Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Opposite of Rock Bottom

I was reminded in a conversation with a client this morning about what it was that motivated me into losing over 100lbs. I've had many people ask me this question, and many times it was followed by...."Did you finally hit rock bottom?" I swear I want to slap everyone that asks that question. It's so insulting to me, as if weighing 250lbs is "rock bottom" (or however much a person is over a healthy bodyweight). My weight was such a small part of who I was, and nothing about me, or my life could be defined as "rock bottom".

In fact just the opposite......

I was having the time of my life, (little did I know how much better it would continue to become). At the time I was starting to really appreciate how good things were. I was in a position to cut back my professional work hours, because I was lucky enough to not have to work for a living. I loved where I lived, not only my home, but geographically where I live...does it get much better than the SF Bay Area in CA? I had hobbies I loved, cooking being one of them, and the time and money to practice my hobbies. My boys were almost grown, and my husband realizing the success he deserved in his field of work. I mean, how could it get better?

I've never had any self esteem problems, I've always felt good about myself. I've always known I was smart, sometimes funny and witty, talented, competent and I was always at the top of my chosen profession, winning awards for my talent in that area. I always felt fairly attractive and pretty, no matter what my weight was. I knew who I was and what I was about. I didn't care about any judgements because of my weight...screw anyone that thought otherwise!

Oh sure, sometimes it was frustrating and hurtful, knowing that I was being judged badly by my appearance, but ultimate the only opinions I cared about were from the people in my life that I loved and that loved me. So, why did I finally decide it was time to do what I already knew how to do...lose the weight my body didn't need.

I think it was because I wanted to live as long as possible to enjoy this amazingly good life I had started to appreciate, and I was getting a little scared that I was going to die before having as much fun as I wanted to! I started to feel as if everyday I was "dodging a bullet". The bullet of a heart attack, the bullet of diabetes, the bullet of a blood clot or stroke, etc... That would suck...big time! And it was under MY control! I wasn't a victim of my fat...I was choosing to be fat. So I decided to chose different.

Not because I hit rock bottom, but because I hit the opposite of rock bottom.

So I've started a new blog, titled Tracy Reifkind's Food and Thought. In my additional blog I want to write, and reflect about food, eating, and positive thinking, therefore positive living. Not to judge, and not to be judged, but to appreciate all the goodness in myself and my life. All the goodness in every one, regardless of what we weigh or what and how much we eat, (or don't eat).

We are living miracles, and we need to nourish our bodies, respecting these physical bodies, with the very best foods we can afford, and nourish our souls with our very best thoughts. At least that is what I believe.

I believe that life is supposed to be good, I believe that my life is good.


(Second photo taken of me in Rome, 1999, I weighed about 230?. Top photo was taken 03/08 weighing 133)

25 comments:

1gabby1 said...

Hi Tracy
I haven't been able to comment lately my computer was down. I was the one worried about all that swinging. Any way I just wanted to let you know what a huge impact you have had on my own personal journey.
Unlike you, I did not have the courage to wear what I ate. I would get rid of my binges one way or another and no one was the wiser.
I haven't had that struggle for many years but it never leaves me and the insecurities never leave me either.
I always had the perfect body from my teens well into my thirties(overexercising and bulimia for ten of those years) and then I was diagnosed w/hypothyroid and insulin resistance (no surprise here). So I had to focus on my health and inner strength.
Now, like you I am 43, healthy and everything is under control. I have a 13 year old daughter and I try to be a good role model for her and that includes a healthy relationship with food and exercise. I just wanted to share with you what not a lot of people know about me. Thank you so much putting yourself out there for us. You continue to be my "shero" and I look forward to your blog each day.

Gabby
p.s. I do Bikram too, my body loves it.

Amy said...

Tracy,
I love the new blog!! I can't wait until it's warm enough in Iowa for the farmer's markets to open so I can truly "eat fresh."

Your blog has become a daily affirmation for me: a reminder to keep my focus on the positive. It's amazing how shifting my thoughts shifts my whole life.

Just a month ago I was battling with chronic neck/shoulder pain. Brad Nelson (my trainer) emailed me my weekly program and put the following prescription for me:
"You MUST pay attention to your body and how it is feeling. YOU have the tools to know whether something feels better to you. Re-association: Think about something that you love and that makes you happy at all times when testing your Z drills (kids, husband, etc.) something that instantly puts you in a better 'state.'” What a wake up call! I started crying because I knew he was right.

