Want a happy fun post? Then skip this one. No really. Maybe the regular me will be back tomorrow...but what you get today? Broken Down Fun Pants.
I'm eating too much; eating past the point of being no longer hungry.
But I'm doing it anyway.
I try to think to myself: "What are you feeling?" But that's so obscure. The answer that comes back is, "I feel....like I want those cherries" or salad or almonds or....ANYTHING that I was about to eat.
I don't get it.
I have great days that are "on plan" (on plan being days that I follow mindful eating practices/guidelines) and then days where I'm just NOT.
Mindful eating? Give me a break. Sometimes my mind is SUCH in another place that it's not like I'm even in the room with myself when I'm eating. To clarify, I'm not binge eating. But I am eating when I'm not hungry.
I don't want restrictions. I don't want to worry all the time about my carbs, calories, points, or grams of protein. I don't want limits and I don't want rules. Also I want a pony.
Alright, I added that last one because I get it...I'm sounding whiny. And I'm being unrealistic. I know.
The thing is, THAT is the circle that I'm trapped in.
Step 1: Realize you're hungry.
Step 2: Eat something.
Step 3: Realize you're still eating even though you're no longer hungry.
Step 4: Stop. My "wise self" asks my "inner self" WHAT she's feeling.
Step 5: My inner self shrugs and says something profound like, "I dunno."
Step 6: My wise self flips through her "How to be a Wise Self Instruction Manual" and can't find what to do in this situation...
Step 7: Inner self says something like, "I don't want to have rules right now. Isn't that what this whole thing is about? No rules? So let's just eat now and figure it out later."
Step 8: Wise self and inner self eat together.
Step 9: NOM NOM NOM NOM
The cycle gets harder to break each time I allow myself to keep eating. Whatever this uncomfortable feeling is that is prompting me to eat is being reinforced by my eating when I'm not hungry.
My secret that I don't want to tell you? Pants are getting tighter. So yes, I can avoid the scale, but the inches are creeping back on - albeit slowly. I'm not up in my size of clothing or anything, but I KNOW that I'm bigger. I'm just aware that I'm not the same size as I used to be. I can't explain it other than to say I am tangibly bigger. I just know it.
The harsh reality is that I'm slacking. And I can't seem to find the motivation to not continue to slack. Are rules of mindful eating too namby pamby? Maybe.
As much as I'm want to say "My body just KNOWS what to do when I listen to it" and believe it, I think that I'm having a hard time re-listening to what my body knows to do.
So how do I listen to it again? I mean, really?
It's tough because not many of us are practicing this mindful eating approach. And my two decades of dieting are telling me that this is proof that I can't trust myself and that I should just restrict again. The thing is, I know I can do that (restrict, start counting calories, carbs or points) and the pounds WILL come off.
But I want to break that cycle...the cycle of restricting because I'm upset about weight gain. And then, when I'm smaller again, coming face first to this place - of having to question the WHY of it all again. I know that restricting (and then losing weight) will mean that I'm fixing the symptoms without CURING the disease.
And for the love of all that's holy, I want the disease to be cured. I want to STOP worrying or thinking so much about eating (or not eating). It's like if I were a sex addict, I would consider castration. I mean, really. I want the urge to control, count, weight, judge, or measure GONE. I want everything associated with dieting to go away.
Now, instead of obsessing about points, calories, scales, weights, measures, or grams of anything I'm obsessing about WHY I want to eat. I feel crazy because I eat and I don't know WHY. If I know why I can fix it, but I really don't know why. And believe me, I'm asking myself WHY.
So, the irony is that I'm still thinking of food and thinking about eating just as much as I was before. The weeks when I first started were almost effortless. The swarming thoughts about food and all of the ways to control it were gone.
I want that back; the clarity.
I'm frustrated. I'm weary. And right now, I'm tired of writing about it.
It's like I need to be re-booted from this cycle...but I can't find my reset button.
Any ideas or suggestions are VERY welcome... with one caveat - please, be gentle.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Want a happy fun post? Then skip this one. No really. Maybe the regular me will be back tomorrow...but what you get today? Broken Down Fun Pants.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The kind folks at POM Wonderful sent me some POM juice the other day. They actually didn't ask me to write a review...they just wanted to send me some juice. Normally, I'd shy away from this sort of thing (the whole something for nothing routine), but since they didn't pull up in my neighborhood asking me to get inside their white van, I figured I was okay. Probably just as well, chances are, I'd have run straight into the side of it anyway. *
Actually, I was pretty psyched about getting the juice...I remember Jack (who thinks the bottle can double as a sex toy) and Roni talking about the freebies they got from the company, but they seem like such BIG bloggers...how did I get included on this list of who's who? I felt *very* cool. Which is funny...because I'm so NOT important. It's not like I'm Obama. Or Ghandi. Or Brangelina. Or even one of the Olsen Twins in their heyday (circa 1982). So basically, I got on the list via a typo by someone. Whatever, I'm totally taking it.
Anyway, I came home one day and Joe said that I might've received an organ in the mail. Thinking he meant a pipe organ, I gave him a quizzical look. So he said, "You know, like a heart. Not like a church organ! Who would send you that?" In my defense, he couldn't exactly think of someone who would send me a vital organ either.
It turns out, he didn't know what was in the box, but he did see that it had a sticker on the side that said "REFRIGERATE IMMEDIATELY." So Joe did - without opening the box (he didn't want to violate my privacy). Thus his joke about someone shipping me organs.
So I'll say this to any POM people who could or would be reading. You could really remove a lot of confusion surrounding the double meaning of the word "organ" if you would put a sticker on the side that said, "Refrigerate immediately. Don't be alarmed, though. This box does not contain any organs. Of any kind. Probably." That way if they WANTED to put organs in the box, they totally could without having to re-print stickers. Look at me, POM people. I'm totally making your shipping department more streamlined. You're welcome.
When I finally got around to opening the package, there were a few bottles of POM Blueberry Pomegranate juice and some great tips and info about pomegranates and it's juice. All of that is at home or else I'd probably go into it here. Let's just say it's probably got a lot of health benefits. I know. I'm the worst on-the-spot reviewer ever.
