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Monday, May 23, 2011

can you really lose...

Can you really lose 80 pounds in 80 days? Well, yes, I believe anything is possible.  Does that mean that I will lose 80 pounds in the first 80 days of this blog?  No, as I am working on transformation of my whole life, not just focusing on changing that one (albeit very big and pressing) issue in my life.  I am not fat because I eat too much and do not exercise enough ( that is only part of the symptoms which need to be treated along with the cause).  If I were 10 or 20 pounds overweight, I might be able to just say "whoa, my eating and exercise habits are out of whack, I have to change those." and be able to get back on track.

When you are twice the size you should be, as I am, there is a LOT more going on than just poor eating and exercise habits.  I am not saying those are not part of it, as obviously they are.  But there are more intense underlying causes that have created the poor eating and exercise habits in the first place.    life, at least my life, is very spiracle in nature.  Most people consider life to be cyclical (though some see it as linear, which is just not in my ability to see, as things tend to repeat until you deal with them), but I see my life more as a spiral.  With a circular cycle, you just go round and round, in the same spot.  But with a spiral you are always moving forward, but the edges of your spiral are in particular issues.  So you deal with part of it and move forward dealing with other things, and eventually you come back to address the issues again, but not from the same vantage point as you were before.  Each time you move through that given area of space (sorry, I picture it in my mind as my spiral path intercepting part of a large nebula and having to successfully manage the problems that arise in order to move to a place in the spiral that is not touching the nebula--if you watch Star Trek or any kind of space traveling show, you understand that each nebula is different and you never know what joys or trial a nebula will bring), you deal with the issue that it holds.  Once you have successfully dealt with all of the issues that are negatively impacting your thoughts, spirit, or actions (most of them subconscious), you will be able to move past that nebula and those issues and not have to keep spiralling through it.  Some nebula's are huge and you encounter them multiple times in your life, and others you encounter and move past after just a couple of rings of the spiral journey.

My spiral has the flexibility of a slinky, instead of a nice firm forward path, I seem to jump all over the place, like someone set the slinky on the top step a long winding staircase and in just keeps flipping and flipping.  That is called the curse of indecision....NOT a healthy way to live. 

So, how did this spiraling journey of mine take me from a skinny little kid (like 5-6 years old) to an very large teenager (overweight by 12, obese by 15), to (I hate this term but it is the technical term) morbidly obese adult.  I am now 36 years old, and have been in that latter category for over half of my life (yes for about a year and a half in my mid-20's I was in the middle category, and I was nearing that middle category again a few years ago before I married and adopted two kids, but that soon turned back into this MO category). 

You don't become MO merely by acquiring bad habits, because with bad habits you eventually wake up and go "Damn, what am I doing to myself!?!"  and you make the commitment to switch to better habits.  While at the core, the biological reason that I am--- {({morbidly obese})} (boy that makes a booming echo in my head when I say it, like a deep James Earl Jones voice echo reverberating off the hill sides (yes I made up my own symbols for booming echo {({echo})}) is that I have historically had poor eating and exercise habits that dominate over any healthy eating and exercise habits I try to motivate myself to.  In order to lose the weight that I need to lose, I need to develop, at my core, healthy eating and exercise habits.  I need to increase my metabolisms ability to burn energy, I need to increase my body's ability to use insulin properly (as it is biochemically extremely difficult to lose weight when you have high blood sugar and rogue insulin that your body is not using, because the resistant insulin keeps the fat burning switches from being turned on in your body, which is why it is so hard for people with type 2 diabetes to lose weight especially once they go on medication which increases the amount of insulin so that the glucose can be used and provide necessary energy to the cells (a very important thing) though only mildly helps with the problem of getting the resistant insulin into the cells, thus locking the body out of fat burning mode without a lot more exercise than would normally be required--it really is a catch 22 in a lot of ways).

