Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nostalgia and pressure

I haven't talked about this with anyone because it sounds kind of crazy. Certain triggers are bringing on nostalgic feelings from when I had my surgery in November. Most people (I'm assuming!) would have bad memories of fainting, severely breaking their jaw, spending 6 days in the hospital, enduring 2 surgeries, and having their jaws wired shut for 6 weeks...right?  MOST people would hate that memory!


However, something about those 8ish weeks made me feel really happy. Sure, it was cool to have lots of attention from my family, and to have people show genuine care about me. But that's not really what the nostalgia is for. It's very hard to explain. I'm starting to think that it's because I actually cared about something OTHER THAN my weight and my size and food. With my broken jaw, I had no choice but to occupy my mind with something else! I couldn't binge when I wanted to--it wasn't an option (well, unless I wanted to binge on Ensure!)

Left to right: my younger brother, Nathan; me; my sister, Jeanie; older brother, Brian; husband, Jerry. (And obviously my two kids lying across us). This was the day I came home from the hospital.
Now, even with all the pain and recovery I went through, I get warm, happy feelings when I think about certain things--such as Spicy Carrot Bisque (my daily lunch during recovery), Oxycodone (my pain med), my black pajamas (my mom bought them for me when I was in the hospital), pumpkin smoothies (my sister made it for me for my Thanksgiving dinner), the corner of my sectional couch (where I spent 90% of my first week home), Lipton black tea (part of my meals in the hospital), a red blanket with sleeves (Jerry got it for me for Christmas), Dr. M (my surgeon who seemed to truly care about me), a little blue dress (my friend Sarah gave it to me at my lowest weight in December; it's a size 4 and it was actually too big to wear at the time).
My Thanksgiving dinner (pumpkin smoothie)

My hospital meals were all the same. Broth, juice, tea, popsicle, jello (I couldn't eat the jello--too solid)

The black pajamas that my mom bought me


Thinking about all those things almost make me wish I could go back and do it all again (ridiculous, I know). It was almost like my whole life stopped and I didn't have to worry about taking care of the house, the kids, driving Eli to school, cooking dinner, paying bills, etc.

I didn't intend for this to be a "deep" post, but now that I'm writing about it, it makes me wonder if maybe I feel nostalgic because people were taking care of ME instead of the other way around. I always feel SO MUCH PRESSURE and STRESS about numerous things in my life--and honestly the main stressor is my weight loss. Ever since so many people found me on Sparkpeople, I get e-mails and messages daily from people saying what an inspiration I am, and how I motivate them, etc. I feel like such a fraud! I'm completely honest in my blog here, but some (probably most) don't read my blog. They just see my before and after pictures and think that I figured it all out and now I'm living my dream.

When I broke my jaw and my life was pretty much put on hold, it was such a relief from all the pressure! Now, every time I put on a single pound, I feel like I'm letting down all the people who say I am an inspiration. I even told my husband that some days, I wish I hadn't lost the weight. When I was fat, nobody expected anything of me. Now, the odds are completely against me keeping all this weight off, and that is at the front of my mind every single day.

Well, I didn't want this to be a "poor me" kind of post at all--and I certainly didn't want to whine! I hope it didn't come across that way. Anyway, if you're a new reader and want to read about the whole jaw incident, you can see that here on my blog on Sparkpeople.  Excuse the tons of grammar/spelling errors--I was on tons of medications when I wrote that!

22 comments:

  1. I totally see where you are coming from. I too have lost a bunch of weight (72.8 lbs.) and have been trying to keep it off for almost 3 months now. I don't want to gain it back, but I also don't want to live the rest of my life constantly thinking about everything I put in my mouth. How fun is that?!?! I am hoping as time passes, it will become easier....and I think it will! Just remember that you have to do this for YOU and nobody else...

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  2. Thank you!! I still feel that you are an inspiration. Not many people are brave enough to admit that they are struggling with keeping the weight off - I know for myself, it will always be an everyday struggle and it is nice to see that there are others out there struggling with it.
    Again, thank you for being open and honest.

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  3. I have been wanting to email you because you were an inspiration to me as well. You were an inspiration though for probably a different reason than you were to most. What inspired me most is how you said that you just had to set a goal to not binge today and that it was a daily struggle. It is inspiring to see that it isn't all rosey and easy. So many people seem like they make their goal and they magically get a fairy tale life- whereas from reading your posts, I feel like I can relate to you because in reality, it isn't easy... at all... and it is a daily struggle. So don't for a second feel like a fraud because I think that your experience is the most real of those that I have read about. So thank you for sharing your struggle, thank you for your honest, and thanks for the healthy dose of realistic inspiration.

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  4. I think you are such an inspiration to people because you are real. You admit things most people never would, you fess up when you screw up, and you struggle. That's what everyone goes through and it's inspirational to know that you have come as far as you have and are real about everything. That's life and I know for me personally, if you can go through everything you have and do as good as you have, then I can suck it up and do better too. You aren't letting anyone down if you gain weight or binge... you are helping us learn from your experiences and that is so helpful. You are doing the best you can and learning every step of the way so don't feel inadequate. You are an inspiration and a motivator... no matter where your path leads you. Keep your head up lady!

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  5. You have been pushed into this weight loss spotlight, thanks to your weight loss & Sparkpeople.com. Yes, I found you on Sparkpeople.com & now follow you here on this blog. You have to realize that you are no different than any other wife, mom, runner, healthy eater (hate the word "diet"), blogger, etc. We all have our struggles & stressors, including me. We just have to find a way to deal with them & yours was breaking your jaw. During this time, you didn't have the internet world watching what you ate, how much you ran...just how you were healing. People don't care if you lose and/or gain a pound or if you pig out on junk food every now & then. It's called normal & everyone does it. The inspiration comes from you, yourself - not what you do, eat or write. Don't be so hard on yourself, like you have been lately & just keep truckin' along. It will all fall into place.

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  6. I followed you on OD from the very beginning (I read several beginnings) and I think it's the fact that you struggle to maintain but are doing it that is an inspiration. It's not like youve found the magic pill and are 'fixed'. You still struggle to make healthy choices which is how I see myself being forever. sometimes things click in for a few weeks, but it's so easy for them to click out again and become so so hard. You give me hope that as long as I keep trying I'll get there eventually even with the challenges.

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  7. My comment is short & sweet.....I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I like to be ill, or injured just to get taken care of.....not serious of course, but just enough to get some TLC for a couple of days....there is nothing wrong with your nostalgia.....it's human nature :)

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  8. Something I always try to remember is that you have to do a "good" or new habit LONGER than you did the old/bad habit before your old tendencies are gone for good. Don't be too hard on yourself, you really are doing an amazing job!

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  9. Katie I follow you on a regular basis on both of your sites. Here and spark. You are a amazing person. Because you have came so far. I love reading your posts here because it makes me feel I am not alone in this struggle. You can drop the weight but you still will struggle no matter what. We are not trying to pressure you at all. This is hard. Dropping he weight is the first part. Keeping it off is the the last part. The last part is the hardest thing you will ever do. Us people who have been to the breaking point with our weight are so scared to put it back on. It is a struggle. You CAN do this. Be happy for YOU no one else. Put a smile on your face beautiful! -vanillamama

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  10. Katie, I have read every one of your posts on OD, followed you on Sparkpeople, and now follow this blog. I follow you because your struggle is real, and your success is real, and you don't hide the fact that they are hopelessly intertwined. The reality of a life changing weightloss is that the challenges never go away. When I read about your life, I feel normal. Don't let the pressure to be a certain kind of magical success story get in the way of your real journey to find balance.
    Maria

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  11. I can totally relate to this! When my daughter was born I had an emergency c-section that led to a bad infection and then double mastitis and yet I remember it with a bit of envy because my whole world stopped and I didn't have to really worry about anything except my next pain med (and the baby of course...). I practically fell in love with my OBGYN because she took care of me so well and I remember feeling actual sorrow at my last visit because the infection healed and I was ready to return to normal life! It's amazing that being able to truly only worry about yourself is worth a lot of pain and suffering- but it is!

    Marla

    Marlarella on sparkpeople

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  12. I have been following you here and on Spark (nogush) and I was so sad to read that you're afraid to disappoint us! You're such an inspiration BECAUSE you struggle, not despite of it. You're human and that's what makes you real and definitely not a fraud! I don't want to hear the sugar coated fairy tale weight loss story, I want to know that I'm not alone in my struggles and that we can get through it together! It really is about finding balance and being at peace and I wish for all of us that we will find it.
    Thanks for sharing Katie!

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  13. You are still inspirational because you are real. Thank you for being honest with us and I think anyone who has lost weight can relate to your fears of regaining. It is so frustrating to make a lot of progress and then slip, even when you are still trying so hard (watching the diet so closely and working out so much).

    I was thinking while reading this blog, or maybe it was your last one... Do you do any strength training? I agree with you that at some point you want to just live your life, to be steady in your weight not have to worry so much all the time. Running is such awesome cardio, but weight training would help your burn more calories while resting. It could help you to be able to eat a little more and still stay at the same weight or size. Then this morning on Spark I came across this and thought I would pass it along:

    "While on a weight lifting program, the right hormones (testosterone) are necessary in order to bulk up. Women’s testosterone levels are much lower than men’s, so in most cases, they are not capable of building large muscles. In fact, since muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose inches when they strength train. So in addition to the physical benefits (increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis, increased strength), strength training will help you slim down too! Women, in fact, are more likely to tone up from strength training rather than bulk up. Research shows that women can add up to 30% lean muscle and end up looking thinner, feeling stronger and being firmer. No matter how many repetitions you do, you should be lifting a challenging weight and feel muscle fatigue by the end of each set."

