Why does this matter?

First of all, I have to tell you:

I never let my weight keep me from doing anything I wanted to do.

I never let my weight keep me from wearing anything I wanted to wear.  If I could find it and liked it, I wore it.  I didn’t play the “does this make me look fat” game because — let’s face it — I was fat and no matter what I wore, I would look that way.

I never valued myself or anyone else less because of their size.  When a dear friend told me she was considering weight loss surgery, I was honestly surprised.  I just saw her, not her size.

So why?

Because I got tired of blood vessels in my leg popping when I went on vacation and walked all over the beautiful places I’ve visited.

Because I got tired of not sleeping well.

Because I got tired of writing 2X or 3X when I was ordering shirts.

Because I got tired of hurting and being exhausted at the end of a routine day.

And because I got tired of being the fat one.

It’s very possible that others didn’t think of me that way.  Maybe — like I did with my friend — you just saw me and never thought of it.   But I did.  I still do.  It was engrained into me as a child and it’s part of the programming that I’m trying to undo.

My dad’s family has a lot of Type 2 Diabetes.  My mom’s family has had its fair share of heart disease.  I knew that no matter how healthy I was now, I was setting myself up for both of those.  Losing weight is no guarantee that it won’t happen, but why face life with a loaded gun?

And why be tired all the time?

There’s a lot that I can’t control, but I can choose to control how I manage stress and what food I put into my mouth.


I can choose to either live at the whims of a frantic schedule or I can take a few minutes and plan and breathe and restore some sanity to things.

Let me tell you:  when your method of stress relief adds more stress to your life, you have a problem.

And I had a problem.

So I want you to know: Here, there will be no judgment.  I know exactly what it’s like to be tired and sit down and eat a bowl of chips.  And another.  And another.  And another.  I know what it’s like to have an overwhelming day at home with your kids and think, “Well, at least I can make cookie dough,” and then somehow never get around to making the cookies.  I know what it’s like to have to figure out what to tell your kids when you ate all the snacks in the house.  Or the cookie dough.  Or even the girl scout cookies.

Here, there will be no preaching.  I knew for several years that I needed to deal with my food issues, but I also knew that I didn’t have the mental and emotional stamina to do it.  Caleb had just been diagnosed with Type 1 and as soon as that smoothed out, Em was in her wreck.  Before those, it had been work+grad school+other life crises.  It took every bit of anything I had to deal with life in front of me. 

I don’t know how I knew it was time, I just did.  And someday — if this is to be part of your journey — you’ll know when the time is right too.

My guess is that I will always have to think about what I will — no why I will and won’t eat.  I would love to grow to the point that I was intuitive about food and emotional honesty, but I don’t know that it will happen. 

Food isn’t like other escapes.  You can’t just choose not to eat again.  You have to figure out something that works for you.  I hope I can help you figure it out.

2012 in retrospect

I’m trying to find a picture from each month from last year. You see, we people with food and body image issues often cannot see what we look like in the mirror. I’m not lying. I look in the mirror and just see me, so I thought that putting some picture together would help. I need to progress on the internal part of this journey and writing will be a big part of that. I want to share it with you in case it helps you too.

This picture was actually made in October of 2011 at a Halloween party, hence the pumpkin shirt. The pumpkin body was all my own doing. This is definitely a BEFORE picture, though, so here it is.

You’ve seen this one before.  It was New Year’s Eve of 2011.  It’s the picture that made me go, “Whoa, Nelly!  Who is that?”  I don’t know WHY exactly, but it did.

This was made in early  March.  When I saw this picture, I saw a bit of progress.  I started to believe that maybe — just maybe — my body wasn’t broken and that I could learn to take care of it again.

Early April.  The skirt I’m wearing in this picture was my first purchase of clothing that was a size smaller.  It was still loosey goosey so fit probably didn’t matter all that much, but for someone who had spent the last several years experiencing clothes that were mostly too small, it was a scary thing to try that smaller size.  I’m still REALLY bad at knowing what fits and what is too big.  I’ve had to retrain my brain to realize that not everything that shows shape is too small.  I spent a lot of years covering up in baggy, shapeless clothes.

Late April.  This is the first picture I saw that made me think, “Wow.  I actually do look different.  I don’t look like a fat person anymore.”  (Side note: look at my beautiful Emily!)

Mid May.  This is the first picture of me in a cap and gown where I didn’t feel like a bloated toad covered in black.

