31 May 2012

DDP Says "Own Your Life"

I have a confession to make. I have no idea how to be an adult. I am rapidly closing in on 30, I want to have kids, I have a house and a hubby, but I am still a gigantic child. I never take responsibility for my actions, I procrastinate, I'm stubborn and irrational, and I refuse to take care of the basics of living. Now along comes DDP with his yoga and his philosophies, promising me better health if I just commit to it and "own my life."

What does that even mean? How do I do that? I am still trying to figure out who I am and what I really want. How can I own a question mark? I've never taken care of myself because I have never had to. I've had people take care of me, pander to me, and support my every terrible decision. I'm basically an immature mess.

This blog is the only thing I have going for me. The idea that people are watching what I do, and maybe taking some sort of inspiration from it, is about the only thing that is keeping me on any semblance of a path. Every hit I see added to my page stats tells me that someone is reading, and makes me feel like maybe I can help. Because they say that if you want to really learn something, you should teach it. I guess that's what this blog is to me.

If my ramblings about life and self-esteem and healing have even the chance of giving someone else hope, I will keep plowing forward. Maybe in the end, owning your life isn't about knowing where it's headed, or really even just making things happen. Maybe it's about owning the mistakes and the setbacks, the hesitations and doubts, the faults and the flaws. Because these things ARE me.

I have a favorite quote: "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." (Lao Tzu) I have to own the past, and not let it become my future. I have to know what I am holding onto, so that I can let it go. This is my life, this is it, all of me. I am what I have done, and what I will do. But that is up to me. There is no one else who is going to come to the rescue. My life is mine to make of it what I will. Is that what it means to own it?

22 May 2012

Body Clutter Chapter 4

This chapter is all about the lies we tell, both to others and to ourselves. How many "reasons" do you have for not getting off the couch? For why you need to order Chinese instead of cooking something nutritious? Believe me, I've used them all, and they are not reasons. They are excuses. Let's look at my biggest two:

"I'm in too much pain to cook." That's a biggie, and borders on legitimate. The pain in my kidneys does restrict me from doing things SOMEtimes. But why can't I pre-cook good meals to freeze on days I'm feeling okay? It isn't any harder to throw a casserole in the oven than it is a pizza.

"I'm too tired to exercise." Whose fault is that but mine? It is LACK of exercise that ultimately exhausts us. We need to move, so that our bodies can more efficiently make energy. A little push now, and I will be in much better condition later. Nothing worth having is easy, especially at first.

What are yours? Are you too busy? Too hungry to wait? Is it too hot/cold to go outside? Those are roadblocks that we construct to keep us from doing what we know is right. I bought my copy of Body Clutter secondhand, and it has some underlining. One of the things that the previous owner highlighted was "...our excuses reveal a lack of character on our part, an ugly dent in our personal integrity." Um, ouch. That really hits too close to home for me.

No questions this chapter, just a request to write down your biggest excuses, which I have started above. Others include "I'm just overwhelmed." "I need a minute" (that never comes). "I have nothing to wear." "I just need a nap first." "I don't have time/a ride/the money to go get my prescription filled." "I don't know where to start."

Well, as far as the last one goes, I'm starting here and now. I'm tackling my bad attitudes, and conquering my fears. I am taking baby-steps towards having a clean kitchen stocked with healthy foods. I am committing to moving my body everyday, and taking care of it with the medicines it needs.

BTW guys, I THRIVE on comments, so please, don't be afraid to leave some. Such as, what are some of your excuses for not living as fully and healthfully as you know you should?

21 May 2012

A TIme For Change

Hey look! I renovated! Severe boredom necessitates change.

Anywho. I'm still recovering from yesterday's intensity, and working on my root. Today's mission: clean the kitchen. Simply must be done, no putting it off any longer. Simply put, I'm finding that the cause of my root issues stems from the illusion that I have lost control. The more I sit around feeling that I have lost control of my health and my house, the more both of those things spiral. It is a vicious cycle, and I am here to break it.

By cleaning the kitchen, I am taking back the control of both my home and my health. It is a first step in getting the house presentable.  And while I am still waiting on my DVD's, kitchen clean-up also marks my first step in claiming control of my health. I can't get better if my food is prepared and stored in filth. And I can't prepare healthful foods if all of the space is taken up with trash and dirty dishes, and I can't store it in a fridge that is full of past-its-prime leftovers.

