Tag Archives: identity

When You Have to Face Body Issues

Body Issues
When You Have Body Issues

One of the most interesting things about my recent weight loss is the baffling concept of Body Issues.

My eyes work. My brain is mostly functional and I can see the change in the numbers on the scale.  So explain to  me why I think it’s perfectly acceptable to put size 3x pants on my size L body.

On laundry day, I keep putting my new shirts into the pile with my husband’s shirts because they seem “too small” to be mine.  I have yet to show up for my therapy sessions without J telling me that the pants I’m wearing are still too big for me.  I keep trying to buy pants that fit, but my brain keeps telling me that I’m not a size Large.

I do have a couple pairs of pants that are close to the right size, but the body issues seize my brain and take over.  I hold them up and say “Nope, those won’t fit.”  Then I put them on and look at how they sag a bit in the butt and legs and think, “Hmmm…”  But smaller seems wrong.

My husband got one of those helicopter type drones with a video camera for Christmas and we were looking at some video he shot in our front yard while I was gardening.  Because we were hanging out at home, I had “comfy clothes” on.  But looking at that video, I look like I’ve got on some kind of clown pants and my shirt is barely hanging on to my shoulders.  They are clearly too large, but I like them.  They feel like me when I’m wearing them.

So, where is the disconnect?  Am I not able to see the weight loss?  Am I not able to see myself as a smaller person?  Do I think I don’t deserve the new, nicer clothes?

I don’t think any of those are exactly the issue, so I just keep on digging around in that messy mind to try to break through these barriers on my way to a better, healthier life.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you face this same kind of struggle and what you’re doing about it.

When You Are Told You’re not One Crazy, But Two

After a few months of working with my wonderful nutritionist, M, she asked me how I felt about adding other members to the team.  She said that we were pretty limited to food related issues on our sessions, but maybe I could use some help with mindfulness in the other areas of my life.

I looked at her and asked, “Are you saying I’m not One Crazy, but Two Crazy?”  She looked confused and I said that I had some feelings of judgement about her suggesting I’m so nutty that I need two therapists.  She laughed.

But it’s true.  I needed some help with some mom-stuff and some more help with getting my monkey-mind under control.  She referred me to a mindfulness coach/therapist here locally.  I’ll call her J.

J is a beautiful person, but wow do I find myself saying awful things about her sometimes. It’s not about her, but about me and my feelings about the work that we do.  It’s HARD!!!  It seems simple.  You breathe, you focus your mind, you set intentions and you don’t beat yourself up through the day to get things done.  But it’s not easy at all.  It’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done to break those old mental patterns.

And J has this way of finding those dark and painful places and then suggesting I shine a flashlight in there and look around at all those scary thoughts and beliefs.  Not my favorite activity as it stirs up all kinds of feelings I thought were long buried.

She also has this way of suggesting things, letting me fiercely resist them and then pointing me back to them again and again.  For instance, before Thanksgiving, she said, “You seem kind of spun out about all these things going on.”  I was super sure that she was way off base.

“I’ve got this, J.  I’ve got this to plan and this to prepare and this to get ready for that and then this other thing and I’m just busy.”

Boy was I wrong.  Three weeks later I wasn’t able to make it to our appointment because I was sick.  Talked to my doctors and they don’t think it’s part of the protocol I’m on, but my adrenal issues flaring up again.

What!?! But I’m so on top of it!  Look at my To Do list! Look how many things I’m crossing off.  I’m busy and I’m doing things and oh…

I forgot about just being.  I got all lost in all the things that were coming up.  Holidays, work, health labs, protocols, family, work, etc.  It all just sort of crept up  on me and without even realizing it, I was back being “mindless” and stressing myself out by running ferociously on that treadmill of life.

For me, that space brings up all my bad habits.  I get focused on doing things and crossing them off my list and forget all about just being and taking care of myself.  My inner diaglogue goes from being mindful and calm to saying things like, ‘What’s the matter with you!?! Why aren’t you getting more done!? Faster! Faster! Faster!”

So, here I am again.  I’m back to watching that internal dialog and dismissing all that negative self-talk.  I’m practicing self-care and getting the important things done.  Is that enough?  It has to be for now.

Practice Being Awesome!

awesome

 

Isn’t this picture fantastic?  And so true!

It’s so much better to be awesome than to be cool.  Being cool is based on an external set of values held about you by other people.  Awesome comes from within.

You’re fully embracing that awesome when you are being your True Self – in the moment and doing the things that make your heart feel full of joy.

I challenge you to create some room in your day to practice your awesome.  It’s worth it!

Every Picture Tells A Story, Don’t It

2001SouthBeachOR

Whenever this photo of me from 2001 comes up on our digital photo frame, my husband always says, “I love that picture of you.” I say “Mm hmm,” but inside I have a completely different dialog.

That photo was taken shortly after a really unfortunate incident that hurt me more than I’d like to admit.

A little background – The year before, I had traveled to Newport, OR to see Keiko (aka Willly, the orca from the Free Willy movies) before he was to be moved on the path towards freedom. I had a really amazing trip, got to meet Keiko and we had a wonderful day together. I wanted to do the trip again with my husband, so we planned it for 2001.

