Monday, August 29, 2016

Seven Years

It's weird how I've been in this space for 7 years, a place where I ran to get away from all the negativity of the world. A place where I decided to put it all out there because it quieted the whispers of gossipers and "concerned" friends.  A place that let me shout, "I know what you're saying and despite it...I'm valuable."

I thought that it was going to be the success story of a lifetime.  Girl admits struggles and heartbreak.  Girl fights through her struggles and loses weight.  Girl succeeds and is promptly interviewed by Oprah and becomes an inspiration to millions.  This of course all translates into a book deal and a reality show on the OWN network (This, of course, is an evolving translation).

I would've never believed that 7 years later, I would still be here and only be thirty pounds down.  Most of my bloggy friends are gone.  Just check out the blog roll.  Most haven't written in years.  Some are gone forever.  Others have become cherished Facebook friends. 

I'm still here.

Still writing.  Still struggling.

Less heartbreak, though.

There are moments when I log in and I think to myself, "Why?  Why do I still come here and say whatever is on my heart?  It hasn't changed anything."

It is then, I remind myself that I may have only dropped thirty pounds of physical baggage, but WOW!!!, have I changed as a person!

It was somewhere along this 7 year journey that I decided to stop hiding any part of me that was real.  I decided to abandon any part of me that wasn't.  I became the most authentic me I have ever been.

If I am hurt, I say I'm hurt. 
If there is something I want, I say that I want it.
I stopped saying "I'm praying for you" and started doing it.
I spend less time thinking about empathy and more time acting on it.
I stopped letting other people de-value me and most importantly...I quit believing them when they tried.
I speak honestly and I demand the same from others.
If I am wrong...I say I'm wrong.
If I act out in a human way that results in someone being hurt...I admit it and I apologize...even if that apology falls on deaf ears.

I try to be true to myself and who I am at all times.

I own this beautiful mess.

I have learned by being honest about some of my craziest idiosyncrasies that other people are more willing to be honest about theirs and there is something freeing and deeply moving about getting to know people on their realest levels.  It allows me to really think about others and offers me an insight into the hearts of friends and drives me to be a more considerate person.

If I don't lose another pound...that's ok. I've lost so much other baggage and gained amazing perspective.

I'll keep coming back here.

Because it's home.

Friday, August 26, 2016

There are days...

There are days when I fail and days when I let myself down.

If I eat terribly or my activity level is below par or non-existent, then its easy to find my morale in the shitter.

These are days when my positive thoughts bail and my ability to put my thoughts down on paper takes a hike.

There are days when I literally can't even...  You know?

If you don't...that's fine too.

There are other days, though.

Days when everything I do is on point.  Days when I don't wrestle with cravings.  Days when I walk 7 miles. 

I'm a beast.  I'm a hero.  I am king of the effing world. 

On those days, I'm full of words.  On those days, the job that pays my bill restricts my ability to take everything that that is tumbling in my brain, slow its roll and create a permanent space for it.

Today is one of those days.

My brain is to the point that every new thought that tries to take a seat on the bus is getting the Forrest Gump treatment. 

"You can't sit here"

Something has to change.  I don't know how to change it.  I've tried.  I'll keep trying though.

I'm in awe of people like Stephen King who figured it out, withstood rejection, just kept going, and built a life around what he loved instead of trying to fit it into a life that won't allow time for it.

I'm in awe of Jane Doe, who writes stories in her spare time and never shows them to a soul.  I'm in awe of her because she does the damn thing; answers the twinge in her soul that drives her to put pen to paper.  I know that twinge.  I feel it on days like today, but I've learned to suppress it.  I've learned to tell it to shut it's filthy mouth and let me review this car accident so I can get this customer paid. 

Most of the time it works.

Today it fills me.  I can feel it in my throat, fighting it's way out. I can feel it pressuring my finger tips when I type.

Remember the movie Idle Hands?

Well, my right hand is in the mood to murder some poetry, a short story, or free verse BS.

But...I have to work.


I literally can't even.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Friend Request

I don't have many secrets.

Most of what there is to know about me, I will gladly put out there. I learned a long time ago that it was so much easier to relate to others when they are honest about their struggle.  Some of my closest friends were just acquaintances until I got to understand how they were broken and in my brokenness I was able to recognize how their jagged edges would fit into the gaping holes in my heart.  I had never really thought of it that way until my former boss said to me, "I wasn't sure how I felt about you until I realized you were broken."  At first that really confused me.  Then I realized that by sharing our brokenness, we allow an opportunity for empathy.  That empathy crushes the shell of who we want to portray ourselves to be and people see who we are really.  The REAL us.  This realness in all it's raw beauty is the foundation for any true friendship.  Those friendships are kept alive through continued realness and honesty.

So here's a dose of that honesty...

My level of inactivity over the last few weeks is borderline redonkulous.

For the last 10 days, I have been trying to stay on point with my food intake, but my movement has been a struggle.  There are reasons excuses that I reiterate to make it sound ok, but it's not.  The goal of losing as much as I can before surgery is still there, but the drive has diminished and a bit of fear has set in.

Even the hubster is having doubts.  I get the occasional "Are you sure this is what you want to do"


Resounding "YES"!!

Actually, I felt so guilty about even admitting to the fact I haven't been walking, I left my desk for a hot minute and walked half a mile.  That's what it is going to take my friends.  The whole point of everything I am doing is to be in a better place beforehand, so the surgery becomes what it is actually meant to be: a tool.

