Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sticks and Stones

Whenever I’m reviewing my list of topics to choose which one I might want to talk about in my next blog posting, I’m reminded again that invariably all of the posts all revolve around my weight loss journey (duh, of course) but also in many cases, they touch back upon previous posts/topics. As will this one.

Going back a few posts to the subject of bullying and Sean Cameron Michael’s PSA/Interview, and even further back to my story about the guy who yelled out to me that I looked like I needed a donut, I don’t think that if I were to live to be 100 I will ever – EVER – understand the cruelty of others. Why do they do it? What perverse pleasure do they get from doing it? Do they truly believe they are better or more superior to the other person, or do they do it to feel better or more superior to someone else? Is their ego so large that they feel justified in belittling and bullying others?

I just don’t get it.

But even if wasn’t someone who has ever been treated in this way I still wouldn’t understand. How big is the seeping black abysmal hole in someone’s heart and soul that makes them behave this way?

I just don’t get it.

So as I sit here, I am crying. I’ll explain why in a moment but as you might guess, that Emotional Yo-Yo that I just touched upon in yesterday’s post is making me quite queasy today. Earlier I was okay, then got some crappy news about one of my crowns cracking a piece off and I was back down again. Then, a little while ago I left work, well…that is the reason for tonight’s post.

And as I said in yesterday’s post, while I am trying very hard to be positive and not let myself falter, I have to tell you – it’s fucking hard. It’s hard when no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to be a good person, to have a good heart, some people only see the ugly in you.

It certainly has occurred to me that it might be their ugliness that is reflecting back at them but they think it’s me. But that doesn’t change how incidents like this make me feel.

I’m trying to hard to not be that woman who looks in the mirror and says that I’m ugly. It’s not even really about my looks, per se.  To me. I may never look in the mirror and think “I’m beautiful” (though Dr. S seems to think otherwise), but given where I was not too long ago, I have worked very hard to not think such negative things when I do look in the mirror. I want and need to be able to look at my reflection and be able to say that I’m okay, I’m proud of myself, I’m a survivor and I doing just fine. And as I’ve said before – to feel worthy. To feel loved. Needed. Wanted. Whatever.

And I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, and I’m not sure why I do sometimes. Especially when it’s clear that they hold no respect for me or value me in any way than as fodder – as a punching bag to use to appease some sense of sickening blackness in their own hearts. And their souls.

But it’s hard when a stranger glances at you for all of 5 seconds – in a darkened parking lot in the pouring rain – and feels that it is not only his God-given right, but his obligation, to point out to me how disgustingly fat and ugly I am. To say the words, “Can you possibly be any fatter, you ugly fucking pig?” To look right at me, see my anguish and not care. Not at all. To sneer at me with disgust, shake his head and ask his buddy who is laughing how do I even get up in the morning and why don’t I just kill myself and save everyone the trouble of supporting my pathetic life.

And so I cry. I cry harder than I have in a very long time.

And I’m not as tough as I pretend to be. In fact, remember that Academy Award winning performance I mentioned – my toughness is pretty much a fabulous act. I am, in fact, the opposite. I’m not tough. I don’t stand up for myself, really. I try to act tough and sometimes say the words, but inside I’m shaking because I don’t always feel I am strong enough to win the battle. So I pretend. And I talk the big talk.

So when things like this happen, my resolve waivers and while I’m in a far better place now to deal with it and move on than I was six months or a year ago, it still hurts. It hurts a lot. It takes everything in me to not fall back into that personal reflection and not say I’m ugly. All because of two assholes that I’ve never met before who felt it was okay to behave that way. Who must have assumed I was blind and stupid and who possibly couldn’t have any idea of my size or what I look like.

I want to be able to say “fuck them” and move on. And I’m sure later I will feel better and will move on. But how dare they! How dare they make me – even for the briefest of moments – feel small and insignificant. Like I don’t matter. Like I’m a waste of oxygen. And I know I’m not. I know it! I know I have people who love me. People who care for me. People who look to me for guidance, help and support. I know this. But for that 2 minutes in my life – I forgot. And I felt momentarily awash with Why am I here?

And so I cry. Still.

I tell you this not for sympathy or anything like that but as a glimpse of what happens – what can happen – in the briefest moment that anyone can say something hurtful and mean – and downright disgustingly – to another person.

And they don’t even care.

Sending blessings, love and great peace to everyone.

Love,

Dani

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Supplemental to The Emotional Yo-Yo (read it first)

In all my haste to finish the long-winded blog posting The Emotional Yo-Yo, I forgot to mention on thing:

I am not an emotional eater. That is, I don’t tend to eat a lot when I’m anxious or upset or angry. Quite the opposite in fact. The more stressed, anxious or upset I am, the less I can eat. So much so that on some occasions I make myself physically ill – sometimes even from just thinking about food.

I lost over 12 pounds in the 3 days after I found out my husband at the time was cheating on me. I barely ate. In fact, all I did eat was a half of a banana. The mere thought of eating food made me ill. And of course, once I started eating normally again, all the weight came back on.

So while emotional eating isn’t good for you, neither is the opposite.

I guess the best we can hope for is compromise.

Blessings. xo

The Emotional Yo-Yo

Forget the weight loss yo-yo that so many of us often experience, especially us women. To me it’s the emotional yo-yo that I have the most struggles with. With no offense to men intended, as we already know, in general woman typically are more emotional than men. The hormonal changes our bodies go through from birth to death seem to be much more…well…more.

Sure, we all go through puberty (although truthfully I think girls get it worse with dealings with menstruation) and even that can vary greatly between the sexes, but I don’t know about anyone else’s feelings on this matter, but I feel like I’m more of an emotional blob, now more than ever. Through teenage angst, to first loves, to the trials and tribulations of marriage (and its failure) all the way to past the child-bearing stage into menopause, my emotions seem to be more raw, far more prolific and at times, just down-right nasty.

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So this emotional yo-yo to which I’m referring is the struggle I face to keep positive – about myself, about life, about just about anything that touches my life – when something unpleasant happens, without feeling like I’m sinking into an abyss. How do people do it? How do they always seem to remember the positive sides of things? How do they manage to push all that negativity, hurt and pain down? And that also begs the question of – should they?

