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This is #MyBariLife

There are moments that you look back on in life and think, “If I had that to do all over again, I’d sure do that differently.” Everyone has them. The emotion that drives these feelings can be different; sometimes it’s regret, sometimes it’s lack of education, while other times it’s a lack of knowledge.

When I wrote “The Truth About Why I Stopped Running” blog last week, if you asked me what emotion was fueling my “I wish I could go back and do that again” moment, I would say that it was disappointment.

You see, I was disappointed in myself for not having the inner strength, the self-awareness and self-worth to have stood more firmly in my resolutions.

I told you that I made sacrifices. I gave up running to try to fix the relationship I was in. I felt like had allowed him to steal the joy of running from me. I used a very important word – “allowed”.  I knew it was happening and I made a conscious decision to let it happen. I allowed it. That’s on me.

I did something I tell my clients not to do all the time. I turned my can into a can’t. I wasn’t physically incapable of running anymore. But, instead of finding a way to continue to prioritize it and stand firm in my resolve that it was important to me and for me, I made a different choice.

I chose to let a year and half long relationship hold more importance than the emotional value of a five-year long relationship with running.

I was disappointed in myself for that decision.

That disappointment was the prevalent emotion behind my ” I wish I had a magic time machine or a magic wand and could go back and do it again” moment.

As I said, we all have those moments.

I firmly believe when you have something true and pure in your heart and you put it out into the world, if it is supposed to happen, the powers that be make it happen.

A few weeks ago, when I wrote the “If You Are Reading This I Owe You an Apology” blog, I was contacted by Guinn Boyce from BariLife. She told me that they were happy to hear that I was going to be blogging again. She reminded me that while I may not have been blogging in the last couple years, I had been doing other great things for the bariatric community. She reminded me that I hadn’t just disappeared; I had just focused on other things.

BariLife Lemonade Multivitamin PowderGuinn also suggested that they would love to team up with me in some way. She asked me if I wanted to try BariLife’s new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder. As if I would say no to that! I am a huge fan of BariLife products! I haven’t gotten my hands on the watermelon powder yet, but I’ve been using the Lemonade version of the product since it came out last year. I mix it with iced tea and make an Arnold Palmer out of it that makes me forget I’m taking my vitamins.

I wrote back and told her that of course I’d love to try the new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder! The fact is, I use their products all of the time, so this was a no-brainer for me.  I also mentioned that although it may sound crazy, if BariLife was interested in teaming up with me as I worked on resurfacing as a prominent fitness and weight loss motivation blogger in the bariatric community, there was something that I REALLY wanted to do. I really wanted to go back to Paris and see if I could find my love of running where I felt I had lost it.

I wanted to run that Disneyland Paris half marathon again.

A week and a half later, Disneyland Paris announced the theme for the upcoming September Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Villains. Yes, Villains. If you know anything about me and my infinite love of Disney you know that 1. I love me some TinkerBell and 2. I love me some Villains.

I haven’t participated in a half marathon event in almost a year now. My last event, the TinkerBell half marathon last May came during a really hard time for me.

My current relationship was ending, I was traveling back to Portland to collect the rest of the things I had left behind when I walked away from my marriage. That included my father’s ashes. Sifting through the remnants of my marriage and my father’s things while going through a break-up had me in a down whirl spiral with an emotional struggle with grief.

Running wasn’t working as an emotional outlet for me. Instead, I was in the middle of doing something I am notorious for – emotionally running.

I had run away from the town I was living in to put distance between me and my recent ex. I was staying with a previous ex-boyfriend 3-hours away. I was about to uproot my entire life by moving away and I wasn’t sure where the heck I was going. I was considering Dallas, Atlanta, or another area of North Carolina altogether.

I was in epic Pandora panic mode, and all the stress and conflict had me barely holding together the ends of a frayed mental capacity.

May rolled into June, June became July. I started to put it all back together but in July I decided to try giving things with my recent ex another shot again. That lasted about three months. We ended up breaking up again.

It wasn’t as hard the second time around. I was in therapy getting help and I held things together much better in round two of that relationship saga.  I was in the middle of my brand new, dream come true job, and while I didn’t have running as an emotional outlet, I was on an emotional high as the things I had been dreaming of for the last 7 years started coming to fruition.

I was busy. Which gave me lots and lots of great excuses to avoid facing my fears of running again. With no TinkerBell half marathon event on the RunDisney schedule for this year, there wasn’t an event that I wanted to do bad enough that I’d muster up the courage to pull those running shoes out of the closet and put my feet to pavement again.

