Thursday, March 20, 2014

The WHOLE Truth

Dear friends, or maybe no one, as I'm not sure who is still reading this blog.   Honestly, I don't care (OK I probably do), as if I'm the only one that ever reads this, it is cathartic, and something I need to admit and release.

2-1/2 years ago I gave birth to my beautiful, unique Lily, and since then it's been a complete roller coaster ride of learning to cope with a child who has many extra medical needs.

I rode that coaster for the last year by doing nothing but eating my feelings of sadness, depression, and stress!  Right now, I've on both an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety med to help me get through each day.  This is the truth people, this is my life.  I have been ashamed for over almost the last 2 years to admit to it.  I feel brave today.  I feel like emerging from the shadows.  I'm done hiding behind my daughter's Turner Syndrome diagnosis and using it as an excuse to eat myself back to where I once started from.

As of Monday, I was only within 30 pounds of being back to my original weight when I first started this journey in 2008.  I am beyond ashamed!  I hate myself.  I know I shouldn't hate myself, but right now I do.  I'm a statistic now... I'm the one that is well on her way to gaining it all back.  I don't want that, but yet I don't stop myself.

I get bad news... more ear infections, more surgeries, now strabismus, and patching needed for Lily's eyes.   I hear:  eat pie, eat cake, drink a Venti white mocha with whipped cream, drink wine.  It will make you feel better, and honestly, it does.  I'm not going to lie, this is how I coped the last 2 years.  Eating... and it makes me feel better.  But long term - I'm worse.  I have knee pain, I can't walk up the stairs anymore without being winded, I can't get up and down from the floor easily to play with my kids.  It makes me sad, overwhelmed, and ashamed, so I eat more.

You can see the cycle here.

In 2 days, I turn 37.  I've spent my 30s going from nearly 300 lbs to 165 pounds, to the mid 200s again.  I'm a wreck.

At the beginning of this year, I went through Rick Warren's "Daniel Plan" study with a small group.  Even though, I continued my eating habits mentioned above during this study, I benefited from learning from these amazing people, making new friends, and realizing that I alone am powerless!  Only through God's strength am I going to do this.  I'm powerless in the face of this alone, but through HIS strength I am powerful!  He loves me, no matter what my weight, but my body is a temple, and I'm treating it so unlike a temple right now.

That study has ended now, but through it I was encouraged to read, It Starts With Food.  If you've ever heard of Whole30, or Paleo, that is what this book is about.  But mostly it about healing yourself through choosing good, whole, foods.  It turned my life upside down in ways that I didn't want to admit.  I had so many of the symptoms the book mentioned.  After much deliberation, I decided to start a Whole30 this past Monday, March 17th.   I'm on day 4 now.  This morning, the conversations in my head were startling.  I woke up with chills, aches, and nausea, and I wasn't "sick".  This is hard.  I feel horrible.  I want to quit.

So I came here.  Because I know in my heart I don't want to quit, I know it my heart I can't do this to my body anymore.  I am strong, I am brave, this is not hard compared to where I've been in my life.

I deserve so much more than the life I've been giving myself.
I deserve freedom from this sugar and food monster.
I deserve peace instead of stress
I deserve comfort that doesn't come from eating food.
I deserve to let go of the shame.

If you read this and have anything encouraging to say, today is the day I need to hear it.  I will overcome, this is not going to defeat me!

If you want to follow along on my Whole30 journey or just see cute pics of my kids follow me on Instagram 

13 comments:

Kari March 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM  

I am so glad you posted! I often check back on your page to make sure I haven't missed any updates. I, too, have regained 25 pounds from my lowest weight. I had moments of "I give up" and then realized that I was worth fight for. YOU are worth fighting for. I can't imagine the stress of your world. Here are my words of encouragement: You will be the best mommy and wife possible when you are on your way to being your healthiest. I'm cheering for you. :)

Sabrina March 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM  

At the very least, Whole30 will change how you use food. These 30 days will be hard, but you will become a more Whole person. Sarah, you deserve that! Hugs to you.

mary (a small loss) March 20, 2014 at 11:50 AM  

Good luck! The Whole 30 is a really interesting challenge. I think what I appreciated most about it was a chance to look at my relationship with food - am I eating because I am hungry, or because I am bored/it is X o'clock/there is food in front of me/etc. It also got me to reconnect with cooking.

