Interesting Phenomenon

Eating

So I’m reading yet another book about a young man who got up to over 450 lbs before he took his life back.  I’m still in the introductory phase so I’ll post more about it when I’m finished.  As usual, I’m hyperventilating during the sexual abuse parts and feeling rage and sadness during the alcoholic dad parts and crying during the parts where he’s teased and ridiculed.  I can’t wait until the part when I get to rejoice in his victory…if I make it that far.

See, I’m noticing an interesting phenomenon as I’m reading these books.  One that has me freaked out, confused and intrigued all at the same time.

It seems that every time I get to a tough part, I get something to eat.  Sometimes it’s something healthy but most times…not so much.  I’ve been simply observing the last few days (which is code for eating it anyway) but now I’m trying to be more present and figure out what the fuck is going on in my head.

The authors of these books describe, in vivid detail sometimes, the food that gave them comfort and how it made them feel.  They remember very specifically what they ate and how much.  They remember feeling of fear or comfort or sadness and those descriptions are, apparently, triggers for me.

But here’s the thing, when I think back to my own troubled childhood I can’t remember eating.  I remember cooking, shopping, standing in line at fast food restaurants, arguing with my mother about how much I ate, my mother and father arguing about how much I ate, etc., but I can not remember putting food into my mouth.  I can’t tell you what, even my most favorite foods tasted like nor can I remember getting any comfort, love, companionship or thrill from eating.  Anything.

I guess it’s safe to say that when you look up “unconscious eating” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of me as a child.  Further, since I’ve been battling my weight since the 3rd grade, and I was fairly active as a child (walked everywhere, pom-pom girl, cheerleader) it stands to reason that there was a whole lotta eatin’ goin’ on.  Why can’t I remember it?

My next therapy appointment is going to be a doozie.

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It’s also interesting to note that when I began to “control” my weight with exercise and food choices, that’s exactly when I began smoking (age 16).  Then, when I quit smoking is precisely when my drinking began to increase and spiral out of control.  THEN when I quit drinking the food was back – specifically sugar.

Clearly this needs much more investigation with someone with whom I feel safe and I that I know that is trained to help me through this (therapist..duh) but I need to put a band-aid on this hemorrhage now before I “bleed” to death.  As such, I’m going to do a few things to stem the flow:

  1. I’m going to go upstairs, away from the kitchen, after dinner and try not to eat after 7:00 pm and before 7:00 am.  Now that the twins are living at school and my oldest stays in his room when he’s home, I can use the bonus room to watch TV.  Staying away from the food and eating all my meals within a 12 hour window may just give me the sense of control I crave in these situations.
  2. I’m going to try to be more present as I eat.  I want to slow down and pay attention to the textures and flavors of my food in addition to paying attention to my feelings as I’m eating.  Yeah…that feelings thing is going to be the hardest.
  3. Of course I’ll keep walking, walking, walking – Scandal may just get me skinny.  I have to admit – the show is really good.

Guess I’d better buckle my seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Namaste

54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 2

Down 1 pound…right on target.  If I can maintain a one pound per week loss then I will reach my goal (or just 2 lbs shy – big whup) by the end of the year.  To me, that not only feels doable, it feels peaceful.  Still a quiet determination.

I’m reading another book, It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell.  Here’s the Amazon description:

“A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.”

While Ted Spiker’s book Down Size showed me a way to reach my goals by uncovering my own truths and facing my sexual abuse head on (that’s an entirely different post that I will address…sometime), Andie’s book has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to make peace with food and the role it has in my life.

Like her, I have never had a normal relationship with food.  Food has never been just sustenance for me.  While I don’t emotionally feel I’m using (and have used) food for comfort and to numb my feelings, intellectually I know that this is the case and her book helped to confirm it for me.  All I can say is thank God I found a great therapist because working through all of this may take a while.

From her alcoholic father (that hit so close to home I had to put down the book from time to time and catch my breath) to her obsessive calorie counting and exercise to her battle with undiagnosed depression, her journey is my journey.  I hope mine turns out as well as hers.  Thank you Andie.

And, TA-DA, my treadmill arrived this morning!!!!  My husband and son are going to put it together for me today and I’ll walk/run on it for the first time tonight.  I am SO EXCITED!!!  I’ll post a pic of my baby as soon as I can.  😉

Finally, I ordered a wellness journal from Amazon which, coincidentally (?) is due to arrive today as well.  I’m going to use it to set small, attainable goals (as well as the big one at the end of the year) and also record my workouts and food and moods to see if any patterns emerge.  I’ll let you know if I uncover anything.

