Monday, June 1, 2015

This is my life...

I'm at a point in my life where I'm facing old demons. I'm back in a position I never wanted to find myself again and I hate that I'm here. I hate that my failure is so public. I hate that people are probably watching me and feeling sorry for me, or laughing or shaking their head and saying they're not surprised. I don't know for sure that this is what others think when they see me, but these are the things I feel and think when I look at myself, so I guess I assume others are doing the same. And I don't blame them.

Struggling with weight is exactly what it is--a struggle--made tougher by the fact that your victories and losses tend to be out there in public for all to see. The struggle is made easier when you're succeeding and others are praising your accomplishments and encouraging you. But when you take a few steps back and gain some weight back the silence can be a little deafening. I know it wouldn't be polite for others to mention my weight gain or talk to me about strategy like you would with a sports team that's come upon a losing streak, but still you realize that others are probably very much aware of the fact that you're not keeping that weight off.

As I've been watching and feeling the pants get a little snugger I've had a lot of time to think about why I am where I am. The answer is simple--food. It comes down to food. But it's also so much more than that. The emotional side of it is weighing on me (no pun intended). I discovered a few days ago that the minute I no longer feel comfortable in my own skin I tend to curl up and hide. I don't wanna go out with friends. I start to hide my body with leggings and dresses. I become so much tougher on the choices my kids make. And that one is probably the toughest. I am much harsher in my judgement of their choices--especially with food--It's like I project all the anger I feel at myself for failing onto my kids. I watch what they eat like a hawk and you better believe I let them know when I think they've overdone it on food servings or eating sweets. And I hate that I do this!! The last thing I want is for my kids to have food issues. I want them to have a much healthier relationship with food than I have, but I'm going about it the wrong way. And yet my failure causes me to lash out at them. Ugh...

I've tried time and time again to start anew--To turn over a new leaf and make a change, but it just doesn't last. And the GUILT! Oh my goodness, the guilt is almost too much to handle. To wake up and not have a game plan feels like I'm giving up and I can't allow myself to do this. Giving up means going back to where I was a year ago and that was a very ugly and unhappy place. I'm stuck and I don't know how to get un-stuck. So I sit here and write about it. Writing clears my head. Writing helps me put down all the emotions that are in my heart and head. But writing won't get me where I need to be.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Horrific Moments, Tender Mercies

Sleep is not on my side tonight...I am beyond exhausted, but anytime I lay down in the dark with silence around me I am consumed by flashes of the horrible seconds when I thought I had either killed myself or my children. The sound of their voices is the worst...and at the same time the sweetest. I remember as I realized we were going off the road and starting to roll thinking: "Please let me stay alive. Please let me not lose consciousness. Please let me survive this so I can help my kids." I remember finally stopping and landing upside down. I just wanted to hear my kid's voices. I knew if I could hear them then they were alive and alert. I was hanging there with my hands above me so my head wouldn't be pressed against the roof of the car and yelling out to my kids words of encouragement...trying to calm them and reassure them that we were okay because we were alive.

I don't know how long we hung there. It felt like an eternity and yet like the blink of an eye before complete strangers swarmed my car and started pulling out my kids. Noah was hysterical and yelling for someone to rescue Lola because the seat belt was cutting into her throat and she was screaming that she couldn't breathe. He wanted her rescued first. He is every bit our protector--always has been. I kept screaming for people to pull my kids out and leave me there. I was clueless as to how I would get out. I looked up and saw blood all over my hands and thought I had some kind of head injury because my air bag never deployed and I clearly remember the windshield shattering--the glass hitting my face and landing in my mouth,

Once I was helped out I just sat there on the embankment in shock. My hands were covered in blood. My hair was caked with mud and blood. Someone came up to me, told me he was a doctor and proceeded to check my head and wounds. I kept asking to hug my kids. I wanted them to know I was alive and okay. I needed them to know I was close by. I looked to my left and saw them a few feet away being held and soothed by some angel of a woman. I saw Lola praying her little heart out. And then the guilt set in.

I could've killed one or all of them...or myself. I had caused my young, sweet children to experience something so traumatic and painful--the very antithesis of what my job is as their mother. I had no clue if I had hit any other cars on my way off the road--if others were injured. I knew Curran was just a couple of minutes away waiting for us to show up. And I replayed our last phone conversation minutes before as I left the house. I didn't say "I love you" back when we ended our phone call. I refused to take Lincoln because I didn't want to deal with construction and I almost missed the drive out there all together because I was distracted with other stuff at home--Why did I decide to go? Why did I round up the kids quickly and shove them in the car for an inconsequential trip that we could have done any other time or day?

It's funny the things that will go through your mind in moments like this. Though they seem lame and superficial these are just some of my thoughts:

We can't afford another car. I love this car.

