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.