Posted by: cmittermeier | September 4, 2016

Letting Go of Old Clothes… Part two: the purple sweater

Ah, my purple sweater!  If you’re overweight, you will have one, a perfect top that hides our imperfections.  For me, it was my purple sweater. They are cherished friends, always there to comfort when things are not going great weight wise.  When we went through my closet and I put it on, my niece did not know the significance of the item and stated it rather bluntly, “you have a purple potatoe sack!”.

When I turned and looked in the mirror, my perfect purple top was no longer so perfect.  The shoulders drooped so far off my shoulder I wondered if it had been stretched.  Having always been a bit roomy, it was no surprise that my niece could have stood inside it with me.  Being a knitted design, it should not have been so surprising that after all these years the fabric was worn and fuzzy.  It looked like something… An old woman would wear.  It was obvious camoflage.

For weeks I have been thinking about new clothes, though I do not have a full blown sense of style, I am starting to make decisions about what I like and don’t like.  Sausage casing tops have never been my thing, but when I had one, just pull on the purple sweater and I was fine. I don’t like tops that accentuate how when I sit down my bulk compacts.  My purple top had been my camoflage for just such moments.   If I eat the wrong things and bloat up, my purple top was there to hide my shame.  It was my shield, in the same way a throw pillow is when I sit down on a couch.  Looking ahead, I have to ask… In my new style, my new wardrobe… Will there be another purple sweater? Should there be another purple sweater?

This weekend was awful.  Instead of fasting on Friday, once again I found myself binging in private.  Though Saturday had an amazing hike with a bunch of the boys and my brother-in-law, in the evening I turned the graces down and enjoyed 6 cups of cheese popcorn and a really scrumptious chocolate cupcake.  Note the point of turned down graces, we’ll talk about it later… I had a troubled sleep and so it’s no surprise that from the get go things have been hard.  3 cups of BBQ chips does not an afternoon snack make!  A Beer with dinner… Ice cream and Chicago style popcorn for dessert??? 

And guess what?  Through it all, I found myself finding any excuse to wear… BA BA BA… The purple hoodie!

Yes folks, purple is my favourite colour.

Sigh.  I’m back to having that comfortable piece of clothing to “hide” in.  Put your hands in the front pockets and voila! No one knows what’s really behind.  So many times in my life I have turned to mama Mary, and tonight is no different.  I may be a unique person, but my problems aren’t.  I am not the first, nor the last, she will comfort over body issues.  

I highly doubt the wedding at Cana was the very first time she uttered those now famous words, “do whatever he tells you”, though I admit they were the first time they were written down.  She knows how to fix problems, and sometimes, like tonight, she didn’t whisper the answers to the person, but to those around them.  My sister-in-law made sure the tallest-bottomless-pit of a boy took home the rest of the cake, after making sure all the other kids ate up as much as they could.  She suggested the Chicago style popcorn, not sure she knew that very soon the potatoe chips and Doritos would be coming out, but they did.  Pretty sure the nutrition labels differ a great deal between those options, and, thankfully she had already eaten a lot from the relatively small bag.  

I wish this blog were just the shining examples of how living a righteous life led to great stuff, but I’m human.  I fall.  This Friday was the second Friday where my “fast” because a binge, I knew that something deeper was going on.  I am fasting for a purpose, it’s not my health.  Spiritual attacks come at weak points, and my gluttony is a weak point.  I prayed, and begged, for help to not let this be the place where the damn bursts. Saturday was so totally different… The graces were seriously through the roof.  It was amazing, I got to go hiking (and my kids loved it!), Mass was great, dinner was even reasonable (and trust me, dinner to suit three families, with dietary issues in a small tourist town during a long weekend can be quite the challenge).  But then… Slowly… things started to go wrong.  Oh, how I wish I had only one weak spot!  I have much to discuss with Mama Mary and my Lord.

As I sit and ponder my new purple hoodie, I realize it’s not such a bad thing.  This weekend has shown me a great many things, and I am thankful for the falls.  If it had been a single weak spot, I doubt I’d feel this way.  I have a long road ahead of me, there is still a lot of healing ahead and I will need a physical comfort zone for a while yet.  Knowing its there gives me a place to go for comfort that is not food.  It is a gift from Him, hidden in plain sight.  It’s not a crutch (as I feared), it’s a recharge station, like the confessional, where I can admit my faults and still find the love and strength to try again. Giggle, guess I gave away why my favourite colour is purple.

