Monthly Archives: October 2010

Truth and Reconciliation

When I got my drivers license I was not looking forward to the weight question. At that point my weight comfortably sat somewhere around 150-160. At different times my weight had dropped a bit, but any time I lost weight it would always creep back up to my comfortable zone. I had just started another diet and that day weighed in at 147. I was pretty optimistic and kept telling myself I was going to lose some real weight this time. So naturally, since I wanted to continue losing weight, I didn’t want to put a number on my drivers license that might to be inaccurate in a while. At least that’s what I told myself. I decided to say 137. It was lying by ten pounds, but if I’d said my goal weight that would’ve been a more obvious lie, and 137 didn’t sound like so bad of a number.

Unfortunately, it never was true. 147 was probably the lowest I got. My weight kept creeping up higher and higher. The misrepresentation on my driver’s license was getting worse and worse. When I got married, I had to get a new license because of the name change. I remember dreading the weight question. When it came to that time, the lady just said, “Any change in weight?” In this moment I realized that I wouldn’t have to embarrass myself by admitting my weight to this stranger. Thinking I’d won I responded, “No.”. Then she looked away from her computer to me, literally sizing me up. She could obviously tell that I didn’t weigh 137. This was a lie of about 50 pounds. She clarified, “Still 137?” Already embarrassed and caught in my lie, I looked in the opposite direction and said, “Yes.” I can’t adequately describe the embarrassment I feel at telling that stupid lie. I could have said a higher weight without owning my true weight. The lie didn’t need to be that blatantly obvious. Since that moment, anytime I’ve looked at my license I’ve felt shame for something so silly.

But today, guess how much I weigh? 137. It’s pretty amazing that I can say that in complete honesty. I actually weigh the same as my driver’s license claims I do. I’ve been lying about my weight for many years now. What a stupid thing to lie about? Anyone looking at me could make a pretty good guess at what I weigh, or what I weighed. It’s nice to not feel embarrassed by my weight. But I haven’t been embarrassed about my weight for some time now. When I first started losing weight, I decided to be “out with it”. I pretty much told everyone how much I weighed and the people close to me have been hearing updates on my weight number all year. It was actually quite liberating for me to finally be honest about my weight. For so long I attempted to hide my weight, but only I was fooled.

It’s crazy that the weight on my driver’s license was THAT important to me. It was so important that a card with my picture on it said I was a lower weight than I am. I’ve been putting off getting my horizontal license for when the weight loss is over. Part of me will definitely like putting an even lower number on that card with a thinner picture of my face on it. But the closer I get to my goal, the less I care about the number on my license. No one will be looking at that license to know whether I’m in shape or not. They’ll look directly at me and will be able to know exactly how dedicated I am to my fitness. That will be more awesome than any number.


Check Out These Wheels!!

There are some ups and downs of riding your bike to work besides the hills.

I really liked the feeling of being outdoors. I wish I spent more time outdoors, even if there isn’t much to look at in Kennewick. I felt more alive. It’s easy to feel like a robot sometimes when you get into your routines. Plus, at my job, the people that I talk on the phone with everyday pretty much consider you a robot versus an actual human. Being active outside in the world takes some of that away.

I liked getting my heart pumping in the morning. Actually I liked getting my heart pumping period. I haven’t really done any cardio in the last month because of the injuries. Injuries can be so discouraging to ones fitness goals. Then last night Jordan reminded me that I traded in 50 pounds for these injuries. It doesn’t seem so bad when you look at it that way.

I also liked riding my bike around on my lunch break. It re-energized me after spending the previous 4 hours sitting at a desk. Other bonuses include saving money on gas and less time required at the gym. The ride home was amazing. First, I wasn’t stressed out about making it home by a certain time like I was on the way to work. Second, I was on a better route and could take advantage of those down hill moments. I felt like I was flying. It was so exhilarating.

The down side was my miscalculation for time required to get there in the morning, but that’s more of a lack of preparation than a biking downside. The other thing was that I didn’t really have anywhere to go for solitude on my lunch. I sometimes want to just get out of that building full of about 1000 people and have some time for quiet reflection. I’ll go to my car for an easy escape on my lunches or breaks. No such sanctuary when you ride your bike, but I suppose after doing this for a while, I’ll find a different kind of sanctuary.

As I was riding I kept thinking it would be so cool if everyone rode a bike to work. Seriously. Think about that for a second. I had this image of just seeing the roads peacefully filled with bikers instead of cars. Everyone moving at a little bit slower pace. In my head everyone is happier. 🙂 If more and more people rode bikes to work, think of how much better we’d be as a country. Rates of obesity would go down, less fuel emissions, cleaner air, less road repair (less taxes)… Wouldn’t it be great?