But now, Disneyland Paris is coming, there is a Villains theme; it was just the inspiration and motivation I needed to want to try again. I like to think this was the powers that be saying to me, “Alright Pandora, it’s time.” Because guess what….

I’m going to go back to Paris to run that half marathon again!

I’ve always told you, fitness fits everyone, it just fits us all differently. It fits us differently at different times and different stages of life. Running hasn’t fit my emotional and mental state of mind for the last 11 months.

I want to run again. But, I’m scared it won’t be the same, I’m scared I won’t have that amazingly positive emotional connection to it that I once had. Even as I write that sentence in text and see the words, anxiety floats in my heart.

I might be right. It might not be the same. But as one of my readers reminded me, it just might be better.

I’ve always told you that fitness is a lot like fashion, you must find the style of fitness you like and wear that. Something tells me that as I put running back on, it’s going to feel like my favorite pair of yoga pants or that warm soft sweatshirt that I like to wear on lazy days.

Thanks to the amazing people at BariLife, we’re going to find out. I say we, because if you are reading this, you are part of this journey with me. Hopefully you’ll be following the next five months of this adventure with me as I train for this event, get my vitamin routine back into check, and lace up those sneakers to get back to the right kind of emotional running.

I might have lost my way there for a moment or two. But, I’m back and I’m back with a mission. I’m an Obesity Rebel and this rebel has a good cause.

I want all of you to know that no matter where you are in your relationship with fitness right now, if it’s not where you want it to be, it can change. The lives we choose to live after bariatric surgery and after weight loss are ours to make whatever we want them to be. We are the authors of our own destiny. This is our story to tell.

This is #MyBariLife, and I’m done letting my fears get in the way living it. What is #YourBariLife? Are you wanting to write a different ending to your story?  If so, why not start now? We can do it together.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Make #YourBariLife the best it can be.

Visit the BariLife Website for all your Protein and Vitamin Needs!

 

Sex Love and Obesity Part 2

Last week in the first part of this series, Sex Love and Obesity Part 1, we talked about how obesity affected my self-confidence and self-worth and affected the decisions I made in love sex and relationships prior to my marriage.

I told you that finally at 24 I had met the “Master” I had been searching for, lost the weight he asked me to lose to be with him and got married.

Today, we’re going to talk about how gaining and losing weight ruined my marriage.

There should have been a happy ending at the end of this story. There really should have been. I lost the weight that he wanted me to lose and was at an all-time low adult weight of 225 when he decided that we should get married.

The first few years of our marriage were amazing. Our sex life was fairly active, we frequented BDSM play parties, planned trips with other couples that shared our interests in alternative lifestyles and I was on an emotional high because I had gotten the “Master” that everyone wanted.

In any community you have the people who are natural leaders. The ones who are followed without ever trying to lead. My Master was one of those types. Other women fawned over him, everyone wanted his attention.

This should have boosted my self-confidence and made me feel special.

But it didn’t. It made me more and more insecure than I already was. I looked at the other women that coveted his attention, and when they didn’t get it, I was certain that they looked at us and thought, “why in the hell did he pick her?” Why wouldn’t they think that? I asked myself the exact same question daily.

About a month after we had gotten married I was diagnosed with endometriosis and underwent a partial hysterectomy to resolve the issue. We had discussed this medical decision at great lengths before we made it. We talked about the impact it might have on my weight and the stall it might cause in my weight loss while I recovered. We discussed how it would take away my ability to have children, a decision I am still not sure to this day that I was in the right state of mind to make at 24. Regardless of these two very big issues, we decided that it was the best thing for me to do.

At the time we were active. We went camping, hiking and fishing on a regular basis. I had started my own internet-based business working both as a phone sex operator and doing web design and graphics design for other adult oriented websites. The fact that he wasn’t working on a regular basis was the least of our problems with the kind of cash I was bringing in. Back then adult industry jobs paid well.

From the outside looking in, other women in our community envied me. I had the man who so many others had sought after and didn’t get, I had an at home job that supported our champagne taste lifestyle.

But I still had zero self-confidence and zero self-worth. Although I didn’t vocalize it, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept waiting for him to realize that he could have chosen someone way skinner or prettier than me. I kept holding my breath waiting for it to all fall apart.

My weight loss had come to a screeching halt.

The nearly three months that I had taken off to recover from my surgery, and the sudden take off my business created a situation where I was almost completely sedentary again. For the most part, I sat in front of a computer designing websites, editing graphics and answering the phone anytime in rang, and my phone rang a lot.

