Tag Archive | abuse

Irrational Fears/Irrational Eating

I started yesterday off feeling awesome about my plan and how things were going, despite showing a gain on the scale.  You see,I had cheated and gotten on the scale midweek and was down 5, so when my official weigh in day came I was not concerned at all that it showed an 8lb gain from Thursday til Sat.  I KNEW that there was no logical way I could have gained 8 lbs of real weight in 2 days. I was on LOCK on my plan so I merely laughed at the scale knowing it would likely show something different next week.

Healthy mindset, right?

I headed out for my day got myself a pedicure and cute knew  flip-flops as my reward for staying on plan for 8 solid weeks.  A reward not based on results, but based on my commitment to the program.

In all honesty, this program works for me. It has lots of structure and rules, which I like.  There is no  guess-work for me.  I don’t have to think about what I want for food, food in the last 8 weeks has been all about getting the right amount and kind of fuel that my body needs so that it can release the weight so that my body can learn that it will be fed all that it needs so it won’t hold on to my fat any longer.

Last night, as my day went on, I became increasingly anxious and I didn’t eat my planned carb meal.  I ate carbs for sure, but not the planned out calculated ones that were on the menu given to me by Leif.  But worse than eating off plan was that I did it all in secret.  This was the first time I have done this in a long time.

I slept awful last night, waking up frequently in a panic that something bad was about to happen and as I woke up this morning I realized what I was afraid of.

Being found out. Being a fraud…and that this plan, if I actually followed it would actually work.  Yes, I said I Am afraid this plan will work!

You see, it has been a while since I have seen the possibility of slipping back under 300 lbs.  It has been a while since I have gotten random compliments from people about how great I am looking.  And last night, while at the grocery store, a man followed me around trying to talk to me…hitting on me.   I should have known then what the motivation was to pick up a single serving bag of chips….but I didn’t.

I would like to think that my former sexual abuse that I have worked so hard to get past would no longer hold me.  But folks, I am realizing that as I work a plan that really REALLY has a chance of working that I am terrified. I don’t know how to respond to men who find me attractive. I don’t know, really KNOW, that I will be safe being an attractive and fit female.  I don’t know what I will look like or how I will feel. I don’t know how to respond to all the compliments I am getting.  It is both exciting and terrifying.  I want it and I don’t want it at the same time.

I just know that while I have hope (that I cling to) that this could work and that I could look like that girl Lori I talked about in my last post, sometimes I am still driven by my old fears that brought the weight on me as a child.  Fears to self protect at all costs…even when there is no real danger present.

I know which of those feelings I want to win.  So I must be more diligent in watching what I am doing and analyzing my desires/behaviors more in the moment.

So this post is about the realization and about putting out there what I don’t want known about me, especially by Leif who works so diligently to create plans for me that will work or by Coach and Aaron who have walked with me so long on this journey.  Oh how I hate to disappoint people.  This post is about putting shame to rest and walking in freedom and moving forward.

Last night my meal consisted of:

1 small bag of chips

a serving of mom’s pasta dish she made with a steak/gravy

a diet soda

a mini Milky Way

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Some Kind Of Wonderful

If you have read the My Story tab that I have on my side bar or along the top header then you know that a good part of my story and my weight struggles has been tied to some pretty significant events in my life, namely childhood sexual abuse.

A few years ago, God began bringing men into my life and showing me that men can be good and trustworthy and safe…so much so that I went from having very few male friends (sure I knew men, but I wouldn’t randomly call a male up to hang out), to having Coach and Aaron and Adam be my primary people who I called on for help and support in this journey.  I know.  Crazy.  Right?  I mean, I went from always being suspicious of men and their intentions to this.

Well, if I am honest, I used to tell Coach and Aaron that there aren’t any other guys like them and that whoever God has for me has some pretty high standards to meet.  While sure, THEY are amazing, I still often had and have suspicions about male intentions.  Going further, it is those suspicions and fears that had led me to declare that I would never have a male trainer.  I mean seriously, a trainer relationship is a pretty intimate relationship.  They know all of your most private numbers.  Numbers that we don’t, as women, just toss around even amongst the girls.  A trainer knows your body and what it can do and has to touch it, either while correcting form or guiding a movement or during stretching.  Yes, stretching is MOST intimate.  No one…and I mean NO ONE touches my fat, except my trainer or my doctor…so yeah…can you see why someone who does not easily trust men and who has had my experiences in life would say, HELL NO to a male trainer?

