12 months–Letting Go & Finding Peace

Are you addicted to Facebook?

I work at a university and I swear if they had a course in ‘How to Navigate Your Life Through Facebook’ I could be the prof.

‘Did you see that Suzi, changed her status?’ ‘I wonder what’s going on?’
‘Billy’s single, I’ve always wanted him to dump that girl!’
‘YEAH THEY’RE ENGAGED!’

However today the only thing that I could honestly write was: content.
That’s how I honestly feel.

I would also like to do a little history lesson for you on my blog. Take little snipets out of my life shared with you over the past 12 months. It’s been 12 months since I started this crazy thing upon the advice of my ex–yes he got me into blogging.

I am going to take snipets from blog posts around the 27th of each month for the past 12 months. I have also posted a picture that is either directly to do with the time in my life, or around about the time that the post was written. I’ve also added some commentary in orange.

July 27 2008 ‘Why I am doing this’

I began writing this blog, as a way to connect to those around me who I wouldn’t normally be able to connect with. Also, it keeps me on track of what I am about and justify why things which I hold true are important..and perhaps re-evaluate aspects of my life which need to be re-evaluated.

The core of the blog is that I have lost about 115lbs (52kg) on and off for the past 8ish years.

What is happening now is that I am down to the last 15lbs and I don’t want to give it all up. More though, I get asked all the time ‘How did you do that?’ HARD WORK, determination and good ole’ exercise and diet.

I STILL STRUGGLE! Amazing, I know. So, this is not only an outlet to help those along, who perhaps have no idea what to do and/or where to begin, But it’s about my trails, successes, and insight into the things which constantly inspire and frustrate me.

P7180039This was the infamous night of ‘not being enough’

This is when the true pressure started to creep up in my life to be thin. It was about two weeks after I was told ‘I have a problem with your weight’ and I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to be the person that my ex wanted me to be. I was beginning the process of becoming consumed with my weight.

August 29 2008 ‘Day 3: Lost Some!’

Second, who am I if I am not dieting? What will I have to worry about? OMG..my identity is gone. JK. But in all honesty. Anyone who has dieted, seriously, or who has lost a large amount of weight knows that it becomes a real part of who you are and how you define yourself.

P8230083This is in Brisbane on a work trip. I had just bought new clothes and glowing

I was in high gear at this time. My ex had gone on a four week motorcycle trip and I was bound and determined to by thin when he got back on my birthday.

September 24 2008: ‘Enjoying?’

I was sitting with a co-worker the other day and she goes ‘Michelle, what do you really want out of life?’ I have never REALLY thought about that before. I mean, I have thought about what career path I’ve wanted to explore, I thought about where I wanted to be (somewhat), but I’ve never really sat down and said…ok this is what I want to do. This is who I want to be!

This revolves, for me around eating and exercise…mainly. I actually sat down last night and enjoyed my food. Twenty five years later and I am enjoying my food. It took me twenty five years to actually enjoy an apple, not just plow through eating it for the sake of eating..because of the time/obligation/hunger.

Then it hit me..am I enjoying life? Am I living in the present moment?

IMG_0044Me on my birthday! 25 years old

There are three things about this picture 1. That morning I got on the scale and it read 168lbs and I cried and thought to myself ‘you’re still fat’. 2. I couldn’t even enjoy the candles on my cake, I was too consumed with other things. 3. I binged the whole day.

October 6 2008 (I didn’t write much in October) ‘I did it..ran my first race’

So, I decided that for every 1km…I would equate 12lbs of weight that I’ve lost…meaning for a 10km race, it would represent the 120lbs that I’ve lost–and yes after two weeks of HORRIBLE EATING AND NO EXERCISE, I’ve gotten myself back on track :) !!!!!

Anyways, I started out in the race, wrote 120 on my left hand and was off to the races. The first 5kms were average, I was feeling a bit exhausted. We had to do two laps, which isn’t favourable..but it actually wasn’t too bad. I crossed through the 1/2 way point and was almost overwhelmed with a sense of ‘Michelle, you are over 1/2 way you can do this…of course you can’ I almost lost it then..I was overcome with so much.

The 8th KM was the hardest. I was running into the wind and thought that I was going to die..but alas I didn’t There was this older lady in front of me and I decided that I wasn’t going to let her ‘win’. So, I opened up full throttle at the end of the race and blasted past her.

