Saturday, September 25, 2010

An unexpected glimpse of grace

This will be quick.  I hadn't planned on posting today, but I just couldn't walk away from the computer without saying something after I just watched Tracy's Vlog she put up yesterday.  If you haven't seen it, please hit the link and watch all 5 minutes and 26 seconds.  It's really powerful and honest, and helped me tremendously this morning.

Tracy is one of the bloggers I read every time she posts.  She has lost 70+ pounds with Weight Watchers, and is still working at it each day.  She posts wonderful recipes, takes great pictures of her groceries and meals, and always is motivating and inspiring, but never more than on this vlog post.

I think of TJ as endlessly positive and one of the superstar bloggers who has achieved remarkable success with weight loss and fitness.  I know she has some physical constraints due to chronic pain, but even with that, she does her level best to exercise and eat healthfully.  Quite frankly, she is someone I've pegged as "done with fighting food or desires to binge.  But on this video she's looking right at the camera and sharing that she does, and currently IS, struggling with the desire to binge, or hit a local McDonalds....BUT she isn't doing either.  She's sitting through the desires in favor of feeling feelings and sharing honestly.  Watching and listening, I knew she was telling the absolute truth about where she is right now.

So how did it help me?  It's 11:15 Saturday morning.  I went out to breakfast with friends and had a good big breakfast.  But after getting home, I was already having food thoughts - "maybe I'll really begin the Hot 100 challenge Monday", even after being so pumped up about it yesterday.  But as I saw and heard Tracy talk, all I could say to myself was/is, "If Tracy can do this, so can I."  Just for today.  It was clear to me that her desire to eat was every bit as powerful as mine.  But she is not going to eat outside of her points today.  She's going to hang on to the big picture of what she wants for herself - leanness and fitness - in favor of caving to cravings in an emotional moment, or hour, or week. 

She helped shatter my notion that Superstar bloggers who've had success with weight loss never have to work at it anymore.  That "now it's easy for them."  Miz, Sean Anderson, Roni, and so many others...I have assumed it's easy street now that they are walking thin.  Tracy said there will always be times of struggle.  But she's in it to win it, which she already has, and she's not about to start losing her site on the biggest dream she has for her health and wellness because of a rough stretch in other areas of life. 

Food won't make the physical pain go away, or the emotional pain.  Or the crappy job, the pain of divorce, loss of a loved one or a broken shoe lace.  I've been operating unconsciously under the notion that somehow the short term comfort of a food coma will provide long term relief from whatever is eating at me in a given moment.

I can't thank TJ enough for her courage, kindness, and honesty in sharing herself with us.  If she can do it, I believe I can.


  1. As I said in the comment on TJ's blog, what I want is never to see food again as anything other than fuel. That may not be my future. Perhaps the best I can hope for is to manage this affliction as best I can.

    People gain weight for different reasons and for some, it is "done". But for me, it is, and probably will continue to be a struggle.

    Since the weather derailed my biking plans this morning, I've been doing some "autumn cleaning" and putting away summer clothes, etc. I came across my favorite casual white capris (hand-me downs from my daughter) and as I put them away, I wondered if I would be able to wear them next spring. And this morning the scale was sitting at my all-time low weight. The thought of having to be "perfect" for the next six months is more than I can deal with right now. So, as the slogan goes, just for today.

  2. Thank you for reminding me, I saw it yesterday but everyone was watching a movie so I wanted to wait for a quiet moment, which is rare in this house. I'll watch it later when it's quite. The kids are LITERALLY running around and around the house making hurdles out of the paper towels. It's hardly quiet. :-)

  3. TJ rocks! I haven't had as much time on here lately due to a fried harddrive and now work and school starting. I miss it. food is fuel!

    I work 11-2:30 today so I eat a HUGE breakfast of two egs with diced veggies bell pepper etc. ground turkey and cheese with whole grain toast...

    then eat two fruits at work and try not to think about fast food on the way home and then snack on veggies ( and sometimes walnuts)while I make an early dinner.

    If you guys can do it... I can do it :)

  4. :) This means so much to me Leslie! THANK YOU!! :)

  5. Thank you for the blog today and the message from Tracy, it was very touching. I am new to all this and need all the support possible!

  6. We inspire each other here in "blogland." I learn so much from everyone. Thanks for the message from Tracy. I really needed it--and your post too!

  7. Thanks for sharing about another inspirational blogger. I am going over to see it.

  8. She always inspires me too!

    I think what has changed for me is, if the desire to eat arises out of a desire to cope with my emotions rather than hunger, I am now aware of it and can make the choice to sit with the feelings even if they are uncomfortable for me. I have learned that those negative emotions won't kill me, the feeling will pass even if I don't try to stuff them down with food.

    I wish I had learned that about 30 years ago!

  9. I love TJ's blog! She is so inspiring.

    The thing is that once people reach their goals there are still struggles. It doesn't matter how well they lost the weight or how big their blog is - it's not easy. I don't think the struggles ever fully go away, but it's awesome that we can all support each other to get past those struggles.

    This was a great post, thanks!

  10. Oh holy crap I watched it on Sat morning, too, and felt so bad for thinking she didn't have to struggle anymore either. What a humbling thing to see. Bless her heart...she is just such an awesome girl...I've always loved her blog.