The Truth About Love and an Update of Some Sorts…

Love-Fire

It has been a little while.  Okay, it has been a long while.  I have been through a lot in the last 8 months, most of which includes falling head over heels in love with someone.  When I met him, the skies opened and the natural hues that life tends to produce seemed richer, smells became more robust, and life as I knew it changed.

This guy made me feel alive.  Although fitness and losing weight was still the most paramount goal in my life, he made the 4 month plateau that I experienced bearable.  [I will get into more detail about my plateau in a later post].  He pacified me with loving words of encouragement, hope, and support.  Honestly, with him by my side, I felt as though I could accomplish any task in life, big or small.

He spoke of marriage and of wanting to start a family.  As he spoke of this, my walls started to come down and I started to let go of all of the paralyzing fear that I held on to for so long.  My past was full of ups and downs, which makes me a guarded person by nature.  Finally, if by waving some magic wand, the mountains of fear that I was feeling started to disappear.  Until they did disappear, and I was his.

Then abruptly, as if God himself flipped the switch, my guy told me that he needed space.  When I asked why, he told me that he needed some time to figure out his life and that it was not me, it was him [sounds familiar?].  I spent days agonizing over this, trying to figure out what it was that I had done.  Wondering was it something I said, something I did/did not do.  What caused such an abrupt change of heart?  This baffled me even more considering, unlike most ladies, I was NOT the one that was actually pushing for marriage and children, so the likelihood of me scaring him off seemed null.

Devastated, I started to evaluate my life.  Truly evaluate it.  My mind went back to the goal that I set for myself just over one year ago.  I wanted to be skinny, sexy, amazing.  Although I have changed my lifestyle towards living a healthier, more enriched, life — I did not reach that goal.  Being in love weakened my determination and my will power.  Maybe, just maybe, my crazy plateau was caused by finding happiness in someone else, and not harnessing my inner happiness based on achieving my weight loss and fitness goals.

Here I am, a little bruised from the outcome of an ended relationship; healthier than I was a year ago, but not at my fitness goal;  and ready to get back on track without the distraction of blinding love.  My in depth self reflection discovered a missing component in getting my life back together, which was blogging.  For months now, I have been lurking, reading here and there, but not posting.  I had let myself forget how therapeutic writing could be.  My innate shyness always seems to push my blog to the bottom of the list of priorities in an effort to avoid the pain of spilling my soul to the world (or the 2 or 3 people that may stumble upon this place).

Well, for a lack of better words, I am back!  I will just call this Day 1, Take 2.

Truth #3

3

I want more. A lot like Princess Ariel, I sometimes spend my days daydreaming about having more. Similar to Ariel, the “more” that I want aren’t the material things in life, I want to see the world, so to speak. Often times I feel as though my weight is a glass wall that holds me back from life. Whether that wall manifests itself as fear, lack of confidence, or any other paralyzing characteristic, it’s there and it keeps me from venturing out and being a stronger person than I know I can be.

I know that pinning everything on my weight seems like I’m taking the easy way out. But I’ve had so many encounters in my past that have validated my fear and have given me reason to “blame” my weight:

1) I’ve had people tell me that I could get a date if I lost “the weight”.
2) I’ve had jobs taken right underneath me to someone less qualified but more attractive, in one case she didn’t even apply for the position.
3) Already, even though my external confidence has dropped since losing weight (I’m backwards, I know) – I’ve gotten so much more attention than I ever received when I was heavier, and the attention level seems to be directly proportioned to my weight loss.
4) I’ve had “birdies” whisper in my ear that I should lose weight, because it’s the only thing that’s “holding me back”.

I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are taught as children to learn from our mistakes. Whether indirectly or directly. When we touch something hot and it burns us, hopefully, we learn not to touch it next time. But we also learn to not let harmful words effect us, and that sometimes it’s best for us to ignore them. It’s hard for me just to ignore the comments about my weight, because I have to learn from it, right?

The “more” that I want is simple, I’d like to think. I’d like to be a great mom, wife, be moderately successful, be happy, travel, and create a loving household. Yeah, I know. All things that I could have now, right? Not-so-much. I don’t exactly have guys beating down my door. I also don’t just sit around waiting either. But the truth is, guys choose my thin friends over me in every situation. I endure being the only one not dragged out to the dance floor, or not approached during dinner parties, or even the only one left at the bar during girls night out.  But I keep smiling, being charismatic, and strong – simply because that’s who I am. My failure here feeds into truths 1 and 2. Although I can pretend to be happy in public, until I learn to truly love myself, I should not bring anyone into my world anyway.

