiration deserves to be shared with an even bigger audience than we have here in our little Spark world. Little by little what you're saying is starting to sink in with me, and for that I will be forever grateful. Thanks for being YOU! Joni
    4215 days ago
  • ACACIA21
    you, my dear , are such a wonderful inspiration and motivator to others. You have such a good heart, and a giving spirit. I don't think I have met anyone quite like you. You make me want to try my best and give others the hand up that you offered me. love and affection, shell
    4215 days ago
    WOW! WOW! Just when I am feeling sorry for myself I am flung back to reality with your words of wisdom. Joanie you have such a gift with worda and honesty. I thank god for your friendship. You truly inspire me. It's all about honesty and taking a good look at the inside to fix the outside and a decision to do the work. The one thing that I see shine through you is that the blessings you receive and shine with after doing the work. So I know the only way is go through. Thank you. I needed something today and it's something how god gives us what we need.
    4215 days ago
    Count me in too! For standing up and taking my life by the horns and making it what I want it to be. Your story continues to inspire in 8x10 vision apparently lol! Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing this with others. You never know who is out there thinking OMG she is describing my life and when we feel like we are not in it alone all of a sudden we can begin to find courage to stand up and be counted. Excellent!!
    4215 days ago
    Hello Lovely One

    I am standing up........
    4215 days ago
    Do you remember the "Faith" bridge in the Indiana Jones movie (I think it was #3). He could not see a thing, but as soon as he took the first tentative step, it was THERE, for him to see, and to support him.
    I am standing up. And I am thanking God for all of you who have gone and are going before, to help me love myself into wholeness. Bless you. Trece
    4216 days ago
    Woo Hoo! You rock girl! You really have the power to speak to people and get them to listen to you. I know you have travelled such a long way but the person you described at the beginning of your blog doesn't sound like you at all. It's almost as if you are talking about someone else. You have come an incredible distance, walked a thousand steps to help to encourage, guide and inspire so many people. You are awesome. I might have to go and get a poster of you myself now! Hugs, Helen (your friend forever!)
    4216 days ago
  • SNIX66
    And PS if I'd have known the above photograph were to be circulated I woulda taken the tacky magnet clips off the fridge....;)

    4216 days ago
  • SNIX66
    OH MY GUH!!!!!

    This describes what I have been doing,for 23 odd years EXACTLY! How in gawd's name did you do that?!!

    Good lord-ya got me so worked up I'm all caps locki'n and stuff.
    OK I have decided that you and Pir8dave should coauthor a book-you two sure have a knack for this!
    If anyone else happens to be reading this and agrees with me-back me up!
    If not-then who the hell asked ya anyway.

    Thanks again for this post////simply AMAZING dahlink :)

    4216 days ago
    Hi My dear friend, Joanni!!! You are so absolutely honest and forthcoming as you rip the bandaid off of the wound....thats the way it has to be done! I could relate so much to all you said and then some..I am sure most of us here at sparks with a significant amount of weight to lose can ! I just adore you - look to you for inspiration and motivation and most of all unconditional support and love! I am so happy and thankful God placed you in my life...and vice versa!!! love ya and God bless! Keep sharing! Felicia
    4217 days ago
  • LEANNA64
    I agree.....Thank you for making us THINK. It never ceases to amaze me how much alike we ALL are and how we think were not. You have really given me something to think about tonight. How sad it is when people don't open up and share. They don't realize that they are missing an opportunity to be a blessing to someone else........
    4217 days ago
    That's so sweet! You are right! I am really trying to change my mind set.
    I have been holding myself back for years with my weight being my main excuse. Yesterday I wrote a list of things I am and things I liked doing and to my suprise most if not all were in past!! I was horrified that I have completly changed the person that I am!! I have a long list of why I can't. Not anymore! I have figured out that the better I feel about myself, the better things go in other areas of my life. When I feel good my weight falls off, but its really not as much about that as finding me burried beneath the lard. I have really tried to take part in things that I love the last couple of days and even though I am not at my best I exude confidence! This is my goal for the rest of my life!!
    I just really wanted to say again how right you are! We all love you so much. Without your encouragement I wouldn't have seen me! When you sent your first message to me I thought, maybe she read the wrong page!! LOL! Because the things you said were so nice they just couldn't be for me. But now I know! Thanks for being there, and just being you! XOXO -Abra
    4217 days ago
    Wow, that is awesome beyond words. It must feel really great to be such an inspiration to people. It certainly provides more validation to your success. Not something anyone should need, but a nice little bit of proverbial icing on the cake.

    Congratulations, that's great!
    4217 days ago
    As you continue to share your story with all of us here on Spark, I continue to be inspired, impressed, and especially blessed. Thank you so much for opening up those parts of you and sharing them with us! I'm standing up! I'm standing up beside you :) To take it all back and achieve what I am meant to as well! I want to be counted, too!
    4217 days ago
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