Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have worked with the personal trainer at the Y for three sessions now. The first one was just an evaluation, goal-setting meeting. I shared my food and overexercise issues with her the minute she brought up weight loss as a possible goal, and after a few questions, she assured me that she didn't want to cause any relapse behavior and wouldn't bring it up again unless I did. We've had two workout sessions and WOW! I was so sore after both, I could barely move. I was amazed at how much I could do, however. She pushed me much more than I would have pushed myself, and, though my muscles hurt, my knee didn't hurt much more than usual. The walking lunges she made me do....oy! I have two more sessions with her and then I'm on my own.
I'm going to have to stop writing now, but I will say in parting that, though I haven't weighed myself since my last entry, I don't think I've put on more than a couple of pounds since my last entry. My pants are still just as loose. I did eat more than my share of sweets, but was very mindful at meals. I think that was the key. More later!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
My dh has a surprise date planned for us tonight -- I am dying to know what it is! I will be extra happy to be out since today is my last day of work until December 29.
I have an appointment with a personal trainer on Monday evening. I'm hoping to have her help me come up with a weight training routine to build some muscle without injuring myself. I used to lift a lot (for a while I lived with a guy who was a competitive power lifter), but I'm scared to re-start with all of my current limitations. I'm a bit nervous, but also kind of excited.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
I had "the talk" with T, and it went fairly well. He didn't say much, but he rarely does. We did agree that we'd have a new evening routine: while I make dinner, he will relax and read the paper or play on the computer; after dinner he will do dishes while I relax; then we will both help the girls get ready for bed and read to them, or play a game all together. We'll try to get them into bed earlier than our usual 8pm, both because they both need more sleep than they've been getting, and because it will give us more leisure time before we go to bed, which is usually around 9pm.
He did ask, "So, then when are you going to do things like pay the bills?" I told him I hadn't worked that out yet. I would share the responsibility with him, but he has absolutely no interest in learning anything about it. From our pre-marriage experience, I can assure you that he just wouldn't do it and everything would end up being late. Since we talked, he has been extra helpful around the house. I don't know if it will last, but I'm hoping.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I confessed my episodes of going hungry to the therapist, but assured her that I realized what I was doing and was now having a snack mid-morning. I told her that I'm feeling so good that I'm sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. There have been periods in my life when I've been stable emotionally, not starving myself or bingeing, and kept a lower weight, but something always happens -- I overeat at a few meals and gain a few pounds, or some other trigger -- and suddenly I'm right in that cycle of waking up every day determined to be on a diet and "blowing it" by the end of the day, cycling between going hungry and having a binge. She pointed out that I am a different person now. I am now someone who deals with her emotions without using food. I now realize that overeating at one meal is not a diasaster. She suggested that I continue to remind myself of that and say to myself that things are great and will be great from now on, rather than wondering when it will all fall apart.
It had been ninety days since we wrote out a treatment plan and as we looked over the goals we'd set for the past ninety days, I was pleased to see that I'd achieved most of them. I haven't binged, I've improved my relationship with food, I've stopped obsessing over food and my weight all the time, and I've been more expressive of my feelings at work and at home. I still need to work on the last one though, and we made that one of the new goals.
We had a long discussion after I admitted that I often feel resentful that I do so much more at home than my husband does. He tries hard and has vastly improved in doing his share, but there are still many times when, for example, I am sitting and paying bills while he reads or plays around on the computer. I realized that it isn't so much that I expect him to be scrubbing the bathroom while I pay bills, but I resent him relaxing and enjoying himself. If he were playing a game with the girls or reading to them, I'd be okay. I promised her that I would have a talk with him about this issue. I'm dreading it because in the past, I often managed to say the wrong thing, he got very defensive, and we ended up not changing anything. I will try to choose my words very carefully, This is a very important issue for me and I don't want to end up stuffing my feelings because I'm afraid to confront them.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I saw 158.2 on the scale this morning. I noticed that I was able to zip and snap my ski bibs for the first time in 2+ years this week. All last winter I had to wear them unzipped while walking the little Princess.
I see my therapist tomorrow. I feel kind of guilty that I've lost weight because there have been several mornings that I didn't eat between breakfast and lunch even though I was very hungry. I had promised her that I'd feed myself when hungry. For the past few days I've been trying to eat a snack when I'm hungry because I don't want to fall into the pit of disordered eating again. I have definitely NOT been undereating overall, so I don't feel scared that it will happen. I've been eating a cookie or a few french fries here and there when I want them, but I've really been doing well at not overeating at meals. Sometimes it is very difficult to just sit there after eating one piece of pizza and my salad, knowing that I'm no longer hungry, but wanting more.
My brother and his family are in Michigan this week, visiting from Seattle. They aren't staying with us, but we will be able to see them tomorrow evening and the day after thanksgiving. It's not nearly enough, but it's better than nothing! I am a virtual stranger to my three nephews and it makes me sad. T and I have a new nephew, born to his brother and wife in England. We won't see him in person until June. I used to wonder why people would want to live in the same town they grew up in, but now that I'm older I can see the advantages of being close to family.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I've still been having a terrible time sleeping. I don't think it's the Wellbutrin, since I'm taking my first dose at 4:55am and my second dose at 11am. (On a side note, I had to buy a watch with an alarm because I kept forgetting to take it!) I also gave up caffeine completely. I wonder if it's now psychological. I'm worried that I'll have trouble falling asleep so I have trouble falling asleep. After I finally fall asleep, I sleep well except that I've been waking up at 4am this week. I don't feel especially sleepy during the day, but I can't help but think it's going to catch up with me sooner or later.
