Category: Facing Addiction

Facing addiction

Letting the Light In

For the past two and a half months, I’ve been looking back at the Facebook Live videos I did when I first went on bed rest.  Knowing they would start in early September, I was dreading seeing them because it was a reminder of how long I had been out of commission.

But when the Facebook Memories began to pop up, I ultimately had a different reaction.  Rather than lamenting how long I had been laid up, I saw how far I had come in my healing journey.

At first, looking at the videos was painful.  I had let myself go for so many years … decades, really.  I had allowed myself to get caught in such a huge spiral of shame over how unhealthy I was that I just continued to let myself go.  The memories of the shame and my behavior make me cringe:

  • I was dishonest about what I was eating and how much.
  • I looked in the mirror as little as possible.
  • When I had a physical, there was no scale in my doctor’s office that I could use, so I gave an approximation of my weight, knowing in my heart that I weighed more than I said I did.
  • It was horrible when I had to go up another clothes size.  I stayed in 10s for as long as I could until buttons and zippers popped.  Then I had to buy 12s.  When I was finally topping out at 14s and 16s, I could no longer stand to go clothes shopping with anyone else.  I went alone and did it as quickly as possible.  I even put off shopping until my clothes had noticeable holes in them and I had to go.  I let my clothes look as lousy as I felt about myself.

The ultimate shame was letting my health get so bad that it took an extra hole in my behind to wake me up and make the changes that would get me healthy.  Why did I let things get so bad?  That’s a question I am still working on answering.  I’m not there yet, but I’ll get there.  So you’ll probably see more blog posts on this topic and I hope my insights are helpful.  I hope all the entries in this blog are helping you, InspiraGang.

For now, here’s what’s changed following the switch to healthy habits and the subsequent weight loss:

  • After not wearing dresses for years, I was given a dress on my 51st birthday last June.  I couldn’t wait to try it on and now I can’t wait to get another one.  I am looking forward to clothes shopping again.
  • I am now getting weighed on a regular basis to make sure I stay on track.  I actually look forward to it.  True story:  It was a challenge to find a scale to get weighed on until my friend Lisa suggested Bernardsville Animal Hospital.  There is a scale for the animals right in the reception area and I all I have to do is wheel onto it and push a button.
  • I knew before the last time I got on the scale that I had gained a little something.  It turned out to be one pound.  I am amazed that I am so in tune with my body that I can feel the difference of just one pound.  Another switch:  I felt no shame in that.  I just realized that I have to stay disciplined so that a one-pound weight gain doesn’t turn into five, 10, 20, etc.

I am healthier than I have ever been, not in spite of my wound, but because of it.  Like the Rumi quote above, the wound let the light in and I saw it, accepted it and it helped heal me.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

Yours in Health,
InspiraGirl

TV or Not TV

I love TV.  I will even go as far as saying I am a recovering TV addict.  I used to keep the TV on all day and, sometimes, all night.  It was a comfort and a stress-reliever.  Mostly, it was a way to escape life’s  problems.

I used to live by the TV Guide.  I even quit Junior Scouts because the meetings were on Tuesday nights when my all-time favorite show, Happy Days, was on.  This was back before video recording technology hit the consumer market, so before I quit scouts, I begged my parents to put an audio recorder in front of the TV so I could HEAR each episode when I got home.  Let me tell you, listening to Joannie kiss Chachi for the first time was just not the same as seeing it in living color.  Of course, there were summer reruns.  But even that was not as thrilling as watching my favorite programs when they first aired.

Yes, my addiction was that bad.

When I entered my freshman year of college, I chose not to bring a TV into my dorm room.  I lasted only two weeks without my precious Panasonic.

If you are in my Facebook community, you’ve seen how much I used to post about TV–from Ace of Cakes (feeding my food addiction as well) to Glee to The Big Bang Theory–and let’s not forget my #WeGotCows Facebook posts EVERY time the movie Twister was on AMC, TBS or CMT.

I convinced myself that I was missing something if I didn’t have the TV on.  As it turns out, I was missing out on life because I had the blasted boob tube on all the time and I had to do something about it.

So in May of 2017, when I temporarily moved into The Cave, I decided to give up my satellite TV box to see if I could curb my habit.

In the interest of full disclosure, I still had my laptop, meaning I could access the websites of the TV stations of my favorite shows whenever I wanted.  But since I use my computer on a daily basis for work, it turned out that I did not want to be on it as much after business hours.  Because of that fact, I also started to get more selective about what I do watch.  I realized how much I was numbing my brain having the TV on almost all the time, i.e. not just for my favorite shows.

Yes, I still watch Big Bang (mourning the recent breaking news that the upcoming season will be its last) and I will pop in a movie when I am making my handcrafts in the evenings and on weekends, but not all the time.  If I am not enjoying a conversation or the silence, I will choose to listen to some fantastic podcasts or radio shows that have expanded my horizons.  (If you are looking for something new to listen to, click that link in the previous sentence.)

In addition to making better viewing and listening choices, here are other benefits that have resulted from curbing my TV viewing habits:

  • I work smarter and more efficiently because I am not constantly numbing my brain
  • I feel more creative, especially when writing this blog
  • I am more engaged in life and making plans for the future now that my wound is almost healed

Will I kick more of this habit?  Well, to find out the answer to that burning question, and to read about a myriad of inspirational topics, tune in each Wednesday for a new episode of InspiraBlog!  Oh, and you can subscribe to the blog on the right sidebar of this page or any page on this website.

Until next week,
Andrea
aka InspiraGirl

P.S.  Fun Fact:  Even though I am a recovering TV addict and I really like the image I chose for this post, I have never watched a complete episode of The Simpsons.