Where did I get that outfit? lol

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An Update and Thoughts on Regain

Well I'm finally here for an update.  I have 8 days left in the boot (at least that's my hope).  I've adjusted just fine to the boot and I've been back to the gym 4 weeks now.  It feels wonderful to be doing something again and my trainer is just terrific, the best cheerleader ever. I'm going barefoot most evenings at home with no pain so I believe the foot is 100% healed now.  I still seem to be hobbling but I think it's more out of habit and worry over putting all my weight on the foot when not in the boot but I'm sure once I'm fully back on 2 feet that will go away.

I had wonderful holidays with the family.  Having my new daughter-in-law and grand daughter was really really wonderful.  I think being without Kevin we bonded in a really great way since we didn't have a buffer with him there.  I think she saw how much effort we put into Christmas for them and I'd like to think it was their best Christmas ever.  Nanny and Pappaw's gifts were definitely the highlight for the little one I think :)  

The poor thing though was sick on Christmas day.  We had all just sat down at the dinner table and the little one says "I don't feel well" and BLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! before we know it she's turned her head and vomited on the floor lol yes that's the type stuff that happens sometimes isn't it? I just threw a towel over it and we finished dinner the best we could lol.  Thankfully she felt better by later in the day.  But then Nick started feeling bad and was sick then Mike and I caught it too.  Just one of those things, but it didn't damper things too much.

As for my weight, well I did gain some through being off my feet for so long but I'm back in contest mode, started another online one on Jan 5th, and I'm back to 177 lbs as of this morning which I can live with after the broken foot for 3 1/2 months.  I am proud of myself for getting through it so well.  I've had help with my trainer and TOPS and my online community, so very thankful.

Which leads me into my thoughts on regain.  I will talk about my own experiences here since we are all different.  I do think it does apply to most though that have lost a considerable amount of weight or have a considerable amount to lose. During my decades of obesity I isolated myself.  I lived in my secret world of food and depression. Two previous times in my life I had lost about 100 lbs.  But I never really fixed any of the issues within myself that had brought me to super obesity so I regained it all plus more each time.  

Do I feel like you have to open up the past to get to today and the future? I kind of do.  I think we have to reveal it all to ourselves and be honest with what got us obese in the first place.  It could be a tragic childhood, it could be just one event in our lives, it could be just falling into a depression we couldn't bring ourselves out of, really there are so many reasons that could lead a person to obesity.  But it's about how we feel about ourselves that is at the bottom of it.

We have to fix our self image and build self esteem.  We have to stop being people pleasers and helping everyone else around us but ourselves.  We have to be #1 on the list.  We also have to be an open book.  I think isolating is at the top of the list for regain.  I know when I'm struggling it's reaching out that helps pull me out of myself and my addiction and gets me back to the top of my list and treating myself well.

We have to change our habits too.  We really do have to make eating right and exercise something like brushing our teeth or taking a shower.  We have to make that mental connection with it, find that pleasure spot.  If eating right and exercise are things we dread we will never stick with it.  

I've always said "put more things in your life to succeed than fail".  I have TOPS, my blog, my online contests, my trainer, my online community, email friends and the list goes on....  I put so many things in my life that it makes it impossible to isolate myself.  I am always an open book and yes I still at times fall back into food addiction even with all that.  But never for long.  I won't allow myself to go too long without reaching out to someone.  

We all need support.  In Tom's book he calls it the 5th element and I think it is very important. I have to stay connected to people.  I don't know about others but as a child I was neglected a LOT.  So I sought comfort in food but I'm realizing that other things can fill that void that I experienced for so much of my life.  Exercise, company of people, just reading other people's words on my computer screen, music, going to my TOPS meeting, my trainer, so many things can bring me that comfort I crave and so I try to always stay connected.  

I try to never be in denial either about what I'm doing.  That's why all these years I've always put my weight on my blog because it helps to make me accountable and being accountable is what will keep me moving forward instead of backwards. I don't think everyone needs this much accountability but I know I do.  

But it's the mental aspect I think that is most important.  Looking myself in the mirror everyday and talking nice to myself.  Believing to my core that I really am capable of anything I put my mind too.  To not have fear of regain because I know what to do to lose weight.  To know too that I am not my weight.  That I am a good person and that who I am is far far more important than a number on the scale. 

I also think we have to find joy/happiness in the journey.  I know when I'm moving my body I feel alive and well deep in my being.  I try to move through my day being mentally awake, where when I was super obese I went through life in a fog just thinking about the next thing I would put in my mouth.  

Now I find the joy in a good workout or just going grocery shopping or cutting up veggies for my soup or making my protein bars.  Of course those are health related things but the bigger joy/happiness in my journey comes from spending quality time with the people in my life.  Smiling as much as possible, giving compliments, being available to Mike and the kids for a game of cards or just a talk about something going on with them.  

I had lost my joy/happiness at 378 lbs.  I keep that first in my mind when I want to fall into my food addiction and block out the world.  I am a far better, wife, mother, friend, etc now than I ever was years ago and it's not because I've lost a lot of weight.  It's because I've realized what is important in life and food is no longer at the top of the list. Yes, comfort still is there near the top and I'm learning to comfort myself through finding love for myself and when I can't find it within I find it from the people most dear to me.  

So my advice is ask for help, reach out, put more things in your life to help you succeed than fail because you've surely helped enough people in your life that you deserve the same loving care. Through reaching out you will learn to really care and love yourself too.  

I'm sure I could ramble on for hours on this topic.  But for my dear friends out there that are struggling with regain right now just know you are loved and life really is about our relationships.  So start rekindling or working on ones you hold most dear to you because it really is true that on our death bed it won't be the scale we think about it will be the people we will be leaving behind and the things we never got to do with them or say to them.  

To all my dear friends, sending you a big hug.  

12 comments:

Sean Anderson said...

Dawn,

Thank you for writing this post. I read and re-read certain parts. Hit home. It's time for me to let go and sail once more. And your experience and wisdom is so spot on. It's time to show myself some love and compassion... Thank you again. And thank you for the virtual hug.
Sean

Vickie said...

Such a good post. Yes, you were neglected. It breaks my heart how badly.

One thing I would like to add - my therapist says that often people have in their mind that there is one key event (from their past) or factor that they need to dig out as the cause or the start of their problems. And she says it is rarely one thing. It is usually the cumulation of a lot of factors.

It also is not necessary to straighten out all the inner stuff before starting on the outer stuff that can be a procrastination thing. Can work on the inner and the outer at the same time.

I agree with you, have to work on both for long term success.

I also agree isolation is a factor for most of us - denial, secrets, hiding can be big factors.

I also, for myself, found I was doing a lot of busy work (kids, volunteer work, social stuff) so that I did not have time for myself. I didn't realize it at the time. It was a form of hiding too.

I had to learn to make myself a priority. This involved boundaries and priorities. My kids did not suffer. There was not neglect. I became a better person and example.

As I said, really good post.

Lori said...

Dawn - it seems like you have been in the boot forever, and I imagine if it seems that way to me, it must seem like eons for you!

I agree that support is really important. From as many places as possible, too.

Carla Birnberg said...

"just know you are loved."

<3<3<3

~Karen C.L. Anderson~ said...

So good to hear from you Dawn! You have so much wisdom to share and I am glad you do.

And I agree with everything you've written about regaining. Here's what I've noticed: each time I've regained, there's been another lesson to learn...another message my body wants me to hear. For many years I didn't even hear it...then I chose not to listen...then I started listening and learning and each and every time there's been a regain, it's been less and less...I've learned that I can be happy, productive, effective, loving, lovable and so on, even when I have a slight gain. And this has served me well.

I also love what Vicki said when she wrote this:

"I had to learn to make myself a priority. This involved boundaries and priorities. My kids did not suffer. There was not neglect. I became a better person and example."

Although I don't have my own kids, I have absolutely found that when I make myself a priority, I am a better wife, a better stepmom, etc. etc. etc.

Vickie said...

I posted my second set of surgery pics

Dutch said...

thanks for this entry. I really need to read this, at this time in my life.

Jessica Snyder said...

Talk about motivation! Thanks for sharing! I am on my own weight loss journey!
Jessica from www.sparklesandglue.com

Doug said...

Great Post. How have you been lately? Going to try to start posting every few days again since I've been off track lately and need to get back in the community!

Carla Birnberg said...

checking in on you...

Vickie said...

How are you doing?

Jen said...

You are such an inspiration...to so many of us. Thank you and God bless you.