Day 41

Day 41 of 100 intentional reflective steps.
I’m tired. I have tried on 100 black dresses from 10 different stores for this upcoming wedding. 100 y’all! None of them fit right, look right, feel right, smell right, etc. Of course the beauty of this quest is that I have tried on 95 of those dresses virtually. Look at the picture, thumbs up or thumbs down and move on. It’s like being saying I’m part of the Seattle Seahawks team while I really just sit in the stands. Or like saying I have a relationship with somebody when I only connect via Facebook and have never met. Minimal personal investment with maximum benefit.  
Maybe this virtual reality thing is not so bad after all. Except that Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter are really just online distorted circus mirrors. You can’t trust anybody or anything there to reflect what is actually in their minds or world. You have to show up in person to know what is real, what works, what is broken and what needs help.
My mother always said “Only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” I think that’s a good rule for the technological age.  
Mental break . . . I wonder when that dress is going to arrive from China?  I’m sure its the right one.



Day 35

Day 35
Day 35 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

It all started with an M&M.
I attended 12 step meetings while hospitalized. So so many of them. Since the majority of people who are dealing with trauma are also struggling with addiction this was one of the treatment protocols. I made a goal to go to 5 out of 7 meetings a week which meant I only needed to hide in my room, the laundry room, or the art room for a couple nights a week.  After a while it  became “hiding in plain sight.” The staff would say “you know we are supposed to write you up if you don’t go to meeting tonight?” Acknowledging my eye roll they laughed and let me continue to think I was hiding.  
During meetings one of the phrases I wondered at was, “I know my next drink/pill will be my last. It will kill me.” I didn’t understand the power of addiction and that one “hit” could be enough to start the final addictive slide towards death. 
Not to mitigate the power of alcohol but maybe I do understand the addictive mindset a little bit. 
Yesterday it all started with an M&M. They are small, harmless in small quantities, forgettable even.  They scratched that sugar itch just enough.  Then the Boy Scouts came to deliver my caramel nut popcorn. Perhaps just  bite or two. Certainly not enough to affect my diet.  Next, sugared creamer in my coffee because that is better than having a pop right? I ended the day with a birthday cupcake and chips and salsa.  Salsa is veggies! All of the sudden it is very clear that I am no longer on a healthy eating plan.  It’s ok, I can pick back up tomorrow.  I lost 6 lbs this week. Don’t I deserve a break? 
The thinking pattern is the exact same as any one of the prescription, alcohol or sex addict friends I hung out with in the hospital. Exactly the same.
And then the guilt! But here is where food takes its leave from other addictions. Unless one is diabetic, morbidly obese or has any of the other weight related illnesses it is an acceptable comfort.  Nobody is going to stop you or say how your addiction/obsession is affecting them, because in today’s society we act like it doesn’t. 
Maybe I should switch to excessive alcohol or illegal drugs.  At least then the whole of general society would help monitor my behavior with disapproving gazes or tongue clucking. As it stands now there is nothing but my will power standing in between me and enjoying food whenever I want it. Just my will power? That sounds about as useless as a kleenex in a rainstorm.  
7/62/208 (214)
Day 7/ of 62 days / Current weight 208 ( Starting weight 214)

Day 30

Day 30 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

Damn you Ree Drummond, and Frankenstein too! 

I’m sitting minding my own business and reading Facebook, which is actually the definition of minding everybody else’s business. But that’s when I see it. An ad from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman chef who makes everything with butter, sugar and happiness. (Think Paula Deen only country-fried instead of southern-fried and in cowboy boots!)  She is making an ice cream cake that looks delicious.  And it’s Halloween week so everything else on Facebook is sprinkled with candy and treats. But don’t you feel bad for me. I just had cauliflower. Yummy! (Indeterminate muttering of profanity)

Here in lies the problem with trying to eat right, diet, purge, abstain or cleanse.  EVERYTHING looks like the thing you aren’t supposed to have. In fact, I think I just nibbled on my dog a little thinking he was a rice crispy treat. GAK! Hairball.


