Monday, December 31, 2007

To Resolve or Not to Resolve....

I checked out last year's December and January entries and it appears that I made no New Year's resolutions last year. I think this year I will resolve to complete more of the items on my life list. I'm making pretty good headway so far:

interview my kids for a scrapbook page -- I have interviewed C, but not yet R

make gifts in a jar for bus drivers/teachers, etc for Christmas -- done! It was fairly simple -- it took me about 1 1/2 hours to fill 12 jars, cut out the fabric to cover the tops, & cut the yarn out and tie on the directions. I printed out the directions and mounted them on scrapbook paper the night before, so that would probably add on another 30 minutes. I have already decided that I will double or triple the number I make next year and skip making goodies for other people. After spending 12 hours in the kitchen one day and five or so the next, baking had lost all appeal. Next year I'll make a few things for our family, but give the cookie mixes to others. I think receiving a cookie mix in a jar is nicer than receiving cookies anyway. Then you can make the cookies at your convenience.

institute a yearly "girly day" with each daughter -- get manicures, pedicures, eat out, shop, etc -- done! And fun! Less activity packed next time though -- it was exhausting.

institute family movie night -- so far we've had four of them. T pops popcorn, I make hot chocolate for the girls & tea for me, and we've taken turns choosing the movie. None of them have been truly awful so far, though T and I both fell asleep during "Underdog". We've also watched "The Shaggy Dog" (the original, not the Tim Whats-his-Name version), "Flubber" (also the original -- who doesn't love Fred MacMurray?), and "Miracle on 34th Street" (not the original because I can't stand it and I like to drool over Dylan McDermott in the newer version).

make a shadow box of dh's work awards --done! For one of his Christmas gifts, I made a shadow box of all of his 5K race medals, along with one of his race numbers and some pictures of his team. I made a second shadow box with the life-saving medals he won, the actual paper award, and the letter describing what he did to win it. I hung it on the wall and on each side hung eight 8x10 framed photos of him taken at work (one with President Ford, one with Dick Cheney, one with Karen Hughes, one with his motorcycle unit, etc.) The girls and I covered the whole display with some long sheets of paper decorated by them. On Christmas Day we took down the paper. He was quite pleased.

get rid of Aunt L's china -- done! Woo hoo! I packed up four boxes of china and took them to my Aunt Sue, who has a dish addiction. She has several complete sets of dishes. She was thrilled to have them. I had enough room to display my satin glass collection in the china cabinet. Yea!

find some type of volunteer work to do with the whole family -- not for the whole family, but I am going to mentor a middle school student once a week, starting in January and continuing until he or she graduates high school.

hang pictures -- I started this past week. I hung the two shadow boxes and the eight pics for dh, repaired and hung the shadow box that has our wedding flowers, program, etc in it, hung a crucifix in our bedroom, and hung a few pictures in the girls' room. I'm on a roll now!

have gas fire installed in fireplace -- er, well, I called about the price, but it will be at least next fall before this happens!

go to Walt Disney World with the family -- we leave Feb 13 for six days. T is feeling less than enthusiastic about the trip, so I hope it is a good experience for us. It's the most expensive vacation we've ever taken - more than 10 days in England cost us!

make a shadow box with dh's running stuff -- done-- see above

take yoga -- I signed up with a local studio to take classes on Thursday nights starting next week. I was disappointed that the Tai Chi class I wanted to take on Wednesday mornings is at 11, not 10am. It ends at noon and I have to be at work at 11:45am. Oh well -- maybe in the fall.

find someone to give me bowling tips -- haven't done this yet, but I bowled over my (admittedly horrible 69) average all three games yesterday. I only got 2 or 3 gutter balls too.

celebrate half birthdays -- we started doing this a couple of years ago and the girls love it. We have half a cake, put half the number of candles on, and have a treasure hunt for a small gift. This year I remembered to do T's and the girls loved writing the clues for the hunt. He was pleasantly surprised too.

have a yearly "family day"-- we did this two years ago, but somehow never got around to it last year. Two years ago we stayed home the whole day, ate meals chosen by the girls (this somehow involved lots of cooking on my part), and took turns choosing activities for the whole family to do together. I remember we played games, but I don't recall much beyond that. The girls were thrilled with it, though.

So, a good start. This is what remains...rather daunting, but I suppose it is a LIFE list, not a list for 2008.

take a cruise
interview my kids for a scrapbook page
plant a flower bed in the front yard
make peace with my size/weight
take photos of family heirlooms and ask dad about where they came from
have central vac system installed
make A&P a wedding scrapbook
visit Pompeii, Rome, Venice, and Tuscany
become a "normal" eater
take a photo every single day in 2008
plant lily of the valley in the backyard
sort recipes and discard at least half of them
reorganize my linen closet
sort my clothing and take everything out of my closet that doesn't fit or look good on me
buy some gorgeous clothing that DOES look good -- make that great -- on me
find some type of volunteer work to do with the whole family
hang pictures
decide on paint colors for the walls
get a professional photo taken of me and the girls for dh
have gas fire installed in fireplace
drive from coast to coast on a leisurely trip
take golfing lessons
find someone to give me bowling tips
start a blog or myspace page for the extended family
have a gingerbread house decorating party with neighbors and their children
host a neighborhood easter egg hunt
get rid of uncomfortable shoes and never buy any again!
attend an occasion for which I have an excuse to buy a floor-length cocktail dress/ball gown
institute an every other month craft day with the girls

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Seven (More) Random Things (Sort of) About Me, Part 2

Mmmm...this is my new favorite vegetable salad. I made it for Christmas Eve dinner and it was delicious. Hardly anyone ate any, which was fine with me. I ate the leftovers for the next four days. Recipe follows:

Colorful Vegetable Salad -- serves 20, about 90 calories each

6 cups broccoli florets
6 cups cauliflowerets
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
½ large red onion, sliced
2 (2.25 oz) cans sliced ripe olives
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
2/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup vinegar

In a large bowl, toss the veggies. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing mix, oil, and vinegar; shake well. Pour over salad and toss. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

This fireplace was one of the things I loved about this house when we looked at it for the first time. We’ve never actually used it; I hate cleaning out ashes. It’s all ready for a gas log, but when I called about getting one I found out they cost $600-$800 for nice one! Holy cow – it will have to wait until next year. I think it would be lovely to sit in front of a fire and snuggle, though I’m sure the idea is far more cozy than the reality.

I looked forever to find something to go above the fireplace. I really wanted a wreath, but couldn’t find one that was perfect. Last year at a craft show I saw this eucalyptus wreath and snagged it. T said it smelled like pee. I have to admit he was right, but the smell disappeared after a few months.

The books in front of the fireplace are all Christmas picture books I’ve gotten for the girls over the years. They get packed away with the decorations and only hang out in the living room in December.

For my final "thing"...I have nothing to say. Um...well, I used to wear pantyhose under my jeans (and used to IRON my jeans!) but I now despise panty hose and avoid wearing dresses so I never have to wear it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Seven (More) Random Things (Sort of) About Me, Part 1

Here are my random things, as tagged by Isabelle. They aren't necessarily about me, as I am so boring I can't really think of anything I haven't already written in the last two taggings.

Here are my fabulous new Ugg slippers, courtesy of Santa Claus. They are so warm and cozy, yet my feet don't get sweaty in them. I'm still rather shamefaced that I spent $80 on a pair of slippers, but the LL Bean pair I spent about $50 on last Christmas fell apart after 11 months. Hopefully these will last a few years.

Here is our new(ish) bed linen. We had a mint green bedspread for years and years and no bed skirt at all. After we moved into our current house, the color clashed with the border in our bedroom and I was rather tired of it anyway. I splurged on the comforter, bedskirt, pillow shams, decorative pillow, 2 valances for the windows, AND 2 pair of sheets. One set of sheets is gold to match the bedskirt and one is the red color in the comforter. That comforter is REALLY warm. We keep our heat at 58 degrees at night and in past winters have had two blankets plus flannel pjs to stay warm. This winter we have only one blanket and if I wear my flannel pjs I wake up roasting in the middle of

the night.

These two pieces are in my collection of satin glass. My parents used to collect and sell antique glassware when I was a kid. We'd go to Shipshewana, Indiana on weekends to set tables at the flea market there. We kids loved to go -- no chores for the weekend -- and we could usually cajole my dad into buying us ice cream. It was the only time we'd get to eat stuff like Chicken in a Biscuit crackers too. Anyway, I always loved the satin glass pieces they had and when I was 18 I bought the blue vase on the right from them to start a collection. They bought pieces for me over the years and I have about 15 various vases, bowls, candlestick holders, etc. It's called satin glass because it feels like satin to the touch...very smooth.

Here are my two wee babes, amid the carnage of Christmas morning. I always loved Christmas. Now that I'm a mom who works full time, I'm in awe of my mom. Somehow she managed to work full time (nights, no less), but still made an entire gingerbread village from scratch for us to decorate every year, baked several kinds of special cookies for the family, cooked a really large dinner on Christmas, complete with fancy china, polished silver, and the like, and I'm pretty sure she bought and wrapped just about everything we kids got for Christmas.
Okay, this wraps up part one because my 5-year-old needs me to put away whatever toy she's playing with and get out something else (for the 99th time today).

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

I took a couple of days off last week to shop, wrap, write cards, etc. Having C come home at noon really cuts into the day though, and I wasn't quite as productive as I'd planned. Today is my last day of work until December 27 and I'm looking forward to having several days off. Tomorrow I have to make 24 cookie mixes in a jar, finish the Christmas letter and cards, and bake. That won't be too restful! I'm going to have to take special care not to eat out of resentment, being tired, etc.

