Sunday, November 29, 2009


Well, I'm back.

The boyfriend and I drove all day yesterday from El Paso to Denver...unlike the last trip that took over 11 hours, this one we made in just under 10. So. Much. Better.

So what happened between now and my last post?

Well, I ate. A lot. While I didn't have all of the quantities I've had in years past, I did have everything I wanted. As in, if I wanted a cookie, I had one. I didn't have twenty, but I did have one. I had a handful of peanut M&Ms. I had over half the bag* of Reece's Pieces at the movie, "The Blind Side".** I ate sensible breakfasts (egg and toast) even though I knew my mom would've gladly made me lots more. I even limited myself to an appropriate helping of my mom's - from scratch - lasagna. I haven't had that lasagna in about 6 years. The trouble came into play when we made my mom's special - from scratch- recipe of chile con queso. SO GOOD. I probably ate my weight in it. But every bite was better than the last. And honestly? I'd do it all over again (the chile con queso, that is).

And oh, did I drink wine! My family has always been red wine drinkers, while I have preferred white wines. Being the only white wine drinker meant me not drinking much - I never could finish a bottle of wine by myself, so I just didn't usually drink it. The last few months, I've realized that my taste buds changed and I no longer liked the same whites I used to. A trip to a winery confirmed it...I like reds. And wow did I polish off at least 2-3 glasses each night this week.

All of this food stuff meant that when I stepped on the scale today, I am 2 pounds heavier than last week.


Okay, perspective time. It's not like I do this every week...I indulged...sure, but it happens once a year. Next year I'll try to limit the craziness for one DAY not all week.

But the two best things?

I ran a 5K on Thursday morning and had my personal record! My time of the 5K was 34'49" at a pace of 10'38" per mile- which is AWESOME especially since the race was pretty poorly organized so I had to muddle through many walkers and slower joggers at the beginning of the race.

The boyfriend and I had such a great few days together. I picked him up on Wednesday evening and on the ride to my house I was thinking that it might have been a huge mistake. I think I was psyching myself out in case it went badly...but it went wonderfully. Seriously. The best experience with a boyfriend at my house ever. I think the key was that although I wanted him to make a good impression on my family (and vice versa) I realized that it all may be completely fine or completely shitty. But that didn't have to make or break my one trip to see my mom this year. I was relaxed, I was myself, and I am so thrilled that everything worked out okay. In fact, as I write this, he is in the shower getting ready for our breakfast out. One would think that us spending 4 days together (when we don't typically spend a ton of time during the week together) non-stop would have made us sick of each other...especially having been stuck with someone in a car for 10 hours. BUT we aren't sick of each fact, just the opposite.

In the past, I would've asked my mom what she thought of him - because I didn't have enough faith in myself to make my own decision. I think my mom likes him, but I'm not going to ask. Because the most important thing is that I am so happy dating him. And if that becomes the exception rather than the rule, I'll do something about it. But for now, it is decadent.

This past weekend was fantastic - in so many more ways than one. And I am SO thankful that that is the case.

*THIS bag was different than the last one. This bag only had 2.5 servings, so I did WAY better.
**Best movie I've seen since "Zombieland." Also, it's slightly different than "Zombieland." :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catch up

Sorry it's been so long since I've last posted.

The best thing that happened in the past week is that my little sister (who is one of my closest friends) came to visit me for the weekend.

It's a little convoluted, but basically, she is from El Paso - which is the same place I am spending Thanksgiving. She flew into town on Friday right after work, we spent the weekend together, and then we drove down to El Paso (11 1/2 hours due to really bad traffic in areas) on Monday. THEN I'm picking up the boyfriend today from the airport so that he can spend Thanksgiving with us. THEN he and I (and my big dog) are going to be driving back up to Denver on Saturday.

The result? I've been away from my internet/computer far longer than I usually am. In fact, I'm trying to steal the internet service (wireless) from one of my mom's neighbors right now as I write this.


Anyway, in case you were wondering, I DID weigh in on Sunday morning and I decided to wear shoes to make up for the difference. The result is that I gained 0.6 pounds...and in the grand scheme of things, I really don't care.