I, for one, don’t think that holding in negative emotions is necessarily a good thing. I need to vent. I need to let off that excess steam. Or I might implode. I always have said that I never understood people who constantly seem to always be happy. I still don’t understand it. How can anyone be that happy all the time? Surely they have faced issues in their lives, so can they be so seemingly happy all the time? Honestly, I’m sure that there are some people that no matter what happens they just seem to let it run off them like water off of ducks and they just are happy, not necessarily choosing to be so. They just are. But I have looked at people like that and thought they were faking it. That it seemed so unreal. So false.

Now that very well could just be my grumpy-pants attitude that doesn’t believe in such a thing, but I still have to wonder how much people really fake regarding their emotions. I know I do it all the time. For a long stretch of a period in the not-too-distant past I was so miserable and felt so ugly that I pretended to be otherwise – to everyone. I was great at it. Academy Award winning performance great. But eventually that sort of stuff just has to come out. And it did. And it wasn’t pretty. Enough so that Dr. S told me, “I think you should start coming back in every week again.”

I’ve come some distance since that time. I don’t look at myself in the mirror or at my reflection in a window and automatically think, “God, you’re ugly. You’re so disgusting!” I’m working on trying to save my life with lifestyle changes. I started writing this blog. Overall, I am now moving in the right direction.

But I realize now that I will never become one of those perpetually happy people. I just don’t see it. And that’s okay. Because I know that overall I will be happy, healthy and can overcome any obstacles I encounter. I’ve done it my entire life – that won’t change. But I will be happier than I am today. And tomorrow I will be happier than I am today. The progression is there and I don’t believe I will ever get back to that other “God, you’re ugly” person again.

At least I pray that I don’t.

So all this rambling leads me to the topic I actually wanted to touch upon today. That Emotional Yo-Yo I was talking about. Well, for those that know me well enough, they know that I get motion-sickness. And this Emotional Yo-Yo for all intents and purposes is my Demon Drop (old roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio). It terrifies me how one minute I can be so happy and the next – not. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not on this Emotional Yo-Yo all day long, every day. I’m talking about just how I am with the extremes on specific occasions.

Case in point: This past Friday I was very happy to have heard the news that after many long years of dealing with an intense legal situation to which I was dragged into by my ex-husband, was finally over. My last tie to him was now severed and I was free. No longer did I have the threat of foreclosure for property I hadn’t lived on since 2006 over my head but more so, I didn’t have to continue to deal with the mortgage company threatening to come after only me because I have good credit (save for that foreclosure), pay my bills on time and my ex has so many judgments against him (including 2 from me) they deemed him to be noncollectable. I was ecstatic. I was thrilled that I could move on with my life and not have those worries and all the unknowns of what might happen from it sitting on my shoulders.

Then my New York Mets won the National League East Division and would be going to the playoffs for the first time in 9 years.

Of course we’re talking about two very different life experiences – both of which I had nothing to do with and had no real say in the outcome. But things were looking up and I was feeling good. I was happy. Except for the part where I felt alone and didn’t have anyone to really celebrate (in person) with. But I’m used to that and it was okay.

Then yesterday (Sunday), I went to my car that was parked in my usual parking spot in the driveway. I was heading out to the grocery store for a few things and while the car was warming up (re: battery – really long story I won’t get into), I was watching my neighbor jet around on his riding lawnmower with his earbuds in. I even chuckled at how animated he looked as he drove between the two houses and kicked up the dirt – oblivious to everything and anything he was running over – twigs, rocks etc.

It suddenly occurred to me when he turned around and was coming back that 1) he was too close to my car at about 5 feet away, and 2) the hole from which all the crap he was mowing over comes out was aimed directly for my car. Before I could react, I heard, “Pop! Pop! Pop!” and then something hitting the glass of one of my passenger doors. Throwing the car in reverse, I backed onto my front lawn as far away from him as I could get. Meanwhile, off he goes across his lawn. Oblivious.

I got out to check my car and you know that Emotional Yo-Yo I was just referring to? Well it hit me. Full frontal!  I went from being happy and content to sickened at what this guy had done to my only 6=month old car. I was pissed off and livid that he could be so careless and inconsiderate and I was also so sad and upset. It slapped me into defeatist mode so far, I should have taken some Dramamine. When at last the guy looked over at me, I waved him over. I was so emotional that I couldn’t have expressed any one feeling coherently. But perhaps what really sent me down the Emotional Yo-Yo was his indifference to what he’d just done.

“Oh sorry about that.”

“I didn’t notice.”

“Get an estimate and bring it over.”

“I thought you must have gotten a new car.”

Then he walked away, kicked up some of the dirt near where I was parked unable to find what he possible could have kicked up with the mower that would do that. And we all know that if I hadn’t been sitting in the car at that point, I would have never known it was him and what he’d done. And he hadn’t even noticed. No real emotion or sincerity in his apology. No nothing. Except that indifference. And that pissed me off even more. And saddened me even more than that.

Now, one thing I want to make sure is said before I continue. Yes, it’s “just a car.” A material thing. No one was hurt. No one died. It wasn’t done intentionally. It wasn’t done with malice or forethought. It was just an accident (albeit preventable).

But what many don’t understand is while yes, it is just a car, it’s my car. One that I worked hard to get; to save up five thousand dollars to put as a down-payment on it. To deal with the then still-looming foreclosure over my head and on my credit report. It was the first thing in a very long time that I finally felt I deserved it; deserved something nice that was all mine. Because I worked hard for it, sure. But also because of all of the emotional pain and suffering I’d gone through at the hands of someone else, it was something that was mine and mine alone.

I deserved something nice.

You see, I likened my neighbor’s indifference and his entire demeanor but also just the incident in itself to a slap in the face like it was dealing with my ex all over again. That because of someone else’s carelessness and their not giving any thought to their actions, I was again experiencing the Emotional Yo-Yo through no fault of my own.

Again, it’s not the same instance but you get the similarities in my feelings on it. More disappointment at the actions of someone else. But more so, the immense feelings of “why me?”

But that also brings me to my other point. The more important point.

I’m blessed.

Make no bones about it. I know I’m blessed and I am in no way denying it with the words written further above. I am blessed throughout every aspect in my life. I have a loving and wonderful mother who has done everything she can throughout my life, especially after my Dad died, to take care of me, shelter me from harm and just be there for me. I have a large wonderfully goofy family that I adore. I have some cousins who are like brothers or sisters to me. And my friends? I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people in my life. From those that I have known for over 30 years – those I’ve known since Kindergarten or high school – to those who’ve only recently entered my life but have already left an indelible impression – on my heart and soul. There are people out there – strangers really since I haven’t met them in person – that have entered my life in one way or another but have gone out of their way to help support me. To give me strength. In some cases, to give me peace. And I think God put them in my path – or me in theirs – to do all of those things. Because He knows, no matter how strong I have been throughout my life, sometimes along the way I need help. His help. Their help. YOUR help.

