Tag Archives: hiding

Weight Loss Journey Day 23

sunset cloudsI’m feeling it. That sense that this blessed rest is almost over. Tomorrow will be our last day on the beach. We’ll be gone before the sunrise on Saturday.

Introspection takes over.

I’m tired of not getting sun on my tummy.

I’m tired of hiding next to my condo door when I want to feel the ocean on my feet while I seek the sun.

I do it.

I wrap in my towel. Drag the lounge chair and my journal to the ocean edge. Where people will walk by. People who may or may not even notice that I am there, just another sun-seeker at the beach. Another middle-aged woman in a bikini top. (The bottom swimsuit piece is still granny style. Just can’t go there all the way.)

I pull the towel away and quickly plop onto the chair letting my toes dig into the sand and delighting in the tickle of the gentle tide that laps over them. I feel the sun. I relax.

Someone walks by; I panic. I imagine they are a conservative couple who would never have a bikini top in their home, and who have read my articles. I imagine they are now appalled to see me like this . . .

But they don’t even notice me, not really. And I am angry with myself for this crazy game. I’m tired of being afraid.

I’m tired of hiding.

I sit a while longer. The sea washes over my tattoo. The one on my foot that reminds me that Jesus delights in me. The one that matches my daughter’s, connecting us as she gets engaged and prepares to connect with someone else in a new way. The one that says we delight in each other.

my cool tattoo

The one I sometimes hide.

I let it go, this angst.

Then, finally, I pick up the little blank book.

journal2

Then finally, I write.

writing

Maybe you’d like to know what. I’ll tell a little, carefully edited. Raw but not completely revealing:

“[Last Thursday] I was tired of crying alone, of hiding . . . of having no human place to undress. Years of compressing anger, the fears, the pain, have taken a toll. Sometimes it expands, too often and unbidden, to full size. And sometimes when it does I cry. I know it as raw, feeling pain—but other times it doesn’t feel like anything.

Then a car comes out of nowhere, and my body hurts. I hurt.  I rest and try to heal.

All used up.

. . .

I don’t want to be a burden. To hurt others. To ask for what can’t be given.

But I don’t want to be that little girl crying out for solace into a void where there is no one able to give it.

. . .

I want to be naked and unashamed. I don’t want to cry alone. I want to cry with arms around me. I want uncloaked intimacy of body, heart, and soul.”

And as I wrote these things I saw a little girl Paula. She watched to see how the words would be received. She heard voices of the past that kept her quiet.

And I remembered the little girl who wrote in her journal, unable to write real words sometimes, just harsh, cutting marks, bearing down so hard that for pages after her quiet explosion the writing space was ruined.

Nobody else was strong enough to be trusted. Just God and her journal.

But now that little girl looks curious. She’s watching to see if I truly unveil. She’s watching to see if there are people strong enough for all of her.

And I write more:

“I’m afraid I’m just a vapor with nothing left to give substance. I’m afraid of leaning and being leaned upon. What if relationships topple, too much vapor for leaning?

I know God is in this somewhere. I’m pretty certain I would have already crashed and shattered without hope of being put back together again if He weren’t. But right now I don’t want to be told He is holding me up. (Though I’m sure He is.)

. . .

I’m wearing a bikini top as I write. I’ve wondered why—at 47 and very overweight—I would crave the sun on my stomach, on the long unexposed part of my breasts. But I’ve begged it to come and color me bronze. I long to feel its heat in those typically hidden places.

The first few days I cowered, barely leaving the lanai, begging the sun to meet me there. Funny. I have burned shoulders and upper chest, but these places I expected to be so tender, those so long hidden, have not seemed to draw in the sun at all.

Today I did the unthinkable, dragging my chair out where people are, so hungry was I to have the hidden places touched. I think the water might reflect the sun, and I might actually show that I have been changed, there in those vulnerable parts.

There is risk. A few still walk the beach, and I am seen. I might even be noticed, though I hope not. The biggest risk of this exposure is that my vulnerable, hidden places will not only be warmed bronze, but seared.

Real Time Update:

So far no searing . . .

There’s some confusion about how I’m doing this blog, especially with people who started following the blog after this post released, so check it out if the timing stuff confuses you. Basically, the heart of today’s blog is about what happened on the 23rd day of my weight loss journey even though today I’m at something like day 87. The real time updates talk about my present struggles/success, but in less detail. I hope getting both perspectives help!

And about yesterday’s real time update–I did get it together to return to exercise, and I’m researching plateaus and praying about how to approach this one.

What About You?

Have you hidden? Come out of hiding? Been seared . . . or healed?

Weight Loss Journey Day 22

the beach walkingIf I were home today would be my “weigh in and tell BENew what my pounds and inches are” day.

But I’m not home.

Maybe the extra week before I weigh again will show some real results. I’m starting to feel different. I look in the mirror and my eyes aren’t so sure, but in my heart I KNOW I am different even if the mirror doesn’t SHOW it.

I can’t believe I can walk the whole beach like this. I’ve come so far from the woman who spent all those hours on the couch or in bed this summer. We see lots of cool stuff as we walk.

Today’s expedition included a small shark

shark closer

And a weird stump that sprayed ocean water as the waves rolled over it. I wish I were an artist and could paint it.

walking 2

I’m still doing nothing. Not reading, writing, or even watching movies. We sit on the lanai and talk for hours. We walk the beach or swim at the pool.

I lay in the sun in my bikini top.

Bikini top. Still weirded out by buying one and even more by wearing one. It isn’t about showing something off. With my weight and stretch marks that isn’t even possible. It’s about something . . . more. About not hiding. About not holding back because I fear what people think. About being brave enough to do something differently than I did yesterday–or even for most of my life.

So I expose this previously unexposed part of me to the sun, longing for it’s warmth, wanting to be kissed brown even as I fear I will scorch.

I keep cutting back on sunscreen because I’m not even tanning on my tummy, much less burning.

As so passes another day at the beach.

It’s peaceful as night falls here.

palm tree and dusk

We eat healthy

food florida

And watch the sunset as we do.

sunset and bird

The birds lift their wings to freedom, and I long to follow.

Real Time Update:

The brave thing of this week wasn’t buying clothes but giving them away–three garbage bags of three different sizes. It’s even braver to do so since I’m frustrated by that plateau I mentioned yesterday. But I will NOT return to 190 pounds. Or 183 Or 180. And I will NOT give up on losing another chunk of weight.

Though to be honest I’ve avoided exercise today. It is self-sabotage, this grumpy-I’m-not-going-to-do-it-if-I’m-not-going-to-see-results-attitude. I’m not giving into it long term. But for today . . . I’m nursing my emotion as I try to decide whose advice to follow: eat more, not less, for a short time; add more intensity to exercise; change up exercise patterns; drink more water; eat less; get more fiber; reduce carbs.

It’s overwhelming.

But I WON’T give up. Just taking today to process (okay, and to feel sorry for myself, although it’s not making me want to eat, it’s making it hard to force myself to eat.) And when I quit feeling so mad I’ll pray about this, make a decision, and keep on keepin’ on.

What About You?

What would be a freedom choice in your life? How do you process disappointment? Or make good choices when you get conflicting advice?

Weight Loss Journey Day 21

You didn’t think I’d do it, did you?

I did.

Bought a bikini top on clearance at the Sarasota Wal-mart. I didn’t grow up wearing a bikini so this is not a normal place of comfort for me. I only wore one once, on my honeymoon for my husband. But there is something to this, something I don’t yet understand. Like I mentioned yesterday, I think it has something to do with my need to quit hiding.

bikini

Yes, this is what I bought. NO I will not model it on the Internet!!

Do you think I’ll get burned in those places that have not been exposed? I’m slathering the sunscreen.

And NO, I am NOT wearing the top while we walk the beach, but only when I slip just barely out our sliding glass door, away from most of the people, and let the sun kiss my fat ole tummy.

Heavenly.

We decided to add swimming at the pool to our routine when I returned from drinking in the sun. For the trek I threw a cover-up over the bikini top and skirted swimsuit bottom. Since I hadn’t seen anyone at the pool, I figured it didn’t matter what I wore. Of course now a family, which included a teenage boy, splashed in the water.

I went back to the condo and put on the top goes with my mature-woman-cover-up-stuff-skirted-swimsuit

With all that extra exercise I was under calorie count today, I but didn’t feel hungry. And with all the healthy choices we’re making, I feel fantastic.

I’m surprised I still have no energy for any of the stuff I expected to do, like write in my journal or read. That’s where I usually turn when I need to work things through, like what’s up with this hiding thing, how do I think about all the trials of 2012 (and before), and my obsession with not hiding.

Maybe I don’t want to put the energy into journaling because of the icky feeling in my head that has haunted me since that last car accident. (It bothers me to do computer work and even fatigues me to write in my journal.)

But this resistance feels like something else.

When I lie in the sun I talk to God, but it seems disjointed and jumbled and rambly. I miss the deeper conversations I had with Him with pen in hand, helping me focus.

Still, I’ve no desire to pick up a pen.

Maybe I am still in rest and unwind mode.

Real Time Update:

I did eventually process some of the stuff buried inside. If I’m brave enough I’ll post parts of it in a couple of days.

As to what is happening now, about two months after the above experience, I’m in another plateau. The first time I plateaued I kept doing what I was doing for a couple of weeks, and all of the sudden I dropped  7 pounds. This plateau is starting to concern me as it is lasting longer. I did some research this morning, and I have a few ideas–like being more careful about water intake, which I’ve become slack about. Also, I may need to watch types of foods more carefully, not just amounts. And it may help to push myself a little with the exercise. I am stronger now. I walk farther and without getting as winded, so it’s become pretty easy. If I was wanting to maintain this would be fine, but I’d like to drop another 25 or so.

I sound pretty cavalier about the plateau, but it’s starting to bug me.

What About You?

Any ideas about how to handle plateaus? What do you do when you’re frustrated with the weight loss journey? Have you ever felt tired of hiding–physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally?