Friday, October 29, 2010

What a difference you've made...

Today, I went and did Body Jam - it was awesome! Do you know what was so awesome about it? The music was funky and I could pretend to be a gangsta, but the best part, was that when I looked at myself in the long gym mirror, I didn't have to quickly look away or think "gosh...i'm so fat!".  I used to do Body Jam when we first moved to Shepparton in 2008, when I tipped the scales at a massive 122kg.  I was so unhappy, but couldn't get out of the habit of using food as a crutch.  I'd put on a lot of weight after Alex was born due to Post Natal Depression, and feeding my feelings was a lot easier than dealing with them.  My feelings, they sucked. They sucked a lot.

So - today's class got me musing on what else is different in my life these days.  I've been going to Weight Watchers for nearly 11 months now, and I've lost 21.7kg so far.  I'd already started losing some of the bulk in 2009 - with a change of medication, I didn't retain as much fluid, and I started WW at a still hefty 116kg.  Bigger than I'd ever been in my life.  When I first started to lose weight, I'd be discouraged, and think "why should I celebrate losing weight when I shouldn't even BE this weight to begin with!??!?".  But I rewarded myself and set goals, I really really wanted to do it - I was so sick of being tired all the time and having no energy for Alex or anything much.  So, even though I've had days or weeks where I've got off track, just keeping on going has ensured that the days have turned into weeks and the weeks have turned into months, and here I am nearly a year later (hmmm.....that reminds me of something else I did with my life, can anyone guess?)

The things that are different now are:
I can fit into a size 16 or 14, instead of a size 20 (gah!)
I have energy - I no longer want to sit on the lounge and do nothing
I eat lots and lots of salad and fruit and love it!
I have gone almost vegetarian and I love that as well...chickpeas and tofu are my friends
I am still a sugar addict and frequently snack on meringues mmmmmmmmmmmm sugar!
I go for long walks with Alex
I play with Alex a lot more, run around and chase him
I feel more confident in social situations
I can now buy clothes based on whether I like them, not just grabbing something that will fit and cover bulges!
I don't have to keep adjusting my clothes because my tummy pushes on them, that sinking feeling when you realise your pants are rolling down because your sizeable gut is pushing on it is NO MORE!
I am proud of myself because I wanted to do this and I am doing it!
I feel proud that I have inspired other people to want to be healthy
I feel like I respect myself more.  With the odd wobbly paranoid moment here and there, I want to be healthy so I can do more, as well as look nice in a pair of jeans :)
I feel younger.  Fat makes you look old.  I'll never forget being a large teenager in a borrowed pair of my mum's jeans on a School excursion to Newcastle.  My skinnier friends jogged past a group of cute surfies and I shuffled by uncomfortably.  One of the surfies looked at me with derision and said "are you the teacher?".    Ugh.  Not nice.
I am no longer asked if Alex is getting a brother or sister.  I lost count of the number of times someone looked at my plentiful tummy and said "sooo........???" and I had to say "NO I"M NOT PREGNANT".  bleah.
I can shop at the following: Cotton On, Sportsgirl, Jeans West and Just Jeans.  No more City Chic or Big is Beautiful for me.  Fashion for smaller people is so much cheaper.  Yay!

One of the things that has kept me motivated is the idea of being in the WW magazine....and I really really want to do that.  WW says that I have about 13 more kg to lose....and I really want to make this a reality.  I want to have a healthy BMI for the first time in my adult life.  I put weight on in adolescence, when I hit puberty.  Hurricane Deb errupted and I was horrendous.  I was miserable and feeling alone.  Food was my friend and comforter.  The same thing happened when I hit PND.  But now, I don't need to be unhealthy like that.  I can be free from the shackles and uncomfortability that being obese and overweight brings.  The shame and sense of failure.  I no longer hate myself, and I don't think it's all about willpower.  I love WW because you can eat whatever you like, within reason.  Smaller portions, pick your binge, do some exercise to earn more points.  I realised that if I put down the cake and went for a walk, my life would improve.   And it so did. 

I love Ajay Rochester's books, they're totally inspiring because she has walked the walk and is totally open about it.  At various stages throughout this journey I've cracked open her books again and again.  I'll finish on this - today I read in a WW book, this quote

"Eating healthily and exercising is Hard.  Being overweight is Hard.  Pick your Hard". 

I love it.  Because no matter how I struggle to stay on the moderate eating wagon, I know I never want to go back to the sheer torment of being obese.  This is not a battle I'll ever have full victory over, I'll always have a tendency to comfort eat and to be a bigger girl.  But with WW, I believe I have learnt a way of being that is truly sustainable for life.  And I'll be around for my little boy longer, and model good habits for him.  Which is why Ajay did it, and that's what it's all about.

Love and light
Deb :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

great expectations

Or - not so great expectations, as the case may be!

Being the age of 34, by now I'm starting to realise a few things about myself.  I have expectations of people sometimes that aren't fair.  I like people to be like me.  And when they're not, sometimes I feel hurt and wonder why they're being like that.  Crazy, isn't it?

