Life’s Hard Lessons

There’s an old saying of “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” This is a great saying, but over the past 5 years, I have made so many pitches, gallons, and 50 gallon barrels of the stuff with every start and stop along the weight loss trek, that I have probably lost count. I think the worst part is that I have put it here on the world wide web for anyone to see my failures. I keep reaching, thinking that this time it’ll be different. But it’s not. It has yet to be. I think I may have finally figured out the (my) problem. It has all been in my mind set.

I keep going into every year like a cliff diver in competition in Mexico, ready to plunge head first into the depths without thinking about the consequences. I would go full tilt for the first three or so months and hit a plateau, or burn myself out, or hurt myself. The end result would always be the same: I’d quit. I would look at the progress that I had made and kiss it goodbye, inevitably reversing my progress and adding more to where I started.

I thought I was at my lowest point last year when I last took the dive, weighing in at 247 pounds (see my post here). I was wrong. Too much stress eating. Too much mindless, fog eating while at work or at hope. Couple that with no exercise and we have where I am today, I think that, for right now, I am going to keep the numbers to myself. Cowardly? Yes.

I am stepping into 2018 with a different way of thinking about this. I am not going to say that I am on a diet because that way of thinking has crapped out on me too many times. Instead, I am going in to 2018 making a lifestyle change. The four letter word does nothing for me other than making me angry…

What do I mean by a lifestyle change? I am going to focus on altering my eating habits, logging in everything I eat, and keeping my daily calorie count under 1600. I am going to focus on drinking more water, and stepping away from the sweet tea at the golden arches. I am going to start getting more active, slow and steady, building up as my body lets me.

What are my motivations this time? Why am I trying again? There are a few reasons. The first is I am tired of being tired all the time. Knowing I am unhealthy but not doing anything to change it is stupid. I am tired of being an embarrassment to my children (my feelings -they’ve never said anything to me about being embarrassed). Third is my son graduates college in May of this year with a degree in kinesiology, and I don’t want to be the fat mom there. I have a feeling there are so many more reasons on the horizon, I just do not want to wait any more.

How am I going to accomplish this? Wait, just how much is ‘this” that I am talking about? Let me answer the second question first. Overall, I want to lose 100 pounds, yes, I know it’s a lot. That is how much of the too much of me there is. Now, for the how? I have signed up for a weight loss app called Noom to help me get through this change. Add to that eating better, more water, and more exercise. And small goal chunks. My first goal chunk is to drop to 246.4, and I know this is doable. I am going to make an effort to hit the gym daily for at least an hour of cardio to rebuild some muscle, and start erasing some of the fat that I have accumulated.

My goal here is to try and document every other day, if not daily, how its going, how I am feeling, what are my struggles and accomplishments. I would say fingers crossed, but it’s not up to luck or chance this time. It’s up to ME.

Mirror, Mirror

Over the course of this blog, it has morphed from this, to that, to something in outer space, and back to Earth as something else all together. Wow, I’ve either covered a lot of ground, or I have a lot to say, or I just share whatever is rolling around in my mind…I guess that third option pretty well covers it. Now it seems Im going to write about what I started with so very long (almost 2 years?!?) ago.

Back in July 2013 I stepped on the scale and crumbled inside myself at the number. It was an eye opener, that’s for sure (you can read it here). I made the decision then and there to improve myself, eat healthier, get exercise, become fit versus the fat. I went to a local gym, joined immediately, and signed up for twice weekly sessions with a trainer, who I went on to refer to as Sadist in follow up posts.I was focused, dedicated, and happily workingman ass off and stress out of my system. Then the inevitable happened…

I burned out. I went too hard, too fast, and my mind, my focus, blipped out. When I worked out it was, admittedly half assed. I gave up on myself. The shame and embarrassment were back, stronger than ever. I tried to like myself, pretending that I did, but looking in the mirror grew more and more difficult.

Life and death happened. Books closed and new books with fresh pages opened for me to write the new part of my life on…and I have written. I can spin tales, smiling while I do, making everyone believe the lies are truth. Everyone, that is, except for me.

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I hate the mirror. When I do look at it, I hate what I see when my eyes travel lower than my face because that is when I see the truth. What I see and how I react to it? They’re neither one healthy. No, there’s no self harming. But the constant, persistent voice inside my head is back, like an achy tooth. It nags at me, when I look in the mirror.

