My Progress!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life?

Ok, I just had a God moment I think. I’ve been mulling things over since my last post. If you read my blog with any regularity, you have probably noticed a few patterns. First, I’ve had some crappy things happen to me. Second, I’m sometimes willing to take an honest look at myself and how I’ve managed to get to where I am today. Third, I just LOVE to pull out the violin every couple of posts and whine and complain and throw a grand ol’ pity party for myself. It is kind of a warped little dance I’ve been doing all year. I think the great thing about my blogging is that there is PROOF out there now; proof that I can’t ignore when it’s convenient. Proof that shows me that yes, while I have made some progress in some areas over the last decade or two…I still have a lot to learn. There is still a LOT of room for growth…and I’m not just talking about my weight. We all know that my weight is a symptom of much BIGGER struggle I have going on in my head.

The other day, I read a friend’s blog. She never fails to put a smile on my face, whether I’m reading her blog or chatting with her via msn. It is kind of ironic honestly, because as funny as she is…there have been many times in the time I’ve known her that she hasn’t always told me what I wanted to hear. We work together and when things between Erik and I started to go south, she was the one that really helped strip my blinders off. She helped me see all the excuses I was making for him and for myself and was relentless in forcing me to see things as they really WERE and not the way I was trying to imagine them to be. Until recently (when I gave her a link to my blog) I don’t think she had ANY idea about the extent of my weight problem and I was really ashamed to share the link with her. I even asked her not to read it until I was ready and as far as I know, she honored that request (I gave her the ok a few months ago). She hasn’t really said anything about the blog or about the realization that I am a ginormous fatty(we don’t work together as often as we used to so maybe it’s because of that…I find it hard to believe she would hold back if she truly had something to say ;) . To be honest, I wasn’t so embarrassed about her learning how much I weighed, seeing actual pictures, or reviewing my gargantuan measurements. I was ashamed because she was going to see my overwhelming and pathetic penchant for wallowing in my problems. Now I say she hasn’t really said anything about my blog, but today I think she told me just what I needed to hear…more on this later.

As ashamed as I am about my weight, I am truly probably more ashamed that I will turn 40 next year and while I may have moments where I can recognize my own part or responsibility in where I am at today, I haven’t quite figured out how to USE these realizations to move me PAST my problems; which brings me to this recent post of hers. I would encourage you to go read it for yourself, but here’s a little synopsis: Basically, she wrote about “It’s a Wonderful Life” and how she’s always had a problem watching it; not because it was sappy and at times saccharine, but mainly because, in typical Tammy fashion, she saw things in it that many other people missed: the fact that George had an awful lot to do with his current situation. George made decisions and choices throughout his life and those choices set him, as much as any circumstances outside of his control, on the path that led him to where we see him at the beginning of the movie. I read that and immediately felt the bright glaring spotlight of shame focused on my own glaring culpability in my current situation.

The weight is easy. I’m fat because ultimately, I make choices about what I’m going to or not going to put in my mouth and most of the time, I choose poorly. I also choose to not go to the gym or even do little things around the house that might slowly begin to build my strength up. Granted, I have a lot of crap in my head that often defeats me, but ultimately…the responsibility is on me. I choose to give into it all. I allow it to overwhelm me and defeat me. Even that is a decision I make.

Let’s talk about some other decisions I’ve made that have gotten me to where I am. First, I fell in love with Erik. I knew from the beginning that something wasn’t quite right. It took us two years (as good friends) with subtle and most times not so subtle chasing on my part to land him. That probably should have been my first clue. Once we were together, there were plenty of other signs that I chose to ignore. Regardless of anything Erik did in this situation, I made many decisions and really almost “forced” our relationship in a direction it wasn’t going in naturally. I didn’t get pregnant on purpose, but since we all know Tanner wasn’t immaculately conceived, I think we can agree that I should accept my part in creating him.

