Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing...the deficit!

First, thank you so much for the outpouring of support from my last post.

Your comments, emails, and phone calls have meant more to me than I can express here.

Here's what I now know (and if you'd like, feel free to envision little uterine fibroids as the bullet points):

  • The fibroid is bigger than they thought.  Because of this, they're going to go the traditional route and do a "normal" surgery where they cut along my bikini line so that I will be able to wear bikinis without a scar showing. 
    Confession: This totally cracks me up.  I've never worn a bikini in my life and I'm pretty sure I'm not going to start now.  Also?  Since I'm assuming that they're going to have to shave the incision area, I'm totally going to ask for a "hairstyle."
  • I believe the surgery will be October 28th.  It'll be confirmed later today, but that's what it looks like. 
    Confession: Maybe instead of a "hairstyle" request, I'll just shave a jack-o-lantern in the hair with which to surprise the surgeon in honor of Halloween.  Perhaps a happy face?  OOOH!  Candy corn?
  • I should be out 6 weeks.  If I can get it to 7 weeks, I won't have to come back to work until January of 2011 (because I also have almost two weeks of vacation still to use).  This would be awesome.
    Confession: I really am hoping it drags to 7 weeks because that would be like the best Christmas present ever, except for Jesus of course.
    Second Confession: This makes me a bit giddy.  Sure, I know it's going to suck for the first few weeks, but I also get to read.  And watch Netflix.  And sleep.  I can't remember the last time that I had 6 weeks off in a row.  I'm guessing I was 14 - because I know I had a summer job when I was 15.  First on the list of things to do: read the rest of the Harry Potter books and figure out a fail-proof method to determine the baby daddy of the people that show up on the Maury show BEFORE he announces it.  Like I said on my other blog, it's good to have goals.
  • I might not be able to fly to my dad's (Chicago) for Thanksgiving.
    Confession: It might be a bit of okay.  I always travel or entertain for the big holidays.  It might be nice to just spend it with Joe and his grandparents.  Even if they smell like old people.
  • I joke when I'm a bit nervous.
    Confession: I'm a bit nervous. 
  • I'm so glad I didn't get that job that I interviewed for a month ago.  Can you imagine being in Ghana and having this pop up as an issue?  I hear Netflix doesn't even deliver there!
    Confession: I'm thankful that the job didn't work out...and it gives me faith that whatever happens in this situation will end up okay too.
  • I feel weird having this fibroid inside me.  It feels alien and foreign.  Joe suggested that we name it something.  I asked "What do you call something that grows and grows, that no one wants, and that you want to get rid of?"  Joe's response: THE DEFICIT.
    Confession: Joking about it helps.
  • I cry sometimes because I'm scared.
    Confession: Crying about it helps.
  • Chances of getting a hysterectomy is low, I assume.
    Confession: This will be one of the first things on my mind when I regain my brain after surgery.  I will breathe a lot easier when I know that I have all my lady bits.  This is one of the things I'm most worried about.
So there you have it - a status update. 

I'm doing okay.  Except when I'm not. 

I'm going to do all sorts of abdominal exercises between now and the surgery date so that hopefully I will heal better and faster than expected.

I'm going to continue with the 100 Day Challenge: training for my 10K, taking my vitamins, and washing my face each night.  I'm going to still keep working with my therapist to overcome the "big" issues.   so that 2011 will be my best year yet...sans The Deficit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's bigger than a softball?

So I want to post about healthy things. I want to post about how running yesterday morning felt easy.  And I want to post about how I bought a bunch of fresh groceries on Sunday that I'm planning on working into recipes this week.

But I'm not going to.

Instead, I'm going to tell you a gross story about my lady bits.  Guys?  It's totally okay to bail out here.  I'll see you tomorrow. :)

So I've been bleeding for weeks.  Last Tuesday I got concerned and called my OBGYN's office only to find out that it was my Nurse Practitioner (the lady I've been seeing for 7 years)'s day off.  It was her nurse's day off too.  So I left a message on the main nurse hotline and got a call back.

The instructions given to me that day were shady at best.  Basically, it was like "Um...yeah - just continue with what you have been doing."  When I asked how long I should bleed before calling back, she suggested another 9 days.

Three days later (last Friday) I decided that I couldn't handle it any more.  So I called in, spoke to my Jeannie and she told me to come in right away.  They were going to do a blood test on Friday to see if I was pregnant (or maybe having a miscarriage) and then do a hysto-something or other Monday morning to see if I was had uterine polyps.

Friday, they took my blood and then began the weekend waiting game. 

Typically, I focus my worry on things that are the next step.  I see marriage as the next step in my life plan.  I want to wait until I'm married to have kids; to even start to try to have kids.  While I know it is a possibility that I might not ever have kids, I'm more concerned with my next step of never getting married.

But this past weekend everything got jumbled up and mixed up in my brain.  All of the sudden I'm asking myself questions that I really hadn't started asking myself yet.  Do I want kids right now?  I know that it wasn't probable that I was pregnant (at least not after weeks of bleeding) but there was still this hope inside, you know?  I got a warm feeling inside - and knew that I do want to have Joe's kids.  Suddenly, I started looking at couples with babies in the restaurants differently.  THAT could be me in less than a year.

So when I went in yesterday morning for the hysto-blahbedy-blah, they took my blood (to check my cholesterol, etc.) and then put me in the ultrasound room to wait for a few minutes.  There were pictures of babies EVERYWHERE - and honestly, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable.  Here I am not sure what the heck is happening, not aware of what could happen and I'm surrounded by pictures of things that I know that I want more than just about anything else.

The ultrasound tech came in and gave me a vaginal ultrasound - which is bizarre and then took a crapload of pictures, printed them out, and said in a calm voice that she would be back.

Great.  Something was definitely wrong.

Jeannie (the Nurse Practitioner) came in the room and said, "Well, really like to overachieve, don't you?"

And my breath caught in my throat.  Was I pregnant with twins?

No.  Apparently, I have a huge uterine fibroid

Remember those "yo' mamma'" jokes from the 80s?

My fibroid is so big, it's been pushing on my bladder.

My fibroid is so big that it's pushing my cervix out of alignment (so the speculum wouldn't even go in properly when it came time to do the hysto-blahbedy-blah).

My fibroid is so big, it takes up the entire left side of my uterus.

My fibroid is so big, it's bigger than a softball.

My fibroid is so big, it doesn't fit on an ultrasound film.

My fibroid is so big, they're not entirely sure how they're going to remove it.

And yes, now my fertility is completely at stake.

So great.  Here I am, sitting in a chair with a paper gown over me, and a hundred little baby eyeballs staring at me learning that I have a huge mass inside me.

The surgeon called me last night - he said that I could go ahead and keep training for my 10K.  He said that they were going to call in a consultant from a company called "Conception" here in Denver to make sure that when they remove the fibroid, they'll try to stay away from my fallopian tubes and hopefully not impact my fertility (which right now, is non-existent - no room for a baby in my uterus).  They're doing this because apparently it's rare for someone my age to have a fibroid this big - which means that they don't have a lot of experience removing these from someone who still wants to have kids.

He plans on doing it laparoscopically (where they cut near my navel and do it all video-camera style) but if I start bleeding too much or if it is bigger than what they thought, they'll have to cut through my tummy and get it.  He needs to meet with the ultrasound tech to get some more information about where she felt it was growing from.  There can be many different fibroids and sometimes how they remove it is contingent on where it's growing from.  Since mine is so big, they can't really tell where it's origin is.  So I may have to have an MRI to find out where it is and what they're in for.

The plan is to remove all of it - so it's less likely to come back.  That may mean cutting out more of the muscle in my uterus, making it weaker and thus taking a vaginal birth (if I ever do get pregnant) off the table.  The surgery will probably be a few weeks from now.

Honestly, I'm scared. I'm freaked out that I won't be able to have kids later.  I'm freaked out that something that big has been growing inside me and I didn't know it.  I'm thankful that it's not cancer.  I'm thankful that I have someone that can take care of me after the surgery.  I'm thankful that I don't live in a place where I have to shovel snow or do hard chores to earn a living.  I'm thankful that I have health insurance.

But mostly it's sort of surreal because it's calling into question my health, my future, my future birthing plans (if there were ever going to be one) and just how committed Joe and I are.

It's a lot to take in right now.

So last night, I cried a lot.  I thought of a zillion "what if" questions.  I worried.  I got scared.  Joe and I ended up going out to one of my favorite restaurants.  I had two glasses of wine and half my entree (duck, coconut rice, pears, and swiss chard - delish!).

On the way home, we stopped at our local frozen yogurt store where I had the "mini" size.

I didn't over eat.  I didn't stuff my feelings.

But I still feel like crap.

And THAT is what is going on in my life right now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fabulous fifteen

It's been a while since I've reached for something that felt a little scary.

Last week, I decided to enroll in the Hot 100 Day Challenge hosted by South Beach Steve.  Note: it's not too late to join in!!  It's a 100 day challenge that started on Thursday and goes until the end of 2010.

So far?  I'm totally on track.  I've washed my face each night and have even remembered to take my daily vitamin.  I've also been building up my speed/distance for a 10K. 

It feels good to do good things for myself.

BUT Big Clyde stated that he needed something that was more short term and less...well...far off.

I completely agreed.

Decide on that number and then DO it.

HIS weekend started on Friday and ended last night.

Like any good partier knows, the weekend TECHNICALLY consists of Friday night until Monday morning when you have to go to work.  So that's when MY weekend was.

I claimed the number 15 - through cycling and biking.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnd I DID IT! :)

Running Saturday evening on the treadmill at our workout room:
Biking Saturday after the run:

 Running outside (and OH did that feel good!) this morning:

 and biking at the workout room afterwards...


That's a total of 15.35 miles.


It felt really good to be a part of a short term goal group - and since I knew that Big Clyde was going to persevere, I wanted to do my part too.

It feels good - to set a goal that is a bit scary but doable - and to achieve it.  Plus, I found that cycling after running actually makes my knees feel I might add a few miles at the end of each run anyway.

At the risk of sounding like a song on The Biggest Loser, what did you do this weekend that made you feel proud?

And, if you haven't already done so, it's not too late to enter into the Laughing Cow sweeps for this month.  One lucky commenter wins $150 on a VISA card to spend on whatever they want.  There have been SO FEW people commenting that BOTH of the previous months' winners have been followers of this blog.  With the holidays coming up, who couldn't use $150?  You can enter by writing anything funny in the comments section on my review blog.  If you want more entries, you can tweet about it, blog about it on your page, or just visit the other funny reviewers and enter their contests too.  It's so frickin' easy!  WAY easier than 15 miles of exercise.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy cat has run out of happy...

Today is the end of our fiscal year.

And I'm tired.

I had an emergency doctor appointment this morning - one that I'm not quite ready to disclose the reasoning for about yet.  Mostly because I don't really know enough information just yet to know what is going on.

I'm drained.

And this picture sums up my mood at the moment...I'm not sad.  I've just run out of my peppy happiness.

Honestly?  It cracks me up. I love the expression on the cat's face.  AND WHERE ARE ITS ARMS?

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tempted by the fruit of another...

After a week or two where my healthy eating seemed so EASY, I'm back to feeling like things are hard again.

And it's frustrating.

Sometimes I feel like screaming, "This should be easy!"  I look at myself - at how I'm tempted and how it takes constant effort to turn down junk food these days and wonder what is wrong with me.

On the way home last night, I started listening to one of my favorite podcasts - Dan Savage's Lovecast.  It's a sex podcast by a gay probably not kid friendly - but I find it interesting and helpful.  Not just because his advice is entertaining and because I hear about things that are completely strange to me, but because I get advice that is applicable to other parts of my life.

Like the time I realized that my weight holds me back from fully enjoying relationships.

So last night, I heard Dan say what I've heard him say countless times before... and I had another A-HA moment.

Work with me here.

See, this guy called in - saying that he was engaged to a lady, but that when he went to bars, he still WANTED to make out with other girls - even though he loves his fiance.  He felt like crap.  It made him wonder if this girl at home was really the girl for him - because he wanted to be with other girls (at the bars) if only to just make out.  He felt bad about himself.

Dan pipes in and explains that being monogamous does not mean that you'll never want to have sex with or kiss someone else.  It means that you promise not to.  It doesn't mean that you don't have urges to do something different, it means that you refrain from acting on those urges.

For instance, look at Tiger Woods.  I think we can all agree that his ex-wife was/is hot.  As in SMOKIN' Swedish I-used-to-be-a-supermodel hot.  And he still cheated on her - with waitresses from Denny's.  We can all say that he's a pig and a jerk, but no one looks at his ex-wife and says "She just wasn't hot enough."  Why he thought the skanky ladies were tempting in the first place is beyond me, but what he probably should've done was realize that he wanted to stray and STILL not done it.

(sigh) and (source)

I love Joe. He is wonderful, sexy, and fantastic. Being with him makes me happy.  But when I see a picture of Matthew McConaughey with his shirt off on the cover of some magazine, I definitely linger before letting my eyes drift to something else in the check out line at a supermarket.

Even if I was faced with the baby steps before cheating on Joe, I can still choose to veer from the cheating. Just because I'm tempted doesn't mean I have to do it.

Whether you believe in Dan's definition of what monogamy is or not, I think it might be true in terms of dieting.

Having a healthy relationship with food doesn't mean that you never want to binge or that you never want to deviate. It means that you refrain from it anyway. It means that you choose long term health and happiness over the instant gratification.

We know that when we're eating, exercising, and being healthier, we love it.  It feels good.  It feels right.  And if we're expecting ourselves to never stop and do a double take when our go-to binge food is around - to at least THINK about eating it (even if we're not hungry), we might be setting ourselves up for failure.

Furthermore, it occurred to me, that I was expecting to be "fixed" some day.  That at some point, I would be able to be thin, lithe, and harmonious with my food.  And at that time, no matter what someone would offer me, I'd be able to turn it down with ease!

Going with that expectation, every time I see something that I know I shouldn't indulge in (because I'm not hungry or because it's not a healthy option) and I salivate or think about it, I consider myself having failed in that moment.  

"I'm not fixed" I tell myself.  Maybe next time. Maybe another diet. I heap guilt on top of myself.

Somehow looking at it through my Dan Savage glasses, I am able to see that it's not logical to think that I'm never going to want another bagel, blizzard, or fried chicken again.  It's not logical to think that I'm never going to have that gut reaction to binge when things go wrong in my life. 

A part of me will probably always wish that I could super size at each drive thru, finish everything on my plate, and have a fatty/chocolaty dessert after every meal. 

When faced with cheating on my healthy self, what I need to do is to remember my commitment.  I need to remember that *I* am worth this new vow of health.  I need to remember that life with me (when I'm practicing my healthy relationship to food) is worth more than the five minutes of pleasure of a blizzard and the hour long headache afterwards.

