Monday, July 27, 2009

This just in from Funkville

Monday morning finds me in a bit of a funk. The terrain I travelled this weekend revealed obstacles, ruts, and dangerous neighborhoods, even though I didn't venture more than about 4 miles from home. There were no tornadoes or earthquakes that fractured the ground under me or hurled boulders into my path, but inside my head the skies were ominous and threatening, and my foundation shook. I was back dwelling in the land of crazy eating, obsessive thinking, and self sabotage to such a degree that I was mourning my lapse back to wanton eating and sitting-on-my-ass-on the-couch olympics that hadn't even happened but that I was essentially planning. I literally feel wrung out and emotionally hung over this morning, and I know writing about it will help me recalibrate my meter and reclaim my progress and my process. I've already begun reflecting about how I got myself into such a lather and see that it happened over the course of the week prior.

Last Saturday, the 18th, I had an appointment with the trainer to get a new set of measurements and body composition readings since it had been a full month since I started the Healthy Inspirations program. All my "stats" had improved a lot: weight loss of 12.5 pounds, BMI down to where I'm almost just overweight instead of obese n(yay?), percentage of body fat down, percentage of lean mass up, and loss of actual fat pounds 9.6, with a range of 6-10 lbs right at the top of that range. I also lost a lot of inches spread over all the measured places. This was all good news and I was psyched!

Then...rather than keeping doing what I'd been doing (that was clearly working well) I decided to ramp it all up by eating a little less, exercising a little more, and generally putting the pedal to the medal on this journey to better body and health. Dun da dun dun DUN!!! (read with dramatic melodic emphasis) My crazy obsessive mind decided it's plan (okay, MY plan) was better than the plan that was working, which smacked of sensible moderation and reasonable, sustainable life changes rather than the crash and burn methods of my (up to recent) past. I ate less during the day, exercised more and longer, and then feel bingey at night, which I wasn't able to CONTROL. With each day last week I felt a little achier, a little hungrier, more out of control and less hopeful and optimistic. By Friday night, after really eating too little all day and working out hard, I capitulated to full out binging, resulting in a 2 pound overnight gain (fluid mostly due to salty crap ingested). So Saturday I was going to clean it all up, and while I had a better food day, I walked a 5 mile route near my house that's quite hilly, forgot to bring water, decided to try some interval jogging...and totally burned myself out physically. Yesterday (Sunday) my extra pounds from the day before were gone, BUT my left knee was killing me, I was aching all over and I felt entirely depleted. From there it was a short mind trip to, "I knew I couldn't do this so I'm just not exercising and I'm eating what I want, and I guess this run of healthy living is over". The respite from activity was fine - in fact the sanest action I took all week. But I overate in crescendo fashion during the course of the day, starting out moderately and building gradually to handfuls of cookies and ice cream and several South Beach bars in the evening.

As I write this, I'm acutely aware of my tendency to self-deprecate in a very bad way. I'm thinking of myself of fundamentally flawed, crazy, weak-willed, and disgusting. But I've learned that I don't have to believe everything my head tells me. I'm none of those things, any more than anyone else is. I've worked hard this last month to move more and eat less. The net result to date is excellent progress, and I'm not throwing myself and my progress out with the bathwater because I had a setback this week. I'm still in this and I'm not giving up. I'm going to talk to the trainer at my program today about my aches and tendency to overdo, and I'm going to talk to one of the counselors about my struggles this past week. I'm going to go back to following the guidelines of the program so that patient progress can resume, rather than the jolting stopping and starting and binging and restricting of the past week, and alas, of so much of my life in this arena. To abandon myself and my healthier plan because of one rough spot makes as much sense as starting out on a cross country car trip and quitting when I'm low on gas...just not going any further. Refill, replenish, renew, and move on down the road. I don't have to go back to square one (i.e. regain weight, fat, pounds and inches) in order to stay the course.

