Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to fail

We weight loss bloggers are a plucky lot ! We do our best to inspire each other, encourage and try to gently point out the error in someone's program if we can spot it. We are helpful people ! We share our food logs, food pictures, calories burned data, new food finds, non scale victories and a lot more.

One thing few of us share is how we got in this predicament in the first place. We may make blanket statements like “I turned to food for comfort” or “I spent too much time eating out “ or so forth, but never really get into the motivating reasons behind these behaviors. Perhaps it is simply to raw and too painful , perhaps we are still trying to discover just what they were. I was reading someone else s blog the other day and I remembered my own reasons for failing at the weight loss journey, and it served to remind me of some of the most important skills I learned , and reminded myself never to get to that place again. Perhaps in sharing, it will remind another to draw from their own deepest learned skills.

I have been overweight my whole life because of something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It was undiagnosed for most of my life, and when I was 30 the truth was discovered. PCOS can also make fertility very difficult to achieve, and at the time it was believed that the best course of action to increase fertility was through weight loss. A 10 percent drop in weight could increase fertility , and so I was instructed to eat on a plan that featured limited starches and fruits, protein and unlimited non starchy vegetables and servings of dairy every day. 20 months later and a lot of work on mind ,body and spirit, and I was 110 pounds lighter, and had experienced a pregnancy, stillbirth, emergency surgery to remove my right ovary in that same span of time. A definite wild ride ! The day I reached 200 lbs ( literally) I conceived our son. All was well for the first 8 weeks of pregnancy , and then I began having a long succession of problems that landed me on total bedrest for 5 months of the pregnancy. It was a time of fear, hope, nerves, anticipation, and a lot of eating ! There was little else I could do and as a child I had been taught that “good eaters “ were strong people, so food has always meant strength to me, and I needed all the strength I could get ! Main reason for the need was that EVERY SINGLE obstetrical visit to my OB was begun with the words “I want to remind you not to get too attached to this baby”. They were followed by “Your levels look odd, so I want you to go for this test/specialist/procedure”, and the visits ended with “I want you to treat your body like a glass egg”. Interestingly enough, a few months after I delivered my son the doctor was brought up on charges for ordering unnecessary tests on his patients.

Thankfully all worked out for the best and I at long last had my son. Life was good. We were at last a family, my husband had a good job, he was also studying for the ministry, we had both been active in church, and we were very compatible together. I admit, because of his involvement in the church I tried my very best to walk a Christian pathway, but it simply was not for me. Our son was healthy, VERY active, and we were doing all the things that good parents were supposed to do- involve him in the world, do routine well baby care and so forth. At 4 months old Nick went from rolling to pulling himself up and standing. At 6 months he was walking, and then climbing. At 7 months old , something happened. He began cutting teeth and developed a non stop ear infection for 18 months. He was still bright and bubbly till he was 15 months old, and then changes happened. He would sit fixated with anything that spins for hours. He started walking on his toes. He was not making any babbling noises, let alone speaking any words. Thus began a round of evaluations to figure out what was wrong, with no conclusive findings. Meanwhile, Bob finished his ministry training, became a deacon, and was away from home more and more. The pressures of being a first time mom are one thing. Add a differently abled child, it's another. Add Ministry demands to that, and then financial woes because of increasing medical bills and baby expenses, and something comes close to snapping.

Because of all of these factors, I felt I really needed strength ! Be it some idiotic pronouncement from our Pediatrician ( who labeled me as a nervous mother because I questioned the fact that while I was nursing on demand my newborn son was only producing 3 wet diapers in 24 hrs), some new demand on my husband's limited time for continuing education for the Ministry ( It is logical that ministers serving in a church with no youth program and no plans to EVER have one be required to take a course over 6 weekends to learn how to deal with the problems of Youth Ministry), or a new demand/criticism from a well meaning member of the congregation who disliked the way we dressed/ate/where we lived/where we shopped/what we did or did not participate in, or the calls from bill collectors or the COMPLETE alienation from both of our families . We were obviously some kind of weird holy rollers who did not know how to parent and we were just throwing away our money on wild parties (and extravagant possessions like diapers and yet another round of medications and Doctor's visits). I really needed strength! I was seeing Bob less and less, my siblings were wrapped up in their own dramas, my parents were seemingly in outer space, and I had this little boy who had a problem that no one could identify, let alone solve. Somehow, through all of that, all of my life skills failed me, or left town. I was in survival mode , and through it I gained back 80 pounds.

One day, a bench broke under the weight of myself and my son, and it was the snap heard round the world. Or at least the snap that changed our world. I woke up. I realized that while food does give you strength, when you take it to a place where you will need Hercules to push the resulting body that has ingested all this strength, you have gone too far. I remembered the skills I learned and added some new ones along the way. Along with the eat nutritionally dense good for you food in moderation, move more and breathe, here are a few “mantras” that I have added . They come from Wayne Dyer, whom I think may be one of the wisest men on the planet at this time. These have served me very well when the going gets tough .

1.My destiny is mine to control
2.Others people's opinions ...are none of my business !
3.I release the need to determine how things “should”be
4.I release all feelings of worry and guilt
5.I forgive everyone , including myself
6.I meditate everyday to nurture my soul
7.I align myself with people who support my growth
8.I work on my problems, and then I release them.
9.I answer to myself and no one else
10.I appreciate all that I am and all that I have.

1 comment:

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Diane, thank you for sharing your journey. You have really put into words what a lot of us hesitate to share. I admire how you always put your family and your health first.

I love the list at the end - very wise!