My eating has been okay the last few days - the trip down was not full of carrot chips (sorry Angela!) but also wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. I also went for a run yesterday along a new hiking/biking/walking trail here in El Paso. I ended up running 3.2 miles in about 35 minutes...which is pretty good for me. Of course, that didn't exactly counteract the three glasses of wine (hey - that's a fruit, right?) and the homemade gnocchi (with alfredo sauce!) last night. But OH was that good. Besides, I have 35 flex points to use, right?

Tomorrow morning, my older sister, my mom, and I am running the Turkey Trot - which is a 5K race in El Paso. Well, actually, my sister and mom are doing the "family fun walk" which is (I think) a 2 or 3K walk. I'm excited to do something healthy the morning of Thanksgiving and I really want to continue that tradition in years to come. If you're interested, there is probably a Turkey Trot in your town too - they have them all over the nation.

Okay - I'm going to post this now. I'm getting an error message at the top of the screen indicating that all that I've written is not going to be published...looking at the wireless bar, it seems to be that my neighbors wisened up and pulled their internet.

I am not thankful for that.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I usually weigh in on Monday nights, but this coming Monday I will be driving from Denver to El Paso to visit my family for the holidays.

I can't really weigh in on Tuesday due to the only WW meeting on our side of town is when I have a massage scheduled. And I've been waiting a LOOONG time for her.

I can't weigh in on Wednesday because I'll be picking up my sister and my boyfriend from the airport (don't worry - they're not flying together) when the meetings are.

Thursday is out and if you think I'm weighing in on the day after Thanksgiving, you've got another thing coming.*

Saturday is the drive back to Denver... and Sunday is officially in the next week.

So the thing I need to make a decision about is if I want to skip next week all together or if I want to weigh in on Sunday in Denver.

Skipping the meeting all together isn't the best option, I feel. I feel like accountability is still pretty key for helps keep me on track at this stage in my weight loss.

But weighing in on Sunday is tricky too. Because the meeting times all over Denver are either at 8, 8:30, or 9. Morning weigh ins are a far cry from Monday night weigh I'll undoubtedly be lighter than what I am.

Any suggestions on how I can make my weigh be more accurate?

*I know...I *shouldn't* matter. But it still does.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Pleaser

"The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours, but that this humiliation is seen by everyone."
--Milan Kundera

In my life, I've tried to please fact as I think of it now, pretty much all my life, I've tried to please people.

On the surface, it worked out well. People walked away from me feeling happier about themselves. I'm sure if you asked people if they liked me or not, they'd probably tell you "yes." I made people feel important, comforted, and valued. I'm funny (in general) so they would usually walk away having laughed and feeling lighter.

If we ever had a disagreement, I'd find myself apologizing for things that I didn't do, didn't mean to do, or even had nothing to do with. Whatever it took to make that person feel better.

Did you fall through on a promise you made to me? That's okay. I'll still be here for you.

Did you treat me disrespectfully either in private or in public? That's okay. I probably deserved it. Sure, I'd take the treatment, maybe complain about it to my friends, and then never say anything to you. Why would I? If I did, you might question why I thought I was good enough to be treated otherwise. And then, undoubtedly you'd realize that I wasn't good enough.

Need a volunteer for your cause? I'm just the sucker you've been looking for. Especially if the position had a title. Because titles meant that I was worth something. I wrote about it in my post about finding REAL value, but basically, because I disliked myself, I only found value when other people liked me.

In fact, I even dated a guy in high school who repeatedly physically abused me. I've come to realize that I have felt so poorly about myself because of an overwhelming sense of shame.

I read in an article recently that stated that there is a difference between shame and guilt.

According to the article, guilt is a bad feeling that you have about some action. Like maybe you said something you shouldn't have. Perhaps you have a bad feeling because of something you didn't do but should've.

But shame? It's a whole other animal. The principle of shame revolves around a bad feeling that you have about yourself. A person who lives and breathes shame has it because they KNOW that they're not worth anything. Other people can be forgiven, but not them. Because they are inherantly BAD. Unfortunately, you can't convince them otherwise.