About a month before our trip, his employer was talking about layoffs. Couldn’t possibly involve us as my husband is their only IT guy on the west coast. SURPRISE! Two weeks before the trip, he was officially “dot-com’d”. We took the trip anyway, determined to have a good time, but there was some stress and worry that joined us on the trip.

We had rented a yurt at South Beach Campground and were trying to enjoy our time on the coast and in the redwoods before having to go home and find a job. The campground was busy, but not busting at the seams. There was one group of teenage girls wandering around and they all stopped to have a giggle across from our campsite. I was on alert, but my husband said, “They aren’t talking about you.” It has been my experience that at 350 lbs, you know when people are talking about you. 🙁

A few minutes later, he noticed my mood was falling and suggested we walk out into the dunes to watch sunset. I said I’d just run to the bathroom and meet him at the trail head. I walked into the bathroom and inside was that group of teenage girls. Two were by the sinks and two were in the bathroom stalls. One girl in the stall was talking…..

MeanGirl1: (from stall)… I mean she was SOOOO fat. It’s disgusting.
MeanGirl2: (from other stall): HA HA I know!
MeanGirl3: (standing next to me and my death stare): Um.. c’mon.. let’s go!
MeanGirl4: (leaves)
MeanGirl1: Just a minute! But seriously. How can she even leave her house when she looks like that?!?! I’d kill myself if I ever got that fat. I mean, have some control. Does she just eat donuts all day or what?
MeanGirl2: (emerges from stall, looks at me, flees)

I just stood there by the sinks and MeanGirl1 just kept on talking. Her friends were making a beeline back to anywhere I wasn’t and she was alone. With me.

I will admit having some really awful thoughts about how I was going to handle it when she came out. I considered going all American Psycho on her, but didn’t. She was still talking about how disgusting I was when she opened the door and saw me standing there.

She briefly looked around for her friends and walked to the sink. I just stood there and she would not make eye contact. I’m ashamed to admit that anger got the best of me then and I said, “Seriously. How can you even leave your house with curly hair like that girl? How disgusting to have hair like that. Why would she ever make me have to look at that. UGH!!” …. and then she was gone.

I spent a few minutes trying to get myself together. I wanted to hurt her. Badly. I wanted her to feel what I had felt when she was talking about me. I wanted her to know this wasn’t something I chose or something I enjoyed, but it was my life and who the hell was she to pass judgement on me? I wanted to tell her mother to beat her with a switch. I wanted to run her and her bratty friends over with my car. I wanted them to feel my pain. I wanted them to HURT!!!

I got myself together and walked to the dunes with my husband. He was taking pictures and I just wandered around with my thoughts.
-You ARE disgusting!
-Why ARE you out in public, making people have to look at your fatness?
-Why don’t you kill yourself? You know the world would be better off without you.
-You’re just fat, and stupid and lazy and dumb and worthless and…. and…. die.. die… die……

*Snap* And that’s what that picture means to me. It’s full of shame and anger and pain and hurt feelings and suicidal thoughts all rolled into one great big story about how I am unworthy because I am fat. A story about how my worst fears have been confirmed by a 14 year old girl in an Oregon State Campground restroom. Clearly everyone’s best source for information, right?

That story still hurts, but not for the same reasons. I fell victim to my anger and lashed out at a kid (who should have been taught better, but). I let that incident stick with me for the rest of that trip and well beyond that. I let myself tell that story about how my lack of worth had been confirmed and was TRUTH. It may have been that girl’s truth, but it wasn’t mine. I was just a person in a lot of pain, trying to do the best she can with what she had available at the time.

Who can ask for more than that?

Why BeingUndone?

Probably a good place to start, right? There are three elements to why I chose the blog name “Being Undone”.

First, it’s an homage to one of my favorite books, “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb.

I read this quote on the book jacket: “Mine is a story of craving: an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our first television was delivered…”-and I was instantly in love with Delores Price. The book is sometimes poignant, often funny and occasionally a just plain heartbreaking tale of Delores’ journey. As a ‘fat girl’ I could totally identify with her struggles with body image and food, but that’s not the main point of the story. It’s about the deconstruction of all those old family dramas and stories we tell ourselves about them and her struggles to overcome her past. It’s one of those books that stays with you and draws you back time and time again to read the story.

Secondly, I find myself at a point in my own personal journey where it feels like I’m in the middle of that same kind of deconstruction. I’ve spent the last year taking apart my belief systems and daily routines when my body finally had enough and called a time-out. At 46 years of age, I feel like I’m pretty established in my ways. But this process makes you look at what you’re doing and ask yourself “Why?” and “Is this really working for me?” All of the sudden, pieces you thought were set are back in play. It kind of feels like you’re coming apart, or being undone, piece by piece. But in a good way. 😉

Lastly, one of the things I’m starting to learn about this crazy thing called life is that we’re never “there”. There is no finish line. Other than death, I suppose, and I’m no longer in a race to get there. There isn’t any moment in your life when you get to be “done” living and then things get easy and relaxed and you can enjoy life at your leisure. It just doesn’t happen, but so many of us live our lives as if we are racing for the goal line and when we get there, we can finally relax. You’re setting yourself up for failure. The way to live your life is to just be a being, undone and perfect.

More on that in future posts. Thanks for listening!