Monday, November 09, 2015

The Scale

I have struggled with wanting to lose weight for years. I've started and stopped many different approaches to improving my health. I was working hard at working out and was proud to say I worked out 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Then I got a bunch of tests done to try to figure out why I was so tired, and why I cannot seem to actually lose any weight--my cardio was good, but my weight remained high, too high for my comfort. The doctor informed me that all my results came back normal (thyroid function, cortisol, diabetes, etc) EXCEPT that I had elevated levels of bad cholesterol--meaning I don't exercise enough. WHAT?!! I was doing my 30 minutes a day! Thats the recommended amount! Obviously, I was only maintaining, but still, I was trying! And, knife in the wound, if you lose weight, your cholesterol levels should improve. Thanks :S

I started to cry. I really wanted a "reason" for why my weight wasn't just falling off. I didn't have one. So, to me, that meant, I'm clinically depressed. Thats why I'm so tired. Thats why I can't stick to a plan. So I asked for antidepressants. I rushed home and filled my prescription and started that day. I felt terrible. I felt nauseous and foggy headed. I didn't feel well to be driving. I couldn't sleep. I had long long periods of awakeness and then feeling terrible again the next morning because I couldn't sleep. I had to limit what I would do with my kids because I would lose my temper from being so fatigued.  I only took the pills for 4 days. Thats all.

I talked with some loved ones and asked if it made more sense to wait since the kids had just gone back to full time school (after summer break) and my youngest was even going to be in Preschool two afternoons a week--giving me a break. I decided that I had jumped the gun and that having all the kids in school would likely help me to experience some actual rest and refreshment and maybe even get to a place of energy again. I also realized that the thing that was depressing me the most was my scale.

When I look in the mirror, I think I look pretty cute. I have a cute body. Its got some curves and of course, some flaws, but its not crazy-out-of-control. I like it. Then I would step on the scale, see the numbers close or at 200 and then say "You're so fat! How could you let yourself get here?! Whats your problem? Why can't you lose weight?" And I would immediately feel terrible about my cute body. Its obviously not cute if it weighs 200 pounds.

So, after some good soul searching, I decided that I have disordered thinking when it comes to food and weight loss. I get anxiety or panicky when thinking about eating--afraid to eat--feeling like this whole weight loss thing is a trick. I've been on programs where you eat what seems like way too much, but you lose, so trying to just eat what feels right, seems like it could never work. Then people will say, don't do too much cardio, lift heavy weights, but then my heart and stroke foundation info, says to make sure cardio is a regular part of my week so I don't die young. So much to balance, but yet conflicting. I finally had to just give it all up. I also got to add anxiety over my elevated cholesterol--thinking no more fried foods or butter (I've been anti-margarine for a few years now) and was literally walking around thinking "I'm going to die. This is going to kill me any day now." I'm only 37.

So, I shared this with a group of ladies at a Bible Study and said I was going to not look at my scale for one month, maybe two and just see how things go. One of the women asked me to give her my scale. I thought that was unnecessary but then decided to just do it, because she is trying to be there for me, so why not let her (since I am trying to establish relationships in a new church).

So I did. I gave over my scale. Thursday October 22 (although I stopped using it earlier that week). I released myself from the judgment and pressure of stepping on the scale. Its a bit of a miracle for me. I was OBSESSING about my weight, about my eating, about my exercise--I am not obsessing anymore. I am exercising. I am resting when my body is sore. I am eating healthy foods and treats. I'm going for walks when I feel like it, or the weather is nice. I'm going rock climbing again. I am not punishing myself with food choices or exercising to exhaustion. I am FREE.

I love my body. I think its cute. I still hope to get smaller, and fit into my clothes better, and be lighter for climbing, but for now, its so entirely attractive to be FREE. Whatever peace I can have in my mind, and lower levels of anxiety--I am all for that!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

trying too hard

I love many things about my life. I am uncomfortable with my feelings about several others things in my life. I think I am lazy. I feel like my life is too hard sometimes. Its too hard to keep the house clean to the standard that would give me peace. I desire a simplistic life but it will take so much work to get there. I am buried under the weight of responsibility. I pretty much hate certain parts of my "job"...because I feel like a perpetual failure. I think I am responsible for teaching my kids to clean up after themselves and treat one another kindly--that job description brings a huge amount of stress into my life. Is there an alternative? I don't see one. 

I have been struggling with postpartum depression and possible regular ol' situational depression for at least 7 years. Thats a long time to feel like i'm in a perpetual state of trying to feel normal and sometimes achieving it, often gets pretty old, pretty quickly and thats part of the problem. I am always trying so hard to just feel okay. I need renewal, I need long periods of rest and I do not get that. And for those who struggle with depression, even the breaks you get sometimes don't help and just make you feel more guilty that they didn't work!

7 years. Maybe this is the year to have a clean slate? 7 years is often the cycle in the Bible where debts are forgiven, fields are left to furlough, things get a rest. I had an amazing time this morning of feeling really run down and then realizing God was encouraging me to let go. That He is meant to be my strength, that my Hope is in Him only, that my focus is not meant to be on me and my life but on Him. These things are not easy to do. I could feel myself letting go, little by little, trying to give it away completely. I thought of "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the Joy of the Lord" and thought how I really do hold on to my sorrows, I hold on to my pain. I want to lay them down. Why would I want to hold on to those things?? 

I also had the thought that its time for a new beginning--we are at a new church and I'm ready to let go of the pain from leaving our beloved church family for a new place. Establishing new relationships or growing some friendships and learning a new system of how things are done there. This lovely couple prayed for me and it was something I've been wanting for years--I was crying and trembling a bit, the tears were dripping down my face and off my cheeks or chin, then I really felt this calm, some hope, maybe some deliverance, and then I felt okay. I didn't feel all worn out the way I normally would when I cry or have some unresolved emotions. It felt resolved. 

Now, 7 hours later, I am home alone with kids. I was doing well for the first 3 hours, working on the house, cleaning, good energy level and then now, getting tired again. Getting sick of all the kid arguments, whining, the usual annoying stuff that happens when we are alone together. 
I can tell I am getting very frustrated now, probably partially from trying to focus on writing this and partly because I have been on my own doing something "good" that also requires a lot of energy and parenting. So now I'm going to do something that is good for my mental wellness and attempt to go for our first family bike ride in our neighbourhood. My youngest (age 4) just learned to ride without training wheels while we were away last week so that has allowed for the possibility of biking in our hilly town.

wasting my life

So, I've recently discovered or decided that I am wasting my life. I spend so much time watching shows (mostly on Netflix) and they are interesting. Some are challenging. Some are just fluff, to pass the time. I am alone in the evening often (with kids in bed) and so the only thing I feel like doing after having an exhausting time putting them to bed, multiple times, is to relax and watch a few shows.

I keep getting slivers of inspiration--to write (like this) or to sew (which could be a source of income or just repairing a few items that have been sitting around for months waiting for me to sew them) or to play music (guitar--I learned the basics years and years ago and then never had that obsession that causes some people to play for hours and hours into and through the night to the point where they become an expert). Watching a show is so much easier. I am wasting away, being a bad example for my kids and fuelling my fire of fatigue and laziness and depression. Its a very big fire.