Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Saboteur

Okay, so it's been 11 days since my last blog post. Ugh. Can't believe I've been away that long. Life has just been so stinking busy lately.

I'll start back with last weekend's weigh in. I gained 6/10ths of a pound. Which took me back out of the 100 pound club. But I wasn't that concerned with it. I knew something like that was going to happen. I was just thankful that I didn't gain a couple of pounds. Whew!

Then at yesterday's weigh in, I lost 2/10ths of a pound. So I'm still 2/10ths away from the 100 pounds, but again, I'm not worried.

Normal me would be panicking. Normal me would be saying "what the heck!?". Normal me would be lamenting over every little thing I did or didn't do to take me away from my glorious 100 pound loss.

So what do I mean by normal me?? That's the "normal" me I've made myself into for the past 25+ years.

I've learned so much about me and the way my mind works over the past few months. I've learned so much about myself once I found out that I was sabotaging my weigh loss efforts but more importantly when I found out WHY I was sabotaging myself.

Have you guys watched the 1942 Alfred Hitchcock move called Saboteur? Robert Cummings plays this guy, Barry Kane, who was unintentionally framed for a terrorist attack. He was basically in the wrong place at the wrong time and suddenly the whole country was looking for him for causing a massive fire at an airplane manufacturing plant (during war time) that caused the death of his best friend.

I remember when he first found out that the cops were looking for him because they suspected he started the fire and intentionally caused the death of his friend by handing him a fire extinguisher that was filled with fuel. He was completely shocked. The look on his face was that of a total innocent man.

That was me. Once I found out that I was my own "saboteur", I was shocked. I even denied it for months. No way! I mean, come on! Who in their right mind would intentionally sabotage their incredibly hard weight loss efforts. Shocked is putting it mildly. No way would I do that to myself.

So just like Barry, I took off trying to find out who was responsible for this sabotage. Like his search that took him across country, I started out trying to find out how and why this could happen. I came to the conclusion, at first, that there was no way I could be doing this intentionally. That was the key word—intentionally. I was NOT sabotaging myself intentionally. I wasn't going crazy. I wasn't undermining all my year and a half long efforts. No way.

It was unintentional for sure.

But then, once I made it through the first revelation, kind of like when Barry first found the "big boss" who was responsible for masterminding the factory fire, I had to find a way to bring justice. I had to find a way to understand why exactly I would do this so that I could stop it.

This wasn't easy. It's hard to figure something out when you have no idea what it is your looking for, you know? So I hit the road with Barry Cane and had a lot of good conversations with people who helped me along the way. Like the truck driver who saw Barry (me) as a decent human being who couldn't hurt a fly. Or the blind man who took Barry (me) in and fed us a warm dinner who could tell I had handcuffs on but knew I was innocent. And then I hitched a ride with a traveling circus and found a few friends along the way who would help keep me safe while I was looking for the answers and finally made it back home in time to stop the damage I'd caused. These people I met along my journey were you guys. You each helped me see what I was truly doing.

Now unlike the movie, I did end up being the saboteur. In the movie, Barry Cane ended up bringing the culprits to justice. But for me, I ended up bringing myself in for trial and sentencing. I cross examined myself (many self-examining blog posts) and brought in a jury of my peers (you guys) to help me see what was really going on.

The verdict?

Deep down, I felt like I wasn't worthy of being thin.

I've been overweight since my senior year in high school (1983/84). I've been obese since I came home from the hospital after having my daughter (who just turned 20 last month). I've been fat for 26 years. That's over 60% of my life. It's just about all I've ever known. So over those 26 years, I've learned how to hide behind my fat. I've talked before about how I have a hard time standing in line at the grocery store because inevitably the person in front of me will turn around and look at me as soon as I walk up behind them. I didn't want them looking at me. I was fat. I was disgusting. Turn around and mind your own business! Or how I would always bring my hand up over my face when I'd cross in front of a line of cars when I'd turn left at the light. I didn't want them to see my fat face. I was always so embarrassed about the fat. I hid inside my fat suit. I hid so no one would see me.

But then, once my fat suit started to disappear, suddenly I had no where to hide any more. Now what was I going to do? I was in a panic! So the only thing I could think of was to stop this weight loss thing so I could still be over weight and still have somewhere I could hide.