In the three years since I had started my business, it had gone from making about $1,500 a month to making anywhere between $6,000-$10,000 – I was one of the most well-known phone sex operators on the internet, dispatch companies contacted me daily trying to get me to work for them and I was turning down jobs left and right because I was already working 15+ hours a day.

Before too long it wasn’t just that the number on the scale wasn’t moving, it was going back up. It climbed slowly, 240, 250, 260 and though he kept telling me that my weight didn’t matter to him anymore, I didn’t believe him. My weight had been such a big issue in the beginning of our relationship, it was impossible for me to believe that it didn’t matter now. He kept trying to convince me that if I wanted to, I could lose the weight again, because I had before. But the scale kept climbing and as it did so did my anxiety and stress level that he would leave me for someone else.

2001-2010 Weight Progression

Stress, anxiety and resentment lead me right back to emotional eating.

Stress and anxiety alone can wreak havoc on your weight loss. But couple that with resentment and pair it up with an emotional eater and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. I was working from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. Sometimes my phones were left on at night and I’d wake up to take calls. All I did was work, and all he did was sit around the house watching television and playing video games.

As a union sheet metal journeyman, he was in this last one in first one out circular pattern. The first year we were married he didn’t work at all. The second year there was a brief stint of about 6 months that he was gainfully employed. During that time, we had adjusted our life to our double household income, we moved into a rent to own house that elevated our rent, we bought him a fancy truck that had us taking on a double car payment. After all, with the sort of money we were making this was all doable. Only the next lay off came almost immediately and I spent the next year continuing to work my ass off to pay for everything.

I started resenting the fact that I was the one supporting us on a regular basis. I was angry that he was sitting around the house waiting for work while I was working over a hundred hours a week. But I couldn’t say anything. Remember, he was the Master, I was the slave. I wasn’t allowed to argue with him, I wasn’t allowed to speak in a way that could be offensive. I wasn’t allowed to express my overall displeasure with the fact that he was lazy. I wasn’t allowed to scream at the top of my lungs that it felt like I was being used as a sex industry worker to support him while he sat around and did nothing.

Since I couldn’t vocalize any of that. I ate.

Before I knew it, I had emotionally eaten my way back up to 300 lbs. I was upset with myself and still worried he would leave me for someone else when I discovered that all that time I thought he was playing games on the internet he was in a 3D world game environment where he was having cyber affairs and online relationships with other women.

Around this time a few things happened all at once. As the scale hit 320 I realized that things were out of control for me. I had become full-blown diabetic, and I had missed my best friend’s wedding where I was supposed to be the maid of honor because I was in the hospital with blood sugars in the 700s.

I started looking at trying to have bariatric surgery to fix it. But our insurance wasn’t covering it at the time and the $50,000 cash pay price on the surgery wasn’t anywhere near doable for us. This caused me even more resentment, because there was a point where I could have afforded that if I wasn’t tackling our finances on my own 75% of the time.

He continued to struggle to hold a job and had now developed a pain in his feet and legs that promoted doctors to prescribe him Vicodin. Our financial situation was in a constant down whirl spiral. I wasn’t making enough money to pay the bills anymore. To top it all off he kept lying to me about the affairs he was having online. Telling me he had ended them only for me to find out that he hadn’t.

I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had pretty much reconciled myself to the fact that I was going to die from Obesity and if I was going to die from Obesity anyways I might as well just eat whatever the hell I wanted to before I went out.

I spent the better part of a year depression eating my way back to 420 lb.

Everything that was going on in our marriage had pretty much ended our sex life. I resented him so much at that point there was no desire left on my side of the equation. I buried myself in food and online vampire role-play games to keep myself occupied. I made sure that we slept at different times of the day to avoid being in bed with him.

I convinced myself that my re-gain was the reason that he was constantly cheating on me in the form of online affairs.

I convinced myself that the financial disaster we were in was my fault. I was certain that in a time of both economic crisis and technological advancement, my weight stopped me from moving that business to the next stage of technology and being a web cam girl instead of just a phone sex operator.

I still had absolutely zero self-confidence and still put absolutely no value in myself. Once again, I was convinced that losing the weight would fix everything, my love life, my marriage, my career.

And once again, I was horribly wrong.

Stay tuned next week for part three of this blog series.

Sex, Love and Obesity Part 3 – Why Losing Weight AGAIN Didn’t Fix My Marriage

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.
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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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