June.  We fat people hate, hate, HATE having our pictures made with other people.  Think about that first picture up there.  Look at me.  Look at my friends.  I’m twice their size.  I love them, but I seriously HATED having that picture made.

Look at this picture with my brothers and sister. I liked having this picture made.  Look at me.  I’m wearing a SLEEVELESS DRESS!  I have flabby-used-to-be-fat arms, but I didn’t care!  I could wear a STRAIGHT DRESS AND IT LOOKED STRAIGHT AND NOT LIKE A TENT.  So here, I knew that some things about ME were really changing.  (And sidenote:  I come from an incredibly handsome family, do I not?)

July.  Now I’m just going crazy with those sleeveless dresses.  🙂  This was a knee-length dress too.  And just look at my beautiful friends. 

August.  You can tell by my facial expression that I’m still very uncertain about what clothes fit and what clothes don’t, but I’m no longer afraid to try on the smaller sizes.  This top (although I bought it) wound up actually being too big.  I  have to safety pin it up to keep it from falling off my shoulders.

September.  In this picture, I could see that my face was thinner.  The XL shirt I assumed I would need is actually kind of too big, too.

October.  THESE CLOTHES CONTAIN NO Xs or Ws IN THE SIZE!!!  THEY MAY TELL YOU THAT THE W STANDS FOR ‘WOMEN’ BUT WE ALL KNOW IT REALLY STANDS FOR WIDE!

November.  Emily insisted I dress up for Senior Night.  I’d been holding onto this top until I could wear it, and it was actually a little big.  This was my first attempt in skinny jeans too.

December.  I got a little work done on my face over Christmas.  Not really — this isn’t me  — just in case you were confused.  Ha!

This is me.  The one on the right.  🙂  So . . .there it is.  My year in pictures.  Granted, none of this is about appearance for me.  It’s about health.  It’s about honoring the Creator with what he has given me.  It’s about being honest with myself and dealing with emotions instead of eating them away.

I’ve been on a kind of pause since late December.  I think my head is trying to process all of this.  I don’t want to go back, but if I don’t deal with the internal part, I will. 

So here I will be.  I can’t promise it will be daily, but here I will be.  I’ll be working through a book called “100 Days of Weight Loss.”  You can join me if you wish.

Soothes my soul

Some things just do.

As I try to move from having food as my primary comfort, I reach for other things. Music emerges.  Knitting projects get done.  Words get written.

Today, these words and this music soothed my soul.  My soul is heavy with loss and aloneness.  These words and this music made me feel not so alone.


“Ghosts That We Knew”

You saw my pain, washed out in the rain
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins
But you saw no fault no cracks in my heart
And you knelt beside my hope torn apart
But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view
And we’ll live a long life
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh they gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me we’ll be alright

So lead me back
Turn south from that place
And close my eyes to my recent disgrace
Cause you know my call
And we’ll share my all
And our children come, they will hear me roar
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh they gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me that we’ll be alright

But hold me still bury my heart on the cold
And hold me still bury my heart next to yours

So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh they gave me such a fright
And I will hold on with all of my might
Just promise me that we’ll be alright

But the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view
And we’ll live a long life


  “Lover Of The Light”

And in the middle of the night
I may watch you go
There’ll be no value in the strength
Of walls that I have grown
There’ll be no comfort in the shade
Of the shadows thrown
But I’d be yours if you’d be mine

Stretch out my life
And pick the seams out
Take what you like
But close my ears and eyes
Watch me stumble over and over

I had done wrong
You build your tower
But call me home
And I will build a throne
And wash my eyes out never again

But love the one you hold
And I’ll be your goal
To have and to hold
A lover of the light

With skin too tight
And eyes like marbles
You spin me high
So watch me as I glide
Before I tumble homeward, homeward

I know I tried
I was not stable
And flawed by pride
I miss my sanguine eyes
So hold my hands up — breathe in and breathe out

So love the one you hold
And I’ll be your goal
To have and to hold
A lover of the light

And in the middle of the night
I may watch you go
There’ll be no value in the strength
Of walls that I have grown
There’ll be no comfort in the shade
Of the shadows thrown
You may not trust the promises
Of the change I’ll show
But I’d be yours if you’d be mine

So love the one you hold
And I’ll be your goal
To have and to hold
A lover of the light

So love the one you hold
And I will be your goal
To have and to hold
A lover of the light

Someone please promise to play Mumford and Sons at my funeral. And please promise to get up and dance to celebrate the release of my soul.