It’s been awhile since I took a break from blogging and I can honestly say I have dearly missed you all!
I feel as if I have been a traveler who wound up taking the wrong exit and ended up on a destination unintended.
When I had weight loss surgery, I had no idea the numerous changes that would take place for me not just physically but emotionally/mentally. Perhaps I even underestimated the difficulty it would be for me once those changes became a reality.
Without going into details, I want you to know that my break from blogging came mostly from feeling as if I had hit a wall so to speak. I felt as if I had gone as far as I could go. I lost my motivation and even in many ways my sense of hope that things could get better. For me, hope is essential. It’s what carries me through. Without hope, what is there?
I will tell you, friends, that I can speak from a different place now than I could when I first started this blog.
I am on the “other” side in many ways having lost over 240 pounds and having experienced an entirely different side of life than I did when I was trapped in the physical prison of my body. Though not at my goal yet, I feel as if I’ve been able to walk around now in what many consider a “normal” sized body. I can meet people now who have no idea that I ever weighed 417 pounds unless I tell them. No sign hangs from me letting them know. Unlike before where my weight was a visible marker betraying to the world what my biggest problem in life was. Now due to my weight loss– it is hidden–though it is still the issue I face daily—it is not a badge I wear. It is not the first thing people notice about me allowing me to pass through life in a much different way than before.
Yes I experienced all the things I had hoped and dreamed that weight loss would bring me:
Fitting in a booth
Not breaking chairs
Buckling my seatbelt
Fitting in rides
Walking as long as I want without losing breath
Playing and running with my children
Attending all their events
Going to Disney
Fitting on an airplane
etc etc etc
The list could go on and on!! I have experienced life with my children on a level that only screams FREEDOM!!!
So what could be the downside? What could be the problem?
I suppose it came from my unspoken list of things I had hoped for.
A list I must have made in my mind that I believed would come true if I lost the weight
Some list inside my heart that I clung to all those years
Perhaps I didn’t fully admit to myself but I believed that “if I were just thinner” these things would come true
A list that consists of things like
“I won’t be single anymore”
“All my work/family issues will magically disappear”
How many of us without realizing it attribute most of our problems in life to our weight?
We allow ourselves to believe that if only we were thinner….there would be no problems.
I know this sounds absurd but I can honestly say that somewhere I think I lived under this delusion.
I think I truly believed that the main reason I was single was my weight. And to be perfectly honest—that was comforting. As long as it was my weight…..it wasn’t ME. But if I am still single….still having failed relationships….even after having lost 240 pounds….then what does THAT mean?
It could mean only one thing
It was never the weight that was the problem.
IT WAS ME
At least that is the prevalent thought that has gone through my mind for the past year
And before you point out to me that it’s a wrong thought…I will tell you that I recognize that
I recognize that generalizing so drastically is never good
It is however something I have a tendency to do. It’s one of those irrational thought processes that I’ve always been susceptible to
Overgeneralizing or Catastrophizing scenarios by saying
“It will ALWAYS be this way…”
“Things will NEVER change….”
“Nothing will ever get better now…”
These thought processes are exactly one of the very things that made it hard for me to ever start losing weight in the first place. Because in order to change, you must believe that you CAN
You must believe you are capable of change. That change CAN happen and that hope is something that will not elude you.
But I lost sight of that. The same issues I dealt with before weight loss are in many ways the same ones I still deal with now.
I lost my mother on New Years Eve. When everyone was outside popping off fireworks and celebrating, I was wondering how I could ever go on without my mother in my life.
One of the biggest ironies for me in this world was the night I heard so much celebration going on outside my window on New Years Eve…..celebration, laughs, fireworks…..and yet my entire world was in my mind coming to an end as I learned only a few hours earlier that my mom had passed away.
Last night was New Years Eve and again I had to fight against the depression and sadness that often threatens to envelop me on that night. You see, I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time and food was my cure. Food saved me on many nights that depression and anxiety threatened to overtake me. But now food can no longer serve that purpose.
This is where the twist comes in. Though I have had a strong faith in God and He has carried me through countless circumstances–I found myself turning to alcohol more and more after I had the weight loss surgery. I did not intend or ever believe that alcohol could ever become a problem for me. After all, it never was before. I didn’t believe I could develop a problem with alcohol having sailed safely through 40 years of my life without it ever being any big issue.
Of course there was a time when my husband first left me where I did use alcohol for a time more than I had in the past–but I quickly turned to food instead as that was always my primary choice. One thing I didn’t realize or anticipate was just how susceptible I am as an individual to using a “substance” to deal with things instead of letting God get me through it.
It is said in psychology that some people have addictive personalities. In the weight loss community it is widely discussed that once food is removed as an option many will turn to alcohol or other things as their addictive personalities seek out some other equally destructive habit.
If you’ve ever wondered just how big this problem can be for many after weight loss surgery and/or significant weight loss—just check out the comments section in the linked article below that people have been commenting on now for several years
I’ve heard tales of those who became addicted to shopping, sex, drugs, and other things. Yet I believed that this would not happen to me because I ‘knew better“.
Knowing better….knowing the right way….didn’t keep me from falling.
I am sad to say that like many before me who have had weight loss surgery, I found alcohol became an easy substitute for a Big Mac but one that could quickly become even more destructive.
I have found over the course of the past 2 years, that losing weight is a multifaceted issue for me. It is one that I will never stop facing. One I will have to attack daily. And one issue that can lead to others if I am not careful.
I can tell you this.
Losing weight will not solve all your problems in life. It may lead to more.
And yet that does NOT give us an excuse to turn back.
To say “OH I was better off before….better off obese…”
Because losing weight is not the problem
It is not the weight loss itself that caused me to stumble in other areas
It is simply the way I handle issues when I choose to handle them in a destructive manner instead of a healthy one.
I was in many ways ashamed and embarrassed that I had stumbled
I felt in so many ways as a Christian that God was tired of me. That if I knew the path…..if I knew the right way….how could I once again fall into such a self destructive pattern?
I feel as if I have let my children down as well. Spending too much time of the last year worrying about dating and having “fun” instead of being focused fully on my children.
After losing 240 pounds and being alone for the last 8 years….I will admit I think I had a bit of a midlife crisis. And looking back, I regret a lot of things but mostly the fact that I spent too much time focused on Holly and not enough time focused on the ones in my life that matter the most.
But I’m back
Not because I’ve figured it all out as I had hoped I would by the time I ‘returned’ to my blog
But I’m back because I discovered hiding and being away from the people who have helped you is no way to conquer your issues.
And so that is the truth. The truth of what I’ve been going through. And now it’s time to forge on and press forward….
I’ve regained about 15 pounds and that’s where I’m at.
I haven’t worked out in quite awhile–hit or miss at best.
I have gotten out of the habit of doing the daily things that kept me grounded.
My prayer life and time at church has all taken a hit as I’ve shied away from all the things that I know will keep me on the right path in favor of my own self destructive habits.
But to make a fresh start, we must take a true account of where we are and go from there.
So if you want to start fresh—start with me!!
What worked for me 2 years ago will work for me now
30 seconds at a time is all it takes to start again.
This week I will post my plan to get back into working out as well as I what I intend to eat
I know I’ve been gone awhile but I’m glad to be back
This blog has helped me more than you could ever know.
Not the blog really but the people (YOU) I have met through it.
And I believe that getting back to it….will be a major key component to getting back on track.
Now that I’ve gone on about ME…I would love to hear from YOU. How have you been?
Let’s catch up and then grab some hope together as we move forward into this New Year!!