I Stopped Breathing

As I was working in my office yesterday, I got a second notification for the day that someone was following my blog. (I’ve been getting them somewhat regularly now.)  Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and there was a picture of a man I didn’t know.  “Who is this?”  “How did he find me?”  “How are these people finding me?”  I noticed I had stopped breathing.  I was holding my breath so I exhaled.

“Well” I thought to myself, “This is quite interesting” and I went on to ponder.  I wondered what had me stop breathing?  What had my chest feel tight?  Why was I reacting in such a way to seeing the picture of a man who was following my blog.  I felt the need to get away so I got up, got bundled up and went outside for a walk to figure this out.

I realized that when I started writing three years ago, it was to work through my experience before my lap band surgery. After I had the surgery it was to process what I’d chosen to do.  When I chose to take the liquid out of my band and face what I needed to face, I realized the words I was sharing were making a difference to the friends who were reading them.  Yes, I said friends.  At first, it was just friends who were reading the blog.  At times they passed it along to their friends but they were friends by association. And now we get to the crux of it.  There was safety in what I’d created.  If my friends didn’t agree with me, or didn’t like what I had to say they’d probably choose not to share it with me and so it was safe.

When I saw the picture of the unknown man, he represented all who have chosen to follow my blog that I don’t know.  He represented the possibility of critical words.  He represented uncertainty and thus vulnerability.  It was clear that’s what had me stop breathing.  Then I thought some more.

These folks have chosen to read my words and chosen to be notified when I post so obviously they want to hear what I have to say.  Crap. Crap. Crap.  The deeper level of concern surfaced.  I don’t want to be “the one”.  This is pressure to have to produce and make a difference.  “You are so funny!” I said to myself.  “Of course, you want to be the one!  You just wrote about how your work is people growth not personal growth.”  I took a deep breath then and I just took one as I wrote.  Yes, I will continue to share. Yes, I will have strangers choose to follow what I write.  Yes, I will make a difference.  And, yes, there will probably be times when people choose to disagree with what I write.  However, I must be building up to this because I’ve been writing for three years. It’s just now that I’m having this influx of followers.  It’s time.

Now- on to the biggest win of this writing.  Did you notice in the beginning, that I said I got up, bundled up and took a walk to think this over?  Did you notice that I didn’t go to the kitchen for comfort food?  When I realized I chose something different yesterday I had a little pep in my step as I walked the block.  It’s the little steps of celebration that bring the walls down and build me up.  And there’s another deep breath.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

People Growth vs. Personal Growth

I’m not really sure what I want to write about today but I feel compelled to put words to the screen.  Ah yes, relegated to memory are the days of pen to paper.  This journey I’ve been on has taken a twist here and a turn there.  I find myself enmeshed in a spiritual journey right now.  I guess my journey with compulsive over eating is a spiritual one as well.  I just find that the weight conversation has been pushed aside.  By no means do I feel comfortable in my physical body but I feel as though I’m on a different road that might, just might bring me to some peace with it all.

I’ve been receiving acupuncture and Reiki for about two years now and both have opened the energy in me and brought me to elevated states of spirituality and physicality.  I find that I’m much more in touch with both of them.  As I opened up, so did my opportunities. I’ve done yoga, I meditate- sometimes, I dream frequently and journal about it, I’ve done a Shamanic healing, a technique called disappearing discomfort and most recently I trained and became a Reiki master myself so that I can deliver Reiki.  With each step, I find myself digging and rooting around and putting pieces of this puzzle together. 

At times I wonder if I THINK about it all way too much!  Then there are times that I realize that’s why I’m here.  Just this past week I realized that one of the gifts I give this world is my willingness to dig and my willingness to share when I dig in the shit to find the treasures.  That’s what I’ve found for myself.  Yes, there are times when I find the treasures just walking along the proverbial beach but most times they are covered in dirt and need to be cleaned up to shine through.  I’ve been gifted with a willingness to do this and to pass along what I learn.

I guess that is what I wanted to affirm for myself tonight. I wanted to put it in writing that I became fully aware last week that all I do is not just for me.  I call it personal growth however it’s really people growth because I pass it along to others. Whether it’s in conversations, in writing of this blog or with my newly founded Reiki practice, my growth is your growth.  Hey. That’s cool!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I choose to win!

