The nitty gritty...

Hey all,
down to it.
Went for a three mile walk. Did my upper body workout.
Then I sold cookies for two hours..walking door to door.
Then I went to walmart for two hours...clothes shopping with my sophie.
We bought jeans, shirts and a sweater and some socks and underwear....
It took us two hours.
That is count em'...
Five hours on my feet..that is approximately four more than I could have managed at two hundred and sixty two pounds.
Not only that, but then I came home...did dishes, made dinner and helped my daughter 'organize' her clothes.
I took a hot bath, cause yes...I am a little sore but not terribly sore.
I feel really good.
I can't imagine what it will be like fifty pounds from now.
Maybe after a day like that, I could go out and line dance.

But that isn't what I wanted to blog about.
I was reading or have been reading several blogs lately and I have noticed a similar theme.
They are figuring out it's ALL IN THE HEAD.

They are right.
It is all in the head.
If you think you can,your right...If you think you can't your right.

Now. On with the Head thing.
I read a blog where there was a similar theme running through her story that ran through mine.
Namely, I used to be one of the nicest people....even keeled...not easily upset.
Water off a Duck's back.
One of my Good friends marveled at my 'patience' with my children.
I think I left a comment the other day about assuming you were one person, wrapping yourself up in that assumption until you lose who you truly are.
I did that.

Let's start in the logical place..
Who did I think I was?
Well, I was a child of God.
I have always loved God...since I was five and 'got saved'.
I still love God.
When I was young it was simple.
I talked to God, he talked to me....mostly through my conscience, through his word and through preachers.
When I heard a sermon I tried to apply it.
This is a good thing.
Up to a point.
Then It got to the point that I felt that God wanted certain things from me.
That I really needed to 'kill the flesh' and stop being selfish...put me away.
I needed to just focus on my family.
If I needed something emotionally, I was to let God fill me up.
I was reading alot of books about rules I should be following to have a healthy, happy and Godly home.
Rules made by men.
Not God.
There is a reason God gave us friends, and spouses....He knew it was not good for man, or women to be alone.
YOu see, as a child I was alone alot. I talked to God all the time. Once I figured out that God was my father, that I was known since the foundation of the earth...that he had written me in the palm of his hand....it didn't matter what was going on at home.

I knew that what God wanted from me mattered most. That is what kept me on track.
With my home life, I should have been pregnant young, and have a bunch of other really bad things happen.
But I found God early and he saved me in every sense of the word.
All the stress I felt, I thought I just needed to lay at the throne of God...
which is good.
But not to the exclusion of working things out with your husband.
Not to the exclusion of speaking up and setting boundaries. (which I had never learned)
Not to the exclusion of speaking your mind and declaring your wants and needs and desires.
Especially not if they are good, healthy and natural.
Wanting to talk, wanting to be supported, wanting time to yourself.
These are natural.
Getting upset, having an opinion, wanting more....
Is not a sin.
It took me years to learn that.
It took gray hair at the age of thirty to learn that.
To be honest, I think I took my low expectations of life and then tried to find a philosophy within Christianity (not actual Christianity mind you) that would fulfill those expectations so I wouldn't find everything so disappointing.
Or even worse, attempt to ask for things and be told "No.' and then rejected.
It took a near mental meltdown to wake me up.

I couldn't reach out, cause I had made a prison of silence.
People thought I was

I was
I felt I had to be the sensible one, the pragmatic one...the one who kept things straight.
I never let loose, I never had fun. I planned our vacations and didn't enjoy them. When the husband and kids went to the park, I did the bills and planned homeschool .

I wouldn't allow myself to feel disappointment or happiness.
I wouldn't allow myself to be sad, or ecstatic.
You all notice my "Iron grip" on the calorie counting and dieting.
Imagine that applied to controlling my emotions.
You see, I had watched my mother allow her emotions to dictate her choices.
I knew I would NEVER ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN TO ME. I would never allow my emotions to get ahead of WHAT WAS RIGHT.

Here's a for instance....
I still remember getting my minivan.
I had wanted it, even if I wouldn't admit it to myself.
I took it for a test drive.
The guy looks at me and says (looking very worried)
Do you like it?
I said "Yes, I love it."
He said..."Oh, you don't look very excited."
I said
"This is as excited as I get."
He says "Oh."
And that was that.
I did get a good deal.
Being stoic has it's advantages. lol.

Now, I have lost about 80 lbs.
Last September, after about four months of losing weight and not using food for a crutch...all the mental debris started floating to the surface.

There were years of anger, resentment, sadness, fear and any other feeling you can imagine.
All those feelings I had stuffed down, weighed down with food...

There wasn't any other choice now, but to deal with them.
I honestly think for a lot of people...this is where the diet hits the fan.
They either get past it...or they fail.
They either change, or they revert.
You don't get more than 100 lbs over weight without SOMETHING eating you.
I'm sorry, I just don't buy it.
There is too much stigma involved with being morbidly obese.
There is too much pain, mental and physical.
Something is going on.
My friend told me the other day that it isn't just the weight that was different with me....
I am different.
She is right.
I used to feel disconnected from my own body.
From my feelings.
From stimulus and response.
It used to be that someone would say something terrible and I would 'feel' nothing.
Now I am firmly in my body.
I am present.
Now I feel it.
Last night, I was putting on makeup. I really liked the way it looked.
I liked it. I noticed liking it.
Then I felt something strange in the center of my chest.
Like a kind of buzzy tight feeling.
I realized I felt excited.
I felt excited for what was happening.
There are good and bad things connected with giving up food as a drug.
The bad...
You feel all the negative emotions you haven't wanted to feel.
The memories come back.
You start to care.
You FEEL the pain.
Conflict, with yourself and everyone around you is inevitable.
YOu see before, you were compliant. You never wanted anything.
You never asked for anything. You just gave.
You were like an appliance.
When you suddenly come alive.
Start reaching out for love, for attention and for acceptance.
It requires more from the people around you.