Well, I got Demond, who IS without a doubt, male.

And can I just say once again that God is good?  I feel like he continues to stretch me in this area.  I declared no male trainers and well my situation turned into one where I decided ANY trainer that could produce results would work, male or not.   This set me up for meeting Demond and being open to him.

God seems to be taking it further and raising my expectations for my guy, whoever he may be, even higher by bringing more QUALITY men in to my life as living examples of what I can and SHOULD expect.  Let me tell you a little story.

The other night, Kyra and I met up with Demond and the A2 Fitness Pro Family for dinner.  After dinner, we were getting ready to leave and Darrell (of Darrell and Drea SSN 9 Black team of TBL) asks me if I had gotten my headlight fixed yet.  He remembered from 2 weeks prior, that my headlight was out.  Now I hate this kind of car stuff.  I know this is an easy fix, but I always feel so dumb with car stuff, so I tend to let things go longer than I should so when he asked I kind of turned away and ignored him.  He then declared that when I saw him on Sunday, he would fix it.  WHAT!?!  What man does this?  Seriously?  Just offers to fix it?  He doesn’t even know me?  But I guess that is what good men do???

So I am kind of floored by this.  I mean I live with 2 men (brothers) and they don’t offer stuff like this and one of them is an aircraft mechanic, but if I asked him you would think I asked him to replace the engine!

So that just kind of rocked my world.  Then I got in my car and was sitting there for about 10 minutes responding to some texts and what not and letting my car warm up when I looked up and noticed Demond still in the parking lot too.  His truck is kind of hard to miss.  It is BIG!  I didn’t think much of it and continued to do what I was doing.  Finally I pulled out and he immediately pulled out too.

Instantly, I realized that he had been waiting for me to leave before he left!  I asked him if he had been waiting for me and his response was that I wasn’t supposed to notice.  Well, his truck is not the most stealth vehicle so yeah…

The next day I was driving to work and I continued to think about this.  I mean, why was this SUCH A BIG FREAKING DEAL?  I felt silly and didn’t say anything to anyone all day about it.  But it rocked my world.  Seriously.  I don’t remember half my drive in to work because I was lost in thought and actually when I “came to” I was 3 miles past my turn for work and ended up late.  The feelings I was experiencing was baffled, protected, cared for, loved, vulnerable, confused.

Finally, later I decided to bring it up to Coach.  I mean, I couldn’t make sense of why this was so mind-blowing for me.   Here is what we concluded.  Demond, waiting for me in the parking lot and Darrel offering to change  a headlight spoke hugely to the part of me that simply wants to be protected.   Part of a man’s design is to be the protector and a woman’s makeup is one that wants to be protected.   That piece was not there for me growing up.  So seeing this new way for what protection and care and kindness could look like just blew me away.  Coach’s exact words as he tried to explain my own feelings for me really hit things on the head.  He said, “a man is taking action to protect you.  this is a fundamental doubt attached to your wound.”

Yes.  Yes it is. I don’t expect men to protect me.  I do it myself.  I handle what I need to handle, even if I procrastinate some of that stuff for as long as possible.  If anything, I expect them to let me down.  Afterall, a man who I should have been able to trust in my life violated that trust horribly.  It is quite a vulnerable and yet cared for feeling to know that 2 men took action to make sure I was safe without me asking for help.  They are just doing what comes naturally to them and until they read this they will have had NO CLUE the impact his actions have had on me and why.

So God is good. My poor guy is either being set up to fail hugely as he is gonna have even higher standards to meet now or I am being set up for some kind of wonderful as He continues to show me what I SHOULD expect and can expect from men who simply show up in who they are meant to be.

And as for having a male trainer…God couldn’t have given me a better one.  He is proving himself worthy of the ranks of Coach and Aaron and Adam in my life.  Quality, safe, trustworthy men, whom I measure all other men against.

So thank you Demond and Darrell(if you read this) for being gentlemen and for rocking my world this week…without even trying to.  I am loving being part of the family!

S.A.L.T.S

Immediately after finishing Nashville half-marathon I headed into a week-long conference called Survivors of Abuse Leadership Training Seminar.  This is a training seminar so I could potentially lead groups like the Retelling Group I participated in, in the fall of 2008.  This is the group/training that really helped me so much in actually dealing with my sexual abuse.

Until Nashville was over, I couldn’t really focus on this.  I knew what I was heading to, but I didn’t spend much time thinking about it.  This would be all 12 weeks of my retelling group crammed into 5 days combined with a training element. It would be intense.  I figured it would be emotional.   I figured it would be tough.

