Tag Archive | honesty

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.

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.

WS#5 Know Your Boundaries/Limits: It’s OK To Say No

When I first started aggressively trying to lose weight and get healthy 4 years ago one of the big struggles that I had to get beyond was people pleasing.

Oh there is a party going on?  With food?  Sure I can come.  Just a  little bit won’t hurt.

However, I am a social butterfly, and at that time, I lived in Grand Rapids where I had a very active social life.  3-4 nights a week of gatherings of some sort turned into more than a little bit.

As I traveled this road, I came to realize that I didn’t have to do everything I was invited to and I certainly didn’t have to accept every dish passed my way.  My friends, those who truly supported me, would NOT be offended if I passed on their food offerings.

When I signed up with Leif Anderson Fitness 34 weeks ago, I knew that at the end of my 20 week package I would be able to walk away confidently knowing I had done everything possible to lose weight.  Since I knew this, I also knew I had to give it everything I had so that I could walk away without any regrets. No lingering doubts of, “if only I had or had not…” would be able to be in my mind.  Leif had also told me pretty directly that if I worked the plan, 100%, there is no way he could not keep my body losing.  I set out to prove him wrong by doing everything right. (side note: I failed at times at being perfect.  Go Figure.)

What this 100% commitment translated to in reality was what some might consider extreme.  I skipped a family Easter dinner because I knew that I was not in a place mentally/emotionally to go to a gathering and eat on plan.  I took a small amount of heat for that from family and it was kind of depressing to spend Easter alone, but I figured if I can get my weight under control, I will have at least 50 more Easter dinners.  If I don’t, my Easter dinners are numbered.  I chose an extreme short-term measure based on how I felt in the moment in regards to food for the vision of a long and healthy life.

Often I will decline invitations to things based on how I feel about food.  At first, I didn’t explain why and later I began to explain and as my friends saw my results they totally supported my decision to remain steadfast in my commitment, no matter what.

Now, I don’t always say no to things.  There are plenty of times I feel in complete control and will go and meet friends for dinner.  I will have already eaten my dinner and will merely sit with them while they eat and I will drink a diet soda.  At first this was weird, but again, as friends saw my intense commitment to my journey and that nothing was going to stop me, they stopped questioning me and really started supporting me.

Often, they ask when my next free meal is, so we can do dinner out without breaking plan.  Some have joined me for cardio on occasion.   Others have asked what my meal plan is for that week and invited to cook for me, then cooked according to my plan.  When people love and support you, they are willing to make adjustments to be able to spend time with you in a way that is supportive.

Yes, at first it is weird to say no often and to set firm boundaries based on what you can handle in a given moment.  For this people pleasing girl, it felt incredibly selfish to be making such demands on where and what we do.  What I discovered though is that this is MY journey.  People love me.  I don’t say that in an arrogant way, just a matter of fact.  My friends and family love me and they support me to the extent of my commitment.  If I am wishy-washy in my stance, they will be to.  If I stand firm in what I can and cannot do or handle they will rise up and stand firmly beside me and they will do it gladly.

All of these paragraphs ultimately say this…it’s ok to say no and it’s ok to set boundaries.  This is your life.  Do whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.  One day you might be able to handle ordering off of a menu, other days you might not without deviating from plan.  Know your limits.  Check in often with yourself and act accordingly.  Your true friends will love you, respect you more, and rise to the occasion to support you as you take bold steps to take back your life.

and…don’t be afraid to let people in on what you are doing and to ask for help.

We are not meant to live life alone.  I could not have lost 78 lbs without the help, love and support of my friends.  They could not have supported me well unless I was clear about what I needed.  Give them a chance to support you, say no as often as you need to.  Know your limits.

Courage In The Shame

Right in the midst of last months angst of living in the tension of what is vs what is to come and the dueling excitement and devastation of what all that means, it was time to take my monthly pictures.

I have a friend who is a photographer and a woman I trust, who has agreed to take pictures of me once a month in a semi dressed state so I can look back and see progress when the scale is not being kind to me or when my brain simply has not caught up with reality.

