Monday, July 28, 2014

Weighty issues

So on June 1 I began a diet. I have shunned diets for years. The word diet seriously makes me start to sweat, because for as long as my memory goes back, I have been all too aware of weight, especially my own. I have always struggled with my weight. It has been a source of much strife in my life. I don't like to even think about how much pain this struggle has caused me over the years. If I ever hear another person say to me, "Your face is so pretty" I will die. When I hear that, my take away is "BUT YOUR BODY IS NOT!" Unfortunately this approach , of not dealing with the issues, usually ends up with me not dealing at all with healthy living and then I gain more weight! After having surgery seven years ago, I have been able to keep off a large amount of weight. But, this past year, I have let life and FOOD get in the way of healthy choices and saw my weight creeping up to a yucky place again. I have faced the reality that I will never be a size 8. But, one day this spring, as I felt my pants getting tighter, I thought to myself.."What the hell, are you going to eat your way to the next size?" A dear friend of mine had done a diet last year and had great success from it. I had contemplated doing it but because of my distaste of diets, I was reluctant. Then one day, my mom told me how she ran into a friend she had not seen all winter, and she had lost a ton of weight on the same diet.  I don't know what happened? Maybe I thought it was a sign from the heavens, maybe I was all too aware of how out of control my eating was, but I signed up the next week. I started June 1st. I have lost a considerable amount of weight. I feel great in many ways, but I am also just beginning to get to the root of the impact of  thirty nine years of weight issues. I am realizing how much I sabotage myself. I am realizing how much I don't believe in myself or give myself credit. I am realizing how incredibly selfish I am. I am realizing that if you don't deal with issues they don't go away, they and you just get bigger. Above all I am realizing, for the first time in all my years of knowing and being married to Jeff, that he has never seen me for my weight. We were talking about my heaviest weight the other day, after I found a horrible picture, and I asked him what he thought of me back then. He just looked at me and said, "You know, I don't even remember, you've always just been Suzie." And that sentence, made up for any shortcoming that man has. He loves me for me. Sure he wants me to be healthy, but he is there for me, quite literally through thick and thin. This truth has been at the heart of  my weight struggles. Not feeling like you're good enough, sucks. It has caused me to make some horrible decisions over the years. Trying to find ways to make myself feel good in unhealthy ways, whether it has been too much alcohol, toxic relationships, or eating a whole box of thin mints, is how I have coped for far too many years.  As much as I have always felt that losing weight would magically make this feeling go away, it usually only makes me more aware of where I feel I am not good enough in my life. The struggles I have with mothering and marriage and being a good enough friend, good enough social worker, all contribute towards my feelings of inadequacy. Being the mom of two girls, I have been very aware of how my own body image affects my girls. I want them to have respect for themselves and others. I want them to be healthy. I want them to be able to know when they want an oreo or a carrot. How many of us never really know when we are hungry for something? I have realized over the past handful of years how mindless eating can be. I don't want that for my kids. I want them to pick partners who will say to them that they love them for their minds and spirits, not just their bodies.
I'm sure as I continue on this journey that I will discover more truths about myself. It is hard work but I'm game. Dang, will I be one together chick by March and the big 40 or what?!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Last Sunday I went to church for the first time in a very long time. I am ashamed to admit I can't even rememeber the last time I had been. I am sure I could say that I would go more if I didn't work every other weekend. But, really I am sure there are plenty of people who work nights and still manage to go to church every weekend or at least every other. The truth is we tend to get out of the habit of going in the summer. Just typing that makes me feel guilty, the "habit" of going to church. I'm pretty sure that attitude does not please God. I have shared here before that I feel a bit like I have been drifting the past few years when it comes to connecting to church and faith. A lot of that has to do with some struggles with the changes in how my beliefs have evolved over the last few years. I feel like I could drift from church to church to church and still I would struggle. Because in reality, all churches have their issues and at the end of the day I feel church is where a believer goes to worship and serve God, not soley to be served. I was talking to a friend last night how I miss being connected to a small group. Having that type of accountablity was so good for Jeff and I, and we developed some solid friendships through them in our previous church.
The last time I wrote I talked about how my life in many ways felt that is was "off the rails.". It has been about eight weeks since that time. Many positive changes have taken place in my life since then. For the first time in a long time, I am making my health a priority. I chose to do a pretty radical eating plan/diet to get myself back on track and am happy to report that I am lighter and feel amazing. I think I felt if I got "control" over things like what I eat and drink, the rest would take care of itself. While I do feel much better than I did eight weeks ago, I continue to  greatly struggle with other areas. I can't help but feel there is a direct connection with these struggles and my lack of balance and feeling firm in my faith. I feel like God continues to shake his head at me and is thinking, just get it together already. I think my approach to my faith has been largely selfish these past few years. What can I get out of a sermon? What does this church have for my kids? What is most convenient for me? The consquence of this selfishness being that I continue to feel very far from God and many of my thoughts and actions reflect this distance and drifting.
So...doing better with half of my life, but continuing to struggle with the other, and many would say the most important and meaningful part of life. I gave myself the timeline of my 40th birthday to get it together. Thank goodness I still have eight months to work on figuring it all out. I am sure God is just shaking His head and thinking.."Oh dear girl, it ain't that hard.."