I Am Not Alone

I’ll get the ugly part out of the way first…another gain. Definitely time to refocus on the diet.

 

 

The next weigh-in will be different…and lower….I promise. (Headed to the beach next week and won’t have my scale, but will have a post.)

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Now…to this week’s topic…

I’ve had a few people in the last few weeks question why I do this blog.  Why I bitch week after week about my weight struggle. Why I post my weight for the world to see.  One person actually told me she was surprised I post a picture of the scale, and that I was glorifying being overweight, and that I needed to exhibit a bit more discretion.

Well first off…in case you were not aware, you are not forced to read this blog. It’s not shoved in your face as punishment.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I’m doing, but I certainly never expected to be chastised for opening up about something I’ve battled for most of my adult life.  If you think what I’m doing is stupid or immature or disgusting, then stop reading.  That simple.

Secondly, I am not attempting to glorify being overweight.  There is nothing glorious about my muffin top or my overeating.  There is nothing charming about weighing over 200 pounds or wearing plus sizes.  There is certainly nothing splendid about my cellulite or my poor self-image.

So why do I do this?

I write this blog not only to help myself, but to help others that might be struggling with the same thing.  Someone that might be fighting a weight battle or fighting a battle to be healthy.  Someone that might be struggling to find happiness in themselves when they look in the mirror.

I know what it’s like to feel like no one understands.  I know what it feels like to feel you’re fighting a battle on your own.  And I’m not just talking about food or weight…although it’s all sort of tied together for me.

As I have touched on in past posts, I have long struggled with depression.  It is quite well managed now, but I have certainly been through a serious roller coaster.

It all started in college. Off to school, not a care in the world, and certainly much more trusting of the world than I should have been.  I was happy…I was satisfied that I had graduated 6th in my class and was a freshman at UNC.  I was on top of the world…and that would soon come crashing down.

This next revelation is something that I believe I’ve only divulged to my sister.  The spring semester of my freshman year, I found myself as part of a frightening statistic.  I was the victim of date rape…I went out on a date.  I walked away from my drink, and ultimately paid the price for my lack of judgment.

No, I didn’t go to the police.  Yes, I felt at fault for the entire chain of events.  The aftermath and the emotional struggle that ensued sent me on a downward spiral in every aspect of my life that took years to overcome.  I fell into a deep depression and became extremely unmotivated.  I withdrew socially from those around me.  Since that horrifying incident in my life, I have discovered that the US Department of Justice says that one out of every four college women is the victim of date rape.  This statistic makes me sick to my stomach. It was an atrocious, disgusting crime that I kept inside.  This is the first time I have truly opened up about it in 10 years, because like many other women who fall victim to this crime, I blamed myself for its occurrence.

Hurting and embarrassed, I ate to suppress my feelings.  Food became my security blanket.  Food didn’t judge me or hurt me or leave me.  It became my safe place…and I went to it often.  I subsequently gained 60 pounds, which only fueled my self-hate and self-loathing.  Once on medication, the depression got better.  I sustained for a few years, and then felt like since I was feeling better, that I could stop taking anti-depressants.  You can guess what happened.

I continued on an up and down cycle for years.  I would stay in bed for days.  Depression ignited my overeating and overeating led to my depression.  I would cry for no reason, and then I would be on the biggest high for no reason.  I felt worthless.  I blamed myself for many things… being fat, being raped, not having my dream job.  I had even managed to blame myself for my great-grandfather’s death; Convincing myself that if I had called him like I was supposed to when my mom told me to, that he wouldn’t have died.  But since I got busy, karma fought back and he passed away.  I did things without any regard for consequences.  I had a hard time breaking through self-defeating dialogue I’d been replaying in my head since I was young…repeating over and over again if I messed something up that I was a “stupid ungrateful bitch.” That everything gone wrong was my fault.

I have been at the absolute bottom more than once.  It is a place that I hope to never go back to again.  It kills me to say that I know my darkest times have damaged more than myself.  I destroyed every ounce of trust with my family.  I temporarily devastated the relationship with my mom. I take full responsibility for the destruction.  I take full responsibility for the hurt and the pain I caused.  I have enormous amounts of regret when I reflect upon the turmoil that surrounded me a few years ago.  Depression has robbed me of a lot of things, but I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t gone through the depths of hell.  I’m thankful for my faith in God and constantly reminding myself that I would never be handed more than I could handle, even though at times I was not so sure.  I thank God every day for those amazing women that shared their stories and their struggles with me through 30 days of rehab, and helped me understand that others understood my pain.

