Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Showing Up In My Bathing Suit

I'm standing in nothing but my bathing suit. Eighteen 5 year olds are pointing and laughing at me. The moms are, of course, beauty queens in their bathing suits. The dads can't meet my eyes. Did I just wake from a nightmare? No, I'm just imagining my son's field trip to the pool tomorrow. Why did I volunteer to chaperon anything that requires a bathing suit???

Because this is not about me. Or my weight. Because my son asked me to go. Because I want to love my son more than my fears that I am unlovable at this weight.

My son doesn't need me to be skinny. He needs me to be healthy. He needs me to be involved in his life (even when it requires a bathing suit!) He needs me to be seen and not hidden; he needs me to be present and not distracted by my insecurities. He needs me to be attentive to him and his friends and not comparing myself with the beauty queen moms.

So tomorrow I show up in my black polka dot bathing suit and I forget myself. I laugh and play and I might even yell out "cannon ball!" before I hit the water.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Turning Point (hopefully)

I'm dancing around the same numbers on the scale these weeks. And I have my own (poor) choices to blame. It is not working for me to try to lose this weight for something that may or may not happen in the future. Especially something so emotionally laden. We are not trying for another baby right now because I am not at a healthy weight. (At least that's what I tell myself. This makes me feel like I am in control; something I like very much. But lurking in the back of my mind is the fear - what if I lose the weight, and still no baby? Who knew there would be so many psychological barriers to losing weight? I want to lose weight, right? Yes, of course. And no. Not if it means I have to face the grief of not having any more babies growing in my belly.

I recently bought Chasing Silhouettes by Emily Wierenga. It is the story of Emily's battle with an eating disorder and advice on how to help a loved one battling the disease. I read the book for (at least) two reasons: One, as a mental health professional, I work with girls and women struggling with eating disorders.
Two, it's a part of my own story.

I relate to Emily as a writer, a mother, a woman, a believer, a daughter and an eating disorder survivor (ongoing). Emily writes about being able to eat more healthy when she was pregnant. She found it easier to justify eating with a baby inside her. She writes, "As a former anorexic walking in renewal, I would highly recommend eating as though there were a child living inside you, until you're able to love yourself enough to eat for you..."

I also eat so much more healthy when I am pregnant or trying to conceive. But it's not working for me to stay motivated in this current weight loss journey by focusing on a future pregnancy that may or may not ever happen. It struck me when Emily went on to say that there are people in her life who rely on her to be healthy. Yes! As a mom and a wife, my family needs me to be healthy, right now, this very night in the choices I make.  

I remember working with a therapist when I was in the throes of my eating disorder and she said something that became a turning point for me. It was quite simple and quite profound all at the same time. She said, "You will let go of your eating disorder when you allow other things to become more important."

What am I allowing to be more important than my health and my family? Will I let go of control and fear enough to allow for more trust, more obedience, more healing? Will I allow this again to be a turning point? 

I can choose to be healthy right now. For my family. And for my future. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

A "Must Read"

I just had to post a link to this amazingly powerful and healing essay I came across today.

The author writes,

"Our physical presence here matters, no matter its shape."

May it bring some healing and comfort to you, my reader, in this war we wage with our bodies.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

To Adore Is To Respect

I may not adore the way my body currently looks (have I ever adored my body?) but I am grateful for all it is capable of - forming and growing two babies in my belly, fighting off infections, telling me when I am hungry and when I am full, recharging when I rest.

To adore my body is to respect it. Respect it with how I treat it and how I allow others to treat it. Respect it with the kinds of food and drink I take in. Respect it by moving my body in the sunshine and fresh air. Respect it by working to lose excess fat and build muscle.

My body is wise and strong and resilient and deserving of care.

