Monday, July 29, 2013

An Extraordinary Ordinary Day

I had a productive day.  Today was the first day of testing week for my two remaining homeschoolers.  (Two of my kids are done homeschooling and are in college, which actually looks a lot like homeschooling.  They do a lot of teaching themselves.)  So, we sat out on the deck with No. 2 pencils, test booklets and answer sheets and began the hoop-jumping for the state testing.

Testing on the deck was nice and relaxing until we were interrupted by a momma raccoon and her baby.  The baby got stuck on the other side of the fence somehow and started screaming while the momma chattered loudly.  It was a horrible and upsetting sound, and there wasn't anything I could do about it except shuffle everyone inside to safety where we finished testing for the day.  Eventually the screaming stopped, and I got brave enough to go outside with a broom to see if the raccoons were still there.  They weren't.  I hope the baby is okay.  I also hope it doesn't decide to get too comfy in my backyard.

I made a delicious dinner but ate a tiny bit too much and felt really bloated.

Calico Beans and Creamy Cucumber Salad

I remedied that by taking a walk with my girls.  It was my idea and everything!  I'm not sure where that wild hair came from, but it was nice walking at sunset.

When we got home our neighbor was in our driveway trying to catch his cat which was obviously badly injured.  He was backing out of the garage and the cat was lying there and he felt a sickening thud.  We're thinking good thoughts for the poor cat.  This was not a good day for animals around here.

Then I sat on the deck and relaxed while the sun disappeared completely.  The kids and I put the cover on the pool and picked up the backyard, and here I sit feeling good about the day.  It doesn't seem like much when I write it all out.  There was the usual dishes and laundry, but that's all.  Still, it's a lot more activity than I've been used to since last Fall.  A good day, overall.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Is Progress!

Yesterday I wore my new pair of jeans and a cute top to the grocery store.  I felt so good being out in something other than sweat pants that make me look super frumpy that I stopped to buy another pair of jeans and another cute top on my way to the grocery store.

I've broken the can't -buy-a-bigger-size barrier, and I'm already feeling so much better about myself.  I'm going to get rid of all of those ugly, frumpy clothes in my drawers; the ones that make me look like I've given up, which I had.  I'm also going to get rid of all the clothes that are too small.  That will be a little harder because I still hope to wear those sizes, but buying something fun and cute in a new smaller size will be a joy I can look forward to in the future, and in the meantime, I can bless someone by giving them something I can't use right now anyway.

The next barrier I intend to break is the can't-stand-to-be-seen-by-people-who-knew-me-when-I-was-thinner barrier. (That's a long-ass barrier.)  I've been avoiding one of my favorite hangouts and one of my favorite hobbies  (karaoke, baby!) because I don't want to face people whispering behind my back about how much weight I've gained.  I've seen my best and closest friends, but there are those friends and associates that I haven't seen (and who haven't seen me) that I haven't wanted to face.

I was feeling so good yesterday that I almost went out.  I didn't because my hair needs dyeing, and I didn't feel like messing with that.  What is notable is that the reason I didn't go out last night didn't have anything to do with fat or fear or self-loathing. 

That wedding I've been dreading is in two weeks.  Two months ago I told myself it would be okay because I still had time to lose some weight and feel better about myself.  I haven't lost a single pound since then, but I feel better about myself anyway, and I'm no longer dreading going to the wedding.  I'm going to get my hair trimmed, dyed and highlighted.  I'm gonna get pedicure, throw on some jewelry and a smile and have a good time.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Choosing Joy

I reread a post I had written a few weeks ago, and I can see that a shift in my thinking has occurred.  I wrote:
"While weight loss isn't my only goal, being overweight is one of the biggest factors keeping me from living joyfully and healthfully, which is my ultimate goal."
 And now I am challenging myself with this question.  Why is being overweight keeping me from living joyfully?  I'm calling bullshit on that.  Being overweight is not what is keeping me from living joyfully.  It's my attitude surrounding being overweight that is the issue.

The truth is, nothing is keeping me from feeling joy.  Nothing at all.  I can feel it right now, like flipping a switch.  It's a choice I can make in every single moment.

I acknowledge that it's not always easy, and when things are bad and problems occur that it's normal to become stressed out.  There's no reason I can't take a time out from that stress and decide to do something that feels good, that actually helps fix the problem.  I can decide to feel however I want about whatever comes up.

This is just a little pep talk for me because I'm gonna need to be reminded of this on a constant basis until it becomes easier for me to do.

Update:  I decided to put this into practice yesterday when I went shopping for some new clothes accompanied by my husband.

At one point while driving down the road I became aware, as I often do during the day, of one of my fat rolls because my arm was resting against it, and I started to feel bad.  Then I said to myself, "Unconditional acceptance.  Remember?  What is there to feel good about right now?"  and I realized it was a gorgeous day, and I was driving down the road with the love of my life, and despite the fact that I weigh over a hundred pounds more than the day we got married he still finds me sexy and gorgeous and he would do anything in the world for me, including going clothes shopping with me to provide moral support.

And then when I was trying on clothes I worked really hard to accept myself instead of leaving the store emptied handed, which I've done in the past because I didn't believe I was worthy of nice clothes, not in this big body.  I did buy a pair of jeans and a new set of pajamas.

It became very hard to feel joyful after clothes and grocery shopping because I made the mistake of wearing flip flops, and that combined with an activity level to which I've grown unaccustomed, set my dogs to barkin' loudly.