We went to Frankenmuth last Saturday with T's brother and family. Visiting Bronner's was a very surreal experience. I'm pretty sure I've never seen that many ornaments in one place before. We ate at Zehnder's, which is a mecca for people who like to eat a LOT. Holy cow -- the buffet was gigantic. I didn't order it because I knew there was no way I'd eat $20 in food. I only ate half of the $10 chicken dinner I did order. Buffets have an ick factor for me anyway -- lukewarm bland food with serving utensils touched by lots of unwashed hands. Ewww. The bakery at Zehnder's was filled with lucious looking cakes, cookies, and the like, but I resisted buying anything. I was full, even with half a lunch, until about 8pm. We visited the Mirror Maze, which the kids loved. It made me nauseated, but it was fun for a while.

My eating has been okay. I had one mini-binge episode last night when I ate about 9 graham crackers, but other than that I've talked myself out of any urges since a week ago Sunday (when I had the carrot cake pig out). Last Friday was HARD -- I just wanted to binge from dawn til dusk. I realized that I really just had a terrible headache and eating definitely wasn't going to help. Late afternoon I had a strong urge, but I knew T and I were going out to dinner and I wanted to be hungry for it, so I just had a snack. I feel hopeful that it's getting easier to resist the urge to eat when I'm not hungry. I made cinnamon rolls on Sunday and I ate one, along with an egg. I wanted more, but I was full. I just told myself that I could eat another one whenever I wanted. I still wanted to eat it, but not so much that I overruled my desire to be normal. My coworkers have been bringing in wave after wave of goodies. I've been doing some impulsive eating -- just because it's there and looks so delicious -- but not stuffing myself or anything. I've been having back-and-forth diet thoughts, but so far I haven't been able to summon any real enthusiasm for trying to lose weight. I've been eating really small meals -- one piece of pizza for dinner last night, and only half my dinner when we've gone out -- but the grazing on goodies probably makes up for that.

I had an odd experience last week when I fell on the ice in the driveway. I heard a loud crunch in my knee, but rather than doing any damage I think I actually broke some scar tissue. It seems to me that my knee bends a bit farther than it used to. How weird is that?!? Weird, but kind of good.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend Report

Isabelle tagged me to write 7 random things about myself. I'll get to that later in the week.

We took our girls to hear the Pops Holiday Concert on Saturday, which was lovely. It would have been lovelier had my five-year-old not gotten restless near the end. Somehow the Hallelujah chorus isn't quite as beautiful when listening to "Can we go?" at the same time. She greatly enjoyed the guest pianist, Sam Stryke, however. Every time he played she sat straight up and watched him. He was very talented and I put his Christmas CD on my wish list.

After the symphony, T and I went to a Christmas party. It was a potluck and I didn't overeat -- yeah. I probably ate too much dessert, but barely ate any dinner, so perhaps it evened out. We had a "white elephant" gift exchange, which involved much laughter. I actually came home with a very nice cookbook stand shaped like a music stand. T and I won the Christmas trivia game and so we also came home with an advent calendar filled with chocolate truffles.

Yesterday T's nephew was baptized and we spent most of the day at my inlaw's house, chatting with various relatives and relaxing. I hardly ate any lunch, but managed to eat three cookies, along with four or five pieces of carrot cake. Ick. I didn't get hungry again until 9:30pm, while we were watching the movie "Live Free or Die Hard", which is the very definition of the word far-fetched. I still enjoyed it though -- I like Bruce Willis in that role. I ate a bowl of cereal and called it good. I wasn't too hungry most of today either. Carrot cake must be pretty darn filling. Ay yi yi.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still Clearing Emotional Blocks

I meant to go back and write more yesterday, but somehow after I got home my free time evaporated in a haze of cooking, trying to fill out dental claim forms, and reading to my girls. I'm pretty sure dental claim forms were invented by Satan.

I've still been listening to the Clearing Emotional Blocks CD every night, though I don't know that I've made it through the whole half hour recording more than twice without dozing off. I think it's helping me feel calmer on a daily basis, though it could be coincidence. I don't want to jinx myself, but I haven't had a binge or even much of an urge to binge for at least a couple of weeks. I have overeaten a few times, but haven't even done much of that.

Of course, my thoughts have turned to "....maybe I could lose some weight...", especially because I think I've actually GAINED weight in spite of daily exercise and not overeating. I haven't weighed myself, but the pants that were quite loose on me two months ago are now tight. I really don't understand it. I've been resisting the urge to track my food intake because I KNOW that makes me crazy, but I really don't feel as though I'm eating too much. I've been cooking mostly from my "healthy" cookbooks and eating small portions. Maybe it's the 1/2 cup of lowfat egg nog here and extra creamer in my coffee there type of thing-- I know "they" say it doesn't take very many extra calories on a daily basis to put on weight. I'm trying hard to resist to urge to return to my fair weather friend and track my calories. I've been obsessing far less on food these days, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Feeling Emotional...or Not

I have been reading the book Gaining by Aimee Liu, which is about anorexic women who've recovered -- what they have in common, their experiences during and after being anorexic, etc. It's really quite interesting, and I share a lot of traits with the women, though I've never been anorexic. One of the things she describes is holding in emotions. I remember being very prone to tears when I was younger; I'd burst into tears at the slightest hint of criticism or anger directed toward me. My boyfriend used to accuse me of manufacturing tears for sympathy during our fights, but that was just the way I was wired. Something has changed over the years and I very rarely cry these days.

Even the feeling of wanting to cry is rare. When my mom died, I started crying a couple of times, but I didn't ever have a nice, long cry. I wish I could. I asked my husband if he though it odd that I don't cry. He didn't seem to think much of it, but I wonder at my habit of holding my emotions so tightly in check. I purposely avoid sad movies and books, when I used to love watching things like Beaches or Terms of Endearment. I haven't been able to bring myself to read Water for Elephants or any of the recent bestsellers that seem as though they'd be sad. Hmmm..maybe what I really need is to START watching sappy movies and reading sad books!

More later...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Clearing Emotional Blocks -- and a Thanksgiving Report

After reading about Melissa's neat experience with it, I ordered the "Clearing Emotional Blocks" CD from Jennifer Polle's website a couple of weeks ago. I've been listening to it for about 10 days now -- every night as I fall asleep. I'm not sure I've actually made it through the whole CD more than once without dozing off, but she has a lovely soothing voice. Maybe my subconscious is absorbing lots of good affirmations. I have felt happier and more relaxed lately. After a month of listening to it, I'll try listening to her CD on intuitive eating.

Thanksgiving weekend was fairly relaxing. On thanksgiving, I didn't overeat at all. I ate quite small portions of the foods I like, skipped those I don't, and had two small pieces of the desserts. When I started feeling restless and cruising by the cheesecake, I excused myself and walked home (about 2.5 miles). I spent a nice 1.5 hours all alone at home...ahhhh.

I got to see my brother and his family on Friday (they live in Seattle, so I only see them a couple of times a year), which was lovely. Friday night we went to T's mom's family Christmas party, held early so all of the cousins could be there. I ate a few too many cookies out of boredom, but otherwise coped well with the giant bunch o'relatives. T's cousin P and family had just moved into the house where the party was held and WHOA! It was a 4300 square foot monstrosity. At least half of the rooms were totally empty and P mentioned several times to T that their mortgage was $2300 a month and they could barely pay their bills. We kind of wondered why on earth they bought it, but it seems they hope it will be a good investment. Apparently it sold for $400,000 a couple of years ago and they got it for just over $300,000. I am quite jealous of the size of their kitchen, but I'm not sure I'd want to be that house poor.

Saturday, I went shopping at 6am and loaded up with most of the gifts I needed. I really have only a few more things to buy. In the afternoon, we saw a local ballet (Night Before Christmas) with the kids. I was very sleepy; I'm pretty sure I dozed off during the snow and ice scene. Oh well, the girls loved it. Yesterday I worked and then a cousin of T's and family (who came from Virginia for the holiday) came over so the kids could play together. I had only one piece of pizza -- along with C's crust. I sure WANTED another piece -- it was chicken parmesan pizza and was really yummy -- but I refrained because I just wasn't hungry anymore.

Monday, November 19, 2007

One of Those Moments You Treasure

My little R is so funny sometimes. I called on Saturday night to say goodnight to everyone and she got on the phone, gushing "Mom! I had such a great day! We had so much fun! It was like one of those moments you just treasure with your family because everyone is laughing and having SUCH a good time!" The good time she was talking about was helping T rake leaves and then jumping on the trampoline with him. It doesn't take much to give a 10-year-old a "moment to treasure", does it? After I got home I commented, "I'm so tired", and R said, "Yeah -- I'd be tired too if I spent two days sitting around all day". I replied, "It wasn't the sitting -- it was the lack of sleep". She gave me a wry look and asked, "Haven't you ever heard of sarcasm, mom?"

My weekend was a lot of fun, in spite of two very sleepless nights spent listening to two very loud snorers. My dh's aunt and her friends came at the last minute and we laughed and laughed all weekend. I ate very consciously at meals, leaving behind a lot of food because it just wasn't that great. Saturday night I got hungry a few hours after dinner and ate entirely too much junk food, but not so much that I felt sick or felt as though I'd binged. I just grazed for a few hours on stuff I didn't really need. It was a definite improvement over last year.

There was one woman there who reminded me of the me I don't want to be ever again. She cruised by the snack table many times, commenting on the abundance of food but never taking anything, while guzzling diet Coke. She went for a run on Saturday and went out for walks several times during the weekend. In years past I went to bed early to avoid eating, got up early to walk several miles before breakfast, and took walks after every meal. I missed a lot of scrapbooking and socializing. You know, there's a time and a place for exercise -- this morning I hopped on the elliptical after walking the dog -- but I'm not sure a scrapbooking weekend is the time and least it's not for me (anymore).