These pictures are ones of me in a sports bra and bathing suit bottoms and also with a tank top on(for possible future publication somehow/somewhere)

Needless to say, with all that was true for me during this time,  as the time grew closer to get these pictures taken I was trembling.  I was so ashamed of my body and all I have done to it over the years such that even my current efforts, while good and healthy for my life, will likely never yield a very pretty body in its naked form.  I was ashamed of how I have used food to cope with life.  I was ashamed of the lack of discipline that brought me to this place.  I was ashamed of not having taken advantage of all of the opportunities to lose weight before.  I was ashamed that my body doesn’t respond as quickly as others do.  I was ashamed that I needed help, that I couldn’t do it on my own. I was ashamed that I let my abuse control me for so long.  You name it, I was ashamed of it.

Amy, my photographer and friend, is amazing.  I think she could tell something was up for me and as I stood before her, naked(literally, well almost) and ashamed and telling her some of my fears, she began to speak truth over me, about who I am.  Her words began to counteract the lies I had begun to believe again.  She helped me to grasp onto a wee bit of courage so I could take these pictures that one day I may be grateful for.

This journey is hard friends.  Overwhelmingly so, at times and in ways I never thought or imagined.  This day was a day of great shame…and it was about standing up, opening my eyes, and staring down shame as I looked straight into a camera lens that would forever capture an image of my body as it is today.

This journey cannot be done alone.  This day it was a day of  having a friend stand with me as Courage rose up to defeat the shame.

I was looking for images that display courage and this one hit home for me.  The little one is the small voice of Courage standing up to the Giant of Shame.

Pardon the language, but it fits!

Living In The Tension Of What Is and What Is To Come

It has been a while since I have busted out the “Kim’s Translation” of the Bible and it is about overdue 😉 (This one came with a little help from my Pastor in trying to communicate this concept, Thanks Jim)

There is a theology/thought/belief/biblical idea about the Kingdom of God being here, but not yet.

Pause.

Say what??

I know, sounds kind of crazy, right?  Here, but not really?  What does this mean?

Let me ATTEMPT to explain, but remember, I am no theologian, I am just a girl working out her faith and learning along the way.  My understanding of the Bible will change over time as I grow, but for today, this is how I understand it, with help from Jim!

So, Jesus came to earth to fulfill a promise(or several promises really)  He came that we might have life, abundant life.  Overflowing life.  Life to the full. He came to bring His Kingdom, His ways, His power, to earth, to give it to us and when He returned to heaven, he left His Spirit with us…so we can have those things.

The problem.  We are still on earth, and while we are now the Temple for the Holy Spirit and it/he resides in us, It does not reside in all because not all have received it/him.  And, we are not in heaven yet, and we still live in a world that has sin all around us every day, and often we (I) are the perpetrators of such sin.

So we have this promise of abundant life and yet because of the sin in the world and in our lives, we don’t get to experience the fullness of that hope and promise yet.

Think of it this way, Grandma is baking her best cookies for you.  You love these cookies.  They are the best cookies ever!  She puts them in the oven and then hands you the spoon to lick.  You savor that spoon and can’t wait til those cookies are done.  You have just had a foretaste and you KNOW these cookies, in all due time, will be AMAZING and you can hardly wait. You watch the timer.  You count the minutes.  You wait in anticipation for the FULLNESS of what is to come.

That is what it means to say that the Kingdom of God is here, but not yet.

Now,what the heck does this have to do with anything I have ever written about?

Well, in this here, not yet idea, lies a tension.  A tension to want to push the process, to speed things up, to manipulate the thermostat to make those cookies get done quicker vs waiting patiently for the process to happen in the best way possible under the absolutely best conditions…and according to the Master’s GREATEST plan.  Grandma’s cookies are the best because she knows what she is doing.  Let her do her thing!

So, I am realizing, my journey is alot like this.  Just as God has begun a good work in me and will see it to completion, Leif has also begun a good work in my body and has restored great hope for me that my body is in fact NOT BROKEN and can and will lose weight.

