Friday, March 7, 2014

The post about a heart to heart with an old friend and a shit day

I wasn't actually planning on posting again until after my long run on Sunday, but I had brunch with a childhood friend today. We talked about all kinds of stuff and of course we got to the topic of the moment. My self esteem. She told me in a very loving way, that I have changed over the past year or so. She said that I have become preoccupied with my looks. She is bang on. I have become preoccupied with my looks. She mentioned that previously I never put too much effort or worry into the way I looked. And that is true. I was morbidly obese and didn't really care too much. I wore whatever I could fit into and was comfortable to wear. Was I physically comfortable? Nope. But I was emotionally comfortable because it was all I knew. She said that it seems as though I am not comfortable in my new body and that brought tears to my eyes. That is without a doubt 100% true. I was more emotionally comfortable being morbidly obese.

She has never had an issue with her weight, so she admitted that she didn't know what I was going through right now. When I explained how I can't feel good about myself regardless of what other people see, I could tell that was really hard for her to grasp. I gave some examples.  If I'm in a crowded room and there are rows of chairs set up and an empty lone chair in the middle of a row, I'd rather stand for 2 hours than sit in that chair. The reason being? Because I wouldn't want to embarrass myself when I can't fit. Even though I would fit. When people look at me on the street, both men and women, the first thought that goes through my head is that they're judging me because of my weight. They could like what I'm wearing, or just being friendly, but I always think negatively. And then there's the comparing myself to others that I'm standing beside. I did it again today on the mirrored elevator at work. I was standing beside a petite woman and I looked huge beside her.

Although I have been on an upswing the past few days, today was not a good day for me. I felt insecure and self conscious all day. I felt exposed, anxious, and large. Very large. My mood sucked. It was sunny and 3C. It was a beautiful, almost spring day. And I felt like shit inside. I have been neglecting my homework from my therapist big time. I haven't taken my picture and "liked" stuff about myself since I did it for the first time on Wednesday. And thanks to everyone who left me nice comments on my blog, Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate you:) Perhaps I need to start posting on my social media outlets again and do my picture exercise to keep myself accountable. If I know no one is going to see it, I won't do it. But if I have to post it, I'll be more likely to complete my "homework". My therapist eventually wants me to videotape myself. Yikes! That's going to be difficult to stomach. I've been on video, but never where I'm just sitting and talking into a camera. I'm anxious just thinking about it.

I know that this new journey of mine is going to take time. I can't expect miracles to happen overnight. I have to be patient and trust the process. On a positive note, I took melatonin last night and was asleep by 10pm. Although I woke at 4:30am, I got 6.5 hours of UNINTERRUPTED sleep and did not feel groggy when I woke up today. That is huge for me. And I dreamt. I know I dream every night, but I haven't remembered a dream for months and months and months. Likely because I'm not sleeping deeply enough. So tomorrow I'm going to start on a more positive note. I'm going to get my picture taken and gush about myself. Maybe "gush" is too much. I'll like no less than three things about myself.

I will do my homework assignment today with an older picture. Check out that comparison photo below. On the left, I weighed about 185 (which I maintained for weeks, maybe two or three before gaining about a 115 pounds again), and was a couple weeks shy of my 30th birthday. My hair was coloured, my nails were too long, I wore too much make up, my eyebrows were over plucked and I was a smoker. I gave up smoking the winter of 2000. That is what I looked like when my hubby and I first got together. The picture on the right was taken a couple of months ago. I will say that I think I look better now than I did when I was 29. I don't colour my hair, and other than mascara and lip balm, I am not wearing any make up. And I look happy. See? I'm not all negative. I can see positives in myself.


The 14  year difference. 

Today I feel a bit defeated.  Not just with my self esteem, but with my confidence in everything. I was at work till 7pm doing something that should have only taken me a few hours. I should have been done no later than 5pm. But there I was with the cleaning crew working way past quitting time. On a Friday night no less! I know that I am the only one who can change things. I have wonderful, supportive people. Both in my real life and in the virtual world. You all rock! Tomorrow is a new day, and I'm wiping the slate clean. The only downer about this being the weekend? I have paper work I'm still catching up on. So I'm working. But I know I'll feel lighter once I get caught up. I'm on a role! I turned that negative into a positive! Enjoy you're weekend.

