Saturday, March 31, 2012

Peace, I've found some

As a young girl, I always thought I was overweight. My elementary years were riddled with girl fights and pain - girls can be so mean (myself included).  I think I started thinking about weight loss in Jr High - 7th or 8th grade. And each year, it got worse and worse. And my feelings of being different became stronger and stronger.

When I was in 8th and 9th grade I really started to pull back socially. I started to hide a lot, to eat a lot, and to wear a lot of masks. Pretending to be one thing, when really I was another. I became terrified of what others would think of me. Petrified that they would talk about me. And scared of what they would say to me. And I started to have anxiety about going into group settings. Even as an adult - I have really struggled with this. A lot of these feelings and fears were brought on by my own actions. Some were brought on by the way I was treated by others (and the way I treated them). And a lot of them were the stories I made up in my head about what I thought others were thinking - saying -doing, when really they weren't doing any such thing. 

Moving into my adult years, I stopped wearing so many masks. But I continued to worry about what people thought of me. I continued to let that drive the way I lived my life. And all that weight I was so worried about as a child and teen - it really started to pile on. Funny enough - if I look back at pictures of me as a child and teen, now I realize, I wasn't overweight at all. I was just taller then most girls, and bigger in stature.

My adult life has been spent dwelling over my weight issues, and attempting to diet it all away. Trying to figure out "Why" and mostly just spinning around in circles. All the while making life for my sweet husband less then enjoyable, hurting others that I love, and mostly beating up myself for not being able to "fix me". Each new friend, each new person I would meet, I allowed them all to tie themselves to me. So that they could whip me around, and whip my emotions around, and control me. Whether they meant to or not - I allowed that. I cared more about what they thought, then what I thought- or what God thought. 

Somewhere along the way, I figured out that food doesn't judge me. It doesn't think about me, or say bad things about me to others. And that when I'm eating - I didn't have to think about things. I didn't have to worry about all this, I didn't have to think about how I fall short in my life. It was just me - and the food. It became my escape. Especially once I had a car, and a job. I started eating, and eating a lot! And once I moved out on my own - I went from eating a lot, to binging. I didn't know it at the time. I just knew that I was lonely, sad, and afraid. And food made me feel better.

It wasn't really until this last year that I realized that I had a binging problem. I had a food addiction. And it was running my life. Sometimes I don't think we realize how tied together everything is. If you're like me, I tend to compartmentalize things. This is my weight loss box, and my money box, and my relationship with husband box, and my relationship with friends box, my depression box, etc. But the truth is, they are all in one big box. They are all intertwined, and one affects the other - whether you want them to or not. 

Mike and I are working to get out of debt. We are working with a couple in our ward who are teaching us how to work with a budget. We started working with them in Oct or Nov of last year. We worked with them every week to get it all set up, and were going to officially start living it in January. January came - but... we didn't do so hot. In fact, we pretty much continued living the way we are. Bills are all paid, but we were living in a way that would not help us get out of debt. In February, we went back and told them what happened. We asked for help again. We really do want to do this. 

As we sat at their kitchen table, and started planning again, I felt really melancholy. And finally I admitted to them that I think one of the problems of why we weren't and aren't staying on budget, is because of my binging. And here is where the despair (and tears) really set in. Because it wasn't like I haven't tried to be rid of it! I have done everything I know how to do. I have tried umpteen diets, I have tried non-diets, I have tried Over-eaters Anonymous (OA), I've considered weight loss surgery. But it just keeps coming back. With OA, I think I got to 14 days with out a binge, but that was the longest I ever went. And it was a fight the entire 14 days not to binge. So I sat there, in front of this couple and my husband - talking about money - but crying because my food issues were the problem. Again - all one big box! 

Luckily, my husband is amazing! And so is this couple! So instantly there was love, and kindness showered on me. They had compassion and told me it's okay. Sis. C suggested that in March, instead of working on the budget, we deal with this first. Sis. C is a hypnotherapist. She offered to work with me as a part of the budget help. She gave me a book to start reading to help me understand how it all works, and we set our first appointment. 

A word on hypnotism. I never really thought of this as an option, or as something that could help me. It always kind of seemed hokey to me and a cop out. Which is funny, because the real cop out is binging. Anyway, over the months of working with Sis. C, she would share little stories with us, or little tid bits. And I started to realize that it was not what I had always thought it was. It is about learning to calm your mind. About learning to get your conscious and sub conscious on the same page. I have never felt so safe. 

My first appointment came, and I was anxious. Hoping it was going to help, having doubts that it would. We talked for about an hour, and I shared with her a lot of the story above. Then she put me in a state of relaxation and walked me through emptying out all of the negative emotions. I cried through the entire thing. Because it was so real - I really felt those things leaving me. She helped me cut the ties to others. The ties I spoke of before, that had me so worried about what others were thinking of me. And then she woke me up. It was probably only about 10 min. And not a word was spoken of, while in relaxation, of my binging. But afterward she told me that I would not binge any more. I would not feel compelled to, and that I no longer needed it. Because I was not tied to anyone - unless I chose to - that my emotions and feelings are my own now. That I don't have to worry about what others think. 