What I think I’ll do is ensure that the “more” that I want from life, also include me reconciling my demons.  A process that I am starting now.  It’s a process that has been eye opening and rewarding both at the same time.  I have to remind myself that it took me 28 years to get this way and that I won’t change over night, but I will change as long as I am willing.  I won’t let thoughts of “more” bring me down, I must let it fuel me to achieve “more”.

Heavy.

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Photo Rights

 

Disclaimer: It’s early, I’m exhausted, and there’s really no point to this post, just my ramblings that I felt I should get out of my system and not carry them around with me all day.

I’ve been plagued recently with a heavy heart.  In my current circumstance it’s not actually a bad thing [it’s a part of my growth process], however, it’s been the timing that’s been horrible.  I have a nagging sinking feeling that I can’t seem to overcome.  It’s not in my nature to sulk or to cry over spilled milk.  I usually have a “tomorrow is a brand new day” type of attitude about most things.

If I were to over analyze things as I usually do, I would realize that a lot of this is coming on because of the holiday season.  It’s the first one that I’ll be spending alone and due to financial climates at work, the demand for my time has increased significantly.  I’ve been working roughly 65-70 hour weeks, 6 days a week.  I feel as though I’m in an alternate universe and I’m looking in on myself.  I don’t feel real, I feel as though I will wake up from a dream in a few minutes and things will all be different.

Only I’m not waking up.  The dream continues and as it does I’m following the current that life has set for me.  I don’t feel like I’m in control anymore and that feeling alone is frightening.  If I was to be completely honest with myself, I would say that hints of these feelings began months ago and that they are just manifesting into these trumped up feelings that I have.  If I were to rationalize things, as I also do quite often, I would just say that I’m tired, sleep deprived, and just drained.

Happy Medium? I will have to clunk my way through this, not only because it’s what I do, but because I can’t afford to break down right now.  I have to be full speed, I have to give 200% to work and still have a pretty smile on my face for the minuscule amount of time that I’ll get to actually spend with my family this season.  I’ll have to save all of the breaking down for a different day, tuck it away somewhere safe so I can deal with it when it’s convenient for me.

So, this is new.

love1

For those of you that have been following my blog for a bit, you have seen me stumble through my weight loss journey, learning things as I go and doing my best to really know who I am and succeed with losing weight – this time for keeps. As I’ve been learning and growing, each set back teaches me something. Each lesson has brought me closer to truly understanding how I got the way that I am and that knowledge has given me a road map to figure out how to get to my goal.

Today, something happened to me that was so different. So profound that I didn’t know what to do with it originally. I had the day off and decided that I deserved a lazy day. What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming wave of loneliness to hit me like a truck. I started sobbing. Not like your average sobbing, but gut wrenching, pit-of-the-stomach sobbing. It was uncontrollable and I could not stop it until it ran it’s course. In one of my very first posts, It wasn’t supposed to be like this…, I went through all of the reasons why I started this entire mission. One of the biggest issues of my failed relationship was my inability to love myself.

Many of us have self image issues, and I’m not down playing anyone’s past (or present), but my view of myself is extremely low. It’s been something that started many moons ago. Back when I was sexually assaulted at a very young age and something that continued on through being sexually assaulted again as an adult. I’ve always been overweight, even as a kid. I don’t want to get into the traumatizing situations I’ve been in due to my size — if you heard it once you’ve heard it a million times. Kids can be harsh. My point is that I’ve never had a healthy image of myself. So when I got into a relationship, I let the love that my ex had for me substitute the love that I should have had for myself.

This leads me to earlier today — during my sobbing session. I was so empty that it was a scary thought to even have. I wanted to just disappear (still want to slightly). Now that I’m single and working through all of my inner tangles, I realize that the last 10 months have been full of bravado. I have been putting on such a show to keep myself from falling apart. I’ve been through so much in life that it’s my usual reaction — suck it up and tough it out. Only now, I’m alone and I’m feeling extremely vulnerable — I don’t do vulnerable. Vulnerable isn’t even in my vocabulary.

