Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Diane at Fit To Finish has a blog that presents some very interesting food for thought for those on the weight loss journey. I enjoy reading her entries, but find for may things my experience s very different from that of many people losing weight. Yesterday she posted an entry about secrets, and I found myself remembering my own motivations. They were not secrets in the least, but instead "head tapes" that got made in a jumble of events.

Unjlike most overweight people , I have never been thin. Scratch that- perhaps a month after my birth I was considered normal. I came into the world at 8 lbs, and became a sort of chubby baby. At 18 months I was wearing 3T outfits and by the time I entered first grade I was 200 pounds. I was healthy for what they knew at the time, active, in a loving family who had somewhat odd values. My father was a very outdoorsy type who loved to take us on all kinds of wilderness adventures, and get us stuck in a lot of scary situations , where he rescued us. As a chilod I had seen my father save us from going over a waterfall, defend our family against a bear attack, get us over a mountain pass in a blizzard and more. There was nothing that could defeat him and nothing he could not do. In a way it was kind of like being the daughter of some Greek God or something.

Every dinner of my young life , he would make reference to someone being a good eater, and connect that thought to being strong. Now to have this incredibly strong and brave man impart the secrets of strength to a child was potent stuff ! I got the message that food is strength, and to be strong you must eat a lot. In his defense it was part of the parental desire to impart the wisdom of the ages on your children AND insure that there was no waste. We were far from rich people, and wasting food was pretty close to a sin.

Fast forward to my adult years, and the discovery that my weight was preventing me from conceiving. I lost 110 pounds and in the process i did a self directed food "addiction " course through the Meredith Meyer clinic. It was through this work that I uncovered my reason for overheating, and I came to a place of peace with it. Food did not make one a strong person, but instead how you respond to a challenge makes you strong. I got pregnant at last, but my discovery was to be challenged here. I had a stillbirth, and it took every ounce of my being not to fall into the belief that it happened because I was in some way weak , and therefore eat for strength. I succeeded in reminding myself that food is not strenght, lost the baby weight , developed two scary ovarian cysts, had surgery and conceived again. 8 weeks into the pregnancy strength eating again became a consideration when I began bleeding and difficulties with the pregnancy began. I was put on bedrest for 5 months, with nothing much to do but do a few crafts and worry. The more I worried ( which was given new fuel with every Doctor's visit) the more I struggled to find something to keep me sane, and finally I could not escape the strength eating urge. I gained almost 90 pounds in the pregnancy, but after 9 1/2 very stressful months my son was born.

I think if something is meant to be a challenge to you it will find a way to repeat events and present itself into your life if you need refinement or clarity , and so it happened with me and my belif about strength. At 9 months old my son began to act atypical. He did not baby bable, was verty drawn to climbing, kept to his own world a lot, would often flap his hands and certain textures would either comfort him more than normal or repel him into a dark place.Loads and loads of ear infections came with this time as well. There were many things that were just not normal, but I could not completely put my finger on it. Our pediatrician kept brushing me off and prescribing yet stronger antibiotics, and I was scared. Something was not right with my son, no one was listening and it seemed that I was going to have to be the one to figure out what was wrong and fix it. I needed answers and a lot of strength. My son spiraled into a weird place ruloed by textures, and he would only eat things like plain pasta or peanut butter on white bread. For weeks at a time. His weight ballooned. We would take him to playgrounds and he would either be too big for the equipment he could developmentally understand or become totally confused as to how to use it. We would place him in group settings like Tot Rock or Little Kickers and he would stay lost in his own world , and become a disruption to the group so we were asked to leave. I was terrified. I demanded strength, and my own weight ballooned. Then one day the word Autism and my son collided, and I was at once relived and terrified.

Time went on , and one fine day we were shopping . My 420 pound son was aching from walking , as was I. We sat down at a bench in a store and it broke. That woke me up, and this part of my brain that was trained in my first weight loss journey woke up and said you will now do things my way. Strength does not come from food- only fuel which can lead to insulation. And so we began our journey.

Breakfast yesterday ( which was followed by another lovely walk) was polenta, 1/4 cup mozerella cheese, 1/2 cup of eg beaters and a carton of probiotic yogert for 417 calories ( I saved the yogert for later)

Lunch was turkey and cheddar on an Arnolds Thin, heated , with 2 baby clementines, carrots, celery , brocoli and a Smart food and diet soda - 430 calories Afternoon snack was 100 calorie pack almonds, a snack pack pudding and an apple for 290

Dinner was Chicken spinach asiago sausage in marinara sauce over 2 oz of Heartland Pasta with a tossed salad on the side, followed by
an Aldis Fit and Active Skinny Cow clone. Meal total was 575. Later in the evening I had a Fiber Plus bar, a honeycrisp apple and an Aldi's snack pudding for 320 calories. Day total calories was 2000 on the nose !


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Diane, this post was really insightful. You have been through more in a lifetime than many people will every experience. I am so impressed with your determination and your strength to fight for your health, and that of your family's.

Thank you for sharing part of your journey, and I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby, and the miscarriages you experienced. That pain never completely goes away, as I know firsthand.

Marisa (Trim The Fat) said...

Ditto Diane's comment!

What always strikes me the most about you is that you NEVER GIVE UP. Your perseverance will pay off for you one day, Diane; I just know it!!!

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

Diane- I am sorry for your own loss ! I have come to accept the fact that my losses ( stillbirth and 5 miscarriages after my son) are just indications that I am populating a kind of eternal daycare center. One day I will see them again, and they are most likely the group's wild children , if they are anything like their mom.

Marissa- quitting anything has never been an option for me it seems. My father called me a blockhead because once I get an idea in my mind I keep pushing till I either succeed or make the thing beg for mercy and release. One day when I was very little I noticed that the adults in the world were more impressed if you just kept pressing on than if you gave up. Giving up meant getting a hug or a quick complement, but if you kept pressing they kept watching you, kept acting shocked and you kind of wove a spell of interest around yourself, which was a lot more fun than getting a complement . I got addicted to that feeling I guess.

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