I had no idea.

When I did Retelling, also called Grace Group, the first time.  It was rough.  I often wanted to puke as I headed to group and even after as I looked at and talked about in great detail, my abuse and all of the aftermath of it and how I dealt with it.   So heading into this, I was expecting more of the same…x 5000.

I underestimated how tough this week would be actually.  I thought I knew what the subject matter would be.  I have come to be far more comfortable talking about this subject.  However, I was completely unprepared for the direction God would take me during this week.

On breaks I found myself escaping back to my room, chatting with Coach trying to process some of this stuff.  I was a hot mess, barely holding it together and finding myself full of questions without any clear answers.  And wouldn’t you know, that on the most painfully emotional and longest day ever, they served fried chicken for dinner, with baked as an alternate…but still…in the midst of some serious crap, I had to make some choices about food.  It wasn’t like I was being painfully conscious of my food intake that week other than to make sure that I didn’t go into crazy eating or NOT eating.  But fried chicken…well shoot…that is my ultimate comfort food as you all know.

I passed on this.  I took the baked chicken. 🙂

I wish I had words to best explain what this week was for me, except I am still not sure.   The week after, I refused to think about it much at all.  I was exhausted.  Physically and emotionally and I needed a break.  So that brought me to last week.  Where all heck broke loose within me.  I was wild and angry it seemed all the time. Stuff that had gotten stirred up at SALTS was back in my head and I couldn’t ignore it and yet I still didn’t and don’t know what to do with it all…except experience it all.   Because if I have learned nothing else over the last year and a half, it is this.  Stuffing it in any form does not work.

Here is some of what I learned from my week.

1.  I am not done with this story in my life and may not ever be…and that is ok.  Unraveling it is like peeling an onion.  One layer at a time and the onion is much bigger than I thought.

2.  I realized that I still very easily dismiss and disbelieve people when they compliment me, particularly new people.  I thought I had gotten better at this, since I know I don’t so easily dismiss compliments from people who know me well…but apparently not, at least not all the time.  This isn’t to say I NEVER believe a compliment, but I am quick to dismiss and disbelieve new ones.

3.  The longings of my heart are coming unburied and it is hard to acknowledge them and the fear that they will never come true.   I wrote a lament to God during this week filled with all sorts of questions I had for Him and expressing my longings to Him.  One thing I noticed during this week is sometime over the last months I hadn’t fully noticed that I felt like I was alone in life again.  If you have been reading for a while, you know that for almost a year straight I could almost feel the tangible presence of God walking with me.  During this week, I noticed that presence seemed to be gone again and I wasn’t exactly sure when it went away and therefore couldn’t fix it.  But when I wrote that lament, expressing myself fully and honestly to God telling Him I needed to hear from Him…suddenly my mind was filled with words that were not merely my thoughts and my pen began writing furiously in the dark of night as I sat on the shores of Lake Michigan.  God answered me…and I was not alone.  It was precious. I am grateful to know that no matter what it feels like I am not alone…ever!

4,  I met some pretty amazing people, each with stories of their own that have had them entrapped in their own ways.  AS we all entered into each others stories, hearing them and asking for the details that no one ever wants to say out loud, we learned together, that shame only has power when it is held in silence.  When we are released from that shame by speaking the shameful things out loud and we hear from others the TRUTH and not the lies, freedom comes racing in and we become free to live who we are called to be…and we are then free to enter someone else’s story in much the same way to bring them to greater freedom and healing.  Jason-stepped into a confidence that un-nerved me.  If I wasn’t careful, he might have been able to see into my soul, so I avoided him for a bit and dismissed him a lot, until I realized how I was hurting him.  But he was great!  He pursued me until I was able to look him in the eye…and you know what I discovered after 5 days?  He has blue eyes! HA!  Jeff brought an insurmountable amount of courage as he faced his own story.  Watching him struggle gave others, ME, courage to keep pressing in.  Kathy brought a tender presence with her.  She was so prayerfully discerning and yet so vulnerable in her need to be heard as well.  It was amazing to watch how a quiet voice can still be heard. Shari brought a great longing to be loved for you she is and as she is…and she was…and is.  It was awesome to watch her literally transform from a tough girl to a happy-go-lucky girl!  Teresa brought a passion for others first and learned that she needed to come first.  That her story is valid and true and worthy of being heard…and now she is so much freer to go out and minister to others.  I am forever grateful that these beautiful people showed up and were in my group and were willing to go to very dark places in their own stories and to pursue me into mine.

