Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Pink Elephant in the Room......

http://careersi.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/elephany.jpg

OR the post where I complain about my weight and the fact that I'm reaching the point where I am starting to feel better with myself and not worry so much about what I weigh.

Do you want to join the discussion or should we get rid of the elephant and move on to happier subjects?

I mean, we could, but I think it's something all women struggle with in some capacity and I for one blame society for this image that we need to be a certain size and look a certain way, if we don't fit the bill, then there's something wrong with us.

Before I got married I weighed 115 lbs, too thin I may add, but now a marriage, 2 children, dogs and deployments and moves and whatnot later......I'm at 140 lbs. I'm not scared or ashamed to say it, it's part of who I am.

Boy have I struggled with this issue for years, to the point where I started hating meal times because every single bite that went into my mouth made me cringe, made me start calculating the calories and pounds and if it would stick to my thighs or migrate to my behind. It became painful for me, it became almost like a prison, I couldn't enjoy food anymore and for someone who loves cooking and loves food, it's a sad way to be.

As the years have gone by, I've tried diets, I've tried exercising and I've tried to watch what I eat but that is all short term and temporary because once the weight dropped, it came back just as fast and brought some friends along.

So as I sat at the kitchen table yesterday eating dinner and clearly still hungry after my little portion, I eyed the remaining food and cursed myself for wanting to eat more and then it hit me....WHY?!?!?!

Why do I need to go hungry just because I think that I need to loose weight?

My husband is happy with the way I look, so are my kids, so why does it bother me that much?

And right then and there I made a decision, I made the choice to go in for seconds and to actually enjoy the food, to savor it, not just chew it fast and will the metabolism to start working right away.

This doesn't mean that I am going to overdo it or that I'm going to pig out, no, for me, it means that I will still try to eat healthy but I will no longer think of mealtimes as a horrible ordeal. I will sit down at the kitchen table and I will eat and not once think about how much, or how many calories or weight that bite is.

It was a wake up call for me when my 10 year old daughter turned to me the other day and said "I need to loose weight". This from a tiny little girl who weighs less than her 6 year old brother and when I asked her why in the world she would say that, her reply was that because the girls on tv always talk about being thin and she wants to be like them.

But it also hit me, it made me start thinking about what she may be watching me do or say, what will she remember years from now? Her memories of dinner time would probably be mommy eating a tiny portion of dinner and complaining the whole time that she needed to loose weight. Nope, I'm done doing that to myself and to my daughter.

Please don't think I'm saying this is how it should be for everyone, but if you've known me for a while and have been one of my long time readers, you know that I'm very honest and very open when I blog and I'm not scared to talk about things that others may not.

I have to say that just that little shift in my mind yesterday has made today seem brighter, I sat down for breakfast and drank my coffee, ate my bagel and smiled, feeling relieved and refreshed and like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders...how ironic is that?

If any of you have struggled with weight too or want to add anything to what I've said, feel free to do so. :)

29 comments:

Desia said...

You said it very well Sandra. I'm sure that ever since I started on the bandwagon of just wanting to loose 10-15 pounds-then everything will be fine- I actually GAINED about 50 pounds, in the last 10 years.
Your new attitude towards eating is something I will seriously consider for myself.

Tina Leigh said...

ARGGHHHH!!! I weighed between 115 & 120 when I married....thats all I have to say about that! My birth control pills were changed when I was about 25 & it has been a struggle with my weight every since. It was like it turned the FAT GENE on! I know that I feel better when I am around 150 but I just about have to starve. I am tall but just about strait waisted so if I gain it goes to my middle first. I am 164 now and miserable! It will be a battle for the rest of my life. I loose, then gain. Pink Elephant.....I feel like it!!! LOL.

FlowerLady said...