Let me explain.  I am a very social person and my idea of hell is being on a deserted island.  I like time by myself, don't get me wrong, but I enjoy it for recharging my batteries, and don't like it if it goes for more than a day or so.  Being a stay at home mumsy, I find I need to get out and about at least once a day with Alex, so I can interact with others.  Otherwise, when Richard comes home, he's nearly knocked over by the barrage of words that comes flooding out of my mouth...."and then I did this, and then I did that, I saw a cat that chased a bird, then Alex did something cute, etc etc etc".  Richard is a soul who doesn't really crave conversation in the way that I do, and finds this generally offputting.  As you would!

Anyway, I am ok at the developing of friendships. I can be caring and sympathetic, and pride myself on being there for people (hey, I am discovering good stuff as well as bad stuff here!!).  But where it all comes unglued is when I haven't heard from someone for a while. Or if I feel like I'm doing all the running.  If phonecalls go unanswered and unreturned.  I feel hurt, then upset.  I feel like I don't matter to them.  I've come to realise that I have friends who don't need to communicate as much as I do, who I have to make a point of *not* ringing, because it only upsets me when they don't call me back.  They've constantly reassured me that they do love me, but that they know they're crap at keeping in touch.  So, these friends, I know are still in my life, if only on the periphery.

The rest of my friends, especially those in the mummy trenches, I kinda like to see at least once a week or once a month.  I like to keep in touch with people and find out how they're going.  I wish I could be some other way, but if friends continually make excuses or cancel on me then I feel like they don't really want to be my friend anymore.  I struggle with those people who get so busy that they can't catch up.  I never get that busy.  I make time.  But I really have to stop expecting my friends to be exactly like me!!  I need to just let go and let them have their lives without wondering why that text wasn't returned or that email wasn't answered. 

I hesitate to blog about this, because I know it makes me sound somewhat pathetic or neurotic.  I have plenty of people who I share my everyday with, but I seem to get caught up in wondering why those "too busy" people don't contact me - instead of focusing on those who do contact me, and those who I see and enjoy time with.  This is something I'm going to really work on, because it cost me a wonderful friendship last year.  Instead of talking about how I felt, I just got madder and madder, until in the midst of a dreadful bout of PMS, I unleashed a tirade on a dear friend.  She was in a very vulnerable place at the time, and has been unable to forgive me.  I get that.  I know I can be hard work.  So I'm trying to get rid of my expectations of others and give them space to be them.  It's hard.  Cause I want everyone to do what I do - because I'd understand that.  I understand myself.  Other people? not so much!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

history always repeats

Parenting is a funny thing. You learn a lot about yourself, and the influences in your life.  I realised something big today that I wanted to share.

I was hurrying to go for a bike ride with Alex, was in a rush, and was trying to help him get ready.  He wanted to wear his riding gloves, and so I was trying to help him put them on.  First try, there was no finger in the pointer finger, second try, there was no finger in the pinky.  Third try, the pointer was missing again.  Fourth try, the index finger was missing.  "Oh for heavens sake!" I grumped. "Alex, what the heck are you doing? Are you even trying?".  I saw his little face frown and his eyes take on a sad look, but was so caught up in what I was doing that I didn't take it in.  I tried again. "Come on, mate, put your finger in there. It's easy! Come on.  What are you doing?"  he tried again, very tentatively.  And yet again, no finger in the pointer finger.  I felt so frustrated "come on, mate" I exclaimed, "Do it properly or don't even try".   He dropped his bottom lip and looked like he might cry.  Suddenly, I snapped out of the perfectionistic trance that I was in.  What on earth was I doing to my little boy, and where had that come from?

I gave him a big hug.  "Sorry for being such a cranky mummy.  Mummy was being mean, wasn't she? Mummy was cross with the glove, not you".  And suddenly, I remembered someone in my young life helping me with my homework, with different things, and wanting me to do it right first time, getting frustrated with me, and giving up on me, or taking my homework off me and doing it themself.  This person is a perfectionist, no doubt because of their upbringing, and is much harder on themself than anyone else.  But it made me realise how deeply those words, that sentiment had echoed in my little girl psyche.  Because, dear reader, I chose to not even try, because I couldn't do it properly.  The sentiment echoed through all aspects of my life - through my relationships with guys, through my friendships, through my jobs.  All my life I did the bare minimum, only chosing things that I knew I was good at, that I had natural talent at, and avoiding anything that I couldn't do properly.  It's probably something to do with my core personality too, being prone to self doubt and needing reassurance.  Under those circumstances, someone with a stronger core would have thought "ok, I'll do it perfectly".  But I chose underachieving...and unlike Bart Simpson, I was not proud of it.  My life until around 2003 was one long shame spiral for the things that I knew I could probably do, but was too scared to try.

I'm so not criticising this person.  I love them unconditionally.  They worked so hard, and still work so hard, providing for their family.  It wasn't unheard of them to do a 40 hour week in one job, to do a couple of shifts at another workplace, and take on other work on weekends.  They wanted to give their family the best of everything because that's the way they show love.  So no wonder they were tired and frustrated and unable to be patient in every situation.  But I know one thing - I'm never going to tell Alex to do it properly or not at all.  The fun is in the attempt, and the journey, not the destination.

And the great thing about this massive revelation? That I can change the pattern, because I'm aware of it.  I knew I felt like this, but I wasn't sure where it had come from.  Now I know.  Knowledge is power, particularly self knowledge.  You can't change yourself or your life if you refuse to see the unhealthy patterns and exchange them for healthy, loving ones.  Admit, accept and change.  Courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Love you!