I cried at the end. I was exhausted, but damn it I had made it. This whole journey is exhausting at times and I have now run a race. Maybe a warm-up jog for some people, but I am so proud of myself. There is no way that I could have mentally and/or physically done this last year. I am about 20lbs lighter than I was a year ago (wow I just realised that).

I think that thing that I’ve learned is that you can do anything if you put your mind to.

race

I was so proud of myself. However, after my birthday the starvation/WW obsession and binging went hand in hand. A couple of days after this race I went back to WeightWatchers. I got down to 75.2kg… (.2) away from goal and then went to America. Where it all unraveled.

November 27 2008 ‘Food is only meant to keep your from starving’

Today I had another binge day. I am not as upset about it..well actually I should be. It’s my weigh-in day. I didn’t starve myself, run this morning or even cut off fluids all day yesterday as I normally would have done. Considering that I’ve had about four binge days in the past seven and I didn’t purposefully dehydrate myself and starve myself as I normally would, the 6.4lb or 2.9kg gain could have been a lot worse. I know..it’s a lot of weight and frankly I want to kick myself.

I decided today not to beat myself up over it. I actually do feel disgusting right now. It’s not because I binged on carrots and apples. It’s because I binged on shit. I wonder if I am binging on shitty foods because I feel as though what I am eating isn’t all that great.

I shall endeavour to hold out and make the food which I know is food for me taste good. Not bland less vegetable soup or boring tuna. I don’t agree with my grandmother. Food should be more than just a starvation avoidance tactic, it should be enjoyed. In fact, food is there to fuel our bodies and bring us joy.

P1010039This is before I made a homemade pumpkin pie

I don’t blame America. However, I remember just binging the whole time that I was home. I was wearing my skinny jeans and hating the way I felt and look. I remember my sister saying to me once ‘Michelle, everyone is really worried about you. All you talk about is how fat you are and you are obsessed with food.’ That was weird for my family to say. It was weird that someone thought I was too skinny. The only thing I felt was fat. TOTALLY fat. A fat cow. Probably all of those things ran through my head. The mental destructiveve behaviour started. I am not even sure if saying it started is fair…it had been there forever..but I had someone (my ex) around me all the time to hold me ‘accountable’ for what was going in my mouth. Honestly I think that I was rebelling against four months of ‘being good’.

December 26 2008 ‘Acceptance’

While I was going on this long walk I realised that I can’t keep fighting the fact that I have whatever I have. That I have to accept the diet that has been given to me.

P1010013On Christmas Day in Oz

I remember wearing that dress because I wanted to feel ‘thin’ after my trip home. I went on a crazy restrictive diet after my happenings in Japan. I felt deprived and I had broken up with my ex about four days prior and then rekindled our romance in the car on the way to the airport. I had a good day. But I didn’t feel happy at all. I was so confused about what was going on with my health and mentally I was drained.

January 25 2009 ‘Yoga in the Sun’

I haven’t posted much this weekend..sorry. It’s been an interesting weekend, but I finally FINALLY feel, in my heart, that I have ‘turned’ the corner. The I have gotten over hurt, pain, and binging…Thank God for Yoga.

P1010135
Me saying ‘goodbye’ to my “LAST” Ice Cream.

In the throws of so much health wise, work was INSANE, the ex and I were officially over, but I was emotionally drained..and ‘needed’ someone to be around. That’s when food started filling the void. I had been to so many doctors appointments, so many times being told to ‘come back again and we’ll have more results’. This is when I really started binging. I would come home and eat for about five hours straight. So many nights of empty promises, to wake up and break them.

February 27 2009 ‘Bring on the Wine

Man last night, was all about the wine..white wine that is. I got off work and had to start entertaining my guest..which is totally fine. We went to a local pub–after walking around a bit–and drank a glass of wine. Now kids, I haven’t drank in that long–and man I felt it. One glass of wine on an empty stomach in a tired girl :) . We then headed over for fish and chips. I thought that I ordered the chili mussels..but apparently I ordered the grilled fish with chips.

P1010122
Out for a night on the town

I had a ‘special’ visitor for a weekend at my house. Lets just say there was good memories, fun times, and lots of alcohol. I felt like I was getting my groove back and was really in my element at this time. This is one of the best weekends I’ve had in the past couple of months..especially post everything happening in Japan and the breakup. Fun night!

