Tainted Love


strong woman

 

I’m  not really sure when the love/hate relationship began.  It seems like it’s been there forever, but surely when I was two it wasn’t present.  I am aware that by kindergarten it was firmly in place.  Somewhere between birth and the tender age of five I fell into the love/hate thing.  Always aware, always conscious that I  . . .was the fat girl.

I look back on pictures of myself in kindergarten, and know that my brothers tormented me calling me fatty fatty four by four.  Seriously,  I was a pretty average sized kid – but solid.  I’ve never been skinny, or  a waif.  By fourth grade I had pudged out to butterball proportions.  Indeed I became the labels that I was taunted with.

You know, it affects you hearing those names.   That old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”.   That’s a big fat hairy lie!  Words hurt far more than being beaten with a cane.  Words last a lifetime, being beaten with a belt or cane, or switch only lasts a short while.  Bruises heel but the word scars cut deep.  It was enough to perpetuate a lifelong struggle with weight.

Regardless of other issues of dysfunctional family life, or abuse, over eating became a self medicating action.   Think I”m lying?  Watch a kid that’s upset inhale a ton of sugar then buzz around until they literally crash.  Talk about setting up your system for problems.  I developed a sweet tooth at a very early age,  Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on earth.

Anyway, the love/hate thing: it’s a total mental game that I play with myself.  I try to avoid the scale because based on where the needle lands, I will either be ecstatic if it drops down even a fraction,or crushed if it goes up a fraction. How many of you know that is a poor indicator?  Do you know the average woman’s body can fluctuate as much as 6 pounds within 1 day?  That is a roller coaster set up for disaster.  I weigh myself once a week.

I think many women, especially American women battle with the love/hate relationship with their body.

I have decided that it’s time to settle things with myself.  There was a time when I felt good in my own skin.  I felt confident, I felt strong, healthy, alive and energetic.  Age of course has bearing on all those things, but my goal is that feeling I had;  a feeling of confidence, of knowing that I was capable.

If you’ve ever watched any episode of Biggest Loser, you know the contestants  biggest battle is in their mind.  We play these horrible mind games on our self.  We tell our self we can’t .  We tell our self we aren’t worthy.  We tell ourselves we aren’t good enough.  We tell ourselves – we aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, rich enough, tall enough, and a whole slew of other things of why we can’t have the good things in life.  Talk about a self-defeating attitude.

I refuse to engage in the self-defeating mind games any longer.  Instead of why I can’t, I ask myself why and how I can.  I preach myself encouragement.  Yeah, you may have noticed a few rounds of encouragement on my blog here, thanks for joining me for the lecture.

I’m not making any land-speed record for weight loss, but i am making progress.  Slowly but surely.  I fear it’s slower than a turtle but there is progress never the less. the biggest progress is on the inside.  Stopping the self-defeating track that has played for so many years.

I Know I spend a lot of time discussing weight loss also, there’s a reason for that.  This is the  biggest issue, my biggest battle that I face.  It’s like I can tackle pretty much anything life throws at me.  Reworking three years of work that someone destroyed – yeah, I didn’t give up.  Handling multiple roles in life – not that I really have a choice there.   Being responsible and teaching my children to be responsible adults – well I don’t really consider that an option either.  But this weight thing – it has kicked my butt for years.

NO  MORE!  It’s going down!  This last outpost for the love/hate relation is going to be destroyed.

Why is it such an issue in my life?  As I figure out the answers to that question, the walls come down brick by brick.  Sometimes we have to understand how the wall was built-in order to destroy it. I’m laying siege to the last bastions of  ‘fat chick’.  She’s not bullying me anymore.  She’s not ruling over my body anymore.  Like the metamorphosis of a butterfly – I kind of look at this soft exterior I currently have as a sort of cocoon, a chrysalis that houses the  emerging beauty of renewed life.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,  – why do I get so metaphorical?  Because the manifestation of the reality of who I am is only an internal vision right now.  Despite the lack of youth, despite the fact that I’m not going to have anymore children, despite my battle scars of stretch marks from the children I have, this chick is going to rock this joint!  I’m going to be the bet ME I can be.  Never going to look like Taylor Swift – I think she’s too skinny anyway.  Despite what my husband desires – I”m never going to look like Valerie Bertinelli because  – well, I just don’t look like Valerie Bertinelli.  I am a one of a kind original, made in the USA, unique and valuable being.

