Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Questions and quandaries

As promised, I'm "paying it forward" by tagging 4 bloggers to answer 4 questions, continuing the chain sent my way by Karen yesterday.  I'm picking people whose blogs I've either just started reading and am loving (Jane and PJ Geek), and 2 whose blogs I've read since I got here 19 months ago and have always loved (Roxie and Tammy.  I really love all the blogs on my blogroll, but for once am sticking to the rules.  Renegade, thy name is no longer Leslie!  I hope this doesn't feel like a burden to any you chosen folks. 
The 4 bloggers I'm tagging are:


PJ Geek



The questions are:

1.  Who has had the most influence in your life?  In what way has the person (or people) influenced you?

2.  What is your favorite quality about yourself?  Similarly, what characteristic would you like to change, lose or modify?

3.  When was the last time you cried?

4.  What was your very best vacation ever and why?

I love asking questions!  There are about a thousand more I wanted to write, but what with that renegade thing no longer being my "style", I acquiesced to those damn rules!  I may have to start a question day of the week on my blog.

***By the way - you don't have to be tagged to answer the questions!  Feel free;)***


I had a wonderful breakfast today that I haven't had before.  I actually didn't eat it until 10 because I slept late, and once at work was busy until my stomach started growling.  At first I thought, "Damn!  I must have had too carby of a breakfast to be this hungry!"  Then I realized I had NO breakfast.  Luckily I keep my office "dorm" fridge stocked with sanity - cottage cheese, yogurt, no sugar apple sauce.  Today I had a full cup of 1% cottage cheese (90 cals/1/2 cup) for a whopping 28 calories of protein, plus 1 finely cut up Winesap apple, a smidge of cinnamon and 1 packet of Splenda...it was GR8!  Who knew that could be so could.  I'm not a huge raw apple eater (a texture thing), but finely chopped with the cinnamon and eaten this way was really good.  So good that I'm heading for the store where I bought the apples to get more of the same.  Like any good addict - one's good, 5 must be better!  But I only bought 3 of them and cooked 2 the other night with sausage and onion.

Good heavens, how can I go on that long about breakfast and apples?  Where is the literature in that???

I'm happy to report the my low back and left hip that were killing me yesterday are 98% back to their pre-hurt status.  If the rain holds off, I'm going for a walk after work.  I didn't walk yesterday because it got increasingly uncomfortable as the day wore on.  The only remedy...hello couch.

One more thing - I have to confess that I've been doing well with food until after dinner, and then my inner binge-er wakes up and starts trying to call the shots.  The last 2 nights I've kept her sorry ass to a mottled roar and only had extra yogurt and a granola bar, but could easily go on for hours.  I've wondered if I should keep my calories limited so I can have 600 after dinner and stay within my daily limit or try and ride out the cravings.  I HAVE been saving 400 for after dinner, but when I do that, I end up eating the amount even if I don't want it.  I know that if I'm within my limit it's okay, but not a habit I want to sustain.  Whatever.  You've heard this before from me.  It's my pattern, and 95% of the time, my overeating happens after dinner.  Therapy time?  Meditation?  Evening aa meetings?  Early bed?  All are possible.  But I'm as therapized as any living soul on earth.  I WILL fall asleep if I try meditation after dinner.  Meetings are an option but there is often a smorgasboard of sweets at evening meetings (those darn addicts!). 

The main thing is I want to set myself up for success, not failure or half-assed success.  The brunt of the work lies within my head - it's a total headgame, with emotional eating standing in for feeling reality.  I'm gonna emerge victorious, here.  I feel it.  I'd just like the victory sooner than later.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting to know us

I'm trying to play catch up with everyone's blogs as most of us took a blog vacations over the long weekend.  I'm feeling back on track; had a good day yesterday and again today.  I got a good long brisk walk in yesterday, with backpack - that somehow managed to torque or twist a low back muscle.  I woke up this morning seeing stars when I moved in a certain direction and despite 2 mega doses of Ibuprofen (some blogger, I forget who - calls it "I be hurtin"!) it's still a bit spasm-y.  It actually feels fine when I'm moving now, but sitting here typing, I really feel it.  I'm telling you, folks - it's amazing how virtually nothing can throw a body part out of whack when you hit "a certain age". 

One of my favorite bloggers, Karen of Waisting Time, tagged me to answer 4 questions.  By the way, if you haven't read Karen, I highly recommend you do just that.  She writes beautifully and creatively, and has been a real comrade for me on this journey.  Ahh, the friends I've found in blogdom...BUT!  I digress.  Here are the questions:
1.  What has been the hardest part for you about losing weight and/or adopting a healthy lifestyle?  What's been the easiest?  Without a doubt, the hardest aspect for me has been my addictive nature and tendency to eat away feelings.  I do this with such precision that I'm honestly not aware of what the feelings are, what I'm trying to avoid or at least numb.  My eating feels almost like a conditioned response - think Pavlov's dog.  The urge to eat hits - and like a heat seeking missile I find and ingest food.  Once I eat something this way - really anything - all bets are off as to whether I will be able to stop at a reasonable amount.  I have had sustained periods where I am able to not react to the food urge - and therefore successfully begin to move down the scale, so I know it's possible.  It involves a few rough days of sitting through the food obsessions, which really do pass when they aren't fed.

The easiest aspect for me has been exercise, because I really love being active.  Physical issues in the last year have gotten in the way a bit, but haven't kept me from continuing to strive to do some form of exercise most days.  Even if I just walk - I work to maintain a fast pace and cover several miles each time.  It isn't hard the way resisting food's love call is hard.

2.  If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you invite and why?  Feel free to invite more than one.  I would invite both my parents.  Dad died when I was 11, Mom when I was 23.  (I was an only and really had a kind of lonely and screwed up childhood.) I was too young when my Dad died to know much about or remember him - what he was like as a person (he was 59 yrs older than me), what was important to him, what his own family was like.  When he died, I sort of went underground emotionally for years, and while I had a decent relationship with my mom, I got all teen-ager-y pretty soon and uninterested in her or her life and what made her tick.  She had a lot of pain in her life with her parents divorcing and a lousy stepmother entering the picture (who was the only "grandmother" I ever knew), losing her "real true love" in the military, then losing my dad; but I was too young and self centered to even ask her about all that.  I totally regret not knowing my parents much at all but recognize that circumstances were such that it wasn't possible.

There are a few famous people I'd invite - Abe Lincoln, the Dalai Lama, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the founders of AA - but in my own little life the biggest chasms are where my parents should have been.

3.  What would you do if you won a million dollars?  What about 100 million?  With a paltry million, I'd pay off every cent we owe (student loans!), which would still leave a lot.  Then a Volvo for myself (the SUV), a redo of our house, and the rest to cancer research.  With 100 million - all that and more to charity.  Maybe Haitian relief as a major cause.  Lavish my kids - though they're not too into $.

4.  What role does blogging play in your life?  Blogging gives me an opportunity to write, process and connect with the world outside of my head.  I certainly have plenty of that in real life, but I talk about things here I don't elsewhere, so this takes on a different dimension.  Do I see it changing over time?  Yes, I'd like to morph into a less weight loss effort centered blog and more point of view and think pieces.  I love writing, and this venue where at least someone else is reading once in awhile is a wonderful satisfying endeavor.