It seems as though clarity comes to me at the most unusual times.  Perhaps it’s because my mind is on other things and I’m not perseverating on the whys and hows of my weight or compulsion or addiction.  This last week I’ve found myself on a pretty intense carb binge. For me, pretty intense is a package of cookies and a loaf of Italian bread- all in the span of a couple of days.  (Yeah- my body is reacting to all of this and less than happy.)

I’ve been wondering WTF is this all about?  I was clear it was about something because I haven’t been on this kind of binge in quite some time.  I just couldn’t pin point it and then it became clear today as I was driving.  As I figured it out, I started laughing because it’s so wondrous to me that this stuff is in such a blind spot- until it’s not.  THEN it’s obvious and I wonder how I was blind to it.  I just shake my head in wonder each time it happens.

These past few weeks I’ve been putting myself in situations to be with people, related and even sharing with some people close to me about some relationship stuff with them that’s made me sad.  Yes.. in other words I’ve been getting pretty vulnerable.  Can you see how the food, my protection, was there? It makes sense now, right?  It sure does to me.  You know it would be so easy at this point to condemn my actions of binging, berate my inability to make connections and beat myself up for doing it again.  Instead, I choose to chuckle at how awesome I am at protecting myself but thankful that I’m now seeing that this form of protection was created when I was so young. Each time I see something like this, it’s an opportunity to grow that conversation up a bit.  It’s an opportunity to heal and an opportunity to choose something different. It’s my prayer that I will see this cycle closer and closer to the start of it.  Each time I make that cycle shorter I win and I heal.  I choose to win over and over again.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One step closer

Vulnerability.  It’s a word that makes me feel a little naked and exposed.  When I think of getting vulnerable, my chest tightens and I want to hide because being vulnerable is.. well.. it’s vulnerable and uncomfortable.  I never used to allow a lot of vulnerability in my life. I’ve spent my life covering up with weight and walls so that being vulnerable wasn’t an option.  The walls have come down a LOT and I’m so much more open than I was in my past years.  Those who have known me are shaking their heads yes at this very moment.  However, I still don’t open myself up fully very often or to very many.

The irony is that this blog is seen as vulnerable for many and it is on some levels. However, there are things that won’t make it to this blog yet because they are just tooooo raw or naked for me at this point.  I do, however, want to share something additional to the bully and betrayal post I did last because I had so many who messaged me publicly and privately about it.

You see, there was another player in the mix.  The creator of the calls that I participated in was the man who made being vulnerable OK for me.  When I called him to talk about leaving the calls, he said “I’ll protect you.”  He literally said those words.  They took my breath away because I think there may be three men in my life that I’m aware of that I truly felt would protect me; my ex husband, another man I dated and one of my best friends.  So, when this man said he had my back it felt as though my lungs filled with air.  I felt as though I could breathe. Id’ spent all this time taking care of myself and I had someone who said he’d protect me. I didn’t realize how much I missed feeling as though someone else  would protect me. I’d done a fine job of it but knowing someone else was there was a revelation.

Yes, there is  my higher power, my angels, my guardians but I’m talking about the human flesh and faith in humanity.  I felt as though I had a partner in flesh to help me with the challenge I was about to face.  I share this because I’ve often felt that I needed to face things alone and that I was a burden if I asked for or got support.  What I’m coming to realize and what I’m coming to accept is that there are people who will help me with the safety I crave.  In addition, I’m believing I’ll protect myself without the use of food.  As I type this I’m breathing deep breaths and filling my lungs to capacity with air and energy.  This feeling is not one that needs to be fed and it’s pretty darn cool.  Each time I partner with something or someone besides food I am one step closer to healing my addiction.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bullies and betrayal

It’s taken me some time to process what I’m sharing in this writing.  I had to step away from the experience long enough in order to share it with ease.  Several months ago I was participating in a group phone call five mornings a week.  The purpose of the call was to support one another in reaching our goals during a two month period.  In the 30 minute time frame, we each would share what we did and where we had stumbling blocks in the last 24 hours and we’d get feedback.  I’d already participated a few times and loved the concept.  When I started the group, I knew I wouldn’t know all of the other five callers.  That’s the way it was designed.

Day one I had a reaction to the energy of one of the female participants.  Her words, tone and way of being triggered major uncomfortability in me. However, I’ve done enough work to know that was about me and there was a lesson in it for me and it was about sticking it out.  As time progressed, it didn’t get better.  In fact, I felt that I was in the presence of a bully- someone who was willing to share what others weren’t doing but unwilling to look at herself.  One day when there were just three of the 6 of us on the call, I asked her about some of the behavior I was seeing.  Let me say it took something for me to ask because I was so uncomfortable with her.  The funny thing is it’s so rare for someone to make me uncomfortable.  The response was less than good and I left that call wondering what the hell I was doing on these calls. Why was I choosing to start my day in a situation that sucked?

It only got worse for me and I decided I’d leave the group.  Leaving something mid stream is not what I do well because I equate it with quitting.  I remember cleaning the bathroom and crying about this situation because I was so frustrated.  Then I realized something and the gold was revealed.  By leaving a situation that was not benefiting me, I was actually proving to myself that I WOULD and I COULD protect myself.  My younger years showed me that I wasn’t always going to be protected.  My weight has been a way of protecting me from whatever was uncomfortable.  By leaving this situation, I was  able to show my younger and adult self that I would protect me and do what’s in my highest good and not have it be food placated.

So, I took the steps to leave.  I actually called the other woman in the group because I had a good relationship with her.  I told her I was leaving and would tell the group the next morning but I wanted to tell her ahead of time but I asked her to keep it under wraps. Unfortunately, she then made it her mission to make sure I stayed and she failed to keep it to herself but called the person who I was uncomfortable with AND invited me to then call that person.  I was clear, I was being invited into a lion’s den for an agenda that was not in my higher purpose. I felt betrayed because I’d made the request several times for her to keep our conversation under wraps and she failed to do so.  For me, it was like rubbing salt on a wound.  I felt bullied and betrayed and I was super clear leaving the group was the best decision I’d made.

I will say that it was one of the most confrontational, uncomfortable AND growth producing opportunities I’d had in awhile.  The pure gold in it was I was able to show my little girl and the adult in me that I won’t stay in situations that aren’t for my higher good. I have choices. I don’t have to stay AND I can protect myself without using food.  The proof was in the proverbial pudding later that day after the decision was made.  I had to go to a bread outlet to pick up something for a recipe and there in front of me were all the cakes and sugar laden goodies.  I actually stood in front of them and looked and saw some of my “favorites”. What happened was miraculous for me.  I didn’t want it.  I looked at it and it held no interest for me.  By taking care of myself in other ways, there was no need to protect myself with food.  Score one for Yvette.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Punishment by pants

As you read this, are you wearing clothes that are comfortable?  If not, why?  I went shopping for some clothes the other day and  I found myself thinking about a conversation I’d had with my growth partner about a year ago.  I’d said something about pants being tight and she said “why are you punishing yourself by wearing pants that are tight?”.  That conversation’s been rolling around in my mind for the past year and I finally had an ah ha with it this past week.

I’m quite fortunate that I don’t get caught up (too much) in what a tag says for clothes’ size.  I either know that the clothes I have in my closet are too small, too big or just right.  That’s not to say that I don’t have some little voices as I try something on and one size doesn’t fit and I have to go for a larger size.  What I mean is that I won’t NOT buy something if a certain size doesn’t fit.  I will get the next size up. (If it were about getting the next size down, I probably wouldn’t be writing this particular blog post.)

So, as I was shopping, I found myself trying on some pants that were elasticized rather than snap, button or zipper.  What did come through was the conversation we have about that.  “You better not wear stretchy pants. That’s just permission to over eat.  That’s permission to be a little piggie.  That’s permission to gain weight.”  I do believe I’ve even seen diet tips and tricks that suggest you wear pants that are snug to remind you not to eat.  What if it was just the opposite?  Here’s why I say that.

