Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Honesty: The Painful Kind

The other day I was walking back home from the farmer's market which is held every Friday in the neighbouring town where we used to live. I saw my ex-neighbor approaching and went tense; 'Oh no,' I thought, 'She hasn't seen me since I've gained weight. Hopefully she won't say anything.' Followed by the hopeful thought: 'Maybe I don't look as different as I feel.' She slowed down from her jog and waved, probably unaware that she was eyeing me up and down with a critical look. "Hi there," she said once she reached me. "How are you? Did you have a baby?!" 
Last January, I had decided to finally stop being crazy about dieting, and to stop taking the daily doses of diet pills I had been downing for about nine years. I knew I wanted to have a clean body as a vessel for my future baby to grow inside of. I also wanted to finally enjoy all of the food I dreamed of while eating skinless chicken breasts and grapefruits. The problem was, I quickly replaced my addiction for diet pills with an addiction for sugar. Not only that, but the miscarriage in November had me literally medicating myself with chocolate. Since last January, I have gone from 48 kilos to 68. That's a gain of 45 pounds. On a tiny frame of about 5 feet 3 inches. 


45 pounds lighter


now

This morning, while power walking down a rain-soaked path, feeling overwhelmed with the task of losing weight before summer, it suddenly became clear to me that I need to remodel. And I don't mean my body. I mean my entire vision of who I am. 
I started thinking about truly beautiful women. They have sparkling eyes, infectious smiles....and more important, confidence. You would never think that they look at themselves critically in the mirror; you would never imagine them sliding the cupcake away from themselves and sighing, feeling huge and ugly and deprived all at the same time. They are busy enjoying life! Busy feeling inspired, creative, enthusiastic. Busy loving their partner, being there for their friends, learning new things, enjoying what little time there is here on earth. Those are the things which make the most beautiful women.
So now I need to be painfully honest with myself about what isn't working in my life, and what I need to change. I need to remember the picture I have of my ideal, healthy, happy self, and then do everything in my power to work towards becoming her.
This was a surprisingly difficult post and I keep going back and forth in my mind about publishing it. It's harder than I thought to be this honest about my short-comings. My ego is squealing, "Nooo, don't click 'Publish Post!' This is ugly and scary! Just write something about the weather and springtime!"
*squish*
That's the sound of my ego under my foot. 
Ok....I'm pressing Publish Post now......

xoxo country girl

36 comments:

  1. ya for publishing this. I can imagine that it was a very hard post to write. I'm proud of you for sharing your story- all of it. We are our own worst critics and I can't tell you how many times I have had this exact conversation with myself.
    The part I like best about this post is when you say that the ideal beautifu woman is more concerned with enjoying her time here on earth- how true.
    life is short, I don't want to spend it being disappointed with myself.
    Thanks Dawn
    xox

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  2. I think you are doing such a lovely thing to your life and your body. You couldn't give yourself a more wonderful gift.
    You are so inspiring Dawn. Thankyou!

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  3. Hi Dawn,

    It's Rhianna (from Facebook and Jamie Oliver), I read this and just had to comment, you are beautiful now and you were beautiful before the only difference is you'll now be happier and healthier.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq86e4Fhja0

    Rhianna xx

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  4. Dawn you are beautiful....no... you're stunning!!! Curves are motherly, they're sensual, they're natural, they're supposed to be. It's important to be healthy, but seriously there's a big difference to being skinny and miserable to having a few extra pounds and feeling like you could explode with happiness, you're a brimming font of inspiration and beauty. God I'd give anything to weigh 65 kilos again, I weigh more than 100 thanks to lovely steroids, but I'd rather be alive and healthy than skinny in a hospital bed, and I am loved, I am feminnine and fashion concious, I seriously do not wear a sack because of my size.
    Be yourself, be comfortable with her, be gentle with her, and be happy. xxxx

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  5. Dearest Dawn, thanks for this post...I wonder how many women it will chime with? My guess is ALL of us, in some way! Diets really don't work, I know that by now (although I confess I'm always lookinhg for the perfect one still) but enjoying who & what we really are is so hard too when confronted by the media idea of perfection everywhere. You're so right to give your body & future baby the best possible start. Do what you can, what you must, what you need to do. You're beautiful, gorgeous & special, so you have a great start! xox Rachel

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  6. You are absolutely gorgeous. And not overweight in my not so humble opinion. But I'm a Jewish mother, so take it for what it's worth. I hope you can change the tape that plays in your head and realize how lovely you are by being you. Age happens, things change but kind heart and a generous spirit do not. I believe you have both, as well as physical beauty. You are blessed.

