All of my life, I’ve had a feeling that the purpose for my life was nothing other than to somehow benefit other people’s lives, in other words, no specific plan for my life. I’m having a hard time putting what I’m feeling into words. I know that my being a tool in this life IS a plan for my life. It just doesn’t feel like it. I am selfish. I want to be one of the people who gets to have a real life, a family, a career… a real, actual purpose. I suppose if we got to pick and choose everyone would be one of the real players and not just a sideliner. Unfortunately, the real players need us sideliners to be able to get the job done. I need to swallow my pride, put one foot in front of the other and know that, while it seems insignificant to me, there is a plan for my life. I need to stop being so self-absorbed and just put my whole self into being this tool to try to further other people’s lives. I need to give up on wanting children and a career and just focus on being the best part time retail cashier I can be. I need to realize that, no matter how insignificant what I do with my life is, I need put my all into it. I need to continuously remind myself that giving up is not an option. I am where God wants me to be and that is what matters.

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I Lost 290 Pounds On Weight Watchers

Let me start by saying I truly never thought that I would get to this place. I always hoped, prayed, and strived to get to be a relatively healthy weight and just be chubby instead of super-sized, but I never imagined I would actually get thin. I have lost a little over 290 pounds on Weight Watchers and, for the first time in my life, made it to Lifetime. I went from size 38W jeans to a size 12. I haven’t blogged about this achievement yet because I wanted it to be thought out and well written. I decided, however, that just getting something, anything out there is better than continuing to put it off.

The number one question people ask me about my weight loss is how long it took. The answer to that question is pretty long, drawn-out and complex. Let me try to simplify it. I have lost and regained hundreds of pounds multiple times in my life. My journey with food addiction recovery is exactly that – a cycle of relapse and recovery. That being said, it’s pretty impossible to say how long it took me to lose the weight except for that it took all of my life.

Speaking of a lifelong journey, that is exactly what this is. It never goes away. It is always there and always will be. Knowing that is a powerful weapon against total relapse. This is my life and failure is not an option. When motivation is nowhere to be found, determination always steps in. Now I am in the process of learning to maintain a healthy weight. It is the first time in my life I’ve ever been in this situation, and although it is completely new to me, it is a wonderful thing.

One of the hardest things for me is my struggle with body dysmorphia. I look in the mirror and I do not see what is really there. I see a skewed version of what used to be there. The loose skin that is left behind from such massive weight loss has layers of fat attached to it that will never go away. I see that and in my mind I still look like a big woman. Oddly enough, I’ve always loved other big people. I’ve always thought they were beautiful ( kind of like Lilo from “Lilo & Stitch”!). I went through a period of several years when I was younger where I found a great deal of confidence in being a big woman. I became involved in size activism and plus size modeling and even walked a runway in a plus size fashion show in Chicago. I was on top of the world. Then, when I started to lose weight again, I lost that confidence and once again became a meak, self-loathing person. Then, when I gained back 130 lbs that time around, my confidence did not come back. I just continued hating myself. I didn’t start to find my confidence again until losing weight this time around. Mental health is also a never-ending cycle of relapse and recovery for sure.

Anyway, I feel like this blog entry is getting muddled and confusing. That, of course, is not my intent. 😉 I suppose, like always, I just want to share my story so that I might be able to help someone else out there who is going through something similar. Please know that you are loved. Please know that there is always hope. Please know that you absolutely CAN do this. Please never give up!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

How It Should Be

Last night I went out to Denny’s for dinner with D and her hubby Chris. Suddenly, as I was sitting there eating my meal, an arm reached down and held a smartphone in front of me to show me a video of a puppy bouncing through the snow. I heard a gruff voice say, “He just absolutely loves the snow!”

I looked up to see a white haired trucker with the biggest, proudest smile on his face. He went on to tell us all about his puppy Chief and what a good dog he is. When we were done chatting he told us to take care and went up to pay his bill (and, of course, had to show the video to the cashier as well, proud puppy papa as he is).

I was left with the feeling that this is the way life should be- people being kind to one another. It just warms my heart!

