The Journey

Weight has felt like an issue to me for most of my adult life.

I don’t know if it started with a modelling agent slapping a chocolate bar out of my hand when I was 13/14 and telling me I wasn’t allowed to eat it.

Me – Summer 2021

I don’t know if it was hearing about how hard my mother and grandmother and great grandmother were always fighting to lose weight.

I don’t know if it was the fact that I towered over most of my friends, both male and female, in height and stature.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that at 16 (and so thin) that I outweighed my peers by at least 20 lbs.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that food and I have had a crappy relationship. I have eaten to feel better. I have eaten to avoid and escape. I have eaten to reward. I haven’t necessarily eaten to nourish myself; to show love and respect to myself.

In August of this year, I asked my Doctor for a referral to an Obesity Clinic.

He was reluctant to refer because they have “strict criteria”. When I explained that I definitely fit their expected criteria, he took me for a height and weight check because he didn’t believe me. I don’t have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart problems or any of the other comorbidities of obesity. But, at 243lbs and 5’7” – my BMI was 38 and I was definitely considered obese.

If proving my need for a referral wasn’t difficult enough; there were communication issues between my Drs. Office and the Obesity Clinic and it took a month and me personally chasing down the referral for the process to actually get started.

If I’m being honest, I really don’t even know what I’m getting into other than I’m overweight and overwhelmed and I want and need something to change.

I’ve “been apart of the program” since September. It’s a process. It’s a slow process.

I had it in my mind that “something” would change. Something would be different. Something would be life changing.

And you know what, I think it is. But it’s also a process. I’ve spent probably 30+ years making decisions that have gotten me here and a few weeks won’t undo or reverse those decisions.

I have my third “group session” on Tuesday and I’m dreading it and looking forward to it. Both sessions 1 and 2 have had meaningful – to me – aspects and I’m sure this session will be the same.

Shame tells me that someone’s gonna call me out or tell me I’m doing something wrong or that I’m bad. (We’re starting the nutrition section of the core sessions; and food and I have such a complicated and complex relationship.)

Experience tells me that these people are lovely and supportive and want to help.

Fear whispers that I’m not going to be able to do this.

Courage calmly states that I can.

And so, I make little changes. I take small steps. I summon courage and make the best decisions that I can for today, for this meal, for this moment. I trust that I can learn new skills. I believe that I can make significant and impacting life changes that will benefit me now and in the future. I recognize that this is a long game.

If weight management was as simple as, just do it. Just try harder! Then I wouldn’t be here. But for me, this is more complicated than that. And while I wish I wasn’t in this position. I’m so thankful that I’m healthy and that I’m receiving help and support so I can be even healthier for longer.

46

Dear 16 year old me,

You’re gonna be okay. These overwhelming feeling of insecurity and intrusive thoughts are part of a life long anxiety disorder, probably a chemical imbalance and you will eventually figure that out. You’re not broken or awful.

It’s okay that you’ve not had a boyfriend, yet. You’re going to find an incredible boy who will grow up to be an even more incredible man. You are gorgeous, smart and powerful. It’s okay to be a strong woman. Your strength will serve you well in the future. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not and who you are, is incredible. You’ve got this!

Dear 26 year old me,

3 kids, eh? You’re a rockstar!

That littlest one you’re holding?!? He is going to teach you more than you ever imagined was possible. You are going to learn patience and compassion, communication, persistence, gentleness, love, and so much more.

You’ve got a lot of life ahead of you and lots that I wish I could protect you from. You’re in for a world of heartbreak, trauma and devastation; but the flip side of all of that hurt is the most glorious awareness of grace and mercy. You are going to learn to love, have compassion and care for others in a way that will rock your world, in the best way possible.

That strength I mentioned earlier, it will do you well as we navigate these dark days ahead. You will survive. I promise. Even though it may feel like you could die from the pain and heartbreak, I can promise you that you won’t. You’ve got this!

Dear 36 year old me,

Can you believe that we have 5 incredible kids? Those 2 miracle boys born after all those losses…..AMAZING, eh? It’s a lot of work, but this second round of parenting is so much easier than the first round, isn’t it?

You thought the losses were tough but you’ve got another decade of unfathomable heart break. Between 3 years of Pediatric Cancer treatment, the physical, mental and emotional fallout from the treatment, mental health issues, trauma, school issues, and so much more – this is the decade that is going to really test you. Even though you will feel that you are walking a fine line between surviving and breaking, you will survive.

This is the decade that you learn just exactly how strong you are. Even if you wish you weren’t as strong because you’re exhausted and sometimes you wish it would all just go away or stop – you’ve got this. One day, one hour, one moment, one breath at a time. Breathe girl, breathe! This season won’t last forever.