When we first got it, I drank some and handed the little cute-as-can-be bottle to Joe. Who took a sip and said something profound like, "meh." I liked it...it was sweet and tart, tangy and sweet. I should stop and say that I drink juice maybe once a year. I just got out of the habit years ago and never really reintroduced it. So while the POM juice was a welcome surprise and pleasant change, it's not something that I would normally pick up, just like the fate of any other juice. It's nothing personal, POM people.
I WILL try cooking with it because they list a lot of great recipes on their website...and some of them look pretty tasty.
But last night? I was trying to make room in the fridge for leftovers. Leftovers being something that I cooked and decided to not waste calories and stomach space on by eating. Smart right? Yes...you'd think so.
But after a sip, inspiration struck me. I decided that what it would go REALLY well with was some Malibu Rum that was also in the fridge door.
YIKES. What I found out was that this was the best tasting mixed drink EVAH. Tart, sweet, tangy, fruity, and YUMMY.
Two little POM bottles later (16 ounces of juice, and 360 calories of JUICE) and a few shots of coconut flavored rum mixed in each time and I was happy. I even let Joe have a sip who said that I know how to mix a good drink. Right. That's me. The bartender....the one with hot-shot complicated drinks... like juice and alcohol.
Good thing I passed on the leftovers...nothing like wasted calories, huh?
* Which reminds me, you totally need to enter that sweepstakes via the link...seriously, not many people have done so, so your chances of winning $150 are looking better each day!
Disclaimer: I was comped a few bottles of Blueberry Pomegranate POM Wonderful. But the honest review and tipsy-ness that ensued shortly afterwards was all me, baby!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This past weekend, Joe and I did our grocery shopping together. Because of his crazy work schedule the past few months, this was kind of a big deal because it hadn't happened in so long. We love to go grocery shopping together, typically to our local grocery store. But we really love Costco. I heart that store because I get to have wonderful fresh fruit all week long for a really inexpensive price. Joe loves that store too - but it's mostly because he gets to eat the free samples.
It so happened that we happened to be at Costco around the 4-5 PM time frame. Which meant that although we weren't starved, it was time to start thinking about what was for dinner.
Monday, July 26, 2010
For years, I volunteered as a "teacher" for Vacation Bible School at the church I was a member of. I LOVED volunteering for the 4, 5, and 6 year olds...as that is the age (in my opinion) where their personalities really start coming out.
It was one of the cutest things ever.
Anyway, during said VBS classes, we always had a snack time. Usually it would be raisins, fresh fruit, or their favorite - goldfish crackers. My assistant and I would pour them into little tiny Dixie cups...usually only half full.
I'm telling you, the fifteen minutes we had for snack time were never enough. Few kids had eaten their whole snack when snack time was up. And to be clear, we're talking about 15 goldfish - at the max - per kid.
This memory hit me yesterday, as I was eating blueberries in our kitchen. I was having a snack and was eating these without really tasting them, without savoring them.
I decided to take a lesson from these kids...
I sat down. I put about a half cup of blueberries onto my napkin and picked up each berry to admire it before I popped it in my mouth. I enjoyed the whole sensation of eating them...the burst of flavor when my teeth pierced through the skin, how some were more tart than others, and how some were a bit mushier than others.
Eating one blueberry at a time sure took longer. But in the end, I was more satisfied than had I rushed through the entire experience.
I think that's what mindful eating means to me - being aware and appreciative of the food that is in your mouth. Being thankful for all of the hands that touched the food before it got to your plate...for all of the farmers, irrigation specialists, truckers, and grocers.
I used to be one of those people who would say that I was fat because I really enjoyed food. I DO enjoy food. But I find that I enjoy it more when I slow down and taste all of the flavors in the food. Complex dishes are more amazing when I taste as many of the individual flavors as I can. Cheeses are creamier and more luxurious. Fresh veggies are more enjoyable. If I really love food, why not show it by reveling in the tastes, textures, and loveliness of it?
This week, you won't get any huge, complex goals out of me - sure I want to continue to lose weight, but I think I'll go back to the basics.
I want to enjoy the food I eat. I don't want to eat things that taste icky. I want to take time with my food. I want to decrease my typical frantic pace of eating and actually TASTE my food.
Just like a child.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Yesterday, I was going through some pictures on my work computer - thinking that I had some of my best friend and I.
It turns out, I don't - at least not on this computer. So I went onto my myspace account (which I haven't been on all year) and started looking through my "albums" thinking that there would be some on there.
I didn't find the pictures I was looking for, but I did find some old ones from before my weight loss.
I used to do the whole profile picture thing where the picture was usually of something other than me. If it was of me, it would be just my face. I'd take dozens of pictures and then pick out the two or three that looked like I had a skinnier face than others.
It was silly.
But without further ado, here is me then...and now.
With my older sister:
With my younger sister (I'm even doing the whole "lift your head up so you don't look like you have four chins thing"):
When I look at those pictures, somehow I'm aware that the work that I've done is worth it. Not just for cosmetic reasons, but because I remember how frustrated I'd be scrolling through 50 pictures trying to find one where I didn't look as fat.
I remember hating the way I looked so much that I wondered why I should even bother.
I remember not wanting someone to "capture the moment" because I knew that I would love the memory of the fun we were having, but would not love the shame that came with seeing the picture later.
Now, I don't worry as much. I can enjoy being in the moment much more.
I don't remember me ever being that big. In fact, the one of just me (the before shot) was one of the best of the bunch...I was proud of that picture. In fact, when I looked at the pictures yesterday - for the first times in years, I was shocked at just how big I had been.
I'm looking forward to becoming even more secure in my looks - where I don't care what I look like in the pictures - where I focus on the fun we were having rather than worrying about multiple chins.
I'm looking forward to not ducking at least partially behind other people when someone whips out a camera.
What are you looking forward to, picture wise?
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I had a great talk with my best friend last night. She is smart, pretty, and creative. She makes good money. She's married to a guy who adores her, who also makes great money. Her life, from the outside, looks great.
But she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.