I realized this morning that I haven't had the slightest urge to binge for at least a few weeks. Occasionally, a thought of "oh, I shouldn't have eaten that, maybe I'll now eat this" pops into my head, but I am immediately able to realize how stupid that is and squelch that little voice. I've been taking more time to do the things I want to do, rather than dust and re-organize the linen closet and other things that have been niggling at my perfectionistic self. After dinner these days I am doing things like going downstairs to work on trying to organize my scrapbooking materials, or going to the YMCA with the family. I think this is serving two purposes; I'm not anywhere near the kitchen and don't even think about food unless I'm hungry, and I'm doing something that doesn't make me feel stressed or anxious and I don't want to procrastinate. I may have cobwebs hanging from my ceiling for the next 15 years, but I won't be miserably stuffing myself with food.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Me (with C) on the day I walked in the 5K to raise money for breast cancer.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I only had to wait in line 5 minutes to vote, even though I went at 5pm. I was prepared with a book, snacks, and C's birthday thank you notes, but barely had time to put my driver's license away before it was my turn. I am completely amazed that we elected an African American president. We had an African American foster child for almost four years when I was a little girl. She came to live with us at age 6 weeks because her mother was in jail. Some people at our church went to the priest and asked that he talk to us because they didn't want us bringing her to church. Thankfully, he had a little talk with them instead. That was in the early 1970s -- and look how far we've come!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Halloween was not difficult for me this year. I ate about 5 mini candy bars with the girls after we trick-or-treated, but that was it -- and I didn't feel guilty about it. We've had halloween candy sitting around our house for a month and it hasn't been too tempting. I've eaten a hershey kiss here and there, but mostly I forget it's even there.
I have a bunch of pictures that I really want to post, but my life is still wildly busy. Soon, I hope.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The last time I weighed myself, I was at 162. Most of my size 10 pants fit well and some are even a bit loose. Sizes are so weird. I have one pair of size 10 Levi brand jeans that fits perfectly, and two pair of 10s in the same brand that I can't even pull all the way up. I am really enjoying the fact that I can look at my closet and know that I can wear almost everything in it now.
I'm still sleeping badly. I cut my caffeine intake to 1/2 cup of coffee in the morning and started taking my second dose of Wellbutrin no later than 11am. I've had a few nights of good sleep, but most of the time it takes me FOREVER to fall asleep and I wake up several times during the night for no conceivable reason. I wonder if maybe it has something to do with premenopause. I'm still having my period like clockwork every month, but sometimes when I awaken at night I feel really HOT. Not like a hot flash, but just like I have too many covers on. Yet when I go to sleep I'm really chilly and need all those covers. Ah, the joys of being 44.
Monday, October 20, 2008
On to my weekend. It was great. Well, parts of it were great. Friday at the chili cookoff, I ate until full but stopped before I felt too full. In fact, by the time we got home at midnight, I felt a bit hungry. On Saturday, as I dressed to go scrapbooking, my dh called me from soccer practice to tell me that a friend had been killed in a motorcycle/car accident the night before. This was a guy T went to the Police Academy with, worked with in his first job as a deputy, and has been good friends with for years. We used to belong to a motorcycle club with him and his wife. T urged me to go ahead to scrapbooking, but I knew I had to go to him when he broke down crying. I flew out the door sobbing and drove over there. I was composed when I got there, but promptly sobbed all over T's chest. I stayed for the soccer game, but we were both composed by the end, and he told me to go ahead to my crop and take R. I still wavered, but he insisted. I knew he'd be on the phone all day with friends in law enforcement anyway, so I went. Once there, I was confronted by doughnuts, several homemade desserts, chocolate, and more. I skipped the doughnuts and the chocolate. At lunch, I ate some soup and salad, and a few bites of the desserts.
We went out to dinner with T's siblings, which was really good for him, as he got a chance to laugh. I only ate about 1/3 of my entree and was just fine. On Sunday at our block party, I took really, really small helpings of the main dishes so I could sample all of the yummy pumpkin and apple desserts. I'm sure I ate what would have amounted to two pretty large pieces of dessert, but I was not too full and felt good about what I'd eaten. I enjoyed every bite of the fabulous food. Unlike last year, I didn't overeat and didn't go home and binge on the leftovers. I feel so peaceful about my behavior and thoughts this past weekend. I made the choice to eat mindfully and not stress out about having little control over what I was going to eat, and I did it!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I saw my therapist this week, and she's happy with my progress. Her only assignment for me is to work on stopping my irrational thoughts sooner. I shall endeavor to complete my assignment well.
Last weekend was a very full one with little down time (always a trigger for me) . As I sat down to pay bills (also always a trigger for me), I started to feel the urge to binge. At first I was so distracted by the desire that I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. I paced around a bit, trying to soothe myself with little success. Finally, I got a little snack packet of cookies to sit down with and decided that I would ride out my urge. I reasoned that it couldn't possibly last forever. As I got involved in paying the bills, it was still there but I ignored it. When I finished, I wavered as I stood in the kitchen putting the leftover detritus in the recycling bag. I reminded myself that I was riding it out and went upstairs to get ready for bed. After I did my bedtime routine and got into bed to read for a bit, I realized that the urge had lessened. It didn't really completely go away before I went to sleep, but wasn't there any longer in the morning. It was really an empowering feeling to know that I'd faced the urge and beaten it without escaping the house on my bike or on foot. I stayed right there and didn't give in.
