WS#8 Don’t Assume, Give People A Chance To Support You

The last few weeks have been fun and exciting (and scary) on so many levels.  I am discovering a new found confidence, and dare I say a comfort in being 100 lbs lighter and at my lightest weight in I don’t even know how long.

With the holidays, comes all sorts of fun social things to do and with hints of possible dating on the rise it is easy to become comfortable with where I am at.   Yet, I know, there is more to be had.   More of ME to discover and uncover and reveal.  More life to be lived.

It is easy, after 100 lbs and all of this fun stuff happening to sit back and indulge in the food-ful festivities, and to eat off plan.  It is easier to indulge than not, especially in the midst of new relationships.  As I look at a particular new person in my life, I have realized, I don’t WANT to diet with this person.  I want to be NORMAL.  I don’t want to limit what is possible in regards to how we spend time together.  Really, though, I just don’t want to have a vulnerable conversation with someone who doesn’t see my life on FB or read my blog and therefore doesn’t know the reality of what my life looks like in regards to dieting.   There is a fear that all of “this” might just be more than he is up for.  Maybe not.

Here is what I know though, when I am not being a flighty girl and all wigged out in girly-ness.

Most people WANT to support you/me, they just don’t know how and the clearer I am in my needs and what is allowed, the better support they can be.  If people are not up for being supportive, they likely aren’t people I need in my life anyway.

So, what is my strategy in addressing this all new territory for me?

Gonna have a conversation.  This is my life.  These are my needs.  This is what needs to happen to facilitate my continued success.  This is what I can’t let happen, no matter how much I want to.

Then, I am gonna give them/him a chance to support me…and see what happens….

Exciting?  Yep.

Scary?  More than you know.

Worth it?  Without a doubt.

My Personal 100# Celebration/Turkey Trot 2012

Longtime readers know that the Detroit Turkey Trot is a favored run of mine each year.  It started as a challenge to prove I could and has since become a run of gratitude as I bask in the glory of doing what I once never thought I could.  It has become a celebration of my body and all it has been for me despite the abuse I heaped on it with food.  It has become a worship run where I use my body to praise the One who has brought me thus far in life.

This year held special meaning for me as I would be running this race at my lightest weight ever and sans 100 lbs.  While thrilling, I have been struggling with how to give my 100 lb milestone some time and space to be celebrated.  Noted.  Honored. For me.  From Me.

Then an idea hit me.  I would run this race with my usual heart of Thanksgiving, while carrying balloons.  I would carry 10 balloons, 1 for every 10 lbs I have lost so far.  This was a fantastic idea!  I would carry these balloons and at the end, before I crossed the finish line, I would release them, saying goodbye to that weight forever.  Brilliant.

But then came more.  As I reflected on my journey, I realized that with those 100 lbs and the last 4 years of work, I realized I have changed.  I have become a new person and so much more than weight has been lost as I worked through the issues that brought the weight on and kept the weight on over the years.  As I confronted the ugliness of my story, and embraced the beauty of who I am, I lost much, and gained so much more.

So, my balloons became more than just symbols of weight to be released, they became symbols of so much more.  So I began writing on my balloons at 11 PM the night before the race.  I am certain the following words are just a smidge of all I have lost, and that will be lost as I continue my journey, but for now, this is what I have recognized I have lost.  For space sake, I may do a follow-up blog detailing more of what these words mean to me.

Each balloon represented 10 lbs and the following: Shame.  Fear.  Doubt.  Regret.  Hopelessness.  Discouragement.  Negativity.  Powerlessness.  Weakness.  Anger.  Bitterness.  Unforgiveness.  Self-hate.  Condemnation.  The Beast.

So that is the plan.  Run with balloons.  Say goodbye without the weight of them as I cross a finish line and as I learn to embrace who I have become,  Beautiful.

This race I was running alone, so on some level it was lonely to be doing this by myself and on the other hand it was perfectly fitting that I did this on my own while amongst 22,000 people.  I have many fans and friends and supporters who have come alongside me and helped me along as I traveled but I realized as I started to feel sorry for myself for being alone on this day that no matter how many people I have in my corner, I have to make the choices and do what it takes to get to the end.  It is my Journey.  My Results.  My Responsibility.  My Celebration. Mine.  I get to own this fully.  Being alone for this race meant I got to celebrate the way I wanted to without feeling like I had to accommodate anyone else.  Perfect.

