Thursday, July 30, 2009

The beauty of real value (aka the hidden surprise)

When I started in my weight loss journey (you can pick which time I started...there have been plenty!), I used to look to others as a way to figure out how I was doing. If I was losing the most in my meeting (again, pick a time - I've joined Weight Watchers several times!), then I was the
BEST. I won. I was amazing. I rocked.

But using the same logic, when I gained, I sucked. I felt like was a disappointment to everyone. The roller coaster of emotions was hard to keep riding. People kept saying "don't worry about what anyone else is attention to yourself!" And in theory, I understood what they said.

But the thing is, when you don't feel like you have value, it's hard to NOT compare yourself to others. If I only pay attention to what I'm doing how will I know if I'm a success or not? If I don't value myself at all, "beating" others is all I have.

I look back at my life and there are plenty of successes. I wonder how many of those I pushed for because I actually wanted that job or that position...and how many I did it just to try to show others that if I got that job or that position that I was WORTH loving. That somehow with a title next to my name, I might have value.

I realized that I was looking to others for validation of my worth. I've tried to change my thoughts about that. I didn't really know how to go about changing it, but I concentrated on trying to be patient with myself. I concentrated on loving myself. Even, and especially, the very ugly sides of me.

It took this post by Tony to realize that I have changed. I found myself almost shaking my head thinking "he just doesn't get it." Now, his post isn't actually about finding value in himself, but it is a bit of a rant about healthy bloggers, about their commenters, and about cliques within those groups. And what I kept coming back to is, WHY do you care so much about their blogs, their commenters, and the possible "cliques"? I felt the need to comment and let him know that everyone has a different journey. Everyone puts stuff out there on the Internet for someone to read. If it helps a reader, great. But more importantly, isn't it the best when it helps the blogger?

I've worked through ASSLOADS of my own issues by writing this blog. And the comments of support that I have received from you have meant more to me than it probably should (see above). But what's come out of it is that as I've bared my soul about my issues, my food, my issues with food, and my issues with me is that I've realized that I'm okay. I've realized that it will all work out. And here's where I want to cue a Stuart Smalley affirmation.

With that acceptance of myself came the process of valuing of myself.

I'm no longer the fastest loser. In fact, if you've read my blog, you know that I've been the same frickin' weight for months. MONTHS!

But I'm not giving up on ME. So if it takes me 2 more years to lose it, that's okay! Every pound gone, IS a pound GONE -- as in one I never have to see again. Every pound gone is a way to honor my body. Every pound I shed is an indication of me choosing ME, and not my past. It's a symbol of my freedom. It's a symbol of me, caring about me, and not paying attention to others.

It occurred to me that when you value yourself, you stop worrying about what other people are doing. You stop being concerned of being beaten, of being last, and of being the slowest. You start having confidence in who *you* are as a person, worthy of love, beautiful, and wonderful...just the way you were made.

I know. This post sounds rudimentary. And it should be. It'd be easy to blame my dad because he didn't show me love unless I was first, best, fastest... and even then, sometimes he didn't even acknowledge me. It'd be easy to do that - and perhaps that's the root of why I am a pleaser.

I grew up not having the faith in myself that I should. I grew up hungry for that unconditional love, for that acceptance. The problem is that I mistook the hunger for love for the hunger for food. I filled myself up the only way I knew how.

But now that I've acknowledged this, I can work on breaking that link.

This blog, my thoughts, and your comments (both via email and the blog) has been instrumental in my change of my identity. I'm on the cusp of figuring this stuff out...I can feel it.

But until I do, I just want to thank you for reading and for supporting me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: You're the best. You win. You're amazing. You rock. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Well, I wouldn't say it was fantastic...

...because it wasn't.

LOOOONG story short, NOTHING happened. Basically, we went out to eat, he took me back home, and then said that he was exhausted. And he was. I could tell. Apparently the night before got about 2 hours of sleep due to tossing and turning.

And I get it.

But I'm still disappointed.

And I'm so glad that I wrote what I did when I did. Because I remembered asking myself if I really thought that things would've been different if I was thinner...and quickly came to the conclusion that they would have not been different. The guy just needed his sleep.