Even from my ex have I learned things – about myself and about others – but in the end, those things make up who I am today and are yet another reason why I feel so blessed. That’s certainly not to say that I wish things had turned out differently but along this path I’ve come to realize that looking back does me no good at all. And while it’s been suggested to me to “forgive” him – I’m not at a point I can do that and may never be. I certainly will never forget. But I no longer dwell on the “what ifs” and the “what this person or that person has done to me”. I’m moving on. Stronger.

So while I have my moments of Emotional Yo-Yo or rage on with pity parties for one, I know deep down that I am so blessed that I’m sure there might even be people out there who are jealous of that. I’m sure there are people out there who aren’t as lucky as me. I’m sure that they would give anything for even a tiny portion of the blessings that I have. And for that reason alone, I am all the more aware that I need to try to do whatever I can to stop the Emotional Yo-Yo as much as I can and try to remember all of these blessings that I have in my life.

So I hope you’ll forgive me for my occasional “slip” into self-pitydom (new word, Dr. S!) and I hope eventually they will be further and farther between, with a heavy concentration of self-love (oh that sounds funny) and immense and continued gratefulness.

So to end this on a great note. Weigh in day today and I am happy to report I am down another pound! Can I get a “Woot”?

woot cat

So since July 7th (at which I was my highest in several years), I am down 11 pounds. I’m very pleased with this and know not only can I keep going but I can do better! I still have lots of changes to make but baby steps.

Which brings me to, “Hello, my name is Dani and I’m a Pepsi addict”

Everyone else:  “Hello Dani”

nqxEp3Q Yes, I am a goof. Or as Glenda calls me, “funny bunny”. Get it??! 😛

Sending many blessings, love and prayers to everyone. Thank you for ALL that you do for me.

Love,

Dani

Are you a “Foodie”? I’m not. No Really.

Contrary to popular belief, not all obese people love food. Let me clarify that slightly:  I don’t love food.

Yes, a small portion of obese people are so due to illness or disease, but the majority of people who are obese are so likely because of two things: 1) eating far too much (especially foods that aren’t good for them) and 2) limited or no exercise at all. Our bodies need “fuel” (food) but as with our gasoline tanks on our cars, there is a limit to how much fuel we should be putting in there (consuming), particular if we are doing nothing to burn off that consumed fuel in order to be replenished later.

Over-eating is a major problem for most. Improper food choices is another. Lack of exercise doesn’t help at all. Singularly, while not good, isn’t nearly as bad as the disaster that is combining all three. Major no-no.

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So as part of my self-deprecation in the past, I was always quick to “clarify” myself whenever I was in an instance that involved food. I remember times when I would say, “I know it doesn’t look like it from looking at me, but, I really don’t eat that much.” or “It may appear from my size that all I do is eat, but I really don’t like food that much.” Of course, most of the time I was met with skepticism. Why I felt the need to excuse myself to anyone, I have no idea. I think perhaps it had to do with the fact that so many times people simply judged me on my looks, so their assumptions must have always gone directly to “she must eat a lot” or “I bet she eats all day long” or “I bet she hides food under her bed”…well, you get the picture. So what are the odds that anyone who would think such things would believe my clarifications? I’m considering probably nil.

So, I’m declaring that…

I-am-not-a-foodie

[“Foodie” is defined in one definition as: A foodie is a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.]

There are some circles that consider “Foodie” to mean the person is stuck-up and pretentious about food but by my use in this post, I am simply meaning anyone who loves food enough that they love to prepare and cook it and really enjoys eating it. Some who might watch cooking shows or talk to other “Foodies” about food as if they were discussing the latest Mets game or episode of The Walking Dead (both of whom I personally love). So when I talk about Foodie, I want you to understand exactly what I am not.

Yes I do over-eat. I also under-eat. I eat poorly or I don’t eat at all. None of these is of any help to me whatsoever.

I went so many years where I skipped breakfast, often times lunch as well. Then by dinner I’ve be a stark raving mad woman starving for food. And then I’d over-eat. Many see this as “bulimia”.

[ “Bulimia” is defined as: insatiable overeating as a medical condition, in particular:  a) an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting. or b) an eating disorder in which a large quantity of food is consumed in a short period of time, often followed by feelings of guilt or shame.]
The second bullet point more describes me. I have never, however, caused myself to purge after eating or over-eating. That doesn’t lessen the disorder; it’s merely a small piece of it.

For the past couple of years I have gotten better with trying to eat breakfast and lunch, even if it meant only something small – at least I was eating. But I’m not really very good at it sometimes. It doesn’t help either that my thyroid medication that I have to take in the morning means I can’t eat for a couple hours before I take it and I can’t eat at least a half hour to an hour after taking it. Or that the twice-daily injections I have to give myself (before breakfast and before dinner) means that once I do the shot in the morning, I have to eat within an hour.

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So I not only still struggle with eating properly, I also struggle with making sure I actually eat. The shots help because it forces me to eat something for breakfast, but most mornings, I just don’t feel like eating. I don’t think in those cases that I’m bored (as I might be a night and end up snacking) or that I’m not hungry because I normally am (but those hunger pangs I’ve learned to ignore and that they eventually just go away), I simply just don’t really care for the act of eating.

I know that sounds utterly strange coming from someone my size. Especially when invariably to do it – more so in the evening after work – I tend to over-eat. Though again, since I started these daily shots, they help with suppressing my appetite. But if someone could just invent one pill that can be taken daily that gives me all the vitamins, nutrients etc I need to survive – I could really go for something like that.

As a single person who never liked to cook to begin with (when I was married for 8 years my then-husband always cooked because he was a Foodie), it’s even harder to get any enthusiasm for spending the time and energy to cook meals that I simply don’t really enjoy. It always seems like a lot of work for so little reward.

I know. I know. That’s probably a sacrilegious statement right there to those of you who love food, but for all my struggles with eating or not eating, cooking or not, what to eat or what not to eat, it always comes back to one basic fact: I just don’t like to eat.

