Monday, July 7, 2008

I Need Help

Eating everything you want is not that much fun.
When you live a life with no boundaries,
there’s less joy. ~ Tom Hanks

First: For those of you who entered, I’ll be announcing the winner of my contest at some point this week. I promise!

* * * * *

I am the queen of a positive attitude. I believe with all my heart that how we think about the world becomes how we experience the world. So I try to always look at the good in every situation, to smile at others so they'll pass it along to someone else, to stay optimistic.

Well, the queen is having an attitude meltdown and needs some help.

I have issues with food. Some people can’t handle alcohol; others can’t handle gambling. Some people turn to drugs for comfort, others run up their credit cards.

Me? I eat. Waaaay too much. Food becomes little green monster that rules my life.

This is not news. I've had this problem since I was a child. But what continues to surprise me, at the ripe old age of 51, is that I still abuse food - even though I know better. I know it never meets my needs; I know it causes my body tremendous harm. I know these things, yet I eat food that's bad for me, and way too much of it.

I have GERD - you know, that condition they call acid reflux? It gets worse as I gain weight and right now, it's the worst it's ever been because my weight is the highest it's ever been. I had a bad attack at 2:00 this morning, and as I sat here desperate to breathe without the burning, sipping baking soda water to neutralize the acid in my esophagus, I just kept thinking, "Why? Why do you do this? Why did you eat that big steak for dinner, knowing this could happen?"

I have spent my entire life as an overweight person. The only time I have been at a normal weight was when I lost 50 pounds with Weight Watchers a few years back. It took me two years to lose the weight (I had many lessons to learn!) and I kept it off successfully for a little over two years. Then I gained it all back within seven months, and gradually have put on another 15 pounds. I say this only to put things into context...

I know I can lose the weight. I did it once; I can do it again. But what's taken the place of my usual positive attitude in this instance is cynicism. There is a voice inside me that says, "Why bother trying: you're just going to gain it all back again."

Does that sound familiar to anyone?

I hit a wall at 2:00 this morning. It’s time to make changes back to the things that used to feel so good. I loved walking every day; I loved searching out new fruits and veggies to try. I loved watching my medications disappear one by one, as I got more and more healthy (the pill for GERD was the first to go.) And I loved having the energy to live the kind of life I enjoy. I do NOT want to make this journey about the number on the scale. I want it to be about vigor and health, about having the strength to embrace and experience life as I want to live it.

I am humbled once again by how hard this process is. When I lost those 50 pounds, I think I got cocky and felt that I’d never gain them back. Hell, I was an enthusiastic and insightful Weight Watcher leader: I had all the answers! I had done tremendous internal work about why I overate – I was cured!

But I’m not cured, and I never will be.

(sigh) The journey begins once again.

Until next time…


Katschi said...

Come here, let me give you a {hug}.
Who knows why this is our battle to wage but we must keep going out on the field & fight to win. (I'm feeling aggressive today!)
Perhaps this problem around food is hard-wired into some of our brains & it's just more difficult to overcome this addiction.
You'll succeed again, Pattie. You'll find your groove & ride it to the finish line.
Look at Cammie. She inspires me to not give up when I'm feeling like I can't do it. Or Lyn (Escape...)
or Manuela who's also come a long way.

Kathy said...

We are the Sisterhood of the Fat Pants, Pattie! lol
Seriously, I could have written your post and I know there are hundreds more of us who are thinking the exact same thoughts. I haven't been able to live without Prilosec since it came on the market...I went through lots of boxes of soda, bottles of Riopan, and was never without Tums or Rolaids in my mouth until that time. I always keep 6 to 8 weeks of it in the house since it came out over the counter because I live in fear that they will take it off the market or there will be a disaster and I won't be able to get it! And even with the Prilosec, I can end up choking half the night if I overeat or eat fatty things in the evening.
But I have such a love for food...good for me food and worse for me food both, and I do feel comforted and soothed when I eat. I can't deny that. It's a very complex problem. Like you, I don't want to be willowy...I just want to move about freely and do the things I want to do without my size being a deterrent. You are definitely not alone and I can tell that once you get past this feeling of crisis a certain peace will settle over you and you will begin again! Have faith and keep your good humor and positive attitude!

Rayann said...

Hey Pattie,

I just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you. I'm struggling also, and wish that I can get a handle on things. You're not alone in your thoughts. Food is so powerful, I wish that I can get a handle on things, and get back in ww like it use to be. I always keep you in my thoughts!
P.S. you still keep a smile on my face.

Becky said...

You need a hug today! I know you can get through this tough low time. As women, I think most of us can relate to this problem, have been there, or are there... It takes a tremendous lot of courage to decide to give one more try when you've failed at something. I know you have the courage and the brains - so just hang in there and keep blogging with us - we'll all get through it together! You have been so inspiring with all the wonderful things you do and are involved in. Just remember, at 2 in the morning things are usually looking their bleakest. Don't beat yourself up anymore and hang in there.

Deborah said...

You sound just like me. Like the other comments already here I could have written this post too.

I get such inspiration from your posts and your positive attitude. And sometimes we all get discouraged and off on another road for awhile. But I'm sure you can get back to the right path. Good luck.


Kelli said...

Sending ((((big hugs)))), Pattie. I have always struggled with food too and have lost/gained back large amounts of weight over and over again through the years. Hang in there and good for you for getting back on track!

Susie said...

Hi Pattie,
I'm just catching up after a few days away. Your positive attitude is always such a bright spot when I'm visiting blogs.
I hope that this post was just about a dark awful night and today looks cheerier and brighter.
A nice walk always makes me feel better (and I can't wait till I can start walking again!!)
Sending you big (((hugs)))

Ready Maid said...

Dear Sweet Pattie,
Six years ago, a policeman pulled me over and asked if I had been drinking. Then he looked at my husband and asked him, "Does she do this often?"

I was mortified.

Safely back at the house, I cried nearly all night - knowing I was at a crossroad and would have to make a decision about whether to continue drinking or to stop.

As daylight began to break, my precious husband walked into the bedroom, put his arms around my shoulders and looked me in the bloodshot eyes.

"Rebecca, sweetheart," he began, "you are the love of my life, but one thing I will not tolerate is being married to a drunk. You are such a unique expression of God's love, but when you drink, that spirit is masked by the spirit of alcohol, and that mask is so uncharacteristic of you. I want people to know Rebecca. I want to live with Rebecca."

My fear of making a NEW start at an alcohol-free life was born out of LOVE, not condemnation.

Precious Pattie, I release you from all condemnation and pour back into you the love you have so generously poured into others. You're right, this is a journey. And it's ALWAYS about now...never about what we shoulda, woulda, coulda done or what we might do tomorrow.

Today, you can begin again. And we'll all be here, cheering you on!

jillytacy said...

You know what I love about you? That even in the midst of a melt down or crisis you know just what to say & do. You recognize the problem and start to figure out how to work it out. I appreciate your honesty with yourself and others.
Losing weight stinks! I'm trying too so I commiserate with you. I'm trying to teach myself to think about it differently. Instead of thinking in terms of the foods I'm giving up and the treats I'm denying myself, I'm trying to think about it as giving myself the things I need to be healthier and feel better. Just the shift in attitude is helping me. Of course I've only been doing this for a week now so if I fall off the positive attitude wagon help me back on! You can do this and get the upper hand on this weight thing...attitude changes everything. And you have a great attitude!

Manuela said...


I already know that you are a positive generous soul. How many of us have been in the same boat? I think it's a love/hate relationship with food. We love how it tastes and quite often it gets the better of us.

You know what you need to do to get it done but it's all about losing the weight in your mind. That's where it starts and ends--a change to our mindsets.

I read Rebecca's comment which was awesome. Just know that you are a wonderful, positive person and you'll be able to transform those eating habits and keep with them!

All my best while you're going through this.

Hugs and kisses to you :)

Irish Mom said...

I think this is the same thing that unites most of us together. I don't drink, do drugs, smoke, or gamble... I eat. Its my release I guess.

{{{{{HUGS}}}}} to you, stay strong!! I'll be thinking of you!!

Felicia said...

I don't have the cure or the answer but I do have lots of *hugs* that are yours for the taking. I totally understand and like so many above me posted, NEVER give up! No matter how hard the journey is YOU ARE WORTH IT!


RunningNan said...

We are all here to love and support you. Take it step by step and day by day. You can do this for yourself. I'm here for a big hug too!

Needled Mom said...

Bear hugs, Pattie. Your posts are always so positive and such a delight to read, however, there are times when we all get down on ourselves. Don't be too discouraged because you know just how loved you are. You have a wonderful family and terrific friends who make you who you are -- not your weight.

A "for real" hug to follow this a.m.

Chubby Chick said...

I know how you feel, girl. Hang in there. We can... and WILL... do this! :)

dadivastreet said...