With this new realization, the guilt can fade. The fact that I'm tempted to over-indulge doesn't make my diet untrue or invalid. I can look at a food, acknowledge that I crave it or am tempted, and still CHOOSE an option that is healthy. 

That I am enticed doesn't make me "wrong" or "bad" or "a failure."  It makes me a human.

Disclaimer: Although I'm making the loose connection here between a marriage vow and a healthy living vow, I understand that even if I do eat when I'm not hungry it's doesn't have to be this huge deal.  I won't beat myself up for eating a wonderful slice of cake or getting an ice cream cone, if I feel like that's what I'd like to do.  My point was really that WANTING to be able to binge, have "cheat days", to stuff myself full, and to order everything I've ever desired is normal.  Choosing NOT do to it anyway is key. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One hundred chances

First, thank you for all of your kind words yesterday.  I was lucky - and already had an appointment scheduled with my therapist.  We talked about how to handle this situation and then did some EMDR around the feelings of frustration, sadness, and resentment that I have towards him.  Are we done?  No way.  But I have hope that it will get better.  AND I have a plan on how to deal with this particular situation.

So thank you - thank you - thank you.  I'm going to make a concerted effort to get back to each person who posted yesterday - by either emailing you directly (if you have your email set up) or by visiting your blog.  If you don't have either of those, I can't comment back...but please know how much your emails meant to me.  I'm so lucky.  And I was reminded of how priviledged I am to have YOU as one of the people who support and motivate me each time an email came in.  It was like a parade of supporters.  I can't thank you enough.

Okay, so you might have seen around the blogosphere that there is a 100 Day Challenge hosted by South Beach Steve

I have decided to join in.

Basically, from tomorrow, there are only 100 days left in 2010.

Did that hit you upside the head as it did me?

I haven't done all that I set out to at the beginning of the year...and I really want to make some healthy behaviors actual habits.

So here it goes...for the next 100 days I will:

1) Wash my face each night before I go to bed.  I know...some of you are recoiling in disgust.  But I'm that girl.  The girl that sometimes doesn't wash her face.  THE HORROR!  I'll brush my teeth and take my meds, but washing my face seems like SO. MUCH. WORK sometimes.  So I'm vowing to do that for the next 100 days.
2) Take a daily vitamin every day.  No excuses.
3) Run a 10K.
4) Read one food or relationship with food book each month.
5) Get into a new "decade" of weight that I haven't seen in almost a decade by December 31st.  I haven't weighed myself in the last few days, but I'm pretty sure that means dropping 15 pounds.
6) Continue to go to therapy.
7) Continue to practice being gentle with myself.

Each of those goals are how I can be better at being healthier - mind, body, and spirit. 

I have 100 chances to live a better life in 2011 than I do now.  I have 100 chances to make better choices, to build on my success.  I have 100 days to make habits that will help me the rest of my life.

Who's with me? 

What are you going to do the next 100 days to end 2010 on a great note and START 2011 in the best way?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Emotional baggage

Good Lord.  I'm not sure I'm even going to publish this.  If I do, feel free to skip it.

My dad is supposed to come and visit mid-October.

My dad and I have a VERY interesting past - and by "interesting" I mean hard and chalk full of crap that I'm STILL trying to work through with my therapist.

It's another fat girl with daddy issues.  Surprised?  Me neither.

He made it clear growing up that he didn't ever want to have kids.  He dislikes them immensely and we were kept away from him at almost all costs.  When we were around him, we were taught to listen to him and not talk about ourselves.  Healthy, no?

So while, yes, he did pay for us to go to college and yes, he was technically around, he showed unlove to us kids all the time.  He didn't want to be around us ever and other than my older sister's varsity soccer games, couldn't be counted on to come to any of our functions.  All of those were left to my mom. He didn't remember birthdays, didn't want to meet any of our boyfriends, and didn't wish us well on prom nights.  I never went to a father-daughter dance and I can't imagine what would happen if I asked him for a hug, even now. 

He is completely introverted.  An awkward guy who says things that are hurtful on a regular basis - mostly because he doesn't possess what normal people call "people skills."  He's full of himself, terribly insecure, and recently retired.

The thing is, he watched a movie I haven't seen yet called Everybody's Fine (I think that's the name of it), starring Robert DeNiro.  Apparently, it's about a dad who visits his kids all around the country.  All I know is my dad thought it was sad and has started to book trips to visit us girls (there are three of us, I'm the middle one) around the country.

As tempted as I am to pull this whole "Cat's in the Cradle" thing on him, I realize that he's trying.  I realize that even though I've never heard him say that he's proud of me or that he thinks I'm beautiful that he's trying to be a better dad.  Or maybe he's just lonely.

So, my dad was supposed to visit me mid-October.

Only when I thought I was going to get that job that I interviewed for, I called him up and said that that weekend may not work.  I asked him to hold off on his plans.

This past week, I'm proceeding with my life as if I did not get that job.  Which is actually okay...I think if they offered me the job (they still haven't made an official decision yet), I would have to think long and hard before accepting it - it doesn't feel like the right fit.  So I called him up and asked him if that weekend would still work.

He said that he was sick but that he would look into it.

And rather than checking back, he just booked the flights.

Only now we can't get the guest suite where we live.  Which means that to have him somewhat close by, I will be spending $200-$300 each night on hotels.  Hello downtown hotel rates!

Know what I don't have these days?  An extra $750-$1000 to spend on my dad coming to visit.

So I called him up - I explained the situation.  I offered to pay for the guest suite (which is only $80 for all three nights combined) and the $100 to change his flight.  He interrupted me and said "It's actually $150 to change."

Have I mentioned that my dad is a retired doctor?  Who has three luxury cars?  And any gadget/TV item they make?  Okay then.

And he said that he didn't want to re-book, that he wanted to stay in a place that had breakfast available, that he wanted to have his own space (i.e. not stay with us) and that he wanted to be able to walk to "shops." 

I looked AGAIN last night and can't find anything much cheaper.

So I cried.  I cried because I'm sad.  I'm sad because I don't want to believe that my dad is still so selfish.  I'm angry that it's still all about him and what works for him.  I'm sad that my dad can't just go with the flow, can't just realize that I'm doing the best that I can.

I cried because I still feel like *I* must be flawed.  If I wasn't so flawed, he might forgive me for not reserving the guest suite earlier (which is actually quite an ordeal and the lady in charge of booking things gets CRANKY when you change stuff around).  If I wasn't so flawed, he might say the words that I've always wanted him to say.  If I wasn't so flawed, I might be loved.

I know.  I'm messed up.

So I stopped.  I asked myself what was REAL and what was some of the same crap that I've been believing for years.  AND I asked myself to behave in a way that was healthy.

That's when I realized that I was exhausted.  I haven't been sleeping well and I have some health issues that are concerning to me.  I decided to sleep on it.

This morning, I emailed him.  I explained that spending that much money on a hotel is just not an option right now.  I explained what I was willing to pay for and three viable options.  I asked him to choose the option he felt most comfortable with.  And (as my mom would say) SO HELP ME HANNAH* if he complains one bit, I'll remind him that HE chose whatever option he chose.

The truth is, he does love me - he must, right?  Or else he wouldn't travel to come see us.  The truth is, I am lovable.  Sure, I'm flawed, but I am doing the best I can.  I'm a loving daughter, a loving person.  And he may never change - no matter what movie he sees.  So I need to stand up for myself, to be a healthy advocate.

I feel better after having hit the "send" button.

