Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 4th, 2015 Worth Repeating

March 4th, 2015 Worth Repeating

I was going through the archives this evening and ran across Day 215. It was April 17th, 2009. That night was very special. It ranks as one of my favorite experiences of this entire journey.

When I started losing weight in 2008, the rest of my family followed and as a family unit, we lost somewhere around 500 pounds. I don't remember the exact numbers, but it was significant.

I couldn't run across this post without sharing it once more. It's worth repeating nearly six years later. I wish I knew then, what I know now about body/self image/self worth and how it being tied to our weight/appearance isn't the best perspective and how it can zap us of so much good in our life.

I could have counseled my 15 year old in a wonderful way. But I was oblivious to the epiphany back then. Of course, simply reading or hearing about the 'epiphany' or even experiencing it as I did, doesn't automatically change everything. It's a very sensitive perspective adjustment. It's a tough one, for most of us. It takes work.

The sheer power of her ripping it up and burning it gets me, every time. I love this little girl.

From Day 215 April 17th, 2009:

She Set It On Fire Tonight

Once there was a little girl of eleven years old who was searching for something to make her feel better about her appearance. Her extra weight was wreaking havoc on her self-image and her confidence was at horribly low levels.

She started looking for outfits that would “slim,” and became very particular about what she would and wouldn't wear.

Then one day she discovered something that promised to tighten, slenderize, and magically improve her appearance. All she had to do was wear it everyday underneath her clothes.

She started wearing this magical garment without telling her parents. In her mind it made all the difference in the world. It wasn't long before she became addicted. It was her secret garment. Not even her friends knew what she was wearing underneath. Wearing this undergarment required some extreme discipline and abuse to her body, for when she had it on, she couldn't easily go to the bathroom.

All through the sixth grade she held in any urge she had to use the restroom. Not once did she ever go to the bathroom, unless it was to check her appearance in the mirror.

When her parents finally discovered this undergarment and realized how restrictive and possibly damaging it could be, they ordered it off and discarded. This did not go over well with this beautiful little girl. Her reaction was one of tears and screams, like they had just ripped her whole world out from under her.

She convinced her parents that if she really had to use the restroom, she wouldn't let this undergarment get in the way, and they allowed the undergarment to stay in her possession, protecting her self-image like a bullet proof vest. 

Her obsession continued through the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and even 10th grades. Not one bathroom break in over four and a half years of school days. That is until a month ago. 

That's when this beautiful little girl, now 15 years old, took it off for good. Her weight loss success has made the undergarment completely useless. Her smaller size has rendered that “magical” garment powerless.

She no longer needs that girdle to give her a boost of confidence about her appearance. Exercise and good calorie management has swooped in and really made some serious changes in her body and most importantly, in her mind. 

But she couldn't throw it away. What if she needed it again? So she hid it away.

That little girl is my youngest daughter Courtney.

Tonight, Courtney finally convinced herself she would never need it again, so she pulled out that old girdle and started ripping it apart. Then, she took it one step further, walked out on our patio and lit it on fire. Tonight that girdle burned. 

It burned almost as bright as Courtney's new found confidence and self-image.
 photo dadsdinner020.jpg
I love you, Courtney! My youngest is now 21 years old and the wonderful mother of my adorably handsome grandson, Noah. And she doesn't wear girdles anymore, ever.
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Father/Daughter post-workout selfie in 2009
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Today didn't start out with snow and ice like I expected. The frozen precipitation waited until the 7am hour and then it opened up. First sleet, then a coating of snow. By midday the roads were crazy-slick and the closings and cancellations started coming into the radio station. We held a meeting right after lunch time, where it was decided I would go home for a little while, then return and work late, updating things on the air as needed. I took a short nap before returning.

I left the station early evening and took care of some other work related duties before finding a good dinner out. Aside from picking up the occasional chicken and zucchini squash to-go order from the Mexican restaurant down the street, I haven't dined out too much lately.

My work schedule today eliminated the possibility of Yoga class. Yoga was the plan before things changed. I refuse to allow myself to go negative about lack of consistency in my workout schedule. Some days are 100% my doing. Others, like today: Circumstances beyond my control. I'm doing what I can. Can I improve certain elements to help aid this issue? Yes.

I made the decision to make today my rest day. I'm okay with this. I knew one was coming. I almost made it yesterday. I'm glad I didn't! 

I enjoyed good food today, consumed plenty of water and was productive at work. I actively participated in support of others and I received plenty of support, too. I maintained the integrity of my calorie budget and I kept my abstinence from sugar. I describe where I am as recovery. It was a good day in recovery.