How do I love myself? I’m not quite sure, but it’s definitely something that’s holding me back. I’m starting to have the fear that even if I were to lose weight, I wouldn’t be happy. I’ve associated my ultimate happiness with losing weight for so long that I’ve blamed all of my unhappiness on it. My fat has been my soul’s scapegoat. It’s been a way to look past the underlying issues in my life and ultimately has given me a centralized focus towards “happiness”. But darn near 60 pounds later, I’m starting to realize that I have been horribly mistaken.

I eventually will have to look myself in the face and like what I see, not aesthetically, but internally. I’m not completely sure how to do this. But I truly feel like I’m on the right track. Knowing is half of the battle, right?

Things I’ve learned… and um… Re-learned, Part 2


The last few months have been really trying on my fitness and weight loss goals.  I’ve maintained when I should be in serious losing phase.  I’m not making excuses, simply observations to make me get better in the long run.  Some things that I’ve learned about myself:

I push myself way too hard.  I tend to go at full capacity, then when there’s nothing left of me I blame myself for failing.  I don’t even give myself a break for all of the hard work and effort that I put forth every day.  I need to lighten up, this journey is a lifestyle change, not a sprint.  I have to be ready to not only roll with the punches but also to slow down and give myself kudos for my accomplishments.

I tend to lose motivation.  I work a lot… and by a lot… I mean a lot.  My work weeks have been 60+ hours now for a few months.  It’s not only tiresome but draining and it leaves me too tired to do much of anything.  In addition to working so much, I’m also taking 9 credits in school and I have a 4.0.  The compromise has been exercise and sleep.  An extremely deadly mix for a healthy body.  What happens when my weight loss fails due to this deadly combo?  I lose all hope and I go off of the deep end.  I go back to the rich foods that comforted me and next thing I know I’ve gained 10 pounds.

I need a buddy.  I need to find someone that will hold me accountable when things in my life gets hectic.  I’m finding that everything is fine and dandy on the fitness level when I’m not working myself to death and during breaks from school.  I am like a drill Sargent during those times.  But when my work load gets out of hand and I have term papers due at midnight, I start to slip back into my ways.  I stop tracking my food, the gym sessions become further in between and I start snacking as a means of feeling better.

I can be inspirational.  A quote that’s kept me up at nights recently is “Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”  Richard Evans said that and I want to kiss him for it.  It’s so true.  We always see that thin and fit person and we start to feel badly for ourselves, well at least I know I do sometimes.  But the truth of the matter is that they started somewhere as well.  They have a journey, whether it was losing weight and getting fit after pregnancy or finally meeting their goal weight after a year long struggle.  That’s just it, everyone started somewhere. So shall I.

Knowing these things about myself will only get me even closer to my fitness goals.  Now that school has ended for the semester, I’m going to treat myself to some awesome workouts and some home cooked healthy foods.  My body can’t wait for it.  I deserve it.

I’m still here… just going one step at a time, learning one day at a time!

A dose of Reality… The harsh truths of lifestyle changes.

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I hit a wall. After my last post, “An Open Letter to my Future Self“, I talked about the feeling of being tired and of wanting to know if all of the changes that I’ve been making will be worth it. Well, when I posted that I was teetering on the edge of something crazy. Since then I had a bit of a break through. I needed time away from life in general. I needed time away from how difficult my new lifestyle has been.

This may sound like an excuse, and although it sorta is, there is some substance to my thought process, I promise.

I took 3 weeks off from work, I turned off my cell phone, I drove 3 hours away from home, and here I am sitting in a hotel, writing this entry in what I’ve now adapted as my public diary. This past week, I’ve gone completely off the reservation so to speak. I’ve indulged, and over indulged. I started my vacation with working out, that went out of the window about 2 days into this. I’ve done things on a whim and whatever it is that I wanted to do.

Here’s where my sorta excuse comes in. I started this journey cold turkey. I just stopped everything. I didn’t gradually stop drinking sodas, one day I was, the next day I wasn’t. This was 4 months ago, in this time I’ve lost 40 pounds (I’m sure I’ve gained some back over the last week). I submerged myself back into the lifestyle that I had. Lazy, no exercising, no self accountability. At first it was like “Welcome Home”… Then there were the nightmares, the inability to sleep, the depression, the self hate… it all came back. The carb and sugar highs and crashes have been brutal. The inactivity is killing me literally.

