Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's My Name That's On That Jag

Whatever the glass ceiling is for weight loss, I shattered it.

Finally.   And it means a another big milestone. This is the smallest I have been since I have been married. Happy Belated Anniversary to me!   You may have wondered where "Elley" came from, this is a nickname that only one person in the whole world calls me - my husband. I definitely drew the long straw here, my nickname for him is Sparky. Poor guy.  When I set out to start this blog I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a clever domain name - well blogger ruined that pipe dream for me because there are only something like one bazillion people thinking that blogging is like totally for me and most of my clever ideas were already taken. So I settled for something a little more simple. Elley Exposed. It cuts through a lot of garbage and just says... here I am. Here I am - vulnerable, unsealed and bare. It also sounds racy and I like that.  I think many of us could use a little more raciness in our life, like in the bad-ass, I wear an apron in the kitchen only to hide my holster kind of way.  Some of my most potent workout songs in the gym are angry girl anthems. I used to listen to Beyonce's Irreplaceable endlessly during workouts. Then it was Pink's So What. Then Fighter by Christina Aguilera. These are all effectively SCREW YOU songs. And they are so awesome, especially for someone like me who, even when given the opportunity, would never be able to say screw you.   It isn't that I really want to say those words its just that I want the power and confidence that rides on the coat tails of those words, or at least the power and confidence that I perceive them to carry. Power and confidence are so sexy, aren't they?  
When my husband and I first fell in love I was a confident girl with a lot of ambition - I mean, hello, I was seventeen years old! The world was my oyster or something to that effect. I think this both intimidated and enticed him. It was something I never really understood when he tried to explain it.

Until it changed. 
I've tried numerous ways to recapture the mysterious confidence I carted around with me in the courtship days of my relationship to my husband to no avail. Because my attempts were never authentic. I wasn't addressing the real problem. And that problem, for me, was always the fact that I was struggling with my weight and it held me back in so many ways. I let it hold me back. It dictated what I wore and at which angle I preferred for pictures to be taken. The most surprising thing about losing weight is what I have been able to recapture.   I feel like I've finally got my sexy back.   And so, Happy Belated Anniversary to you too, my dear Sparky.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Diffusing the False Crisis

I think I'm having a false crisis. I'm calling it a False Crisis because it is ridiculous and silly and the only thing that would actually make it interesting is if all of the key players in my life appeared and disappeared exactly on cue, driving around in sports cars with the top down and running around in shoes meant only for walking down the aisle. You know, like in romantic comedies.

I've been thinking about what drives people, well, at least one person – me. My hubby is out of town, so I've been alone the last few nights as my toddler-aged companions are in bed by 7:30pm, so I've had the time and I've pondered this quite a bit. When I committed to this journey last April I had so much drive. I had laser focus. I let nothing get in my way.

What changed?

I still want the same things – in fact I have a list of things that I want that hangs on the mirror in my bathroom and resides in whatever book I'm currently reading. I read it everyday and I still want everything on that list.

I want a purpose driven life.
I want my girls to hear the Taylor Swift song, “The Best Day” and think of me.
I want to fit into any pair of knee high boots I think are cute.
I want to wear a size six.
I want to run a marathon.
I want to write a children's book.
I want to volunteer in my children's classrooms.
I want to own a house.
I want to stop thinking that my dad is disappointed in me.
I want to live to 100.
I want to go on family vacation at least once a year.
I want to step on the scale at a doctor's office and not blush.
I want my children to have no memory of me being overweight.
I want to model healthy eating to my girls.
I want to show my girls how fun it is to exercise and move.
I want my husband to want me.
I want to be one of those people who says, “gosh, this is so rich, I couldn't possibly have another bite.”
I want people to read my blog.
I want people to share my blog with others.
I want to workout with a trainer once a week.
I want to inspire faith.
I want to minimize how much I yell and maximize how much I pray.
I want to take the stairs.
I want to wear a bikini.
I want to wear my wedding ring, without injury.
I want to teach Sunday school, regularly.
I want to feel good naked.
I want to work from home.
I want to have a deep meaningful friendship in Los Angeles.
I want to weigh less than 140 lbs.
I want to be an “after” story.

So, again, what changed? Why is it that I'm stalled out? And after a lot of dramatics and deep exposure of myself I think I finally have the answer...


I am no longer in crisis. When I started this journey nine months ago I was in real crisis. I was desperate, I was depressed, I was lonely and sad and disgusted and completely fed up being fed by the wrong things.

That's what's changed. I am now content and happy and I feel surrounded by love and support and I'm proud of myself and I feel full. Filled up with the right things. Of course, I don't feel like that all of the time. Sometimes I don't handle things very well and I tend to retreat and walk around aimlessly in calming places, like Target. Enter False Crisis, otherwise known as yesterday, wherein I sobbed like a baby to both my husband and my sister about the fact that over the week of my birthday I gained a pound and before that I hadn't lost weight in two months.

And you know what they said? “Boo freaking hoo.” So, OK, neither one of them said that but both of them should have. 

My birthday was amazing. It was everything a 30th birthday should be... it was indulgent and lavish and I felt like a pampered princess. I ate Sprinkles cupcakes and Cadberry Eggs and full fat cheese and drank regular Coke. It was glorious. But, the glory didn't come from food. It came from people. People who celebrated me and love me. The same people who have pulled me out of my real crisis and helped me stop letting fear run my life. The same people who celebrated and loved me when I couldn't celebrate and love myself. You know who you are and I want to thank you for for my false crisis. 

What I have to learn now is drive, drive without crisis. I'm not really sure how to do this, I think I've been operating this way my whole life. It's how I turned a mid-term C into an A by the end of a semester. It's how I learned to parallel park. It's why I got a dog and learned to cook and to plunge toilets. It's how I've always called myself to action, like in one of those romantic comedy endings where false crisis and false hope and real crisis and real hope alternate like a clockwork mechanism.

I don't have the answer. I'm just sending this out there... hoping I'll get one.