Thursday, May 30, 2013

A momentous occasion

What an incredible ride Round 2 is turning out to be!!!
I finished round 1 at 105.2 and over the course of finale weekend went up to 106.5 - which I was completelty ok with. It was a celebration and I got it back off within the first week of round 2!! Yay me.

I have been at this a few years now and when people ask me what my goal weight is I always laugh and say I don't know I've always been overweight/fat/big. I brush off the question because I just....don't....know. I know that the picture in my head that I've always been huge is wrong. I understand that now, but I DO know for a FACT that I have been overweight since at least 16 years old. And since then I have been over 100kgs.
Every time I have tried to lose weight or diet I've always stopped before hitting that 100kg mark or going below and ALWAYS put it back on again. So literally for all the years I've been weighing myself I have never seen double digits on that display. In my post about my amazing light bulb moment I talked about how I think all these times I've sabotaged myself because I didn't know who I would be anymore if I wasn't the kind,funny,fat friend - they all went hand in hand.
I know better now...I'm working on believing differently to that but it will take some practice. I still see nice things in shops and just walk by without even thinking it might fit and it might look good.
Last week on Wednesday I got down to 101.4kgs the lightest I can remember being and I set my sights on cracking the 100kgs this week.
And here is what happened!!!!

I DID IT!!!! AND........


The change in my confidence and self believe is obvious to me. I feel like I grew a foot taller!
I feel like I can do ANYTHING!!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The importance of photos and 12WBT weekly challenges...

In the past several rounds of 12WBT, I have struggled so much on a day to day basis that even keeping track of the weekly challenges was a bit more than I could manage...not this time.

This time, I'm Redefining Me - changing the narrative and the picture in my head of who I am and what I look like. The week 1 challenge was to create an inspiration board. I did one as a collage in my very first round but this weekend I started making an inspiration wall...or the beginning of my craft/computer room.

One of the things I started doing, right back at the beginning of my journey in 2010, was that I took photos every 5kgs that I lost. Or I tried to. And, I kept track, a running tally of my weight. It took a very long time for me to even begin to make serious headway but I'm so proud of how far I have come! It's these photos that are helping me to change that narrative, and to start to see the person I actually am now, not the person I'm so used to seeing in the mirror.

01/10/2010 ~ 139.9kgs
12/09/2011 ~ 133.7
5kgs down
25/10/2011 ~ 127.9
10kgs down!!
23/04/2012 ~ 124.8
15kgs down!!
28/05/2012 ~ 119.4
20kgs down!!
20/06/2012 ~ 114.5
25kgs down!!
26/09/2012 ~ 109.8
30kgs down!!!
15/05/2013 ~ 104.1
35kgs down!!!
There are some really long gaps between these photos. We all hit our rough patches and I've been no exception...from July last year until April this year, I hovered between the 27kgs lost and 30kgs lost mark bouncing up and down and around. My head just wasn't right. Moving from Roma away from my awesome support network really through me. But it MADE me learn to depend on myself for my motivation and determination! And I'm back on my way. I made round one work for me getting back to the lightest I'd been and already this round I've lost over 5kgs. Searching out these photos has reaffirmed for me how vital photographing the journey is to changing our picture of ourselves. When I tried on the shirt in that last photo, I didn't even buy that shirt. I just still can't get past horizonal stripes. Maybe I can pull them off now but it's that picture in my head that stops me. These photos and others like them will soon grace my wall. Along with quotes from Michelle Bridges, and my goals. I will post a picture of it when I'm finished.
Did you do your inspiration board? Do you realise why it is so important? Have you been taking regular photos?? If not, start now!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kate Beck's (Coco Girl) Operation Yellow Dress

Tonight I was reading through my favourite 12WBT facebook groups and saw a post by Cathy Sheargold suggesting that we launch a Kate Beck's Operation Yellow Dress this round...on mass! The idea was started by Kate Beck aka Coco Girl on her blog. She owned a size 16 dress that she wanted to get back into. She started taking a picture each week to document her progress in getting back into THE YELLOW DRESS.

I decided that joining this challenge would be awesome but I don't have a dress to use. I am currently the smallest (yippee) that I have ever been as an adult. I am thinking about doing this with a skirt I own that Marko bought me when we first started dating. It's a size 16 and I have never worn it. Certainly a good place to start! I would like to do it with a dress as well but as I currently do not own a smaller dress this will have to do.

You can follow along with my own 'Operation Yellow Dress' here.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

That Lightbulb Moment

I have decided that instead of my 12WBT journey taking over my normal blog that I would link a new one to it and focus solely on my weight loss journey. If you are here for the first time and would like to read about my journey so far, go to the Turkish Delights tab at the top of this blog then search the label 12WBT - there you will find all my previous posts regarding my journey....

Now back to today's topic - my lightbulb moment.

Over the last few years I have had a couple of these - when I saw the picture that Moira took of Marko and I at the beach Christmas 2010 (below) which triggered me to begin the process of trying to lose weight.

Yes it was a lightbulb moment, however my latest lightbulb should probably be categorised as a 'floodlight' moment in terms of it's significance and ongoing impact.

In order to fully explain my floodlight moment, I'll need to back track a little....stay with me..

I am currently working as a Case Manager for the Samaritans in the Hunter Valley. I work with families who have a child with a disability and some with behaviour problems - often families with both. I was offered the opportunity to attend a two day training course 'Understanding the Neurobiology of Complex Trauma' and due to several of the families I work with having experienced trauma I decided to attend.

It was incredibly interesting. We were taught about the parts of the brain and how trauma and ongoing/repeated complex trauma affects brain development in children. I won't go into how sad parts of it were, I will say that the exciting thing we know now is that we can change our brain and neuron paths if we work really hard at it. For children who have suffered trauma this means that their brain can learn to do the things they missed out on as a result of the trauma.

The topic provoked some amazing conversations at our table. 3 of us at the table have struggled with weight for some time. The part that really interested us was when our trainer Julie spoke about how the brain 'prunes' off the connections that aren't necessary or strong and it mylenates or strengthens those connections which are used regularly. It made me realise why after 2 1/2 years of hard work, my habitual response to an emotional provoking event like the flash flooding at Branxton a few months ago, still triggers uncontrolled eating in me. Its not an excuse - its understanding that for 30 years I have reinforced that neurological pathway in my brain that connects strong emotion to food. That food = comfort and calm. We discussed this at length at our table and the fact that just when you have repeated something often enough to have made a permenant change you almost need to double your efforts and continue on in the same pattern for twice as long to make sure it is a permenant change. Also, now that I know that it is a brain thing, I can look out for the signs and use other coping strategies in those situations - hopefully.

After that, we learned about 'narratives' or internal pictures/stories of ourselves and how this narrative is defined by our early and repeated experiences. Someone who is told repeatedly that they are stupid will come to believe it and it will, to a degree, define who they are. Likewise for someone who is always told they are clever or beautiful. Their 'narrative' reflects their experience and becomes what they know to be true about themselves whether it is true or not.

Here it I sat there I was almost overwelmed with tears. I suddenly realised that all my life my narrative, my view of myself, has been tied to my weight (der right). When I say defined, I mean it was the central part of who I thought I was. That I was the big girl, the fat girl of my class, family, friendship group. And this has been my reality. I have been the biggest in those groups for a long, long time....BUT it doesn't define who I am! See what I mean about the floodlight. I really thought I would cry sitting there in my training. It was like the whole room faded and I was fastforwarding through my life - through all the moments when I felt big, uncomfortable, like I stuck out in the crowd...and then I thought of who I am inside and what I'm good at and NONE of that relates to my weight. AND THOSE THINGS ARE THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER - THAT MAKE ME WHO I AM...NOT MY WEIGHT.

Now some of you are probably slapping your foreheads going 'der Emily, you are seriously slow' but I have never conciously thought these things. It's been an unconcious knowledge, my truth, why would I question it? And why am I making such a big deal about it? I have been here twice, or close to here. I've lost significant amounts of weight before now and I have gotten within 10kgs of getting under the 100kg mark and I've lost it. I've binged or something has gone wrong and I've given up.

You know what I realised sitting there trying not to cry?

I don't know who I am if I'm not that 'fat girl' in the group. My identity has been so tied up in this that I have held onto that truth/narrative with both hands and sabotaged myself so that my truth was once again reinforced. Well I will not let that happen this time. I WILL change my narrative. I know now that this whole journey is more than just eating right and changing habits. It is about questioning 'What I know to be true about myself'...when she asked us to tell our group one thing we know to be true about ourselves, my first thought was 'overweight and fat' - yes they are the same, but isn't that sad. Obviously that isn't what I said, but it was a huge wakeup call.

I'm not quite sure how to tackle this and change my narrative. I have taken photos at every step along the way since October 2010 and I think I need to print a photo story for my walls. But I think I need to do more. I need photos from through my childhood showing that yes I was unusually tall but not overweight, not until puberty...but by then I already had the internal narrative that I was 'big', in the eyes of the child I was being taller equalled bigger. Perhaps I also need to start making lists of my strengths and posting them on the walls also, so I have to look at them every day.

What I do know is that I am going to change this internal narrative that I have going on in my head. I will change it to focus on who I am not what I think I look like. It won't be easy and it will take me a very long time, but I'm willing to work my ass off to do this.

I am starting by making my blog Turkish Delights my life blog rather than being so focussed on my weight loss, because it is no longer going to be what defines me...sure I'll slip up and have bad days, but change in thoughts is what I'm after. So from today, all my weight related posts will reside here!

Me now