It's been within the last few months that I've realized that I have lived with shame for most of my life. Every little thing that I've done wrong was typical of me - because I was a bad person. And talking about the shame? Why that'd only highlight how bad I actually am, which they probably already knew anyway. On the off chance that they didn't know that (and they found out), they'd realize that they'd be crazy to be my friend, my boyfriend or even my co-worker. It's best to hide the shame however you can - and I found that I hid it best by trying to please others, taking on roles of responsibility, and by being funny. The perfect pairing to my shameful feelings? Anything that I could stuff in my mouth.

Somehow washing down shame with cokes, cookies, or chips made it easier to swallow.

Recently had a discussion with a friend of mine. He said that I had my faith in the wrong stuff. I should have my faith in Jesus. Because Jesus loves me, I should know that I have value and should stop looking at other people for it - even myself. But religion (at times) can feed shame...and for me, it hasn't always had the most beneficial results. Don't get me wrong, I still BELIEVE that there is a Jesus...but the concept of him dying just for me is lost on me most of the time. I struggle with the thought that someone could love me enough, especially when I haven't loved myself for decades. Clearly, Jesus and I are still working things through.

I've made great strides with my self-worth and balance. I've worked on saying "no." I've worked on moderation. I've worked on no longer pleasing everyone else at the expense of myself.

But I still haven't shed my shame completely, even though I'm working diligently with my therapist to do so. If anything, my anxiety is creeping up higher these days...because in a week, I'll be coming face to face with the cause of most of it.

And I guess that's why I'm writing this.

See, I was molested by a close family member of mine when I was much younger. That person will be in the house over Thanksgiving and, for the most part, my family would prefer that I would just drop it. Members have told me to "just get over it."

The old me, The Pleaser, would've dropped it - in fact, she HAS dropped it and not spoken of it for decades.

But as I wrote earlier, I'm no longer The Pleaser. And trying to "just get over it" doesn't work - and obviously hasn't worked. My therapist has helped me understand that even though I *know* that kids shouldn't be treated in such a way, that I feel that I endured that (and the ex boyfriend's abuse) because I was inherantly bad.

Shame...pure and simple.

So what is left is this wide gap between the old Pleaser and the new me - who tries to please and honor herself. Ignoring that this event happened does NOT honor myself. The chasm is big and I don't know what to do to bridge the difference.

To make matters worse, the boyfriend is coming home with me to meet my family for the first time. Awkward? Why yes...yes it probably will be. But will I get through it? Undoubtedly. Clearly, I've been through worse.

So, as I sit here, with my pulse racing furiously, I'm trying to remember that there IS strength in standing up for myself. I'm not planning on going in there and screaming and throwing my new non-pleaser self around...but neither am I going to let my true authentic self shrink from her own growth.

One thing's for certain: I will not wash down shame or numb myself with food.

And THAT pleases me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Love Thyself

I've read countless times that we should try to reward ourselves with non-food related celebrations. I've even put it into practice. For instance, when I lost 10% of my body weight, I bought a watch. For me, planning ahead for celebrations is easy.

I've even planned on what to do when stress pops up by putting my running/exercising into practice or by having friends that I can call in times of struggle. It was difficult, at first, to not turn to food. But after a while, it became second nature (at least most of the time).

So now I've been faced with a new challenge. On Chubby Girl Diary's blog, she wrote about taking care of yourself daily in non-food ways.

I know, you're probably thinking that that is no big deal - I mean, isn't that basically what I have been doing? The answer is no. I've been reacting to stresses...but not doing things daily to show myself love. It's a slight paradigm shift that I needed.

The difference is rather than being reactive to the stress or celebrations, I would be doing something on a daily basis to tell myself that I am loved, good enough, and fantastic.

Does that make sense?

See, if I PLAN to do something non-food related that helps me feel indulgent, loved, good, and special, then maybe I'll be satisfying needs before they come up. I might even be more balanced so that I can deal with the day to day stresses and have them slide off my back like it's no big deal.

After all, I try to help my friends, family, and boyfriend see how loved they are regularly. I do things that are outside of my norm to let them know that they are great. Why can't I do the same for myself?

So today marks Day 1 where I'm going to do something good for myself. I'll even tell you my plan: I'm going to give myself a mud mask tonight and enjoy a hot cup of tea as the temperature drops outside tonight.

