My Journey to my breaking point where change is possible.

It's time to adjust my sails once again.  I'm not complaining, every time I make a change I learn and grow.  I know this isn't going to be easy, but I've reached the point that I can't avoid it any more.  For the past few years my journey has been an inward one.  I had to understand the meaning of  "It's an inside job."  Everyone kept telling me that, but I didn't know what to do with it.  How do you fix the inside?!  What do I have to do?!  It was in the last six months that I realized that I don't fix that, God does.  I have to get out of the way long enough for Him to do it.

So I worked on my relationship with Him and He worked on the inside of me.  It is quite an amazing process.  Now it is time for me to take action on the outside.  Self-care by eating right and taking care of the body God gave me.

I don't know if you have this problem, my brain remembers that I can run 5 miles, but my body says "Oh hell no!"   When I was in my 20's, if I wanted to drop some weight, I just ran for a week and it was gone. Now I am almost 50 and 80 pounds heavier.  Exercise is much harder and I find it difficult to stay motivated.

Here's a little pictorial history with my weight in each picture.  I don't normally do this, but it's part of facing myself and being authentic with all of you.

 Senior Picture in 1982 - 145 lbs:

 My running partner, Angel, 1982, same weight:

Las Vegas 1987, 22 years old, 155 lbs:

I looked back at these pictures a couple years ago and realized that I hated myself even when I was thin. I saw myself as extremely fat.  My self-perception is what had to change.  I look back on these pictures and wish I knew then what I know now.  What I know now is that no man is going to love me enough for me to love myself.  I had it backwards.  I must love myself, exactly as I am!  Today I know there's beauty in imperfection.  I wish I knew that the harm caused me by another person, doesn't mean that I'm damaged and worthless.  I wish I would've heard the kind things people said to me, rather than focusing something that I perceived as a criticism.

Today I know I am worthy!  I am enough!  I am lovable!

These next pictures are after 15 years of working full-time, night school and raising a family, followed by a divorce in 2002.

My dating profile picture in 2002  199 lbs:
Back to dating again 2006  187 lbs:

2008 face shot only 195 lbs:

2010 after completing 3 half marathons during the year prior,  211 lbs:

December 2013, 49 years old,  232 lbs:

I love myself more today at 232 lbs than I did any year prior.  I had so much self loathing that at various points I wished I was dead.  I struggled and did everything I could to stop the pain. If anyone could just love me enough, if I wore the right clothes, had the right job, lived in the right apartment...nothing was ever right and I was never enough.

July 18, 2010 I decided to do it different, and my life changed, my spirit lightened.  Now my focus is to care for myself and not worry about what others think of me.  Honestly, I had to turn off my ego and remember that no one, other than me, is thinking of me. I think of me way too much.

Now it is time to...

Give back what has been so freely given to me.  Show myself as much compassion as I show others.  Part of that process is to nurture myself.  Spend time on my hair, make-up, saying kind things to myself, eat right and exercise.  To love the body I have been given.

I have been taking baby steps with the meditation, positive internal dialog, and helping others.  Now it's time to add balance to the mix.  Balance work, meditation, cooking/eating, exercise, creativity/play, social life, school.

Does anyone know how to do that?  I am going to make an attempt at it.  I will give you updates, share my struggles and successes.

Comment Love is appreciated.  I am reading Foodaholic and working through an emotional eating workbook.  I will be sharing my finding with you.  Time to get down to the why of my eating.

What are you struggling with?  How are you dealing with it?

Face to Face with Myself

Every morning I get up and allow myself 30 minutes to an hour with God, before work.  On the weekends this could last for hours.  I get up, feed my cat, pick him up and hold him like a baby and kiss his head.  He used to hate this, but I think has learned that it is love not torture.  I make my coffee, grab my journal and blanket, if I need it, and I sit on my balcony.  Being outside I feel like there is a more direct connection with my Creator.  Making this part of my daily routine I believe is key to my changing self perception.

This is a time when I thank God for all He's given me, big and small things.  I ask Him to walk me through each day and to just do His will.  This is important because I lived my life until 4 years ago on self-will run riot.  Everything was about me, what do I need to do for you to like me?  What will it take to make this pain inside stop?  There was never enough of anything to stop the pain and fear from running my life.  

The only place I felt like I knew what I was doing was at work.  My knowledge and skills are strong, but there was that voice in my head telling me that I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough...enough.  I had to finally say "ENOUGH!"  I can't live this way anymore.  I said "Enough!" 7/18/2010, after losing my mother a year earlier and the pain was so great I had to turn my life over to someone other than myself.  I was terrified and didn't know how to do this, but I found people who had been where I was and they are living a life I want to live.  I just did what they did and my life got better.

1. I started developing my relationship with God.  I took a few years before I started spending this much time with Him.  Just talking to Him in the beginning was a huge step for me.  

2. I had to stop judging myself and others.  I have these great expectations of myself.  Completely unattainable.  If I hold myself to them I hold you to them too.  I had to stop and when I did, for the most part I stopped, it is human nature. I found that I was more relaxed, had more energy and without judgement there is room for love. My self love ebbs and flows.  It flows more freely now than ever.

 3. Forgiveness is so hard sometimes and seems unjust in some cases, but it is the magical thing that will set you free.  Forgiveness is what opened my heart back up after being locked down since age 6.  I had to forgive a man that abused me when I was 6 years old.  I spent 40 years angry and fearful.  I was really pissed off when I found out the key to getting out of that hole was to forgive him.  I took time and prayers to get to where I could forgive him.  I had to see he is a sick man and has to answer for his actions to a higher power then me.  In October 2011, I sat across from him and made amends for my retaliations on him and in my heart I forgave him.  The miracle of forgiveness is I am no longer angry or fearful.  My soul is lighter and I have greater capacity to love myself and others.

4.  I look at myself in the mirror and find something that I love about myself.  Each time I do that I build trust with myself.  I have spent my life saying mean and horrible things to myself.  Things I would never say to anyone.  I have to forgive myself for those harms done and make amends by not continuing to do those things  This image below symbolizes hope to me.  I have come a very long way, but it is an ongoing journey that I have chosen to share with you.

5.  I have to be the kind of person I want to attract into my life. So that is my present journey and not settling for anything less than true love and happiness.  A warm body just won't do anymore!

I love all of you and I love myself!!  I will see you soon!  Thank you for stopping by.

Have you ever had to say "ENOUGH!" or "I'm DONE!"?   Those are my two phrases that mean I'm past the point of no return.  Share with me about them.