Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scale rehab underway

If you read my last post, you know my scale hasn't been sent to detox from it's #1 weigher. Rather, its #1 weigher is on day 3 of abstinence from weighing myself everyday. And so far, it's going okay. I haven't scratched anyone's eyes out, kicked the dog or even screamed at the husband in my acute withdrawal phase. Maybe I'm on what they call in AA a "pink cloud". One thing for sure, I already recognize that this scale avoidance is the right thing for me, and yielding small but important rewards. And before I go on, I just want to note that I have not been getting on the scale more than once every morning, though years ago I did weigh multiple times a day. But even once a day have proven detrimental to my weightloss efforts.

Here's what the pattern has been for the last 6 or 7 weeks - maybe longer. I'd hop on the scale every morning. If my weight was up a few pounds from previous day's indiscretions, then I had no problem staying on the straight and narrow with my eating for a day or two. By no longer than the morning of day 2 of clean eating, the scale would inevitably be back down those couple pounds, and IN MY HEAD I'd be all inspired and plan to blast on down that scale, baby! But that plan, my friends, was/is bullsh*t, because almost immediately after stepping off the scale and sailing into the 12 millionth "first day of the rest of my life", I'd start thinking about binge foods. Just thinking...but over the course of the day, that thoughts crescendoed into full obsession, and then it was a matter of time (minutes? hours?) before I'd take one small handful of something, or a 1 ounce piece of decadent cheddar, and off to the races I'd go. So essentially every other day for 2 weeks, and maybe every 2nd day for the previous 4 or 5 weeks, I've been greatly overeating, and often bingeing, at night. Big shock that my weightloss has stalled in the 197-200 pound wasteland (waistland? haha).

I've just complete 2 full days of clean eating without bingeing. I haven't had 2 consecutive clean days in at least 2 weeks due to the mini-yoyoing every other day. But by not getting on the scale yesterday morning to see if, or that, I'd dropped the few gained pounds, I didn't feel okay about tying on the feedbag after dinner. In fact, I had no desire to eat after dinner last night or the night before.

The thought of going cold turkey on the scale (at least for awhile) was planted by Friend of the Bear just 2 days ago, and when I contemplated it, I felt anxious and scared. Like flying on a trapeze without a net. What if??????????? How can I lose weight and maintain loss without daily weighing? Bearfriend sent me an email with the cleverest notion. Knowing I'm in AA, she noted that I didn't need a daily breathalizer to stop drinking or remind me that I was sober. Similar, a scale isn't necessary to lose weight. Like a breathalizer, it's just an external monitoring of behavior! How brilliant is that??? The behavior is what counts, not the numbers on an external device.

So far, so good. I don't know how long I'll go without weighing, but hopefully I can make it to Friday, when I would normally weigh in to track progress on my goal of 190 by November 2nd. But I'd like to postpone it even then. I can't make any promises, but I know that if I eat properly and continue exercising, the WEIGHT WILL COME OFF. This has to be the only way I'm going to take the leap of faith off that plateau on which I've been camped out for so long. My way sure wasn't working.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Scale addiction

In my last post, I wrote about my most recent bout of evening bingeing, and how I often use the scale as a means of determining my eating behavior on any given day. Almost 2 weeks ago I set a goal for myself to get to 190 pounds by November 2nd, when we're leaving for the Dominican Republic to visit our daughter in the Peace Corps. I started at 198 pounds, and that gave me 6 weeks to work towards a pretty realistic goal. This morning I'd gained 2 pounds from the original weight, perpetuating a pattern I've been stuck in for at least 6 weeks, when I got as low as 197.

I have written about this scale behavior several times, and one fellow blogger, Friend of the Bear, has suggested (gently) several times that I stop with weighing so often. And being the dutiful (not so) little blogger, I included in my goal setting 2 weeks ago to weigh weekly only. I've already blown that weekly weighing a couple of times to take inventory of sustained damage incurred from my bingeing.

Today, Bearfriend wrote a wonderful comment to my post, and it wasn't as gentle as previous suggestions. In fact, she wrote, "If I lived near you Leslie, I'd come round and confiscate the scale and throw it off a cliff somewhere." She later noted, "As this route is not working for you maybe it is time to set different goals - like aiming for a specific dress size?"

Wow, is she ever right. She's been right, and this not so subtle kick in the pants has got me thinking seriously of getting rid of the scale and just weighing at either the gym or my doctor's office at no more than a weekly interval. And when I began thinking about that, I actually started to feel anxious and defiant, telling myself there is no way I could get rid of my scale. But I really can't handle it in the same way I can't eat "a couple" of M&Ms. If it's there in the bathroom, I can't not jump on it to see what's happening. If I put it on a shelf, I know I'll just get it down when I "need" to know my weight. It's pretty nuts, and the anxiety and trepidation I feel at the thought of getting rid of the scale are way out of proportion. And this is where I realized that at some level, I'm addicted to the scale and what it does for me. It either allows me leeway to overeat if the weight is down, or it yanks me back on track for a day or so when the weight is up. How can I not have it? It's scary. And it is a component of my eating disorder.

I've been sober for 18+ years and regularly attend AA meetings. One thing you hear a lot at AA meetings is that in order to get and stay sober, you have to be willing to go to any lengths to not pick up the first drink. Bearfriend's comment today put me in mind of that. Am I willing to give up the scale in order to continue on with my weightloss? I still have about 35-40 pounds to go, yet I'm stuck at this same 197-200 place for a long time now. I've lost 23 pounds, look better, feel better, can wear a smaller size (though 16 ain't exactly tiny!) But there is much work left to do (obviously in my head, for starters); and I really want to blast through my self imposed plateau once and for all and get on with it.

I just read a comment on another person's blog that mentioned impulse control. Would you believe that today at work, we had an in-service presentation on Impulse Control Disorder. As I listened to the criteria for ICD, I felt totally busted. When I want to know my weight, all commitment and knowledge of how poorly that will serve me go out the window and up on the scale I hop. I say no to myself at first, and then I just do it anyway. One thing that was said in this presentation is that for the "softer" addictions, (like weighing), an insightful individual can withstand the impulse and stay on task, with determination and support. I consider myself fairly self aware, and I have tons of support at home, at the gym and here in blogdom.

So I'm going to set myself up to succeed with this. I have a neighbor who I know will be glad to "babysit" my scale for awhile. That self awareness I just mentioned tells me that in the beginning of detoxing from scale addiction, it's going to be easier if there isn't a scale in my house, beckoning me to step up to the dark side. I'm also going to tell the gals at the gym, so that if they see me slinking toward the scale, they can set off sirens and drop a net on me to save me from myself.

I really thank Bearfriend and all the other bloggers who comment and post honestly. I think I can do this, but it'll be tough.

Scale Roulette

200.0. Need I say more? But you know I will (insert smiley face that I don't know how to do in blogdom). I had really good clean last 3 days; the evenings - not so much. I was pretty bingey, and so didn't bother to get on the scale at all over the weekend. If you glance to the right, you see that Friday morning for weekly weigh-in I was 197, which was a one pound loss from the week before. I'd committed to weighing only weekly to help me stop playing around with my food intake based on the scale number. But after the weekend, I knew I needed to survey the landscape, which is slightly more mountainous than 3 days ago.

