Tuesday, January 4, 2011


My high school friend, Robin, used to say in a sing-song voice, "Secrets secrets are no fun; secrets secrets hurt someone." Truthfully, she said it when she felt like she was being left out of something. Probably because I was busy being silly with anyone and everyone around. But the sing-song rhyme has stuck with me.

Yesterday (as I was cutting about fifty thousand vegetables for a healthy gumbo that is hopefully getting yummy in our crockpot at home as I write this), I was thinking about how true that saying actually is.

Secrets don't just hurt the person who feels left out because they don't know what is being said. They hurt hurt the secret keeper too.

I mentioned this yesterday in my post, but there were two Oprah shows while I was off that really spoke to me. The one with Portia De Rossi and the one about what is normal. She basically took a poll of her audience members on various topics and then compared their results with some other study. Most of them were silly and not really helpful. And then I found this one:

Since it's all blurry, I'll read the type for you:

Have you ever hidden a food wrapper in the garbage so people don't know what you ate?
67% of her audience answered yes.

On one hand, I felt great.  I thought I was so different when I ate crap that I didn't want someone else to know about and then threw it away in a place no one else could see.

And truthfully?  I've even done it a few times since moving in with Joe.

So part of me felt great - I'm not alone!

But the other part of me realized how messed up that actually is.  I don't want to live a life in secret.  Moreover, I don't want to be the person who doesn't feel like they can be honest for fear that someone else will say something, will judge, or will not understand.

And you know what?  I'm not limiting that to food wrappers either.

There came a time when I was very vocal about my struggles and about my mind on this blog.  And people were supportive.

When I quit Weight Watchers in May, wanting to finish my journey on my own in my own way, there were a few hateful emails that I received.  It was discouraging but I kept on.  I have had a lot of support (a LOT of support) even from Jams, who IS a WW leader (Thanks Jams!).  The support and encouragement far outweighed the Negative Nelly's, so I dismissed their emails...even if they nagged at me from time to time.

But then I started being vocal about wanting to eat intuitively.  I even posted a few days about our rights to eating intuitively.  And I was mocked - a few times - privately and publicly - by a few people.

Even before that, I found myself not wanting to write about the struggles of intuitive eating (and there are plenty if I'm being honest with myself) because I didn't want to be misunderstood.  I didn't want my struggles to be interpreted as the program not working.  It does work.  I have met people who have been thin for years after struggling with weight for decades.

But to be 100% honest, I didn't write about it because I didn't want to get picked on as other bloggers had.  My eating isn't 100% clean all the time and I don't want to be the posterchild for anything.  I'm not claiming to be a nutritionist or a person who knows everything about what they're doing.

What I do know is this:
~ restrictive dieting feels wrong to me because the plans that I have tried focus on lots of things other than actual nutrition.  Because it is a matter of simple math (calories in must be less than calories out), it's easy to tell yourself that the 100 calorie ice cream bar is healthy.  Or that because you ate 18 slices of bacon (but no carbs!) you're okay.

~ The truth (for me) is that I feel better when I eat better.  I run faster, I think clearer, and I am happier.  Eating more nutritionally dense foods makes me a better person.

~ When I eat less, I'm satisfied.  I don't like the feeling of being stuffed.  And I often would choose low point foods or protein laden foods (in the past) and then gorge myself on them to the point of being over-full because I wanted that feeling.  The feeling of being stuffed made my soul feel full; made my life feel full; made myself feel less alone.

So, for me, I don't want to focus on one type of food, on a number (either for calories or points), or on other restrictive approaches.

Maybe that means that I take longer to lose my weight.  Maybe that means that I never lose all my weight.  But if it means that I'm a happier, saner, fitter person, why should I do anything differently - aren't I worth doing things the way I want to?

Lyn from Escape from Obesity has taught me so much in the years that I've been reading her.  If she would've stopped when people started being hateful, she wouldn't be where she is now- a healthier mom and a healthier woman.  I've really appreciated that she blogged her way through it - it let me know that there is no shame in stumbling.  Our approach of losing weight isn't the same, but we're in each other's corner just the same.  She never quit...and I'm not about to either.

The progress that I've made has had much more due to the space between my ears than I ever imagined it would.  I've processed those thoughts most effectively through this blog.  In fact, if I could offer anyone advice when starting out on the weight loss journey, I'd say: blog, vent, journal...or SOMETHING to get your true thoughts and feelings out there.