This truly is a time for change. A time for renovations. New site, clean house, sound mind, healthy body. Good things are coming my way. I can feel it.

20 May 2012

Body Clutter Chapter 3

I spent a lot of time last night meditating about my root, trying to figure out why it got so closed in the first place. I don't have those answers yet, but I do feel that it is starting to open up, and I feel much better already. Today I'm back on track with Body Clutter. Chapter 3 is about hiding. The way we hide from the world by refusing to dress and look our best. The way we hide from ourselves by pretending there isn't a problem.

FlyLady wants us to feel pretty (or handsome!) every day. Why is that so hard? I know that personally, I don't always feel I deserve to look pretty. Like there is some reason why I must sit around the house in frumpy old clothes with my hair in knots. Do you know it takes the same effort to put on jeans and a nice shirt as opposed to sweats? And only marginally more time to pull a brush through your hair than tossing the tangles in a scrunchie or headband. I don't wear makeup that often, partly because it's a hassle, partly because the hubby and I feel it is unnecessary, but when I do it takes 5 minutes. So why do we deny ourselves the pleasure of looking the best we can?

Dinner Diva goes on to talk about how the weight itself can be a way to hide. In her case, it was hiding from a dysfunctional marriage. But there are a whole host of things we could be hiding from. Shy people using their weight to hide from attention. People who have been abused in the past using it to hide from the opposite (or same) sex. And it isn't restricted to having excess weight. I know at least one lovely woman who has struggled with being too thin after being in an abusive relationship. I think that is also a way to hide, like disappearing.

The first question this chapter is do you feel pretty? And for me, that is a day-to-day thing. More and more though, the answer is "no." Even when I try to get all dolled up, there are fewer times that I look in the mirror and say "man, I'm cute." For example, the "Weird Al" concert. I picked out an awesome outfit in colors I know I look good in with lots of shiny bits because shiny things RULE. And I loved the outfit. I just didn't love me in it. Once I put it on, I felt a little silly. I wore it anyway, but there aren't any pictures of it, and I didn't feel good in it. I felt like an overgrown child. Like it would have looked good on someone half my age and a third my size. I have a hard time accepting that I can look nice.

How many years of clothes do you have in your closet and in how many sizes? Well, thanks to prior FlyLady influence, I have two giant bags of clothes sitting in my basement do donate, so not that much is still in the rotation, and most of it is less than 5 years old. However, I've been a size 28 since my junior year of high school, so even the older stuff still fits. Confession time though-I have a sweater from the third grade, and y'all. I still wear it. I wore it as a baggy dress back then, and it fits me as intended now. Take that as you will.

Do you get dressed to shoes every morning? Uh, no. No I don't. I know I should, but.... I'm actually in my PJ's writing this. I haven't had much energy to do laundry lately, so I'm a bit low on "presentable" options.

Have you ever felt embarrassed about your weight? Yeah. In fact the worst was this past August. I went with some friends to a zombie themed night at a local amusement park, and the ticket included access for the day as well. I went to one of the roller coasters, because I FREAKING LOVE ROLLER COASTERS! I even went to sit in the fat seat. And, for the first time in my life, despite my clothing size being the same, despite my weight not being more than 10 pounds different, it wouldn't close. I was asked to leave the ride. My friends went to get off, and I told them no, I was fine. But after they took off for the fun I was now denied, I called the hubby in tears. I was almost hysterical. One of my favorite things, and I couldn't do it any more. And on top of that, I was publicly humiliated. It was bad. Almost ruined the whole day. It has forced me to acknowledge that my weight IS a problem and it is holding me back from my life.

Have you used your body clutter as a shield? When and in what way? Yeah, I think I do this more than I want to admit. There are things in life that I want, but which also terrify me deeply. Coincidentally, these also happen to be things that being obese keeps me from doing anyway. Things like acting. I love to act, but there aren't a lot of roles for the fat (Tracy Turnblad aside). So I learn monologues, I practice my singing, and I never go on auditions, because what's the point? But the biggest thing in my life, the thing I have wanted since I was 12, is to be a mom. But I know that if I stay this heavy it won't happen. Those things, the things I love and want, are SCARY. So, I keep the weight on because it is the ultimate excuse for not putting myself out there. I can't be judged if I don't attempt.

Wow. This was a heavy chapter, and I feel a bit drained now. See you later!