Happy Friday!

Namaste

PS – If you’re interested in following Andie, she blogs at Can You Stay for Dinner.

What’s it like to be normal?

I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday for my six month checkup.  I had made a list of things I wanted to tell him because I swear, every time I go to a doctor’s appointment all my symptoms disappear and I forget to tell them what I wanted to tell them!  He was pretty shocked when I told him that at the end of the summer I realized I had been in a fairly deep depression since before Christmas 2012.   Almost as shocked as I was when I figured it out.

I explained that because this time the symptoms were different, it wasn’t as readily apparent to me.  Rather than crying all the time and feeling like I was in a black hole, I was projecting my own feelings on others and deflecting blame to everyone else for my own mood.  (I know…even writing that seems insane…now.)  I was in a funk that eventually led to crying jags before eventually subsiding…somewhat.

Now I’m beginning to see it happening again.  I’m having anxiety and my “disaster thoughts” where I’m sure something awful is just around the corner and I start to visualize things like funerals in very specific detail.  With prayer I’m able to shut it down but really, why in the hell would I suffer through shit like that when I know it’s the chemicals and signals in my brain causing it?  Further, why would I suffer through shit like that when I know there are things that can be done namely, therapy and a change in my meds.

Fortunately, the doc agreed.  I love this guy.

As the hubs was driving me to work (Lord I will be happy when we’re able to get another car), I looked over at him and thought…I wonder what it’s like to be normal?  So I asked him, stopping short of adding, “…and what’s it like to be married to a woman who’s not?”

His first response was the standard, “What’s normal?  No one is really normal.  We all have our quirks.”

So I clarified, “I mean what is it like to have a brain that doesn’t lie to you?”

He really didn’t have an answer for that.

It’s not that I’m complaining because there are LOTS of things that could be wrong with me that are WAY worse than a brain that lies.  Especially since I think I’ve got a handle on the brain God gave me and, with the exception of a few loose wires, it works pretty darn well and I am very thankful for that.

But I do wonder sometimes…what would life be like with a brain that told the truth?  Hmmmm….just like getting to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.

Namaste

Blessings and Miracles

There was a time in my life when I didn’t think very highly of the mental health profession.  Let’s face it, I held the belief that they were all a bunch of wackos whose main role in life was to screw with people’s minds and pump them full of drugs.  I thought all psychiatrists were nuttier than the average fruitcake and that counselors and psychologists weren’t worth the paper on which their degrees were printed.

To be fair, I was raised in a house FULL of fruitcakes who spent most of their time lying to, using and manipulating anyone who tried in vain to help them.  To them, all of their issues were the fault of others which included any mental health professionals to whom they were assigned, voluntarily or otherwise.  Since those poor souls were either denying them the drugs or the answers they wanted, they were ineffective quacks who should have their credentials snatched immediately if not sooner.

Let me state for the record, I was (gulp) wro…, um…not correct.  At least not entirely.  I still think the mental health system has a long way to go to meet the needs of the suffering.  From my experience, it’s the system that wants to either pump people full of drugs or send them to overworked and underpaid counselors without the proper training to meet the rapidly growing needs of society.

Please don’t misunderstand, I have personally met some whack job mental health people over the years whose offices I’ve left confused, disappointed and shaking my head in dismay.  But, to be fair, I’ve also met whacked out medical doctors, priests (lots of those), teachers, grocery store clerks and bank tellers.  I once had a creepy gynecologist who I couldn’t wait to get away from.  I’ve had hairdressers that chopped my hair making me wish I was bald and a masseuse once at Elizabeth Arden Salons that creeped me out so bad I complained to management.  But none of these had me telling anyone and everyone that would listen that the entire profession of massage therapists, medical doctors and hairdressers were all batshit crazy.  No – that particular classification was reserved only for shrinks and their brethren.

And then I became clinically depressed.

Don’t you love God’s sense of humor?  I sure do.

Over the last 20 years I’ve been through many psychiatrists and therapists as I’ve navigated this complicated condition.  I’ve learned to overcome prejudice and stigma while simultaneously opening my own mind to the possibility of an excellent relationship with those on the other side of the couch.  It’s been extremely humbling and very hard work but it’s also made me a more compassionate and empathetic human.  Definitely a blessing.

