Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sweet and bitter

I'm glad to announce that I'm again in the NoDonutZone.  Whew - one day is bad, but 2 in a row eating one of my biggest binge triggers was downright scary.  Good news is that I had no desire for donuts or any other junk yesterday.  We ate dinner out last night because my husband belongs to a golf club where we have to spend a certain amount each quarter, and yesterday was the next to the last day.  I ate more than I would have at home, but it was healthy, yummy and satisfying.  My day yesterday was very likely 1/2 the calories of the day before.

I'll be doing my review tomorrow of my first week on the Hot 100 challenge.  *Spoiler Alert* - I've not done too well.  I'm reflecting a lot on my whole weight loss effort and the emotional and mental components that are going on in my inner landscape.  But I will talk about all that tomorrow.

I finally went out this week and bought a new charger for my camera battery so I can again take and post pictures.  Recall I had put the charger that came with the camera in a VERY SAFE PLACE so that when I  needed it I would always be able to find it.  Well I haven't seen it since.  Probably over 2 months I've torn the house upside down and looked in all my usual clever safe places.  Wednesday I threw in the towel and went to a high falutin' camera shop in Bryn Mawr, and a replacement cost $50.00.  GIVE ME A BREAK.  I swear, I have spent enough money replacing items I've lost by storing them in safe places to knock a few percentage points off the national debt.  Very annoying.  But I'm hoping to take some walks this weekend in what is promised to be a true crisp fall weekend and get some good pictures so my blog blathering can be peppered with lovely photos.

Finally, I got a call yesterday to tell me that a gal I worked with when I was a school nurse a few years back was not expected to live through the night.  She'd had some symptoms that were ultimately determined to be caused by a large malignant brain tumor.  She had surgery 2 days ago and docs were able to get over 2/3 of the tumor out.  But hours after surgery, she had a substantial brain hemorrhage.  Such a tragedy to hear about anyone.  I can't get her out of my mind, and have no idea if she's still alive at this point.  Once again, a reminder to live and love well and fully today.  Let go of petty small grievances.  Forgive everyone, everything. Life is fragile, precious and short. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't try this at home

My job is turning into a very busy one, after 6+ years of allowing me ample time for - shall we say - personal pursuits, like blogging and catalog ordering and general messing around.  It's okay with me that I'm getting busier because it makes the time pass quickly by, but my morning blogging is taking a hit.  And once I get home in the afternoon, all the profound words I've compile in my mind for brilliant posting have drained down into my toes.

And speaking of toes, thanks so much for all the sympathy and get well wishes I shamelessly guilted you all into sending my way with the very dramatic recounting of my toe injury.(How's that for a segue/lead in)  Turns out the toe is doing well, and has not hindered my walking in any way.  In fact, now I think it isn't broken afterall.  I guess those tiny bones are hard to truly fracture, but I sure as hell wrenched said digit in a direction it was not intended to go.  The swelling is down, the bruising is forming, but other than that it's turning into a non-event.  But please don't withdraw your bloggy concern and support, for I am still among the needy when it comes to getting my freaking act together regarding weight loss and related matters.

I've been eating crap I shouldn't the last 2 days, and I'm not sure why.  And when I saw crap, I'm talking 2 donuts after I leave work, both days.  That WILL NOT HAPPEN today.  Of the many horrific "food" items I utterly adore, certain donuts rank very high.  But I NEVER eat them.  Truly, I never have even a bite because one bite is too many and a 1000 are not enough.  Just like cocktails for this girl.  It's been AGES since such fat fried nutritionally empty highly glazed and uber sweet items have passed through my lips and on down the gullet.  But Monday afternoon I went in a convenience store called Wawa for - get this - a diet coke, and forgot to avert my eyes when I passed the donut case.  My favorite variety was right at eye level, staring at me, mocking me, just daring me to indulge.  Just one, since I haven't had one for a long time, thought I.  So why did I remove 2?  Second brilliant thought...well, if I'm gonna do this, I'll do it right.  Yeah, it's definitely right to have 2 donuts instead of one.  Here's the rub...I knew one wouldn't be enough and that I'd turn into a caged lion waiting for a side of beef to get tossed into it's cage after one.  So getting 2 was absolutely "Intent to binge".  And btw - forgot the damned diet coke. 

They were good, beyond good.  Predictably, they set me up to "need something salty".  Went home.  Then had some other things that I'm too embarrassed to mention.  I should be too embarrassed to talk about the donuts, but I'm trying to be honest.  It's hard for this recovering person who is very good at whitewashing dirty truths.  Then yesterday, I did the same thing - with 2 donuts and then some crackers at home.  No dinner, because I felt bloated and disgusted.  Well deserved sickness.  I have a good idea of the emotional boobytrap that may have been eating at me, but no issue can make me binge without my permission and collusion.  Maybe I'll talk about it tomorrow, maybe not.  It's not the cause; it's the behavior that counts.

I know I won't do this today.  No way.  What I realize today for maybe the first time is that when I eat that way for more than a day, not only do I feel sick and disgusted with myself, but I feel depressed and less hopeful.  Less optimistic about everything.  That is worse than the physical sickness - the overall despair of living in addictive behavior.  I could say a lot more about all this but for once I'm going to suffice to say that it is hard work to live like that.  It drains me of joy and peace.  Makes me feel spiritually empty.  I don't want that - I want the opposite of that. 

So the last 2 days of this period of the Hot 100 were major missteps.  But all is not gone.  I'm back on track, with a walk planned this afternoon, and no unplanned eating.  And hopefully that will again open a crack so the light can begin shining back in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Toe jam and Leslie

Well.  That was the shortest weekend ever.  Seems to happen every Monday - recognition of how fast the time has flown from Friday when I pulled out of my parking space at work until Monday morning as I navigate right back in.  I know that it's important to live fully in each present moment, but I have to say that Monday through Friday at 2:30, I'm on a mission to get to that TGIF drive home.  Not that I don't enjoy the week days, but especially when work is more annoying than a flock of gnats buzzing in my ear all night, which it has been lately, I do live for the weekends.  So sue me.

And the first thing that happened this Monday morning occurred before the famous butcrack of dawn....I woke up at 4ish, and decided to go downstairs and doze on the den couch for an hour before I officially began making my lunch and getting ready for work.  Once I wake at that hour, I am so squirmy that it's hard for hubby to continue snoozing, so being the endlessly loving and benevolent wife, I get out of bed and do something. 

Today I came downstairs into the living room where there is a lamp immediately upon entering we keep on at night to fend off burglers (in my mind only) or whatever.  As my MIL says, "They'd have to bring it in to take it out!"  I always turn it off the second I enter the room in the wee small a.m. hours. 

Bad idea.  This morning I crept through the freshly darkened living room and promptly rammed/slammed/jammed/crammed my right pinky toe into a solid heavy chest that we use as a coffee table.  Literally, I saw stars.

It was the kind of pain that makes you initially sick to your stomach and immediately starts throbbing, so it hurts like hell, interrupted by rhythmic worse spasms of pain with the throbbing.  OMG - I was writhing, cursing and flailing about...eventually I hobbled to the couch, got horizontal and put the foot up on pillows.  Usually when I've done a boneheaded thing such as this, the acute pain diminishes gradually over half an hour or so.  This didn't, and even the pressure of a light throw over hit caused me to hit the ceiling.  Finally I tried to walk on it, and as long as I deliberately focused weight on the medial half of the foot, it was okay.  But I got ice for it and then got it up again while I googled pinky toe drama to see what to do. 

