Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Start

Is it just me or is breaking free of emotional eating habits hard?

Last Thursday, I started obsessing about having a blizzard from DQ. I knew Joe was going to work late. I knew that the type I liked is only made at a select few places. And I knew that I had 3 hours left in my work day before I could leave to go get one.

By the time my normal quit time came around, I was practically salivating.

I started the 20 minute drive in traffic, and I was really looking forward to that first bite. I was picturing myself ordering it/them (maybe I wanted two small blizzards?). I was envisioning how the crunchy bits would soothe just as much as the creamy parts.

The windows we down in my car, the sun was shining, the music station I love was on. I was going to get a fix. Life didn't seem like it could get better.

And then I realized that I really liked the song on the radio. It had a great beat. I turned up the radio.

I realized I really loved that song and before I could really think about it, I realized that I wanted to move to the song. "This would be a great song to run to." I thought.

Crap. Just like that, my fixation on the fix lessened. And with just a few minutes left to get to the DQ, I exited and turned my car around.

I went home.

I changed into my running clothes.

And dammit, I ran. I completed a 5K. I walked a lot of it. But I did it.

I'm not going to lie to you, there were parts of that run, where I wished I would've enjoyed the blizzard instead. For those that run, it was just a bad one. I couldn't get my breathing or my stride right. It wasn't particularly enjoyable. But I did it.

I've been thinking about why my desire to have the blizzard was so strong. Why did it seem like nothing else would do?

And while I may not have the whole answer, I believe I have an idea.

I fixated on something for three hours. I fixated on every aspect of that something. What would happen beforehand, what would happen during, and what would happen after. That's some powerful visualization right there, no?

I challenge you to think of anything comforting or pleasurable for hours, and see if you're not all excited to have whatever that is with enthusiasm. I think that's why sexy teasing in the morning before work equals hot passionate sex after work.

It made me aware that what you focus on really has a huge impact. And how monitoring my thoughts matter me farther than I ever was really aware.

So instead of fixating on whatever you current comfort food is, perhaps it's time to ask ourselves what we really want. A reward after a long day? A break from thinking? A chance to zone out? The comfort of something flooding our senses? And then think of another way to satisfy that need in a healthy way.

Lately, for me that's been coming home and cocooning myself in fluffy blankets while having a cup of tea.

It may not be enough of a change to help me lose 60 pounds, but it's a start.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Classical Gas

Writing the last post was kind of tough for me.  Well, actually it was hitting the "publish" button that was difficult.

See, I knew that weight had been creeping up.  I knew that I didn't feel as good, physically, as I wished I was.  And I knew that I didn't really want to post about it.

And putting a number to my weight gain?  Eesh.

The thing is, after hitting "publish" I felt a bit freer.  A bit better.  And in that moment, I decided to do more things that made me feel better.

For starters, I called a local large breed volunteer group that I have helped in the past and asked if there were any dogs being boarded (rather than in foster homes) that I could love on and take for a walk.  They replied back with a huge "YES!" and Sunday I walked my first big dog since Chassis.

His name is Guinness and he's a HUGE 11 month old Newfoundland puppy.  Who is not good on a leash, but makes up for it by pulling hard in any direction he's headed.  Armed with some treats, I attempted to help teach him better manners.  And then I loved on him like crazy.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for huge, adorable puppy eyes.  I'm not sure who got the better work-out that day, but I was a bit sore that night.

But, oh, was I happy.

Being out in the sunshine has a profound effect on me and my mood.  I hope I remember that next time my mood drops lower.

Last night I set my alarm for an earlier time setting than when I have to get see if the urge to run would hit me when it went off.  To be honest, I've done this probably 7 times in the last two weeks and have never actually gotten up any earlier.  Could I have?  Sure.  Were there one or two times when I was awake enough to go?  Sure.

But I've been scared.

This morning I had a nightmare about my younger sister's wedding and ended up waking up right before the alarm went off.  So when it went off, I didn't have much of an excuse.  I hit the snooze anyway.

And when the snooze alarm went off, I took inventory.  I realized that I was, indeed, fully awake.  I realized that I was afraid of running.  I realized that I didn't want to force myself to run on the treadmill.  So I decided to check the weather and see if it was okay to go outside.  The weather was 42 degrees...the perfect running temperature.

So with that, I got up, got dressed and went heart pounding almost every step from dread.

If you look verrrry closely you'll see Joe and me :)
But the funniest thing happened.  When I walked outside and took a deep breath, I remembered what it felt like to get out in the morning.

I set up my iPod on random and started walking.  I walked by our city's most awesome art sculpture (in my opinion), the Big Blue Bear.

"Classical Gas" by Mason Williams came on and I ran.

I ran for the next two songs, then walked for one and a half, and then ran the last one.

My pace?  Mostly runningish.