Two things I'll be telling myself all day:
1) I will NOT eat my emotions regarding this.  Even if he responds in a crappy way.  My desire to be healthy is valid. What I wrote was fair.  Actually, it was more than fair.
2) I will go for a run at lunch.  The temperature is in the low 70s today.  Getting out, smelling fresh air, and feeling sunshine always grounds me.  I can't wait around for my dad to treat me with love and respect.  I've got to treat myself with love and respect first and foremost.  And taking time away from my desk, doing something that makes me feel better, is a fabulous way to accomplish that.

*Seriously, who is Hannah anyway?

Running Recap

So this past weekend, I ran in another 5K - the Das Hustlehoff run which was in honor of Oktoberfest - and apparently David Hastlehoff.

We had to pick up our free t-shirts on Friday night (along with our numbers and our timing chips) and I have to say, I was pretty bummed with this year's shirt choice.  LAST year, it was a dark, long sleeved shirt with "RUNNER" on the back - as if it were letters on a Colorado license plate.  It was like the coolest running shirt I've ever seen.

This years? Not so much. 

So I decided to not run in it. :)  Instead, I picked a shirt that I got a few weeks ago when my younger sister was in town - I needed the motivation and the support that I felt from the shirt. 

Truthfully?  I was worried.  The last race I ran was in April.  But at that time, I was in much better shape...I've really fallen off the racing band wagon this summer - blaming it on the heat outside and the fact that I left my gym membership expire. 

Well, that and while picking up the shirt from the Oktoberfest, I had two beers and a brat - not exactly great pre-running fuel.

Before the race, while stretching, I noticed two girls who were giggling at the costumes.  Sure, there were people in German outfits.  But there were also people in Baywatch outfits, people attempting to look like Hastlehoff in Night Rider, and people looking like the David that was drunk and eating a cheeseburger off the floor (even holding a cheeseburger!).  Let's just say I've seen enough speedos to last me another year.

Anyway, I chatted up the girls, made some jokes, and then we started the race. I passed them at first (which is pretty standard...there were four of them by the time the race started...and sometimes that makes people slower).

I was surprised to notice that the route changed from last year.  Last year, the route was pretty flat.  This year, the route took us up and down (TWICE) 20th street - which has a steep gradation - as well as a big hill up 15th to pass over I-25 (near the Highlands for you Denver-ites).  It was tough.  And at the top of 15th, I stopped running.  I had to walk.

A few steps into walking, and two of the girls (the original two that I chatted up before the race), said "Come on!  You're at the top of the hill!  YOU CAN DO THIS!"

And I did.

I started running again...and kept pace with them almost all the way to the finish line.  I learned that they were training for a half marathon and that they ran together often.  I learned that they were BFFs and they learned my name and that I was going to eat a pancake after the race. :)

The last big hill, I stopped and walked about 100 yards from the top.  I just couldn't keep running.  As soon as it leveled off, I ran to the finish line.

My time?  34:05 - best officially timed 5K pace.

And I'm proud.  I'm proud that I raced, proud that I finished, and proud that I PR'd.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who AM I?

This weekend was fantastic.  I really wouldn't have changed a thing.

I'll share pictures and details from my 5K run on Saturday morning later (I don't have my camera with me and I haven't download the pictures yet) but I want to say that I did the race in my fastest race time yet!  I'm pretty proud.

After the 5K run, Joe and I hit up Snooze (one of our favorite breakfast places) and shared a pancake.  I ate about 1/8 of my breakfast meal, but stopped because I was no longer hungry.  Did it taste good?  OH MY WORD, yes.  But I'm really trying to practice living my life at a level 5 on the hunger scale.  So far, it works wonderfully.  Moreover, it's a more loving way to treat my soul and my body.

Plus, now I have a yummy breakfast to re-heat for tomorrow. :)

We went back home and took a nap for 5 hours (and boy did I need it!), woke up and enjoyed a dinner of cheeses, fruits, and whole grain crackers.  We capped off the night cuddling on the couch and watching Terminator, a movie that I hadn't previously seen (I know!  I should be shot!) and was surprisingly good.

What I'm really proud about was our day on Sunday...

We got up, worked out (I did some upper body weight lifting as I really think that doing that will help some of my back pain issues) and then decided to have a quick bite to eat before helping his grandparents out.  The time?  10:45ish.  We couldn't find a breakfast eatery that wasn't packed with people (and on the way), so we opted to stop at a Heidi's deli.  Joe had a breakfast sandwich but I had...


Alright, truth time.  Whenever any of you have talked about eating veggie foods or sandwiches, I've thought "Ew.  Why would you do that when you could have MEAT?" 

But a few weeks ago at the Mile High Music Festival, I had a veggie wrap.  And after that I realized that all veggie foods aren't bad.  In fact, they're downright tasty.  They've been our go-to food when at movies and leave me much more satisfied than I ever thought they would.

So back to my sandwich.  It was a toasted thin bagel with avocado, cream cheese, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers.  SO delicious.

It hit the spot in a major way.

They shook their heads in disbelief when we turned down the free chips and potato salad.  It just didn't appeal to either one of us.

We didn't end up eating lunch (I had a few almonds and some cheese and crackers during the Broncos game), and for dinner we had fresh sushi.  Man, do I love me some sashimi (which is how I know I could probably never be a true vegetarian).

On the way home from sushi, we walked by a Dairy Queen.  Joe asked if I wanted a blizzard...and if you've been reading my blog for long, you probably know the answer to this.  I ALWAYS want a blizzard.  It's my go-to binge food.  It's the "food" that I've turned to comfort SO many times, I've lost count. 

But I was satisfied.  And truthfully, a piece of dark chocolate at home would've been all I needed.  So I passed on the blizzard.

I'll repeat that, I PASSED ON A BLIZZARD.

My point is, when left to find out a) if I'm hungry and b) what it is that I truly want, my body leads me the right way EVERY time.

This may not seem like a big deal to you.  Maybe you restrict yourself in such a way that this seems like no big deal.  But to me, it's huge.

I turned down food that I normally would've eaten because I didn't actually want it.  I wasn't hungry for it.

I'll be the first to say that I have issues with food that go WAY beyond being hungry.  So the fact that I chose healthy options because *I* wanted to (not because someone told me I couldn't or shouldn't have it) was huge.

Moreover, it gave me hope that my identity as a food addict is changing. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

On a lighter note...

I'm going to run at lunch today. 

The route that I'm going to take will be about 2.5 miles - a good run because tomorrow I'm going to run in Das Hustlehoff.

image from

The thing is, the route that I'm going to take at lunch?  I'm pretty sure there is a prostitute that works the corner.  She's there almost EVERY time I run past her during the day.

She sits on a park bench and gets up when a car stops by her.  Sometimes she gets in, sometimes she doesn't.

It's like daytime drama but without the commercials.  Only if there WERE commercials, the announcer would probably promote it with: "Now with even more VD!"

Update from Wednesday's post: I called in sick yesterday. I just needed a day to veg out, to sleep in, and to be gentle to myself. I slept in, I watched "Life As A House", I cried during the movie, and I watched some Lifetime/Women network's show on raising sextuplets (something I decided I never want to do). I didn't get out of fun pants and a t-shirt until 5 PM... when I got my hair done and returned some clothes that I decided I didn't need.

It was DIVINE - exactly what I needed.