I get emotional now as I type this, not because I’m embarrassed or upset about the things of my past. I am emotional because I have come so, so far from where I was, and I am so blessed.  I know now that there are no such things as failures, just different levels of success.

I want to be sure to mention one thing. The purpose of tonight’s post is not to gain sympathy.  I’m not writing any of this so you feel sorry for me. I’m not writing it to bring you down either. I’m writing this for the same reason I write about my weight loss struggle…so you know someone out there understands.

I have written all of this with a heavy heart.  I lost a friend from high school last week.  He unfortunately did not see that light at the end of the tunnel, and he succumbed to his struggle with depression.  He may have felt he was at that place I had been so many times…the place where you feel like no one comprehends your pain…no one comprehends your hurt and your despair. I wish I had reached out to him, I wish I had shared my story.  I wish I had portrayed to him how certain I was at one point that there was no way out – but there ultimately was.  I made it out.  Emotionally battered and bruised, I made it out.  And I made it out because I discovered I was not alone.

So why do I write this blog….because I can only hope that through sharing my stories and my struggles, not only tonight but in previous posts, that you know you are not alone either.

In memory of Scott McCreedy

12/2/81-7/22/11

“You can’t have rainbows without rain.”  – Unknown

 

 

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A Lesson Learned…

First off…I want to thank all of you for your continued support. As of this morning, I’ve had over 3,020 visitors to my site and the number keeps growing! All the support, comments and encouragement I’ve received have me incredibly humbled. I feel like I’ve got over 3000 therapists out there waiting for me to spill my guts.  I may not always reply to each message I receive – but trust me, I read and reread them often. Thank you again for making this journey so worthwhile.

And now…a few mistakes I’ve made and lessons learned…

  • For some reason, almost all overweight African-American women get upset when you call them “Precious”
  • Only one person to a treadmill at the gym
  • It doesn’t help to get salad dressing on the side if you get three cups of it and use it all
  • All your clothes didn’t suddenly shrink in the wash
  • Brushing your teeth with Dr. Pepper isn’t such a good idea
  • A caramel apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away
  • If you eat a meal replacement bar, you need to NOT eat a meal
  • There is no such thing as one bite of movie theater popcorn
  • Wheatgrass is a superfood; Peanut M&M’s are not
  • Personal trainers generally don’t like to be paid with a bucket of loose change
  • Playing on Facebook for eight hours is not the same as sleeping for eight hours
  • You’re probably supposed to eat 2,000 calories per day, not 20,000
  • Free samples aren’t necessarily free
  • Most employers don’t recognize a “Vitamin D break,” so I guess you need to take up smoking in order to get a little sunlight during the day
  • Despite the word Diet in its name – the Hot Dog Diet is not effective
  • Standing up while eating does not make your food digest faster – it makes you look stupid at dinner parties
  • Even though hemorrhoid/hydrocortisone cream is often used by body builders and fitness models to tighten up their abs before a photo shoot – it does not work if there are no abs to rub it on…But it does relieve itching
  • Fun-size candy bars = No-fun-size thighs

I did lose weight this week…a little bit anyway. So close to the 30 pound mark!

But this week was extremely tough for me. I am in the midst of severe meltdowns. Yes, I’m feeling sorry for myself. I’m so pissed off that I my convenient life is gone. I’m ticked off that I have to be so OCD about everywhere I go – questioning what idiot line cook might have touched my food immediately after grabbing a hamburger bun. I’m feeling like I’m going to have to be a hermit. Feeling like family functions are going to be impossible unless I’ve sat every family member down for a 2-week seminar on what I can and can’t eat and ways to avoid cross-contamination. So yes, I am pouting. I just want a freaking Ritz cracker!!!