Pre-Race with the “Spirit of Detroit” behind me!

So now for a race recap.

Best. Race. Ever.

Balloons were obnoxiously hitting people in the face as I ran and the wind would randomly blow.  Incidentally, my journey has smacked people in the face as well.  Either I have inspired you, annoyed you, or challenged you simply by living my journey out loud.  No apologies.

For the first time in 4 Turkey Trots, I was able to wear my race shirt on race day…or ever, because it fit.

Several people asked about my balloons and I got to share my story.  Others, it was interesting  to note, noticed my balloons, and talked about them amongst their running buddies, coming up with their own interpretations.

I ran with a huge crowd of people the whole time.  Historically, within the first mile, I have fallen so far back that one would not know I was in a race with 22,000 other Detroiters. Not this year.  This year, I PASSED alot of people and as I approached the final half mile, I was in shock that it was almost over…and as I looked at my watch, I realized, I could very well run my fastest 5k ever, without even trying.  (Remind me to write about the Run Thru The Rapids, my fastest recorded time a month ago)

As I headed in to my last half mile, I realized, I was quite tired of carrying these blasted balloons.  Whose idea was this anyway?  You would be surprised how much resistance is created when you have 10 balloons tied together as you try to run!  My arm was tired of the resistance and my hand was tired from gripping them tight so I didn’t lose them.

Coincidentally this is  how I have felt about my weight.  I am tired of carrying it around.  Tired of it getting in my way, and in the way of others, tired of it limiting my mobility and tired of all of the negative emotions it brings with it.

I was nearing the end and ready to let this burden go, once and for all.  I picked up my pace too because now that I knew I could PR without trying, now I was actually gonna TRY and see what I could do!  I sprinted down the hill, around the bend, along the river, through the tunnel (no joke, the only thing missing is Grandma’s house) and there is my stretch of sky to let my burden go in before I cross the finish line…

I paused.  I looked up and let my balloons go.  (I tried to take a picture, but a picture was not meant to be)

In the words of some famous boy band…”Bye-Bye-Bye”
My balloons were just out of range of my camera….and I wasn’t waiting around for re-takes I had a race to finish!

Then I took off, ready to finish my best race yet!

Then, I came to a screeching halt.  I realized, for the first time, what it is like to finish this race in the middle of the pack of finishers.  100 yards and about 15 running seconds away from my finish line, Suddenly, traffic backed up and the race stopped as thousands of runners came into the finish area at the same time with nowhere to go.  It took me another 5 minutes to actually cross the finish line.

My finish line is just under the sign that says “Cobo Hall” So freaking close!! That under 45 time is eluding me…

I am used to finishing so far behind everyone else that the announcer has time to get my bib number, look it up, and then call out my name as I huff and puff to the finish line.  I don’t think I like this middle of the pack business.  I think I am just gonna have to get faster so I finish at the FRONT of the pack, because there is no going backwards for me!

All done and with my medal! (I like medals….)

Final Results. Although my time WOULD have been in the low 44 minute range. Oh well, I keep telling myself a PR was not the goal for this race! Blast my competitive side!

WS#7 Don’t Ditch Your Support Team

This week I got to re-learn how important my support team is and what happens when I get arrogant enough to think “I got this” and don’t need them and when i let shame win.

I have come to a place in my journey where so many people know what I am up to and know my commitment to this journey, that I could have called on just about anyone to stand with me during last weeks struggle and I would have had no less than 10 people ready to join the battle with me.  It used to be that I intentionally had a very small handful who I would let in to this space with me.  While, it is such a blessing to have so much love and support around me, that same support is a double-edged sword when things get tough and shame creeps in as I fail again and again in my choices.

Last week was an epic week and I learned alot.