The irony is, although she's been married for 6 years, she didn't even start trying until last year. She wasn't sure that they really could do a good job at having kids...so she did a ton of research and soul searching and finally came to the conclusion that having kids is what they truly wanted and something that they thought they could do well. It was a responsible, pragmatic way to go about it.
But she still can't get pregnant.
And within the last few months, she's found out that her only two siblings are pregnant. AGAIN. Truthfully, her two siblings are making some choices that are pretty poor. These new babies are going to have their work cut out for them because they're going to have to overcome a lot just to have a successful outlook on life.
She's been struggling with it - the fairness of it. It isn't fair.
Last night she told me that she has a new perspective. And that is this:
Fairness is disproportionate sometimes.
Lemme' 'splain. See, her siblings can look at her life and say that it isn't fair that she has such a loving husband while they have spouses that aren't as supportive or doting. Her siblings can say that it isn't fair that she was gifted with a sharp mind - one that allowed her to go through school without much effort - while they struggled through school and eventually dropped out. Her brain is responsible for her graduating as an engineer, which got her a great job, where she met her husband. That's not really fair either.
I reflected on her statement and thought about the things in my life that aren't fair.
It isn't fair that I have a slow metabolism.
It isn't fair that I'm 33, not married, and without kids. Because of some unfair life events, I may never be able to get pregnant... or if I do, I will be in the high risk category - both for my baby and myself.
It isn't fair that food is a drug that I've learned to use...and one that I have a hard time shaking free from.
It isn't fair that I was molested as a kid, had a physically abusive high school boyfriend, and a verbally insensitive boyfriend as an adult.
It isn't fair that I have giant boobs that makes running difficult sometimes.
It isn't fair that I had a dad that didn't want kids and while he was always lived in the same house as us, he wanted nothing to do with us.
It isn't fair that, at 33, I still get zits and that I have a big forehead (some might call it a fivehead!).
And it SURE isn't fair that my knees are going to be fat, no matter how healthy I get. This has always been the case - no matter what size I've been.
BUT I was also blessed with a sharp mind and attention to detail, which has made me good at every job I've had. I'm reasonably attractive (at least I don't think people vomit when they see me). I have a proportionate/hourglass shape to my body. I've met a man that really loves me, who has taught me great things about myself and about what it is like to be in a healthy relationship. I'm living in a town that I've wanted to live in ever since my family left it (when I was 7). I've never been cheated out of money, like Katy has. I've never had to start over from scratch. And I (knock on wood) have never had to experience the hardships of being a single mom. I've never been laid off. Both of my parents are still alive and my little sister is one of my greatest friends.
My mom always told me to count my blessings when I started feeling sorry for myself. And while that worked sometimes, I guess putting it in the fair vs. not-fair light really helps it bring home the lesson that she was probably trying to teach me.
Rather than looking at God as as this all knowing father figure that bestows blessings on some people and hardships on another, I can see this may be something that is more chance than anything else. Fairness, or lack thereof, isn't meant to punish. So, I'm not being punished by having fat knees, freckles, a propensity to turn to chocolate before other comforts, and for not having a husband and kids yet (if ever). Those are just the times in my life when I happened to get the shorter straw.
And somehow, boiling it down to facts or randomness, makes the things that I wished were different in my life more tolerable.
So no, life isn't fair.
But now that I have this new perspective, I'm not sure I mind the unfairness as much as I did before.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Good morning!!! I have something SO exciting to share with you.
I was picked to write funny posts about fitness, eating, and cooking each month for six months by Laughing Cow and BlogHer. How cool is that?!?
It's like the movie "Julie and Julia" but without Meryl Streep. And without Amy Adams. And it's not only about cooking. Also, it's not a movie. But you know, other than all that, this is JUST like that movie.
So...since it's a sponsored thing, I can't post it on this blog. You have to go to my review blog to read it. But please do!
It's my first post on that blog... and I'm feeling a like I've just invited a bunch of people to a party, it's a few minutes until it starts, and no one is arriving yet. What's going through my head is the typical hostess cry, "OH MY GOSH WHAT IF PEOPLE DON'T SHOW?!?!? And what am I going to do with all of this cheese?"
Leave a comment and you can win $150 in this month's sweepstakes. Although I don't have any control over it, I would love for the winner to be one of MY readers - because (and I may be a bit biased here) you guys are the best. If you want, you can become a follower on that blog and you won't miss another opportunity to enter the next few month's drawings as well. Also I will feel less like the kid picked last for kickball.
Good luck and thank you in advance for checking it out!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sometimes when I work, I need something to tune out the crazy lady that shouts in a cubicle near mine. Her voice, at times, grates on my nerves like the sound of cats mating in an alley. While four year olds try to learn to whistle. And Nickleback songs play. Basically, it's like all the sounds I hate most at once.
Anyway, when those times of clarity are needed, I find myself streaming music to my computer, which I should mention is Not Allowed at work. But I can't help it. The site I pick is Pandora and the great thing about them is that when you put in an artist's name that you like, it will try to pick artists that sound like the first one you like. It's been a great way to discover new bands and songs.
So yesterday, I heard Colin Hay's "Waiting For My Real Life To Begin" for the umpteenth time. I probably haven't heard that song in years, so it was a treat. I've always loved that song. It's soft, strangely calming, and melancholy. For those that are interested to hear it, you can click below to hear the song (if you're reading this via Google Reader or some other RSS feed, you may actually have to come to my page to hear it).
But this time, in the middle of all the crap I had to do just then, it really hit me...the lyrics and the message.
I can read the lyrics (which are below) and think that Colin Hay probably wrote the song wistfully thinking of his second chance to make it big. Sure, he was the lead singer for the 80s band Men at Work, but that success was fleeting. The song (to me) is about a guy who is hoping for his luck to change - for his ship to come in - and is counting on that to happen. When it does? Why THAT is when his real life will begin.
The guy in the song? That's me.
How many times have we said to ourselves, "I'll do THAT when I'm skinny." THAT could be run a half marathon, learn how to perform a striptease without giggling like a nincompoop, eat organic food, go on a date, get married, sky dive, or play with your kids.