Balanced Chakras, Balanced Life-Root

Continuing on my quest for emotional and spiritual health, but taking a break from Body Clutter (just for a day or so more, I SWEAR!), I have decided to look into the eastern philosophy of chakras. It is an interesting concept. The basic idea is that there are pools of energy in the body, and energy flows from one to the next. Only by having all chakras open and balanced can we reach full actualization. It kind of trucks with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Each step must be firmly in place for the next to be tackled. I will post here about them as I work through it, and will be adding pictures of the meditative mandalas I am making for them.

The first chakra, is the root, and it is found at the base of the spine. It deals with the physical. Pain, depression and fear can be traced to a blockage, while egotism, greed and cruelty are signs of over-activity. When properly balanced, there is a feeling of loving life, and being at home in one's skin. Its color is red.

Wow. Do I have a closed off root, or what? I am in almost constant physical pain, mostly stemming from my kidneys these days (an organ associated with the root chakra). I am depressed to the point of being suicidal sometimes. I have an acute fear of loss, and a stupid crazy need for things, especially clothing. There is nothing about me that I love right now. Most days I sit on the couch with my knitting and do all of nothing, going back to bed in the same pajamas. The most I ask from my days right now is that I be allowed to mentally check out and have a minimum of physical pain.

One of the things the website I'm reading says, is that I can balance this chakra by cleaning my house. *Grimace* I am frankly embarrassed at the state of my house. I keep trying to find the motivation to do something, and I keep not having it.  I guess that's another symptom of the blockage, huh? Another thing it says is to dance. I haven't really done that in a while, mostly because it irritates the hubby. But who says it has to be in front of him? Also, it says to go barefoot and take care of plants.

So my Root Chakra To-Do List:
Crank up the music and dance
Go barefoot, and tend to my garden
Clean my house, starting in the kitchen, which happens to be the epicenter of the gross.

Start everyday by saying, "My life is full of love and opportunity. Today, I will rise to each challenge set before me, and tonight, I will go to bed better for it."


16 May 2012

Body Clutter Chapter 2

I am really bad at his whole "consistency" thing, aren't I? It's been a busy couple of days, but I am back.

Chapter 2 is about the lies that the "diet" industry sells us. They want you to believe that there really is a shortcut, and theirs is the path to salvation from obesity. Then, when it fails, they are right there to sell you a new snake oil because *this time* will be different. I cannot tell you how much this affected me, or for how long. And I know it isn't just me. We are bombarded with so many images of people who succeed on these programs, that the only conclusion we are left with is that *we* are the ones to blame, the ones who failed.

This, friends, is BULLSH*T.  The simple truth is that there is no quick fix, no shortcut to health (and really, do I even have to say it? The focus should be on health, NOT weight or size). We are being lied to daily, and we are living the lies as if they are truth. Then why are we failing? Because successful weight loss means we don't need them anymore. A healthier person doesn't need a new miracle diet or pill or surgery. Why would an industry that makes millions off of people with low self-image want to improve that image?

Several questions this chapter. First, what is your image of beautiful? Mine is having a body strong enough to love my hubby, spoil my nieces and nephews and keep my home clean. Caring about myself enough to shower daily (yes, I am depressed and skip days, no, I don't care what you think of that).  Being healthy enough to carry my clean laundry up to the second floor from the basement without being winded. Maintaining my loving nature, and developing some humility and patience. My idea of beauty truly comes from the inside.

Next: what diets and such have you tried and how did you do? I played a lot of soccer as a child, also did some weight training at the YMCA. I did well with both, not really getting thinner, but at least I wasn't getting fatter. As I grew up, I mostly tried exercise, from more weights, to yoga (which I still love to this day), Tai Chi (also awesome) and the Couch to 5K program, which I love, but never stuck with. Diet-wise, I've tried and failed at Slim-Fast (awful, hateful stuff), the Hollywood Fast (made it through about 36 of 48 hours), and Herbalife (made me sick to my stomach). The only diet that ever worked for me was Atkins, which did wonders for my energy levels and waistline. The big problem? Meat is EXPENSIVE. So I never stuck with it.

It then asks you to go back to your teen years to reconstruct your weight timeline. Mine is fairly simple. I was about 180 when I was 15, gained about 100 pounds over the course of the next 3 years, and eventually (I think I was actually 20) I leveled out at my current 310ish. No true trigger situation, just a lifetime of poor eating and no exercise combined with hormones. I also have PCOS, so that contributed.