Can you believe I was actually relieved when I saw the number? If you've played scale roulette over the years, you're likely nodding in answer to that question. I stepped on fully expecting more wreckage. And I realize those 3 pounds likely don't reflect true fat regain, especially since I exercised all three days. But this is how subtle weight gain starts to happen for me. And why, unless I know I'm eating healthfully with no bingeing and solid exercising, it's risky for me to not step on the scale every few days.

The scale wields so much power for me. If I'm doing really well for several days in a row, I want to peek at the progress. You know..."for motivation". But if I see good progress, I think I can have "a little something extra" that day without harm. But for a food addict, the first compulsive bite, or even a regular bite of a potential trigger food can flip the switch in my brain, and off to the races I go. And isn't perspective everything at the scale? When I was on my way down a many weeks back, 200 was thrilling as I prepared to fall into a new century. Going back up, it's awful, and I swore I wasn't going to weigh a number that began with 2 ever again. To weigh or not to weigh...that's quite a question.

My husband has been out of town since last Wednesday, and I was thinking I'd be able to really knock off the pounds because I could just eat totally clean and not be cooking for him. Problem was, I didn't cook for myself, and so I'd be starving - empty stomach hunger, at dinner time and grab a handful of healthy walnuts to "tide me over" until I came up with a dinner plan. Then a second handful, mixed with dried cranberries, and down the garden path I went. In the wrong direction. Those 2 handfuls wouldn't have caused me any problem if I already a dinner in mind and ready to prepare fast (even a Lean Cuisine on hand), but I didn't.

Another lesson relearned that I already knew. Healthy eating requires planning. I know this and usually do it. Lyn at Escape From Obesity had a great post about this yesterday...doing food prep a couple times a week to have the right food on hand. I just didn't bother, maybe because at some level I wanted a free weekend. Free weekends exact a cost and a consequence, which I'm meeting today face to face. Hubby comes home late tonight, which will restore that level of normalcy to the homefront (though I enjoy the time alone!). I will have a clean day today, go to the gym, and not beat myself up. And I'm going to give some thought to trigger foods and may write about that later.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tickled Pink

Wow! Thank you so much to Friend of the Bear for giving me this award. I can't think of when I received another award. (It's taken me about 20 minutes how to figure out how to get the image to my blog...I'm starting to get this newfangled computer contraption.) I'm really grateful to FOTB, as she's helped me both in her own blog with her ruthless honestly, as well in comments on my own with good observations and suggestions.

I'm supposed to list 10 things about myself. Here goes:

1. I'm completely elevator phobic. I've walked as many as 12 flights of stairs to not ride an elevator. I got locked in a tiny bathroom in a restaurant at age 3 and I think that's where it came from. I can ride one if I HAVE to, but avoid if at all possible.

2. After 2 C-sections, I had a VBAC (vaginal birth after Ceasarian) with my youngest son. It was a mountaintop moment, though no more so than the births of my first 2. Just different, and took a lot more planning and work!

3. I was born with only one wisdom tooth that was removed 3 months ago. I was worried the wisdom would leave with the tooth. My kids think it did.

4. I'm in constant consternation about letting my hair go gray. This runs in roughly 4 week cycles, at the end of which I inevitably find myself sitting in a beautician's chair staring at my brown goo slathered head in the mirror.

5. Even though I look like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld when I do it, I love to dance.

6. I have bad allergies but am amazingly healthy in spite of that. I sneeze and blow my nose more than the average human.

7. I love being in my 50s. I really don't have to take much crap from life these days. Maybe I never did, but I didn't know it back then.

8. I'm the nurse for a day program for developmentally disabled adults. I never thought I'd enjoy this population much, but I love it. Our clients are wonderful and very dear. I'll be there for the duration.

9. I love to knit, and am currently on a sock kick. I'll likely post a picture of some socks I've knit in the coming days.

10. I have rosacea, a skin condition characterized by redness and breaking out of the face in the "T zone", which is dermatology jargon for nose, cheeks and middle forehead. Now if you ever see me in person you'll know I'm not just horrible at applying blush.

Now, for who to pass this award on to - I kind of agree with Friend of the Bear that I'd like to send this to folks who haven't already gotten it. Most of the amazing blogs I read have already received it, but a few haven't. And before I list them, I want to note that this weight loss and (as I think of it) get-your-sh*t-together community has so many amazing writers and thinkers and doers. I had no idea how much support, inspiration, creativity and humor was out there! So:

- To Jodie at The Overweight Life, who chronicles her journey to fitness and wellness
- Karen at Mom, Me and Alzheimer's who talks about caring at home for her mother with Alzheimer's - amazing honesty and courage
- Bethany at The Great Reduction writing about her own weight loss journey that was motivated by developing a heart condition during pregnancy
- Lyn at Escape From Obesity, who has probably received a zillion of these, but I haven't seen them. She's the first weight loss blogger I found after PastaQueen, (who no longer blogs about weight loss) and Lyn's honesty and continuing journey help me and I know countless others.
- Biz319 at Biggest Diabetic Loser - an insulin dependent diabetic who is committed to eating wonderful healthy food while maintaining good blood sugar levels.
- Lastly, Amy at The Not So Secret Life of a Not So Together Mom who talks about a whole lot of stuff related to self acceptance and being a grown up in this world!

My inner binge-er has been nipping at my heels this weekend a lot. I may have to let her talk tomorrow. Thank you again!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An unexpected gift

Before dawn this morning, I headed out to the local farmer's market to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. On the way home, while driving over a reservoir, I saw this:

What a way to start the day. Thanks to the God of my understanding.

Friday, September 25, 2009

FFFT - Friday Food For Thought

Seen on a poster in the hallway of the school setting where I work:

Picture shows individual in a wheelchair looking up at a basketball net, holding a bowl out and up, preparing to take a shot. Text says:

"You'll always miss all the shots you don't take."

Unconscious eating - Wake Up!

Yesterday I had a glimpse into an aspect of my eating that I hadn't recognized before. My work day starts at 8:30, so usually I eat breakfast, or at least part of it, very early at home - by 6:30am. I then go to a 7am daily AA meeting I've attended for years, and from there straight to work. Yesterday was a morning when I had eaten 1 egg and 2 egg whites scrambled before the meeting, so intended to have the rest of my breakfast once I got to my office. The rest is the same Monday-Friday - some kind of fruit, and a cup of Trader Joe's Greek style plain yogurt with 2 packets of Splenda.

Immediately upon getting to work, I fired up the computer and did what every dedicated employee does first comments on my own blog and read several other blogs. I then went to eat my yogurt (having already had my fruit while reading), but the container was no where to be found. Until I glanced into the trash, and there was the EMPTY container. I had already eaten the yogurt, and didn't even realize it! Talk about unconscious eating! I recalled that I'd taken the fruit and yogurt out at the same time, but what with being mesmerized by the contents on the monitor, I just sailed through the yogurt without noticing. Later, I did the same thing with the bag of cut up carrots and celery I bring daily to munch throughout the morning. I thought I had some left from my late morning munching which occurred while I was on the phone with a friend (more dedicated employee behavior), and realized I'd scarfed the whole bag already.

