3 months – 10 achievements

cave=treasure

 

3 months ago today, I jumped on the scale and saw a number which shattered everything I had even felt about myself. 310! It was devastating. I had spent years after high school (after hating what all the mean girls had to say about me!) working so hard to change how I felt about myself and how I lived in my body. And I felt like I was right back where I started 11 years previously.

If I totaled all the weight I have lost over the years it could easily be more than 500+lbs. I have lost 100, gained it all back and then some, lost 50 and gained it all back and the lost etc… and the cycle continues.

This time however, I knew I was in a bad place with everything in my life. Food, emotions, and self confidence. The great thing about this time was I knew what to do.

I had to enter the cave which has haunted me most of my life. The perpetual self-journey which has come and gone with the mass amounts of weight I have lost off and on my entire life. The cave which addresses the fear which comes with shedding the bulky exterior and being the person I deserve to be. It has not been easy, comfortable, or even welcomed at points over last 3 months but it has been very rewarding.

In the last 3 months while there are so many things I could write about accomplishing these are the 10 which means the most to me:

1) Lost 20 LBS!

2) Held full plank pose for 45 seconds

3) Hiked 8 miles (in 1 day)

4) Bought smaller pants

5) Started talking about why I fear losing the weight (which I will talk about on another day)

6) Shared my truth with those around me, about why this journey is important and why I need to do this for me

7) Started seeing my collar bone again (it’s been in hiding for a long time)

8) Made time to exercise 5 days a week, every week for 3 months

9) Can climb 3 flights of stairs at school without stopping or getting winded

10) Making time for myself, learning who I am right now in the journey and who I want to be once I get to where I want to be physically.

 

These 10 accomplishments have made the last 3 months super challenging and super rewarding. I know it is just the start of my journey to where I am going, but I have made a beginning, and this is what is necessary to go anywhere.

Finding the Foundations of my being

I have come to realize the security blanket which has been my weight, has always rooted me to who I thought I was.

The fat girl
The girl who couldn’t tie her shoes without putting her food on a bench
The one they all snicker at in the locker room

The girl with no real friends
The girl who does not know who she is
The girl who plays pretend

For a long time I was not available to be myself
I was someone who to this day, I don’t even really know
I don’t even really remember

I was just existing
Empty
Much like a soul of someone dead, who has not moved on.
Stuck in the land of the living but unable to live

I had no brakes to stop and think about where I was or what I was doing – whether I was present or being a person I wanted to be

I did horrible things to myself, which affected those around me

I stole because I did not value myself, I valued what other people had.
I did not understand how special I was
How important I was
To myself!
The only person I really have to matter to is me

The damage done by the person I was, “the hole in the wall” I created can never be filled
It might be patched but the place where the damaged was will never be exactly the same as it was originally

The great thing about being a little “broken” at one point or another is the ability to learn from it
The choice to not do it again
Getting a second chance and moving on
Being able to accept it as it is, the pain the sorrow the hurt – allow it to be part of me rather than be the foundation of me.

I will not be controlled by my pain
I will not be controlled by what other people think
I will not be controlled by criticism, dirty looks, or people who don’t even fu***ng know me!

Today I do not have to prove myself, I am being myself

I realize today, my weight and lifelong struggle with its definition in my life started this journey, this blog, this change

BUT

My weight is no longer the foundation of my being
It no longer gets to define me
My pant size is none of your business, but let me tell you! ITS GETTING SMALLER!

Today my foundations are:
My Smile
My sultry voice
Incredible hugs which match an even more amazing heart
Wild curly hair
Loud outgoing persona
Love of expression and creating things with my hands (from food to art to sandcastles, I love to build)
The ability to take risks
The desire to never give up
Being a true emotional being in a sometimes fake world
Being sensitive and perceptive to myself and those around me
and
Being a little unpolished (yes I still drop the F bomb, even in front of my mom once in while ❤ )

Today I am a long way from where I have been

The foundations of my being will change as I change, but today they are rooted in everything but the numbers on the scale and the boundaries which my weight has captured me in, until now~!

Hard to swallow…

I was having this really amazing conversation with a friend the other day and we started talking about why people have a hard time with emotions or real feelings. Specifically why feelings are “hard to swallow” or admit and face.

This struck a nerve for me, because I hid the “truth” about my feelings with booze, drugs, and food multiple times over in my short life. I hid them, not because I did not want to feel them, more because I did not feel I could safely show my feelings to anyone in my life. Being numb was more acceptable.

Over the course of my left I felt more often than not, I was in a place of shame around being emotional and having “feelings”. I was the emotional “have” in a family of “have not’s”.

My mom and sister were very compartmentalized in an emotional sense and my dad drank to hide his feelings. So I was the only person willing to feel for a long time. I did not see anyone else feeling the way I did around me, so I was not sure I was “normal”.

I felt every time I was upset, angry or sad, the emotions were over-exaggerated due to having no guide, no compass, no one to show me what feelings looked like. This over exaggerated feeling caused me to feel shame and remorse over and over again, just for being myself. I was afraid to feel, because someone would get mad at me or make fun of me. I was never able to really express myself.

Once I realized I too could prevent those feelings (much like my dad I assume), I did. I used alcohol and drugs from a very early age, to prevent myself from feeling, so those around me might find me more tolerable, more likeable, more acceptable.

This was never really the case though. I was never more hated or ignored by those around me. My emotional outbursts became worse when they did happen, because it was like toxic vapor seeping out of the cracks of my being, which the substance abuse only plugged for so long. I was explosive, and there was always a match near by for igniting.

10 years later, once I gave up preventing my feelings from “just being”, they came in waves and floods. These emotional outbursts were more than what I remembered being young, which were harder to swallow, due to being overwhelmed with feelings long ago lost inside. But these feelings were real. They were relevant and valid. They were my guide to who I was then and am now.

After lots of therapy and years without hiding what I feel, today I am on more of an even keel. I know what my feelings are when I am having them and can express them.

Looking back, I think in my childhood, it became a situation where my feelings were a demand on others those around me. I demanded them to feel and pay attention to what I was feeling and I had the expectations of them to respond. But the truth for them was they couldn’t, with where they were in their lives it was not an available option. This fact did not make them bad people, just not on the same emotional wavelength.

Today what I know is, (As my friend Juanita put it so eloquently) I do not have to subscribe to any one else’s “channel” including what media and society say I should be, think, or feel. I can choose to be the calm in the chaos of what others believe and find my own place among the reality that is my feelings.

I do not have to demand others listen to how I feel, for today I listen to myself. I value my own feelings and derive my own worth based on what I know of myself, without letting anyone else step in the way of “my truth”.

Contemplation… the worth of a soul

So I wrote this a while back, before the emotional “weight” breakdown, and realized it never made it to the blog.

So I am sharing it now.

——————————-

Whirling
Hazey
Just under the surface
fighting
struggling
dying to get out

restricted
punished
labeled
rejected

damaged
broken
desperate

stitched back together
mended
bursting at the seams
flowing like wind
rustling like leaves
free

Moments in life, define the minutes we will live in thereafter
Unsure, scary, and alone
I weigh myself
judge who I am against those who surround me

Am I enough
Why am I not worthy,
Where does this thought stem from
Grown from
Can I pinpoint the origin?

No, there was time and place where I was weightless
Left to be nothing more than me
no voices in my head questioning the clothes I wear
or the words people hear
Wondering whether I am liked, respected, needed, loved, wanted

There was a time I was content with being

Much like a weight, it drags me down
hinders my growth
spiritually
emotionally
physically
I am stunted like a small plant which receives no light

I am dormant
because I am restricted
closed
unavailable

I have placed a worth on my soul which no one else ever sees
They do not perceive it, it lives only in me
in my mind
in my solitude
in my isolation

Does this worth, or lack there of, define me
consume me
create me

In every sense of those words, YES!

This value I have placed on myself creates my perceptions
my feelings both imagined and real
it judges those around me
because I am less than
it makes me more than

It makes me less me, than I want to be.
it makes me less than I am
it makes me less than I deserve to be

Always less
always more
never just the right size

Oh how this worth of my soul, has dammed me to a box I cannot get out of
a cage
a tomb
a place I have locked deep inside
never to revisit
but here I am letting it pour out of me

Setting this thing holding hostage over my soul, free
letting it have a voice
letting it be shoved into the light
letting it be what it really is

An imagined captor of my being
an imagined creator of my torture
the worth of my soul is nothing but a figment made up to keep me from being exactly who I am in this moment, and it is still defining the moments which have yet to be lived.

We attract what we need, when we are ready for it.

Our experiences do not come to make us suffer, we attract what we need to grow, to awaken our spiritual nature. Whatever we attract no matter how difficult, we need in order to grow and learn. Whatever we attract or experience we can work through. – Iyanla Vanzant

 

Someone very close to me, sent me this quote the other day. It awakened in me something I thought long ago lost.

The pain of loss of self. My childhood feeling of letting go of who I was to be something else.

The original feeling stemming from this was triggered by being someone who I was not meant to be at the age of 5 or 6, but who I had to be at the time to protect myself and get through my life as it was.

The feeling which I felt this time, was mourning the loss of the person who I have been, who is not who I am meant to be. I was mourning the loss of 11+lbs I have lost to date. And not because I was sad, but because my security blanket is melting away. All the things I have hid behind my whole life, have kept me protected. My drinking, my lying, and lastly my weight. To say goodbye to this friend, who has been with me the whole way, is heartbreaking.

And I am READY!

I am no longer afraid to see what being a a more healthy version of me can hold. I am no longer afraid to love myself, by losing the one thing which is holding me back. I am no longer afraid to grow into the person I have been meant to be.

Today I walked into the gym, strutting my large and lovely self. I got on that elliptical machine and did 27 whole minutes, at a level 5, going 5.0 mph. A whopping 500 calories burned in those 27 minutes, and I felt AMAZING.

