Blogging full steam ahead

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Hi!

It’s me!

Remember?

Maybe you don’t: here’s my story.

I’m back to blogging. I’ve been craaaaaving writing. I’ve been day dreaming about writing. So here I am. Writing.

I don’t want to dwell too much on my um… 5 month break…mainly because (1) the posts I wrote right before I stopped are heavy and scary to read and I don’t want to start crying in the Starbucks I’m blogging from and (2) I don’t think it’s all that productive. Here’s what I’ll say about my absence: I was sad, really sad, crying all the time sad (yes, depressed, whatever), and I stopped believing in my voice, I stopped believing in myself, and I stopped believing that I had anything at all of meaning to say.

Since January I’ve been growing stronger and more stable, and am ready to share again, let people in again, specifically about this aspect of my life, you know, the fat side of things.

The months of crying and general hopelessness and helplessness were also accompanied by a full blown relapse into binge eating. At first I tried to fight it with crazy amounts of exercise, but after continuing trying and failing to keep my weight steady, I gave up completely and fell deep into a state of just…numb existence.

But hey, I’m on the mend now, I’m healing now, and part of healing is to get over the ridiculous amounts of shame I feel for what happened to me, for what I went through. Real talk: I feel a ton of shame and embarrassment that I was depressed. I feel a ton of shame and am generally mortified that I’m currently 20 pounds heavier than my lowest weight.

But, you know what the best antidote to shame is? Being OUT there with what you’ve got going on. During those months of depression I pretty much cut contact with most people in my life, or kept them on the outside, because I didn’t want anyone to see what I was going through. But, to quote someone famous somewhere, ain’t no one got time for that, or something.

I’m done wasting energy on feeling embarrassed that I gained weight and I’m ready to get back to what the original purpose of this blog is: the crazy struggle of being body positive and working toward body acceptance in a crazy culture where being fat is constantly demonized and skinyness is next to Godliness.

Currently, most days, I feel better about my body than I have in months. Despite having some scale-based self esteem issues, I’m mostly doing okay in that area, but still recognizing that loving my body is a daily practice that I have to be and stay devoted to. When I don’t make it a priority, I feel shitty, I act shitty, and I want shitty foods. So, stay on it Jodster.

Anway, I could keep blabbering because I’ve truly missed sharing this part of my life, and I’ve also missed the community of my blog, and of other blogs, and of just, you guys, relating on things I thought no one could possibly relate to because they felt so deep and raw.

So hello, readers (probably just my sisters at this point), I’ve missed you terribly.

Bodylove

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I’m scared of a lot of things.

In my last post I admitted that I was scared of knowing the number on the scale. I didn’t weigh in this week because (1) I drank (and ate) a LOT last week and (2) I’m still scared of the power the number has on me.

I’m scared of writing about all these things publicly. Despite how much love I’ve gotten, every word feels like admitting failure and vulnerability.

And that brings me to where I am now, being scared of loving myself radically.

In the process of losing weight, I bought in so hard to the idea that I couldn’t love myself unless I kept losing and kept working toward being smaller. That fucks a person up.

What I had before this weight loss, was this kind of self righteous indignant body love that I could hold up and feel pride in because I was showing off my radical self acceptance. To be fat, unapologetically fat, is RADICAL.

Losing weight is nothing. From having a blog and reading tons of blogs, I know anyone can lose weight (losing a lot and keeping it off, slightly harder), but loving yourself is where the TRUE challenge is. How many women do you know that have tried dieting and lost weight? How many women do you know can say they, without concessions, love their body?

I’m guessing the number for the former is a hell of a lot higher than the latter.

There’s a problem with that. That makes me MAD. It incites rage, for myself, for women, for the world we live in.

I seem to be stuck in a kind of dichotomy where I think committing myself fully to radical self love will mean I will gain weight, which is totally ironic because it’s the whole reason I’ve lost weight.

Committing to self love means not slamming your mind and soul and body with hate talk, fat talk, and negative thoughts. It means not being scared of what’s in your head and that power of your own voice. It means not caring what people think of you as long as you’re being true to yourself.

For a while now I’ve stopped myself at the onset from doing a lot of things that scare me. My writing dwindled, my self love dwindled, my weight loss stalled, binge eating returned.

I need to heal, and healing requires being brave.

It’s so easy to go along with the masses when everyone else is critiquing their bodies and buying into the belief that their size and shape is their self worth.  It’s so easy to get caught up in judgments and comparisons and showing off and getting stuck in the race to perfect.