My Tweets Today:
















Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

8 comments:

  1. Through sleet and snow you carry on - you manage to get through where others would throw in the towel. Sean you are amazing! Is adapting your eating to these upsets easier these days than it was with the first journey of losing wt?
    Have another question. There was a little while when after reading your blog I would click the arrow or the sign out (forget which) and it would take me back to Facebook. All of a sudden when I click out after reading your blog it knocks me off Facebook and I have to re-sign on completely. Did something change in your blog? Or what?
    N~

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. I think a few things make it...I don't want to say easy.. Perhaps, a little more fluid--- My acceptance and embracing of my plan. Making what I do something I enjoy, means eating things I like and exercising in ways I truly enjoy...Giving up sugar has made a monumental difference for me. The whole "turning off the binge switch," that's the real deal in my experience. Also--I've built a big accountability system that has grown since my initial journey. I still say--if you take away this blog, the accountability tweets, the MFP logging, the support group---without all of those things, this is a different, more challenging thing. It doesn't make it impossible--but certainly more challenging.
      We all increase our chances of success when we actively seek and build support and accountability structure into our journey.
      Nothings changed here, Nancy. That's strange.
      When you click on the link posted on Facebook--it should open a new tab for that particular post. Once you read it, you should be able to X it out--or close that tab, without affecting your facebook account.

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  2. Hey Sean its alan at foolsfitness. Its amazing in the past how I have tried to make excuses or justify things, tryin to justify the chinese buffet with an insane bicycle ride. In the end its not that much about food its about how we choose to face reality huh? Or in foolsfitness do our best to avoid reality all together

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    1. We're smart creatures, Alan. We're capable of figuring out how to make almost anything okay, if we adjust one side or the other. It's the whole balance thing. It's a big challenge! Great to hear from you, Alan! Thank you!

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  3. This post's section about your daughter brings back memories--and now that my sons are almost 40, I also have some present day findings on the whole "nature vs nurture" debate. Not that you asked for a research abstract, but you reminded me, so here it is. :}

    I've been about 100 pounds overweight most of my adult life, which included my children's lives, of course. I was also a fat child, probably weighing about 50 pounds or so more than I should have in high school. (At 5'4",I weighed 207 when I graduated.)

    Considering what I suffered as a fat child, I was determined that my children would not develop the same bad habits I did. to that end, I kept very little junk food in the house (that my children knew about), cooked healthy, balanced, but normal, meals, rarely bought soda pop--and never, ever served it at dinner, avoided sugary breakfast cereals... That kind of thing. I also never talked about dieting or anything weight-related. I also never ate my nightly ice cream or other sweets in front of them. I tried to have a food-normal home.

    I noticed when I put food on the table, the older son gravitated to the potatoes while the younger loaded up on the meat and veggies. It was interesting to note that.

    It worked pretty well. Some of that "pretty well" was due to nature. My husband was a skinny child and a lean adult. At 6' he weighed about 185 most of the years the boys were home. (155 when we got married at age 20)

    My sons are only 11 months apart, so they had pretty much the same environment, unlike siblings who have many years between them.

    Oldest son was normal weight until he hit high school, then he became just a little...I don't know...stocky? Not very overweight, certainly, but not thin either. Younger son? Skinny. Almost painfully so.

    I think nurture (my carefulness about food) kept the older son from obesity. My younger son, with his dad's genes, probably would have stayed thin no matter what I did.

    Now, at near 40, the older son needs to lose about 50 pounds or so. He's only 5;9" tall. Got my genes and now that he lives on his own, meals are carb heavy.

    The younger one? He's 6'2" tall and is a lean, muscular 185. Just like his dad. And he eats terribly!

    And so it goes. Nature tends to win out if not fought, it seems.

    Has your daughter been able to keep the extra weight off now that she's older?

    Hmm. Sorry about the post-length comment, but you do get me thinking.

    Deb





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    1. No apologies necessary, Deb! I sincerely appreciate your perspective and input.
      I agree, genetics plays a major role, there's no doubt about it. I'm thankful my daughters didn't get to 500 pounds--because I'll tell you, the example I set during their formative years was not a good one.
      The saving grace, in my opinion, is the fact that we all have differing levels of affect about us--our experiences, our emotions--our motivation, for doing what we do...and ultimately, those levels contribute a percentage of it-- and another percentage would be learned behavior--by watching examples...and developing in an environment lacking certain boundaries necessary for appropriate food relationships.
      Courtney has kept most of it off fairly well.
      Thank you, Deb!

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  4. I love that you embraced your daughters desire to continue to wear her girdle. Most parents would not. It speaks volumes at how you parent and your love for your kids.
    And she is beautiful and has your eyes!
    Rosie :)

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    1. Thank you, Rosie. It was difficult. But we decided to allow her to continue with certain conditions. The hold it had on her mentally and emotionally was very strong. We reached a compromise and allowed her to reach her own conclusion---which ended with the shredding and burning...The thing she couldn't live without, she actually hated. For her, the weight loss took its power away. Then she unleashed on it. It wasn't until after, we learned she wasn't necessarily living up to the agreed upon terms. The kid was suffering every day.
      She's beautiful and yes, she absolutely has my eyes. :)

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