Blogging has also introduced me to countless people I think of as friends, though I've only met one of them in person to date (Hi Tammy!).  I love love love love people.  I love getting to know you and getting to be known.  This unique community of "intimacy suffused with anonymity" has enriched my life beyond measure, and I'm grateful.

Now, in the interest of getting this posted, I'm going to end, but tomorrow will tag 4 more folks with 4 new questions.  Put your thinking caps on!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hot 100 update Week ending Friday after TG

I'm a little late with my Hot 100 update but am hoping Steve will extend grace my way given the holiday weekend.  It's Sunday morning and I just weighed in for Allan's challenge and am happy to be starting the new week with resolve and energy.

First the Hot 100 update - Goals for the week were:
1.  Continue writing down my food.  Er...not so much - I wrote for the first couple days, then stopped.
2.  Limit calories to 1500 through Wednesday, then back to 1870 (ultimate maintenance amount) for Thursday-Sunday.  Nope - Didn't track so don't know
3.  96 oz (or more) water daily - yes through Wednesday.  After that - no.
4.  Exercise 6/7 days minimum 30 minutes - did 4 days.

Not  a stellar goal meeting week, but I did better than I've ever done for a TG holiday week.  No excuses.  Did better.  Did not gain weight.  My weight was 210.5 this morning after I drank a bunch of water, coffee and had oatmeal, because I "forgot" about weighing in this morning.  I stepped on the scale with no clue of what the verdict would be, and was relieved at that still-awful-but-less-so-than-it-could-have-been number.  Interesting because last year we went to Chicago to spend TG with #1 son while he was living there and our other 2 kids were out of the country, and when I weighed in the Monday morning after returning (having weighed 200 before we left) I was 212.  So much food for thought as I ponder all this.  Good news (weight not as awful as last year)/bad news (weight only 2 pounds less than last year) - and overall not much progress in a year.  I'm going to post later about this, but wanted to get this update done to hasten my re-entry into the blog community from which I've felt a universe removed since I last posted Wednesday.  Whew!  I'm out of breath typing that last sentence - hope you can make heads or tails of what I wrote. 

Off to wash color solution from my hair and go to church.  More later.  Glad to be back to just another week!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today feels glorious and seasonal and I feel wide awake and grateful for my life, with its broad spectrum of richness, humanity, and reality.  Sometimes I'm aware of living under a veil of "if _fill in the blank__happens, then all will be well".  But all is as it should be for today, and in my current state, I'm aware of that.  Not waiting for a windfall, a massive weight loss, or distant loved ones to miraculously appear.  Not expecting manna from Heaven to trickle down.  Just thankful that I'm alive and have a vast network of people with whom I'm priviliged to co-exist.

This blog community has become so much more than a place to write, a diary, or a cheerleading section. More than a how-to manual to get fit and lean, or the best recipe resource evah (though it's all of that too).  It's become another piece of my reality, despite the virtual annonymity.  We do come to know each other, care about each other, offer support and love - sometimes tough love when warranted.  For me it feels like the wide circle of my life has expanded that much more and that is WAY COOL.  More teachers placed in my path if I'm open to your lessons.  So thanks bloggers.  It really does take a village, not only to raise a child, but to sustain this adult!  You're part of mine.  Words are inadequate to express my appreciation.

I'm super excited because Hubby and and I are going to enjoy one of his Christmas presents from me for this coming holiday - tonight we're going to the Philadelphia Academy of Music to see a production of South Pacific that's supposed to be great.  And we have really good seats...read: expensive.  I love those old musicals, and SP is among my top 3 all time faves.  The hardest thing will be to stifle myself from singing along!  We're having dinner at one of "our" restaurants - a  Vietnamese place in China Town that is fantastic. 

And a 4 day weekend is merely hours away.  Good with a cherry on top!  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends, relaxation, renewal, and moderation!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Loud and clear

I hear you, dear readers and commenters.  Weighing more than once a week at most is a BAD IDEA.  Plays with my head which is where all my troubles begin.  I really appreciate you all gently pointing out to me that if I keep doing what I've been doing, I'll keep getting what I'm getting.  I'm living in a chronic rerun,ala Groundhog Day revisited.  I get it.  No more weigh in until next Sunday.  And depending on where my head is, maybe not even then.

I have to be fast here - this is my first time online today since the wee small hours.  I didn't work because I had an appointment with my Ortho doc to begin getting a series of 3 injections into each knee of a preparation designed to add cushioning to arthritic knees that are functioning mostly bone on bone.  Or so I thought - I got to my appointment only to find out they have to order the preparation first.  Turns out the girl who scheduled my appointment was brand new to the job and misinformed me about when I could start the injections.  It'll actually be about 2 weeks before they receive my preparation, and then will call me.  Also turns out that I should be fine to work and resume all normal activity immediately after getting KNEEdled. So I changed my day off from Doctor appointment to mental health day.  I've gotten a lot done and am going to meet a friend for coffee now. 

Mainly I want to thank you guys for giving me what I need - feedback, and calling me on my sh*t when you hear me slinging it.  It's the reason I have a blog int he first place - accountability. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gimme a break

It's beyond frustrating to me that a week of excellent effort can be virtually undone, at least according to the scale, by one day "off" from plan.  My official weigh in this morning was 210.3.  On Friday I was 207 and feeling good about it, certain I would knock off another lb by this morning.  But after I got home from a Panera dinner with a friend that actually came in under 500 calories (via their nutrition site I consulted and chose from prior to going) I had a few unplanned and off-plan items.  My total was probably 1950 for the day rather than the 1500 I planned.  Not terrible given my 1870 allowance for maintenance eating.

Then yesterday I just slowly "decided" to eat my maintenance number of calories as established for Allan's challenge, instead of the again 1500 planned.  I overshot, stamped and sealed by the fact that I stopped writing down the food after lunch.  Today will be 1500 calories.  Damn it, it WILL.

Maybe if I hadn't weighed Friday I wouldn't be AS discouraged.  I'd lost a pound from last Sunday - now I'm up 2 from then, but 3 in the last 2 days.  Jeeze - how much do I want this??  A lot.  

I'm getting ready to go for a long walk that must be on a route with plenty of bathroom access given the volume of water I'm drinking.  All I can say is this woman gets tired of not being able to let up for even a day without several pounds finding their way back.  Discouraged, but not down.  I'm very motivated to get a 1500 calorie day today.   And I'm also motivated to smash my scale with a sledge hammer.  But I'll be a big girl (okay, a bigger girl) and let it peacefully stay in the bathroom.  But it better start spitting out some better news soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hot 100 Update Week whatever

Update time for the Hot 100.  I had a good week.  Probably the best I've had in over 6 months.  My goals for the week were:
1. No bingeing.  Done 100%.
2. Track every thing I eat.  DONE 100%.
3. Limit calories to 1870/day.  Done 90%.   I had a couple days in the low 1900s, which sounds like a lot, but it's less than I usually consume in a single binge.  I do an official weigh in Sunday, but I've dropped a bit.
4. Drink at least 98 oz water daily.  Done 100%.  Most days I drank more.  The path I've worn between myself and every bathroom in the periphery of wherever I've been is proof.  Also my interrupted sleep :(.  Gotta work on that.
Bonus Goal: Though I didn't include exercise as a goal this week, I got in  30-60 minutes 6 out of 7 days.
Boy, was I looking forward to writing this post today!  After last week's debacle, this feels non-calorically SWEET!