Not long after, I found your blog. Coincidence? I don't think so. I can report that I am pain free. I am training just as intensely as before. What's changed? My thoughts, of course!

Soon the positive thinking will come as naturally as the negative thinking did. I am excited to watch myself grow!

Regina Kettlebell Instructor said...

Great Post Tracy! Thank you for sharing it!

133 lbs is my goal! Now I actually think I can hit it and you have inspired to remember the true importance of why I want to get there. I am just starting really like who I am and find out who that is...and I want to be healthy and strong enough to enjoy it!

I have hypothryoidism like Gabby and I have whats called adrenal burnout. but the doctors caught it and I am being treated. and I know understand why its important I drop the weight and this health stuff is in my control from getting worse. Genetically, If I don't do something, it will be a stroke, High blood pressure, diabetes. I don't want that. Thank you for the example you have provided that it is possible to correct this.

You always stuck me as someone that was confident, strong and remarkable. Being able to look fantastic is an added bonus!! for all your hard work. Thanks for always being positive! It does make a difference. I haven't dropped any weight but I am getting a handle on why I want to or don't want too. You are a great example! I applaud you and I too look forward to your blogs!

Great new Blog!
Best
Regina

Lauren said...

That is great that you are starting another blog. I look forward to reading it. I like the picture of you in Rome. You do look confident, happy, with a very pretty face. I will say though it does not look like you at all in the recent pictures. I probably would not guess that is you if you it was not on your blog.

Does your husband ever feel like he has a new wife? Would you say your personality has changed a little bit since your transformation? I have always been curious about that.

fawn said...

What a great message Tracy!

Keturah Y. said...

Tracy,
Your post really inspired me to keep going with my kettlebell training. I've been discouraged because I haven't met my vanity goals of dropping a few inches and pounds or a dress size.

But your post made me realize how much of a difference KBS have made in my life! I'm hypothyroid (wow, that makes three of us on here!) and I have residual health problems - similar to fibromylagia/chronic fatigue syndrome - from a West Nile Virus infection I had three years ago. Kbs help me control my symptoms, and help me to feel good so I can live the rest of my life. I'm learning and experiencing lots with kbs. They are a discipline and skill, and I love it.

So all of that to say, thank you, thank you, for the great posts and encouragement. Sorry for the long comment, but I had to let you know that your own struggles and conclusions help us all keep going - especially on the hard days.

-Keturah

P.S. I know I will enjoy your new blog, too!

Charley said...

Hi Tracy,

I've read your blog from inception, and I am more convinced that you should write a book. You have so much to share with so many people, as evidenced in the responses here and on other posts.

Keep up the good work.

Charley

Tracy said...

Gabby,

Wow! I love how you used your words, "the courage to wear what I ate" During the first year of my maintenance I felt monments of starving myself. It's part of the same compulsive tedencies.

And although we put ourselves "out here", sharing somewhat personal stories, what does anyone really know about us? We all do our best.

PS I've thought about getting certified in Bikram...but that's another story....

Tracy said...

Amy,

Thank you so much for being a "regular"! I am warming into my new blog, I'm having fun!

Yes, I'm having fun! I'll have to write about that!

Anyway...I am going to update my blog link list would you mind being included? Let me know....and that goes for many orthers too! I'll probably put out a "call" on Food and Thought.

Tracy said...

Regina,

I'm so glad to have connected with you, as you already know. This is YOUR time to "start again"!

Tracy said...

Lauren,

Good question...I would like to give you an answer via blogpost, so look for that soon! Probably on Food and Thought....soon!

Tracy said...

Fawn,

Great things are happening...great things have been happening, they're just happening quicker these days...or maybe I'm just recognizing them sooner?

I'm so glad to call you a friend.

Tracy said...

keturah,

You can make your comments as long as you want to!

Mmmn.."vanity" goals.....I like that! I'll have to put my thoughts about goals together and write something.

Tracy said...

Charley,

If a book is supposed to be, then it will be. I've started many times, both pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard, LOL), as well as many brainstorming what exactly do I have tosay that anyone would care about?

I go to the bookstore and there's many others with similar thoughts and philosohy. But I realized just this morning (Sat.) that my blogs are my online magazine! I just have to keep going with it, and it will take me where I'm going, that I know.

Tracy said...

Charley,

If a book is supposed to be, then it will be. I've started many times, both pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard, LOL), as well as many brainstorming what exactly do I have tosay that anyone would care about?

I go to the bookstore and there's many others with similar thoughts and philosohy. But I realized just this morning (Sat.) that my blogs are my online magazine! I just have to keep going with it, and it will take me where I'm going, that I know.

