Friday, September 10, 2010

I Think I Am Making Progress!

Appalachian Trail near Carver's Gap on the TN/NC border
June, 2008

Truth is, I don't know where to start.  I have changed the title of this post four times.  The picture says it all.   This is one of my all time favorite trails, but who would know that by the barren, rather sad-looking path you see here.  Yes, you see the glimpses of sunlight, but you have no way of knowing that continuing along this trail for another fifteen minutes of steep uphill climbing, will bring you to this:

Round Bald - Appalachian Trail on the TN/NC Border

Yes, I think I am making progress, but it is not without pain and I am struggling mightily.  I am so much in the first picture that I rather realistically saw myself  floating along that trail.  But where I want (and desperately need) to see myself is standing at the apex of Round Bald in the second picture.  I've been there - I know what it feels like and I want it back.  NOW!!   But that is not to be until I've done the work and learned the lessons required.  

You don't need all the gory details, but suffice it to say, I haven't lost any weight, I have probably gained more weight, yesterday's binge was unlike any I've seen in a long, long time, the normal things I do to distract me are having no impact, and even Mr. B is losing patience with me.  How do I know?  When you've lived with someone for 33 years, you can see it in their eyes.  (I'm may be in trouble because he does read my blog!)  But here's true confession #1:  Until this morning, I didn't even care.

During my devotional/quiet time this morning, I asked (begged would be more fitting) for wisdom, help, guidance, a swift kick in the ever increasing butt, ANYTHING that might spur me back to progress in becoming the healthy, happy, content and joyful me I want to be.  I was reminded of the direction this blog was headed just prior to the hospitalization and death of my FIL.  I went back and reread this post, this post and became so mesmerized that I continued reading through the next two weeks up until the day I posted that my FIL had died.  Mesmerized by my brilliant writing - not hardly!   Nope, mesmerized by the raw truth contained in those posts.  I believe that the greatest lessons I can learn from the last month of my life are these:  

Until I come to grips with my "control" and to a lesser degree, "money" issues, there will be no "normal" relationship with food.  

Until I can say a resounding NO to circumstances not of my choosing and then stand by that decision, there will be no "normal" relationship with food.  

Until I find the courage to shout from the rooftops, "this is what I need to do for me and although some of these things may seem a bit odd, if you value your relationship with me, you will accept them" there will be no "normal" relationship with food. 

Until I am able to remove myself from situations over which I have no control, not because I have to, but because I don't want to be in them in the first place, there will be no "normal" relationship with food.

Until I am able to say, "I don't want to go there, be that, see that, hear that or spend money for that," there will be no "normal" relationship with food.

What's the point here?  Yes, I am an admitted "control" freak, but I am also learning from the book I am currently studying, John Ortberg's "The Me I Want To Be", that part of becoming this person is understanding who this person REALLY is and being strong enough NOT to allow others to dominate this person in situations that don't matter.  I do know who I really am and I do really LIKE who I am, so what's the problem?

Here's true confession #2:  Yes, I am a person who loves to be in control, but I honestly think the greater issue here is that I recognize I have a unique personality with some odd quirks and I am afraid if I can't control the situation, people might see the "real" me and not like me.  So, when placed in any situation not of my choosing or desire, I use the food to compensate BECAUSE (this is big, big, big!) in the far back recesses of my mind, I subconsciously know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I can control the food, I can eat it ALL and the food will love me unconditionally.  Plus, if I don't eat it all, RIGHT NOW, I'm wasting money and/or food this good might not ever be available to me again.  And then there's the anger!  I'm angry, angry, angry because I am somewhere I don't want to be in the first place and since I've been "forced" into this situation, by george, I'll make whoever forced me sorry.  I'll eat it all and then can blame someone else that I overate because they made me do something I didn't want to do. 

So what in the world do I do with all of this today?  Here's true confession #3:  I haven't the faintest idea!  But I do believe it's a significant breakthrough that I'd have gotten to sooner or later, but as I strongly believe, nothing happens by chance and without the events of the last month in the exact order in which they occurred, I'd likely not have experienced the setback involving the myriad food events associated with death and the aftermath of death.  Being bombarded with all of this during a time of tremendous grief and the emotions involved triggered the setback I've had in losing these last 20 pounds.  

Finally, a good thought............for the first time in days, the words and the tears are flowing freely (more unexpressed grief????), but this post is long enough.  I'll continue tomorrow with the true confessions, but today,  I will confess one more thing.   I love you all, my blog readers, and often write with you in mind, but today, I wrote just for me.  I love that second picture and today I walked (nope, trudged) up that barren path all by myself.  I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm headed that way and I know what it looks like up at the top.  It's where I'm taking the "me I want to be" so she'll be totally content at the "where she wants to be" and free to share it with those that want to come along because they like the "me" she really is.

If you've made it this far today, you are truly a "friend."   Please tell me if ANYTHING speaks to your experiences or if I should head for the closest Chinese buffet line.


  1. I have had a terrible food week too, and can identify a lot with the "I don't even care" thing. It almost feels like the mountain is too big sometimes, why bother?

    But the reason we bother is because life is long and to fall so far down the mountain would be terrible. Even though it looks like a long way up the mountain, the way down is even worse and more treacherous.

  2. Stay away from the buffet! The whole post spoke to me. I could have written it, myself. I have certainly thought these things--with some minor detail changes--often.

    Sigh. Yes, often. Some truths take some repetition to put into practice. At least for me.