I was quite happy when I arrived home to find that T and the girls had raked leaves, cleaned the house, washed everyone's bed linen, and done laundry! At bowling I finished above my average and my last game was a 106. It was a good weekend all around.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Learning From the Past

It is time, once again, for my annual scrapbooking weekend. As you probably do not recall (but I unfortunately recall all too well), last year's weekend started off well but spiraled into feeling sick and crummy after trying to supplant sleep with food. This year will be different! I solemnly swear that I will:
  • not overeat at meals
  • not mindlessly munch on the copious offerings on the groaning table of snacks that is readily available 24 hours a day
  • go to bed when I'm tired, even if it is only 9pm and I have only finished 3 pages since lunch
  • take a nap on Saturday if I need to
  • get up and go outside for a walk if I am restless and/or bored

I want this weekend to be FUN, as it used to be for me. I started going many years ago, and though it has always been somewhat stressful for me as far as food goes (because of the above-mentioned snacks, as well as not being in control of what was served us at mealtime), I almost always had a great time. Last year I felt rather miserable over my overeating and left right after breakfast on Sunday. This year I will relax, enjoy myself, and not leave until I HAVE to. I'll let you know on Monday how it went.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Can't Skip

Most of the time I think I am pretty okay with how I healed after my bicycling accident. I try to feel fortunate that I didn't lose my leg or die of a massive infection in the hospital. I can walk, bike, climb steps (albeit with help from the railing most of the time), and I don't have a permanent limp. However, I think I had convinced myself that the doctor was wrong when he told me I should never, ever again run, hop, skip, jump, do aerobics, or even climb steep hills. I figured, you know, after a year or so I'd be able to do aerobics again if I really wanted to. Okay, I shouldn't, but I'd be ABLE to. I often came up with scenarios in my head...a child molester is trying to drag my child into a car, a psycho is stalking me in the dark when I'm walking the dog. my dd runs into the road in front of a those situations, SURELY I'd be able to run and save myself or my loved one. Not so much. It's been 18 months since I stopped using a cane and I can't do any of it. They will find my body in the woods because I could only quickly walk away from the stalking psycho.

C and I were out walking the dog and the sunshine was gorgeous, the air was warm, and I was happy. It was the kind of day that makes you feel like skipping. I asked C, "Can you skip?" and she couldn't. She didn't quite know what skipping was and instead was galloping down the road. I said, "Like this" -- and skipped. And almost fell down when my knee buckled. Wow -- I thought it was a fluke and tried again. And almost fell on my face again. I feel so disappointed. I know in the grand scheme of things, it's idiotic for me to feel so devastated over this. I feel deeply mournful that I will never be quite whole again. I'm embarrassed about my feelings, but still sad. Of course, I immediately blamed myself...if I weighed 40 lbs less, maybe I could still skip.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Dealing With the Feelings

Here I am with my little cutie C on the day of her "friend" birthday party last month. She rarely smiles naturally in a photo -- either has the "deer in the headlights" look or has her mouth wide open.

Have you ever noticed that people give you more c0mpliments on your appearance when you're "skinny" as opposed to when you're "fat"? When R and I had our shopping trip last weekend, I bought some new pants, jeans, and tops. I felt a tad sad that I had to buy size 12 jeans and size XL in a couple of the tops. I haven't worn a size 12 since I was 18 years old. I didn't feel thrilled with the way anything looked on me, but I was satisfied with my purchases and went off to work on Tuesday and Wednesday in two of my new outfits, feeling pretty spiffy. Not one single coworker complimented me or even commented on my new duds. As I recall, when I was a size 6, pretty much everything I wore was cause for a compliment. Truly, I'm not exaggerating.

Last night my dh announced after dinner that he was going off to play basketball. I felt rather annoyed because we had just heard that R was going to have a friend stay overnight tonight and if he went to play basketball he wouldn't have time to do the dishes before said friend came over. I despise having the counters covered with dirty dishes. I don't even like small appliances on the counters to be honest. I'm a minimalist. After he left, C immediately had a breakdown and started crying about every little thing, which is incredibly nerve-wracking. I finally sent her up to get ready for bed and started doing the dishes, feeling crabby. All I could think about was eating some of the Chips Ahoy that were in the cupboard. I kept telling myself that I wasn't hungry, wasn't hungry, wasn't hungry. It wasn't working, wasn't working, wasn't working. I finished the dishes and stood in the center of the kitchen, feeling angry and frustrated. I was feeling angry and frustrated. Feeling. I didn't want cookies. I just wanted distraction from my feelings. I went upstairs and just dealt with it. I dealt with it by just feeling it. You know what? It passed. By the time I got into bed, I felt calm. Actually, I felt great because I hadn't eaten over my feelings. I'm gettin' there, size 12 or not.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


This is our little Princess, lazing in the sun by the front door. She is actually R's dog, but thinks she's mine. Of course, I am the person who gets up at 5am to walk her, so perhaps she is justified in her thinking.

I had two "girly days" with my girls this past weekend. Friday C and I went to the mall to Libby Lu, which is the biggest rip-off since Chuck E Cheese. She had been asking for a "makeover" and LL was the closest thing I could find to a makeover for a five-year-old. Was I only imagining the disapproving looks from other moms as we trotted through the mall afterward? She had eyeshadow, colored lip gloss, and an "updo" complete with hairpiece. I felt like a traitor to feminists everywhere, which is silly since I loved to play dress up and use makeup when I was young -- heck, I still do. Here she is after the process was complete.

After the makeover we shopped for new clothes, rode the carousel, had ice cream, ate dinner, saw the Bee Movie (mediocre but not horrible), and played at the treehouse play area in the mall. As I put her to bed, exhausted (me, not her), she proclaimed the treehouse to be the best part. Of course. It was free.

On Saturday R and I had manicures, pedicures, shopped at the mall, had ice cream, and raced home so T and I could rush off to our monthly CORE meeting (CORE=Continuing Our Retrouvaille Experience). R adored having a pedicure (as did I, for that matter).

At CORE, we had a Tai Chi instructor explain what Tai Chi was and then lead us in a few moves. My ears really perked up when she said it strengthens your leg muscles without stress on your joints. She's starting a new series of classes in January and I could take the one on Wednesday mornings at 10am, since I work on Wednesdays from 11:45am-8:15pm. I'm kind of excited about the idea. Of course, that takes away my alone time on Wednesdays, but let's face it -- all I do is housework, pay bills, and take the dog for a second walk. Or eat.

I'd like to take yoga too, but I hesitate because I feel selfish, as though that's too much time spent on myself. Why? I used to belong to a women's organization that met monthly, another that met weekly, attended scrapbooking crops monthly, etc. and never felt guilty. That was when I had only one child though -- and before I knew that being alone with the children for an extended period of time makes my dh stressed (he's a great dad so I don't know why that is!). I'm determined to find a balance because in spite of my best intentions, I'm STILL not making enough time for myself these days. So Tai Chi is a definite and I'm seriously considering yoga.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Habits Old and New

I think I've kicked my diet Coke habit. It almost snuck up on me, but I've gone about two weeks without a single diet soda of any kind. I haven't really even been tempted lately. It's interesting how habits are broken or instilled, isn't it? I had to really talk myself out of a diet Coke several times over the past month or two, but suddenly I don't think about it much.

I have a coworker who has a habit of picking at her lip. I feel for her because I had that same habit for several years -- after breaking the habit of biting my nails to the quick. I picked at my lip for at least two years, but eventually decided to start wearing lipstick. It's a bit difficult to pick at your lip while wearing lipstick, since you get terribly messy fingers! Now I feel naked without lipstick or colored lip gloss of some type. Anyway, I found a substitute for my habits. Now, how to find a substitute for eating? It would have to be something doable anywhere at any time. Oh wait! I have an idea! Just deal with life -- sit and experience it in all of its painful, wonderful glory.

Okay, I'm being facetious, but I really think I can do this. At several meals lately, I've been okay with just sitting and feeling the feeling of wanting more, but not eating more because I'm no longer hungry. At some meals, the food was so yummy I wanted more, more, more, but wasn't still hungry. I just sat and thought about how I ate all I could at every meal growing up, but no longer have that need. I can eat again whenever I'm hungry, even it it's only two hours after dinner. I'm the grown up now and no one can "catch" me eating when I'm not supposed to. I won't get in trouble for eating something when it's not mealtime.