How about you? What will it take for you to adore your body, just as you are, today?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weigh In

I was supposed to have better news to report for this week's weigh in. Last week I was so close to the 20 pound mark. I made changes to lose weight more intentionally by setting short term goals the night before, drinking more water, cutting out fast food and exercising. I admit I did better with all of these earlier in the week. But I didn't expect to GAIN weight this week with all the positive changes I made. However, with nursing my daughter less now that she's sleeping through the night, I recently got my period back after a 2 + year hiatus. And that really does make a difference with our bodies, if we only take into account water weight gain alone. I have learned to be kind to myself the week leading up to my period with all the roller-coaster emotional and physical changes going on in my heart and mind and body. This week's weight gain most likely has to do with my period. But it's still disappointing.

What will I do with disappointment and set backs? Will I go through the McDonalds drive thru and order TWO Egg McMuffins after dropping my son off at school? (Which I may or may not have done this morning). Or will I be kind to myself?  That can look different for each one of us. For me, it might mean, not sabotaging by eating the foods that will not help me reach my goals. It might mean, taking a walk in the snow for my exercise. It might mean eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I begin to feel full. It might mean, letting it go when I don't make my goals and beginning again, each day.

What about you? How are you kind to yourself? What do you do surrounding your "time of the month" that is helpful in staying on track?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Living Intentionally

I met all my weight loss goals for today: no fast food, no sweets/desserts, at least 20 minutes of exercise (25 minutes on elliptical). I didn't drink 64 oz of water but definitely drank more than I usually do. I have found that if I want to lose this weight, I need to diet intentionally. It works for me to set my goals the night before. It works for me to set short term goals (for a day, for a week) for surely I can eat differently and fit in exercise for just one day (or week).

It was my dad who taught me about the power of playing mind games on myself. He was an avid runner and played many a mind game on himself throughout his years of training for marathons and triathlons. Many weekends as a teenager we would run together. Saturday mornings were our "long runs"
(the longest I ever ran was 13 miles!!). He taught me how to keep on when I wanted to give up. I would look for something up the road and tell myself, I can walk once I get to the next mailbox. And once I got to the mailbox, I would tell myself, well, I made it here, I can go til the next mailbox. And on and on I would go til I finished what I intended on running for the day.

So it is with dieting. Surely I can go just one day without sweets. Surely I can find 20 minutes of my day to exercise. And today, I did. And it feels great, which is good motivation, to do it again tomorrow.

Goals for tomorrow (Thursday, March 7): no fast food, no sweets/desserts (other than Medifast), 64 oz of water, at least 20 minutes of exercise.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Why is it that I am more faithful to others than I am to myself? It's been almost 2 months since my last blog post mostly because I have not been faithful to my weight loss goals. I may or may not be eating m&m's while I'm writing this.

The good news is that I have lost 19 pounds in the last 5 months since I began October 1, 2012.  The not so good news - I am hovering over the same numbers on the scale, gaining and losing a pound here and a pound there these last couple months. And it's not because I have hit a plateau. That is being too generous. No, it's because I am not eating healthy and I am not exercising.

I'm awfully close to a 20 pound weight loss and that will feel really good. But to get there (and beyond - 13 more to pre-pregnancy weight, then 20 more to my goal weight), I need a plan. I need daily goals, set the night before. Otherwise it is always "tomorrow" that I will eat better and exercise.

I have not been as stringently following the Medifast Nursing Mother's Program. Too many mornings I've dropped my son off at school and then to a McDonalds drive thru for an Egg McMuffin. I'm not drinking enough water nor eating enough vegetables. I'm indulging in too many sweets and too many carbs. I'm not eating often enough (every 2-3 hours for Medifast diet). I'm not exercising.

So I am making changes - doable, short-term goals - in the name of faithfulness. Faithfulness to myself, to my future, to my health, to my family, to my God. I have come too far to sabotage at this point.

My short term goals for this week until next weigh in (Tuesdays): NO fast food!!!

My short term goals for tomorrow (Wednesday, March 6): no sweets, no desserts. I will drink 64 oz of water. I will exercise (at least) 20 minutes.

And I will take another picture when I reach 20 pounds lost, hopefully at next weigh in. Thank you, faithful blog readers. I need your support now more than ever.