Sunday, April 24, 2011


Rebirth. Renewal. Resurrection.

Those are the words that we see thrown around during Easter weekend, and for good reason. If you're religious, it has to do with Jesus rising from the dead and giving us all a chance to be washed clean from past sins. If you're not religious, you can still appreciate the symbolism of a new birth, associated with this season of spring and all the 'new life' symbols such as eggs, chicks, bunnies, and flowers.

But what does it mean to you? Aside from the religious significance, if there is any for you, what does being reborn MEAN? Do you take it to heart, really? Or is it just a trite saying, an Easter phrase you put on display for a few days and then tuck back neatly in the closet until next year?

I am thinking about this a lot today. Shedding the weight has been a rebirth of sorts, but then, I sometimes feel like my spirit does not yet match the new outer me. It does, to some extent, but not to the extent it needs to. I still wake up in the mornings sometimes and think, "I need to fix my life." I wish for a do-over on the past ten years, and that's not just about weight. But my eating habits are primarily driven by my emotions. If, even for a split second, I let myself feel worthless and hopeless, I immediately want the crunch of tortilla chips to rattle those thoughts and feelings out of my head. Really. Have you even noticed the enormous amount of noise and vibration created in your head when you eat chips or other binge-crunch-frustration type foods? Notice. It is loud, it is distracting, it rumbles those smooth, flowing thought patterns and breaks them up so they aren't quite as disturbing. At least that's how it feels for me.

I woke up this morning thinking about renewal. So many things in life are out of our hands, at least to some degree: I can't make my fibroid disappear or my sore throat go away *right now*. I can't wish a million dollars into my bank account. I can't make the bills go away or cure my son or make the loose skin disappear off my body. Oh, I can work on things... work towards improvement in *any* of those areas. But when all is said and done, I have to live with whatever life gives me.

Yet I was not "destined" to be or stay obese. I did not have to sit on the couch at 278 pounds mourning the loss of my mobility and my health. I did use my own power to transform myself dramatically. We can do that. We do have some power. We can "fix" our lives at least to a point. I can eat for better health so I don't get sick as often. I can work hard to build up an income and a savings so I am not stressed over finances constantly. I can work on paying off those bills and help my son get the best treatment possible and do skin brushing/use good lotion to improve the state of my skin. I can lose weight. I can do *something.*

I think that's the key. We ALL want rebirth... a new life... a fresh start from *something.* And we are ALL capable of moving towards whatever goals we have, even if it feels impossible, and we CAN make progress. The thing is, we see new birth, the sweet, fresh new baby and we want that kind of "birth" of our own new improved selves... but we tend to forget the years it took for the body to be ready to conceive, the nine months of gestation, the hours and hours of difficult labor that made the new life possible. Renewal is not instantaneous. If you want renewal, it takes time and effort. But you can start the process *right now.*

I still want to change so many things about myself that it seems overwhelming. But I am taking the same approach that helped me lose 100 pounds: just this moment... a few steps down the sidewalk and back... a bite of strawberries instead of chocolates... a salad for lunch... a pint of ice cream into the trash. Little steps. Little tiny building blocks you stack up every day to create your castle... your life.

Happy Easter. I wish you all peace and the renewal you desire.


hopefulandfree said...

Happy Easter to you, too! Your lovely thoughts of renewel reflect feelings many of us are experiencing, it seems, as we shed so many forms of heaviness--not merely physical weight but emotional burdens we've carried too long.

We can find power within that we did not know existed, strength from which to draw courage when life unravels and we discover with dismay that we do not have control...

Art may become a sanctuary. A silent space we create, to hold our hopes.

Be well in peace.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for todays post. It really hits home to me. I weigh even more than you did when you started losing weight and I have had very serious health problems for two years now. I too try to eat away the fear and pain in my life and it has left me so unhealthy and unhappy. It feels so overwhelming how far I would have to go to even have a hope of being healthy and happy with myself. You are so right we can do something to try to start things in the right direction. Your blog is very inspirational and I thank you for being so honest and for sharing your life the ups and downs with us. I go almost daily and look at your before and afer pictures of you losing a 100 pounds and often think how different I could look someday if I only would break this horrible cycle I am in. Thank you for showing me it is possible. God bless you for all you are doing for yourself, your family and everyone else you share your life with.

Anonymous said...

as ALWAYS so perfectly put!!! Thank You for your thoughts and honesty
Happy Easter!! Happy RENEWEL!!!!
Sylmar California

Anonymous said...

I have lurked for a long time, and have always loved your writing, but today I am in tears.

Thank you for these beautiful words and for having the courage to live your life the way you do. I feel so lucky to have the privlege to read your writing.

Bunpoh said...

Great post. I can identify so much with what you're saying.

Funny, I didn't even think about it being that time of year yesterday while hiking and was overcome with a sense of renewal, like I had made some crucial breakthrough and life is suddenly new again, full of possibility.

What you said about how you use crunchy foods like chips, btw, was major. I do certain things to drown out obsessive painful thoughts, too. So maybe you just need to find a substitute method of self-soothing and distraction, once you recognize that you've gone there. I have to do the same thing, from time to time.

Lynna said...

Very thought-provoking post.

The Serenity Prayer has been a signficant spiritual guide/tool that helps me know when to strive and when to surrender... there is a place for both. And I am learning to accept death. Making friends with death, and the inevitability of it, frees me to live with freedom and joy... even in the midst of the crap :)

totalsweetheart said...

Thank you. Tomorrow I embark on a journey. I hope to shed 80 pounds along the way. I have been struggling for 17 years with my weight. It's time for my own re-birth

Pretty Pauline said...

My faith is huge to me, so this past week is the most important one on the Christian calendar. Looking at it through other eyes I am needing rebirth on dealing with past pain and emotions. I haven't hit my stride yet and don't want to dwell, though I don't want to stuff and gloss over it either. We'll see what happens!

Tammy said...

I loved your post. Thank you.

timothy said...

beautiful and brilliant, and the post was good too! yes my dear you are a beautiful, brilliant, kindhearted soul!i'm so lucky to count you among my friends because whether or not we've met or the time i've known you doesn't matter merely the support and love shown are important. you make me smile and think and care and bless you for that! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Good post & very true. Happy Easter to you too!

Theresa said...

Happy Easter and thank God for a good report! Breathe easy and enjoy Easter. :)

Mer and Mo said...

Happy Day after easter to you!
I read your post and thought that you must know me. You write similar things that I think. Amazing how weight loss, emotions and our self-talk all sounds the same. The best part is you are making changes even if it is baby steps. You are doing it!

Dinahsoar said...

One day at a time, step by step, just doing the next thing. Fixing what we can and leaving the rest in the hands of the Great Physician...He who can restore and give back the locust eaten years.

Happy Easter.

Another Damn Dieter said...

I found your blog & read that you started at 278. It seems very similar to me as I am beginning my journey tomorrow and today was 281 and thinking I "carry it well" (right!). You look great and I hope to someday share the same success.

rachel said...

thank you for catering to us non-religious people. :)

that said...when i first read your post i thought you wrote "I immediately want the church of tortilla chips..."


saddly, thats how i feel. i need chips for so many things. UGH!

thanks for your blog.

Princess Dieter said...

Um. Been a few days. Worried. (Unless I missed a note by you on being AWOL for vacay or something).

Everything ok?