Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Houston, We Have a Problem

Pull up a chair, folks! This is er..long.

So here's the thing...whenever you hear that line in a movie, everyone KNOWS there's a problem long before the alarm sounds and the famous line is delivered. It's BEEN a problem for the past 45 minutes of the movie, and everyone has just been working their hardest to either a) ignore it, or b) quickly fix it before EVERYONE finds out or it gets worse.

So the fact that I'm here about to what amounts to feeling like I'm OUTING myself is sort of like that point in the movie. It's not that I haven't known, it's not that even my friends and probably my family haven't known...it's that no one really is ready to deal with it at full capacity (spend lots of money, bring in the experts, work through the difficulties etc) until it's all official, and the alarm starts ringing.

The wheels REALLY started churning on this one back in March when I met a GF up in NYC for a few days that I was there for a photoshoot for the June Good Housekeeping magazine. She called me out on it, gently at first, and then subtlety went out the window a few weeks later and she laid it on me straight. I got angry and defensive - seriously how could she call me out on my eating behavior when I'm trying to live out of a hotel room for three days in a city KNOWN for the ridiculous food all centered around a photo shoot for a National magazine (about how weight loss changed my life, no less)?! I mean, right?!

We worked it out, mostly because I think I was still in denial, and she knew I wasn't ready yet. I was still in the first 45 minutes of the movie, trying to cover it up and fix it myself before anyone noticed.

Duhh..someone noticed.

Anyway - it was on my mind. My eating. My meticulous eating habits...only getting more and more meticulous and restricted - from food choices to total calories, slowly disappearing carbohydrates...little by little I was eating (hah) away at what I was "allowed" to eat.

And training for powerlifting. Makes sense right?

While most people who follow a nutrition plan are trying to find ways to sneak foods IN, I'm trying to find ways to sneak foods/calories (carbs in particular) OUT. I've been killing myself in the gym, exhausted, not sleeping, having ridiculous hormonal issues, living in brain fog, migraines...

A few weeks back, I had THE moment. It was the moment where my inner alarm sounded, and I guess I was ready. I had a first date set up with a guy. He suggested we meet at Mellow Mushroom, but offered to let me choose anywhere I wanted if I wanted to choose something "healthier." I convinced myself I could do this...I talked myself through it and replied that I'd be happy to meet him there, afterall, i can have one piece of pizza..I can do this! (i left all that out of the email, hahah..."and she talks to herself in email to boot!") That Friday I happened to get home from work about an hour earlier than usual and had about 4 hours to kill before meeting this guy.

I sat there for the entire four hours GLUED to my kitchen chair. I would not move, I knew if I got up, I was going to the gym. For four hours I sat there and had this argument with myself...

Crazy voice: Go to the gym
Sane voice: Err...you had a FABULOUS workout this morning, no need, thanks for askin!
Crazy voice: GO to the gym fatass, you're going to have pizza? You think you can just have pizza like anyone else?
Sane voice: Yes, I can have a slice of pizza once in a while, I'm allowed.
Crazy voice: YOU can't have pizza. YOU'RE different! If YOU have pizza you'll blow up like a balloon and gain 13 pounds instantly overnight.

And on it went. I sat there and continued to have that argument with myself in full on tears while I typed out the email to a friend that said "I need help."

I can't fight this anymore, at least, not on my own. I can't live with this fear, and I can't continue to have this conversation, or some form of this conversation - daily. Multiple times. I'm always trying to cheat my body out of the nutrients it needs to function at it's best, to fully recover from the hell I put it through, to function properly (see raging hormones, migraines, exhaustion, etc). Let's not even talk about what it does in my head, the names I call myself, and the fear it breeds in me.

There's so much to say about that fear, but I think that needs to be for another day. This is a lot, it's a lot more than just the TOE I was thinking about testing the waters with. I'm putting some faith and trust out there, that I won't be judged as vain or notverysmart..this is something that is wrong inside me that I need help fixing. I KNOW better than all of this behavior, I know "right" and "wrong" here, it's the action part that I need work on.

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum from where i started...maybe this time I can find the happy medium.

I took the steps that day to get help from a professional and through a good friend here in SoFL, I found someone wonderful to help. I just may need some extra support the days the urge to do the WRONG thing is a little more overwhelming than others, and the days I want to curl up in a little ball and cry at all that I've failed at because of this. There's a lot of that rollin' around up in this head of mine. It's all there, it's an ugly mess, one that I don't know how I got into - but I'm going to come out stronger for this.

A very dear and trusted friend sent me this message: “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” - Joseph Campbell

Well I'm down in there, but I'm coming up, and I'm coming up with my treasure...true happiness.

*deep breath*

Push "publish" ....


  1. I don't think anyone will judge you. I think you are brave to put this out there and ask for support. I think everyone one of us, whether we've had a weight problem or not, deals with some degree of this. I see it all the time.

    I hope by putting this out there you feel a sort of relief. And when you see no one will judge you the way you expect (or you judge yourself) you will feel even more relief. I'm behind you girl. You're going to get through this.

    It's a choice and you've decided a long time ago to not ever go back. Now it's time to let go and live the life you created for yourself.

    And when my time comes, after the competition more than likely (and I'm sure before and during)... when my weight goes back to "normal", I imagine I may experience some of the fears. You can remind me what I just said to you. :)

    I'm proud of you. Now breathe.

  2. You know, if you ever have one of these moments where the two sides of your brain war with one another and you need a sympathetic ear, I'm never far away and I'm frequently online at odd hours.

    I may not have a common frame of reference to talk about this, but I'm a good listener who will never judge, only encourage you to do what's best for your own health.

  3. I believe in you! I believe in you, and your capacity to make healthy, responsible, sane decisions for yourself. You're a huge inspiration to me, and I think of you every time I make the hard but responsible nutrition choice. I remember you telling me that "it's really, really hard," and you're right, and that honesty has helped me more than you know.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have such strong fears to battle, but then, you're very, very strong physically and psychologically to be here in the first place. Not just "here" with your weight and strength, but "here" living a million miles away from your family, on your own, making healthy decisions day in and day out, maintaining frequent posts here and inspiring and supporting people around you. To be able to handle all of that, it's only natural that your inner critic would have to step it up in order to keep you feeling like shit. ;)

    I'm absolutely confident you'll find a happy, tolerable, and rational balance before long at all. :)

    *Hugs* to Cooth!

  4. Cathy, what this tells me is that you have an immense amount of courage and that you're not afraid to face very deep rooted issues. Honestly, that's all courage. You're looking fear in the face and that will lead to new growth, self healing, and a much happier Cathy. I continue to remain astounded by how amazing you are.


  5. You know that I'm here (far away, but still "here") if you ever need anything. You have inspired so many people, including me, and we are all here to return that support in whatever way we can. You have had an amazing (and amazingly successful) journey and I know that your drive and dedication will continue to make you successful at this endeavor as well.

    Like you told KT "It's really, really hard" and you know better than anyone, that the hard tasks are the ones that show what you're really made of.

    Much love, hugs and support...

  6. Hey Girl... like others have said... I give you two thumbs up on OUTTING yourself. I think, some times, we have to just tell on 'it'. That always helps to shut it up. You obviously overcame that 4 hour battle, just like you have overcome so many other battles. I have realized, as my weight came off and on and off, each layer has a story and a reason it is there. I embrace and deal with it, so I don't cover it up. I love that you have taken those steps AND that you have ppl in your life that will tell you like it is! Those ppl are a God-send! *big smiles*

  7. Wow...and here I thought I was the only one who had conversations with myself like this ;-)

    And this? "“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” - Joseph Campbell"

    That's what started it all for me...here I am more than I year later after having spent lots of time in the abyss. And the treasure is so welcome. And awesome. Don't lose sight of it!!

  8. There's so much here to take in and process..I've been thinking about how to reply to each of you as the day's gone on...

    I honestly don't know what to say. I'm overwhelmed, I'm surprised, I'm still fighting with some fear of having let this out there, but there is a tremendous sense of relief settling in...the comforting kind that says I know I'm going to get through this, because I've got great peeps all standing behind me. Thank you for easing that in me, each of you.

    Brandi - yeah not so subtle :) But I guess I needed it in my face. I also needed the back off so I could come to it on my own..thank you.

    Karen - I know it's going to be worth it. Thank you :) And that quote is something special, I absolutely agree...Raphael sent it to me. I'm coming out of this, I do know that...when, once again, probably doesn't matter. I just know now I'm coming out.

  9. I completely hear you. There have been times when I have been so obsessive. I took my calories down to 1000 a day for a long while. Go easy on yourself, you see the problem, no you can work on it!

  10. I so admire you...not just for what you have aleady acomplished in life, but that you are facing all the issues and fears that are now coming to the forefront. Can't keep them pushed back forever, and now it's time to face them. You have given yourself permission to acknowledge them, and share with the people who care very much for you and your well-being. I add myself to the long list, and I am always available for a call, email, hug...whatever you need. I am also a pretty good listener.