Hello My Name Is…

For years of my life, and even when I started this journey with you all, I had a nasty habit of calling myself some pretty disgusting names.  The negativity I had flowing through my mind with regards to my self-image would be enough to make Fidel Castro cry.

I was certainly putting on a positive face externally, but the verbal abuse I was subjecting myself to internally was insane.

I wrote down a list of the titles I used to give myself.  Wow….Seeing them on paper really opened my eyes to how mean I was.  I am NOT the things I have for so many years repeated to myself:

I am NOT a slob.

I am NOT lazy.

I am NOT a jealous, ungrateful bitch.

I am NOT disgusting.

I am NOT gross.

I am NOT a screw-up.

I am NOT a failure.

Yes, these are the lovely pet names I gave myself.  It’s no wonder I had such a hard time seeing myself in a better light once I started to change physically.  I was still running the broken record of insults inside, despite changing for the better on the outside.

I discovered that in order to change the way I saw myself, I had to create a different picture…a different image of the person I think I am.

As a praise-driven individual, it sure did take a long time to get through my thick skull that cutting myself down was certainly not the way to self-motivate.

I certainly love all the praise and compliments I have received from those that support me. While they might have once gone in one ear and out the other, they are at least sinking in a little now.  I’ve got you convinced…now it’s time to convince myself.

I’ve obtained, created, supported, and enforced my negative habits the majority of my life – but now it’s time to undo them. It’s time to undo ALL of them.  It is time for me to reprogram my brain to think of myself in only an encouraging way.

I will post notes everywhere if I have to…I will stand in front of the mirror and say something positive every morning to break the habit…whatever work needs to be done, I’m ready and willing to reverse the destructive talk.

I’ve done an incredible thing and I need to remain focused on my accomplishment. I have conquered my most persistent demon: my weight. I no longer look in the mirror and think ‘I can’t”…because I did.

I have lost almost 78 pounds…I would say that constitutes accomplishment!

I did it without gimmicks, without pills, without lotions or potions, I did it without a weight loss show.  I did it with me and only me. That’s certainly not the feat of someone fat or lazy or a failure.

I have beaucoups of reasons to look at myself and be proud.   I must paint myself in a better light…

I am successful.

I am healthy.

I am happy.

I am loved.

I am the whole package.

I must give myself a better pet name…

 

Welcome to my amazing world.

Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

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The Phantom of the Fat Girl

Down a little bit more…not as productive of a week as I would have liked, but as it was another week on the go, it could have been a lot worse.

 

For the last 14 months I have undoubtedly gone through some pretty significant physical changes.  Having lost almost 75 pounds, you can’t help but have changed a little bit.

But despite all the physical transformation I’ve gone through…despite the fact that I’ve dropped from a size 20 to a size 10…I still have a hard time seeing the new me occasionally.

I still compare myself to the Giselle’s of the world…to the Kate Upton’s. I wish for a flatter stomach and a firmer ass. I want toned arms and 1 chin…I want to look in the mirror and stop seeing fatter Hannah.

Don’t get me wrong…I do see very clearly that I’ve lost weight. But I don’t think I’m seeing myself as I presently am.

It’s like I’m on a 35 lb delay.  My brain still thinks I weight over 200 pounds.

 

Uhh, hello?!  What the hell? Where is the confidence I was guaranteed? Shouldn’t I be wearing a bikini for the first time in my life? Shouldn’t I be able to get dressed in the morning and leave the house in the first thing I pick out because there is no longer such a thing as an unflattering dress that makes me look like a refrigerator? Yeah…not so much.  To me, I look almost exactly the same. And yes, I’m still changing clothes 100 times. No bikini. On occasion, refrigerator status.

I’m putting on medium shirts and convincing myself that the sizes must have been manufactured incorrectly. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably and I’m telling myself that it’s just fluke.

How does one change that? I do I overcome the ideals of perfection thrown into my face daily by the media? How can I be proud of the fact that I’ve dropped my BMI 14 points (true story) instead of the regret that I don’t have the belly for a bikini? How do I get over the fear that every time I sit in a chair, it’s not going to buckle beneath me?

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The quality of that video is bad…but you get the idea!

 

Believe it or not, this distortion has an actual name:  ‘phantom fat.’  Apparently, after a person experiences weight loss, their perception of themselves can sometimes take its time to catch up to the body’s physical changes. Experts have compared it to the feeling of the phantom pains that amputees feel long after a limb is gone. Yes…I said experts. As in people-who-get-paid-to-analyze-the-brains-of-others agree with this distortion….I’m not crazy after all! (Ok…I guess that’s technically up for debate.)

Who would have thought that body image would be something I’d have to worry about once I got here? I figured my insecurities would vanish with the weight.

So now begins a new battle… I’m working on recalibrating my image of myself. Surrounding myself with positive people is certainly helping. People that don’t necessarily know the way I used to be, but see me as I am right now, and appreciate all that this person is. People that truly believe in my beauty, and not just in comparison to what I was…I am trusting the compliments for the first time in my life, instead of convincing myself that there’s some ulterior motive behind them.

