Running with Angels by Pamela Hansen was another great book that I had a hard time putting down.
The part of the book that touched me the most was her candid admissions of guilt, low self esteem, and her judgemental attitude towards herself and others. Although I have spent most of my life overweight, I have been very blessed to have a great self esteem and love for myself. I don't spend time putting myself down and wallowing in self pity. My eyes were opened to see how others behave and think of themselves differently. I wrote about this subject about a year ago in a little different manner. Read "Gift of Identity" on my other website.
I also read this article in the "Girl Scouts Leader" Summer 2008 magazine called "Girl Culture" a couple of months ago and realized that unlike those suffering from eating disorders who believe themselves to be fat, I have a different self image of myself. Whenever I see myself in a picture or the mirror I am often surprised at how large I am. My mental self image is of a much smaller person, sort of the opposite of this girl shown in this art therapy picture. I don't consider this to be a bad thing, I don't feel that the size of me is the real me - and I don't remember ever feeling like I've been judged because of my weight. I discussed this briefly with Grandma Mackley and she feels the same way I do, she knows she is overweight, but she doesn't let it bother her.
Brad and I have been talking a lot about self confidence and self image this week. He is in the middle of a performance review at work and that is one thing his boss things he needs to work on. His boss recommended "Jijitsu". I've been pondering and talking to my brother about how we were able to be so self confident, and so far the only thing that I could come up with is the Og Mandino books that my Dad was always reading. I remember He recorded the essay "The Greatest Miracle in the World" onto tape and we would listen to it over and over, and we often had other aspirations to read in the bathroom. I remember really enjoying Og Mandino's books and would highly recommend them.
I liked that Pamela pointed out that we need to care for ourselves, and for our bodies that are really a gift from God. She gave some great tips on how to get started, and talked about the importance of rewards, and of having someone to check in with, to be accountable to. My junior year in college I was able to loose about 50 lbs. I was exercising and making healthy food choices, and meeting weekly with a nutritionist. That weekly meeting was very helpful to keep me on track and to help me learn better skills for choosing healthy foods. I also was at a time in my life that I was thinking about my body as more than just my body, I was getting married, and was thinking about having children. I knew that I needed to be healthier for my children. However, it is now 11 years later and I am 25 lbs heavier than when I began my first weight loss program. A lot of things have happened in the intervening years, including 6 pregnancies.
So often I've been guilty of eating because I was tired, or busy or stressed. I am also an emotional eater, if I'm happy I celebrate, if I'm upset I comfort myself.
Unlike Pamela I have never had a desire to run a marathon, but I do want to be a happy and healthier me. I think (notice I'm not 100 percent committed yet) that the time has come for me to focus on my body. I may have to read this book again sooner rather than later.