I had never really thought about why sitting down to pay bills is a trigger for me until I read this in Karen Koenig's blog and it struck a chord with me...
there's the anxiety response from childhood which "makes" you turn to food. Because you know exactly when the munchies will hit, prepare yourself. Recognize that the appointed hour will come and you'll want to eat. Plan to do something else, either distracting or comforting or both. Anticipate that you'll have mega-anxiety and reframe your beliefs to help you ride it out. If someone trustworthy is around, enlist their help in getting you through the anxiety without eating. If you have feelings connected to the anxiety, write them out or cry or scream. Talk yourself through the moment. You reinforce your "need" for food every time you eat out of anxiety and move toward extinguishing the behavior every time you resist it.
I remember watching my mother pay the bills and worrying so over every penny. She used to have to juggle things to have enough to cover everything. Making her grocery list involved also listing the price of each food next to its name so that she knew exactly how much the bill would be. It was very anxiety-producing to watch her go through this ordeal week after week. I think that even though we have enough money to pay our bills every month, I still worry that I will end up like my mom. There was so little money that having something break was a major trauma. There was a very odd time that she rationed toilet paper to us and told us that when we ran out we'd have to use newspaper. Then there was the time she discovered someone had left a radio on all night. She took away everything we had that used electricity, including our light bulbs, because she wanted to prove to us how much we were wasting. That was the reality of my childhood.
Monday, October 06, 2008
We went to a surprise birthday party on Sunday, which was fun. Is it bad that I was very relieved that the birthday "cake" was coconut cream pie? I can take or leave that easily, and left it. I've been struggling a bit with my eating, but I think it is not due to trying to lose weight as much as it is to my wild schedule. I find myself grabbing the nearest food, no matter the nutrition, because I've not had time to eat my snack and I'm ravenous. Lately, I have had very little down time to do anything at all, let alone things I want to do. My house is a gigantic mess. When it's in such a state I have great difficulty doing anything but trying to clean, yelling at my kids, and crabbing at my husband. I haven't had the time to devote to cooking nice meals or even making a good shopping list for the store.
I was doing my grocery shopping last night at 8pm, and just tossing a bunch of boring vegetables into my cart because I hadn't had time to peruse my recipes. I had to wake up at 5am this morning and skip exercising (except for the dog walking) so that I'd have time to snuggle with my dh and get dinner in the slow cooker. We have only half an hour total after getting home from work before rushing off to soccer practice, so that usually leaves out cooking a lovely meal. Last night we had frozen french fries (I did bake them!) and chicken strips because the cupboards and freezer were bare! At least now I have food for a few meals this week, as well as salad makings. I need to make myself slow down and not get so hungry that I end up with potato chips and brownies for dinner. I don't know how on earth to make more free time, so I think I'll just have to try and live with the stress, messiness, and cranky feelings for just a few more weeks.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Saturday morning I zipped across town to walk in a 5K to raise money for breast cancer. I was very pleased to find that I can still walk quickly (with the dog, it's walk. stop. sniff. walk. stop. sniff....) and finished in about 75 minutes. I zipped back across town for C's soccer game, then went home to finish preparations for R's birthday slumber party. Seven giggly girls arrived, got glammed up with fancy hairdos and makeup, and we all drove downtown for a photo shoot. They had a ball and felt really gorgeous in their finery. The highlight of the evening was when we ran into the homecoming queen and her friends. They asked the girls to pose for a picture with them, and the girls were over the moon. Not much sleep was had by anyone at our house that night, but they had a wonderful time. I ate a small piece of cake and a small scoop of ice cream and left it at that. Did I want more? Of course. I may even have eaten more if I'd been alone. I wasn't alone and just looked at it longingly for a few minutes before reminding myself that I could have more tomorrow. It was okay to leave it.
Sunday, a bunch of family members came over for lunch and we had a pleasant time visiting. More cake and ice cream was eaten and no spectacular binge urges followed. T and I went off to bowling, where I bowled above my (82) average all three games. I even bowled a 122 on my second game! I woke up this morning thinking, "Where did my weekend go?". I'd lost another pound when I weighed myself Saturday, making about 13 total pounds lost since mid July. It's amazing how "skinny" I feel, since at 164, I still weigh more than I have since about 1991. I guess it's all about perspective.
Someone asked in my comments if I'd journaled about my (mostly) avoiding a binge. I didn't really (except for writing about it here), but that is a good idea. Once I get some distance from the situation, it's difficult to remember what caused it and how I felt about it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Remember when I posted the piece of writing my therapist gave me last June about the hole in the sidewalk? I have it posted on my refrigerator and I look at it often. Over the past few weeks, I've been reading it and wondering if perhaps I was finally walking down a different street. Yesterday my mind forgot the new route and took a detour back to the old path -- and straight down the hole. Luckily, I only fell a few feet before I grabbed a handhold and clawed my way out.
My day started with me determined to have a South Beach phase one kind of day with no fruit or grains because we were headed to my SIL's at noon to celebrate three family birthdays. I had baked all three cakes and really wanted to try two of them, so I wanted that to be my only "indulgence" of the day. I decided I'd have two small pieces and savor them. My plan went off-track immediately -- probably because of those "you can't have..." thoughts. My older daughter wanted breakfast in bed for her birthday (a family tradition) because she won't be able to get it next Sunday on her birthday (8 sleepover friends will be here). I made her eggs and cinnamon rolls. The rolls smelled so good that I ate part of one. I immediately regretted it and judged it a bad start to my day.
