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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trying to define myself without the numbers

About 6 weeks ago I posted this.  It was not an easy post to put out there.  But there was something really necessary about doing it.  It's so easy for me to just "hope it goes away" all on it's own.  Which of course won't happen.  So being horribly anonymous in the very public format was what I needed.  

See me not post photos of me in my bathing suit?  No muffin tops pictures here.  No image looking down towards my toes at the numbers on the scale.  No before and after.  

Just pretty yellow tulips.  

That's so much better after all, don't you think?

Why do we women struggle with our weight so much?  Why is it so tied to the core of who we are?  It shouldn't be.  But it is.  It affects who we think we are and what we think we are capable of.  And that's a load of crap.  We are so much more than the extra lbs that we carry.  Yet they define us.

And then there are these moments of clarity (usually just after I've polished off my 3rd rice krispie treat, or 5th.  Whatever.) where it's all so clear... eat less!  It's not rocket science!  So why is it so hard?  And it is hard!  Very very hard.

I know it has to be a lifestyle change.  No diets.  A new way of eating and thinking about food... forever.  This seems to be the biggest challenge.  The biggest hurdle to get over.  I'm not there.  But I'm trying.  

Oh and the dreaded scale dance.  
To weigh daily?  To weigh weekly?  To weigh monthly or not at all? 
Get on.  Get off.  Take an average 3 weights.  Get on again.
Lean to the left.  Put your feet just so.  
Take your shoes off.  Better yet get naked.  How much could all this hair possible weigh anyhow?
Only weigh in the morning, and do not ever any circumstance ever ever ever weigh yourself in the evening.  
The numbers often hold the power in our co-dependent relationship.  

And how does it all relate to exercise?  Calories in versus calories burnt.  But I tell you I'd have to be on that elliptical for a solid 10 hours on 10 just to make a dent in that dinner I just ate.  I don't have that kind of time.  Nor should I? 

Enter a lovely group of supportive women.  Oh ladies, it means the world to me!  Really!  Confessions.  Accountability.  Celebration.  Love.  Oh ladies we share the love!  There is power in the decision making and glory in the journey!  And 113 lbs shed between us... good stuff indeed!

I'm just so tired of having this weigh upon my soul (literally and figuratively) and define who I think I am!  I want to be strong.  I want to be in control of this.  I want my daughters to see a mother that can take charge and make a change in her life.  

Like I said before, it is time.  

And it has been working.


Well not so much this week.  But in general-ish.  I think.  

And my mind is shifting, albeit considerably slower than the numbers.  

I think.


  1. Thanks for your support too Nancy. I have been really struggling with this, and it is hitting hard. I'm hoping that together we can make a lasting change.

  2. Beautiful post! And I added up the latest numbers, and the pounds lost is up to 121! You are to be commended for "putting it out there," both for yourself and for inspiring others. That in and of itself is a wonderful example to your children.

  3. Nancy,

    I was 43 years old when we finally adopted our first child. Prior to having kids I never once worried about my weight. I ate healthy and worked out 4 times a week. I remember chiding my sisters who stopped working out once they had kids in their late 20's and started struggling with their weight. I had a really hard time believing they couldn't carve out 30 minutes in their day. I was a real know it all back then. Well, it is my turn to eat crow. Parenting is strenuous and exhausting, especially when you are parenting children from hard places. Being a stay at home mom can be alienating and isolating and food becomes a friend, (especially Hershey Kisses slathered in peanut butter). The amount of your own personal time shrinks to miniscule amount. My focus is on my kids right now and I am definitely in last place. There are mom's out there who can stay healthy and fit and do a great job in raising their kids. I am personally having a hard time finding the time and the motivation to work out and stay in shape.

    I give you credit for addressing this issue. With 7 kids, it has to be incredibly hard to find time for yourself. You are a great mom!

  4. It is a lifestyle change, isn't it?? I lost about 40 lbs before having our first little girl and it was a whole different mindset than I was used to having.

    So awesome that you have such a wonderful support group and people are succeeding in becoming healthier! Keep up the good work :)

  5. It is very hard to "diet" when there are children in the house that we have to cook for. I have found that to be my biggest obstacle for shedding the extra pounds. For me it is not so much how I look as it is about health and wanting to be healthy now and in the future for my daughters but of course I want to look good, too! We all want that. I find that cutting way back on the carbs and sweets is the best way for me to lose weight (unfortunately the things my girls like best - sigh). I know you are a great cook, Nancy, and that doesn't help - I read a great tip the other day - when you are cooking sweets for your children or something with a lot of carbs, chew a stick of gum to stave off the temptation. And yes, exercise is key, but I can't find an extra minute to fit that in but I know I have to start. Again, I can empathize!! You can do it! :D

  6. Kudos to you! I threw out my scale 2 years ago...we had a very toxic relationship. If he didn't tell me what I wanted to hear, I would be miserable for the next few days. On the otherhand, he had the power to make me giddy and full of myself if he complimented me. I figured nothing should have that kind of power over me. And the funny this was, I didn't need him anyway. I already KNEW what he was going to say without even looking at him. So out in the trash he went. Now? I rely totally on how I "feel" numbers needed. I've been much happier since. It's hard, I have good days and days. Cripes, I have good months and bad months! lol. But it's life. When I go off the wagon, I just make sure I jump back on and don't beat myself up TOO much about it. Good luck on your journey :)

  7. The pictures are is your heart. For me I always find it coming back to the spiritual. Whether it is not cultivating a spirit of self control or looking for satisfaction or consolation in something tangible. Then I get tripped up over being able to enjoy all the good bounty He has given to us...I don't understand why I struggle so when others around me don't but I am learning to trust that His grace is sufficient even in this. So I seek to make it about honoring Him...being healthy...being okay with myself.
    Good for you to even be talking out loud about it.

  8. Lifestyle is key. It can't be about denying yourself stuff all the time-- it needs to be about finding a healthy, comfortable middle ground. More fruits and veggies, less junk (and fewer cream sauces), more exercise but in some form that actually works for you. If it's an inner struggle to get on the treadmill (or whatever) every time it isn't going to work. It needs to be taking a bike ride with the kiddos or the 20 minutes of blissful solitude that comes from working out-- something that feels good now, not something that you know is good for you no matter how unpleasant. (And if you manage to find that magical exercise balance and fit it into your life please share how you pulled that one off!)

    But I vote for getting rid of the scale all together. It's not about weight anyway. It's about being healthier and being happier with how you look. If you must have a measurement, get a tape measure and measure your hips (read: your rear end) and waist and measure them again in one month. If you are exercising more, your weight may actually increase at first as muscle weighs more than fat-- that can make you feel like you're going backwards when you are actually making progress. The weight will come down, but it can take longer and, as you said, it's just a number. It's hard to undo years of socialization-- we live in a culture that is obsessed with numbers on a scale. But breaking that number dependency is an amazing gift to hand your daughters. Show them that it is about being healthy and happy with yourself and not about those random places where society draws a line on a scale and marks one side good and one side bad. Go to an art museum and remind yourself that skinny has not always been considered attractive. The Greeks valued physical fitness as much as any culture I've ever studied but they did not love skinny.

  9. My sweet Friend,
    You are amazing. Your words just resonate with how I have been feeling. This weight, this dang weight...I want to be invisible but how with all this shouldn't define me and yet I let it. I hear you, I understand it, eat less move more...easy right??? Not so much...but we will do it, one pound at a time, one more step or a minute more on the track, we will do it. Your daughters are blessed to have you as their mother, and I am continually blessed to have you as my dear, dear friend. Love you so very much!!!


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