I'm pretty sure I broke it, because it was really swollen, red and a little distorted looking.  But it had feeling, and good circulation, so all I read indicated that there isn't much to do for it besides ice, elevation, rest, and buddy taping it to the toe next door.  I already knew all of this, so iced it a couple times, kept it elevated, then got a shower so I could tape it up, "sock" it, and see how it felt in a shoe.  Also my favorite cure-all - 800 mg of ibuprofen.  Believe it or not, it feels okay.  I was afraid I'd have to stay home at least today, maybe get it xrayed, and see a doc.  But all the data said as long as there is no numbness and it stays warm (signalling good circulation), it's an injury that is unlikely to need intervention.  However, it will need some activity moderation perhaps.

And now, a good 7+ hours after the ram/jam/slam/cram with said toe securely taped and tucked into my loosely tied walking shoe, it still feels pretty good.  I'm shocked and GLAD, given how it started out.  I've only had a toe fracture one other time when I was on a trip in Europe the summer after high school graduation.  I was touring with a music group, and while in a hotel in Vienna, and rather drunk I might add, I slid across a wet floor in a water closet and ploughed the left big toe into a bathtub!  It swelled up ridiculously - so much that everyone on the trip called it my "potato toe".  It was a drag because we walked many miles everyday, but at the ripe age of 17, it didn't keep me down for long.  I cut a hole out of the big toe area of my way cool penny loafer and carried on.

I'm hoping this injury won't keep me down much either.  Rest assured I'll update as to it's progress.  I'm not going to do anything on it after I get off work today and hopefully it wil continue to feel okay.  It looked less swollen when I checked it out a little while ago, which is a good sign.  Maybe it isn't broken, but it sure had all the symptoms, included looking like a lumpy swollen version of its usual self.

Here's to a good food day for us all - my weekend was decent.  Not perfect.  It's okay.

Hot Tip for the Day:  *Wear slippers or shoes when traipsing around in the dark.*  See?  Something brilliant brewed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

An unexpected glimpse of grace

This will be quick.  I hadn't planned on posting today, but I just couldn't walk away from the computer without saying something after I just watched Tracy's Vlog she put up yesterday.  If you haven't seen it, please hit the link and watch all 5 minutes and 26 seconds.  It's really powerful and honest, and helped me tremendously this morning.

Tracy is one of the bloggers I read every time she posts.  She has lost 70+ pounds with Weight Watchers, and is still working at it each day.  She posts wonderful recipes, takes great pictures of her groceries and meals, and always is motivating and inspiring, but never more than on this vlog post.

I think of TJ as endlessly positive and one of the superstar bloggers who has achieved remarkable success with weight loss and fitness.  I know she has some physical constraints due to chronic pain, but even with that, she does her level best to exercise and eat healthfully.  Quite frankly, she is someone I've pegged as "done with fighting food or desires to binge.  But on this video she's looking right at the camera and sharing that she does, and currently IS, struggling with the desire to binge, or hit a local McDonalds....BUT she isn't doing either.  She's sitting through the desires in favor of feeling feelings and sharing honestly.  Watching and listening, I knew she was telling the absolute truth about where she is right now.

So how did it help me?  It's 11:15 Saturday morning.  I went out to breakfast with friends and had a good big breakfast.  But after getting home, I was already having food thoughts - "maybe I'll really begin the Hot 100 challenge Monday", even after being so pumped up about it yesterday.  But as I saw and heard Tracy talk, all I could say to myself was/is, "If Tracy can do this, so can I."  Just for today.  It was clear to me that her desire to eat was every bit as powerful as mine.  But she is not going to eat outside of her points today.  She's going to hang on to the big picture of what she wants for herself - leanness and fitness - in favor of caving to cravings in an emotional moment, or hour, or week. 

She helped shatter my notion that Superstar bloggers who've had success with weight loss never have to work at it anymore.  That "now it's easy for them."  Miz, Sean Anderson, Roni, and so many others...I have assumed it's easy street now that they are walking thin.  Tracy said there will always be times of struggle.  But she's in it to win it, which she already has, and she's not about to start losing her site on the biggest dream she has for her health and wellness because of a rough stretch in other areas of life. 

Food won't make the physical pain go away, or the emotional pain.  Or the crappy job, the pain of divorce, loss of a loved one or a broken shoe lace.  I've been operating unconsciously under the notion that somehow the short term comfort of a food coma will provide long term relief from whatever is eating at me in a given moment.

I can't thank TJ enough for her courage, kindness, and honesty in sharing herself with us.  If she can do it, I believe I can.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Off like a herd of turtles - Hot 100

I got home from dinner last night and was just too pooped to pop.  Or to write up my goals for the Hot 100 that began yesterday.  I began yesterday, being mindful all day that I'm rededicating myself (again for the trillionth time) to this journey to weight loss and fitness.   My refreshed commitment helped me navigate some eating desires yesterday afternoon before going out to dinner.  I got in a couple of hot sweaty miles on foot in the hot and muggy neighborhood.  But I was in no way perfect.  I ended up eating more at dinner (a Thai place) than I intended, and then had ice cream at home.  But that was it.  Not a binge, but not useful to jet propel me down the scale, either. 

I've been thinking a lot about goal setting and what I truly want to achieve in this last 100 days of 2010.  In my lofty and limitless mind I want to lose 20 pounds.  I want to stop bingeing entirely forever.  I want to incorporate daily meditation into my life.  I want to exercise 6 days a week for an hour and include regular strength training.  I want to MAKE PEACE WITH FOOD.  These are all wants.

I've learned after a year and several months of goal setting for various challenges here in blogdom that it does me no good to set goals that may be doable for a non-food-addicted/normal/issuefree/energetic/determined/non-arthritic/ache-and-pain-free person. Because on some days, I may have  energy; other days determination settles in to replace the energy I had yesterday.  Many days my 57 y/o body is relatively un-achy, but some frustration or emotional hurt is asking me to eat something for "comfort".  I have been closely observing myself in action since I began this blog in June of 2009 and have learned a lot about myself and my tendencies.  All this helps, but self awareness avails me nothing if I don't use it to make the best choices for myself each day.

But I've also learned that a goal is just a goal.  An intention to do something.  If I shoot too low I sell myself short and have nothing substantial to strive for.  If I shoot too high, I set myself up for failure.  And btw, I'm ragging on about this because I've been a drop out and poor performer in many challenges over these 15 months.  I'm sick of it, and desire to do better.  I've seen others struggle mightily for many months and gradually find a right rhythm of weightloss and self improvement.  I don't have more issues than they do.  Nor more stressors.  I cave in quicker - more easily lose resolve in late afternoons and assure myself, "Tomorrow I start FOR SURE".  And that's why I weigh 10 pounds more than I did at my lowest point last October.  This has to stop or I really won't ever lose weight and will be blogging about accepting my lumpy soft body as is rather than celebrating weight loss and smaller sizes.

With all this in mind, these are my goals for the Hot 100:

1.  Limit calorie intake to 1700/day.  This requires tracking.  Daily.
2.  Exercise at least 20 minutes 6 days a week.  More is great.  Less is not.
3.  100% accountability and honesty with my reporting on this blog every Friday.
4.  Weekly weigh in only, on Friday mornings.
5.  Stay in challenge through the end - regardless of my adherence to or accomplishment of goals.  No dropping out.

