Monday, September 19, 2016

Sept 19th Dandelions and A New Focus

Having seriously contemplated my own mortality lately I have noticed some things.

Now, when I think a nice thing about someone I am with, I want to I tell them.

Now, when I think of someone, I try to call them.

Now, I try to bite my tongue when tempted to be snippy, and instead appreciate and love my Sweetie. Let go of the unimportant, and cherish the important.

Now, I notice little joys around me. Like colors, flowers, cerulean blue skies, white puffy clouds, the way my Pup plays and laughs and barks with joy… for no reason other than the sheer joy of being alive.

Last Thursday I went to the hospital for a test. I’ve been there several times over the years. For various tests, or visiting others. 

This time, I NOTICED that in the middle of the parking lot, was a beautiful little park!! Fir trees, Pines, Blue Spruce; tall blooming pink flowers, deep red large blossoms, lowly green ground cover, a large green lawn with wrought iron benches circling the lawn to sit under the tall shade tree, and shrubbery leaves turning into vivid fall colors. 

And right there, amidst all the manicured loveliness: a small herd of Dandelion puffballs, defiantly waving in the breeze! I LOVED IT!

No matter what, they won’t be denied. They will bloom and not just survive, but THRIVE. I was cheering on those little plants that most folks call weeds. They chose to bloom where they were planted, in spite of what anyone else wanted. Yay for the Dandelions of the world. :-D

In the support group A Better Weigh that I joined a few months ago, often people share how awareness and feelings are different now that they aren’t numbed up with food. It took me awhile, but I think I get it now.

Before Recovery, food was the great “mood shifter”:

Bored? Eat
Mad? Eat
Lonely? Eat
Tired? Eat
Disappointed? Eat
Scared? Eat
Just… uneasy? Eat

The more intense the feelings, the more I ate. Until I was numb.

Food would dampen those feelings, allowing escape from uncomfortable sensations.

Now I am learning not to focus on weight loss. On another diet. I am learning to focus on Recovery. Recovery from that whole mis-use and abuse of food.

After starting Recovery, I am learning to really believe (not just head knowledge) that feelings won’t kill me. I must feel and deal. It’s a part of life, the ups and downs. And to not fear feelings and bury them under a mountain of food. 

It’s scary sometimes. For me, at times the feelings seem stronger now. Like… my anger can feel like RAGE. Or, my sadness like horrible grief and regret. But the joys are also more clear and pure, and feel precious, and seem to touch me more deeply.

I’m wondering if this “food sobriety” is allowing me to notice those things now I have been missing. Methinks… yes.

Still on the Journey,


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Aug 31st A Turning Point & Why I Was Wrong

Sorry in advance this will be long. It feels like I’ve turned a corner, and I want to get it down here.

I’m 65 years young. Put on my first diet at age 10. Fought this wt thing all my dang life.

(can click to enlarge)

I tried to do everything “they” told me to do. Spent thousands over the years, including going into debt from a hospital based Dr/nutritionist program in the 80’s. Liquid fast of 400 calories a day. Ended up in hospital with mini-stroke and gallstone attack. You get the idea. Only reason I never did wt loss surgery was my insurance refused to cover it. 

I believe “they” meant well. Most just gave some form of “eat less, move more” advice. But nothing worked for this food addict. I finally discovered, that FOR ME, I needed to let go of sugar. I went low carb and sugar free several years ago, which finally released me from the physical food cravings.

Yet… the emotional part was still there. A lifetime of using food to “mood shift”, to try to fix feelings. That ingrained habit persisted.

Over the years I’ve tried about every book/CD/video/course out there. Secular, Christian, psychology, behavior modification, power of positive thinking with all it’s various offshoots. Private counseling, various alternative herbal, alternative therapies. Investigated rational emotive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and some I can’t even spell.  

I still think there is merit in some of that. But…

I think now, I was wrong. For some issues, all that is great. For this food addict… it didn’t work. Believe me, I sincerely tried. I wasn’t playing around. I would plunge in and give it my all, with high hopes. Only to be painfully disappointed when I eventually crashed once more.

Through the private support and accountability group A Better Weigh, I was introduce to the little free e-book from Dr Marty Lerner. He has run an in-patient addiction recovery clinic for many years, and knows a few things. I’ve been studying his book for weeks. I had to be teachable, since a lot of what he says is the opposite of other stuff I’ve read! Yet as I read, then re-read, thought about it, prayed about it… I finally understood some of it.

Thank you, Dr Lerner, for showing me why I was wrong. Why I had the “cart before the horse”. I sincerely believed what “they” all said: Change your thinking, change your life. That was the whole premise of my former approach. I mean, all the big name writers/teachers said so, each in their own way. 

Yet, for the food addict… there it is again. For the addict, Dr Lerner says that approach doesn’t work, in his years of experience.

And he explains why that is BACKWARDS for the addict. His approach finally, finally has penetrated this hard head. In a nutshell, he says to obtain recovery from an addiction (in my case, using food as my drug of choice) one must DO the right thing regardless of how one feels. In his words:

“Recovery is about transcending our  need to fix how we feel and doing the next right thing no matter what we’re feeling.”

