Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places.....

I think I've had an idea of what's been feeling "off" for me of late.  I'm in a "familiar" place and it's a place filled with all sorts of fears of failing, fears of succeeding, and baggage aplenty. 

A major source of motivation for seeking treatment was knowing I wasn't going to be able to lose weight and get healthy until I'd dealt with it all.  I wasn't fat due to lack of ambition or lack of attempts.  Rather, Edie had placed up a gauntlet for me to try to go through on my way to achieving what I wanted.  The gauntlet is still there, even now, but I'm trying to find alternative paths through it.

It's sort of hard to explain it all because well, I don't think I totally "get" it either.  Here's the familiar cycle:

I'm overweight.  Period.  The end. 

I decide I need to lose weight and get in better shape.

Two paths are possible here - either I end up doing nothing or I go whole hog into dieting and a strict exercise cycle.

The "doing nothing" path leads to disgust and frustration and Edie being reassured that I'm a total failure who doesn't want "it" bad enough.

The "whole hog" path leads to one of two places - becoming totally overwhelmed by the pressure of the "ALL" I've imposed on myself or the inklings of success.

It's the inklings of success that is so tricky and is the familiar place I'm dealing with right now. 

I need to to stop quantifying "success" in terms of having a smaller body and a lower weight.  I NEED TO.  Because when that's the "success", Edie gets to have control over how I'm feeling about things.  And she's too reckless to have control. 
I start feeling good about my body shrinking and get wrapped up in either the obsession to make that happen faster and faster and then get wrapped up in thoughts on how I'll never be successful at it.  OR thoughts about how embarassed I'll be if people notice I'm getting smaller because then they've just acknowledged what a fatso I was to start with. 

Another no win creation of Edie's.  I can feel myself getting sort of sucked into that cycle of not being in the moment; of fearing success and failure all at the same time.  I've been here before and have never been in charge of how this path turns.  I need to get in charge.

Good thing I have therapy today.  Whew.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Edie's at it again. I've been feeling strong, fulfilled, gorgeous, assured.

Then, all it takes is an email with a news video clip frOm a reading I was a part of this past weekend and bam! Fat, insecure, uncastable.

And obsessed.

How many times will I watch the video clip and hear Edie's voice telling me all the ways in which I could have looked better and sounded better. Hear her tell me that people are bound to see it and wonder what the he'll happened to me. Or decide they can't cast me because I'm so immense.

7 weeks of running joy and confidence threatened because Edie scapegoats it. The message of not working hard enough and my body not changing responding fast enough.

It's a battle. Every day a battle.

Too full of pieces...

I'm pretty lucky in that I have access to a lot of inspirational stories where I work.  Today a new one came across my desk.  The section which totally reverberated with me was this:

"...Even when what we most want or need is right there in front of us, we refuse to let go of the garbage so we can grasp the wonderful...Our hands are too full of detritus to grasp the new way that God sets before us."

It then goes on...

"...What do we have to lose?  ...  Sometimes it's because we're too full of anxiety about trying something new - what if it doesn't work?  For many of us, we really are in a place of not having anything left to lose.  Experimenting is the only possible way out of the valley into which we have wandered.  Opening our hands so we can grasp something new is the only way to find out."

"My prayer for you is that you would take stock of what you are carrying around that prevents you from reaching out to grasp that which God has placed in front of you."

Lots to think about there.  I carry a lot of pieces around.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New post...Hmmm...

I'm emerging from the cloudy time warp of having a sick kid.  Thank goodness she's finally better.  Fever started Sunday and didn't break until last night.  FOUR DAYS of it.  Which meant missing three school days.  Which meant the hubby and I had to have the big discussion/frustration of "Can't YOU take today off?"  Despite me needing to get sort of pissed off about it, we worked it out.  I hate that component of being a working Mom.  I'm eternally grateful I am allowed to use sick time to care for her, but still.  It's hard and stressful when all you really should be worrying about is being kind and wonderful to your sick kid.

