September 11, 2001

911

Pull them in close, hug them tight, tell them you love them even if they know it…even if it’s the 150th time you’ve said it today. Say it one more time because it means something. Say it for those who can’t say it, say it for those who wish they could hear it one more time. If you do nothing else today, tell someone you love them.

Gaining Life

For nearly 8 years now I’ve been writing this blog under the topic of weight loss. I’ve gained over 60 pounds in the last 18 years and I always thought that my “problems” were due to all that weight gain. Oh, the many hours I spent lamenting the condition my body was in!  I always thought that if I could just lose the weight, things would be so much better.

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Before I got married, I was bold and vibrant and brave and not afraid to be every single bit of myself that I was. Then I fell in love and got married and had my first baby… and started to lose myself. As the years ticked on and two more babies came into my world and Life became all about my family, I eventually lost so much of myself that I hardly recognized that bold and vibrant girl I used to be. Where was she?

The truth is this: in order to keep the peace and make those around me more comfortable, I watered down my personality and dimmed my own light so that others around me could shine. While I felt at the time that this was the right thing to do, and I was happy to let others be the center of my universe, the result was that it left me unhappy, insecure, and hollow inside. I let my insecurities overcome me. My friends noticed it, my family noticed it, I however, just ignored it and resigned myself to the fact that this was just the way life was going to be.

Except…except that once my son graduated high school last May, I felt something inside of me crack open just slightly and whisper “I want more.”

I needed something. I needed an adventure.

They say that when you are ready for the opportunity, it will find you. Apparently, I was ready.

Last week I got a call that offered an adventure and an opportunity of a lifetime. I had only a few hours to decide if I would listen to the voice that said “Oh this is too much. We don’t do things like this! This isn’t for people like us!” or if I would find a new voice. I called my Trusted Advisory Board (consisting of my two best friends) and they both were emphatic that ABSOLUTELY YES I should take on this opportunity. After telling my husband that I was going to take a leap and say yes, I made the call and committed to the scariest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever done for myself.

I’ll explain all the details in a later post, but I wanted to take this time to say that living my “okay-est” life is not okay at all! Playing it small in my own life serves no one, least of all myself (thank you Marianne Williamson for that one sentence that perfectly describes how I have been living).  What I have realized is that it’s not about losing weight, it’s about GAINING LIFE and living it fully and confidently because I am worth it. I realize that I don’t have to wait until my kids are grown before I can start living my life – I can show them right now how to live boldly and take on new challenges.

I have a lot of work to do, but for the first time in a long time, I’m excited about my life. I’m excited to say ABSOLUTELY YES to new experiences and learning opportunities. I am looking for ways that not only will bring back that bold girl that I used to be, but will also carve out the woman that I deserve to become.

You are worth it too, sweet reader. Please understand that I am as ordinary and average as the next person, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do extraordinary things and live above-average lives! If we would take the focus off our thighs for just one minute and look around at everything else that life has to offer, we might eventually find that the size of our thighs doesn’t bother us nearly as much. Our insecurities seem so real to us, but once we look them in the eye and challenge them, they will seem a little less daunting.

I want that for you. I want you to see that you are brave and full of color and light and that you have every right to be who you were meant to be. I want you to question your insecurities and challenge the status quo of your own life. Let’s work on saying ABSOLUTELY YES to the things we think we don’t deserve. Because we all deserve to be as fully ourselves as we can be, regardless of the size of our thighs.

~Jill

Labels and False Beliefs

About 4 years ago, I was a mess. An overweight, unhappy mess and I couldn’t figure out why. I started reading articles online and then I stumbled on a program called Shrink Yourself. Through this program, I realized that there is a reason that I overeat. I was shocked to find that I wasn’t just someone with no self control, a fat pig who ate and ate and ate just for the heck of it. What I took away from Shrink Yourself was that I used food to cope with life. That was a revelation for me.

I started finding and reading blogs and  learning about emotional eating. Finally! A name for what I was going through!  I read books about emotional eating and took in all that I could on the subject. What filled me was the fact that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. Others described exactly what I was feeling and thinking. That was a revelation for me, too.

So for the last 4 years, I have been living under the banner of “Emotional Eater”. It should be tattooed on my forehead, I identify myself so much with this. This label has served me well and helped me come to terms with some things about myself that are no longer a mystery. I has set me free.

Except now, I’m not feeling so free anymore.

