Saturday, January 25, 2014

The psychology of being fat

Two years ago, I got fed up with being fat. I was SO overweight, so unhealthy, and worn out. I had three children, two were babies, and I did not have the energy to do anything with them. So, after much prompting and prodding by my brother and sister-in-love, I decided to give Advocare a try. It worked. I lost 70 lbs in about 7 months. I felt great and uncomfortable. I can't explain it exactly, but there is comfort in being fat. Obviously not physical comfort, but a psychological comfort. It's your shield. Don't feel pretty? Oh, well, you're fat, what does it matter. Don't have cute clothes? Oh, well, nothing looks good on you anyway. Want another cookie? No worries, what could it hurt? Losing weight is tough, keeping it off is even worse. Not physically. Physically losing it and briefly keeping it off was a breeze. Advocare made it easy. But, if you're a comfort eater and you hit a bump in the road, it's just downhill.

Boy did I hit some bumps. There is not point in rehashing the past, but to say the last two years have been the hardest of my life would be an understatement. I had some pretty scary health issues (that I amazingly didn't talk about on facebook or real life, I can keep a secret!). Some of the medicine I took made me hungry and bloated, which was a former fat girl's ticket to EAT! I couldn't help it, it was the MEDICINE! Yeah right, I could help it. But I didn't.

So, I gained 30 lbs. In the last year. Which stinks, but is totally fixable. I start back on my Advocare vitamins tomorrow and I know that 30 lbs will be gone by May. What won't be gone is my brain. My inner critic, my inner fat girl who feels safer being fat. If I'm thin, then I need to be well dressed, pulled together, and pretty. People take notice of you when you're losing weight, so you feel like you have to be "on" all the time. So, what if I'm not? Will I feel like a failure? Maybe. But I know that I have to take control of my body and my health now, or I will regret it in 10 years. I already wasted part of my 20s and most of my 30s being overweight. There are so many things I could have done differently if I had been healthier. So, I am taking a new approach this time.

I have always felt like God didn't care what I weighed. He loves me anyway. And He does. But he also wants me to be the BEST me I can be. So, as I embark (AGAIN) on a weighloss journey, I will be embarking on a spiritual journey too. With God's help, I can do this. I can be the BEST me.

For comparison purposes, here is a picture of me at my heaviest and my lightest (in the last two years). Underneath that is a picture of me today (well, really tomorrow, as I am scheduling this to post tomorrow when I can put a picture of me in decent clothes instead of pjs). I have a long way to go, but at least I'm 40 lbs closer than I was 2 years ago!

 The picture on the left was my lowest (and biggest). The picture on the right I was a size 12/14.

This is 30 lbs later. Still able to fit in some Misses sizes, but getting very uncomfortable and depressed. 

This post will appear sometime Saturday and I plan to begin the program Monday. So, let the games begin!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Opposites Attract

No mother (or father) worth their salt has a favorite child. Though you cannot fathom how you will love a 2nd, 3rd, 4th child as much as your first, you do. As soon as they lay that little angel in your arms, your heart doubles in size and you love them just as much as their older sibling. Amazingly, it happens every time you have a baby. It is one of the most amazing things about parenting to me. I remember being sick with worry when I was pregnant with Phillip that I wouldn't love him as much as Olivia. Olivia was our world. An only child for eight years, the sun rose and set on her whims (terrible, I know). We scheduled our lives around her and worshipped the ground her little pink clad feet walked on. I could not fathom loving the next baby as much, even though he was VERY wanted and highly anticipated. Then, they brought him over to me, fresh from his previous home, and he cracked his beautiful blue eyes open for the first time and starred right into mine. I was in love! I loved him every bit as much as his sister in that instant. The same thing happened with Matt. They brought his tiny, yelling, peeing self over and I just knew he was my heart, my baby, THE baby of the family. I loved him fiercely and wholly, even though I just "met" him. So, to have a favorite would be impossible. They are all delightful little combinations of me and the man I love most in the entire universe, perfect little beings with all of our good traits and none of our bad (yeah, right!). But, they are equally and completely loved and adored.

However, any parent that tells you they get along with all their kids the same is lying. About the time they start talking and walking (or sooner), their little personalities start shining through. In our house, Olivia and Matt are essentially the same person. Olivia has been fiercely independent, outspoken, loud, temperamental, slightly aloof, and a million other things since birth. Matt is a slightly MORE version of that. He's everything she was, but a little moreso. Both of them could give you this "drop dead" look long before they could talk. They don't meet a stranger and don't have a shy bone in their bodies. Both could get up in front of a huge crowd and not miss a beat. They were both delightful babies, troublesome toddlers (though Matt wins the prize for angriest) and great kids. Basically, they are physical and emotional replicas of me. I can also give that drop dead look. I am aloof until I get to know you, loud, temperamental, moody at times, determined, and outspoken. I forget to say please and thank you more often than not, despite being raised better. I love fiercely, but have a hard time telling you.  Basically, you love me or hate me, there's not a lot of middle ground. I have been this way since birth. Mike loves me anyway :)

Phillip is Mike. He was a perfect, cherubic baby who rarely cried, played quietly, cooed and giggled. He was the easiest toddler, learning manners quickly, always wanting a cuddle. He's a little emotional, quick to cry, quick to apologize. He tends to obsess over things like Mike does, instead of shrugging them off like I do. He is extremely stubborn like his daddy too. He wants his family to be happy. He loves the ladies, is a wonderful friend and brother, and is just a really mellow kid. He is his father made over. Looks like him, acts like him. The world adores Phillip. He is charming and sweet, always looking for a way to help his fellow man.

Guess which kid I get along with the best? Yep, Phillip. We mesh. He is yin to my yang, just like his daddy. My high powered personality suits his laid back personality perfectly. We rarely fuss. He adores me, I am his favorite human on earth. Guess which kid(s) Mike gets along with the best? Yep, Olivia and Matt. They adore him. Olivia will unashamedly tell anyone she loves her daddy the most. His laid back, sweet temperament, his innate ability to figure out why they are upset instead of just butting heads with them wins every time. When Matt just can't take me another second, he starts bellowing for Daddy. For the first year of Olivia and Matt's lives, they MUCH preferred Daddy's arms to Mommy's. Phillip would be happy if I could carry him in my arms until college. It's the craziest thing. Don't get me wrong, we are a very happy family and everyone loves everyone, but it tickles me to see how the children that are MOST like a parent gravitate to the other parent. What I saw in Mike that I liked all those years ago (and vice versa) are what the children most like us look for in their preferred parent.

This post really has no point, just something I have noticed more and more as the boys are growing into their personalities. Is the same true in your family? Which kid do you get along with the best or am I the only one with that situation :)