I can assure you that these weren't senior moments...they were classic examples of unconscious eating. I never thought I did that. I've read about how when you eat a meal or snack, you should really focus on it - notice the texture and flavor of the food. Chew each bite thoroughly and feel it in your mouth and as you swallow. Wait a few seconds (at least) before shoveling in the next bite, etc. I thought those were good suggestions, but not for me because I never did that mindless eating. I wish I could know how often I've done that with chips, cookies, candy, helpings of food at meals and esp. holidays. Every day, particularly in a binge, I likely eat much more than I even realize because I'm not paying attention.

This served as a great wake up call for me. And not just about eating - I do so many other things unconsciously, like walks on beautiful days. Sure, I notice the blue sky, the changing leaves, the sounds of a the creek along the trail - at first. But then the mind goes into hyperthink, and the walk becomes another item to check off my list, rather than a visceral, pleasurable, peaceful experience with nature and myself. The Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, has a book called Peace Is Every Step, about walking meditatively and finding new depth of experience and awakening. In googling to check the spelling of his name, I ran across a YouTube video of him talking about this topic - the link is:

I've read some of the book, but to hear him discuss anything is truly a spiritual experience. Haven't yet listened to it, but will do so after work (I'm not a total slacker). Anyway, I want to live in each moment more fully, more consciously. Apparently I have a lot of work to do in this arena, if I'm not even noticing when I finish off a bag of carrots and some yogurt! I'm pretty sure this life is only able to be experienced in the moment. And if I want to live as deeply and fully as possible, I need to notice where I am and what I'm doing as much as I can. I expect this will help my eating issues as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Anti-whining - there must be more to talk about

I've been in major self scrutiny mode for the last few posts, and I'm getting a little weary of my own psychowackobabble. That's actually a clinical term, by the way. Coined by this nurse who is currently OD-ing on her aforementioned navel contemplation. It ain't happenen' today. I feel pretty good. My evening last night wasn't as food free as I would have liked, but my new lower size jeans fit fine this morning, and after several hours at work are actually getting that baggy look, so there really is nothing to rag about.

What's on my mind is that I love blogging. Actually I love writing and always have. I was a diary keeper when I was in elementary school. I had a quilted pink diary with a lock and key so no one had access to "the vault", if you know what I mean. I didn't want some fly by night reading about my crush on Scott Sestak or Billy Shafer and broadcasting it to the whole student body of Madeira Beach Elementary School. Interestingly, I had some pretty painful experiences in elementary, but they never made it into the diary. Things like falling out of favor of Kathy Cornwell, the most popular girl ever who grew a daunting set of boobs at least a year before any of the rest of us.

What happened... I was walking in the cafeteria with my plate of spaghetti, tossed salad and apple crisp, when I tripped over someone's shoe and dumped the whole tray of food directly onto Kathy's white pleated blouse and her perfectly coiffed hair. She was majorly irritated (you know I did this deliberately in hopes of pissing off Miss Perfect and sealing my fate as a geeky freak, for pete's sake) and ceased talking to me for many days; predictably all the other girls in the class followed her Queen Bee Ass lead. I apologized profusely and assured her it was an accident, but she wasn't having it. So I spent some very lonely days in 4th grade feeling like "Zip - the What Is It" , exiled from friends and foes alike. I remember that incident like it happened yesterday. That's what utter humiliation does. It leaves a mark that can never quite be sanded away, no matter how fabulous I've become as a 56 year old cool broad.

In junior high I slacked off the diary-ing as I searched for purpose and placement among the 7th and 8th graders who all seemed much more in-the-know than I was. They all seemed uber savvy and sure of themselves. Me, not so much. But I found my niche and a circle of friends that were neither in crowd nor out crowd, and my need to write it all down disappeared. I fared the remaining years of grade school mostly intact.

My return to the pen didn't happen until I was 23, shortly after my mom died. My dad had died when I was 11, leaving only child moi with mom for the next 12 years. In that time I'd graduated, become a nurse, and actually left my nursing job for several months to care for my mom when she was dying of cancer. I temporarily moved 3 hours away from my long term boyfriend with whom I was living to spend this time with my mother, and I've always been grateful I did. It was gut-wrenching and hard at a thousand levels; but it was the right thing to do at a time in my life when doing the right thing wasn't my default setting. After she died and I returned to my life, it took about 3 months for me to begin to lose it as I realized that I was truly alone in the world (no sibs, no grands) other than my boyfriend of several years who'd never told me he loved me (though he did when I started trying to explain my unraveling self to him). I became anxious, fearful, depressed and unhappy. Work was the only place I felt like myself - capable, competent, real.

I walked in off the street to a mental health center in Gainesville, Florida and started seeing a counselor who assured me I was sane and definitely on schedule for a sort of breakdown, given what my young self had been through. And she suggested I journal. I did...and it became the most amazing therapeutic tool for me. I could write down every thought, feeling, fear. I could rage at life, God, the boyfriend, myself. Proper punctuation, spelling and grammar didn't matter, though to this day I find it hard to suspend those high school English elements. (I even text grammatically and in "proper form"!) Journaling really helped me move through the murk of grief and existential lonliness that enveloped me.

I've loved writing ever since. I wish that back in those elementary days it occurred to me to write about the painful stuff as well as the fluff. Maybe it could have helped me sort out some of my pre-teen angst. But in those days I only wanted to go "on record" in the most positive light.

Writing has had a place in my life always...I'm a legendary letter writer and am saddened that old fashioned letter writing is a dying art. Nothing compares to walking out to your snail mail box and finding a nice thick envelope, hand addressed, from a friend or relative. It is a treasure to be savored and enjoyed over and over. But email works pretty well as a means of staying connected, and it doesn't require scrounging through my kitchen drawer looking for a freaking stamp.

So blogging and reading other blogs is a great fit for me. I'm endlessly blown away by the amazing creativity of people in general, but bloggers in particular. There are a lot of smart funny people out there! (I just proofed that line and had initially written "furry" people - there are probably some of them, also.) I had a few fitful starts at blogging, but discovering the weightloss and health community as a resource for myself has given me the courage to throw my own hat into the ring. It took years for me to be more comfortable using a keyboard than a yellow legal pad with a black Bic pen, but at last I've found my platform for creativity that doesn't require a trip to the local yarn store. I love that stuff too, but all I need for this are fingers and a keyboard. Happy me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One down!

I got through last night without eating anything after dinner! Shazam! I was greatly encouraged by some blog friends who posted suggestions and support. Thank you so much!! I started feeling "empty stomach hungry" about 9:30, but I didn't have any desire to put anything in my mouth. Which brought up an interesting issue.