  • In case you missed it, I discovered that I have lost 100 lbs from my all time high weight(as recorded by my doc!
  • Then I blogged about it, and as you know, if you have been reading for a while, I write quite honestly, which means I often put my words out there then sit back feeling incredibly exposed.
  • Then a friend decided to honor me with a 100 lb party and invited all of blogdom and all of my FB world to join in by sending me stories of how my life lived out loud has impacted theirs.
  • Then, a boy happened on the scene of my life.  ok he came on scene a few months ago, but this week it became apparent that there may be some mutual interest, which, while exciting, also has my panties all up in a bunch, as this is all new territory to me with new levels of vulnerability being reached.
  • and then, basic life needs took over.  Things I needed to put some time into and with limited hours other things got cut out such as meal prep and workouts.

So that is what was going on.  All of that left me feeling quite shaken, vulnerable, exposed, and terrified.  What if I can’t keep going?  What if I can’t maintain this?  What if my body stops working again?  What if I let all of you down?  What if…???

In response to all these questions/fears that there are no answers to, I ate.  I ate fried chicken and oatmeal cream pies.  I ate at restaurants I had no business smelling at let alone eating at, one of which was a chinese buffet.

In the midst of this, I failed to let “Coach”  or Aaron know the reality of what was going on.  I failed to let Tate in on the reality of my struggle.  I failed to ask for help in sorting through what was going on for me.  I pretended I was ok.  I pretended that I was strong enough to handle it.  I tried to rationalize my way through things instead of sitting down and letting myself have a moment to honestly feel the depths of my fears and instead at every hint of them rising up, I stuffed them back with food.  I hid.

This is what I know to be true, more than anything else for me.  When I sit in a dark place and allow my sin and my shame to keep me in a dark place and I don’t speak it out into the universe, when I don’t shine a bright light on it by exposing it and myself to others(my support team), I cannot win.  I will sink further and further into darkness and it will become harder and harder to pull out.  When I fail to utilize my support team, people who loved me at 368 lbs and rising and who love me at my 260ish lbs and shrinking, I fail.   When my arrogance rises up and I begin to think I can handle all that life throws at me, I fail.  When I keep things secret, I fail.

So, my winning strategy for this week is to USE YOUR SUPPORT TEAM!  Don’t ditch them in a time of crisis, pull them in closer.  Hold on to your lifelines as tight as you need to and always ask for help.  There is no shame in asking for help!

Incredibly valuable lessons were re-learned for me this week and I am grateful for opportunities to go again.

We’re Having a 100 pound Party: Kim’s Loss Our Gain

Earlier this week Kim shared with all of us how she had hit the 100 pound loss mark. She was wondering, “How do I celebrate such a milestone?” I made a suggestion to Kim of what SHE could do. Then I thought “something is wrong with this.” When there is a party it is to celebrate the person and in this case we need to celebrate Kim’s gigantic accomplishments.

Then I began thinking of where would the party be? It was hard to nail down a location given Kim’s following is now all over the world. Then I wondered, what would we serve at the party? It seems like Leif and Tate have been the menu planners for the last several month. I don’t know about you but I’d rather they keep their day jobs and allow me to call a caterer. Well you can see the breakdown in that thinking. Son now with two strikes against me I began wondering what kind of present would I bring? Well my thought was a box of chocolates. No I can’t bring that. I could send her $1 per pound. No I don’t have that. Okay as you can see I hit the 3-strikes and your out spot.

I put the planning aside and instead while I was washing dishes last night the idea popped into my head. Let’s throw Kim a one of a kind party. It is important that all of us make an appearance by weighing in. But don’t worry since it is a party for Kim there won’t be any scales you have to step on. We are going to weigh in with our words of gratitude.

We’ve all heard and probably used the cliche, “Your loss is my gain.” Truer words have never been spoken then now. In one way or another as we’ve all travelled Kim’s Road to Beautiful with her, her beauty has made us more beautiful or handsome as the case may be. The details and directions to the party are listed below.

When: It starts right now. How appropriate that it begins as we enter the season of thankfulness and giving.

Where: There are 4 weigh in locations: Facebook, Kim’s blog, Kim’s personal email, or snail mail.