Personally, I can count on one hand how many times I've been *that* tired that I couldn't even mess around...but to each their own. It did bother me enough (just because I was concerned that there wasn't a match) to bring it up and talk with him about it. The result of that conversation? I know he *does* find me attractive. I actually said something like "I'm relieved to hear it" and he was all "Why would I keep going out with you if I didn't?"

Which, basically, sums up the difference between guys and girls.

I guess I have a lot to learn.

In other news, I gained a crapload of weight this week. I don't know what happened to my resolve, but I ate whatever the heck I wanted - consequences be damned! Unfortunately, it didn't stop on Monday night when I weighed has continued through last night.

But today the eating has been on par - and I even ran for 2 1/4 miles at I guess that's good.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Here's to hoping it's fantastic

Bear with me. It might take a while for me to get to the point, but I'll get there. I promise.

Tonight, the guy that I've been dating is going to come over to my place. Assuming he can get past the smell of my dog/new spray, he'll actually spend some amount of time in my place.

And presumably we'll make out.

Here's the thing, when I went over to his place a few weeks ago, we didn't make out at all. Of course, I immediately assumed that he just wasn't into me. Having dated two guys since being here in Colorado that were, most assuredly, not into my body really did a number in my head. And all it takes is one guy not really wanting to kiss me for me to FREAK OUT.

Probably one of the reasons why I've been single. I struggle with equating physical affection with worth.

Anyway, I decided to confront him about it and to basically ask him what the heck was going on and why the heck didn't he want to kiss me anyway? And he basically said that he wasn't sure if he liked me like that yet...that he reserves those kind of actions for a different stage. In my mind, we'd been on 6 dates and I know people that "give it up" at date six. And here I was, having not even gone to second base yet.

And then the monologue started. The "if you were thinner, he'd probably be into you" monologue. I hate that talk.

In fact, that's actually what prompted this post as well as my decision to finally see a therapist.

In the meantime, he and I agreed to be friends with the option of it being more. Because this guy? He's absolutely one of the funniest people I've dated. He's considerate, nice, thoughtful, gentlemanly, smart, financially independent - you know, a great guy. So I knew that I wanted to be friends if we didn't click sexually.

We've seen a couple of movies since then and have held hands and did the peck on the lips thing when we saw each other. In my mind, I didn't consider him a viable dating candidate, but I enjoyed his company.

UNTIL last Sunday. I went over to his place again to watch a movie. Everything was fine until the end of the date when we totally made out. I don't know what changed in his mind. Or maybe it was just that I was relaxed about the whole thing.

So we've been flirty this week and we'll see what happens tonight. I'm not going to "give it up" tonight...mostly because I take STD's and pregnancy risks pretty seriously. But I'm definitely looking forward to making out.

So why am I writing about this on this blog?

He does read the other blog, but has no idea that this one exists. I know. It's risky to write about this. And maybe later I'll delete these posts so as to not hurt his feelings and/or make him feel self-conscious. But for now, I needed to write about it. I needed to get it out there. I needed to have a positive affirmation that even chubby people like me need to be treated with love. They deserve love and their bodies are WORTH being loved. It may sound simple to reason through for you, but for me, I've struggled most of my life with the thought that due to my chub, I wasn't worthy of love.* In fact, I had better work REALLY hard at everything else, because don't you know that I'm fat and therefore disgusting to you on some level?

I'm working hard to break that thought-cycle about myself.

My goal for tonight is to just enjoy it. To have whatever happens be fun, be an expression of sexual interest and not a judgement of my body. To enjoy the fact that someone is interested in all of me. And if nothing happens sexually, to still have a good time and not immediately think that it has anything to do with my size.

It really might be a struggle. I might be left with feelings of rejection, which as you know is a big trigger for me. OR it might be fantastic.

Here's to hoping it's the latter.

* Just so you know, I don't reserve that kind of judgement for anyone else's body size. My disdain for my weight struggles are limited to me. I have NEVER thought that anyone else's weight was related to their worth. It's an interesting concept that I'm sure my therapist and I will cover.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Body issues and dating...

'Member this post?