I have been eating slowly at every meals as I promised I'd do last week. I even ate my several pieces of cake and cookies slowly on Sunday. It's kind of amazing that sometimes I realize I've had enough of something before the dish is empty -- or just realize I don't want something and can just not eat it. We had KFC last week because I had to make cookies for work and cupcakes for C to take to school as a birthday treat, and didn't want to have to cook a meal in addition to all of that baking. I started to eat a chicken breast (sans skin, which has an incredible ick factor IMO) and halfway through I realized, "I don't really want this anymore". My dinner was a chicken breast, some veggies, and an apple. That's all I really wanted. I think I ate dessert later, but I was physically hungry, which made it much more satisfying.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Feelings...Nothing More Than Feelings... (I always disliked that song)

I've spent the past two weeks scrutinizing my feelings whenever I feel like bingeing or eating when I'm not hungry, with help from the book French Toast for Breakfast. Holy cow -- just about every feeling makes me want to eat. How did I get this way? So far I have:

loneliness: when I feel lonely for dh, lonely because I feel misunderstood, lonely because I feel as though I'm the only person I know with eating issues

boredom: well, that feelings speaks for itself!

fatigue: it's very, very difficult for me to admit to the "weakness" of needing to rest or -- even worse -- needing a nap.

procrastination: so much easier to eat something than to move onto the 8 million projects needing my attention

avoidance of intimacy -- especially sexual intimacy: I still find it difficult to just say no to my husband, even 2 1/2 years after our separation. I also still find it difficult to share my true feelings. I did finally 'fess up to my bowling hatred, but told him I wanted to keep doing it because he got so much enjoyment out of it. Anyway, I digress, as usual

as a retreat from people: it's so much easier to obsess about my relationship with food rather than risking rejection from people I'd like to be friends with

happiness: I'm not sure if I believe that happiness is limited and needs to be gobbled up before it ends or if I believe I don't deserve happiness and I should binge it away and return to misery -- perhaps a bit of both

disappointment: disappointment in food (things that didn't taste as great as I thought they would or should or having to eat a dinner I didn't particularly care for) or disappointment when things don't work out the way I'd like

not really a feeling, but lack of structure: evenings and weekends when I don't have anything scheduled

also not a feeling, but I use it as a transition to help switch gears between activities (see procrastination)

I occasionally do "preventative" bingeing because I'm afraid that I'll get hungry and won't be able to eat anything. When I look at that in black and white it looks downright silly. No one ever starved to death in the space of a few hours, or even a few days. At the time I'm feeling the fear, however, it's very real and a very strong drive to resist.

Then, there's the "what the hell" that a feeling?

So, I thought I was doing well and hadn't binged or even overeaten for about 10 days. Then Friday we went out to dinner to Red Robin. I was really nervous about it because they have gigantic portions AND bring you unlimited french fries, starting the minute you sit down. We got there and I asked my MIL to tell the waitress we didn't want any fries except with our meal. Then R wanted to order from the adult menu. I knew she wouldn't eat it all, but figured I'd just order a kid's meal and eat that. Our food came and my burger was cold. I sent it back and ate a few onion rings and fries while waiting. Burger #2 came and it was slathered in mayo -- ick. I sent that one back and ate some more fries. Burger #3 came and it had no onion, but I took it anyway. I wasn't really hungry anymore, but ate almost all of it. Then I was quite full. Not like Thanksgiving, but definitely more full than usual. DANGER ZONE! I KNOW this is a dangerous time for me, and when we got home, I spent the whole time I was walking the dog reciting to myself all of the reasons I shouldn't eat anything else (T was on his annual football weekend with the guys).

It almost worked. It worked until I got home and R was still awake. I KNEW I should have just gone upstairs to bed and made her go to, but I asked her if she wanted dessert. She said yes and that was allll she wrote. I ate about a pint of ice cream and polished off 3 Pop Tarts (only a bit of ice cream in front of her -- the rest after she went to bed). I was pretty upset with myself, but determined not to let this lapse be a relapse. So on Saturday, I ate when hungry, stopped when satisfied, kept busy, napped when I was tired, and felt much better.

Yesterday I was fine until after dinner. Again I had gotten a bit too full. I'm not sure why since I really didn't eat much, but it just happened, almost before I knew it. I sat there at the table convincing myself that I didn't want a second roll. Hello?!? I was already full! We were celebrating two family birthdays and I mananged to eat three pieces of cake, several chocolate chip cookies, and a dish of ice cream before I stopped and told myself to CUT IT OUT. I was totally exhibiting "what the hell" behavior Friday and yesterday. I think it was because I weighed myself on Thursday. I was happy with the number, which brought up all kinds of "diety" thoughts again. Okay, this is the deal: I WILL NOT weigh myself again. Ever. Ever. Ever.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Life List

I made a life list on this wiki. So far, here is what's on mine:

  • take a cruise
  • interview my kids for a scrapbook page
  • plant a flower bed in the front yard
  • make peace with my size/weight
  • take photos of family heirlooms and ask dad about where they came from
  • make gifts in a jar for bus drivers/teachers, etc for Christmas
  • institute a yearly "girly day" with each daughter -- get manicures, pedicures, eat out, shop, etc
  • institute family movie night
  • have central vac system installed
  • make A&P a wedding scrapbook
  • visit Pompeii, Rome, Venice, and Tuscany
  • become a "normal" eater
  • take a photo every single day in 2008
  • plant lily of the valley in the backyard
  • make a shadow box of dh's work awards
  • sort recipes and discard at least half of them
  • get rid of Aunt L's china
  • reorganize my linen closet
  • sort my clothing and take everything out of my closet that doesn't fit or look good on me
  • buy some gorgeous clothing that DOES look good -- make that great -- on me
  • find some type of volunteer work to do with the whole family
  • hang pictures
  • decide on paint colors for the walls
  • get a professional photo taken of me and the girls for dh
  • have gas fire installed in fireplace
  • go to Walt Disney World with the family
  • drive from coast to coast on a leisurely trip
  • make a shadow box with dh's running stuff
  • take yoga
  • take golfing lessons
  • find someone to give me bowling tips
  • start a blog or myspace page for the extended family
  • have a gingerbread house decorating party with neighbors and their children
  • host a neighborhood easter egg hunt
  • get rid of uncomfortable shoes and never buy any again!
  • attend an occasion for which I have an excuse to buy a floor-length cocktail dress/ball gown
  • institute an every other month craft day with the girls
  • celebrate half birthdays
  • have a yearly "family day"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Of Birthdays and Bowling

We had C's "friend" birthday party yesterday (she'll be 5 on Friday). We discovered that the four invitations I sent to school with her never made it home with the kids, so our party attendance was rather sparse. Two girls showed up and, after we called the neighbor and found that the invite had never appeared at their house, two more came over. C didn't seem to care much, but I was rather annoyed. I sent them with a note to the teacher explaining that I would have mailed them but didn't even know the girls' last names, let alone their addresses. I don't know if she set them aside and forgot about them or threw them away, but I plan to ask about them when I go help with the halloween party next week. I would hope that she would have called me, emailed me, or sent me a note if she didn't want to send them home with the girls!

Last night I bowled a 56, 58, and an 87. I only had one frame out of all three games with two gutter balls, so I was actually content with those pitiful scores. I refused to allow my nervousness about bowling get to me, and I ate normally all weekend. I had many "not a normal eater" thoughts, but talked sensibly to myself and moved on. I even managed to stick with one small piece of cake and smallish helping of ice cream yesterday. Yes, I wanted more -- but I really wasn't hungry and knew there'd be more ice cream and cake coming up next weekend at C's "family" birthday party. It helped that it was store-bought cake since she wanted a "My Little Pony" cake. Homemade cakes are much more fabulously delicious and hard to resist.

I've been listening to Martha Beck's book The Joy Diet on CD, and parts of it are really resonating with me. She talks about achieving your goals and how to go about it. One of the things she says is to do things differently periodically to kind of "shake things up" -- to help you see things from a different perspective. I was reminded of my therpist telling me "do something different" when wanting to binge. I thought of that several times this past weekend and took the paper into the living room rather than reading it at the kitchen counter, took the dog for a new route while walking, instituted a new rule at our house for dessert-eating (we don't eat dessert right after dinner but wait until we're in our PJs and ready for bed), and tried to change up my routine at work a bit. I felt really good about my weekend, and I'm going to try (as Martha also says) to "do one thing differently". This week my different thing is to eat slowly. Really.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

External Cues

I have probably posted about this in the past because I swear I have to repeat things about 10,000 times before I learn my lesson. But that I've been trying to stop and check out my motivation every time I'm tempted to eat but I'm not hungry, I've realized more and more how often I'm triggered by external cues -- especially seeing other people eat. I can walk by the cookies in the break room 25 times, but if I see someone stop and take one, I want to take one too. It gives me "permission" to eat. At home, I've found the same triggers. If I come home and see T eating something, I immediately want to eat. If I give the girls breakfast, I find it difficult not to eat something, even if I've already eaten breakfast.

I'm fairly certain it all dates back to the good old "family of origin", as Retrouvaille calls it. At home we couldn't eat between meals, so I never had "permission" to eat unless it was mealtime. I remember sneaking food with my siblings after arriving home from school feeling ravenous. Of course, we never had junk food, so often we'd eat half a loaf of bread -- just bread with nothing on it. Partly because we didn't have anything exciting to put on it, but partly because we were trying to eat it as quickly as possible so we didn't get caught.

Yesterday I had the day off and went out to breakfast with friends. I started the day feeling jittery because I woke up really hungry and ate breakfast between walking the dog and hopping on the exercise bike. I was afraid I wouldn't be hungry for breakfast out and was berating myself for eating too much at 5:30am. When the time came, however, I was quite hungry and ordered french toast. It was a yummy casserole sort of thing made with challah bread baked in a springform pan. So I got a wedge of it with butter, syrup, and fresh strawberries. I ate almost the whole thing and left feeing pleasantly full. Lunchtime came and went and I wasn't hungry yet. I started feeling nervous that I wouldn't get hungry for lunch. I was home alone which can be dangerous for me, but I didn't allow myself to get bored and didn't force myself to do things I didn't really want to do. I did some floor-scrubbing (is there anything more satisfying than seeing how clean a floor is when you've scrubbed it on hands and knees?) and cleaned out a closet, but as soon as I found myself looking in the cupboard, I stopped what I was doing and went downstairs to work on my scrapbooking stuff. I was able to stay busy and convince myself when I got hungry, I'd eat. I finally ate lunch at 3pm and kept it small enough that I was hungry for dinner at 6pm. Amazingly, we had family movie night and I didn't want any of the popcorn dh made or the hot chocolate I made for the girls. It wasn't even a struggle to say no -- I just didn't want any. Perhaps it has a connection to allowing myself the french toast I wanted earlier.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just Workin' On My Issues

It's been pretty peaceful in my life lately (well, if you don't count soccer, cheerleading, piano, religious ed, work, etc). I've been just trying to eat when hungry, stop when satisfied, without worrying about "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts". Dropping the rope, so to speak, is so much less stressful in most ways, though there is a little voice somewhere in my head that keeps telling me I'm going to gain even more weight and suggesting that perhaps I should weigh myself just to check the number. I tell it to get stuffed. My clothes are fitting fine.

There have been some times when I've realized that I've just had enough of something and -- gasp -- thrown food away(!). There have also been some times that I kept eating even though I realized I'd had enough. I figure if I can get the stopping times to outweight the not stopping times, I'm on the right track.

I've been attempting to stop and analyze my feelings whenever I realize that I'm having an urge to eat but I'm not hungry or I'm already full. Somehow since my accident I've become a person who wants to eat when bored or restless. I never used to -- it was almost always anxiety, sadness, stress...not boredom. This past Saturday I went to a scrapbooking crop from 10am to 8pm and I ate about 5 pounds of sugary carbs. I couldn't figure out what on earth was wrong until it finally dawned on me, rather too late, that I am so not used to sitting for such a long period, and what I really needed was to go outside and take a walk. I needed a break, not more sugar. Too bad this didn't occur to me until about 7pm.

I think perhaps boredom is why my binge eating started up again after so many years of not being an issue. It began just before I was given the okay to get out of bed and walk again, and worsened horribly over the months that I had to use crutches and a cane. I think part of it was anxiety, but looking back, boredom and restlessness were a large part of the drive to eat and overeat. After 10 weeks in bed I was sooooo bored, but even after I was given the okay to start putting weight on my leg, there was so much I couldn't do. We had moved into our house only two weeks before my accident, so there was A LOT that wasn't unpacked or put where I wanted it. Yet I couldn't carry anything up and down the two sets of stairs to work on it. All of my scrapbooking stuff was still packed and I couldn't carry any of it to put it away. I couldn't exercise the way I wanted to. Shopping or going anywhere was a pain, literally and figurtively. I was really tired of reading, doing cross-stitch, and watching DVDs. I felt trapped, frustrated, and BORED. By the time I could walk again more easily without a lot of pain, eating when not hungry was a habit.

So over the past few days I've noticed when I have an urge to eat out of boredom and make an attempt to walk around a bit or do a different activity. I was really busy with the girls on Sunday (we spent the day cooking and scrapbooking) and I kind of forgot to eat. It's been a long time since that happened.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Of Chili and Charity

Wow -- I won first prize at our neighborhood block party's chili cook-off! I was quite pleased to win gift certificates to Chili's, hot pads, and a little pumpkin. I made a recipe I'd never tried before -- just searched for a fairly simple one on recipezaar and found Firehouse Chili. I didn't think it was fabulous, but it drew raves. The block party itself was pretty fun and the kids had a ball. I'm lucky to have some really great neighbors.

Last Sunday I went with my dad to Founder's Day at the Starr Commonwealth to hear Henry Winkler speak. I was mainly interested in him because he co-writes a series of children's books, rather than because he is a TV/movie star and producer. He was quite inspirational and entertaining. It was truly amazing to walk around the Starr campus and see how much it had changed since I'd been there last. My dad's great uncle Floyd Starr started the Commonwealth as a home for troubled boys in 1912, beginning with two boys. They lived in a barn until the first cottage was built. Starr now has a huge campus in that original location, along with four other campuses. I only met Uncle Floyd a few times while growing up, but he must have been quite a guy. They have something like an 88% success rate with troubled kids, focusing on building up self esteem rather than on punishment. Awesome.

Last week after R innocently said, "There aren't any poor people in Grand Rapids, are there mom?" I contacted the United Way about doing volunteer work as a family. I think we're going to start helping serve meals once a month or so at a local mission. I hope it will help my kids (and me!) appreciate how truly privileged we are.

Well, I've come back to the realization, once again, that I can't diet. I just can't do it. I end up face first in the ice cream carton every time I try. I know, I know -- you've heard it all before. Sigh. I'm finally reading the Food and Feelings workbook I bought a while ago, and finding it difficult to complete the exercises. I was perusing the chapter on anxiety and had a bit of a "duh!" moment though. She talks of using overeating as a way to distract yourself from your anxiety because instead of being anxious about whatever is bugging you, you transfer your anxiety to your body and how fat you feel and how disgusted you are that you just ate a dozen cookies (or whatever). I knew that I often felt like I wanted to eat when anxious, but I never really thought about the distraction part of it in that way. I've been practicing telling myself, "You can't change the situation -- you can only change your reaction to the situation".

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Found this today...

Interesting interview with the co-author of Intuitive Eating:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Some Good News, for a Change

I forgot -- I think C's racist remark must have been some random thing she overheard and was repeating. I was quizzing her the other day about boys in her class -- just asking if there were any boys she played with and whether or not any of them were nice -- that type of thing. She said, "Yes, there is one boy M. I like him -- he's very nice. I play with him". M is just as dark-skinned as L, so whew! I feel much relieved.

I Am Not the Next Michelle Wie... and a Terrible Relapse

I kind of enjoyed golfing. On Sunday, we finally used the free night and 18 holes of golf I won last winter at the golf show. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, and I made it 14 holes before I was too footsore to go on...not to mention the blister I was getting. I looked very cool in my snazzy red golf shoes and new golf glove, so that's something.

Because I am a total beginner, I walked and swung A LOT. My score on the front nine was 90. It would have been higher had T not let me take my ball out of a sand trap and carry it over a brook. I did sink one 40-foot putt on a hole that was a par 3 (I got a 4!). That didn't really make up for the 12-stroke holes, but T was a patient companion and it wasn't nearly as torturous as bowling. I'm going to try and take some lessons through community ed next spring.

I was feeling more anxiety and resentment than I thought about T leaving for a week to attend a cousin's wedding out of state. I ate too much at dinner on Sunday night, in spite of the fact that the food wasn't really very good. Then I had a major, major relapse on Monday. For the first time in a really, really long time I actually went out to get food to binge on -- twice in the same day. I walked the dog a mile or so down the road in the afternoon and had an ice cream cone (only a single but I wasn't at all hungry since I'd just eaten several single serving bags of cookies and chips at home). Later in the evening when I took R to cheerleading, I drove over to a store and bought another single cone and ate that! I was so angry and upset with myself because I KNEW exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it, yet I still did it. I kept telling myself to stop -- that I could stop -- that I needed to stop -- but I didn't stop until the second ice cream. By that time I felt kinda yucky.

Boy, did I pay for my behavior on Tuesday. I woke up at 3am with a splitting headache. I got the girls off to school and started for work, but turned around and went home because I felt nauseated and was having, digestive issues. My bathroom and I spent a lot of quality time together Tuesday morning, and I crawled back into bed until 11:15. I slept terribly Tuesday night and the headache lasted until Wednesday evening. This episode made me realize why programs like OA work. My behavior is similar to that of an alcoholic. I knew the food had made me sick, and on Tuesday I thought "Yep -- the memory of this is going to be enough that I will never do this again!" yet I still binged again on Wednesday night. I stopped very soon after starting (because I didn't want to repeat Tuesday again!) but the very fact that I started at all amazes me. Sometimes I despair that I will live this cycle over and over again for the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rendered Speechless

I have always considered myself a person who is pretty colorblind when it comes to race. I don't remember my parents coming right out and saying that all people are the same under the skin, but they definitely lived it. We had an African-American foster child for four years and would have adopted her had my mom's best friend not adopted her instead (they were Af-Am and insisted to my mom that it would be better for them to have her). My very fist kiss at age 17 was with an exchange student from Mexico. After I went off to college I had serious romantic relationships with a guy who was African-American and one who was a Mexican citizen. I've had many non-white friends -- and family members -- over the years....anyway, I suppose the point I want to get across is that my children have never, ever heard a racist comment or joke at home, and would never have picked up any kind of racist attitude.

At the dinner table the other night, I was asking C how school is going and if she was making any new friends. She announced, "L is not my friend" and when I asked why not, she said, "Because, you know, she has dark skin and I don't like people with dark skin." I'm pretty sure my eyes bugged right out of my head. When I questioned her further, she said that touching her skin hurt her. I tried to tell her that was utter nonsense and that L was exactly the same kind of little girl she was, etc. etc., but she was having none of it. I brought up the fact that her aunt has darker skin than we do, as do her uncle and cousins, and her sister's godmother. She wasn't budging. She can never be friends with L because she just doesn't like people with dark skin. I was completely and totally at a loss as to what to say! I finally lamely said that I hoped she would never say anything like that to L because it would hurt her feelings. I'm completely baffled.

The Day I Was Sick of Ice Cream

The home tour in Marshall was quite nice. This was a windowbox display one Tudor style house had -- isn't it cute? Why can't I ever think of decorating ideas like that?!?

We stopped at Turkeyville on the way home and I was soooo hungry by then I'd have eaten pretty much anything. After I finished my turkey dinner, R and I checked out the gift shop and the ice cream flavors. She's been dying to get a double waffle cone forever and T will never let her, so I said it was okay. It was GIGANTIC and I said, "Oh, what the heck. Give me one too!" When we go out for ice cream, I usually get a baby cone or a kid cone, eat it all, and feel vaguely deprived. If the kids don't finish theirs, I finish it off for them -- and wish I had more. On Saturday, I finished my waffle cone -- which wasn't that great -- and R wasn't even halfway done before she gave it to me. She said, "I'm not really full -- I'm just sick of it". I thought, "How can you ever get sick of ice cream?!?" and took a few licks. Then I realized I was not only quite full, but I was also sick of it. Imagine that. I was sick of ice cream. Maybe that happens all the time to other people, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't ever happened to me before.