Now, to contradict myself slightly, I’m in no way indicating that I don’t like some foods. I have my favorites for sure. But as you might imagine, most likely none of my favorites are very good for me. So when faced with only eating foods that are good for me, I’d rather opt out of not eating at all. On top of rarely feeling energized though to cook, it was always so much easier to just skip it or find something much easier. And we all know that “easier” usually means “junk”.

Sad, I know. Troublesome? you bet. Illogical. No damn doubt about it (say that fast 10 times!).

My profile on this website says I’m an enigma. I wasn’t kidding. If you don’t think you understand me and can figure out everything I say or contradict myself about, can you imagine what it’s like to be inside my own head!?

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But despite all of this, I am trying. I’m trying to order out/in less. I’m trying to cook more healthy meals. Preplan them to address issues of exhaustion when I get home – another excuse I use to not bother cooking and ordering something unhealthy to eat. But I’m trying. And I have been trying to find ways that I can learn to like good-for-me foods that normally I wouldn’t by finding alternative ways to cook them. And I’m a fussy eater. Just ask my mom.

But I am trying.

Another area of struggle is that I’ve always likened the feeling of fullness with over-eating. Even now, when I’ve eaten a healthy meal, along with plenty of water (which really fills me up), that fullness I feel often leads to guilt because it feels the same as when I over-ate something I shouldn’t have. I am not always able to shake the feelings of guilt or shame that I’ve done something wrong even though logically I know I didn’t just because I ate.

Despite all of this, another valid reason I don’t like to eat is that most foods – those good or bad for me – bother my digestive system. I also have ultra-sensitive taste buds that have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. Fussiness aside, there aren’t many foods that don’t bother me. And without entering the TMI zone, basically things like the following bother me – but some not every time:

  • anything spicy. And my level of what I consider spicy tastes like nothing to most of you.
  • actual flavor of something may not taste good to me. E.g. brown rice to me tastes like burned leather
  • food with too much tomato sauce (the acid from the tomatoes)
  • some dairy. while I’m not lactose intolerant, the older I get the more milk products bother me. But also butter, mozzarella cheese. Things that are higher in fat.
  • certain spices. I usually eat only oil & vinegar dressing because while I only like Italian dressing, most have spices in them that I don’t react well to
  • meat that contains too much fat.

And my Achilles Heel:  Pepsi

Now before all of you write me and expound all the problems with Pepsi, I’ll save you the trouble. I know exactly how horrible it is. From the sugar prospective. Empty calories. Outrageous carbs. Basically if I could list one thing that no one, let alone an obese person should consume, it’s Pepsi.

But here’s the kicker: While I may not be in love with food, I’m addicted to Pepsi.

The other kicker: It makes me feel horrible. Sluggish. Bloated. Tummy distress.

And yet I struggle with not drinking it more than I struggle with just about anything else in this quest to lose weight. I never thought of it as an addiction before. It didn’t seem comparable to other addictions like drugs, alcohol or what not. But the truth is, that’s exactly what it is. And as a Type-2 Diabetic, I absolutely must get away from it. Not just to lose weight but also because my body is battling the insulin, the sugars and everything else and it’s screaming at me to do something.

To. Just. Stop.

If I had to say, this is the hardest part I’m facing. It terrifies me that for all the bad I know it brings, I can’t simply stop. And I need to.

What’s completely asinine about it though is it is one of the things that while it tastes great to my taste buds, it quite literally can make my stomach heave. But no matter how bad it makes me feel or my body reacts to it, I just don’t stop.

So as I keep this train moving, that is the one thing I need to work the hardest on.

I’m already working on eating three proper meals a day, taking my meds, walking as much as my stupid feet will let me, making sure I get enough sleep, keeping the stress down…but this last one is a doozy.

So with the ending of tonight’s post, I am asking a special sort of support from whomever believes in the power of prayer to please say a prayer for me to finally lick this enormous road-block. For those who don’t prayers, perhaps just sending me some good juju would work also. I thank you in advance.

Blessings to you all.

Dani

The Value of Support – YOU matter more than you know

I had another topic all set for tonight’s blog posting until a couple hours ago when something happened that brought me to tears. And not because I was saddened or heartbroken about something, but due to the kindness of someone’s words that were both encouraging and very supportive. It touched me greatly. Probably more than most people would think.

So I want to talk about the value of supporting someone in their struggles. Oftentimes I’ve been on the other end of a conversation where I’ve been trying to help and support a family member or friend, offering whatever words I could that would give some comfort. Most times I didn’t really consider if my words were bringing any support or comfort, even if the other person stated they felt better because of my simply being there. I always felt like I wasn’t really worthy enough to offer comfort and support – maybe to just listen sure – but to actually offer words? Me – who normally is never at a loss of them – struggled often to find just the right thing to say to be supportive and not sound condescending or to make the person feel worse.

The other day I had a conversation with a friend who was down on herself – feeling discouraged and generally not happy. She has “BDD”. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) BDD is described on WedMd as “people with BDD are preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see”. While I don’t suffer from BDD, I certainly understand issues with “defects” in my body. We spoke for a while and I could only encourage her to find a way to move past that moment. So when she said, “Thank you. You’ve already made me feel tremendously better already.” that made me feel great. Because I truly wanted to support and help her, and her words led me to believe that I had.

Like I said in a previous post, the only way I feel that I am going to get through this scary and intense journey/struggle is with YOUR support. And I wasn’t lying, but since starting this blog I’ve not only seen how your support and encouragement keeps me fighting, but it made me actually FEEL it. I started really feeling the kindness, love, support, encouragement and I loved the way it made me feel.

Like I was worthy of it all.

I’ve had love, support and kindness from so many in my life from my wonderful mother to my family and life-long friends, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually felt I deserved it. That worthiness is very hard to find when you’ve spent so many years hating yourself and being ashamed for what you did or didn’t do. You know, those regrets I mentioned before.

So now that I’ve had a taste of that – those feelings of worthiness – I not only want them, I really understand how much I need them. Like an addiction. In order to survive and win this battle. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again until you believe it too:

I need you.

So if any of you who have offered me kind, supporting words and were wondering just how effective they have been, believe me when I tell you that they mean so much to me that I cannot even begin to tell you.

They mean the World to me.

So the reason I changed up my topic for tonight’s blog is because of something that came as sort of a surprise. For those who know me well enough (not many that don’t), you know I am a “big” (pardon the pun) fan of South African actor Sean Cameron Michael (Mr. Richard Guthrie on Starz’ Black Sails). Sean’s always been wonderfully kind to me throughout the past couple of years on social media, including earlier this year when he went above and beyond. I had sent him a Black Sails promo book in Los Angeles (he recently got his US Green Card Permanent Residency and when in the US will reside in L.A.). Not only was he kind enough to sign it but he got another actor from the show – Mr. Mark Ryan – to sign it and then went to the Starz studios and got more “goodies” to send to me including some Black Sails pins, a bandana, an autographed photo and the first season of Black Sails on DVD. But I digress…

Sean has always been very kind but in all of our conversations, I never once mentioned my weight. In fact, I have never tweeted a recent pic of myself. I didn’t want anyone, including Sean, so see the “real” me (physically and yes, I know it’s absurd now). So when I decided to post this blog, I was letting the cat out of the bag. But my need to put myself out there with my struggles and my new journey outweighed my concerns about who would suddenly “know”.

Now, never did I think that Sean would be the kind of man who would judge me because of my size/how I looked. Not once. But that didn’t stop me from still be ashamed if he knew. I can’t really explain why but that’s how my silly mind works sometimes.

So recently Sean became an Advocate for an organization called Bullies Keep Out (http://www.bullieskeepout.com/) which try to help change those narrow-minded people who bully others because of the way they look, their sexual preferences or in whatever way someone might be different. I knew that Sean was doing an interview (PSA) with BKO and it was posted two days ago. I didn’t know about it being posted until earlier tonight.

Imagine my surprise and delight when listening to Sean discuss the issues of bullying, in particular this PSA was about a video circulating on social media that someone made to shame fat people to change called #DearFatPeople. Now, I haven’t seen this video because I know it will upset me. Just based on what I’ve heard about it and the comments people have made is enough to know I don’t wish to see it. So Sean and Dana from BKO were discussing this when (at ~15:55mins), Sean started to talk and I realized he was talking about me! About my blog. But more so…about what he thought about me and my blog: “Inspiring” “Courageous” “Helpful” “Flipping beautiful”

Cue the tears.

I didn’t cry because I was upset. I cried because what he said meant so much to me. He’s on a public forum talking about bullying and this horrendous person’s video, and he uses me as an example of what is inspiring. What is courageous.

And that’s fucking awesome!

Because I think it was huge that he used me as an example. It told me that I was doing something right. That even while I go through this to save myself – good heavens – could I actually inspire someone else and help them???

I’m reaching people. I’m inspiring people. And you know what that means?

It means that I want to keep doing this to keep inspiring others to fight their own demons and do whatever they can to better themselves. Because I am doing it!

I’m posting the PSA here so you can check out the entire thing but please do check out what Sean said about me in his own words at 15:55.   

So I don’t know if Sean is continuing to read any of my blog posts or not but I hope he at least sees this one. I’ve already told him how grateful I am but as with all of you, I want him to know just how much.

So thank you Sean. From the bottom of my heart. 

And thank you everyone for your continued support and love. I’m finally seeing it. And I’m so damn grateful to each and every one of you.

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Sending love and blessings.

Dani xo ♥♥♥♥

It’s “only” a pound – Seeing every loss as something Awesome!

In all of my struggles to not be so negative about myself – both with how I look but also getting over my inherent need to self-deprecate – one struggle in particular is extremely difficult to get past.

So I’m choosing to write about this particular topic when I have a loss in the Weight Loss/Gain column for the past week because one of my biggest struggles I face – on top of the weight loss – is the attitude I have when I have a bad week – that is – putting on weight. Be it a half pound or five – any weight gain to someone who struggles to lose it can be monstrous, the results of which can, and have, sent some people into a tailspin. Often negating any achievement they may have had before.

I’ve been there. It’s a struggle I face every time I step on the scale. How will I react when I have a gain for that week? Because of how I’ve reacted in the past, my first thoughts are the questions:

Will I immediately and automatically berate myself for my “failure”? Will I tell myself all of the hurtful things I’ve said in the past? That I’m useless. That I have no willpower. That I’m a failure. That I can’t do anything right.

The list goes on and on. And despite all of the work I’ve done to not have the auto-deprecating button turn on the minute something doesn’t go as well as I’d planned, I suspect it’s going to be a long time – if ever – that I am completely over those fears of what I might think about myself, say to myself or simply that I’m unable to move past it.

So I stepped on the scale this morning and I’m down a HALF pound.

In the more recent past (and as it’s been pointed out to me before – thanks to my cuz Deb), I would have followed up that announcement with any combination of the following:

  • It’s “only” half a pound
  • It’s not very good/great, but guess it’s okay
  • Guess I didn’t really deserve to lose more

etc.

And it seemed that if I looked back on my comments on loses, no matter how much weight I did lose, I never took it as a great thing – a loss – it was “only”. I realize that it’s a ridiculous statement given that a loss is a loss, am I right? But that’s that way this mind of mind thinks. I didn’t say I was intelligent remember – Dr. S. did.

So for the past few weeks I have had a loss in the Loss/Gain column and in all honesty, I am terrified of that week when I will have a gain. Utterly terrified. But I’m a realist and I know a gain is inevitable, but I haven’t yet figured out how to do the 3 things after that:

  1. tell myself it’s okay and not feel I have to either berate myself or even forgive myself
  2. don’t give up and keep going
  3. move on

A lot of this will depend on the amount of pounds gained. While losing “only” a half pound or even a pound didn’t always seem like a significant loss, gaining the same amount or heaven forbid – MORE – can make you feel like a complete loser – and not in the good way.

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Now anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has experienced this and the feelings right along side, and most understand that it’s not even necessarily that the person did anything “wrong” to “earn” the gain but the mind is a scary place and while logically you might know this, if you’re anywhere near as stubborn as me (yes, I admit it), then you have an internal struggle.

Instead of accepting the gain, understanding that there very well may be external reasons for the gain that have nothing to do with what you may or may not have done, if you’re like me, you simply put the blame where you felt it was deserved – on your own shoulders.

I’ve had doctors and a Nurse Practitioner tell me on several occasions that hormones, time of the month, time of the year, underlying illness etc can all be contributors to a gain one week. I’m sure there are more but those are typically what I hear.

So when will that gain happen? I’m not sure. I really hope not for a while but I also know I can’t sit here and fret the week when it does go up or I’ll make myself mad. And let’s face it, I tinker a little too close to madness as it is sometimes. Let’s not add to it by worrying about the “what if’s?”  But they are there. And they will be there.

And I’ll need your help and support to move not place blame, not give up and keep going and move on.

So from my heaviest weight ever I am down a total of 28.5 pounds over the past few years and 9.5 since July 7th.

And I’m going to accept that as a wonderful start to my journey and be proud of how far I’ve not only come so far, but that I want to continue to succeed.

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Thank you all once again for your support, kindness and love.

Blessings to all.

Dani

To surgery or not to surgery

One of the biggest questions I get asked often by everyone and their uncle is, “Have you thought about weight loss surgery?”

Now before I got any further, this posting is about what I think about it, no one else. It is neither a pro or a con for weight loss surgery (i.e. bariatric surgery). We all have our thoughts on the matter but given this is my blog, these are my thoughts alone. For whether bariatric surgery is an option for me or not.

This is not my endorsement or opposition to surgery. Also note that there are several different types of surgery:

  • Adjustable gastric banding (lap band surgery)
  • Gastric sleeve
  • Gastric bypass (more malabsorption than the restrictive procedures listed above, but works primarily through restriction)
  • Duodenal switch (more malabsorption – the sleeve stomach is the restrictive portion and the intestinal bypass (duodenal switch) is the malabsorptive component)

I know many people who have had the surgery. Family members and friends, even a past co-worker. Has it worked for all of them? No. Some swear by it and have had great success; others came to the realization that it wasn’t for them – after the fact – and at a great cost.

The bottom line is that there is no easy answer for whether you should have the surgery or not. You have to think about all of the factors and make the decision based on what is best for you. Surgery is NOT the easy way out. It is serious shit. And the results are pretty serious as well – good and bad.

So have I thought about weight loss surgery?

Yes.

Will I ever have it?

Not likely.

As someone who has struggled all of her adult life, the easier answer might be to go ahead and have it, but what really am I learning by doing so?

Some have had the surgery to save their lives. Years of struggling and being unable to lose weight and get healthy. I get it. Oh boy, do I get it. I’ve teetered so often towards having it myself but always reign myself in.

See, my biggest reason when asked the question if I’ve thought about weight loss surgery always comes back to one thing:

If I can’t learn to eat healthy and properly before the surgery, it’s not going to help me to do so after the surgery.

It’s not some magic pill. While I understand from those I have spoken to that weeks/months leading up to the surgery, the patients have to prove that they can change their eating habits. Some have even told me they dropped 10-15 pounds pre-surgery. So they are already having to retrain themselves to eat properly. But like everything else, it doesn’t always continue post-surgery.

I know me. I might be excited about the surgery enough to change my eating habits pre-surgery but once the excitement wears off, I am not convinced I could maintain it.  That’s not to say that others couldn’t and haven’t. I’m merely talking about me. And my perpensity to never quite keep up with things because I get bored.

Someone I know had the surgery. I watched her day in and day out fight the nausea and invariably throw up every meal she ate. I remember thinking that it’s any wonder that she lost 80 pounds in 6 months – she couldn’t keep anything down.

Now I don’t know what it’s like for the others I know who have done this. For all I know they didn’t suffer any of these issues. But I remember watching this woman struggle through this and wondered if it was worth it. Particularly a year later when she started to put back on the weight and invariably more than what she had originally weighed.

Bariatric surgery is not for everyone. I’m not sure it’s for me.

In my mind – that place that is like something out of the Twilight Zone – if I can eat properly and lose weight before the surgery, there’s no reason I simply can’t continue to do so without the surgery.

Again, that’s not to say that I haven’t considered it. But there are also other factors to choosing bariatric surgery:

  • The cost. Bariatric surgery is not cheap. Depending on where you live, the insurance coverage you have (if you have it), it is not a cheap endeavor.
  • Time away from work. If you work, the surgery will mean some time away from work. In today’s day and age, it’s not always an option to take that much time off from work.
  • Support in the household. In my case, I live alone and really have no one nearby that I can depend upon to help me post-surgery during recovery.
  • Not all people qualify for the surgery. Believe it or not, there is a weight limit to it. That is, you have to be a specific amount of “Over” the standard weight (or based on your BMI).
  • While the risk of direct deaths due to the surgery is less than 1%, there are other complications, some very serious that can happen and in some cases eventually lead to death (infection for example).
  • One type of the surgery is irreversible (bypass)
  • The good side to it is the obviously rapid weight loss but also losing the weight often fixes the health-related issues associated with obesity: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnea etc.
  • Without getting into TMI, one issue I have is with digestion and what I lovingly refer to as “stomach issues”. Certain (most) foods give me pause but also I have absorption problems of vitamins to the near point of anemia. Those who have the surgery can be subjected to many bouts of “stomach issues” and frankly the idea of that worsening on me gives me hives.

No matter the factors for weight loss surgery – good or bad – I always came back to the same thing for why I chose to not have the surgery:

If I can’t learn to eat healthy and properly before the surgery, it’s not going to help me to do so after the surgery.

So here I am, doing it “the hard way” so to speak. Whatever anyone else chooses to do it up to them and honestly, for those that I know who have had it, I’m not only inspired by your determination and guts, but also very proud of you. You made it work and that is simply amazing.

I know several people who have personally not had the surgery and have been successful. One friend was able to drop 180 pounds and while she continues to struggle to maintain the weight loss, she was able to fight the fight and do it with sheer determination and willpower. And to those people I am equally proud. They give me hope that I will also succeed on my journey.

So, to surgery or not to surgery, is the question.

I’ll likely question my decision and wonder if I should do it long into the future. I’m truly hoping that I’ll keep losing weight to where whether to have it or not won’t even be an issue. Until then…it sits in the back of my mind. Waiting.

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Blessings to all.

A “brief” history

Contrary to whatever indicators on previous posts that might suggest I cannot be brief about anything, I will actually endeavor to be brief on how I got to be the size I am today.

So, without further ado…

The reasons I am obese are:

  • poor eating habits
  • lack of exercise

.

.

.

.

How’s that?

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There now, Susan T…see, I haven’t lost that unique sarcasm that is Dani. 🙂

Okay to elaborate a little bit more. I promise. Just a bit.

There are a lot of contributing factors as to why I’ve gotten to the size I’m at, but the bottom line is frankly the two points I listed above. They are the main reasons, yes, but there are underlying reasons have all contributed in this situation. But hear me now, I’m not using any of them as excuses. They are merely some potential contributors to the overall picture.

On December 27, 1977 when I was 11 years old, my dad Gerry died suddenly of a heart attack. I don’t remember a lot about that time period but I remember the devastation that was felt. Not just by me, but by my mom too. And to some lesser degree, all of our family and friends who loved and adored him.

About the same time, I was hitting puberty, which we all know is a bitch to begin with but add on the immense feelings of loss, abandonment (though I’m well aware he didn’t intentionally leave us) and over-all despair – well that bitch came and brought some friends.

Now, I am in now way suggesting that my childhood wasn’t good. It had more good than bad. In fact, the only bad I really remember was my dad’s passing. Though we can all admit that his loss was pretty fucking big. Afterwards it was just my mom and I. She struggled in her own ways I’m sure and yet she did whatever she had to do to ensure that I would be okay. I’ve never forgotten that and I never will.

But no matter how much anyone wanted to help, the reality is that nearly 40 years later, his death is still having a profound impact on my life. It really only came to the surface about 6 years ago. For most of this time I had it in my head that I was okay. His death was a long time ago. Any pain I was suffering now couldn’t be a result of that. Could it?

But it was. It was an iceberg really. Just that 90% lying just under the surface. Waiting to flip over. And flip it did.

But I digress…

I wasn’t born overweight. And throughout my childhood I really wasn’t overweight.

216393_1031250715333_545110_n This is the pic I believe my dad used to carry of me in his wallet.

By about puberty I started being bigger than most of the girls in my school. Maybe even bigger than some of the boys. I couldn’t even fit into regular size volleyball shorts in grades 7 and 8 when I played (which was post losing my dad).

In highschool in Grade 9 I had to wear a school uniform – a skirt. Yeah…me and dresses/skirts go together so well. And I remember being fitted for it and dreading when the best fit for me as an A-line. But with my budding hips (not my boobs though…like what. the. hell.?) the pockets on the A-line would stick out so my mom had to sew them closed.

For a brief moment later in high school, while still over-weight, I was losing it. I madly loved an Italian boy named Dino, my best friend Paula and I were walking to and from school every day which was a 40 minute walk one way, and it was noticeable with that A-line spinning around my hips like a hula-hoop. Okay so maybe not that fast but you get the picture.

207858_1031250755334_3453517_n Graduation 1984 – what I wouldn’t give to have those cheekbones again and not my chipmunk ones now. 😛

The problem was that I did nothing further to actually continue to lose weight and keep it off. I had the chance and didn’t take it. I still ate way too much junk food, movie popcorn and Burger King – staples for most of my friends every weekend. I was even riding my bike a lot but it seemed looking back at it that it never occurred to me – really – that I was so badly out of shape.

After high school things just got worse because I wasn’t walking with Paula anymore (she was a grade behind me), I was going to college or working, and well…the pounds after that just kept piling on.

Now there are many people in my family that have some weight issues. None as badly as me but it seems that weight is a problem on both sides of my family tree. So yes, genetics is one of the contributing factors, but like I said above, it’s not to be used as an excuse because it’s not the only reason or the main reason.

By the time I was married “late” in my life (at that point) I was obese. During my marriage I expect that I likely gained another 60-80 pounds. My (now-ex) husband was also obese and we simply enabled each other. I’m not even going to blame him for that weight gain because as I’ve said before – how I am today is strictly all on me.

So here I am, 38 years later and I’m trying my damnest to fix myself, rid myself of many, many years of bad habits and negative thoughts – and just come out on the other size – healthy and alive.

And to do that I need to do what now?

giphy (1) Thank you Ian Somerhalder…you beautiful man.

So no excuses. Just actions. Lots and lots of actions.

And that iceberg flip I mentioned above…more on that in a later post.

Have I bored you all yet?

Blessings to all.

An Inspirational Video – to NEVER give up

I had seen this video before. I thought it was amazing. I thought this man’s spirit and determination was inspirational. But I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to take that inspiration and use it.

I think I am now.

I’ve got my Yoga mat and Yoga DVD (for beginner’s who are obese) at the ready. It’s a start.

So, let’s do this.

Thank you to his man – Arthur Boorman – for showing me that it’s possible if you put your mind to it.

Inspiration can come in many forms, from many sources. It’s what we all need to succeed. And that’s what Arthur needed. Just one person who believed in him. Someone who would help him make it through.

Check this out. It brings me to tears but not because I’m sad and feel sorry for him at all – because I’m so happy FOR him. That he was able to overcome his physical (and likely mental/emotional) issues and prove to himself and others that he could do it. Inspiring!

Getting Past the Regrets

One of my biggest challenges after all these years is letting go of the past. Letting go of the regrets. I’m sure we’ve all had our share of regrets and for those of you who have been able to let them go, well, kudos to you!

I’m getting there. It’s not easy, for sure. But one thing I’ve found by constantly questioning what I’ve done, haven’t done, could have done, or should have done in the past, is that all I’m doing is punishing myself NOW for something I can’t change.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, Pal. <John Sullivan – Frequency>

So how does someone move past their regrets of the past and live in today? I have no idea at the moment. That’s not to say that I won’t be able to move on or I haven’t already started to, but I simply don’t have the magic formula on how to go about it. Maybe it’s because I’m stubborn or I’m a sucker for self-blame, or something completely different that I’m not even aware of. Regardless, it has been a big issue over the years for me. But I’m working on it. Because really that’s all any of us can do to avoid being swallowed into a black hole of gloomy regret.

I’m 49 years old. When I turn 48, I swore I was going to lose all the weight I needed to lose before I turned 50. And all I’ve mostly lost in those 475 days (yes, I did the math), is well, 475 days give or take 10 pounds. When I turned 49 earlier this year, I reflected back on the year prior and immediately the regret and awareness of failure hit me full blast.

Worse still is that no matter how much something might be of a motivation to me, it eventually fails to continue to be so. But more on that later.

So similar to that year-long regret of not losing half of the weight I had planned to be well on my way to my goal, I’ve pretty much spent all of my adult live filled with regret on not doing something about my weight. Long before now. Before it was so out of control.

Quite honestly it made me feel like such a failure for not doing anything about it back then. Or anytime over the following 30-35 years. A failure. A fool. And more so than anything – utterly stupid.

I mean, by my mind, how can anyone who is seemingly so intelligent, simply NOT just do what they need to do and fix the problem?

I still fight these feelings of failure a lot but no where like I used to. I’ve worked on trying to let go of the past and give up the regrets. But goodness, that is so hard.