I now find myself in a relationship with a therapist that I’ve come to not only like, but to trust.  I like lots of people.  I trust very few.  I know part of the reason I’m feeling so good about this is because I was ready to hear what he had to say and do the work required to make myself well, but it’s also because he’s very good at his job and he’s exactly the personality type that I needed.  God and the Universe knew that it would take a very special combination of efforts to bring me to a point where I was ready to receive the message.  Another blessing.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the last 20 years is that this work is required.  For the last 19.5 years it was because unless I took care of myself, my children were going to suffer.  Long time readers of this blog can tell you that shit don’t fly in my world.  My family is worth anything and everything I have to do to create an atmosphere of loving kindness. Besides…it’s not their fault mama’s a nutcase.  In fact, my own depression allowed me to recognize it in one of my children at a very young age and allow him to avoid a lot of heartache and difficulty.  More blessings.

In the last few months however, I’ve also learned that I’m worth the work required just because I breathe.  God created me and, I imagine, as my Father it probably made Him very sad to know how little I thought of myself up until this point.  In fact, it probably pisses Him off – if God can even get pissed off that is.

I’ve now come to the realization that my therapy time is my sacred space.  That hour belongs to me and me alone and what’s said in that room is strictly between me and JP.  If I choose to share it then I share it.  If I choose to keep it to myself that’s okay as well.  It’s one of the few places in my world where I don’t feel judged or like I’m going to make a mistake.  When I’m in that space I don’t feel fat, or ugly, or wrong, or clumsy or any of the things I’ve been carrying around most of my life.  I feel accepted and safe and like I’m worth the effort.

That’s not a blessing people…that’s a fucking miracle.

Namaste

Therapy

So I made an appointment with a therapist yesterday.

Close your mouth – it’s not THAT big a deal.

Okay…maybe it is.  It’s no secret the way I feel about therapists.  I have three and two of those were a disaster.  The third could have probably turned into something but that was during my quit/relapse phase and I wasn’t ready to hear what he had to say.  Add to that the therapist that my nephew had when he lived with us that not only robbed us of our money but then refused to assist when we were fighting for custody and…

Well, you get the picture.

But I can’t shake this depression! I’ll go for a few days and be okay (not good…just okay) and then I find myself back into it again.  It’s not the crying nonstop (yet) it’s the “I don’t give a fucks” which are far more dangerous.  I’m bored.  I have no initiative to DO anything and so I stay bored.

If it walks like a duck…then it’s probably a depressed duck.

So yesterday I pulled up the website for my psychiatrist’s practice so I could make an appointment with him and get his opinion when I saw that they just added a new therapist.  Hmmm….  I kept reading.  Turns out he specializes in addiction, cross addictions and adult children of alcoholics. 

Whoa.  Rewind.  I read it again.  Then I called and made an appointment.

THEN on the bus on the way home, I read my Twitter feed (which I only read when I ride the bus which I haven’t done in weeks…just sayin) and there was a post from a website that I frequent called Band Back Together – here’s a blurb from their website

Welcome to Band Back Together, a community weblog open to all, created by Aunt Becky from Mommy Wants Vodka.

Who are we? We’re The Band.

We’re a band of survivors. We’re here to put a face to everything once kept in the dark. We’re here to show the world that you can go through hell and come out the other side.

So, pull up that old tattered leather chair and make yourself a drink. Pull your skeletons from their closet and make them dance the tango. Alone, we are small. Together, we are mighty.

We are all connected.

We are none of us alone.

Share your story.

It’s time to get the Band Back Together.

I can’t read it all the time because frankly, it’s just too depressing.  But it gives a voice to people who don’t feel they have one – they do good work people.

ANYWAY, the tweet in question was one on adult children of parents with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  The level of anxiety reading that damn thing created made me cry…on the bus…with other people…not the snotty ugly cry but still.  I sniffled all the way home.   Hmm…

So let’s recap – 1. new therapist that specializes in the effects of my father; 2. specific post about the effects of my mother = latest brick upside the head from God. 

So I’ll go and see what this guy has to offer.  I have to do something.  I’m not myself and while I’m not opposed to changing my meds, I want to see what a little talk therapy will do before I go that route.  I feel like I’m in a rowboat with no oars and so I’m drifting into a storm.  My oars – smoking, alcohol, food – have been cast aside and I don’t know how to replace them. 

BECAUSE I have no idea how to be “normal”.  I have no idea how the non-addicted people of the world process their feelings, thoughts, events, etc.  I never learned and I’m tired of relying on other people, substances or meds to do that for me.

Time to get to work.  Time to chart my own course.

Namaste

Self Care

Google the term “self-care”.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

If you’re like me, reading just the first page of my Google results has my mind spinning.