So, today, I stared myself down in the mirror. I never look in the mirror. I mean yeah, I glance in it and remember how much I hate what I look like. But not today, today I REALLY looked at myself in the mirror. Looked myself in the eyes and asked myself what I wanted. What I TRULY wanted. Did I want to feel like crap after eating things that had absolutely zero nutrition value? Did I want to continue to eat empty calories and not food that helps energize not only me but my soul?

I pushed myself to make a decision. I walked along the beach and spent time with my thoughts. I sat with myself and I just allowed myself to choose. I had to decide which path will make me ultimately happy. I gave myself the option. To go back to how I was or to kick it into high gear and do this thing once and for all. I want my head to be in the game. I’m sick of my worries, my fears, my self image issues. I want to make a decision to choose happiness, and to be happy because I’m making better life decisions.

So I chose fitness, no more bs. I was virtually perfect up until 7 days ago. 7 days out of the last 120 days… I allowed myself to be less than perfect. Less than 6% of failure. I can’t allow myself to get caught up on the fact that I went completely off track. Tomorrow, it’s business as usual. Back on the program. I owe it to myself to do just that.

Harsh truth? Its tough changing your lifestyle after a lifestyle of ignorance and not holding myself personally accountable for the way that I’ve ended up. I have to remind myself that only 1.1% of my life has been healthy. 1.1%… My only focus right now is to steadily increase that number, it’s like an alcoholic and how many days that they’ve been sober. How many days have I lived a fit lifestyle. That’s my focus. That number can only go up from here. It’s my duty to myself to ensure that it happens.

Coming toe to toe with yourself isn’t an easy thing to do. Actually it’s pretty damned hard. I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m making mistakes along the way. More than anything, I’m being completely honest with myself. That in and of itself is the best freaking feeling ever.

An Open Letter to my Future Self…

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Dear Me,

As I sit here with a glass of red wine, that I’m not drinking, just holding in my hand, I think about you. The biggest question that plagues my mind is, “Did we make it?”, “Did we reach our goals?”. Or did we fail like we have in the past?

Even more so than our success or failure, I want to know did we learn to love ourselves? When I started this journey, I came across a blog that said that I should document everything and visualize what I wanted to look like. I did more than that, remember? I did some magic with Photo Shop and within a half hour you were there. Smiling back at me with a smile that hid all of the pain and the hurt we’ve been through. I started to cry, I hope you remember that day. It was the day that I decided to change my life. To change every bad habit that I’d accumulated over the course of 28 years on this Earth.

But, I’m feeling a bit… tired? Yes, tired. It’s a tedious lifestyle when you think of it. Long gone are the days that a drive thru window expedited dinner plans but also expedited our obesity as well. Working 10-12 hour days, going to school, cooking, working out, being a friend, a daughter, a sister, an aunt… It’s all beginning to eat away at me. It’s weakening my resolve. I need to know did we make it? Do we love ourselves? Is this worth it?

Right now, I can’t say that I’ve learned to love myself…. yet… I’m getting there. It seems that the love I feel for myself has been directly proportioned to my weight loss and I see that as being a problem. Did we figure this one out? Not knowing is plaguing me. It’s eating me alive. I’m so fearful of making it so far and failing. We are at 40 pounds lost, the highest we ever made it before now was 50 pounds. So close to the best we’d ever done. What makes us different this time?

If only you could tell me what happens. If only I could have a sense of certainty. While I have your attention, I need you to remember a few things. If we did make it, never forget what it felt like to walk up the stairs and get winded; to not be able to fit in airplane chairs; to be looked at as if you’re subhuman because you’re obese; to cry at night after you ate 1200 calories in one setting; to feel uncomfortable in our own skin. Promise me that you’ll remember this, for it’s our only hope at maintaining our goal.

If we didn’t make it, it’s ok, and it’s never too late to start and try again. We’re determined if nothing else.

Finally, I apologize for letting us get this way. We endured much ridicule, pain, and tears solely because of our size. Had I learned sooner, maybe we could have avoided so much.

Please give me something to look forward to.

Love,
Me