Friday, December 03, 2010

Staying Present

I am REALLY REALLY bad at staying present/staying in the moment/staying mindful. However you want to put it, I suck at it. I recently realized that I rarely live in the moment. I spend all of my time looking forward to the next thing, the next weekend, the next holiday, the next vacation, the next.... whatever. I count down the months, weeks, and days until my vacations, and then spend them feeling out of sorts, cranky, and unsettled. I think I put so much expectation into what they will be like that I can never be satisfied with what they actually are. Looking back, I can't remember the last time a vacation was truly relaxing and happy. Oh, there were happy and relaxing parts, but much of the time was filled with crabbiness, snapping at my family, and eating out of control. Holidays too. I seriously can't recall the last holiday that I didn't overeat desserts until I felt sick. I guess I'm trying to get the sweetness that I think should be through sweet food? Maybe that's too obvious.

I seem to spend a lot of time feeling "fat" on holidays and on vacations. Fat isn't a feeling, so how do I really feel? Sad that the time isn't what I had expected and/or wanted? I think I am in mourning for holidays and vacations past. You know, those days when everything was warm, fuzzy, loving, and "just right". I am a person who doesn't want things to change. Truthfully, I am someone who fights change. But, life does change. Tim's siblings are now married and have children and stepchildren. Not everyone can make it to the celebration due to work or a significant other's family obligations, and things aren't quite as effortless as they were before, even when everyone is present. There are strangers there. My mom isn't there to be the mom and Tim's mom is too physically disabled to be the mom. My SIL and I have to be the moms. I don't want to be the mom. I want someone to make me fudge and cook a wonderful dinner and just show up with a dish to pass. I don't want to be the one who has to make the wonderful dinner. I think I need to work on accepting the new normal. I either spend hours cooking the perfect food, or accept store bought rolls and some convenience food. I need to just let it be and enjoy what is, rather than feeling sad and regretful for what has been.

I'm going to work on that.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Starting Over. Really? How Many Times Do I Have to Do This Before it Sticks???

I have now eaten myself back to my weight of three summers ago. Oy. I have run out of excuses for it, and I need to once again start the work. Not the work of losing weight -- though, yes, that would be lovely -- but the emotional work of straightening myself out.

I had surgery about two weeks ago, and told myself that once it was done, I'd be okay. I'd start eating more sensibly. I haven't really been bingeing exactly -- simply overeating and snacking when not hungry, especially on sweets. Ugh. I had the surgery, had a few days of normal eating, and went back to munching mindlessly. Then I told myself that it was stress over waiting for the results from the lab. Yesterday I got those results and everything is fine. I still wanted to eat today when not hungry. So....back to the starting line. Back to the basics that I learned in therapy.

I've actually been doing quite well with eating more slowly. I'm not usually the first one done at dinner these days, and I am realizing I'm full before my plate is empty, even when I take small portions. Sometimes I eat the rest anyway. So, back to trying to pause. Pause before eating when not hungry, and pause before eating more from my plate. Pause. Pause. Pause. And feel. Feeling. Yep, that's the hard part.

In pausing sometimes over the past few days, I've realized that I have a lot of anxiety over my surgery -- or rather the aftermath of it. I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed because I have one of the "bre*st c*ncer genes", which confers a 44% chance of ov*rian c*ncer by age 70, 20% at age 50. At 46, I was beginning to fear that every abdominal twinge I had was the big C, so I told my doctor I was ready. However, I wasn't really ready. I am scared that menop*use will mean that I will gain 30 lbs, grow a mustache, and lose all my sex drive, get wrinkly, and lose all appeal I have for my husband. Yes, part of me knows that is really catastrophic thinking, but even after six years (since our separation) I still feel somewhat raw when it comes to my dh's feelings toward me. The man acts as though he really loves me, but does he REALLY...(so goes my thinking) soon as our children are grown, will he suddenly announce that he no longer loves me and wants a divorce? Then I'll be a lonely 56-year-old fat woman with a mustache. I would feel comfortable sharing my concerns with him, but I don't want to hurt his feelings (that I am STILL insecure several years after we repaired our marriage), so I hesitate. I did tell him about my menop*sal fears, and it didn't really help matters any when he said, "Just don't grow a mustache". Thanks, honey. I can probably stop being afraid for a while anyway, since my doctor put me on HRT drugs to help me over the rough spots, but eventually I'll have to face it.

