Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unique Needs

Even the toughest of people can be broken down emotionally and psychologically.  I have seen it happen and have experienced it myself.  It is a funny thing - what we as people tie to our emotional selves - the yin that drives our yang.  We are all tied somehow and by something - it escapes none of us.  Some people are tied to perfection - if they make a mistake then they are the mistake.  Some are connected by their need to control everything - my way or the highway.  Yet others are tied to their perceptions of how others perceive them.  In a way - I have been all three of these - even now I believe I move in and out of them.  I lived for a very long time thinking of the world in very black & white terms wherein there was no grey.  Grey is a wonderful color however. 

While, in the past, I have held the belief that if I make a mistake then I am the mistake... and have had a need to control things around me.... and let what I believe others think of me affect me - my deepest and most bonded emotional and psychological ties are rooted deep within my own self perception and how I see myself physically.  The view of how I see myself physically has a dramatic effect on my emotions which trickle to every part of my life.  Nothing goes unaffected.  My moods are negative, my anxiety heightens, I become withdrawn, my patience shortens for everything and everyone around me.  I am a real joy to say the least. 

They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back on how I viewed myself when I was grossly overweight I believe I saw myself thinner (way thinner) than I actually was.  My mother would often times point this out but it fell on deaf ears.  I wonder if this, for me, was a coping mechanism as I now understand my mother to have been correct.  (I must note at this point that while many of you might think my mother reads this blog and is proud of me - she does indeed NOT read it, so I can say she was right without having to hear how she told me so.) I say a coping mechanism because I think if I was, at the time, to have truly been able to view my actual physical size for what it was - I don't know how I could have handled that.  I don't know what the consequences would have been, but at the time I do not believe they would have been inspirational. 

I have spent a great amount of time reflecting this summer on how I am tied to my self-image.  The weight I put on over the winter had a dramatic effect on my moods which impacted every part of my life.  Even though it wasn't a great deal of weight it was enough to make my face bloated, my clothes not fit, and my heart to ache as I felt all 340 pounds come crashing back onto my shoulders.  Yes, carrying around that extra weight made me feel 340 pounds again.  It took me back to that time when I felt out of control and not in control of anything.  It made me feel like I had made a mistake and didn't know how to fix it so I was becoming the mistake, and as people told me I was nuts that I had not gained any weight I couldn't help but utter under my breath, "Liar! And you're loving it!"

As women our bodies are all different and not only do we require different nutritional components based on our body types but we also have unique physical, emotional, and psychological needs.  Our physiology dictates it. I swear.  It's fact.  If there are two things I have learned reflecting back on this past winter it's this:

1.  Know your body inside and out - what are your unique needs-  and if you don't know make it a point to figure it out.

2.  Make yourself a priority.   Feed those unique needs.  Not doing so has consequences. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I Drank the Kool-Aid

Weight loss does not come in a miracle pill nor does it come with Oprah's head on Ellen's body. "Garcinia" advertisements are clogging the web and are the #1 suggested Facebook post that is recommended for me to view. So, I viewed a few and the advertisements are delusional. One ad literally removed Oprah's head and put it on Ellen's body - and no, they did not Photoshop Ellen's hands. With that said - when the Groupon came out for $9.99 I bought my two bottles. Even the smartest of us are susceptible to a downfall now and then.

Needless to say, it was a wasted $9.99.

Why would I feel I need weight loss pills?  Because I fell down – or should I say UP.  Way up.  As we all know losing weight and being healthy is tough business.  Maintaining that weight loss and remaining in a healthy balance is even tougher.  The slightest change of a single variable can throw off our balance.

My balance was thrown off by the tough winter as well as working a job that demanded I sit for hours at a time.  By hours I mean HHHOOOUUURRRSSS.   Sitting so long literally makes your ass grow outward.  It fattens, flattens, and spreads.  Running at night did nothing to combat the negative (or in this case +) effects that those long hours in that chair had.  By the time spring peaked its head through winter I looked like a leftover snowman.  Everything about me was puffy and it took me back to that place where all I felt was 340 pounds….340 pounds just weighing me down. 

After my week long stint with the "Garcinia" (yes, that is all it lasted) I took to the basics and began writing down the foods I was eating.  I kept running and tried to take “micro-breaks” and move between meetings at work.  And the results?  I kept getting rounder.   I became really miserable on top of being round.  Not a good combination.   So now the hives are coming out.  For anyone who has kept up with my blog you will know that my coping mechanism for dealing with stress has been breaking out in hives instead of breaking into the can of chocolate frosting. 

Being in tune with our bodies is a must.  We need to know how they work and how to keep them working properly.  I know that I have the type of body that to maintain my weight and health (physical and emotional) I have to keep moving – all the time – no time for stopping for lengthy periods of time.  Some might be asking “Abby, why didn’t you ask for help at work?”  I did but when it finally arrived it was too late.  The damage was done and the help I really needed wasn’t going to come from support at work. 

Help came in the form of a misdial.  I “accidently” called this man I had met over the winter.  Meeting him in the first place was quite accidental in itself.  I met Team Fit founder Marcus through my realtor at the “Y” on a Saturday morning and within twenty minutes I knew this man was going to change my life forever.  I worked out with him for twenty minutes, took his number, he Facebooked me, we chatted a little, he invited me to a buffet…...  (Shannon Marie, if you are reading this it should remind you of my first stint at Jenny Craig…..wanting to do it but not quite ready to commit).  

So, back to the misdial – As soon as I realized I was calling Marcus I hung the phone up as fast as I could.  I was like “Oh shit, he is so going to see that!”  Sure enough Marcus called me the next day and (Shannon Marie – I swear it was the same exchange we had when I returned to JC) he asked, “You ready?” and replied, “I am.” 

On June 30th I began the next voyage on this very long journey of getting and remaining healthy.  Marcus is a trainer that believes in caring for the body and the soul.  He sees people very differently from the traditional trainer; or at least those I have worked with in the past and have quietly watched work with others over the years.  I have been working with Marcus and his extraordinary team for just over a month now and the roundness has disappeared but more importantly than the outside, I feel better inside.  I don’t feel all of the 340 pounds weighing down on me anymore.  When I walked into Jenny Craig in 2008 I made a commitment to change.  It is 2014 and that commitment has not wavered.      

For a long time I could not find the words to share with you all.  I had no idea who I was without the weight and needed to figure that out- I had sworn that I would be the same person without it that I was with it – but no, that is not the case.  I am different.  People see me differently and I see myself differently.  I did not know where my journey was going, but now I do and have once again found the words – over 900 of them.  You have all followed me this long on my journey and I invite you to continue.  I promise I won’t disappear nor disappoint.