Monday, April 27, 2015

Thinner? Me? No pie for you!

Please do not tell me when I have lost weight.  I know when I have.  My pants fall off.  My underwear stop rolling over my belly and into my crotch when I run.  Suddenly I find myself wanting to throw on a bikini and run through a field of wildflowers.  Okay, that might have gone too far.  I understand that when you do comment you are going for flattery and kindness but I am going to share with you now, what I think when you do.  I think that my weight is important to you.  I think that my weight defines me as looking good or bad.  I mean, why else would you comment then?  Weight down, comment.  Weight up, "shhhhhh don't tell her, maybe she doesn't know".  When you comment then I think my weight defines me in your eyes as success or failure.

I don't want my weight to define me anymore.

If I lose weight it's likely because I am restricting my food intake to a point of distraction.  Somewhere in my life I have usually lost control of something and food is the way I can get a grip on that sense of loss.  Once the control issue has passed I desperately miss what I've been restricting.  Do you know how heavy a fridge is?  I do.  After restricting my food intake and then giving up those limits, I will tilt your average Fridgidaire back and inhale.  *burp* 

The simple facts are;

If I am depressed, I binge. 
If I am sad, I binge.
If I am stressed, I starve.
If I am scared, I starve.
If I am happy, I tend to forget about both and just eat the food I like.  And for the record, the food I like, it's not always on the nutritional list of best of.  Shit look at half my Facebook pictures.  They're of food, most often baking, and not the good kind, like Kale chips.  We are talking fruit pie with custard and full fat homemade whipped cream. 

As you can imagine the above pattern does not make for the best metabolic rate.  My stomach doesn't know if it's going to get food at every meal so it hangs on to every morsel for dear life.  No, exercise hasn't change that rate much.  I work out 4 days a week now, at a minimum.  I am in pretty good shape again.  I can even run a bit on the treadmill.  Sometimes without even gagging or throwing up.  Most of the time I walk at a 5.5 speed which is most people's jogging speed and I do it for 30 minutes.  There is nothing unhealthy about that. 

My parents have defined me by my weight my whole life.  I feel like I was considered a success if I was thin, and a failure if I was fat.  They figured I must be happy if I was thin, sad if I was fat.  They complimented me if I was thin, and absolutely no comments on my beauty if I was fat.  It's time I change that training in my mind and start to think outside the parental box.  Only I can do that, I know.  But your help couldn't hurt could it? 

I found myself realizing all of this because not to long ago I had surgery and I quickly shed about 40 pounds.  In two months!  This was not healthy. Every time someone said, "man you've lost weight", "you look great, how much weight have you lost", "look at you, skinny", my ego gained a pound.  I seemed to have this renewed sense of self worth.  It felt damn good.  I had done nothing but lost weight?  How had I really changed? 

As the weight started creeping back I started to feel really badly about myself.  It wasn't mood related. I wasn't sad or depressed.  I was self loathing.  Period.  There is no other definition of what I felt but self loathing.  I realized I was defining myself entirely by each pound gained or lost.  Gaining this weight back has been tremendously hard on me but also another valuable lesson.  It dawned on me one day that the fit of my pants was defining all that I am.

I know some of you are thinking, "well it seems to me that weight is your only problem then?"  If you lose weight your mood is better.  No, it is not.  The fact I define myself by my weight is a very large problem.  It's is extremely hard to battle even the day to day stressors in life with confidence when you have none.  Now imagine struggling with mental illness and having no self worth.  

Let's review then shall we.  Please, never tell me I look thinner, or thin.  No, "have you lost weight?"  "Healthy" or "fit", are great.  "Beautiful", is a spectacular choice, can't wait.  Any weight related comments, please do not share.  I simply need your help redefining myself and my warped self worth.  I don't need you to tell me I am pretty every time you see me, frankly that will get annoying, but I do want you to stop yourself from commenting on my weight.  Even if I drop 50 pounds and in your mind you've never seen me look better, hold back.  Take a second to think about how I might twist your comments into an unhealthy definition of myself and run with it. 

Will you take this on and help a girl out?  I mean, if you aren't busy?  If you do, I will bake you a pie.   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

I am not an ostrich!

If you bury your emotions long enough, they will explode.  It's science, and them people, them Big Bang like peeps, they know stuff.  If you don't believe that, then believe me, you will blow.  I blew.  This is not as dirty as it sounds.  If you are expecting porn, do not keep reading.  I am Fifty Shades of....crazy, not sexy.

We all know that one person, who pretended everything was great, and perfect, shiny and happy.  Pretty much like everyone on Facebook.  We are all so seemingly shocked to hear they become sick, or that they ran away from life, or maybe the saddest of all, tried to hurt themselves.  Given time we find ourselves saying, "I am not that surprised because it just didn't seem real". 

Real life can hurt.  It's a part of life.  Losing someone you love, hurts.  A pet leaving us too soon, hurts.  Someone walking out of our lives, hurts.  Losing a job, hurts.  These are real feelings which should result in real emotions.  Imagine that!  Contrary to popular belief, we CANNOT control our feelings and emotions.  That said, we also do not have to live life as a hostage to them, under their complete control.  Feelings and emotions are instinctual, primary.  Before we even know it sometimes we are awash with feeling something. We don't always know why.  The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the journey to understanding, why. 

By answering the why we can start to control our reactions and our behaviours that come as a result of what we instinctually feel.  It's much easier to face that you don't like swimming if you realize you fell in a lake as a child, for example.  You can then become kinder with yourself.  Gift yourself with the understanding of your fears and accepting them as you take each step further into the water.  You will find great courage when you enter into an agreement with yourself that is derived from self love and kindness.  You will be amazed at all you can accomplish.

Okay I threw up a little with all that wise deep thinking full of great imagery *splashes water*.

Presentable and perfect is so yesterday's news.  It can stay in the kitchen with Mrs. Cleaver. 

I often hear, "they are not busy enough" as the solution to mental illness or even controlling ones emotions.  Distraction is nice but one cannot live on distraction alone.  No more than one can live on having no goals or aspirations.  One day, a day we will all face, there will be no more distractions and you will be forced to see yourself.  You will have to feel your feelings and deal with emotions you never even knew you had.  Drugs and alcohol were all created and designed as a way for the human psyche to avoid what is right there, the shit we don't want to face.  Give yourself that gift, face it, head on.    Even if it takes baby steps, one inch at a time, deeper and deeper into the water. 

Don't do it.  As per National Geographic Kids, Ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand.  Because why?  Because they wouldn't be able to breathe! Get it?  They'd suffocate, much like you and your feelings.  

This deep thought brought to you by The Matrix trilogy, which my husband forced me to watch last weekend, and where I realized most deep thoughts must inevitably come from.  They are deep, deep movies.