I’m back to square one, with a lot more weight than I had twenty-two months ago. I need to get back. I need to move. I need to focus. I need to succeed.

I have to start.

Movin’ On

Sometimes I wonder if Julie Andrews was right when,  from high atop a mountaintop in Austria, arms spread wide, she sings, “Climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every by way, every path you know… ”

I’ve talked in past blogs (I think) that a lot of life is based on perspective. A good friend of mine was advised to try and change perspective instead of letting things bother them so much. And they tried to, succeeding more often than not, but it seemed that finally the ability to change perspective just gets to be too much, that there are nor other options. No other glasses to look through. No kaleidoscope to peer through in hopes of seeing something -anything- better than it is.

You’ve lived on this mountain, trying everything to see better. You keep climbing up it, fighting battles, weathering all types of storms along the way. You either make it to the top, or you just know that that climb is too difficult.  Sometimes when you get to that point, at least to my way of thinking, its time to take drastic changes. If you don’t like the view that you have where you’re standing at, maybe its time to move to a new mountain.

You have the ability to change what you see, and how you see it. If you’re not happy, your friends will try their damnedest to cheer you up, but more often than not, the change, or choice, to be happy resides in you.  Is it easy? Nope. Is it scary? Hell, yes. Are you with taking the chance on? Absolutely. Go for it!7b7440cc3ac22a93fc7fbd164437f060

Masks II

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I’m a coward. Oh, I’m full of big talk when other people need my help, ask my opinion, or just need a good shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen, but when it comes to letting people know me? Not the top layer, but the real me that lies deep below the surface? Oh, no, I can’t let people get to know the real me. What will they think? Will they like this me? Hell, most of the time I don’t like that me, why would I ever think someone else would? I keep her hidden under so many masks that make up small parts of me…

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I know that the different masks that I hide behind are all parts of me, little snippets that I share here and there when I am finally comfortable enough with someone to let them in. I have a mask that I wear for my family, it’s one that is supposed to remain strong, that hides the fears and sorrows that I don’t want to share. This mask is made of a thick clay. It has survived so much, but like anything else, with time it has begun to crack, and I fear what will happen if it one day falls apart.

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Another mask that I wear, one that more people are getting to see and know, is my mask of creativity. Again, those damn insecurities about my writing, my singing, my expressionism, they hide behind a mask that is thin, like fine china, where you can see the light shining through it. It wouldn’t take much to break that one.

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The top most mask is the one I share with everyone. Only a select few get beneath this one. It is my shield. My line of defense against everything that comes at me. It holds truths about me, but it guards so many more. 9d31cb97bb2b71021afba95b798e41b2

How do I decide who to share the truth with? Oddly enough, the anonymity of this blog has been the most telling and revealing of the real, raw me there is. Its in writing this that I am trying to love myself. I remember writing enough blog post about masks over a year ago, and when I was rereading it just now, its odd to see how little has changed, and what masks I still hide behind. You can read that earlier post here. I try to face the darkness that hides in me, facing it dead on , and sharing it.

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How Do You See Things?

You know how sometimes you are so… off keel, that no matter how hard you try, nothing ever seems to work the right way? Nothing anyone says to you helps, in fact it only serves to push you closer to the edge of screaming than before? No matter how hard you try to get everything on your to-do list done, but so many other people or things force their way to the top of your list, to the point that, at the end of the day you feel like the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland saying, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get?” What if all it takes to get through those times is a new perspective?

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It took a moment of honest truth from a friend to make me realize that what I’m seeing might not be what’s really going on. Is it possible that I’m misinterpreting everything? Okay, yes, its very possible. But the realization is not without cost because now I have to remind myself that,  what I hear is not necessarily what is being said. It’s like trying to break a bad habit in myself… A near impossible feat.

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An artist can create perspective with the slash of a pencil, charcoal, or brush, changing how we see something, making it seem farther away, or nearer than it actually is. If you let things build higher and higher in your mind, eventually it’s going to topple like the tower in the game Jenga, and when it topples, it’ll take you with it. Its time to step back and look at it again with that new perspective, Its time to take control of your own life again.

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