Michelle March 20, 2014 at 12:04 PM  

I still read and I understand the cathartic need to document your struggle, even if it's only you that read and learn from it. I'm 2 days from 44 and back at the weight I was before my lap band. It's similar in that i went through a struggle and resorted to old habits to get me through. I'm hoping and praying that you find your way through this to what you want to be.

elizabethjwheeler March 20, 2014 at 12:19 PM  

I Aunt Sarah, I just wanted to give you some encouragement and know you are not alone. This really resonated with me, because I also eat my emotions. I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm sad...and it does help. Temporarily. This is very hard to change...but you are a powerful, strong, intelligent, and capable woman. If there is anything I can do to support you on your journey, please let me know. Love you tons!

Anonymous,  March 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM  

Sara, I have known you since you were a cute 6-7 yr. old when Susan and Brian got married. I know you can do this because you have determination and grit. You can do this because you are loved by many people and because your Dad is giving you support and courage from above. Stay strong and don't let satan enter in and defeat you.

Amy Ross,  March 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM  

You can do it Sara! I believe in you, and am so proud of you for trying hard and being honest! You are an inspiration for me, keep up the hard work! :) Amy

Mary Beth March 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM  

Wonderful to see you writing! I did a Whole 30 in February. It was tough, but it was wonderful to lose all the preservatives and garbage in processed food. I had several takeaways: I need to eat breakfast every day, and eggs are my friends. I got into a much better habit about planning and cooking ahead. And I learned that when I feed myself well, and don't add in processed junk, food that isn't really food (Doritos?!) I do not get so hungry.
Courage! Kudos to you and your determination.

Jessica Henry March 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM  

Sara, I think you are freaking amazing! But I knew it 20 years ago, still true!! I've been struggling emotionally lately, I totally want to blsme it on the hysterectomy (even though I still have one ovary left). I've been eating a lot of junk food, mostly at work, because no one sees it in my office. Today I was thinking, wow, my stomach looks huge, I should do something about that. And then I ate chocolate! I have been thinking I need to join a bible study or something just to get me back on some sort of path where I care about myself. Guess what? Today you have encouraged me!!!! I'm not sure what my steps will be, but if its baby steps towards finding some peace and doing it without the junk food, I'm going to give it a shot.
You can do this! One of the strongest, most awesome woman I know. Don't stop now, you got this!

Jessica hinnenkamp March 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM  

I feel all the things you do! I lost 50lbs two years ago and I've gained half of it back again, for many of the same reasons you mentioned. So encouraging to know I'm not the only turner syndrome mom out that that struggles with this issue! Stay strong, we can do it!

Anonymous,  March 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM  

Dear Sarah,

We are always so quick to judge ourselves or listen to that critical voice in our head. You weight is just a number it doesn't define you as a person. You lost weight before you can do it again. If you feel low all you have to do is look at how happy and full of life your kiddos are. I have yet to see either of those two without a giant smile when we Skype. You are a great mom take pride in that.

Love your SIL

Anonymous,  March 21, 2014 at 8:50 AM  

Sarah, you are so brave in so many ways! You have faced the challenges placed before with what I can only describe as grace.

I have to say that you might have gained weight back, but at least you were able to work and take it off before. I am too scared to even begin to do what it takes to loose weight for fear that it will all come right back, or worse, I wont loose any weight no matter what. Talk about irrational fear, right?

You are an amazing mom! You have inspired people through your blog and by being brave enough to share your experiences.

Faye ross,  March 21, 2014 at 5:36 PM  

HMMM, I tried once and it kicked me out so here goes again.
what you said today echoes exactly what I feel about myself. I feel totally out of control.
I feel like food is my idol and I have put it above God. How do we stop????
But know that I love you guys. You are fantastic parents and wonderful Christian people. I am in awe at how far God has led and guided you in these past years.
Our weight is not who we are. We need to believe that. But, I, too, want to feel better. Why is it so hard??
Just remember I am praying for you. Can't wait to have the kids here tomorrow night. I love your kids. They are precious.
I LOVE YOU!
Faye

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