Friday, June 19, 2009

Are You Kidding?

Every so often I'm sent a link from a friend who gets emails from various individuals looking for weightloss stories. More than likely these individuals are writing their own books on this subject and they (obviously) don't have first hand experience, so they are looking for someone elses. I never responded to any of these leads, until recently. I thought, "what the heck" who knows, maybe something will come of this stuff. The last one I responded to was titled "Shedding pounds", here's the email I got back.....

"Hi Tracy,

Thank you for your response. My book is focusing on body, mind and spirit and the reasons we eat.

Can you share what life was like for you, what your journey entailed and what life is like now?"

My first thoughts were, "Oh brother! Body, mind and spirit....join the club, are you kidding? Body, mind and spirit, what the f*@# does that mean? And the reasons we eat? Good Lord, where do we start? And it's not about the reasons we eat, it's about the reasons we overeat!"

First of all the body. The "body", the physical body eats when it's hungry, no freakin' mystery there. But the "mind and spirit" (the same thing in my opinion), if I knew the one answer to the reasons why we are "driven" to overeat, why I am driven to overeat, then I'd write my own freakin' book about it! Hasn't this subject been "done to death"? Good Lord! I think that's why I've had a problem blogging lately.....people just want to commiserate about it, not actually do anything about it....and that's fine......(don't forget to imagine the violins playing, lol).

I eat what I want to eat, I overeat when I want to overeat, until I don't. I exercise, and overexercise, until I don't want to....right now I want to. I don't really care about the deep psychological reasons why. But I actually started to write a reply to her request, here's part of it......

My a nut shell.

Abandoned by a parent always looking for validation and a way to sooth the pain of all kinds of stuff, but that's probably the core emotion, validation, why wasn't I good enough?. Grew up in a low income household and had to "get while the getting was good". Always afraid of not having enough.....enough food, enough toys, enough clothing, even enough respect. I was always aware that we weren't good enough because we were poor. My mother overcompensated by making sure we were impecably clean and dressed, making most of our clothing (she, herself, a perfectionist...that's where I get it I suppose). My mother was a unwed mother in the 60's, in addition to being not caucasian, and having to deal with racism. (another reason I knew we were judged)

I remember overeating at about the age of 4 years, and from that point I was always the "chubby" kid. It wasn't until my 20's that I can say that I started overeating compulsively,

This is when I stopped. I stopped because I realized what a huge request this person was asking me for....again.....are you kidding? This person wanted me to share with her what MY LIFE was like, what MY JOURNEY entailed, and what MY LIFE is like now! If I finished this, it would be my own book....and who really cares anyway? Good God.....MY one freakin' email....are you kidding? (I never finished it, or sent this part of it)

We all have "OUR STUFF", some of us have some of the same stuff, but it comes out in different ways, so what are the answers? Bottom line, I guess, is it comes down to awareness, and wanting something different enough to put into action change.

Life is good. My life is good, and I'm not kidding.

PS because of the very personal nature of this blog post I'm not sure I won't delete if you get the chance to have read it I hope it provides some value to your own journey. Now, I'm off to spinning class.....


Anonymous said...

As you said, we each have our own experiences and lives. No two people are the same. However, sometimes our behavior can be similar even when we have very different life experiences. Many of us overeat, and many of us overeat compulsively. I believe that you have hit on the one thing that we must all strive for if we have a behavior/habit that is harming us, and that thing is change. We cannot stay in the behavior that is harming us. We must become active in changing it. It isn't easy, and sometimes it doesn't seem like much fun. However, life is fabulous when you value yourself and your body. You are proof of that (and an inspiration to many of us). Thank you for sharing some of where you have been, and a huge thank you for sharing the great place that you are now! Those of us who don't wish to wallow in "there is no easy way to stay active, eat well, lose weight, etc." must stick together and keep lifting each other up!

Tracy Reifkind said...


"behavior/habit that is harming us".....the problem with using food/eating to try and feel better is that is does actually help us to feel better! Until it doesn't.

No one makes changes in their life until what they're doing makes them feel worse than the thought of changing how they're currently living their life.

The action of "change" can become easy, it's the mystery of why we chose not to change when we say we want to, and when we know we can and will feel better by doing what we know is right for our physical bodies.

The one experience I did not expect to have by losing weight was how my mental health improved as it followed my physical health.

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing that, it felt incredibly naked and revealing. I always value your insight!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Puh-lease! That was the cleaned up g-rated version of a teeny weeny slice of my "effed up" life!

No one doubles the size of their body by stuffing it full of food because they've had incredibly happy and healthy lives full of love and acceptance. In the same respect no one exercises 4-6 hrs a day, obsesses about organic food because life is perfect either.

But I appreciate the fact that life isn't about anyone's elses definition of perfect, and I have the brains to look at it all, shake my head, laugh, and move on......(unlike some of my other family members that are still stuck blaming eachother)

katie said...

Glad your back! Still "spunky"

Tracy Reifkind said...


Hmmnn..."spunky"....that's a new one, lol!

Gertie said...

This post touched me personally because I was abandoned by a parent too and have lived much of my life stuffing myself with food to fill a hole that can never be filled. Now I'm learning how to take care of myself in a healthy way and not let my past define me. It's the hardest thing to make the change and be committed to the change, but it's definitely worth it.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Sometimes our past defines us in extrordinary ways though, so don't discount!

I consider myself an extremely competent person because I never relied on anyone else. And although I do need validation more than some, I work hard for it, lol!

As I always say....."If you're going to blame someone, or something on your pain, then you have to give that someone, or something, credit for your joy also." And I chose to credit myself for my joy, and my I'll take the blame, and the credit!