Practice What I Preach: A word from me to You

Earlier, I mentioned that I have been turning inward and re-evaluating my own plus and minuses in order to better help others.  It is important to not just talk the talk but I need to walk the walk.  This is one of the most difficult times for me in that I have to be rigorously honest with myself as well as others.

Weight has been that one problem I have not been able to overcome in my lifetime.  Well, slowly and steadily, I am conquering that obstacle.  I am proud to share this journey with you!  I have managed to effect my blood sugar number by diet and exercise.  The last test I had reported that I had brought the number down from 11 points to a relatively safer 7.8, doing it all with diet and exercise.

At one time the doctor wanted me to take medications for my diabetes.  I was stubborn and insisted on doing it without the meds.  However, I had not really committed to it and time after time the blood test showed that lack of commitment.  After the previous bad test results, something clicked in me.  I don’t know why, perhaps it was my mortality or the mere fact that I was tired of disappointing myself as well as others.  It was time to take things in hand and walk the walk.

Also, I had been dealing with women who were very ill in my practice as a Reiki practitioner and I realized that a lot of the illnesses are self-imposed because of bad choices.  This caused me to take a big look at my own choices.  What did I find?  That same lack of caring about myself.  Yes, even the master can be taught by the student.  I was making bad choices and it was already affecting me and would continue to have its effect on, not just my health, but the quality of my life down the road.  So, after a lot of soul-searching, I finally made that commitment to love my self enough to not commit slow suicide.

Suicide is a difficult word.  I hadn’t thought of it as suicide.  But it was.  I was making choices that would ensure a shorter life span than if I took care of myself.   And, I guaranteed that I would be miserable and unhappy during that time of over eating, cramming sugar into my body, and perhaps losing a leg, or even my eyesight until I got the deed accomplished.  Here I was telling others to buck up and take control of their lives and here I was, doing the opposite.  So you can see that there was a big gap in my self-awareness and my council…talk about the queen of “D-nile!”

Can I tell you how to reach this point of self-awareness?  No!  All I can tell you that it has to come from within.  I had to ask myself what am I doing and why am I doing it?  The answers are painful but eye-opening.  First.  I am a sexual abuse survivor.  That in and of itself would be cause for anyone to self medicate with food.  I chose to make myself as fat and ugly as I could in order to stop something that I felt I had no control over.  It was my protection.  It was the one thing I did have control over as a child, the food I put in my mouth.  I might not be able to do anything else, but I could stuff myself with food until I was able to push my abuser away.  It worked.  However the scars and pain festered.  It colored my view of the world and my place in it.  I  was an angry person who did not trust anyone and blamed myself for the abuse.  That is typical.

However, at 62 you’d think that I would have gotten a handle on it.  I thought I had.  I really thought I was OK.  But the weight persisted.  This awakening to the truth allowed me to see that I was still seeing the world through the eyes of that child.  Yes, I had grown up and become very successful.  It took a long time but I have come a long way.  But deep down inside I was still that wounded child protecting myself the only way I felt power…self-medicating with food.  I still thought subconsciously that I had little control over my life.  I still felt powerless.  I was wearing a mask. And I guess I still felt that intimidation from men.  And I was still in a battle for control over my life…and losing.

In this one important area I was not taking care of myself, though the child thought she was.  I was not the adult that could thrive.  I was still surviving.  Well, don’t I feel a bit sheepish!  I do feel embarrassed to have to tell you that I was not completely honest with myself so I could not be honest with you.  I was as honest as I could be under the circumstances.  My intentions were in the right place.  However, I had to come to terms with my own faults in order to move forward.  So, here I am facing up to my denial and hoping that you will understand.  I guess we are never completely healed.  It is a journey and the destination doesn’t matter. What matters is that we strive to be better and to learn from our mistakes.

Now for the good part!  I am so close to weighing 200 lbs it would scare you.  It certainly scares me.  I can’t remember the last time I weighted 200 lbs.  It has been a struggle.  I lose a couple of pounds and then I gain it back.  I lose and I gain.  Suddenly, as my body learns what it needs to maintain the lower weight, I find my weight stabilizing.  Suddenly the loss is permanent.  Now, I can eat to maintain.  That is a good feeling.  I am learning about my own body and how it works and what it needs.  It surprisingly needs very little to be healthy.

I do take supplements & vitamins, etc.  Once I am comfortable at the lowest weight I begin again to learn more of what my body needs and to start the weight on its downward journey to health.  I have stopped measuring my inches.  I don’t weigh every day.  I weigh once each week.  And I don’t sweat the small stuff.  I have my goal in mind but I don’t have a specific date in mind to reach it.  It will take as long as it takes.  It is the journey after all.

I used to not lose weight because I couldn’t afford to by new clothes.  I used to not lose weight because I liked one particular outfit and I didn’t want to have to give it up.  I used to worry that I would not have the money to buy new clothes.  I used to justify not losing weight because I was a martyr and others in the family needed it more.  How could I spend the hard-earned money of my husband so frivolously when I had a closet full of perfectly good clothes.    In fact, when I went to the store, I could find all kinds of things for others, but never for myself…negative self talk.

I recently put on my expensive Italian  running shoes I bought in 1995 and went to the gym.  They still fit comfortably and were not worn out.  I was bragging about still wearing clothes I had bought years ago…and I had that light bulb moment.  I was still not taking care of ME!  I walked into my closet.  I started sifting through the clothes there and realized that even though I had lost two sizes, I still had my FAT clothes hanging in the closet.

Dr. Oz once said that one of the keys to weight loss success it getting rid of the over-sided clothes we hang on to just in case we gain the weight again.  That is what I had been doing.  I subconsciously did not trust myself.  So, I started ripping them out of the closet.  I took three whole garbage bags of clothes to the Salvation Army.  It was hard.  I had anxiety after dropping them off.  What if I gained them back?  Well, not having them would not give me an excuse to gain it back again.  I could use that same justification that had tripped me up in the past to help me in the present.  No more crutches.  It was do or die.  There was now no more to go back to.  I had to succeed!  A heavy “weight” was taken from me.  Pardon the pun!

Today is Saturday.  I haven’t felt good for the past couple of weeks due to some minor health problems that I will get a handle on eventually.  Well, I was able to use the elipticle for exactly 11 minutes.  That is a record for me.  The first day I used it I did 7 minutes and almost killed myself.  It is something you have to work up to.  Slow and steady!  Anyway, after doing 11 minutes with no elevation and no resistance, I got on the treadmill for my normal workout.  At first my legs felt wobbly.  However, I was soon doing 2.8 speed on flat ground.  Even more suddenly a fast paced song came on my MP3 player and I found myself jogging for over 40 minutes.  All total I did an hour on the treadmill and 11 minutes on the elipticle.  I felt wonderful!  I felt like I had wings.  I felt happy and free and I loved every minute of it.

Back in 1994 I was able to do a three mile jog in an hour and not even sweat.  I remember how good it felt then and I could feel how good I was beginning to feel now and how much easier it was getting to be.   I think I have turned that corner and there is no going back.  I can’t wait until Christmas when I can finally buy some clothes in a smaller size.  I did go out and buy me some work out clothes and a couple of pairs of pants and some t-shirts for everyday in the smaller size I am now.  That feels so good!  I deserve it and though I won’t stay at this weight long, I needed to feel good in clothes that fit.

I am truly taking care of myself and not feeling guilty for it.  That is a major change in my attitude.  That means that I will be successful!

So, please join me and share your stories with me.

Chris

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~ by womenstudycenter on October 23, 2010.

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