So, I'm working on just feeling my anxiety, and not eating over it. What will be will be, and eating everything in sight certainly won't help with that fear of weight gain. I'll let you know how it's going....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Judge Not

If only I'd remember that...judge not. I am a pretty judgmental person, which is something I really dislike about myself. At least I usually keep my opinions to myself. However, I have raved several times to my husband and SIL and other people about my MIL's eating habits. Perhaps I have even done so on this blog. I probably have. Anyway, she is diabetic, morbidly obese, and has congestive heart failure going on. Even so, she orders things like french toast when we go out to eat, and doesn't even try to stick to eating the way a diabetic should. I have always felt angry about it, because she is my kids' only grandmother and I'm afraid that she isn't going to live to see them grow up. I have groused about what I judge to be her irresponsibility in caring for her health. I have realized lately that I should have kept my big mouth shut. I now must open it to eat my words.

I set out this summer determined to control my cholesterol with my diet. I already exercised, but was convinced that if I ate a low fat, low sugar, vegan diet, I'd lose some weight and my cholesterol would magically drop to normal levels. I did okay on this eating regimen for a while, but since our vacation, I have completely thrown it out the window. I am still not eating much meat, but I have more than made up for it in sugary stuff like ice cream, chocolate, Pop Tarts, and cookies. I have even been eating things lately that I haven't eaten in years. I bought and ate 2 oz of ham spread last week. HAM SPREAD! I haven't eaten  ham spread since...well, since I was a kid maybe? I also ate a piece of bologna! Granted, it was bologna from our local butcher and made by them, but still. It was BOLOGNA! Disgusting. I confess it was delicious. But I digress. I have to go have my blood drawn for a cholesterol test next week and I am petrified that the results will be absolutely terrible. I'll have to go back on my medication, and feel like an utter and complete failure.

I realize that diets don't work. I was on a diet and hey, it didn't work. It was too restrictive. I loved the food I was eating, but I missed the things I wasn't. I thought I'd be able to put my health ahead of my love for ice cream, but apparently -- for me -- moose tracks beats all.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Old Dogs and Old Tricks

Above is my sister-in-law's (and brother's too, I suppose) pantry. As I perused it, I was thinking that I could learn a lot from this pantry. It is a normal eater's pantry. In it are at least 8 boxes of cereal, several types of cookies, store bought and homemade, open packages of graham crackers and chocolate, many types of snack crackers and chips, at least four types of bread and bagels, granola bars....and so on. They don't worry that the chips or cookies may get stale before they're eaten. They don't hear the siren song of the graham crackers whispering, "Eat me...I'm open, so you might as well finish me..." They don't stress out that no one is eating the seedy crackers bought at Wh0le Foods - so they'd better be the ones to down them or they'll go to waste. They don't look at the cookies and plan not to buy them again. No. They walk past this cornucopia of food dozens of times a day and barely give it a thought unless they're hungry. Even then, they don't eat a cookie, decide that all is lost, and finish off the bag. They fix a snack or meal -- that might include a cookie -- and move on with life. Amazing.

We just returned from two weeks away from home. My eating was a very odd mix of mindful days spent eating small portions and/or healthy foods, and days that seemed like one long foodfest. I mindfully OVERate on several days, feeling that old "uncontrollable" urge to stuff it all in, while at the same time, realizing that I was stuffing it in and could stop at any time. Didn't stop. I think I put too much pressure on myself to try and NOT gain weight on this vacation. I set off all determined to stick to a vegan diet, eat lots of vegetables, stay away from sugar....only to end up staying with people whose idea of a balanced dinner was: your choice of hot dog or hamburger, Doritos, and soda. Not kidding. Here and there I was able to stop at a store, so for a few meals I had greek yogurt as my main dish, and tried to fill in with fruit and veggies (if they were available), but I ate more meat over the two weeks than I had for the previous two months. Even at the restaurants we went to, most of thet time I had to get fish or starve. None of that is really an excuse for my behavior though. I purposely overate things that no one was force feeding me. I need to pull myself out of this cycle and get back on the road to health.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

All is Well, Sort Of...

