Thursday, December 30, 2010


Yesterday's queasy factor was not a bug...I felt like myself by about 11:30 and had another good low carb day that included a short walk.  I'm missing exercise and may have to get back to the gym, but the temps are supposed to be in the high 40s and 50s for the next few days, so I'm praying for THAW.  There is still a lot of rock hard icy patches on the side roads here, which is where I walk (shunning the super highways when I'm on foot!).  It's hard to get to a good power walk speed when your trying to stay upright!

After starting out feeling so iffy yesterday I was very selective about my food intake, having only one handful of nuts as opposed to the several I had the day before.  My body is REALLY feeling the shift of it's fuel in the last 3 days.  I've been through this before, and I'm grateful that I do respond quickly to removing the massive carb platters from the table.  This morning I swear I have a more defined lower rib line when lying on my back in bed...and I just feel lighter.  Obviously it's not pounds lighter already (though as of yesterday 4.8...didn't get on the scale today in the interest of not getting obsessive), but there is increasing calmness and a general relaxation response in my body.  It's not crazy...I've experienced this in the past and always been amazed by how physically different I can feel when I change up the fuel.  What's more amazing is how I've proven this to myself countless times over the years and still go back to the dark side.

I guess it's like how my car would run if I tried to fill it with kerosene instead of regular unleaded - just not as good.  If at all.

One thing I have to start doing is talking about the feelings that are already starting to unearth...mainly that on Day 2 (the day of the nut overdose) I started having the desire to continually eat.  Something.  Just be chewing and swallowing.  No stomach hunger at all.  But the "need" to shove something into my mouth.  That's why I overdid the nuts on Tuesday..."at least they're low carb".  I was frustrated by that urge but having read Atkins and South Beach many times, I knew that if I was at least keeping it low to no carb snacking, it wouldn't mess up the physiology of the food program.  But eventually that behavior will slow or stop weight loss, and just sustain an addictive pattern.

I'm kind of glad the nuts backfired yesterday morning (oh my word, no pun intended!), making me feel really sick with assorted GI symptoms.  Even if I stay low carb consistently and forever, I can't keep a steady of influx of food all day long.  But the desire does come up when the usual steady supply is interrupted.  It's a psychological dependence and I know it will go away after awhile if I don't respond to the obsession to shove something in.

Yesterday Miz had an interesting discussion about willpower vs willingess.  Willpower vs. willingness is a big topic in AA, so that discussion was interesting for me but not new material.  But as I reflect on trying to once and for all stick and stay in this journey to health and fitness, I know that willingness is the key for me.  I have to be willing to sit through obsessive desires to eat - using all the resources at my disposal to for help.  Prayer, AA, blogging, an occasional dollop of will power which rarely visits this blogger...willingness to wait it out.  The moment, the obsession will pass but everytime I cave in I strengthen it for its next visit.

So yesterday, after the stomach and related parts settled down, wouldn't you know the food thoughts were back.  The still lingering memory of feeling so sick helped me keep putting it off in one way or another and I ended up with another day.  We even went to the golf club hubby belongs to for dinner (had to spend some $ before the ned of the year) and I wondered if I'd "make it through".  I did - just fine.  We even brought desserts home to the boys; I had none and didn't mind having none.

But that's one day.  The planets lined up in my favor and it wasn't hard to "be good".  Many (most) days aren't like that.  This is 99% a head game for this blogger.  The people who've been successful in this realm are ones who have faced the demons, the feelings - or not.  But they had the willingness to wait out the obsession for a quick fix for the promise of more lasting reward. 

In AA they they talk about HOW - an acronym for Honesty, Openmindedness and Willingness.  That's HOW I'm going to get through one day at a time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Much better except.....

I have 2 full days of SB Phase 1 eating under my belt (no pun intended though I can feel the difference under my waistband already) and until about and hour ago was feeling increasingly better.  I got up and went to my 7 am meeting and while there my stomach began churning and rumbling, sending me on 2 trips to the ladies' room.  Then I started feeling nauseous, so I bolted for home and am now couch bound feeling pretty lousy.  I know there are stomach bugs going around, but I have no idea if this is a bug or if it's related to the drastic change in my eating in the last 2 days.