I need a new BYU sticker.

My gas tank was full. I don't want to lose all that gas!

All of the book fair teacher wish list donations from other parents and the donated books to Children's Hospital and all my other book fair stuff is lost and I am responsible. Parents/teachers are gonna hate me.

My glasses flew off my head. We all lost our shoes, Lola was hit by all the boxes of books in the back, has bruises and scratches all over her face and body and  nasty seat belt burn on her neck. Noah's face was burned by the airbag and it knocked his loose tooth so he now gets a visit from the tooth fairy tonight. Millie escaped unscathed. The car seat did it's job. She was in tight and had not a scratch on her. I was strapped to a board with a neck brace because of my head pain. At the hospital our trauma was downgraded after a few examinations.

How very blessed we are that within 3 hours we all walked out of the hospital together. How blessed we are that our family rushed to our side and that my husband has the priesthood and we all had blessings. I was cited for careless driving because rather than honking my horn and stepping on the brakes to avoid hitting the car coming into my lane I chose to swerve. But I tell you what, I will happily take that citation cause we are all alive and okay. How we managed to not hit any other cars before we rolled off the embankment is beyond me. This too I count as a huge blessing.

And yet the guilt consumes me when I lay in bed. We are in no position to buy another car or deal with medical expenses. I can't imagine the weight on Curran's shoulders. And yet, he sits there and constantly reassures me that we will be okay, because that's the kind of faith he has and I'm grateful for that. I have no desire to get a car any time soon. I want to stay home and hold my kids. I want them to know how awful I feel that I put them through this...How my heart aches because they are in pain and unable to sleep and constantly shedding tears as they too relive those horrific moments. Noah keeps saying he forgives me. I know he means that he doesn't blame me, but I honestly feel like I need forgiving. I have spent all night thanking my Father in Heaven we are all okay--wondering how we survived this with so little damage. But the silence and darkness are too much for me right now, I've shed a few tears, but I've been trying to be strong and show my kids how we should focus on the mercies of God and be so, so grateful we're here together. I know at some point I need to let myself feel all that I've been trying to suppress, but for tonight I just want to forget it ever happened.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Breaking up is hard to do...

I am currently about 20 pounds away from my goal--hitting major milestones, losing inches like crazy, and although I am loving it there is a side to this story I was not expecting.

I started this journey partly because I cleared out my closet of clothes I believed I would never fit into again. When I realized I was basically giving up on myself I had a moment of clarity (thank goodness) and decided that I couldn't allow myself to be okay with who I had become. So I packed up all those "skinny" clothes and rather than getting rid of them I placed them all in a box in my closet and started this journey.

Now I find myself three months into this process and in desperate need of smaller clothes. I've slowly been digging through the box and pulling out better fitting clothes...but I cannot bring myself to get rid of the clothes that is now entirely too big on me. I have this fear that I will need it again--that just like last time I tried this it will all come to an abrupt end and I will find myself needing bigger clothes. It's my safety. Or is it? I thought I would be happy to say good-bye to it all with an amazing resolution to never see those sizes again, And yet, here I am wearing my size 20 jeans over and over again. I can't explain why I can't let them go. I feel like once again I am setting myself up for failure--like I'm giving myself an out.

The only thing I can liken this to is the repentance process. This whole journey has been a repentance process. It's been as emotionally/spiritually trying as the times I have come to my Heavenly Father in humble prayer seeking for peace and forgiveness for wrongs I have done. And in a lot of ways my weight gain was a result of a lot of wrongs in my life. I acknowledged my wrong-doing. I decided to change and rid my body and soul of the ugliness, the damage, the pain, the wrongs that have weighed my body down. It has been long and hard and many, many days I want to cry or stuff my face with food, I'll think that maybe relapsing wouldn't be so bad. But like any addict, even a little bit of your drug can be such a slippery slope.

The most beautiful part of the repentance process is the fact that once God has forgiven us he remembers our sin no more.

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

We're taught in Church how the atonement works, and that it applies to all of us--me included. And if Heavenly Father forgives and forgets, why can't I forgive myself of my wrongdoings? And THAT is what I think is behind my connection with my "fat clothes." I know this is Satan's way of getting me to fail--to instill this doubt and fear in me. And yet I sit here and let his ways get to me. I am doubting myself and my ability to succeed. I want those larger clothes to stay around to justify my actions when I fail and regain the weight--so I can tell myself that I was right and I knew all along I couldn't do this. It doesn't help that I've been down this path before, gave up all my big clothes and then later found myself having to admit defeat and buy bigger pants--proof that I am a failure. Proof that I am weak and cannot finish this.