I had another moment of ....clarity?....last week when I went out to dinner with a friend. I realized when I had a few bites of meat loaf and half my squash left that I really didn't want it anymore. Okay... I ate it anyway. However, I did have the realization that I'd had enough, not because I was too full, but simply because I'd had enough. I have always wondered what in the heck those who write about intuitive eating are talking about when they discuss knowing when you're satisfied. Last week I actually felt it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Following Subconscious Patterns

My kids are at school and I have nothing to do until I have to go to the bowling alley at 3pm. I need to pre-bowl for Sunday's league games because I'm going on the home tour in Marshall on Sunday with my dad and R. I think we'll make a stop in Turkeyville too. I love that place!

I feel at loose ends. Not because I have nothing to do -- I have PLENTY to do. I just feel very restless. I came home from dropping the kids at school and immediately made no-bake cookies. After finishing the cookies I drove off to buy a new oven/stove because mine died last weekend. Annoying (so dang expensive!) but I wasn't too broken up about it because my old one was crap. We'll have to postpone putting in a new slider to our upstairs deck, but oh well. Anyway, I digress. As I was driving to the appliance store, I was ruminating on why I can so often be found in the kitchen either cooking, baking, or cleaning it (which is actually T's job) when I am at loose ends.

I think I'm following a pattern set by my mom (mom #2 who died almost exactly a year ago). She could often be found in the kitchen baking during her free time. She made everything from scratch including bread, and was a really good cook. She wasn't good at saying "I love you" or hugging, but she expressed her love with food. She always showered us with homemade goodies at Christmastime, and went all out when having us over for holiday meals. A couple of years ago for Christmas dinner she actually made her own crackers to go with the first course of homemade soup! When she and my dad came daily to care for me after I broke my leg, she spent almost all of her time in the kitchen. She made us homemade cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, cookies, cake....we could have opened a bed and breakfast. I don't know if I like to bake because I feel as though I'm caring for my loved ones by doing so or because it brings me memories of a warm kitchen and feeling loved myself. I just feel that strong pull to be in the kitchen.

The oven broke two days after I discovered that I'd neglected to record our mortgage payment for August. I only discovered that when I got an overdraft notice from the bank. Luckily, only one check came in while I had insufficient funds and they transferred money from our savings to cover it (for $5!). It was still rather panic-inducing to find that I had $1500 less than I thought I had.

Last weekend T and I pre-bowled for the Sunday when he'll be out of state at a family wedding, and I bowled a new low. 27. Yes -- 27....and with my new hello kitty ball too. After that first stunning score, I went on to bowl a 72 and a 77. Yes, it is definitely going to be another year of mortification at the bowling alley. We took the girls to the driving range on Saturday to see if I could still golf after breaking my leg. T wasn't sure my knee could take the twisting motion and the strain of having all of my weight on it at the end of a swing. I did okay, though I think I definitely hit the ball farther pre-broken leg. I took the girls mini-golfing on Monday and judging by my putting performance there, 18 holes of golf will take me several hours. I won 18 holes of golf and an overnight stay at a hotel last spring and we're going off to enjoy it on September 16/17. It will be the first time I've actually golfed an entire game by myself (I shared a club in a scramble once).

My eating has been so-so. I've had a few days when I really overate -- a few "almost" binges. Most days I've eaten around 1800 calories, but some days I'm really hungry much of the day. That depresses me because I know I can't go around hungry for the rest of my life just to weigh less. The thing is, I can't remember if that's just the way it is when I'm smaller or if this is a new thing. Oh, I remember that when I was below 140 pounds I was hungry most of the time, but at 150 or so? I just can't remember. I know I definitely was always rabidly hungry by lunchtime because I ate a bowl of All Bran Extra Fiber or Fiber One cereal and milk and then forced myself not to each anything else until lunchtime. The rest of the day isn't so clear. Sigh. I guess I'll keep on going for now and see what happens. I'm not eating 100% NS food. I found that I got some horrible headaches when I ate 3 meals of NS food for a few days in a row. That's a bit scary. As long as I stick to one or two, I'm okay. So I've been having a lot of salads with shredded turkey or chicken for lunch in place of NS food. Now I have about 15 cups of soup to deal with. I suppose I'll eat them eventually.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On the Weigh Down, Redux

Weight: 167

That's a five-pound loss since my "last straw" entry on July 7. It's amazing how "skinny" I feel at today 167. Three years ago, weighing 134 or so, I would have imagined that I'd crawl into a hole and die if I ever reached the 160s again. This past weekend was a bit of a test for me, as T worked overtime Friday until 10pm and Saturday 2pm-10pm. His being gone that long would usually result in some really awful overeating. I was determined, however, to stay busy and stay out of the kitchen. I didn't actually stay out of the kitchen -- I baked a low-cal cheesecake yesterday -- but I only ate one piece and didn't overeat anyting at all.

When my frustration with my 4-year-old, who was extra cranky Saturday and refused to nap, reached a boiling point, I MADE her go to her room and I tried to take a nap. I think I actually fell asleep for 5-10 minutes. Half an hour later I gave up. She still wasn't asleep, but she was much calmer for the rest of the day, as was I. I didn't get much done this past weekend, which made me feel somewhat anxious and lazy, but I talked myself out of trying to soothe my feelings with food.

We got a post card that our bowling league starts September 9. Oh, goody. Nine more months of humiliating myself every other week. At least I have a very cute Hello Kitty bowling ball with which to embarrass myself.

Look -- I learned how to make a link! Now if I could only figure out post my blogroll.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Running Out of Time

In a couple of days, it will be the 39th anniversary of my mother's death (mom #1, obviously not my mom who died last fall). She was 31 years old and left behind an 11-month-old and a 4-year-old. When I was growing up, all of my pity was reserved for myself: poor me, my mom died and my dad married an ogre; if my REAL mom were alive she would buy me Calvin Klein jeans; I'm sure if my mom had lived, we'd get along famously...I'm sure you can imagine the rest.

It was only after becoming a mother myself that I felt a huge well of sadness for my mother. Now my pity is all for her. Her own mother died when she was two, so she knew what it would be like for my brother and me. I remember when R turned four -- all I could think about was how much she needed me and that if I died, she wouldn't remember me. If I found out today that I was going to die, knowing that C would barely remember me would be the absolute worst part for me.

I think the anniversary of my mom's death combined with a comment a fellow blogger made (Isabelle) about thinking we will do all of the things we want after we retire, along wtih having several friends and relatives fighting cancer came together in my subconscious the other night to produce the most realistic dream (well, nightmare) that I've had in ages. I don't remember much about it except that I found a lump somewhere, went to the doctor, and was told I had a month to live. I can't even describe the towering rage I felt when he gave me the news. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, "This is what I get for trying to escape the family curse of cancer! It didn't even do any good!" (In 2001, I had a bilateral mastectomy after finding out I had the BRCA1 gene) I felt such dark despair about leaving my girls.

I think it's definitely time to start DOING some of those "someday" things, so T and I are planning a trip to Disney World. I don't want to put it off and put it off until it's too late.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

1,959 Miles and a Revelation

That's how far we drove on our vacation. Wow. It was torturous. We had a good time, though the weather was awful. It was about 99 degrees with 99% humidity the whole time. I would have happily explored Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement for an entire day each, but felt physically ill after only a few hours in the heat. I can't believe I actually used to live in a climate like that and didn't give a thought to living a normal life. I think if I moved back to Austin now I'd have to retire to a couch from June til September. We were so tired of it that we drove straight back home without stopping -- 15 hours. The girls were remarkably well behaved; the individual who invented the personal DVD player is my new hero.

My healthy eating didn't suffer much on vacation. I stuck to salads and grilled chicken for the most part. There were a few times when I had little control over what was served, but I did my best not to overindulge (though my birthday cake undid me for a couple of days). Yesterday was a different story. I've been eating a low GI diet, smaller portions, etc. for a month or so now and feeling really good. Even the week of my period didn't cause any major issues for me. Yesterday was not about feeling deprived or hungry. It was about not dealing with my anxiety in a healthy way, plain and simple. I allowed my feelings to take over and had a regrettable afternoon of eating involving two very large bowls of ice cream, a package of graham crackers, and some peanut butter. I felt really crummy when I went to bed, as well as completely exhausted.

The real eye-opener was this morning. I woke up feeling hungover (I've never actually had a hangover, but this is what I imagine it would feel like), and out of sorts. By 8am I had transformed from a somewhat normal mother into a complete harridan who had lost any and all control over her temper. I found myself screaming at the top of my lungs at my 4-year-old, simply because she didn't like the underwear in which I was trying to force her. I completely lost control and gave both girls a top-volume lecture that the neighbors could probably hear. The rage I felt was unbelievably inappropriate. As we drove off, I took a deep breath, apologized to them for losing my temper, and spent the drive ruminating on what on earth was wrong with me. The only thing it could be was my eating yesterday. Whether I was emotionally unstable because I felt awful that I'd binged or because the sugar and carbs physically affected me, that is really the only explanation I can find for my Mrs. Hyde-like behavior. Wow, was that ice cream so not worth it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I am a Social Butterfly

Our euchre party was a hit! We had 21 people for ice cream at 7 (I had a very small dish, which was really not enjoyed much because I was nervous and talking to the guests, but anyway...) and 15 played cards. Since we had an odd number, three of us sat out each game. That gave me plenty of time to socialize. I find it difficult to start a conversation with someone I don't know well, but if they answer in anything besides monosyllables, I can keep going for ages.