Posted by: cmittermeier | September 1, 2016

Ugh! Trying to beat temptation

There is a huge temptation to eat ice cream and cookies. Actually, if I’m honest the temptations don’t end there… I’m being tempted to buy a whole whack load of stuff I don’t need. Time to pray and ponder!

Some of it is to numb myself, school is about to start and that means I’ve got a lot to think about.  Am I ready? Did I plan well? Are we ready? The answer to these is at least a partial no as there are at least three things I can list that are undone… Oh, make that four… Five… The list is growing.

It is very easy to get caught up in it all, but the truth is worrying won’t change any of it and in fact makes it harder to deal with the to do list.  If I can step out of the worry, there is less need to numb.  It’s just not that easy to do.  Reviewing the to do list might help…

  • Install Rosetta Stone on the boys computers – this can be done in Collingwood during the weekend, worry abated
  • Review new writing textbook comes AFTER I pick it up from the friend who brought it back from the states for me… Hmm, this one could be harder to fix
  • Install struts in the van back door… Might need to be moved to another to do list
  • Install whiteboard anchors in Mikes room 
  • Print off and fill out first week lesson planner (this I’ve done mentally, it’s just a matter of doing the physical)
  • Do the tomatoes from the garden next step (boil and crush them)
  • Arrange boys desks as school desks – best done Monday night
  • Send in legal letter to school board after signing, has to be tonight

Some hold more anxiety than others, so I’ll try to tackle them first.  If I can remove the source than hopefully the need to numb will go down, along with it all the bad coping mechanisms like eating and shopping with it.

I’ll also pray my prayer for addicted persons. And, pray for you in the hopes you’ll pray for me.  Now, back to that to do list…

Posted by: cmittermeier | August 22, 2016

Letting go of old clothes… Part One

Up till last night, I have not doing major purges; it has been a slow process of putting things in goodwill piles when something is found to be really too big.  Last night I went through the folded tops.  Sweaters, t-shirts… It was time to reorganize not just on an item to item basis.

Some pieces were easy to chuck away. There were a few things that hit the garbage can, more a rag than garment. Then, there were all those things that never fit right, either because the style just wasn’t mine or it wasn’t cut right for my shape (regardless of weight).  

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what clothes I like on me.  I’m still finding my style.  I’m so not a shopper – I rely most heavily on a friend whom I call my personal shopper.  The second to last time I tried totally on my own, she took one look and replied, “Amy Farah Fowler”.  Yup, I dressed up like the dork in Big Bang Theory.  Since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what I like to wear.  My next one was better, but I am not totally in love with the way the jeans fit.  My friend is always better at going through the piles of styles to find the one that fits me best.  

There was a lot to let go emotionally with those easy pieces.  Imagine throwing away a stack of failed or low grade tests.  It didn’t have the negativity one would expect.  I have tried hard in the last two years of homeschooling to embed my boys brains with the idea that failure is about finding where you need to work next.  It’s not about good or bad, it’s about finding information so you can plan the next step.  It felt good to review those pieces and acknowledge what I have learned from them, and not be weighed down by the sheer volume of bad outfits.

It is all too easy with weight loss to get bogged down by failures, the more I pondered that large pile the more liberated I felt. It wasn’t just saying good-bye to a mistake you can’t face, it was not being afraid of having made the mistake.  There were more than one head shake of sillyness, but not shame.  I know I have a long way to go before my wardrobe will look right, I’m in for a few more failures (though hopefully not so many Amy Farah Fowler look a likes), and that’s OKAY.  

As always, failure pondering turns my head to confession.  We are so blessed to have it.  Maybe if we didn’t make so many mistakes it wouldn’t be so important.  It gives us courage to continue to try, no matter how many times we have to face the same mistakes we are reminded there is a new try, with help and peace just around the corner.  

Mistakes are just information, they aren’t good or bad. They don’t have to be worked out all at once. There is always a next time. …and best of all, your closet doesn’t have to be a museum to them… Let them go.

Today’s reading is the infamous “camel through the eye of the needle” that we tend to pass the buck on.  It’s far too easy living where and when we live, to find tonnes of people who have way more stuff than us, and, refuse to get down on their knees to squeeze through a tiny narrow gate.  As the priest said this morning, camels are very stubborn creatures, getting them to kneel down … It’s about as hard as getting US to kneel down.

He wasn’t talking about THEM, he was talking to those of us IN THE PEWS!  