What do you do on a regular basis to show yourself love?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Okay, folks...who knew that eating whatever you want whenever you want means that you're likely to gain weight?

Right. Every one of you is raising your hand right about now. And congratulations to you - you win...well...your dignity.

Well, I thought that I knew that too...but this past week, I fell way short. I ran - two times for about 7 miles total. And my pace was around 10'55" each time...which is pretty good.

But oh, did I eat!

I still didn't eat so poorly that I gained lots of weight - I wasn't *completely* out of control with binges. I just didn't choose healthier choices when I could've or should've. I didn't choose the healthier choice at almost every meal and, since I'm being honest, at almost every snacking occasion.

Take this past Saturday night...

During a particularly snowy and blizzardy night, the boyfriend and I went to my favorite restaurant in Denver. This restaurant has a bowl of gumbo that is so good I could probably eat it every night for dinner and be just fine. I had three slices of bread (with the best garlic-y butter ever), a bowl of gumbo soup, and then had some of the jambalaya that he ordered. It doesn't SEEM too bad, does it? Well, what you may not know is that one serving of chicken and sausage gumbo could be as much as 7 points. My bowl had probably 2-3 servings.

My point is that I normally would've just ordered a cup of soup with baked fish. I normally would've held myself to one piece of bread with only a little butter. But in my head, the warm bread and yummy soup was perfect for the chilly and cold night. So I indulged.

And THEN we went to the movies. Now I typically never order food for the movies because I'm not even AWARE that I'm eating the food. But I felt SOOO good, so loved, and so important that night. I threw caution to the wind and decided to get a package of Reece's Pieces.

And oh, how I love Reece's Pieces. They are most definitely a "red light" food - one that I have never been able to sanely control.

Sure enough, by the end of the movie, I had had half the bag. Half of the big movie bag is 3 (THREE!) servings of Reece's Pieces. What's more, I didn't even enjoy the treat because I was too busy watching the movie.

You'd think that I would've thrown away the bag...but no. I ate the rest of them the next morning when I was hungry and waiting for the boyfriend to get out of the shower so we could go to breakfast.

So it should be no surprise that I've gained this past week. The scale shows that I'm up about a half a pound. I know the weight will come off. I'm actually not worried about that. And like I said, I'm letting go of the numbers on the scale so I'm actually not upset about gaining a half pound.

What I am cognizant of is how I've been indulging myself at every turn this past week. Bagels in the kitchen aside, I've had more treats during the day (like when I went to Subway for lunch but had the full fat sour cream and onion potato chips), more junk food at night, and less fruits and veggies.

If I *had* to come up with a reason why, I'd say that after being off the Nuvaring, I feel so much better that I just want to celebrate everything. Life seems easier because I'm not struggling to keep my emotions so much in check. It turns out, I don't just eat when I'm sad or angry. Apparently I celebrate with food when I'm happy and loved.

So, this week's gain (whatever it is) will give me the feedback to help me re-learn that eating whatever I want whenever I want is actually NOT celebrating how good I feel. Eating that way is more than a little selfish and gluttonous. Eating that way is not honoring my body or my new found good feelings.

This week, I'm going to be good to me. And that means listening to my body and celebrating without food. This week, I'm going to live my life to the fullest. I'm still going to celebrate me feeling sane and good...especially since I have so many blessings rolling my way this week. And the biggest way that I can honor myself is to choose health over around the clock indulgence.

Everything in moderation, right?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Being greedy

I've posted LOTS of things on this blog that I'm not proud of. Issues with food, issues with my family, and issues with exercise. I've written about big gains and big setbacks.

And yet, I'm finding myself *not* wanting to write this post.

There is something about free "brand name" food that I have a hard time turning down. I'm not sure if it's because my mom is thrifty and I learned that free stuff is nice or because it's something that someone is offering something to ME.

If someone brings in something that they baked at home, I have about a 75% success rate of turning it down. It's easy to look at it, realize that I have no idea how it was prepared (not just for the sake of calories, but what if they don't wash their hands??), and not eat it.

But if it's from a restaurant that I like? I have about a 5% chance of turning it down.

Case in point: Yesterday I had already had breakfast (one that was dissatisfying because I thought that I had stuff here at work that I didn't). I wanted something else sweet and I topped off my breakfast with a Fiber One bar. Then I had decaffeinated tea. To be clear, I was full and satisfied.

And then someone came up to me to tell me that there were free bagels in the kitchen.


As I've written before, I have a strong emotional tie to bagels from Panera or Einstein Bros.

I walked my able body into the kitchen and saw my favorite bagels (which are either blueberry, cinnamon raisin, or cinnamon crunch, or cranberry, get the picture) with my very favorite spreads (aka plain and not plain). And I calmly toasted one. I smeared it with the cream cheese and enjoyed the bagel even as I ate it faster than what I should have.

And then I was STUFFED.

I felt better after my run yesterday at lunch (yay - 2.79 miles in 30 minutes!) and was able to not touch the many more bagels that multiplied throughout the day. Seriously, TWO more vendors stopped by with we had probably 4-5 dozen bagels.

This morning, I had forgotten about the bagels. Until I walked into the kitchen prepared to make my egg muffin sandwich (toasted whole wheat english muffin, microwaved egg, low fat cheese, and some buttery spread)*. I wanted my sandwich. I was hungry. I know I need protein.

But I still wanted a bagel. The sweet, sugary, deliciously toasted bagel sounded SO good. But 13 points for a bagel and spread was something I didn't want to do.

So I literally sat there in the kitchen snacking on an apple for about 10 minutes trying to decide what I was going to do.

In the end, I opted for my egg sandwich. But I can't stop thinking about the bagels.

I have the same problem when we have Qdoba catered in for a lunch. Guacamole, queso dip, and chips stand no chance with surviving my inhaling...and that's after I've had two tacos.

So what is it? Is it that it's free? Is it that I don't choose those foods at home so I want to take full advantage of them when they're here? Is it that I share my workplace with people who walk quickly to the kitchen to load their pockets with bagels or treats when people aren't looking? Do I really need to feel like I'm getting "my share" that badly? Am I feeding off of their gluttonous behavior or are they feeding off mine?

The adage "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" doesn't help in these particular times when I'm battling my salivating glands. It's not even a matter of counting up the points - as what I have typically isn't so horrible that I can't balance it out the rest of the day/week. It's the desire to HAVE IT deep down inside.

Gluttony**...pure and simple.

Whatever it is, I need to GET OVER IT. Because the Christmas season coming up means that we will have more food catered in, more gifts from our vendors and customers, more delicious baked goods, and more candy in the office.

Do you all have these same feelings? Even if you don't, do you have any suggestions on what I can do to re-frame the situation?

* It tastes much better than it sounds, trust me. I thought microwaved eggs would be revolting...and although they're not my favorite I now know the exact number of seconds where I can make it decently.

**For a really interesting post on gluttony that I've been meaning to share for a while, visit Escape From Obesity's post on it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My ah-ha moment this week...

Roni asked her question of the week - and it was "Why do you exercise?"

And in my response, I started to realize something.

A year and a half ago, I looked forward to my time with MY food...whatever it was. I obsessed about food. I continually thought about how it would taste and feel in my mouth. The creamy, crunchy, sweet, or salty tastes would have me salivating before I even got to the restaurant. I would leave work and after a particularly stressful day (read: any day that ended in 'y'), couldn't wait to have my time with my food.

And oh the special time that I would have with my food! No matter who was calling, I couldn't and wouldn't put my food down to answer the call. I had to be alone - focusing on the good feelings that I got from it. In the time with my food, I felt loved. I felt pampered. I felt important. Until, of course, the eating stopped. And then I'd feel bloated and guilty.

So when I started Weight Watchers and focused on what I *could* focus on at that point. And that was just trying to stay within my points levels for the day or week. At that point, with 112 pounds to lose, I didn't think about the healthy guidelines...or at least not much. I didn't focus on getting my fruits and veggies in - and healthy oils? Please! They were the last thing from my mind.

Then, after a few months, I realized that I wanted to eat more. I didn't want to give up my time with my food but the slower weight loss that I was experiencing wasn't cutting it. I wanted to lose weight faster. So I started exercising. Health and healthy behaviors really weren't my focus. Getting to eat more was.