But why put in all this work if I can’t see anything changing?

I know I’ve got to give it time. Staying on track towards my ideal and happy weight will help.  My brain will see and celebrate the new me eventually.

I also need to stop being unrealistic.  I’m not going to wake up tomorrow rocking the physique of a Victoria’s Secret model. Losing the weight won’t necessarily turn me into a stick thin, air brushed, Hollywood honey… No one is perfect. I’ve got to try to focus on an ideal that is realistic for me given the bones and genes I was born with.

I have come a long way mentally…it’s time I take a good hard look at myself and see the long way I’ve come physically too.

Years and years of beating myself up has left me numb to how mean I’ve been to myself…It’s high time I appreciate my body. Flaws and all…imperfections and all. It’s time for me to look into the mirror and say, “Damn, the new you is absolutely astounding.”

 

“Mirrors are perpetually deceitful. They lie and steal your true self. They reveal only what your mind believes it sees.” – Dee Remy

Love Is A Four Letter Word

I’ve done a lot of reflecting this week…on where I am, where I’ve been….where I have yet to go.

My weight is continuing to drop (I can’t believe it’s this low…when was the last time I weighed this much?!) and so is my clothing size.

I am by far in the healthiest place mentally that I’ve ever been in. I have conquered many demons and learned to love the one person that I seemed to have the hardest time having an ounce of respect for: myself.

Now that I have learned to love myself unconditionally…can I truly love another the same way?  Years and years of a detrimental self-image also lead to years and years of looking to another to fill the holes that I had created in myself.  Looking elsewhere for fulfillment I should have been getting myself only created bigger voids and more confusion on what it was I really truly wanted.

While thinking this week about all the things I may have done right or wrong in past relationships…I kept asking myself:  What is true love? Does everyone really have a soul mate?

I certainly think this to be true. I yearn for it to be true for me.  I choose to believe that there are 2 people that are created with the other in mind.  I also feel like many of us go through life trying to force the wrong person into that mold…or never finding it at all.

My sister found it.  She found the one made with her in mind.

Her wedding is going to be a blast, and enormously emotional all at the same time….my baby sister…married. The girl who crawled in my bed when she was little because she was scared of the dark…the girl who refused to leave the house without her infamous stuffed animal, a lamb named Stuffy Puffy…The girl who I’ve seen grow from a precious pigtailed girl to a beautiful, talented, brilliant woman.

She found what I and so many others have searched for their entire lives…her soul mate.

If I had been given the task of crafting the most perfect man for her, I could not have asked for more than Dan. He is her perfection. He flawlessly balances her quirkiness, and is patient with her sensitivity. He loves her without question, as she loves him the same.  They are amazing together.

Sarah and Dan...the soon to be newlyweds!

Watching her this weekend at the wedding shower being thrown for her, it was evident, even without him present how excited she was to be marrying her best friend.  Not just about the guests, not just about the presents or the dress…she is truly 100% excited about meeting him at that altar to begin the rest of their lives together.

I’ve certainly searched for that one special person that would make my life complete. Plenty of times I thought I had found it.  Society (and Nicholas Sparks) has made it hard for people to live up to the expectations of the fairytale relationship…the fairytale like my sister and Dan have…the fairytale my Grandmommy and Poppy Doc have.

I am grateful that I am starting to uncover this fairytale…that I am learning that my perfect person may truly exist after all. But I think this notion that finding my true soul mate is possible has more to do with me than it has to do with ‘him.’

As I’m sure it’s obvious to you now, I’ve had a strong inability to find the perfect relationship.

During a counseling session a year or so ago, my therapist asked me to write down what my ‘ideal’ relationship looked like and to describe my perfect partner. I don’t remember what I wrote specifically, but I do know one thing was very clear regarding my perception of what a healthy relationship is…it was a lot about me and what I was demanding from a partner.  I believed and required that someone make me happy…without any effort on my part. My ‘ideal’ was all about what I needed, not about what I can offer.

And trust me, figuring out what I have to offer hasn’t exactly been easy.  I was only able to do so in finding out who I really am.  Finding who this person is was scary initially. I struggled with the constant fear that I might hate who the real me actually was.  It’s hard to take a good look at yourself when you’ve been running from it for so long.

As I discovered the real me and started to find peace in myself, I realized that I had often times felt uneasy in nourishing, communicative and emotionally involved relationships because I had NO IDEA how to be in one. (Obviously given my track record.)  My confusion in myself was evident in the relationships I was attracted to. If we’re unable to have a healthy relationship with ourselves, how can we expect to have one with someone else?

I truly believe that I have finally found my true self.  The self that wakes up happy and goes to bed with a smile on her face….the self that doesn’t look to validate herself by the actions of others…the self that can finally, after many years and many rocky relationships, say that she knows what it means to be fulfilled.

And while not every relationship was devoid of love and happiness, without being able to accept what it was supposed to feel like, I couldn’t experience true unconditional love… complete acceptance…total devoutness and trust.