This is all intuitive for most folks. Makes plain sense. It does to me too when I remember to check in with myself and see where I really am. Last week, culminating in this past weekend, I was really teetering on the brink of despair and shooting myself in both feet and other essential body parts. Having given up drinking a number of years ago with the help of many friends has given me zillions of life lessons and nuggets of truth. Giving up emotional overeating is a huge deal, like giving up alcohol was. Going for awhile without my default crutch (food now, booze then) is bound to cause some upheaval of my interior landscape, even if I'm not aware of that at first. Habitual continual eating kept me pretty out of touch with what I was feeling at any given moment. The freshness and immediate rewards of my new program gave me a focus for awhile, but as it became a more routine, some squirrels got loose in my brain and started stirring up feelings and thoughts I hadn't experienced for a long time. I expected it, but when it happened I forgot it was likely and I rebooted to that default of shoving in mass quantities of mass calories. But I remember now, and I'm going to be smarter the next time. And at least my emotional eating consisted mostly of better quality stuff!

All the experiences of my life bring me to this moment, and that continues as long as I'm breathing. I'm fortunate to have (in my history) freedom from another devastating and powerful addiction, as well as a huge reservoir of resources and tools that helped me obtain (and receive gratefully!) that freedom. It's all helping me now, as long as I remember to pick up any of the many tools that are there. I can truly say nothing lost, much gained.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

364 days 'til my next b-day!

Wah wah wah - my birthday is over and now everything isn't all about me. Actually very little is ever about me except to me, but that's a detail. Yesterday was great, and I got a lot of happy day wishes from friends; boy, being on Facebook has greatly increased the number of folks who were priviliged to know of my birthday and thus afforded the opportunity to post best wishes on my wall!

Kidding aside, I did have a nice birthday, highlighted by getting to talk with both my world travelling offspring. My youngest, Mark, has only been in Buenos Aires for 3 days, and this was my first time hearing his voice since he went international (the spouse got to talk with him once already, the scoundrel). He (Mark) sounds good, though slightly subdued which I imagine reflects a combination of travel fatigue, culture shock, and the harsh realization that 8 years of Spanish in school and college does not render one fluent. He knew it was going to be hard, but I suspect it is seeming even more daunting than he expected. It was great to talk to him and hear his earliest impressions of this experience. And after my deluge of questions for him, he insisted on hearing how I was spending my birthday, and how I felt about adding another year to the total. Damn!!! His mom raised him right! Actually, he and all our kids continue to be marvels to spouse and me with their good hearts, kind and caring natures, and interest in things beyond their own wants and needs. I sure wasn't that way as a twenty-something. Spouse has always been a good and "do the right thing" kind of guy, but like me was somewhat ungrounded, both of us uncertain of who we were in our younger days. Our kids have a clue - about a lot of things I'm just starting to figure out as I catapult into my late 50s! My gratitude and joy for them is immense.

Talked to Peace Corps Jean as well, and she's doing fine. We have an ongoing connection, almost daily via Google Chat, as well as frequent phone calls. It's always great to touch base with Jean, but as she's been in the DR 5 months, the conversation with her was more routine. Hence, she gets less verbiage in this post than her youngest brother!

The birthday was sealed with dinner (with spouse and stateside son Stephen)at a nice Italian restaurant that has always been one of my favorites. Last night it was good, but it seems to be letting up a little on the high quality they've always purveyed, and so I was less enthused than usual, and decided to not bother with dessert as it would have meant more interaction with our very unappealing and vapid waitress. However, I still managed to eat way too much bread (white bread - yuch, and soft warm mushy butter that did not caress my tastebuds the way cold hard butter against heavy dark and grainy bread always does), and then suggested a stop at the crap grocery store on the way home to find something suitably rich and sweet to "finish the job" of an overeating event. Turns out the dessert was as lackluster as the bread and butter; I got 2 Edwards Pie dessert things where you microwave the fudge part, then add in the ice cream and whatever else they stick with the ice cream to simulate decadence. They're very small and not worth the effort. I had one and was very disappointed and UNSATISFIED. So what else...I ate the 2nd one so I could be doubly unsatisfied. WHAT AM I THINKING WITH THIS SHIT???? Then I ate a whole Ghiradelli's milk chocolate and caramel bar, which was good of course, but I was left feeling unfulfilled and stuffed. Simultaneously. Get it? Talk about a set up for a binge in the coming days...but as I live only one day at a time, I'm not thinking about or planning that. I'm just glad I stopped when I did. If we had any good junk in the house I know I would have kept going. Ahhh, the wisdom of not buying junk food.