On a Downward Spiral

You know that feeling when you can start to feel that your entire life is crashing down around you and you are at the beginning of a relapse? Yeah, me too. I’m there right now and it is the worst feeling in the world. I feel like a complete and utter failure and I want to die. Feeling this way gets so old. I’ve spent my entire life in therapy and on medication and going to Weight Watchers meetings and doing everything in my power to try to quash this demon, but it is ever present. Unfortunately, I know by now that this monster is just a part of my life that won’t be going anywhere. Attempting to live a relatively normal life takes every ounce of strength and energy I have and leaves none for being able to go above and beyond and/or really be able to succeed at anything. I’ve been considering checking myself in somewhere for help, but can’t afford to take any time off work, so, it’s just not a possibility. If I were to go try to get help to try to make it so I didn’t want to kill myself anymore, I would just end up in a deeper hole and still want to die anyway. Such is life.

So, life will go on like usual. I will bundle up and walk to work this morning. I’ll walk into the nursery and I’ll put a smile on my face and pretend like everything is fine. I will leave there and go to my Weight Watchers meeting. I will step on the scale and see this week’s damage and either pretend like I’m ok or just sit quietly and observe. Then I’ll probably come home and eat more cereal than any human being should ever eat. Because that’s just how I roll. God help me.

Tidal Waves

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Often I feel trapped, as if there is nowhere to run, no way to escape the constant chaos in my mind. Most of the time I deal with it just fine, or at least the best I can. Other times… it comes in tidal waves and drowns me.

When my mom died suddenly when I was 17, my entire world fell apart. Any small shred of security I had ever felt in my life was snatched away in an instant. It is true that many people have no idea what to say to those who have experienced great loss. One thing I remember people saying periodically that was particularly hurtful was something along the lines of, “I don’t know how you do it. I wouldn’t be able to survive if I lost my mom.” I wanted to scream at them and tell them how extremely wrong their assumption was. I wanted to tell them that, as much as they may not have wanted to, they most certainly would survive, which is infinitely more painful than the alternative.

Chances are, just because a cherished loved one’s journey has come to an end doesn’t mean our story is over too. Whether or not we like it, whether or not we’re ready, it is the beginning of a new chapter of our lives- life without them.

There I go getting off topic again. I didn’t really mean for this to be another post about losing my mom. Let’s get back to the topic at hand- feeling completely overwhelmed with emotion and hectored by anxiety and self-loathing. Many of us live with these things every day. For whatever reason, those of us who struggle with these issues are constantly telling ourselves that we are inferior. In reality, we are fighters. We are taking metaphorical sucker punches left and right, day in and day out and, more often than not, remain standing. We are not failures. Do not believe the lies you tell yourself. We are hardcore bad asses indeed.

Boo-Hoo

Ever since I was a child, I have felt completely and totally worthless. I have never been able to see or accept any of my redeeming qualities, personality-wise or physically. I have failed at each and every endeavor on which I have ever embarked. I have never had a real career. I have never had a lasting relationship. I am so far from being a normal, successful person that I’m pretty sure I can’t even see its shore.

Recently I started seeing a counselor again (the excitement just never ends). Throughout our session I mentioned multiple times that my self-loathing is completely out of control… that I’ve never felt like a human being but always like a monster of sorts… that these things are impeding my quality of life. As I was about to leave, she said, “It sounds to me like you just need someone to talk to – a place to come vent.” Sure, lady. Nearly every moment of every day I want to die and have to talk myself out of it, but, yeah, I just need a place to come vent. Sheesh.

Cherished

All of my life, I have felt inferior. For whatever reason, I have always believed all of the horrible, negative things that some people have said about me instead of believing all of the great things that the people who care about me have always said. I always assumed that the people who didn’t know me and said those cruel things were telling the truth and the people who care about me just didn’t want to hurt my feelings so they lied. At 35 years old, I have finally started to realize that it is the complete opposite. The people who have said hateful things are actually just people who are hurting and hate themselves. The people who love me have been telling the truth all along. I am beautiful. I am smart. I deserve to be cherished… and I will be, even if only by me, myself and I. ❤