Day 28

Day 28 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.


This seems an appropriate day to set all sorts of unrealistic goals for my next year that I will regret and break. As much fun as that sounds I think I will resist. However, I am feeling emboldened by setting and accomplishing the daily writing goal so far this month so I am going to attempt another goal. My daughters wedding is two months from today. Two months!!!! WOW! It’s (past) time to work on this weight thing.

I have a lot of valid reasons (meds, illness, etc.) and even more excuses on why I can’t accomplish self discipline in this area. My goal is to set those aside and do what I need to do for my health.
The biggest obstacle to controlling food are two words, INTAKE and EXCEPTIONS. I can manage INTAKE with an affordable, accessible, manageable diet plan. With the help of a friend cheering me on, who is a professional in this area, I know I can do that. It’s easy to follow. What trips me up is the EXCEPTIONS!
What is an acceptable exception? Work party? Holiday? Wednesday? Depressed day? Drink with a friend? Monday? No time to plan dinner? Work day treat? Successful eating week? The list can go on and on. And once I let myself “cheat” I just throw in the towel for the day, which turns into throwing in the towel for the week. Occasionally that turns into throwing in the towel for the month!
Dance break . . . As I am writing this I realize I have deleted more paragraphs than I have kept. Its fear. Every time I type a goal I realize I am “putting it out there.”  Now that I know people are reading this blog I don’t want to fail “publicly.”  It’s scary y’all!
  • Food: No exceptions on intake rules until wedding and then right back on track until goalish weight is reached. Long term/post “diet” is a maintaining a good goal weight with healthy/balanced eating habits.
  • Yoga: Love it. Keep up my 4-5 classes a week.
  • Walking: Like it. 4-5 times a week
  • Weight: Goal is “less. Today I weight 214 lbs. Realistically a healthy goal weight for me is 150 lbs. which could be accomplished next year sometime.
This post has taken me the longest of any of the past 27 to write.  Fear. It’s real and it’s trippy.

Day 2

Day 2 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

In the 99 days/15 weeks left of my 100 days, if I were to lose 4.5 lbs a week I could get to my “goal weight” of 150 lbs.! Woohoo!!! Sigh. Yes, I know that isn’t possible in a healthy way. But the truth is I am deeply unhappy with my body. I can joke about it or tell riveting stories about my weight challenges. I can tell how I wear spandex all the time because pants with a real waistband are uncomfortable and  how my large spandex are now starting to roll down below my belly leaving me feeling like a hippity hop stuffed into tea cup. But the truth is my thoughts about my body take up an inordinate amount of my brain space.  I hate every picture of myself and I even find myself avoiding people I haven’t seen in a long time.

In all fairness my meds do cause water retention (resulting in added weight) and cravings. Also depression affects my motivation but . . .
  • I belong to Weight Watchers.
  • I have a gym membership.
  • I have enough money to continue a weight loss program that I have quit twice already.
  • I have a flexible schedule so I can fit in time to work out and to cook healthy.

It feels inexcusable that I can’t lose weight. Maybe shooting for my ideal weight is not even the right  target! Nothing external, like hair, body type or clothing, should define the essence of my significance as a person. While I don’t really believe those words, something about it rings true.

Here’s my question. What IS a greater measure of my worth than pounds? What if I took a risk for the next 99 days and act as if I believed that the number on the scale isn’t a signifier of my personal value? 

Ok. I feel the judgment. I’m a pastor. I “should” know better than this. In light of the eternal hope I have in Christ I should feel gratitude, joy and contentment at being a beloved child. Reality, y’all.  It is because of our biting, carnal, basest self loathing that freely offered love and grace is so beautiful. Embracing the truth of how preoccupied I am with things that don’t have real meaning makes accepting grace so much more appealing.

I suspect until I figure this out I know no matter how much weight I lose I will not have the joy and peace I crave.