So food....I haven't been talking too much about my eating and weight loss journey in the last couple days. I want to get back to that whole thing, as that is why I've restarted blogging. Apprarently I have other stuff to discuss, given my running off at the mouth about other stuff. Back to my focus: First - I posted 2 days ago a copy of an email I sent Lyn of, and the very next day she sent me a lovely response back, thanking me for my email and commenting on it. Wow - birthday gift # 1. It means a lot to me that she took time to respond, and also called my story "riveting". I'm hers forever for that! I want so much to write, even at just a small little level, where someone's eyes other than my own read it. She even said she was going to add my blog to her favorites and check in on my progress. More than just the incentive to continue in the Healthy New Lifestyle I'm practicing now, this gives me incentive to keep posting on this little bloggy thing. I'm so thankful to Lyn for ALL the inspiration she's providing me.

Tomorrow I commit to getting back to talking about food, compulsive eating, and the ongoing struggle it is for me. Other courageous bloggers, like Lyn and Jennette Fulda of PastaQueen (and many others), are giving me more guts (and eventually a smaller one?) than I've ever had to be open and honest about my eating issues. And about my abnormal, excessive, compulsive, tumultuous and bizarre relationship with food. Honesty is a key to my healing - the truth will set me free. It already has.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Say It's My Birthday....(apologies to John, Paul, George and Ringo)

I really love birthdays...especially the one belonging to the royal MOI.
July even sounds pretty to me and it always has. It's not a landmark birthday this year, like one ending in "0" or even "5", which at my age is a good thing I suppose. But it's my special day, and I'm claiming every nanosecond of it. Additionally I reserve the right to be silly, funny, ridiculous and maybe even a little bratty, in the best possible way of course.

Shunning coyness at every opportunity, I will come right out and say that I turn 56 today, which means I'm several years away from another "significant" number. But my age doesn't bother me one iota. I guess it would be nice to be younger except that if I was, I wouldn't be exactly who and where I am today. Translate: I like me, I really really like me! Aaaaa-mazing. Who'd'a'thunk I would ever say that, and not feel embarrassed, or smug, or like a big fat liar uttering those words?!

My journey has been rich and full, though definitely NOT EASY some of the time. I've done a lot of work on self over the years...therapy, getting sober, journaling, another round of therapy, working steps of 12 step programs. All of it combines to make each year and each day significant and meaningful, and mostly GOOD. Always there is crap, both external (circumstances, bad luck, bad choices) as well as internal...generated by the committees of voices in my head telling me that I'm not worthy, fundamentally flawed, a bad person, stupid, ugly, too fat to know those guys (and gals). I'm not all better, but I'm A LOT BETTER. My ability to turn down the volume on the choir of negativity stridently chattering within has increased exponentially. At times, I can even hit the "mute" button on the inner noise and say, "thanks for sharing, now shut the f#*& up!" And my coping with the endless uncertainy of the external stuff has also skyrocketed. Yes, the evolution of Leslie, body, mind and spirit, keeps on keeping on as long as I strive to live in only today, each and every day, and do the next right thing. Staying alive helps greatly too! And that's what having a birthday helps us quantify.

Today I'm celebrating by working at my usual job, getting the gray hairs removed (better living through chemistry and Revlon), talking to my 2 international travelers (Jean in the DR with Peace Corps and Mark in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a semester), and having dinner with my husband and stateside son Stephen at the restaurant of my choice. And here's a biggie...after hair procedure and before dinner activity will be at least 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by strength training as per my Healthy Inspirations plan. Never before in my life would the gym visit make the cut for birthday activities. Never ever. But after about 5 weeks of consistent working out and seeing results and feeling so much better, more optimistic and more joy-filled as a result - I wouldn't miss the work out for anything. If I did, I know I wouldn't enjoy dinner as much. And I definitely wouldn't enjoy fully the chocolate caramel something or other that I WILL be eating for dessert! Happy Birthday to moi!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I found another good weight loss blog called Escape From Obesity that I started reading in the day or so. Having finally gotten through PastaQueen's tome-present day, I needed another source of inspiration. There are a million good health/wt.loss blogs out there, but I'm just one woman and can only really focus on one at a time. So Lyn, of EFO, is my latest inspire-ator. I read an early post of hers today and was moved to send her an email telling her how I related to her workds/thoughts/feelings. And in my new effort at economy of action, I am copying the email I wrote to her here as a post for today. A few new thoughts came to me whilst typing to Lyn, and rather than double my efforts, I decided to clone them instead:

I found your blog last week and have begun reading the archives from the beginning. Me like!! I just read your 9/10/07 post titled "Full", where you talked about the amazing quantities of food you could ingest at given times and not really be full. Good heavens, can I relate! But what I wanted to comment on was about you losing your mom at age 32, thus being rendered an orphan in the absence of your already deceased father and no siblings. I lost my mom at 23, after caring for her at home during the end stages of her cancer. I am also an only child who had lost my dad when I was 11, so I was acutely aware of losing the only/last person in the world who allegedly loved me (relationship with mom had been strained for years) after her death. I was about a year out of nursing school, and "left my life" for several months to care for her. At this time in my life, I was very thin (in an eating disordered sort of way!), but also a major binge eater. I once had an elderly man sitting next to me at a family style restaurant look at me and say, "You sure do eat alot for such a little thing!" Compulsive exercise, the ability to restrict my calories to ridiculously low levels, and just plain youth likely helped me achieve that "little thing" status in those days.

But once my mom died and I became what I called "a single agent, more alone than alone", my eating began to take on bizarre and voluminous characteristics. I still managed to keep my weight normal until after my second child was born (no way was I going to do "an only" to my kids), when I began the creep up the scale, with ever increasing momentum, that I've battled until recently. And just now, as I write this, I realize that once my #1 life goal of not having an only child was achieved, I lost the ability to keep my eating in enough check to not gain weight. Hmm...significant? Anyway, I've gotten as high as 237 (same as Oprah!), and gotten as low as 195 a couple summers ago trying a radical 12 step program that makes OA look like a free for all. Weight fell off while following rigid restrictive eating plan...weight piled up FAST once I decided to allow myself "one treat". Alas, I'm sure you know the drill. In essence, my relationship with food has always been passionate, tumultuous and often out of control. As much as I love food and eating, they have never given me genuine pleasure because of the crazy relationship I have with both.

About 6 weeks ago, a series of events (ranging from emotional to physical and even spiritual) unfolded that culminated in my reflection aloud during a meditation class that while I loved to swim and be in water, I haven't been in water (other than a tub or shower - alone) in over ten years because of my shame about my body and refusal to put on a bathing suit. This admission stayed with me that evening, and I felt very sad about the truth of it and about the state of my body image. I went to bed and just before waking the next morning, I had a dream in which I was standing at the shoreline of the gulf of Mexico (where I grew up), looking out at the water, wearing shorts and a lose tank top. And suddenly, I just dove into the water, which (in the dreamscape) morphed into more of a pool with clear beautiful cool water; and I swam and slithered and did somersaults in the water - playing like an otter. It was glorious. And when I woke during my otter sequence, I knew my soul had spoken to me. I knew it was time to make peace with food, eating, and most importantly, myself . That very day (June 12) I signed up for an exercise and weight loss program at a local gym, I stumbled upon PastaQueen's blog and began reading her archives to the present, and have now found yours and several others I like as well. I'm beginning, and I'm not giving up this time. I am working to accept myself on bad days as well as good ones and to stay the course for the duration. I also started my own essentially private blog (I had another for a long time and love to write) called where I can do what so many have done... chronicle my experience for myself, work out issues as they arise, and practice out loud the very important act of self love and acceptance. And I'm feeling better. Physically? Definitely. Emotionally and spiritually? Beyond measure.

So thanks for your inspiration. I wish you continued success on your journey, and I wish the same for Moi!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Go figure

Hahahaha - go figure as title of post about my newly discovered love of exercise and moving - cleverity (cleverness?), thy name is Leslie. Consistency in writing, not so much. But I disgress...

I'm feeling pretty good. My weight is coming down, my muscles are bulking up (in atomic sized increments, but progress not perfection) and I'm feeling more IN my skin and my body. Some higher force has benevolently bestowed upon the royal moi the desire to keep doing what I'm doing in regards to exercise and more mindful eating, and in a moderate reasonable way rather than the crash and burn methods of my past. But the big story here is my enjoyment of and enthusiam about the gym and beyond. I've always been mildly athletic - ran for a number of years in my "ute" (thanks to My Cousin Vinny), played tennis, walked, etc. But never have I really gotten into the more regimented type of daily workouts, strength training, etc... Yet after a month on my Healthy Inspirations plan of eating and working out, I'm beginning to really look forward to going to the gym as well as seeking out other means of moving my body. This is pretty radical for me. In recent years I've enjoyed walking and done a good bit of it, but always hated hills and other of the more legitimate and challenging aspects. But now, I find my endurance on hills greatly improved (thank you incline button on the treadmill), and also I feel good and alive when I'm exerting myself. It makes me feel competent and strong, and instills in me a sense of "I can do most anything!" Quite nice.