Drastic is an understatement.  I've been eating great low carb food, using SB recipes I'd never tried before.  I've also had more nuts than I ever have, and I'm thinking that could be part of my stomach woes.  I'd never used any of the SB recipes before - opting for simple selections of the low carb variety like plain chicken, plain meat, plain fish, plain everything.  The recipes have been GREAT, and I'll share what I've tried later in the week if the spirit moves me.  Maybe take pics too.  I see that I can truly enjoy a low carb family's been loving the few recipes I've made.

No sugar at all.  Very low refined carbohydrate products.  By yesterday morning a lot of brain fog had already lifted.  It's amazing how sugar affects me.  My activity level was a little better.  On day 1 I was pretty austere with what I ate - sticking to the amounts recommended on the plan.  Yesterday though, I felt munchier so did have more low fat cheese and nuts than the plan suggests.  But I kept the extra snacks no-low-carb and so didn't set up the whole craving for more because of the insulin response.

Monday morning I weighed 216.8.  This morning I was 212.  Obviously that's not all fat I lost, but whatever it was feels better gone.  I've been up at least 4 times during the night to pee the last 2 nights!  I was in such a pattern of horrible eating that too much sodium was part of the picture - literally rendering me puffy all over.  I think carb and sugar toxicity can contribute to water retention, plus I've been on low dose steroids for a major sinus infection.  I'm almost off of it and that will also help.  If you've read me for awhile you may recall a couple other times I was on Prednisone that really played with my body, mind and spirit.  I've kept it quiet this time to decrease the amount of whining I inflict on my dear readers.

I'm hoping this queasiness subsides and I can get a walk in today.  A friend and I tried yesterday, but there were still a lot of icy spots on streets and sidewalks along with a big wind that made it miserable to be out.  I know getting out in the air and moving a bit will also help my body move towards better balance after the abuse I've heaped on it for the last weeks.

So - that's it for today.  Just an update.  Until this stomach ick hit this morning, I was feeling so much better already and optimistic about low carbing.  Almost euphoric... but already fast forwarding to worrying about how it won't stay this easy once I get a few days down the road, drop the extra over the top pounds and "forget" the horror of how bad I've been feeling.   I need to strive to keep that horror of the climbing weight and the physical effects at the forefront of my mind so I DON'T forget.

I want this (Monday morning at the scale and the mirror) to be my bottom with food addiction and I pray that it is.  But bottoms have trap doors - I see it in AA all the time.  When I had a relapse very early in sobriety, I said to a gal at a meeting, "maybe I haven't hit bottom yet", to which she replied, "You can get off the elevator at any level and claim that as your bottom."  I'm off of it for now and don't want to start the downward spiral again.

So the quote for the day that I heard from my brother in law:

"You hit bottom when you stop digging."  I'm throwing in the shovel.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Coming clean

I've talked often about how weighing too often can be as dangerous as scale avoidance.  How the mentality of scale roulette can set in where I find myself eating to whatever the number-du-jour reads out when I hop up on the scale altar more than once a week.  Today, however, it served me very well to step on a second day in a row...

I weighed yesterday morning and was horrified to see 216.  I've been holding around 208-210 with an occasional stumble to 212 that has responded promptly to a day of clean eating.  This weight range has been bad enough, but at least I was maintaining rather than gaining. But seeing that number jolted me and prompted my post yesterday about recovery day #1 and returning to sane eating.  "Better" was where I was going.  And I really meant it.

I did do better, at least through the early afternoon - drank more water and had salad and vegetables as planned.  But I slowly ended up having several slices of leftover pumpkin cranberry bread, a piece of cranberry pie, potato chips...just more of all kinds of sh*t that remained in the house.  A couple of my sons' friends came over to watch football and hang out, and as they ate snacks (all of them lean muscle machines), I began noshing.  And noshing.  I didn't start this grazing redux until about 5:30, but once I got started I didn't stop until bedtime.