So I made every excuse in the book for the reasons I wasn't losing. I would talk about how frustrated I was. I'd say "I don't understand why I'm not losing when I'm doing everything I should be". Boy, what a bunch of hooey! I was not. I was still on plan, sure. But I splurged like crazy! But only a little here and a little there so it wouldn't look like I was falling completely off the wagon. I would splurge just enough so no one would notice and so I would stop losing my comfortable fat suit.

It was a masterful plan. I just never realized I had hatched the plan or that I had implemented it. I surely didn't realize that I was pulling it of beautifully!

But now I see it. And now, when I only lose 2/10ths of a pound or if I gain 6/10ths of a pound, I can say to myself, honestly, I am not doing what I need to to lose weight. I am only getting out of it what I put into it. That honest look is so refreshing.

Now I can look at myself as thin (even though I've still got 10-30 lbs left to lose). I can say, I'm thin and I'm happy with that. I don't need to hide inside of myself any longer. Now, I am the one who looks behind me in line at the grocery store and says hi. I am the one who doesn't even think twice about all those people who see me pass in front of them at the red light. I'm the one who can eat in the car and know that no one is disgusted by it. I can tuck my shirt in to my jeans and not be mortified that someone might see my fat roll (which by the way is almost gone),

I am proud of my new body. I am no longer a saboteur...

I am a winner.

And I'm proud of it, too.

I hope my words here can help someone out there who's going through the same thing I did. It makes all my pain worth it, you know?
P.S. the movie ended with this spectacular chase to the top of the Statue or Liberty where Barry single-handedly caught the bad guy, just minutes before he accidentally fell to his death (the bad guy) by sliding off the torch of Lady Liberty. Was a spectacular scene (for 1942). You should put this movie on your list of great ones to watch.

On a slightly different note, check it out... I'm spotlighted as Blogger of the Week on Fitago. Woo hoo!! =D

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How did you start losing weight?

I've been having a lot of really great discussions with people lately and it's been making me think about my journey a lot. I know my last post was kind of "how I got here", but I know it was way too long and a bit scattered. I think I want to break it down a bit and hopefully it'll be easier to digest and understand. I don't know about you, but I hate reading really long posts. But yet, I type a lot here. Go figure.

I think the main thing I wanted to get across was that my journey has been long and tough but I stuck with it. I've been thinking about that a lot lately and I really didn't give myself another option.

I'm not usually that determined. I mean, I look at Tara Costa (who didn't win the Biggest Loser this past season, but really should have) and see how determined she was through the entire competition. She was completely committed. She was fearless. She was steady. She was a machine. It makes you wonder how she could ever gain all that weight then not have the determination on her own to lose it. Why did it take the pressure of the public competition before she could do it? I think it's the same reason I seemed to flourish in my determination after I so publicly failed at losing.

When I first started losing weight, I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want them to know I was trying to lose weight because if they knew and I failed, I'd be a public failure. It took me a while to tell that first person. And when I did, I told it to them in confidence.

I was so afraid I'd fall off the wagon and be back to my old eating habits, like I'd ALWAYS done before every other time I started losing.

But then the pounds started coming off. I'd probably lost 20 or 30 pounds before I could tell more people. And it wasn't until maybe 50 pounds before I could tell everyone and anyone who would listen. I had to feel a bit of success before I'd shout it from the mountain tops, you know?

If I could give anyone adivce who's just starting out on their weight loss journey, it's to tell as many people as possible. You know what it did for me? Well, at first, it gave me more accountability. The more people who knew, the more people I'd dissappoint if I stopped losing, or worse, started gaining again.

So at first, I was losing for them. And, I know, that was wrong. It wasn't until several months into my weight loss that I started doing it for myself. That's when things changed. But that's also when things got tough. I had to admit to myself that I was worth losing weight for. That was a tough one. It still is sometimes.

I'll talk more about that later. For now, let me ask you. When you first started losing, did you tell anyone? Did you tell everyone? Did you tell no one? How did it help or hinder your start?


On a slightly different note, I found a very yummy snack I wanted to share with you guys. These remind me of a crunchy, chocolate peanut butter, ice cream sandwiches. I got the recipe off of Opgrah's website. She was reprinting it from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.