At my SIL's I ate two smallish pieces of cake. In spite of sticking to my plan and not feeling overfull, I started thinking I was a failure because I was struggling not to eat a bunch more cake. Coincidentally (?), I developed a blinding headache within 15 minutes of eating the cake. My thoughts took off in all sorts of irrational directions and by the time I left her house I was convinced that I'd never be able to eat cake again in any moderate fashion. It would always give me a headache, I could never control myself around it, etc. At home, I put the cakes away and ate some more as I did it -- not a binge amount, but more that I didn't really want. Then I felt guilty.
After dinner, my dh left to take R to religious ed and C to the park. I was totally in a state and just wanted to binge! binge! binge! binge! binge! Cake! Then onto the ice cream I'd bought for R's birthday party! Then more cake!...... I stood in indecision, trying to calm myself and talk myself out of bingeing. I'd just feel worse afterward. Yes, I'd eaten too much cake, but I'd hardly eaten anything else all day. If I binged, I'd just be adding more calories to the damage -- and more guilt. I couldn't quite seem to talk myself out of it. So, I decided that I'd eat a few bites of each cake and then leave the house for a bike ride. Not a bike ride to punish myself as much as to release some of my pent-up feelings, and maybe to burn off a few of the calories too.
Within 3 miles I felt calmer. As I rode, I stopped thinking about cake and started reveling in the strength of my legs and the feel of the cool evening air. I rode 13 miles or so, and arrived home with no desire to eat anything at all. Today, I feel pretty normal. I had a terrible headache again this morning -- so bad I left work at noon. It's now gone for the most part, and I feel okay. I feel confident that one of these days I WILL be walking down a different street for good.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I've had a few irrational thoughts here and there, but have been able to squelch them pretty easily. A couple of evenings ago I ate a bit too much -- after my piece of pizza and salad I was fine, but finished off C's piece of pizza and felt overfull. I felt a bit freaked out and couldn't seem to calm myself. My irrational thoughts were flying off in every direction. I was awfully jittery and feared a binge if I hung around the house. I told T I needed to burn off some excess energy and took the dog and little C for a 45 minute walk. By the time I got back home I had put things in perspective -- it was 1 1/2 pieces of pizza, not 1 1/2 pizzas! -- and felt calm and perfectly fine again. Whew.
I weigh myself again Monday, and I'm quite curious to see if I've lost any more weight. I have to make three birthday cakes for a family celebration on Sunday -- nothing like testing myself, eh? I made a batch of cookies last weekend, but didn't really want more than one out of the entire batch. One was enough. What a wonder.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I made my list of behaviors and irrational thoughts to be aware (or beware!) of, and have been checking it when I remember. I've had no freakish thoughts or behaviors so far. When I weighed myself on Saturday, I geared up for disappointment just in case I hadn't actually lost any weight, but had lost four pounds! Of course, it's probably all of the water from my muscles since my carb intake has been pretty low, but my pants are definitely looser. I got a pair of size 12 pants ($9.99 on clearance!) from J Jill last summer that I hadn't yet worn (because they were velvet) and when I put them on yesterday they were almost too large.
I can honestly say that I haven't really been hungry unless I miss a snack or a meal for some reason. There are some days when I put in my calorie intake at Sparkpeople and it's barely 1300 calories for the day. I find that so weird since I was ravenous on 1800 calories before starting SB. I think I usually eat about 1600. The recipes I've made from the books continue to be yummy too. I've had to eat differently from my family for some meals (last night they ate pizza due to soccer practice but I had leftovers -- stuff like that), but for the most part I've been feeding them what I'm eating.
My dh is back from his long weekend trip with his coworkers, thank heavens! Being a single parent for 5 days was AWFUL. I don't remember it being that stressful when we were separated, but we didn't have the dog and neither girl was involved in any sports or activities. Wow, does that make a difference! We had R's first soccer practice last night in pouring, cold rain. Ick.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
My family has eaten the dinners described above without complaint, and in the case of Taco Bake, even with praise. Of course, the girls have no idea I'm "on a diet", but they haven't commented on my skipping dessert every day. Perhaps I am not, after all, the center of the universe. I thought it would be more difficult to go without bread and fruit, but I haven't had any mad desire to start chowing down on the cookies in the cupboard. Even at work today, when I saw that someone had brought in a HOMEMADE loaf of bread, all I felt was a mild regret. I made two pies for our annual Labor Day cookout and briefly considered freezing a small piece of each to eat later, but decided that it certainly won't be the last time I'll ever see pie.
It has been brought home to me -- yet again -- how often I mindlessly lick a spoon or take a bite of something. When I made the pies, it was hard not to lick the bowl. When I make lunch for the girls, it's hard not to finish their banana or apple or take a potato chip. It's such a habit for me to do so. Maybe this two weeks will help break me of it. Maybe not.
I saw my therapist today and asked her if she thought it was a bad idea for me to try and lose some weight, provided I was committed to doing so without overexercising or undereating. She was cautiously approving of it. She gave me the "homework" assignment of making a list of what my warning signs would be -- the warning signs that I was slipping back into disordered eating or thoughts. I know some of them would be:
- avoiding or dreading social situations because of tempting food -- or even taking my own food
- exercising extra to burn off calories if I overeat
- eating sugar-free food or "fake" low calorie foods
- going hungry -- especially going to bed hungry
- cutting out lots of high calorie recipes that I will never allow myself to make
- feeling deprived because I "can't" have ______ food
- being afraid of food
I'll have to ponder it some more to see if there are others. She advised me to make a checklist for myself and look at it every single night to make sure I'm not regressing. I have to email her updates until I see her again too.
We discussed my feelings about T, and I made her a promise that I would start the ball rolling with our dialoguing, which we haven't really gotten around to doing any of since our talk. Today is a bad day to start because I work until 8:15pm and he is going out of town at 4am tomorrow until late Monday, but we have to start sometime! We also discussed (again!) the need for me to take more "time out" for myself. I confessed that I always have the best intentions, but then I notice "just one more thing" that needs doing before I can relax. She suggested that perhaps those things could wait, but to be honest, that just creates more stress for me as things pile up. You can only put off doing the laundry or paying the bills or doing the daily picking up for so long. If you do put it off, it only makes the job bigger. My family helps -- if I ask them too -- but I get so tired of always having to ask. That's probably every mom's mantra, isn't it?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I know it's goofy, but I love going to orientations! I love seeing the classrooms all decorated for fall; talking to all of my daughter's friends; feeling the excitement in the halls from kids, parents, and teachers; signing up for all of the volunteer opportunities, and hearing all about all of the great stuff the kids will be doing over the course of the year. My dh, OTOH, was ready to go home as soon as we got there. Spoilsport.
I have felt so much better about my dh since I told him how I'd been feeling. It's very hard for him to provide me with the kind of openess I need. Cops just hold everything "close to the vest" and are used to having to wear a neutral mask for the public. Sometimes they forget to take it off at home. Another part of my discontent has to do with my job. I've been trying to put more energy and enthusiasm into it, but I just keep wishing I were doing something else. I suppose my situation isn't going to change anytime soon, so I'd best make up my mind to make the best of it and get on with life.
I've been trying to prepare for starting the South Beach Diet by making sure I don't eat much fruit or bread/pasta/rice. That's not so hard, but doing without the sugar sure is! There are many times that I reach for something and think, "Hmmm..I won't be able to eat this on South Beach." Of course, it's usually something that isn't healthy for me anyway! I'm going to start SB on Saturday, but I'm going to monitor my feelings and reactions very carefully. If I start to feel "bingey", that's it -- my diet experiment is DONE. I've gone too long without bingeing to start that up again now.
Friday, August 22, 2008
So I bit the bullet last night -- only because he asked me what was wrong and said that it looked like something was bothering me when I attempted to demur. I told him of my thoughts and he didn't argue. We agreed to start doing our dialogue questions again (a Retrouvaille technique), and to schedule some dates together. I bought some tickets to upcoming symphony concerts (the Magical Music of Walt Disney, 3 Men and a Tenor, The Music of the Eagles, and Pops Goes Vegas), and we chose some other dates to have breakfast together, go out to dinner for our anniversary, and have an afternoon date on a Sunday. Our bowling league starts September 14 (drat!) and will be from 3:30-6:30pm this year, so I suggested that we might have dinner together after bowling on some Sundays. Sometimes I wonder if marriage is this difficult for everyone or if we're just not really meant for each other. I love him and would be devastated if anything happened to him, but we're really very different. Well, I'll soldier on and see if I can get over this blah period.
So....I've been considering going on the South Beach Diet. I know, I know...you're thinking that I'm kidding myself. The only diet I've ever stayed on for longer than 3 days was Weight Watchers -- and I think I lasted 7 days on that before I went over my allotted number of points. However, my main problem with all of the diets I've ever tried is HUNGER. I am always ravenous and finally give in and end up face first in a bag of potato chips. I read the old SB book, the new SB book, and did a LOT of reading online about SB. I haven't found a single person who said she was hungry while on SB, and all said they lost weight, lowered their cholesterol, and had all sorts of fantastic results on SB. As a result of trying to lower my triglycerides, I already only eat 1-2 servings of fruit a day and 1-2 servings of bread/cereal/rice/pasta anyway. The biggest stumbling block for me is the "no sugar" rule. I am not about to go back to eating artificial sweetener after giving it up last fall. I may try subbing agave nectar once I finish the first two weeks of the diet -- at least it's natural. It's low on the glycemic index too. I don't want to end up bingeing because I feel deprived in some way -- it's been months since I had a binge. The jury is still out, but I am seriously thinking of trying it. Let me know if you have any thoughts about it or experience with it.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Anyway, I will try to give people the benefit of the doubt and simply say "thank you" to their comments. Cilly's comment made me realize that I too fear falling back into the trap of wanting those compliments so much that I start undereating again. I think more than that however, I (the recovering people pleaser supreme) don't want people to notice my weight loss because I will then disappoint them when I regain all of the weight plus 20 pounds (so goes my thinking anyway). I'll never forget my grad school roommate's mom saying, "You look so good now that you lost weight. Don't gain it back now". Of course I did. Though she never mentioned it, I hid whenever she came to visit.
Four years ago when I lost weight on the "separation from dh diet", the coworker mentioned in the previous post lost weight on the South Beach Diet. We bonded over our weight loss, especially when I went on to lose more on the "got back together with dh diet". We gleefully discussed fat grams and sugar free desserts and the delights of size 6 pants for over a year. I still vividly remember going in to work to confess to her that I'd gained 6 pounds (because I was SURE it showed and she was eyeing me speculatively). She confessed to gaining 3 and we both vowed to redouble our weight loss efforts. When I came back to work after my leg healed, the first thing she said to me was, "Oh, I'm so glad you didn't gain the weight back! I just knew you'd be so worried about that!" These days I still feel a jolt of shame whenever I talk to her, wondering what she thinks now that I did gain back all of the weight, plus some.
In my heart of hearts, I KNOW being ashamed for gaining weight is absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't make me dumber, a worse mother or wife or librarian, or anything. It just makes me larger. I'm really trying to tell myself that people don't care, but that #!^% roommate's mom's comment pops into my head at the most inconvenient times. I try to picture myself making sarcastic comments to her.
Golfing was quite........long. It took the five of us (dh, me, R, C, and my SIL E) FOUR HOURS to play 9 holes of golf! The golf tournament on Sunday may not take quite as long since dh will golf in a foursome with people who can get the ball into the cup in fewer than 15 strokes. Oh my word, was I sore yesterday. My back, shoulders, arms, hand -- all hurt. Though part of the soreness may be from R and my push-up attempts. We are up to 17 "girl" push-ups now. We attempted one "real" push-up when we got to 10 and failed miserably. So we will try again once we get to 20.
I have come to the conclusion that I have been slacking on my exercise for months -- or maybe years. Oh, I exercise daily, but when comparing the way I feel while riding my stationary bike or elliptical to the way I felt when I did step aerobics before my biking accident, the difference is vast. During aerobics I could barely catch my breath and ended up drenched in sweat by the end. After exercise these days I have a smallish patch of sweat on my t-shirt, and during exercise there is no time I am in danger of becoming breathless. Yesterday and today I pushed harder -- and felt better when I finished.
Monday, July 21, 2008
A couple of people have made comments to me lately that have REALLY annoyed me. I'm trying to figure out why, but I'm having difficulty coming up with anything insightful. A woman who brings her grandson to storytime gushed in a loud voice, "Susan! How much have you lost?!?" When I looked at her blankly, she said, "How much weight have you lost? I LOT since last summer!" I said awkwardly, "Well, I don't weigh myself much but no, I'm pretty sure I haven't lost any." She proceeded to argue with me, finally ending with, "Well, you look great anyway." Then last week a coworker was passing me and made sort of an up and down motion with her hands, saying "You're losing weight again. I can tell." I answered, "No, I'm pretty sure I haven't". She also argued with me.
After both of these encounters, I felt vaguely squirmy and dirty. Do I not like attention drawn to the fact that I had gained weight, needed to lose weight, or am overweight? I do definitely feel that it is intrusive to comment on someone else's body, but I also realize that society is obsessed with weight and weight loss or gain. All you have to do is stand in line at the grocery store to realize that people delight in reading "I lost 100 pounds!" stories -- myself included. Judging by the trashier magazines, people also delight in reading about famous people who are caught looking fat, wrinkly, or dimpled by cellulite. I guess I wish I had the guts to say to people, "I know you mean well, but I find your comment very inappropriate". I can just imagine the look I'd get.
My list of reasons I want to be healthy is very short. I suppose that's okay, as long as it's sincere. I'll post it later, but right now I have to go put some clothes on. I took the day off work to spend with my family. We were headed to a local water park, but R fell off her bike last night and skinned her knee, elbow, and hand. So we are all going to play a round of golf together. The annual family golf tournament (I think it might be number 84!) is next Sunday and we need some practice.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I saw my therapist today and told her that my eating behavior over my vacation really disappointed me. I didn't binge, and I ate mindfully at many meals. However, I used the time as an excuse to eat ice cream a lot (okay, I know many people do that on vacation) and I ate with the group mentality quite a few times (you know...everyone else is eating chips/cookies/crackers so I'll join in too). I can't even say that it was due to any particular feeling -- I just used being on vacation as an excuse to eat. I told her that I'd been thinking about why I did it, and thought perhaps part of my psyche still believes that any day now my "willpower" will kick in and I will start starving myself for months. That has been the pattern of my life since I was 15, after all. She said, "But you're working on changing that pattern." I agreed, but confessed that part of me HOPED it would kick in because I'm unhappy with my weight. She suggested that maybe I was purposely trying to force my weight up so that I reach a tipping point and trigger my past behavior. Whoa. Ouch. I think she may be right.
I moaned about how I eat dessert whenever it's offered and just feel deprived if I turn it down. She told me I really need to find some more satisfaction in my life -- if not at work (where I am sooo bored at the moment), then at home or in other areas of my life. Deprivation and work combined with deprivation in other areas of life = food as my only reward. I know she's right. I have been doing better at treating myself well, but I'm still not really quite "there" yet. Part of the problem is my perfectionistic tendencies. I think that I can't possibly scrapbook or work on a craft project if my craft room isn't totally neat and organized. That never happens, so I never work on anything. As for work, she says that passion in all things has to be rekindled from time to time. It doesn't remain high by itself. Huh. I never thought about it that way. I guess it's another example of my Grinchy thinking!
She also suggested that I refocus my thinking. Rather than feeling deprived about not having dessert, I need to think about the reason I'm turning it down. I need to have a clear idea of why I don't want to eat the dessert. So, she wants me to make a list of the reasons I want to be healthy. She suggested that I focus on what I want my life to be like when I'm 50, 60, or 70. Do I want to be able to ride my bike? Stay off blood pressure medication? Walk without knee pain? Etc. I am having trouble coming up with much that isn't superficial (I want to fit into a smaller size!). I shall work on it, along with my attitude.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
We shared the cooking. Our branch of the family was responsible for one dinner and one lunch. Here we are making a Tex-Mex feast. It took 2+ hours too cook all of it, and we spent $555 on groceries for the two meals. In this picture are two of my BILs and SILs and T and me (we're on the right). You can't really see any faces in this picture of the entire group, but I thought it looked pretty impressive to see everyone together. Well, almost everyone. Some of us are snapping photos.
R found the ferry ride from Mackinac Island back to Mackinaw City quite exhiliarating. We took the speedy boat and she loved standing up to feel the wind in her hair.