Great post. I weighed 118 when we married 40 years ago. Being on the pill added weight in the beginning, then later it was menopause and I haven't lost that weight yet. I have read that with menopause and the loss of hormones our bodies store fat for estrogen, or something like that. Not very comforting, but it's life. I don't snack, don't eat junk food, eat one helping. Aging gracefully isn't easy, but it's what I'm trying to do. I am who I am.

FlowerLady

Amy said...

Yep!! I am saying no more pink elephant's in my life either!

No more!

I want to choose freedom everyday, living my life with purpose and a zest for every moment, and not letting food control me anymore. No more! For me, I was feeling way too depressed and was on a huge sugar, shame, depression, sugar hamster wheel, and I had to get off. It had robbed me of waaaaay too much joy, and I say no more.
I want to be a healthy woman, inside and out. To be a example of that for my kids. So for me, I am choosing freedom... freedom to choose the right foods, and to fill myself until I am satisfied, freedom to move and get this body going daily, and to NOT obsess about food all the time.

I am 60 lbs. overweight, and for the past 2 years, God and I have been on a journey of getting to the "why" I eat issues.... I have lost 60lbs. and gained it back more times then I want to even say. It was much more then a dieting issue...which I think if we as women asked ourselves, "Why we ate what we do", I think there would be more freedom to choose not to.

I am just now able to actually start walking out the practical, and it feels great! I don't want cancer, diabetes, heart disease... I have had too many friends diagnosed this year, and being 40 or more lbs. increases your chances by 50%. I say NO to cancer! I say NO to diabetes! I say NO to heart disease! No thankyou! I want health and freedom!

Good for you! No more pink elephants! no more! :O)

Brandislee said...

It's a wonderful realization, but you just have to be careful and not swing too far in the other direction. I think a good balance is to eat healthy and everything in moderation (except for veggies- pig out on those veggies!), and to stay active, then just not think about it. I could care less what society says about how I should look, but I don't FEEL good... I don't feel good about myself, I don't feel healthy. So I'm working on it without it becoming a starvation to get super skinny kind of thing. Good luck!

PS I can't remember the last time I was 140. I would LOVE to be 140.

Mike Golch said...

Sandra,Both Celesting and I are trying to loose weight,via the portion control method.we are mamanging to do that.I have lost a total of 20 lbs than put 5 back on again.(darn yo-yo)Celestine has mananged to lose 30 lbs.we both have a ways to go yet.

Wendi said...

Great post! I was 125 lbs when I married at age 30. Due to fertility treatments and all the stress that comes with that I have picked up lots of weight. I know that I need to lose some. Not to fit an image, but to be healthy for me and my family.

It is a shame that we live in a society that is so obsessed with weight. If someone in the spotlight picks up a few pounds that is all that the media can talk about. No wonder your sweet girl is thinking about weight.

Your honesty is one of the things I love about your blog.

Cheri said...

What a great post. You look great- and I love that you are doing this not only for you but for Jasmine's sake too.
I think almost everyone woman goes through this- lets face it- having kids does a number on your body and so does getting older.
I've lost it and gained it and then some more than I'd like to remember.
I'd love to be 140 again!~!

Renee said...

Sandra - kuddos to you for tackling such a big issue and thank you for being so honest about it. You look wonderful right now! Congrats for taking these steps for yourself, Jasmine and all of your family! Way to go!

Nicole said...

Yup, I am at least 25 lbs overweight and hate it! I cant get motivated to work out by myself I don't know what my problem is. I struggle with my weight each and every day. I feel that I am pretty healthy and have been seriously cutting back on the sweets but it doesn't seem to matter. :(

Elizabeth said...

Hi Dear Sandra,
I can relate to your dd. When I was growing up my mom qbessed about weight all the time. She went from one diet to another . Then from one gym to another. She was never happy with her weight. Her closet was full of clothes from very small to very large. It made a hugh impact on me. I developed an eating disorder which I still stuggle with to this day.The times she was on the heavy side my dad would say things to me when I ate like watch out or you are going to get fat like your mom. Which now I see what so cruel to my mom and I both.What I was taught in therphy was to be happy with how God made us. I am here to tell you that you are not over weight. I think you look good.
Enjoy eating all the wonderful foods you cook.
Hugs,
Elizabeth

Heart2Heart said...

