This morning, my sisters, my mom, and I will all be making our first trek to David's Bridal.
Why? Well, my younger sister is getting married in April and my older sister and I are one of a few bridesmaids lucky enough to be in the wedding.
Am I happy for my sister? Sure.
Am I excited about buying an itchy dress that I'll never wear again? Not so much.
I wrote about this a few months ago, but initially, she wanted us to be wearing yellow dresses...which would mean that I would resemble an egg on fire.
The good news is that the dresses are no longer going to be yellow.
The bad news is that they're going to be the color of phlegm.
I'm not ordering my dress tomorrow because I still want to lose weight and tone up for the "big day." When my older sister got married, we had the pictures displayed around both of my parents houses...and I really don't want to look worse than I did in hers.
Also? I'm ready to get back into a regular exercise routine. Tomorrow marks two months since the surgery...and without any complications in the last two weeks, I think I'm finally read to put the surgery and it's horrible post-surgical complications behind me.
Monday, December 27, 2010
This morning, my sisters, my mom, and I will all be making our first trek to David's Bridal.
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 8:59 PM
This is the last reminder for the BlogHer/Laughing Cow contest over on my review blog.
For the low price of a comment, you can enter to win a $150 Visa gift card to spend on anything you want.
This past month, I've seen more entries than any other month. Someone's got to win - might as well be you, eh?
Contest runs through midnight tomorrow! :)
Friday, December 24, 2010
Happy Christmas Eve!
Are you ready for the last right from the Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights by Evelyn Tribole?
Right #7: You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.
I love this one - even though I don't love pumpkin pie.
I know I may get some dissent from this right - and that some of you may attack this as a crazy idea.
But I say that I believe that we are all worthy of trust. Even around pumpkin pie.
Food should taste good. Food should be pleasurable. As long as you're aware of what you're doing and you're okay with what you're doing, you'll inevitably be okay with the consequences.
Pumpkin pie is not the enemy.
No one, except for you, knows how you feel, both emotionally and physically. Only you can be the expert of your body, which requires inner attunement, rather than the external, well-meaning, suggestions from your friends and family.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Oooh...only two more days until Christmas!
On the off chance that someone is reading this looking for some clarity or support during the holidays, then I congratulate you! You're turning to something other than food for support - and I know that's tough.
To go along with the last few posts about the Intuitive Eater's Bill of Rights (by Evelyn Tribole), I've decided to post some great ones.
Right #4: It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a special holiday dish.
This one is hard for me. I only visit my mom once a year. And I can say that since arriving in El Paso, we're already going to have pies, cakes, chocolaty snacks, and great dips. Stuff that I haven't had in over a year - stuff that I'm tempted to eat even if I'm not hungry - just because I won't have it for another year or so.
Moreover, I know my mom is making this stuff just for us. And she's watching her weight - so she doesn't want tons of leftovers when we leave.
But guilt doesn't have to be a reason to eat. In fact, I'm going to work hard to enjoy what I want - what my body is truly hungry for - and then pass on the rest. I can always take containers home on the car ride back to Denver...I don't need to eat it then.
Right #5: You have the right to say "No thank you," without explanation, when offered more food.
I love this one. I don't need to explain WHY I don't want more. I don't need to apologize for honoring my hunger signals or my taste buds. I've found that if I smile and say "no thank you" it's classier than giving a ton of "reasons" why I don't want to. A simple "no thank you" will usually suffice.
Right #6: You have the right to stick to your original answer of "no," even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly repeat "no thank you, really."
If you have a Persistent Patty that's trying to push food on you, you can stick to your original answer. You don't need to cave if you don't want to. No time better to set boundaries than now, right?
THAT is a great gift you can give yourself for Christmas. Your self respect, your self worth, and the knowledge that you (and your goals and your hunger levels) are worth respecting and listening to.
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 9:15 AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
As you read this, I'll be on a 10-12 hour car ride from Denver to El Paso. And if the past years are any indication, I'll probably be singing the Rent Soundtrack and the best of Madonna.
