Transformation in process …

I cannot remember a time when my weight has not gone before me, preceding my intelligence, wit, compassion and charisma in all of my interactions with others. My need to overcome others’ perceptions of who I am made me a perfectionist, driven to prove that I was a valuable human being and worthy of love. I longed for people to experience the “real Robin” obscured within my expansive exterior, but the prospect of losing nearly half my body weight was overwhelming and seemed unattainable.

On June 14, after a series of inconclusive medical tests which netted no answers for my severe abdominal pain, I decided it was time to get serious about my health. I made several attempts at weight loss in the past, tried various diet and exercise programs, ranging from the latest fads to simply not eating with only short-term success. A friend recently had great success with Weight Watchers and, in desperation, I decided to give it a try, figuring the only real thing I had to lose was weight!

My life as a pastor is filled with meetings and I was reluctant to add another weekly obligation so I jumped at the idea of an online program. My techy geek tendencies were fed by the tracking tools and the related iPhone app. It’s like playing a game. My laptop now takes residence in my kitchen where I track and enter food while I cook, even before it enters my mouth! And the iPhone app makes tracking my “on-the-go” meals easy and fun. As with my other resources, I budget and utilize my points wisely, saving points to “buy” something special on occasion.

Though I have only been on the program eleven weeks, there has been a significant change in my behavior patterns, my relationship with food, my relationship with myself … and of course, my weight! I’m learning to make healthier choices – not just with food – but in other areas of my life, too. I set my initial goal at 36 pounds as my previous weight loss attempts were never more than 35 pounds. Attaining my initial goal has propelled me beyond that psychological barrier and the “real Robin” is emerging.

As a pastor, one of my roles is to model healthy behavior and relationships with others and oneself. While I did not initially tell many people about my decision to join Weight Watchers, my weight loss has become apparent and given me the opportunity to speak freely and openly about health and wellness. As I confidently move toward wholeness, others are journeying with me, making healthier life choices, which not only affects each of us individually, but also impacts our community as a whole.

Writing is a meaningful discipline for me. When I was in seminary, I blogged on a regular basis, reflecting on what I learned in class, my life as a student pastor, and simply looking for God in the ordinary. In the last year or so, life has gotten busy and I have not created space for writing. This updated blog is my attempt to remedy that. Transformation is tough work and making time for reflection is an important part of the process. My upcoming posts will mostly focus on wellness, mindful eating, body image, and where God is in the midst of these things.

I welcome comments and suggestions, and pray that we can dialogue together about these important issues and the process of living into that which God created us to be.

Until next time, peace …

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16 Responses to Transformation in process …

  1. Jean Gabl says:

    Wow, Robin, I was proud of you before, but after reading this, I’m SO ENORMOUSLY proud of you. Well, maybe “enormous” is a poor choice of a word, in this case hahahaha, but seriously, what you’ve done takes great temerity and will that I’ve never had. Actually, though, you and I are on the same journey – when I came back from vacation a coupla weeks ago, I got on the scale, and totally cried. So I got out a marble composition book, see, and I just started writing down everything I ate during the day, for each meal and for gnoshing, and what I found was that this simple discipline really helped me, more than I thought it would, to modify my behavior. It made me accountable to myself. I didn’t want to sit down and write, “I inhaled a buttload of m&ms”, so it made me just a lot more conscious of what I was putting in my mouth, which had been a lot more than I admitted before. The boys discovered my log, and now they look in it to see what Mommy had for lunch, and I’d be just embarrassed if I wrote, as I might have before, that I cooked up a pot of elbow noodles and slathered a bunch of ’em with butter and milk and salt and ate two bowls of ’em for lunch. So now they see that I’m really making an effort, and I’m proud to be more of a role model for them. And – here’s the point – I’ve lost 5 pounds in a week and a half. Most fluid, I know, but still, it feels darn good to see the scale going in the other direction. Now, just to maintain focus, and to not get, well, cocky, and to keep it up. And to add more exercise to the mix. I know that if I lose even 10 more pounds or so, a lot of my other health problems will be allievated: my arthritis, my high blood pressure, my insomnia, my general energy level – all tied in with obesity. So I’m with you, Robin – with you in prayer, with you in health, with you in spirit. And I can’t wait to see you!