But I realized something when I listened to the song yesterday. I may not be waiting to do things until I'm skinny, but I am waiting for life to just be easier. I'm waiting for my luck to change - for the clouds to open, sunlight to shine down, and for things to just not have to be so hard. Surely all of this hard work that has gone into my dieting the past 20 years is WORTH some reward, right?
But as I read the lyrics, and listened to the song, I wondered what would happen if his plan didn't pan out? He'd be this guy, checking to see if his ship came in - always hopeful and disappointed. The tragedy is that he wouldn't have lived his life as it is now. He wouldn't have let the light shine in, have opened up his heart - perhaps to new possibilities. He would never have lived in the present.
As much as it pains me to admit it, this is me.
I'm self conscious of my jiggling thighs, protruding belly, saggy boobs, and creaky knees. My hair can get greasy easily and is painfully straight. It frizzes in the rain. My eyes have dark circles under them. When I look in the mirror, I think "You have GOT to do something about the way you look." Unconsciously, I tell myself that my zits will disappear, my hair will be soft, shiny, and manageable. Joe would propose, my wedding pictures would be beautiful, and I would finally get paid what I am worth...all only if I could just get rid of these next 50 pounds.
Well, no more.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start unpacking the baggage that I've had since I was a kid. I'm ready to leave behind the taunting words of kids that didn't know better. I'm ready to release the old ghosts. Sure, I have goals, but I'm missing NOW by always thinking of my wedding day, the awe of us expecting kids, the pleasure that I'll feel when I can tell my boss to take this job and shove it - along with countless other joys that I hope to experience.
My life won't be complete or easier in some distant day. It's complete now. Unfortunately, NOW is as easy as it's ever going to be.
I'm no longer waiting for my real life to begin. It starts today. It starts now. And even when pain and sorrow come, I'll address it head on by FEELING my feelings - no matter how difficult. Life may be difficult, but I can live in the now to experience it and then move on.
So watch out world, because here I come - flawed as I may be.
Starting today, I'm going to live my life as authentically as I can...in the present, in the now.
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll stand on the bow
And feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down on me
And you said,"Be still, my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in"
Don't you understand?
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
When I awoke today suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path
And up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my own footsteps once again
And you say,"Just be here now
Forget about the past
Your mask is wearing thin"
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
Any minute now my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine
There's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It's just that times are lean
And you say,"Be still, my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in"
Don't you understand?
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin
Monday, July 19, 2010
A little over a month and a half ago, I wrote about some back pain that I was having and how, at the time, I believed that it was due to my glutes being muscular (aka Buns of Steel!).
Unfortunately, the back pain has persevered, despite my stretching and regular sports massages. At first, I believed that it was due to some feelings of depression or loss from my dog dying.
But the last few weeks it has gotten so bad that I've resorted to taking half of a muscle relaxer a few times a week just to get SOME sleep in. My doctor said that these wouldn't be habit forming, but I just don't want to be on pain meds...so I've resisted as much as possible.
On Friday and Saturday night, my back pain was so bad, that I'd wake up at 4 AM and sit on the couch a) just to get in a different position and b) hope that Joe could get some much needed sleep.
It's been tough.
And because I've had such horrible back pain while sleeping, I haven't exactly been wanting to spend any time in the bed ifyouknowwhatimean. So things in our household have been not so very much fun. They haven't been un-fun per se...they just haven't been fun (wink wink, nudge nudge) for awhile.
Sunday morning, I left the bed after getting just an hour or two of sleep - I didn't know what else to do. Joe came to find me on the couch with a heating pad on my back and a pitiful expression on my face.
And he said words that I have been resisting for quite some time. "That's it. Today we're getting your bed."
My bed is a Sleep Number bed. One that I bought at the Comfort Select store where the salesperson thought that perhaps I was gay.
The same one that didn't exactly make my back issues go away right away.
My bed has been used for about a year and a half, prior to moving in with Joe. Joe's mattress is about 9 years old.
In my weakened state, I agreed. We would get my bed out.
But the bed is in my storage unit. And when Joe and I moved almost all of my stuff into said unit a few months ago, we did so just trying to fit everything in it as efficiently as possible. Is here where I say that the mattress and Sleep Number's version of the box spring was at the VERY back of the storage unit? Okay then.
So I wasn't exactly thrilled about getting it out of the unit.
But I knew I couldn't take many more nights with this kind of pain.
11 hours later, we finally were able to lay down on my old bed.
The mini move involved us renting a truck at Lowe's, moving boxes around in the storage unit (so that when it comes time for me to get my sweaters and sweatshirts out of storage, I can do so easily) and the getting the new mattress/support system upstairs and the old mattress/box spring downstairs.
Oh, I'm sorry...I forgot one teenieweenie thing.
We live downtown. On the third floor. Of a secured building. Which means that if the loading zones are taken (and they were), we have to park in a nearby (being two blocks away) pay-per-park lot. Which means that each trip with the mattress, box spring, or support system was us going in/out of two doors (one of which requires a secure code), then up to an elevator (where we put in another secure code), walk down a hallway to get to another secured code door, and then eventually down to our doorway (which, of course, is locked).
So unloading the new set and loading up the old set took an hour and a half alone.
And then we had the fun task of returning the truck.
We had pizza and beer last night for dinner and I'm not ashamed to say I ate almost half of that medium veggie-filled pizza. I was so hungry!
I was worried when I laid down to sleep last night, sans muscle relaxer. But I slept beautifully, fitfully, and deeply...and...
There were times when I needed to turn in the night and was aware that I was bracing myself for the pain that has followed...but then I would be delighted that there was no pain.
I know I probably don't have my sleep number dialed in exactly right, but I'm hopeful that this, along with the stretches, exercises, and regular sports massages will help me to have nights where I'm pain free more often.
But just in case, keep your fingers crossed will you?
Friday, July 16, 2010
Q: What does it feel like my thighs are going to be doing in about 2.4 seconds?
A: Blowin' in the wind.
Well, because my FAVORITE pair of jeans are SO worn in the thigh area that I'm just expecting them to rip open any minute.
The last time I wore them, I noticed they were getting a bit threadbare. That was Wednesday. I washed them yesterday.