I rose to meet my insecurities, the voice in my head which says “I cannot”, with a great big YES I CAN. I did it for me. For all the times I sold myself short, didn’t believe in myself, and gave up. Today I did not give up.

Where did I find the courage for this, I could not tell you. Inspiration of those I know and love who have walked this road before me, maybe. Wanting it more than I don’t, possible. Knowing I deserve more than I have right now, and finding the bottom of the proverbial “cookie jar” with nothing left and feeling empty, most likely.

I did not know what my experience would hold for me. It has been almost 3 weeks, I have lost 11 pounds, and I like myself a little more today, because I did something I once though I couldn’t.

I have attracted this journey, because I am ready to shed the layers.  I can grow from what I was hiding behind, into what I am meant to be. I can learn to be the new me, the best me, the only me there ever should have been. I can meet the challenge with grace, dignity, and vigor.

Today my experience is not as terrifying as I expected. I am prepared, know I will be taken care of, and have risen from the ashes of emotional hell to know I am the best me I can be.

Its not about a number, its about A FEELING!

Positive-Motivation-Scale-520x544

Many people in my life (including multiple personal trainers and athletes I know!) have always talked about a concept, of “the feeling” rather than the numbers on the scale.

For a long time this elusive “feeling” was no where to be found. Most likely due to the fact, that I only worked out when felt forced, and for the last few years was totally unmotivated to do physical activity. The truth is, I have been lazy and taken poor care of the “temple” I have to live in for as long as I am here.

Over the last few weeks I have had a change in “feelings”. It started with the idea of hating the numbers I was seeing on the scale and feeling horrid in the skin I was living in. Not necessarily because of the food I was eating, but I felt heavy, tired, and less energetic than ever before. My clothes did not fit and every time I sat down, the pants I was wearing (unless they were my favorite yoga pants) had this bulge at the top which hurt, and often has a button mark left imprinted in my skin when I went to take them off.

My feelings before : I was emotionally exhausted and did not see the light at the end or even in the middle of the tunnel I felt trapped in; Confusion, as I did not understand how I had accepted myself in this extremely uncomfortable physical condition; Hopelessness, because I was unsure of what to do, to get out of this hole I dug myself into.

I had to realize what I was willing to do to change those feelings. I had to reach a bottom with my body, which I had never reached before. It occurred on one Saturday afternoon Hike, all up hill, and humbling to the ego. I stopped every .10 of a mile, out of breath and in pain. My back hurt, my feet hurt, my body WAS SCREAMING at me. It felt as though I was being punished for ignoring the signs and feelings before this moment. I went home that Saturday afternoon broken.

I woke up the next day contemplative, not quite sure if the day before was real. Trying to convince myself I didn’t need to change anything and I could live with it. However, I knew I was lying to myself. I knew those feelings I was trying to convince myself I didn’t have the day before, had been real and no amount of ignoring them was going to make them go away.

It was much like realizing at 21 I had a problem with my drinking. I had to get to my breaking point to realize a change had to be made, and only I was going to be able to make it.

So I downloaded one of those nifty fitness apps on January 7th and committed to tracking everything I put in my mouth. While I have no been perfect with it, I have been accountable and cognitive of the things which I am putting in my body. I have been eating more raw food than I have seen in months: salads, lettuce wraps, fruit salad etc. Treasuring the remarkable feeling of being good to my insides. I will admit, I don’t love scarfing 3 cups of spinach or green smoothies, but I love the way I feel after I do. So I just keep doing it. I am faking it, till I make it. Which I know one day, I WILL!.

I have tried new workouts, YouTube videos, and reading others blogs to read/hear what they do and how they do it. I have joined new challenges, to see how much % of body weight I can loose in 8 weeks. I have found others who want to loose 100+ pounds on message boards and have started talking about how I fell, why I feel it, and being honest about what it means for where I am today. I commit to writing on my blog, while it is public, I do this for me and no one else. I have realized this has to be about me and no one else.

I have come to know this journey, or pilgrimage, must come from within me. A feeling of wanting it bad enough and doing whatever it takes to make it work for me. Whether it is doing modifications to Jillian Michaels workouts, trying p90X, or just going for the 2nd walk of the day because my body needs it, I am learning. I am taking a risk and asking for help, following direction and doing what those who have accomplished what I want have already done.

My feelings today: Less shame, guilt, and remorse for my former self. My pants fit a little better, I enjoy getting up for my morning workout as it leaves me feeling energized, and I am not ashamed to say I am trying to live a better life. A life better than the day before and making the decisions to make it count. I FEEL good 90% of the time and that elusive “feeling”, is slowly but surely becoming the light in my tunnel. I have a long way to the end, but I can get there if I just keep going.

Today it does not matter what the scale says. It matters how I really feel. Not the feelings I try to convince myself I am having or not having as the case may be.

Today I was and am the best me I could be, at my current weight, with my current feelings. Tomorrow they will be different, these feelings of mine. For the one constant thing I know is change, and having finally surrendered to being the change I want to be, I can now “feel” how I am meant to feel.