Everyone stayed until midnight and all claimed they had a wonderful time. I think they truly did -- as they left they were all making plans to have a neighborhood cookout on the Sunday before Labor Day. Whew. The best part was that T's dad said he was so pleased that he was grinning from ear-to-ear when he showed up for the golf tournament on Sunday morning, wanting to tell dad all about it.

I was really exhausted on Sunday and a bit unmotivated. The dog got me up at 6am to walk after only 5 hours of sleep. I had all kinds of plans to organize my craft stuff while T was golfing, but only made it as far as the chair, where I read Harry Potter for a while. I tried to nap but C needed computer help. After going to the golf course to see the awards given out (this is T's family's 82nd annual golf tournament!), we went to dinner at Applebee's with a bunch of family members. I was sooooo hungry, but really WANTED a salad. I could almost taste the crunchy freshness of it as I thought about what I wanted to eat. I tried one of their Weight Watchers endorsed salads and it was pretty tasty, except for the dressing. Fat free dressing is vile and should be outlawed.

Yesterday my "dessert" after dinner was Nutrisystem chocolate cake. It really bore little resemblance to cake and had a strange taste to it. Although most of their food is all right, the desserts truly leave much to be desired. I'd just chuck them and eat some chocolate except for the fact that I paid so much for them -- and they're really high in protein, which helps keep me full longer. From now on if I'm full after dinner I'm skipping it. I'm getting enough calories without it anyway.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Only Food

Our euchre party is tonight and I'm kind of nervous. We have 10 couples coming (!) so someone out there likes us (We invited 12). I should get off the computer and take a shower -- I have to go buy beer and stuff -- and run to the library for the new Harry Potter book. We got our copies yesterday at the library, but I refrained from doing more than taking one out and looking at the cover. I didn't even open it (patting self on back). T and I were 13 and 14 on the hold list, so I'm sure we'll get one of the copies when they check them in to trigger the holds. I ordered one from Amazon too, but with three of us fighting over it, I thought we'd need more than one copy.

I haven't weighed myself, but my wedding ring once again slides easily on and off my finger. Whew! I've been eating in a "low GI" manner for almost two weeks and I feel really good. I'm definitely on a more even keel emotionally, and even though my period is due to start in a couple of days, I feel normal -- not like the usual cranky woman I usually am at this "time of the month". I'm keeping a close eye on my "diety" thoughts and avoiding any of the strange behaviors I had problems with the last time I lost weight. Last night we went to a shower and I started feeling anxious about the food. I reminded myself that I was going to eat away from home a thousand more times and I'd have to cope. It's only food and can't attack me. It was fine. I skipped the stuff I don't love (store bought potato salad & cole slaw), ate slowly, had small helpings (too small in fact -- I was hungry by the time we got home at 9pm and ate a NS snack), and only a few bites of cake.

The Nutrisystem food is okay. It definitely doesn't measure up to my cooking, but after jazzing it up with spices, hot sauce, etc. it's all right. There hasn't been anything terribly icky yet. I'm thinking that these women on the NS message boards who are "so full" and "having trouble eating all the food" and are "never hungry" are COMPLETELY INSANE! Yes, I am pleasantly full after each meal, but I'm quite hungry again within 2-3 hours of breakfast and lunch. I'm going to have to change something because I wake up ravenous, eat breakfast after walking the dog (around 5:45am or so) and I am so hungry by 10am that all I can think about from then until lunch (at 1pm) is FOOD. That's just not right -- and I don't want to end up an obsessed binge queen again. With NS you do add protein to each meal, so I think I'll try taking a break late morning and eating a small snack to see if that helps.

All right -- off the showers with me!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Feeling Good! (and another recipe)

My SIL made this recipe from Cooking Light three years ago at our family reunion. I never made it at home until a few days ago, and boy is it good!

Chicken and Noodles with Peanut Sauce

5 oz Japanese curly soba noodles (chucka soba) – though I think you could use angelhair pasta
½ c low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 c hoisin sauce
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 T rice vinegar
2 T catsup
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 T dark sesame oil
1 lb chicken tenders
1 ½ cups red bell pepper strips
1 T bottled ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
½ cup minced green onions

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.
Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Heat 1 tsp oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken; saute 4 minute Add bell pepper; saute 3 minute Remove from heat. Combine chicken and noodles in large bowl.
Heat 1 tsp oil in pan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook 15 seconds. Stir in broth mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Pour broth mixture over noodles, add 1/4 cup green onions and toss well.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup green onions and serve.

5 1-cup serivings: CALORIES 353(28% from fat); FAT 10.9g (sat 2g,mono 4.3g,poly 3.1g); PROTEIN 28.5g; CHOLESTEROL 53mg; CALCIUM 21mg; SODIUM 663mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 1.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36g
For the past 9 days I've been trying to eat carefully -- less sugar (hardly any dessert), and trying to keep my calorie intake below 1800. I've succeeded for the most part and I feel less crabby. I haven't been ravenous either. When coworkers have brought treats that look irresistable, I've cut a tiny piece (2-3 bites) and savored it -- and been okay with that.

I've been reading up on a low GI diet and it sounds doable for me. I really, really don't want to "go on a diet", yet I really, really want to lower my cholesterol without medication. So, I'm in. I decided to start with a couple of months of Nutrisystem to get me used to eating a low GI diet without having to think about it much. I feel like a big betrayer of my IE sisters, but I need to do what's best for my health and obviously eating less -- and less saturated fat -- IS what my body needs. I got my first shipment of food last night and it doesn't look too bad. The calorie intake is way too low -- 1100-1300 a day or so. Mine will be higher. For one thing, I can't stand the thought of eating yogurt with artificial sweetener, so I'll eat my regular Stoneyfield lowfat yogurt. I refuse to plan my life around food, so I will still be eating out at restaurants and other people's houses (and not bringing my own food, for heaven's sake), and eating a few bites of coworkers' treats. I refused to go to bed feeling ravenously hungry. I'm going to keep a close eye on my diety thoughts and not let this overtake my life.

I thought about what on earth I was going to tell my girls. I definitely did not want to tell them I was on a diet. In the end, I told them that my doctor told me I had to start eating differently to lower my cholesterol and that this special food would help me for a couple of months until I got the hang of it. They seemed to have a "whatever" attitude.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dinner is served -- a recipe

I made this last night and it was quite delish! I have no idea what the nutritional info is -- recipezaar says about 400-some calories per serving but they say it's 6 servings and they use sour cream and 2 full cups of regular cheese. I used lowfat plain yogurt and only 1 cup of cheese -- and we had five at dinner but only ate half the casserole. I'd say it's more like 8 servings.

It looked a bit time-consuming, so I made the rice the night before and stuck it in the fridge. I also mixed up the other ingredients (except the onions & olives) and put it in a bowl in the fridge too. Then I just combined it all and put it in the oven the next evening.

Southwest Vegetarian Bake

3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 1/2 cups water
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 ounce) can mexicorn, drained
1 (10 ounce) can Ro-tel
1 cup salsa
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

In a large saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until tender.

In a bowl, combine beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, yogurt, cheese, pepper and rice.

Transfer to a 2 1/2 quart baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Sprinkle onions and olives over top.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Let stand 10 miutes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Getting a Life

As I mentioned a few entries back, one thing I KNOW I need to do is come out of my shell a bit, reach out to people, and quit hibernating. T and I have been talking about having a card party for the past couple of years. Since I am usually the "organizer of us", I've conveniently never gotten around to actually having the party. It's not that I don't enjoy socializing. I do enjoy it -- while also finding it torturous in some ways (am I the fattest woman here? are my clothes too matronly? do I look way older than all these women? is my arm flab obvious?). When I was skinny, I found it torturous in other ways (am I the fattest woman here? are my clothes too matronly? do I look way older than all these women? why, oh why do they have to have so much food?!?).

I find hosting gatherings especially stressful. Even after two years our house isn't really decorated, and I see the flaws everywhere I look (hmm...kind of like my body?!). The sensible part of me knows that people do not come to your house because you have great curtains, nice artwork on the walls, or an especially clean floor. Seeing my MIL in action taught me that. Their house used to be REALLY shabby -- curtains practically in tatters, throws on all of the furniture because the upholstery was so worn, and carpet stained and threadbare. She isn't even a very good cook. Yet she never hesitated to invite someone to dinner or host a party for the extended family. She is very secure in the knowledge that people enjoy her -- not her house.

Anyway, T finally said, "Okay, let's pick a date and have a euchre party". I said okay and chose July 21. I still had an escape route because we didn't have any invitations. Lo and behold I came home from work last Wednesday to find T at the computer making up a flyer. EEEK! We delivered them to about 10 couples in the neighborhood. So far no one has called to RSVP. I'm already nervous.

In other news, we went out to dinner last night at a restaurant not known for its healthy food. I had looked up the menu online and decided to order baked chicken, a plain sweet potato, and green beans. As the afternoon wore on, I could feel myself weakening (as I amost always do), especially as I grew hungrier. We got to the restaurant and I briefly had a mental fling with the french fries, but stuck to my original choice (except for the green beans which were swimming in some disgusting sauce complete with bacon bits -- got a salad instead). I didn't finish my dinner and was really full. We went to my inlaws afterward for ice cream and O Henry Bars (some odd bar cookie with oatmeal, peanut butter, corn syrup, and chocolate beloved by all of T's family). I wasn't really even tempted to eat any. I was quite full and decided my cholesterol would thank me. One day down....forty years to go.

