Thursday, September 02, 2010
One of my major problems in past efforts at "maintenance" has been knowing when "done" is "done". You can get hooked on the numbers drifting downward, you know.
Sometime in August, the scale dipped below 130 for the first time and I kind of freaked. The last time I saw the scale register "12X", I was entering college. Um... 39 years ago. I began to wonder if I had reached that point of "too far".
The past couple of weeks I've been thinking more and more that "this is home", meaning that I'm where I want to be, in terms of number on the scale, size of clothing, etc. I don't really want to go lower: I feel healthy. I think I look healthy.
So... this is my declaration of residence... between 125 and 130 is my new "home range". And I'm going to do my best to "keep house" here.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Subtitled: "Thoughts that pop into Barb's head while under the influence of endorphins"
Most of the time when working on weight / body image issues, I'm looking at my belly, my butt, and my sagging skin. But this week it's been the armpits. Yeah, ewww!
Seriously, ladies, if you've lost considerable weight and been working out, have you noticed a change in shape of the armpits? Mine have become deeper, curvier... harder to shave! Which of course is why I noticed in the first place. Who knew? Fat lives in the oddest places, and serves some unusual functions (like making it easier to shave my underarms)!
Another area that's odd that I notice is the neck and collarbones... when those start appearing to have texture and definition... it must mean something is working in those workouts.
Do you have any "unusual" spots where you notice your shape changing? Or just feel free to laugh at mine, if you don't want to say!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I love the interaction here and how we all boost one another up! The response to yesterday's blog about my own reaction to the imagined reaction / feelings of others around me was incredible, varied, and wise. Thanks to you all, even if I didn't get to your page to say so individually.
Often my blogs are something like a 12-step meeting "share"... they are about experience, strength and hope. That's why you see "I" a lot in my blogs. I can't share what I don't have. I can't fix other people (and need not "preach"), and other people can't fix me. What I can share is my own experience, and my own hope. While I may sometimes say "fear", hope is its counterpoint.
When I respect my own voice (spoken or written) and listen to what comes out... I sometimes am surprised. It strengthens my resolve. And the comments of others shows me their experience, strength and hope.
Together, we go down the path to recovery. One day at a time.
Monday, August 30, 2010
OK, yes, this is another "personal" one, and partly based on my conditioning and experience.
The personal part: My daughter in law got me started on my latest fitness efforts, the one that started with joining Jenny Craig to "support" her efforts. I wasn't convinced that this program would do a blamed thing for me. I didn't pick it. But on looking at it, the program did have a balanced diet, and emphasized activity and working on emotions and mind-set, too. So I "went along". That was May of 2009.
Problem: I've succeeded. About the time I reached my goal weight, my daughter in law reached her halfway point. She backed off the program after his leave. She was going to try it on her own, she'd learned a lot, etc... we know the drill, those of us who have cycled many times. I could see the seeds of what was to come next, but kind of pretended for my own comfort that it wasn't happening and would not happen.
The traditional elephant in the room: she's regained, and here I am, maintaining and still losing. It was the "bonding" element between us while my son, her husband was in the process of deploying. And now? The anxious co-dependent in me reads every nuance coming from her as a "change back" message.
I fear self-sabotage in some kind of warped attempt to improve the relationship with my daughter in law. I know I need to continue healthy habits to live a healthy life. But I well remember seeing successful people when I was NOT being successful and thinking things like: "Yeah, sure it's easy for HER!" Yes, I was either a jealous overweight person OR one in denial about my own desire for a healthy body size... take your pick, depending on the day.
No everyone responds to their own jealous feelings with resolve to improve, and not everyone takes action. I love my son and my daughter in law. I want them to be happy.
Yes, wise people, the problem is not with them. It's with me. I need to get a grip on my own co-dependent impulses here!
Breathe deep, pray that serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change - other people's internal thoughts and feelings.
I can't change how other people feel about my body size. I can try to hide it with sloppy clothing, but it's there. And if I hide it from others, I'm also hiding it from myself... and that may NOT be a good thing. I need the feedback of "normal" being a healthy size.
The courage to change the things I can: I need to practice good self-care. This is something over which I DO have control. I need to face my feelings about my perception of her feelings, and keep doing healthy things anyway.
I need to communicate that I value and love her no matter what her size, as best I can. No matter how much I'd like her to feel the feelings I feel being fit, her life is her own... and she has to make her own choices in her own time.
And the wisdom to know the difference! And let it go because the things I cannot control? Those things belong to God.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This is intensely personal & if you don't want to know... you've been warned to stop reading here.
I was married for nearly twenty-two years to a man who for all the good things I saw in him, could not stand me expressing joy. He didn't like it if I sang (my son to this day associates me singing with arguments in the house). This is NOT because I have a bad voice, people. I'm passable. And singing is a way to express the internal joy and happiness that just bubbles over at times!
If I came home bubbly and happy over something that happened at work, I was chastised for it. "How do you think I feel?" He was miserable and wanted me to be down there with him.
For years I conditioned myself to take the happiness I felt and "stuff it" away so I wouldn't make him upset. I pretended to not be happy unless I tested the waters of HIS emotional state first.
I ran away from the misery... my earlids shut down on him... I played video games. I read books. I went to work and was happy there. But when I went home, I shut down the happy.
Even now, with so much joy... I don't particularly want to phone him to rejoice over our son's homecoming because I know what will come next: "how do you think I feel? I haven't seen *son* in X years."
I never said the honest words to him: "Well, sorry. I love you still, despite being divorced for seven years, but I can't live with this attitude. You can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, but I cannot respect an attitude that doesn't TRY to improve your situation. You are alone because you wouldn't let those around you be happy independently of your control."
I wish he was happy. But that's one of the things I cannot change. It took me a very long time to come to that realization.
What I could change is this: I am no longer afraid to be happy myself.
Today, I am full of joy. I hold in my heart the recognition that not everyone in the world shares my joy today... that is the gift of my 22 years with ex. But this I now know: having personal joy does not mean you don't have compassion for others. It does not mean you are unkind. It just means that right now, in this moment, something has come for you that needs to be cherished, because if you ONLY feel the bad emotions, and never the good... you won't like yourself or anyone else. Joy is the reward after working through the pain... if you never accept the reward... where are you?
Today, I choose to feel this joy. Today I pray for the comfort of others who may be feeling sorrow, or pain, grief, or anger, or fear. But for me, today there is joy, and I intend to cherish it.
And that is a mental / emotional health victory.
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