I also did some thinking about my situation...and I feel like I have a better perspective on what I want, why I want it, and what I'm going to do NOW.  NOW I'm going to focus on how wonderful my relationship is.  NOW I'm going to not think or worry about what might happen when I need more.  Right now, I'm happy.  I'm more than satisfied.  And I'm not willing to give up what I have.  In my heart, I know what's next.  And the ring, babies (or no babies), a house, or a pet will all come later.  I don't have to worry or question "what's next?" I just need to be present in this moment.   

Thursday, September 16, 2010

True story...

The first guy I kissed had a mullet.  And not just one of those namby pamby mullets, his could rival Billy Ray Cirus'.

Maybe that's why I always had a soft spot for Tony Little.

Want to know more about why I'm bringing him up?  Click here to read the third month (in a six part series) entry for the Laughing Cow/BlogHer promotion.  Comment about ANYTHING funny and you'll get entered to win $150 via a Visa card.

Last month's winners were drawn - and we only had 34 entries to choose from (and really, it was less...there were some duplicate comments and one deleted comment). So all I'm saying is, ENTER and your chance of winning $150 is at least better than if you don't enter. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Unpacking my head

One of the things I've loved the most about Geneen Roth's books is that she has highlighted the importance of being familiar with and accepting of your feelings.  The thing is, sometimes I feel like that doesn't apply to me.  I'm an engineer by trade and schooling.  I think logically.  I don't NEED to figure out my feelings.  I can think my way through them.

Know where that got me?  280 pounds.  So obviously, I wasn't doing something (many things?) right.

So I'm willing to give this whole "Feeling your feelings" thing a shot.  The best way I know how to do that is to get it all out in the open.

But growing up, my mom was always quick to point out that things could always be worse.  And she's right.  They can.

So, before I start going on my soap box of whining, I'd like to clarify a few things:
I understand people are dying of hunger all over the world.  I understand that I'm lucky to live in a country where there are basic rights that are respected.  I'm blessed to have a sexual orientation that is widely accepted and promoted.  I'm lucky to have been born in a family where we always had enough to eat and where education was encouraged.  I am healthy. My family and friends are healthy.  I'm blessed to be in a relationship that is healthy, nurturing, and really a great team - many people don't have that.  I am lucky.  PLEASE don't comment that things could always be worse.  I get it.  Really, I do.

BUT...I'm dissatisfied. 

Let me back up. 

In February, I decided that I might want to put my house up on the market - it wasn't a good fit.  Things didn't feel right in that house, despite me trying to make it work for three years.  I deep cleaned and de-cluttered my house, putting about half of my stuff in storage at my boyfriend's (Joe) storage unit.  Most of the stuff were things that I knew I wouldn't need soon.  I could unpack it all when I got in my new place!

Less than a month later, it was up on the market.  Five days and 2 showings later, it was under contract.  We closed in April.   For the first few weeks after my house was under contract, I looked very hard for a new place to move into.  And I couldn't find anything that I liked.  So Joe offered the chance to live at his place until I found something.

I rented a storage unit of my own - this time putting 99% of my remaining stuff in boxes and meticulously labeling everything so that I could find it when I moved out of his place.  I really believed that being at Joe's was a pausing spot until I found the place where I was supposed to be.

Only after I was living there, it occurred to me that the place I was supposed to be was with him.  I realized that I didn't want to move away from him - even if it was only a few minutes away.  I loved him.  The bond that I felt was too powerful to ignore.

In May we talked and agreed that we would officially live together.  We agreed that we both wanted to see where this went - neither one of us had ever lived with someone else before - so that was a big step.  We wanted to take it easy, but we both agreed that I should stop looking for houses.

Since then, we've certainly had some disagreements - all normal.  99% of the time, we're really happy.  We really gel.  We are a great team.  In my opinion, we just fit.

Yesterday I had to go to the storage units (both in the same facility) to look for a few things.  And I couldn't find a bathing suit for a water aerobics class I'm taking with Katy.  So I started digging around in the unit.  And I got reacquainted with my stuff.

And HOO BOY there is a lot of it.  And you know what?  Sometimes I miss it.  I miss the furniture pieces that I picked out after I graduated.  I miss having a wall of pictures (all mismatched frames) of people that I love dearly.  I miss being able to step on my grandparent's rug that they bought when they lived in India.  I love the margarita glasses that I picked out on a whim in Mexico.  And I wish that I could use the couch that is way more comfy than Joe's.

The stuff in Joe's unit are almost all in black garbage bags (only a few have labels slapped on them).  I thought that it would only be in storage for a month or so - until I could sell my house.  I have no idea where stuff is.  Going through that unit makes me cranky.

MY unit (with meticulously labeled boxes) is much better set up.  BUT since the season is changing soon, I'm going to need to find all of my winter stuff.  I'm going to need more space.

AND this gets to the heart of my whine.

I like where we live.  I like the convenience of living downtown.  I LOVE living with Joe.

But I want more.  I want to have some more of my stuff AND live with Joe.

(deep breath)

Truthfully, I want a ring.  I want to be his wife.  I want to be a mom.  I want to start that portion of my life.

I want to be able to invest the proceeds of my house sale in something other than an online bank account (because if we break up, I'll need access to it right away, right?). 

I want to merge our lives together.

I don't want the storage units.

He knows this.  We've had direct and indirect conversations about it.  He loves me.  I know that he does; he says it and he shows it on a daily basis.  A little over a month ago, I told him plainly that I wanted to be his wife.  He understands.  But he's freaked out about the idea of marriage.  And yes, he has business cards for therapists (he initiated it)...he just hasn't made the appointment yet.  It's been over a month.

When people ask (and yes, they ask often) "When are you all going to get married?" and "Aren't you worried that he's never going to propose?  What would you do then?"  I put up a brave front.  I say that I'm happy.  Happier than I have been in forever.  I say that I never thought that I could have something like this...and I'm thrilled with how happy we are.

And I am.

Only when I'm not. 

My brave voice says out loud to people, "I'm happy now.  And when I stop being happy, I'll do something about it.  If being married ever gets to be more important than being with him, I'll know it's time to leave."

In the security of his arms at night or in the morning, I realize that I might not have that kind of strength.  This is the best relationship I've ever been in.  It's healthy, nurturing, loving, and kind.  It is almost everything I've ever hoped for.  As we snuggled last night, I felt so loved - my soul felt warm and cherished.  Why would I throw that away for a RING and a name change?

I am happy.  Most times, blissfully so.

But if he won't make the appointment for the therapist to discover his issues with marriage, how long will I really wait?  Is it even healthy to do so? 

This is the best thing I've had - ever.  It's rare.  I believe that.  Why can't he see it?  I recognize that he's thinking: if this is so great, why can't she just be happy?  Why does she have to push for the next step?

My real fears: What if I'm not good enough to be with for forever - what if that's what he really believes?  What if that's what I really believe?  What if by waiting for him, I turn out to be a fool?  What if this ends and then I can't ever be a mom because I'll be too old (I'm 33) to be one anyway?  He's 43 and has never been married or engaged - what if he is just one of those guys that won't commit?  What is so wrong with wanting to be with someone who wants to claim you as his own?  What is so bad about wanting someone to make a life long pledge?  Why won't he receive the gift that I want to give him (my pledge, my commitment)?

Like I've said: we've talked about it.  We're just in different places.  When I bring it up, he withdraws and gets sad.  He feels bad that he doesn't know what he wants.  He feels bad that I feel sad.  I feel bad that he's feeling pressured to make a decision.

And yet, the feelings don't get resolved.

I just don't know if what I'm doing is right.  I don't know if what I'm doing is healthy.  Am I being too selfish? Am I being too needy?  Or is he being stupid?