And then, slowly (sometimes ever so slowly) I morphed into being the person that I am today. I no longer exercise to overeat. Primarily, I run to feel better. I feel the day to day stress build up in my body and I run or take a class to relieve it.

I exercise because it is MY time to concentrate on me. To shut out the rest of the world. It's my time to do something that I like...something that shows love to myself.

And that's when it hit me.

I exercise for the same exact reasons that I used to overeat.

Now, when I run, it's because the stress that I have gets worked through. I get highs - but they're different than the sugar highs I used to get. The chemical reaction that happens in my body when I exercise helps me feel energized and more optimistic.

When I run, I work through the issues that I'm facing. When I run, I listen to the music and I think about where I've been and where I'm going. I feel more focused when I'm done. And unlike the carb coma that followed binges, I feel like I can tackle the day.

My anxieties lessen, my spirits lift, and I feel good. And there is no phone call that I would even consider taking during that time.

I still look forward to good food. It's just that I no longer look there to soothe my feelings. I no longer feel the itch to go through three separate drive thrus to eat the "perfect" comforting meal.

I don't know when that switch happened, but it did.

My core identity is changing. I am no longer a person who eats to numb. I'm a person who feels emotions and then works through them.

Not being numb *is* more painful sometimes...but when I overcome some hurdle, it also feels much better too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The pack mentality

A few months ago, I saw a catchy little commercial about a new form of birth control.

It was this nifty little ring - the NUVARING! And even though nothing was wrong with my birth control (at all!), I found myself fascinated by the commerical with the jingle that sticks in your head more firmly than the tune of "Tom's Diner."

You know the commercial...the one where all those synchronized swimmers are singing, "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, EVERY day..."

All of the sudden, I realized that my daily birth control was THE MAN. It was keeping me down. How could I ever think about having to take one tiny little pill EVERY DAY? The burden of having to remember it every night started to weigh on me. Who cares if I have to take other medication at night? Who cares that I've never missed a pill? Clearly HAVING to remember it was impacting my life and clearly, being on the pill was JUST LIKE being in prison.

If you've seen the commercial, you know what I'm talking about. Clearly: people that take boring, stupid birth control pills are boring and stupid. And they're not popular. And they don't get drinks served to them at the pool side while wearing sexy bikinis. And they wear bright red lipstick which is somehow lame.

The only solution for any sane, non-swimming cap person was to "break free from the pack" and enjoy all of the freedom that came with Nuvaring!


I could see myself living my life as a free person. Why, with the Nuvaring inside me, anything was possible! I'd probably win the lottery. I'm sure I'd have more green lights on the way to work, where I'd undoubtedly get a raise. I'd never burn another dinner and I'd always remember my grandma's birthday. In fact, I'd probably have less dropped calls on my cellular phone...all thanks to Nuvaring.

Three cheers for Nuvaring!

The first month it was awesome...unless you count the times that I was consumed with worry that it would fall out at any moment, that I hadn't placed it in just right, or that it would be stuck in there FOREVER.

The second month is when I started having problems. One day I felt down. As a normally "up" person, it was a little odd, but I figured I'd bounce back in no time. Only I didn't.

And then? I went a little a whole lotta crazy. I wanted my space and then quite quickly I wanted nothing of the sort. I wanted to talk stuff out with friends until I started to panic and then I would've set myself on fire if it meant getting away from them.

I was angry - like really angry and cranky. The only thing that would stop the cranky and anger would be the unexplained tears. I complained at work more than I normally did and snapped at people when I normally would've laughed off their jokes.

Clearly, I had turned into a teenager.

The entire time, I kept thinking that this wasn't like me. Where was my zen desire to be healthier in mind, body, and spirit? What was wrong with me?

So, like any crazy person, I decided to not call anyone and not do anything with anyone. Because when you're crazy, you think you're doing a good job of hiding the crazy... especially if you stop all communication with everyone else.

The only person that I couldn't quite dodge successfully was the boyfriend.

I'm sure that I drove my boyfriend bonkers because I was one of the neediest, bitchiest, and most confusing person in the world. And just so you know, I've worked hard to try to eliminate the drama in my life - and during the last week on Nuvaring(!), it was like I was putting on my own one-person play. In fact, the word "drama" doesn't even cover it. Now, it's true, sometimes he was being a bit of a turd and probably deserved some amount of communication about it, but he definitely didn't deserve the crap I was shoveling out.

And hoo boy, was I shoveling out some crazy crap.

The misery of the situation is that I didn't put two and two together until the end of month two... and I only put it together because I had had a similar (albeit much more minor) reaction several years ago when I was on a generic birth control. So if you're interested in specifics, you should know that I lived in Crazy Town (the medical term is "emotional lability") for two to three weeks.

And here I am, after 6 days off of the ring (and on my good ol' LoEstrin), feeling significantly saner. Without going into gory detail, I'll just say that my body is oh-so happy to have that particular type of hormone out of me.

Oh, and you know what was the biggest bummer of all? EACH AND EVERY NIGHT I still had to remind myself that I didn't need to take my birth control pill any more. Like I would be falling asleep and I would wake up nervous that I had forgotten it. GAH!


I am writing this post for two reasons:
1) To publicly thank my boyfriend (who will quite possibly never read this) for believing me (or at least pretending to) when I said that the crazy behavior WAS NOT ME. I'm not sure if the craziness damaged our relationship permanently...but I'm okay with whatever outcome happens, mostly because I feel more like me. And the me that I am can handle anything that will come, even the demise of something that could've been great.

b) To let the women out there know that hormones can be dangerous things to mess with. While it's true that some women may never experience the same symptoms, it's good to know that it CAN happen. I just feel horrible thinking that there could be a woman out there experiencing the same hell that I went through and not even knowing that her birth control (Nuvaring or any other one) could be to blame. Although to be fair to Nuvaring(!), I know of two people personally who loved it and never had any of the same issues I did. The same hormone can affect women differently (obviously).

In a society where everyone wants the next coolest thing, it's easy to want to be on different medication that seems cooler...but like that saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

So if you need me, I'll be in the pool practicing my boring and stupid synchronized swimming - cap and all.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted over at my other blog, From the Mixed Up Files of Happy Fun Pants.

Breaking the cycle...

It isn't the things that are happening to us that cause us to suffer, it's what we say to ourselves about the things that are happening.
--Pema Chodron

Last week, I was struggling BIG TIME with staying sane. Like it was all I could do to keep my shit together on a semi-regular basis. My mood swings had gotten so out of control that I was starting to doubt my sanity. No really. Like I was actually wondering if I was bi-polar or not. I was working so hard to keep it together during the work day that I had nothing left in the evenings.

The thing is, I have promised myself to NOT eat through the emotions/anxiety. So I didn't.

But I still felt the emotions and then, in the panic of the moment, couldn't remember any other coping skills. And here is where for the past few decades, I would've thought to myself "SCREW IT. Just have whatever you want. You deserve it. You're sad. This will make you happy." And I would've eaten whatever I wanted.

But I didn't.

Yay for me. Except that emotionally, I was a WRECK. Because I literally couldn't remember what would help me to back away from the crazy ledge I was so precariously perched on. I tried exercising through it - and although that helped a little bit, it wasn't helping enough to keep "the crazy" away. So I tried exercising a bit more, and that tired my body out, but didn't tire out my mind. Nothing seemed to help.

So I scheduled a meeting with my therapist where I pretty much bawled for an hour straight.

She gave me some great things to think about and also encouraged me to switch my birth control. According to her, you can never underestimate the effect hormones have on your body. Moreover, she gave me some clarity as to how some of my anxiousness may be because I'm not sure that I'm okay with my relationship with the BF.

And that rather than being honest with the doubt, rather than LIVING in the moment with the doubt, I was just freaking out. I was distracting myself and exerting control on every little thing. Because I didn't want to look at the relationship closely and ask myself if it's what *I* wanted. I'd way rather blame every little thing on me.

In this situation with the BF, rather than realizing that things aren't feeling quite right and sitting and being with those feelings (and then self-soothing myself out of them), I opted to concentrate on how they just weren't right. If they weren't right, then it MUST be my fault. Nevermind that I've never promised to be any different than what I am. Nevermind that I've been authentic. Nevermind that almost any woman in a relationship would want the same thing. If things weren't going right, then it's MY fault. Things aren't working because I'm stupid, dumb, and a failure.

