Thursday, March 22, 2012

The time has come

The time has come, the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax 
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot 
And whether pigs have wings.  -- Lewis Carroll

Although I won't be talking about any of those things, I do feel that it's time to write here again. Hopefully consistently, but definitely today.

First of all, Emily is doing so very well.  She had surgery last Friday to remove six screws from her foot and remove part of a bony callous that had grown in the lower part of her foot.  Recovery wasn't fun, but she's up and around again.  She told me that her surgeon, Dr. Blasier, held her hand in the OR until she went under anesthesia.  We have been so incredibly blessed by this man and his calm, reassuring presence.


See?  Those are the screws that aren't in Emily's foot anymore.  She still has hardware in that ankle and in her leg, but oh my!  When I think of where we were seven months ago compared to where we are today, I am amazed by the goodness of God.  Oh -- and yes -- the screws were just as long as the picture makes them look like they are.

Remember a while back when I told you that I would tell you more about this picture?

Other than the obviously stated fact that I love these people dearly, here's what you  need to know:  In this picture, I saw myself clearly for the first time in a long time.  I saw the weight. I saw my proportions compared to my friends. 

I was not happy.

There are many things about the picture that I LOVE.  I love the people.  I love the Santa painting in the background. I love that I can't remember when I didn't know Jon and that I've known Beck and Gretch for 30 years and that we still get together.  I love Gretch's Christmas tree in the background, but I absolutely do not love what I see when I look at my body in that picture.

When I saw it, I told myself it would be the last picture where I was the fat friend. 

I told my sister a long time ago, that the way I feel about my self would never motivate me to change my physical habits because I'm very content with who I am.  I'm intelligent.  I face challenges and make my way through them.  I have a deep and abiding relationship with God, a job I enjoy, wonderful friends and a family that hangs in there in spite of problems and quirks.  So -- nope -- I would never be that person who was so unhappy with who I am that I tried to change from the outside in.

However, in the last year, I've started taking blood pressure medication.  High blood pressure runs in my mom's family (even in the skinny people) and doesn't seem to be linked to size or physical condition in the least.  Almost three years ago, Caleb was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Food and weight have nothing to do with the cause but everything to do with the treatment.  Emily has faced tremendous physical challenges and has regularly gone to physical therapy through pain and limitations.  She walks on a treadmill and does leg presses to increase her strength and balance. 

If my children can be this aware of their physical health, so can I. 

So, in January I got serious.  Along with my friend Marisa, I joined a local Weight Watchers group.  I'm not a fan of dieting (obviously), but with WW, I don't feel like I'm on a diet at all.  Seriously.  We also joined a local health club so that we could all have access to exercise equipment.  I've attended several PiYo classes (combination of Yoga and Pilates) and try to make weekly trips to the treadmill.  It doesn't always happen, but it happens more than it did before. 

So how's it going so far?  Pretty well. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting there. As of yesterday, I've lost 22 pounds.  I feel so much better. I sleep better at night, and I think that my abdominal muscles may have come back from the vacation they went on when Daniel was born 12 years ago.

For the record, I'm not going for skinny.  I'm going for "doesn't turn to food for every life crisis."  God made me to be big and strong. I have no doubt about that.  I have wide shoulders, wide hips, and a very definite woman's body that broadcasts both my Germanic and Native American genetic coding.  "Skinny" and "Lisa Burley" will not be used together, and I'm more than OK with that.  My goal is that "healthy" and "fit" will be used with my name. 

I will always have to think about what food I put in my mouth.  Today, after three months of almost no fast food (a financial decision more than anything), I craved a sausage biscuit from Hardee's.  Changed my driving route to work and headed that way.  Then I thought about my belt that now sits comfortably on the sixth notch and the shirt I have on that I has hung in my closet for over a year, and I turned on a side street and headed to my office.  Not that I couldn't have eaten a sausage biscuit, but I knew there were better choices and I knew that I would not have wanted Caleb to eat one.

So here I am a few weeks ago with some of the same people.  I think I like this picture better.  :-)

BTW, I've been very hesitant to say or write much about this at all.  I've had so many ups and downs and emotional situations attached to my eating habits and body size that I don't like to discuss it.  Maybe someday I'll talk about the emotional end of things, but for now, just know that I'm trying.  Trying to honor who I really am, and allow my outside to match my inside. 


Mom of 5 said...

I am so proud of you! You look great Lisa! I usually don't think much about my weight..I don't have time, there are way more important things going on right now. Until I see a photo of me with my friends....I am already several inches taller than them, and then add in my weight too...I feel like I look like Amazon woman. The only time I have ever lost weight in my life is when I was following a weight watchers diet my friends at work were on and they would share their pointers with me. I felt so much better too...I very much need something to motivate me to change...for nothing more than the extra energy that I need for my family. Good for you, keep up the good work!

lisa b said...

You're 100% right, Maury. There are seasons in our lives where there are more important things. I think fitness and dieting have become idols in our culture. We can't even recognize what a real woman's body looks like because we're bombarded with airbrushed images of surgically enhanced women. We have unrealistic expectations of becoming "healthy" because of Biggest Loser and stories of women who exercise 4 hours a day to lose baby weight in two weeks. That is not healthy. It is obsession.

I don't want to change one obsession for another. I want balance.

When the time is right, you'll know. You'll see a picture or you'll want more energy and you'll have the mental and emotional energy to do something. Without both parts of that, it's not the right time. I could not have done this last fall or when I had five children at home. I just couldn't have.

There's a time and place for everything.

Kim Writes said...

AMEN! I was skinny in high school. I mean skinNY! It was very unhealthy. I constantly compared my body to actresses and models and felt like a failure at every turn. Goodness. What a relief to cast off those unrealistic goals and self-images!

I do want to get healthy and stay healthy. But I've come to like my hips and thighs. I've come to like my less than bony-hugs. :)

And so much of beauty is wrapped up in attitude, confidence, sweetness, sincerity, compassion, love, and contentment. The skinniest gal in the world is ugly without those attributes.

I've also changed my obsession because I now have a daughter. I want her to always feel beautiful because she believes she's beautiful. Not because she's told what beauty should be by the media.

Lisa, you're an inspiration! And you are BEAUTIFUL!!! I love you!

E Lohroff said...

Wow, great progress, Lisa! Good for you!