The best part is they're ONE POINT each!

Monday, June 1, 2009

How I Reached My 100 Pound Goal.

I want to thank each and every one of you who stopped by my blog and congratulated me. Each and every remark meant so much to me. I feel like I just won the Biggest Loser. I feel on top of the world.

I seriously NEVER thought I'd lose 100 pounds. I mean, my ultimate goal was originally to lose 130 pounds, and I really thought I'd have reached that goal by now. When I started Weight Watchers 2 years and 4 weeks ago on May 12, 2007, I truly thought I'd be at my 130 pound goal WAY before 2 years.

When I first started losing weight, it wasn't really all that hard. I remember thinking to myself "why didn't you do this a long time ago, this isn't so hard". I mean, the pounds just seemed to drop off with very little effort on my part.

My first year, I dropped 80 pounds, with an average of 1 1/2 pounds a week. Not bad, huh?! So at that rate, which is a safe rate at which to lose weight, I'd be at my ultimate goal after about a year and a half.

Then something unexpected happened... me.

See, I decide last July that I'd start the 18 Pounds in 18 Weeks challenge. If some of you have been following me for a while, you remember this. You might have even joined me in this challenge. My goal was to reach my 100 pound mark by Thanksgiving. Then I could sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and be thankful that I'd lost 100 pounds. But then a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, my weight loss efforts came to a total and complete halt.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner sad and disappointed with myself. I tell you what, I have never hated Thanksgiving as I did then. And you know what I did. I ate like a pig. I figured, heck, if I can't lose the weight, what does it matter? I was thoroughly disappointed with myself.

But I couldn't figure out why my weight loss had stopped. I was still doing everything I'd always done. I was eating my points. I was exercising regularly. So why wasn't I still losing??

Then in one week, the week of Christmas, I gained 8 pounds. Ugh! I completely pigged out. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate.

Then the next week, I got right back on plan. To no avail, though. Still no weigh loss, or very little. I thought because those 8 pounds came on so quickly, that they'd drop off just as fast.

Nothing doing.

But I didn't give up.

I felt like I was banging my head against the wall. A really hard concrete wall. I kept trying and trying, but nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Sure, I'd lose a pound or two here or there. But I'd inevitably gain to offset any small momentum I might have gained.

It wasn't until just a couple of months ago that I learned that I was sabotaging myself. My biggest enemy was me!

Wait a minute. Me? Sabotage? What the heck!?!? I want to lose this weight so bad. I want to be a skinnier me so bad. Why on earth would I ever sabotage myself??

Looking back, I think I freaked myself out. Just before Thanksgiving, when I was just a few pounds away from the 100, I think I convinced myself that I couldn't do it because I wasn't worthy. It's like, I wasn't good enough to be thin. I didn't deserve it. After all, I still craved all the bad food. I still wanted to eat everything in sight. And who's to say that as soon as I reached my 130 pound goal that I wouldn't gain every pound of it back. I convinced myself I wasn't good enough to be thin and healthy.

Listen to this. Terri, a friend from high school, just left me a message on my Facebook. She really hit the nail right on the head. She said: "sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves and we're afraid of success and being successful." That's exactly what it was.

But I didn't know that until just recently. I even had a few people tell me they thought I was sabotaging myself way back then. I quickly brushed them off. No way would I EVER intentionally sabotage myself.

But you know? I am worth it. I totally am.

You are too.

We're both worth it. We both deserve to be a thinner, happier version of ourselves. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's not prideful. It's not self-centered. It's being happy with the body God gave us. We're the ones who added all those fat layers onto our bodies. So to shed those layers is really just unveiling the me, and the you, who we really are on the inside. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I had convinced myself that I was happy being fat. My husband loved me the size I was. My family loved me for who I was no matter what I looked like. But really, it matters what I think about myself. I felt "full" in my old fat suit. I remember sitting on the edge of the bed crying because I couldn't fit into my newly bought size 26/28 clothes.

Now, I'm in a size 12!! I haven't been in a size 12 since before my daughter was born. And she just turned 20. I'm so happy. I'm so proud of myself. I've done it. Me. I've lost 100 pounds.

And I'm worthy of this great accomplishment!