Well, the issue that I've been struggling with, is this: I'm dating a guy who is a lot smaller than I am. He's not a little person - he's actually an inch taller than I am...but he weighs about 75 pounds less than I do, which means that even at my goal weight, he'll still weigh less.

And I'm trying to decide how I feel about it.

A bit of background...I've dated two guys that were shorter than me and have dated several that weighed less than me. But I don't remember any of them being so much...well...littler than me. I'm not sure if it's the shoulders that are leaner or the fact that I can literally wrap my arms completely around his body, but JESUS he is tiny! Having dated a guy that was much stronger than me, I've found that I don't like getting hauled around as much as I thought that I would...

About a month ago I was talking to a friend about this...and he asked how I would feel if he was telling his friends that he didn't want to date a "big girl" like me. FIRST of all, fuck you and your "big girl" comment. I don't know why, but that phrase gets my blood boiling every time. Secondly, after he asked that my first comment back to him was "Well, you can't help what you're attracted to."

So I'm struggling a bit. I'm trying to figure out if it's that *I'm* not attracted to him or that I'm afraid that he won't be attracted to me - either now or in the future.

I can't seem figure it out.

All my life, I've had to hear my dad say things about people that were bigger. Over Thanksgiving last year, he was saying that he thought Beyonce' was too big for him. And my dad? He's got a belly to lose too...and OMFG, he's 65, so you know what? Beyonce' isn't exactly wanting him either.

His reaction to heavier ladies is that they're disgusting. He'll literally shake his head, make an icky face, and usually grunt or groan - something to let us all know that he is judging that person. I've never had the courage to let him know that he's no Harrison Ford either. Because somehow, even at 32, mouthing off to my dad seems so disrespectful. So I sit in silence and wonder whether my dad is really proud of me, even though I'm bigger too.

I guess I've always thought that all guys would feel the same way. And in my head, even though I KNOW that I will get this weight off me, I'm worried that all guys feel the same way.

And then the "what ifs" start piling up.

What if this new guy ends up telling me that I'm too big for him? Is that really a big deal? I mean, he might be too little for my own tastes. What if I really do like him but I'm just afraid of being left later for someone else? What if I lose all my extra weight and then gain stuff back due to pregnancy, illness, cancer meds, or thyroid issues? What if I'm alone for the rest of my life? What if I never get married, I never have kids, and I end up dying ALONE? What if he's not that dissimilar in size to my ex-boyfriends as I thought and I'm just making a mountain out of a molehill?

The thoughts spiral so out of control that it's overwhelming.

A year ago, I'd turn to food right about now. I'd turn to food and tell myself that I'm eating to avoid all of this crap. Who wants to date anyway? You'd be rejected if you date. Best to put another layer of fat on so that guys will have to try REALLY hard to prove to you that you're worth it. If you're fat, the guys that date you must be okay with the fact that you're they won't make mean comments to you. They know what they're getting into.

But this time, I'm drinking water. I'm breathing. I'll be running later today and maybe will get some answers. I'm trying to go through this without numbing my pain. I'm trying to experience all the emotions involved so that I'll be more able to deal with them the next time they pop up.

I'm seeing a therapist. And I don't have to have all the answers to the "what ifs." I just have to present to her my feelings and she will help me re-organize them. She'll help me figure out how to stop those spiraling thoughts that get out of control and overwhelming. She'll help me figure out how to keep loving myself even if someone else doesn't want to anymore.

I try, at times like these, to ask myself "What is the worst that can happen?" And sometimes, the answer isn't as scary as I thought. I'm hoping that through therapy I'll come to realize that even if all of those "what ifs" happen, I'll be fine.

What about you? Do you have any body issues with dating others? If so, how do you deal?

Monday, July 20, 2009

A measure of success

I'm pretty proud of myself this past week.

I paid attention to my feelings and tried (and was successful sometimes) with breaking that cycle between feeling and eating.

The scale says I'm down today - and that's pretty consistent with how I feel. I feel that I've been more in control of my emotions this week. And because of that, I've tried to focus on the concept that food is just for fuel...not for filling emotions. This week was pretty successful, and my goal is to try to continue that through this next week too.

I'm sure that running 13 miles this past week didn't hurt either.

Speaking of, this past weekend was the first 5K that I ran all the way through...and I'm pretty proud.