I'm almost hesitant to post that all is well. It seems to me that every time I state on my blog that everything is great, I find myself eating inhaling my third bowl of granola over the sink late the next evening! Is it some sort of weird self sabotage? Am I afraid that if, someday, I proclaim myself healed and "normal", I'll have nothing to put my energies into? Do I like being unhappy? I don't think I do. Maybe it's more that my eating issues help take the focus off the fact that I'm not happy now. I'm not exactly unhappy. I love my husband and our relationship is fine, I love my children, I have a nice home....but I'm having some sort of midlife crisis (albeit a bit past "mid-life", since I'll be 46 next week!). I am BORED. Every day is a repetition of the day before. Get up, walk the dog, exercise, eat, go to work, come home, cook, eat, read the paper, check email, go to bed. Repeat. On the weekends -- run errands, shop for groceries, clean the house, go to some family function.... I can't summon much enthusiasm to do anything fun, either. I took my girls to the lake on Friday, and I sat in a chair and read for 4+ hours. I never even put my feet in the water. We haven't gone to the zoo or the water park or anything fun this summer. When I'm home, I just feel like staying home.

Am I depressed? I don't really *feel* depressed. Perhaps I just need to start forcing myself to do more. I'm almost afraid to say this, but I also wonder if I'd be ten times happier if I could quit my job. I don't hate my job, but I don't enjoy working. That doesn't make sense, but it's true. I like doing storytime and helping kids. I like working at the desk, helping people find things. However, I just dread going in to work every day and rejoice when I have a doctor's appointment or something that takes me away for an hour or two. By 3:30pm, I'm so bored and restless that I want to run screaming from the building. Part of it is a few coworkers who drive me CRAZY due to a lack of work ethic and assorted personality quirks that really aren't their fault. It is mostly the work ethic, though. I've actually gone so far as to confess my misery to my boss, who has said he will change things, but change never happens. It's hard to summon enthusiasm when sitting next to someone who spends several hours surfing the Internet, looking at religious websites. I feel pretty trapped, though. I have been with the library for 18 years, and am looking at quite a nice pension if I stay a dozen more. Tim paid off our combined student loans only 5 or 6 years ago, and I can't face the idea of going back to school AND working. Not that I have any idea what else I would do. Ay yi yi. My only hope is that the youth librarian who works at the library a few miles from my house retires soon. I would definitely apply for her job. She is about 60, so there is hope. There would be a LOT of competition for her job, but if I don't try, I have no chance, right?

Enough whining. Otherwise, life is good...mostly. I'm doing well with my plan to eat healthfully enough to ditch my cholesterol medication, though I still struggle when I make a fabulous dessert for a family function. I sometimes can eat only a few bites, savor it, and feel fine. Other times, I've eaten way too much and then felt awful (physcially and mentally). I weighed 155.4 this morning, which is the lowest number I've seen for a while. I went for a long time last year without weighing myself at all, but I think I'm about where I was last summer before we went on vacation and I OD'd on ice cream and came home with tight clothes. I've been eating about 1200 calories net (subtracting a modest amount from my total calories for exercise), and haven't been at all hungry. Yes, I am counting calories. I feel like a big traitor to the intuitive eating movement in some ways, but so far it hasn't proven to send me over the edge into bingeing/starving territory. There have been a few weeks when I realized that I was suddenly overexercising to be able to eat more, but the awareness nipped it in the bud.

I'm having physical therapy for an issue with my hip that started a couple of months ago. Today was the first day I felt like it didn't hurt as much, so maybe I've turned the corner (fingers crossed). We leave for vacation in 10 days or so (going to Alaska and Washington), and I imagine the lack of exercise while gone may help my joint heal.

Monday, June 07, 2010


I've been feeling very peaceful lately, in spite of my hectic life. I've been remembering to practice the things I learned from Barb (in therapy), and trying to take time for myself. School is almost over, which will be a big relief. Ballet, Hip Hop, track...being gone four nights a week is a bit much. The big hurrah is Friday, when my girls are having their annual end of the year sleepover. We chose a luau theme this year, and have lots of fun decorations. I have to work on Saturday, but asked to take vacation time after 1:15pm. Just taking care of myself.

I've been following Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Eat for Life plan pretty faithfully. I've been writing about it in my other blog, but wanted to mention it here too. My "toxic hunger" has definitely diminished. Today I had some homemade vegetable soup and a nice vegetable salad with beans for lunch, and I wasn't famished by 4pm. I was kind of hungry, but not that desperate hunger you feel sometimes -- you know -- the kind that makes you want to dig the pizza out of the breakroom trash can? I tallied up my calories for the day and found that I was just under 1200. Huh. I walked the dog this morning and did 45 minutes on the elliptical, so it's not like my activity level was low. I never in a zillion, billion year thought I wouldn't be positively starving all day if I stuck to 1200 calories. Maybe there is something to this good nourishment thing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Throwing a Tantrum

