Welcome to my blog! Isn't it pretty? I figure since I'm going to be here for a while, I may as well make it a nice place to hang out :)
SOOOOO, if you're reading this, it's because I've invited you to follow a journey I'm embarking on... a journey that I've already started, but am about to push into overdrive! I'll tell you all about it, but first I have something to tell you:
I AM OVERWEIGHT
There I said it! And I know you`re thinking, *uh, yeah - we know this, Leslie*, but I bet I've never actually talked to you about it before. I've always been extremely private about my weight struggles, and have only ever opened up to a few people, and then it's usually been a one-time out-of-the-blue thing :) I think I've always thought that if I treated it like a non-issue, then I could pretend it wasn't true. Not surprising, then, that I've come to realize I've been living in denial about my weight - and a few other things - for a long time now!
This year has been a catalystic (I don't think this is a word, but it works for me!) one for me... I think it started with moving here to Ottawa and having to confront my Mom's death *again*. I was back to the scene of the crime, and memories surrounding her death flooded back. Of course I always miss my mother, but living in Vancouver allowed me the luxury of being separated from her actual death, and I'd gotten to the point where even on the anniversary of her death, I'd think fondly of her and carry on with my day. The first May 19th I was here, I had what you'd call a mini emotional breakdown, but in the months following I came to see it as a breakthrough. All the feelings I'd been repressing came flooding out and I was overwhelmed with the grief I felt. It took me completely by surprise having, I guess, convinced myself that I had *dealt* with her death! But, from this came the acknowledgment that I needed to talk about some things with my Dad - things I'd been holding in for... well, for about 15 years! As things turned out, and for a variety of reasons (mostly because I don't think I made it known to him how important it was to me), I did not talk to my Dad about these issues for another whole year. At the time I felt quite resentful about this, but it actually turned out to be a good thing, because I spent that year really digging around and figuring out what I was REALLY angry and upset about. There was a very angry and upset 25 year old inside that had a few things she'd never felt able to express. I had many many conversations in my head with that 25 year old that year, and so by the time my Dad and I did talk - a 3 hour dinner date on the next anniversary of Mom`s death last year - I was clear about how I felt and was able to lay it all out there on the table. We had an amazing talk - both able to explain how we had felt 15 years ago and how we were feeling now. It was a hard thing to do, but probably the best thing I'd done for myself in a long time...... and it started something. I realized how great it felt to finally say what I wanted to say, and how much lighter I felt not carrying all those unresolved feelings around. And so I slowly started to explore other areas of my life where I knew I was holding myself back.
Fast forward to today and here I am. And as cliché as is sounds, I've done a lot of soul searching these last 8 months. I've talked to therapists, I've talked to some of the amazingly supportive friends and family I'm blessed to have in my life - including my husband - and I've forced myself to admit some things - things I never thought I'd admit - to myself, and certainly not to anyone else! Here they are..... drumroll please!
- I have an eating disorder.
- I have a food addiction.
- I have some unhealthy emotional habits and methods to cope with stress - both of which worsen and enhance the aforementioned eating disorder.
- I CAN'T DO THIS ALL BY MYSELF
That last one was the hardest, but most important acknowledgment to make. I'm a person of pride. Too much pride. An unhealthy dose (that in itself was hard to admit!). I've always been very independent and felt I SHOULD (a word I hope to remove from my vocabulary) be able to do things on my own. It's backfired in many ways these last 20 years or so, but I never seemed to learn from my mistakes. Preferred to just chalk it up to me being a failure and learning instead not to believe in myself. Healthy, eh?! By not asking for, or accepting, help, I created a very isolating way to live, which in turn, compounded the emotional eating habits that packed on the pounds. This subject deserves its own post, however, and I'll talk about it another time :) For now, I am happy to say that *I NEED HELP*. I feel liberated saying it, and am now willing to accept to from wherever I can get it!
I have a LOT I need to work out in order to heal, and the best and most therapeutic way I know how to do this, is to write it out (I would make a list, but it wouldn't read well!). Sooooo, I should warn you that although my BLOG may be pretty, its content sometimes won't be!
To all of you who are reading, I am so so so appreciative of the unconditional love and support you have all given me. I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me and only want the best for me. My mission now is get to a place where I believe in myself and believe I deserve to live my best life. I am VERY excited about this next chapter in my life and happy to have you to share it with :)
Tomorrow I will share my plan to jumpstart my new outlook on life. Some of you already know what it is, and I thank you for supporting me. For those who don't know, stay tuned - it's BIG!!