In the last month, I have struggled with the tension of trusting Leif and Tate with their GREATEST plan for my body that will help to fulfill their promise to me of achieving lasting fat loss.  In the restoration of hope in this area, dreams I never knew I held within me were released into my soul and I began to anticipate what it might be like to be at goal.  I began to dream of things I never dared to dream before.  Dreams of perhaps wearing a bikini was a big one even if for only one day before realizing I am far to modest for that. But really the idea that if I wanted to I COULD wear one and really own it and work it!

More and more though, my body has been shifting and changing and while I am starting to look amazing in clothes, I know what lies underneath those clothes and that underneath those clothes, a time has come where I have had to start wearing Spanx, or some version of them, aka a girdle(this was a hard place to be in to have to buy and wear this article of clothing).   I see in the mirror all the loose skin and the unevenness in which my weight is coming off.  It is not pretty folks. In fact, it has been devastating.  I think, or at least it feels like, I have cried more this past month than I did during the 2 years when I was actively engaging my sexual abuse healing/therapy.  Now, that might not be true, given that I am a bit removed from that time, but sheesh, it sure feels like it.

I have begun to worry about what is to come and if those dreams that were birthed in me along with renewed hope would ever come true.  Or if I will have to find a very rich man to marry who can pay for skin removal surgery.  In all of this I have found myself angry at both Leif and Tate for bringing me to such a place that I would dare dream of something that just doesn’t seem possible, in this moment, in this mirror image that I see when I am naked and alone.

So I find myself in this tension of both hope and despair.  Hope and excitement of what IS happening and what is to come…and realizing I need to let go of some of those dreams of things I cannot control so that the cards can be played out.  A tension of trust vs control.  I have two men who know what they are doing.  They are the BEST cookie makers in the business, if you will.  Me begging them to give me all the ins and outs of their recipe in the moment is NOT going to make things happen any faster or better.  If I understood exactly what was happening, I would be tempted to manipulate and control things instead of simply trusting these two body whisperers.

Now just because I finally have words to explain where I have been this past month doesn’t make it any easier.  I have had to put blinders on like they do on a horse at a parade so that I can’t see all that is around me and be distracted.  Despite my chaotic emotional state that has felt crazy as I live out the tension, I have had to do whatever was necessary to stay true to the plan, nutritionally and training wise.  I have had to stop looking at new friends results and comparing their journey’s to mine.   During this time, I have gotten ugly.  Ironic, since my journey is about becoming beautiful, the kind of beautiful that Jesus would behold!

I have NOT represented myself or Jesus well.  I could blame it on “Dieter’s Rage” but that would be me not taking responsibility for my life and actions.  Daily, it has been a battle and as I wrestled with trusting these two men, particularly Tate, I have lashed out and said some really ugly things.  Hurtful things.  I realize in hindsight that I just wanted to feel like I had some semblance of control over some piece of all of this journey.  Slowly, I am learning…in Faith, my job is to trust Jesus where He leads and He has led me to these men. In my body transformation, my job is to trust these two and to not treat them poorly when they hold the line for me.   Fortunately, for me, Jesus is a master at forgiveness, and Leif and Tate don’t take it personal when I lash out, and they too forgive me.

For now though, I have my 60 lbs lost, my foretaste of what is to come, if I would trust the process.  I have the promise, it is mine to collect on, but it’s not all the way here.  Yet. It is a journey, a process, and I am not done yet.

Tension.

A picture of hope, me-mid process. 2 photos taken a year apart, although really, all the change has happened in the last 6 months.

“I Can’t” VS “I Get To”

I am finding that this process requires all sorts of Jedi mind tricks to get through to the other side.  You have already read about how I will make/buy delicious things that I want and then choose to give them away.  This next one is more of a conscious shift in how I choose to relate to this journey.

Quite often, I find myself frustrated by what I cannot do/have.  In the physical training realm, I MISS my really fun Crossfit workouts. I miss the high intensity badassery of it all.  I miss throwing weights and dropping them.  I miss running and training.  The last four years, part of what has kept me going is the shorter term goals of races to run and things to do just because I can!  When the weight wasn’t coming off I could console myself with the fact that “at least I can run a half marathon” or “at least I can do a spring triathlon”.

