Monday, February 25, 2008

Ups and Downs

Wow -- it takes one a while to recover from vacation, doesn't it? I'm still very behind on reading the blogs I subscribe to, and my laundry is everywhere!

First, a funny: we were going to have "family movie night" on Saturday night and told the girls to go get their pajamas on after dinner. T and I went into our bedroom and locked it because we were planning to be "busy" for a bit. C, who was in the process of changing, heard the dog scratching on our door and came to open it for her. Finding it was locked, she called to me to open it. I called back that I was changing into my pajamas and would be out in a minute. In an exasperated tone she called back, "MOM!! Can't you just open the door?!? Come ON! I'm naked too!"

I went to the symphony with my dad on Friday. I'm too cheap to pay for the parking ramp so I made him walk about half a mile from the car to the hall. It was kind of icy on the sidewalk and all I could think of while we were walking was that he was going to fall and break something and it would be all my fault. The music was lovely. They played something by Mozart, which was okay but not fabulous. There was a guest pianist from Argentina to play Beethoven's Concerto No. 2, which was wonderful. The second half was all music from Porkofiev's Romeo and Juliet, which was fantastic. All in all, a nice evening.

So, I will quit procratinating and confess that I binged for two days after seeing the therapist, and my weight is right back up to 176.8 or something like that. I was better yesterday and (so far) today. I wondered if maybe I was worried that she was going to "make" me stop using food, but I don't really think that was my problem. I think honestly that I am scared because this is IT. She is the REAL DEAL -- a therapist who specializes in people with eating disorders. So what if I can't figure out why I do this to myself? What if I never uncover the reason? What if I do uncover the reason and still can't stop? What if I'm never normal? Frightening. We really didn't get into much in our first session -- it was mainly background stuff, but I felt like a freak describing my weird family of origin. I won't see her again until mid March because she's going on vacation and is booked up prior to going out of town. However, she does have a support group that meets twice a month. I can't go tonight, but can go in two weeks. I'm curious to find out what it's like.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Happiest Place On Earth

At the risk of sounding terribly corny, we had a truly magical vacation. The start and end were rough, but the days we spent at WDW were wonderful. We woke up at 3:30am and drove to the airport only to find that our flight had been delayed 3 hours, ensuring that we'd miss our connecting flight in Chicago. We had to be re-routed through Denver, with an arrival time in Orlando at midnight. Fortunately, we made it on an earlier flight (yea standby!) and got to Orlando only three hours late.

After we got settled and ate some dinner, we headed to Epcot. We got right on the two rides we really wanted with no wait and stayed to watch Illuminations, the fireworks/laser light show. In the mornings, we did what the guidebooks advised and arrived at the parks before they opened. Seeing the opening "show" was really neat and added to the excitement. We spent the mornings and early afternoons at one park, went back to the resort for a nap and a swim, and then headed out to a different park later in the day.

I swear, it was like we were charmed! We never waited more than 20 minutes for any ride or for the bus. We only used their FASTPASS system a few times, and that worked really well for the few rides that had long lines when we got to them. The girls met so many characters that they filled up their entire autograph books. The weather was GORGEOUS -- warm, sunny, and lovely. It rained for about three minutes one day, but otherwise was perfect. The highlights for C were meeting Ariel, riding Test Track at Epcot, swimming, and eating breakfast with the Disney princesses. R loved every roller coaster, meeting Cinderella, and being chosen to be the captain of the boat on the Jungle Cruise. T and I really enjoyed Animal Kingdom -- the Kilimanjaro Safari was really incredible.

Soarin' at Epcot was one of my favorite rides, though to be honest, every ride was fun. Disney does an awesome job with atmosphere. Every ride has great "decor", so you feel entertained even while waiting in line. The shows were fun too -- we saw Beauty and the Beast, Nemo, The Lion King, Turtle Talk with Crush, the Monsters Inc Comedy Club, and several of the 3-D movies. C got a bit scared at "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", but otherwise she was game to do everything. She rode just about every ride she was tall enough for and loved the roller coasters we went on.

I forgot to leave a tip for "mousekeeping" the first day, but after I remembered to do so on the following days, we arrived "home" to find little surprises each day. The first day, our maid arranged all of the stuffed animals as though they were watching cartoons, with the remote in one paw. On subsequent days, she left little washcloth animals for the girls, which they delighted in (pictured above). Note to self: never forget the tip!