I feel like it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that I can’t undo. I feel like this label, this belief, is not serving me anymore. I am so locked in to the belief that I use food to cope, that I think I secretly believe that there are no other options.  I fear that it has kept me from crossing over the bridge to the other side. The other side being “I no longer use food to cope”.

I think that I locked myself in to this label because it was comfortable. And if I put my whole identity in to this Emotional Eater category, then I didn’t have to do the work to change. I have read and read and read about emotional eating but I’ve never ACTED on changing it because I was so enmeshed in it. My subconscious would  rationalize it as “If I’m not an emotional eater, then who am I?”  These labels, these false beliefs have been about playing it safe and holding back. Not really believing that I could be so much more than that. Not believing that I am worthy of the effort it will take to make the jump.  I have other false beliefs that tie into this emotional eating label, too that have held me back.

Some of my other false beliefs are:

  • I’m inconsistent
  • I’m an overeater
  • I’m lazy
  • I’m messy
As long as I believe these things about myself, then I don’t have to behave differently. Which leads to that self-fulfilling prophecy thing I was talking about earlier in this post.
I don’t want these to be my labels anymore. I think it’s time I started creating new labels for myself, but how do I change?  I think one thing I have learned  is to challenge these beliefs I have about myself. For example:
  • I’m inconsistent – Am I really? I consistently brush my teeth twice a day. I consistently go to work 5 days a week. I consistently cook dinner, do laundry, and tell my family that I love them. There are hundreds of things I consistently do every single day, so this belief is actually false. Do I consistently exercise? No, but that’s only because I haven’t made it a habit. Yet.
  • I’m an overeater – Um… not always. There have been plenty of times I have stopped just short of full. There have been many times I could have eaten more, but didn’t. This is going to be a harder one to un-believe, but I’ll work on it.
  • I’m lazy – I think I used to believe this one more than I do now. I actually enjoy being busy now, and find that I’m happier when I’m doing something productive or creative. And with a full time job, a husband, and 3 kids, I just don’t have time to be lazy anymore!!
  • I’m messy – There was a time when clutter didn’t bother me. Leaving dishes in the sink was no big deal for me. Now however, it bugs the heck out of me. Having my clothes mismatched and wrinkled are not an option for me anymore. I don’t want my house or my body to look messy anymore. This one is going to be a continual effort!
So now I guess I have to start acting like I want my labels to change. Not easy, but doable. I think this is where “fake it til you make it” comes into play. What do I want those new labels to be? I’d like the label of “Making Progress”. At this point, that’s all I want. I just want to see myself making progress, even if that progress is small and slow. Changing my labels is not going to be easy, but I think I’m in a good enough place that I can work on making that happen. And maybe eventually I can change that label to “At Peace With Myself” – because that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?
*the inspiration for this post came from listening to Session 11 of Untangled by Karly Pittman. Go check out her blog – she has lots to offer! 

Accepting my limits

Hey all!  How was your weekend?

I did okay this weekend – not great, but then again, I’m not striving for perfection here. There is cherry pie in my house. and ice cream. I didn’t gorge myself on it, but I did enjoy it. Immensely. Progress, not perfection, people.  🙂

On Saturday Debby and I decided to be accountability partners, which motivated me to work out so I decided to pull out The Shred dvd and can I just tell you that I feel like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz? I am moving so slow but I’m milking it. Ya know it’s one of those “oh wow look how sore I am because I WORKED OUT. Yeah, man I am feeling the burn because of, ya know, my WORKOUT. Woo! That was one tough WORKOUT that made me sore today!”  I am nothing if not modest about my accomplishments.

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been getting up early and exercising before work and Laura asked how I started doing that.  Awhile back, I was searching the ‘nets for some new blogs, specifically blogs about busy moms who work out. I found Workout Mommy and struck gold. One of the features of her blog is Get Inspired by Fit Moms, a page where she interviews moms about their active lifestyles. She asks each one mostly the same questions, and one of those questions is how do they get motivated to work out when they don’t feel like it, and the majority of them basically said, just do it – make it happen. Over and over again I read about these moms who didn’t make excuses, they just made it happen. Then one morning not long after that, I decided to just make it happen. I got up, threw my workout clothes on, did 35 minutes on the elliptical, and was done for the day. Then I did it again the next day, and the next. I didn’t make any big proclamations to my husband, I didn’t tell myself “we shall arise before the dawn and do this!!”, I didn’t even say it here on the blog – I just quietly and uneventfully did it. And it’s been great. When I stopped kicking and screaming about how much I hate working out in the morning, I discovered that I actually don’t mind it so much. Imagine that!