That's it.  All this is what I try to do anyway, but I miss the mark regularly.  I want to do better.  I want to be a person who actually follows through on her goals regardless of hard it is in any given moment.  I know I CAN.  The question is if I WILL.  Am I WILLING to gut it out when it's hard and I'd rather eat on the couch?  If I stick to these few and doable goals, I can't help but lose weight.

That's it for me.  I haven't weighed yet this morning and am off to do the deed.  And to begin day 2.  Thanks for offering out this time of intention and attention for us all, Steve.  I plan to use it wisely.
*just added after weigh in - this morning's weight is 207* 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rx - Mental Health Day for everyone

First - thanks to all of you for your thoughts, recommendations and comments about Ereaders.  I think I'm sold.  Like many of you said, nothing will ever replace the joy of opening and reading a real book, smelling the pages, browsing the library and bookstores.  But the idea of having tons of books in that compact lightweight form is very enticing.  Also, I just saw that our local library system now has some feature where you can download books onto an Ipad or Ereader for free.  Yikes - I hate to see yet another paper convention of our lives, like letter writing, newspapers and magazines, become an endangered species, but at least less trees will be felled in the interest of providing us with more "stuff".

My mental health day yesterday was GLORIOUS! Just what I needed after a day at work on Tuesday where I felt beaten up, chewed up and spit out. My peace of mind was restored in a short 24 hour period. And now it's Friday eve, so hopefully my renewed state can hold out until 2:30 tomorrow.

The morning started with me walking 2.5 miles to my 7 a.m. aa meeting, then taking a different route to walk home that turned out to be 3.1 miles, for a grand total of 5.6 miles by 9 'o'clock, all the while listening to awesome music on the Ipod. (I drove the path in the car to know exactly how a total nerd.) How righteous that felt, and how sweaty was I when I got home. The heat and humidity have returned to my little neck of the woods for a few days, but getting the exercise early helped a lot.  It would have been much hotter and muggier in the afternoon.

After the exercise, I took a long luxurious shower, cleaned up up the kitchen, then met my close friend and aa sponsor, Lisa, for lunch. Lisa is my friend who has terminal lung cancer, but since her last radiation treatments in August to nuke some metastatic disease at the base of her spine, is feeling pretty good and looking great. She's over 2 years since being diagnosed at stage 3B (inoperable, and this gal never smoked one puff) and has fared much better than was originally expected. Last November, she developed mets. in her hip, spine and brain which we all feared signalled her rapid demise, but so far she has responded well to available treatments and is not going down without a fight.  She leads a very clean, sugar-free life with many great health maintenance practices in place (since long before her cancer), including daily yoga, meditation, very clean eating of organic foods (when she can eat these days), frequent acupuncture (she and her husband are acupuncturists, so she has a free practitioner living under the same roof!), and lots of walks when she can with her advancing disease process.

Lisa has been remarkable and inspiring in how she has moved through this cancer. She hates it, is tired of it, often so sick and in pain that she can do very little of her usual busy life that includes 2 kids, ages 7 and 12. She knows she will not recover and at times is appropriately despairing. But her attitude is as positive and gratitude filled as possible given the circumstances. She refuses to stop doing the things she's always done to be as healthy and strong as possible except when treatments for new metastatic disease or severe side effects from the treatments lay her low. By some miracle, she's feeling good for now, and has been taken off her main cancer drug, Tarceva, for now (a daily pill) because it has ravaged her GI tract. They take her off for a week at a time every month or so when her acid reflux and chronic diarrhea become so severe that she needs IV fluids to stay hydrated.  Once off the drug, her system almost immediately settles down and she can gain a bit of strength and weight to bouy her for going back on the drug that is literally keeping her alive.

She actually had the very small brain metastasis Gamma knifed last December, and so far has had no further recurrence in the brain.  She had 20 radiation treatments this past August when her low back began hurting and scans revealed that the cancer there had begun to intensify.  It was an awful month for her to have to get treatment everyday while in pain, and with the awful side effects of the radiation and the Tarceva.  This gal has BEEN THROUGH IT.  But almost a month after all that, the pain in her spine is GONE (though the cancer is still there), and with the current week off of the medication, she's feeling pretty good.  And to look at her, you'd never know her situation is so dire.  Her eyes are bright, hair intact, she dresses nicely and puts on make up.  Her big strategy, she says, is an aa golden nugget, "Act as if..."  In this case, she's acting as if she is fine, and for this time right now, she is.  Really puts 24 hour, one day at a time living in full perspective, doesn't it?  As she says, "right here, right now, in this moment I am here, and okay."  I need to remember that when I'm whining about a bad day at work.

I had no intention of talking about my dear friend so much, but I guess I needed to because yesterday was such a pleasure to sit outside with her and talk our heads off and see her able to eat and enjoy food.  What a blessing and an inspiration she has been to me for almost 20 years - a wonderful aa sponsor who has taught me so much about the aa program, and now a dear close friend with whom I can talk about anything.  Thanks for letting me talk about her here for so long.  It's Lisa herself who imparted to me the wisdom of staying in the present moment, so when I start feel sad at the thought of losing her someday, I just rewind and realize that today she is here, and doing well.  Beyond that is uncertain.  But uncertainty is with all of us everyday...we just don't have occasion to think about it much.

After the lunch with Lisa, I went to Walmart to spend a $25 gift certificate someone had given me.  Generally I don't shop there, being a Target junkie, but free money is free money!  After that - on to grocery shop and then sat at Starbucks for 2 hours with another aa friend.  It was such a restful, refreshing and renewing day - one I needed more than I knew.  And now I sit at work, needing to pour meds and go medicate the masses again. 

I started out this post intending to post my Hot 100 goals for Steve's challenge, but reminiscing about the mental health day took more time and words and paragraphs(!) than I expected.  Later today I will get my Hot 100 post done - but for now, I better go do what they pay me to do.  This will be my first ever 2 post day, but I want to get my goals up on schedule!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A genuine quickie

My GBB (great blog buddy) Tammy just texted me and asked why I wasn't posting?  That's one of the many things I love about blogging...people miss us when we're mia for awhile.  I will keep this very short today because I'm swamped at work and will be staying late to catch up.  Thanks for giving me a kick in the a$$. Tammy!

Tomorrow I'm taking a mental health day as my mental head is going to explode if I don't.  I've already made plans with a friend for lunch.  I'm a huge believe in mental health days every once in awhile, and always allowed my kids one per semester.  They didn't abuse the privilige, were good students and didn't want to miss tests or test reviews.  I think I may have been the coolest mom ever in that way.  They told me theier friends' parents wouldn't let them take a free day.  My mom never did either.  I had to be a death's door or have HIGH fever to stay home.  Wouldn't you know I was the healthiest kid on the block, if not in the county!  I did get German measles in high school, which bought me a few days.  What do you think of that, young bloggers?  I guess they didn't automatically vaccinate for that in the 50s.

I'm doing pretty well with food.  Hubby is working in Texas this week so I'm a solo act with dog again, which enables me to keep a very lean cupboard.  Have been getting lots of walks in and plan to get to the gym later in the week to swim.  I haven't been to the gym in a few weeks with all the walking and beautiful weather, but I gotta get some of my money's worth.