You know what I won't be doing? Snacking on gobs of unhealthy foods. I've packed a cooler full of fruits, veggies, and healthy treats to keep me company when I'm hungry.
Last week, I wrote about the first right from The Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights by Evelyn Tribole. And I thought that I'd give you a second helping of it.
Right #2: You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.
That's right. You don't have to go hungry if you don't want to. Isn't that great? That we live in a country and a place where the vast majority of us don't HAVE to go hungry?
But quickly on the heels of the second right, is the third...
Right #3: You have the right to honor your fullness, even if it means saying "no thank you" to dessert or a second helping of food.
Because really? Who SHOULD care if you have a second helping or dessert? No one. You should be allowed to decide if you need more to feel satisfied - whatever the level that you want it to be. And if someone tries to force seconds or thirds on you because that's what you've always done, YOU get to choose to say no. If forced, you can take the additional helping or dessert home to enjoy later. But it's your choice - and it's your right to not be over-full.
To me, these rules free me from old habits and old traditions. Just because I pigged out last year, doesn't mean that I have to do that again this year. Additionally, if I've always eaten like a bird in front of others (only to devour all my stocking treats in 5 minutes) I can eat as much as I need to feel satisfied.
Why wait until 2011 to start new traditions and resolutions? I say start now - with honoring yourself and your own satiety.
Monday, December 20, 2010
It's Monday. That means that I have to do a shameless plug for the review blog and it's contest to win $150.
So head on over there and do your thing. Your reward? Only ONE more reminder this year. :) Next Monday...same bat time, same bat channel.
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 11:15 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
Last weekend, I went to another Mindful Eating/Mindful Body class here in Denver. I've written about them before, but this group was one of the first ways that I was introduced to the idea and concept of mindful/intuitive eating.
Due to the timing of the workshop, the topic of how to eat over the holidays came up.
Are there rules to what you'll "allow" yourself to eat?
Are there guilt trips that you put on yourself when you "eat the wrong thing?"
Lastly, when was the last time that you truly had whatever you wanted - and didn't beat yourself up or negotiate anything?
The kind of holiday celebration I want to enjoy is one where I am in tune with my body. When I'm in tune with it, I'm able to eat what I truly am hungry for - even if it's carrots and green beans. And I can pass up the items that I'm not craving - even if they're cookies that look delicious.
I find that when I act on my true cravings, I'm able to feel completely satisfied and fulfilled.
At the workshop last weekend, we were given a list of basic rights that *everyone* should be allowed - called the Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights - by Evelyn Tribole.
You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories.
To me, that's a powerful right.
I think oftentimes, women get into this calorie discussion because it's an approved topic. Kind of like the weather, or small talk about what you do for a living. It's a universal topic that brings people together.
And isn't that silly? Rather than truly savoring the treat that is in front of us, rather than giving thanks for all the hands that it took to get this meal to it scrumptious state, and rather than enjoying each ingredient, we waste those moments by feeling guilty or feeling dread for the amount of exercise that it will take to "be good again."
If you're like me, it feels great to have not a rule to follow, but a right to be allowed.
I don't have to join in the discussion of how "bad" I'm being or how "bad" the food is. I can enjoy as much as I want of whatever I want - without having to feel bad, to be judged, or having to confess what I'm going to do to work off the choices I made.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
The trick is, in my opinion, is to be in tune with myself enough so that if I don't want parts of my meal, I don't eat it.
For instance, when I was a kid, I loved Alfredo sauce. What's not to love? It's creamy, buttery, and not marinara sauce (which, in general, I'm not a huge fan of). But then I began my DIET which lasted 20 or so years and it was bye bye cream sauces!
Recently, I ordered some pasta dish with Alfredo sauce because it sounded totally scrumptious. Know what? It wasn't. It didn't taste as great as I remembered - or maybe it was just too rich for what I wanted right then.
All I know is that a year ago, had I ordered it, I would've eaten it all up - after all, I ordered it and I might as well indulge when I could! When was the next chance I would have the courage to order cream sauce? This time, I didn't. I ate the other items on my plate and scraped off as much of the sauce as I wanted to so that I enjoyed the meal.