Anyway, somehow this blog is just a  mental meandering of all sorts of things that pop out of my brain.   Anyway, As I have been focusing on transformation in my life, looking at weight loss, I believe that God (or whatever you may call that source of all, the universal mind, the powerful consciousness, the Source....) God hears my call to treat my physical body with more honor, heads my call to move towards overall health and wholeness in body soul and mind.  And thus my slinky like spiral journey is being moved through the nebulas that I most need to address and correct, to bring to a state of reconciliation and wholeness.  I think that is why my journey has brought me back home, has opened my eyes tot he conflicts that I have with those beings that I started this life walk with, my family.  I can not transform anyone but myself, and I have no need to.  It is my own reactions, my own subconscious thoughts and feelings, my own definitions of myself that I need to address.  The proverbial plank in my own eye that makes it hard for me to see what is really in front of me, and how my actions and attitudes create the problems in my life.  Over the past decade plus, I have dealt with numerous life transforming issues--trust issues, fear issues, sexuality issues, faith issues, confidence issues, etc....  Through that I have come to recognize my strengths and be proud of the person that God created.  I have been able to look at my weaknesses and be confident that is okay to ask for help in areas that I do not excel, and to offer help in areas where I do excel.  But even with working towards a sense of greater trust in myself, in God, in life as a whole; even with reducing my overall sense of fear (something I am still working on, as we all are, most people just call it worry or anxiety, but at its root it is fear); even with coming to grips with my sexuality and dealing with some past traumas int hat regard and coming to embrace all parts of myself; even with growing from a borrowed faith (which I believe is what the faith we grow up with is) and into a faith and understanding of and with God that is personal; and even with a tremendous increase in my confidence that I am a capable, able amazing Creation--even with having addresses at a very deep level those extremely important aspects of life, I have yet to overcome the two massive manifestations of problems that have plagued my life and kept me in the illusion of separateness from who I really Am and separate from God (because if you are; living with the illusion that  you separate from who YOU are, you are also separate from the Great I Am).  For me, those two murky, difficult to break areas of separation are my physical body healthy (namely my weight issue) and my financial stability.

So, my quest for transformation continues,.  I have experienced great transformation in many areas, but for some reason these two areas are stuck.  I believe it is because these two areas have deep, subconscious roots that go back to very early childhood, back to the times when my sense of self in this physical manifestation of life was forming.  These conflicts with family, if I let them go unthought out, will be meaningless.  I need to look very closely at what I was thinking, feeling, and saying deep down inside myself, and as I do that, i can start to uncover, release, and correct some of the root maladaptive thinking patterns that have given rise to my current habits.

To change my present I need to learn from the past so that I can have and provide a better future.  One thing I have learned with this conflict with my mom is that I really have a deep seated belief that my mom can not understand me.  I have a child right now that I have a lot of difficulty comprehending. 

I can not change the things that were said to me when i as a child.  My mother loved me then and loves me now even though she had and has trouble understanding me, and she did the best she knew how to do.  She wanted me to "be normal" and have a better life, which she thought that "being normal" would bring.  But it did not bring that, for me it brought pain, it brought the fear of being different, it brought the feeling that I was wrong, and I think that part of what I am trying to hide behind my layers of excess adipose tissue is this sense of "I am not normal."  I am not blaming my mother, she was acting out of love in trying to help me be more "normal".  And I recognize that.  Part of the reason I recognize it more poignantly now is that there are so many days my brain scream "why can't you just be a little more normal!"  when I am dealing with my eldest son.  Note, my brain screams it not my mouth, because I know how much those words would hurt.  My son does the best he can, and he is an amazing, intelligent, unique person.  And as I have been realizing lately, maybe I have come home so that I could realize that I need to do something different for my son than my mother tried to do for me.  Out of love, she wanted me to be more normal, more like all the other kids.  but I am not.  I am unique, I have an eclectic sense of the world and of life and of myself, I am not linear or cyclic, I am not a square peg or a round hole.  Not amount of trying to "make me be normal" is going to work, as I am atypical in many ways.  In some ways I am sure it helped, it helped me develop the ability to look through other people's eyes and try to act in a way that was socially and culturally acceptable (I know it took a while, my bright green polyester pants and stained peach tee shirt--my favorite outfit when I was in like 5th grade--was not exactly in keeping with the norm though I never understood why you have to look a certain way, shouldn't you just be able to wear what is comfortable?).  But in an effort to help me see the world as others saw it, I do not have the social difficulties that my father contends with (brilliant, amazing and eccentric man that he is).  My mother also helped me expand my inborn sense of empathy for others, to feel with them what they feel, and to use that to try to help them feel better. 

My son G has a strong ability to feel energy, but he has no idea how to use it in a helpful way.  He is an energy magnet, anything high energy attracts him.  Unlike the ability to feel the differences in emotion (like my youngest son, I (and most people) feel when someone is sad, happy, angry, etc... and can read those emotions)  G on the other hand, feels energy, excitement or sorrow, anger or fear--if it is an emotion that emits high levels of energy he is drawn to that person or situation and does what he can to feed the energy.  Now this is great when someone is excited and joyous, as he can feed that and grow it for himself and the other person.  But it is not good when it is a sad or angry energy,a s he feeds that too, and tries to grow that energy.  Which means if he finds a person that screams when he annoys them enough (usually either a younger child or a girl his own age) he will bother and bother and tease and provoke them until they scream, and then his need for energy is satisfied.  This makes him a very difficult person in social circles.  These are the times that I want to scream "why can't you just be normal for a couple of hours". 