The upcoming Food Extravaganza of this coming week is looming large in my mind.  I don't want to blow it by abandoning myself and my intentions just to shovel in mass quantities.  I'm glad I had a really good week, because I've gained some ground on my own behalf and don't want to have to lose back the couple pounds I may find I've lost at the WI Sunday. 

Recall my sadness about not having a bigger group this year for Thanksgiving...it will just be 3 of us, and while we received several invites and thoughts popped up to invite "orphans" from AA whose families are far away, as I often do; something kept me declining the offers and the thoughts in favor of just nesting with my guys.  Now I absolutely believe I was being gently led by my inner voice, Higher Power, God or whatever you want to call it.  Because I know my chances of not diving headfirst into vats of gravy and cheesey butter laden casseroles are much higher now.

I talked to Hubby and son and asked them which of the usual dishes I prepare (most literally only on holidays) could they not live without.  Both had turkey as numero uno.  Heck - turkey was the baseline, they had 2 apart from that.  Son said mashed potatoes and "real" homemade gravy.  Hubby said the broccoli casserole that makes 2 appearances per year only given its decadence.  So - that's it, plus cranberry relish that I will try to sugar-down (just cranberries, oranges, and sugar, and yes, I might use at least half Splenda and not tell anyone).  Haven't decided on dessert - both love any pie.  So do I - so we'll see or perhaps one of you guys has a suggestion for something not too decadent?  Hey - maybe I could do a crustless pumpkin pie ala crustless quiches I've been getting into.  With non-fat evaporated milk?  WOOT!

Hottie Goals for the week:
1. Continue writing everything down I eat.  Even the TG meal since we'll be home and it won't be weird.
2. Today and tomorrow - 1500 calories / day.  If I can manage it, I will keep it for each day through Wednesday.  If I'm dying from starvation (HA!) I'll just back to 1800 for Su-Wed.  No calorie counting TG, just writing down food and relative amounts.
3. Water - same.
4. Exercise - 30 minutes 6 of 7.

May I be as happy posting my Hottie update next Friday as I am this week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 6 and holding

I'm still hanging in with the tracking and calorie counting.  It's starting to become an obsession to have Notey with me at all times.  Also the way I'm planning how to use my calories each day.  Weighing, measuring, anguishing a little over estimated calorie amounts when it's not possible to be precise.  Truth be told, I can complicate the contents of an empty paper bag, so I need to keep in check with the overdoing of even healthy behaviors.  Seriously.  This is such a head game that I must be aware of my tendency to get into perfectionism and black or white thinking.  I have so much healthy food prepared in my fridge that there is seriously no way I can eat it all before some of it spoils.  The addict mentality follows me wherever I go.

Last post I mentioned going to dinner at an Italian place and having selected my food before I even got there.  It worked out well and I ended up having the salad with the protein (white beans and shrimp) plus the marinated portabella.  That is an absolute first - probably in my life.  Wisely surveying the options ahead of time, making my decision, and sticking with it!  You could knock me over with a feather that I'm doing this and actually enjoying it.  Well, maybe not with a feather yet, but if I stick with it, maybe soon:)

Another friend called me to have dinner out last night, and after about 5 minutes of wavering, I called her back and asked to postpone for a couple weeks.  I'm on too good a roll here to tempt the fates 2 nights in a row.  So I made a turkey spaghetti sauce with mushrooms and green olives, and for the men cooked up a mess of pasta.  For me, spaghetti squash at a friendly 42 calories per cup!  I love it, and so had 2 cups with 1 1/2 cups of sauce.  Seriously, a restaurant meal couldn't have tasted better, and it was low cal!  Totally worth the effort of cooking the squash in the oven for 40 mins.  And it made a shitload of "spaghetti", so I will use it for other stuff as well. 

So for a minute I need to get back to the addict mentality I mentioned above.  This is something I have to accept about myself and learn to negotiate with food.   Having so much healthy food at the ready can render me vulnerable to overeating even that.  There is almost a "food fear" that comes up when I begin to do well - like if I don't have "enough" of everything I "might" want on hand, I'll lapse into bingeing bad stuff.  I know this sounds crazy, but I've decided to get as honest as possible about this here, because many times in the past my success has been thwarted by my thinking.  Weighing too often can do the same thing.  It's mostly a head game when one has an addictive personality - as in my head thinks too much, develops expectations of scale numbers and when the number doesn't say what I think it will, or God forbid, should, my resolve starts to crumble. 

I just listened to an amazing radio interview with Sean, of Daily Diary of a Winning Loser, who hit his goal
yesterday - losing 275 pounds!  Un-be-freaking-lievable.  You may have heard it before, but if not you can find it here.  What was so incredible about it was that he spoke to so many of my food addict issues.  He talked about the head game, the scale game, keeping eating in check without getting crazy or restrictive or eating things one hates in order to drop unhealthy weight.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  It's about half hour long, and a valuable time investment.  At least it was for me.

I guess to sum it up for now, I'm guardedly optimistic about my current very good place with eating and some of the new behaviors I'm working on.  But self awareness will be key in recognizing if I'm starting to get so obsessive or rigid  that I risk self sabotage.  I am the queen of self sabotage, and I'm ready to relinquish the crown.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Continuing to write it all down.  Yesterday I wrote more than I'd have liked, but nonetheless it all got entered into Notey.  Today will be a bit of a challenge, but at this moment I'm up to it.  I wasn't planning to post today, but maybe it will help for me to declare my intentions here, when I know I'll need to follow up tomorrow as to how it goes.

I'm going out for dinner tonight with friends - haven't done this for several weeks and am looking forward to it.  We're going to a great little Italian Cafe in Media called Fellini's.  They have incredible pasta dishes, pizzas and the like.  They also have some options that I will enable me to stay within my calorie limit.  Here's what I plan to have:
1 - a grilled portabella marinated in olive oil, garlic and herbs topped with a house dressing.  My plan is to NOT get the dsg, even on the side, and either
2 a - a large arugula salad tossed with olive oil and balsamic and topped with shaved parmesean.  Have had this before and it's great.  Perhaps I'll ask for dsg on the side, though they keep it very light.  The one thing in the world I don't overuse is salad dressing.  When I get it on the side, I use about a tsp. of the offered amount as I hate WET salad...or
2 b - Baby Mixed Field Greens with Tomatoes tossed in Oil and Balsamic Vinaigrette with Gulf Shrimp with White Beans.  Have had this many times and it's great.  I always get dsg on the side with this, and this salad has a bit of protein. I get plenty of protein each day, aiming for 60-70 gms at least.  I know I can eat sufficient protein before going out to accomodate if I get the arugula salad over the one with shrimp and white beans.

So it'll #1 plus 2a or 2b. I'm nervous because I know I can't totally estimate calories for these given the marinade for the portobella, etc, and I really want to stay in my calorie budget.  How silly is it to angst over this?  But I know myself all too well and don't want to say "F it" at some point and eat whatever isn't nailed down.  Basically I've not been very trustworthy in that way.  Harumph.