The berating of myself? It's MY cycle. It's within my comfort zone because it's all to familiar.

And as I look back on my life, I can see all the times where I actually may have fucked things up - with friends, with boyfriends, with my family, or with perfect strangers. But I can also clearly see where I've blamed myself for those things even when they weren't my fault.

So clearly, I'm comfortable with the cycle of Anne = SHIT. What I'm not comfortable with is having self-confidence and asking myself what I want when it comes to relationships (friendships or otherwise).

When I realized this, I did something pretty important.

I stopped. I felt the feelings. And then I realized that I can CHOOSE to feel the same way and to repeat the cycle, or I can change my mind. I can decide that although I'm not perfect, I am worthy of love - from others, but more importantly - from myself.

Pema Chodron, an author that I really like, writes that we should practice being present. That doing so allows us to almost pause our life. So I've been practicing that during the past few days...and I'm finding that somehow by actually living with the fear is helping dissipate it.

I'm changing my mind. I'm choosing to realize that I am not a failure. I simply cannot be to blame for everything wrong with every relationship. I am human. To expect otherwise IS insanity.

In other news, I finally changed the birth control. And without going into it, my body's reaction to me taking out the Nuvaring is pretty amazing (albeit disgusting). My body is clearly appreciating that I'm not utilizing that method any longer. As an added benefit, I'm not feeling the swings of emotions as much (if at all) and I'm so much happier that that is the case.

The scale shows that I'm up slightly from two weeks ago (I didn't get to weigh in last week) and I'm okay with that too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The good, the bad, and the oh-so very ugly

Last week I felt on top of the world. I *felt* like I was doing a decent job of holding my shtuff together.

Turns out, not so much.

Because in the middle of everything last week, I went a little a whole lotta crazy. I wanted my space and then quite quickly I wanted nothing of the sort. I wanted to talk stuff out with friends until I started to panic and then I would've set myself on fire if it meant getting away from them.

I was angry - like really angry and cranky. The only thing that would stop the cranky and anger would be the unexplained tears.

The entire time, I kept thinking that this wasn't like me. Where was my zen desire to be healthier in mind, body, and spirit?

I'm sure that I drove my boyfriend crazy because I was the neediest, bitchiest, and most confusing person in the world. I've worked hard to try to eliminate the drama in my life - and last week, it was like I was putting on my own one-person play. Drama doesn't even cover it. Now, it's true, sometimes he was being a turd and probably deserved some amount of communication about it, but he definitely didn't deserve the crap I was shoveling out.

LOOONG story short, I realized two things. Two VERY big things.

1. I hadn't exercised AT ALL in almost three weeks. And like I've written on here countless times, exercise is so much more about the mental sanity for me than the activity points that I can earn. I finally went for a run on Saturday and thought to myself: "DUH! You should've done that before now." So guess what people? Mr. Goodbody was right. Exercise is good for you.

2. I recently changed my birth control...and it could be that the hormone levels might be assisting in me not reacting to things rationally. Uh, you think?

So how did I handle this?

I ate.

I ate because I was bored, I ate because I was angry, I ate because I was lonely, I ate because I acted like a crazy person to my boyfriend, I ate because I'm scared he's going to get tired of my craziness, I ate because he really has hurt my feelings and I don't know if we're compatible, I ate because I'm concerned that maybe I don't know what a healthy relationship is after all, I ate because I feel like I can't think logically through my craziness, and finally, I ate because I didn't know how else to cope.

I'm disappointed in myself.

Which, in actuality, is a pretty common theme these days. I just don't feel like I measure up to much. I'm so very irritated these days - at everything but mostly myself.

Unlike what I do with other people, I can't cut myself slack. I can't forgive myself for all of the multitude of wrong doings I've committed against myself (and others) this past week.

I recognize that I need to start fresh. It's almost like I need to confess my sins and get on with it already. Because there is (at the moment) no closure for the moods that I've been in.

It sounds horrible to say, but the truth is that I'm keeping tally in some sort of weird way/game of how obnoxious, hateful, unstable, cranky, and needy I've been. And when I do that, I always lose...because there is no winner.