Finally, health issues. Again, PCOS. Also, pre-diabetic insulin resistance, borderline thyroid issues, severe hypertension and possibly whatever is going on with my kidneys.

I'll try to be back tomorrow for chapter 3. Love you guys (especially whoever is reading me in Russia and Germany! That's insanely cool).

13 May 2012


I said I'd try. Yesterday, I went to a "Weird Al" concert, and today was recovery. More tomorrow!

10 May 2012

Body Clutter Chapter 1

Welcome to today, Part 2. :)

There are 14 chapters in Body Clutter, and I will be attempting to work through one chapter a day. Last time I tried this, I only made it to chapter 4, but I have big plans this time! By the way, I was using a hand drawn birthday card from my younger brother as a bookmark, and the poem he wrote on it is just perfect. He said:

             May all of your goals and dreams come true
             Good health and happiness I wish upon you
             Times are tough, work is hard
             I hope you find comfort in reading this card!

ANYWHO...To business.

Chapter 1 is titled Food: The Ultimate Weapon of Self-Destruction. The first question it asks is: what is your favorite food, one you can't ever seem to get enough of? For me, that's milk. At the time of my first reading, I could have easily drank a gallon of milk in a sitting, let alone a day. There is just something about that creamy sweetness that is intoxicating for me.

The second question is: Why? Why is your relationship with that particular food so out of balance? I had to really think about it, but I did figure it out. I was a big child, always the most overweight in my already quite large-bodied family. My mother, trying to be kind and save me from the life I am currently living, put strict limits on my food intake. She used to hide the snack cakes and chips so I couldn't find them. This only lead to my sneaking other foods and hiding them in my bedroom, but that is a separate issue.

There were a few foods I could eat as much of as I wanted. Raw broccoli and carrots (with limited amounts of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing), or certain fruits. The one "treat" I was allowed without limitation was milk, and all my mother bought was whole. Like I said, it was creamy and a little sweet, and really felt just decadent. When I craved fat or sugar, I'd ask for milk, and I'd get it. And I would chug it. It became my "legal" escape.

I crave milk now because it feels like a valid comfort, even though I am massively lactose intolerant. You know, I missed several days of school when I was younger because I would wake up feeling sick to my stomach? This went on for YEARS until one fateful week when the hubby and I were living with his parents. They went on a cruise, he had broken his foot and I don't drive, so when we ran out of milk, we stayed out. And guess what? I felt better for the first time since I was about 15.

So, yeah, between that and the realization I had last time I did this chapter, I have mostly brought my milk and dairy consumption under control. (Although, writing about this, I had 2 glasses of Lactaid.)

That's pretty much it. I'm taking my first babysteps towards a healthier attitude and a healthier body. This should be interesting.

Never Give Up

This...this is just terrible. I apologize, really. I can NOT believe that it has been over a year since I last posted. I know, with less than a dozen followers, I'm mostly letting myself down, but dammit, I'm important, too. So, I'm sorry readers. And I'm sorry, me. I'm going to do better. Now to the post.

I, like most of the internet, saw the viral video, linked here. That, if you haven't seen it, is Arthur's story. Seriously, go watch it. I cried. But more importantly, I went looking. I found DDP yoga, created by professional wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page. I looked around his website, and I found another story. Stacey's story. This was a woman who tried everything, even losing 100lbs twice, always coming back to were she had been. And yet, she tried again. For more info, you can read her blog here. After some hemming and hawing about the price with the hubby (I hemmed and hawed, he encouraged), I purchased the DVDs today.

 Do not misunderstand me. I am not in this purely for weight-loss. I don't give a damn what I end up looking like. I do care about my health. I care to get off of my blood-pressure medicine. I care to not get winded or achy climbing stars. I care to be the best nurse I can possibly be. And if I choose to have children someday, I care to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy child. So while I EAGERLY await the arrival of my newest obsession,  I need to get my mind in the right space to achieve and maintain long-term health. And that means cracking open FlyLady and Dinner Diva's book, Body Clutter.

This is a book geared towards a deeper understanding of why we let our weight spiral out of control in the first place. Knowing our past hurts and letting them go. Understanding our triggers and learning how to over come them. As FlyLady says, Finally Loving Yourself (FLYing). And I'm going to work through it right here on this blog. And when I get my DVDs, I will work through them here, as well. And once I get some on going health issues sorted, I plan to return to my running, to ALSO be chronicled here.

I think I'm ready to be healthy. Wish me luck.