Monday, July 09, 2007


No -- not my dad. We had breakfast with him yesterday and he actually agreed to give up two of his four cats so that his current house doesn't get as disgusting as his old house did.

No, the last straw is that I have gained so much weight I can't get my wedding ring on or off without a struggle. I weighed 172 this morning. I'm kind of appalled - 10 lbs below my highest weight ever (well, not counting the 199 I weighed when pregnant with R). I have to lose weight. Well, no I don't HAVE to. I could get my ring made larger, buy larger clothing, and go on medication for my cholesterol. That option isn't too appealing.

I found out recently that my cholesterol is high for the third year in a row. My good cholesterol is great, but my bad cholesterol is a bit high and my overall number is something like 271. I was told to "eat a lower fat diet and exercise" and come back in a few months to have the test redone. Eeek. The implication was that if my level doesn't fall I will be put on medication. I do not want that. I have spent the time since hearing the bad news waffling between thinking "Hey, dad is on meds for his cholesterol and he eats whatever the heck he wants!" and "OMG! I'm too young to be on daily medication!"

The truth is that if I want to attempt to control my cholesterol through diet and exercise, I will have to change the way I eat -- forever. I can't really be a "normal eater" and eat whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it. I will have to seriously limit my saturated fat intake and make things like french fries, hamburgers, and desserts a treat. I haven't been able to do that for the past two years, but with medication looming in my future perhaps I can do it now. I would like to lose weight for other reasons too -- my knees and back were so sore after helping dad move and my knees are hurting more often these days. I'm also having frequent problems with foot pain. My doctor thinks it's because my feet tend to roll in when I walk, but they've done that since I was a kid, and I only started having problems in the past year or so. I can't help but think it is weight-related.

So, there you go -- the many reasons I should lose weight. Now, the question is how to do it in a healthy way without turning into Susie Obsessed. I've been trying to lose weight for the past 18 months or more and have only succeeded in gaining 20 lbs. Sigh.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Harrowing Week

My brother and I showed up at dad's house last Friday to "finish up" the packing. At most, 45% of dad's household was packed. I immediately ate five doughnuts. I calmed down (or the sugary carbs calmed me down) and we spent 13 hours packing with intermittent, desultory help from dad and his two sisters and his niece (who had come to stay for a few days -- a fact dad failed to share with me). My brother was throwing loads of useful stuff into the dumpster and I was upset with him until I realized he was right -- that was the only way we'd be ready the next morning. The waste was jaw-dropping but it was far too late to sort out things to go to charity or into a yard sale. We left without even a "thank you" from dad. In fact, he and his sisters headed off to dinner without asking if we might possibly be hungry!

We spent Saturday helping him move and unpacking a bit. Monday we spent several hours cleaning and cleaning and cleaning some more. His house is absolutely filthy. I spent two hours scrubbing one bathroom and didn't even finish. I moved on to the walls, which were covered with cat sneeze leavings (disgusting, I know!). The fridge took about five scrubbings to get the caked on vegetable matter, jam, and other mysterious food leavings off. It was truly awful. Yesterday after taking my girls to see T in a parade, I went out again to clear more stuff out -- and the dumpster is almost full again (this is a 10-yard dumpster, which is the size of four pickup truck beds).

Meanwhile, my brother asked dad for his mail and checkbook registers so he can try and figure out how dad will pay his bills. Dad dithered before admitting that he hasn't recorded anything in his checkbook register since mom died, nine months ago. He seems to have completely lost touch with financial reality. He doesn't even have enough money to live one more month in his old house, but was telling my inlaws last night that he's hoping to take a trip to Wales, Scotland, and Ireland next year. I'm deeply disturbed and very worried. We're going to have a "talk" with him before my brother goes back to Seattle, but I don't know that he'll listen. We had a talk with him about finances nine months ago and he seemingly paid little attention to anything we said. I suppose there's only so much you can do. I don't want to be his mom -- and he is certainly not senile.

I suppose the only bright spot is that after the doughnut debacle, I didn't really allow all of it to affect my eating. I probably overate this past weekend some of the time, but I didn't binge because of the stress, and I didn't graze all day to avoid everything.

Monday, June 25, 2007

8 More Random Facts

Tricia tagged me to list 8 random facts -- I'm not sure I can actually come up with more, but here we go (I hope I didn't repeat myself):

1. I greatly dislike going barefoot or walking around in my stocking feet. In the house I wear slippers, and outside I always wear some kind of shoe. I don't even like walking on the sand at the beach.

2. I am completely clueless when it comes to popular music. The only thing I listen to on the radio is NPR.

3. I have never tried to water ski or downhill ski. I went cross country skiing once, but fell a lot.

4. I grew up in a household with a lot of pets -- at one time 45 cats and 15 dogs -- many of which were in the house.

5. In my mid twenties I lived in a neighborhood that was very poor and was home to a lot of gang activity. I lived in a house that had been made into 20 apartments, and only 3 of us had a phone. Even though I was the only caucasian person living in the building (and one of few English speakers), I never really felt odd. The young are a lot more adventurous, aren't they?

6. I read a LOT of magazines. Working in a library, I have access to 100+ and read one every day at lunch or dinner.

7. I have nieces and nephews ranging in age from two weeks to twenty-five years old -- big age range! My dh has a sib who is still planning to have kids too, so the range will get even bigger.

8. I'm lucky. I once won $2500 in a grocery bingo game, and won $500 in a church raffle a few years ago. I don't buy lottery tickets though.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

...And the Drama Continues...

I have found lately that I am tempted to pre-binge and get it over with -- I am afraid that the urge will overtake me and I want to preventatively binge. I know -- that sounds completely goofy. I've just been feeling so...normal...for the past couple of weeks and I guess I'm just kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I've had several -- okay almost daily -- sabotaging thoughts after eating something not so healthy. Today I ate a tiny sliver of cake someone brought in for a birthday treat and I immediately wanted a giant hunk or two because I felt like a bit of a failure. I caught my thoughts, reassured myself that a sliver of cake does not equal disaster, and went off to do something constructive.

Yesterday I realized that yes, I can sit with my feelings, as they say. After venting about my dad at dinner with friends (a very healthy dinner at which I didn't overeat in the slightest), I felt really overwhelmed and anxious. I swear I wanted to drive straight to the ice cream stand and dive in. I actually felt as though I had the little devil and angel from the cartoons on my shoulders -- Yes, you DESERVE ice cream! No, think of how crummy you'll feel after eating it! Yes, it will soothe you! No, you aren't even hungry! Then I got home and felt even more annoyance that T had been playing with his ipod all evening and hadn't even done the dishes. I almost got back into the car. Instead, I just rode out the anxiety and the urge. It took a while, but I didn't die. In fact, absolutely nothing happened except that the anxiety lessened after a while, and I went to sleep. And T did the dishes without me saying a word.

Sunday, dad's house:

Dad is sauntering from kitchen to living room, carrying two items at a time, packing them and paying no attention to whether or not he actually wants the items.

Me: Dad, wouldn't it make more sense to take the box to the kitchen where you are actually packing it?

Dad: Hmmm? I don't know (continues what he was doing)

Me: Dad, do you actually use that George Foreman Grill?

Dad: I might

Me: Have you used it even once in the past nine months?

Dad: No, but I might

Me: Dad, what makes you think that after nine months of not using it, you'll suddenly wake up tomorrow and want to use it?

Dad: I might use it and I'll keep it if I want to!

Me: FINE! I'll just leave and let you do all of this yourself!

Dad: silence (looks stricken)... wanders off down the hall to put the grill with the other items he's not keeping (such as the Mickey Mouse ice cream maker used once, and assorted appliances whose purpose is a mystery to him)

I told him that I was only trying to help because I didn't want him to be so claustrophobic in his new house. He claimed he wasn't claustrophobic and I pointed out that there are piles of STUFF on every surface. You can't even walk into some of the rooms because of all of the STUFF. His new house is about half the size of his current house so even if he takes half of everything he'll be just this crowded. Lord help me.

I managed to hold it together and not dive headfirst into his dessert cupboard, though I found myself shoving a few handfuls of nuts and chips into my mouth once I got home. I gained control of myself and reminded myself that not only did I want to be hungry for dinner, but that I would feel awful if I continued down the bingeing path. Putting the nuts away, I went upstairs and away from the kitchen.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I spent my entire day off running errands that HAD to be done, listening to my children fight, and helping my dad pack. I got to my dad's house and felt completely and utterly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of STUFF that he has to get packed by June 30, when my brother will be here to help us move him. I simply cannot believe two people could have accumulated so many unnessary household items. Who on earth needs five tupperware pie holders? I threw away four huge black trash bags full of food that was past the sell by date (by many months), which made me want to weep over the waste of it all.

I felt a huge black resentment because my day was consumed by chores I didn't want to do. I didn't even realize how angry I was until I had eaten a piece of coffee cake, a bite of donut, and 1 1/2 cookies. I was actually hungry, but I was eating compulsively, standing up, shoving it in. I stopped mid cookie, told myself that I was only going to feel worse if I continued, and tossed the rest of the cookie down the disposal. As I started packing up again, I pondered my sudden desire to eat junk and connected it to my fury, as well as the fear I have for my dad. I fear that he won't be packed in time, fear that he'll have 300 boxes to move, fear that his old house won't sell and my brother will lose his shirt (he bought my dad's new house for him and will pay the old mortgate until it sells because dad has absolutely NO savings whatsoever), and fear that I will be spending every free minute I have over the next month packing and scrubbing for my dad. Just the thought of it all makes me feel incredibly resentful. My parents inherited about $200,000 from my grandmother and went through it in less than ten years. Unbelievable.