Tracy said...

Charley,

PS I've missed you! You have always been a positive and supportive, comment contributor. I hope you training is going well.

Lisa said...

To 1gabby1, Regina, and Keturah:

What is hypothyroidism like? Does it make you colder than normal? Any other symptoms that you've noticed? Does medication completely treat it?

I'm curious because my mom and grandpa have it and it runs on that side of the family. So it's possible that I may develop it (my blood tests came back ok so I don't have it yet anyway).

1gabby1 said...

Lisa,
I have always run cold. For me, the fatigue was unbearable. I was 39 and pregnant at the time and I believe that threw my hormones out of wack. I thought it was a just 1st trimester fatigue but this was crazy. I would work a few morning hours training clients,come home and sleep until I picked my daughter up from school. Even sleeping made me tired! That with my insulin resistance (both undiagnosed at the time) made for a difficult time. Things to watch for: rapid weight gain,even though nothing diet/exercise related, fatigue, feeling unusually cold. If it runs in the family just check it every year along with your other yearly thing. Make sure your MD checks T3,T4 and TSH levels. Hope this helps.
Gabby

jenn.bermudez said...

Tracy, I second Fawn, another great post with a very positive message. I'm glad you are my friend. xoxo Jen

Adam said...

Tremendous changes Tracy!

-I got you picked as most likely Female to clean house and kick butt for the 50K race, and David Whitley is already WAAAY ahead of everyone else

Also the 1000 you did right before i kicked this off does count. Thats a LOT of work in one day!

Tracy said...

Jenn,

Because you're my friend, you know how fast my life is moving right now, I just wanted to let you know, I'm re-focused, and life is better than ever, just like I knew it would be, just like it is everyday....better than ever.

Tracy said...

Adam,

After seeing Fawn snatch the 53 I'm not sure I'm such a bad ass! Snatching the 26 1000 times seems like nothing.

But I'll keep going and I can promise you this....before this is over I will be snatching that 53...no doubt.

I'll be posing some more snatch race video today, and total up some points.

Keturah Y. said...

Lisa,

I discovered I was hypothyroid (hypo) when I was tested for West Nile Virus. Hence, I was already extremely fatigued from WNV. I don't remember feeling really tired, but in the years before WNV I do remember feeling kind of physically slow
(sluggish?), and extremely cold: I wore wool sweaters in July! During the summer I would also sit in my hot car with the windows rolled up or lay out in the sunlight just to get warm.

I have an extensive family history of hypo, from my great-grandma to my younger sister and brother so I suppose it was inevitable I would eventually need medication.

I agree with everything Gabby rec'd ,especially getting your free T3 level checked. Most doctors only check TSH. You can have a "normal" TSH but your T3 level can be in the hypo range. You might want to check out http://thyroid.about.com
and http://www.drlowe.com
Both websites are very pro-patient and I've found a lot of helpful info on them concerning hypothyroid issues. Some (if not many) people find that even though their blood tests come back okay or normal, they still need supplementation. Most doctors are resistant to this kind of thinking. But you can have other hypothyroid symptoms (muscle aches, joint pain or swelling, thinning of hair and/or eyebrows, depression) besides the landmark symptoms typically associated with hypo. My mother was on the low side of normal, just enough to barely qualify for normal. But she still required naps all of the time, and she is rather healthy. So our doctor put her on 1 tablet of Armour thyroid. She felt better but was still tired at times and needed naps. He increased it to two tablets and now she has so much energy and feels normal again. So much for being normal!

I hope this helps. Let us know if you have anymore questions.

Lisa said...

Thanks for replying Gabby and Keturah.

I'm pretty sure that I don't have hypothyroidism right now. I'm very energetic. I'm colder than an average person, but certainly not to an extreme. People joke around and say that I don't have enough fat to "insulate" me.

I do have Celiac and having one autoimmune disease puts you at a higher risk for a second. By the way, I'm 15 years old.

Gabby, I've tried to make myself throw up before, but (fortunately) couldn't. I was anorexic when I was 12. I still struggle with those thoughts.

LizLuvsCrochet said...

I remembered my password! Thank GOD because I was dying to comment on this posting. I just love it so much, these photos, and your motivating words and determination are so uplifting. People say all the time how inspiring you are and it really rings true for me.
I love how you get straight to the point of what it really breaks down to. Respecting our bodies.
Every word you say I can honestly tell you, I soak up and apply.