Maybe I don't actually LIKE Alfredo sauce any more. Maybe I just don't like pasta. Whatever it is, I know that if I want to try any sauce again, I can. I'll have another chance - so it's okay to pass up what I don't really want right now. I can always have it when I *do* want it.
Eat the meal you want. Eat what you truly want. If that's carrots and celery sticks, great! If it's a rich food, that's okay too...because if you're really tuning in to what your body needs and wants you won't always want the rich foods. You won't always fill up on cookies.
When you take away the label of "forbidden" on foods, it's amazing how much less I actually want them.
And it's freeing to realize that I can enjoy - truly enjoy - the food that I'm eating. I can focus on that, on the gratitude that I have for all of the steps that it took to make it, and on how full I am at the moment. I don't need to be judged by anyone else...OR by myself.
No matter what your eating plan is, you have the right to eat the way you want - all carbs, no carbs, no fat, all grapefruit. Whatever your plan is, you have the right to enjoy your holiday however you want. No excuses, no explaining, and no trying to convince others that it's the right way.
You have the right to eat the way you want to.
A liberating thought, no?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Just a quick reminder to enter in the review blog's sixth month to win $150 from BlogHer and Laughing Cow if you haven't already.
Contest ends on the 28th...so you don't have much time left!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Last Tuesday night, I was experiencing some HORRIBLE abdominal pain. After taking a narcotic and 800 mg of Advil, I was still writhing in pain and Joe and I were minutes away from going to the ER to find out what was wrong.
I had called my doctor earlier in the day with complaints of pain and he had his assistant call me back on Wednesday saying that pain is normal during this healing process...and that I shouldn't be alarmed. I told the assistant what I had to take to make the pain go away and she said that I should mention that to the doctor when I saw him next.
In the middle of all of this, the case manager has been frustrated and indicating that she would turn down my claim to extend the leave unless I had a "real clinical reason to extend it this time." I'm sorry... b!tch says WHAT? Right, because the multiple infections and open wounds have been just FUN and not clinical issues...
This past weekend, I was talking with Joe and I said that I just didn't get the feeling that people understood that something was seriously wrong. Sure, I had been on my period, but those weren't just normal cramps. I mean, I had broken out in a sweat and was panting it hurt so badly! I was crying and told him that I *knew* that I wasn't okay...and that I felt like people didn't get that or take me seriously...and that was so frustrating. Especially this past weekend, I felt the anxiety and depression creep back up on me...which was doubly frustrating because I thought that I was done with all this crap.
So yesterday, I came in and explained to my doctor that although I was feeling better, I felt like something was significantly wrong. He did a manual examination (hello, half his hand in my lady bits!) and then said that if it would make me feel better, I could get vaginal ultrasound.
Ah yes, vaginal ultrasounds always make a woman feel better - they're the gift that is truly memorable...perfect for Christmas, Valentine's Day, or even just to show that you're thinking about her.
So I get undressed again and while the tech is shoving this thing up my lady bits (which is still tender and healing) and then notes that I have an abnormally large cyst on my left ovary.
So probably that's what happened on Tuesday night - my cyst ruptured.
Truthfully, I felt good when she told me that that's what she was seeing - it means that the pain wasn't in my head and I felt vindicated that even though I've never had a cyst rupture before, I knew that something wasn't right in my body.
I've said it before, but this whole process helps me know that to be your own health advocate is a good thing. I'm glad that I'd been practicing being in tune with my body for months before the surgery - because I believe that that has helped me to be alerted when things have gone awry.
So what now? Well, I had to get up early to explain to my case manager (who seriously, sucks) that I would not be in for another week. Truthfully? I could've gone back to work today - I felt okay. Maybe I was a bit sore from yesterdays manipulations, but I feel okay. But the doctor said that I could take another week if I wanted it - and he encouraged me to try running and lifting and doing all the things that I had been doing for fun and enjoyment.
And...after bursting into tears for the umpteenth time yesterday (and for the third visit in a row), he offered me something he's offered the last two times. "Are you sure you don't need something to relax?"
