Sunday, May 16, 2010

Early Morning Thoughfulness

It's 7:15 am on A Sunday morning and I am very much awake. In fact, I have been for over an hour, at this point. I went to bed at a reasonable hour (late enough to sleep in, early enough NOT to sleep in past church) But I didn't get much sleep last night. Now I am looking at a full day with a few hours of broken sleep and work tomorrow. I hate insomnia. I really do.

Actually, I don't think this is really insomnia. I think it is the nasty cold I have and the side effects of taking far too many medications. If it isn't the cold bothering me, it is my stomach screaming because I took meds on a semi-empty stomach again. Blech. I wouldn't mind being sick if it weren't so uncomfortable and in convenient.

Last night, laying in bed (while I was trying not to drown in snot), it occurred to me just WHY I get so bent out of shape about, well...being out of shape. Sure, it hurts more, and my overall health is suffering from it, and I have had to get new clothes that are way less sexy than my old ones. But, I realized that those things are only part of the reason I get depressed when I step on the scale. The fact is, I miss my old body.

I took my 18 year old body for granted. I only realize this now. I did have bad knees, and my skin refused to graduate to adulthood (it still hasn't,) but on the whole, I had a pretty nice set up. 4'11", 115 pounds, and model 36C's...I should have been down on my knees thanking God for all that he gave me. Instead, I was wallowing in self-loathing and wishing I was 10 pounds thinner. Some days I barely anything in a effort to prove to myself  that I had the will to be thin if I wanted to be. Other days, I ate nothing but junk food in a way to punish my body while encouraging the cravings for an unhealthy life style. In retrospect, I was just a self destructive as I am now, I just had less to destruct back then.

I had as hard a time shopping for clothes as I do now, just for different reasons. Being that short and that curvy had its own problems. Clothes in the Jr section wouldn't go all the way around me, so I tried to shop in the Womens' section. Those clothes had room for my curves, but everything was 6-9 inches too long in the sleeves or the legs. The petite section wasn't much better. I finally found clothes that fit, but were made for someone two or three times my age. I would often start out a shopping trip feeling goo an confident and I filled up dressing rooms with cute clothes that were "my size." I would end up trudging  out two hours later with a few shapeless tops from the clearance rack and a pair of pants that I had to take up the hem on before I could wear them in public.

Now, I am relegated to the "Plus Size" section of the store which gives me considerably less choice than I had before. My measurement change so much from week to week, that I end up grabbing three sizes of anything I like and try them all on to see which fits least terribly. What looks cute on the hanger ends up showing off all the wrong curves and the pants that are made for my size and height are actually SHORTER than I need them to be. I end up trudging out two hours later with a few shapeless tops from the clearance rack and a pair of pants that I have to take up the hem on before I can wear them in public.

So, I guess not much has changed in the shopping and clothes department.  Mostly it is all about how I feel emotionally and how I move physically. Since no one else in my family is even mildly overweight, I lived in fear of becoming the one "Fat" one. I dreaded seeing old friends, in case they saw me and thought, :Boy, she really let herself go..." How can I be a good role model for my kids and tell them to eat healthy and love themselves when I can't seem to do either of those things. My heart broke a few weeks ago when EG started asking me if she was fat. She is very concerned with being healthy and eating the right foods and exercising. I am very supportive of all of that, but I wonder inside if it is because she sees me and wants to avoid what I've become.

It actually is not as far-fetched as it sounds. I make no secret of the fact that I am way too heavy and that my health is suffering from it. I have a pharmacy if medications I have that I take every morning and every night. Now, LH does too, but she has a reason and it is obvious that her reason is different than my reason. I know I actually have a good reason, too. I was happy with my weight and I felt good in my skin once, about 11 years ago. I gt rid of the "baby fat" from LH and I was preparing for the wedding with DH. I was satisfied that I was healthy and I had no regrets on my wedding day that I could have been thinner or looked better.

I was that way for about three years. DH and I were jut getting on our feet and raising our little family. We both worked and stayed busy and I was able to eat the way I wanted for the first time in my life. I was very happy. Then, things started to get  a little stressful. I became pregnant, LH was scheduled for her last open heart surgery, and things just got really crazy. I ended up going to the doctor about 6 months after TD was born because I just didn't feel good. That was when I started taking anti-depressants for the first time in my life. I didn't associate the beginning of my real weight and health issues with that moment until much later, but now I know that was when it started.

Before, I would eat the way I wanted and everything would be fine. I liked fresh veggies and I didn't like fried foods. I did drink sodas far too much, but I was very active and I drank lots of other things too - water, juice, tea. When I started to take meds for the first time, suddenly nothing tasted good to me. I gained weight, in spite of eating less, and that made it worse. That is a spiral I still have not found a way to free myself of.

I miss those days back then, when I knew better than to eat ice cream because it just simply made me sick. If I went too long without a salad, I started craving green things. I refused to cook anything out of a box or can. I could wake up and put on my clothes and smile in the mirror. Mostly, I miss the little things, like bending over at the waist to ties my shoes and reaching around behind my back with both hands.

My health goals are different now than they used to be, because I know that a big goal of "I want to look the way I did in highschool" is much less achievable than smaller goals like "I want to run for five straight minutes" or "I want to lose five pounds in one week." The end result is the same though - I want my body back. I refuse to accept the notion that it is too late or I am too old. I will not let the medical issues, pain, or fatigue be a deterrent. I know that those things are all caused by the shape of my body right now, so I will have to work through them to make them go away.

My first step to do this (I have taken the first step so many times) is to embrace who I am and be happy for what I have and use that in a positive way to get where I want to go. It is kind of like playing the Glad Game that Pollyanna uses (read the book or watch the movie - it is life changing.) I am glad that I have 60 extra pounds because ... it is easier to lose weight when you have more to lose. 3 pounds here and there are pretty easy to get rid of when it is such a small percentage of your entire body. I am glad I am overweight because ... chubby cheeks look younger than skinny and wrinkled cheeks. I am glad I have this weight to lose because ... it is a good goal to work toward that will give me guidance and drive to push through each day.

There now, that wasn't so bad, was it? I just need to keep the positive side in front of me!

Yeah,... does anyone ELSE think this will work?

"Not so Little" Debbie Lollar

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