Sandra,

You will have to stop by my blog and see just how we were on the same mental train today.

I too agree with you, that we seriously need to stop beating ourselves up. Our kids don't see us the way we see ourselves and last year I made a huge mistake when I was reading nutritional labels because soon my then 9 year old was reading them along with me, looking for low fat, low sugar, low sodium alternatives.

How much fun is there in that?

I am content and happy with my overall health at this moment and my weight is simply a number on a scale.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Bonnie said...

Ok ... this post totally hits home with me. I'm re-reading a book that I read not too long ago. You should see if you can get it from your library. It's called French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. It's a wonderful read. And it talks just about what you are talking about. Slowing down. Savoring each bite. She actually says you get the most pleasure out of the first few bites. It's interesting. It's not a fad diet ... or even a diet book. It is very inspirational to me though ...

jolene webb said...

It is so refreshing to hear someone else describe my exact feelings. I have struggled with my weight for years. I am the smallest I have ever been right now after 6 years of marriage and 2 children, but I feel the worst. I dont enjoy ANYTHING I eat. I am constantly weighing options in my head trying to figure which has less calories or carbs or whatever. I see other women who are a bit bigger than me but are very happy and confident with who they are and how they look and I really do envy that. Im going to try hard to remember the things you said about eating and do the same. I will keep all of you ladies in my prayers:O)

Jolene

fields of kudzu said...

I think that nearly all women in some form battle insecurities over weight. I have two toddlers with a third child on the way and am trying to be acutely conscious of the fact that what I say - and how my attitudes go - directly affects their views of themselves and others. If I can teach my children to enjoy healthy food in moderation and to exercise without giving them specific dimensions that they feel trapped by, I will feel that I have accomplished something.

The Bookworm said...

Very wise! And in my book 140lbs is positively skinny ;). My mother was constantly dieting and yo-yo-ing with weight when I was a child. Fortunately it never rubbed off on me and I can honestly say that I don't have any issues with food. I admit to sometimes eating too much of it, and I am a bit overweight (170lbs, when I would like to be 150), but I truly enjoy my food! Being thinner would simply not be worth the loss of pleasure in eating for me. Fortunately I don't put weight on easily, as I only weigh about 4lbs more than I did when I became pregnant with my eldest dd 15 years ago.

Enjoy those larger portions! Eat moderately and with pleasure, exercise regularly (my downfall!), and you will be fine. People are not meant to be stick thin :)

...they call me mommy... said...

Thank you for sharing, Sandra!!! I constantly battle with my weight...during pregnancy I seem to really pack it on no matter what I do...and then I try to lose it after! Considering I've had 5 pregnancies in the last 6 1/2 years or so that has been tough!
Like you, though I've come to a place where it doesn't consume me. I just start afresh with healthy eating, portion sizes, & exercise...in fact, I am beginning on August 1st!!
Congrats on chucking that elephant out of your home!! HEEHEE!
Again, thanks for sharing and pray for all us ladies who do have a bit to lose! :)

lara said...

I'm currently working on losing weight. I'm almost done with the most amazing program called ChaLEAN Extreme. It's a 90 day program and the food part is awesome. You execrise five days a week and eat a lean and well balanced diet. You don't stave yourself on this program and you will build a ton of muscle. GOod luck.

Sarah said...

your honesty is refreshing sandra! my hubby and i are working on not just losing weight, but getting healthy- not weighing ourselves-because that number will drive me crazy. we have both been going to the gym 4-6 times w/ prayer and encouragement from/for each other :) we have a ways to go, but i love food and cooking too-

brightarethestars said...

