By Guest Blogger Gay Norton Edelman, author of The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive bitly.com/1gg7mId
Yes, I loss 100 pounds. Yes, I have kept it off for 20 years.
People ask all the time how I got the courage to do this.
The courage came from desperation. I had been trying all my adult life to get the binge eating and the weight under control. Diets, support groups, therapy, the works.
After years and years of trying and failing, grace finally arrived. That day, my doctor prescribed blood pressure pills. I cried all the way home. I had three little kids whom I loved more than life itself. I did not want to leave them to go to rehab. What else was there?
My friend Betty had told me about a spiritually based peer support group. I called her and she took me to my first meeting. There I learned that I am a food addict, meaning once I start eating food with sugar, wheat and flour in it, I can’t stop. I was given a food plan and I made a commitment to weigh and measure all my meals with a cup and scale.
It was very hard work. That first year, learning how to eat, read labels, exercise felt like a full time job. But I did it. And along the way I learned the most important lesson of all: to pay attention not just to food and exercise but also to my hungry, hungry soul.
I had made food a god. I had made food the solution to stress, loneliness, frustration, anger, despair, disappointment and all the other feelings I wanted to avoid. Instead, I needed to depend on a power greater than myself that was based not in things of the world but things of the spirit.
All of this was—and is—a lot of work. How do I find the time? How do I not find the time?
I have to come first. The things I do to stay in recovery from food addiction, compulsive overeating and obesity are as vital to my health as regular dialysis is to the kidney patient or chemo is to the cancer patient. This is life and death.
I work as hard at it now as I ever did. What comes in the way of my health has to be deleted or delegated. My kids didn’t need to be in a bunch of after-school activities and lessons. They needed their mother. My husband didn’t need fancy meals or his laundry done for him. He needed a wife who was alive, well and happy. I didn’t need to be in the stratosphere of my profession. I needed to have me.
I don’t mess around, ever. I can’t be perfect. But I never take for granted any of the things I have to do to sustain life.
There’s tons of good information about eating right, moving your body, filling your soul needs. And I’ve just published my own self-help book, The Hungry Ghost: How I Ditched 100 Pounds and Came Fully Alive, to explain in detail what I do, and how you can, too.
If you decide you really, really want to live, you’ll keep trying and failing, like I did, until you find the way to eat right, move your body, and nourish your spirit.
If there is any secret or magic to what I do, it’s this: You only have to do what’s right for your body, mind and soul one day at a time. Too much to think about? Do it just one moment at a time. Trust me, there are still plenty of days when I live by the saying, “Right foot, left foot, breathe.”
Simple, yes. Easy? No. But remember, you are one smart woman. You are not alone. And you are so worth it!
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Sharing the story of what happened to my ten year old daughter Paris last week on my blog, http://bit.ly/1djkyGQ was really difficult. It’s not always easy to open up and share your wounds with other people. Yet it seems that her experience resonated with our readers in a powerful way. I’ve had many questions from wonderful people about “the rest of the story,” so here it is.
If you have not read the blog yet, please do so now http://bit.ly/1djkyGQ and then come back to this one.
In response to Paris’s experience at gymnastics, I scheduled an appointment to go in and talk with her coach. However, I would not be doing the talking, Paris would. Dave and I asked the coach to sit down with Paris and explain to her personally what was going on. When we picked Paris up from school she asked why both Dave and I were in the car and why we were going to the gym with her. We responded that she had an appointment with her coach and that we were simply there to support her. That she needed to find out why she was being yanked from her team workout, ask as many questions as she had, and decide what she wanted to do going forward. This was her deal, not ours. The important lesson we wanted to impart, no matter how hard it was on our hearts was that as a girl of ten, she needed to start handling her own problems and learn how to resolve them, communicate and process her emotions versus daddy and I swooping in to save her!
The Truth Hurts…
While very difficult to admit, her coach was probably correct in moving Paris to another group. Coming from a different gym two years ago, with different methods, Paris was still catching up at this elite gym. Loving gymnastics for the sport, not the competition, she was falling behind in comparison to the girls “there to win.” The coach explained everything and apologized for the way she informed Paris, in front of her peers-that she would no longer be part of the group.
I asked Paris, who was devastated just a day prior, what she wanted to do. Her options were to quit, move to a different gym, go into a group that was not competitive or press forward and show people what she was made of and fight to get back into the group she loves. She chose to stay right where she was, in the group her coach moved her to. I was so proud of her. Through my pain as a mom, watching my little girl face the trials of growing up, I prayed she would make this choice. We’ve faced tough things before and I’ve tried to make sure she knows that it is not what happens in life but how you respond to what happens that matters.
On a Mission…
The night we got home from the gym, Paris moved her balance beam up from the garage to the living room. Is this love or what? I now have a floor level beam in my living room and a gymnast on it around the clock. Yet I know this time will pass… and if this is what it takes to show our love and support, we’ll keep that darn balance beam in the living room for as long as it takes.
The next six months will be hard for Paris, she will feel many emotions as she watches her best friends all work out together four days a week while she is in a group with girls she doesn’t know. She will deal with her humiliation, feelings of inadequacies, (perceived) failure and embarrassment. Yet those emotions, I have a strong feeling, will begin to build a new part of her character, strengthen her resolve to prove she is capable and just might produce a champion who was lying within; waiting to be awoken!
What I Learned….God Help Me!
As a mom it was so hard to not jump in and fix this problem for Paris. I was literally screaming and crying inside, having never seen her in that emotional state before I wanted to go into the gym and demand they put her back into her regular team practice group, with her teammates that she loved- tell them they were wrong, or had made a mistake. Yet in my heart, I knew this would not prepare her for the world. So moms, when the going gets tough and you face a moment like we did, which you will, remember this story, reach out to us for support, and know that a caterpillar cannot become a butterfly if a person helps it break out of its cocoon. It must struggle and fight to get out and in doing so its wings strengthen; which in turn allows it to fly. If you want your child to fly, you must let her (or him) struggle to grow her wings.
If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to.
Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues
It’s Friday and in my effort to keep my girl, I’m sailing off to Tampa tomorrow to become a wench pirate for the weekend as Dave and I dive into the fun of Gasparilla. We have done this event for close to a decade and it’s one of my favorite weekends of the year. We will get on our boat Endurance in the morning and head off to Tampa from Clearwater, which takes about four hours. During the trip I will read, day dream, sleep, glimpse dolphins, take in Dave as he captains away, and smell the sea salt as it drifts through the air.
We will dock up behind the Marriott for a weekend of fun. To gain passage onto our boat you must be in full pirate dress and ready to enter another place and time. We will spend all day Saturday on deck entertaining pirates, throwing beads, eating, talking, laughing, dancing and having plain old fashioned FUN! My girl loves this event! As long as I can remember I have loved to get dressed up and pretend I’m someone else- Check out my picture from last year, ha!
A World That Never Stops
In a world that never stops…where there is so much to do that at times we forget to breathe, you must make time for fun. If your weekends are packed with non-stop activities, and it’s not really like a weekend, then consider making a change. You must find time to relax, decompress and just be. If you don’t have downtime, you will forget to laugh, cry, play, and be a girl. You cannot just do, do and do. So ask yourself right now, “When was the last time you simply had fun? When did you last do nothing? If you had a day or two free, what would YOU do with it?”
A big reason women lose their girl is because the woman buries her in responsibility! Every hour on the family calendar is crammed with something to do, some place to go…a sporting event, tutoring session, lesson of some sort, it never ends. Did you have a calendar like this as a child? Stop to think…your mother might have worked all day while you were in school but she could come HOME after work, relax a little bit with the family, watch some television, tend to a hobby, and eat dinner with the family. Moms today don’t have the luxury. They are at work all day and at kid type events all night only to run home, have an hour to clean up, do some laundry, and drop into bed and hit REPLAY all over again six to eight hours later! This is no way to live and you will not be able to sustain it forever. The price is too high: Anxiety, exhaustion, frustration, depression, anger, lack of connection with your partner, and more.