“The cart is placed before the horse when we get it backwards by insisting we fix our feelings first. Believing our feelings and thoughts must be changed before we’re able to change our behavior can be a very costly mistake.”

I still believe in the truths about the power of our words; of what we choose to consistently think upon… all that. But thanks to Dr Lerners explanations, I can see that for this food addict to obtained and KEEP recovery, the answer lies first in the DOING, regardless of feelings. AFTER recovery is when those therapies have merit. I had the cart before the horse.

Feeling very thankful today. 

If you would like to read Dr Lerner’s e-book, he is generously offering it free online HERE. Just put in your first name and email addy, and they will send you the link. Truly, it’s life changing.

Still on the Journey,


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aug 24th Uh oh...Another Gift Arrived

It's been a busy summer. Ups, downs and progress, albeit slow. Had another dental surgery, and healing up nicely. Only one more to go, yay!

I'm still enjoying my weekly Tai Chi class, and have gotten my little backyard therapy pool going for water aerobics about 5 times a week. Loving that!

I'm still involved with the support and accountability group called A Better Weigh, that I originally found through Sean Anderson, from The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser.

 This is new to me, being accountable this way, and it goes against my independent tendency. But submitting to that kind of accountability and receiving and offering caring support in return has been tremendous. These "strangers" have turned out to be kind and caring people on the same journey to health as I am. Very powerful!

For those who don’t know me well: I live in a powerchair. All waking hours. My overall goal is to regain health, strength and mobility. To walk again. I have a muscle/joint/connective tissue thing with blown knees, and the added weight makes walking impossible. So, weight loss is a prerequisite for walking again. I started at 460, and am now at 325. I NEED to continue. I still have dreams and goals, and need mobility to realize them.

Yesterday another Gift arrived, all wrapped up in a painful experience. My powerchair broke down. My Sweetie couldn't fix it this time, and it will take months navigating the Medicare/insurance "system" to get another one. When I ask the people I'm dealing with to get a new one what I'm supposed to do in the meantime, they just shrug. Sorry, that's the system.

Anyway, this loss of my ONLY way to get around, my powerchair breaking down, was devastating. And this morning I realized it was a Gift.

The Gift is a stark, clear look at what my future WILL absolutely be, if I fail at obtaining Recovery from food addiction. It felt like I time traveled to my future. I mean, intellectually, I knew this. But… now I’ve experienced it. It was not only physically painful, but terrifying. Waiting for help to get a drink of water. Waiting for help to get into the bathroom. Waiting for help to get to the computer... etc etc etc. It is not living, just existing. 

So I accept and embrace this gift of motivation. This gift of seeing crystal clear what my future could be - both ways, good and bad. And the powerful KNOWING that I can choose which direction I go. I guess that’s the real Gift: knowing and BELIEVING that I can choose my future by my choices, by what I DO. I'm very grateful for this Gift. I'm now sure it's an answer to prayer.

My book quote for today: "...the person who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate." --John C Maxwell, How Successful People Think

My verse for today: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

My quote for today: "...eating disorders tend to have in common the relentless attempt to control how we feel... the point is we often engage in potentially compulsive or addictive behaviors in a misguided attempt to 'manage' unpleasant feelings."



Edited 8/27 to add: All phone calls fell on deaf/uncaring ears. UNTIL we found a repairman who let me use his loaner powerchair without charge. And it "just happened" to be large enough to accommodate me (we previously have checked into renting one, and no one around here had one that was rated over 250 lbs). He will work mine into his repair schedule, and though I must pay out of pocket, he has a reconditioned part he can use (saving me several hundred dollars), and assures me it will last the several months it will take to get a new powerchair. Yay! Another answer to prayers. Feeling grateful today.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13th I Finally Did It!

I did it! I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and joined a Tai Chi class. And I LOVE it! I started yesterday, and am already hooked.

"Take care of yourself." 

This is something my Tai Chi instructor said in class yesterday. There were new people in the back rows who could not see her. She saw this, and tried to move back and forth; then suggested they move until they had a clear view. 

Then she STOPPED trying to do this for everyone, paused, and just said to everyone: “Take CARE of yourself.”

We need to not be victims. To wait for someone else to take care of us. To be pro-active and make healthy choices. 

To say NO when needed. 
To say YES when needed. 
To stand up for ourselves when needed. 
To let it go when needed.

To take care of ourselves.

My book quote for today: "So how do we keep ourselves from decaying? By changing the signals we send to our bodies. The keys to overriding the decay code are daily exercise, emotional commitment, reasonable nutrition and a real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise." -- Younger Next Year for Women, by Crowley and Lodge

My verse for today: "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

My quote for today: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." --Neale Walsh

Enjoy the journey,



PS: for anyone interested in Tai Chi, here is a very nice demo on youtube.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Time for a Funeral

I did my usual first of the month weigh in thing: lost 7 lbs last month. Not exactly Rabbit speed, but a nice respectable Turtle. That much closer to regained health.