Wikipedia

“Self care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development. In terms of health maintenance, self care is any activity of an individual, family or community, with the intention of improving or restoring health, or treating or preventing disease. A holistic health approach is common in self care.”  Wait…what?

PsychCentral

“Self-care is a touchy subject. That’s because our society largely views self-care as selfish, slothful and overly indulgent.

Yet, it’s anything but. Taking good care of yourself not only makes your life more fulfilling and contributes to your well-being, but it also extends to others.”  That’s fine…but HOW?

Student Health Center of NC State University

“Self care is active participation in enhancing the quality of your health. Some people may think that nurturing the self is only for the fragile, the weak-willed, or the slacker–it certainly couldn’t be for strong, ambitious college men and women. However, it is a vital part of maintaining good health and a vibrant life. It’s not just an occasional manicure, “chilling out” or a six-pack. Building up a repertoire of reliable self care habits now can affect your quality of life both now and in the future.”  How do you know it’s not the occasional manicure?  Who makes up these rules?

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Arenas of Self-Care.  I’m dizzy.

  This just pisses me off.

  Tell me something I don’t know.

Self care has become kitchy and cute.  A trendy catch phrase.  “Don’t bother me now.  Mommy is practicing self care.”  Which leave the little ones thinking, “What the fuck is that?  I just want a cookie.”

Well foul mouthed little one, I don’t know.  And neither does your mommy really.  Because the thing about catch phrases and trendy “of the moment” practices is that they are worn out.  Everybody is doing it which means that everybody has an opinion about how you should be doing it and why.  While that might be fine for the mother of four who just needs a moment to herself before she starts dinner or the single woman who’s been on too many dates recently and needs to step back and regroup or the man who has taken on too many jobs and needs to get some clarity; but a simple catch phrase or sign or buzz word ain’t gonna cut it for a recovering alcoholic who is trying to hold on to her sanity with her expertly applied acrylic nails.

Thing is…I’ve been thinking that I WAS practicing self-care.  My family offers me all the time I need to “have a moment” or grab a manicure or soak in a tub (which I will not do because I hate baths…but I digress).  I’ve read more that I care to remember about how to “forgive myself” or “let go” and still I struggle.  (I have however ordered Brene’s book you all recommeded and I will read it when it arrives.  For some reason I felt the need to actual hold this book in my hand and put it on my shelf.)

So just what IS self care anyway?

One thing I’ll say for Psyche Central is that yes, it is a touchy subject.  Anytime I do anything for myself I’m filled with guilt.  But if I knew that what I was doing was actually going to work, I could handle the guilt.  I am a firm believer that I’m no good to anybody if I’m not well.  It’s how I got sober.  During that first year or two, I felt absolutely no guilt for doing whatever I had to do to get and stay alcohol free.  I plowed through like the Mother Fucking Sober Warrior Ninja that I am and laid carnage to whatever or whoever got in my way.

But now my attempts at self-care feel selfish and indulgent.  Why?  Because they don’t work.  They’re attacking the issue from the outside and, as Ellie said, this is an inside job.  Manicures and shopping trips and time alone with my thoughts are not the answer.  Manicures are a necessity.  Shopping trips are dangerous to an “aholic” like me who is in crisis. (Is that what this is…a crisis?).  Time alone with my thoughts is ridiculous right now when all I can do is think about disaster and dying and wallow in my depression.

The self-care I need has to come from inside and I don’t know how to do that.  I don’t know how to make that mind-body-spirit thing connect and, more importantly, I don’t know how to keep it connected when I do manage to accidentally connect to the mother ship.  It feels like when the lights go off in a thunderstorm and the power company is working to restore them.  First they flicker, then they come on for a few minutes only to go off again and dissappoint.  Getting those lights to stay ON is what I need to do.

Except that I don’t WANT to.  Right now self-care to me feels like eating comfort food and sitting around watching trash TV.  It feels like cooking and baking for my family and not facing the outside world.  It feels like redecorating my home to remind me of the beach where I feel most connected but have been away from for four years.  It feels like flying to Oklahoma or driving to Maryland to be with my children and grandchildren who reaffirm my reason for being.

Here’s the thing though…that is the selfish and self indulgent kind of self care.  On the surface it looks to the rest of the trendsetters like that is exactly what I should be doing.  But those of us who have been to hell and back know that those things are outside things and, once again, this is an inside job.