The sleepless nights and racing heart for the last few weeks came into my mind. As did the almost constant worry.
So I took him up on his offer and went home with a prescription for 12 tiny little pills that I can take if things seem like too much on an as needed basis. I feel better having them in my arsenal of things that I can do to calm myself or take care of myself. I haven't taken one yet - and may never - but I feel so much better just for having access to them.
My eating has gone HORRIBLY down the tubes during the last week and a half. I was doing great up until then - but not so swell since then.
Today is a new day though - and for that, I'm thankful.
I feel validated, I feel proud, and I feel hopeful that the worst is (hopefully) behind me.
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 8:14 AM
Friday, December 10, 2010
Since I've battled eating issues most of my life, I feel like I know a lot about cravings. Sometimes I'd get the idea of something salty or sweet in my head and I couldn't get it out of my mind...my mouth would salivate at the thought of whatever I was jonesing for at that moment.
But yesterday, while in the car listening to some music that I usually run to, I realized that I am experiencing cravings of a whole other kind.
I want to run SO badly. I miss it more than I can tell you.
I'm not really sure that I've ever experienced this kind of desire for something that usually has been in my control. Sure, when I was single, I wanted a healthy relationship - sometimes so badly that I'd get depressed. And of course, I've wanted the stability of a job or promotion, or something equally as professionally oriented. Since all of these "wants" weren't solely in my control, I could usually release them a bit easier.
But me and my body? Well, that's usually been the one thing I *could* control.
This past weekend, Joe and I went out to eat to celebrate a friend's birthday. Although the evening was continuing for the rest of the guests at a bowling alley, we opted to leave and go to a movie instead. I'm sure I could get a ball that would be under 10 pounds (my post-surgical weight limit), but continually chucking that thing at the gutters (which is how I bowl), would undoubtedly take a toll on my body. So a movie it was. We had a great time and while we were on our way back to the car, another car was coming a bit quicker towards us than we had originally thought. We jogged a few steps and that's when my night of fun and frivolity had a reality check.
It's not just bowling that I can't do right now. It's jogging - even for a few steps. The pain that my abdomen felt just from jogging those few steps has remained in my head for the past week.
And I know...there is at least one person who reads this blog that can't run either - due to her physical limitations. So I probably shouldn't whine about this...I mean, someday I probably will be able to run again.
But right now I can't. I haven't been able to for over two months. And that makes me sad.
Yesterday I listened to a few songs on my iPod while driving down the road, I wanted to run so badly. I wanted to just check out - to get away from the pain, the limitations, and the frustrations that this surgery and it's healing (or lack thereof). When I was listening to the upbeat song that I love to run to, I could feel my heart pick up and my muscles wanting nothing more than a run. Akin to the way my mouth would salivate at the thought of Phish Food by Ben and Jerry's, my muscles were craving the release of the stress that I'd been bottling up. I want to move with intensity - walking doesn't come close to getting out the stress, worries, concerns, and fears I have.
When I run (okay, sometimes it's a limping jog), I tune out almost everything other than my breath, my stride, and obstacles in my path. I match my pace with the beat of the song and just concentrate on that...on the emotions that come up while listening to it. Because I'm not usually able to sing or talk at the same time as I run, I don't have to worry about striking up even pleasant conversation with someone else. I realize that I'm able bodied - the reassuring slap of my shoes on the ground tells me so. And even when I think that I can't possibly run another step, I do. After that, somehow my problems don't seem so all consuming, so insurmountable.
So when I say that I miss running, I mean it - my body and soul really misses the running.
Yesterday, I went ahead and bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred for the second time in my life. The first DVD was lost in an epic battle (2010's battle between Anne's DVD player and the 30 Day Shred DVD...the DVD player won). I know I can't lift the weights. And the jumping jacks probably aren't doable in their intended form. But I can do SOMETHING on it - even if only the dips and lunges.
It's sort of like settling for a sugar-free cocoa made with water when what you really crave is the full fat milk chocolate drink from your childhood. But maybe it'll take the edge of the craving until I can actually do something about it.
Until then, those of you who CAN run now, run a teeny tiny bit for me, will you?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but my grandmother liked me the least growing up - and she wasn't afraid to demonstrate that. She's said some very unkind things over the years - including things that reinforced the belief that when you're fat, no one will love you.
When my father asked her if she could remember the names of her grandchildren (she only has us three). She remembered the names of my two sisters but couldn't remember mine. Even when prompted, she said that she didn't know, shrugged her shoulders, and then burped.
Did that hurt? Okay, yeah. A little.
On Thanksgiving Day after a visit with her, my family started to walk to the elevator to leave for the night. My grandmother wanted to walk with us, so naturally, Gina was there too.
On the way to the elevator, we saw a little old lady with a walker looking lost. I smiled and waved (because sometimes people just want a little friendliness, you know? This also meant that I get older people to come up and pet my hair - which I'm not going to lie to you - is CREEPY).
She said, sweetly, "I don't know where I'm supposed to go. I don't know where I am."
I looked around and there were no aides to help her anywhere in sight. So I asked if she wanted to go back to her room. She said yes. I looked to Gina for help - asking if she knew where this lady's room was. Gina said, "Rosemary, your room is at the end of this hall. That's where you go."
She looked at me and I could tell that Gina's instructions didn't make much sense. So I offered to walk her to her room. My family was okay with waiting by the elevators.
Her face lit up, "You would really do that?"
"Well of course!" I said.
On the way to her room (with me checking each room placard for her name) we talked about whether she liked the place (she did, but some people were not very nice according to her) and what she did for fun. Once we got to her door, I asked her if that was her room or not.
"Well, yes it is. Oh. So you're sending us all to our rooms now?" She had such a sad and forlorn expression on her face. I felt bad.
"You don't have to go to your room right now. Would you like to watch TV instead?" I asked.
Her face immediately lit up. "Yes!" Then it got dim again. "I don't know where the TV is."
"That's okay - I'll walk you there." After all, the TV room is basically where she was when I found her - right next to the elevators. (facepalm!)
"Oh - you would do that for me? You are so nice!" And with that, we made the return trip down the long hallway towards the TV room/elevators. We made small talk once more. A few times she thanked me and told me how nice she thought I was. The thing is? She really meant it. Genuine gratitude is easy to spot.
"Are you married?" she asked me.
I'll be honest. I thought about saying yes, since it's just easier to explain than a boyfriend that I live with. But I'm not married. And I didn't want to lie to a little old lady - even though she's never going to remember this conversation. So I told her that I wasn't.
Her face lit up again and she said proudly, "I have two very handsome sons. You should meet one of them the next time you visit and if you hit it off, you could get married with my blessing."
Not knowing what else to say, I relied on a phrase that my family has been saying for ages when we need to stall: "Ah, well....there you go." It was said in the same tone as 'okee-dokee' or something of the like.
She stopped, leaned on her walker, looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, "No. There YOU go." As if to say, 'Lady, my sons are fantastic - you'll see.'
We got her situated in the TV room and I said good-bye and wished her a great night, I said goodbye to my grandmother once more, and then we were on our way home.
I've laughed quite a bit when I remember Rosemary and how sweet, trusting, truly thankful, and kind she was. My grandmother isn't quite as lucid as Rosemary was...so it was nice to be able to have a few conversations with someone who could remember the last thing they said.
And I guess during that conversation with Rosemary, I realized that all mothers or grandmothers want what's best for their kids or grandkids. Even mine.
Because the thing is, that unkind, harsh woman that I've known my grandmother to be? She's not that person anymore. Instead, the person that's left LOOKS like my grandmother, but acts like a sweet little kid. She smiles and hugs us. She offers us her secret candy stash, and her face shows every emotion she has just as clearly and unmasked as a two-year old would.
And how can I be mad at or resentful towards a two year old?
That night, I started to realize that to hang on to the bitterness and hurt from my childhood only hurts me. She can't remember it and what's more, she never will.