These are the times that the growing insight into my own childhood (and how my mother tried to help me be a person she could understand better) begins to makes sense of where I am.  I know the sense of self loathing that comes with not being the "right" kind of person.  I was (and still am I suppose by some people) labeled as over-sensitive, a dreamer, or thinking too much.  However, I have learned that I am sensitive enough to care for other people, especially social outcasts, and to be able to love a person and not give up on them even when many others have.  I dream big dreams, and know that the ability to dream big creates a better world for me and for my children, and that I can help other people figure out what their dreams are for thier lives, what they are being called to deep down.  And I think--a LOT.  Some people say they have a two or three track mind, that keeps rolling through, I have counted over twelve different thought processes going on in my conscious mind at a given time, Only God knows how many in the subconscious mind.  I lose track after that because that observer part of me usually get swifted away by one train of through or another.  So year, I DO think a lot.  And yes, if I do not control the train station, chaos can ensue, reducing my productivity.  But when I am mindful of the tasks at hand, and can seperate the tracks that I need to focus on from the others (allowing them to run uninhibited int eh background), then I can get an amazing amount of things done.  

Okay, so anyway, I kind of like this just random mental meandering, allowing my thoughts to go wherever they want to as I type.  I guess one of the things I am trying to say is that as I go through this loop which is helping me see some of the roots of my sense of self, and how my family played the roles they did, doing what they thought was best out of love, and out of a sense of wanting me to have a good life, it helps me to let go (or at least start work on letting go) some of the negative feelings I have about myself and some of the untrue perceptions I have about my how my family thinks of me.  I look at my son, and I see myself in him.  not that we are a lot alike, but that we are in similar situations--not fitting well into anyone's idea of who we should be, just each being our own person.  He, like me, has issues with fitting in in social situations.  He has trouble understanding what is asked of him.  He has trouble understand what he is doing that is not correct.  A couple of big differences between us is that I WANTED to fit in and tried really hard to do what was asked of me, and quench my uniqueness.  He does NOT try to fit in and actively tried hard to do exactly what you asked him not to do (the joys of a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  He had a hard start to life.  He was prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol.  He was severely neglected and abused in his birth home for the first 13 months of his life.  He bounced through 5 different foster homes before he turned three years old.  He gave up.  He was failure to thrive for a while.  He gave up as a toddler, in order to protect what he had left of his infant sense of self, he drew inward and gave up.  I had a loving family, who loved me even though I looked like a green lizard thing when I was born (that is what  my dad said :p).  My family was young and economically poor, but they loved me.  I did not give up. 

I had a great advantage over my son.  Even though I was quirky, and nothing like a social butterfly, I had a supportive and loving family that did what they thought was best for me, even things that I found painful.  I can see in hindsight, that those growing pains did help me (trust me it would be very easy to lose myself in my thoughts and stay there if I had not been shown how amazing the rest of the people in the world were too, and how to relate in ways that build strong and lasting friendships--my mother's gift, not my father's).  It helps me to look at this and to figure out how to be a parent to him in a way that celebrates his uniqueness while at the same time helping him to relate to people in a more meaningful and socially acceptable way.  I have found my frustration with him growing lately, and my patience shrinking.  I believe that nothing happens by accident, and that this period of time and the conflicts that are arising are happening because there is something that I need to learn.  I have been seeking wholeness, seeking a stronger connection with the Great I Am (God), seeking a transformation out of my unhealthy thinking and behavioural patterns so that I can truly be the amazing person that I was created to be, instead of hiding behind my shells of excess fat and financial stresses.  In seeking honestly, I encounter a number of challenges.  And I think working thorough these challenges is helping me understand myself better and understand God better.  And understand the path, the journey that I am on better too. 

So can you lose 80 pounds in 80 days?  Sure.  Will I prove it to you by losing 80 pounds in the first 80 days of this blog.  Not, as that is not my intention.  My intention was never to prove it, my intention was and is to share my path of transformation, my journey in real time as it is happening.  And yes, I actually do expect to lose 80 pounds in 80 days, I just don't know which 80 days that will happen over, so keep following along and we will find out together...

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