Monday, January 14, 2013

Crocheting My Life Back... The Beginning

This 'series' is going to be about me and getting my life back.


Let me explain.

I'm not a small woman. I am well over 100 pounds overweight, although because I'm also very large-framed, I would say that me being as big as I am isn't like a small-framed woman being 100 pounds overweight. I am still relatively active and healthy - which is a blessing in and of itself. I have a family that loves me and a job that does not seem to discriminate against me because of my weight.

But in reality - I am mentally miserable. I have an extremely low self-esteem when it comes to my physical self. Intellectually my self-esteem is fine.... in fact, I could be a little "over" self-esteemish in that department. (can't believe I just admitted that). However, my physical self... not so much. My self-esteem is so bad in regards to my physical appearance I'd say it is close to the point of self destructive. While I can do things anyone else can do, I do not because I fear how others may perceive me. I hold myself back even though I probably don't need to - I let it impact my life negatively. The negative "self talk" is abusive. I'd like to think borderline abusive, but I'm down-right mean to myself.

On top of that, my weight plays heavily with my thanatophobia and anxiety disorder. Yes yes.... its bad enough to have these issues, but when compounded with the fears of having a heart attack or stroke due to my weight - it makes for a fun Saturday night.

Sure, its easy to say "well... don't do that then" but its not so easy. I have lost weight before (70 pounds) and felt better as the pounds melted off - the thinner I got, the better my life seemed to be. There is definitely a direct correlation. As I lost weight, I had fewer panic attacks and it was definitely easier to shelve the negative thoughts about death and dying.

I want that back.

And I plan on attempting to get that back using yarn as my visual.

Crocheting My Life Back
This morning, January 14th, I weighed in at 300 pounds.

300.4 to be exact.

I want to do a weekly post here - talking about my weight loss progress. But in addition to this, with each pound lost, I am going to reward myself with a 6" square. 100 squares will be 100 pounds lost... and those 100 squares will be joined to create an afghan representing my weight loss journey. I will never have more squares made than pounds lost - granted, if I gain during this journey, that just means I cannot make any more squares until I lose the weight I gained PLUS more.

Each week I want to share my weight loss progress (or lack thereof) and discuss what I did that week to be successful and what I did that week that I could do better. I want to discuss my fears. I will come up with a format once I start those posts, which I would like to make on Fridays.

I have always found crochet to be a very healing activity and I am hoping that some of that healing can spill over into my weight loss journey. I want to think about weight loss with each square I make - use each square to represent the decisions that I have to make in order to lose weight and become healthier. As I make each square I will pray, think, and most likely cry - perhaps the afghan can take the pains away of being an obese woman and help me grow into a more confident woman - help me become a woman who has the same self-esteem levels about her physical self as she does her intellectual.

I have chose yellow and white as the afghan colors - although I admit, these are not "my" colors - the yellow represents obesity awareness. I only ask you, my readers, now to not judge me for my obesity - my weight does not define me as a person. Be aware that people who are obese are still people and have feelings - in fact, they may be more fragile than your average person because they are obese.

This afghan will represent awareness, health, growth, change, sadness, depression, and healing. It will represent so much and I hope that one day I can set it aside and call it done - to finish this journey towards a healthier me.

So what can you expect?
I am hoping that every Friday to post something that shares the following information:
1. Current Weight (regardless of a gain or loss)
2. Total number of squares complete
3. A picture of the squares
4. A review of what I did to help (or hinder) my weight loss journey from the last week
5. Reflections/Insight of the previous week
6. My fears

There you have it. I put it all out there - including my weight (eesh). Thank you for letting me use this blog as a form of accountability for my health.

Next  >>>


Heather Prusia said...

Wishing you much success on your journey Cris and many squares!

Chelsy said...

Cris, I had some white yarn I was going to offer you anyway, but I was going to ask before I gave it to you if white was a color you were likely to use (didn't want to burden you with yarn you wouldn't have a use for). Now I know this will fit with plans you already have. A perfect match. I'll be in touch to figure out a way to get it to you.

anne wambui said...

wish you all the best. I believe you can.

vikki hooks said...

You go girl...I know you can do this..I might even attempt to drop some pounds with you. What a perfect way to actually see the weight come off..I will definately be here for you to cheer you on..No judgements here..never has been never will be...Hugs

Beverly Matheson said...