Also on my mind is that I've been feeling sad about something and haven't talked about it here.  It's no big deal, but given my penchant for emotional eating, maybe I need to talk about stuff more, rather than stuff the stuff with foodstuff.  For Thanksgiving this year, we are only going to have hubby, Stephen - my oldest son, and me.  Youngest son Mark (who was in Argentina last TG when Stephen was living in Chicago) is not able to come home from Atlanta because he has a presentation to do in a class the Wednesday afternoon (day before) next week.  Plus, he's coming home for 5 weeks in early December, so it's dumb to pay for 2 flights.  But I'd pay happily to see him.  Of course our daughter Jean is in the DR with Peace Corps, and can't come for TG and this year isn't coming for Christmas either.  It's fine - no big deal, and I could conjur up a houseful of folks to invite if I wanna.  But I don't wanna.  I just want the five of us to be together, and as I type this I'm getting boo hoo-ey.  A couple of my friends have invited us which is lovely, but I want to be 100% comfortable in our home.  At least I won't have to clean. 

There are people getting ready to face the first set of winter holidays since the passing of a loved one.  Or who are very ill - or unable to pay for the fixings for a holiday meal.  Countless much bigger issues than this.  But your feelings are your feelings, and I'm a little sad about this.  Probably moreso because I'm reminded of my very quiet only-child holidays with just my mom and neighbor after my father died.  Who knows...  One thing for sure, it isn't worth overeating over, and I hope to not do so.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pocket science

It's official - a frontal lobotomy has been exacted within my head (see yesterday's post).  I base this claim on the following data:

1)  I'm loving tracking.
2)  I'm planning my food ahead of time for the most part.
3)  I've said "No" to myself several times, and obeyed.
4)  I've purchased a few "reduced fat" versions of things and they taste GOOD.
5)  I've gently told myself to be calm a few times, and calmed down.
6)  I'm putting my notebook on the bedside table nightly, even though there is no food in the bedroom.
7)  Tracking feels like I've found a whole new freedom with eating.
8)  When food nervousness hits, I ask "What's really going on, Leslie".
9)  I wanted to weigh this morning, cuz when I'm doing well, I want to see the "proof".  Said no. See #3.
10) I won't eat something until I tally the callies.  Cuz I have a limit that gives me plenty of food.

Ten items should be enough for now.  This doesn't sound like the usual Leslie, I'm well aware.  I'm grateful for this current cosmic state in which I find myself.  It may be gone in a flash, but it's here now and I'm tickled pink.  I can't say enough for the guiding force that had me pick a higher goal than my eventual goal for getting started here with eating for goal maintenance on Allan's challenge.  In addition to the food warp, I've been exercising daily and feeling really good and clear headed.  Must be something about not eating 3000+ calories daily.

Here's a pair of socks I just finished knitting.  Pretty cute, huh?

That's all for today.  So far the lobotomy is holding.  Can I tell you how much easier it is to knit without constantly plucking cheezits from a napkin?  What else might get simpler and smoother?!  Stay tuned..

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guardedly optimistic and on TRACK

I did my first Sunday morning weigh in since incorporating Allan's challenge/method of eating/water drinking to my daily plan.  I did weigh in Friday morning which was among the top 3 miserable "morning afters" I've known in the food realm.  (In the alcohol realm?  Let's not go there, smile smile.  It's been 19 years since THOSE days.  At least I was skinny then.)

I was so ashamed of weight Friday I couldn't write it down.  I knew there was much water volume 'mongst those lbs, but also calories of varied shapes and sizes.  All last week save the one day I resisted, food was beaconing to and seducing me.  My husband only WISHES I'd succumb to him with as much abandon and frequency as I do carbohydrates, proteins and fats:) 

(I just read that line to Hubby and he smiled and agreed ;-D .  BTW, he has never ever uttered a word about my weight, even when I used to beg for ultimatums or disapproval, certain they would jar me into rigorous weight loss.  His answer was, "Leslie, you have to lose weight for yourself if you want to.  I love you no matter what."  Wow.  And yes I know how fortunate I am.)

A piece of info about moi is that while I love junk food, I also love healthy food.  I can overdose on any manner of healthy food, as has been echoed by many bloggers.  My binges often start by a little overdoing of something healthy - like fruit.  Then a piece of nutritious healthy cheese.  Then a few high fiber healthy crackers (read CRACK) with some more healthy cheese.  Off to China I go.

I digress, as usual.  Friday morning I weighed 212.  This morning I weighed 208.3.  At least that makes me feel better temporarily.  I've been drinking tons of water (which I always do until a binge sets in) but also keeping track of how much.  But I've been doing something for 2 WHOLE DAYS that I haven't done in years.  And I'm loving it! Guess?????????????

Tracking!  I'm writing down every single thing that I eat, along with as accurate a calorie count as possible, because I'm sticking to a set # of cals each day.  I bought myself a notebook with a pretty cover, and I have a special pen, and that notebook is with me at all times...my constant companion.  I know, we just met 2 days ago and still in the honeymoon phase, but so far we're firing on all cylinders together and I'm finding freedom with this I never thought possible.  Whaaa??????? Did God reach down do a frontal lobotomy on me whilst I slept?  If so, thank You, for doing for me what I can't do for myself.

Ain't she purty?  I'm calling her Notey.  How clever is that?  Pathetic, but you'll now know who I'm speaking of when I refer to her.

Here's what I think...having set a relatively high weight goal for myself has given me up to 1870 calories to eat a day.  Usually when I try to be "good" I am shooting for 1400-1500 tops.  Yeah, I'm sure I could go down faster, but I'd be endlessly conscious of needing wanting more.  1870 gives me a nice volume of food.  I don't have to eat that much but for now, I am because I need to begin somewhere.  So when I write down my food and calories, I run a daily total as well, noting how many I have left for the day.  (This is starting to sound like Richard Simmons' Deal a Meal, haha.)

I feel more enthusiastic and hopeful than I have in a long time about the possibility of me breaking through my binge/restrict cycle.  The old black and white thinking of an addict that sets me up for failure every time.  Yesterday I actually felt "done" around 1500 calories, but decided it was better for me to have a yogurt and cereal to come to 1800.  Because it's there in my notebook, in black and white; so I can tell my manipulative sick mind to "shut up but thanks for sharing" and stay with the plan.  When the plan is only in my head it WILL get lost.

This is the breakfast I consumed this morning, and I'm calling it "the TJ", because I copied it from dear TJ when she posted a picture of the identical yesterday.  It's content, both literal and caloric, were written in Notey before I took the first bite.  It's 1/2 banana, a serving of oatmeal and 2 tbsp of PB2 for a total of 280 calories.  A little lite on protein, but I'm going to do a frittata ala Biz in a while to beef up the protein grams.  And I will write down every single bit of it!  Yay me!  And you don't hear me say that often.

Finally I have to show you a photo of nice surprise that Hubby and I got on Friday (aka my most recent
day of reckoning):  It's a front page story in the Swarthmorean, a local newspaper I like to call the "Fishwrapper" (except for this week!), of our daughter Jean.  The paper has done a series of stories about Peace Corps volunteers, and up to now they've been people who served years ago.  Tom had emailed Jean that journal was asking for PCV stories and suggested she contact them.  That was a long time ago, and we were both certain Jean probably wouldn't have been all that interested in pursuing it.  Apparently she did! A friend called to tell me about it, so I went and bought 10 copies to send to the fam.