Today I go for my weigh in, and I do not know how it will go.  For one, it’s the week of my cycle where I will naturally be up. For two, I didn’t journal this week.  I am having a hard time hunkering down.  Yes, I’ve lost 30 pounds, but in the last few months all I’ve done is just  maintain it.  I tried to discuss with my husband accepting that and living at this weight instead.  He feels this is not the end of the road, the hurdles of the last few months are not the eternal loop, and he wants me to continue with the expectation that things will get better soon.  Yesterday, I was prepared to tell my nutritionist the opposite – this is the end, just help me stay maintaining what I’ve already lost…

And then I read today’s reading and realized I need to get rid of that bit of baggage.  

The moment that priest started talking about STUBBORN camels, well, lightbulb.  I had mentally made the decision weeks ago to give up, I’ve been going forward trying to prove my hypothesis so everyone would just nod with me, congratulate me on what I did and tell me I’m right, I’m not meant to weigh less.

I am stubborn, I don’t want to do the hard work that is needed.  I want to eat only things that “hit the spot” and “make me feel good”.  I want easy workouts that I’m super excited to do.  I don’t want to have to do stuff when I’m not motivated.

I am a camel.  Though God agrees with me, yup, not possible for man, he doesn’t leave it there.  He looks me square in the eye, “but not impossible for God”.  

Once again, I’ll have to lay down my pride, my godlike stance that I know more than everyone else.  This isn’t the end of my weight LOSS journey, I’m not heading into maintenance.  I know God is asking more of me, that old, “not impossible for God” will not be a teleporter through the short narrow doorway.  I know I’ll be down on my knees more, I know it means more work.  But, I’ve got a Divine Coach.  …and you know what, that stupid pride that was trying to excuse all these months of not trying so hard, well, now that it’s out in the open labeled properly, I feel a whole heck of a lot lighter.

Pray for me folks, I will need it if I’m going to get working again. Know I’ll be praying for you.

Posted by: cmittermeier | August 7, 2016

Reconsecrating myself to Jesus through Mary

I am where I am because I was called to attach myself to Mary’s coat tails.  Yup, years ago when I first came back to the church I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary and it’s been an amazing journey.  It has been said it is the fastest, surest route to Jesus and sainthood, and I have to agree.

In the years since then, I have redone the consecration several times, always using St. Louis de Montfort’s method.  Honestly, I don’t find it long or difficult, though I certainly did the first few times.  Back then saying a rosary seemed like the longest prayer in the world!  This time, however, I am using a different preparation.  It’s still 33 days, but, it’s a modern approach based on St. Louis’ work, as opposed to using his work directly.  It’s called 33 days to Morning Glory.

This fall, well, it seems like there is a lot on the plate between homeschooling, family, and my own personal health.  I need something extra to make sure I stay close to God, there will be a lot to distract me.  When a friend at church suggested doing the consecration by this method, I was honoured and excited!  I have heard bits about it, even known a few friends who have followed the Morning Glory method and I am eager to do this.

There is one problem… I am to ponder the short passage and prayer throughout the day.  Uh, I have ADHD and keeping something in my mind that doesn’t naturally stick in it could be a problem.  Not that I can’t ponder – I do that all the time – just not on stuff suggested by others.  This is going to be interesting!

My aim is to get closer to God.  As silly as it sounds, I miss Him.  I want to spend more time with Him, get to know him better, in new ways.  Yes, I know that the closer I get to him my own resilience will improve, but as a by-product.  Yes, He knows my health is in my prayers, along with prayers for the health of many other family members.  But, this retreat is less about my health than it is about understanding something new about God and our relationship.  
So often in life our relationships hit a plateau, we think we know everything there is about a friend or relative.  The stories have all been told, there just doesn’t seem anything else to say.  Till the road twists, just that little bit.  I’m doing this retreat knowing there will be many twists, many knew understandings (some I’ve probably known and forgotten).  Of course it will help with everything else in my life, that’s how God is.  The closer you are to Him, the more you follow His will instead of your own, the greater the peace.  But, those things aren’t the goal but the by product as I said above.  I want to rediscover my God.  He’s kind of infinite, it won’t be hard to find new angles!

If you haven’t considered consecrating yourself to Jesus, I urge you to look into it.  There are many consecrations, to the sacred heart, to his divine mercy, to Jesus through st. Joseph, to Jesus through Mary, and a variety of ways to do each of those I’m sure.  I already know of several ways to consecrate to Jesus through Mary… There has to be one for each of us, our God is too personal to leave one of us out.  Search for your way, it will be there.  Getting closer to God can only help.

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