Friday, September 24, 2010

Blogging My Way Through "Body Clutter" - Chapter One

Is food the enemy?
Well to some people, it can be.
Let's face it, it is an addiction that plagues more Americans than any drug on the market.
That's what this chapter faces.

We all associate memories to food, even those who aren't addicted - the Thanksgiving turkey, making cookies with mom, grandma's coconut cake . . . It's only human. But the difference between that and a food-addicted person is this - the food addict will take that memory and run with it. If it's a joyful memory, that food becomes attached to that joy, and we addicts have to have more of it especially during stressful times (still not convinced that food can be an addiction?)

For Marla, this addiction is Macaroni and Cheese. For Leanne, it's chocolate. For me, it's any food I can get my hands on.

Do I have a specific food memory? Well, I have several, but when it comes to "comfort food" I honestly don't have that one food that triggers me. My food addiction stemmed from a traumatic childhood that I won't go into detail about here. Essentially, I subconsciously put on weight for a purpose. Sadly, it didn't work, so I ended up continuing to eat to fill the painful void. I started putting on large amounts of weight by the time I was seven. Yes. SEVEN.

As a latchkey kid, I was never given limits on what I could or couldn't eat after school. I'd eat two mini pizzas, a whole box of macaroni and cheese, or a half a bag of potato chips for an after school snack. And then at dinner, I'd eat an entire plate filled to the rim with food, simply because my older brother would take whatever was left, and not leave anything for seconds or leftovers (I guess that was a form of self-preservation).

After I moved out of the house, I went to Austin where I got into some heavy legal trouble. Additionally, I was living with a (so I thought) friend that was manipulative and verbally abusive. In fact, she was the reason for all the legal trouble. After a year, I moved back home to my folks, but the depression and worthlessness were still in tact - full force. Again, I ate. By the time I was 21 years old, I was 240 lbs. Years passed, and I continued to put on weight - slowly but surely. When I had my daughter at 28 I was about 265. I stayed around the same weight until I met my husband about a year and a half later. After we moved in together and we got married, I gained even more weight. When I became pregnant with my second child, I was up to 280, roughly. After his birth, I went into a period of a kind of postpartum depression, and within five months time, I had put on 30 lbs to reach 310 lbs! I think I just now realized that I was depressed. Looking back now, I must have been. My house was terrible, I looked awful, I slept all the time, when I wasn't sleeping I was eating . . . I was depressed for sure.

Food had become my enemy, but I wasn't ready yet to relinquish all control.

Something Leanne said was that she finally realized that "It's only food! It isn't Love! It's not God!"(8). It would take me a while yet to find that realization.

Want to know exactly what Marla and Leanne say in their book? Buy it for yourself!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blogging My Way Through "Body Clutter" - Introduction

The introduction to this book was both expected and surprising. Of course there were the usual obesity statistics and nutrition facts, but the surprising thing was how into detail about their lives Marla and Leanne went. Not only that, but every other paragraph was an "Oh, my God, that's ME" moment.

For example, Leanne recounts having two small children in the home while she was studying for her nutritionist license. This really hit home with me, as I am currently studying for my bachelor's degree with three kids in the house.

One of the points they both make here, is that you have to LOVE YOURSELF before you can truly let go of the emotional clutter (baggage) that led to the body clutter (obesity) in the first place. Marla even refers to body clutter as a kind of "self-abuse", and I couldn't agree more.

Why is it self abuse in my case? Well, that's something that I'll explore with you in the next point. Let's just suffice it to say that guilt and self-loathing were my initial triggers.

Want to know exactly what Marla and Leanne say in their book? Buy it for yourself!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blogging My Way Through "Body Clutter"

I got a new book in the mail.
It's called Body Clutter, and it was written by The Fly Lady (Marla Cilley) and The Dinner Diva (Leanne Ely). Now, if you don't know who these two remarkable women are, you need to go check out their web sites. Go on. It's okay, I'll wait.

 . . . .

Alrighty then, now that you know how wonderful they are, let me tell you about how I ended up with this book.

If you've been following this blog, you know my struggles. I'll lose, then I'll gain. I'll try something, then something else, then something else . . .

If you've noticed I haven't been blogging here in a while, it's because I haven't really had much to blog about. It's kinda been the same thing ever day - I eat, I sleep, I weigh. Some days I lose, some days I don't. Then I started reading reviews on Body Clutter. It's not a diet book, first of all. It's more a book on how to deal with YOURSELF than anything else, and how to declutter your life (and thus your body). That was one thing that drew me to it. Second, I LOVE Marla Cilley more than you can possibly know. Seriously folks, she is my Lady Gaga. So I ordered it.

The thing about this book is that Marla and Leanne aren't preachy - at all. They don't point fingers and say mean things. They've BEEN there - and this is their story. Through telling their stories, they help you to write your own, so to speak, with exercises at the end of each chapter. The idea is that you keep a journal to write these answers in so you can go back and revisit them.

This is not a book about dieting, it's a book about changing your attitude about yourself.

About halfway through chapter 3, I got a stroke of genius. I have had bloggers block for this particular blog for a long time, so I decided why not use that to my advantage? I have decided that over the next couple of months, I am going to blog my way through this book. I will publicly journal my answers to all of the exercises, and share my successes and frustrations, joys and flops. I will not blog every day, simply because time will not allow that, but I will blog at least 2-3 times a week.

I would love for you to join me. If you would like to, you can get the book here or here.

So . . . Let's get started!