14 comments:

  1. I think those of us who have been or are obese have used fat as a protective barrier so we don't have to feel things ... I am focusing on letting myself feel more and expressing myself more (as in not being afraid to speak up as I tend to avoid conflict and it's easier not to disagree with someone). It's an ongoing battle that I suspect will continue when I reach goal, but that's part of life. I do hope you beat your demons, and I send warm hugs and best wishes your way.

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  2. I have read about people overcoming what you are going through by serving others. It took their minds off of themselves and their own problems when they put themselves in a situation of giving to others without expecting anything in return. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen as your schedule allowed (it would even be a good experience for your son) or volunteer at a hospital occasionally. If you can find the time to do this I think your world would open up to all the many things that we all can make better by helping others who are less fortunate. I know it helps me to get my mind on something besides me.

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  3. DIM Does It Matter. I am very much in the same place as you are about the depression and anxiety and self esteem. I have been reading your blogs for some time now and know that you have several major accomplishments, all of which you should be very proud of. To lose all that weight HUGE. To start your running program and stay with it through a very rough winter, HUGE. You have a family which you look after and a job which you feel very compelled to be good at, Huge. You had your problem with your ankle (broken?) and you got past that. None of these things are easy but YOU have done all this and more. "YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF YOURSELF" Does it matter what other people think when you know what you have done. Try and keep up the good work. You are a good strong person with nothing to be ashamed of. If others have a problem remember it is their problem not yours. Good Luck with improving the self esteem.I will be looking for your next posting.

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  4. I have read your blog faithfully for some time now but will no longer. Your friend us right, you've become a vain "look at me, look at me" individual. "Do I look good? Do I need bangs this way or that way? I'm getting looked up and down by the Tm Hortons clerk young enough to be my son...." OMG good thing you are finally in therapy. Yes, EVERYONE has issues but for goodness sake, get over yourself. You have a son who probably could use you more than you wasting your time looking in a mirror and taking selfies in public bathrooms. Good luck with everything, you definately are going to need it. Instead of having the "poor me" attitude take charge of your life and use your strength to focus on all you do have, which is more than most in this world. Having llove and family is a blessing, figuring out hair, makeup, a French manicure and which angle to take the most flattering selfie is downright sad and enough reason to get yourself into therapy. Kudos on that.

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    1. I think it is a good thing that you won't be reading this blog. You are more concerned about what bothers YOU or what YOU don't like or what YOU don't think is acceptable. Leigh probably put this up so people could find out what kind of a person YOU are. Someone is suffering and struggling, bares here soul on her blog and it doesn't suit YOU. Why didn't you send her a private email? YOU wanted everyone to read about what YOU thought. I imagine YOU are the one who wrote a similar slam on Marion Shaw's blog. It burns me when people like YOU don't just stop reading/following those YOU disagree with. Are we supposed to blog about other people? No. We blog about our struggles and challenges among a circle of friends who support and encourage. YOU evidently have no struggles of your own with which YOU need to be able to talk about in a safe environment. Just because someone else's struggles are different from your own does not mean those struggles are not important. How sad for YOU that this is what is in your heart.

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  5. Leigh, I think you look younger in your current photo than 14 years ago. My health coach told me to take lots of photos of myself and look at myself often to help manage the transition from 40 years of obese me to connect with the normal weight me.

    Your mind will catch up. Glad you are doing the work that it takes so that your mind/body connection can make that essential transformation needed. Hugs. Cheers for good friends and the courage and wisdom to deal with things. Keep going.