Please have a happy and safe Sunday.  I'm looking forward to taking little Notey with me every where I go and showing her the ropes of my life.  Apparently she has a lot to teach me!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

To do or not to do...that is the ?????

I got some great supportive comments yesterday after my negative Nancy post, for which I'm very grateful.  When I posted yesterday morning I was steeped in negativity and self disgust; perhaps too emotional to rationally assess and modify my Hot 100 goals for this coming week.  So my main goal was to not binge at all for the week.  Secondary was not to eat after 8 p.m. any evening.  I've been so pathetic at sticking with goals that it was feeling impossible to consider I could actually do what I said I was going to do.  But not establishing a few specific behavior changes to shoot for is, in essence, giving up.   And I'm not giving up.

A couple of comments noted that I was focusing only on what NOT to do rather than what TO DO.  Point taken, and I agree.  I was responding to the horrible remorse and regret that follows the abject self disregard and self hatred manifested in a binge.  UGH.  Disrespecting myself even more by not establishing a plan of action to begin move in a right direction.  With that in mind - I am going to change my goals for this week.  I started yesterday doing a couple things I haven't yet been able to see through an entire day.  Rather than do it in secret, I need to write them down so to help them manifest.

1.  I am going to track.  Every bite.  Including calorie estimates.  I did this all day yesterday for the first time in years.  (The all day part.  I've written down many b'fasts and lunches - just haven't made it past midday.)
2.  I'm limiting my calories to 1870/day for this week.   And drinking at least 98 oz of water each day.  This is from Allan's Challenge you can read about here.  I like the soundness of this challenge, where you establish a goal weight and eat the number of calories daily it takes to maintain that goal weight.  This is my first week starting this, and I picked a goal higher than my eventual goal for starters.  I picked 170, but truly would like to get to 160.  However, if I aim too low from where I am now, I know I'll be setting myself up for failure by having too low a daily food intake.
3.  I will continue my exercise goal of at least 20 minutes 6 out of 7 days.

That's it.  I'm feeling better today after having just the one day of doing something I haven't done - the tracking.  I can't do this alone, but I can stay in one day, one hour and one minute if necessary to get through the inevitable food desires that will come up.  They are not with me right now, and for that, I'm grateful.  My new weigh in day will be Sundays on Allan's challenge, but I'll still be updating Friday's with my fellow Hotties.  The more we keep trying, the closer we get to finding our groove.  I KNOW that's true.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Not again

Here's my Hot 100 update.  It was a shitty week for me except the one day I got through the binge thoughts by posting about them.  That was one excellent day out of 7.  I feel good about that, but it was several days ago.
Goals were:
1) Write down everything I eat. If I have time I can tally calories. I still haven't looked into the various on line calorie recording methods you all suggested.  I wrote down breakfast and lunch 2 days.  That was it.

2) Exercise 20 mins 6/7 days.  Exercised 4 of 7 for well over 20 minutes.
3) No eating after 8 p.m.  I think I was successful on this 3 out of 7, only because I fall asleep so early most nights from getting up by 4:30 daily. 

I'm frustrated and feeling very crappy about it all.  Very discouraged.  I'm not giving up, though my actions belie that claim.  I'm getting sick of blogging badness.  I've said it all before and am not boring anyone with it again.  Yesterday I basically binged all day.  Started at work as I hadn't had breakfast.  Hot pretzels for sale.  One pretzel in and the floodgates opened.  It was essentially a 10 hour smorgasboard, with about 72 ounces of water thrown in.  There's not much else to say.

Goal for next week: 
1) No bingeingThe Free Dictionary definition of binge - a period of unrestrained or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink.  A harsher definition appeared further down the list that grabbed me by the throat:  To be immoderately SELF INDULGENT and UNRESTRAINED.  Ouch.  The truth hurts.
2) No eating after 8 pm.

That's it.  It's come to essentially one single goal, with the addendum for the possibility that I am able to have any binge free days, so that on those days I do not eat past 8pm.  Probably should make it 7pm, but we often eat dinner at 7, so no sense to invent a fail before it happens. 

Helen's post today talked about 50 days left in the year.   Halfway through the Hot 100.  I feel ashamed and scared of myself.  There are overeating days.  There are days with some bad choices.  But a binge day, which I haven't had in many months, feels like self violence AFTER THE FACT.  During the fact, it's numbness with an ominous sense of the next day.  Today.  See why I feel scared?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump day randomness

I was looking for a calorie count of half and half and came upon this little ditty - check it out.  Nice printable suggestions for knocking out some calories daily:
http://www.dwlz.com/HealthyLife/healthy31.html  You've probably seen/tried/done some or many - but for this blogger I can't read enough of this kind of stuff.
Then Google offered up another option for cutting daily intake:  http://health.msn.com/weight-loss/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100250356 .  Both of these articles show how even subtle changes can add up to lots less calories in a day.  And no, I'm not providing a link to the Twinkie diet!
Meet my newest friend:

Recall my last finger slicing episode that 2 weeks later is still not completely healed.  That coffee pot breaking was about the 10th pot I'm broken over the years, so it finally dawned on me to get an unbreakable one.  I'm a slow learner, but eventually I get it!  I just got this 5 cup Mr. Coffee pot that is perfect for me.  No one else in the house drinks coffee, so I just make it for moi-self each day and have totally knocked out stopping at the local Wawa every morning for a 20 ouncer.  I'm saving 5 minutes and $1.48 each day.  Yay me!
Regarding exercise, I'm finding that my absolute favorite and least risky activity is walking.  I love to walk and just don't get tired of it.  I go at a brisk clip, being mindful of time and distance so I can continually improve my "stats".  It's always easy to throw on shoes, step out the door and head out.  With the gym, I have to plan it, drive there, park...and at any step along that sequence I'm likely to say, "Eh - not in the mood".  So I've decided that once my cadillac gym membership contract ends in March, I'm done.  I will need to figure out ways to incorporate strength training and weight resistance work for my bones and intend to talk to the trainer at the gym about this.  I can't wait to stop paying that steep premium every month.  Hopefully I'll find some independent exercise classes and yoga that will total much less than what I'm paying and not using near enough.
Tracking calories or even writing down all my food each day is still the biggest PITA (pain in the a$$) to me, and I resist it like anthrax.  BUT - I know it is a valuable and essential tool for weight loss and for eventual mindful eating.  (Intuitive or mindful eating are states of being so far removed from reality right now as to be non-existent.  But someday they will hopeful be incorporated into the making peace with food that is my ultimate goal.  So today I have written it all down.  So far.  It's 1:30 and I'm about to dive into my lunch of a big salad, 1/2 c cottage cheese and some roasted veggies.  They are already written down because I know they will all be scarfed in short (but mindful) order. 
That's all, folks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whew...that was close

I made it through the obsession yesterday without acting on it.  Thank you all who commented for your suggestions and support.  Also for acknowledging you've been in that same place I found myself...I almost didn't publish it because I thought I sounded too crazy and unglued.  But I was desperate and decided to try something new *rather than assuring myself that this time one piece of string cheese and a yogurt would stop there*,  like I usually do.  I know damn well it never stops with the "one thing" when I'm not eating to satisfy physical hunger.