Because there is no one I can blame for how I am today. No one, but myself. So how can I not berate and be so thoroughly disappointed in myself when this was all on my shoulders to do. It was within my power to do it. And I let it get out of control to where now it is an even bigger uphill climb. I’m older. I’m more out of shape. My body isn’t always willing to cooperate.

So by not being able to blame anyone but myself, and I can be pretty damn high with my expectations of others, you can imagine the expectations I had in myself. and ergo, the disappointment.

But one thing I’ve found out recently is that I have been valuing everyone else above myself. So while I might have higher expectations of others, if they “failed”, that was okay. They tried. I still loved them. I loved them more because they tried. Because they didn’t give up. I wanted them to succeed and would do anything to help them so do.

But never with myself. Never did I give myself a break, admit I tried and told myself it was “okay” and “to keep going because you can do it”. All I would do to myself is place blame. To the point of some serious feelings towards myself.

I hated myself.

And yes while I say “hated” in the past-tense, I still struggle every day to not have those feelings resurface. To fight my own self every day to give myself a break and keep trying.

I’m not at the stage of loving myself. I hope I will be someday. Dr. S said I should, for now, just concentrate on reminding myself that “I’m okay” and that “I’m doing better” and that eventually when I get to the part of telling myself that I love myself I will eventually believe it. Right now, I have doubts but the realist part of me knows it’s true. I liken it to the poor wife whose husband continuously berates her and tells her she’s ugly and stupid, and she eventually believes it. While that’s an opposite message to myself, the result is the same. Tell yourself or someone something enough and they eventually will believe it.

So for many years I have suffered with the idea that I could have done something about my weight and didn’t. And that just because I didn’t do something about it before, that I’m not a stupid person. That I’m not undeserving of happiness and love. And as I said, I still struggle almost daily to suppress those feelings and push them away from myself. Because it’s so much easier to focus on the past “what ifs” than to concentrate on the “what can I do now?”

When will I look at myself in the mirror and not involuntarily cringe at the reflection staring back at me? And not once have the thought, “God you’re ugly” Or when I pass a reflective window or door and am “reminded” of my size and how out of shape I am? How “ugly” I am on the outside?

It’s not as if I’m unaware of my size. How could I not? I don’t need a mirror to tell me how big I am. I can tell by the size of my clothes. The struggles I’ve faced trying to find clothes that fit me. That I can’t go into any clothing store I want and just grab something I like and it’ll fit. But more than anything else, I can tell how big I am because I CAN FEEL IT!

I can feel the weight of the fat on my stomach and abdomen on my upper thighs when I’m sitting down. The extra weight of my hips and the pressure against the chair or couch I’m sitting on. Even still, I can feel that stomach and abdomen fat hanging down when I’m standing up or walking, it often jiggling and pulling my center of gravity forward to where I end up with pains in my lower back.

And I certainly don’t need a stranger telling me I’m fat as if I didn’t know. One thing that happened to me many many years ago (you know, back when I was heavy, but less so than I am now, and could/should have done something about it then, but didn’t…)…my mom and I were out for a walk for exercise. We want to go to Olive Garden for dinner so we decided to walk from our house to the restaurant, which was probably a little less than 2 miles away. About a quarter of the way there we were stopped at a street light waiting to cross. Across the street from us on the corner was a Timmie’s (for non-Canadian’s that is Tim Horton’s donut store). Moments later a car passed our corner, making a left and the guy yelled out the window, “Yeah you look like you need a donut!”.

I’ve never forgot those words. I was hurt, sure. But I was angry too. That asshole didn’t know me. He just saw my size and assumed my destination was Timmie’s. He didn’t know I was actually walking for exercise. He didn’t know that I was a nice girl. That I was kind, considerate and could be an exceptional friend. He didn’t know any of that.

He only “knew” that I was fat and I was apparently hitting the donut shop.

I’ll be honest. That comment affected me enough that I didn’t work so hard after that to do anything about my weight. I probably resigned myself to also being that girl who the guy thought saw.

The saddest part about all of this. The regrets of my inactions (or actions) and all the years I’ve presumably “wasted”, I have had so many motivational instances that should have kept me going. On the right track. Wanting to prove to myself that I could do this. And yet, the motivations never last long.

I’ve talked to Dr. S about this before. Why something that so obviously slapped me in the face and screamed “Snap out of it!” <Loretta Castorini – Moonstruck> didn’t “remind” me each time I slipped up, got complacent or apparently completely forgot that I was battling obesity. It blows my mind when I think about all the times that I’d forgotten what I was trying to do until the next slap in the face. You’d wonder how I’d forget every time that until the nest  time I stepped onto an airplane and had to fit my big body into a seat, or every time I struggled to put on some clothes that didn’t quite fit, or any time I would walk a short distance and be winded, or up a short flight of steps and be really winded. Oy vey. I could go on and on at all the times when I’d somehow forgotten my struggles. Dr. S said it was “selection amnesia”. Me? I just called it denial and stupidity.

But an enormous amount of feeling that I’m simply not worth it.

So while I’m far from on the right track now, I am farther than I have been before in both attitude and aspirations.

But that motivation to keep going. To feel that I’m worth this. That I’m worth of anything. That’s the bitch. That’s why I’ve been so adamant that I have so many of you with me on this journey. And for your continued “pats on the back”. Because I need that motivation that I get from your support, kind words, friendship and love to feel WORTHY of this journey. That I can do this.

That I’m…

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This pic was taken in December 2014. At that time, it was posted in a FB group I’m in where we had to give one word to describe how Sean Patrick Flanery (an actor to whom the group revolves around due to his inspiration to better oneself) made you feel with all of his support of the group. Because Sean often posted words of encouragement and support for all the struggles the members of the group went through, many of us felt that he made us feel worthy.

That’s what I feel so many of you bring to my life. My sense of worthiness. That I’m not a waste of air.

That I’m so much more than just that girl on the corner that the guy “saw”.

I suspect that even when I lose all the weight I want to in order to be healthy, I may never be able to look in the mirror and think, “You’re beautiful.” I hope I am able to, I really do. But I also hope that if I can’t see myself and think “You’re beautiful” that, at the very least, I will never again think “God you’re ugly.”

That I posted that pic above is hugely important on this journey because I can’t stand pics of myself, except from my childhood. And I hope to continue to post pics as I go along so everyone can see my progress.

I wish you all a safe, blessed weekend filled with much love and happiness. xo