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  6. I am so angry at the way Anonymous has posted. I hope you are able to handle it. I remember at Weight Watchers many, many years ago that one of the women reached her goal weight after losing an amount such as you have done. The people in the class threw her a party and she couldn't handle it. She went right out and gained it all back. The attention was more than she could handle. I do not want someone like Anonymous to be the catalyst for something like this in your life. I know how fragile the emotions are and the devastating havoc that can be caused when we are insecure and the attention becomes too much. Keep your success in spite of all the Anonymous types in the world. Don't let them win with their hard-hearted words. This victory is yours and you did it in spite of many things like running in cold weather and broken bones. The self-esteem is just another battle and you can win that one too.

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  7. Leigh, I'm just so so sorry you are struggling through this. My younger daughter had dysmorphia that resulted in bulemia during her teens...therapy helped her greatly, and pretty quickly, too. She still thinks she's too big at a size 2, but she lives a very productive, full life, and shows no outward signs anymore of a real struggle.

    I wish there was something I could say or do...a magical wand to wave over you to get you to realize and ACCEPT what an amazing woman you are, inside and out!

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  8. wow...I just read the comments above. I am disgusted by the gutless wonder that is 'Anonymous.' Leigh, I suggest you make your blog restricted to those who have to put a name to their words. Block the anonymii. They deserve NOTHING. :: hugs ::

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  9. Leigh, I never comment but felt compelled to today. You are such an inspiration to me and obviously so many others. Do you know that slogan some people say WWJD? :-) well, this is kind of silly but as I work through my own weight loss and struggles, I often (when especially faced with food and exercise choices) think WWLD...What Would Leigh Do. lol Anyway, all that to say, while I know that the comment from the person above (who is "no longer reading your blog" but we all know they will be devouring it every time you post) probably cut you to the heart, I hope that you will see and recognize that the majority of us who do read your blog..gain so much insight. Some how you've managed to turn back time and instead of growing older, you seem to be growing younger. And I truly believe that if you continue to get the therapy that you need and want that you soon your insides will match your beautiful outside. Best of luck and I'll keep reading and plugging away as always.
    ~Faith~

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  10. You look great now, but I think you are being too hard on the 29 year old you. I like that picture too. Keep doing that homework, it'll work, I think it already is.

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  11. I don't really know if this is appropriate or not but when I read this blog, I thought about this other blog I follow. She is having a 28 day love your body challenge. It may be worth checking out. Don't feel like you need to "approve" my post for display. I just wanted to share this with you and had no idea how to do it.

    http://mollygalbraith.com/2014/03/im-baaaaaack/

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  12. OK, here's my two cents. I have noticed with many women who lose a huge amount of weight that they seem to go through the "all the men are looking at me now" stage. Some love it and some can't handle it and gain the weight back. It doesn't matter at all what strange men think of you, personally I get furious with somebody who flirted with me when I was slim and then acted like I didn't exist when I gained weight. That's men, they are visual, but it still kind of sucks. You have a husband, I have a husband, all these strange men mean nothing in the long run. The only thing that matters is how YOU feel about yourself. You improved your health 100%. I hope your therapy gets to the bottom of why you don't feel "worthy" somehow. I still think a trip somewhere warm would cheer you up.

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  13. Were you ever REALLY comfortable when you were morbidly obese or was the shield of obesity an excuse you used to hide yourself away. I too was morbidly obese many times in my life and have like you done the yoyo thing over and over. Whether I am obese or not I never hid away. Would never not take a seat because I might not fit. I had a bit of that I know who I am and I don't care what you think of me. In my youth I spent too much time worrying about the smallest slight or comment from peers and casual acquaintances. It took 40+ years to come to that realisation and get over worrying about what others thought of me.

    Maybe too much praise can be a negative. I know the compliments I receive are now far and few between and I sort of like that people now accept that I have lost of ton of weight see me in my new form. I know inside this shell the same person continues to live with the same worries, hopes, dreams and desires I had when I was obese.

    I have followed you now for quite awhile and I know you say you started this journey for your son and your husband but I hope you started this journey for yourself as well.

    You are a beautiful person. I am not referring to your physical form. I refer to your soul. Your son and husband obviously love you no matter what physical form you take. In my world the love of your partner and children are the only loves you should care to have. Everything else is superficial.

    Keep up the hard work. I hope you find peace again soon.

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