My friends keep me going.  They know I'm not doing the right thing, because they are asking me about it less and less.  I know this will sound weird, but please be honest with me.  Call me out on it.  If you love me, don't be afraid to hurt my feelings and let me know that I am holding myself back and you see that.  I believe I can win this fight, but I don't always remember that I can. If you believe I can win this fight...Tell me...Throw it in my face that I am wasting an opportunity and that I am doing myself a disservice.  Hold me accountable.

It's not your job, but it is as important as encouraging me to write or pursue some other adventure. 

In fact, it's more important.

It will guarantee you more off-color commentary that you can't believe I said.
It guarantees you church giggles until your stomach hurts over some private joke.
It guarantees you that I will be here for you when it matters to you most.

Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Story So Far...

When we last found our heroine...

I had made a very public announcement that I had changed my mind about bariatric surgery and was moving forward with having the procedure.  I  was also filling you in on my Color Run participation and looking forward to a more active and productive summer as I started to prepare myself for a journey I thought I'd never take.

That was nearly 4 months ago and boy did I take it.  Here are just a few highlights of my active summer so far:

My friend Courtney and I as we participated in the Roller Coaster Race at Six Flags over St. Louis.

My medal from my first "at your own pace marathon
Me with my second online medal which was 59.5 miles completed in 10 days
Third medal 78.5 miles complete in 19 days
I climbed to the top of the natural cave opening at Carlsbad Caverns.  (If you've ever done this, you know what I feat this is)

In two years, I'm already a different person, but not yet the person I'll become.

 I've lost 23lbs so far and I am continuing with the medically supervised weight loss and visiting my surgeon once a month.  I am down to my last two appointments.  Unfortunately, I've recently seen glimpses of old me, you know which one, the saboteur.  I hate that heifer.  She has gotten me into more trouble.  I don't really hate her, she's just too needy for me at this point.   I cannot have her in my life anymore.  I'll miss her in some ways, but truthfully I already have the best parts of her.  It's her BS I can't have.

The summer has not been all joy and success.

Despite all these strides to bettering myself, I have battled some life trolls:

1. A random woman at Wal-Mart who decided I was too disgusting for her 6 month old baby to look at and actually said as much while covering her eyes.

2. A jerky dude at Carlsbad Caverns who had to make a rude comment in front of my kids about my fat ass and that I was checking my steps on my Fitbit.  (mind you, I walked 750 ft straight up and out of the cave, while this bright spot of humanity stood in line for 3 hours waiting for the elevator up)

and finally (This one took me by surprise)

3.  My dietitian.

Let me explain...

As part of the insurance requirements for bariatric surgery, I have to have a dietary consultation and a psychiatric evaluation.  Depending on your insurance, this may happen in the beginning of the process, but seeing that my insurance requires me to go through 6 months of medically supervised weight loss, my doc did not send me right away.

Of course, I assume that all appendages of the bariatric surgery body are aware of what the other is doing, apparently, they are not...

I walk into the office and he weighs me.  (I've gained 3 lbs, so my heart kind of hurt, but mind you...this guy has no idea that I have gained weight). 

he says, "How tall are you?"
"Five foot one and one half inches"
"Are you sure"
"My license says 5'2", but I'm sure it is 5'1.5"."
"Let me take your height" "Just a hair over 5'1.5"
(I think, isn't that what I said)

We go into a different room where he asks me about my diet.  I eat the same frickin' thing Monday through Friday for all 3 meals.  I know what I eat and I KNOW the calorie count.  I lay the entire thing out for him with precision to which he responds while looking at me judgingly from over the top of his glasses, "Mmmhmmm.  Are you sure there are no exceptions?" 

I respond "Monday through Friday, no exceptions."

"Well, tell me a little bit about what happens on the weekend?  Chaos?"
"No, I stay within calorie count, but I do allow myself bread and carbs that I normally do not allow during the week."
"Well, we don't frown upon a cheat item from time to time, we do frown upon a cheat weekend."

My mind says...  Excuse me.  Where in what I said did you hear "cheat weekend"?

I say, "I wouldn't call it cheating.  I only eat between 1200 and 1400 calories per day, I am just not as strict the actual food.  It's not like I'm eating 1200 calories in donuts."

He looks at me starting with my abdomen and ending at my face and says "Mmmhmm.  What about exercise?"

"Well, up until about 2 weeks ago, I was walking at least 5 miles per day."
"How many days per week?"
"Everyday."  (hot tears building, ya'll, hot tears.)
"Mmmhmm.  well, lets set a goal...lets set a goal to eat right 7 days a week.  Do you think we can do that?"
"Sure." (with no intention of changing anything)
"Great!  Let's also set an exercise goal of walking 5 miles per day at least 6 days a week, can we do that?"
I say  "sure", but I'm thinking "I know I can, can you?"

I  leave the office totally defeated.  What the hell with this guy?  I see my surgeon tomorrow and I guess I will let him know that I think this dude is a total POS.

I totally get the people they deal with, I understand that people are not forthright, but that isn't me.  I am all in with this, I am all about being truthful with this.

I guess he missed the "I'm an emotional eater" answer on the front of the page, because this guy nearly sent me into the arms of a Cheeseburger hug. 


Instead I went back to work, walked, and vented to my friend.

Just because I have found an answer that I believe will work for me does not make the struggle any easier.

Until next time....