So, what did that mean for the week - aside from the balancing act of trying to be respectful of my spouse while demanding he be respectful of me?  It meant I had to change my running day from Tuesday to Wednesday.  As you know, I'm not the most flexible lady in the universe.  I was worried that by switching it I'd get all off track.  Doomsday OCD stuff of course.  So, I started getting my plan together for Wednesday just in case she was sick again.  And she was.  Treadmill it would have to be.  And I took all morning to get ok with it.  And I was.

Then my Mom called and asked if she could take the kiddo to convalesce at her house so I could go get my run in.


This is noteworthy because it's just not like my Mom to do that.  I tend to get sidelined because I've been deemed "capable".  Getting them to watch the kid is oftentimes challenging.  So, for her to volunteer was a pretty big deal to me.  Especially because it was so I could go do something "selfish".

I didn't have therapy this week due to a conflict with the therapist's schedule, so we went out running during that time instead.  It all just worked out perfectly. 

Forced flexibility.  Sometimes that's just how it has to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

There are too many adjectives for today...

I've had one of those crazy inspirational and wonderful days.  Wow.

We had church this morning.  Which was sort of meh.  Boring sermon.

We taught Sunday School  - "Actor's Alley".  The kiddo and one other boy were the only two who chose to come to our station but man did we have fun!

I went for my Week 6, Day 1 run.  It SUCKED GIANT BALLS.  Holy crap.  Seriously brutal.  As my running partner said, "It was humbling which was probably a good thing.  I finished our 20 minute run and felt ready to run a 5K right then and there."  Which I totally agree with.  Humbling doesn't begin to explain it. the midst of it completely and totally sucking - neither of us quit.  SO THERE!  It was horrible but we just kept asking our bodies to do one more step and our bodies complied.  Awesome!

Came home for about 15 minutes to a sick kiddo whose asthma is flaring.  Ugh.  But this time around we have her peak flow monitor so we can tell if it's in her lungs.  Being prepared helps me know if it's time to get serious about the inhaler or not which is something we struggled with 6 months ago.  Her fever went up to 102.6 but came back down before bed.  I hate when she's sick.

Headed off to a rehearsal for a staged reading about breast cancer.  Really a beautiful piece put together from the real journals of survivors.  Universal and specific all in one.  And really a cool experience to give life to someone's personal journalling words. 

Then out to dinner with a friend who is also in the reading.  Espresso martini, panini, profiterole and rich decaf coffee.  Wonderful.  Wonderful.  Wonderful.

Home to a kiddo feeling a smidge better and to a hubby who is going to work on getting some flowers donated to the staged reading event next week.  :) 

I have been on the go all day.  But every component (aside from the sick kiddo!!) has been such am intense part of the bigger picture.  I'm content and fulfilled and rejuevenated.

What a wonderful life.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Run-ning post.

Seriously can't NOT say that like Forrest Gump.

Today's the 20 minute run.

Day three, week #5.  Couch to 5K.

I can DO IT!  The two 8 minute runs on Tuesday went fabulously.  My legs feel recovered (although it took them a full two days to relax!  LOL)  It's chilly and grey here today which, as long as my ears stay warm, is really successful running weather.  Me no likey the sweat.

I'm excited and nervous.  The 5K I registered for - oh yes, I'm paid and registered BABY! - will only be maybe double that, hopefully less than double if I can get my speed up.  Mostly, I just need to remind myself I don't need to quit and that the reward is going to be that amazing feeling at 20 minutes, 1 second.  When I've done it and can throw it right in the face of ED who I'm pretty sure is the source of the nervousness.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If you wrote a letter to your body, what would you say?

Dear body,

The time has come for me to apologize.  I have treated you as the enemy, as a ticking time bomb, as the only thing that made me who I was and who people liked, as a garbage dump, as a punching bag, as the problem.  I've recently come to discover that it's not you, it's me.  Or, more specifically, Edie.