I've never really worried about my weight, but then again I've always been a runner. It's interesting if you are in to vintage clothing though because women were bigger "back in the day." A size 2 (whatever that means) from the 30s or 40s is probably the equivalent of about an 8 today. Weight aside I don't know why they can't make women's clothing like men's and make the size an actual inch measurement rather than a random number.

Jena said...

Bravo!!!!!!!!!

Susanne said...

All I'm going to say is I wish I weighed a 140lbs. I think it's all relative. I went to the gym for 4 years and didn't drop a pound. But I looked way better because I was more toned and healthy looking and I felt more fit. Clothes sat differently on my frame and I carried myself "taller". Now I'm back to square one with that after a few years off the gym. But this summer hubby and I are going for a healthier lifestyle. More activity. Less sitting around.

gail@more than a song said...

Something we all struggle with! I had to watch myself when my girls were younger b/c they would say the same thing but were skinny to start with. I try to walk and be active and watch what I eat but it's hard.

It sounds like y'all had a fun vacation!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

I try not to obsess about my weight, as long as I'm comfortable and feeling good...that said, it is something I've struggled with from time to time. Since my daughter was born it's something I've thought about quite a bit - from the standpoint of trying to set a good example of being healthy and having a good relationship with weight, food, physical activity. Though she's only 2 at this point, it's something that I think I need to practice so that when she does get older I'm prepared to be a good role model.

I heard a teen girl make a comment about her weight the other day - she was so skinny and yet was complaining about her thighs. On the one hand, I wanted to say, "honey, your 30 year old self would die for those thighs!" and on the other hand I thought it was sad she was so critical of herself already.

Annette said...

Thank you so much for this inspiring post! I am the product of a food-obsessed, calorie-obsessed, diet-obsessed mother. My mother is 76 years old and still trying to get smaller. My sister and I joke and say she is trying to get back to her birth weight! On a serious note, it has negatively affected both me and my sister and at age 45 I still struggle with it. Sometimes I think I overeat to get back at my mother. Oh well..that's a story in itself...but I praise you for thinking of your daughter!

Jillian, Inc said...

I was never overweight until I delivered my sweet baby boy at *alomst* age 40 and gained 50 pounds while pregnant. I lost all but about 10#, and then gained some more back because instead of working out and being active, my hobby became eating and staying at home with my new baby. Finally, I spent about 2 weeks reserching all of the diet theories, what works for who (vegetarian, Zone, Atkins, etc) and also chemsity and physiology of how the body/cells/metabolism actually work, and I came up with my current eating style. During the week I eat fruit + oatmeal for breakfast, a salad with chicken or tuna for lunch and a protein with veggies for dinner. On the weekend....anything goes. Sometimes once during the week I'll eat anything, too (like tonight I am having Mexican). I avoid too much caffiene (google it's affect on insulin>body fat storage) and too much alcoholo or artifical sweetener. I easily maintain 135# and I am 5'10" tall and almost 42 years old. I grew up with a mom who was always dieting (and usually always a little to a lot overweight) and I went the opposite way and was usually very, very thin and so self conscious about food and body image. I feel for you, and all your commentors. It is so hard and you are right - society gives us a hard road to trudge.

Lorie said...

Kudos to you Sandra!! I have felt the same way for a long time. When I hit my late 30's the weight really started packing on. I got up to 160 and then I decided to do something because I really love food and don't want to give that up. I started kickboxing 6 weeks ago and go about 3 times a week. I love it and I have toned up. I feel better about myself but the main thing is I can still eat!!

Donnetta said...

Good for you!! I am also coming to a healthier understanding of my eating, weight, etc. Still working on it but getting there.

I have about 25 extra pounds that I would really like to be rid of if I could...

Conny said...

Good for you! I've hit that point a while back too ... I'm just going to work on being HEALTHY - not so much on being THIN. My mom is still thin at age 63 - sadly, I take after my dad (sigh). It is hard to have a mom that is smaller than you are - so I'm determined to NOT do that to my own daughter - LOL!! :)