2016 was year year of many changes. I had a choice, to go into panic mode and wring my hands, or accept that change is part of life, and do my best to deal with it.
I have been active on Sparkpeople since September 2015. I have learned so much about nutrition, health issues and about myself. If you are struggling, there is always some one to lend you a shoulder and a hand up.
Do you like where you are at this moment? Maybe it is in the physical sense where you are not where you want to be on your healthy journey, maybe in a relationship that isn't meeting your needs? Or maybe it is a combination of all of it. Maybe is is the pile of laundry, or sinkful of unending dishes. I am not going to go all Fly lady here. There are many people who are better at showing and telling you how to get more organized. I am here to tell you if you are fearful, or in a place of discomfort with yourself or others, do the healthy thing and start taking care of your heart and find your peace.
Do you just keep treading water and leave things the way they are, or are you willing to face your fears and emotions and boldly go where you have never gone before. I know sounds like Star Trek, right? In a way it is- just beam me up to my Happy Place!!
The call to adventure is the point in a person's life when they are just given notice that everything is going to change, whether they know it or not. - Joseph Campbell, The Heroes Journey.
What you are is what you have been. What you will be is what you do now- Buddha
Change is coming, whether you are ready or not. Change is effected when you experience too much pain from staying where you are.
I was there. I was an emotional eater. I chose to stuff my emotions, rather than deal with my realities. I have done this as far back as I can remember, from adolescence through September 2015. That is when I became active in Sparkpeople. I started the beginners challenge and began to cling to the information like hanging onto a branch in a roaring stream. I had to stay on plan, even if I didn't know what plan was good for me. I picked one and stayed with it for 6 weeks. I did a vision board, and my weight loss journey became my job. I know it sounds a bit crazy now, but that was how desperate I had become. My self esteem was non-existent, I felt like a failure, and if I didn't somehow have this belief that trusting the God had sent me to this SPARK thing, I surely would have given up. If you feel that way about yourself, and don't love yourself, how will others love you? You aren't broken!! You may be bruised or beaten up a bit, but I know you have the ability to make yourself whole again.
You can't expect anyone else to do this for you. They may help and support you, but you have to take the reins. It is like the man who was drowning. He prayed "Please God don't let me die." Then a boat went buy and offered to help. The man said No thanks, God won't let me die. Then a helicopter flew over and offered to pull him up. The man said "No thanks, God won't let me die. Well the man died and at the Pearly Gates, he said God, you let me die! God replied- I sent you a boat and a helicopter. The choice was yours. So if an Angel comes buy and offers to help you, be gracious and let them. But the bottom line is you need to save yourself.
In 6 weeks, I was ready to reevaluate my food plan. I hadn't lost any weight, but I was focused on educating myself on nutrition, and defining what healthy meant to me. It was in fits and starts for sure. In November I had major kidney surgery. And at the end of 2016, I weighed the same as when I started Sparking. But I felt lighter and more hopeful and more determined. I was told I would need another surgery to regulate the hormones that had played havoc with the kidneys, but while important it wasn't urgent. So I decided to postpone it until June 2016.
I joined a 30 Day Small Changes challenge. Just baby steps! And I finished the challenge. I had also gotten a referral to physical therapy, started water aerobics and said good bye to my walker. Well I didn't really say good bye to it. I folded it up and put it into the closet. I have this habit of clinging to the old in case the new doesn't work out. I gotta tell you folks, sometimes you just have to have faith!
As I became less reliant on food to push my emotions down and cope with the world, my emotions began to bubble up. I became restless and unsettled. I decided to take charge of me.
And that, like the old joke, is when the fight began. I had rewritten the terms of engagement, not knowingly but the forces were at large.
I was no longer willing to settle for anything less than the best for myself. I began voicing my opinion and realized that I was like a bird in a gilded cage. As long as I sang sweetly, I had what I needed. When I squawked, as is likely to happen with birds who are in confinement, the song wasn't so sweet, but then neither was I. Not only was my body changing from eating properly, and exercising, but my relationships began to change also.
On Jan 30, 2016 I weighed 295 miserable pounds. Every month for the next 5 months I saw a loss but in total is was only 15 lbs. It seemed like so much work for so little return. When I went back through my nutrition tracker, it was a see saw- Up a few, down a few. What I saw was a trend on what my emotional stressors were. I had used the daily diary at the end of the nutrition tracker to make short comments on what was going on in my world that day/that meal etc.
By April, my once fairly complacent marriage was starting to boil and bubble. I swallowed my fear ( and there were many believe me) and stayed my course. I adjusted my sails, identified my needs ( which previously I just assumed my spouse would provide) and started making goals. Of course some of them were unrealistic. But as that became apparent, I recalibrated. I began collecting more sayings and pictures for my vision board. I established boundaries on my time and my space.