That segues nicely into something else I’ve been thinking about: accepting my limits. In Karly’s Untangled course, she talks about being able to accept and honor our limits. I had to think about my limits, and what I needed to do to finally accept that there are some things that I can do and some things I can’t.  Another way of thinking about this is to ask yourself, “how do I wish my life was different?” For instance, I wish I could eat as much as I want without gaining weight. I wish I could eat junk food without feeling ill and sluggish. I wish I didn’t have to exercise to get in shape. But, like most of you, I have limits. My limit is that I can’t eat as much as I want without gaining weight. I do feel ill and sluggish when I eat a lot of junk food. I do have to exercise to get in shape. So in order to move forward, I have to accept and honor these things about myself.  I can’t be in denial anymore that I will somehow magically lose 30 pounds without trying. Not gonna happen. When I was on the elliptical this morning, I thought to myself, “I need to accept that working out in the morning is the best time for me right now. There are so many benefits to getting up and getting it done early. I am choosing to honor and accept that.”  Are there any limits that maybe you need to think about  accepting? It really helps lessen the need to kick and struggle against the things that are good for us.

Well that’s all I have time for today. I have to go hunt down a copper nail for my son’s science fair project. Do they even make copper nails? Guess I’ll find out!

Layta!

 

 

 

Tiny little epiphany

I had sort of a tiny little epiphany yesterday. I was thinking about my current job and how unchallenging and unfulfilling it is and I asked myself why I stay. This is a decent paying job with great benefits and a boss who, even if he is somewhat of a dim-witted redneck, pretty much lets me run the show. If I need to take some time off, he is more than willing to let me do whatever I need to do. The people here are good to me and it is a very easy job. This job provides security and stability and braces for my kids teeth.

These are good, valid reasons to stay. Good, valid, joyless, soul crushing reasons. So why don’t I take the plunge and go find my bliss? I’ll tell you…

It’s FEAR. I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I might make the wrong decision. What if I find another, more challenging, job and I end up hating it? What if, instead of a dimwitted redneck, I end up with a know-it-all jerk of a boss who makes my life hell? What if I don’t find another job at all? What will my kids teeth look like if they had to take the braces off now?

Fear. Keeps me stuck in this job.

I have been thinking about my health and my weight and I know that the binge eating that I have relied on for the last year has served its purpose, but now it’s time to let it go. I’m ready to let go of this thirty pound gain – it’s been right at a year (give or take a few days) since the Awkward Coworker incident that started my downward spiral into Binge Hell. I finally feel ready to put my conscious self back in the driver’s seat and start losing this weight. But there is one thing that keeps me from actually starting…

Fear.

What if I can’t do this? Maybe I’m not ready to give up the comfort of cookies and mac n cheese? Staying where I am right now would be so easy – no effort to put forth, no planning, no saying “no” to the easy choices. The fear of actually making changes is hard to shake. But the desire to change is also hard to shake.

Right now today, the fear is equally balanced with the desire. If I stay perfectly still and make no moves whatsoever, nothing will change. I will feel noble because I have the desire, but I won’t have to challenge the fear. It seems like a win-win, right? Wrong. Because I know that eventually the fear will outweigh the desire and I will be stuck with this extra weight forever. And that is not acceptable to me.

Challenging fear is unfamiliar territory for me. I like the status quo. I like not rocking the boat. I am not a fan of drama, and turmoil. Geeze, I sound like a Stepford Wife with all my passivity (I think I’d rather be a Joan Jett – sassy rock stars who rock the boat are more fun, right?)

Anyway, I’m going to put my fingers in my mental ears and not listen to the fear when it whispers to me. I’m going to make some changes this week and see if I can get some momentum going. A trip to the grocery store, a trip to the park, and other assorted activities are all part of my plan this week to get out of the starting gate. We’ll see where it goes from there.

What is it they say about courage?

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. (Ambrose Redmoon)

 

 

Tomorrow, I’ll go DO.

I got 50 pages into Intuitive Eating and I lost interest.

I got 32 pages into Women, Food, & God and I lost interest.

You know what? I’m tired of reading about food, eating, and/or losing weight.

Reading about losing weight is not going to make me lose weight. Doing is the only thing that is going to make me lose weight.

I’m going to go read something mysterious and thrilling. Or stupid and silly. As long as it isn’t about food or weight, I’m good.

And then tomorrow, I’ll go DO.

It’s a new day

Wow – thank you all so much for all the advice, comments, and general love you sent my way yesterday.  I could almost feel the hugs – warm fuzzies are the best!! If I could just have you all follow me around all day everyday, I’d be a much saner and happier person.  🙂

Shawn left early this morning, and I didn’t break down and cry – I had to keep it together in order to achieve minimal makeup damage. He’s already texted me 3 times today, so I think we’ll be okay as far as communication goes.  I’m trying to look on the bright side as a lot of you suggested, and I’m going to take this time to really focus on ME. I ordered a new yoga dvd, and I think I WILL do the Zumba class – it just sounds like fun, plus my neighbor goes to that class, so I know we would have a great time. Yoga, dance, and walking – Pubsgal is right, those are the things I like doing, so I should focus on those for awhile. (Thanks PG!!)

As far as what I want to accomplish in the next 6-8 weeks, I think I’m going to just focus on re-establishing some healthy habits and more importantly, some healthy attitudes. My attitude lately has not been the best, to be honest. As for tracking food, I’ve gone back to the tracker that my health insurance has set up. When you track your food and exercise, you get points that can be redeemed for prizes. I had a bunch of points already racked up from when I was movin’ and groovin’ back in the summer of ’09, so I used some of those to order my yoga dvd and Wii Sports Resort for the kiddos. Yay for free stuff!! 🙂  The tracker automatically gave me 1800 calories, so I figure if I can come in under that, I’m good. Really right now I’m just tracking my food and not worrying so much about the calories, like Pubsgal suggested. But I figure if I’m going to be writing this stuff down I may as well enter it into the health insurance site and get a few points.

Oh hey, did you notice the new blog layout? Since everyone else seems to be updating and refreshing the look of their blogs, I thought I might as well too. I needed something bright and cheery and what’s more cheerful than the beach? I hope it brightens your day, like you did mine!  🙂

Off the beaten path

 

I have no goals. I don’t have any goals to “get me through” the holiday season. I don’t have a plan, I don’t have a timetable, I don’t have an ulterior motive for skipping the desserts.

 

For this Christmas 2010, I’m not going to plan my foods, or get in some extra exercise. I’m not going to follow any rules for keeping holiday weight gain in check or follow anything that says “lose 10 pounds by New Year’s Eve!”

 

This year, for this holiday season, I’m going to enjoy myself. Contrary to what you may think, that doesn’t mean I’m going to plant myself face first into the buffet during Christmas dinner. No it actually means that I’m not going to stuff myself silly, because when I am overstuffed, I’m not so much enjoying myself. That feeling is not fun for me anymore, and Pepto is not a good dessert.

So I’m going to eat what I want, when I want, but I won’t be cramming peanut butter balls into my pie hole (candy hole?) for a week. Same goes with all the other Christmas goodies I baked over the weekend. I’ve had a few small pieces here and there, but they are so rich that any more than that and I start to feel ill.

I will partake of all the goodness the season has to offer (food and otherwise) and not feel guilty about any of it.

Do I recommend we all do this? Well, no. If your mojo is strong and you are riding high on the success train, then please stay on track!  If staying away from the pecan pie is a small personal victory for you, then more power to you! I applaud you and your mojo.

But for myself, this season is about ditching the shame, the guilt, the need to “do it right”. This is about me RELAXING. This is about me pushing the weight loss effort aside so I can just be me without the overcoat of “I should”. I can’t do that if I’m freaking out about the calorie count of 3 Christmas cookies.

So forgive me if this offends your sensibilities, but we each have to find our own way. Unfortunately I’m finding that my way is off the beaten path. But really, I kind of like it like that.  😉

 

 

(picturesource)

Lessons from a business trip

I made it back from Houston safe and sound.  I learned a lot and there are going to be some big changes at the ole workplace – some good and some not so good and some that only time will tell.

Anyway, while I was holed up in my hotel room taking bubble baths and NOT watching Disney Channel (it was pure bliss!) I learned a few things about myself:

  • I like to eat alone.  Going to dinner with colleagues was okay the first night, but what I really wanted was to just eat in my room. I went along though just to be sociable. Also, after the first day, I would get up early and go down to the free breakfast, load up on whatever I wanted to eat that day (usually it was english muffin with cream cheese and juice) and take it back to my room where I would eat at a little table and watch the morning news. I just wanted to eat in solitude and not have to make small talk over rubbery eggs. Is that weird?
  • I discovered I really really like tea. I started drinking hot tea when I realized that I was just eating out of boredom. I would drink like 3 cups of herbal tea per night – most of them were decaf and I would put in a little honey – SO wonderful!
  • As much as I complain about being so busy at home and never having any time to myself, the truth is, I missed the chaos that having a husband and 3 kids brings.  That first night in my hotel room, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was bored out of my mind.
  • I learned that a hotel vending machine is kind of expensive and very dangerous. There were several times I went and stood in front of it with my dollar bill in hand and contemplated the pros and cons of peanut M&Ms.  Sometimes the pros won, sometimes the cons won.
  • I learned that I am sick of eating restaurant food. I am so puffy from all the salt and fat that it’s going to day a 55 gallon drum of water to get rid of all the sodium in my system.  For lunch today I had a simple sandwich – and I was damn happy to have it!

 

I’m happy to be back home with my people. I have a lot to do to get ready for Thanksgiving, so I should probably get off the computer and get busy. I have a lot of catching up to do on my Google Reader and I also need to post a couple of reviews and giveaways here.  And I have not forgotten to mail my Pay It Forward gifts, just haven’t had a chance to make it to the post office during business hours.  Lots to do, lots to do!!

Have a great week ya’ll!   🙂

 

 

Fear the Blog Reaper

Hey all!  Life has been kinda busy lately but I’ve got a few minutes so, here I am!

So the other day I finally broke down and bought a couple pairs of jeans. They were size 16. You know what? I don’t freaking care what size they are, they are comfortable!! There is nothing more irritating than wearing jeans that are too stinking tight. I’m not talking about jeans that are a little snug (Debby and Vickie I’m looking at you), but when a pair of jeans has the power to ruin your whole day because you are so self conscious in your too-tight jeans, well then sisters, it’s time to buy a new pair that FIT. I’ve gotten so many compliments on these jeans in the last week that I keep asking myself why I waited so long.  And did I mention that I bought a couple new tops as well? So I’m sporting the “walk” these days – you know that swagger you get when you are feeling fine? Yeah, that’s me, sashaying all over the place in my threads. All I can say is, thank God for bigger sizes!

I’ve got a couple of product reviews and some giveaways (!) coming up – I just need to find the time to sit down and write out the reviews. I always procrastinate on things like this, but I’m working on NOT procrastinating so much, so I hope to have these banged out by this weekend. So keep checking back for the opportunity to win something (see what I did there? I’m keeping you in suspense so you’ll come back and read my blog! Ooooh, I’m so crafty!!)

These days I’m feeling…neutral, which is a lot better than I’ve been feeling these last 8 months or so. I’m on my way back out of the hole, slowly but surely.  I’m just kind of going with the flow lately – eating what sounds good, and what sounds good is not pizza and candy,amazingly enough, but fresh veggies and nourishing foods. So that’s weird for me, but hey, I’ll take it. Same with exercise – I do it when I can, but I’ve stopped obsessing about how I”m NOT working out like I think I “should”. Going with the flow, folks – I highly recommend it.

I’m working on some things right now with my food etc, but I don’t want to post it here because of the The Blog Curse. After a few days I’ll let you know, but right now I’m keeping mum. I’m also doing this because I want to start writing about what I’ve DONE instead of what I INTEND to do, because I’m not always so good with the following-through-with-my-intentions thing. So I have to save up some stuff so I can say “hey look what I did!”.

I think that I am the Black Plague of Blog Death – just when I find a blog that I really love, that blogger inevitiably says “I think I need to take a blogging break”. This has happened at least 3 times in the last few weeks. One of those bloggers is Mish at Eating Journey (I can so identify with her struggles!) and another one is Confessions of a Compulsive Eater. The third one is The Diet Naked Blog. I’m not kidding, within weeks of finding these blogs, they have all checked out.  So if I read your blog regularly, you might want to be careful. Apparently I am the Grim Reaper of Blogs.  Sorry.

Hello, my name is Jill and I will be taking your blog today.

 

Okay well, that’s all the rambling I can come up with today. Any one else find and then lose a great blog lately? It sucks, doesn’t it?  😦