I know this is a vague post.  I am being deliberate in this.  I want to be honest but also want to be wise in sharing all parts of this aspect of my story in such a public way.  I also want to encourage anyone who has a story of any kind of abuse in their life…physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, etc…that there is power and freedom that comes from telling your story in a safe place.

Visit Open Hearts Ministry and contact them to find out if there is a Grace Group in your area or see if you can’t attend the next SALTS training.  I truly believe that everyone’s story needs to be heard and shared in a way that can bring healing.

So where am I now in all of this?  I am sitting in it. AS I talked with Aaron about some of this, he said to me that if I am committed to redemption then forgiveness is necessary.  Honestly, this comment was a thorn in my side this past week…because it is true.   He pointed out later that as a person who is committed to redemption, I don’t get to pick and choose who that redemption is for.  Either I am living a redeemed life with redemption and forgiveness available for all…or I am not.  (Note: redemption/forgiveness does not mean no consequences)  So now I get to decide some things…to walk out redemption with a person in my life…or not.

First Giving

My friend Sara did a guest post a while back about her event that she is doing this coming Saturday, called Y Fly.

Sara is an amazing woman who is passionate about bringing hope and healing to those who have been victims of sexual assault/abuse.   Given my story, it is only fitting that I highlight her again as she prepares to SKY DIVE for a cause.

While I am off running 13.1, Sara will be suiting up with a parachute, getting into a plane, and falling 2 miles back to earth!  If that is not passion, I don’t know what is!

Whatever fear she has about this, I am certain does not come close to equaling the fear that women who have been sexually assaulted face every day of their lives.

I know that Sara works day in and day out to help bring healing to the souls of such women.  As for me, once this race is run, I am moving on to a leadership training called SALTS (Survivors of Abuse Leadership Training Seminar) so that I can learn how to create  a safe place for men and women to tell their stories of abuse.  I have learned in the past couple of years from my own journey that sharing it out loud for other ears to hear is more than half the journey towards healing.  And like Sara, I have a passion for other women to be healed!

So with that said, I know you are all cheering me on in my 13.1, but would you consider cheering Sara on in her quest too!  Pray for her as she prepares this week to jump and would you consider donating cash to the cause?  ANd even more than that, would you pray for all those that have been affected by sexual abuse/assault?

Check  out Sara’s webpage to learn how to donate.  You will see that yes she has met her personal goal…but we all know that organizations like these could use more funding, especially in today’s economy!

Also, check out this website for more info on Operation Free Fall!

Y Fly

Friends in Blogland!  I have yet another guest writer!  But first I want to preface it with a short blurb!

If you have read the My Story section, or have been reading my blog for a while, or have read the thing in its entirety in one sitting ( I know there have been a few!) then you know that part of my journey has involved dealing with the long-term effects of sexual abuse.  I began really actively looking at this part of my story almost 2 years ago now and I will probably have to continue looking at it in some form for the rest of my life.  I am ok with this.

Jen and I were talking earlier last week.  She had watched an episode of Oprah where she was interviewing sex offenders.  At some point she asked this man if he regretted what he had done to the girl he abused.  His response was this.  “Of course I regret it, I stole from her who she could have been.”

I had been making Jen some guacamole and I stopped what I was doing and just kind of froze.  Jen then said to me that no matter what it takes, I have got to get the training I need to be able to help others along in their journey to healing from sexual abuse.   That she has watched me over the last couple of years fighting to reclaim who I was meant to be.  What was stolen from me.”

All of this is true.  I have been fighting and I want to help others in their journey’s some way, some how.

Ironically enough, Sara is a friend of mine ( a real life one!), who is passionate about this sort of thing herself, was telling me about what she is up to in regards to helping people find their healing.  So, I told her to write something up about what she is doing to raise awareness to this issue and I would post it here, to help bring more awareness and perhaps help raise some funds for this issue.  Every little bit I can do to bring awareness to the reality of abuse/assault the less likely another woman will suffer with the feelings of self blame/condemnation that does not belong on her.  If there is some small thing I can do, like helping to bring awareness, that will help some other woman reclaim who she is meant to be, I will do it.

So without further adieu here are some words from Sara.

