Awoken

According to http://www.addictioncenter.com, addiction replacement, or addiction transfer, is when a new addiction takes the place of a previously addictive behavior to produce the same feeling or high. “Everyone who’s battled an addiction understands the concept: You go from smoking to eating; from drinking to shopping; from sex to chocolate to working. You’re substituting one addiction for another in an attempt to compensate for a perceived ‘lack’- emotionally or psychologically.” – Jeaneane Swanson, The Fix

Addictions can very easily be transferred from one substance or habit to another. This is because individuals who have an addiction aren’t craving a physical substance, they’re craving the fulfillment of an emotional need. It’s fascinating to realize that not all substance abuse is necessarily addiction because there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence.

Lately I’ve begun to realize that I am finding random things to obsess over to get the same emotional response as I get/used to get from eating my favorite foods. I haven’t been eating enough or sleeping much this week. It’s almost as if I’ve been living in a constant adrenaline rush. I guess I’ve just been thinking of all of life’s endless possibilities and feeling so pumped to get out there and do it all. I feel like I’ve been asleep for ages and have finally just awoken. I have a whole lot of catching up to do and I am so ready to get started.

 

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Hold On Tight

Right now I’m reading old journals of mine and figured I’d share a few snippets. This first one isn’t dated. It is pretty much a random list of facts about myself and my life that I apparently felt the need to document for whatever reason. Anyway, I got a kick out of it, so, without further adieu…

“I reveal way too much of myself emotionally.

I often voice things I think my dog is thinking in a Muppet voice.

I feel very self-conscious when I am dressed up or in make-up.

I lived in my own reality as a child.

I tend to live in the past.

I have a hard time leaving the house for more than a couple hours.

I am ridiculously terrified of insects.

I have a very tiny attention span.

I don’t give myself enough credit.

Sometimes I dream of ‘true love’ and wake up missing my dream lover. scan0012 (2)

I secretly wish everyone would be my friend.

 

In high school, I was the worst shot-put thrower EVER.

 

I’m afraid of getting thin.

I’m terrified I may never be a mother.

I change words in songs to make them about my dog.”

 

 

…and, that is it. That is the last entry of that journal. Too funny. It is so wonderfully hilarious to go back and read these, especially the ones from when I was a teen before my mom died. I was so emo (although that wasn’t really even a thing back then) and I was always so devastated about everything all the time.

 

Oooh… This next one even has an illustration taped in there (the excitement just never ends). This one isn’t dated but it’s titled “Creatures of the Night”. creatures_of_the_night____by_peacefulgem

“When I was in high school I had a dream that I was wandering on a snowy mountaintop and I came to a log cabin. I walked around it and there were no doors. Suddenly, light blue fingers with long, blue fingernails slipped between a crack in the logs and then some sort of secret door opened. There stood an incredibly gorgeous, blue-skinned man/creature with long, flowing black hair and wearing a long, black jacket/trench coat. The moment I saw him, I felt a sense of completeness… and at that moment, I transformed into the same sort of creature. My skin turned pale blue and my nails and hair grew. It was as if I’d finally found my soulmate… my fellow creature of the night.
Anyway… the next day at school I drew a picture of my dream-lover and here he is.”

 

…and, last, but not least, this one is from February of 1999…

“Always, I am hurting. I entrust every part of myself to the people I love, and they see it as an opportunity to trample… To ruin anything good that may be in me… to rip out my heart… to use me… throw me away. No one is serious about anything. ANYTHING. There is no forever. I live in a dead world.”

Those last few lines are comedy gold right there. Gotta love the dramatics of teen years. It’d be interesting to go back and tell 16 year old me to chill out and hold on tight because this crazy ride that is life had only just begun.

 

 

 

 

I Am Less Than Half My Former Self

Before & After 001

 

Life is a crazy roller coaster, isn’t it? I have lost 240 pounds from my highest weight by following the Weight Watchers SmartPoints plan. This crazy journey will never end, honestly, as I am and always will be a food addict. The important part is that I am in recovery and I am currently kicking this thing’s butt!

Yesterday I went shopping for a pair of jean shorts. I went to the plus size section and there was only one pair of size 18. I tried them on and they were super short and therefore uncomfortable to me. I was bummed and ready to leave and then decided to take a peek in the “normal” size section. They had a bunch of size 18’s in different styles and colors. I ended up getting a really cute pair of Mossimo ones that cost a few bucks less than the generic nearly Daisy Duke-esque pair I had tried on before.

When I was in elementary school a lady from church used to make my mom’s and my clothes for us for a few years. I don’t recall exactly when that stopped happening. When we started to buy clothes toward the end of grade school it was from the plus section. Therefore, yesterday I shopped for myself in the “normal” sized clothing section for the first time in my life. It is a truly amazing feeling!

Earlier this evening I posted the above comparison pic on a couple of WW groups on Facebook. I received so much love and support and then there was one lady who was very insistent that my before and current pictures are of 2 different ladies.  She said that in the first picture I have a tiny nose and straight teeth and in the current pic I have a big, long nose and crooked teeth. I got such a good laugh out of her comments (no joke). I think it is so wonderfully fantastic that my accomplishment is so incredible to her that she just can’t believe it!