I am very dismayed at the way I've been eating for the past two weeks. I have been overeating just about every evening, either at dinner or after - to the point of being uncomfortable! I haven't eaten in this irresponsible way regularly for ages. I think I've been doing some "last supper" type eating because I'm considering changing my diet to fit Dr. Joel Fuhrman's ideas. I read his books Eat to Live and Eat for Health, and reading all of the testimonials gave me hope that maybe I could lower my cholesterol if I started eating by his guidelines. I was trying to ease into it by incorporating even more fruits and vegetables into my days, as well as eating less meat, dairy, and bread. However, I managed to sabotage my good efforts every evening with copious cookies, bowls of ice cream, and cereal & milk -- which I ate in spite of not being the slightest bit hungry. When I was truly hungry (because I took a long bike ride after dinner or ate a small dinner or something), I ate a snack and then kept on eating.

I really started feeling sorry for myself, thinking that I am just a binger, will always be a binger, will always be fat, will always have achy knees and be crabby...wahhhhhhhh me. Today, however, after dealing with a  because I overate at a graduation open house, fully aware that I was doing it, I got angry with myself. I KNOW BETTER! I KNOW that I am NOT driven to overeat by some mysterious force that I can't control. I KNOW that I am MAKING THE CHOICE to eat. I can and have chosen to resist the urge many, many, many times since I started therapy a few years ago. I went on for  months resisting the urge. Now, I have let my guard down  a few several times and I'm slipping, slipping, sliding back down into hell. I've been like a toddler throwing a tantrum because I won't be able to have ice cream every day if I try Dr. F's plan. Boo. Hoo.

It's time to put my big girl panties (soon to be bigger if I don't cut it out!) on, start pulling myself back up into the sunshine, and eat in a much more healthy way. When I feel the urge to overeat, I need to do something else instead or just live with the urge. Good grief. I am an adult and surely I can tell myself "no" to a freaking cookie.
So, these are my goals for the next week:
1) eat only until 80% full at EVERY meal
2) eat at least 3 servings of fruit and 6 of vegetables every day
3) take responsibility for my health and stop acting like a child. Tantrums are unhealthy.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Food is Important to Me...Too Important?

food for thought

I read the above article and a little light bulb went off over my head. It gave me a different perspective on things. Yes, I freely admit that I have a major emotional connection to food and eating. I can remember being three years old and waiting until the housekeeper/nanny went upstairs to help my mother (who was dying of cancer), so that I could sneak lumps of brown sugar out of the container. Growing up, I always tried to choose the biggest cookie, and kept an eye on the food to see if there might be enough for seconds. At monthly neighborhood potlucks, I ate so many desserts that I felt stuffed. To me, holiday gatherings meant yummy food - seeing family was an afterthought. As an adult, I have collected hundreds of recipes, avidly read two dozen food blogs, peruse every new cookbook that comes into the library, and eagerly try a new dish every time I visit a restaurant. It never really occurred to me before that this particular attachment might be holding me back from losing the 20 lbs that I've wanted to ditch for the past 30 years. I always thought that my problem was that I used food to handle my emotions and problems, but have continued to struggle even after therapy and sometimes just overeating because the food is yummy and I don't want to stop. There are times that I just eat - I'm not bored, not angry, not lonely, just me. I still eat, and don't know why. I never considered the idea that I might simply be emotionally attached to food.

I don't really cook unhealthy foods very often (except that I do have a "thing" for rich desserts, I confess), but I don't often make the same things over and over. I subject my poor family to new recipes just about every week. I say "poor" because they would much rather eat BLTs and steak than Vegetarian Lentil Chili or Bulgar and Bean Stew.

If I am perfectly honest with myself, I know that perhaps I should stop reading all of the blogs (even though the bloggers are healthy eaters), toss most of my recipes (especially the rich desserts), and make a rotating menu to stick to. I am not really ready for that though -- maybe that means I am not really ready to lose the weight I claim I want to lose. There's a fine line between eating a varied diet and being obsessed with food...I think I cross the line more often than not, which is not something I like to admit.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Don't Scratch the Itch!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am, still fighting. Argh. I just want to be done, be at peace, be normal. I know, I know.......Barb told me it could take 2-3 years after therapy to be healed, but every time I think, "Okay, this is it! I've been feeling great for weeks!", I backslide right into the giant pit of despair. Well, maybe not all the way back in, but at least several feet, or even yards, down toward the bottom of the pit.

