Sunday, January 27, 2008

How I Lost 50 Pounds (& Became the Bomb)

I really got my "Hello Kitty" panties in a bunch when I wrote "A Clarification and A Shout Out of Love" about this not being a dieting blog. BECAUSE IT ISN'T. Because there are a million of those. Because I want THIS to be more SPECIAL than THAT.

But there is another reason, too. It's because, in the past when I have become OBSESSED with DIETS and dieting and measuring and points and fat grams and carbs and carrots and corn have SO MUCH SUGAR!, I AM NOT REALLY LIVING. I always thought that being CO-DEPENDENT meant you had to be co-dependent on a person.

Then I heard this.

A friend said that being co-dependent means using someone (or something) else's chaos or dysfunction or depression, as a WAY TO NUMB YOURSELF. You totally concentrate on this other person or thing AS A WAY TO NOT DEAL with your OWN LIFE and FEELINGS.

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

That's been me & dieting. I'm one of those people who gives up EVERYTHING so I can GIVE it to SOMETHING else... I'm co-dependent... on dieting. The more I IMMERSE myself in it, the more I get to put off living my life because I'M TOTALLY & ONLY DEVOTED TO IT. I am worshipping at the alter of Lean Cuisine!

So that's why this isn't a dieting blog. Because that is not A COOL WAY TO LIVE. I don't want to ignore my life.


When I wrote "You Are Not Alone," I got an avalanche of comments from people saying that are sick and tired of extra weight they are carrying and they have shame or pain over it. AND IF IT'S ANYTHING I HATE IT'S WHEN PEOPLE FEEL SHAME & PAIN.

So I want to tell you how five years ago, I lost fifty pounds. I was overweight. I was OVER myself. I had just emerged from a job I hated and saw becoming a sitcom writer as a DREAM and a WAY TO LIVE MY DREAM LIFE. All the things I ignored while I had worked my previously HORRIFIC JOB, I wanted back - self-love, time to take care of myself, meeting boys, looking cute in jeans, no neck fat.

Yes, I did some dieting. I switched cereal for egg whites and turkey bacon and added fruit. I threw the bread off my sandwich at lunch and added a double salad, double broccoli (my office Nickname) or double anything green. I stopped eating after 7pm and cut way back on booze and sugar. And yes, I moved, I ran, I ellipical-ed, I biked, I jumped and jacked.

But that was 30% of the work. THE OTHER STEP I TOOK WAS LIFE CHANGING.

I kept a journal.

99 cents saved my life. Every doubt I had about my new job, I wrote about. Every fight with a sister, parent, boyfriend, co-worker, Starbucks barista, idiot who changed lanes without using his turn signal, I wrote about. Every fear about where my life was going and with who, I wrote about.

I NEVER PUSHED DOWN ONE MORE FEELING. I never had an emotion "eating" at me. I got to stay present, focused and could look back on good days when I was having bad days and smile, "Look how far I've come!" Instead of numbing out with food, I pushed through the hard stuff and put it on paper.

EVERY DAY, I felt more fearless, strong, in control, FIERCE, motivated and truly, amazing.


The second I stopped... the weight came back on. It was after my cousin died and the pages were too painful to face. I didn't want to cry or be sad or to be angry. I DID NOT WANT TO FEEL ANYTHING. If I didn't write it down, it could not be happening.

Only it was happening. So I numbed it with sleeping, inactivity, Cheetos, Doritos and the occasional (everyday) donut. Soon it was five pounds that came on, then ten, then twenty, then more and more and more.

I was stubborn though, I WOULD NOT WRITE AND I WOULD NOT FEEL.

So I am saying to you "You Are Not Aloners" who REALLY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE - get a journal. It's not about making your diet better, IT'S ABOUT MAKING YOUR LIFE BETTER. It's about seeing your fears on paper and then realizing, they don't have so much power anymore. It's about making a list of goals and then keep going back to them until you accomplish them.

IT'S ABOUT not getting so lost in this HURRY UP world, because if you write it down, YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU WANT & HOW TO GET THERE.

You will be amazed by how something that takes 10 or fifteen minutes EVERY FEW DAYS will GIVE BACK TO YOU 100 fold. I'm going back, more committed than ever, to the pen and the page. Not just to get back to size 8 jeans (though I CANNOT WAIT!!!) but so I never lose myself again.


Anonymous said...

I am so with you on the journal thing. Honestly and truly. I have been journaling since I could remember - back to the Dear Diary days. I found that when I journal, I get out all those awful thoughts that motivate me to consume massive amounts of oreos and ice cream after midnight when I can't sleep. Now a mother of four, I still journal so I can look back and see my thoughts, fears, and emotions from last week, last month and last year. It keeps me in touch with how strong I have become and keeps me focused on what I want to do. I encourage all of my daughters to journal as well, so they can keep their feelings in check. Besides working out, it's the best stress buster I have been able to utilize through every part of my life. Kudos to you for suggesting it! Many thanks! Muah!

cl-pooh1972 said...

Do blogs count as journals? Because there are days when my hands just cannot hold a pen.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have become codependent, I use your blog to escape from my life. Can you give me some advice on the types of things you kept in your journal. I have kept food journals, but I think what you are describing is more than that. I have a re-occuring dream that I have buried bodies in my backyard and someone is going to find them. I think I have never journaled because my thoughts are the bodies, someone will know how I feel and use it against me (I had a really mean stepmother, if I trusted her for a second with anything private she pounced and used it to hurt me.)I know you probably think I am really crazy but the reason I can tell you that is that you are 3000 miles away and you don't really even know me. I know in one part of your blog you said you are watching me, it made me kinda paronoid, by the way all that animated porn is my son's and if you see anything really disturbing let me know so I can thoroughly punish him.

wickedzil said...

I could not agree more with you! Writing has unquestionably saved me from repressing all my worries and insecurities, large and small. I definitely recommend it.

thesleepycat said...

I love writing. It scares me to death, but I love it. Everything you wrote is SO TRUE and an excellent reminder and flick of the wrist to get scribbling!! :P lol

just one thing, tho - what happened to Cooper the Exploding Dog??? that was sooo hilarious!!!!!!

i would type more in this comment but I got up especially early to WORK OUT, so I better go do that and not flake out :P It's been the first time in awhile!!! Reading your blog has definitely given me inspiration to live a happier/better life. you rock!!!!!!!!


adventure grrl said...

You're a rockin' Mom because in my house, we were never encouraged to FEEL anything. Good on you.

CL-Pooh, Blogs don't count. My journal is like the mental rantings of a lunatic. My blog is an edited and more thought out version of it, as to not scare any one away. Trust me on this, a journal is needed - do it once a week.

thesleepycat - I love that you loved that story about Cooper the Exploding Dog. FYI, he is still exploding (on the mattress, the culprit, a bite of an apple.) But I just wrote that for fun and with so many new visitors, I really want to keep focused on depression and pulling yourself out of it and being SEVEN kinds of FIERCE while doing it.

Two Date Diva said...

Wow, great post! I never thought about becoming co-dependent to your own struggles. I guess you could say that I have been co-dependent to dating at times as well as the men that I dated. Damn what an insight.

happycamper65 said...

This really hit a nerve with me. I am so writing Oprah, she needs to do a show about this. Women give away such a huge part of their lives and happiness to dieting. Thanks for telling it like it is.