OH, and I’ve figured out a thing or two over my time on this rock.  Like, the inner voices lie! I don’t know who planted that track there but I’m ripping it out one paving stone at a time.  No more love/hate relations with my body.  I’m going to own it!  That’s right , you heard me inner fat chick – you’re going down!

What things do you struggle with?  Do you have a bad self-image? A love/hate relation with some part of your body? Or your whole body?  don’t be shy, speak up.  Together we are stronger, and speaking up shuts up the self-defeating talk.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

Confessions and Accountability


IMG-20110421-00029<—– Taken 6/2009  Jan 2 2013

Taken 1/2/2013  ——>

I’m not happy with where I am.  However, considering that in June of 2009 I was 289 pounds,  that’s nearly 300 pounds; I am reminding myself that progress has been made.  I mentioned last year that I had a plan and I expected my friends to hold me accountable.  As embarrassing as it is to share my fat pictures, I feel it’s necessary to  be honest.

The first picture is when I let life happen to me.  Mourning the loss of parents, marital difficulties, emotional battles, and putting myself on the back burner to be a mom were all contributing factors to eating myself to a state of morbid obesity.   I’m not exaggerating – 289!  I had a friend ask if I doctored the number.  My response: Have you ever known a woman to lie about her weight by adding MORE to it????   No!  As pathetic as it is, or was, that is where I was at.  That (notice expression above in picture A) was my happy face.  I had won two box seat tickets for the Cardinals vs Cubs game.

When you are carrying around the equivalent of another person all the time, you tend to be tired constantly.  For all those people who think I’m just a lot of hot air blowing around, honey I’ve been there.  I’ve been so low I had to look up to see the gutter.  I was at the bottom of a pit that I couldn’t seem to climb out of.

As you can see I’m still a work in progress.  By the way, the expression in picture B is before coffee.  Don’t leave me comments about the mess behind me. don’t leave me comments about my lack of expression.  I am up and dressed and my bed is made!  That’s as much as I can muster at 6:30 in the morning.  No one died in the taking of said picture  because they were on their way to school or work.  I have never nor will ever be a morning person.  Laughter and smiles happen after 10 am, and after at least two cups of coffee.

My determination to make fitness improvements in 2013 is at the top of my goals list.

  • Weight loss goal: 40 pounds.
  • Fitness goal:  to be able to run a 5K whether I compete in one or not.
  • Size goal: To fit into an American ladies size 12.  (First picture were size 24’s and yes they were tight. Second picture is a size 16 – 18.)

I”m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I started either.  It’s been a series of steps forward and backwards for me, but this isn’t a diet program.  This is my life.  I deal with everyday issues.  I didn’t get to run away to Biggest Loser ranch and have a team of medical experts on call, a personal chef to design an eating plan for me, or a personal trainer to design an exercise program for me.  I’ve expended my own energy, my own brain power, and reason to matters that I live with every day.  I can do this!  So can you!  Anyone can, it’s just a matter of daily choices.  Make better choices and do it over a long period of time.

For me, it’s a very long period of time.  Obviously, I’m not on a crash diet because the time it’s taken me to lose this weight seems astronomical compared to Biggest Loser results.  I’m not as hard after it as I could be, but I’m dealing with it.  One day at a time, one choice at a time, one decision at a time.  Sometimes I choose the comfort food that isn’t as healthy but overall I have a pretty healthy eating plan.  I hate the word diet – the first three letters is DIE!

Diligence day after day, month after month, and yes year after year.  It takes a lot more to undo the damage that giving up on myself caused.  I may get down on myself and mentally beat myself up but I will never give up on myself again.

I hope that in some way, this will benefit at least some of my readers.  We all have our struggles, mine is weight.  I’m not even setting my sights on a number on the scale, or a clothing size  but rather a level of fitness I once had.  Muscle memory – it affects my workouts and my mindset.  I will know it when I achieve it.

There are other goals that I have set myself for the year, and I am just as determined with them.  The weight issue however is a long time battle with me.  It colors everything I see about the world around me, and how I feel about myself.  I know I am perfectly capable in many areas but the weight goals have eluded me thus far.

Do you have that one thing that hangs over your head like the dust cloud that follows Pigpen?  Does it color your view of the world? Does it make you feel inferior?  Does it cause you to hold back and not give it 100%?

The biggest obstacle to weight loss is not what you eat, or the lack of exercise.  The biggest obstacle is what goes on in the six inches between your ears. How are you handling it?

Write on my friends, write on!