This is a first!
The first good thing that has come from my perfect storm is my new body.
19 months ago I got motivated and started losing weight.
I'm now 35 lbs lighter and have dropped 3 sizes in jeans.
Some people say "wow, you've lost weight!" to which I reply "thank you for noticing!!! :) :) :)
Some people say "wow, you look GREAT!" to which I lie, "thank you, I feel great!" :)
Some people just stand there and look at me and I can tell they're not real sure what it is, BUT something is different. I just smile!!
Things to remember:
This is not my first time to lose weight,
I'm not where I want to be,
I will never be in my 20's, 30's or 40's again,
I'm not to old to be SEXY!!!,
I can wear a bikini, but not like I wore it 36 years ago,
What motivates me might not motivate you,
I can do hard things!
How did I do it??
I lost over 85 pounds about 25 years ago. I was the mother of 4 and heavy.
I lost all my weight using a book called "Lower Your Fat Thermostat".
Actually, I lost it all using the cookbook. Chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli...
I had to CHANGE MY LIFE-STYLE!
The premise of the book is that your body thinks that it should weigh a certain amount. Lose some weight and your thermostat will kick in and you feel like you're starved! It needs you to be at your "set weight".
SECRET; Lower the thermostat.
The book is all about lifestyle changes.
Everything in my pantry had to be weeded out and replaced. I walked every day. EVERY DAY, rain or shine, cold or hot. I had to re-learn to cook.
My cajun heritage of white rice and oil based gravy with every meal had to be laid aside.
No gumbo, crawfish etouffe, no dessert with every meal... But the program does not believe in hunger.
I ate well, I ate often, I ate as much as I wanted. I did NOT go hungry.
Sounds so easy. NOT!!! I've been required to do some major difficult stuff in my life, but losing weight is at the top of the HARD TO DO list!!
Weight loss is different for everyone but for me it is all in my mind. I didn't mind or care what I looked like so when I would consider losing a few pounds I would always find something I liked more; like bread or dessert! Lots of bread and lots of desserts!!
I hit "mid life" like a brick wall. Unfortunately it followed immediately after losing my home to a hurricane, and 50 years of tough life stuff! I didn't like what I saw in the mirrow. I remembered the cute, sexy little thing I was in my halters, daisy dukes and bikini's before I married.
19 months ago I was neither cute nor little and most of my body hadn't seen the sun in 33 years but all of a sudden I cared. I cared big time!!
I didn't want to be a frumpy 50 year OLD woman. I wanted to be cute, tiny and sexy (and my time was running out!)
That's called motivation!!!
Now, this is what motivates me:
Going from a tight 14 to a tight 8, and I like this a lot!
I've still got fat.
I still have "love handles" and cellulite.
And I've got a scar from my belly button, down...
But I am NOT fat.
I just have more fat to lose.
My motives are not always pure,
but I'm purely happy with being admired,
looked over, and desired!
I have tasted SEXY,
and no piece of bread, bag of M&M's or CinnABon w/nuts
can compete with the way that word tastes!
So where did I start?
I started with giving up everything white. It wasn't as difficult this time because brown rice, whole wheat bread, turbinado, no MSG, no trans fat were already a part of my life.
What I had to give up was portion size and sugar.
So that's where I started. No white, no sugar & portion control.
I filled in with popcorn (made the old fashioned way, in a pot w/nearly no oil), yogurt w/granola and fruit.
I treated myself to 2 fat free devil's food cookies a day to satisfy the sugar cravings. Now I rarely eat 2 a week. I just don't crave sugar now that my system has detoxed. My stomach has shrunk so portion control is now easy too.
It gets easier!
I knew that from experience.
I took it one step at a time.
My current fight is "unrealistic expectations".
It took me weeks to get up the nerve to take a picture of my body with my scar and all the other perceived imperfections.
I'll be honest; I really want to look 16 again. I have to go way back because I had my first baby at 17. So it's been a long, long time since my body was perfect. (as perfect as you can get when you're not "model" material!
When I look in the mirror I don't see my cute size 8 butt, I see the extra fat on my hips and the fact that my legs giggle when I walk.
I can wear this!
I have a waist again!!!
I am a hot, sexy beach babe again!!
I am revolutionary!!!
I have hit a wall.
I eat little, I eat well, I drink water (all the time)
I can't get past the 35 lbs. and I still have 15 to go.
I MUST EXERCISE!
I hate, despise and deplore exercising!!
I struggle with serious depression and find it difficult to do anything.
I work all week just to get 30 min of housework done.
I LOVE TO DANCE!!
So I dance!
As much as I can make myself move, I dance.
The last 2 weeks have not been good. So if I hear even one song that moves me, I get up and I "get down"!
Favorite things to dance too:
The soundtrack from Pride and Prejudice. I love it! 20 minutes of ballet, 30 with 5 lb weights and then a cool down.
Goal: 3 times a week. Currently I'm struggling for 3 times a month.
But I'm taking it one step at a time.
Santana's "Into The Night".
I don't care how depressed I am, I can't help but throw my hands in the air, do some serious hip shaking, free style, all over the place dancing every time that song comes on!!
I would change some of the words if it was up to me, but nothing moves me like this song does!!
I think I've covered everything I wanted to share. I don't know if my "journey" of 35 pnds will be inspirational to anyone. But I'm inspired to keep going. I think I'm beautiful and sexy. I like my body where it is and I'm excited to reach my final goal!!
I haven't blogged or even visited the last few days.
I've been feeling sorry for myself.
I've been pouting.
I've felt used, lonely and worthless, again.
All I could see was the negative, again.
It sucks. I hate it.
I suck. I hate it.
I couldn't see any reason to share any of the above.
I just wanted to bury myself in my bed, my music & my M&M's.
I got angry, deleted all the emails I've sent and received from a certain "friend" who refuses to do things MY WAY!!
I got angry when I realized another "so-called friend" is using me, again. So I deleted all those emails too.
Then friend #1 who I thought was ignoring me, sent me an email. Just enough to make me feel special. I forgot all the promises I made myself about "never again" and I got happy.
(obviously he can...
which makes me somewhat of a dog on the floor waiting for a crumb and feeling so loved when one falls)
I feel lonely and rejected, and I envy the one who has the power to say "I'm yours" or "not today".
And the problem is ME. I'm giving so much, tooo much power to someone who can never love me like I can love me.
That's just SAD! One of the most beautiful women in the world, sooo amazingly sexy and such a tragic ending.
Sayings like that confuse me.
I want to love with abandon and trust without questioning.
I want the white horse, the musician who carries me away. I want the dream. So did Marilyn.
Back on track; I still don't give a ___ about "so-called friend" #2. (just sayin')
I have a serious problem.
My happiness is totally dependent on a certain other and it doesn't matter how great the rest of my life is, how loved I am, provided for, pampered or spoiled rotten... I'm still unhappy unless I feel like I'm the center of "said persons" world.
The knowledge that I can be 5 days from 51 and still feel and act like a stupid kid makes it really hard to love myself. I don't even like me, again.
I'm still wearing those heavy combat boots and dragging my mostly lifeless self around that same old mountain.
A "comment" from my last post 5 days ago,
Hello Elle. I think you shouldn't hurry to get through with step one. There is a lot to look at. Any movement at all is progress. You are doing it yourself without having to be bolstered by anyone else. That is strength. You have strength.
She's so right. I'm not ready.
I can't even remember what step one is.
I don't think I'm progressing at all!
I've been moving the last 5 days, but not forwards.
Instead I took some major leaps backwards.
I allowed myself to get suckered into doing and being something I'm really not, all in the attempt to be accepted. BUT mostly in an attempt to numb the pain.
"If I pretend I'm someone else then I won't have to be me" elle
Naughty is the most fun I've had in ages.
When I left my spending addiction behind I knew another obsession would replace it. And it did.
But stuff, people, good, naughty... none of it can ever fill the hole. Nothing can magically make me feel happy, fulfilled and give purpose to my empty life.
I can have fun but it is only a temporary fix. I can live in a fantasy but eventually I will wake up.
When I wake up and I'm still me then I realize I'm still unhappy. I still see no way of escape. I still want to give up so badly.
But I'm still too strong and stubborn to just let go.
Now that I've had my whine with cheese, grapes and a large shot of tequila its time to move along!!
But first I'd like to share some "wisdom from the therapist";
We were talking about addictions and obsessions. I said something along the line of "I know my spending wasn't a chemical" when he stopped me.
"Yes it was. The body, the brain produces the same chemicals, the same response to a DRUG as it does to the stimulant you were feeding it.
The body loves "NEW". Anything new releases endorphin's. Whether you are buying something new. Spending time with someone new or indulging in some NEW activity. It's the same.
You're brain feels the same as the brain of someone who just filled their vein or their mouth with a stimulant.
AND IT LIKES IT! And it wants more.
It worked. You found an escape, a pleasure. Now you crave it. You crave more! You need it, desire it, obsess over it. It now has the power to control you, until you take that power back."
You've heard of "Gratitude Journals" and "31 Days of Thanks".
I'm going to give thanks during the entire month of November.