Here's me finishing the race...

Here's me clicking off my Nike+ to get the time. Because I was farther back in the pack when we started (there were 3000 people there!) and due to my weaving on the course, I actually ran closer to 3.5 10'47" a mile. That's faster than what I've been in a long time...and I coudln't be prouder!

Here's me after the race ended...and this shirt? It's a LARGE. No extra's here...

I'm trying to decide if I want to do another 5K this weekend or if I just want to wait until August 8th, which is the Aflac IronGirl race....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recognizing a trigger

LOOOOONG story short, yesterday some of the guys were talking about getting lunch at a restaurant that is owned by someone we know. It's a pizza place and to be honest, I didn't have any strong desire to go, other than to support this guy.

Today, about 10 minutes before lunch started, one of the guys came by my desk to ask if I was still in. I was on the phone so I said yes....and then I started thinking about how I already brought my lunch and I was kind of looking forward to eating it. So, to be honest, I wanted to back out and tried to find the guys after I got off the phone.

Instead I realized that they had already left. Only they didn't tell me.

So after scouring the building for about 10 minutes, I opted to go ahead and take some clothes to Goodwill that are too big for me. I called two of the guys to try to figure out what was going of them actually called me back saying that he was sorry and that they would bring something back. I declined.

The thing is, the Goodwill has a Sonic and a Panda Express really close to it. And so wouldn't you know, as soon as I dropped off the stuff, I forgot completely about the lunch that I wanted about 15 minutes prior to this. Instead, I thought of a ton of things that I wanted at Sonic. And I heart a lot of things at Sonic.

I had already pulled into Sonic when I recognized that I was feeling rejected. The excuse that the guy gave me made a ton of sense - they thought that I knew where the place was, he knew that I was on WW and figured that I probably didn't want the pizza anyway. ALL of those things were true.

But I still felt rejected.

So here I was, my hot car idling in the heat, trying to figure out what to do. I don't want to blow my healthy attitude, but I really need soothing. So I called six people that I know. And got all of their voicemails. And I looked to the huge sign, promising me all sorts of sweet and savory things - my mouth literally began to water. What I wanted to order was the Frito Chili Wrap, mozzerella sticks, and a Butterfinger Blast.

I'd like to say that reason won over. I'd like to say that I backed right out of that space. But I didn't.

I ordered a diet cherry limeade and a junior candy sundae, both of the $1 menu. The sundae was about two baby dallops of soft serve (about a half cup, I'm guessing) with about a small amount of Butterfinger on it. It was delicious...and to be honest, I enjoyed every bite.

The diet cherry limeade? 10 calories. For the whole thing.
The sundae? 4 points.

Now, this is where my shift of thought comes in. See, I could pat myself on the back for picking a better item, for not eating everything I wanted and having the sense to at least recognize that I was feeling rejection. I have plenty of points left in the day that the 4 points will not affect my daily allotment. In fact, this morning was so harried, that I didn't eat what I usually do - so I definitely had the points.

And part of me DOES feel that.

The other part of me recognizes that eating or drinking because I feel rejected is NOT a healthy mindset.

You might think that I feel guilt at that. For DECADES, I would've felt guilt that I wasn't being as healthy as I SHOULD be.

But, this the realization that what I did wasn't healthy actually gets me excited. See, I was missing that link for the last two decades. I didn't understand that it doesn't actually make a huge difference WHAT I eat as much as it does WHY I eat.

I'm excited because now that I have this other small piece of the puzzle, I can go about reforming my actions when I experience feelings - rejection, happiness, shame, guilt, or anger. All of those are okay to feel and I just need to separate the link between feeling and eating.

So yes, I didn't blow the day and I was able to turn away from most of the temptation. But WAY more than that, I'm proud because I am able to recognize what is and is not healthy - regardless of the points values.

People, I'm on my way to figuring this having food be something that sustains my body, not something that feeds my soul.

And yeah, I'm excited.

Monday, July 13, 2009

52 weeks

52 weeks ago, I vowed to start a new journey.

52 weeks ago, I joined Weight Watchers and started to change my life in a very real way. True, I had to make a lot of changes mentally before I was ready to start this journey, but 52 weeks ago is when I took deliberate action to get my eating under control.

In 52 weeks, I've lost almost 52 pounds. It's not as much as I had once hoped - in fact, it's a few pounds heavier than where I was a few months ago, but an average weight loss of 1 pound a week? Yeah. I'll take that. Especially since I know I won't ever see that weight back.

So how am I celebrating? By running a 5K race this weekend. By going on a 10 mile midnight bike ride (with co-workers for charity) on Saturday night. By paying special attention to honoring my body and my mind this week.

52 weeks ago I remember telling my leader in a tearful confession that I had never weighed that much before. I was ashamed and scared. The thought of losing 110 pounds seemed SO daunting. I doubted I'd ever be able to get there.

But through support at the meetings, support from my friends, and support from this blog, I've been able to process many issues that got the weight on my body in the first place. And, in my opinion, I've come through this first year as a success. Even though I never had markers that indicated risks, my cholesterol levels are down and my blood pressure is that of a real athlete.

I am healthier after 52 my mind, in my spirit, and in my body. I love my body more than I ever have in my life. What started as a way to get my eating in control, turned into me focusing more on healthy practices.

I've tackled some tough issues...or at least started to. When I realized that I still have trauma of some things that happened when I was a kid, (and some stuff from when I was an adult) I've challenged myself to deal with it - hopefully for once and for all.

I'm not perfect. I still struggle with food issues. I still "fall of the wagon" and I still want to initially turn to food as a comfort. But I think that's okay. I had 31 years to abuse my body with it's not likely that I wouldn't fix it completely in the past year. And me loving myself enough to realize that is a pretty big thing.

I'm on my way...and I can't wait to see where the next 52 weeks take me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday thoughts

This morning I ran a deliberate 5K - meaning that I set out to see what I could do. 3.11 isn't the farthest that I've gone using my Nike+, but during the other times I would walk quite a bit of it. Today, other than the 30 seconds or so that I spent walking at the beginning, I ran the entire thing.

And I felt great.

I make a lot of jokes on my other blog about the movie "Beaches." But I heart that movie. Really. In fact, I downloaded the soundtrack this past week...and one of the songs on it is "I've Still Got My Health" which is about this woman who isn't necessarily attractive, doesn't have a lot of money, but at least has her health. Today that completely resonates with me.

I have to say that while things in my life seem full of turmoil right now, at least I have my health. Running helps remind me of that...and it is such a gift.

In other news, after about 4 hours of conversations to our two insurance companies at work and countless phone calls to therapists who either don't have evening hours, take one but not both insurances that are needed (our benefits company is STUPID in how they set it up), I think I've found a therapist. Part of me is excited and part of me is scared. I'm writing about this on this blog because, to be honest, so many of the issues that I have battled in my life I have chosen to deal with by trying to eat through them. And I know that seeing a therapist who will help me process through those things will be so very useful.

Blizzard and fast food update: Still haven't indulged in that way this week. I know that food can be an addiction, and to be honest, it is for me. Blizzards/blasts/ice cream-y things with stuff mixed in are HUGE red light foods for me. They're foods that I have a hard time having just one of...and when I do, I'm literally thinking about when the next time that I can have it. So cutting that out is big for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Starting to head in the right direction...

Is it just me, or does summer fruit make you feel like you're cheating on your eating plan?

Seriously, the food is SO delicious over the summertime! Today my lunch is packed with a banana, cherries, and grapes. And I just love the way they taste - so very good!!! :)

Also, I'm happy to report that since last Saturday I haven't had a Blizzard OR stopped at a fast food place. It may not sound like much headway, but it is - it's turning around the crazy gluttonous eating that I've done the last two weeks.

The bloating is down, the energy is up, and the headaches are non-existant.

I feel more in control... and even though I've been eating more than what my body needs to function, it's at least been much better stuff going in.

It's a sliver of progress, but I'll take it.

Also, this morning, I ran a little farther than what I have the past few weeks - and made it in a better time than I was expecting. My pace was a little over 11 minutes/mile which is pretty frickin' great since half way it's almost all sloped uphill. I used to do this route in a 13 minute this is BIG progress for me. I have another 5K next weekend, so I'm pretty excited to see what time I come in at. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A piece of the puzzle

For pretty much my whole life I've wished I was smaller. I remember being in 6th grade and being weighed as part of our assessment, and I was one of the heaviest girls in the class at 110 pounds. Now, I was also the tallest person in the class, but that stigmata of being "the big girl" has remained with me - weighing me down.

Honestly, in a weird related note, I think that that's one of the reasons I like running so much. I feel like I get to DO something with the emotions. When all I want to do is run away from them - to stop feeling them - it helps. It helps to DO something. The need to do something is probably why I started eating my emotions.

My mom has said many times that when I was a kid and I'd be crying, they'd give me something to eat and I'd soothe myself. I can't really blame her, but what happened is that I learned to soothe myself with sweet things. In fact, I learned at a young age that over indulging on sweet things felt SO good. I went to a therapist years ago and confessed to her that I used to steal candy from my parents and from my sisters when I was little. I had such shame. I remembered crying to her asking "What kind of a kid does that?" And she said, quite simply, that it's very common. That kids who NEED more sweet things said to them, turn to sweets. That in their little kid brains, they figure that needing sweet things said to them or demonstrated to them and eating candies are the same. They both feel like love.

I grew up in a really fucked up home. The longer I live, the more I'm sure of it. And honestly, it breaks my heart more than just a little. The little kid me? She needed a lot of sweet things. In fact, she still does.

One thing that has plagued me for a long time is the idea that when I look at thin people, I figure that they have their shit figured out. I was talking to two of my friends earlier this year on a trip, both of them thin, and one said "Do you think that my life is perfect because I'm thin?" And logically, I know that the answer is no. But in my head, I can't understand how the answer isn't, at least a little, YES. It may not be perfect, but it's got to be better than mine.

I've spent a LOT of time wondering why that's the case. And I think it's that I eat, many times to punish myself. You were mean to a co-worker? Eat a blizzard. Your family is hurt because you're setting boundaries? That means you must eat burgers and fries. If I feel rejected, I eat. I eat because somehow I let that person get too close to affect me. I eat because I opened up too much. I punish myself for caring and then for being stupid enough to think that I wouldn't get rejected in the end.

God, I am so fucked up!

So I guess that I equate eating with unhealthy emotions. I equate being overweight with having been punished. So yeah, when I look at smaller people, what's happening inside my brain is: They have not been punished. Therefore, they must *be* better people.

It was that aha! moment that happened this morning. Out of nowhere was that realization of WHY I think that smaller people must have a better life.

And now that I see where I equated the two, I can go about re-learning that that is not the case.

Now that I know that I am clamoring with need for sweet things, I can go about getting those some way.

This morning, as I was running after reading an emotionally charged email, "Respect" came on my iPod.

And I thought that maybe that's what my body would be asking me for if it could. Just a little respect. It doesn't deserve to have my emotions taken out on it. It needs to be treated with respect.

I don't know what the answer is. But I know that I'm one step closer to figuring it out.

AND, despite me talking about it often enough on this blog and my other one, I have finally made the calls to start seeing a therapist that is recommended. The one that came recommended to me doesn't take my insurance. So I called her recommendations for others that might take my insurance...only they don't have openings. So I asked them for recommendations.

I will get this taken care of. I will.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

When I feel better, I do better

Hi there! I bet you've been wondering where I've been...or perhaps you've been happy that I've been blessedly silent.

I didn't intend to be silent,'s just that I have been trying to figure out my food, my eating, my exercising, and how that all functions when I'm just burnt out on focusing so hard on it.

The result? I gained a few pounds these past two weeks.

For me, the great thing is that I realized a few days ago that I missed not going for a run in the morning. I hate the feeling of being bloated and the horrible headaches that go along with poor food choices.

I found myself, at the tail end of last week, that when I did what my body naturally wanted to do, that it FELT better.

Go figure. I actually missed having fruit and veggies. I missed feeling, well...lighter.

So I'm back.

I have another issue on that has been plaguing me these past two weeks though - dealing more with body issues than with the actual numeric values of weight loss. To be honest, I'm not sure that I'm done processing that yet - so the posts may be more ramble-y than normal.