In the back of my mind, I know I need to get over it. I know this could be much worse. (Thank you Wx DA for reminding me of that this weekend.) I can still live my life with relative ease. There are soldiers back from Afghanistan who have lost limbs. Their lives will never be the same. I can eat rice crackers to get over my poutiness about gluten…they don’t have an alternative option. Cutting gluten out of a diet has not killed anyone (that I know of anyway). Time to put my big girl panties (ugh – can’t believe I just used that word) on and keep going. Bitching about it night and day is certainly not going to change the diagnosis. And thus…another lesson learned.

Despite being accidentally gluten’d on Friday night – I have found that going places where I’ve got a personal relationship with the cooking staff makes a huge difference. I’d like to give props to one chef in particular, who despite thinking I was doing this gluten-free diet for fun at first (not sure who the hell does this for fun), has since made me some amazing gluten-free treats.  If you’re ever in Greensboro – Alex at Natty Greene’s makes some amazing dishes on the fly. Favorite so far: Greek chicken, homemade cucumber sauce (best I’ve ever had), and sliced cherry tomatoes on top of a cucumber slice…you will seriously want to slap your momma!

Ok…so after reading that last paragraph…maybe this isn’t so bad after all. Despite my occasional Dorthea Dix worthy tantrums, I’m being forced to eat better…my weight is dropping…I’m at the receiving end of a few amazing test dishes at a restaurant…and I still feel more amazing than I have in a long time. So Celiac…Bring. It. On.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~Unknown

Side Effects May Include….

I’ve always had the mantra that you should never take a prescription that has more side effects than you have symptoms. As a result of my little ER visit last week, I have been on painkillers pretty consistently for the last week.  (Yes, dad…legally prescribed.)  While I am glad to say that the medication was not quite riddled with side effects like some of these 8 minute commercials that play non-stop during CBS Sunday Morning (no oily leakage, thrush or erections lasting 4 hours), it did have some interesting properties…

Side effects include (but of course are not limited to): ITCHING…guess that wasn’t un-lotioned skin afterall; ABNORMAL SNORING…as opposed to my normal fat girl snore?; CONFUSION…haha this is a side effect of my everyday life; HALLUCINATIONS…I swear the cupcakes threatened my family if I didn’t eat them…all of them; MENTAL OR MOOD CHANGES…was completely and utterly convinced that I was hungry ALL THE TIME…I swear – I ate like I was about to be thrown in a dungeon for 6 months. Ridiculous-ness!

So glad to finally have all of it out of my system…I no longer feel like I rolled around in poison ivy and the cupcakes are no longer speaking to me. Now that the “painkiller fog” has cleared, I need to do some serious re-evaluating of my plan.

To assist me with staying focused, I purchased a book recently to help me stay on track…It’s an amazing resource and I highly recommend it. The book is called the 100 Days of Weight Loss: A Secret to Being Successful on Any Diet Plan. It’s basically a daily devotional to one’s weight loss journey. There’s an activity every day, and I wanted to share one of the first ones with you.

I’ve struggled of late with motivation and keeping my mind on the prize.  One of the required activities is to write down the 25 reasons that I want to lose weight…no matter how insignificant or trivial they may seem. I touched on these briefly in one of my first blog posts…but for my own benefit wanted to really come up with a complete list.

There are seemingly a million reasons why we want to lose weight, from the frivolous to the serious, from fun and games to life and death. Some of us want it for ourselves and others for those around us. Some because they want more out of this life and some because they expect more out of themselves. These are my reasons.  This is what drives me down this path to living a more healthy life. This is my motivation.  (And yes…there are 33…so sue me – I overachieved a little.)