I put them on this morning and didn't think much about it - mostly because I was running late. But on the 4 block walk to the parking garage I was aware that things felt...well...different there.
When I finally sat in my car, I noticed that they are so pilled and threadbare that I could actually feel the pills of denim through my jeans. Classy, no?
I'm almost afraid to get up from my desk and walk anywhere - any added friction will likely cause them to either:
a) rip upon impact or
b) burst into flames
Scale this morning says I'm up a few pounds from Tuesday morning weigh in. Also, I'm sporting some zits on my face that are so big they're starting to think for themselves.
Lastly, in the category of "things that suck", I may or may not have forgotten deodorant today.*
So basically, my self confidence? A mite low.
*I'm not sure if I forgot it or I broke out in a cold sweat worrying about my jeans making it through the day. Luckily, although I don't have an extra pair of jeans, I *do* have a locker in our shower room where I keep extra deodorant. Thank GOODNESS!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Confession time: My life has felt pretty not normal since June 22nd.
In addition to Chassis' death, around then Joe started working more and I became aware that my home with Joe was less OUR home and more of his home with me staying over. I found myself struggling with immense sadness and while sometimes I wanted to reach out, I often didn't.
The sadness led me to some pretty bad habits...like eating when I wasn't hungry or eating for the wrong reasons (like when Joe comes home - it's one of the few meals we get to share together during the week, so even if I'm not hungry, I want to share something with him).
The result is that I'm a few pounds heavier than I was.
Although to be fair, this past week, I lost a pound. But I wasn't really dedicated to my path of having a healthy lifestyle - not really. You know what I mean? It's like I know WHAT to do and I know that it works, but I just don't do it.
After I wrote my post about me having issues with my mom, I was lucky enough to have already had a therapy appointment scheduled that evening. I expressed my anger (which was tapped into quite by accident while blogging) and my sadness that good, bad, or indifferent my mom and I aren't a great fit sometimes.
But to be clear, I love my mom. And you'd have to know my whole story I suppose, but she really is a great lady. Some of the things that I was angry about in my blog post, she DID know about. And some, she didn't. I guess as a kid, I didn't feel like she addressed some of the small things, so in some cases, I didn't go to her for some of the bigger things. Who is to blame for this? Well, maybe both of us.
I'm not a mom and although I have the best goal to be the best mom I can be, I'm sure that years from now my kids will have a list of things they wish that I would've done differently too. But I would hope that they would know how loved they are. Just as I know that my mom loves me very, very much.
My mom did the best that she could with what she had. She was a mom and a dad (since my dad wanted to have nothing to do with us when we were little) and gave us enough love for both. Which left none for herself.
Even though I know she did the best she could, it doesn't stop me from wishing that things were different and that our relationship would be less fraught with conflict and unresolved emotions. Like Lesia wrote, I know she isn't going to be around forever...so I just wish that our time was spent more harmoniously. Perhaps I didn't explain that completely, but there you have it.
Anyway, the appointment with my therapist AND the ability to blog truthfully here allowed me to get over it more. I still wish that we both could approach things differently and I'll try the approach that Lainie and Robby recommended - treating her like an old friend rather than a mom that I have decades of issues with. Hopefully, she'll follow suit. But if not, I'm still lighter inside.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I released a lot of the pain and frustration by tapping into some feelings that I had - feelings that I didn't even know I had. And while it was hard to be honest about my anger, it also was cathartic. Suddenly, I didn't crave sweets at all. I felt immensely and immediately better. VERY similar to how Missy described her recent experience.
And since Tuesday evening, I've felt more like me and less like I was being controlled by my cravings. It may not sound like a big deal, but yesterday I actually ate the food that I packed for lunch - for the first time in WEEKS (sad, I know!). And last night? I didn't stop for take-out on my way home.
My breakfasts have returned to the old reliable ones that I've eaten with success and things are slowly returning to normalcy.
It's a welcome change.
After all, what prompted her question in the first place, was her comment that I'm more relaxed and at ease with myself than I have been in years. And really? She's right. The work that I've done to love myself (because I didn't feel worthy of love for MANY reasons when I was a kid), IS working.
Joe is still working 15 hour days multiple days a week. The rest of the days, he works his normal 10. 65 hour work weeks means that he's burnt out and doesn't have a lot left over for me. Sure, some nights I've already been asleep when he gets home. Even if I were awake, I don't have the heart to burden him with more problems and questions - ones that he really has nothing to do with in the first place. He's so weary and exhausted as it is.
So I'm being tasked with the challenge to soothe myself in a place that I don't quite feel like is my home yet. And I love a good challenge.
Now, I can't change Joe's schedule, but I can change our environment. With the $1000 I save religiously every month (due to us living together) I do have some money to spend on things that will make my new home more...well...inviting and less like the bachelor pad it's been for a decade. Throw rugs (even just one - we have none on our wall to wall hardwood floors), candles, or (gasp!) throw pillows might make it feel more comforting and less cold. I'm also going to "shop" in my storage unit (which is where 98% of all of my stuff is) and try to find my stereo - something that I can enjoy listening to soothing music on. I'm not going to spend a $1000 - or anything close to it, but spending $100-$150 on some throw rugs and candles sounds like a good thing to do.
I'm going to return to my one new recipe a week challenge because I loved it and it rejuvenated me and tonight I'll be baking fiberlicious blueberry muffins - which are a tasty treat that Joe, myself, and my colon enjoy.
TMI? Well, sure...but what else do you come here for?
P.S. Yesterday's post contained a picture from our hike in Steamboat Springs at the end of June. I took that picture specifically with the idea of the blog post...as in before my mom visited. We've all had things that have hurt us in our lives and while some of my mom's actions are things that hurt me, there have been plenty of other things that I've held onto way past what was necessary. It was not intended to be about your role as a mom, my mom, your mom, or anyone else's mom. Although, if that's what you got out of it, great! I'm so lucky to have readers that write comments about things that resonate with them! Thank you all for your comments, concerns, and emails - I am so lucky!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A few weeks ago, Joe and I took a much needed trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. On the trip, we decided to take a hike, which was a great idea in theory but involved a lot more sweat and movement than I had originally thought.
Anyway, it was gorgeous. There were waterfalls, a river, birds, flowers, and trees. Did I mention the beautiful trees? There were all types (says the person who knows nothing about trees) and they were absolutely beautiful.
The ones that struck me as significant, though, were the aspens.
Apparently, aspens aren't like other trees...and one of the ways that this is true is how they handle people carving into them.
They develop a kind of scar tissue - and it's the strangest thing I've ever seen. They develop a harder bark around the wound - maybe to heal it from the pain and protect it from the elements? The bark in these areas is obviously still a part of the tree, but it's nothing like the smooth, white bark that surrounds the carvings. In fact, the new scar bark is actually harder than the original bark.
But as I continued to
gasp for air reflect along the hike, it hit me that I have a lot to learn from these trees.
I have no doubt that any living thing hurts when something damages it. These trees didn't deserve the damage and hurt done to them. They were just beautiful and innocent. Someone came along and did something selfish. Someone else saw evidence of the pain of the aspen and didn't care. In fact, they added to it.
The aspens? They don't forget...not completely. Each person's mark leaves a significant impression. They are changed forever - scarred.
But they don't stop growing. Even as they heal the old wounds with harder bark, they grow taller with the same soft and supple white bark as they always have. The new growth at the top isn't hardened just because they've been hurt by the other people's transgressions.
The aspens soothe their wounds and yet keep on growing as beautifully as they were before the pain. They don't forget the pain, but they move on. They're changed irrevocably, but they keep going. They were wronged, but they don't let it hold them back from living the best life they can.
So why shouldn't I behave in the same way?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I've held onto this post all day long, but to not publish it means that I'm STILL hiding and cowering. I can't let the shame that I feel continue to rule my life.
I'm not quite sure how much psychology plays into what foods we crave on a daily basis, but I'm craving sweets BIG time.
All day long, all I can think about are cookies, shakes, ice cream, chocolate, and candy.
All. Day. Long.
A therapist that I saw many, many years ago said that when little kids steal candy, it's because they're really wanting something sweet...as in a sweet action towards them or for them. I stole candy ALL THE TIME when I was a kid (from my sisters or parents - not from the store). I'd hide it all over my room and then eat morsel after delicious morsel of sweet goodness - getting sick on the sugary sweetness of it all. I know the taste of tinfoil that wraps little candy eggs because getting all the foil off before shoving it in your mouth wasn't always necessary.
Every now and again I'll do the same thing, but it's been a while since I've been bitten by the sugar monster.
If there is any psychology related at all, I suspect it has everything to do with my mom's recent visit.
At one point, she told me that she thought that I was much more relaxed and at ease than I had been in a long time. I asked when she noticed the tenseness - was it when I moved to Colorado? Was it when I moved into my itty bitty tiny house a few years ago?
"No," she said. "It probably started around 6th grade."
I was shocked.
She said that I was always complaining that people were picking on me and that things weren't fair. She added, "What did you expect me to do about it?"
And, I could FEEL myself shrinking inwardly.
I wanted to yell:
What did I expect you to do? I expected you to stand up for me when I was being beaten up by bullies instead of telling me about how Christ turned the other cheek. When the friend from church came over and sat on me, tickling me until I peed, I expected you to tell his mom that she couldn't come over unless she watched her kid more closely. Instead, you invited him over for the next 10 years to continue to torment me as my older sister looked on and laughed. When my 8th grade teacher told me, in front of the class, that I couldn't ask any more questions because I irritated him, I expected you to have a conference with the principal and demand him to apologize to me. I expected you to stick up for me when my dad told me that I was getting fat and pudgy (and reminded me that no man likes "fatties"). I expected you to stand up for yourself when he said the same to you. I expected you to put a stop to the molestation that was happening to me in your own home.
Quite frankly, I expected you to be the adult. I expected you to let me be a kid without having to guard myself against constant attacks - against myself, my psyche, and my inner child. I expected you to be my safe place to fall.
In my whole life I've never been mad at my mom for not protecting me - I've felt sorry for her - that she was in her own version of hell. I know that she did as well as she could've. But it doesn't stop me from wishing that things were different.
Lately? I wish that I could've had that caring mom that I could've turned to and would've fixed the problems so that they didn't continue happening.
But they didn't. And so I grew up...comforting myself the way I knew how. And safeguarding myself as best I could against more attacks. I swore I'd never have kids - because I couldn't bear the thought of someone else feeling the way that I felt when I was growing up.
All of these thoughts drifted through my mind when she asked what I expected her to do. Knowing that she feels bad enough for what had happened, I dropped my head and just continued cutting up the t-shirts for the project we were working on.
I'm tired of the shame. But I'm realizing that the anger that's bubbling up is taking energy too. That leaves me feeling drained and down and hopeless than anything can or will change.
I wish I could put into words to someone what my life was like. Was it always horrible? No. There were good things. But it wasn't great. And it certainly wasn't healthy.
I wish I could feel heard.
I wish I could feel understood.
But instead, I eat.
Monday, July 12, 2010
This past weekend my mom visited and although I had a bit of a problem posting about it (who likes to admit they have issues with their mom?), I'm so glad I did. I followed many of your bits of advice (positive thinking, mantras, and treating her like an old friend). I continued with my attempts to be at least my part of a healthy relationship. And when the guilt trips came (and oh, how they came in spades), I addressed them calmly and then moved on. When she said things in a backhanded way that simply weren't true, I addressed the untruths and moved on. The guest suite that was supposed to be ready to have her stay in (in our building, on a different floor, there is a guest suite available for rent by the loft owners), was NOT ready, I gave her two options - neither of which involved staying on our couch (we have a small loft and no second bedroom).
I ran, I ate fairly well, and I tried to re-enforce some healthy boundaries.
It was, in a word, exhausting.
There were pockets of goodness and (again via a recommendation) I tried to remember that she won't be around for forever. I soaked up the good times as much as I could and was happy that the visit ended in neither slammed doors nor tears.
On Saturday night, the three of us (Joe, my mom, and I) were walking to dinner. I had primped earlier so as to look my best - we were going to go to a fancy restaurant! I was wearing a cute shirt, a skirt, and sexy heels. Even though my lipstick was "way too dark" (thanks mom!), I felt good about myself.
Until I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a store front mirror.
And I literally stumbled.
I guess I thought that I looked better than what I did. I guess that I haven't looked in a full length mirror in a while. But my belly pooch? Still there - and very present. My dimpled legs? Still there. And my flabby arms? They apparently never left.
It's discouraging to realize that my own idea of what I look like just isn't correct. I read a lot about women who profess about how fat they are, when they're wearing an 8. Their body image must be just as distorted as mine...I could've sworn that I was more fit! My belt is still on the third notch, but below the belt? Eesh...not so pretty. Apparently everything that USED to be at my waistline, is now in the ever-growing pooch area.
So, what to do?
I don't want to focus on the scale...I want to have a healthy relationship with food. But when I look, really look, at my behaviors the past two weeks, I can pinpoint several times when I ate and wasn't hungry. In fact, I can think of several times this past weekend when I ate all of my food because it tasted good and not because I was hungry. And when you're eating eggs benedict, paying attention to satiety is probably a good idea.
So I've got to recalibrate my lifestyle and recommit to eating when I'm hungry and NOT eating when I'm not hungry.
And I think it's time that I set some goals on here. The general goal of "I want a healthy relationship with food" is so gray that I feel I need to have some smaller goals that can help me get there.
Starting TODAY here are my goals and commitments:
1) I will measure myself today after work in some key areas. I think measurements, versus weight, will help me see what I'm doing to help my body. I don't want to do this more than once a month though - and what better day than the 12th of each month?
2) I am going to (and I can't believe I'm actually saying this) TRACK my food. I'm not going to track how many calories, points, or grams the food is. But I am going to track how hungry I was before I put it in my mouth and how satisfied I was after I ate it. I feel like this is a great way to help myself to remember mindfulness. I WILL do this each day until Friday and then reassess for the weekend. I *want* to do it all week, but I need to remember that tracking is a big deal for me - so baby steps it is!
3) I need to run outside again. Running on the treadmill in our building just isn't fun and since I dread it, I don't do it. I'm committing to figuring out a running path where I can step out our door and run and avoid as many stoplights as possible. I WALKING down our 16th street mall (which is right where I live) so running down it is like running through a mall at Christmas time. But there have got to be other paths that I can take away from the crowds, right?
4) I'm committing to eating higher fiber foods with protein in the morning. I realize that when I don't eat as much in the morning, it's hard for me to not feel hungry often later in the day. This morning? I had a double fiber wheat english muffin and some peanut butter. It hit the spot and I feel satisfied - much more than what I have been having.
5) Lastly, since Joe is working late most of this week, I'm going to commit trying TWO recipes for dinner versus just snacking on whatever is readily available. I think it'll be fun - besides what else do I have to do at night? I'm not trying some super fancy ones, but something that will celebrate a healthy relationship with food is a start.
What is a goal you have for the week?
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 9:18 AM
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Let me just get this out there. I love my mom.
She is one of the most selfless people I've ever been around. She thinks of other people first, she volunteers for many organizations and churches, she crochets prayer shawls, and is the Godmother to countless children. If she says she's going to pray for you, she means it and when she commits to anything, she follows through.
Sometimes she tap dances on my very last nerve.
And here's where I feel like crap...because I know some of you would probably give anything to have your mom back. Joe's mom (whom he was very close to) died a few years ago and I know he would do just about anything to have her back in his life. So I get that some of you may roll your eyes at my blog post and make a sarcastic "Boo hoo" in the back of your throat.
But I know there are some of you who love your mothers and STILL can understand that they drive you nuts once in a while.
Because, like a helicopter, she hovers. The hovering and wanting to be right next to me all of the time drives me batty.
I just wrote about eleventy hundred paragraphs trying to explain why our relationship is the way that it is, but truthfully I'm still no closer to figuring it out, so I deleted them all.
Why am I writing about it now? She (who lives 12 hours away from here) will be at our place tonight through Sunday morning. All I can say is that this weekend is probably going to be really great or really NOT great. It's hardly ever anything in between with us.
I hope it's the first one.
I've cleaned the house (literally scrubbing the walls and baseboards), I've arranged to have wine and cheese out for when she and her friend arrive at our place tonight for snacks before we all go to dinner. I've arranged for activities that allow her to feel valuable and helpful (which is what she seems to love best) while still leaving time to relax.
I've prepared this weekend as best as I know how and hope that it will not end in tears, hurt feelings, and slamming doors as it has too many times in the recent past.
I need to remember to go for a run each morning because it helps me clear my head and feel more centered. I need to remember that the places we're going to eat are just places TO eat - and not places where I have to eat some sort of right combination of what my mom thinks is appropriate. I need to remember that I don't have to clean my plate, even if my mom thinks so. And I need to remember that just because my pants feel a bit tighter these days does not mean that I am less worthy of love.
Eesh. It's going to be one heck of a weekend...one way or another.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I know there have already been 10 Commandments given to the masses to live by.
But I think I'd like to add one:
How many times do we have a plan, announce it to our families, our readers, or even just ourselves and then get told that that plan will never work? That we're concentrating too much on X when we should really be thinking about Y. Like, you're eating too many calories or you're not eating enough calories. You shouldn't be thinking about carbs, but about fat grams instead.
I don't know what's going around the blog-o-sphere, but from reading lots and lots of blogs, it seems like there are a lot of people who are simply not trusting themselves.
If you can't trust yourself, who can you trust? When you doubt your own course of action, it's my belief that you're actually doubting you. Do it often enough and you'll end up doubting yourself at every turn. Or at least, that's what has happened to me in my life.
Here's what I know for sure: YOU ARE TRUSTWORTHY.
At the end of the day, commenters are usually random people over the world who don't know you. They don't know what it's like to be you. So, their opinion shouldn't count more than yours. I know...we all mean well (I've definitely dished out my share of advice in comments whether it was asked for or not). But really? Who would know what is good for you more than YOU do?
I challenge you to look inside yourself and ask yourself these three questions:
1) Do you honestly want to have a healthier lifestyle?