November 28, 2011 started my weight loss journey. I weighed 277.5 pounds. I am just over 5' tall and my frame is small. I know what obesity is and I know the damage it can do. I now weight 134 pounds. I can't believe the person is me that I see in the mirror. I still find myself going to the Plus Size section of the store. I still imagine what people are saying about me behind my back. I'm just beginning to see the new me. I'm behind you 100% in your weight loss journey. I'll be here to encourage you and cheer you on. My only advise is to get LOTS of protein (even if it's only in a shake). It will help curb your appetite and keep you from losing muscle. GO FOR IT!

Anonymous said...

I believe in you, you can do this babe , Im here to help. :-)

Sara - momwithahook said...

Wow, Cris this is beautiful. Would you like a partner? Not sure if I've ever thought of using crochet to help me with this part of me. On second thought, I better not add anymore to my schedule this year. I am looking forward to cheering you on and seeing your heal and grow that afghan. You always have the best projects and I think this one will be one of your best.

Cris said...

I would LOVE company - if you want to join in, I put a post on the iYarny group on Ravelry - you can post your progress or blog posts related to it. I appreciate the support!

Cris said...

I would LOVE some company - i put a post on the iYarny forums in case anyone wanted to post their updates or links to their blog updates. I definitely appreciate the support. the70 I lost before was NOT easy. I'm hoping the visual with the squares will help.

Cris said...

I think the only thing that has saved me with all this extra weight is my height. I'm 5'9" and built like a viking (8" wrists). I think its AMAZING you have lost so much weight and congratulate you on your success. I definitely am a protein/carb girl. The first time I lost weight, I used what I called the "campfire analogy" - perhaps I can write that down in my next blog post. I definitely curb off hunger pretty easily when I do what I'm supposed to.. its getting me to do it!

Cris said...

Thank you very much for this. Sometimes it is hard to believe you can do it yourself... so having others' support is amazing. Thank you!

Cris said...

Hey :) I would LOVE some white yarn. While I think the majority of the afghan will be yellow (its a creamy yellow, not HEY LOOK AT ME yellow) - I will need some white. I am excited to start laying out what the squares will look like. Thank you Chelsy :)

Unknown said...

I have had 12 serious surgeries since 2001. Last month I had the 3 rd in 4 months. It was an emergency surgery due to a dangerous staph infection. I have been sick a long time. Therefore, in the bed alot. So, this year I crocheted 3/4 of my Christmas gifts. It was my therapy. It made me happy because I love it and It was the only thing that I could do to make me feel productive. So, Godspeed....crocheting will most definitely help you.

Stefanie Weber said...

I love this idea! Wishing you the best of luck on your weight loss journey and I look forward to reading your posts!

Cris said...

Thank you so much for your support with this - it was kinda hard to share "the number" with my crocheting world, but part of it is owning up to what you have done - ya know? I really am looking forward to getting on the scale Friday and being able to report my first number... although that's kinda scary too because what if I fail!

Marie/Underground Crafter said...

What a great project. I love that the blanket will be a visual reminder. I'm impressed with your strength and commend you for sharing your story! I have my own weighty issues but I haven't (yet) spoken about them on my blog. I wish you the best on this journey!

Mary (nauget bluff) said...

OK..I'm late to the party as usual..! Bravo..My weight fluctuations because of lupus meds..I can be 40 lbs over weight then 20lbs underweight.. I'm passing it on to my MIL cuz you could be telling her story..and probably thousands can identify with you..I'll be cheering you on and supporting from the sidelines..

Colletta said...

I am so happy you stopped by and that I returned the visit. I too have at least 100 pounds to lose and have started a Friday post about fitness. I love, love, love the idea of crocheting a square for each pound lost! Can I join you? I also deal with anxiety and depression as I've shared on my blog. We have so much in common!

If you don't mind me joining in, what pattern are you using for your 6" square? And, can I add your graphic to my Fitness Friday post?

All the bets to you, my friend!


Cris said...

I would LOVE for you to join me and yes, you can use that graphic for those posts. I have put something on iYarny as well (my Ravelry Group) about weight loss sharing - you can always post your update there if you like. Can you send me along your blog just so I can make sure that I have you in my reader!

I'll post the pattern in the weight update I post today so you can have it - really, for me, since I make large blankets, any 6" square will do and it could really be any color, I just chose the yellow (blech LOL) because it is the awareness color for obesity AND it is something new for me - I don't usually migrate towards that color :)

Oh, another site I find useful for weight loss is SparkPeople (dot) com - Spark has a LOT of free tools available like food trackers, fitness trackers, and a food database to pull from. Its really nice and the guy insists on keeping it free - which is awesome. It ranks up there with the same tools as

I'm VERY excited to have a buddy on this journey.

Mandy McK. (Moogieof4) said...

I have read your posts with interest and wish you well.

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