It was pretty awesome.  Right after I posted my confession about the binge obsession, its intensity lessened.  I cried for a few minutes, which at the time felt like I was crying because I wasn't going to eat.  Feelings did not emerge for identification and processing, likely because they are more deeply buried than missing one day of stuffing could allow to surface.  Then went for that walk with the dog and ran into a music teacher from the high school who taught our youngest son saxophone, and we had a long catching up conversation that really moved my mind away from the thought onslaught.  After the walk, I went to Target - carefully steering clear of all food, candy and edible items aisles.  By the time I drove home from Target, I knew I could make it through until dinner, which we had at 6.  I had a yogurt and fruit about 7:15 and that was it for the night.  WOW.  This has not been the case for a long time.  I woke up without the remorse and regret.  With gratitude for whatever Universal Force (read: Grace of God) came to my assistance. For a brief stroke of sanity.

This feels so much better than "the morning after".  It totally echoes the nuts and bolts of 12 step program suggestions, like reaching out to someone before you pick up a drink.  In OA, it's reaching out before you pick up the first compulsive bite.  I don't think those programs have extended the ideas to the blogging realm, but it's only a matter of time...write a post before you pick up the food if you don't have a "food person" to call.  Actually I do have food people I could call, or text - but this worked yesterday.  And having one day like that under my belt increases the liklihood of acquiring another day today.

The experience yesterday rekindled my resolve to get serious about this weight loss journey but more than that, it jolted me with the knowledge that I am not a hopeless case or terminal fattie.  Every obsession to eat is not an inevitable binge any more than the thought of a drink is an inevitable drunken episode.  The important thing I was reminded of is that every obsessive thought does not have to be acted on.  Pausing the momentum by doing something else - the walk, the call, the writing...anything that gets me through without picking up my substance of choice.  Obsession puts my bad behavior into fast forward.  Pressing the pause button lets me not be an automaton to my thoughts.

In the face of food compulsion, my goals, dreams, intention and vision of my best healthy self become invisible.  The pause button gives them a chance to resurface, or at least gives my mind the willingness to recall them so I can look at both options (food orgy or peace of mind) and take the direction I truly want to go.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I have another post started reporting from the weekend, but this feels more necessary.  I'm just home from work and getting ready to take a walk.

I had a good lunch about 1:20 and it's now 3:12.  I am not hungry at all.  But I want to eat.  Every cell in my body is calling me to eat something.  Let me repeat - I am not hungry  in any way.  There is emotional content at the core of this desire.  I'm not sure what it is at the moment.  I do not want to derail myself by having "one appropriate reasonable snack" when I'm not hungry, because I know it's not a snack I want or need.  If I have one reasonable item, I will have another, because whatever item I choose will not satisfy my yearning.  Yet what the hell am I yearning for, or sad about, or worried about?  If I eat in response, I will not be able to know what is lying at the base of this current obsessive thinking.

Writing about this occurred to me as I drove home with thoughts of reduced fat string cheese, yogurt and high fiber crackers started to loom in my mind.  No lie - they are compelling me to eat - not the food items, but the thoughts.  The obsession.  I cannot state more clearly that I'm not hungry.  I have a desire to binge - not to have one reasonable snack.  Maybe by writing about it, confessing it and asking for help, I can choose not to binge instead.  And the tears start to come.

Sorry for what feels like a shameless dramatic ploy for attention.  It really isn't.  I just know today, at least at this moment, that the object of my yearning is not food.  Beyond that - clueless.  I'm trying the aa tactic of picking up the phone before you pick up the drink.  Thanks for listening -

Friday, November 5, 2010

Full Throttle Friday

I'm going to change my goals this week because I'm sick of them, or rather reporting on them.  I'll be getting more specific about a couple, and omitting a couple.  Here's week 6:
1) Limit cals to 1700/day.  I didn't track so have no idea.  I had no bingeing but don't think I stayed in range everyday.  This will be addressed in the changes.
2) Exercise at least 20 mins 6 out of 7 days.  This is staying.  I got in 5 of 7.  I always do more than the 20 minutes, but often it's knowing I only HAVE to do 20 that gets me out there.  For once I established a smart goal for moi-self.
3) 100% accountability and honesty.  Yes, yes, yes, but I'm tired of this one.  Not tired of doing it, which I am, but tired of reporting it.  It will be jettisoned out.
4) Weigh in Fridays only.  This is also going.  Sometimes I need to "step up" more often.  Today was 207.5.  Down 0.5 since last Friday.  In the past, I would have said "big whoop" to a measly half pound loss.  Not anymore.
5) Stay in Challenge to the end not matter what.  I am.  I will.  This one is 86'd.  Say bye bye.
6) Not Thursday dinners out before weigh in.  Also 86'd.  I ate at home last night.  But if George Clooney rings me up and wants to do dinner on a Thursday, it's happening.  Take note, George.

It was a decent week.  I'm learning from other Hotties about modifying goals to reflect progress, lack thereof, or just to breathe new life into Friday reporting.
Goals for week 7:
1)  Write down everything I eat.  If I have time I can tally calories.  I still haven't looked into the various on line calorie recording methods you all suggested.
2)  Exercise 20 mins 6/7 days.
3)  No eating after 8 p.m.
That's it.  #s 1 and 3 will give me plenty to work on. 
I have to report that I finally signed up on Twitter, and I want to offer a public thanks to Karen at Waisting Time for helping me.  I tried to sign on a couple years ago and apparently got further than I thought in the short and easy process, but I never followed through.  Every time I've tried to sign up since, it would tell me my email address was already in Twitter and wouldn't let me advance further.  This happened again yesterday, and because Karen had talked about tweeting the other day I decided to email her my dilemma.  She made a simple suggestion that I should have thought of, and voila!  Now I have to figure out the rest of it, but I feel like I made a giant leap in my social networking capacity.  Thanks, Karen.  Something brilliant is always brewing over at her blog.  I'm on Facebook, but don't want my blog to show there because then an awful lot of my peeps would know what I weigh, 'mongst other things.  Like recovery in aa.  It's anonymous for a reason!

Speaking of AA, I can do Part Deux of Pickled now that all the other stuff is out of the way, like yesterday's rant about anonymous commenters.  How weird that I'm claiming my anonymity in the Facebook realm above and then lambasting anonymous commenters.  Trust me - it's entirely different.  And it's an essential component of AA for good reasons.

So regarding the question that once we've crossed over into destructive eating in a compulsive and addictive manner, even for awhile, does that mean that we can never again successfully indulge in certain foods or special holiday meals with all the trimmings without triggering old addictive behaviors?  Does the concept of being "pickled" in AA regarding alcohol and not being able to return to moderate drinking if one is alcoholic apply to food addiction? 