I never walked so much in my life! According to my pedometer, we walked 8-10 miles every day. My knees, shins, and feet were so sore I thought I'd need a knee replacement by the time we got home. As for my eating....well, it could have been better. On the Disney Dining Plan, you get a snack, a counter meal, and a sit-down meal each day. We used our snack for breakfast, since you could get a bagel with peanut butter or a muffin. I had a bagel each day. Our lunches were pretty healthy -- mostly sandwiches, with fruit or carrot and celery sticks swapped for the fries, cole slaw or chips. They were really good about allowing swaps. Unfortunately, each lunch came with dessert, so we had dessert twice a day (since dinner also came with a dessert). We didn't snack at all, but three or four of our dinners were buffets, and each had about 10 dessert choices. I left at least three of the buffets feeling overfull. Ugh.

We went to check out and leave our luggage with the "Magical Express" people, planning to use our final four lunches and snacks to have a leisurely breakfast prior to going to the airport. Unfortunately, we discovered that United (never flying them again!) had changed our flight time (and didn't notify us of the fact) and not only did we have to take our own luggage to the airport, but we had to get on the bus to the airport immediately or risk missing our flight. ARGH! R and I raced inside to grab muffins and we barely got on the bus to the airport. We spent about $50 we wouldn't have had to spend, using curbside check-in and buying lunch at the airport in Chicago. Our flight from Chicago had been changed too, so we didn't arrive home until 7pm or so. We arrived to 15 degree temperatures and lots of new snow. Yippee.
Today is my appointment with the therapist who specializes in BED. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Back From Our Weekend

Wow...hanging out with couples who are 10 and 15 years younger than you can really make you feel your age! We had a fun weekend, but I am really tired. I am quite proud of myself because I didn't allow my anxious and insecure feelings to interfere with normal eating this past weekend. There was definitely some snacking going on, but nothing out of hand. I was so worried about feeling fat and frumpy, but I realized when we arrived at the cabin that three of the women there are my size or a size larger. After dinner on Friday, we all went out to a casino. Gambling isn't really my thing, so I took a book to read by the fire (it was a resort, not just a casino). I felt like an old lady -- especially after I fell asleep while reading. After the casino, I thought we'd all go to bed -- it was midnight after all. We got back to the cabin and played games and drank (I drank water -- they drank beer and mixed drinks) until 4am! T and I had been up for 24 hours at that point. We all finally went to bed at 4 and woke up at 8:30am. Ahhh...when you're only 28, the ability you have to bounce back quickly is amazing!

On Saturday we had breakfast, played in the snow (another girl and I stayed indoors chatting), went bowling, ate dinner out, and went back to the cabin for more games and drinking. By 10pm I felt really tired and went to lay down. They all stayed up til 1am. I tried to sleep, but the cabin was really just a large open room with a loft, so their laughter and music kept me awake til 1am also. Thankfully, everyone slept in until 8 or so on Sunday. We decided to start for home in the late morning because the temperature was below zero with 40 m.p.h. winds. The drive home was long and stressful. Since we stopped for breakfast/lunch, we got home around 2pm.

All in all, it was fun, though I wavered between really trying hard and just feeling like I wanted to go to bed. I hope they didn't think I was an old fuddy duddy. Luckily, the hostess is also a non-drinker so I didn't feel pressure to join in with the alcohol. She also doesn't enjoy the snow much, so I didn't feel too ancient staying inside instead of going out to sled behind quad runners (which, frankly, scares the *^!% out of me since breaking my leg). I didn't even embarrass myself too badly in bowling -- got a 103 one game and beat two of the guys. I suppose I would have felt kind of old even if I weighed 120. Speaking of weight, I weighed 174.6 this morning -- four pounds less than last week. I'm glad because I felt like I really ate "normally" last week. I didn't restrict my eating, but tried not to eat when I wasn't hungry and tried to stick with my 3 meals and 2 snacks.