I was cruising along, not overeating, exercising just about every day but not forcing myself, and making very healthy choices. I was eating lots of beans, veggies, fruit, whole grains....not so much meat, cheese, or dessert. I did completely pig out on desserts on Sundays during Lent, but didn't feel deprived (most of the time) because I didn't eat them during the week. coworker mentioned that she had started a new diet the day before. DANGER! DANGER! This is the coworker who discussed food and exercise in minute detail with me when I was completely disordered in thought and deed, five and six years ago. She was doing South Beach, and I was doing "go around hungry all the time, limit myself to 1500 calories, and exercise two+ hours a day while obsessing about food", and we shared tips and happily talked about how bad we'd been for eating one Hershey's kiss the day before.

When this coworker mentioned her new diet, I said nothing and escaped ASAP. Of course, I should have known it wouldn't be that easy. The next day I was in the lunchroom with her, and she told me all about her new diet, which doesn't allow her to eat much sugar, etc. etc. I didn't feel particularly riled up at the time, but over the next few days, my thoughts began to turn more and more to restricting, to thinking I really HAVE to lose some weight, to imagining that my life would be so much better if I only lost 5 pounds. Naturally, that led to some calorie counting, some "should" and "shouldn't" thinking, and some bingeing. I think I probably gained 5 pounds instead of losing anything. Ay yi yi. I think that now, after about 3 weeks of this behavior -- that I KNOW is unproductive, unhealthy, and doesn't ever lead to anything resembling happiness -- I am finally getting back on track. I'm still struggling in the evenings, wanting to eat a bunch of crap like ice cream, cookies, or bread after dinner, even though I'm not the slightest bit hungry. When the weather is nice, I've been going outside to garden or have a quick bike ride to break my thought pattern, which has worked some of the time.

I was listening to a CD by someone -- a Buddhist nun maybe? -- and she talks about bad habits (like bingeing/overeating in my case) being like an itch. Say you have a rash that itches. If you scratch the itch, you are relieving the symptom of the rash, BUT you are making the actual problem worse, since the rash then spreads. The trick is to suffer through the itch, knowing that the rash will eventually clear up. Today, I was bored at work and just wanted to go eat some of the treats in our backroom. I kept telling myself, "Don't scratch the itch. Don't scratch the itch". I want the &($#&*# rash to go away!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Less Sweet Life

Giving up sweets for Lent is still going okay, sort of. I haven't "cheated", but I have definitely overdone it on the sweets on the last two Sundays. I feel disappointed in myself, but I suppose that I should know by now that deprivation and making foods off limits IS what leads to overeating. This Sunday, I am going to try and be more sensible. I still have a few more weeks left til Easter, so I don't really want to quit now. I read a post by a friend of mine who said something to the effect that sacrifice during lent gives you a chance to pray more. When you are tempted to give in to the urge to eat sweets, you can pray for the strength to resist. Heaven knows, I don't pray enough, so I should take every opportunity to do so!

I will admit that when I'm hungry now, I don't often feel the urge to reach for something sweet. I've been making and enjoying a lot of vegetarian dishes these days. Snacks like eggplant spread and yogurt and fruit have been really satisfying me. I'm struggling a bit these days with the desire to eat after dinner, even though I'm not hungry. I want something sweet, feel like I really shouldn't be eating anything because I'm not hungry, and end up wanting to munch on crackers or something (anything!) I can eat with almond butter. Another opportunity to pray, eh?

I started a new blog at I had one over at wordpress, but I found that I just didn't like wordpress very much. So, if you'd like my eggplant spread recipe, go over there and find it. Right now, I have only a few posts - mostly recipes - but hopefully, there is more to come!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Feeling Calmer

Giving up sweets hasn't been as difficult as I'd envisioned. Of course, no one has been offering me gooey brownies or anything, but we have homemade cookies in the house, as well as chocolate, and I haven't had any uncontrollable urges to gobble it all down. Sundays aren't considered part of the 40 days of lent, which seems a bit like cheating, but I've had some dessert each of the two Sundays so far. I haven't eaten everything sweet that isn't bolted down though, so I'm doing okay.