I don’t have to be. I can be radical. I can believe I’m worthy of love when the media tells me I need Jenny Craig to start living the life of my dreams. I can believe my body is beautiful when the rest of the world is wondering who has the worst bikini body. I can be better than that.

I’ve been listening to the spoken word song (poem?) “I know girls” by Mary Lambert over and over again. In case you don’t know her, she’s the female voice on “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She’s intoxicating. And deeply vulnerable and beautiful.

Listen, and heal:

Weigh-in Wednesday

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You guys.

Thanks for welcoming me back with lots of virtual love :)

So, I want to be honest about my weight. Because right now, I’m just scared of it.

When I used to post my weight on the blog every week, I did so without any commentary. It was my weight. But, that was usually when the number was going down.

I don’t really know how to get back to the mushy-love feeling I used to have with myself. Posting my weight online obviously doesn’t seem like the ideal way, but being so terrified of the number isn’t helping much either.

So, we’re back here, at weekly weigh ins. Just-a-number edition:

Starting weight: 243 pounds

Current weight: 167 pounds

Total lost: 76 pounds

I can choose to see the weight I’ve gained, or I can see how much weight I’ve lost so far and how much has went into keeping it off. Today is going to be glass half full :) Happy Wednesday!

Pretty Strong Medicine

From my head to your screen

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Oh wow, Hi.

This morning I woke up, did all my usual morning things, and as I walked to my car to drive to work I started composing a blog post in my head.

That hasn’t happened in, well you know, a while.

Serendipitously, today someone left a comment on my last post (Hi!) saying “Is this blog over?”

No. No it is not.

And here’s why:

My absence from writing, as I’m choosing to see it, speaks so much about the place I’m in right now.

I got so caught up in a lot of different fears. Fear that I wasn’t saying anything important. Fear that I had no idea what I was talking about. Fear that my words have nothing to offer anyone. Fear that someday, these words I write, would have negative consequences.

What do those have in common? They’re all fears about something that is happening in the future. And they are all stopping me from living in the present.

They are also (I hope!) largely untrue. This blog has provided such a POSITIVE outlet in my life. What is wrong with me thinking otherwise?!

So now that that’s out there, hi, how are you, welcome to my blog.

The last few months have been really up and down for me. I’ve had some great successes mixed in with some moments of feeling really low. Sounds like typical life, right?

Let’s see, where did we last leave off…I was still binging.

Update: Less binging? I’m not really sure. I’ve definitely had less frequent binges, but even one feels like too many.

I had a conversation a few weeks ago that went something like this:

Me: Why can’t I just do all of the things that I know will make me happy and productive all of the time and that I know are best for me?

Her: That’s the human condition right there, isn’t it?

But seriously, WHY. I guess I have to be better at accepting that slip ups will happen. I won’t be perfect at controlling and dealing with and acknowledging my emotions all of the time. I never would consider myself a perfectionist, but when it comes to food/body issues I know that I’m really hard on myself.

Things aren’t meant to be flawless. I’m not perfect at losing weight. I’m struggling a lot to maintain the weight I have lost and every day brings with it a new challenge where I have a choice to make between how I used to live and how I want to live. I don’t always make the best choice.

The thought I had this morning though, and the thought that made me want to write today, is that the one thing I do have control over is how I think and feel about a situation.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know I started losing weight out of a desire to live differently and to show myself and my body the love it deserved. But over time, as the weight started to come off, I started to not like my body so much, and not like myself so much.

This morning I just felt really exhausted by this. This constant hatred that I am directing at myself for what in my mind, is failure. Last night I again went to bed with some regrets about my food choices. This morning I woke up with the shame hangover.

What upsets me more than anything, is the perception that gets put out there by the diet industry that weight loss is the answer to your problems and will make your life instantly brighter. I’m mad that I lost weight and I hate my body more than ever before. I’m pissed off that a huge industry is profiting off of keeping women hating their bodies.

I’ve posed this question many times: Can you lose weight and still love your body?

I truly don’t know the answer. And it distresses me because I so badly wanted to prove that it could be done.

There’s something to be said for not weighing yourself, but right now I’m terrified of stepping on a scale and that’s not healthy either. Being petrified of not your knowing your weight is not the same thing as “ignoring the scale.”

I want to be at a place where the number doesn’t bother me, doesn’t dictate how I feel about myself, and I’m just not there. Not knowing what I weigh hasn’t changed this.

For months I’ve said that I’m struggling with my weight, but the truth is, I’m struggling with self acceptance. This is a good thing though, because this I have control over. This I know I can change. This I know can be turned around. This I know I deserve to work to make right.

 ”Your problem is you are too busy holding onto your unworthiness.”

- Ram Dass