The hostess this past weekend was the only one of us who isn't overweight at all. She left food on her plate at every meal, except when she served herself. I don't know if she's a restrained eater or an intuitive eater. To give you an example, when we went out Saturday night she ordered the burger and fries platter, but asked to have them leave off the fries. She cut her burger in half and ate about 2/3 of it -- and it was only a 1/4 lb burger. At breakfast on the way home, she left at least half of her meal behind. She didn't snack much at all. I saw her eat a brownie and a couple of Little Debbie peanut butter bars, but never saw her eat chips, crackers, or nuts at all. Interesting.

Thank you for your comment Isabelle -- you're always very kind. You know, sometimes I think I would be fine at this weight (...or maybe just a BIT smaller... :-)) if I just had a normal relationship with food. If I could just eat without all of the baggage attached, I'd be much happier. Maybe with the therapist's help, it will happen.

I may not be able to post again until we return from Disney World. I'm quite excited to be escaping the snow, and (fingers crossed) the weather forecast looks promising.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Feeling Those Feelings Again

Today is one of those days when I just want to eat all day long. I've been doing well this whole week with the "eating only my planned meals and snacks" idea. Though I haven't really been restricting my calories, I haven't binged or even overeaten much. I think my anxiety today is due to the upcoming weekend. I'm looking forward to two days off because I've worked 13 in a row, but I wish I were going to be vegging in a chair instead of driving north with friends. We are going "up north" to a cabin on Lake Michigan tonight for the weekend with four other couples. I wish I were excited. I wish I felt happy about it. All I can think about is how fat I look. I feel grumpy and crabby and chubby.

I don't really like going to clubs, I'm a terrible dancer, I don't really drink, I like to go to bed early and get up with the chickens, and I'd much rather go to a movie than a party. T loves to stay up late and drink and "party" with large groups of people. Don't get me wrong -- he's never done drugs in his life and doesn't have any addictions -- but he loves a good beer or two or three when we go out. He usually drinks enough that he doesn't feel comfortable driving home.

What I wonder though is -- do I really not like going to parties or do I only not like it when I am fat? When we first started dating, I tried. I put on the "sparkly party girl" personality and went to all of the parties we were invited to. I wasn't skinny then, but I was almost 30 lbs skinnier than I am now. After we had R, I felt even less like going to bars and parties, but I encouraged him to go without me. It was so bad that his coworkers teased him that I only existed in the picture in his wallet. Was it all insecurity about my weight or was part of it just me? Am I really a shy introvert or am I just self conscious about my body. It's hard to separate the two because I've been insecure about my weight since I was 15.

When my husband and I were separated, I hardly ate and lost a bunch of weight very quickly. I started doing aerobics again and lost even more. I was a size 8, then a size 6. I was desperate to save my marriage. I started going to every single party and concert and get together we were invited to. I drank vodka and diet coke at a Kid Rock concert and "flashed" because T jokingly suggested it. I ingratiated myself with all of his coworkers and their wives. I organized group outings to see the local improv group, to go out to dinner, and to go to see Tina and Tony's Wedding (which was HILARIOUS, BTW). I danced at all of his coworkers' weddings and called up all of the deputies' wives for "girls night out". I was "super outgoing wife" supreme. Was it me? Well, no. I was forcing myself to do it. However, I had a great time most of the time. I felt sexy, confident, and popular.

Even after we got back together, we kept up a busy social life, albeit not at the same breakneck pace. Then I broke my leg. We still went to some weddings and other outings. I even went to a wedding using a walker and didn't feel too embarrassed. Then I gained forty pounds. I am again in hermit mode, ashamed of my weight gain and ashamed of my body. We still go do things we're invited to do, but I haven't organized anything in ages. I know it's silly. I know that if these people really like me, they'll like me whether I weigh 136 or 178. I still feel like hiding in my house.

Monday, February 04, 2008

On An Upswing

In spite of feeling rather queasy all weekend, I'm feeling pretty upbeat today. I was getting nervous that I might be pg because I have been so tired and now was queasy. However, my fears were allayed today. Whew.

