June 12, 2011

Mamavation Monday: Fighting Mental Health and Battling the Weight


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Losing weight is hard. I’ve known that for a long time. I’ve lost weight weight before. 60+ pounds to be a bit more specific. And I kept it off for almost 5 years. Now it’s creeping back and I’m trying to outrun it and losing that race faster than I want.

During that time I found out that I had a few food sensitivities and adjusted how I ate to manage those. We discovered that BabyGirl had a few foods that were causing her troubles so I eliminated them from our home so she’d never be tempted. I was totally in control and could manage anything thrown at me.

I’d always thought weight loss was truly a battle and I was going to win. And for the longest time I did. First it was by being so utterly controlling of what I ate as a teen and 20-something. Then it was having the absolute determination to lose the weight I gained when I got pregnant. It was about control and not losing control to the food.

Then one day my life was forever changed by crime. Self-doubt, anger, and fear settled in. If I couldn’t trust my own decisions, what or who could I trust? I know I didn’t trust food. But my focus began to get cloudy. I wasn’t able to calculate calories or points. I knew what was a good choice and what wasn’t. But my brain became so focused on other things that it had no room to evaluate the food. It still doesn’t most days.

I don’t over eat. I’m actually fat because I’m starving my body. Not like starving because I have no food, but starving because my body is in survival mode because I forget to eat. I’m not the type that will just eat because I’m sad or angry or mad or bothered. I don’t eat. Breakfast? I used to sit down to yogurt and homemade low-fat granola and at least 3-servings of fruit. Now, I can barely remember to drink water some days. Much less eat an entire breakfast.

I don’t have true mental health issues. I deal more with the self doubt, self blame, and self anger. It’s hard some days not to judge myself so harshly. On a scale of 1 to 10 I’ve almost always performed at about a 15. And still that wasn’t always good enough. Most days now I’m probably at a 9 or 10, perfectly acceptable to most. Absolute failure to me.

Sure, it is unreasonable for me to think I’m a failure. But with a wound to my heart and my soul, my mind has yet to clear the fog. I sometimes feel like Don Quixote because I’m battling an ideal that is both impractical and impossible. Battling myself is so much harder than battling an enemy. If given the choice to quite my mind or wrestle gators, I’d probably have more success with the gators. I’ve even failed at meditation because it sounded like yelling inside my brain.

But when your every choice for nearly half your life is questioned, as if somehow you’re unable to make a good choice, the mind can do freaky things. Regardless of how ridiculous the questioning became, after months of it I had a hard time fighting off the conscious sounds and words that the subconscious started to wonder if maybe I really was failing.

It’s like the saying ‘Second is just the first loser’. We know in reality it’s just said as a joke. But a little part of us wimpers because of its stinging barb that punctures our heart. Imagine your heart being wrapped in barbed wire and only your mind can remove it without harm. That’s where I am some days. Quietly untangling barbed wire. Hoping the pain won’t last long.

I’m motivated my what I know is possible. That pain is not permanent.  That the mind will heal. And the body will too.



Megan @mnmspecial June 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I struggle with the eating enough issue. Once I skip a meal its easy to keep skipping. It can be very difficult to let ourselves be more forgiving. I wish you the best of luck getting back in the swing of meals & nutrition.

Rachel (@rachhabs) June 13, 2011 at 6:31 am

I struggle with eating enough sometimes too & then sometimes when I have skipped & I do eat … I eat way too much because I am so hungry from skipping. It’s a vicious cycle :/ but I am working on it.

Good luck getting back into the routine 🙂

Lena B - @elenka29 June 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

Challenges is what makes us stronger. At least I keep saying it to myself. Here to support you

Lisa June 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

You are an amazing woman, friend, mother, wife, lawyer, blogger etc… And much loved regardless of what you weigh so be good to yourself! Sending you a big hug and lots of love!!!

Sara June 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Thank you all for the support! Knowing I have such wonderful people cheering for me makes this easier.


kia June 14, 2011 at 4:59 am

Thank you for this honest post. I always contend that Mamavation could use a little more therapy in its approach of how people view themselves and show kindness to their bodies. Meditation is hard. I avoided it for years out of fear of what I would find. I find it liberating now and as important as breathing. You’ll get there by honestly having this type of dialogue with yourself.

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang June 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Sara, as always, I completely relate. Completely.

I think you are wonderful. You just let me know what I can do for you to help encourage you in this area!

Kyla June 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I too have struggled with my weight and am realizing that a lot of it is that I don’t eat enough as well. Unfortunately there is sometimes this stigma that people that struggle with their weight must be shoving food in their mouths all the live long day. And that just isn’t true many times! Also have struggled with the “not good enough” thing. Thanks so much for sharing this and being open and honest. It truly is refreshing hearing someone share what is in their heart!

fairygirl June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I certainly don’t presume to be your friend or even KNOW you for that matter.I have always enjoyed reading your blog and learning from it. However, when I read this it moved me in such a way that I can hardly describe. All I really want to say is, while you’re quietly untangling the barbed wire from your heart, please know that I will remembering you in my prayers. Giving the mind and body a long rest can work wonders and I have a feeling you are long overdo.

Sara June 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hello Dale,

Thank you so much for your heartfelt and special comment. Your kindness is appreciated.


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