Most of the time, I'm FINE with it.  But when I go to the storage unit, I realize the truth: my life is on hold for him. 

It feels so risky - this waiting game; the stakes are as high as they've ever been. 

I don't want to leave because I AM so happy most of the time.  I believe that this is real, genuine, and healthy.  But I don't want to give myself the message that I'm not worth a ring, a promise, or a partner either.

Hey Geneen, how's that for feelings?  Sitting with them isn't DOING anything.  Eating them isn't helping.  Talking about it doesn't change anything. 

I have no idea what else to do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How I know I'm on the right path

My original post that was originally titled "Two steps forward, one step back":

Yesterday I bragged about how I was down 4 pounds, about how I had run twice in the last three days, about how I was back on it.  Living at a level 5.

And right after I hit publish?   I ate four brownies.  Sure, they were small.  But still...


I think sometimes when I blog about successes I have, I'm fearful that I don't really deserve it.  I think that's what "The Voice" tells me...that I don't deserve good things.

And, even when I knew that I was feeding insecurities, etc. I decided to eat when I wasn't hungry (aka all last night).  I didn't even eat foods that I was craving.  I ate out of rebellion (I think).


This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I thought of what I ate and then thought of my scale of hunger yesterday.  My bloating feeling this morning just told me that I overindulged last night.  And I really didn't beat myself up on it.

I looked in the mirror and realized that today I get to "do it" a bit better; today I get another chance to live a healthier life.

I ate my breakfast this morning (not my normal breakfast...Joe and I signed up for a week long meal service a few months ago and so all my meals this week are pre-cooked, pre-proportioned, and under 1200 calories for the day) and couldn't finish it.  I realized that a bit too late though.  So I still have probably a cup of fresh fruit left which I'll take to the break room fridge momentarily.

I'm determined to not eat until I get hungry again - at a 2 or 3.  From the way I feel right now, it'll be a while.

I also realize that yesterday I didn't WANT to eat what was pre-portioned and packed for me (again, the healthy meal service).  So I didn't.  Instead I ate four small brownies, a half serving of soy crisps, and some all natural nut butter on a double fiber english muffin.  I didn't eat their dinner either - instead I had Pinkberry frozen yogurt, two servings of Sun Chips, a serving of Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, and two pieces of Dove dark chocolate. * 

Anyway, both pre-made meals (according to Joe - who had the same things, just bigger portions) were good.  They even looked good.  I think I just did it out of rebellion.  Sometimes I can be SUCH a kid about things.

So today, I have a salmon chunked salad OR a steak and cheese sandwich to eat for lunch - somehow having two options make me feel better.

I may not be successful every day, but I *am* learning - even if it's just more about myself. 

What started out as an aside:
* Wow.  Is that right?  Here I was thinking that I way overate and looking back on what I wrote, I didn't.  I mean, I ate when I wasn't hungry (which is something I'm determined to be mindful about) but this is a FAR cry from the days where I'd eat 12 candy bars in one sitting. Certainly they weren't healthy choices, but again, it's not like I was eating copious amounts of fast food.  I'm not justifying that what I ate was good or healthy...just that it's not as horrible as I had thought.

I felt so bloated last night and this morning from what I ate - but I suppose it was that after days of living at a level 5 of hunger/fullness satisfaction, my body didn't like being that full.  Earlier in my journey, I would've felt this horrible only after eating SO MUCH stuff...that I guess I just assumed that I had way overdone it.  Even for breakfast today, I had two eggs scrambled with some artichoke in it, two pieces of turkey bacon, and a half cup of fruit.  I feel very full - but it would've taken at least twice that to feel this full in the past.

In looking at what I ate yesterday, even if I had counted up points, I don't think that I would be over my daily allotment with some extra weekly points thrown in.  In my WW days, I would've eaten what I did, felt horrible about it, but then counted up my points, saw that I was within them and then would've patted myself on the back because I stayed below a number that someone else told me was healthy.  Now I'm able to look at it, realize that it wasn't healthy, that my body didn't feel good, and want to change it - no matter what the points say.

Suddenly, getting "back on track" doesn't seem like such a challenge now!  I *can* do this! 

And it reiterates that the focus on being healthy instead of counting points, makes a ton of sense for me.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Home in the range

This weekend I thought a lot about my revelation from Friday.  I may be a bit biased, but when I made the connection between sleep and food, I was really blown away at how profound it was.

The result?  I've lost 4 pounds since coming back from Peoria (and gaining 3 pounds while there) this week - just by paying attention to my hunger levels and making sure that it doesn't get out of control.

I think of my hunger scale like this:

1 - starving hungry; the hungriest I've ever been
3 - hungry; when I drop to this level (or below) it's probably time to eat
5 - satisfied; neither hungry nor full
7 - feedback that indicates I ate a bit too much the last time I ate
10 - stuffed; as in what it feels like to finish a binge

I don't think I've ever felt a 1...but I can't tell you how many times I've felt a 10.

The thing I've concentrated on this past week was where I was on the hunger scale/range.  I aimed to always be a "5" on the scale...which meant that I was always satisfied. 

So if I was at a 4, I could determine if I wanted to eat to be a 5, or if I wanted to be hungrier (to let myself get down to a 2 or 3) so that I could fully enjoy a meal with Joe.

I've tuned out my hunger range for so many years, it's actually taken MONTHS to fine tune my hunger...but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

I'm also realizing that even though I CAN have brownies, cakes, pastas, and ice creams, I'm not craving those - not really.  THAT has felt wonderful...and has prompted me to be proud of myself.

Take Friday:
     My workplace had some training arranged during our lunch break.  But it was going to be in the 70s.  So I asked my boss if I could have a 45 minute lunch (before the actual lunch presentation) and work late to make up for it...he said yes.  At 11:00 I ran my 5K and came back in just enough time for the training - and discussion that followed.  Initially, I wasn't hungry right after my run.  But during the Q&A, I was starting to get hungry.  I could've had what everyone else was pigging out on (Qdoba Mexican buffet) but instead I wanted a veggie sandwich that I had in the fridge - aka no where near me.  I ended up getting to eat at 2:30 (after the presentation), but I really enjoyed what I ate. 
     I came home and Joe and I decided to see "The Switch" - a movie out in theaters now with my lifelong crush, Jason Bateman.  I knew that I could have any dinner I wanted - or cokes and candy at the theater.  But instead, a wrap with hummus, guacamole, and fresh sliced veggies sounded delicious.  So that's what we had.  We made them, wrapped them up and smuggled them in the theater.  Sure, I broke a guideline of eating while distracted, but I made sure that I was hungry when we started eating.
     We finished the movie and Joe suggested that we go across the street to my new favorite dessert place, Pinkberry.  I thought about it and realized that I was still at a 5.  I also knew that I could have the frozen yogurt another time if I wanted it.  So instead we went home and...

My point is, being more in tune with my body and it's hunger signals is taking a lot of pressure off.  I'm feeling like I'm living more in the moment and less in fear about what I will do when I get hungry or full.

Saturday we enjoyed dinner and ended up going to Pinkberry and sitting downtown to enjoy the freaks sights that were out at night.

I guess what I'm saying is that I really enjoy being at a 5.  With the absence of stomach sensation, I'm able to enjoy all the other parts of my life much more.  It's taken (and will continue to take) practice.

Huh.  I think they call that "living."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Taking the emotion out of eating

What if someone came up and told you that you MUST have 6 hours of sleep each night?  Anything more than that was sheer excess. What if, from when you were a little kid, when you complained of being sleepy, your parents told you that it just meant you were lazy or not dedicated? What if when you got more than 6 hours of sleep, society told you that you were a failure?  What if there was this social stigma on the less sleep you got, the more successful you'd be; the happier you'd be; the better husband you'd catch; the better person you would be.

But what if 6 hours of sleep just isn't enough for your body?  What if, by trial and error, you found that you really needed 8 hours each night?  What if you felt shame about that? 

Wouldn't that be silly?

My relationship with sleep is a good one.  When I don't get enough, I know it.  I drag the next day.  I'm inattentive.  Because I feel so good, so ME when I get the amount of sleep I need, I make getting enough sleep a priority for me.  And if I don't sleep well one night, I think about WHY I didn't sleep well (too hot, too cold, too many loud noises, etc.) and then go about rectifying that so that I will sleep better the next night.

If I get too little sleep one night because I'm hanging out with friends, I know that I will pay for it the next day.  But I also know that sometimes it's worth it.  Sometimes what I'm doing INSTEAD of sleeping is worth the drain of energy.  But I know that I can't do that for many nights in a row.  My body feels miserable when I go without quality sleep for too long.

I really have no judgement about the amount of sleep my body needs.  I'm neutral to it - I just know I need it.

So what if I approached my relationship with food and how I eat with the same energy as my relationship with sleep?

What if, instead of shaming myself that I'm still hungry even though I know that I've had plenty, I just trust my body and eat a bit more?  This is similar to if I had already had 8 hours of sleep and still wanted to sleep a bit more because I was still tired.

What if, instead of eating when I'm no longer hungry, I trust my body's signals and stop?  Just like if I woke up at 6 AM on a weekend and realized I was no longer sleepy and decided to get up.

What if, instead of beating myself up for eating something that was not the healthiest choice, I just moved on - and "made up" for it by making healthier choices the next day?  It's just like getting low on sleep one night and then sleeping a bit more the next day.

What if, instead of looking at food as only a source of pleasure and a way to escape, I looked at food as a way to re-energize myself.  Sleeping and/or taking a nap is decadent, but it's mostly a way to re-energize myself.

What if I didn't judge myself for how much (or little) food I needed to feel satisfied? 

It seems SO simple when I look at it like this.  To me, it was profound, a huge light bulb moment, an AH-HA! moment.

I sleep when I'm tired.  I don't deprive myself of sleep or force myself to sleep to punish myself.  When I've had enough sleep, I simply get up and start my day.  I have a healthy relationship with sleep.

And someday these statements will be true in respect to food, too:
I eat when I'm hungry.  I don't overeat or starve myself to punish myself.  When I've had enough food to feel satisfied, I simply stop eating and continue with my life.  I have a healthy relationship with food.

Maybe you don't have a healthy relationship with sleep.  In that case, I encourage you to think about what you do in your life regularly to take care of yourself that ISN'T a compulsion.  Maybe it's that you brush your teeth, wash your face, shower, shave, or WHATEVER when you need to.  Think about how neutral you are to that activity - how it carries no shame and that you don't do them for emotional reasons.  

Attribute that same energy to your relationship with food and I hope you'll see the same light bulb I did.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Want vs Need

When I think about the difference between want and need, usually thoughts of my mother come into play.  My mom grew up with parents who lived through the depression. My mom grew up in Detroit - when jobs were scarce.  So sometimes her dad had a job and sometimes he didn't.

She knows how to stretch a dollar.  So when I think about "want" and "need" I usually think about how she and her family had to do without the things they wanted and were lucky to get the stuff they need.

I also tend to think of spoiled kids.  They feel like they NEED a car when they're 16, when in reality, it's just a want.  They NEED a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, they NEED the new action figure and they certainly NEED that new video game.

You know what I don't think about when pondering the differences between want and need?  Me.

I've talked a lot about how I'm practicing mindful and intuitive eating. So to catch everyone up, the idea is that you ask yourself if you're hungry.  If you are, you ask yourself what you're hungry for.  Then you eat it.  You stop when you're satisfied.  Rinse and repeat for each meal or snack.

But often, what my body is hungry for is not what my mind wants. 

The thing is, sometimes I want something sweet.  While I know I could be decently satisfied with a piece of dark chocolate or some fruit, what I want is a blizzard, or a cookie, or a sundae, or...

I was thinking about this whole thought this morning.  The problem that I have is that I don't want to eat something different than what I want.  I WANT to indulge. 

And that's when it hit me - sometimes I act like a petulant child on the inside when I don't get what I want.

I'm embarrassed.  I was raised better than this.  I was raised to "suck it up" and eat what is there instead of what I wanted.  But somehow wires got crossed and I learned that it was bad to get what I wanted - that it somehow meant that I was selfish.  And somehow I thought that me getting what I wanted in life meant that I was being greedy. 

So on the outside, I conformed.  I ate what my mom told me to.  I deprived myself; I did the right things.  And I started binge eating in private.

I want to live an authentic life - not just with food, but with my friends, family, and my emotions.

I know that restriction makes me want to rebel.  I know that when I feel that I can't have something, I rebel and eat more of it than I should.  I know that I don't enjoy sneaking food in private...the shame isn't worth it.

So my struggle is how to deal with want versus need.  How do I listen and honor my body with what it needs while still loving the part of me that wants? 

This morning I'm hungry.  I want one of the Einstein Brothers bagel with whipped cream cheese that one of my co-workers brought in.  I want to not miss out on the fun and rush of people eating the food. I know when I eat the bagel that it tastes SOOO good. But I also know that I'm satisfied with the english muffin and peanut butter.  I know that if I don't have that bagel today, I won't miss it as the day goes on.  I know that if I really want one tomorrow I can get one before coming to work.  I know that seconds before I saw her walking in, I was excited about my breakfast choice.

Most importantly, I know that I want to get rid of this extra weight.  I know that my joints want me to make the better choice.  I know that I want to be thinner for my younger sister's wedding (where I will hopefully NOT look like an egg on fire) in April.  And I know that I want to have pride in the fact that I really am living a healthy lifestyle.

So, I'm going to go and fix myself the english muffin.  I'm going to try one of the new samples of nut butters that I purchased last night.  And I'm going to concentrate on all of the ways that *I* am choosing this choice.  I'm not being made to eat just what I need, but rather I'm getting to choose this delicious and decadent breakfast.

Any thoughts?  Am I missing something that could clarify this "want vs. need" thing?  How do you lovingly decide to choose between what you want and what you need?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh, I AM going to Hustle the Hoff

Last year I ran in several 5Ks that were fun...but I also ran in my fair share that were duds.

This year I decided to only run at events that were either going to be fun, have an awesome t-shirt, where the proceeds go to a cause I really care about, or were going to test my ability to run further.

One of the events that I ran in last year was Das Hustlehoff.  It was SO MUCH FUN.  It's paired with Denver's Oktoberfest celebrations and they encourage people to dress up like German people or even just Baywatch characters (ala David Hastlehoff).

I've decided to enroll again this year.  I'm not going to dress as a bar maid. but I did think about picking a white t-shirt to tuck into my yoga pants and wearing suspenders - so kind of like a poor man's lederhosen.  At a bare minimum, I'll wear my braids and (if I can find them in my size) knee high socks.

My time from last year wasn't fast at all, but seeing as how I've been out of running practice lately, I'm just going to try to match that time.

If you're in Denver and want to join in the fun, here are the details.