The financial problems we have encountered have also largely been due to our own choices. Yes, we have had oodles and oodles of medical bills and other unexpected things come up, I’m fairly certain that if we hadn’t been living way beyond our means for quite some time, things wouldn’t be quite as desperate as they are now. We would have been in trouble, but I think we could have dug our way out by now.

So yes, in many ways, my life sucks, but ultimately I think the thing that sucks the most is that I have to cope with the fact that I am the biggest reason it sucks; not erik, or Tanner, or my mom dying or whatever else I latch on to periodically to distract myself from the reality of my situation.

So these are things I’ve been mulling over since reading Tammy’s post. Flash forward to today…I get a call from my grandfather (hi papa :). He called to tell me he was sending money for Tanner’s Christmas, we talked about his upcoming wedding next March and how I was going to try to get Tanner and I up there around that time and somehow we ended up talking about my blog. Basically, he mentioned that he had read my last pity party (my words, not his) and felt like he needed to remark on some common threads or patterns he’s seen in the weave of my blog over the last year. I’m sure you can guess what they were. He acknowledged that while I can at times have moments of crystal clear self realization where I am open to accepting my part in the way my life has turned out…I also have many moments where I slip back into these periods of stagnation which keeps me stuck in this warped little static cha-cha you’ve watched me do all year. There can’t be any real growth because every time I take one step forward, I lose ground again. I set goals and then almost immediately lose sight of them and fall back into old patterns…the same old patterns that got me right to where I am today. Here is where I could come up with a bunch of excuses WHY I lose ground, but come on…you’ve heard them all before and in the end, you and I both know they are irrelevant. If I want to change my circumstances, I am the only one with the power to do that.

In the end, I thanked my grandfather for his advice, we said our goodbyes and, pondering the last bit of our conversation, went to check my email and there…like a period at the end of that conversation with my grandfather was Tammy’s comment on my last blog. You can go read it for yourself, but once again…I had to smile. I don’t know if it is God or fate or what, but someone or something is definitely trying to slap me upside the head this morning. Thanks Papa and Tammy for giving me the swift kick I needed. Here’s hoping I can keep my eye on the prize this next year and actually make some progress towards my goals.

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mandatorybloghere said...

Get on that scale and get outside if you have to ride a fat trike so what? You burn calories renting the thing!
I think embarrassment burns calories
acknowledge it
own it
then kick it's sorry add

mandatorybloghere said...

I'm sure u know what add means lol

Stephanie said...

Not only is it wonderful to have those friends who can be (gently) honest with's also wonderful to be in a place where you can see and acknowledge it rather than getting defensive.
BODA weight loss

karen said...

YOu have alot on your plate. I am not talking about food either. Use your blog to get things off your chest and than do what you got to do.

The Merry said...

If you don't mind a lurker intruding onto your blog, I just wanted to say: I'm jealous. I wish I'd had the chance to meet either one of my grandfathers.

And I like your blog -- everybody has problems, but not everyone can face them honestly.

cmoursler said...

well, the only thing that worked for me was seeing myself in the third person. I saw me in the mirror without realizing it was me...
i thought.
Boy is that lady fat..
then realized it was me.
Owning it is the key. Not letting your mind go back to sleep. NOt letting it wait till another day.
Don't wait.

KrysTros said...

It is hard hearing the things we know are true but don't want our friends to say out loud. I get mad at my friends who pacify me while my friends get mad that I am at times, brutally honest. (I don't have a filter switch, sorry). I think that the fact you are still friends with her shows that you really do need the reality check, not because you don't know what's already wrong but because it is so easy to ignore it when you think you are the only one who notices. I have had to learn to shut up and let my friends talk. I have had to learn to not let all the pessimism inside of me dominate our conversations. It's hard. It's a work in progress and always will be. You will eventually have satisfaction in your life, it will just take a while and may not be the exact goals that you want now. Keep on blogging, it helps :D

Tricia said...

Nice to see someone facing their problems. Its also wonderful to have friends and family that care enough to comment.