Monday, January 27, 2014

It's just a word...

...or so I thought.

So, Monday morning is my weigh in day. Hey, all dieting efforts start on Monday's--it's a law, right?

This morning, I lost 1.25 pounds--and that is my 53rd weekly weigh in in a row with a loss. I have no idea who this body belongs too, but she ain't getting it back! Actually, I've kind of figured out that being post menopausal has been good for my weigh loss efforts. I no longer have hormonal gains every 3 or 4 weeks, and it really is nice to think that being an old crone has benefits!

So, anyway, here i am working hard to deal with my weight, and it is working! I am glad something in my life is working, it might s well be my weight loss efforts.

Now, I have been overweight since I was a few days old. My stature has always been that of one of those few who are genetically programmed to gain weight easily and hold onto it. Truthfully, we are the reason the species survived the cave man days. In paleolithic times we seem to have been venerated--and there are wonderful little statues that look just like me.

So imagine my surprise, when I got excited over my weight--and more specifically my BMI-this morning. Now I really don't put much stock in the BMI as a rule of thumb for what we should weight. AND, my goal weigh is well outside of the BMI parameters. But, there are lots of different ways to measure what a healthy weight is, so why did I look at a BMI chart this week?

Well, on one of the forums I take part in a woman was asking about her BMI-so I looked at the charts so I could make sure I was giving accurate information. Casually, while checking her BMI, I input my height and weight, and I'll be darned it caught my attention. If I lost a half a pound this week I would move from OBESE to OVERWEIGHT.

Now, when I saw that, it made me think, really this is why I don't care much for charts. A half a pound would make a difference in whether I was OBESE or OVERWEIGHT--seriously? Who came up with this stupid plan? My doctor and I have set a goal weight for me, and I am 4.5 pounds away from it. We think it makes a lot of sense, considering my history, my health, and other factors-such as my waist to height ratio, etc. But, if I went to another doctor, last week he or she would have described me as OBESE, this week as OVERWEIGHT, based on some arbitrary number on a scale and some arbitrary chart.

Now, I truly believe a scale is just a tool that we use in measuring our journey. We are not the numbers on a scale, and should not measure our worth based on those numbers, since a scale is a mechanical device that can be wrong.Fortunately,my success is not based on the numbers on a scale. I will not be successful at dealing with my weight issues just because I reach some 'mythical' goal weight. I will be a success at this issue of dealing with my wieght when I have learned to be faithful to making the healthiest choices I can make every day.I will be successful at this weight thing when I have learned to UNLEARN the things that cause me to use food in unhealthy inappropriate ways. I will never be successful if I think this journey is about NOT eating when in fact learning to eat well, faithfully, day after day, is the goal I should be pursuing.I truly believe this.

BUT, I will admit that when i weighed in this morning and saw that number, knowing that it changed one word in my life touched some part of me i didn't know was there. SO, it just goes to show that you are never to old to learn something about yourself!!

That, and  whether I am OBESE or merely OVERWEIGHT...
 I am still a goddess!

Woman of Willendorf


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Another Year

Oh my word, I haven't had a drink in 33 years!

Today is my birthday. Not my belly button birthday, my day I got clean and sober birthday. Today I am celebrating 33 years of sobriety. Celebrating 33 years of choosing to deal with life and all its challenges, obstacles, defeats, and victories without using drugs or alcohol. The last few years have been challenging, but this past year I managed to quiet some of the demons, the depression, and even deal with the struggles with less angst.

I don't remember when alcohol wasn't available to me. My older brothers-14, 18, and 21 years older than me- were the kind of guys that thought it was cute to give a baby or toddler a sip of beer, or whatever cocktail they might be drinking. There was always a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen cupboard, and when my dad wanted a glass of wine in the evening, he sent one of us to get it.Alone in the kitchen, no one was there to see me take a swig for myself. If there were family gatherings, not much attention was paid attention to what you were grabbing out of the cooler. After all, the men usually sent a kid to get the beer out of the cooler. So I developed an enjoyment of the taste and effect of alcohol at a very young age. It was an easy way to make life stop hurting for a little while.

Of course,as soon as I left home it was no problem. I looked older than my age, and was never carded. Really, the first time I was carded was on my 21st birthday. There was a new guy at my liquor store, and he carded me and wished me a Happy 21st birthday. The owner was shocked, since he had been selling me alcohol for 4 years. But, he didn't make a big deal about it. I was a very good customer. By the time I was 21, I was drinking every day. I had started down that road as a teenager with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I was self medicating with drugs and alcohol for several years. When I was diagnosed, I started letting go of the drugs, but consumed more alcohol to make up for it.

I drank my way through college, and 5 years into my working life. I managed to get good grades, and do good work while I increased my drinking. I had good jobs, but my drinking caused me to make some really, really stupid decisions about men and relationships.Just like the song says "Looking for love in all the wrong places."

I knew that eventually I would have to quit drinking. I knew that it was impossible for me to drink in moderation, and I hated that, because there were things I truly enjoyed and did not want to give up.I truly enjoyed choosing the right wine for a good meal. I truly enjoyed a cold beer on a hot afternoon.But, as much as I wish I was, I am not the kind of person who can stop with one glass of wine, one cold beer, one mixed drink. So, I had to listen to the small voice and quit. The last time I got drunk was on a Sunday night. I had been to a party. I don't remember much about the party, I had been drinking all weekend of course, but for some reason I got really drunk at that party. I think that I totally embarrassed myself, and a friend suggested we leave and go somewhere else. We ended up at her Mother's house. I don't remember how we got there, but I do remember sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and talking to her mother until 5 o'clock Monday morning. I drove home and got in the shower and then I decided to call in sick and get some sleep. I had never done that before, I always went to work. In fact, I got in the shower intending to get ready for work, but while I was in that shower I started getting quiet, and when I get quiet I can hear the small voice, and the voice said "It's time to heal."

So, I called in sick, went to bed and slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up I felt like crap.I never got hungover, but that day I was hungover. I spent some time feeling sorry for myself, but then I remembered hearing the voice. I knew that it was time to stop numbing the pain, time to stop dulling the memories and to start healing the wounds. I called my doctor, and went to see her. I had a good talk with her and she referred me to a therapist. She called him right then, and he saw me that afternoon.It was Monday, January 19, 1981. The therapist said that he would work with me, but he also suggested that I go to AA. He got out the phone book, and handed me the phone. I made the call and found a meeting that evening. That was the beginning of my journey to health and wholeness, a journey I am still on. It is not an easy journey to start. It is not an easy journey to continue, but it is a journey I believe we must all undertake.

So, here I am. I haven't had a drink, oh how I have wanted to, but I have not had a drink.My Higher Power and I are taking a journey. One day at a time.

Peace and Blessings,