That was on 3/1/2012. I have not binged since that day. Yesterday marked my 30th day that I am binge free. I have not made any changes, except that now I stop eating when I'm full, and I eat what I'm craving. I have lost between 5-8lbs (not sure exactly how much) since 3/1. My clothes are already fitting me differently.

I met with Sis C. two more times, and that is it. She says it doesn't need to be a drawn out process, we only needed to tweak a few things. The amazing thing, is that those little tweaks have changed my entire life! I no longer dwell on food. I no longer panic when I have something I really want to keep eating. When I'm full, I just stop. I don't even think about it! But even more then that - there are other changes. I don't feel ANY guilt for eating something I want. I don't feel ANY desire to diet. I don't feel this huge burning sense of urgency that I MUST lose weight for me to be happy. I do feel... happy. I do feel loved. I do feel love. I do feel confident in wearing what I want to wear, being who I want to be. I have gone to several group functions - that I previously would have avoided. In both cases I walked in late, chatted with lots of people there, and felt comfortable - having no anxiety. 

I just feel so free. And so alive!  About two days after the appointment, I had a major release of emotions. I sobbed for about an hour, and let go of things as old as 2nd grade, and as recent as the week before. I finally allowed myself to feel these things, and to let them go. I feel like I’ve shed probably 100lbs of weight that I’ve been carrying around with me. Weight from things people have said, things I’ve said – and thought about myself, from hurt feelings, and past mistakes. All things that I have repented of, and knew that I had been forgiven. But I had never really forgiven myself or someone else and let go of it. I feel like a whole new person. 

This is one of our engagement pictures. When I came home off my mission, I think that was a time in my life when I was the most confident about who I was. I was at a healthy weight. I cared more about what God thought, then anyone else. I had a close relationship with the spirit, and I liked myself. Anyway, this picture is at the end of my hallway and every day I would look at it and think – that’s my goal. To get back to who that person was. Physically, spiritually, mentally. Well, I’m there! I may not be physically yet – but I don’t have a worry in my heart about that. I know that it’s only a matter of time and this weight will literally melt off my body now. I don’t need it anymore. I still have lots of growing and learning to do. But it’s finally about new things I want to learn or about new things the Lord wants me to learn. I don’t feel like I need to dig around in that old muck to figure out how to get out of it. Turns out you don’t have to understand it at all! You just have to be willing to let go of it!

Also, I had a period! That may be too much info, but when you usually only have one a year, it is a big deal. Especially since it's only been 7 months since my last one. I truly believe it's because of the release that is going on inside me. I expect that they will continue as well - for which I'm joyful (and a little sorrowful as well - it's nice not having them!). And as for babies, they will come soon - this I know. I no longer fear the future.

My life is different, I am different, and I would be a fool not to take a moment to express my deep gratitude to my loving Father in Heaven. I am honestly grateful for all the experiences I've had in my life. I do not regret any of the pain or hurt, or any of the decisions I have made. I have learned so much, and hope that I will be able to help others avoid the same pitfalls I have gotten stuck in. And through out it all, I was never left alone. My Savior has always been with me, guiding me and directing me. I know without any doubt in my soul that he brought Sis C. into my life. That all of the events that happened to bring us to their home to work on our budget, were for this purpose. And that we will now be able to move forward with the budget, and change our lives financially as well. I'm so grateful for a loving Father that is attentive to our prayers and needs. I know that he lives, as does his Son. 

Today, I am grateful for so much, my cup runneth over!


timothy said...

that's wonderful so glad you shared your story. it helps to know others have shared the same pain and experiences as i have. mine was a double whammy gay and fat, 2 things that tend to be in the shadows and not talked about where i came from. i never thought about hypnotism before though i do meditate, something to consider. bright blessings xoxoxoxoxo

The Inked Stamper said...

Sam I am SO happy for you! I wish you nothing but happiness in this life, and it sounds like you've found your path.

Sarah said...

Hey chica,
I am so glad to hear that you are doing better - what a tremendous blessing and gift from God. I love you so much and think you have a very special spirit - and of course picked a gem in Mike. You are both so well-suited for each other.

I look up to you in so many ways and have always felt proud of the person that you are. You work so diligently to be self-aware, even when it hurts, and that wonderful quality is something that not enough people possess. It makes you kind-hearted and thoughtful of those around you (because you want the same in return), but also makes you quicker to judge yourself. Please know that I am a firm believer we as women are especially critical of ourselves and forget that our outer appearance does not define us, not matter how pretty/ugly/thin/fat/tan we are - but we can rise above it and make a conscious decision that we won't give in to those thoughts. I am so glad you were able to get everything out.

I love you very much and I am happy for your continued positive growth.

love, Sarah

Brett Thompson said...

Good job Sis, I am proud of you.

Joy said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! I AM SOOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Finally freedom!! Enjoy every thing, every moment for the rest of your life!! You deserve it!

Love & Hugs to you!