Dear 46 year old me,

I truly wonder what this next decade will bring. I’d like to believe that the pain of the previous 2 decades will lighten up some. It’s been intense enough to last a lifetime. But the gifts that have come along side the pain have been glorious. In spite of all that we’ve been through, we’ve had the most incredible life and it’s not over yet!

You are wise! You are strong! You are brave! You are beautiful! Trust yourself! Trust your instincts! Believe in yourself! Believe that you have a voice! Believe that your dreams are valid and important! Believe that you can affect positive change in the world! Believe that you are a strong and powerful women. Know that your strength is one of your super-powers. Keep going to counselling! Keep reaching for inner healing! Have patience with yourself! You are a work in progress. You’ve got this!

Procrastination

Do any of you use “procrastination” as a tool?

I hired cleaners, at the beginning of the year, to come every other week and do the “cleaning”. (I’d like to pause and say that this has been the absolute best gift that I’ve given myself this year. I like a clean house and the rest of my family is ambivalent enough to not help out as much as I would like. So rather than overextending myself to do it or bagging at everyone, we make sacrifices so this can happen.) This means that every other weekend, we spend a day tidying our house for the cleaners to clean.

I don’t “clean” the house; I just clear it of all the daily living crap so they can apply soap and water to all the surfaces.

I need to be tidying right now; but I’m not highly motivated to do so. So I’m sitting in my bed, polishing off a piece of birthday cake, playing phone games, surfing social media and apparently writing this blog post.

I’m not worried because I know that as the day winds down I will have a shorter window of time to accomplish what I need to and I will kick it into high gear and “git-r-done!”

And then I wondered if any of you do this too. I like to think of it as using “procrastination” to my benefit – like it’s a power boost in a video game.

I’m probably just counting on the rush of adrenaline to help me do what I don’t want to do; and I bet there is a much “healthier way (emotionally and mentally) to motivate myself but it is what it is!

So, do you do this, too? Or is this just me and my unique brand of weirdness?

Sandpaper Towels

Do you know how long it takes for a large load of laundry to hang dry?

Drying laundry by the fireplace

Too long. Too! Damn! Long!

Our dryer stopped heating on Saturday and as of today – we’ve made it through our most beloved clothing.

If you don’t have favorite clothing, then you might be Neuro-Typical! Our family is full of incredible neuro-divergent people and the “soft” clothes are the best.

The last load I did had jeans and towels in it and let me tell you…..jeans and towels dry much faster in the dryer. They even dry much faster on a line, in the sun or wind. They take more than 3 days when it’s kind of grey and “blah” and you hang them indoors.

So, today I washed the “soft” clothes and have hung them beside the fire. Only the best for our favorite clothes.

PS. I’m really hoping that the heating coil arrives soon!

PPS. Our towels feel like sand paper. It’s EPIC! You shower and then exfoliate. It’s a win. Fortunately my kids have good memories of crunchy towels as I used to line dry everything when they were little and I had boundless energy and optimism!

Self Worth and Self Esteem

Why do I struggle with not feeling worthy?

This is a thought that occupies space in my head and it frustrates me to no end. I do believe that I am good. I think I do good things for good reasons and yet….

There is this core belief way down in the very center of my being that says I’m not.

I’m not good enough.
People are going to judge me.
People are going to believe the worst about me.
I will never truly be accepted and loved just as I am.
I need to try harder to be good.
I need to be perfect to be acceptable.
I need to be smaller than I am.
I need to act in a way that’s more acceptable or palatable.
I need to diminish the things about me that are too much.

And even as those words loop through my brain, the counterpoint also continues to run.

I am enough.
I am good.
I can be big and accepted.
I don’t have to diminish my self for anyone.
I can be loud and strong and opinionated.
I don’t have to fit into anyone’s mold.
I was not created to fit inside of a humanly constructed world.
I am amazing.
I am creative.
I am loving.
I am compassionate.
I have gifts that serve myself and those around me.
I AM ENOUGH.

It feels like a war within me. It’s exhausting. The old thoughts feel less and less comfortable and the new thoughts fit better than they ever have and still…

Even though I know the truth.
I still struggle to truly accept and embrace it as such.

why?

Investment or Insanity

Sometimes I feel like a broken record.

I’m exhausted. SO exhausted! ALWAYS EXHAUSTED!

it sucks.

Right now, we are focusing a lot of our energy on our business and I understand that I’m working hard towards a goal; but I’m a firm believer in working smarter and not harder and yet I feel like I’m just working as hard as I can to just not drown.

What I struggle with is working so hard, for so long, that I end up feeling like I can barely function. This is kind of where I’m at right now.

When I boil it all down, I think I’m talking about trying to find balance. At this exact moment, I’m definitely way beyond actually “living in balance”; but where do you draw the line between investment and insanity.

It’s stupid to think that I can “invest” at this level for the next few years.