I don't know the answer.  As noted on Wednesday, 12 step food programs like OA, FAA and others would say the concept does apply to overeating.  Generally, they attach it to certain food substances like white flour, sugar, wheat, whatever.  But also, they note that for some, just eating larger than normal volumes of food, say at a holiday meal, or having unplanned snacks during the day also can "trigger" a food sensitive person back to crazytown with eating.  From my own experience, I have had periods of solid weight loss with planned meals and not been triggered by something like a slice of birthday cake.  But the opposite has been true at other times.  I don't think it's as absolute a distinction as it is with alcohol or drugs.  And yes, food programs say food is also a drug, and when I use it for other than nutrition, it is a drug.  I've had enough food comas to vouch for this.  Anything that is used to alter our mindstate can be a drug - food, booze, sex, gambling, shopping, smoking, etc. 

For me, I know that I have to pay attention to myself with food all the time if I want to keep my food intake reasonable, nourishing and physically satisfying.  If I start eating mindlessly, which I often do, then dollars to donuts I'll end up eating donuts.  Or Tastycakes.  Name your poison.  I can have a tendency to "awfulize" my various issues, like the eating, and turn it into something that feels overwhelming and hopeless.  The black and white of that kind of thinking can render me screwed before I get out of bed in the morning, and that just isn't necessary or even accurate.  Again, the aforementioned Karen talked about this today - both the black and white thinking and the mindfulness piece.

The automatic nature of my mind/emotions/thoughts/feelings to turn to food is astonishing when I pay attention.  But if I'm in blindmind eating, I don't even notice how automatic and habitual my pull to food is.  That's why tools like tracking or calling someone can be so helpful.  They provide a PAUSE in the fast forward motion of mindless behaviors.  Maybe that's why tracking has been such an annoyance to me...when I want what I want, I want it.  Don't want to take the time to write it down.

And here is an example from my AA experience.  For my first few months in AA, I continued having drinking episodes and would call my sponsor to tell her.  She finally said, "Leslie, call me BEFORE you drink, not after.  Even if you know you're going to do it anyway, make the call, and maybe you'll change your mind about that drink."  It's the equivalent of writing down every morsel, even the Nestles chocolate ones.  Or emailing a blog buddy and saying I'm contemplating a food orgy.  These little tricks that AA suggests to help not pick up the first drink do in fact translate very well to negotiating food addiction.  Whatever little mind games work - do 'em.  Because you can't get sober drinking, and you can't lose weight overeating and bingeing. 

So - I guess I have to say that I think it's possible to introduce previous trigger foods into one's food inventory when done with careful attention to what happens afterward.  Self honesty is essential but easy to omit.  Denial of what our body or mind wants to do after the first bite is also easy and avails nothing but more bites, possibly into food oblivion.  Yet it doesn't seem as black and white to me as alcohol.  I'd have to be knocked unconscious and have alcohol administered IV in order to try it again.  Without question.  Unconditional abstinence.  But with food, I'm not so sure.  It may be different for some, and even within that - there will likely be certain foods I know I'll never be able to successful ingest without the trip to crazytown.

Lastly - here's a story I heard about 3 years ago at a meeting.  A guy told the story that when he was only a couple months sober, his father became ill and ended up on life support.  There were several siblings and his mom involved, all of whom There was incredible emotional chaos among the family at all times.  Being sober, clearheaded and a bright fellow, he became the spokesperson and ultimate decision maker regarding the father's status. 

Finally the excrutiating question of pulling the plug came up, and the family members were in constant contention and argument over the right decision, and trying to influence this sober family member.  He shared about it at a meeting, literally in tears not knowing what to do.  Right after the meeting, an AA oldtimer said to him, "I know the answer.  I know what you should do."  The man was relieved and asked for the guy to give him that answer.  The oldtimer said, "Let's go for coffee and we'll talk about it."  Frustrated but desperate, the man agreed, and when they were sitting at the restaurant he begged for the oldtimer to tell him what to do.
And the answer came, "Just don't drink." 
"What?  How will that help anything?"
"If you don't drink, you have a shot at listening, praying, hearing what the doctors are saying, respecting family members' needs to be heard...and the next right thing will be revealed.  If you drink, all bets are off."
The man understood.  He'd been coming to AA long enought to get it.  To know that this difficult situation would eventually end tragically.  But if he stayed present and sober, he could be a part of the solution and the healing, rather part of the pain and heartache.

Funny - I have no recollection of how the story ended, but I'll never forget what that oldtimer said to the new guy.  Just don't drink.  And for myself, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, overjoyed, confused, in pain...not matter what - I choose to not drink.  And I can also choose to not turn to food to do anything other than nourish my body and keep me feeling strong, healthy and present for whatever life, or my head tosses up for me to deal with.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pest control

A couple things are brewing today that I just have to mention.  I've already written most of part 2 of the Pickled post but just have to put this out first.

Anonymous commenters - I've never had many anonymous folks commenting on my blog, so didn't have a strong opinion about them.  The occasional comment I'd get from what the lovely Loretta calls an "anonymouse" (the plural is even better - anonymice) was neutral and non-provocative and therefore didn't get my undies in a tangle.  But in the last couple of weeks I've noticed the population of anonymice seems to be increasing across our little blogdom. 

In particular, one blogger who's been struggling a bit and getting some strong but concerned and supportive comments from identified followers, has also been visited by a herd of anonymice, feeding off the comments of people who aren't afraid to own their thoughts and words.  It's easy to be judgemental and mean-spirited when you have no identity and can't be called on for your crap attitudes.  I can literally see the thoughts of identified commenters in the words splat out by some of these "livin' down low" folk, and when they're kind - it's one thing.  But many aren't, and it's starting to work my last nerve. 

But my last nerve didn't really get tweaked until yesterday, when a cowardly mouse made a random, rambling and irrelevant comment about my post yesterday.  To my little mouse friend I say thanks for taking the time to comment, but proofread your writing before you publish it to be sure you're saying what you mean to say.  'Cuz it sounded kind of goofy.  Made no sense, though you don't have to feel embarrassed because you don't have enough backbone to claim your words.  And you said, "This is no criticism."  None taken, because why would I feel criticized by someone who isn't confident enough to identify his/herself in any way?

Many anonymice leave helpful and supportive comments.  But others become harrassing and haranguing voices of judgement, criticism and snottiness...an infestation if you will; and the virtual equivalent of bullying, with cowardice as the common denominator.  Look in the mirror and try picking on yourself instead.

I puffy heart blogging and bloggers - There's no way to express how much I love this community, and how often I think of many of you during the course of my days.  Honestly, I can see an ad for a certain food and think of someone.  Or hear about a distance run, or in a conversation with a friend...I honestly feel this virtual community is as vital and helpful to my life as the actual folks I hang with.  Thank you, and whoever invented this bloggy thing (Al Gore as originator of the internet? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jack Shit?) for yet another aspect of living in community.  It indeed does take a village.

Pickled Part Deux to follow.  But I just had to get that off my chest.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Work is just the best place for me to blog - at least the writing part.  I had every intention of writing a post yesterday afternoon but got carried away with going to lunch with #1 son, a trip to Marshalls and other assorted shopping emporiums, and who knows what else.  One thing for sure, the 'what else' wasn't exercising.  By skipping yesterday, in order to meet my weekly Hot 100 goal, I have to do it the rest of the week.  Shouldn't be a problem if my knees cooperate and the creek don't rise.  So now I'm back at work, and the thoughts are percolatin'!