Let me give you a Big Hug too! There is little I can add to the awesome responses that you've received already. You have done it & you can do it again! Banish that little negative voice! We are here for you!

JC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC said...

Hey Pattie, I deleted my first comment, to many errors. I have a tendency to write like a talk, kinda of jumbled up. Anyway, if I could reach throught cyberspace and give you a hug I would. I consider myself as a cup half full kind of girl but I do have my moments.

As I read your post, I thought I could have written this minus the GERD part. Thank God, I haven't expericenced that. However, I have lost and gained the same 50 lbs more times than I care to remember. I'm on the downward side now but I'll soon go on vacation, which has been my motivation, and we will see what I do when I get back.

I'll tell you one thing that I am sure of, you are worthy of being healthy. Talk back to that voice that tells you it doesn't matter. You most certainly do matter!! You matter to me!! So, as long as we have breath in us, we have an opportunity to start over so do just that. Today, right now, start over. Everyone that you have met in Blogland is ready to lend you a page to cry, rant, rave or whatever on, a prayer of encouragement, and confidence that you and we will make it this time.

Be blessed my new found blog buddy. If you want a laugh, come over to my site and check out the last picture of today's post. JC

Ready Maid said... more thing, Pattie.

Ordinarily, I'm asleep in bed by 10 p.m.; occasionally, on the couch, by 9 p.m.

Last night, DH and I stayed up to watch a movie, after which we went to bed about 11. I fell asleep quickly enough, but at midnight, I woke up perky as if it were 6 a.m.

Strange as it felt, I chose to get up and work; but when I got to the computer, I checked in over at HYC first and read your post.

For me, there's no doubt now why I was awake at such an uncharacteristic hour.

WillBFineby2009 said...

Hi fellow 50 plus gal~ (I will be 50 in December) .I too have GERD but it is under control if I do this:less coffee,less chocolate,less peppermint,most all tomato products from salsa to ,spaghetti & pizza sauce.I take Pepcid AC from Costco before bed when needed

Cammy said...

Never before have I wished so much for A Magic Answer. Lacking one, I'll offer {{{hugs}}}

I think, though, that you may have found your own answer. It's not about the weight as much as it is about how you FEEL and how you DESERVE to feel. It feels good to take care of ourselves, and I sense you're ready to take care of YOU. You're a beautiful person just as you are now, but wouldn't it be great to be beautiful, healthy(-ier) and strong? You can do this, Miss Pattie. There is not a splinter of doubt in my mind!

tas said...

i'm sending prayer and positive thoughts your way. Rebecca hit the nail on the head. i can hear God saying... Pattie, sweetheart, you are the love of my life. i want you to enjoy the gifts i've given you in the way i intended. You were created in My image. Please don't listen to the lies and discouragement that keep you from living the life i've given you!
Keep the faith... as Cammy once said... something wonderful is going to happen!

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

Well bless your heart! We all have the right to a melt down once in a while.

I saw your smiling face on a comment left on another blog and was captivated! You face just made me happy. Had to stop by for a visit!

Wishing you the very best on your journey! You can do it.

Farmgirl blessings,

Sabine said...

Ugh! GERD is horrible. My esophagus was damaged due to taking bisphosphonates for a little while for my bones. It's better now (the GERD) but once in awhile I still have to take an acid controller when I get a flare-up. One good thing, for you, is that you have the power to control it. And yet, I know it's not that easy.

Pattie, you have to somehow *know* that it is possible to get the weight off and *keep* it off. There is such a great book on this called 'Thin for Life' by Anne M. Fletcher. She studied "the masters", people who lost a considerable amount of weight and kept it off. The media is often telling us that it's hopeless and that people always re-gain their weight (and then some) and in many, maybe most, cases that's true. But Anne Fletcher says this pessimistic view is somewhat unwarranted. I am 53 and have struggled with my weight since I was 15. This is the one book I go to again and again for inspiration.

Let me just add my (((hug))) to all this comment love, too!

Sheri said...

I concur 500% I too have the answers and knowledge and never seem to loose the weight, and I too after so much sour behavior have been sweetening the world I live in with perseverence, patience and a sharp eye for that self negativity that ensnares me and pulls me back into the vortex of weight gain and tainted self perception.

Glad you found your way back out!

Lora said...

Patti - it seems there are a LOT of us hitting the same roadblock lately. I've abandoned my "small plate" and have only run once in two weeks. Gheesh...and WHY are my clothes feeling tight?

We're all in this together and I'm rooting for you every step of the way!