I have never been naive enough to believe that recovery was a “once done” thing.  I’ve always known it was an ongoing process.  What I didn’t count on was all the shit that created this place I’m in now being this hard to overcome.  Who knew I would just go through life trading one addiction for another all the while declaring that I was FINE until I reached bottom and realized that, guess what, I am not fine.  I’m not fine AT ALL.  I am sober.  I don’t smoke.  I try to eat well.  I control my spending habits.  I don’t sleep around.

But I am most definitely not fine.

The thing is, my body and subconscious know when I’m lying to them.  Stress and the act of stuffing down emotions manifests itself for me through depression.  Back before anti-depressants my hair used to fall out or I’d break out in a rash.  Now that I’m medicated it just comes through as a deeper depression.  Like a little Sherry way down deep who’s been yelling and yelling and has finally grabbed a microphone and a sub-woofer and started screaming – ALL IS NOT WELL HERE DUMBASS!!!!!

Dang – I hear you…you don’t have to yell.

Namaste

Where Am I?

No, I’ve not lost my mind or gone senile (yet) and dementia is hopefully a few years away and even though I have the worst sense of direction on the planet, I know physically where I am at this moment.  I just don’t know where I am at the moment…ya know?

This sober thing can fuck with your head sometimes.  Except in the very beginning, it’s always a good fuck with your head. (Is that even possible?  I digress.)  For me it’s always about who I am and what I’m doing and where I’m going.  Not literally like, “I’m a 53 year old woman who could stand to lose 10 or 50 pounds who works for a bank and is currently excited about going to see her youngest granddaughter in a few weeks.”  That’s the easy part.

It’s more about who am I and what am I doing and where am I and where am I going inside that I’m talking about.  (Yes…I did just end that sentence in preposition.  This is a casual blog.  I don’t get paid for it.  Geez lighten up!)  It’s about this journey to liking myself and being okay with the kind of human I am.

On that front I have to ask…where the hell am I?  I’ve made a helluva lot of progress these past four years but where am I going and how am I going to get there?

I know I’m happy.  What’s more I’m happy in a way I never thought possible which is to say, content.  I no longer need a bigger house or granite counter tops or a sports car to make me happy.  I used to crave things like that.  Now I’m content with the things we have and, to be honest, could likely be content with a lot less.  I’m happy with the relationships I’ve forged in my life and the children (adults?) that I’ve raised.  I’m happy that I didn’t let my drinking ruin those relationships or children.

I’m just plain friggin’ happy people!

But inside me about me?  Yeah…not so much.  Still working on that little piece of the puzzle.  Which is normal if you think about it.  What I’m trying to change is the equivalent of raising yet another child.  In addition, I have to UNDO all the damage that was done over 49 years and insert all the good from the last four.  It’s like a rubber band.  I keep pulling at it and stretching it farther and farther but as soon as I let my guard down and let go, it’s snaps right back into it’s former shape.

Except…

Except that each time I stretch it, it changes a little.  It becomes a little more flexible, stretched out, loosey goosey if you will.  Over time it will either find some middle ground in between tight ass strong and floppy loose or it will break.  Either way it will be a permanent change. 

I’m trying to stretch that mother fucker to a place where I accept me, just as I am, for just who I am.  A place where I forgive myself easily and am kind to me.  A place of acceptance and unconditional love.  Until I can find that place, no amount of weight loss or plastic surgery, or make up, or new clothes (in any size) will matter.  Until I can say that I love myself for who I am, right now, I’ll continue to take two steps forward and five steps back in my self improvement efforts.  Until I can work on the inside there will be little or no change on the outside.  Until I can truly believe that the outside doesn’t matter, I’m doomed to believe that it does.

Clear as mud?

I’ve written about this many times.  Most recently here.  It keeps coming up…like heartburn.  Everytime I look at a photo of myself or pass by a mirror or store window, my first thought, I shit you not is, “What is my mom doing here?”  Followed closely by, “Who is that fat old lady?”  And ending with a slump of the shoulders and a loud sigh…

Everytime I lose a little weight I sabotage myself and gain it all back.  I’ve taken in the same damn pair of pants about eleventy-billion times, only to have to let them out again a few weeks later.  Why?  Who the fuck knows?  Same thing with my hair – cut it…let it grow…dye it…tie it…throw it over your shoulder like a continental soldier but whatever you do CHANGE IT.  It’s like building a mansion on sand…doesn’t matter how pretty it is, without a decent foundation it will all come crumbling down…eventually.

So for now I’ll just keep chip, chip, chipping away at the inside and hope that, eventually, the light will shine through those dirty window and show the beauty within.  (Okay…that preposition was for poetic effect!)

Namaste

 

The “O” Word

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Annual physicals are part of my DNA.  I’m really, really good about getting my annual check up complete with blood work.  I will admit that during the last part of my drinking career I might have postponed the visits, but eventually I would make the appointment, go, and then lie through my teeth about how much I was drinking. (If you’ve never lied to your doctor about your bad habits then I applaud you.) 

I’ve spent the last four years repairing the damage my drinking did.  Things like high tryglycerides, high “bad” cholesterol and low “good” cholesterol as well as high blood pressure and low liver function all had to be fixed.  I’ve been plugging away at it year after year, improving my numbers little by little with each visit.  This year I was actually excited to find out what my numbers were.  I’m new to this doctor so I was surprised when her office called yesterday to deliver my results (I usually get them in the mail).

The nurse starts off with “everything looks good” which is a good thing because the phone call itself had me worried.  Then she ran down my numbers which were all good considering where they were four years ago.  LDL (bad) was 100 and should be below 160; HDL (good) was 52 and should be above 40; Tryglycerides were 123 and should be below 150 (just after I quit drinking my tryglycerides were over 800 – I shit you not.)  Liver function, white blood cells, glucose, pap smear, thyroid, etc. all normal.  Yay!!!

Then she says, “The doctor recommends daily exercise to help with a weight loss of 1 pound per week.  She’d like to see you in six months to see how you’re doing with your obesity.”

Wait…what?  No…really…what?

Did you just say the “O” word?

Ummmm…

Okay, I guess technically I’m in the “O” range for my height and weight if you use those charts in the doctor’s office.  But let me be honest, I have NEVER been in the “healthy weight range” in my LIFE.  And that includes when I was wearing a size 8/10 and working out seven days a week!  So don’t be throwing around that “O” word lady or I may have to cut a bitch!

Here’s the thing.  All my life I’ve struggled with my weight because I didn’t fit some kind of predetermined view that advertisers and clothing designers had for what I should look like.  Even though I was healthy and not at all “fat”, I thought I was because of what I saw in magazines and on TV (and don’t even get me started on what this is doing to our kids…that’s an entire post all by itself).  No matter how thin I got, when I looked in the mirror it was never good enough.  Thankfully I like pizza too much to have ever become anorexic (and I watched it very closely) but it occupied my every thought all the fucking time!  It’s a wonder all that weight talk left any room to obsess about the booze.  Drinking, smoking and my weight concerns ran on a constant loop in my head like bad muzak in an elevator stuck between floors.

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I’ve worked hard to get mentally healthy and stop the crazy voices that kept hammering on and on about that shit.  I quit smoking.  I quit drinking.  And in this last year, I quit the obsessing about my weight and started focusing on being healthy.  The Whole 30 I completed last year really helped me to focus more on eating whole and clean and just let my body do what it’s going to do.  I even declared that I would not step on the scale this year as a protest to letting a number on a little box dictate my thoughts, mood and life!  And guess what?  I kept that promise.  I didn’t even look when they weighed me in the doctor’s office AND I wouldn’t let them tell me what the number was.

Until last night.

After that woman dropped the “O” bomb on me, I went home and thought, “Well fuck me naked…I guess I’d better at least see how bad it is.”  So I got on the scale…and I looked down…and guess what?  My weight was down.  The hell of it is that I knew that!  I knew that I was on the right track because my clothes were looser and I was feeling so good!  I was also happy because the voices in my head hadn’t quite shut the fuck up yet, but they were learning to be still.  AND – and this is a big AND – for the first time in my life I was starting to look in the mirror and see what was good instead of the flaws.  I was beginning to look in the mirror and smile…to recognize this body as the body of a warrior!  A warrior who has birthed three children and fought off disease and molestation and smoking and alcoholism and found herself a healthy and happy place both mentally and physically!

So I am not about to let a “word” send me scuttling off into the corner to eat myself happy or to weigh myself obsessively or to just give up.  I am not about to let all my hard work go flying out the window because of a poor choice of words.  In fact, I’m not going back to see her in six months.  There’s too much at stake.  

What I will do is realize that, like with cigarettes and booze, I am not a normie.  I will continue to watch my portion sizes and calorie count.  I will continue to walk…and walk…and walk.  I will not jump on and off that stupid box and let a number determine my day.

I will recognize myself for who I am, right now, in this moment.

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A Mother-Fucking-Sober-Warrior-Ninja-Lady!

Namaste