Still I thought I'd done BETTER because of the first 8 or so hours of the day, and all the water, and my most excellent intentions.  To verify my BETTER, I decided to get naked again this morning and "make sure" things were moving in the right direction.  Imagine my naked horror to get on the scale and see 216.8!

That did it.  I shot up a prayer, vowed to not beat myself up, and to knock off all of the insane eating.  I came to the blogs and something/someone directed me to Lucy's blog called Walking the Low Way Barefoot.  I love Lucy's blog, and in the last 6 months (back in July 2010) she's established a low carb lifestyle in an effort to improve her health as well as stabilize her Type 2 Diabetes.  She has a link on her sidebar to her "Day of reckoning" where she talks about what made her sit up and start paying attention to her health rather than basically ignoring it.  I could relate...

Here's a dirty secret of mine - I was diagnosed with Type 2 about 2 1/2 years ago.  I've never honestly owned or admitted it on my blog.  Or really in my life.  I was borderline at diagnosis but my fasting blood sugar was high enough to diagnose me with the disease.  I began tightening up my food, using South Beach as a guide for lowering my carb intake, and the following summer when I started this blog, all my numbers (Hgb A1C and fasting blood sugar) were in totally normal range.  The last Hgb A1C I had was January 2010, after my first knee surgery but prior to my second, and the # was 6.0.  Perfect for a Type 2.   This was while I was still under 200 (as low as 192) and doing pretty well with my food and exercise.
While I'm being honest, I also have high blood pressure for which I take 2 medications.  I would probably be able to come off medication if I made better food choices and got my weight down.

Since then - the quality of my eating has gradually disintegrated.  Anyone who reads my blog knows this.  Many excuses - no good reasons.   Denial?  Not exactly, because I've been aware that I've been ignoring not only my expanding waist line but my health. I've been aware of my lack of resolve, my increasing waist line, my decreasing energy level.  Sugar and simple carb consumption has become a daily practice, where for a long time at least I could keep it to a day or so a week.

A major truth is I'm ashamed that I have Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.  They feel like fat-people diseases, which they can be, but certainly aren't exclusively.  I don't want to have it.  Well, I have it and I'm not going to hide that anymore.  The way I've been eating for the last year, but especially for the last month is a slow form of suicide.  Yeah - that's dramatic - but continuing this behavior with eyes wide open qualifies.  I'm not REALLY trying to off myself - but knowing my truth and ignoring it is pretty nutty. I don't want to keep harming myself.  I deserve better.  And intellectually I know that it isn't shameful to have the diseases I have.  What is a shame is to have them and pretend I don't.

I'm starting Phase 1 South Beach today.  I'd been contemplating starting Weight Watchers this week, but first I'm going to save the money and use my well worn copy of the SB book as my guide.  Money's tight, and I spent way too much over the holidays - more addictive type behavior - so I'm going to see how it goes.  It's 4:45 today and so far so good.  I have a killer headache that always comes when I begin sugar detox. 

I'm not proud to admit all this stuff, but I know for sure that the truth can set us free.  The scale's message of a .8 lb gain in 24 hours today shattered the last of whatever has been holding tight within my psyche to keep a nice facade of "just a weight problem" rather than a serious health issue that left unchecked can shorten my life.  My life is too good to not fight for, and this is a fight in which I'm not powerless if I step up and face the foe.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coming off Christmas

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, or if you don't celebrate - a peaceful and relaxing Saturday.  We had a lovely holiday with many laughs, thoughtful gifts, an hour skype chat with our daughter, and lots of food.  LOTS.  And when I say food, know that includes far too much sugar and simple carby stuff.  Can you spell

Ugh - I woke up this morning feeling like dough - puffy and mushy; craving lettuce and simple vegetables not covered in a melange of butter, cheese and what not.  Karen mentioned the other day that after a point, the food stops even tasting that good.  So true.  Too much is enough.  Much less would have been more than enough and still enjoyable.  I overshot enjoyment and even really tasting food by Friday afternoon.