I'm still new with a lot of this and so haven't yet gotten bored with the routine of it all...but I know how in the past I've become less enthusiastic over time of trying to live more actively and healthfully. The difference this go around, I believe, is that I have so much guidance, structure and support built in with the HI program. I go in to workout and the girls know me, encourage me, chat about their stuff and mine...and also keep me accountable by reminding me that if I don't show up for a few days I will get a call from them asking what's up. This hasn't happened yet, but it's yet another good incentive to keep doing what I'm doing. I am believing that I can and will do it this time. It won't be perfect; I'll not be depriving myself of occasional treats and whole groups of healthy foods, like fruit. Rather, I'll stay in each day as it presents. Show up for exercise. Make real choices about food - both healthy and occasionally decadent. Rigidity and black and white thinking about food has never ever worked for me. When I tried OA food plans and Food Addicts in Recovery menus that forbade any sugar, flour, even grains (translate: anything that tastes good), it wasn't sustainable for me. I know some people have done it that way for years and had good results. But I tended to not be attracted to those people...I found them universally annoying, rigid, fear-based and controlling. My current role models have come from the Health and weight-loss blogging community, esp. PastaQueen but also many others, who absolutely refuse to hate themselves for absence of perfection in any realm. Perfection is unattainable for God's sake, actually attainable only of God's sake. I'll never forget my FA sponsor, Meredith the Mirthless, telling me, "we keep the food black and white so we can live our lives in color." Huh????????????WTF??????????? Does she really think eating Ghiradelli's caramel filled milk chocolate squares is not a technicolor experience?

Enough. Suffice it to say I am tickled PINK that I am exactly where I am and who I am today: healthier than I've been in a long time, more fit, loving exercise, able to FEEL my abs from the inside (they are still rather cushioned from the outside with a lovely layer of soft mushy adiposity), and optimistic that I really am going to find my happy weight and level of fitness. And I'm no longer afraid of my eating self. How's that for a technicolor psychadelic kaleidoscopic experience?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

That too passed

Well. Yesterday I was all "wah wah wah, my bra is tight, my weight isn't falling away according to my schedule..." and today I'm in a great place. I hate to say that stepping on the scale this morning contributed, as I hadn't weighed in about 6 days, and while my exercise has been dead-on, consistent, invigorating and ever improving, my eating continues to hit occasional snags. For example, the York Peppermint Patty and 10 Ghiradelli milk chocolate and caramels squares I ate last night. Oh, and a napkin full of way too salty sour cream and onion chips that I wouldn't have eaten if they weren't in the house. Duh!

But more than just my weight, I talked to the trainer when I went to work out yesterday. I told her I WAS NOT in the mood for cardio and strength training, and she said, "well, just work out anyway and your mood will improve." AMEN to that. I had a particularly good work out yesterday, especially with weights. When I started this stuff in mid June, she had me using 7 1/2 lb dumbells for upper body and torso moves. When she picked them up the first time, totally overlooking the 2.5 lb ones, I told her my upper body strength was ittybitty pitiful. She said, well this will help. She gave me the first move to do, and when I tried it, my entire body between my xiphoid process and upper neck was quivering like warm jello. When I mentioned the quivering, she said, "that's GOOD! (smile smile) That means the muscles are really responding! (more happy smile smile)"

So imagine my delight when yesterday I was able to do the same moves with 12.5 lb weights!! That's improvement. And I swear I can make a muscle, like I used to try and do when I was 6 and saw the boys doing it...flexing the arm with a tight fist and feeling the non-existent bulge of my bicep. Only now, I can feel the muscle, but I can also see it. Never. Before. Has this happened. I love weights! I'm ready to enter a body building training program, given the results I'm seeing after such a short time. I have a long way to go with this to be sure. I'm blessed with a very soft body all over. Some of that is not going to change at my tender age of 55 11/12s. But a lot of it can change, and I never would have guessed it possible. This really rocks, and I feel a new surge of committment to stay the course.