The good...
You start to care.
And along with the bad things...
come the good things.
Things like
People step up, you start getting some of your emotional needs filled in the proper way.
When you finally learn to express it, not stuff it.
You learn to live again.
Not function.

Put down the food and feel.
It won't kill you, Trust me.
Your happy and excited blogger,


Linda said...

Chris, Amazing. This is incredible work you're going through and you're right - you're changing inside and out, necessary in order to change permanently.

I love what you said about working your faith backwards, always looking for a philosophy in Christianity that suited your low expectations instead of looking at what your faith really taught.

I have found that I'm in charge of actions and God is in charge of outcomes; this has freed me up to allow God to be God, not me. What a relief to only have to do the right thing.

Alexia said...

How lovely, Chris. My sentiments exactly - Last summer, when I started on my weight-loss journey, I remember feeling that when I stopped eating, I could finally feel something. Thank You for all your encouragement during the last couple days. I've had to question whether I did the right thing because it's been so hard. But that's natural, I guess.

outdoor.mom said...

i love how you always add in how your feeling, whats going on in your emotions. I think we can all identify :-) May God continue to give you wisdom and insight as you rediscover yourself.

Retta said...

This post pushed so many buttons...

I had a loving Mom, distant Dad, later a dependable step-dad. But they all made a mistake: never taught us how to process emotions. Just shoved food at us. And "stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about". Suppress feelings. More food. Fat during childhood and teens.

I met God on my own at 24; it was wonderful... months later found a church... organized rules and opinions took over. Still fat. Getting fatter.

Felt so guilty...cringed when pounded over the head by sermons about gluttony, dying to self, if you love me you will obey me--and you are a glutton, so you must not love me. A pastor actually wondered how I could be a Christian and be fat.

Attended faith-based wt loss programs--"failed" again as a Christian. Supposed to turn to Him, not food. Sin. Disobedience. Gluttony. Shame. Guilt. And more shame.

It took me 20 years to recover from that beating.

Now, I know that was how people saw me, not Him. He is my best Friend on this journey... never beats me down. Always ready to encourage and uplift, not pound me over the head. To teach me, correct me, love me. That's the REAL God.

Helping me to reconnect with feelings. To face my stuff, not stuff my face. When the anger for past treatment bubbles up, He helps me learn to face it, and heal it and let it go.

I better quit.. but are so right about working thru the emotions. And other people don't always appreciate that we are somebody, and we finally want to live the life we were put here to live. But those that really love me will stand by me. The rest... phhhttt.
Thank you for this, you voiced how so many of us feel.

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Anne said...

I've only been at this for a couple of weeks and the emotional stuff hasn't hit me yet but I know it will. Your post has reminded me of why I have never stuck with my goals in this area. I remember once telling a WW counselor that I was quitting because it made me too grouchy. Hello! Thanks for sharing your insights, it helps more than you know!

KrysTros said...

Long post today! I love reading your blogs, it is not often that a person can really overcome their adversity and understand and accept what they can change and cannot change (Yes I know Serenity Prayer) but truly you are remarkable and you and your family will be the better for it!

Beth said...

Very interesting. I have always been known for "not reacting". Sometimes that's good, mostly it's bad. I think I was like that before I was overweight too. But nevertheless, it's intriguing to consider that if I were to lose the weight, that might change.

Melissa said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Your blog is fantastic. You are so true and raw (best word I could think of) in your posts.
I see myself in quite a few of your posts and it is encouraging to know that I'm not the only one.
However, you have given me an unusually strong urge for Thin Mints and Samoas lately. :)

Boozy Tooth said...

Fabulous emotional post, Chris. Love the style you used today... it has an easy flow and I just kept following.

You are an inspiration. What else can I say?

Roxie said...

Great post, Chris. Here's to no longer being NUMB and being present at our own lives.

Anonymous said...

Chris, thanks as always for sharing from your heart. I can identify, as do so many others, with so much in your post. Trying to stuff feelings with food. Being scared of what might happen if I stop that. Trying to find a way to reconcile my faith with this enormous struggle in my life.

The end of your post where you say put down the food and feel - it won't kill you. I've experienced that, finally, this week for myself. And it wasn't a pleasant emotion either! But you know what? I'm okay. And it *didn't* kill me. So amen to that.

Christine Jeske said...

I'm bawling. Partly because I was feeling raw all week anyway, lol. But mostly because this post, you, the things you are able to express --- is so BEAUTIFUL. And it rings so true. I know its true and I have to continually fight the urge to give it all back to the drug. I have found it's a cycle for me. I think I'm in the clear and then I have another hard week out of no where. But I am NEVER GOING BACK. Thank you for writing this. You know that JackSh*t post you printed and put on your fridge???? Well, this one is getting printed out for me. I hope you don't mind. ♥

Christine said...

Heck no I don't mind...If this post means half what Jack's post meant to me...I am honored..
(and sniffling...lol...we are such chicks.)

Amber said...

What great post Chris,
When I said you were a different person, I meant it. And in a good way! I can see the excitment and happiness in your face and actions!
I had not seen those before. You have always been a great friend, but now you are able to be a friend to yourself also.
I am so happy for you.
You deserve to feel this good, and more.

Foodie Girl said...

Every day... you make me smile.

Syl said...

I loved how you were able to give yourself credit for being on your feel for so many hours and then doing even more, seeing how much you have changed and embracing it!