While I was in pain and sweating profusely the only thing I could feel good about was the fact that I'd be home soon and could relax and put my feet up.  Good enough.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Unconditional Acceptance?

I recognize the need to accept myself unconditionally.  Hating myself has to stop.  It's not helping me reach my goals, and it is not making my life better.  It's affecting me and those I love negatively.  It has to stop.

I'm having a hard time, however, reconciling the need to accept myself unconditionally right now with the intense desire to change.  Losing weight would be healthy for my body and good for my self esteem.  I think there is a fear lurking somewhere that if I accept myself unconditionally I will never lose weight.  Or maybe that it is impossible to accept myself and want to lose weight at the same time.

Still, I know that hating myself has done nothing but send me running to food and hiding behind my computer for comfort.  It's done nothing but add pounds to my frame.  In fact, the more I think about weight, the more I seem to attract.

Maybe I can't love myself and want to lose weight at the same time.  I mean I can't be thinking about my weight every minute of the day and call that self-love.  Maybe the key to losing this weight is to stop trying so hard.  Stop thinking about it constantly.  Stop spending all of my precious energy telling myself I'll treat myself well after I lose weight.  I'll take that trip to see an old friend after I lose 30 pounds.  I'll go to the beach after I'm thin.

Maybe the key is to do whatever the hell makes me feel happy and special right now.

I know that in the past I've had the most success with losing weight when I feel good about myself.  It's almost like this weird natural law that as soon as I buy an outfit that looks terrific on me in the size I am right now that I lose so much weight that I can no longer wear that terrific outfit.  

It's time to put that natural law to work for me again.

So, I no longer want to lose weight.  What I want is to feel special.  I want to feel loved.  I want to experience joy, and I can do all of those things right now because none of them hinge on a number on the scale.

(I still hope I lose weight.)

Friday, July 19, 2013


I thought I'd stop by to explain my absence.  The short story is I just needed a break from thinking about my weight.  I literally think about how fat I am at least once every 5 minutes.  Something comes to mind, and it always comes back to my weight.  It feels like a prison.

Not writing about it has not stopped me from thinking about it, however.  Taking a break from writing about the mechanics of losing weight has given me time to realize, for the hundredth time, that this weight is not my problem.  My problem is that I don't think I'm lovable unless I'm perfect, and being fat is not perfection in my mind.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not get anywhere until I learn to accept myself unconditionally. That means that if I'm only happy with myself when I'm doing the right things and losing weight, or if I can't be happy with myself right now, I suspect I will continue to struggle with my weight.

Learning to accept love from others and from myself might be THE THING I am here to heal, and until I get a handle on that, stuff will just keep coming up that challenges me to learn and grow in that area.

I am still in hiding.  I'm still telling myself I'll go out and have fun after I lose a few pounds.  My husband and I have a wedding to go to in August, and I am dreading it.  It's the wedding of a coworker of his and I don't want his coworkers to see what a fat wife he has.

I've also realized that the way I talk about myself, as in the paragraph above, is obnoxiously hurtful, not just to myself, but to other people who may be struggling with their weight.  Recently a friend of mine who has lost a lot of weight made a comment about a picture of herself that someone else posted the other day.  The picture was from a few months ago and featured a larger version of my friend.

She wrote, "What a horrifically ugly fat picture from last Winter... ugghhh... glad to not look like that anymore!"

All I could think is that she was thinner in that picture than I am right now.  It made me sad.  I know she was talking only about herself and she would never say something like that about another person.  I also know that she doesn't see other people as horrifically ugly.  She, like me, sees herself that way when she isn't what she believes she should be.  It reminded me that I've used language like that to describe myself, and it has to stop.  I am hurting myself, and I may be unintentionally hurting other people with that language.  My daughters.  Oh God.  I know I've hurt them by talking about  myself that way.

So, that is what I'm working on right now.  I'm not sure I'll be writing quite so much about the food I'm putting into my body and the exercise I'm doing. (Or not doing)  I need to heal this much bigger issue.  I don't know how to do it, but I'm going to start by not describing myself in terms of my physical body or appearance anymore.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


We've been having a bit of a heatwave, and it has put a stop to any kind of routine I might have had going.  Cooking?  No way! House work?  Uh, no.

My mom and my niece have been coming over.  We sit on the lawn furniture in the shade, moving the chairs as the shade moves and relishing any and every breeze that comes.  The kids splash in the pool, which is only filled part of the way.  We have decided that we'll need to level the ground before filling it completely, but with the hot weather on the way, we knew that realistically that kind of work would need to be delayed.  In the meantime I've rather enjoyed our lazy Summer days.

My weight hasn't budged.  I guess that's better than having it go up, especially considering the way I've been eating.  We've been dining on bean dip and ice cream and whatever can be found in the kitchen that doesn't require cooking, including take out pizza one night.

As much as I've been avoiding work due to the heat, I must say, I am exhausted.  It could be all the walking back and forth between the house and the back yard, where we've been hanging out most of the time.  It could be trying to stay cool, moving fans from one window to the next.  It could be the food I've been eating.  It could just be the heat, but I've been feeling weak and a couple of times almost ill.

I think it's going to be cooler today.  I need to find the energy to get to the grocery store and clean up my kitchen.  Hopefully, I'll find it in this coffee cup in front of me.