Reality


The scale can be so frustrating. You can’t completely trust it! Weight loss in general totally screws with my endearment for math. Math was always my favorite subject in school because there isn’t any middle ground for the right answer. You’re either right, or you’re wrong. I’m not so fond of things that are subjective, or things that you can’t count on. Weight loss is definitely something you can’t count on.

So today I find myself 4 pounds lighter than I was 3 days ago. Great, right? No. It totally freaks me out. On the one hand, now I’ve only got 14 pounds to lose. So I can re-do all my math for the rest of the year giving me less calories to burn each week, or a greater allowance for food. Maybe a few binge days won’t kill me? I’m getting ready for my Halloween party already!

But then I remember that this is what I’ve been doing all year long. This is why I haven’t stuck to a diet and still find myself plagued with a food addiction. I’ll be good for a few days and see positive results, then sabotage myself. I could get all psychological with you and say that I do this because I’m not ready to reach this goal. Sometimes I do wonder. This is the thinnest I’ve been since my sophomore year of high school. I’ve gotten so comfortable at being overweight that to actually reach and maintain my goal weight seems so foreign.

I think that my problem with food started when I was very young. Some of my favorite memories as a child were when my Dad would take us girls to Roger’s Bakery in the morning before school. They sold these huge, delicious cinnamon rolls. It always made us happy to enjoy something so yummy together. Also, at any opportunity, I remember begging my Dad to take us to the local convenience store for candies and treats. My Dad loved to make us happy and would indulge us. And of course when you’re a kid and you clean you’re plate, you get a desert. These things made me associate the feeling of happiness with treats and having a full belly. I think it’s that way for many people.

So now when I’ve had a not so great day at work, or I’m disappointed with my weight loss progress, or dealing with some other stress; I turn to food in a big way. Even recently there have been days where I’ve eaten in moderation all day, only to hard core binge at night. I remember in the last month or so, when I had one of these days I actually counted up all the calories that I had consumed. Normally I wouldn’t bother counting the calories and chalk it up to a bad day for weight loss. I counted around 1500 for my day, and then 3500 for my night time binge. 3500 calories is a whole pound! I certainly have never burned that many calories in one day, but I’m perfectly capable of eating it! It’s sickening. No wonder I found myself that overweight.

Also, something I keep coming back to is the idea that once I’ve lost all the weight I’ll be able to eat normally. What do I really feel is eating normally? I’ve proven to myself that “normal” for me is eating so much that I’ve gained 50 pounds in the last 8 years. In fact “I still want to eat normally” is something that I hear from a lot of people who are on the weight loss path. People are so afraid of changing their diet for real, not just for a period of weight loss. We feel as if we deserve the reward of eating more than our bodies can handle. We’re doing ourselves such a disservice!

It’s time to accept reality. The reality is that it will NEVER be okay for me to binge. It will NEVER be okay for me to be so ignorant of what I’m eating that I’ve overdone my calorie budget in a big way. It will NEVER be okay for me to stuff myself silly at a meal. What an unhealthy habit I have! I’ll eat my meals until my stomach hurts from filling it so full. I’m punishing myself all the time. It’s time that I treat myself right. Though other people’s issues with food may be different from mine, I know that I’m not alone in this. I encourage everyone to really take an honest look at what you’re eating and choose to eat to live, rather than living to eat.


Serious Alert

The history:

There was a period in my life when I was very lost. I found myself dealing with traumas I was unprepared for. I felt emotionally and mentally abandoned by my family and friends. I dealt with my pain by inflicting more. I have the disfigured body to prove it. Even then I knew that this was not my permanent solution. I wanted desperately to have the support and help I lacked.

At this point I was still a member of my parent’s church. I’d never really experienced anything else religion wise. I’d been going back and forth with my beliefs due to doubts I had about the church since I was 12. Still at 18 I hadn’t fully gotten away from it. My bishop had called me in to assign a calling for me in the church. I already knew what it would be. “Pianist” of some sort… that was one of my grumblings of going to church. These callings are considered straight from God and somehow God always wanted me to be a pianist. I felt at the time that I was looked at as just the piano player and I wanted to actually participate in church; doing real church stuff. I told him that I was not interested in playing the piano and explained my feelings. I was honest with him.

At my honesty he delved further, wondering why I wasn’t willing to serve God in the calling that was designated for me. I told him that I was doing some “soul searching” to try and decide once and for all if I really believed in the church teachings. I also told him I was struggling with some other things and was considering going to therapy regularly. He said that he understood and wanted to help.”What beliefs are you struggling with?” he asked. I told him the main thing that I was struggling with was the commandment of Polygamy in the early church. I told him I had a hard time believing a loving God would command an entire group of people to live such a horrible life and that I was trying to take the church on my own terms and choose to accept it as a whole, with some exclusions. He then sat there a moment, pondering, then asked me, ” How old are you?” I told him “18.” Then he said, “We have time.”

Taken aback by this remark, I asked him what he meant. He then told me ” Well, you have a while before you need to go through the Temple and one of the questions we ask in the temple recommend interview is ‘Do you believe in all the commandments of the church and teachings of the Presidents of the church; accepting them as prophets, seers, and revelators.(…or something close to that…) Based on what you’ve just told me, I wouldn’t be able to give you a temple recommend. But we’ve got time.”

I don’t remember much more of that interview except that he offered to have the church pay for part of the therapy, seeing as I’d been a regular tithing payer all my life. He knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it, and suggested that the church pay for a portion on the condition that I had regular meetings with him to discuss my progress.

My heart raced as I left, I was livid. All my life I was taught that going through the temple ordinances was a right of passage. Now I was being denied my church’s acceptance because I wanted to follow my heart’s conviction. Honestly, I felt a sense of loss. Would I be denied Heaven also? Once I’d calmed down I decided to go forward with therapy and on the advice of my therapist, I agreed to continue meeting with my bishop and accept the financial help despite my misgivings.

So for a duration, I met with the bishop and my therapist regularly. Neither cured me- let me tell you that. My therapist used very “unique” techniques that left me possibly more unbalanced. She seemed like she was just having loads of fun observing my behaviors and reactions like I was some kind of science project. And the bishop, who wasn’t any kind of professional in this area, sat at each of our meetings very interested in what I was saying, taking notes and for all I could tell, fascinated by my level of mental insanity. All I can think is they were each playing their own game at my expense. Neither cared about me, they were only interested in their respective numbers.

The Dream:

Why am I writing all this? What am I getting at? Well…I had a dream last night that I was at the house of an old church friend. For some reason (which made perfect sense in my dream), the bishop’s files for all the people he’d “counseled” were in a dresser I opened. In it, I found my file along with the files of many other kids I went to church with. All of everyone’s personal information was cataloged there and this guy apparently had a fascination with everyone’s disturbances. Suddenly everything I told him was public among all the people that I once went to church with. Later, I had a confrontation with one of the women from church. She was attacking me based on the information that was in this file, using my personal confessions against me. I felt violated and ran out of the house, carrying my file and sobbing.

Since I woke up this morning, the dream has been gnawing at me. I decided that I needed to deal with it. I’m writing this to tell my story. I’ve spent way too much of my time being silent about certain things with certain people. I watch what I say far too often and as a result feel an emptiness in my life. It’s a lack of genuine relationships. My facades are so complete, so tailored for each persons comfort level that I disregard myself.

I have to be done. I’m ready to be a whole person.

For the record:

I used to have a problem with self injury. It started in my early teens and got to be more seious in my later teens. Now, I’ve gone nearly 3 years without it thanks to the support of my kick ass husband, Jordan, and my own determination to overcome my psychological disturbances/tendencies.

I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and though I doubted for a long time, I didn’t officially know what I believed regarding the teachings of the church. Although I had many experiences like the one with my bishop, it wasn’t any one person or the people as a whole that “drove me away”. I found a glaring contradiction between the Bible and the fundamental teachings of the Mormon church (Found in the LDS approved version of the Bible no less). It was one I could not ignore. Once I found that, It’s like a dam broke loose and there were more and more contradictions, teachings, practices that I knew were not commanded by God. I could no longer practice this religion.

I’m not trying to be self righteous here. Just setting the record straight. I don’t claim to have the ultimate spiritual life, I’m very flawed. But I’ve chosen to give myself to my God and savior Jesus Christ. In some ways I’m glad to have the experience of a Mormon upbringing. Some of my deepest scars will lend me the most strength and will let me best help others. This is my journey and I’m working on perfecting myself for my God.

Which comes to the last thing I want to say. It’s time that I was honest. If you disagree with anything that I’ve written, you don’t have to return. In fact you don’t ever have to think of it again if you choose. Or you can be honest with me right back and maybe we’ve got a chance at a genuine relationship built on honesty and trust. I’m ready to give it a shot.