Monday, August 16, 2010

Losing 80 lbs: A Look Back

I was a shy, passive, quite kid....

And unicorns also flew out of my butt with sparkle trails. Ha!   I was an entertainer (shocker).  As a kid I was always doing something.  Coming up with businesses (nail polish painted oysters shells don't sell well), congregating the neighborhood kids for some fabulous new production involving rocks and string,  stealing my parent's video camera to film hours of my own reality TV show featuring Jem and the Holograms tracked to Hangin' Tough.  I cut my own hair.  Often.  I played charades every single friday night for my Grandmother and her friends.  For those of you who know me, this makes perfect sense. 

I get my creativity and humor from my Mom and Dad.  I love them both.  One picture I'll always remember that was framed in our house was a picture of them cross dressing for a Halloween party.  Did I mention this was framed and displayed in my house growing up?  My dad looked a little too comfortable in the nurse's uniform dress and lipstick....   And I swear, my Grandparents have the same cross dressing picture in their house of them.  True Story.

Anyway- you can blackmail my dad here at his blog.  He's got a much bigger following, with way more at risk.  Have fun!

Where am I going with all this?   Well, lately I've been thinking about me.  Selfish, I know.  Looking back through childhood pics.  Where did I come from?  What was I thinking at that time?  What did I believe about myself?   Can I trace my life now back to where it all started?  Like a row of ants that press on for the promise of food.  And will it lead me anywhere?  Can I look back on my life with curiosity instead of judgment?  Can I see the bits and pieces of foundation laying that resulted in Me.  And how would that make me feel?  

And you ask: What does this have to do with food and fitness Jen?  You're losing us.

Won't be the first time. 

But, I'll tell ya.  Because our struggle with food is an outward symptom of our struggle with ourselves.  Somewhere along the path of our childhood and thereafter- we stopped trusting ourselves.  Because if you loved and trusted yourself, you would not be overweight or underweight.  Read that last sentence again.  And that applies to you successful dieters as well!   I don't care if you're 115 lbs or 300lbs.  (Though I don't think anyone should weight 115 lbs)  In 2006 I weighed 220 lbs.  I went on weight watchers and reached my goal of 140 lbs within a year.  I was a Fucking Size 4!!!!!  I was There.  I was skinny.  And you know what?  The battle still raged on in my head and heart.  Then it became "another 10 lbs" THEN I'll be at goal.  Or another race to enter.  Or a new house to buy.  Or "I'll work on my marriage later."  Or "It's okay that I just spent $300 at Target, when I went in for laundry detergent."  You see, once I developed the discipline to control food- it transferred.  Sure I was skinny, but I literally had to eat, breath, drink Weight Watcher Points.  Plan my points, eat my points, stay under my points, blog about my points. 

I remember my best friend calling me to see if I could come get a drink with her somewhere to talk and see each other because it had been a while.  It was a Sunday night.  My Flex Points where out and did not renew until Monday. And I kid you not, I reasoned with myself that if I stayed out until midnight, then it would be Monday and I could then have a drink. But then bootcamp was the next day so I just ended up telling her "No."  It hurt her feelings, as she would tell me weeks later.  And she was a little concerned about my obsession with points.   My life was filled with points because I really believed this was the way to love and freedom.  And I got a lot of attention for it!  People were inspired.  People were interested in me.  People loved me!  But, did I love me?

My religion made me feel  better about myself.  It made me change and mold to something that looked like I could love.  Maybe.  And to leave it felt like I was going to gain 80 lbs back in one night and I've be a failure.  And then the guilt.  Oh the guilt.  It's sort of like have a tornado moving in circles all around you.  And if you choose your steps carefully you can avoid it.  But if you make any mistake, it sucks you in.  And trying to get out is next to impossible. 

And so I look back now- where I linger in the 140s (I think- I threw out my scale) and a size 6-8 instead of a 4.  And I have to remind myself that the size 4 holds nothing over the freedom and joy that I've found.  And even on bad days when i'm not feeling quite joyful or free- it's still better.  The love I've discovered for myself feels scandalous and exhilarating.  The grace I've chased for years through friendships, food, spending, distraction is all right here, wrapped up in my heart.  And I can access any time I want.  I have to embrace the fact that my thighs may never change.  I may never see the 130's again.  And I won't lie- that scares me.  But it's a lot easier to breath on this side of "goal."  


KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

YES YES YES to all of it...especially this:

"Because our struggle with food is an outward symptom of our struggle with ourselves. Somewhere along the path of our childhood and thereafter- we stopped trusting ourselves. Because if you loved and trusted yourself, you would not be overweight or underweight."

I am so with you...throwing out my scale was at once the scariest thing and the best thing I've ever done!

Jen Gordon said...

Amen sister!

Elisabeth @ said...

You're always right, and you always make me think. <3

Jen Gordon said...

Elizabeth- can you tell my husband the first part of what you said? ;)

Monica said...

My new favorite line.. Keeps running through my head (running, get it? :) "The love I've discovered for myself feels scandalous and exhilarating." Amen.

Jenn said...

Loved this post Jen. That is all.

Yum Yucky said...

You had unicorns fly out the booty? Now wonder you lost all that weight. hehe. Good job. Seriously. (and I still struggle with pizzas. ugh)

Jennifer said...

I'm right there with you in the 140's. I SO wanted to see the 130's, and did for about 1 week when I was so stressed out during our move that I wasn't eating and living on Xanex and wine. Once the stress subsided the pounds came back on and settled around 143. Just can't shake that not matter how hard I try. But I'm fine with it. I know my danger zone and when I need to reign it in.
Live your life and be at peace with yourself. You work hard; you're not a slacker.

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