    Isn't it odd that while being people who need control, we allow ourselves to be put in situations we don't want to be in. We feel the need to be in control, yet we let ourselves "go along". Because we don't want to seem odd. I should say, "as odd as we think we are."

    And then we get angry with ourselves and the situation--and eat. So much for control.

    Lately, I have been struggling with...coming to terms with...making peace with...(not sure which phrase is accurate--maybe all of them in succession.) anyway, make peace with the need to just be who I am. Odd or not. Quirky or not. Unpopular tho it may be. Just let it go and make the decisions I need to make.

    The thing is, I have no problem standing up for just, but unpopular, causes while knowing that I will pay a price for it. But doing what's right for me, even tho it doesn't hurt anyone else--not so much.

    It's funny. I don't know why I resist this. It's not as tho I fit in, anyway. I know that I don't--and I know that some people like me anyway--and some people never will, but God always does.

    Well, I've kidnapped your blog for my post long enough. chuckle. Just wanted to let you know that I relate. :) And to help you see that you do not have the market on odd. lol.

    Hugs, Sharon, this weight loss thing is a tough one. It hides all of our other struggles within it's calories and pounds.


    P.S. I LOVE the pictures, by the way. The message is wonderful--a photo-parable. :D

    And, I have a thing for trais and paths and little lanes. I do. They all beckon to me...


  3. I'm sending you a long rambling should distract you from the buffet for at least as long as it takes you to read it!

  4. You know Sharon, I think you're precious. I absolutely love this post. And the reason is that I so understand EXACTLY where you are right now. I have been dealing with the same issues this week. I have felt pressure to do something I DID NOT want to do. Whether or not the pressure came from those involved or was self-imposed, I'm not really sure. But I'll tell you what, the more I sat with this situation, the more angry I got. The more angry I got, the more sick I felt. Literally!!! I had headaches and heartburn like I haven't had in a long time. Suffice it to say, I finally made the decision that I was not going to be able to attend this particular event. If others are angry with me, than so be it. I've had to come to terms with and accept that I have to take care of myself first. Anything beyond that has to flow from an honest place. I can't do all and be all to everyone else. I think we as women struggle with guilt over that decision, but you're right...until we do, we will not overcome our issues with food.

    I applaud you for writing for yourself. You may not have realized it at the time, but you have blessed me and I'm sure many others today. I'm sending you a big cyber-hug and permission to do what's right for you!!!


  5. Sharon,
    This post may have been for you, but it was for all us that read it. God is neat about working things out that way.

    As for confession #1, give yourself a break. Grief does very strange things to your mind and your body. (J-boy and I facilitate a grief group with our church, so I've seen it or lived it.) Do the best you can for as long as you can, and then cut yourself a huge, huge bunch of slack. Grief can last for much longer than we expect. You haven't had much of a chance to get away from it either, since you've been so graciously helping MIL with business.

    For confession #2, that is me! I wish I knew the answer because we both need to know.

    For confession #3 - see confession #2 :)

    My final thought, your offer to pray for your bloggers, giving them carte blanche, was the best gift you could have ever given your readers and it really ticked satan off. He is attacking you like no other now, because he does not want those prayers to be said. God will gaurd and protect you, do not be afraid. There is no real damage satan can do. God is in control.

  6. I have been struggling internally and mentally over an event I did not attend a couple of weeks ago. I need to apologize to a couple of people and I have no idea what to say. The truth? I didn't want to attend. Why? I did not want to. They won't understand this.I may post about it in a few days, but thank you for showing me I am not the only person in the universe who has this problem, whatever it is.

  7. Hugs to you, darling. I liked both pictures. Sun dappled trails are my favorite kind. I think Lori might be right about why you're having so much trouble now, her last paragraph. In any case, you're a strong woman of God and He's there to help you. Lean on Him.

  8. Your post made me think of this verse from II Corinthians 12:7-9-- And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
    For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    I'm speaking to myself as well, but these experiences of going through these struggles with food to me seems like our "thorns in our flesh." They hurt really bad, but are a reminder that we are weak and hurting without our Lord and Savior by our side.
    I guess just take each minute by minute, hour by hour, and one day at a time. *Hugs*

  9. Sharon - it is a significant break through alright. Feel the pain of these revelations, cry out to God and allow Him to heal you.

    Your honesty is beautiful. I recognize fear of man in your writing (afraid people won't like the real you) and I am convinced the fear of man is key to obesity.

    Feel the pain, work it through, and you will feel better and stronger. I promise. God promises.

  10. "I recognize I have a unique personality with some odd quirks and I am afraid if I can't control the situation, people might see the "real" me and not like me. "

    Oh Sharon, I can sooo relate to feeling this way. And it sounds like you are peeling back so many layers, like peeling an onion... and getting such insight. In my post from Friday, this is the kind of "hard" I was talking about. Facing these things, and working through them... it's not easy.

    Totally owning it, and our choices, and choosing to finally put our need to get healthy on a priority status... well, I won't re-write your post. It was wonderful and honest... and that is why so many of us can relate to it, and see ourselves in parts of it.

    Thank you for sharing,

  11. I am a total control freak and a perfectionst. Ain't that a super combo?!?! I totally relate to this post....

  12. I can relate to so much of what you are writing Sharon. I have found it so frustrating that so much of our 'social life' revolves around food. Bad food, restaurant food, unhealthy food. I did have to say no for a very long time because it was just too much or too hard for me. I still wanted that stuff. I did find other ways to socialize with some of my friends. Now, most days, I find it easier to either choose the restaurant that I can make a good choice in, or make healthier choices or go ahead and have some of the not so healthy stuff, and make up for it the next day.