Once again I'm going to use an AA nugget to post about - so often the wisdom in that program informs my thinking and behaving with food.  There is a saying in AA that once a cucumber is pickled, it can't go back to being a cucumber.  It's essential nature has been changed by the process of being steeped in vinegar, sugar and seasonings.  It isn't possible to take that pickle and remove the essential biochemical changes that occurred within its makeup and render it a simple unfettered cucumber ever again.

So it is with alcoholics.  Not all of us started out drinking alcoholically.  Many of us were able to experience the social lubrication of alcohol, the gentle buzz, the blissy relaxation of a glass or two of alcoholic quaff and even an occasional getting hammered, for months or years before "something" happened, before a line was crossed in some undefinable way, that rendered alcohol more than simple pleasure.  That essentially changed who we were, how we behaved and treated others, how we held up our ends of our responsibilities and relationships.  In AA jargon, (and simplified here to spare you even more paragraphs than my usual), we became pickled, and no matter how long we don't drink, work the aa program, find incredible life-affirming sobriety...if we pick up a drink again we will likely/eventually/inevitably return to destructive drinking. 

Maybe not right away.  They say that the worst thing that can happen to an alcoholic who picks up a drink is nothing.  If nothing happens the first time, then we can think "we're over it", "not really an alcoholic", "were going through a phase back then"...any number of hopeful thoughts.  (Hopeful because it's the dream of many alcoholics to be able to drink successfully.  Long periods of recovery and the rich lives that can ensue over  long periods of sobriety definitely take that dreamstate away from many of us.  Finding new life through aa attendance and working the steps make sobriety its own reward, and the dream of drinking again someday finally disappears.)  But if a recovering person decides to experiement with a drink...all bets are off.

Why?  Because we're pickled and can't go back to not being pickled, even after decades of sobriety.  Once an alky, always an alky. (I'm sure there are people for whom this has not been the case, but the vast majority of recovering folks in the AA rooms believe it to be true, at least for themselves. Including me.) There are zillions of stories of people with 20 years of sobriety and beyond who decided to have a glass of "something"...and within short order found themselves back in the revolving door of alcoholic insanity.  This truth of addiction is widely accepted.  Addiction is progressive.  Abstinence from the object of our addiction doesn't halt the progress of addiction.  It's said that our disease is always in the next room, doing pushups and staying strong.  Lying in wait for an opportune moment to pounce - great sadness or great joy.  A loss, a challenge, or just the noon whistle.  Once someone picks up their substance, their disease of addiction is operating at a more fully developed level than when the individual put the substance down.  So it's off to the races at an even greater intensity - often with devastating consequences.  I hear it all the time.

So.  What about food addiction?  Eating disordered behavior?  Does it fall under this unbrella of the nature of addiction I just discussed?  And if so, does it happen to everyone who dares to reintroduce sugar, or highly processed foods, or salty chips, or "organic ice cream" and "all natural" items after long periods of abstinence from certain trigger foods?  I know that 12 step food programs (which I've waxed on many times in this blog, know to be helpful, but personally hate for their various forms of rigidity) believe that this nature of true addiction DOES apply to sugar, and white flour, and who knows what else --for true food addicts.  And do you know what really gives me a major hitch in my gitalong???  I've proved this to myself again and again.  I speak for myself only when I say that once I again eat certain foods after lengthy periods of leaving them out - I turn into the equivalent of a great white shark going for the diver in the shark proof cage.  Not pretty.  Very ugly, and ultimately very painful.

What got me thinking along these lines is watching some fairly obvious and serious relapse happening to a few bloggers who had attained big weight losses - 100 pounds and more.  It's so hard to watch because I've lived it.  I've been struggling for months myself - for now maintaining a 15-18 pound gain that I'd like very much to reverse and move through, but I'm stuck.  I don't think I'm in denial, but when I keep doing the same things over and over and expecting different results - maybe I am.  I can't handle sugar.  Interestingly, many alcoholics have this problem, especially given that alcohol is immediately converted into sugar by our bodies.  So now I can claim not only alcoholism and food addiction but also sugar metabolism woes?  And finally, whether I decide to use this information and try to do something about it (like giving up sugar and white flour) doesn't lend truth or fiction to all this I've talked about.  It's a matter of me recognizing the exact nature of my body and working with it.  Or not.  I've been on the 'or not' plan in recent months.  As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?"

A pickle can't show up in a salad claiming to be a cucumber.  Its texture is different; so is its taste and moisture content.  Maybe the flavor is pleasing or not to the consumer - but one thing for sure - it doesn't taste like a cucumber.  And I don't metabolize sugar and related white products like an earth person.

Believe it or not, I have a part 2 to this that I'll post tomorrow.  I think it will be shorter.  It conckerns taking the information and putting it into action.  And guess where part 2 germinated?  In a room full of alcoholics.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday post on Tuesday morning

Thanks, blog buddies, for all your suggestions and opinions on calorie recording.  You brought up several sites I've never tried, so tomorrow (I'm taking a personal day to take care of my person and not have to sit through a day long non-mandatory inservice on professionalism, geared for our direct care staff!) I plan to check them out and decide how I'm going to keep track of the little caloric buggers.

First - after I posted on Friday morning, my left knee gradually felt worse, so I scheduled an acupuncture treatment for Saturday and an appointment with the Ortho for Tuesday.  It was really hurting and I didn't know what on earth was going on.  In good self-care mode, I went home after work, took Ibuprofen, elevated the legs and iced on and off for the rest of the day.  Well--Saturday morning I woke up and the knee felt almost normal!  Bust my buttons - things like that never happen to me.  It's still a little stiff, but clearly better.  So both of the "on the fly" appointments were cancelled.  I even took a walk each day - 25 minutes Saturday and 45 on Sunday.  I walked gingerly and mindfully so as not to twist or torque said knees - and they held up fine.  Go figure.  I'm relieved and pleased.

So obviously I didn't go to the DC Rally.  It seemed a stupid thing to go if my knee was all jacked up, and even though it was better Saturday, it had to be better for it to lay low.  My son went to the rally with a friend and had a great time.  I watched it from the couch - probably had a better vantage point and was able to continue knee care!

I started the above post yesterday at work but got and stayed so busy that I never got back to it.  After work, I walked with a friend, and then between phone calls, dinner prep, and my usual early bedtime (read falling asleep in sitting position on the couch while family snickers around me) -  I never finished it or published it.  So I'm doing that now at 5 a.m. on Tuesday. 

I'm taking a personal day from work because we have an inservice day with a menu of mind numbing topics to sit through.  So later I WILL write about some eating and food insights that have come to me over the few days.  And as a teaser, I ate almost no Halloween candy this year - it just didn't interest me.  Of course it helps not having 3 young'uns bringing in pillow cases full of my Hershey products of choice after a couple hours of trick or treating.  Yes Reese's cups, I'm talking to you.  And buying stuff I hate also helped.

Oh brother...I just heard on the news that the McRib sandwich at McDonalds, a "cult favorite", will be available at all MickyDees across the country for 6 weeks starting today.  I've never sampled that gastronomic delicacy and am proud to say I haven't eaten at McD's for several years.  This "news", (really? news?) makes me give myself a high five for staying away.   TTYL :)