My work situation is a bit better. At least my boss is aware of the situation, even if he isn't rushing to do anything about it. I read recently in someone's blog (I have no clue whose it was - I caught up on about 1000 posts last weekend) that she was trying to be less irritated with people. She was telling herself something to the effect of "life is a journey and that isn't your ride". I've been reminding myself that D isn't on the same journey I am and I just need to worry about staying on my road, rather than veering over to his. It helps. And I've lost 3 pounds of the 10 I'd gained -- a bonus to feeling more peaceful.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Making a Sacrifice

I am feeling so much better this week. Part of it is probably that I haven't had to work one single minute with Mr. Lazypants, but I also think my boss is actually trying to fix the problem. He asked me yesterday if I'd worked with D last weekend. I said that I'd worked with him all day on Friday and he asked if there had been any change. I said that I was sorry to say it, but no. He sighed and thanked me. We shall see...

Lent started yesterday, and I've been giving some thought to really trying to make some sort of sacrifice for the 40 days of lent. I usually try half-heartedly, but give up within a week. I'd never make it for 40 days in the desert, I suppose. Yesterday was a day of fasting and abstinence, meaning no meat and no snacking. Wow, was I starving by dinnertime! No meat isn't too much of a sacrifice for me, but no snacks is a killer. I was a bit hungry when I went to bed, but thankfully, not so hungry that it kept me awake.

Anyway, there have been several years along the way when I've tried to give up chocolate or desserts, and I have never made it very long. I always felt deprived and entitled, and ended up bingeing on something. As you know by now, I LOVE LOVE LOVE sweets, so giving them up would be truly difficult. This year, I'm going to try again. Not half-heartedly, but truly. I need to think of it as a way of honoring Jesus' time in the desert, rather than deprivation for me. I'm not a very obedient Catholic, but I think Easter would be even more joyful if I'd really lived without something important for six weeks. I told my dh that I would give up complaining and he just looked at me. He knows me too well. So, sweets it is. One day down, 39 to go.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old Demons

This past fall, I thought I had finally done it. I'd left all of those old demons behind and I was a normal last! I was eating just enough - not too much and not too little. I was around sweets and junk food all the time and it didn't bother me if I ate it or if I didn't eat it. My weight dropped to a "normal" BMI.

However, lately I've been fighting my urges again. I put back on 10 pounds or so (though at least I'm only weighing myself every so often and not every day). I started to play the old scripts in my head -- you can't eat that, you can't take a day off from exercising, you have to lose weight. The more I tried to control my eating, the worse it got. I even had a few binges. Nothing awful -- I never felt terribly sick or like I was going to explode or anything -- but definitely eating to the point of discomfort. I couldn't figure out what on earth the problem was.

This week I think I finally realized that I'm not dealing with my unhappiness at work very well. It has been building and building and I now dread going to work on many days. I'm not unhappy with my work, though for a while I thought I was, since I was almost happy to lose a week of work when I broke my elbow and happy to leave the building two or three times a week to go to therapy. It was when the therapy stopped and I was back at work all 40 hours a week that the eating issues started. It's the atmosphere at work that I detest. One of my coworkers is very lazy - doesn't bother to get up from the desk to help people a lot of the time, and spends every minute he is at the desk on the Internet on his own personal stuff. He reads blogs on religion, visits religious websites, participates in religious discussions. I'm not against religion -- we go to church regularly. However, I can't understand how he can reconcile his "deep faith" with his complete lack of work ethic. When he's in his office, he is often reading. To be honest, I'm not really sure what he does that is actually related to the library.

I tell myself that I shouldn't let it bother me. I should just do my work and not worry about him. It does reflect badly on the entire staff when he is very unhelpful. We have lost a couple of staff members due to budget cuts, which means more work for (almost) everyone. I finally told the manager directly that D had spent the entire morning on the Internet while I was working with him (not that he didn't already know). He lamely said he'd talk to him, but for the next few days, D continued the same behavior. The manager sent out an email to all of us yesterday outlining what we could and couldn't do when on the desk, but D spent the time I was with him yesterday and today doing the same thing he always does. I said something to my boss again, but I really doubt anything will be done.

I'm really, really trying to deal with it in a healthy way. Today, whenever I started getting upset about it, I told myself to breathe deeply, concentrate on my breathing, and just let it go. It helped, but every time I saw him, I felt irritated all over again. I told dh that I've really come to dread the days I have to work with him for several hours. I wish I could switch to another branch, but I like most of the rest of the staff, and there isn't going to be another job opening for my position for a reeeallllly looooong time unless someone really screws up. I just need to find some way to deal that doesn't involve eating too much and obsessing about food and my weight. I have a bunch of books out right now on dealing with burnout and how to be happy in your job. I guess what I really need is a book on how to deal with a coworker for whom you feel nothing but disgust.