I've also been on a reading frenzy, which has kept me off the computer pretty effectively.  Here's a question I posed before and got NO responses - do any of you have an E Reader?  (Kindle, Nook, Sony...)  I'm dying to get one but haven't heard how people really like them.  If you do, share your opinion.  I'm itching for a Kindle, esp. now that the newest is $139.

Tomorrow I'll post about starting Steve's new challenge, which officially begins on the 23rd.  Until then - enjoy the hump day eve!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wisdom comes from everywhere

I promise to be brief less long-winded today.  I did not make it through the day only feeling my feelings, but I didn't binge.  I felt them (or pondered what the hell they were) for awhile, but I ended up having 2 bags of Trader Joe's Lite Kettle Corn (110 calories each) after work; then we had dinner from the Golf Club my husband belongs to and I had some kind of dense chocolate orgasmic dessert that  had my mouth puckering by the time I finished it because it was so rich and good.  The rest of the meal was horrible, so dinner was a baked white potato (I NEVER eat white potatoes) and the chocolate.  I ordered filet mignon and got it medium since it cooks more in the styrofoam container as hubby drives it home.  Well, it was bloody raw.  Disgusting.  I ate one tiny bite.  I'm going to use it (and hubby's leftovers) in some kind of soup or stew over the weekend.  I almost never eat red meat but the filet sounded good.  Never again.  So not great but not a binge.  It's a process.  I can't go from totally unidentified feelings feeling to Enlightenment in one day!

BUT - my weight was 206.3 this morning!  Down 3 from Monday, so I'm pleased and starting to see Onederland (again) way off in the distance.  Could be a quick trip there, or a circuitous lengthy one.  It really is up to me.  Send me positive vibes and traveling mercies, please!  I want to get there FOR THE LAST TIME and SOON.  It would be such a relief to to leave the 2 century mark forever.  Again - up to me.  I'm not quitting and I'm working on it.

I heard something interesting at my aa meeting this morning.  A 40-something gal who is a graphic designer and was laid off 3 years ago shared that she's been doing temp work for the same company in downtown Philly for 2 years.  She noted that she has been there a lot, has good working relationships with all the people there, has always done whatever they asked of her and worked hard to be a valuable human resource.  She likened her last 2 years at this place to a 2 year job interview, about which she felt very good and positive for when the company started hiring again.

She found out yesterday that this past week, the company did in fact begin hiring - 2 brand new people from the outside.  She was stunned and shocked, disappointed and depressed about it.  She said when she came home yesterday, her husband was going to get dinner for them at a local restuarant and asked her what, if anything, she wanted.  She reported she wanted to say, "I want a large order of wings, a big cheeseburger with fries, dessert....", but then she said she stopped and said, "NO.  I'm not going to eat over this.  I'm going to feel it, even though I'm not happy about it and feel like shit."  (She'd already noted that she never felt like drinking at all, even over the last 3 yrs of unemployment and temping.)  But for some reason she added in the thing about not eating over it either. 

WOW.  In my egomaniacal mind I knew she said that just for my ears!  Of course she didn't, but it was so relevant for me.  In finishing talking about the whole experience, she had no regrets because she knew she couldn't do anything more than she's done.  "Maybe I'm not supposed to be there afterall."  How cool to be clearheaded, sober, rational, appropriately disappointed and come to such a conclusion without going into a self deprecating rant or even ragging and whining about the company.  Talk about inspiration!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Excavation in the ruins

After my rough eating day on Tuesday, I had an excellent one yesterday with no bingeing.  Also got in a 40 minute walk.  For those who read yesterday's post, I walked out 20 minutes, then had to walk back...a little mind game I played on myself about the whole "just do 20 minutes" strategy.  When I set out with the dog, I DID. NOT. WANT. to walk, and imagined various and sundry aches and pains cropping up in many body parts, but I kept telling myself, "well you're going for 20 minutes".  Finally about 19 minutes in it started feeling good, and since I had to travel the distance back home, it worked, it was a good thing.  But even if it hadn't felt good I would have had to do it because I did not bring my phone to call Hubby for a pick up.  Pretty crafty way to trick my self, huh?  I likely won't fall for it too often, but usually I want to walk, so this shouldn't be a problem!

It felt good to wake up without the regret and remorse of a binge.  But rather than feeling euphoric and invincible from my one day of sane behavior, I woke up wanting to eat.  WANTING.  But not actually hungry.  When I stopped for coffee on the way to my aa meeting, I considered getting something "off plan" but did not.  While driving from meeting to work - same.  Had my healthy breakfast.  And still I'm feeling hollow and off kilter.  Not empty in the physical sense.  But definitely with a low grade level of anxiety or depression or something.  And this non-specific and as yet unidentified blahness/angst whatever is a classic "reason" I so often choose to eat.  And once I eat, the blahness subsides and I lose all possibility of discovering what is at the core of my feelings, because they've been sufficiently but only temporarily stuffed. 

Today I hope and intend to just be with the uncomfortable feelings and see where they lead.  This is the key - but whether or not I can stay with it is uncertain.  I want to.  I know my binges and repeated overeating but non-binge behaviors are all about numbing, escaping and not feeling - but I honestly have no idea what I don't want to feel.  I pray for the willingness to stick with it today.  I'm glad this is here because waking up wanting to eat before having any awareness of my blahness and vague anxiety tells me how efficiently my disordered eating behavior has become.  Even before I feel pain or fear or almost anything... I want to escape.  The pain is still unconscious and so is the hair trigger reaction to binge. 

The only way through is through.  I have to do this or I won't find healing and recovery from food addiction.

Loretta had a beautiful post yesterday reflecting back on her early days of blogging and being in this process of seeking healing and peace with food.  She was reflecting on some of the things she'd written a year ago, and one particularly powerful paragragh was this: 

"I want to learn to FEEL the emotions instead of numbing them with food.  And to DEAL with them...and know it will be just fine...I will survive them regardless if they are uncomfortable or intense. And lastly, I will HEAL...not just try to survive or endure the same "stuff" that comes up over and over...but to resolve it, to put it to rest, to HEAL it."

How beautfiul.  This is why blogging is so good for me.  Sure - I can get my own stuff out when I'm honest and real enough to do so, but I think reading her post yesterday set the groundwork for me to wake up today with a new awareness of my process and my automatic response of overeating in answer to the vaguest if not unconscious stirrings of discomfort.  I get so much inspiration and wisdom from all of you who dare to be real and honest.  And I think I'm getting the courage to be the same way - more than I have before.

Here's to a good almost Friday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back in the confessional or coulda, woulda, shoulda

I feel kind of ridiculous this morning as I start out to write this post because yesterday in comments to my meanderings about getting a certain blog award, a few people noted it as "an acceptance speech" - in very kind terms mind you, but nonetheless, I feel a bit embarrassed.  While a blog award presumably created by another blogger is a nice gesture, it certainly isn't a Pulitzer or a Nobel.  My long-winded thoughts were more an apologetic (noun) where I got to muse about what I want my writing here to convey on a fairly regular basis.  I wasn't feeling expansive or inflated into a prideful balloon about a simple blog award, but it got me thinking about what the hell I'm doing here.  'Nuff said.