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  7. You DEFINITELY a most beautiful woman! It can be difficult to adjust your self image in your mind, but I think you look amazing!!! And you are always so sweet and positive and thoughtful, plus I think you are absolutely right about what a beautiful woman really looks like... Sparkling eyes are the first sign for me! If I see someone with lively and sparkling eyes, I am always jealous, that is my goal always (and can be difficult sometimes to maintain!)!!! Plus you have what sounds like a wonderfully loving husband who adores everything about you, and that itself is beautiful! SO much love to you!!!

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  8. Dawn..you are beautiful..there is no need to worry about being thinner than you are right now. I too have struggled all my life with the same things and now at my age I have finally accepted who I am and where I am in my life and it's okay. Life is short and we really do need to focus on who we are as a person more so than what size dress we wear:) I am so proud of you for pushing 'publish'...you are an amazing woman!! And I love your new banner, as I love Kiki...she is such a photogenic dog... Love her..

    Have a blessed day!

    xoxo Gert

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  9. Thanks so much for publishing this post...I feel this in so many ways! It brought a tear to my eye.
    Best to you on this journey!

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  10. I have never thought you looked even slightly chubby in any of your pictures. And with all the walking you do, that makes a huge difference. You must be very firm. Adding weight to someone that is firm is a lot different than adding weight to someone who isn't. Your body will find a balance that you are happy with.

    Have you heard about Giuliana DePandi from E? (Not sure if you get that over there.) Anyway, she didn't want to gain the 5-10 lbs. her doctor recommended to help her get pregnant. People were horrified. (Parenthood is going to require a lot more sacrifices than gaining 5-10 lbs! LOL)

    Going off the diet pills will be so much better for the baby. Good for you!

    Elise

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  11. True beauty has much more to do with who you are than your weight (coming from someone who has always been chunky!)

    And I think you look beautiful in your "now" photo, too!

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  12. dear dawn,
    your honesty makes you so precious and for every good reason. i am sorry you have this image of yourself, there probalby isn't a woman alive that doesn't go through this. when the image of how we see ourselves doesn't fit what we see in the mirror. i think the thing is is to find the balance. exercise and eating healthfully is good for us, you already do these things, so you will be fine.
    when you have your first baby you will see it's actually pretty easy to lose weight, between breast feeding and all that mothering involves, not to mention chasing toddlers! you really won't have to worry.
    you are such a beautiful person,
    love,
    lori

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  13. OH my goodness, did I write this post?? I think of myself as a trim person, then I see myself on television or in a photo and I beat myself up mentally with feelings of inadequacy. Hey, I remember being slim and waaaay better looking, but I can't seem to NOT eat something I adore. I have a husband who never gains an ounce and he eats half of everything I have on my plate, PLUS he eats pasta every day of his half Italian life.

    I love people and find that when I am with them I never think about my weight or how I look. It is when I step back and scrutinize that I feel badly and self conscious. Jeff always tells me to be healthy and happy with myself. Ok, I try, but it isn't always easy.

    You are beautiful inside and out. No quibbles about that. Once when I was griping to Sue Branch about how awful I looked in a photo she said, "take lots of pictures now, it isn't going to get any better." She's right, now I look at the old photos and think, "I wasn't really THAT bad then, so maybe I'm not THAT bad now."

    What do we women need to do to get our heads on right? I think we must only strive to be healthy. Dawn, I love sweets too, BUT I also love healthy foods and try to always put good things into this wonderful machine called the human body. But hey, no bathing suits for me I guess. Maybe I can wear an old fashioned one.

    Love to you,

    Sharon

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  14. Dear Dawn, Follow the things in life that make you happy, that fill you with warmth, and the rest will fall into place...including your weight. Unfortunately, we are always our own worst critic. So I will tell you that you look absolutely the same in both photographs...radiant, gorgeous, warm, compassionate and loving. That is the best kind of beauty to be and it's the deepest and most long lasting as our waistlines will always come and go. Much love, Trina

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  15. I think you look beautiful! Diet pills are so bad for you in so many ways that it's a good thing you've stopped taking them! The best goal to strive for is just to be healthy and happy.

    Manuela

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  16. Dawn,

    You should take a look back at your "now" picture and see the unbelievably beautiful person looking at you!

    Good work on this post because 99% of women are thinking the same thing. I started to myself....Over the winter I had gained an extra 15 pounds in 3 months..ouch! A few months ago I decided I needed to starve myself from the foods I love in order to lose weight...and what happened? I actually gained more weight!!!! Then I realized it was because I wasn't happy and productive. I began eating things I love and gave me a happy feeling and more engery to burn off the extra calories. It's working. The weight is going down but my attitude is going up! :-) Take care of yourself! xo

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  17. thank you for your honesty, it is really
    the best policy. and for what it's worth,
    you are equally beautiful in each photo.

    i have been doing some painful intro-
    spection myself. not very fun, huh?

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  18. Dawn, this is why I love to visit you - you are able to express things in such an open and honest way that I feel like I have known you for years. You are beautiful. We all have insecurities that creep to the surface sometimes but know that you are outstanding, lovely and beautiful - in both pictures. You should start each day knowing how you touch us with your words, thoughts and beauty ~
    Have a lovely day!
    Sarah

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  19. Thank you Dawn for pressing 'publish'...it's your courage that inspires and your willingness to endure the discomfort of making a step into a new direction.Into the unknown.
    I love when you say:..." So now I need to be painfully honest with myself about what isn't working in my life, and what I need to change. I need to remember the picture I have of my ideal, healthy, happy self, and then do everything in my power to work towards becoming her."....this is so inspiring.

    Learning about who we are and what we are here for to learn and give.
    You are giving so much!

    You know my story of recovery and it's unfolding every day, new, in God's hands.
    God who's created this Universe, can restore my life, mind and body to perfect health so I can participate and contribute the way I was meant to.
    Loads of blessings for wisdom and courage coming your way from this part of the world, from my Heart.
    Be sweet to yourself!

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  20. You are beautiful then, you are beautiful now.

    Finding the vision of your true self is a wonderful journey. I believe I'll go there myself.

    You possess the qualities of the beautiful women you described. No smoke blown here.

    I'm on an eat smaller portions quest. :)

    Blessings...

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  21. Oh hunny, I am sorry to hear about your sadness and troubles. That said, you look fabulous at your current weight whether you believe it or not :)

    xox Diana

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  22. Dearest Country Girl, I've only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks but I love you already. I'm so glad you were brave and posted this today. I'm in tears now, good, healing tears. Your words are exactly what have been in my heart too. So I raise my glass to you, dear brave lady, to true radiant beauty from the heart, and maybe even smaller bottoms in the near future. :-)

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  23. I'd just like to start by saying how strong you are to make a post like this... I know it isn't easy. And I'd also like to say how beautiful I think you are- 45 pounds heavier or lighter!
    The first time I saw your blog, I looked at your photo and went, "Wow, she looks like a model!" And as I got to know you better, I realized that you weren't only physically beautiful, but internally as well!

    I've had weight issues all my life, and have never been skinny, which has always been a huge struggle in my life. I'm constantly fluctuating in my weight; sometimes I lose a ton of pounds, and other-times gain. I always have to remind myself, though, that I shouldn't worry about how I look aesthetically, but rather care for my health and happiness. I love to eat- eating makes me happy (particularly carbohydrates, unfortunately). But gaining weight does not. So my perpetual dilemma is trying to find that happy medium where I can eat the fattening foods I like, but in portions that won't throw me at an unhealthy weight.
    Anyways, enough about me...
    You are wonderful just the way you are, and don't you forget it! ♥

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  24. YOU are GORGEOUS. Inside and OUT. Really truly. I wouldn't take the time to write it. Not only that, but I remember a video I watched once of you calling for Kiki. When I watched that video, I thought... she has the most beautiful sing-songy feminine voice I have ever heard! So sweet and dear. And you weren't singing, either. Though I am sure you have a beautiful singing voice, too. It was just your normal day to day voice, and it just radiated with the same light that your blog reflects. It actually made me commit to being more true to my self... just hearing your voice!

    You are a beauty. There is no doubt about it.

    I don't want to compare one picture to the other above, because they appear to be in two different seasons of life. All I will say is that I think the now picture is so incredibly beautiful. You are stunning, my dear.

    I also have times when it is hard to step into who I am, rather than who I wanted to appear to be. I think it's part of becoming a true woman. I like it when I let myself follow it. It feels so right.