My journeying is boring right now. No one wants to hear me whine about the same old things that I can't or won't leave behind in order to move on.
SO, I'm going to journal my journey of thanks.
November 1st, 2011 Today I am thankful for a new grand baby. A beautiful little boy has once again graced our family. He has a head full of dark hair, long fingers and toes and will undoubtedly be a musician. It is his heritage. His dad and "Pop" are drummers, his mother, grandmother (that's me), aunts & uncles are singers, guitarists, cellist and pianists. Add a sax and a violin/fiddle and you get the picture. We were born to music. I am thankful for family. And I have a BIG one!!
A "quiver-full" of kids, their spouses and more than a bakers dozen of "grands".
I'm thankful for their health.
I'm thankful they all have their own homes, finally!! (no one is living with us... it took forever but my home is now MY home)
I'm thankful that we are all so close. My daughters are now my friends and my sons are great men who lead good, decent lives.
I'm thankful for my mom and my step-dad.
I'm thankful that I am no longer controlled by my "real" dad who has never been real (and I'm OK with that).
I'm thankful for my sisters. Especially the new closeness and friendship I have with one and can't wait to share with the other!
I'm thankful for my husband, a truly good man.
November 2nd, 2011 Today I am thankful for the music.
my hiding place when I can no longer face the world,
my canvas on which I can express what my heart can't speak, my joy,
my voice when tears and pain would seek to choke and silence me, my connection to a world where I don't fit in, my defiance.... you can shut me down but you can never drown the sound, my hope, my place of dreams, where reality is what my mind chooses, my past, my future...
Not really. The music makes me ache with longing. It teases me. Makes me believe that as I'm moved to action, change and passion that action, change and passion are moved towards me. The music touches places too deep for words. Places where tears sound like moans. Where wounds are dug deep with broken fragments of my fragile heart. And all I feel is pain.
Still I'm thankful for the music. Without it I'd have no hope of escape, no canvas for joy, no voice for defiance, no connection to a dream where the past & the future are joined in the harmony that is "us".
"As time goes on, I realize Just what you mean to me. And now, now that you're near, Promise your love that I've waited to share And dreams of our moments together. Color my world with hopes of loving you."
"If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that I'd like to do Is to save every day Till eternity passes away Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever If words could make wishes come true I'd save every day like a treasure and then, Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you wanna do Once you find them I've looked around enough to know That you're the one I want to go Through time with
If I had a box just for wishes And dreams that would never come true The box would be empty Except for the memory Of how they were answered by you
But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you want to do Once you find them I've looked around enough to know That you're the one I want to go Through time with."
I whine about you a lot. I'm jealous of your emotional health, your self control, discipline and clarity.
I want them too, but until I get them I want you to waller in the mud with me so I don't feel so alone ")..
I'm thankful that you found me, again.
I was in this unhealthy place before you, I just couldn't see it.
Now I see. Now I have a chance to change it.
If it is to be, it is up to me. (despite my constantly trying to convince you that it is up to you)
I haven't seen anything so lovely or so "me" in a long time. In this dress I am; a princess a ballerina a bride going to prom with flowers on my wrist barefoot on the beach completely happy In which I stay forever.....
Yesterday we talked about my martyrdom, facing truth and calling an apple an apple.
In truth, "It is what it is" and it's my choice.
We talked about circling the same mountains over and over until we conquer them by wearing them down to mole hills. This happens by either overcoming them or leaving them behind, no longer able to hold power and "control" over us.
I spent much of the day "chatting" with a friend. It had been months since we chatted and no matter which direction we head we always end up at the same place. Playfully teasing, pushing the boundary lines and ending up hurt. Yesterday I spoke the truth, as best I could, from a pure heart and hurt him.
Today I tried to breach the subject again but he was headed in any direction to avoid it. Truth that is. And I ended up hurt.
Why? Why am I hurt? What is it that I wanted???
It's the exact thing that I'm trying to overcome. Believing that somewhere there is someone who can and will make me happy. Putting all my emotions in a basket and handing it to someone and saying "here, fix this", when I know that they are no more equipped to fix impossible situations than I am.
So I'm at the base of this mountain. I can keep trudging around it hoping that it will grow weary and fall. Duh! It's not going to happen so I cry, pout and live in a self imposed world of depression and isolation.
It seems I've identified the problem but I keep asking "Now what?".
Another delaying tactic. I know what's next. I spent the last 8 months in therapy to get the point my therapist refuses to get off of.
We were making good progress. I was claiming and declaring the positive affirmations it took me months to find.
Every session was about changing the 1200 negative words a minute by replacing them with the positive.
