Monday, January 24, 2011

Me and Little T - at the Nutcracker this past December 2010.

(My sister in the blue shirt - me in the brown, holding my oldest nephew - this was April 2009)

For any of you who have ever attended any sort of 12-step recovery type of class, meeting, workshop, seminar or has lived with someone who has, you may have heard some of the following statements:
  • Easy Does it
  • Live Life on LIFE'S terms
  • One day at a time, sometimes one hour, sometimes one minute
  • If you're in a funk - go be of service to someone else
  • We will make it through this day
  • etc...

Well, there is a philosphy within a 12 step process (step 4) which involves "admitting" our faults to another person. It's this process of "coming clean." There are three great benefits to admiting our faults to another -

1.) Our secrets have kepts us in chains - bound, frozen, unable to move forward in any of our relationships - be it with our higher power or with others. Admitting our faults SNAPS those chains and in doing so, healing power begins to be released.

2.) When we keep silent about these "faults" - whether you call them sins, unconfessed issues of our past, demons that we fight, old ways we used to be, character defects, imperfections, etc....when we keep them silent, and hide them deep inside - we continue to give them power. In addition, the constant energy and "duty" of keeping them silent or secret has a great affect; a spiritual, mental and physical affect. I believe this to be true. Resentment, unforgiveness, bittnerness...all of these things cooped up deep inside our core being and left unresolved will eventually permeate through us and I believe they begin to seep out somehow...whether in our interactions with others that are negative as we project onto them all the "crap" that resides within us, whether we panic, whether we puke, whether we eat and keep stuffing it all down, whether we live in complete denial, or whether we become physically ill with chronic disease...our soul's inner cry is to release all of this "stuff" and if we don't - well, it can eventually eat us up - from the inside out.

3.) The third benefit is to be truly "known" and to receive support. I believe that deep within all of us is the innate desire to be truly known by be validated for who we are, what we've experienced and what we have to contribute to our world. I also love this comment: "Openness is to wholeness, as secrets are to sickness" I strongly belive in being transparent, real, genuine and in the power of sharing our stories with others.

Although you (my cyber space friend) are not a real, face to face person - I am going to practice principle 4 and admit to you a character defect of mine that I am currently working on as I want to BREAK the chains that seem to still bind me up at times. So, I appreciate all of your support, grace and compassion.

Most all of you know that I have lost about 130 pounds...yet, I find that when I am sad, angry or stressed, I want to eat. Food for so long has been the one comforter I could always count on...the one friend that was always there and we had a secret love affair. Many did not know that I would hide food and eat alone, binge, etc...and then carry the shame that crept in causing me to hide all of the evidence that anything took place at all....and sometimes I think I really believed my own reality. I didn't actually just eat didn't happen at all. You can't prove it.

So, when I began this journey of losing weight in August 2009, I weighed 323 pounds and was a 26/28 in women's and a 46/48 in mens. Now, because I am 5'9" I could carry it better than most so many people had no idea I actually weighed that much. But when I began the journey "to health" it was also a decision to leave behind my best friend - or more so to abandon her for a while and then when ready, redefine the dynamic between us so that we could find a mutually beneficial exchange; fuel, balance, moderation, but still enjoy pleasure, etc...During the beginning of my journey I "white knuckled" it and I had this mantra: "This is my spiritual act of worship." And whenever I really wanted to eat, or just pig out on something, or eat a food my body was no longer willing to tolerate...I would say "this is my spiritual act of worship" AND IT WAS....I wanted to be healthy, to have energy, to give my body back to God and to reclaim the health, balance and moderation that I knew my body needed. I knew it was going to take some just flat out refusal and some hard re-training at times, and believe me those days came.

So, I had to lose 10% of my body weight before surgery; which was 33 pounds. I was able to lose that by February 2010 and then because of surgeon's being booked so far in advance, my surgery was scheduledfor June 9th. And now, almost 7 months out - I can actually say that I am FREE from the bondage that once ruled my life - my love affair with food that was killing me. I ate to stuff the pain, so now I have to feel the pain. I ate in times of stress, so now I have to find other ways of managing my stress (still working on this one), I ate to fill the try and take away the empty, lonely feelings....and even though there was something temporary that I did feel for eating for those reasons, it was like I had band aids all over my entire body when what I really needed to do was to stop covering up the boo-boos and learn to do true wound care so healing could happen and repair could begin.

So, I ADMIT that I used to use and abuse food and use and abuse my body - to numb the feelings that were so painful to feel.....and now I ADMIT that I feel all of those feelings....and sometimes it is so overwhelming, that I don't think I'll make it....but then I remember one of those awesome quotes as mentioned day at a time, we will make it through this day!

Today, I weigh 191 and I am a size 12/14 in womens, 36 in mens - and even though I am just beginning to work on the toning and exersice side of the house....I have energy, I am a new person and I am healing every day. IT IS NOT EASY, but whoever said it would be anyhow?


  1. WAY to GO !
    I have just begun my love affair with food. Mostly sweets. I totally understand not feeling in control.
    I think that the weight loss that you have been able to do is amazing. I'm glad that you are aware of it and are working to keep it off and stay healthy. Good Job Mom

  2. Long time "periodic" lurker here - and I'm pulling for you and hoping for the best possible outcome for you and the twins with the upcoming meeting/mediation.

    On another note - Congratulations to you on your weight loss, and good luck as you continue on your journey. My girlfriend is a bit ahead of you (she had her surgery in Jan 2010) and had similar "before" stats (she's 5'8) and feels like a completely new woman. :) She loves to cook (she finds that cooking/baking is comforting)and tends to put extra food on my plate (since she can't eat as much, she figures I should hehehe) so my challenge now is to not gain every pound she's lost. :) Just take it day by day as best you can - sounds like you are right on track. :)

  3. So proud of you Ally. You are doing great. Your determination and strength is setting a great example for your kids while inspiring others to work through their own weight issues. Eating healthy isn't a diet. It's a way of life. Once you have ingrained that into your soul, you can then truly enjoy those moments when you let yourself indulge. Knowing it's an exception not the rule and not feel guilty about it.

    Using food as a comfort for emotional issues or as an outlet for stress is the hardest thing to let go of, I'm guilty of this too. Now I choose to use my treadmill for those things. But finding that purpose and determination and knowing that it has to come from within, that YOU have to take ownership. That's the hardest part. So kudos my friend, for taking your life and health into your own hands and choosing to be healthy and happy. Keep up the good work!