I can tolerate an empty stomach without panic or discomfort or fear. It actually feels kind of pure and real (and not too familiar!) and noble; but it doesn't stir the the obsession to binge. The obsession of the inner binge-er is an entirely different phenomenon than an empty stomach, and it is much harder to withstand and sustain through. Very interesting. Last night I simply did not have a desire to start shoving in the groceries but I did feel hungry. The preceding 4 nights were the exact opposite. So while I'm delighted to have a clean day on the books, I know it was a freebie of sorts. The kickass obsession/compulsion will come along eventually, and I'll just meet it when it does with the best I can muster.

What helped last night (besides absence of feverish compulsion? I went to an 8 p.m. AA meeting, before which I brushed and flossed (thanks Jodie!). It was great, hilarious, moving, and distracted me from food thoughts. When I came home and the hunger pangs began, I wrote another blog entry about pros and cons of being fat. I noticed the hunger pangs a lot and breathed into them, knowing they were reminding me I am doing the right thing (thanks Amy H!) Then I went to sleep and woke up feeling cleanly virtuous and without an iota of remorse.

And it occurs to me now that a more relevant list of pros and cons would target the eating, rather than the being fat. I'm clear there are no pros to being fat. But I know there are pros to the overeating, and not all are "bad".

Pros to Overeating

1. Food/eating promotes stress busting and relaxation. Overeating even moreso.
2. Food/eating is a true pleasure. Sometimes more IS better. Occasionally.
3. Overeating definitely crowds out feelings of anxiety, apartness, lonliness.
Think comfort food and self medicating.
4. At certain levels, it provides a level of numbness and relief from what my
drama du jour happens to be.
5. The numbness bingeing provides isn't selective. Good feelings are also
6. Overeating becomes my identified "issue", allowing subtler and more painful
ones to be back-burnered.

I don't want what overeating offers. I don't handle benign overeating well. Rarely can I eat something off my plan and not be triggered into a binge. Usually the first "off" bite flips the switch. Basically I can't affort the luxury of occasional crazy eating. I'm not ever going to be rigid. But I need to know what I'm dealing with and these last couple of days have helped me figure it out..

One final thing. My blog buddy, Friend of the Bear, suggested weeks ago that I needed to stop weighing myself everyday because I either felt justified to eat if I was down, or motivated to tow the line if I was up. The scale calling the shots. I think she's right, so this morning I didn't weigh after my clean day yesterday. And I'm not going to weigh until Friday, when I will post my next weekly weigh in related to my goal of hitting 190 by Nov. 2nd. It's clear that the blog community is a major source of support, and I'm so grateful.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cons and pros of being fat

I put cons first because I'm pretty sure they will greatly outnumber the pros. But it seems reflecting on this subject may be useful in helping me understand this lengthy plateau I have crafted. With each breath, in each moment, every single morning, every day...I sincerely, earnestly, truly want to lose weight. I want to achieve my next goal of 190 lbs. I want to continue to feel more free from the bondage of food obsession and compulsive eating. I want to feel my body tighter, sleeker, more agile. I want the outlines of my collar bones to continue to evidence themselves, along with other relevant parts of my skeletal system. I want to move smoothly and without pain. I want to touch my toes without having to lurch over my several rolls of abdominal fat. I want to be able to wear nice clothes that aren't from the Plus-size rack. I want to not constantly have my thoughts revert to what can I eat, when can I eat it, and how much can I eat? I want to make peace with food.

And then, it seems, I don't want those things. If I did, why would I continue to sabotage real progress with evening binges? There is something at the core of my resistance to sit through hungriness, to sit through an episode of food obsessing without capitulating. A beacon of pop psychobabble (with emphasis on the "psycho), Dr. Phil, might ask me, "How's that workin' for you?" Good question, doc, and reflecting on the pros and cons might shed some light on the subject. Before I begin, I want to credit Jodie of The Overweight Life for planting the seed for this inventory with her September 10th post "10 Things I Hate About the Overweight Life".

Cons of me being fat

1. Limited clothes options.

2. Sudden sightings of my reflection in a storefront or unexpected mirror, where I wasn't thinking about my fatness until it was all up in my face.

3. Dimples - not the cute kind.

4. Tight bra bands and resultant sausage-like rolls above and below.

5. Never putting on a bathing suit = never going in water. I love water. This represents ridiculous pride on my part, but I just can't bring myself to wear a swimsuit if anyone could catch a glimpse of me in it. I don't judge how others look, but I sure judge myself. Need to work on that.

6. Sleeveless and short sleeved tops do not flatter my fat arms, so I wear 3/4 length sleeves even when it's 98 degrees. And I'm always hot, even in winter.

7. Compromised health. I've had to take blood pressure meds for years, and 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I've just had a normal blood test related to the Type 2, but once you have it, you're at risk for it to return or to eventually become insulin dependent.

8. My mother-in-law referred to me as "one of the family fatties" several years back to one of her daughters with whom I'm very close. Why this sis-in-law told me this I'll never know, except that she is also in the "FF" club.

9. Feeling ashamed of my body. Not how it works for me, which it does amazingly well. Not for my overall good health. But for how it looks naked. Ugh. It's really hard to write that.

Those are the main negative things that come to mind about my experience being fat. I have no delusions that losing all the weight I'd like to lose will change all of my disordered thinking and opinions of my body. Much of that is an inside job...inside my head - not my body. I've been working on that for years and have made tons of progress. I've come to feel pretty good about myself in most ways. I always say that weight, eating and body image are "the last bastion" for me. But I expect that if I come to peace with them, another bastion will appear!

Pros of me being fat

1. ?????????????

I've pondered this for awhile, and either denial has set in, or I honestly can't come up with a benefit of being fat. But what has come to mind is that in every single arena of my life now (other than my weight), I feel better and more content with who I am than I ever have before, and my life continues to get better. I have a wonderful family and great relationships with my kids. I love my in-laws and they love me (despite that family fatty crack by mom-in-law). I have more friends than I could have thought possible. I love my job. I have a lot of cool interests and activities I enjoy. I know myself pretty well after years of not having a clue. I have an amazing fellowship (AA) that is the anchor of my life and brought me to God.

I've reflected a million times that if my life is so good and real now, how much better could it be if the weight thing was resolved? It really couldn't be better, but I don't think it would get worse if I found peace with the beast, either. Good lord, I'm really contemplating my navel here, aren't I?

It's occurring to me that recognizing just how blessed I am helps me see that I do have a choice about how I treat my body and how I use (or abuse) food. I've faced my various demons over the years when they showed up or I wouldn't be who and where I am today. So contemplating sitting in the wanting of food, the hungriness that food doesn't satisfy, doesn't sound all that daunting. I think I can continue on with my journey to health and fitness and slimmer-ness without fear or trepidation. We'll see how it goes when the wanting returns. Because it will. And I know that I have enough "on board" already to see me through.