So Post Christmas Day 1 becomes recovery day.  Only agenda item was going to the grocery and getting some salad fixings for a chef salad for dinner, along with zucchini, tomatoes and onion and steamed green beans.  Doesn't that sound good?  I couldn't even eat breakfast because of NO appetite, and for lunch had 2 eggs + 1 egg white with 2 slices WW toast.  I'm infusing mass quantities of water, which I had totally stopped for the last few days.  And the fog slowly lifts.  A 45 minute walk with a friend in the first snow flakes helped.

Other than above food prep, today is R&R.  I got the Kindle I asked for and will be reading the tome that is the "User Guide" as my maiden Kindle voyage.  We're expecting blizzard conditions from 3pm-12noon tomorrow, so that will allow some sanctioned (and woefully needed) down time.  The Eagles/Vikings game that was happening tonight actually got postponed til Tuesday because of the weather.  I didn't know they ever cancelled football!

That's it from me.  I just wanted to pop in and say hi.  After the many weeks of anticipation, it feels like Christmas is suddenly over with a thud!  But I'm ready for the new year coming up and am going to be reflecting on 2010 and what I've learned, so I can contemplate 2011 and consider where I want to focus my intentions.  Naturally my waistline will be one of the places!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Feelin' groovy

I'm off to a great start today.  For the last several days I've been running in high gear trying to get to my morning 7 a.m. meeting before work at 8:30 which means I have to leave the house by 6:25.  Usually I have my breakfast and lunch planned and prepared when I walk out of the house, but other things, like gift wrapping and assorted holiday chores have meant no food prep at all. 

Breakfast has been a soft pretzel grabbed at work with some yogurt.  Lunches have been dashing out to buy soup or something.  BAD IDEA.  No planning = poor eating. 

This morning I decided not to go to the meeting because I had to go order some special bread for Christmas morning French toast and knew it would be a hassle if I tried to cram it in.  What gets back burnered is always "the next right thing" in favor of chaotic maneuverings.  Not today.  I made myself a sane, calorie counted breakfast:  a high fiber English muffin (only had half the muffin - wasn't that good) sandwich with 2 eggs and 2 strips of bacon:  It was delicious and totally satisfying.

I also made a beautiful big ass salad for lunch to have with some leftover roasted broccoli and onion that's scrumptious...the picture of which blogger is now not letting me upload.  This has to be a function of my work computer or a setting I don't understand.  I have one picture successfully upload and then can't pull up more.  Also the justification thing is centering again after one picture no matter what I do.  This has happened to me before but I haven't posted many pictures lately.  I see why.  Any help?

Anyway, it feels good to have taken care of myself this way...taking time to set myself up for a healthy day rather than tempting the food fates.  It's amazing how totally unhungry I feel when I start with a big wallop of protein.  I always do that but of late that practice has gone by the wayside.  Someone just stopped by my door asking if I wanted to by one of the soft pretzels!!!  Argh - no thanks.

So my post is derailed a bit here.  Life goes on and I'm not going to let this sour my mood, though it's trying.  I can be a hothead at times, and this is warming my noggin.  Breathe in, breathe out..................

This is my last day of work until January 3rd and I'm so ready for the break.  I have a lot of meet ups with friends planned for next week but I'm also hoping to just luxuriate with books, movies and knitting.  And hanging with my 3 men and 1 canine.  We'll be skyping with daughter often hopefully and that'll be good.  I just started reading The Help (I'm the last living human who hasn't yet read it) and am already loving it. Nothing better than a good book.

I'm not sure how much I'll be posting for the next few days, but I'll definitely be reading and commenting.  I hope all of you have wonderful holiday joys and peace with your families and friends.  Whatever you celebrate, rest, renewal and reflection seem to settle in as the year comes to a close.  I know I'll be counting my blessings.  And hoping to get a better handle on this darn Blogger, because I have a cameral full of stuff I want to share!  Merry and Happy, everyone.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Quick post today to say thank you to my blog friends who are so kind and supportive.  It's a lovely community we have here.

I feel much better today - lighter.  Maybe not pound wise, though I didn't "step on" to find out.  But definitely mood wise.  Many of you seconded my idea of not stressing over each pound and each morsel of food that enters my temple for the next few days.  I think I keep expecting people to scold me when I confess my many and varied food iniquities.  Where does that come from?  Mom I guess, but she's been gone a long time...34 years!  I know she did the best she could with parenting, but she was up my craw about what I ate long before I ever had any related issues.  I was a skinny kid, but she'd "uh uh'd" every dessert I ever wanted.  I'm not blaming her or anyone for my struggles.  Just interesting to note.

My virus or whatever it is seems to be mobilizing on its way out, because I stepped up all the healthier practices yesterday, including NO SUGAR.  Also using my asthma meds as prescribed (following directions, go figure) is helping.  And the thing that helped the most...yesterday I got out and did a brisk 3 mile walk with a friend after work.  I swear, being out in the cold clean air did more for me than anything else.  Fresh air is a very good thing.

I finally started wrapping in earnest yesterday after the walk and almost finished everything that has arrived or been bought.  I'm still awaiting 2 shipments from Amazon (why can't I think of everything at once?!), but other than that, I'm feeling as ready as necessary.  And you knwo what I discovered a long time ago?  The holiday comes whether I'm "ready" or not, so best to let go of the perfectionistic crapola.  And you may quote me.

I just dashed out to get soup for lunch at a local gourmet wannabe shop. I got their homemade chicken noodle soup because it appeared thick with veggies.  Just had the first bite and it basically has no flavor and the veggies are mush.  Damn.  Well, if that's the worst thing that happens today, I can chalk up another winner.

Speaking of worst things - I have heard of several very difficult situations and tragedies in the last few days.  I found out that the 26 y/o son of a woman I used to play tennis with died 3 days ago.  No idea how or why.  Also, a woman I work with has a 30 y/o daughter who just had her 2nd baby a month ago.  Right after the delivery, she suddenly lost sight in one eye...long story short is that she has a melanoma tumor behind her eye and is having surgery today to remove the eye and the tumor.  Hopefully it hasn't spread, but it was so agressive that they had to do the surgery within 2 days of getting the biopsy report.  Another gal I work with was diagnosed with a sarcoma of the left hip and will begin treatment next week.

I'm not trying to be a downer, but rather just say that hearing such stories provides a huge perspective jolt for me.  I can get upset about a few pounds, or my healthy daughter not coming home for Christmas.  They say that if any group of people could toss all their problems and struggles into the center of the room to pick perhaps a lesser burden...each would take back his/her own stuff 99% of the time.  So much to pray for.  So much to be thankful for.

On a positive note, my closest friend and AA sponsor (who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 2+ years ago and never smoked) Lisa, who I've spoken of here before, just got back the results of her most recent PET scans, and all her cancer that remains has shrunk from 3 months ago.  She's hanging in and hanging on, and setting an amazing example for all of us who know her of how to live with terrifying uncertainty a day at a time.  With a 12 y/o and a 7 y/o, she has a lot to live for, and she's really living...not waiting to die.  Talk about powerful inspiration.

Well, so that wasn't such a quick post afterall.  If you made it this far down, thanks.  Have a good Christmas eve eve eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We repeat this broadcast

That's where you've landed - home of the Grinch.  My local all-Christmas-music-allthetime station has been playing this a lot lately and the lyrics are indeed speaking to me.  Not a good sign. 

My favorite line is, "You're a 3 decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich!"  What can I say - love to digest a good food metaphor.  And I am one irritable blogger today.

I woke up last night around 1:15 with my throat feeling like a slab of raw meat and my airway feeling narrowed.  ACK.  Having asthma, I respond quickly to such symptoms so went downstairs to do a nebulizer treatment.  The medicine makes me hyper as Tigger on steroids, so I vibrated, (literally) for several hours before finally falling asleep.  The galloping crud-du-jour that's going around felled hubby last week, and # 1 son was feeling the beginnings of sore throatishness yesterday.  DAMN.  It's not the end of the world, but my reaction to getting respiratory symptoms is always a bit over the top.

