Thursday, November 19, 2009


I'm feeling much better today, in all the realms that were running on empty about which I wrote on my last post. I had a great food day yesterday, a good venting of negative mind murk via the blog, and many kind, friendly and supportive comments to said post. My head feels blessedly clear and calm and I'm renewed with motivation, energy and anticipation of continuing this journey to improved body, mind and spirit. My weight was 192 this morning, same as when I returned from the DR last week. I'm satisfied, as it was bouncing up as high 196 after the binge-y weekend. This is the lowest I've weighed in about 22 years, and after beaching myself in the mid to high 190's for several months, I'm at last sensing a readiness to venture into lower territory. More on that in a moment.

This morning, I didn't do my usual routine of getting up by 5 and out of the house by 6:20, entirely ready for work, to go to an awesome daily 7 a.m. AA meeting that is a regular haunt of mine. I decided to stay home, have a slower paced awakening, and putter around the house with husband and dog before work. It was so therapeutic and afforded me an extra 2 hours of space. I definitely tend to be an activity junkie, flitting from one thing to the next over the hours of the day. This is yet another way I avoid stumbling into the surprise of stillness in which my thoughts and feelings become much more available and apparent to me in the present moment. Like drinking used to be. And eating for other than nourishment has always been. I don't want that avoidance of self anymore. But old habits (and addictions) die hard.

Back to my spacious morning...with no plan, I walked into my closet after breakfast and started removing items that no longer fit. Pants that now look like clown pants that I've been reticent to take to Goodwill, "in case". Tops that are sacky looking. Things I haven't worn because they make me look heavier than I am. At the end of 20 minutes, I had a large Macy's bag stuffed with "escape hatch" clothes that no longer make the cut to be in my closet. In my past efforts at weight loss, I dared not recycle the inventory because I knew I'd need to have them when the inevitable weight gain that followed every loss attempt happened.

Not this time. I'm not going back. If I never lose another ounce, I'm not going back. I'm in this for the duration, and not only am I not going to do the scale creep up again, I'm going to continue on the downhill path. And this is where my thoughts are today.

A blog friend commented to me via email recently that it seemed a real change was occurring in my psyche regarding readiness to venture into the unknown of a new self image and identity that doesn't include Leslie as a fat woman. (I expanded on what she noticed in my posts following the DR trip.) She's right. On the surface it's a no brainer that Fat Girl Wants To Be Thinner. But all the emotional, mental and life-issues baggage that have accumulated over a lifetime and dwell within complicate the picture. Yes, I have wanted to lose weight. And yes, at a very deep level I've known that there were significant emotional obstacles to be met and negotiated before the weight was really going to stop serving me in some way.

I've abused food since I was able to go to the corner store at age 6. I would have a quarter, which afforded me the capacity to buy 5 separate candy items (like a Hershey bar, Reese's Cup, snickers, gumdrops and maybe a pack of lifesavers) and on the walk home, I'd eat every bite of every piece I'd bought. And these were full size candy bars/packs that in 1960 cost 5 cents a piece! The friends I "shopped" with never ate more than one of their stash, if even a whole unit. Being an active kid, the weight didn't get to be a problem for a long time - even through nursing school and beyond. But my eating capacity was legendary from my earliest days. Once at a family-style mountain restaurant in Dahlonega, Georgia, a man sitting next to me commented, "You shore do eat a lot for such a little thang!" Yup.

Drinking came along during nursing school that further enabled me to keep life baggage and feelings of not fitting into the universe at bay. A life strategy of stuffing my essence before it reached up and pulled me under. Marriage, kids, busy life, nursing in the fast line spent frantically avoiding pitfalls within my soul that I didn't understand were even there.

At age 38, I started going to AA and ultimately got sober, and that has very slo-o-o-o-w-ly set me on the path of heading toward the light, rather than away from it. Where I am today is a direct result of beginning the sober journey and finally growing up and daring to face myself. At a glacial pace, but always with progress. Putting down booze was a cakewalk compared to ending my eating disordered patterns, and stopping drinking was HARD. In AA, they say that the only "thing" you have to change is "everything". Long, slow, hard, endlessly rewarding. Layers upon layers slough away with the sanding tools provided by the 12 steps of the AA program and other suggestions of the program that surface over time.

So it's been with the eating, and obviously still is for me a lot of the time. But I'm feeling a major growth spurt underway, an emotional seismic shift that assures me that who I am today will not be lost if I lose some of the physical armour I've been hiding in. I will be able to live into whatever comes up for my perusal about the state of my personal union using the many resources available to me in all areas of my life.

I've been thin and clueless - totally unevolved and unaware.
I've been thin and drunk and all the above.
I've been fat, and all of the above
I've gotten sober and begun evolving into my truest best self - fat
I have been given an amazing rich full life - fat.
I've NEVER been a together adult with an amazing life at a healthy and fit weight.

I'm ready, and believe it's time. For me, this is first and foremost a spiritual journey, and essentially a headgame. I'm here for the long haul. And I'm tickled pink about it.


  1. Well, I have it on good authority that fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    Sounds like you've really taken hold of the reins of your life and are in firm control. That's the way it oughta be...

  2. Hi Leslie. LOL at Jack's comment!

    This post is really great because it shows so much progress in the place that matters most - in your head. Sounds like a sea-change in how you see your self and your life. Lots of perspective on how you have dealt with things in the past. And excitement at how things can be different in the future.

    Congrats on allowing yourself to really be you!

    Great to be back to your post DR weight as well.

    Hope today is a good day,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. That jump into unchartered territory is scary. I was almost down to my high school weight (which was still just over 200lbs) years ago and I started to freak out because I thought I didn't know who I was if I wasn't Fat. I still worry about it... What will happen when I'm less than what I weighed when my husband met me? Will anything change? The reality is probably not with the people who already love me for who I am. I marvel at your achievements, not only in weight loss, but with your victory over alcohol as well.

  4. You're one heck of a woman, first beating alcohol and now doing the same with food. That's really admirable. A lot of us only have to deal with one of those issues, let alone two of them. You're head is in the right space. I see no browbeating and self castigating. That's a very good sign. Keep up the very good attitude and you will get where you want to be.

  5. When I teach my weight loss class I ask them to come up with a mission statement for themselves. Yours is mine. Never go back.

    I admire you so much beating alcohol and now food. Awesome job Leslie!

  6. Leslie, I'm so happy you are feeling better today. And great minds must think alike, cuz I was doing the closet-cleaning thing last night! I didn't get rid of much (I'm still not really at the point where my clothes are baggy yet) but I was able to relinquish a few things I knew I'd never wear again even if they fit. So that's a little progress. Good for you getting rid of those "fat" clothes. You are never gonna need them again, girlfriend, so no need to hang onto the baggage! :D

  7. ditto, Me either. I was think and oblivious...fat and fat and wide awake...soon to be thin and wide awake.

    scary and exciting at the same time.
    great post leslie.

  8. WOW - putting another link up to this one.

    Really well thought out and your writing was very clear - I was right there - understanding - every word.

  9. Really enjoyed this post and your sense of determination and purpose.

  10. Beautifully written post Leslie! Yes, it's time to take that big bag of clothes that no longer fit into your lifestyle!! Your on the road to be the best you can be! So glad you let us in on your ride today!

    I agree, sometimes it's nice to break out of the usual grind of a day and just sit back and enjoy it :)