Kim, I appreciate your candor and enthusiasm to face the things you once resisted.  Though we don’t often cross paths, all of our conversations have been impactful and I appreciate your willingness to show both vulnerability and courage. Beauty has always been with you and I have seen your spark ignite others. Thank you for sharing your story and being willing to risk, in order to create freedom for other survivors of violence.  I know that we both have a passion for encouraging others to heal from the effects of sexual abuse and assault and I hope that others are able to move from victim, to survivor, to thriver. Sexual abuse doesn’t have the last word!

With that said, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and I am raising pledges, along with 7 other individuals, to skydive in Operation Freefall.

Operation Freefall is the only event of its kind to increase awareness of sexual violence. The event is held simultaneously across the country on the last Saturday of each April, and it benefits both SOAR and local community-based anti-sexual violence organizations. In the past nine years, Operation Freefall has raised over $1,000,000 with nearly two-thirds of that going back to local communities. These funds are used to:

  • Increase local support and outreach services for survivors of sexual violence.
  • Provide recovery, risk-reduction, and prosecution information to tens of millions of people, including many in your local community, each year.
  • Enhance SOAR’s programs to help victims of sexual violence throughout the healing process.
  • Educate lawmakers, police officers, students, the public, and the media about sexual violence.

So if you are interested in donating to this cause, go to www.firstgiving.com/sarawright1 to make a pledge. I am on a team called “Y Fly” because a portion of our donations will go to the YWCA of West Central Michigan (my teammates are also looking for pledges). The YWCA provides crisis counseling, sexual assault nurse examinations (rape kits), and therapy for victims of sexual assault. We only have until March 15 to collect donations!

Thank you,

Sara

Near And Dear!

This week, while I was away from my computer for a few days, a friend and fellow blogger, decided now was the time to share her story of how she has used her weight to protect herself.  Her story is incredible and powerful and up until a few months ago, was a story she had never told anyone before.

I am proud of this woman.  She has chosen to face her life, head on, with boldness and courage, even as her limbs tremble with fear.  In many ways, her story is similiar to my own and I relate to her on so many levels.  I encourage you to go and read her story….THIS POST…heck, read her whole blog, it is amazing.  She is amazing!  I hope that whoever reads it will be encouraged and inspired by her story, what she has faced, and how she is choosing to live life now, despite some pretty nasty circumstances life has thrown at her.

A Quickie Post…Just So You Know…

I woke up this morning pretty tired and mad at myself for not going to sleep sooner, knowing I HAD to get up by 8 AM to be able to get all I needed to get done, done.

I had a conversation with a woman whose child has experienced abuse such as mine, but on a far greater scale, (as if there is a scale to measure such things) in my opinion anyway. I heard how her child has begun to deal with it and it became clearer to me that we all deal with things differently. We all internalize and process things different.  No one way of doing this is better or more right than the other, it just is what it is. I also heard a mother’s heart for her child to know she is loved. I was blessed by this conversation in so many ways.

I was driving on some errands this morning and I happened to look down.  I am wearing my favorite jeans from 50 lbs ago.  I still love them and will likely always keep them.  They are old and have grown soft and now they are huge on me so they are oh so comfortable.  I needed comfort today so I wore them.  Along with it I am wearing a shirt I had made when I was going to a casting call for TBL.  On the front it says, “I have a story to tell” and on the back “Pick ME”.  So I look down and I see my favorite jeans and the words on my shirt.  I also noticed, that my stomach is further from the steering wheel than in years past and as crazy as this sounds coming from a 300 lb woman, my stomach is flatter than it once was.  I heard this verse in my head from John, “My peace I give to you, My peace I leave with you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your heart be troubled (aka don’t be discouraged) and do not be afraid.”

Breathe…Breathe…relax….I am not alone in this….

I do have a story to tell.  I have my past story that God is re-writing and as He does so, He is using it to impact others.  I also have the story that is yet to be written, my future.  My past was written for me, as that is how I chose to be in it.  I chose to check out of the writing process, to become numb.  But not now.  Now I am fully engaged.  Now, as a free woman, I have choices.

I was warned that spiritual attacks may come after a declaration to live differently is made ( The LEAP), so I was expecting it, but I was not expecting it to come this way.  In tiredness, in a way that seems so ordinary. I have been looking for the more obvious…well now I am on to the trickery at hand!

I will not check out.  I will not detach from my story.  I will not continue in this way. There is too much at stake for me and for others, for me to let this battle be lost. Seeing the flatness of my stomach and the words on my shirt, just reminded me of where I have come from.  It told me in a real way, more than my words or anyone else reminding me, that this time is different.

So here is me….getting up…again.