So just for today, FRIDAY and maybe even for tomorrow, SATURDAY, cut yourself some slack. Relax, have some downtime and DO NOT feel guilty. Give yourself the gift of free time, connection, laughter, joy and freedom. Come Monday, ponder if just perhaps you can reconsider your schedule, take control and modify it a bit to allow time to LIVE.
If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to. If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://gygb.com/category/blog/ and see what we’re working on how it can help you!
Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement
TODAY’S FOCUS IS: MANAGE
When you were in fourth grade, that special year that research shows girls have the most self-confidence, what did you think you would do when you grew up? Come on; think back, do you remember? My daughter Paris is in fifth grade and her thoughts might spark memories. Here are a few of her possibilities; “I want to be a mom, take over mommies companies Get Your Girl Back and Bild & Company, be a school teacher, or maybe a gymnastics teacher…” anything ring a bell? If not, ask your daughter or niece this very important question, “What do you think you will do when you grow up?”
Two Full Time Jobs
I imagine that the answer, “I will work two full time jobs” never got onto that list and the very thought of your daughter or niece doing that terrifies you. Yet the fact is, that is what most women are doing. They start at the crack of dawn, getting kids ready for school, only to head off to a day job that ends at 4 or 5, then head back home for the most important job of all, parenting and wife- the managing of a beautiful family to include cooking, cleaning, tutoring, carpooling, sporting events, laundry, grocery shopping, and more. Normally that job ends around 9 pm when everyone is safely tucked into bed and the last dishes are put away, loose shoes put in the shoe basket, and back packs set by the door. While you may love your life and wouldn’t trade it for anything, the question to ask is “How do you manage it all without losing track of yourself?”
The Generational Divide
Odds are your grandmother didn’t work and if she did boy was she a trailblazer! In most cases, her full time job was the raising of her family and managing of her home. Her daughter, quite possibly your mother, was raised to be like her mom, to be a homemaker. Yet something happened- people started to get divorced and if your mom is anything like mine, these women were unprepared. With little job training or college behind them, they were forced to enter the workforce, work two to three jobs to survive, and in many cases, even marry- not for love but to put a roof over their children’s heads. Life for many of our mothers was not was they expected.
Then there are the women of my generation, those who watched from the side as our mothers struggled to survive, find work, and make a place for themselves in the world. We became determined- we would not rely on anyone to take care of us, we would work, and provide for ourselves. So off to college we went! Fast forward to today- Women are unprepared- and rightly so! In the span of three generations, women went from one job to two; yet extra hours were not added to the day, we simply have had to learn how to manage it all and the one thing that regularly falls off the list is YOU.
As women who both work at home and outside the home, putting in sixteen hour days, it’s more important than ever to focus on systems that will help you better manage your life. This is what Get Your Girl Back is all about. Reading these daily blogs will serve as a guide to help you on this wonderful journey called life! My goal today is to help you understand why at times, you might feel like you are going to go crazy and to know that you are not alone. My mom recently got me a sign that reads, “Some call it chaos, we call it family.” I love this sign and so enjoy the chaos- yet in that chaos is order, fun, adventure, and pure bliss. I want to help you learn how to keep all the good, yummy parts of your life and repair those that are broken and not-so good right now. Odds are there is more good than bad so with a little focus you can reignite your passion and create a life by design, not circumstance.
So ponder today’s message, take it in. Then, commit to learn, grow and implement new ideas into your life and if you have a daughter, teach her what you learn so she understands how to keep her girl, front and center- then there will never be a need to get her back!
Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement