Monday, August 27, 2012


I have avoided mirrors for years.  The exception is during some work outs. For static poses, I'll look to check my shoulders and legs for alignment.  In those cases,  the mirror becomes a tool and I can pretty much look at the reflection with a non-biased, non-judgmental eye. It's not a loooong look, mind you.
But to just look, look? Nah, that's not happening....
This morning I’m at the gym in one of the studios and as I’m walking across the floor past the mirror, I could have sworn there was someone else in the room with me. I whirled back and looked over my shoulder to see who had joined me, but there was no one there. Kind of confused, I kept glancing around and then realized what I had seen was my reflection. For a moment, I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror – that the athletically built, compact person with the crazy curly hair in a pony tail – was ME.
I slid my eyes away as I always do, then something inside grabbed me and said “LOOK! Just look at yourself!” and I did.
Then it hit me – for years and years I avoided mirrors because the reflection didn’t match how I saw myself.   It became easier to stay away from pictures and mirrors and live in a land of denial. Now, when I look in the mirror, I just don’t accept what I see - as in "that can’t possibly be me." This morning, for the first time, I let myself believe that I am thin, I am strong, the mirror is not lying.
Never before have I acknowledged that what I see is good, not improving, not ‘getting there,’ but good 
The thing is, this new body didn't happen overnight, it happened months ago, I just didn't see it, because I refused to be kind enough to myself to acknowledge the change.  That's wrong. Just wrong. What the hell is so messed up with me that I can't show kindness to the body that has worked so damn hard for months? Why do I insist on continuing negative thoughts?  This has to stop. Kindness has to start - somewhere, sometime. Why not now?
I’m not fat any more. ßand even in typing that sentence, there is a part deep inside that whispers with a ‘Yes, yes you are.’ My gut tightens with disagreement and disapproval and disbelief and fights to hold on to familiar patterns of thinking.
That’s the part of me that lives in the past and refuses to come to the now. That’s the part of me where the voices live. That’s the part of me still to grow and bloom.

It's a smaller part than before, and getting smaller every day.
And that’s progress.
I'll take it.

Thoughts to take with me today: Believe and accept. Good comes in time. Be kind.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thoughts about weight loss

Talk to anyone trying to diet and you will hear

"This is hard"

But what is “this?” 

“THIS” is patience.
In my case, I’ve decided that the act of dieting and exercise is actually not that hard. Follow a basic plan for each area and then just execute it.
In. Out. Done.
What’s hard for me is waiting and believing and keeping the faith that I am on the right path and doing the right things. What’s hard is dealing with the crazy thoughts that live up there in my head.

"I've never been thin, who am I to think this will work?"
"I followed my diet perfectly yesterday, why is my weight up today?
"Maybe this plan isn't going to work, maybe I need a new one."
"Is it possible that I'll be the one person who can diet, exercise, and still gain weight?"
Head games - every damn day, over and over.
What I need is a good dose of patience and to adopt a long view. For instance, last August 26, I weighed 221 pounds. One year later, I weigh 165. That's what I need to focus on - not that yesterday I weighed 164 and some how after a good day a pound crept back onto the scale.

No, just no. Don't go there.

Parts of me want to scream, beat my head against a wall, kick something – anything to get my way.
But then the other part, the part that knows stillness, smiles quietly, and mentally places a calm, cool hand on my head and cues the other frantic-running-around-part to just stop. Just stop.
And I breathe.
And breathing is such a healing force.
And the calm takes over for a moment – but a moment is enough sometimes

The days are long; the years are short. 

Last year seems so close by, I can't believe I've changed so much in just 365 days. So if I want to be kind to myself, I need to focus on that, not yesterday, or last week. 

Dwell on the good. Stay in the moment. Abide in the calm. 
Thoughts to take with me today: Believe it can happen and it will. Maybe not today, but soon. And in a way, it’s all soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In which the truth comes out ungracefully

Did/Said something so dumb tonight. 

Someone made a comment about eating to me - to 'be careful with my food choices - don't go crazy with the cookies." (where that thought came from I have NO idea) and I kind of looked at her and I promise you i thought for a moment 'Are you freaking nuts?  Me eat cookies??" but what I said was ....."Uh, I don't eat anything really. When I'm stressed like I am right now, my comfort food is to eat no food because I don't trust myself to eat." 

Oh crap, where do I come up with this stuff?

Is there just a huge repository in my brain where every inane thing I think lives? And why oh why can't I open that place up and let all the stupidness out all at one time and be done with it?

Is it the truth that I don't eat when I'm stressed? Sadly, yes.

When I'm under stress, eating feels like work, there is no joy in it, there is no taste in anything that goes into my mouth. Food becomes something I associate with pain and the thought of gorging on cookies is revolting. Unfortunately, the thought of eating anything isn't much better.  It's easier to not eat than to try to decide what to eat. Yes, I get hungry, but that's a good thing.

So then she's looking at me like I have sprouted horns and then asks exactly what DO I eat, in that tone that implies disapproval and I'm just sort of trying to back out of the conversation gracefully, but there IS no graceful exit then.

And I feel like I've lost emotional ground, again

Of course, this person is about 5'3" and weighs a buck ten at the most and she has simply no idea what it is like to be iin my body struggling with my weight issues. Oh sure, I bet she has her own problems, I'll give you that, but these are mine and they are important to me.

Dieting and exercise is hard, indeed, but what's harder is facing the reasons I got to where I am. I have my reasons, I know them well, I've faced them, confronted them and put them to be.  So why won't those dragons just stay slain?

Will food ever be just food?

in the meantime, is there anyway to explain to someone who has never been overweight a day in their lives why eating can be scary?  Probably not

Thoughts to take with me today:  This is a time to remember the good days. This is a time to  reflect and grow

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A thought about voices

I love my sister so freaking much. No one in this whole world can cut through all the bull that is me at times to just find my core.

We were talking about my weight loss journey and she brought up how important yoga has become.  Only a sister will tell you "You aren't angry any more. You find stillness. You don't listen to the voices."

Wait.... how did she know about the voices?

What voices? The voices I think a lot of us have in our head. That voice may come from a parent, a former spouse, a teacher, a boss, an ex-friend. It's the the one that reminds us of every bad thing there is to know about ourselves. This is the voice that says....

"Why bother trying to lose weight? You'll still be fat."
"You are sorta ugly, but it's okay, you have a nice personality, sometimes"
"You will never be good enough"
"Everyone is better than you."
"You are not worthy of happiness."

This voice plays on a track that drives a deep rut into our brains until we just know every one of those damned lies is truth, then because we truly have bought into the lies, we use our own voice and start on all brand new lies, all designed to keep us unhappy. All the while letting life just pass. 

Those voices have so much power

But... yoga, yes yoga. That time when I give in and for a few precious minutes I am nothing but energy and happiness. If someone told me that rays of light shot through my fingertips as I raised them to the heavens, I'd smile and nod.  Bathing in kindness, soaking in strength, drowning in love. For me, that's what my yoga practice is.

Yoga on the regular shuts those voices down and yoga every day keeps those voices locked in some tight box at the back of the mind, covered under a dusty tarp, with random crates piled haphazardly on top.

These are qualities we all deserve.

Where is the place you go to find your still? To quiet the voices? To just be? I'll bet your place looks different from mine - maybe it's when you run and the pounding on the pavement beats the voices into silence. Maybe it's when you walk your dog late in the day and the grandeur of the evening sky takes away your breath and your head throws back as your mind explodes with the intensity in wonder of the day. Maybe it's when you hold a child and their smile blinds you with sweetness and the world stops and there is only that moment.

It doesn't matter how you get there, only that you do.

We all deserve to find our place of stillness. We are all worthy.

Thoughts to take with me today: Do not give the voices power. Give your spirit power.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


So the beginning of the summer I made a resolution to myself.

The idea was that I would make the last huge leap of trust in my trainer's advice and eat back my exercise calories, and especially dinner. My mind has been convinced for months that taking in more than 1500 calories a day, even though I work out 1 - 2 hours a day, would cause me to gain a great deal of weight and that all food needed to be consumed no later than 3:30. And if we are all being just real, real honest here - if 1500 calories = weight loss, well then, what would 1200 equal? or 1100? or ...well you get the idea.

Let me stress that I did not read this advice anywhere, nor did anyone tell me to do this. My mind simply created this scenario.  However, someone with way more expertise said differently - over and over.

Experiment with food. Can I do it?  Challenge accepted.

Who was right?

Turns out, she was.

Every day in the month of July, I documented every speck of food/liquid and every minute of exercise, with a particular goal to eat dinner every day. Every morning, I weighed myself and then recorded the weight so that I could see any patterns.

At first, I DID gain a few pounds and honestly, I almost quit right there, but my intentions were set. Besides, part of me did see me taking a detailed chart to her and exclaiming, "See!! I'm UNUSUALLY special!! I told you this would happen!!"

But then, the weight started to come off  - not much - some days an eighth of a pound,  or  a quarter pound, until - from the beginning to the end - 5 pounds down. I haven't lost 5 pounds in a month since February. And this loss came with eating pretty well, dinner every night, calories somewhat dependent on the exercise for the day.

Wow, just wow.

Lessons learned? Well, quite a few actually.

I don't know everything.
Eat - it's okay, it's really, really okay to eat.
Trust those that God has placed into my life
Don't let my mind make up silly rules
Did I mention, I just DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING?

Am I a true believer in the science of eating and weight loss? I'd love to say unequivocally yes, but the stubborn part of me that refuses to let go of old habits and ways of thinking wants to hedge  this experience. But, let's say that the grip has certainly slackened. Give it another month.

And maybe, those old patterns will fade into wry memories.  

Thoughts to take with me today: Eat to be healthy; eat to live; eat to be happy.