    • Robin Dillon says:

      This is awesome, Jean! Congrats on taking steps toward better health. Small steps add up and lead to greater change. Good for you! Looking forward to seeing you next week!

  2. Peggy Hibbs says:

    You Go GIrl! So happy and proud of you. You will be my inspiration for doing the same.

  3. Go, go, go. Great work getting healthy. Can’t wait to see you soon.

  4. April Aten says:

    I’m proud of you too. Keep up the good work. Thank you for your encouragement and support!

  5. Sue L. says:

    Very proud of you Robin! I have joined and failed WW three times this year, so I know the struggle well. You have to be in the right mindset to make it work and it sounds like you are there! Keep up the good work!

    • Robin Dillon says:

      Thanks, Sue! It is indeed a struggle. A good support system helps … and so does a little encouragement from friends along the way. Thanks!

  6. Angie Chute says:

    At 50, I’m finally getting a handle on my weight. I can eat anything I want…but I have to actually be hungry. Amazing, eye-opening experience. Life is good, we are a constant work in progress. Namaste!

    • Robin Dillon says:

      Thanks, Angie. Indeed we are a work in process. Transformation is ongoing. You are right about eating when hungry. Being mindful and paying attention to our bodies is important. Best wishes on the journey.

  7. pastorhigdon says:

    I only have one word for you WOW WOW WOW!!! (Wait, that’s three words:) Robin, you are doing so great! It is also a blessing that you are blogging:) I can’t wait to hear more!

  8. Kay Bergen says:

    Congratulations Robin, You look great. Thanks for blogging, I am going to tell some of my “friends” about you. You are a great motivator. Blessings

  9. Sue Misner says:

    You go girl! Glad it was on your time line. No one else can convince you to become a healthier person but you! So awesome!

  10. Alberta Stojkovic says:

    Robin, Good to see the “new” you and hear your story about Weight Watchers. My sister gave me her book from a Weight Watchers group when I asked her about her success losing weight and keeping it off over the past 10 years. That was last fall. I’ve just lost 10 lbs. (but I confess I keep gaining and losing the last 3 lbs!). There are days and weeks when I do very well following the point system and watching what I eat carefully. There are other days when I just watch what I’ve just eaten and am amazed that I don’t weigh much more. I believe the support of others – either in a group or on-line would make the program much more effective. As it is now, I haven’t been consistent and let myself get away with too many indulgences too often. I had the incentive of our daughter Anne’s wedding in July to keep me on track and this past month there have been too many days when I ate much more than my point total would allow. The Weight Watchers program is laid out so sensibly, scientifically and with such attainable results. Much like our spiritual life – it’s the challenge of the long run that keeps us seeking a daily, sometimes hourly motivation to do the right thing. Best wishes, I believe I’ll look into the on-line for some of the support I must need. Alberta P.S. Our church theme for the year is Trinity, Body, Mind and Soul. This fall we’re studying the aspect of the body. Got the idea from an article in Time Magazine where Rick Warren’s church is working on better health for body mind and spirit. Jim Brucker was reading about it too and our new pastor took the idea and put it together in her sermons for the year. There are a million ways to tie it all together as we strive to live lives that reflect the grace we have received. a.s.

    Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 21:12:08 +0000 To: alberta_s16@hotmail.com

    • Robin Dillon says:

      Hi Alberta, it’s so good to hear from you! And I’m glad to hear that things are going well at Trinity. I love the idea of your focus on health of body, mind, and spirit. That’s awesome! Whenever you are in Wayne County, give me a ring. I’d love to see you. Maybe we could do lunch — a healthy one, of course! Best wishes on your journey.

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