Oh!!! And I got a nice email from Jennette Fulda, the aforementioned Pasta Queen blogger to whom I sent a comment yesterday after one of her old posts regarding her first mini-(half) marathon. She actually wrote back a brif thanks and made a specific reference to what I'd written. I swear, this gal is wonderful, funny, lovely, down-to-earth, and real as they come. I hope to meet her someday. Her blog has helped me immeasurably already with my lifestyle change underway presently. Her positivity (is that really a word? if not, the meaning is nonetheless clear) and honesty are totally inspiring and have absolutely improved my outlook on my self, my body, and my lifelong at-times adversarial love affair with food and the eating thereof!

Can't wait to get to the gym later!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brain dump

I was going to be so consistent about journaling the journey (hmmm) of this lifestyle change I'm making, but have not because it seems I'm spending most of my computer/keyboard time continue to read the archives of Pasta Sho lost half her body weight over 2+ years through healthy eating and exercise, and now works daily to maintain her new way of living healthfully. She's total inspiration and the textbook picture of tenacity, persistence and committment. She also has never been self-hating or equated her self worth with the accomplishment of weight loss. Even in the early days of her blog, when she was within sneezing distance of 400lbs, she evidenced self respect and acceptance. She never was mean about her descriptions of herself at the larger size...funny, yes. Mean, never.

What prompts me to write again, and hopefully to continue to do so, is that this morning I found myself thinking that this is taking too f-ing long...I'm not losing weight fast enough, and therefore I'm a (or the most, in keeping with my egomaniacal inferiority complex) fundamentally flawed incarnation of the species. BULLSHIT! That is simply not true. I only started the Healthy Inspiration program of reasonable eating, exercise, and strength training on June 12th. Today is July 8th, and I know I have lost 8lbs, and not missed a day of doing some kind of exercise. I've added in weights per the trainer in the program and find myself able to do some weight lifting that I've never done before, and improved and added lbs to the lifts already. Also, I have clear evidence via my heart rate while doing cardio that what I'm doing is changing things in my body. This is fantastic. Furthermore, my body is almost 56 years old, and it has been treated poorly by its inhabitant for many of those years. The fact that it is still able to show up, work hard, get better, and keep me going on a daily basis is amazing. Younger people than me have succumbed in one way or another to many poor health conditions. Yet my body seems strong and quite capable of getting stronger.

I put on a bra this morning fresh from the dryer, and it is a lot tighter than the one I had on yesterday. I feel it, and because I'm wearing a tee shirt that is more close fitting than some, it feels like my sausage like rolls above the waist are evident as I walk around. First, so f-ing what! No one is going to see me today and be suddenly struck with the realization I need to lose a few lbs! If a roll shows, it shows. Doesn't define me or indicate my worth as a human, except in my own wacked mind. I'm not going there today. And second, if the roll feels prominent today because of what I'm wearing, I can rest confident and proud in the knowledge that I am working hard to become healthier and thinner. I'm trying to change my faulty thinking and acquire the confidence to know that I can lose weight and get healthier. And if this is going to be the last time I have to travel down the scale, which is my intention and desire, it's going to take awhile. No more crazy crash weight loss for me. Slow and steady. It could take a year. And that's just the getting there part - the beginning of the journey. Maintenance will be the bulk of the journey that is my life. I can do this. It feels big, but not impossible. Blogs Like PastaQueen and Roni's Weigh help me see that I'm not alone in this.

Like the addict I am (I'm backing off the food addict notion, but the alcoholism and it's related tendencies help me understand my habitual nature of self-defeating behaviors that are my default setting )I want results NOW. Drop 20 pounds in a month...been there and it doesn't last. And it's terrible for my body. No instant gratification here. I don't weigh enough to expect large amounts of weight loss right away (TG). I started at 220 this go-round, and at 212 now (on the scale at the Healthplex). Slower than I'd like, but given that I'm not depriving myself of food, and that there have already been a few binges during this process from June 12, it's great that I am still committed, exercising, and striving for more binge free days. Definitely new behavior. Really new...and this fills me with hope, inspiration, and confidence that I can achieve my first goal of getting to 180 without extreme dieting and leaving out things that I like to have once in awhile.

Ahhhh - I feel better now. It's like a gratitude list - inventory-ing my current status helps me see that I can change. Hopefully more than just my committing to chronicling this journey.