Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thankful to those who motivate me...thankful for today

On Sunday, I was named June's most motivational member for the 17 day diet team at SparkPeople. 

I'm truly honored and humbled by this gift. 

I don't think I do anything exceptional - or anything I don't like having done for myself. 

It's important to me to have daily motivation - I need to have that daily pep talk to keep me on the right path. And sometimes, no matter how much "pep" I'm giving - no matter how many people tell me I'm doing fine and on the right path - I just can't seem to move forward. In the past, I've fallen by the wayside and no one has seemed to notice me lying there. No one comes over to pick me up and dust me off. 

So I lay there feeling sorry for myself. I roll over and eat whatever I can find. I wallow in the mud and cry in my beer and force feed myself until I'm bloated. Then I roll down the hill, find a way to stand back up and then slowly try climbing back up the mountain. 

It sucks sometimes. The self-pity and self-destruction I find myself caught within. 

But today I'm still trudging up that mountain. And everyday it gets a little easier. I'm not sure why but I think it may be a combination of timing and support. The support of a wonderful group of people I happened to fall in with here on SparkPeople. I'm not sure how I got so lucky - but they have been some of the most loving and open people I've found in the cyberworld. 

We are all at SparkPeople for the same reason - because we are finding a balance with food and are getting healthier while learning to eat better. Everyday we get closer to our goals. Everyday we find a way to cheer each other onward and upward. 

I'm just adding my voice to the group as we trudged together up our mountain. Somehow, the group thought my voice was valid and motivational. I'm touched...touched to the point of tears. 

In all my years of battling my weight, I've never felt such love from a group of people. I've done so many diets in the past - I've been a part of so many different weight loss groups during those years, and all those times I just felt as if I was just another number - someone else who was fat and trudging through the trenches of rice cakes and carrots and celery stalks while all the while eyeing that cheesecake and all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. 

Not today. I've found a group of extraordinary women who come from all walks of life doing exactly the same thing I'm doing - succeeding with a simple plan for weight loss. 

In 7 days I will have completed my 3rd cycle of the 17DD plan and ... if I don't lose anything else in those 7 days, I will still be 16 pounds lighter and 14 inches smaller than I was 51 days ago. I will have managed to eat and enjoy more yogurt and vegetables than I have in at least a year. I will have survived without pizza and hamburgers and bags of chips. And I will be doing just fine. 

This is where timing is important. 

I'm ready. I'm ready to release the fat that surrounds me. I'm ready to release the past the has protected me from living for the future. I'm ready to release the pain I've held onto from a failed relationship - that lasted 25 years. I'm ready to step into my next phase of life...the phase that has me as the mother of a college-bound son in the next year - the phase of a woman who will find herself in the position of living for herself - not her family, not her husband, not her children - for herself. 

I never thought I'd ever look forward to that day. Yet here I am. Ready to move forward in my life. Ready to embrace my 50's as a time of freedom. Ready to greet 52 weighing less than 200 pounds. Ready to find my way back to that woman I once was who had energy and life and the guts to climb any mountain in front of me. 

Somehow - today the timing and the people have come together to help carry me forward. 

For this I am thankful. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

The day after...

If anyone is following my blog - you'll know that I was finally going to meet with a counselor yesterday concerning my divorce. A quick background: I divorced my husband (it was final in 2008) after 25 years of marriage. The last 6 of them he was a raging alcoholic. While my marriage had years and years of great times, they were almost all eradicated by the last 6. If you have never lived with an alcoholic - please, count your blessings. For those of you who have - I know you understand a lot of what I went through in those years.

I thought I was over everything - I thought I had found my peace and had moved on.

Well...no. I haven't. 

He still makes me angry. Not mad. Angry. I still get nightmares. I still feel that lost feeling I felt when I was searching for an escape.

He's been sober since September 2006 - the day I put him on a plane just after our 23rd anniversary for his 4th and what seems to be his final attempt at sobriety.

I was done. I told him not to come back.

Well - the counselor listened to my tale of woe and asked me why I hadn't let go yet. I told her I thought I had. Nope, she said. But she would help.

So...I feel freer already. I'm ready to be done with him. My son is 17 and has one more year of high school before he goes away to college. He's the person he is today because of who he is and how I've nurtured him. He is also a product of his environment - and he's come out on the other side better for what he's been through. The bottom line is - my son is who he is despite of his father. There is no reason for our son for me to hold onto his father. 

So why am I holding on? Because it's hard to let go after 30 years. I was 21 when I met him. 24 when we married. 48 when we divorced. I've known him over 1/2 my life. Good and bad. 

It's time to walk away.

And when I do - the counselor seems to think I'll let a lot more go...my weight, my fear of dating, my settling for life without the strength to move forward.

Today IS the first day of the rest of my life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Learning to move forward - lose the anger, find the love

Let me start this out by saying I'm okay...frustrated, but okay. And in an odd way, I may have crossed a major issue in my weight loss journey - or actually, what causes me to have issues with weight loss. 

A little background on me: I divorced in 2008 after being married for 24 years. I met my ex in 1981, married in 1984, moved to Alaska in 1989, had our son in 1994. My father-in-law died unexpectedly in 2000 then my mother passed in 2001 - almost a year later and right after 9/11. By the start of 2002 my son and I were living with a full fledge alcoholic. The next 5 years were hell. On my 23rd anniversary, I put my ex on a plane to Washington for his 4th attempt at recovery. I told him not to come back. By June 2007, my son and I packed our car and drove to Texas to start over. The plus side of all this - my ex has been sober since September 2006.

As any other single parent can tell you, the past few years have been difficult - but I wouldn't change the choice of divorce for anything. It was a difficult decision - but the right one. My son and I are fine. 

My ex followed us to Texas, but was respectful enough to live 1.5 hours away. He is not in my face. There have been events good and bad - but all in all, we are friends. I loved him for over 25 years - I'm too damned old to be angry. 

And that may be the problem. There are times I still am. There are things that he says or does that bring it all back up - the anger, the nightmares, the frustration - it all comes back. 

I try. I do. I don't want to have these emotions come back. I want to move forward. I want to find someone else to love and be loved by. I know the only way to move forward is to forgive. I thought I had. I seriously worked hard to let it all go. It's not like it's the first "trauma" that I've experienced. I'm strong - I know I am. So for me to still get as angry as I do about his actions (or lack thereof) is almost baffling. 

So...after months of my son asking me to get counseling - I'm doing it. I meet with a counselor tomorrow afternoon. I'm tired of not sleeping. I'm tired. 

And what does this have to do with my weight loss journey? 

I'm an emotional eater. I have spent the past 17 years punishing myself with my weight. It's like I have an inner voice that says I don't deserve to be a healthy weight. It's like when I get angry at someone I love that I punish myself by destroying my weight. Always. Everytime I've experienced the anger, the frustration, the emotional crap - I eat. 

Today I realized I didn't eat like that. And I didn't do it yesterday. Or last week. Or the week before that. (believe me - there has been cause) 

This is huge. 

I'm not sure I'm "cured" but I have a control that I've never had before. I'm not sure exactly why. It's not that I've lost weight, because that has never worked before. It's not because I'm communicating with my SP friends - or my son - because I also tend to hide or hermitize myself as I like to call it. So, no...that's not it. 

I really don't know why. 

But I'm glad. 

Maybe...I'm really moving forward this time.