You see, my "friend" Edie has a tendancy to fill my head with nonsense about you, me and the world around me.  She's very convincing and extremely sly.  Things that she says which make no sense at all start to make sense the more she's around.  And you should know, she put the blame squarely on you for the past 25 years.  That's a long time to take the blame for something you didn't do.

I'm sorry for abusing you in the ways that I have.  I would like to offer my deepest gratitude for your ability to stay with me even in the darkest times; even when I put you through hell.  You've stayed there for me, relatively healthy despite the damage I've inflicted.  The responsibility is my own for listening too closely to Edie.  The wounds she asked me to give you, the hate she stirred up for you, the frustration that I couldn't just make you listen and do what I wanted leave me looking like an out of control crazy person.  Nothing I've done to you is something I would do to anyone else. 

My promise to you is that from here on, I will be doing my very best to embrace you and atone for my past trangressions.  I have so much appreciation for how you've responded in strength to my request for you to help me run.  I appreciate you continuing to let me know what you need even when I haven't listened to you in the past.  I will try to fulfill your needs and stand by you the way you have stood by me for all these years. 

Most of all, I promise to try as hard as I can to stop listening to what Edie says about you and to start listening to what I say about you.  I hope you can understand that Edie has been a part of my life for so many years that it will be tricky for me to phase her out.  Even though her presence is destructive to both of us, she's got a lot of roots I'll need time to chop and dig up. 

Let's make a pact to be patient with each other as we re-establish this relationship.  You do what you need to do and I'll accept that.  I'll do what I need to do and you accept that.  As we build that new trust and get rid of Edie's influence on what our relationship should be, I am confident we can be friends.  I hope you feel the same.


I'm making blueberry muffins.

In the morning.

To be eaten for breakfast today.

On a school day.

This has never happened before.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reconciling the images....

We're gearing up for our 20th high school class reunion this upcoming summer.  Facebook page all set up, requests for contact information flowing, plans being made.  One of the plans is a slide show of photos and people have been posting them on our group site.

This one came up yesterday:

Due to privacy concerns, I cut everyone's faces off.

I'm the girl in the peach.  9th grade dance.  I vividly remember that night.

We started at my friend's house for a pre-dance party.  *I* had a boyfriend as did one other friend and they were there as well.  I was so nervous because I felt so ugly and fat and unattractive and just really wanted my boyfriend to not see any of those things.  I felt like my boobs were HUGE and that I was going to look ridiculous in the dress next to all my friends.  The friends to either side of me in the picture were the girls I looked at and thought, "If only I could be as skinny as they are!!  They're so skinny."  It's mind blowing to see this picture and to see no boobs, no belly, none of the physical imperfections I was so sure had neon signs pointing at them.  And that I'm smaller than some of the people in the picture and about the same size as the "skinny" girls.  Really.  I have a hard time reconciling what I see in that picture.

The other part I'm working towards reconciling is what happened later that night at the dance.  While my boyfriend and I were slow dancing, he started blowing into my ear and licking it in a totally pervvy 9th grade boy way.  And then he pressed closer against me and I felt how turned on he was.  And I totally freaked out.  Like TOTALLY freaked out.  I remember being totally unprepared for something so sexual.  The most we'd done at that point was a couple of open mouth kisses and hand holding.  I had no basis for how to handle something so forward and instead of it feeling exciting and awesome like our innocent first kiss, it launched me into a full scale panic attack complete with tears.  Not right in the moment.  In the moment I felt paralyzed.  Like I had to let him do this and pretend to be totally fine because I didn't want anyone to know how terrified I was.  It felt so wrong and invasive and my brain and ED told me it was because there was something wrong with ME.  I should be loving this.  What sort of a freak are you?