That makes 27 lbs since the beginning of Feb this year. In the past, I would dampen that joy with regrets:

I wish I had done this sooner.
Why did I re-gain?
I've been at the weight before.
Etc etc etc.

No more. I embrace the joy and hope.

Today I attend a funeral. I'm holding a ceremony, and saying goodbye to a presence that has been with me as long as I remember: 


Today I lay them to rest.

Eulogy for My Lifelong Regrets

Today I say goodbye to My Lifelong Regrets. We’ve been together a long time, but now it’s time I let you go.

You taught me a lot.

You taught me about Humility, because my life didn’t turn out as I thought it would, yet I still have much for which to be thankful.

You taught me about Compassion, because I know how it feels to struggle and fail, repeatedly.

You taught me about Determination, because though I fell - a LOT - somehow by God’s grace, I got up again and kept going.

You taught me about Focus, because though there is pain in life, I can still choose to focus on the beauty, joy and goodness that is there also.

You taught me Gratitude, because though I didn’t get all I wanted, such as children and grandchildren, I got Love. 

But one thing you did not teach me was Brevity. 

No one is perfect. ;-)

Enjoying the journey, and letting go of regrets,


Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6th I'll Do ANYTHING... just not that.

I've written about this before. How I was "willing" to make changes, but I also had boundaries. Things/favorites/foods/routines etc, that were off limits. 

Whenever I got desperate enough to let go of something that was actually a hinderance to my progress... gee, guess what?? I'd make progress. You'd think I would figure out to let go easier and sooner, right?

During my weeks with Sean/Gerri/Kathleen's support group (it has no official name, so I never know what to call it) I realized I needed to once and for all let go of a LIFETIME habit: being a Night Owl.

I've given every justification in the book, and some even now sound legit to me: it's my biological clock; I enjoy doing my art then, it's quiet and peaceful; there are no interruptions; the phone never rings; the Husband is asleep and won't ask for this or that; it doesn't bother me to sleep in the light... etc etc etc.

Problem with all that is this:   It. Kept. Me. Fat.

I would end up tired and/or hungry, and eat too much. Again. After all regular meals were already done. Over and over I would try to come up with a solution to that. A compromise.

Now I accept and embrace this truth: 

There can be NO COMPROMISE 
with anything that is destroying my health.

It's that simple. Some things can be adjusted, changed a little, tweaked. 

Not this, not for me.

This is one of those things in life that truly is all or nothing. 

And I accept that. 
I surrender to that. 
I embrace my new identity as "a Morning Person." 
(okay, that last one was said with an eyeroll and cringe, I'll admit!)

When I started with this support group back in March, I committed to going to bed each night at 11pm. 

This I can control.

I don't control how well I sleep, so I allowed that I can sleep in if needed. But I CHOOSE to go to bed at 11:00. I might tweak that later, but for now, that's my rule.

For all you Early Birds shrugging and thinking "So what's the big deal???"...  this is a Big Deal to a lifelong Night Owl. A huge shift in body rhythms, timing, scheduling, thinking patterns. I'm surprised at all it seems to affect. 

But I am willing.

The result: for these last few months, though it does not feel "natural" yet, is that I have not binge eaten ONCE at night. 

Not. Once. 

If you don't struggle with night time overeating, then you don't realize how significant a change this is. It's a big deal to me. 

And I am extremely grateful for this breakthrough. More than I can get across here...

Today's quotes:
"You cannot rely on your feelings... you can act your way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it." --John C. Maxwell, How Successful People Think

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way." --II Thess 3:16, Bible

Today I am feeling Hopeful.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2nd Still Squishy Concrete

I've talked so much about learning Consistency here because it was on my "to do" list. I wanted to learn it, apply it, master it.

But I never did.

Oh, I would be consistent "for awhile". Then I would let life interfere. 


Consistency needs to be welded together with Time for positive results.

That is one of the big things I've been learning from the accountability/support group that I joined recently. I am now officially re-upped for another 8 weeks. And I NEED it!

The things I've been learning don't feel rock solid yet. More like poured concrete that is still setting up, still squishy. But Consistency is a biggee to me.

I know WHAT to do. My plan is simple, but for it to work, I need to be Consistent. Hit and miss doesn't cut it. I'm too old, too broke down, tried this too many times. 

I can't play around, and think half-a$%ed efforts will get me anything other than half-a#@ed results!

I did my "official" monthly weigh-in on June 1st. Lost 9 lbs last month. For the 10 weeks I've been with this support group, that's now a total of 16 pounds down. Not because I didn't know what to do before. But because the Group helped me learn to HONESTLY be consistent. 

I think there are still some spots left for this next 8 week session. They keep it small so you don't get lost in the crowd, but get the support and personal attention as needed.

If you are stuck like I was, or need help in learning consistency - or anything else from the trained Coaches, then check out Sean Anderson's post about it, here.

Like Sean says: Consistency beats intensity!

The weight loss numbers are motivating and made me smile. But what I am HUGELY thankful for are the things I am learning that will KEEP me consistent, and going in the right direction for life.

Quote for the Day: "We must embrace consistency... defend it from your emotions and circumstances at every turn." --Sean Anderson

Enjoy the journey,


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