  1. Because it’s a pain to de-tag all the fat photos on Facebook.
  2. Tired of breaking a sweat thinking about exercising. Might as well break a sweat actually exercising.
  3. Can’t see my girl parts without bending waaaaaay over. (Sorry for the visual, family members.)
  4. So that my bathroom towel will actually fit around me.
  5. So I can sit on someone’s lap without crippling them for life.
  6. I want to be more than just a pretty face.
  7. I want to live…and love living.
  8. So a number, size, mirror, boy, weight limit, etc. will NEVER again define who I am.
  9. I want to feel pretty again.
  10. To separate my conjoined thighs.
  11. Because I lived the first 29 years as a slug.
  12. To feel strong.
  13. I want to be the person the people who love me think I am.
  14. I want to respect myself.
  15. Because wheezing is not sexy.
  16. I want to be healthy for my unborn children.
  17. I want to be that crazy chick that runs in the rain.
  18. So I can feel confident again.
  19. So I can shop in all the fun stores.
  20. Getting fit is cheaper than therapy.
  21. Because an early and painful death isn’t a better option.
  22. Because I’m tired of avoiding mirrors.
  23. I have no room for a heart attack on my agenda.
  24. Because I am worth it…and so is my family.
  25. Because I’m too cute for any less.
  26. To stop being scared of lawn chairs.
  27. Because I not only have a shelf ass…I have the whole baker’s rack!
  28. Because I want to turn heads.
  29. I don’t want to be the fattest person in the room anymore.
  30. I want to wear shorts, and not be a walking ad for cottage cheese.
  31. I want to look good from every angle.
  32. Because I cannot keep pretending that I don’t mind being fat.
  33. And finally… I finally realized that being unhealthy only hurts me. And I don’t want to hurt myself anymore.

I am going to print out my list and post it everywhere (book suggested I do so). Focus has waned a little, but constantly reminding myself why I’m doing this to begin with is an enormous help.

With that being said, what is YOUR motivation to change things in your life…whether it be weight or another bad habit?

No, genius, that is not a rhetorical question…I want to hear from you. Seriously.  So get to commenting! Or emailing or texting…whatever floats your boat. But I want your input! 🙂

Scale results for the week are in the right direction despite eating everything in sight…would like to get back to the losses I had at the beginning.

Trying to convince myself that liposuction is not easier….I think.

Looking forwad to hearing some of your responses!  Until next time…love to all. ~ HH

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And the quote today is in honor of my great-grandmother, Mama Laura, who would have been 97 today….

“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where in the hell she is.” ~ Ellen Degeneres

Fact or Crap?

Welcome ladies and gentleman to an impromptu version of fact or crap….also known as myth or reality… truth or false…you get the idea!  Now…let’s test your skill…

1)  Fact or crap: When you have the flu, food is the last thing on your mind.

 Crap!! I was the lucky recipient of the flu or some other crazy virus last week, and all I wanted to do was eat!!! What is up with that? I missed 3 days of work, and thank goodness there wasn’t really that much to eat in the house – I would have killed it! Ended up giving in to my craving for egg salad (so weird) – but I made it so could at least control the contents.

 2)  Fact or crap:  Working in teams at the gym is not a good thing when you’ve increased your fiber intake.

Fact!! So let me paint this picture for you…increased fiber, plus having your gym partner hold your feet while you try to do as many sit-ups as possible in a minute…I think you know what comes next. I guess it was a good icebreaker…ok maybe not. Maybe “wind” breaker would be a better term to describe it. Explains why she has stayed far away from me since then…

 3) Fact or crap: I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way my clothing fits.

Crap! (Can you picture my pouty face?) Not sure why…maybe I’m still holding on to water. Maybe it’s female bloat or I swallowed to much air. (Haha I googled the last one…Swallowing too much air is an actual reason for bloat. If only it were that easy.)  Don’t feel like things are fitting any better…don’t notice a difference in my face or in my appearance.  Would have thought I would have seen a difference by now…in some ways I’d rather lose inches than weight.

 4)  And finally…fact or crap: I can now mark off weight loss goal number #2!

Fact!! Lose ten pounds. Check. Lose 11 pounds. Check. Lose 12.4 pounds. Check check!!! Woot woot!!! So excited for the loss this week! (And I have a confession…I cheated a little this week so I’m even more shocked.)

I think the total loss is why I’m a little bummed about not “noticing” it more. I know I will…I know the more I drop that scale number, the more I’ll see the difference.  I’m such an impatient person!!! Back to that ‘unable to visualize’ it thing. I’m so results driven…I’m seeing them as far as the number…but I’m so self-conscious that I think that’s why I’m in such desperation to see the difference in terms of physique.  As much as I want to sit here and try and convince myself that this isn’t all about what size I am or what I look like, it is. I’m not currently that unhealthy (that I know of) – so to say that I’m only doing this for health would be a lie. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there’s nothing I would love more than to look in the mirror and love what I see. Or to Baywatch it down the beach (yep…including the slow motion running through the waves with a floatation device in hand) and have it look attractive.  I’ll even settle for finally not wanting to break a dressing room mirror with its awkward angles and horrendous lighting.