The vacation was quite fun, though far from relaxing. I took a few strenuous bike rides, but still found myself eating for entertainment. I ate mindfully at most of the restaurant meals we had, but at the cottage, I ate more than my share of smores and birthday cake. Since we got back home I've felt far more normal, though I haven't been exercising much except walking the dog. R and I took a few short bike rides, but tomorrow morning I go back to work and hopefully back to my regular routine.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I talked to the therapist about weighing myself and whether or not it's a healthy thing to do. I haven't been weighing myself more than once every few months. All of the books on healing binge behavior say to weigh yourself once a week. She pointed out that they are talking about healing only binge eating and emotional eating -- they aren't dealing with people who've had past issues with anorexic behavior or overexercising. Good point. She pointed out that surely I can tell whether or not I've gained or lost weight by the fit of my clothing, without risking the possible trigger of using the scale. I suppose she is right.
She gave me a really neat piece of writing that has apparently been around for a while. I think this woman has been inside my head! I think I'm working on Chapter 3 -- sometimes I even get to 4.
There's a Hole In My Sidewalk : Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit...but my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I spent the whole day alternately planning to go on a diet; wondering if I could after all do the South Beach diet; thinking about how much weight I could lose by Christmas....and reminding myself that diets make me crazy; I have worth no matter what my weight; and no, I really shouldn't be eating all of this chocolate at work when I'm not at all hungry. I was really shocked at how upset I was. Here I thought my self image was improving, but I was back in the "it's hopeless so I might as well have a brownie" rut. I took R out for lunch after their "Fourth Grade Celebration" (they move to middle school next year), and managed to leave part of my lunch behind because I was full, but arrived at work and ate too many treats. I went out to dinner with a friend and had just a bowl of vegetable soup and a piece of bread because I wasn't very hungry, but went home at 8:15pm and ate a piece of pizza and a piece of cake! Just before bed I filled out my eating diary and resolved to get over my backside freak-out. So far, so good, though my mind still occasionally wanders into diet territory.
At group on Monday, my therapist gave us a great list of affirmations to post on the fridge. I won't post it on the fridge because of my girls, but I want to share it:
- My worth as a person is not diminished in any way by my body size or my eating patterns.
- I will love myself no matter what my eating patterns are.
- I will judge my days not by what or how much I eat, but by the accomplishments I have made and the love I have given.
- My life is a gift, and I will not let my enjoyment of it be diminished by feeling guilty over my body size or how much I eat.
- I am finished blaming others, situations, and myself for the way I eat. I will take action minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day until I can eat normally again.
- My eating disorder is a temporary condition in my life.
- There is a normal eater within me. I will let her take over my life more and more each day as I am ready.
- I can imagine a life without having an eating disorder.
- When I feel stressed, I will close my eyes and picture how my all-powerful, normal eater would handle the situation.
- I believe I will be a normal eater again. I know I will be a normal eater again!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I had support group last night and attendance was huge. 18 anorexic teenagers, one middle aged overweight woman, and me. There are some young women there who never say a single word. I have no idea why they come. Maybe just listening to others helps -- or maybe mom forces them to come. During the meeting, one girl said that she's struggling with doing the same thing every day -- starving herself all day and then giving in and bingeing and purging in the evening. She said, "I KNOW what happens every single time I starve all day -- I KNOW it -- yet I tell myself that this day will be different."
I thought about how I do similar things -- I do things knowing KNOWING what will happen -- yet I still do them. Yesterday was a CRAZY day at work. I didn't get a chance to even get a drink of water until 1pm. We had pizza and lots of treats around, but lunch was fine for me. I ate one piece of pizza, my salad, and a piece of cake and I was really full. The afternoon was so busy and I was still so full from lunch that I didn't even think about food. Yet, when I left work, I took three of the cookies a coworker had brought in and told myself they were "for my kids". Yeah, right. I ate them in the car before I was even halfway home. What was that about? A reward for a busy day? A release of all of the tension -- relief that I was done? Anxiety about my support group meeting? What? Who knows? I think the most important thing for me to admit is that I took those cookies for ME. I didn't take them for my kids or my dh or anyone but me. I KNEW I was going to eat them on the way home, but didn't want to admit it to myself. The only saving grace in it for me is that I ate a REALLY small dinner and didn't eat anything else the rest of the night because I wasn't hungry.
After group I went to TCBY to get a frozen yogurt pie for R's 4th grade graduation celebration dinner (which will be tonight), and I wanted to get a frozen yogurt cone just because I was there and I love frozen yogurt. I didn't get one though. I want to get better -- ALL better. That's not going to happen unless I consistently make good choices. If I'd been hungry, okay. However, eating frozen yogurt last night would have been all about "hey, it's there -- and besides, I already ate three cookies and a piece of cake today. Might as well..." No. No. No. No. NO. I will not be that person anymore.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Here's my wonderful dh T running in a 5K. He's now talking about doing a triathlon, which made me mentally scratch my head. He hasn't been on a bike for at least 8 years and I've never seen him do anything in a pool but play around. I will be supportive if he wants to do it though.
I've been MIA because my life is still rather CRAZY these days. With t-ball twice a week, golf once a week, etc., I've been gone almost every evening for several weeks now. Thank heavens t-ball and school both end next week. We don't sign the girls up for evening or Saturday activities in the summer. I want my kids to have the kind of relaxed summers I had (sans wacky mother who thinks kids are the perfect manual laborers for her gigantic garden and grand landscaping projects).