A lot of people asked 2 main questions about my journey, the first of which being how long it has taken me to loose 240 pounds. This is a tricky one to answer as this truly has been a lifelong journey for me in every sense of the word. I’ve lost and re-gained so many hundreds of pounds throughout my life that I lost count a long time ago. This time around I have lost 146 pounds since I re-joined WW last July after my most recent relapse where I had regained around 130 pounds. This is the closest I have ever come to being thin, and I have zero doubt that I will make it all the way this time. I know there will be future relapses, but I also am confident that they will have much less impact than in times past.

Of course, the other thing people want to know is if I have any good tips. The only tips I have are pretty simple. Track everything you eat, every day. If you bite it, write it.

Be kind to yourself. I tend to be a very caring and nurturing person towards others but unbelievably hard on myself. I’ve spent much of my life trying to take care of everyone else and now I am realizing that the only way any of us can efficiently do that is if we are taking care of ourselves.

One of the most important things for me is to constantly fight against all-or-nothing thinking. I have to always remind myself that each and every decision we make pertaining to this journey is important. Every bite that we do or do not take matters and is going to make a difference one way or another. If you accidentally drop a few eggs on the floor, are you going to toss the rest of them on the floor too? No way. That is essentially what we are doing when, say, we make some not very good food choices and then give in and decide to eat everything we want afterward.

Last but not least, my most important little nugget of advice is always to never, ever give up! We owe it to ourselves to do this. We deserve to be healthy. We deserve to be able to do all of the little, basic things that most people take for granted. We deserve to be able to walk into any clothing store and grab something off the rack. And, no matter what size we are, we deserve to walk with our heads held high among all of the other people who help make up the rich, beautiful tapestry we call humanity. Each and every one of us has struggles we deal with every day, some just happen to be a lot more visible than others.

 

See Yourself Through My Eyes for a Moment

Last night a friend of mine mentioned he was feeling suicidal. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Don’t you dare even think about taking my new friend away!”

The thought process that followed was an epiphany of sorts. I started thinking about the things he may have been lamenting. I know he struggles with health issues and addiction, but those are just tiny slivers of who he is. He is also smart, funny, talented, etc. Then it dawned on me… these are probably the same thoughts the people who care about me think when I am wanting to end it all.

I am going to think about that the next time I am the one trying to claw my way out of despair. I am so much more than all of my faults and there are a lot of people who think I am a pretty awesome chick. So, friend, the next time you’re lost in the darkness, keep in mind that you are so much more than you even know.

2012

Recently I came to this page and noticed that, throughout the entire year of 2012, I never once wrote in this blog. In the words of my ever-so-wise Weight Watchers leader, Kim- life happened. A whole lot of life happened in 2012. I was hospitalized with a DVT in my left arm in February. I was in Cardiac ICU for about a week. During my hospitalization they found that I had something called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (the area between my collarbone and top left rib was too small and causing damage to some veins and nerves). After several surgeries including putting a shunt in my arm and doing an angioplasty to remove the massive blod clot that spread from my heart through my left arm, they decided the only way to ensure this would never happen again was to remove my top left rib. I had a top left rib resection on March 2, 2012, the day before my 30th birthday.

0302121844Throughout my somewhat lengthy hospital stay I was constantly comforting myself with foods of all kinds. I was able to order anything I wanted off the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hospital I was in even had a McDonald’s in it, for Pete’s sake. I was livin’ the fatty dream, let me tell ya. That lead me to gain back 50 pounds throughout the year as I kept on treating myself for months on end. I still stand behind what I’ve said for years now… I will NEVER GIVE UP!!! I am on my way back down, slowly but surely. This journey is a lifelong one. I know myself well enough to know that there will always be bumps in the road, often pretty big ones, but I will always keep on fighting!

In other big news, the love of my life proposed to me on June 22, 2012. We are getting married on April 27, 2013 and I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with him! He has been here for me through thick and thin and I know that we both will be for each other for the rest of this journey called life. I knew we were in this for the long haul when he was holding my barf bucket in the hospital while I projectile vomited into it and cried. That, my friends, is love.  🙂

 

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NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Tears rolled down my face as I hid under a blanket and sobbed, asking the Lord why I had to be here on this Earth. This is one of my very earliest memories. It transpired while I was still living with my dad and his parents… and I only lived with them until I was two and a half years old.

As a child, I thought myself to be a monster. Not just ugly or weird or stupid… but literally non-human. I would sit and stare at myself in the mirror and cry for hours. I would point out every saggy part, every lump, every bump, every roll to myself and tell myself horrible things… things no one should ever say to anyone, let alone themselves… things like how I was worthless and would never be loved or accepted. Each and every cruel taunt and insult from others, I would internalize and accept as absolute truth. The few times when other kids told me that I should just do everybody a favor and kill myself… I agreed with them wholeheartedly. Teachers, church leaders and my mom would try to explain to me how I was a child of God and just as beautiful, inside and out, as anyone else. I would always brush it off as them just saying what they felt they had to say to someone as pathetic as (I thought) I was.

I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that has made me always feel this way about myself deep down. Every day of my life has been a fight against self-loathing… Some days I lose… Some days I win. This self-loathing has held me back from doing so very many things with my life. I’ve always had this nagging thought/feeling in the back of my head that it (whatever “it” may be) just isn’t worth trying because some part of me has convinced myself that I fail at what I do. I have come to the realization in recent years that, although I have had many failures in the past, I can and will succeed and achieve my goals from here on out. I figure if I just keep on trying… one of these days I will come out on top. I’ve said it before… I’ll say it again… I’ll keep on saying it until the freaking cows come home… I will NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!!!!!!