I’m well aware that fixing the weight issues now will prevent issues in the future, but it’s so hard to relate to that “pain” of unhealthiness if I’m not sure that I’ve even experienced the severity of it.

I know what you’re thinking…”Just think about how much better you’ll feel…think of what you’re preventing.” Well I know that…but I have found that I’m so much more motivated by pain.  That if I associate so much pain with the way I am now, that I’ll change my ways.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been unsuccessful previously…because I’ve never had that hit rock-bottom point in terms of health.  I used to beg an ex (who will remain nameless) to please tell me that I disgusted him…To tell me that the sight of me and my excess weight made him nauseous.  He didn’t do it (thank God) – but I had convinced myself that if someone told me those horrible things, that it would motivate me to change.  Trust me…I thought the exact same things about myself, but telling myself that I was disgusting over and over again just wasn’t doing the trick.

Disclaimer…Previous statement and what I’m about to say is going to sound really disturbing…and it is in a psychological way.  Not holding anything back on this one – But just so you know, I no longer have these same thoughts.

When I’d get a stomach virus I would in a way be grateful that I might lose a few pounds as a result.  If I’d feel a weird sensation in my left arm, I’d wonder if it was a heart attack so I could finally have my wake up call. I went as far as to think that even if it was something as detrimental as cancer, that chemo would be a way to shed pounds.  (I really hate admitting that. I know many that have gone through the struggle with cancer not only is it not an easy road for the patient, but the family as well…I am by no means trying to minimize the struggle of these unfortunate maladies so I apologize if I have offended you in any way.)  I’d wish for something that would force me to change my life.  I subconsciously wanted to be backed into a corner so I had no choice but to succeed.  Why in the hell have I never been able to decide to change? Why did I want something awful to happen to me because I was too weak or lazy to do it by my own accord?

I have tried extremely hard to change my thinking.  I’m trying to remind myself that I’ve got the opportunity to fix it now before I get to the point where something awful happens.  I’m tired of beating myself up and not allowing myself to be what I know I’m capable of (and this goes beyond weight loss too).  I’ve come a long way from the old mentality.  It’s amazing what finally loving yourself does for your way of thinking….having a great therapist doesn’t hurt either!

I don’t know much, but I do know I am a magnificent person regardless of my size…and I promise you this…when I get the outside looking like the inside…WATCH OUT WORLD!

Love to you all. ~ HH

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.  You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stuck-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 

 ~Roald Dahl

Hello world!

Well…here we go!!! Welcome to my blog!

I’ve started this as a tool for me to journal, in a technologically savvy way, my weight loss journey.  “Why a blog?” you may ask…well …I type much faster than I write – haha ok that’s a crappy reason…real reason:  I’m hoping that sharing my struggles and triumphs motivates me and keeps me on track.  The purpose behind this blog is to HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE! So there you have it…my reason.

This is taking an enormous amount of humility and courage to do.  I know expressing my desire to do this to a few people led to a response of “Why would you post all that for the world to see?”  Well…If no one knows what my goal is, then who knows or doesn’t know if I give up before the finish line?! I can’t let the world down! I must reach my goal!!!

Ok so maybe it’s not the world looking….yet. Whether I write this down privately, or type this here; I’m much more driven when I can look back and see how far I’ve come…and, more importantly, I am driven by encouragement from others. So here comes your assignment… I hope that you will feel free to comment on anything I post. I need your support, I need you to lift me up if I‘m defeated, and to praise my triumphs when I reach milestones.  Please do not hesitate to forward this to others if you so desire.  It would mean the absolute world to me to know that I have been a source of inspiration for someone else going through a similar voyage.

Weight loss totals will be listed under ‘Stats’.  I plan to update the blog a few times a week – more often if needed.  I’m finding that being able to type like this is amazing therapy!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this…I hope you’ll continue to follow along and join me on my quest as my pudge gets a pink slip!

Love to you all! ~ Hannah