It felt good to move my body.  It felt good to get some stress out.  It felt good to do something I chose to do.

It felt good to overcome a fear.

And *that* is what I've done today to make me feel proud.

Friday, April 15, 2011

History In The Making

I couldn't deal with not having the ability to blog during the day or what is turning into being multiple business trips without taking along another laptop so... I decided to get a new iPad!! So this is the first blog post that I'm writing via my iPad through an app called blogsy. Not sure yet how well it will work, but it's worth a shot - especially since I can't blog via because they insist on using flash and the iPad doesn't support that.

So, lets start off by recapping last week's events, shall we?

My sister did indeed get married. And my grandmother died while they were exchanging their vows. No kidding.

The thing is she was in hospice in Chicago so it wasn't a complete surprise, but it was horrible that it happened when it did. I know my dad wished he could've been there. And it was tough because no one wanted to tell my younger sister that she died. Instead, all of us slapped a smile on our faces, indulged in the distraction of our choice, and kept the secret from her. My family is great at that sort of thing - keeping secrets and indulging in distractions. Mine was the cheese plate.

My younger sister found out the next day and I spend hours consoling her via the phone - which was similar to the hours I spent consoling my older sister and father the day before.

I have got to get a good support system of my own.

Joe was great at the wedding and was such a huge help - both to my and my family - as evidenced by his last minute trip to go back to my mom's home to get the alcohol that they left at home 30 minutes before the wedding started. He's a trooper.

He even started saying things like "our wedding will be much better planned." To me, that meant that he was actually thinking about OUR wedding. To him, he was remarking about the poor planning. It was rhetorical. I found that out at last night's therapy session. To say I'm let down and disappointed is a huge understatement.

What has become clear in the thousands of pictures floating around my family's Facebook pages is that I have gained a lot of weight.

In fact, over the last year, I've gained between 25 and 30 pounds.

There. I wrote it.


A part of me is so frustrated and disappointed in ME. A part of me is reminding myself of all the stress I've had in the last year. A part of me doesn't think that's an excuse at all. A part of me is completely petrified of comments saying "I told you so." A part of me wants to tell those people to go f&ck themselves.

But more than that, I know I should do something about it. I just feel so far away from the success I had last year. I feel like a failure. I've been acting like one.


So what do I do now?

Well, the first step is to decide if I really want to do anything about it or not. Some days I'm not sure.

Of course I want to be thinner. Of course I want to be healthier. But I don't want to do the work some days.

Here's what I do know, I want to enjoy life more than what I do now. I want to have more energy. I want to get out in the sunshine more often. I want to do things for me again. I want to turn off the tv more. I want to have pride in my looks again.

I want to enjoy MY life and myself more.

I think that if that is truly my goal, I can find ways to do that. Maybe it isn't running right now. Maybe it's taking a pottery class and getting out there more; finding a way to take pride in myself and my abilities. Maybe it's trying a yoga class. Maybe it's walking in the sunshine at the park nearest my work on way home one day.

Somehow, in the midst of surgeries, weddings, deaths, changing jobs, and waiting for boyfriends to come around, I've lost ME.

It's about time I find myself again. Honoring my true self probably means I'll be happier and I bet that when I start finding myself again, I'll find that I don't need the food to push down my unhappiness.

Or at least, that's my hope.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Serenity now!!

One thing I know for sure: there is no dignified way to get into Spanx.

I'm in El Paso, Texas getting ready for my younger sister's wedding. The wedding is actually on Saturday but most of us flew in town last night. Truthfully, I'm just kind of looking forward to getting this over with. It's going to be a whirlwind of chaos for the next few days and I'm just going to endure it.

I had an interesting conversation with my best friend prior to coming here. She encouraged me to think about what would make this trip a in, this trip will be a success if_________.

Here's what I've come up with so far to fill in the blanks:
* no one goes to jail for killing someone else in my family. Tensions run high in these times is all I'm saying.
* I get to dance with Joe at the wedding.
* I get coffee every morning.
* I choose to work in some me time every day just to concentrate on breathing and attempt to center myself.

So, I'm working on it.

In other news, Joe and I have made some huge progress with our therapy. He's really trying to be and do better and with the stress that I've been faced with during the last few weeks, he's been a rock to lean on. Intimacy is coming back and the trust is coming with it.

The bad news? My bridesmaid's dress is tighter than I'd like it to be in the bust area. And I now have a big enough tummy to make people wonder if I'm pregnant. Or at least, that's how I feel I look.

The good news? No one will be concentrating on me and pictures of us in the wedding will likely be from the shoulders up - at least the ones displayed in my mom's house.

I'm hanging in there...and am trying to maintain sanity and serenity. With all the drama from this morning (and it's not even 10 AM yet), that's a pretty big success as it is.