March 27 2009 ‘Loving Me’

I cried. Here I have been HATING, LOATHING everyday waking up to my fat body. Looking in the windows as I walk down the streets trying to suck my stomach in so I could remember what it felt like to be twenty pounds thinner…when I felt on top of the world.

I have to start loving myself. My body has done amazing things: lost 100lbs, gotten me all over the world, not sick in India (thank god), gotten through sickness in Japan, and has been tolerating my horrible eating the past 2 1/2 months without dying on me.

So give yourself a hug today.

P1010357Working as a caterer at a Hens Party–it was fun

I would have to say that March/April were shit. That’s when the binging started FULL FLEDGE. Shove it all in my face as quickly as I could get it into my mouth. SO SO many nights spent crying myself to sleep, sleeping in late, avoiding situations, etc. There was something interesting about this place though, in that I felt that eventually I was going to get out of it. However, it sucked.

April 27 2009 ‘Wait…..I like being single!’

I am going on a date!

The first date in a YEAR…holy crap. It was a year ago that things started happening between my ex…Anzac Weekend. Anyways then of course when you go on a date, you have to shave your legs, make sure you have a good outfit on (I have been feeling a bit snacky today and have dipped into the amazing honey that I bought this weekend way too much…I am going to do the shred before I go out just so that I mentally feel better about myself). Make sure that your armpits aren’t hairy, not put too much make up on, get your hair did up nicely..blah. Then try and decide what to eat, not eat too quickly, not say something stupid..wine or no wine? BLAH.

P1010768
Shredding while on vacation–Jillian would have been so proud 🙂

This is when I realised that I needed to dig out the phone number of the pysch I had been meaning to call. I wanted to change my mental image. I wanted to harness my life, unravel, unpack and repack it into a healthy manner. My binging didn’t stop, but my drive to get to somewhere other than the destructive path I was headed down became very apparent to me 🙂

May 26 2009 ‘This is where I want to be’

Home.

P1010074April was good, but I dove in May again. I really started packing on the weight and the intensity of my behaviour was catching up to me full force. My health wasn’t great. I was SO SO unhappy. I honestly would have moved back home had I not booked my tickets to Timor. That’s not even a joke. I remember thinking ‘how can I get only a two month extension on my lease’. However, I knew that in the back of my mind I had to keep plowing through everything. I needed to get everything sorted and figured out. It was essential.

June 26 2009 ‘A little glimpse into my fish bowl’

Sorry there’s no drama around my blog post today. It was just one of those relaxed days. I am headed to Dili at 4:30am tomorrow morning to head on a ferry to an Island. Super excited. It’s going to be a long day.

I am struggling a bit with my eating and body image..it goes through these flows of up and down. Say a little prayer or a happy thought.

Signing off..one tired cookie.

P1012473
Four of us after a night out in the back of a cab in Timor..four of us. I love my smile..it’s pure and honest.

I don’t even know how to properly sum up my experience in Timor. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I felt beautiful, raw, emotional, fresh, honest, weightless, totally intouch with who I REALLY AM. I became the person that I had so desperately wanted to be for such a long time. I begged, prayed, promised myself that I would become that person that Timor allowed me to find again. I came home and struggled..struggled again with binging. However, I knew that I didn’t need to be that person anymore.

I was ME.

P1012479

5 thoughts on “12 months–Letting Go & Finding Peace

  1. Gayle says:

    Wow – that’s some year at a glance. Well said and well done – just keep doing what works and smiling! (Hey, maybe I could take that advice myself.)

  2. April Brown says:

    Michelle,

    I know we haven’t talked in a loooooong time, but I just wanted to tell you what I saw in your year ‘0’ blogs. I saw a beautiful women who shared her struggles and sincere smile. I don’t know if I can tell you how inspiring your stories are. It’s good to know that the weight obsession and constant self-criticism are not just happening to me. Your honesty has truly made a difference. Thank you.

  3. burpexcuzme says:

    Oh my God. What a beautiful, positive, heartwarming story! you sure have evolved into a strong, beautiful, confident woman. I really hope you keep on loving yourself, and really enjoying life and its pleasures as you. you are perfect the way you are, and congrats on realizing this!

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