The next day when I got dressed, I was sporting those new pants and a new bra because I bought those as well on my shopping adventure.  I felt really good.  I felt energized.  When I sat down, I didn’t have pants biting into my stomach or a bra poking into my underarm.  Instead, I was able to just go about my day and not be negatively reminded about my size.  Here’s the interesting thing that happened.  I didn’t feel driven to eat to soothe a pain that was being caused by clothes that weren’t comfortable.  Yeah, I (we) eat to soothe pain and that soothing causes weight gain that causes discomfort that brings us to eat to soothe the pain that causes…. yes, vicious cycle.

Instead, I just went about my day.  Interestingly enough, two friends both said to me at different times during the day. “You look different.  What changed?”  What changed?  I was comfortable!  Not sweat pants comfortable with unkempt hair and the just rolled out of bed look but comfortably dressed for success and feeling sassy!

As I was experiencing this 24 hour period, I was really present to how we use clothes to punish ourselves.  We fill closets with clothes that don’t fit. We have sizes we were and we have the clothes that fit us and our “fat clothes”.  I’ve heard many friends talk about the three sizes in the closet deal.  I still remember buying a white lace shirt when I was a teen that was just a bit too small and I knew when I lost some weight it would fit.  It never did get worn.  I don’t have a closet filled with many sizes.  I have mastered that.  I do, however, fall prey to the tight clothes punishment.  My body fluctuates with hormones, if nothing else, and that’s reason enough to have clothes that are banded and clothes that aren’t.  Gosh, if I can be kind to myself with the clothes I wear, imagine what can be next.  It’s one small step at a time!  Here’s to putting on clothes that feel great each day.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Accepting Love

I find myself thinking about what Tony Vear shared with me.  Tony is a Relationship and Love Coach and I was asking him about relationships and he said to me “It’s about finding out who can accept the love you have to offer.”  Ohhhh how that rocked my world!  I’ve been living from a world of “who will love me”.  Growing up I was the girl that had “such a pretty face if only you’d lose a few pounds”.  The unspoken always was that there was something wrong with me.    I currently reside in the body of a large woman, a BBW, and I see where society keeps this conversation present.  Love stories, dating shows, billboards, magazines, advertisements all scream “if you are thin you will be loved”.  I know when I had TV I loved the show Mike and Molly because it showed two large folks who fell in love and this show bucked the norm.

This conversation with Tony shifts the world of love and dating for me.  Instead of looking for someone who will accept me (which is how I have been looking), I’ve been empowered to look for someone who is open to the love I have to offer.  As I type this it sounds like it should be an “of course!”.   However, it hasn’t been.  Whether it’s internal or external the messages that I’m not loveable have been there so long that I don’t remember when they weren’t present.  So let’s get back to what’s possible.

I haven’t put this to work yet on the dating sites or even in my life.  I’m resistant and the concept is so new.  I’ve on line dated for years and years.  I’ve met many wonderful men along the way.  Some I stayed friends with for years.  However, I haven’t found the man who can accept the love I have to offer but it’s because lurking in the background has always been “will he accept me?”  I think about how this paradigm shift will change the way I write my profile.  I think about how it will change the way I vet the profiles I see.  It seems to me it will be like seeing the world through a different pair of glasses.  After 40 something years of wearing the same glasses, I’m sure these glasses will take some practice.  What’s possible is ME choosing instead of being chosen.  What’s possible is ME actually manifesting and creating space for a man who is worth of the love I have to offer.  That’s pretty heady stuff.

As I write this though, I become present to the question, “Am I willing to accept the love I have to offer myself?”  I’ve been on a journey of self-care and love.  In fact, it’s something I’ve  become acutely aware of in my life because it wasn’t always a given.  I don’t think it’s a given for most people.  We have a tendency to accept the crumbs in life and I know I accepted crumbs from myself and from others.  I have started to accept the love I’m giving myself and I know that will shift the world in which I live.  I relish my days off, the time I take to get my nails done, get acupuncture, Reiki and all the other things I do now.  So I’m beginning to accept the love that I’m giving myself.  I do believe that has opened me up to hear what Tony had to say.  Let’s see where this brings me in the dating world.  I’m wondering, “Who CAN accept the love I have to offer?”  It’ll be quite the special man. That’s for sure!  If you know him and know me, introduce us!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment