Living my truth

I am obese.

There I said it. I said it out loud. I have written it in this post.

I did not die.

Living my truth – a reality

This is the second step in cultivating the courage to live my truth and embracing who I am.

While obesity is not the sum of all who I am, it is a huge (no pun intended) mirror of how I see myself. It’s difficult exercising the compassion that comes with knowing I am made of both strength and struggle. But I have begun to start mindfully practicing authenticity of another soul-searching struggle. My weight.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you will note my many posts on varying diets and exercise programs I have started that only ended up with no follow-through and failure.I know I will never be my 26-year-old, 108-pound self again. Yet even genetics and Hashimoto’s disease aside, I own the reasons for why I am obese 30 years later.

I am beginning to nurture a lifestyle that connects a sense of worthiness that comes with knowing who I am and that I am enough. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be thin. I need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Living my truth – setting the boundaries

I will never diet again.

Repeat.

I will never diet again.

I am being deliberate with sharing my weight struggle. By sharing my weight imperfection and admitting my vulnerability particularly in recent blog posts, I cannot continue to cope with my weight, nor do I believe I can conquer it, but I know I can manage it.

I have made the following 5 empowering decisions in managing my weight struggle:

1. I do not have a weight goal.
2. I do not have a time goal in which to lose weight.
3. I will not weigh myself.
4. I will not measure myself with a measuring tape or do the once-over in the mirror.
5. I will not measure myself in terms of success or failure.

I know these decisions go against every self-help, diet and exercise plan on the market today, but I say, “enough with the nonsense!!

Living my truth – a lifestyle

If living my truth means being authentic, then being authentic means living and loving wholeheartedly the person that I am during my wrestling matches between my struggles and the strength of being a survivor including believing I am deserving of joy and love too.

My new lifestyle is inviting grace, joy and gratitude into my life… like stopping at my favorite coffee shop, The Flower Bar every morning for a cup of organic coffee… and other things people may find to be an inconsequential part of their routine, but for me it’s just a small bit of kindness I spend on myself.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Christopher K. Germer

Another lifestyle change comes in the way of a book recommendation, Diabetes Meals by the Plate, 90 low-carb meals to mix & match by Diabetic Living. (I LOVE THIS BOOK.) I hate to cook or follow recipes. This book was written for me – simple, visual, and ‘normal’ food. It shows how to fill a 9-inch plate, one-half inch high of healthy foods all under 500 calories. The mix and match style allows me to determine what foods I can exchange for my tastes and for foods that don’t agitate my Hashimoto’s disease.

5 Lifestyle decisions:

1. I do not count calories.
2. I do not record what I eat.
3. I do not have a weekly workout goal.
4. I will not live and die by wearing a Fitbit.
5. I am committed to the 9-inch diabetic plate.

My husband, Vinny Sal joined a gym with me. I’ll go to the gym right after work or after dinner and if he wants to join me – great! If not, I will still go by myself. It’s my weight struggle, not his. I am grateful though for a supportive and a loving husband.

Living my truth – today

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” ~ Mark Twain

How do I know that this new lifestyle change will not end up in failure too?

I don’t.

But the sad truth is, I won’t have tomorrow if I don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes today that will allow me to see my sons graduate from college, get married, and hold my grandchildren. I want the happiness I have not known before which is just being happy with myself. That sad truth is my daily reminder to live and enjoy the poetry of today in mind, body, and spirit.

Peace

 

 

Where truth leads

For believers, God has the power to be everywhere and to do anything.

For non-believers, the question remains.

Where was God in all this victimization?

Each week seems to bring new accusations of sexual molestation, sexual harassment and sexual assault as more victims find their voice as evident now in the public revelation of Kevin Spacey’s alleged long standing behavior. Palms slapping foreheads. Fingers plugging ears. Eyes looking elsewhere. Mouths speaking words of disbelief to condemn both the accused and their victims.

But first ask, where were all the bystanders?

Spouse, parent, employer, coworker, colleague, or witness on the street, where were you? I’ll tell you where you were – dependent upon your own needs, your investment, your paycheck, and your unwillingness to get involved. It’s the ugliest of human betrayal.

Say you didn’t know. Say you didn’t believe. Say what you want.

Say whatever helps you sleep at night. You, bystanders who now crawl from underneath your rationalization, are not brave. You are not courageous. You are complicit. The only ones who are innocent are the ones who were being abused too.

“But let justice flow like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

See if you can sleep after reading these statistics

Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics
Victims and Perpetrators Research
Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Victims

God’s ways are beyond human understanding

I’ll be honest. I struggled with that same question as unbelievers. Where was God in all my sexual abuse circumstances?

The struggle became even more apparent after losing a coveted career in 2009 due to the raping of the United States economy and American families. Bitterness moved in with shame and anxiety. All three capsizing me. On the edge of drowning, I faced what my memory did not want me to see.

“My soul is weak from waiting for you to save me. My hope is based on your word. My eyes have become strained from looking for your promise. I ask, “When will you comfort me?” ” Psalm 119:81-82

God was there

God sent angels, who unknowing of my internal struggles, helped me to see God’s light, hear God’s Word, and feel God’s love. Comforted, I accept who and where I am. God was  there and He is here now.

“He rescues suffering people through their suffering and opens their ears through distress.” Job 36:15

And what I have learned since is this… I will put my hope in God each, and every time over bystanders. I can’t make unbelievers believe, but I have heard God’s call. My struggles have equipped me to help bystanders do the right thing… to stand up and speak out against abuse of any kind to anyone or animal.

Truth

Peace,

The Blogging Owl

 

Owning My Story

Rose McGowan, the actor and activist, implored women to fight sexual harassment and assault by calling out harassers and naming names when she spoke at the Women’s Convention in downtown Detroit this past week. Yet she refused to do the very thing she asked her female audience to do. I found her rally cry to be disingenuous to say the least (even if she had a prior written agreement with her abuser not to do so), but I do believe women must begin to fight the shaming whether it is calling out the abusers and harassers or not.

Owning my story has been difficult but not quite as difficult as spending my entire life running from it.

“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy… When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” – Brene’ Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection.

Sheer panic proceeded pressing the publish button when I posted last week, Dear Alyssa Milano. In fact, I had tried for hours to bring myself to press that damn button on my blog publishing site. My paralyzing fear was what category would this hurricane of personal information become.

Since that blog post went live, I have heard words like courage, bravery, transparency, genuine honesty, and even the word, heroine. What I have heard most, however, is awkward silence. And in my anxiety-trapped mind means that this uncomfortable truth with all its’ vulnerability means that many have gasped in horror and are stifled in their own discomfort, “What was she thinking?”

Embracing my vulnerability was risky… and still is.

I’ll be honest again. Those words – courage, bravery, transparency, genuine honesty, heroine – they were given to me in a spirit of empathy, compassion, a sisterhood for a lack of a better word made me cringe even while saying, ‘thank you, it means a lot to me.’

I now must face the truth, my truth, every day because others now know it too.

“How horrifying for you.”

“Oh, you poor thing!”

“Who was it? What happened?”

“You rock. Everybody loves you.”

“Well, let me tell you what happened to me….”

Or simply…. silence. The silence of judgment, disappointment, or denial as a result of my sharing my story.

I will not speak of my #MeToo experiences ever again… not to anyone.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

Exploring that darkness was necessary so that I could discover the infinite power of light and purpose to live my truth. I don’t need to call anyone out. I will leave that to God’s day of judgment.

Over the last several years, I did toy with the idea of writing a book. I wrote countless beginnings, renaming the file and pushing it around on my computer hard drive just as many times. However, this #MeToo revolution convinced me there is no benefit in writing it. There isn’t a benefit in my reclamation of wholeness because an individual’s story is rarely just the individual’s story. I don’t give a damn about the abusers or harassers or their story’s side of it. I have no pity, however damaged and screwed up their story. They had NO right to do what they did. But there isn’t any righting the wreckage for the collateral damage in telling my story, past or present.

Let me be clear on this point, however. I am not condemning anyone who chooses to call out as Rose McGowan advocates for abuses that occurred long ago or just yesterday. Nor do I advocate burying their story, but to gather the courage to seek professional assistance in revealing and rooting out shame caused by their abuser.

Nothing I say or write can be as inspiring as living my life in “genuine honesty.”

Imperfectly transparent as I may be, I know I am worthy. It’s been a long arduous journey and one I am still traveling. Embracing my vulnerabilities was risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love, belonging, joy and the peace that comes with it.

I am who I am. I have all that I need in the loving eyes of my God, my husband, and my sons. And if there is anything worthwhile to dig up, discuss or to write about it, it is the danger of living in the shadows of secrecy and giving up on living my truth, each and every day.

Be true to you,

Peace