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Monday, July 12, 2010

31 Years of Self Sabotage is Hard to Change

If there was a gold medal or a World Cup for this event I could win it. There I said it. Yet, I am a little too hard on myself too. I grew up in a family with raging alcoholics lurking in the great grandparents generation. A boat load of shame raged from them into my grandparents and then into my family of origin. This was mostly on my maternal side, though I did have one grandfather that hit the bottle pretty hard after first after the loss of his five year old son to a car accident and then his wife to pneumonia. Understandable. I have other relatives that have battled addictions and because this is a blog and anyone can read it, enough said on that. I must protect their identities.

My mother died 31 years ago today and this is largely when I learned to sedate myself with substances that would take away the pain. I never did anything hard core and nothing that would keep me from getting elected if I ever decided to run for an office. But, I did learn how to use food and at times alcohol to numb myself from the horrific pain of watching my mother's illness of diabetes slowly eat away, literally at her. She had two legs amputated before she died and suffered a series of heart attacks starting when I was ten years old.

I am now four months out from my second weight loss surgery, a revision from a lap band to a gastric bypass. It was recommended I not have any wine until I was a year out from my surgery date. I decided to try some and I quickly learned it isn't the right move for me yet. One glass became two and so on. It took a month, but I've learned it isn't the right choice for me. I've not lost weight in a month and it is likely due to this. I've put on solid muscle in the last 8 weeks since I started weight lifting.I continue to lose inches and sizes but the scale has remained the same. Drinking wine, the empty calorie is all I can attribute this to.

So, on this 31st anniversary of the one event that changed the path of my life for ever, the event I am still recovering from, I am recommitting myself to only engaging in healthy behaviors. Drinking wine is a slippery slope for me. I don't take risks in the winter living in Vermont and driving on icy roads, so why would I engage in a "dangerous" behavior?

Because shame is a powerful thing and it is easy to numb oneself then to face shame or pain. I've learned in my own recovery process from obesity, shame, overeating, drinking etc. that the only way to deal with pain is head on and to move through it.

I'm starting anew again today.


  1. Dear Andrea,
    You are brave and inspiring! 4 years out from lap band I have been stuck for a year up and down 10-20 lbs above my lowest weight. I have given up sweets, dairy, beef, and simple carbs, and the scale scarcely notices. I am trying to remember how it felt the first 2 years when I kept losing no matter what! Food has always been my addiction, but it's worse for my mom. Now my inspiration is to try to be hers. Congrats on dealing and moving thru this difficulty!