Another reason I'm in a crappy mood is that I got on the scale this morning and have gained a pound.  We ate out at a Mexican restuarant last night; then I had a dish of ice cream with butterscotch sauce to cap it off.  I'm caving in to the ubiquitous cookie and confection trays that are materializing everywhere, and the sugar alone makes me more vulnerable to getting sick, not to mention feel more achy and inflamed all over.

This is what came to mind this this point I'm just going to table (another food metaphor) my weight loss efforts and calorie control until next Monday.  Not give up - not go crazy with eating.  Just relax.  Hell, if I relax anymore I'll be in a coma.  And when I'm honest with self, suspending my effort for any period of time inevitably leads to letting go of constraints and all bets are off.  I'll be WISHING for a gain of 1 measly pound.  I'm so sick of my head with this, and I'm sure you guys are too.  I'm also grateful that some other bloggers have been mightily struggling and falling off the wagon in recent weeks - not for their sake, but for my own.  Helps me know I'm not the only one.  Not alone.

I'm also grateful that many more bloggers demonstrate that rational reasonable eating CAN sustain through the holidays and all days without diminishing the quality of those days one iota.  It can be done.  I've done it.  But not for a long time.

Dear Loretta at LorettasJourney has been steadily working her way down the scale and is such an inspiration and voice of sanity and wisdom for me.  She strives to stay positive and when she feels her thinking getting "stinking", she calls herself on it and reframes her thoughts to be self encouraging and edifying rather than self hating.  She's been doing something for awhile that just today hit me as a very useful tool...going back to a year ago in her blogging to see what she was saying then.  I've decided to do a bit of that for myself.

Here's an exerpt from December 21, 2009 -
Also, my eating continues to deteriorate. I didn't get on the scale in the last 3 days, which isn't a good sign, so I need to weigh tomorrow to see what's up - HAH! Literally. (That wasn't intentional, but fitting, huh?) What with wrestling with the knee, being behind on all aspects of holiday preparation, and generally feeling sorry for myself, it feels like too much to eat sanely. I know in my head that I'm going to have to deal with the weight gain eventually and that this overeating I'm continuing with right now is totally counterproductive to who I am and what I want for myself; but the self-pitying emotional part of me feels like I just can't restrict myself when I have this knee thing going on. Talk about a shitty excuse.

I've said this before in the last few posts and I'm sorry to keep repeating myself, but it ain't going away. In fact, it's escalating. That's what the slippery slope is all about. So far I haven't baked any cookies, but I have made the outrageous herbed nuts that I give away each year, and the cookie recipes are stacked up on the counter, just goading me to get moving. My kids will eat them, but they'll eat them like normal people. Same with hubby. Just one, 2 tops. WTF??????????? Like someone who drinks half a glass of wine and leaves the rest...makes no sense to me. Addiction, thy name is Leslie.

Back to now
Well - how do you spell RERUN?  While looking for this in my archive, I ran across a post during the last week of the year that noted an AA and rest of the world's piece of widom:  if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting. Or, and I quote myself,

Then again:
"Well, I'd like to extrapolate on that nugget of wisdom: if you stop doing what you were doing that worked when you were doing it, you'll stop getting what you were getting when you were doing what you stopped doing - results."

What does it take to thrown in the towel?  Raise the white flag?  Surrender Dorothy -er, Leslie?  One blog friend who has found lasting peace with food through a 12 step program has gently been sharing with me her experience, strength and hope.  I've resisted this for 3 years after a BAD experience with some food nazis.  But a certain other 12 step program has certainly given me a life beyond my wildest dreams, away from the Groundhog's Day existence of "another day, another hangover".  In the food realm I'm living a broken record of doing the same thing over.  I don't expect different results - I know I'm screwing up -  I just can't "do the next right thing" for more than a few days.

