Saturday, June 15, 2013

On vacation for 2 months

My hectic end of the year stuff at work is done and today is my first day of summer break.  I have seven weeks off and I think my boss wants me to take one more week on top of that because I have so much comp time.  I'll find out next week if that's the case, which I would not be sad to take.  Unfortunately, being in education, these summer weeks are unpaid but whatever ... I'm on break and I'm happy about that.  I do have two summer classes I will be taking, starting on Monday, but doing it without working at the same time makes things much less stressful.  I will also be working on my grad school application during this summer, so I will be busy. 

I had a really healthy, gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast this morning and after I post this, I'm heading outdoors to go walking.  I haven't exercised regularly for several weeks now and I miss it.  I've been dealing with a lot of pain and have to have a surgery on the 20th.  Now that I'm on vacation, I sort of want to regroup and take better care of myself.  I have made the change with my eating plan, but I have also been going through some feelings of sadness over the weight gain, feeling as though I failed in someway.  I know intellectually that I haven't because I don't weigh anything near what I used to weigh when I first started this blog.  Besides, this is not a contest of how low can you go.  This is my life and it's for my health.  It's always been about health and not about a number.

I miss being smaller, though, I have to admit that.  I was on my feet a lot helping out at our high school's graduation and, by the end of the day, I was in a lot of pain.  Granted, I probably would've been in pain at the smaller size, but I know it would have been far less significant.  There's a shame I have been feeling because of the gain.  I know the reasons for it and I completely own them, between medical issues and dealing with frustrations and physical pain through food.  It hasn't been my best, shining moments.  The other day, though, I saw it.  I mean I really saw the reality of where I stand right now.  A picture was taken of me with a student after our senior awards night.  It was not a flattering picture in any way and it almost made me want to cry.  I know it's not me at my worst, but I sure felt bad.  At the event, which is something I am in charge of, I was called onto stage by our school's administrators to thank me for not only the event, but my work throughout the year.  They gave me flowers and hugs.  But I didn't want to step foot on that stage only because I felt as big as a house.  Yet, based on the faces of those kids and their parents, they weren't focusing on that at all.  I guess I have a big ego because, trust me, that was what I was focusing on.  I certainly was celebrating the kids' accomplishments with them, but my thoughts would invariably go back to me and how I was feeling about my body. 

The best thing I can do now is move forward, just as I did when I was on Optifast.  While I won't go back on that program because of the negative toll it took on my body, I can remember my commitment level while I was on it and take that with me as I walk forward now.  It was soooo much easier while I was on the shakes.  Anyone who has done it and then gone back to food afterwards knows exactly what I'm talking about.  It's such a black and white thing - you drink the shakes or you cheat and eat food.  On the other hand, things can be black and white with the food as well.  You eat appropriate amounts of food at meals and snacks, or you don't.  Having Weight Watchers as a tool for me really helps in keeping me accountable of what I'm eating.  Writing is very therapeutic for me, too, whether here on this blog or in my private journal.  I know it helps me sort out whatever I'm feeling and so the food doesn't have near the hold it has had on me. 

I'm not here to give you advice on the proper way to lose weight, how to be successful on Optifast or anything else.  I am certainly no authority and it was never my goal to do so.  I know for some others they may feel that way, but I do not.  I also don't kid myself that I have all the answers.  Frankly, if I did, this would be a very different blog.  I am here to share my experiences and story, hopefully connect with others that are going through the same things I am going through and just to be as honest as I can.  At one point, I lost 190 pounds on Optifast in ten months.  I now will continue in my efforts to be healthier, but not with shakes.  I have to listen to my body when it tells me something is not working, which is something I didn't do so well when I was on Optifast.  Back then, I was tunnel-visioned because I was losing so much weight so fast.  So I ignored things when I wasn't feeling so well, refusing to get off product.  I have had some extremely wonderful, supportive friends tell me how worried they were during that time - that my body was smaller but I wasn't looking well in my face, gaunt I think was the word they used.  I didn't take it badly because I knew it came from a place of love.  So now I just keep moving forward, continuing to work on my physical health, as well as the emotional.  Obviously that's easier said than done, but I'm committed to this for myself. Things are not easy.  I mean, I have to eat no gluten and no dairy just so that my body doesn't feel upset.  You can't begin to imagine how hard that is, but I'm doing it.  After not eating for 10 months and drinking my food, anything is possible!

Anyway, off for my walk.  One foot in front of the other.


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