Hitting the wall

I've been away from my computer for all but the briefest moments in the last 2 days, leaving me only time to comment on a few favorite blogs but not catch up on my own. I'm going to write more later, but I just need to say that I'm finding myself giving in to after dinner eating just about every day since and including the weekend. I continue to hover at 198 pounds, and really haven't had one completely binge free day since I set a goal of getting to 190 by November 2 at the end of last week. It's a little scary to hear my mind starting to say, "Well, I could really wait to start on that goal until October 1, since it's only 8 pounds..."! If I fall back to my old ways, by October 1st I could have gained back 6 or 7 pounds AT LEAST. I need to be truthful here no matter how ridiculous and embarrassed I feel confessing this.

My current thoughts and actions are very typical of my pattern of doing great all day, and then having obsessive food and eating thoughts after dinner, when I'm really not hungry. It finally gets easier to just eat *something* not on plan, which I know damn well will lead to the next thing, then the nauseum. Literally nauseum. I'm conscious of what I'm doing and yet in some way I'm removed from the action of the binge-er. Does that make sense? I know I'll regret it. I don't want to do it. I'm hating myself simultaneous to feeling the soothing effect of a binge underway, and the relief of having left the debate by choosing to give in and eat what I want "just for tonight". HAH!

The only good news is that this recent bingeing is less frantic and much lower in volume than I'm capable of. But I've actually stayed awake later a couple of nights to "finish eating", knowing that I'm going to try to be binge-free the next day. That is, I'm sleepy and ready for bed, but I stay up on purpose to ensure I've eaten everything I can conjure up since I'll do better tomorrow. Eternal tomorrow. This borders on insanity.

As I sit here writing, I want to commit to not giving in to the binge-er tonight. She's not present anywhere now that I can sense, but I know she's lying in wait until after dinner. Last night I was determined to stand up to her, say no to the thoughts, and just feel the wanting. I realize only now, in this moment as I sit and process it all, that I never got as far as the wanting. I ate before it descended and permeated me. The chaos of food thoughts and deprivation became the wall; darkness through which I couldn't navigate. Maybe that darkness of abject wanting is where the answers dwell and where healing can be found. But I continue to get stuck before I allow myself into the dark places.

I'm hesitant to commit to anything at this point because I'm sick of not following through. I'm not a bad person...I keep other commitments. but this one to myself has me flummoxed. I'm going to try tonight to just feel the feelings and listen to the thoughts if they present. Maybe night vision goggles will help me in that darkness. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shape stats

Yesterday I went and had my monthly body composition evaluation and measurements of some of my many and varied parts at the gym. I really had no idea what would be revealed given my, er, inconsistent sticking to my food plan (translate: too frequent binges); but I was hopeful nonetheless because I've been much more on track than off, and my exercising has stayed pretty steady. I'm delighted to report that things are looking good!

The body composition involves stepping on that complex computer disguised as a scale (I described last month) that can somehow interpret from the molecules of one's bare feet what amount of said human is water, fat and lean (sounds like the Jack Sprat nursery rhyme) along with other data that escapes me at the moment. Interestingly, if one gets on this same machine wearing socks, it just spits out your weight. I don't get how this Tanita scale works, but yesterday it had the power to make my day. Is that a little eating disordered or what?!

First, I lost 3 pounds from 4 weeks ago; and more important I was under 200 for the first time on this scale. It always is about 3 pounds higher than my home scale and I was 198.2 on that yesterday morning. At 3 yesterday afternoon on the Tanita, I was 198.5. Not exactly a lightweight, but I was utterly surprised and delighted. The other readings were improved as well, with the exception that I haven't added any lean muscle mass due to the fact that I haven't been able to do upper body strength training b/c of an achy elbow and bicep. The measurements were good too. Last month where I'd either added a half inch at waist and stayed the same at the mmidline, both had decreased by an inch and a half! I feel newly inspired and motivated to keep going.

My last tidbit is that I've been doing exercise ball crunches and other abdominal exercises for a couple of months and haven't really felt much soreness during or later. Also, I'm aware that my low back seems to involuntarily tense and do some of the ab work, which is not good and contributes to occasional back spasms. I've attributed this to the total lack of tone of my abs from 3 pregnancies and 25 years of being fat. But I'm beginning to feel my abs and related minor soreness after a workout. It seems there really are some muscles under the very large spare tire(s) of fat below my waist, and they are definitely strengthening. The trainer told me abs are a part of the body with which MANY women lose "touch" and awareness; but with consistent training - they evidence themselves nicely!

So good news at the gym. I haven't mentioned yet that in November, hubby and I are travelling to the Domincan Republic to visit our daughter who's in the Peace Corps. I told the trainer I'd love to lose another 8 pounds before we go (November 2nd), and the trainer said that was realistic and doable with hard work and consistency. So the goal: weigh 190 lbs when we leave. If I can figure out how some of you techno-marvel bloggers do the weight countdowns on your sidebars, I'm going to do it. I finally figured out the picture uploading, so there's no stopping me now!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Woman's best friend

This my precious hound, Lou. You may not be able to tell that he has a blue eye and a brown eye. Despite the fact that he loves his mama (moi) to death, he needed to be in a headlock to "pose" for this picture. Lou has never belittled me for being overweight!

Actually, I'm just trying to figure out how to put pictures on my blog. If you see the pup, I've entered a new realm of blogging. Wish me luck.

The mindf*#k of shopping for a changing body

I have a happy dilemma underway these last few weeks. I've lost 22 pounds (and holding, unfortunately, due to my continued evening forays into the kitchen every 2-3days) since June, about which I'm thrilled and delighted. However, virtually none of my pants fit now. The clothes I've worn for the last several years have been 18s and 20s, or 2X depending on the sizing. My 2X tops still fit, though with more room and less cling to the underlying rolls beneath my bra band. But my bottom half has definitely shrunk at a greater rate, rendering me somewhere between a roomy woman's size 14 and a 16 in either woman's or regular sizing. Good news, yes?

I have 3 pairs of regular capris now (still wearing them as it's still pretty warm here) that fit me well at my new size. Two pairs are from 2 summers ago when I crashed off 35 pounds and stayed at that low (196) for about 5 minutes before the inevitable gain began. The other pair I bought a few weeks ago. I was hoping they'd do for awhile until I lose more so I don't spend money on clothes I won't wear too long. But 2 nights ago I had to go to a viewing, so needed to wear long pants and dress a little more formally. I had 2 pairs of black slacks in my closet I've worn a lot over the last few years, and when I went to put them on (both pairs) they were HUGE. They looked like clown pants, but I had no choice. I had to wear one of the pairs, and since the viewing was at night and I wasn't the one being viewed (thank goodness!) it was fine (though they felt ridiculous).

So last night I headed to Macy's looking for a decent pair of black pants and maybe a pair of jeans to get me started with the imminent cooler weather. Would you believe that nothing I tried on fit? And where the mindf*#k comes in is that I tried on the plus size 14s, some 16s in plus and regular, and even 18s. The 14s were skin tight in the waist, the 16s in both sizings were either too big or skin tight, depending on the pants. And the one pair of 18s I tried on because the correlating 16 was too tight was also skin tight. It was crazy. Nothing fit, and so that's what I came home with. Nada. Zip. At least I didn't spend any money, but I really need a couple things to change seasons. I'll head out to different stores over the weekend, but this really played with my head. When a 16 was too big, I felt glorious. When another 16 was too small, I felt fat and miserable. And when the 18 was tight, I felt like signing up for gastric bypass. All this over the course of about 45 minutes. Very crazy making.

So guess what I did? I came home and planned to have a cup of 60 calorie non-fat sugar free pudding. I ended up having 4 cups instead. Then I had a huge bowl of Breyer's 1/2 fat mint chocolate chip ice cream, and finally a slice of whole wheat bread and peanut butter. Just in case I come across a pair of size 18s that fit - this'll put 'em out of range. When I write about this, I actually feel mentally ill. Why? What did that accomplish? After 3 days of very healthy sane eating, my evening of shopping frustration imploded into a micro binge. (For me, that was don't want to know about the macro version.) It's over. I move on yet again.

And this afternoon I go for my monthly "body comp" and measurements by the trainer at my gym. It'll be interesting to see what's changed since I've only lost 2lbs over the last 30 days, but have continued with exercise and way more healthy eating than bingeing. Rest assured I'll post about it tomorrow. Wish me luck :) .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good news/Not so bad news

Somehow yesterday slipped by without me posting. I'm trying to post daily at least during the work week to stay current with my self. I can get so caught up in activity and busy-ness and the spinning of my brain that I rather effectively forget to pay attention to what's going on in my interior. The more in touch I stay with my feelings, the better I seem to be able to handle the drama of each day, and especially the yearnings of my inner binge-er. More on her later.

The good news alluded to in today's title is that I did go to the podiatrist on Monday evening after having an xray of my left foot, and I'm cleared to continue exercising, with modification. I knew that if I had a stress fracture it would not show up on a simple xray, and in the absence of any other significant finding on the film I would not find out much. And that brings me to the not so bad news.

The xray did show that I have a shit load of arthritis in the left foot, plus a lot of spurs along the bones at the top of the foot where my pain had been. I say had been, because after having a lot of pain Sunday, by Monday it was essentially gone, and truly but a memory by the evening appointment I had with the podiatrist. He said the fact that the pain was intermittent and hadn't really flared until I started jogging on it several weeks back suggested that there couldn't be a stress fracture as I'd have much more pain, even with regular walking. The degree of arthritis and spurring would be sufficient to cause the pain I had. And he also noted something I've known for years - I have totally flat feet. We're talking that when I walk on concrete with wet feet, you see the whole impression of the foot, not that cute little 5 distinct toe dots above a suggestion of foot below (think "hang ten logo"). Flat as a pancake. Feet this flat make one increasingly susceptible to arthritis, tendonitis, fasciitis, and an unappetizing menu of other foot maladies that age only aggravates.
So - no more jogging. My dream of someday running a marathon, or even a 50-yard sprint in a personal record-breaking time is dashed (pun intended). It's okay, I accept it and am just eternally grateful that I can still walk and exercise sensibly on it.

He put me on 600mg of Ibuprofen 3x/day for 4 weeks, at which time I'll see him again to determine if I should get orthotics or if any further treatment is needed. He finally suggested that I should consider taking up the lowest impact aerobic exercise of them all...swimming. I looked at him long and hard, then reminded him that would require me donning a swimsuit. He rolled his eyes and laughed, and I told him I wasn't kidding. I'm not anywhere near ready for an activity that necessitates me wearing a bathing suit in a venue where another human being might be within a ten-mile proximity. Not happening. Yet. After all, the URL for this blog starts with "willswimagain". And I will swim again. That goal was the genesis for the address of this blog. On July 21, I posted a copy of an email I sent to Lyn at Escape From Obesity about my journey, and about how it came to me that living my life apart from water represented just one way my weight has imprisoned me over the years.

Well, it seems I've been verbally meandering again, and now need to go and do some work here at work! I was going to talk a little about my inner binge-er, who has been making her presence known over the last 2 days (big shock, huh?) and who I've been able to calm with some tough love. But She, and You, will have to wait until later to hear about that. Here's to a binge free day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The times that try a woman's soul

Just a quickie post for now. I had a bad food weekend which translates to eating too much both days. I didn't get on the scale this morning because it would just put me in a more pissed off mood than I've already been. I have no reason for being so irritable over the last few days other than the fact that I'm endlessly tired of being endlessly obsessed with eating and trying to stay on my plan. It's just so damn hard and I feel like a total broken record writing about this yet again. I should just write "Read every post I've written about binging" and press play again. Today (it's 5 p.m. where I dwell) I am clean so far, but just FEEL like eating. I don't know what I really want, and I don't feel like being sweet and gentle and loving with myself as a substitute for potato chips. I'm not going to give in to the food thoughts today, even if I have to go to bed at 7:30 p.m.

There is one frustrating thing right now...this past Saturday after about a 4 mile walk/jog (emphasis on walking), my L foot was hurting a lot, and by yesterday morning was really bad. I've had this pain at a subtle level on and off for several weeks and done my best to ignore it, but it hit critical mass Saturday. It's on the top of the foot and feels like it could be a stress fracture. Since my exercise on Saturday, I've done little more than try to ice and elevate the foot when not at work. Today I made an appointment to see a podiatrist at 6 p.m. and already had an X Ray, so hopefully I'll know something soon. Wouldn't you know it feels much better today, but I'm not going to play around with it anymore. I'm a little freaked to think I might not be able to do my exercise routine for awhile as I know it's playing a big role in my weight loss and improved health.

Finally, I went into a CVS drug store yesterday, and already the candy aisle is a full on orgy of Halloween candy. Holiday candy of any kind always tastes better to me than the equivalent non-holiday varieties...why is that? Plus, I could OD on candy corn in a New York minute if given the opportunity. It's only September 14th, for God's sake. What's a food addict to do??? I averted my gaze and avoided the aisle as though they were growing the H1N1 flu virus on its shelves, but I'm only one woman. Reese cups shaped like pumpkins are too damn good for me to hold out on forever! Far superior to the bourgeois round ones of the unfestive variety. I will stay strong TODAY. Tomorrow will have worries and challenges of its own!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bloodwork update

As per my last post, I got a call back from my doctor's office, and all my blood work is excellent, including the Type 2 Diabetes indicators. So the weight loss and more healthy eating than bingeing over the last 3 months has yielded great results! THAT makes me want to keep up the better work! Insert Smiley Face =)!!

More truths revealed

After my hopeful post yesterday, I had an excellent work out at my gym after work. Then I came home and had a healthy snack that I didn't really want (but usually do), and that snack set off cravings. And I did succumb and overeat. It feels quite ridiculous to even post this, because I imagine any one reading to shake their heads in disgust and be thinking, "WTF Leslie"? What more can I say? I don't intend to do that today. I didn't intend to do it yesterday either. But it's over and I have to leave it in the past tense and be present today.