Then in June 2016, I had a stroke. I was scared, but I heard a God breeze that said- Listen to me girl, I have so much more in store for you. Swallow your fears and set your path. I was lucky that the stroke was very mild. That incident also postponed a surgery that was moving from important to urgent as the calcium levels in my bloodwork continued to climb. Didn't stop the boiling and bubbling in the relationship though. If anything as I became more tired, my spouse became more demanding and I became more resistant.
I begged my husband for us to go to marriage counseling and after 2 sessions, he told me he was fine. A month later he was trying to coerce me into doing something I had no interest in, and said " A good wife would". My new found voice said something along the lines of" good, I hope you can find one", and I started making plans to start a new life.
I moved out of my home the 22nd of August. I found an unfurnished apartment, and began rebuilding my life. The good news is that my ex found someone who shares his interests and they are making long term plans. I am very happy for them.
I have shirt that no longer fit that says It says " I dreamed of painting, then I painted my dream. I am putting my feet into the water one toe at a time. I feel safe in my new home, and am comfortable. It is starting to feel more like home all the time.
I had surgery the Monday before Thanksgiving- and the end of November, Ringo and I rescued each other. I have been so blessed by this addition to my life. On bad days, he is the reason I get up and get dressed. On good days he share his joy. He is an older dog, probably about 8 years old by vet's estimates. He is mellow, until someone comes to the door and then he is all guard dog. We had our first trip to the Dog Park and it was amazing. This dog got a spurt of energy and had fun off leash chasing the ball and then chasing the dog that captured the ball. When we got into the car to come back home, he was actually smiling.
He goes into Petsmart, but I have to watch him so he doesn't shop lift a cookie! He likes the groomer, and adapted well to crate training. He talks to me- and shows me what he wants or needs. He has a small woof to say hello to passers by, but a big baying bark for those who he doesn't know. Right now we are working on "Sit:- he does sit when I have a treat in my hand. Someday he will just sit on command- LOL.. He doesn't jump on people or mark the furniture ( WHEW!) , and he likes the neighbor cats. They aren't sure about him yet, but nosing closer and closer all the time.
It continues to amaze me how so many of you have commented on my previous blogs on how strong I am, or how brave. To those of you who think that- thank you, but I couldn't have made it this far without the belief that God had my back.
I am not blaming my ex for all this. It takes two to make a relationship. I am thankful we had the good times, and I am sorry for my part in the bad times. Learning to let go was the process that was the hardest for me. I didn't want to grow into a bitter, vindictive old crone. That prayer brought me to the course I am working on " A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back".
The fears that life as a single entity would be hard, I would be homeless, loveless, and I couldn't make it on my own weren't real, but I had to sit still and feel every emotion. I had begun the clearing process. My dear friend Fredie, who has been through something similar has been talking about decluttering your space. Taking everything and examining it. Sometimes starting with the physical clutter is the beginning of taking the next step on the non visible clutter. One thing at a time- close your eyes, hold it and feel the vibrations. Feel the feelings without judgement, recriminations, guilt or shame to simply allow the emotion to arise without doing anything to fix or manage it. Ignore the compulsion to fix what is broken. Ask yourself- is this something you are using ( not stuffing in a closet for someday), does it fit you and does it feel good. If not, then allow yourself to release it. Accept that it is what is is without moving forward. Stay in the moment. Feel the peace. When you are feeling complete and whole, then repair the item, put it away or release it with love.
Since September I have lost and am now at 266 lbs. Sure I have a long way to go, but I have lost 30 lbs. For me I am know that one step at a time I am going to reach my goal.
I am starting to explore life as a single person, and it is a rich life. Last weekend I participated in a Pack-aThon with the Over 50's group. It was packing 55,000 meals for the Salvation Army and Childrens center. There were over 400 participants,and we did it in less than 2 hours. Then we had a luncheon at the church. I discovered this church has a Senior exercise class at 9 am 3 times a week. I start next week. I am excited about that.
I think I had shared previously that I had a coffee date that reinforced my attitude that I wasn't cut out for dating. Well in the process of clearing, I realized you get what you expect. Doesn't that sound familiar? If you expect to be overweight, you will act and do whatever it takes to be overweight. Our minds are very powerful!
So the last day of the year, I completed a profile, in prayer and closed the computer. The next day I had over 50 responses. It truly blew me away. A part of the negative self talk came back, and I just smacked her down and told her to SHUT up. I do have value and I don't have to look like a model. I am now corresponding with a gentleman that I have great hopes of meeting in the not to distant future. He enjoys my sense of humor, my sassy attitude and my commitment to the Lord. Not a bad start at a friendship indeed.
So in closing this rather long blog. Don't get stuck in the muck!!! You are a beautiful creature just as you are. Don't be afraid! Just take the first step.
If you are struggling and would like resources for housing, financial assistance or other resources, please contact me via Spark Mail and I will send you information.
Until next time, peace and blessing to you.