My first and only blog read this morning as yet was Karen's, and as usual it was excellent.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do so.  She talks about breaking down healthy things to do or unhealthy things to not do - in twenty minute segments (and nicely describes what led her mind to that idea).  For example, some days the thought of exercising for a planned hour can seem overwhelming, or just something you don't want to do that day.  But telling yourself you'll do 20 minutes can seem more doable, and very often will turn into more time if you just do the 20.  She says it much better.

What it put me in mind of was yesterday.  At the end of my post, I said I had a 4 mile walk planned after work.  All day that was the intention from my earliest waking moment.  Guess what?  After work, I felt blah and didn't want to do 4 miles.  Guess how far I went???  ZERO.  NADA.  I also ended up in an eating frenzy for a couple of hours later on that was definitely NOT on my planner.  I wasn't feeling binge-ish.  I wasn't fighting the obsessive mind at all.  But at some point I just decided to have some saltines and butter.  And off to the races went I.

All you 45+ age bloggers remember back in the day when we diagrammed sentences in grammar class? (Yeah, they actually taught grammar and usage back in the dark ages.)  I'm going to diagram the unfolding of yesterday afternoon:  1) Hubby wasn't going to be home until after 10 p.m. so I was on my own.  2) Last weekend we had company that turned out great but about which I had fretted.  3) Week leading up to company had been tons of physical work preparing the room for the guests while aforementioned fretting underway.  4) Immense relief along with joy at how fantastic weekend was after guests left. 5) Pretty clean eating and exercising over weekend and Monday.  6)  Weighed self Monday morning (normally done weekly on Fridays) and was surprised and disgruntled by an unexpected gain. 7)Tuesday afternoon first real relaxing and letting down after company with no need to prepare healthy meal for hubby.  8) Didn't exercise because didn't want to spend full hour on 4+ mile walk. 9) Food frenzy.  And to add to the scenario, waking up Wednesday morning with remorse, regret and self disgust at bingeing.

~*~ After writing this post and reflecting more, I added another stop above in the diagram path, the weighing on a non-weigh day~*~

What does that all have to do with the 20 minute topic?  Beginning with # 6, listen to self when self says, "this is not your day to weigh."  On # 8, rather than omitting all exercise, just tell myself  I'll do 20 minutes and then reassess about doing more.  (I will inevitably do more, because once I'm going, I feel better, clearer, and want to make it a great energy expenditure so as to get maximum re-energizing of my day.  (And I absolutely know I'm MUCH less likely to overeat when I've exercised.) Then #9 - when the thought of the saltines presented, decide to wait for 20 minutes and see if I still want to do what I know damn well will send me down the garden path to eating oblivion.  Put it off for a short period of time.  Not one day at a time - one minute at a time.  One minute at a time for 20 times.  Or 5.  Or whatever it takes for the thought to pass.  Rather than succumbing instantly. 

I can say yesterday afternoon resulted from a perfect storm of a binge set up, but at many points along the diagrammed path I knew that my crazy inner binge-er was going to demand some attention eventually.  (And getting real...*LIFE* is a binge set up for a food addict.)  I do know myself and many strategies to postpone a binge long enough for the desire to abate.  But in the final analysis, I wanted to binge more than I didn't.  I can say "it just came upon me", but that is utter bullsh*t.  The refrain "this'll be the last one ever" repeating as I continued my trips to the kitchen.  It can be, but only if I seek the help I need and know is available to stop it a day, 20 minutes or a moment at a time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

FMPWF (curious?)

I'm very happy to report that I got a lovely award today from Deb at Deb Will Be Free.  I could almost quote Deb's response to her own receiving of this award.  She noted that while it's nice to get one that is for being positive, happy or funny, it is great to have someone think my blog has substance, or in Deb's words "never fail to be truer and go deeper".  I really appreciate this, because though I tend to be snarky and cynical at times, I also strive to be thoughtful and share truths from the resources in my life that give me wisdom, guidance, strength and hope. 

Sometimes those resources are other bloggers - oft times, actually.  Other sources include friends, age (being a baby boomer has it's bennies) and life experience. But anyone who has read my blog more than a couple of times knows that my greatest source of spiritual truth, wisdom and hope, besides my "Higher Power" whom I chose to call God (in an entirely non-religious or traditional Judeo-Christian sense) is the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I've been in this blog endeavor over a year now and have had the great fortune and pleasure of reading countless inspiring, mind-blowing, amazing, hilarious, serious and endlessly entertaining blogs in the process.  And in so-doing, I've come to realize that if anything sets mine apart, it's my frequent focus on and quoting of stuff from AA.  I've wondered at times if people get tired of that, but since I'm the boss of my blog and AA informs every single area of my life, behavior, beliefs, and certainty that anyone and everyone can CHANGE if they want would be hard for me to be an honest blogger if I left it out.

A huge principal of AA is the anonymity part.  In the program it's suggested that we don't share our status as recovering alcoholics outside of the program UNLESS IT"S TO HELP ANOTHER.  Another alcoholic, obviously, but everyday I hear people say (and think myself) that it's hard to imagine how people live without the wisdom, truth, acceptance and blueprint for living that can be found in the fellowship.  We actually feel lucky to be alcoholics, so that we had a reason to enter into this organization that offers so much hope, help and guidance for getting and staying sober first and foremost; but also for just about anything life tosses up to us.  It's unlikely I'll meet any of you in person anytime soon, with the exception of Atlanta gals Tammy and Tina, so I've carved myself some wiggle room regarding anonymity in my blog.  I don't think I'm violating AA traditions by sharing some of the great stuff I hear and learn there.  How's that for sound justification?!

Anyway - if my blog truly is one of substance, I attribute it to my inclusion of so much of my experience, strength and hope from the fellowship.  I know that the Steps and basic principles of the program can help with overcoming all manner of addictive tendencies, self delusion, rationalizing, and repeated "failure" or lack of success.  I have not yet found the recovery from food addiction that I've found from booze, but I know I'm on my way, getting better, and will find genuine healing and peace via this life journey.  Food is a different animal than alcohol, but truth is truth.  There are universal glitches regarding using anything outside of spiritual awakening and grounding to fill "the holes in our souls", and so it's my hope that something I say on any given day may help someone else, even if it hasn't yet gotten through to this blogger!

So I love being given an award for having a "Blog of Substance", and am going to be so shameless as to agree!  I have blog self esteem - isn't that great?  I've certainly struggled with self esteem for much of my life, but living into each day, one at a time, has given me a more accurate appraisal of who I am and what I'm about.  Not too shabby an outcome of a life.

The rules of this award are to summarize your blog's philosophy, motivation and experience in 5 words.  I've just done it in a zillion, so let's see if I can distill all this blathering down to cinq mots...
                 Finally Making Peace With Food  (fmpwf)!
Then I'm supposed to give the award to 10 others.  Yikes - probably every great blogger I read has received this, and if I name you and you want to ignore it - no apologies necessary.  But besides gloating over my blog, it's great to acknowledge others I like:
Eat When Hungry
From Fat To Fab
Doing a 180
Jack Sh*t
Escape From Obesity
Gravel and Rust
Waisting Time
Log My Loss
Fat Girl Dives In
I know this only 9, but the others I went and checked have already received it.  All these don't focus solely on weight loss but also on life and some of the difficulties and victories encountered over the long haul. 

Hoping to do about 4 miles via foot this afternoon, and to keep the day clean of cookies, chips, and other assorted crapola.  Hope the same for all my blog buds!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Somebody please smack me the next time I get on the scale more than once a week.  Seriously.  I'll explain why down the page a bit.

We had the most stellar, amazing and wonderful weekend with my SIL and her husband!  I always love being with Kristin, and turns out her new husband is also very easy and pleasant to be with.  Nice, kind, unassuming, interesting.  We talked, laughed, reminisced and made new memories about which to reminisce in the future.  The weekend couldn't have been more comfortable, pleasant or fun.  What I wish is that it could have been longer, and I know they did too.

We were the next-to-last stop on their 2 week second honeymoon/vacation (they were married in March but only had a 4 day trip to a N. Carolina mountain house after their wedding), where they went to New York to visit Mike's parents, and other friends from where he grew up.  They also stopped on the way from Atlanta to New York to visit Kristin's college roommate.  Then they spent a few days on Cape Cod (Kristin's first time there); finally back to New York to see Ground Zero on September 11th, and on to our house Saturday afternoon through this morning.  They were relaxed, happy and really excited to spend time with Tom and me.  It was simply delightful - far exceeded my hopes or expectations. 

One remarkable thing...I am a total morning person.  I get up by 4:30 everyday (waking to my internal rhythm rather than an angry mocking alarm clock.  Getting up this early immediately awake, alert and in high gear renders another reliable phenomenon every evening.  By 9 p.m. AT THE LATEST most nights, I'm sound asleep - having either gotten horizontal on the couch or nodding off while sitting upright watching tv or reading.  Unless I have something special to do with lots of people and external stimulation, I cannot stay awake past 9.  And lots of people and external stim does NOT include movies at theaters...I've nodded off during countless high suspense films if we go to later than a late afternoon show. night owl days are long over.

BUT.  Saturday night after eating a meal I cooked that turned out amazing, all 4 of us sat and talked until about 11, when both men threw in the towel and headed for their respective beds while Kristin and I kept talking until past 2 a.m.  I wasn't the least bit sleepy, and no - we did not have NO-DOZ omelets or Red Bull Smoothies for dinner.  It was really strange, and Tom kept commenting on my perkiness!  Same last night, only just until 11:30 because today was a "school day" for me.  I felt like such a grown up staying up so late :)

My food this weekend was great.  Both days I had no bingeing or even thoughts of it.  I didn't count calories but know I was uner 1700 both days.  Saturday before they arrived I also got in a very fast 3.2 mile walk, and yesterday we went into Philly to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Constitution Center and walked a lot.  We went to a great North Italian restaurant last night where Tom and I split an arugula, tomatoe and parmesean salad, and then I had penne pasta with asparagus, shrim and scallops.  I at the seafood, and about 1/2 of the penne.  No dessert.

So. Back to my request for a smackdown regarding the scale...this morning, because of my extreme virtue in the eating and exercise realms since Friday (when I weighed 207), I decided to get on the scale.  I knew it was a risky venture but felt certain I would see a favorable verdict....NOT!  209.3!  DAMN - was I annoyed, and mad at myself for ascending that 3 inch step onto the platform of doom.  I guess my meal last night for salt laden.  Or my calories exceeded what I thought, though I don't think so.  What a way to beacon in a big dark rain cloud to gloom up my weekend afterglow!  I know - it'll disappear, but I could have spared myself the aggravation by waiting until Friday to weigh.  I'd like to say "lesson learned", but seems I'm a slow learner and a fast forgetter.  But that mofo scale will not be graced with my size 9 feet again until Friday.  I'll show that bastard!

Overall - stellar weekend.  I'll be reading about all of yours over the course of the day if my patients at work stop having seizures and vomiting episodes long enough for me to catch my breath!  As dear Deb at Deb Will Be Free says, "Onward and forward, fellow travelers!"

And hey - when I went to link her just now, she gave me an award!  I'll have to read up and report tomorrow!  Have a great day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dribs and drabs

Let's get the weigh in out of the weigh - hahaha.  That's as good as the humor's gonna get today, folks.  I'm feeling tired and achy and quite blahsville.  Anyway, I was 207 today, so down 1.5 pounds.  I'm happy with that.  Hopefully I'll get in a lot more walking and other exercise this weekend.  If I could lose 1.5 pounds a week with no backslides I'd be delighted.  This business of losing down through the same pounds again and again just works my last nerve and I'm done with it.  It's within my power to never weigh more than I do today again, if I'm willing to work for it and sit through food obsessive thoughts for awhile, praying for help to say no and feel my feelings.  I've definitely done better with this lately.

Our company comes tomorrow afternoon and these folks are not super foodies, unlike a certain blogger you know and (hopefully) like.  Food will not be the focus of our time together, so hopefully I won't overeat.  I'm excited to see them, but also in my usual state of wishing I was 20 lbs thinner to see any of Tom's family.  It's nuts.  It's crazy.  It's vain.  This sister-in-law is one of my favorite people in the world.  We really love each other.  We can always talk for hours, picking up where we left off last time, which in this case was a brief visit in March when we went to Atlanta for her wedding.  She was pretty "busy" that weekend, to say the least, so we didn't have our usual gab fest.  But we always have tons to talk about.

Bottom line...she does not judge or care that my weight is what it is.  She's seen me heavier (as much as 25 pounds heavier, God forbid!).  Yet I envision her going back to Atlanta and calling the whole family to tell them, "Leslie is still a bit heavy."  As though she has nothing more in her life to talk about than my weight.  Even if she didn't have more going on to talk about, she is not mean spirited or gossipy and wouldn't engage in character assassination by tongue.  But that's where my head goes.  In AA they use the term "egomaniac with an inferiority complex"...which is so accurate.  The egocentrism of negative self-esteem runs deeper than the deepest ocean, which I think is the Pacific?  Anyhoo - you get my drift.

So what else is on my mind??  Hmmm - oh - I've "invented" a great new healthy snack that tastes totally decadent, is satisfying and protein packed.  And ridiculously simple.  I was motivated by how much I love Chobani's pineapple yogurt.  It's great, but only 1/2 cup, and 160 calories.  Kind of a big calorie hit for a small amount.  So I've been using 1 cup of Trader Joe's 0% Greek yogurt, a splenda packet, and 1/2 cup of Dole's pineapple tidbits in it's own juice, for which the calorie count is 50.  I get a bit of juice with the pineapple and mush it together with the full cup of the yogurt (120 calories and a staggering 22 gms of protein), and it's great.  Much more satisfying than the measly Chobani, and lots more nourishing.  Who knew?  Also cheaper, ultimately, though I've never been a cheapo when it comes to food ;) .  The total is 170 for over a cup more of yum!  I've been having it as part of breakfast this week.

One more the beginning of this I mentioned I'm kind of tired and achy today.  Where I'm mostly achy is my thighs and knees, and I'm not sure why, because I've been sleeping well and haven't been doing any new exercises or strength training.  But there is one thing...literally since early December when I had my first knee arthroscopy, I've taken some amount of Ibuprofen every day.  Right after the surgery, I was taking 800mg ever 6 hours while awake, which I weaned down to 800 twice a day pretty quick.  (I stopped the Vicodan FAST because I liked the way it made my head feel too much and ibuprofen worked fine - recall the whole recovery issue)  Then I had the second knee done in late February and started with the big doses of Ibu again, then again weaned down to 800 (4 OTC pills btw) twice daily pretty fast.  Finally I was taking that dose only in the mornings, but every day.  Since then.  For all these months.  So last week I decided to get off it because I couldn't possibly still need it.  Went to 600 mg for a few days, then 400mg for a few.  Today for the first time I took none, and as the day has worn on, the achiness has really ensued.

Now really, could this be because of no ibuprofen?  I have no idea, but I am not going to take any.  I hate the thought that my body has gotten so used to it that it's crying out for a little hit, and a buzzless hit at that!  Not that Ibuprofen is a narcotic or anything, but I'm 6 months post op the 2nd knee, and 9 months from the 1st!  So I'm going to take a good walk after work regardless and hope that this is just a freaky achy day.  If it isn't, my body is on notice that it better settle down because the daily pharmacy is closed!

Sorry for the ramble rant, but every time I get up from this desk I feel the aches, so I decided to put it out there.  Don't know if I'll get a post in until Monday, what with entertaining, so I wish everyone a good weekend.  May it go nice and slowly!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random catch up

Here I am ekeing out a few minutes at the butt crack of dawn (5 a.m.) to at least say hi to my blog friends.  This week has been really busy at work and home, and I haven't had time to even go to my usual AA meetings, much less put enough thoughts together to post.  This morning, with no thoughts put together at all, I'm compelled to at least tangentially prattle about some random stuff.

Regarding my walking from my last post...I did indeed get in the 7 miles 2 days in a row, and on Monday got in about 2.3.  Tuesday was a day of rest laziness, partly because of many errands I had to do after work, including getting my gray hair miraculously washed away.  Yesterday I did 2.3 again.  So my mileage for the week looks decent so far!  Today we have a high of 73, so I'm getting out after work if I have to bribe myself to do it.  No matter how exhausted when I get home from work, I always get energized and invigorated when I exercise.

Regarding the aforementioned hair activity, the girl who has done my hair for years somehow managed to get the color way too dark.  WAY.  Now at work yesterday people said they really liked it, but it was a big change from the day before, especially since the gray undertones had made serious inroads into my usual dark blonde color, rendering my overall hair a bit lighter than usual, so the contrast is even more pronounced.  I hate when that happens, and I know there is no way she didn't mix the color different from last time.  She was totally distracted, busy, and then in the middle of a manicure when my timer went off, leaving me to sit for 10 extra minutes while assuring me it was okay.  AARRGGHH.  Oh well, no one, including me, died.  So how bad can it really be?  Sometimes I have to just tell myself to get over the small stuff, and this is definitely small, even though it feels big.

Speaking of feeling big, I haven't weighed since last Tuesday to end Tammy's challenge.  My food has been okay but not clean, and I've exercised a lot.  I really have no idea where I am on the scale but will find out tomorrow.  Rest assured today will be a clean day.  Funny how when I don't weigh for awhile, I always feel big, and often for no reason.  My clothes are fitting fine so I have no reason to be nervous except that I know myself and the few indiscretions I've had this week.  Not many and not extreme, but as I said before - not clean.  Tomorrow will tell the tale.

Finally, recall the room redo I was hoping to undertake in anticipation of Tom's beautiful and skinny sister and her husband coming for a visit this weekend...well, that's been a major source of the busy-ness this week.  Yesterday the room was painted by a good friend from AA and his buddy, and it looks great.  But getting ready for them involved emptying 2 book shelves, wiping down all the wood work, vacuuming, taking down a full length door mirror, and other assorted activities that were not fun but enabled my friend to give me a great deal on the work.  I will take a picture when the room is re-assembled, but have yet to find my camera charger.  Anyway - having this company coming has been the major time and mind occupier this week.  I'm looking forward to having them here for a few days, but will be glad to settle down for a bit after!

That's about it for my quick catching up.  I'm really feeling that disconnected sense from being so sporadic with my posting.  Already, before even hitting publish, I feel better.  I hope everyone has a good "little Friday", which is what a teacher friend calls Thursdays.  And again, today WILL be a clean day.  I will report back tomorrow!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Walking the Walk

I don't want to let too many days pass without posting.  I have been reading blogs and commenting, but nothing has brilliant has been brewing in moi's cabesa (did you know I speak French AND Spanish?) so I've been on the down low in blogville.  It's Sunday morning and I just walked 5 miles with a couple of friends, with breakfast at a deli in the middle.  Yesterday I walked a little over 7, so 12 miles+  so far for Saturday and Sunday.  And when I do my usual 2 mile walk with a friend and our hounds this afternoon, it will be up to 14 miles!  Not too shabby.  And because of the holiday tomorrow, hopefully (God willing and the knees hold up) I'll get a good long one in again.

Yesterday morning I got out by myself and walked to and back from my morning AA meeting.  It was pretty hot and muggy (MUCH better today), but with my ipod it was fantastic.  I felt like I could have gone on for hours, but in the interest of my knees and awareness of my tendency to get expansive and overdo when I feel good, I cut it off at the 5 miles.  Today, as I said, I walked with friends so the pace was a lot slower.  The conversation was great, but the intensity of the workout was definitely diminished.  Yesterday I set my ipod on a playlist I made last year called "MOVE", with about 50 energetic songs that keep me going at a brisk pace.  I honestly enjoyed that more than the walk today because of the music.

Walking is just my favorite form of exercise.  Back in the day when I was leaner and younger, I was a runner.  The farthest race I ever did was a 10 K (6.2 miles) by I ran 3-4 miles most days.  I'd love to think I could get back to at least jogging someday, but Dr. Oz told me (and the other zillion folks watching that day) that brisk walking is the best cardio exercise if you do it often and far enough, because it's low impact and less likely to cause injuries.  I love biking (the kind you do on a road bike, not the stationary ones) but don't have a bike and am not going to invest in one until I trust that I'll use it all the time.  The gym is fine, and I do use the pool there a couple times a week, but being outdoors totally floats my boat.  I'm eagerly awaiting genuinely crisp fall air where I don't come home feeling like a dishrag from sweating out quarts of water.

The goals I set for myself in my Wednesday post to follow until next Friday have been mostly accomplished, but I've gotten lazy about the writing everything down.  I did it perfectly for 2 1/2 days, and since then have not.  I know it's a useful tool but I need to come up with a way to remember to do it when I'm not in my usual routine of work and home.  The 3 day weekend has wreaked havoc on my routine in a very good way except for the tracking.  But my eating has been good.  No binges which is very good.

Speaking of food, I'm off to the Farmer's Market and the grocery store.  I hope all of you are having a good weekend long weekend.  If you're into tennis, the US Open provides endless hours of great tv!  And since I've gotten the exercise in, I won't feel guilty holding down the couch for a few hours.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cunning, baffling, powerful

Before I start my blathering today, I have to say I loved how many commenters knew their Myers Briggs type yesterday!  I didn't put mine in because I didn't know if many people generally had awareness of their result, but since so many of you said what you are, I will say I'm an ENFP.  I kind of forget some of what they all refer to, other than the fact that I'm and emotionally driven extrovert.

Okay.  I just read the first 7 posts on my blog roll, and they are all great.  Funny, inspiring, honest.  Great way to start the work day when I have time.  By the time I finish this, there will be others up that I'll get to then.  Continual good stuff!

I have so many things swimming around the vast cavity that is my head I don't know where to begin.  A lot of my "material" has been inspired by others' posts I've read over the last few days; a lot has generated from the aforementioned vast cavity above my neck and of course much of it comes from stuff I hear in AA.