Theme: Kim’s 100 pound loss our gain

Contributions toward a gift: We are building Kim a 100 pound trophy from our hearts. Lets come up with 100 ways Kim’s loss has been our gain. Now you may hit the like button of someone else’s post, but since Kim hasn’t taken the easy way out on her journey we can’t either. We each can write something unique. It may only be one word that you and Kim share between you. It may be an object that will bust a gut between you. This is all about Kim. We will all be the richer for this time, but our main goal is to celebrate Kim and what she means to us and how her road of obedience wasn’t just about her but it was for us, her community.

What if: we hit 100 ways Kim’s loss has been our gain? Well then we work towards the second 100 to encourage Kim along the road to her final destination. So every weigh in counts. Kim will keep the tally.

WS# 6 Don’t Be Afraid To Offend Someone

This journey is your own and I have discovered that in my own journey the level of support I have rises with my level of commitment to it.  In the beginning, outside of a select few, I felt very little real support.  Part of this was due to me keeping quiet and part of it was the fact that people had watched my wishy-washiness of the past and were waiting to see if this would be a repeat of my previous failed commitments.

So this time, as I realized the level of commitment that Leif was asking for when I signed up with him, combined with my determination that I would give him everything he asked for (so I could walk away knowing I had done everything i could), I dove in 100%.

What does this mean?

Well, for this post it meant that When invited out to dinner, I was willing to say no and possibly offend the person extending the invitation.  It also meant, if i was invited over for dinner, I learned to be comfortable with asking what was for dinner and letting them know about my journey and how they could support me.  If they were unwilling (rarely the case) I simply brought my own food.

35 weeks later, when i travel to West Michigan for a 2 day weekend, I have my suitcase and I have my cooler full of food.  At mealtimes, I simply bust out my travel containers.

At first, I think people were a little put out, but they began to realize I was serious as a heart attack about this journey.  Now though, people ask me when my free meal is so we can go out to eat.  Or when they invite me for dinner, they ask what my plan is that week.  They realized pretty quickly that my journey had nothing to do with them and I WANTED to spend time with them, but I had to also take care of me too.

I have not had anyone remain offended once they realized this truth.  I have not lost any friends because of my journey. If anything, I have gained so many more and my support system of people has grown exponentially as I have remained steadfast, no. matter. what.

Remembering…The Last 100 Pounds

This morning, I woke up to an email from my Doctor.  I had emailed her last night to ask her what my highest recorded weight was.  I don’t know why I did this.  I knew the answer.  356.  I also knew I was SO very close to hitting 100 pounds lost, I could taste it, and had been holding off on scheduling my annual physical because I wanted to go and have hit this milestone.

Her email response said that her charts indicate that in 2006, I weighed in with her at 368.

So many emotions hit me at once, I quickly became overwhelmed.

Oh my gosh!  I made it!, was my delighted reaction.

Oh my gosh! I was bigger than I thought!, was my regretful reaction.

Oh NO! I missed it!, was my panicked reaction as I realized that I had hit this mark a few weeks ago!

I had been anticipating this milestone for a while now, knowing I was getting close.  I finally believed it could happen and I had been dreaming of exactly how I would celebrate this momentus occasion, this obvious reflection of my hard work and commitment.   I wasn’t prepared to find out that I had already hit this huge milestone, and then to be alone on the day I found out with absolutely no plan in place for celebration and then realizing, that those which whom I would really want to celebrate with, those who have journeyed with me into the dark places of my heart so I wouldn’t get lost in there, are all far away.  So it feels very anticlimactic and yet I feel like this is a really REALLY big deal and should be given time and space.  And, even if those who know my heart well were close by, I would have no answer as to how to celebrate this at all.

So an online friend from my LAF family suggested I take some time and reflect a bit…and so I am…I am remembering the last 100 Pounds.  Perhaps in the reflection I will find what I am looking for and perhaps a lesson or 2 to be learned.  This post might get lengthy, but that’s ok.  Today’s writing is for me, and me alone.

100 pounds and counting….

2006 was the year “Coach” and I became friends.  It was also the year that I decided I was going to get serious about my weight.  I had acknowledged my issues with sexual abuse(I would soon learn that acknowledgement is not the same as dealing with it) and I knew how I hid and ran and lied about food.  Coach, and a few others were on board to help support me. 60 lbs later, I derailed. I wasn’t ready to face my sexual abuse history head on, and until I was, nothing would work.