Now, the fat is coming off my body but I am not allowed to do those things I have come to love(at least for a time) because it isn’t the most effective method of training for how Leif and Tate are manipulating my body nutritionally.   I often try to reframe my goals, but another 150 lbs sounds too daunting to take on.  So I break it down into smaller goals.  50 lbs.  But the reality is, I cannot control how or when that happens.  That is Leif and Tate’s job. I just get to do what I am told.  Sheesh!  No wonder I feel so out of control.   I have chosen to trust 2 virtual strangers with everything that relates to my fitness and nutrition planning and while they tell me following the plan is always my choice, the alternative doesn’t really feel like a choice at all!

So quite often I find myself whining.

“I can’t eat another friggin egg white, Tate!”

“I can’t walk alone every single day Tate, I am bored out of my mind!”

“No, friend, I can’t Crossfit with you today, I am not allowed.”

“Ummm, no I can’t do sprints, it’s not allowed this week.”

What I have begun to do to counteract the effects of the “I can’t” is come up with the things that “I GET TO”

I GET TO eat food that has the best nutritional profile for my goals.

I GET TO walk each day, move my body, and lately, I have a friend to do it with.

I GET TO do the kind of workouts that will further my long-term goal of fat loss, priming my body to be at its very best once I am released to run, tri, or Crossfit again.

I GET TO order my body in such a way that it reflects the freedom that I have received on the inside as I have walked out emotional healing.

On any given day my list of “I can’t” changes and grows.  Each day I GET TO, re-frame how I am thinking so that I can see the benefit.

A bit Pollyanna-ish?  Perhaps.  But as long as I am not stuffing my emotions and I am actually processing them out, then I say, what ever works to keep me in the game and on the field.

Today, actually, right NOW, my big I CAN’T is.  I CAN’T stay up to eat my last meal, I am sick and need my rest.

I GET TO stay up a little while longer, knowing I came home early from work and did plenty of resting.  I GET TO give my body ALL of the nutrition it needs so it can fight off whatever I have come down with.  Less nutrition will NOT help me get better faster.

What It Is Like To Be Me (Mid-Transformation)

Have you ever watched a baby turn to a boy? You know he is growing. You see the change in clothing/diaper sizes. You see the increase in skills…but he is still a baby. Then one day you wake up and look at him…and suddenly he is a little boy.   No more baby face.  Overnight some magical shift happens.

Or you have a friend pregnant for the first time. You know she is prego and are watching impatiently for the bump to appear so you can rub it. You wait.  And wait.  And wait.

..and after a while you begin to question it….then you meet for  your regular weekly lunch date and you walk in and HELLO BABY!!!  Almost overnight, the new momma went from barely pregnant looking to BAM there is definitely a baby in that belly.

THAT is what it is like to be me on this journey. I know things are changing. I see the scale each week. My clothing sizes have changed.   I am continuously amazed by what fits and doesn’t fit in my closet.  People oogle and aah when they see me after a long absence.  But I don’t see it.  Not usually.   Then one day…I  wake up and pass a mirror or catch a glimpse of a photo and holy #*%- who is that woman!!!?? What happened? It is like overnight a sudden shift happened and my body caught up to reality and decided to display what has been happening.

Or maybe…suddenly my brain caught up with reality.

Either way…it is awesome when I can actually see what is happening and don’t have to rely on facts and figures and numbers.

In the same way that overnight it seems that my body suddenly appears smaller, it also seems that overnight or minute to minute I seem to grow.  Not literally, but it is fascinating how in one moment I can look in the mirror and be so totally excited by what I see and in the next I can be near tears that I am never going to get to goal and I suddenly seem fatter than ever.
I wonder when/if my brain and my heart will ever match up with the mirror for more than a moment.
What it is like to be me at this point in my journey is both exciting and terrifying and requires bravery every single day to keep going.   At times I feel crazy, totally delighting in the ooogles and aaahs from others in one moment and the next moment freaking out like a mad woman.  One minute delighting in the changes in my body and the next totally depressed by the lack of changes I see.