Somehow spending time with Rosemary helped me see how childlike these people really are. And in the same way that I don't hold Rosemary to the promise that she would marry me off to her sons (who, let's face it, probably are already married with kids of their own), I can't exactly hold my grandmother accountable for decades of hurt. Perhaps there was a time that I could've and should've told her about the hurt that she's caused me. But that time has passed.
I guess what I mean is that I can choose to hang on to the messages that I grew up with or I can release them.
On this past Thanksgiving Day, I was thankful for new chances, fresh starts, and forgiveness. I felt lighter and more at peace after visiting that center than what I had in awhile.
I think it's starting to sink in that if I can forgive my grandmother for all the angst that she put me through, maybe I can forgive myself for all the pain and angst that I've put myself through.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Guess what today is?
It's the launch of the LAST MONTH of Laughing Cow/BlogHer's monthly contest.
That's right - this is the last month you can enter to win a $150 gift card for the low, low price of a comment.
Click on over to my review blog (which has been loading slowly this morning - so have patience!) to read about my plans on how I'm going to manage the barrage of treats this holiday season.
I can't wait to read your tips as well!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
What feels like a million years ago, I signed up for the Hot 100 Challenge. It started 100 days out from the end of the year - and the idea was to make the most of the last 100 days of 2010. Pick a few goals and meet them.
It sounded like a great idea. But a few days after signing up for the challenge, I found out that I needed surgery. And then, I found that running (my favorite way to burn energy) aggravated the uterine fibroid. I think after that, I just sort of quit. I put myself on hold and felt like I would tackle all the "hard stuff" after I was through surgery.
The last five weeks, I've been struggling to heal. In fact, sometimes, I can't believe it's been five weeks. Five LONG weeks of me whining. :)
Monday, I saw my OB and he said that I was a few days from healing up completely. Since last Tuesday when I wrote my "craptastic" post, my body has been healing in super mode. I didn't want to mention it (for fear of jinxing it somehow), but it's been amazing to see the progress. And today? I'm still not healed, but I'm SO CLOSE. So close, that I actually have been able to stop taping up my body and have been able to live life in a more normal way.
I also was prescribed antibiotics (again) but this time for a sinus infection. Yesterday was the first day since the surgery that I actually started feeling more like the old me.
Know what I found? I found that I'm the same exact size I was 5 weeks ago. I weigh close to the same amount. The only thing that's changed is that my hair is longer. Seriously. Everything else is pretty much the same.
So while I don't have 100 days left in 2010, I do have 31 days left. 31 days to make the most of this last year.
My new goals? They're not much different than what they were 70 days ago.
- I want to take care of my skin - washing my face each night.
- I want to continue to learn new things - I'll do this by watching educational shows and reading books. I want to become more aware of where our food comes from and how to make better choices with food and exercise.
- I want to run. I originally wanted to run my first 10K, but after having not run in 8 weeks or so, that's probably not gonna happen. My new goal is to just enjoy running again. I want to be able to get back to where I was at the beginning of September - running a 5K without stopping.
- I want to continue to practice gentleness with myself. I want to start being kind to myself when I look at it in the mirror. My abdomen is bigger than what it's been in a while (probably due a bit to surgery, but more to the lack of cardio and not the best food choices), although I'm not sure that it's not all in my head. Even if it hasn't changed much since the surgery, I want the circumference of my waist to change, but I need to not have hatred at my reflection be the first thing on my mind.
- I want to be lighter. Originally, I wanted to be in the lower range of weight. I'm still in the 200's but I want the tens digit to be one less than what it has been for months. That'd be 9 pounds right now. And while 9 pounds in a month is doable, it's not very practical. So, I'd like to be as close to the next digit down as possible.
Maybe it's these new antibiotics. Maybe it's the fact that I can now move without searing pain. Maybe it's that I'm not living in fear that my wound won't ever close up. Whatever it is, I'm happy to be living live with more vitality and umph. I'm glad I'm back to feeling better and more optimistic about my choices. I can't tell you how good it feels.
I'm off to get caught up on some of your blogs! YAY! :)
Written by Happy Fun Pants at 11:16 AM