Thursday, February 5, 2015

When I grow up

   I am tired. I am tired and my joints hurt so badly that it makes simple things like standing and doing dishes difficult. I hate the way my clothes don't always quite cover me properly. I loathe when I go to a public place and my hips brush the arms of the chair uncomfortably. I despise the way that the water gets blocked in the tub behind me when I take a bath. I would show you a picture of the way I am now, but I have really tried to stay away from the front of a camera lens. In November I played flag football with some gals from church and somebody took pictures and posted them online. Seeing myself in in too tight clothes next to the gorgeous and fit women I was playing with was enough to make me cry. My body is just so far away from where I want to be.

   These are feelings that I know are not unique to myself. There is someone very close to me who has dealt with these kind of issues and feelings for most of my life,and that is my mother. I can't tell you enough good things about my mom. I call her nearly everyday for comfort and guidance, and sometimes just to tell her the funny things my kids say, and she is always willing to listen. She is always willing to advise, but also to back off if needed. My mom is one of my best friends and I feel privileged to be her daughter.
The path my parents have walked has not been smooth. In addition to my mother's problems with her weight she has also had to deal with the bad health of family members (namely my father and myself), financial distress, and the challenges of having an autistic son. She has come through each of these trials with grace and dignity and a resilience that I really hope I can live up to. She has also had the wisdom to seek out help and healing for the emotional damage that life has given her.

This is my mother in 2012

It is hard to find photos of my mom where she isn't hiding behind someone because like me she did not like her body and appearance when I was growing up.

This is my mom now

She is leading a full and active life that she loves. I love her for it, and I love the example that she is to me. In early 2013 my mother and I were introduced to a program called Isagenix. My mother has flourished with it.  Through it she has made friends with outstanding and optimistic people, and found a way to put good nutrition in her body.

My mother took many years to find healing and peace. She learned to make the switch in her brain of "I am depriving myself" to "I can eat what I want, I want to eat healthy."  Only then was she ready to commit to something that finally has helped her be the person she always wanted to be.

   I have been working on the inner healing thing. My weight has been an issue much of my adult life. I also have struggled with an eating disorder most of my adult life. In college I was about a size 10/12 and I did some pretty unhealthy things to keep myself there. I played sick games with myself, skipping meals for days on end, and taking measures to get rid of food that I felt I had eaten in excess. Every time in the past where I have put myself on a diet, strictly counted calories, started freaking out about my weight, or gone through a stressful time or trauma (and I have been through some pretty hefty traumas in the last couple years) I have turned back to those unhealthy behaviors. I've been working with a therapist on my mental issues with food, and one thing she has said to me is "an eating disorder can't survive in the light" So here I am putting it out there to fry in the sun. I'm not putting it out there to gain any unsolicited advice. I am putting it out there with my head held high. I HAVE ISSUES. I AM HUMAN!! I do not want to feel shame anymore, and an eating disorder can be a very shameful thing

   I was encouraged , by my therapist, to just start eating whatever I want. As I allowed myself to do so, I started feeling better mentally and emotionally. No food is completely off limits. That is a rule I have lived by over the last few months and it has helped me. I don't obsess over the food that I can not have. I don't eat too  much of the food I want because it is "forbidden" and I feel I have to hide it. Having not eaten too much I don't feel guilty about it. I can continue my life eating when I am hungry, stopping when I am full and not feeling totally engrossed by what I eat. I had to learn what it is like to feel hungry, as well as what it feels like to be full. I really messed up my body with all the strain that my eating disorder put it through. I finally feel like I am mentally ready to start making the changes I need to get healthy. I have learned that what I really want to change doesn't start with what I eat, but what I want to eat.

     On Facebook, my mother has issued an invitation to join her for something called the Isa-Body Challenge, starting on February 23rd. When I saw it I felt something inside me stirring into action. I am 27 years old and over 100 pounds overweight and I am no longer finding that acceptable. I have an urgent desire to follow my mother's amazing example. My sweet heart and I have talked about it and together we decided to use the same system to get healthy.
   I know I have to be a little cautious on what limitations I give myself. I have learned that drastically changing my diet to something more suited for healthy living often leads me to make bad guilt ridden choices, so I am choosing this path with support from my husband and my sweet mother.
My amazing man is helping me out by being my  support for fitness. On the days that we have time to, he is helping by arranging time for us to go work out and on the days when there is little time he is still holding me accountable for some form of exercise.

   My mother is helping me by supporting on the food end of things. In addition to her expertise on the Isagenix products she has also offered to help me out by making suggestions on little things I can change to improve my diet. She knows what I have gone through and offered to give me as little or as much help as I ask for in these matters. Which is really what I needed the most.

   It took my mom a very long time to get to where she is today. It took a lot of heart ache and stress and fad diets and lots of things that didn't work. Now she is in her late forties and for the first time enjoying the way that life can be when you are physically fit. I have no intention of waiting that long. By the time I am thirty I fully intend to be right up there racing around with my mom. I know I can do it. I have a wonderful loving husband who supports me, an amazing support of family and friends and something else that my mom didn't have. I have her.


  1. I am so proud of your mom, seeing where she is today! She looks much happier and healthier and she finally learned to make herself a priority. (Which is tough when you devote your life to your kids!) I'm glad you are following in her footstep and I look forward to seeing where you are in a year! Your therapist gave you great advice and you have a wonderful support system. Go Rachel! There's nothing you can't do!