In other news, I'm back from Peoria.  I didn't do horribly, but I definitely didn't stick to my plan - at least not 100% of it.  I ate more than I should've, drank more than I should've, got less sleep than I should've, but OH MY was it exactly what I needed.

The scale says I'm up 3 pounds...which is a bit more than I had thought.  I'm not concerned - some hard work this week will decrease that gain.  I can't believe that it's more than water weight, but I guess the proof is with the scale this we'll see how much further I can get it to go down.

Also, THANK you for everyone who has given me awards recently!  I need to get caught up on all of that.  I've been so bad about it - it means very much that you think as highly of my blog as you do.  If I haven't already done so, I'll be by your blog to thank you "in person."  I have the best of plans to add a page onto my main blog showcasing the awards and the wonderful people who gave them to me.  So thank you.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Just a reminder...

I'm still in Peoria, IL for the weekend - coming back tomorrow morning.

Since it's a Monday, this is just a reminder that if you want to enter in the Laughing Cow/BlogHer giveaway contest, you should totally enter.

You can click HERE to enter - as of right now, only 28 people have entered!  Your chances are still good!

I'll be back tomorrow  - more filling content then.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ugh, double Ugh, Ahhh, and double Ahhh

I didn't get the job.  But I didn't NOT get the job.  Basically, they haven't made a decision on me but they want to interview other people in hopes of a better fit.  If they don't find a better candidate, they'll offer it to me.  Honestly?  I am a little bummed because it's nice to be wanted.  But they're worried that they won't have someone free enough to train me.  And after the interview?  I was worried about that too.

I know that good stuff can happen even from sucky situations, so I'm hopeful that something will happen.  I've felt so trapped in my current job.  And I'm sad that my situation may not change anytime soon.

Double Ugh

I'm not going to lie to you.  My eating since yesterday has been bad.  As in really not good.  As in I've had way too many "fun size" candies that I stupidly bought for my co-workers.  Other than that (and the two donuts this morning) it hasn't been horrible. 

I did the whole "look" inwardly thing about WHY I was eating when I wasn't hungry...and I understand why I'm eating.  Truthfully, I still had another few fun size chocolate bars even after I figured it out.  But then I stopped, brushed my teeth and am happily sipping peppermint tea.  I'm not waiting until tomorrow to turn it starts now.

I'm going to my best friend's house this weekend.  She has a bulldog named Princess Buttercup that I have known since she was a puppy.  I call her Butterball or PB.  Just after Chassis died, they got a new bulldog puppy, named Miracle Max (or just Max for short).  I can't wait to be covered in sloppy kisses and to have a dog that just wants to sit at my side and be loved.  I'm bringing some of Chassis' old toys to her.  It will be good, but bittersweet, I'm sure.

My friend and I have no real plans.  We might go to a winery to enjoy a wine tasting. I know we're going to a quilt shop. And I know that we're seeing Max graduate from her puppy obedience class. I plan on clapping the loudest. 

I'm heading out tonight and come back on Tuesday mid-morning.  I'm taking the rest of that day off.  I need it.  My soul needs it.

Double Ahhh
I got three new books at the library this past weekend.  I'm taking two with me on the trip and can't wait to dive into them at the airport.  I'm about 1/4 of the way through the first one, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett and am really liking it.

I also looked at the weather report (this time, yes, I did look at the right city!) and saw that it will be in the low 70s where I'm going to be at tomorrow.  I've brought my running gear to run tomorrow and the other days if I so choose.  I'm determined not to have my exercise take a vacation too.

To be sure, there will be a trip to Steak N' Shake - something that I only get once a year.  Just like last year, I'm not willing to give it up.  It might work for you - complete restriction...but to me, I want to at least allow for the possibility of food I truly enjoy.  This year though?  I'm getting a junior cheeseburger in addition to the junior malt.  I'm going to enjoy every bite of the food - and if I'm too full to eat it all, I promise to leave some on the table.

Just like when she came to visit me earlier this year, there will be a lot of laughter, some tears, and some soul searching.  It's always like that.

I'm learning to be kind with myself, to give myself a break, and to try to love myself whenever possible.  And while I'm not successful 100% of the time, I'm seeing progress from when I visited my best friend last year.  These yearly visits are a good benchmark for me.

So, have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mixed emotions

Yesterday I had my third and final interview for the position that I wanted to get.

I felt so anxious the whole morning and afternoon leading up to the interview.  In fact, when I went home to change into my suit, I decided to get into a restorative yoga pose (crocodile) to help calm my nerves.  Doing that and focusing on my breathing did a lot to calm me.

Driving on the way to the interview, which was at 1:30, I felt calm.  I knew you all were holding me up in prayer or good thoughts - and I felt peace.

When I finished the interview process (at 5:00), I wasn't even sure that I wanted that job.

First, it requires some knowledge that I just don't have.  It would take some significant (meaning weeks) of training OUTSIDE of my normal job responsibilities to get up to speed with what the basics are for this position. 

Second, it may require more travel than what I was originally told.  I was told 10-20% travel.  Yesterday it turned into "at least 30%."  Being gone 4 months out of the year is not a good fit for me and my lifestyle right now.  I feel like I just found Joe - and I don't want to waste my time in Ghana for 1/3 of the year when I could be getting morning snuggles.

So I left not quite feeling like this particular job would be the best fit.  I called my contact at the jobsite and he said that he was approached before he went home with the question, "Are you SURE you don't know anyone else who we could interview?"

To me, this means that they weren't feeling it either.  Realistically, to extend the process a few weeks to find more candidates may not be smart on their part - especially when they could use that time to get me up to speed.

But again, taking that position would require a major overhaul of my life - my relationships, my eating (hello - I don't get to pick what I want to eat in a remote location in Peru), and my ability blog. And I really enjoy all three of those things.

So we'll see.  What I wanted was to go in there, present to the best of my ability, and then feel peace about what I did.  And I feel that.

But last night, Joe had to work late again (and he ended up not coming home until 11:45).  I knew I wanted to talk about it.  I placed a few phone calls to people who knew about the interview - people who knew specifics - and everyone was unavailable.

I admit it, I thought about going out to eat to celebrate.  I thought about how we didn't have anything at home to eat (which is only partially true), and how NO ONE WOULD KNOW.

But I stopped.  I realized that I wasn't hungry right then.  So I went home, changed into fun pants, a college sweatshirt, and vegged out watching TV.  Did I bolt from my life?  Maybe.   But when I felt sad, I reached out and called someone else (only to reach voicemail).  Then I vegged again.  When I felt disappointed, I texted Joe that. 

I'm proud that I saw myself ready to make excuses to eat out, eat whatever I wanted, or just eat to escape my life and these uncomfortable feelings.  But I persevered by trying to feel the feelings as much as possible.  It was amazing that when I did so, it became wholly apparent that I wasn't feeling hunger. 

I'm proud that I put names to the feelings I did have. I'm proud that I didn't use all of the events of yesterday as an excuse to abuse food. And I'm proud that even with a dozen cookies, M&Ms, and bags of chips in the house, I only had one cookie. The rest didn't get touched. I did eat when I was hungry - maybe not the most balanced meal ever, but it had protein, carbs, and fruit.

I've slept like crap the last two nights.  I know that when I'm low on sleep, I'm more likely to turn to carbs and sugars the next day - if only for the bump in energy.  So instead, I'm going to be aware that I shouldn't eat all the sugar and crackers in site...because if my body wants sleep, perhaps I'd be better off with taking a nap in my car at lunch.

So I'm disappointed, I'm proud, I'm tired, and I'm uneasy.

But hey - at least I'm not full.