It also was the catalyst for me feeling like I had to make up grand situations to cover my inability to react in an emotionally appropriate way to things.  To protect myself and to keep from looking stupid, when my friends descended on my crying mess of a self, I made up this big story about a boy I had previously dated and how he was so awful to me and dancing with my boyfriend at the dance triggered all that, blah blah blah.  I just really needed support and sympathy in that moment and couldn't see that happening with the truth.  I really felt like people would think less of me if I just said, "It was too much.  I feel uncomfortable."  So, I made something up.  And it worked.  And kept working for years and years.  Anytime I felt uncomfortable and needed an emotional buffer especially in relationships/sexual situations, rather than being able to be honest about it, I'd create a grand scenario in which this over the top emotional reaction could live and make sense. 

It's funny because I used to think of myself as a compulsive liar and endured a lot of shame at EDs hands because of it.  But I don't think that's what it was anymore.  It was a coping mechanism and I was a child.  I was doing the best I could with the limited tools and resources I had.  And when it kept working and kept me safe, I just kept using it.  The ability to just turn my inner self off in intimate settings with men just because the norm.  Sometimes because I truly liked them and didn't want to be hurt when they'd eventually leave (which is what ED always told me they'd do) and sometimes because they were a complete stranger and I'd gotten myself into a situation where I didn't feel like I was allowed to say no.  Those stranger situations were always also fueled my the alcohol I used to buffer against the possibility that NO ONE would find me attractive.  Which was even worse.

Anyway, it's a lot of rambling.  It's been spinning around in my head for a while now since seeing the picture and in an effort to just give everything I experience during this process a life and a voice, here it is.  Hopefully now that it has its own being it can fly away, taking its guilt with it and leave peace in its stead.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No. I'm not.

Yeah, I just got asked if I was expecting. 



That makes a girl feel real good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Like the old timey wild west....

I'm feeling unsettled.

Not sure why.  I mean, I have a lot going on just in normal life stuff.  But not that much more than usual.  My ED has been being challenged a lot more (as is proof in my post from last night) but I feel like I'm meeting that challenge head on - or as head on as I can.  My new running program is going great.  Food is going well.

Why do I have that little nervous anxious spot in my chest?

The only thing I can pick out from today is a feeling of disappointment about not being included in an upcoming staged reading series.  But would that trigger anxiety?  Could it come out like that?  Not sure.

I guess my plan of attack is to be mindful of it.  See if I can meditate a little on what's causing it so I can release it to the universe.

Feeling things is still a tricky concept for me.  I still have a tendancy to get that force field up to deflect any negative feelings which may try to sneak my way.  Now that I leave it down more often, I'm finding that I do't always have the "right" way to handle things like being disappointed.  I guess that comes with practice?  Maybe that's what my body is doing right now too.  Maybe it needs practice as to how to alert me to what's going on in there emotionally.

We'll work it out, my body, my brain and I.  But for today, right in the moment, it's all just a little "blah."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Head meets wall.....

I get irrationally pissed off seeing or hearing people tell someone who is overweight and who has identified eating disorder issues that they just need to count calories or work a little harder and the weight will just come right off.


The weight is a symptom.  The awful body image and low self esteem is a symptom. 

It makes me insane when people lump eating disorders in with lack of self control.  In many cases it's the exact opposite.

Just because I'm overweight it doesn't give you permission to judge me and how and why I look the way I do.  You have no idea and would have no idea.  I make it my mission in life for people to not see that.  The judgements create this climate of shame - like you're not even worthy of getting help because clearly you're just a lazy slob.  Even if that's not what people say, that's what they're saying.

I know this is an uphill battle against a ridiculous social norm.  I know I will not be able to change it all.  My goal is to open people's eyes, one by one, through my story and my example.  I'll be that thorn in their side with gentle and not so gentle reminders that there are a LOT of people out there and every single one of us lives our own story and our own truth. 

No one needs to try make their truth MINE.  CHances are, theirs is complete garbage anyway.  It may be Utopian and unrealistic, but I will hold out hope for a society who can stop making assumptions about the very make up of others' souls simply based on their body shape.  And if I'm holding society to it, no better way than to continue to hold myself to it.