    Anyway, I hope I didn't cross a line, but thought it might help? I admire your work ethic so much and know you will continue to be successful. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

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  14. Katie, you are an inspiration. Not only because you look great, but because you have the guts to put yourself out there, be so honest and you do NOT give up. I am quite a bit older than you but have been struggling with my weight since I was a teenager. I read a lot of your open diary and so many of the things that you said are things that I have thought. A lot of people are behind you!

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  15. I so get you...this is exactly how I feel. I didn't have a huge surgery and recovery, but a small surgery and recovery and also the constant worry about this stupid weight loss. It consumes me--worrying about regain, maintaining, FOOD, eating. And I was almost looking forward to my own surgery, because I thought for once, I would be the one being taken care of, being pampered, instead of always being the caregiver. That is us--the moms of the world--we do the taking care of, and sometimes we just need a break. Hope you're having a GREAT Mother's Day and being honored as you deserve to be. I have to say my oldest and youngest sons, whom I have already seen today were most generous, great cards, nice gifts. The youngest (25) who still lives at home, even made me waffles for breakfast. I had one with a little spray on non calorie butter substitute, and some non-sugar syrup. It was delicious!
    I am a fellow struggler, one who doesn't put you on a pedestal, but knows you are going through what we are all going through every single day of our lives--striving, trying to do our best, failing sometimes, succeeding others, but always still trying. Please keep writing about your struggles, it helps me to read that you are experiencing the same thing as me, and not always doing the best either. I absolutely love your honesty! Good luck to us both!

    Pam/Maggierosebowl

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  16. I don't think you're a fraud....I think you're human! Ups and downs are a part of life. You're not human if you don't have problems!

    ~Jolynn

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  17. YOU set your goals and you reach them for no one else but YOU. We only want to encourage you. So if you want to change your goals, who are we to pressure to do otherwise? You still are an inspiration, but even moreso because you are REAL about your struggles and successes. And if, when you find your perfect balance, you're not 126 lbs, then so what? We (or at least I) just like to see someone who's taken charge of their life and LIVE it instead of just survive it. It gives me a sense that maybe it's not impossible for me.

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  18. Awwww Katie,

    I know where you are coming from to a much lesser degree. You must feel so much added pressure as a successful blogger. I never thought about it until you posted this blog.

    We are all just human....ups & downs are part of life. I applaud you for sharing your struggles, for letting us know how hard ALL of this journey is. That it is NEVER over. That we must always be mindful. There are days when I think I'm the only one who fell off the wagon, who had a really tough day, week or month. Thank you for letting us know about the bad times as well as the good.

    Pam/Maggierosebowl said "I am a fellow struggler, one who doesn't put you on a pedestal, but knows you are going through what we are all going through every single day of our lives--striving, trying to do our best, failing sometimes, succeeding others, but always still trying."

    I'm sorry to say, I did put you on that pedestal, thinking you had found the "secret".
    I know better now and am beginning to understand the pressure you must feel everyday from all around you. I also know you are strong and can do anything you set your mind to.

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  19. When we see your 125lbs weight loss journey with the picture,we see it in 1 minute and think wow! She did it!And it looks so easy! But the truth is,the hard part is keeping it off because you don't have the highs of watching the scale go down and people praising your weight loss every week. When the added pressure of people follwing your every move and knowing the scale is going up and you can't hide it,and you think you don't have the power to stop it,the stress level goes up and it's easy to fall back into the trap of releasing the stress with eating,which just makes more stress so you eat more. That is a vicious cycle that is hard to stop. I don't have the answer for you but i guess i'm just going to say don't give up and do your best one day at a time.

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  20. I seriously love how real and honest you are, Katie! You just say how you're feeling...it's very refreshing! I don't think you're a fraud at all. I think you're just human like the rest of us!

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  21. I think the reason so many people find you inspirational, myself included, is that you are REAL! You are dealing with all the shit day to day that we all have to deal with too. You have bad days just like we do, you're not perfect all the time, that's what I need to help me through it. I need to know that there are other people that are having the same struggles that I am and aren't making it look like it's super easy, because it's not. Some things get easier but for the most part it's a struggle and I'm always having to decide whether I realize it or not. The people that make it look like it was easy and they have it all figured out don't, no one does. All we can do is the best we can do, some days it's more, other's it's a little less.

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  22. Oh, Katie.......I feel the same. Even though almost no one follows me on SP when someone does stumble across my page and tells me I'm an inspiration I feel like a fraud. I struggle constantly to keep the weight off and gain and lose the same five pounds (better than 100) over and over.

    I agree with others on this page and believe it is the fact that you are real.......that is what inspires all of us.

    I understand your warm feelings about your broken jaw too. I hate to admit that I sometimes want to be sick or injured just to let my everyday struggles go and let someone else take care of me......even if it's just for a day or two.

    TerryT55

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)