    Thank you for sharing dear Dawn!

    Love to you...

    Organic Spark

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  25. You beautiful, beautiful person inside and out....you have a heart of gold, Dawn. You really do...and you are gorgeous...

    i hear ya though...i USED to be so much thinner...way thinner.....and i have been asked the baby question myself :- ( huh?
    what did she just say? me? was she talking to me?

    I watched my mother live her whole entire life on water and lettuce...she was always starving and she would not eat. scared to death to gain a pound. always so worried about being thin and stylish. i know what she was thinking of me..Oh, kary has gotten fat.Poor Kary.

    But i love to cook and eat..and life is so short..why not enjoy yourself...to her...just 10 pounds overweight is considered fat.

    so now that she is gone..i wonder to myself..was it worth it all? she lived her whole life and never enjoyed one of life's greatest pleasures...

    i don't think it was worth it...

    good for you for hitting the publish button.

    you go Dawn ! love your honesty. it is what makes us all real here.....

    sending lots of love,
    kary

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  26. Today I am feeling really low and pondering lots about my self-worth. I haven't had much sleep due to insomnia and a awful phone conversation with the ex last night about his new found promiscuity which really hurt me, and surprised me by how much it hurt me which led to me thinking about my self-worth all night... now I'm trying to pick myself up but I'm tired so I'm not doing a great job. This entry - I'm reading it fleetingly as I'm about to go to the dentist- but I'm going to come back and reread it because I think there is a lot of wisdom here and something I can take from it...I like what you are saying and I think I really need to do some serious thinking and reassess my life and the choices I make/the reactions I have... Thanks Dawn...as usual you are brilliant! :) xxx

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  27. PS I think you are beautiful just how you are now too xxx

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  28. You are beautiful! And I am tucking that thought, beside my heart and keeping there, for safe keeping. Cause your my friend, and I love ya someTING awful! : )
    And KIki too!
    XO

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  29. i'm so glad you hit publish. this is something i too have struggled with as of late. dawn, you are beautiful. but i know too well that it doesn't matter how much other people tell you that, the feeling is still with you because it's a personal issue to work through...body image, self-acceptance, etc.

    kudos to you for putting it out there, dawn! and just think, this time around it's about health and happiness...and that's way better than what any diet pill ever gave us.

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  30. your heart is filled with a giving spirit . you will encourage many with this honest post . blessings as you travel this road

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  31. Perfect post my friend. Sharing pain always help lessen it. Keeping it bottled up makes it fester and grow beyond fixing. Taking diet pills every day is not healthy - but you know that. I'm happy to read you are moving in the right direction - feeling confident and knowing that even skinny stick women have issues. Being skinny is not important, family, friends and love are what matters - good for you! Also, I think you look beautiful in that picture with your dog.

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  33. Dearest Dawn,
    You were beautiful then and you are beautiful now. Not only are you one of the sweetest, kindest and one of the loveliest people I have ever met and I am proud to call you my friend, but you are pretty, slim and healthy!

    Like me you like to eat good, natural and organic food that is not necessarily calorie and fat efficient. I think eating butter that is straight from the cow is far better for you in terms of its natural source compared to horrid processed plastic margarine. So the way I control weight after many many years of struggling with being overweight is to exercise my socks off!

    In my time I have also been asked if I was pregnant by someone on holiday who asked me if I was expecting a boy or a girl! I ate for emotional support for something truly awful that I went through and I ate for comfort to heal the emotional wounds. Eventually I had enough and learnt through cognetive behavioural therapy (common sense!) that I could not support my emotions with food and everytime I felt happy, sad confused etc...that a Krispy Kreme would not make me feel better.
    Whatever and however you decide to change what isn't working for you, please know that I will be your supportive friend anytime :)

    Love Morwenna xoxo

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  34. This is such an insightful and honest post - my best to you. xoxox

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  35. I am so happy I came across your blog!! It's beautiful... and so is this post. You are so right about investigating happiness. It's so true that the people we admire most are those with the most confidence, Love and acceptance of themselves. They truly shine from the inside out :)

    I'll be following.

    Beatriz.
    thatgirlinpearls.com

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  36. Just came to your blog by way of two ellie. Your post really fills my heart. Grief is a very complex emotion that leads us to explore ourselves - which I guess is the silver lining.I hope you are finding peace.

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