In 2007 I half assed it.  I was kind of in but not really.  God was pursuing me to look at the issues of my heart and my past and how I used food to self protect and I was NOT letting him catch me.   Not fully anyway.  This was the year I started counseling.

2008 is where it really began.  I was caught, by God, and I surrendered.  I allowed myself to be led down a path towards healing and wholeness all while embarking on what I declared to be my final quest for weight loss.  I remember, the really painful days of looking at the ugliness within me and the ugliness done to me.  I remember the sweetness and the security of a few good men God placed in my life to show me that men can be safe and trustworthy and good.  I remember how well I was and am loved.  God knew I needed men to take a stand in my life FOR me and my how they did.

I remember so much joy, and celebration over the last few years.  I remember the time I found the courage to do one leg of a triathlon.  Then 2 legs the following year and Coach ran with me to make sure I didn’t walk.  I remember dragging Adam to all sorts of aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes at the gym. I remember the rallying of friends who said friends don’t let friends run alone and drove with me to TN for my first and 2nd half marathon.  I remember doing my first full triathlon.

And I remember all of this being overshadowed by the fact that no matter what I did, my body seemed to betray me at every turn.

So now, I find it unbelievable that this milestone kind of crept up on me.  In my mind, it was coming and I knew it and I was excited.  But I had a different number in my mind.  When I woke up, prior to reading the email, there was a strong possibility that I would reach that milestone today and if not, soon. In my mind, I was only 4 lbs away.   So, it was shocking to say the least to realize I had already passed this milestone.

And so now I sit in wonder.  How does one celebrate 100 lbs lost?  How does one appropriately honor the hard work, the tears, the frustration, the trust and the victory that is all wrapped up in this 3 digit number?  How does one honor the relationships that have sustained me through really hard moments?   How does one bring enough glory to a God who truly has saved me and brought me new life?  In so many ways, the need and desire to celebrate this moment has both nothing and everything to do with the number.  I don’t know that there are answers to these questions, but I am now taking suggestions.

In the meantime, these lyrics speak so much truth about my journey and how I feel in this moment.

There was a time I packed my dreams away
Living in a shell, hiding from myself

There was a time when I was so afraid
I thought I’d reached the end, baby that was then
But I am made of more than my yesterdays

This is my now and I am breathing in the moment
As I look around I can’t believe the love I see
My fear’s behind me, gone are the shadows and doubt
That was then, this is my now

I had to decide, was I gonna to play it safe?
Or look somewhere deep inside, try to turn the tide
And find the strength to take that step of faith?

This is my now and I am breathing in the moment

As I look around I can’t believe the love I see
My fear’s behind me, gone are the shadows and doubt
That was then, this is my now

But I have a courage like never before, yeah
I’ve settled for less, but I’m ready for more
Ready for more!

Tate, I am so ready for more. Ready to do something REALLY brave and lose this last 100.  You with me?  We have another milestone to reach my friend, 100lbs WITH YOU!

Just A Little Progress In 2012

When You Don’t Give Up

 

I don’t know that anything more needs to be said.  I am incredibly grateful, in this moment for my friends who have stood by me the last 4 years, putting up with my crazy days and helping me to never give up, quit, walk away or hide.   I am grateful for the continuous encouragement and support and even the really dumb things people say that help fuel my fire to keep going!

I am further grateful to the Leif Anderson Team (Leif and Tate) for putting together a nutrition and training strategy that would keep my body burning fat and moving forward week after week.  They too have put up with no small amount of the Kim Krazies on occasion and there is not enough money in the world to pay them for that.  Friends kind of have to put up with it, but these guys don’t, and did.

Then there is the LAF Family.  Others who have gone before me or are with me on this journey or are on their own journey with very different goals but similar methods who have rallied around each other.  We have cheered each other on.  Cried with each other on the disappointing or hard days and helped pick each other back up when we have fallen down.

But mostly, I am thankful to Jesus this year for healing my heart, making me whole, and letting it finally start to be reflected in my body.    As my dear friend Mike (aka Coach, and the guy in the NYC picture) once told me, “It is because I have been freed that I am now free to order my body in such a way that it reflects my freedom!”