But that was then…

I am starting to experience true happiness and give it in return. I am starting to understand what it means to trust 100%. I am discovering I have a lot to offer…I am discovering what this so-called life is supposed to be about…

I am starting to write the pages of my fairytale…and it is certainly time for my happily ever after.

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  ~Thomas Szasz

Start a Resolution!!!

Damn those holiday Mondays!! I lost track again of the days again!! I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s holiday! I did…well the parts I can remember anyway. 🙂

There is no weigh-in this week. I am out of town for work (apparently brought the cold weather down to Florida with me on the plane) and don’t have access to my scale. Back on track next Monday (yes, Monday not Tuesday) I promise.

I’m sure a lot of you made a New Year’s resolution…I did as I always do. And this year, like every other year of my adult life at least one of my resolutions involves losing weight. Only difference is that this year my goal is to KEEP losing weight versus to START losing weight.

To all of you who made a similar resolution to change your life and your health this year….then this post is especially for you.

Focus – and listen to what I’m saying…(do it!!!)

There is no excuse, no logical reason, and no remote possibility why 2012 can’t be, and won’t be the one where you finally get your act together and make a little something amazing and life-changing happen on your weight-loss.

If you’re anything like me (for fun and giggles, let’s just assume you’re exactly like me in each and every way), then this isn’t your first rodeo.  How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution to rearrange your life? How many times have you lost sight of the goal you’d vowed to achieve? Maybe the other times you tried your motivation held strong for four weeks or maybe it was closer to four hours (remember, we’re pretending that you’re exactly like me).

Maybe you followed an unhealthy, ginormous breakfast with a declaration of “No more!” and then followed that declaration of “No more!” with a ginormous lunch.

It’s possible you’ve even convinced yourself that you can’t do this, that it’s simply too difficult for you. Well allow me to respond with one thing: Schnozzle flubberdusters ate bowyangs on an absquatulate hemidemisemiquaver.

Hey, it you’re going to delve in the crazy talk, then so am I! Telling yourself that you can’t do this or that it’s too hard is crazy talk.

Check out my stats and see the progress I’ve made.  I’ve lost the weight of an average 6-year old. Insane. When you get your head in the game and your ass in gear, you’ll see the same reduction. I had no idea what I was doing when I started on this crazy journey, but I did know that it was time for me to make a drastic change.

Your journey will not be completely like the one I’ve been on. Yours will not be like anyone else’s before you. You have to create your own path.

And at this moment in time, when you look at yourself in the mirror, may feel like I once did: as though I was defined by all the things I wasn’t instead of all the things I was. This is your chance to make a new start and to really bring it home this time. Take this opportunity to redefine yourself.
Trust me. Shedding pounds on the scale doesn’t instantly fix anything in your life that might have been bothering you. Dropping the weight won’t necessarily make your life picture-perfect. It won’t get you that guy/girl you wish would fall in love with you (but if they do finally start to pay you some attention, they might not be worth your time anyway), it won’t make you a millionaire and isn’t likely to immediately land you on the cover of Playboy, but I’m willing to wager you a hot dollar that it’ll make your life better. That it’ll make dealing with whatever you have to deal with ten times easier because you’ll be happy to be in your own skin, and learn to love your imperfect life perfectly.

Abandon the “I can’t do it” notion…leave the feelings of worthlessness at the door and let’s start the slow, steady journey back to where you want to be, where you deserve to be….Where you belong.

 

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them … If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney

I Put My Thing Down, Flip It, and Reverse It!

I will always be overweight
And I refuse to believe that
I can succeed at this weight loss
I realize that isn’t the way most people think but
“Eating to live instead of living to eat”
Making myself happy with food
Is more important than
Making myself healthy with food
And this much is true:
People are succeeding at losing weight every day
But I know in my heart this will not be the case for me
Right now it doesn’t seem possible
I can change my ways and be fit for the rest of my life
This is what I believe:
This journey is just too tough for me
It’s just a fact of life that
People like me are weak-willed and lazy
And it’s ridiculous to believe that
I will lose weight and be healthy

That’s how I used to feel…now I’ve changed my way of thinking and reversed my philosophy on this whole weight loss thing…So now read it from the bottom up to see how I currently feel.

 

And if that reversal wasn’t enough…how backwards is this: I managed to LOSE weight over Thanksgiving!!!

 

Who would have thought?!

 

Thanksgiving this year was undoubtedly different than previous years…

 

This year I only got one plate (which I didn’t finish).

This year it was more about spending time with my amazing family than obsessively focusing on how many bites of stuffing or potatoes I could fit in my mouth.

This year the whole family got to experience my gluten-free gravy – and liked it!

This year I felt beautiful and confident instead of feeling insecure and disgusting in my own skin.

This year I realized how blessed I am to have my family, and blown away at the incredible bond that we all have with each other.

This year I felt marvelous and on top of the world.

This year I was healthier than I have been in the past.

This year I gave immense thanks to what I stand for, what I am, and what I am starting to become.

This year I know for a fact that I am amazing.

This year is MY year.

 

“Something inside you emerges….an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself.”  – Eckhart Tolle