Every session the same question: "what do you want elle? what do you want your life to look like?"
That was hard! My answer, "different" "I want my life to be different. I don't want to be the woman I was before but I don't have a clue what I DO want."
We began to break through that wall and I got the "golf ball" revelation. There were things that I wanted. Things that were me that I wanted to own and not deny or hide. Simple things like my desire to write, to dance, to learn (maybe go back to school). I'm a real "fun lover" and we were identifying things that I find fun that are also safe, like fishing, boating and 4-wheeling.
There are things that I love like ball games (I don't care who's playing. Just give me a place to jump around and scream!!! Great therapy!) These are all things that I should be able to enjoy and not offend my husbands strong sense of right vs wrong.
I was also discovering and acknowledging things that I find fun but have the potential for danger (like drinking, in excess).
I was having to discover these things without my husbands approval but that was OK because I needed to know for myself, not because someone else gave or with-held their approval.
I was branching out with money and overcoming my fear of messing up (after years of a serious spending addiction).
I also came to realize that my husband used that fear as a way to control me. I faced that one head on and said "NO MORE". (you go girl!)
My last visit with my therapist was the beginning of this month. We had thoroughly explored the "golf ball" issue and we were both pumped! Here was my chance. My assignment: write. write a book
Hello!!! Someone is telling me to do what my heart has been crying out to do???
"Write a book elle. Each chapter will be a different dimple on the golf ball..." I won't repeat the whole story, I already told it when it happened. (see Oct. 3rd "Write A Book")
What I didn't share was what he asks me every session right before I leave. He always looks at me and asks "what's going on behind those brown eyes?"
I whispered through my tears, "I'm going to have to give up my Love and I don't know how to do that and live."
He answers, "the more you pull away from your Love the more you will draw close to your husband."
"I know. And I don't want to do that either."
"we'll get there" he answers.
"can I just skip that trip?" I laugh through my tears.
"it's gonna be OK" he assures me.
But I'm pretty sure he's wrong.
That's the way I wrote it in my journal and shared it with my Love.
I haven't progressed since that day. I've grown more and more distant.
I cancelled my last 2 sessions. I haven't written a word of my book. I don't care about the golf ball or the dimples. I can't see past the truth; "I'm going to have to give up my Love and I don't know how to do that and live."
My heart is breaking and I've cried all day.
Yesterdays post was called Mountain Climbing and my friend Judy had this comment: "OK sweetie. Step one-see the situation for what it really is. You are doing that. See, you are already making progress."
I read it this morning and just cried.
I replied with: "I don't know why your comment meant so much but it did. I'm sitting here crying because a stranger encouraged me that I'm doing good.
I know you can tell by my posts that I'm in deep. Obviously not the kind of things I can share with people who know me. Making the choice to follow my heart has left me very lonely & isolated. So many people all around me. ALL willing to love me but I'm not willing to risk their approval by being completely honest. But I remember you saying that everyone doesn't need to know everything.
So, here I am finding comfort in a stranger I trust, feel safe with and whose opinion and experience I covet. Want to tell me what step two is :) :) ???
I'm completely clueless."
But I'm not clueless. I'm just back around that mountain again. I'm still fighting step one because I'm scared to death about step 10!!
I know that I need to go back to the beginning. Start replacing the negative, self hatred, "you lousy bitch" thoughts with the positive affirmations that I still believe.
Then I need to go back to the golf ball, pick it up, identify a dimple (something that is me), give it a name and write about it.
Chapter One: I love music.... I need to lay aside the leaving or staying, this man vs that man, the future vs the past, forgiveness vs not for later.
I had laid it all aside, but when I turned around my arms were full of it again (the same old mountain).
I've been given permission and encouragement to play Scarlet O'Hara and "think about that tomorrow", or in my case next month or year or whenever it's time to face step 8, step 9, step 10.....
Today I'm continuing to build on step one, "seeing the situation for what it is", calling an apple an apple and not expecting someone else to be responsible for the care of that apple.
Today I'm carrying step one with me while I advance to step 2.
Calling the golf ball what it is and not allowing anyone to cover up the dimples with their "white out".
I can finally breathe again.
Earlier I was looking for a beer or a loaded gun. But I don't need either.
I'm going to make it. One step at a time.
I went to find the conversation from my last therapy session and while scooting around my page I found this.
My Love sent it to me yesterday.
I never saw it.
I wrote an entire blog yesterday about the truth.
I wrote another one today.
And here was a beautiful word of encouragement that I knew nothing about, just waiting for me.
I don't call him my Love for no reason.
We are kindred spirits.
We have been soul mates since I was a very young girl.