There are times in my life when I knew that I should have a healthier lifestyle, but when I was honest with myself I knew that that's not what I wanted right then. It does no good to continually recommit yourself to something when you have already internally decided that the benefits of being heavier/unhealthier outweigh the possibility of being healthy. If you don't REALLY want to change, all you're going to do is beat yourself up week after week, weigh in after weigh in when you don't achieve whatever goal you proclaimed you would. Who wants to live their life like that? Your life is worth more than that. YOU are worth more than that, no matter what your weight.
2) Do you have an idea of what has worked for you in the past?
Maybe what worked is weekly weigh ins at a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Why did that work? Was it the support? Was it the accountability? Was it the money investment?
Maybe what worked was counting calories, fat grams, protein grams, or carbs. Why did that work? Because you felt great? Because you felt in control? Because you liked to track something?
Maybe you work best with just measuring everything you eat...you want to eat the same stuff, just less than what you have been eating. Why did that work? Because you didn't feel deprived? Because you felt in control? Because that fit better with your traveling lifestyle?
Whatever those reasons are, write them down and then try to plan something that incorporates those base reasons for success. For instance, if you know you like to have something where you have a weekly weigh in, there are many ways and programs that do that - ranging from free to pretty pricey. If you know that you feel better with a restrictive diet type situation, look for a plan that restricts things in a healthy way. Sketch out what that plan would be for YOU.
3) Look at your plan and ask yourself if it's doable for you right now...is it?
If not, tweak it until it is. You may know that you felt your best when you were running 10 miles a day...but can you do that now? If not, work your way up to that goal. If it feels like too much, it is a-okay to back down and do something that you can and will succeed with.
Maybe you feel like you did your best when you cooked every meal for yourself...but now that you're married and traveling all the time, it just isn't possible. Can you bring a cooler to each city to have your own food? Can you limit your food to certain restaurants? Can you stay at a place where you have access to a kitchenette? Can you take your clients out for drinks or ball games instead of dinners?
In the end, if you have a plan that works for you and is healthy, who cares what anyone else thinks, feels, or says? I'm not saying you should go out and do something absolutely crazy that no doctor would recommend. Be healthy. You're worth that too.
But as you blog (or read others blogs) and you see that someone else is doing something that is different than your approach, remember that you already went through an internal journey to help you decide the right thing for you. Remember that YOU know what is best for you. Remember that what you are experiencing or have experienced is valid, even if no one else seems to share your point of view.
Your opinion and thoughts are gifts - ones that are given to you to help decide what is right for you...just as you decide what color your hair should be or what shoes are most comfortable. You get to choose.
And if, by doing all of this, you reach a plateau eventually, it's okay to re-evaluate then too.
I guess what I'm saying is this: It's okay to change your mind.
Believe that you are trustworthy. KNOW that you are trustworthy. And you know what? I bet you'll start behaving like you're trustworthy.
I love this quote from Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
You don't have to live in fear of what others will say, write, or think about you or your journey to get healthier. You don't have to listen to what everyone else says is right.
Listen to yourself.
Learn from past experiences.
and if you can, love yourself.
I promise you, you're worth it.
You may stumble, you may fall. But if what you're learning to do is to trust yourself to take care of YOU, you will get back up.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Last week was rough.
I did read a lot of posts, but just couldn't bring myself to comment on many of them.
I have been depressed few times in my life...but last week? I was absolutely depressed. All I wanted to do was to crawl into a cave for a while, lick my wounds, and then come out if it was absolutely necessary.
And that's what I did.
Sorry for the absence - both on this blog and via comments on yours.
After a weekend of fun at the Colorado Springs Zoo (which is actually called Cheyenne Mountain Zoo...and I think that's a bit confusing), a trip to a local arts festival, and a TON of sleep, I feel much better.
I'm so thankful that I had friends that reached out to me - even when I didn't reach back. And I'm thankful that I had an understanding boyfriend who, when I told him that I wanted to mope around the house all weekend, told me that that was okay. He's been putting in a LOT of overtime lately, and Thursday night he actually came home to work at home (instead of the office - even though that made his work significantly harder and longer) just because he knew it would comfort me.
I ate a lot of rich foods. A LOT of rich foods. The scale is up today in numbers that I haven't seen for months. Long story short, I've gained FIVE pounds. FIVE! That bums me out, but I know that I was up 3.6 pounds from yesterday to today. So whether it's water, sodium, or evidence that I fed my feelings, I'm okay with it.
It's just a number...and I'd take being out of the depression fog any day over being lighter.
The weight will come off, just as the sorrow will come back some days.
But for now, I feel better...and that, at least, is a start.
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 8:07 AM
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I had a whole post pre-planned out in my head for today.
I want to tell you the good things and the bad things that have been happening recently.
But for some reason, I woke up today feeling sad...almost unbearably so. Like I might take a half a day vacation so I can go home and cry my heart out type of sad.
I miss my dog.
I know she wasn't a person. I know horrible things are happening all over the world that are way worse than me missing my dog.
But I miss her. So. Very. Much.
I picked up her pawprint (her print in clay) at the vet's office last night after work. I had sushi at a nice restaurant by myself - hoping to feel empowered rather than lonely. It worked...for about the first minute.
I came home and had to bake the pawprint (why would they not bake this? I just think that's crazy! It could've gotten smushed and ruined through all the various hands that touched it...and since she was cremated (no, I didn't keep the ashes) her pawprint can't be replaced!) and it didn't bake correctly. I just couldn't get it to harden fully and I kept baking it. I was scared to do so because the directions had DO NOT OVERBAKE! all over them.
I don't think I did it right.
I didn't want to ruin the last thing I had of Chassis.
I ate when I wasn't hungry last night. I did it willfully and knowingly, but since Joe worked until almost 10, I couldn't get comfort the way I wanted to. So I ate. It's not like I ate a ton, but I know it wasn't the right thing to do either. I'm disappointed in myself...but more than that I'm so very sad.
I woke up sad and cried during my shower. After I was done, I climbed into bed beside Joe to get hugs and to cry. He cried too, which somehow helped.
Have I mentioned how sad I am?
So no real post for today. I suppose I'm sorry about that too.