And just like yesterday, it's about time I took some of my own advice.

So here's the deal: I'm not going to hide behind my computer any more.  I'm going to share my struggles with my life - just as I have been - and my food journey.  I'm going to blog about my life, my relationships, my exercise, my relationship with food and anything else I want.  If you feel like coming along for the ride, I'd love that - I truly would.  I really enjoy reading about your triumphs and your failures. 

But if you feel like my way is crazy, insane, or just fodder for rants on your blog, please leave. 

Just because I'm not going to have omissions from my life doesn't mean I'm not going to omit your comments.

As I've found recently, being healthy means me standing up for myself when necessary.  It's about time I do just that.


Chubby McGee said...

I love this post!

It's so true.

I'm really sorry that you had to face adversity from other bloggers/people. That made me sad. You should always be able to feel free to do what works best for YOU since there is no diet (or way of life for that matter) out there that works for every, single person on the planet. We're all different. We all have different needs/wants/means.

I'm glad you're doing your thing and that you're speaking your mind. I love it! Feisty and free!

P.S. I have hidden wrappers from other people A LOT. And it has shamed me often. I don't want to do that ever again either.

Polar's Mom said...

Dude, I am so ashamed that I hide wrappers...

I think it is great that you are embracing your inner voice. You have to live with yourself so do what makes it pleasant to live in your own head, that's what I think. In my book, weight loss is weight loss, no matter how you do it, make it count.

Polar's Mom

Lily Fluffbottom said...

I once ordered a medium pizza and 2 liter soda, ate/drank it all and disposed of the evidence before my mom got home in the early afternoon. The money I spent on this food was meant for my best friend's birthday gift.

As for everyone else- its your life and you gotta live it. I love reading your blog.

Jams said...

I'm glad you're not going to keep your secrets any more. You definitely aren't alone in having hidden food wrappers. It's something I still struggle with.

You are you going to make it to your goal... your way.. on your terms. I just know it!

Brandy said...

This is exactly what I find hard about the blog world. Each person on Blogger and others should not have to fight for themselves on a journal. This is a public journal that no one has to follow. Keep going, keep taking care of yourself they way you want. Forget the rest of us. I fill privileged that you are allowing me/others a glimpse into your life.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite blog of the week. I, too, have been picked on, lied about and blogged about. My husband said to me, "Why do you care?" "Are these people actually people that you care about?" And I thought, yeah, why should I care? I cannot believe (I mean I do) that people would send you hate mail about quitting WW. It's so bizarre to me I can't even imagine what their motiviation would be. But why am I trying to figure it out - 'cuz I don't care -lol. I love your blog now and before when I used to have my other blog that I shut down because of the attacks. I sent an e-mail to Lyn and she was kind enough to respond and she really helped me. She is fantastic, isn't she?

I hope to one day get to the intuitive side of eating. I'm not there yet. It can be done. I'm sure of it. I am so glad you're not hiding any more. Neither am I. Please visit my blog if you get a chance.


Karen said...

Good for you! Everyone blogs for different reasons but in my opinion we should do it if it makes us happy or we get something out of it. Whatever that is! So say what you want to say:)

Gina said...

I love how you're able to make a forceful point in such a polite way!! People are too ready to judge, offer advice, and feel superior, which is sad as I would think people start blogging to mainly keep themselves accountable, find their voice, track their experience, and find common ground with others; when did it change to being nasty & mean & for those to feel it's okay to e-mail you hate-mail & such? My feeling is that people deflect self-loathing onto others through harrassment & judgements; it's not really what you're doing that's wrong (not that they have any say anyways), they have something to prove to themselves through commenting & sending those messages. Is there a way to block people like on facebook? BTW-My verification word is "unsad;" whether that's for me or you, I like it! Wishing you all the best!

turleybenson said...

Why people gotta hate? I HATE that people have been negative because of your choices!! Can't we just all agree we are doing the best we can?


I have gotten some blog hate m'self, and I just wanna be like, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, STOP READING!!!!

But for some reason, I don't have the balls to do that. Go you!!!

girliefriend said...

We need to see the journey from all sides, the successes and the struggles. Blog on!