I saw my new doctor for a "getting to know you" visit today. She was wowed by my impressive surgical history and my low blood pressure. She is sending me to have a blood test for lipids, CA125, sugar, etc., and a vaginal ultrasound. I just had one in May, but since I'm seeing her for a physical in April she wants me to have one done before then. I broached the subject of having my ovaries removed, but she'd really like to see me wait until menopause. I felt a little uneasy because she was surprised to heat that a BRCA1+ mutation confers a higher risk of ovarian cancer, but maybe she's never had a BRCA1+ patient. I got a new prescription for migraine medication too. I had such a bad headache the other night that I took some of my leftover Vicodin (it's actually expired, but I figure it's still okay, right?). I spoke to her about my eating issues and she said she has a patient who is in a support group that has been very helpful. She said she'd look up the info for me if I can't get in to see a psychologist, or even if I do see one.

I called the psychologist I wrote about last time and made an appointment for Feb 20. I'm nervous, but mostly I feel really relieved. I had a totally normal weekend, as far as eating goes -- feeling queasy probably helped with that though. I ate my meals and snacks and nothing in between. Actually, yesterday I didn't even eat snacks or lunch. We went out to breakfast late and I wasn't hungry til 6pm or so.

Thank you for your supportive comments on my last post. It's funny -- I am a very competitive person, but in yoga I'm so focused on trying to get the pose right that I don't really even notice the other women in the room. Most of them are my age or older and not exactly slim, which probably helps me not to feel inadequate or judged. The thing I worry most about is when the teacher says the name of the pose and I think, "AACK! Which one is that?!?"

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Seeking Help

Is this perimenopause? Every month around the time my period is due to start, I feel incredibly exhausted. I feel as though I took a sleeping pill and can barely keep my eyes open. For the past few months I've also experienced a few days in a row of migraine headaches. Oh, the joy of being female. I'm at work today (another long 7 of 13 in a row) and I feel as though I could just crawl under my desk and sleep.

Yoga this week was great. Wow -- I can't believe something so calm can make me so overheated. My knee wasn't sore even after exercising yesterday, but today it is. I did share my past injury with my teacher, but she really just said not to do anything that hurts. It doesn't hurt at the time of the class, just gets sore later. I'll miss the next two weeks due to R's school concert and our vacation to WDW. I hope I don't feel completely lost when I return.

Last night I hosted six of my coworkers for a potluck. It was the first time most of them had ever been to my house and it was really odd showing them around. I've never been to most of their houses and I couldn't help wondering what they thought. I ate WAY too much and went to bed feeling really uncomfortable. I have to (again) face the fact that even though I haven't been bingeing for the past six weeks, I have NOT been eating intuitively. I've been grazing throughout the day when I'm not hungry, and just eating whatever I felt like eating. I haven't been overeating at meals (except for last night), but I've been snacking on too many nuts and carbs like Fiber One Honey Clusters and milk or whole wheat bread and peanut butter. Yes, it sounds healthy, but too many calories = tight clothing no matter how healthy the excess calories are.

I weighed myself this morning. I haven't gotten on the scale for a really long time -- since October maybe? Wow. I weighed 178.6. Wow. I am almost up to my highest weight ever (182 when I was a freshman in college). I can't imagine what I'd weigh if I didn't exercise so much. I happened upon a book called Binge No More by Joy Nash and was perusing it over the past few days. One thing she says is that intuitive eating is all well and good, but telling a person with BED that you should eat whenever you're hungry isn't very useful. That works well for someone who has had a chronic dieting problem, but not for someone with a chronic eating problem. She thinks the first step in recovery is to eat three planned meals and two snacks, and limit your eating to those times. Don't limit WHAT you eat for now, but eat only at your planned times, and place a time limit on those times (30 minutes for a meal, for example). That prevents you from grazing all day long or constantly having to ask yourself "Am I really hungry?". You also keep a sheet with what you ate, what time you ate, your feelings and activity at the time, and whether or not it turned into a binge.

I was REALLY unhappy when I was skinny. I was happy with the way I looked, but I was miserable about the fact that I overexercised and constantly thought about food. I am also REALLY unhappy right now. Yes, I'm unhappy with my weight, but I still constantly think about food. I'm going to start working on the suggestions in Nash's book today. I have resisted keeping any kind of food sheet because I equated it with my days of constant hunger. However, if I know that I'm only going to eat my planned meals and snacks, I think it will feel less intrusive.

We switched insurance this year and I found a psychology office that participates in our insurance and has a woman who treats BED. I'm going to call Monday and see if I need some sort of referral or if I can just make an appointment. It's time I sought out some help from a professional.