Anyway, life is pretty good. I haven't had anything I could call a true binge in weeks and weeks and weeks. I've had some days when I've made a bad choice or two, but nothing worse than eating a few handfuls of chips when I'm not really hungry. I saw my therapist two weeks ago and I told her I was really struggling with wanting to lose weight versus trying to have a normal relationship with food. I think my self image has improved over the past several months, as I've stopped bingeing and worked on my destructive and irrational thoughts. However, I'm still not thrilled with my size. I confessed to her that I've realized through using the eating diary that I'm terrible at feeding myself at the first sign of hunger rather than waiting until I'm ravenous. I'm afraid of eating too much if I really allow myself to eat every time I'm hungry. We decided that I really need to trust my hunger and that I may end up eating less because I sometimes realize too late that I'm a bit too full because I was so hungry when I started eating. True confessions here...I still haven't been very good about it since then. There are a few days when I've had a snack at work when I'm really hungry between meals, but it makes me feel really anxious -- and I'm still super hungry at mealtime. So I think to myself, "WHAT in the heck is the point?!?" It doesn't matter what the snack is either -- high protein, high carb, mixture of both, fruit, veg...whatever. I've tried different things, but somehow I am still just as hungry when the next meal rolls around.
We discussed feelings and I told her I still have great difficulty pinpointing the feeling that underlies my anxiety or restlessness. I need to look at my feeling list more often when I'm having trouble. She gave me a really interesting sheet that shows how feelings change into destructive behaviors if you don't allow yourself to feel and/or express them. Anger, for example, changes into controlling behavior (among other things).
She led me through a visualization, which was really neat. I'd never really tried to do it before, but as she talked I really felt as though I was swinging softly in a hammock on the beach under a palm tree, feeling a soft breeze as I read a book. Ironic since I would never relax enough to do that, but she said that I could practice doing visualization to give me a little respite when I'm having a stressful day and can't actually escape. Of course, I haven't yet done it because I forget all about it when I really need it!
I've been trying to work on changing my irrational thoughts by asking myself what evidence I have for thinking _____________ (insert any irrational thought here!). It really calms me down when I take the trouble to challenge my squirrel brain. I have had many mornings lately when I suddenly think, "Hey! I'm not thinking about food!" If I start to have any weird repetitive food/weight loss thoughts, I immediately start reciting a nursery rhyme and my thoughts go away. It seems dopey, but it works.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I still feel quite self conscious at support group. There can't be more than 3 of us over the age of 25 and there are only a couple who aren't recovering from anorexia. I will soldier on though -- maybe I'm providing comfort to the other non-skinny women. Barb gave some handouts to the group and I think one will be quite useful for me. It's a sort of worksheet for emotional eaters. It's not the usual food diary, but rather a sheet of questions to ask yourself each evening. There are things on it like "did I eat mindfully today, without distractions?", "did I make myself eat food I don't enjoy?", "did I eat from boredom, anger....(etc)?", "will there be a time tomorrow when I may struggle not to eat and what will I do about it?" I will post the entire thing when I have it in hand (not at home right now).
At therapy last week I whinged about my obsessive thoughts and Barb suggested that when they start popping up, I should recite a nursery rhyme, sing a song, or tell myself a story (even if it's nonsensical) -- preferably out loud. That will force me to use the opposite side of my brain and take my mind off my other thoughts. I tried it a few times and it actually works pretty well.
She also urged me to stop personalizing everything. I tend to take responsibility for everyone else's feelings and for the way they act toward me. I am not responsible for anyone else's feelings. Wow. After a few days of ruminating on that, I remembered trying to make my mom happy when she was angry with us (my sibs and me). We hardly ever knew exactly why she was mad -- she would just suddenly stop talking to us. It was very stressful and I'd walk on eggshells and scramble around cleaning things and trying to do things to make her happy again. Usually the storm cloud would suddenly pass one day and she'd start talking to us again like nothing had ever happened. I remember even asking dad why she was upset and he never had any clue either. I felt such a responsibility to make her happy -- and I tend to do the same thing currently with anyone who is upset with me.
I had shared with Barb a day when I struggled with my eating after having breakfast with three friends (all former coworkers). We eat breakfast together every month or so and I really enjoy their company. One of them, B, was advised three years ago by her doctor that if she lost 15 pounds or so she'd probably be able to quit taking her blood pressure meds. She joined WW and was a model dieter. She never ate one single point over her allotted amount, lost 40 lbs in just a few months, and has maintained that loss ever since. At this month's breakfast, she ate plain oatmeal and I commented that she hadn't had her usual peanut butter with it. She said that she had switched programs with WW and wasn't counting points anymore, and she wasn't sure if peanut butter was an okay food. I was surprised that she still counted points and said so. She told us that she had been put on a new medication for her fibromyalgia and suddenly started gaining weight. She cut her points and was still gaining weight at 20 points a day. (20! I'd be ravenous all day long!) So she switched plans and stopped taking her medication. She said, "I just think I'd rather hurt than gain the weight back." I was rather speechless. I wasn't sure if I should admire her tenacity or feel sorry for her.
At the same breakfast she asked me if she should still bring me castoff clothing from her daughter (which she has done for several years). I, of course, took her question to mean that hey, I was kind of fat now and could never fit in to any of her daughter's clothes now so why should she still bring them to me? Barb pointed out that she may have simply been asking because it had been a while since she'd brought me any and that I should not assume she was implying anything. I'm still not convinced, but I think B's dedication to her weight maintenance along with the clothing comment made me feel deeply ashamed. All day I had that "I might as well give up and eat like a pig because I'm never going to lose any weight and I'm going to hate how I look for the rest of my life" thoughts. So, I need to work on NOT PERSONALIZING. The whole world does not revolve around me, right?