First - someone said this at my morning meeting today...I've heard it before and think it's great.  It also feels relevant for me to include here today: 
 "Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Don't say it mean."
This is important for me to remember always.  It's only in the last 10-12 years I've become comfortable saying what I really mean in given situations.  It's always been a challenge because I was born with more than my share of the DNA that is labelled "People Pleaser".  In so many arenas in my life over 57 years, I'd be present at conversations or even problem solving sessions where I fundamentally disagreed with aspects of the material being presented, but it was virtually impossible for me to speak up because I didn't want people to not like me.  Also I was afraid that my input would not be valued or welcomed; so I sat in silence nodding my head while feeling like shit about myself both for not speaking my truth and for how oppressive the people-pleasing characteristic felt.

Getting sober in AA, working on myself, therapy and simply growing older have all contributed to my ability today to respectfully offer my thoughts and opinions in most settings.  I can now usually speak up at work, home, with friends and family, and even in blog comments; striving to be kind but also not compromising my message...hence "don't say it mean".  This is growth and change for me.

As I took baby steps toward being able to offer up my opinions and thoughts and became more comfortable in my own skin, I felt empowered.  But then I went through a period of time where my as yet undeveloped appropriate interaction filter would allow me to come across blunt or hurtful.  Thank heavens I was learning about making amends for my behaviors in my 12 step program.  Too often I had to go to someone and apologize for being out of line.  But continued work and self awareness enabled continued fine-tuning of my interactive skills, and I gradually had fewer amends to make because I stopped acting in ways that needed amending!  Think long slow process, here.  I tell you, it's taken a few villages to raise this blogger into a good human being. 
The other thing I'll talk about (have more but this is already getting loooong) is how cunning, baffling and powerful food addiction is.  Anyone who has ever attended an AA meeting or other 12 step programs has heard those adjectives as they apply to our "drug" of choice.  In AA, obviously, it's alcohol that chunning, baffling and powerful.  They say that now matter how long you're sober, your disease of addiction is off in the next room doing push ups so to be ready to take you out in vulnerable moments.

I find the same to be true of food and food addiction.  Yesterday I had what can only be called a near-perfect day.  I wrote every thing down I ate with calories (that came to just below 1400); did a 2 mile brisk dog walk in 97 degree dry heat, had delicious, healthy and on-plan meals and one snack.  And at no time did I want to binge or even overeat.  Virtually no temptation.  In the afternoon I thought for one minute (while on the phone, of all things) about having some butter on bread.  Nice thick ice cold butter.  (Bread is but a vehicle to get butter into my body.) But I shook the idea out of my head, literally, and never felt the desire again. 

Now most days, once that thought comes, it bore-asses into my consciousness in such a manner that the only way to shut it up is to eat something.  (I KNOW that is an excuse, so please don't tell me that.)  It's the old feeding of the compulsion, which strengthens it for then next time.  But for some reason the obsessive thought didn't take hold and didn't torture me.  I'm grateful.  And I'm baffled.  Why some days, not others?  And by the way, which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Anyway, my food addiction definitely feels cunning, baffling and powerful and I'm not able to handle it alone.  I need help from many sources, and my blog friends provide me with as much as I need, if only I can receive it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Innies and Outies

I'm way behind in posting and reading blogs and hope to catch up today.  Haven't posted since Saturday, and I realized something this morning.  When I miss more than 2 days posting and reading, I start to feel very disconnected from our blog community and all my blog friends, who I consider to be everyone whose blog I've read in this weight loss and fitness arena.  I feel "apart from" rather than a part of something that has become a major source of support, friendship and inspiration in my life (not to mention recipes!)

The disconnected feeling is similar to how I feel when I go a couple days without an AA meeting, which happens very rarely.  It's not that I feel like drinking (or in the case of blogging, bingeing my brains out), but I seem to become aware of something very fundamental missing from my life.  If I'm on vacation I'm much less aware of the absence of these conventions that have become so ingrained in my daily practices.  But when I'm just being lazy or busy or a combination of both, I start to get irritable, even moving into self pity.  I guess that's why AA's been such a fantastic addition to my life, besides the obvious benefit of helping me finally stop drinking many years ago after years of trying to do it on my own.  With apologies to Barbra Streisand, I'm a "person who needs people".

These musings got me thinking about extroverts vs. introverts.  I googled the terms, even though I know what they each are and some of the characteristics that each of these styles plays in personality and behavior.  I found one link that I liked because rather than the old-fashioned notions of extroverts being outgoing, loud and have many friends while introverts are shy and have few friends (I actually found a site that said that!), it talked about the 2 tendencies reflecting where people get their energy and inspiration from; either from within themselves or from other people.  Interesting that the site that appealed to me most was not one devoted to pshychology; rather to corporate leadership and business strategies.  And because of that focus, they also had a list of suggestions for optimal ways to interact with each type in professional settings.  You can see the brief summary here.  You can read it in a minute if you're interested.

I'm definitely more extroverted overall.  My need and desire for frequent human connection is more than just liking people.  I found a good quote at this site that sums it up:  "The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), based on Carl Jung’s theories about psychological type preferences, identifies introversion and extroversion, among other qualities. In general, introverts find socializing tiring, while extroverts feel energized by interacting with others. That doesn’t mean that introverts are necessarily shy or misanthropic–in fact, they may be very outgoing–but they need time alone to recharge." 

Yep - I definitely am energized by being with people, both literally - in person, as well as virtually, via this wonderful community of fellow humans who interact through blogging and commenting.  Like an introvert, I definitely need time alone, but more for rest and reflection than getting energized and fueled with motivation and inspiration.  When I'm alone too long, my head gets squirrely and can take me into neighborhoods I'd best not self-criticism, pessimism about possibility for change, even wandering into the kitchen to fill an emptiness I can't identify.  But get me into a place with other people where I'm not dwelling on "all me all the time" (God forbid), and I come alive.  It's so interesting how "all God's chillun'" are so different...even folks who are a lot alike.


My weigh in yesterday to officially end Tammy's summer challenge found me at 208.5.  That means my net loss for the month was a staggering .5 pounds.  This isn't rocket science...and I'm not beating myself up, but in a month I should have been able to easily lose 10 pounds...that is, if I did what it takes to lose weight.  Good days, bad days, neutral days in the wrong configurations do not = weight loss.  I'm not giving up.  I've had some success this month in the water consumption arena that I chose to focus on in Loretta's challenge.  I've been drinking at least 96 oz each day, and I know that has probably helped me not gain during a month where my efforts have been shoddy at best. 

I'm establishing a few goals for the next ten days until the September 10th Friday weigh in:
1.  Write down all food eaten each day with approx. calorie counts - goal of no more than 1600/day
2.  30 minutes exercise 5 days/wk minimum
3.  Continue water consumption of 96 oz/day at least
4.  100% cash register honesty in my reporting binges - no omitting of the truth.  There are so many totally honest bloggers who really admit when they have "episodes" of eating.  I often leave out certain details for fear I'll sound like a broken record of failure with working my goals.  I never think others are failures when they struggle.  Rather I'm blown away by people's honesty.  So that's my other goal for the month.

That's it from me today.  But since I'm a people who needs people, I'll be back soon!  What about you?  Are you an innie or an outie?