My post yesterday found me reflecting about catching myself in binge mode and trying to at least figuratively step back for a moment to think it through. I did in fact have the thought, after the 3rd piece of cheddar cheese and just before the Kashi chocolate peanut butter bar, "What is it that I really want right now?" But once the first compulsive bite is on board, it's pretty much inevitable that more will follow, and whatever it is that "I do want right now" will be back-burnered until the next morning. It would take amazing willingness to abort a binge after it has begun. It's possible though unlikely, at least for me. But this episode reminds me that it's easier to not binge before taking the first bite than after. That little nugget of wisdom was one of the few positive things I took from OA during the short time I attended the fellowship.

So now I add to my toolbox the idea that I can ask myself the "What is really going on here?" question as soon as my mind begins thinking of binge type foods rather than waiting until I've already started eating. Eureka!

Enough of the ancient history of 21 hours ago. Today's been a good day. I had a nice comment after my last post from biz319 at "Biggest Diabetic Loser". I checked out her blog and found it to be excellent; chock full recipes, information and her journey to lose 25 lbs as an insulin dependent diabetic who's determined to eat wonderful healthy food. Seeing her blog (I intend to read through the archives over the weekend) jolted me solidly, because I have been Type 2 Diabetic for about 2 years. So far I have not had to check my own blood sugars because my relevant lab tests have stayed at the top of the normal range, but I have the diagnosis and have not really accepted or acknowledged it. It has conjured up shame for me for some another confirmation of my fat-girl status. No more - in fact I had a lot of blood work done 2 weeks ago and haven't even called for the results. The fact that I haven't been contacted by my doctor tells me my results are okay, but as I'm sitting here typing, I just called my doc and asked to get a call back regarding the results.

That brings me around to the topic of honesty. If blogging isn't an anonymous venture (at least before the fame some bloggers eventually enjoy), I don't know what is. What better place to put it all out there? I have done a lot of that so far and gotten some great feedback, but continue to hold back for fear of sounding crazy, or sick, or somehow not worthy of being read. Obviously too much information isn't necessary or helpful, but a related health condition should have made the cut of my confessions.

Blogging is helping me a lot to process and address my stuff, and this is a great example. I really want to be as honest and real as possible. I think I mostly am, and then get blindsided by realizing I've left out an essential part of my overweight food-addicted story, the fact of having Type 2 diabetes. It's not true denial I'm's lack of acceptance and shame. So out of the closet I come, and hopefully without the need for daily blood sugar checks with a glucometer. My 23 pound weight loss since early June will surely put me in better stead in this regard. I will report when I hear back from the doctor's office.

Goal for the weekend - sane healthy eating and 4-5 mile walks both days. Beyond that, I'll have to see what comes along!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quote For The Day

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you. They are supposed to help you discover who you are." (Bernice Johnson Reagon)

Cutting myself a break

It's been awhile since I posted. I've written several posts in my head over the last week, but haven't managed to put virtual pen to paper. I'm still wrestling a bit with that rebellious self-sabotaging spirit within (that has been muddying up my goals of daily exercise and clean eating) that has managed to keep me plateau'd in the 198-202 range for the last month or longer. Over the holiday weekend, I had 3 days in a row where I did my usual healthy and clean eating until sometime in the late afternoon, when all hell would break lose in my psyche and I would just give in to the constant obsession in my mind to EAT A LOT OF A LOT OF STUFF. All three of those days found me teetering on the brink of the binge almost from the moment my eyes opened, and the ensuing hours became about the constant yammering of Leslie-the-addict demanding her fix vs. Leslie of today arguing and struggling to resist the addict's harping and neediness. Each of those days, I lost the fight with the addict. She won, and I spent the last hours of the afternoon and into the evening on the mission: making repeated trips to the kitchen, as well as several trips to the local convenience store to stock "binge essentials". Countless napkins full of chips, cookies, fiber crackers, ice cream, cheese and my bare bones favorite - whole wheat bread with thick pats of cold butter arranged to cover every visible morsel of the bread.

As I sit here and write about it, I feel very far removed from those afternoons and evenings that occurred less than a week ago. Sunday was the last of the seige. Now I recognize clearly that those days of fighting cravings that morphed into huge binges were telling me something was going on that I needed to pay attention to. I'm not sure what, but I am aware that during those days, I started thinking I just needed to realize that I couldn't possibly resist this beast forever. That maybe even the exercise was stupid for someone like me. I felt entirely powerless, and even a little hopeless because I was so tired of fighting the good fight against the endless hunger that food can never satisfy.

With all that my busy head had going on, it never once occurred to me to try to find some stillness and cultivate some compassion for myself. To just stop for a bit, get quiet, alone, and envision taking myself into my lap and just hugging myself and being gentle and loving with myself - the way I would if one of my kids was having a tough time with something. I was so busy engaged in the broken record of "I'm just gonna eat/I'm not gonna eat/I hate this/I should just accept myself fat..." that I got entirely caught up in the self-hate cycle. Food addiction is a disease, like alcoholism and other addictions. If I could easily knock it off, I would have stopped a long time ago. I wouldn't kick myself in the heart if I had cancer. Berating myself and staying in fight mode is futile. Self love and acceptance are vital to being able to regroup, cut myself a break, and begin doing what I know to be good for myself as soon as possible. In AA there's a wonderful saying: "You can begin your day over at any moment." I don't have to wait until Monday morning to start taking care of myself, loving myself, being as gentle and respectful of myself as I am of others. I can do better as soon as I become aware that I'm way off kilter.

Over the last 3 days and seemingly into today as well, I think I'm breaking through some of the emotional roadblocks (boredom, free-floating anxiety, fear - of success?, failure?, losing my identity as a fat woman?) and have been binge free and even food-obsessed free. The result is that this morning, I am at my newest low since June - 197. OH YEAH! I hadn't weighed for four days, which is about as long as I desire or dare to go without surveying my status, and it's been hard to not keep hopping on every morning. But with all the bingeing, I knew that seeing the damage too soon could backfire and send me back into crazytown. I'm feeling quieter, calmer, and definitely clearer. I'm so grateful to be even as evolved as I am, though I have a long way to go. The journey continues, and today I have a desire to be healthy, whole, peaceful and happy. To love and be loved. To understand and be understood. Food addictive behavior definitely gets in the way of those deepest desires of my soul. So I keep trying to stay honest with myself and others. 'Fessing it all up here is helping me with that honesty piece, and I'm inspired by so many bloggers who show me how to do that.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A large weight lifted

My post today is not food-addiction related, but it is bad behavior related. I had a major accomplishment today - I made the FINAL PAYMENT on a credit card that I ran up all by my little self over several years of compulsive spending (jeeez, is there any addiction in which I haven't dabbled? yes - gambling, sex-though my husband wouldn't mind THAT one, drugs...but I digress).

This is huge. I've been eagerly anticipating this day for a couple of years, once I figured out that the balance would disappear a lot quicker if I stopped using the damn card! The balance was well into the 7000's and while I always kept my payments current, the interest and burden were weighing me down constantly. (Don't you love how glibly food/weight metaphors roll of the tongue, or through the fingers in this case?) It felt like I could never get ahead of the ever-accruing debt.

