My breakout session was on freedom from the bondage of food. It was quite difficult being a large person leading a session on being free from the bondage of food. It felt, well, hypocritical. But, I was loved and accepted by those present and I explained in my session where I was in my journey and it was honestly the best thing that I could have done for where I am. That's kind of what led to my last post. Even though I have dealt with what happened in my pastor's office when I was 16 years old long ago, I had never openly shared it with the world. And it needed to happen.
There is a lot of "stuff" inside of me that I have never let out. I have spent the last year and a half in the best treatment/therapy that I have ever had. As a therapist myself, I believe in therapy and there is nothing wrong with saying you need it. My weight is one area of my life that I. can't. control. Which, I have found is quite common (Look at Oprah, girl has got it together but can't stay a size 8, not that she needs to, but you see what I'm sayin'). Or we control too much (anorexia and bulimia...or more mildly with over dieting and exercising to stay a size 6). So, it goes both ways. Disordered eating doesn't really have a preference it's just when you're really, really fat or really, really skinny people can see it more. Some people are really good at hiding their disorders.
I have spent the last ten years diligently attempting to get to a healthy weight and I haven't succeeded. There. It's out there. I said it.
Most of that time I hated myself and the way I looked. If I lost weight I was "happy" and liked the way I looked, even though I never made it anywhere near a goal weight. I lost a lot of weight.....but.....I had a lot of weight to lose, so.... I would lose, gain, lose. repeat. I was depressed and got to the point of being so sad and depressed about the way that I looked that it spurred me to change. What I have learned in the past year and a half is that you can't hate your way to a positive change. Let me say that again YOU CAN'T HATE YOURSELF INTO A POSITIVE CHANGE. Yep. And I have about 30 years of hate to undo. Wow. It's my hate. I own it. I've had medical interventions in order to reach a goal weight and had initial success, great success, only to slowly re-gain. Enter more shame, guilt, self-hate and failure. *sigh*
Not only have I had to come to not hate the way I look in order to change I really had to embrace the way I look. The reason for change had to come from something besides what was on the outside. Because being a certain size on the outside isn't going to necessarily make me happy, even though that's what I've focused on for so. many. years.
It's about acceptance. Love, not hate. Being able to say I'm beautiful. You can tell me I'm beautiful 10,000 times and it doesn't matter if I don't believe it.... It's about trying to see myself like my husband sees me. Like my kids see me. Like Jesus sees me.
I'm to the point where I want to stop procrastinating and move forward with a plan. I have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and next year at this time I want to look different. To finally begin a journey with love and acceptance and move forward to healthy living because I just want to be healthy, move freely, have energy to keep up with my kids...all kinds of things make the list not just the fact that I could be smoking HOT as a size 8. That's really not the focus, it can't be. That's kind of like the icing on the cake. It can't be the end all, be all. I'm more than that. I'm so much more than just a pretty face. I always have been.
I want to stop procrastinating now that I have worked on a lot of this "head" stuff and while taking it one day at a time still hold myself accountable to eating clean, 80-90% of the time, eating whole foods, working my body out in a healthy way (which means I don't have to kill it, I just have to move it 3-5 times a week). All this while giving me grace when life happens. Understanding what eating in moderation means. Living with the hard feelings. The sad feelings.
So yeah, I may be a mess for a while. There's a lot of stuff in here that's not pleasant or fun and it either comes out and gets processed or I drown it with food. It's really difficult to explain in a paragraph, but if you stick with me long enough you will be able to experience the ups and downs of recovery. Because that's what it is. It's a journey. And there will be ups and downs.
Just like walking into that retreat with anxiety about sharing about being free from food's bondage and wondering if I was going to be laughed out of the room, writing this post leaves me feeling exposed and "out there". But I went ahead and did that breakout session and great things came from it. Instead of being laughed out of the room I was loved, accepted and affirmed. It was crazy. It was healing. The retreat was healing. Jesus is healing.
It's very healing sharing your scars and realizing that people aren't going to reject you but offer you support. For too long I have rejected support and built walls and kept people out. I still do. I have a long ways to go. But just writing this blog post helps. It is healing. Putting it out there.
So, I want to be free from this junk so if that means putting it out there I'm going to put it out there. I'm the only one who can choose to let it go. It just may mean seeing all kinds of parts of me you haven't seen before. Hopefully you can love me through this process.
More to come..... (eek!)