Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things I Learned On My Trip To Bonkerville

Ok, so I'm inching my way back from the brink of insanity or something.  I had a very, very stressful week last week, which was not caused by my usual stress of training weeks.  I just didn't have it in me.  Every thing that happened piled on top of this huge weight that was plopped in my lap (on my heart, maybe more accurate) and just splished-splashed over the top until I went bonkers.

I won't tell you how much weight I gained last week but it was enough to jar me back to sanity.  I won't tell you what I allowed to enter into my body after 9+ months of abstinence either, but it was enough to make me feel the worst I've felt since I said farewell to it.

With each day in Bonkerville, I gave myself permission to eat the things that I had "denied" myself with the promise each evening that I would be back on track in the morning.  In the morning, I would begin as promised until...  Until whatever happened that would push me back over the edge.

I'm back on the road.  I know that I'm not all the way out of Bonkerville, but the big city lights are definitely in the rear view and I feel myself pressing harder on the gas and increasing speed, but the city limits sign is still ahead. I'm back to eating the foods that I'm supposed to, but my portions and timing are off.  I'm working on it, but the weight is coming off, so I know I'm on the road. It was a scary place to visit, but I learned some things.

Things I learned on my trip to Bonkerville:

  •  I have to make it a priority to fill my Stress Management Tool Box.  As I said in a previous post, I thought I handled stress well, but I don't...I ate and ate and ate.  I can't do that anymore...that can't be my solution.  I have to tell you...breathing helped me several times on Friday and Saturday.  I wanted to eat but I took a deep breath and another and another and another until the impulse passed and I could hear myself saying "no."  Exercise gives me solace too...well Zumba.  I always feel better, stronger and more balanced after a Zumba workout.
  • My lifestyle now...the foods I eat, my physical fitness work so much better...make me feel so much better.  I felt icky all week and it wasn't the guilt.  I was stuffed...I felt like food was backed up into my throat and it wasn't even the amounts I used to eat!  My heart was racing, I was hotter (with how cold I am lately, this was the only benefit:-)), I was tired and sluggish, and on top of all of that I felt OUT OF CONTROL!!!!  When you've experienced a since of control over your life or an area of your life that you've struggled with for so long...that loss of control is painful, gut-wrenching and terrifying.
  • When you ask for help, you have to listen to those you turn to...  I realized something when I shared my circumstances with a co-worker and an online blogger friend.   There are times when I reach out for help and don't listen to the help that's offered.  On Friday I reached the peak of my insanity and turned these two people and decided to listen to what they were telling me.  I had been turning to people all week, letting them know that I was in crisis but for the most part what I took from their help was that it was understandable why I was turning to food and not to be so hard on myself.  I didn't hear, get back on track.  For whatever reason, because I felt desperate or awful or terrified, I listened on Friday.  I listened to a friend who told me that I had been through a lot but that "Fat Faridha cannot handle what needs to be handled."  I listened to a friend who hugged me and cried with me and then laid out an action plan to get my ass on the road and out of Bonkerville!  She was amazing.  She was compassionate but unrelenting in her determination that I would make it through.  There were a few times, while we talked, that I wished I had not shared my plight...because she was forcing me to stand up and put int he work to regain control.  But, then I remembered my desperation, how physically awful I was feeling, how terrified I was of not being able to get back on track and I surrendered.    I've talked to her everyday since mid-day Friday and I've taken off about 1/2 of the weight that I put on.  I feel stronger and more in control and grateful.
  • I knew this already but it never hurts to be reminded that I am loved and cared for!  I cannot tell you how totally blessed I feel right now.  Even with all I'm dealing with there is no doubt in my mind that God blesses me every single day.  I am surrounded...I am enveloped by people who love me and will not let me endure struggles alone.  Who will not let me give in to my worst impulses and who will jump into action to rescue me.  Who will move heaven and earth to show how much they care for my well-being.  Who will drive down from Jersey or up from Baltimore just to see in my eyes that I'm okay.  Who will make difficult phone calls and dig in somebody's ass to make sure that I am cared for and protected.  Who will love and nurture my son when I am not able  Who will call me everyday even on Sunday to check in and make sure I'm on track and let me know that I'm not in anything alone!  I am overwhelmed by it, I'm inspired by it, I am blessed by it and I am grateful.


  1. so glad to read that you are coming out of it. And so glad you have people to help you and shake you up a little, too. You are worth all of that effort and never forget it.

  2. Yay you are back! I really think your trip to Bonkerville will make you even more resilient for your road ahead!

    Polar's Mom

  3. Hey, I've been to Bonkerville. It's no picnic. But, it sure does feel good when you're on the other side. I'm glad it sounds like you are on your way again. And how wonderful to discover all those people that love and support you. That's the time you find out who is REAL in your life. What a gift from a terrible experience. I love the idea of the stress management tool box. I think that's something we all could learn to use more. Glad to hear from you.