Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks

This year's Day of Thanks brought on a "first" for me. Well, maybe a couple of "firsts." Never have I felt inclined to bring a boy along to my family's Thanksgiving gatherings. Never have I asked a boy to take time away from his own family to be with mine. I imagine it's mainly because I never wanted to return the favor and be with his family which would take away time with my own. There was probably a little bit of not really liking/loving the boy enough to bring him along. This year, though, I wanted a boy to be with me and my family, and I was more than willing to return the favor and be with his. I think that says a lot. So A and I drove a few hours to my aunt and uncle's house where everyone was gathering. I was stressed because we left later than we should have, and this here people-pleaser could already imagine phone calls and texts wondering why I wasn't there at the time promised. Poor A had to deal with that stress, and once again, this here people-pleaser kept apologizing to him and thanking him for going with me. We had some good music playing, griped at some East Texas drivers, and then we finally pulled up to the house. As soon as we walked in, I started hugging family, A started introducing himself, and about 15 min. later we blessed the food and made our plates. I'm not sure why I inhaled my food. Maybe nerves. Maybe that people-pleasing stress wanted to be resolved. Maybe just because everything was AMAZING this year! Regardless, when I saw that my plate was empty I was sad that I didn't savor every bite more. Of course I never get too carried away no matter how much I want seconds of the potatoes and casseroles because I always make sure I save room for dessert, and the dessert was even better than the meal. Now that stuff, I was sure to savor, and I still have a few bites of pie left in my refrigerator.

As the ladies were in the kitchen cleaning up, my Mamaw and one of my aunts came up to me in hushed voices bouncing questions and comments my way, "Do you like this boy?" "He's very friendly and very handsome." "Does his like you?" "He seems really nice." I knew he'd be a hit because of all that charm that just oozes from him. It's a bit irresistible. I watched him talking with my Mamaw, I watched him sit down on the front porch and talk with my dad, and I watched him, the only one over the age of 10, play soccer in the front yard with the little cousins.

So I'd say my "first" went pretty well. Oh yeah, that other "first." Well, as my Mamaw put it when I gave her a hug, "I don't think I've ever seen you this thin before." She's right. Well, maybe when I was 10, but I was shorter then. It was nice to hear the positive comments from my family that I haven't seen since April. When people don't see you daily or weekly or even monthly, they're pretty good at noticing changes.

Oh wait, one more "first." Since my waist has gotten much smaller than it has been in the past 10 years, for the first time I rocked a sweater with a belt. Never have I felt comfortable with a belt around my natural waist putting my love handles on display, but this time I thought I could make it work. Maybe I changed out of the sweater a couple of times that morning, but I finally sucked it up, made a few comments to the mirror in my room, and just believed that I looked great in it. I really need to work on my inner voice, I think. It tends to get in the way.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've got a hungry heart

First off, HUGE thanks to Diana!! Diana created the blog header you see up top. I LOVE IT!! She also took the photo in the header and to the left during our photo shoot this summer. After all my hard work I wanted to see for myself because, well, pictures don't lie, and she definitely boosted my esteem with the results. What a talented woman who manages to balance a full-time job, two kids under the age of 3, an ever-growing photography business, and little favors like creating a blog header :) Thanks, Diana!!

We humans are fascinating creatures. Thanks to the God who created us, we have passion, drive, and hunger for life. Thanks to the not-so-smart choices made long before you and I were born, those inherent parts of our life have gotten messed up along the way. We try to take control of our lives because we obviously know what's best for us. We use methods we think will satisfy our cravings for life and numb the pain that comes along with life, and we constantly fall short. Then the cycle begins. Once the thing that usually did the trick didn't satisfy us, we need to try more of it. When those of us choose to use food, the amount that used to satisfy this craving and numb the pain isn't cutting it. We need more of it, and for a short time we feel satisfied, but really we're just as empty as we were to begin with.

In February of this year, I decided I would tackle my weight once and for all. No more dieting, losing 20 lbs, gaining half of it back, losing 10 lbs, gaining all of it back. I was tired of the struggle, and I was determined. After all my hard work, I finally got to where I wanted to be in September. I realized I was good at counting points, restricting certain foods, busting it at the gym, but I was always terrible at adding those restricted foods back and choosing the couch over the gym. I was a pro at losing, but far from it when it came to maintaining. Now I see the maintaining has always been the hardest part because as soon as I met my goal with whatever diet I chose for that round, I didn't have anything to focus except for my day-to-day life. I fell back into my old ways of using food when I was bored, when I was frustrated, and when I didn't want to deal with reality. For the past two months as hard as it's been, I've made myself go through each day feeling the good and the bad. For the past two months, I've done my best to not let food be anything more than a meal or snack when my stomach was growling at me. Of course I love food and enjoy it every time I eat it, but a huge weight has been lifted. The best part is, the scale hasn't moved.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

People Pleaser to the nth degree

People Pleaser: "A person who commits themselves to boosting the well-being of other people, even when doing comes at an emotional, physical, or economic expense."

What happens when you spend your life trying to be the person you think others want you to be, and more so, doing everything you can not to rock other people's boats? Well, unfortunately, it means you can't really allow yourself to be...uh, yourself. Rather than anger, disappoint, or upset others in any way, I learned a trick early on in life - keep my mouth shut. And the best way to do that for most of my life was to put food in it. Yes, as Reese Witherspoon's character said in Four Christmases, "I ate my feelings."

Since the excess weight I carried from junior high on was due to this emotional eating of mine, I'm not sure why I thought that at age 29 when I finally took off every bit of excess weight to get to (what I believe) the ideal weight God had in mind when I born, I was even more miserable. Wasn't I supposed to be elated and overjoyed because being thin meant being happy for the first time in my life?? Not so much.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The start of something new...

I love reading other people's blogs, but I've yet to create one that I could actually stick out for more than a few months. It's similar to all my attempts at buying a beautiful journal, writing in it for a week, and moving on. Since I don't have a new marriage, kids, or live on a ranch doing cool things all day long, I haven't found my life exciting enough to blog about yet. But then this week, I keep feeling led to start this one. I try to ignore the feeling, but it keeps coming back every time I see commercials on TV, read people's comments on Facebook, and hear their comments in person. I can't help but think this is something God is pushing me to do, and I want to be faithful to that as hard as it will be to stay consistent in blogging, but much more so, being honest and open about my life-long struggle with my weight and my self-image. I think after 29 years of struggling and trying to solve the problem, it's finally connected, and I want to share my journey, my struggles, and my new found freedom with you. Stay tuned...