It's interesting to look back and wonder what I have to show for all that money I spent when I didn't have it to spend. What objects, trips, clothes,groceries, meals out - can I even name at this point? We all know what I have for those last 2 on the list...pounds and mounds of dimpled flesh and droopy assorted areas! How insane is to realize that my payment today to end this debt may be paying for some dinner out from a couple of years ago, or a hair cut and color, or a sack of binge food from the grocery store? When it comes to the misuse, no, abuse, of money and credit, I am a reformed woman! I feel a new freedom having this particular affliction fall away. I look forward to "losing" a lot more "stuff" as time marches on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Betcha can't eat just one...

...of anything, that is. It's true confession time. On Monday (I think) I committed to a binge free week, hopefully enabling me to break through a self-crafted plateau upon which I've been loitering. Just one week, at the end of I would either re-up the effort for a designated time frame, or decide to take a break. It was going to be a matter of choice if I decided to ease off the weight loss effort by indulging myself in some limited tasty morsels. You know what I would be my decision whether or not to break from the totally healthy regime and enjoy something "off program" for just an evening, or even just a bite. Ha!

Well, I'm starting to get that once I put certain things in my mouth, like even one bakery-made oatmeal raisin nut cookie, the decision appears to be out of my hands, because I can't stop myself from having another. I swear that sometimes I can, but not usually. And this is where the confession comes in.

We had a friend for dinner last night. She was a 60-something woman from church who has been going through some stuff, so hubby and I invited her over. I planned a really good dinner with an awesome lean pork chop and cabbage recipe I have. The side dishes were light fare as well -- zucchini, salad and boiled red potatoes. Given the lightness of the menu, I thought I should get something decent for dessert to round out the meal. Translate: fixing dinner for someone during the week felt like work and I wanted a reward for my sacrifice of time as this was hubby's idea anyway. I went to a local bakery and got some oatmeal raisin nut cookies that were about 3-4 inches across and came in a container of about 2 dozen. Oh, I knew exactly what I was doing but would have denied it to the death as I handed over the money for the cookies. And to balance the cookies, I got some Edy's caramel nut ice cream and a container of butterscotch syrup to make it special.

The dinner was great...we 3 cleaned our heartily laden plates, then sat back with contentedly bloated bellies to chat. About 15 minutes later, I suggested dessert. Our friend said she didn't have room for another crumb, but hubby, good chap that he is, said he was going to have "a" cookie. So I eagerly joined him in having "one". And do you know that upon the first bite coming to rest on my tongue, with the intermingling of textures (raisins, nuts, grains) and flavors (raisins, spices, sweetness), I knew I was a gone-er. I immediately had another, but stopped since "people were watching" (they couldn't care less). Shortly after, our friend left, hubby went off to a meeting, and I was left alone with not only the cookies, (I had about 10), but also the ice cream and butterscotch sauce (I had one and a half bowls). Not on my planner, or was it? My subconscious knew full well where that clear container of designer cookies was going to take me. So did my "conscious", truth be told. I guess I enjoyed it all even knowing that I would pay in the morning with sugar fog and the remorse of not maintaining my commitment to one lousy week of abstinence.

Today I'm totally back on track and feel fine. It's over, done, finis. But I've been thinking about how I eat certain things compared to how others do. In one of the clients' rooms today the staff were each having a small order of succulent crispy golden french fries. I saw one woman throw 1/2 of her pack of them away because she was full. Full? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Fries must be eaten until they're gone, just like cookies, pies, cakes, candy bars. When I think of having a candy bar, I don't really want one. I want a lot, and then the way is paved for the balancing salty thing like chips or wheat thins, and then butter, and so on. The anatomy of a binge.

It really is like alcohol. When I first stopped drinking 18 years ago and I'd have a craving for a drink, I knew didn't want "a" drink; I wanted obliteration. To be somewhere else. To go away without leaving the room. Food doesn't do the same thing exactly, but I abuse it the same way. It makes me wonder if I'll ever really be able to enjoy "A COOKIE". I have no aspirations to be a person who never eats sugar or white flour. But I definitely understand that I will likely always have to be willing to accept the consequences of making certain choices. Maybe one will be enough. But given my history, it isn't likely. And as Lyn from Escape From Obesity noted yesterday, every choice counts.

I know I'll have a clean healthy day today and today is the only place in which I can take action, make choices, and live my life fully. So maybe I need to rethink week-long committments and stick to doing my best in this day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Redistributing the ass - ets

I made a poor clothing choice today, and my writing about it here is prompted by the fact that I feel like a sausage sitting here behind my desk. I have a new pair of denim capris that are cute, and a size 16. I've been in 18s and 2x's since what seems like the dawn of eternity, so the 16 makes me feel the progress I've made in losing the 21 pounds (so far), even though no one else can see the label. And 16 is not exactly a petite size, but given from whence I came, it feels good to me!

Anyway, I have on the capris today. They fit pretty well. The mistake came in that I also wore a 1x v-neck top that I haven't been able to wear for 2 years; and back then I could only wear it for about 2 weeks at the last low weight I hit in September of '07. It fit for just about that long - 2 lousy weeks, before I started beefing back up. So this morning when I put on the capris and tried to pair them with some of my usual tops, the bigness of the shirts and the way they fell from shoulders made me look fatter than I now am, totally negating the slimming effect of the pants. I got bold and tried on this v- neck top. It fit and looked great and gave me a positively svelte appearance, so off I went to work knowing my weight loss was particularly evident in this ensemble. And it paid off because several people commented on how good I'm looking.

But what's happened over the 6 hours I've been at work is that it's all feeling tighter now, starting with my oft-mentioned bra that is apparently trying to bisect me cleanly into an upper and lower half. I feel like my clothes are painted on from just below the bra band to just below my um, spare tire (large belly). I swear none of it felt like that this morning. WTF!!&*$#!? I guess as the day has progressed, I've eaten 2 meals and a snack, my body has relaxed out a bit and I've expanded. Can that really happen or is this just my freakish frame? Now I want to rip off these "thin" clothes and don the closest muumuu. Damn. I just want to be thin already so that what I put on just fits right all the time!

On the lighter side (pun intended), I had a successful day 1 yesterday (recall my committment to have a binge free sane eating week) and woke today feeling good and clear headed and lean. Nothing muddies up my head like a sugar binge, for sure. And a fellow blogger, Friend of the Bear, suggested yesterday that I knock off weighing myself everyday to help me stop playing the scale game, which was an excellent suggestion and one I wouldn't have done had someone else not suggested it. So I'm on track behaviorally and I can't let "feeling fat" flummox my efforts. I think the answer to my continued thick middle that starts bulging at the seams by mid afternoon is to continue to gradually pare of the extra pounds. I know it will take time...more time than I want. But I can do it if I keep my eye on the prize of a healthier leaner self and not get caught up in one day's indiscretions or bad feelings. And in just a few minutes, I can change into my workout clothes, which will feel MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE, and let all my pent up cells breathe a little! This will be one workout I'm gonna be thankful for!