So my conclusion is this: Someone needs to come over and give me a swift kick in the pants, or punch in the face, or a slightly nicer pep talk and help me remember the words of President Uchtdorf: "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Face plant

So, I know it's been a long time. I've been busy. I've been feeling great. I've been loving life. Weight is still going down. I had no complaints. And then today happened...

Let me back up. As of a few days ago I have lost 50 pounds. FIFTY pounds. It feels amazing! I had to break out the smaller pants--luckily I own pants in 6 different sizes. And then came this--the self-rationalization that I DESERVED a reward. I had earned a cheat day. I needed a break. The funny thing is, this exact same thing happened last time I tried this program. Right around this same weight loss I started to convince myself that I had done a good enough job to take a one day break. The problem then was that a one day break turned into a 3 year break where I gained all the weight back and then some. It was a downward spiral. I was so racked with guilt after eating whatever it is I ate that had me falling off the wagon and I just tried to shut up all the negative self talk and guilt with food and more food.

Today...Today I ate a cookie...a delicious cookie that now has me feeling sick to my stomach and feeling like a quitter. I bet there are a lot of you out there saying how ridiculous that I am beating myself up over such a minor infraction...How one cookie does not a weight-loss train derail. But that's not the point. The point is this: When I started this journey on July 8 I promised myself, my spouse, my Heavenly Father that I would do this program the right way. I committed to see this 100% to the end. I told myself I was worth that commitment and I would not eat a single thing that was not approved. I have learned through the many weight loss attempts that I am an all-or-nothing kinda girl. I either do it right or I might as well not do it at all. Maybe I was setting myself up for failure? I don't know. All I know is that I cheated--which in itself is such an ugly word. I gave up--even if just for a minute. So now what do I do? It did cross my mind to say "SCREW IT!" and eat to my heart's content. But that was the old me. I can't do that. Though my will power gave out, I wont give up on myself. I'm too damn close to my goal to walk away now. I'm gonna stand back up, dust myself off and just keep going from where I am. I keep telling myself that I'm okay. I am not doomed. All is not lost. I am fighting those demons that I thought had disappeared.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 21

Weigh in #4...Down 4.9 lbs. This surprised me. I was waiting for the ball to drop--for that one awful weigh-in that makes you question why you're putting yourself through this misery in the first place. It hasn't happened yet. So every weigh-in from now until then I will hold my breath when I step on the scale...or maybe I should NOT hold it in. I'll weigh less if I push all the air out of my lungs, right?

This brings my total to 21.1 pounds down. I am officially now at the weight I was when we found out we were expecting the bonus baby. Miraculously, and through the help of a good-lookin' aqua Zumba teacher, I managed to only gain 10 pounds my whole pregnancy. AFTER Millie I managed to not only NOT lose any baby weight, but also to pack on another 12 pounds on top of that. So if the last time you saw me was around the time my mom passed away, I look exactly the same. But 21 pounds? That's like a big drop, right? I don't notice a difference. No wait! Strike that! My wedding rings are looser. AND my acne is clearing up--probably cause my hormones are starting to get back into normal range. But I still have to hold my breath when I tie my shoes. I still have a large spillage of belly fat when I manage to squeeze into a pair of jeans. Millie still pats my belly like a bongo every day. And I still have a huge double chin.

But a loss is a loss. So I'll take it, and enjoy it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 14

Week two weigh-in: Down another 6 pounds...Say what?! I was preparing for the worst, but expecting the best. As a Biggest Loser fan I know all about the dreaded week two weigh in, and was a little leery to step on the scale this morning. And once again there was another big ol' sigh that escaped my lips--but this time it was a sigh of relief. I feel happy. I'm not elated, ecstatic, or overjoyed. I just feel really good. Content. I have a pair a pants--which is by no means my skinny pants--that I keep trying on to see if they button yet--and this morning was no different than the previous ones. Still no luck. But I'll get there and once I get there I'll get into the next size smaller and then the next size...Cause as anyone who has had fluctuating weights knows: I have jeans in every size imaginable. 

So even though I don't fit in those pants yet I have noticed a difference in the way I walk. There is a lot more confidence now--not because I look amazing, but because inside I know I'm doing something wonderful, and feeling so much better. All these years I've been not only carrying around extra weight but also the guilt that comes with knowing I have made awful choices in my life--that I'm knowingly cutting years from my life and heading down a path of sadness and misery that can only end in destruction. It has been self-destruction. I know that. Every time I would sit and eat I would look down at my plate and see destruction. And then the guilt would set in--this awful guilt that has been my constant companion. This guilt that has consumed me to the point of having restless nights, and making me feel worthless, weak and ugly. 

It's dissipating now. It's being replaced by something so much better. Every week I make it to another weigh-in without falling off the wagon I secretly pat myself on my back and I feel an added sense of strength and worth. Today was a good day. 66.5 pounds to go.