So where do I go from here?

That is one of the big questions in my mind, these days; and I don’t know that I have a quick or easy answer for myself.

First Official Week of School

Last week was a tough one as we had an extra bonus amount of work to “fit in” to our regularly busy schedule, with elections printing (Thanks Snap Election!)

Siah woke up with a cold on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL and was SO DISAPPOINTED. When I asked Jude what we were going to start our school year with, I was pleasantly surprised to have him say he’d like to start with Algebra.

We did not do as much as I had planned in my fairy tale dream world of perfectionist homeschooling; but we did get some done and for a child with PDA, I figure that’s pretty freaking good. Considering that I was busy working 14 hour days all last week.

As this week starts, Siah is still home with a cough but on the mend. Xani’s covid test came back negative – as we breathe a sigh of relief and curse whatever virus has invaded our home.

Jude’s School Day Reporting

I stayed home, today, and we actually worked through some school work with hardly any fussing. We are still acclimating to “school” and are easing into things. We managed to hit Math, Reading and Comprehension, novel studies, PE and our Conflict Resolution and Peaceful Communication Course. All in all a good day.

Waiting For the End…or the Beginning

With 2 weeks left in this year, I’m desperate for the year to be over.

I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I miss hugging the people I love. I miss…..everything. I miss normalcy. I miss the way it used to be.

Too often I feel miserable!

Not the sad, despondent kind of misery but the angry, annoyed, grouchy kind of miserable.

It doesn’t really make sense to be wishing this year away because between December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021 nothing magical will have changed. There will be no “returning to normal.”

I think what I’m desperately seeking is HOPE.

Hope that things will be better.
Hope that things will get easier.
Hope that things will change.

I’m so tired of “holding it together”.
I want to cry when my kids start to squabble.
I want to send them to their rooms just so I won’t have to muster up the energy to help them navigate their own feelings of exhaustion and stress.

I want to be on a beach, in the sun, doing nothing.
I want a magically clean house.
I want time to be able to take care of my responsibilities.
And the energy to actually do them.

I want space to breathe without feeling like I’m gasping for air.
I want space to be able to paint and draw and write.
I want to feel like I’m enjoying life and not like I’m constantly having to search for the glimmer of light within the darkness.

There is no “returning to normal.” I’ve been through enough trauma and tragedy to know that life doesn’t work like that. I know that holding on to the idea that things will go back to the way they were is not helpful for me. I need to grieve what has been lost and move forward. To find and create a new normal; but that’s not always easy…….

I’m tired.
I’m so very tired.
And that’s okay.

It’s been a tiring year.

Maybe in the “waiting for the end”; I’m also waiting for the beginning of what is to come.

HOPE

Not Quite Drowning?

Is there a single word for “not quite drowning”?

That moment when a person in the water is struggling with all their might. Gasping for air. Popping above the water just long enough to gulp a quick breath. It’s not quite enough to refresh or revive but it’s just enough to prolong the inevitable. Your adrenaline kicks in and even though you’re exhausted, you still thrash around wasting precious energy, air, resources……

That’s a bit how I feel.

Brutal, eh?

I’d say it’s been quite a week. But on further reflection, it’s been quite a month, and a hell of a year and quite honestly, it’s been a decade of chaos and loss and trauma.

There’s something about the idea of surrender. Something still and quiet and peaceful. In some ways, it feels like failure or giving up. And I guess it truly is “giving up”. Giving up on the assumption that I can “do” all of this. Giving up the arrogance that says I’m super human and can do the impossible. Giving up on the idea that I’m in control.

Often we think that “drowning + surrender = death” but maybe we are focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe “drowning + surrender = truly living”.

Maybe it’s the weight that we need to surrender.

Maybe it’s the chaos that we need to surrender.

Maybe it’s the control that we need to surrender.

And maybe…in the surrender, we will be able to truly live, unencumbered by weight that drags us down, tires us out and distracts us from what we really want to do.

It’s probably a good thing that I have a counselling appointment tomorrow, eh?

Daily Photos

Daily Photos

Today has been a really tough day for me. I can’t even tell you exactly why. Aside from the typical, special needs parent/business owner stress; I’ve done “okay” so far during the pandemic. But today I felt sad and discouraged and the tears fell easily. You know what…..that’s okay. It’s okay to feel, to process, to wallow, to acknowledge, to accept these feelings. They are feelings. They don’t make me good or bad. They don’t define me. They just are. They are MY FEELINGS. So……I didn’t do everything I had hoped or planned but I sat. I acknowledged the intensity of this year and the challenges. I was gentle with myself. And tonight I will go to bed and tomorrow will be a new day. #sadlight #allthefeelings #sadness #acceptance #understanding #compassion #covid19 #newdays
Posted by Intagrate Lite