Please pardon my rebroadcast of yesterday's news.  There really isn't much to say and I don't want blog friends to feel compelled to respond to the same old shit every time I write it.  What I do want is to hear congratulations for progress and growth (not the physical kind!), and that I'm becoming someone else's inspiration.  Someday.  Soon?

Monday, December 20, 2010

The pause that refreshes

Your non-blogging blogger here to play catch up after a whirlwind weekend and mucho busy-ness.  I'm actually glad it's Monday - work will pose a nice distraction from all the presents I haven't wrapped, cards and little care -packages for local friends I haven't assembled and the grocery list for next weekend I haven't starting pondering, much less compiling.  Also from looking out the window for the UPS guy to deliver half of Amazon's stock that I ordered over the last week. 

First - may I say that I'm sick of bite-ass cold weather?  Atypically cold, might I add.  The kind of cold where you have to bundle up just to check the mail.  It makes every venture out a mother lode of hassle.  Yet when out "erranding", the stores are so frigging HOT (where's the font that has little flames rising from the letters?) one needs to peel off layers of life giving warmth within minutes of entering any place of business.  Then where to put said layers?  So one leaves the wraps in the car, padding self with gloves and scarf only(for purse tuckability), freezes one's ass off risking life and limb venturing 5K distances through parking lots dodging MFer drivers ripping around for the closest spots.  So this is Christmas.

Eventually it becomes necessary for this gal to intentionally slow down, get alone and unplugged, breathe in AND out, lower the shoulders, close the eyes and just be.  Feel.  Listen carefully for what is my favorite notion from a hymn (?) I recall from childhood - the music of the spheres.

I have no idea where I heard that term, but I love it.  As a kid I thought the music of the spheres was the sound of the earth rotating on it's axis.  But now it becomes the simple sound of silence - ambient atmospheric white noise which expands and deepens when I get quiet enough to listen.  It's the continuum of calm that IS, beneath the chaos, the dizzying activities, conversations, incessant thinking and compulsive doing.  Without occasionally tapping into it through sitting quietly focusing on my breaths, I find myself stick necked, overwhelmed, irritable, tense, and wishing I could wake up on January 2.  How crazy is that?  Actually wishing away days of my precious life and all therein.

Meditative silence affords me the opportunity to regroup, renew, restore.  Without leaving the room.  Maybe even get in touch with my heart.  And soul.  Today.  Not in January when the chaos is over.

Quiet time, meditation - this is an essential components of self care for me that gets mindLESSly shoved to the back burner unless I literally put it on my planner.  My life is booked into incremements of 30 minute to 3 hour intervals of activity, meetings, getting together with friends.  I'm an activity junkie on top of everything else.  And when at last I have a little time - I flip on the boob tube to HGTV or the Cooking Channel - anything that keeps me from settling in with self.  Or the universere.  Whatever or whoever presents when I get quiet enough to see and hear.

My MO of chronic doing becomes yet another form of escape from the dark interior of Leslieland that really isn't so dark.  Just rarely travelled because I avoid it like the plague.  A non-caloric version of stuffing thoughts and feelings.  Fears.  Fill in the to-be-avoided-at-all-costs blank.

This week I intend to find more quiet.  I feel calmer just thinking about it.  I want to bundle up and walk in a local park for as long as I can stay warm and listen to the music of winter nature and the sound of my shoes on the path.  A whole different sound from other seasons.  Self care comes in many forms.  What works for you?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flashback to junior hi

There is no reason I'm feeling blah, but I am.  At least this moment.  It seems I'm hopscotching all over the emotional landscape this week - feeling content one moment, angst ridden another, somber, perky, tired, stressed, resigned, sensitive, excited, snarky, irritable, judgemental, ....add those together and blah seems to be the average.

I don't want to be blah.  It's Christmas time - 2 of my 3 kids are home and doing well.  # 3 is safely in her Peace Corps environment and thriving.  The work of the big party last week is over.  The house looks great. Gift shopping is done.  The first pair of pants I put on this morming fit fine.  I just found out I now accrue 3 weeks vacation per year rather than 2.  Lots of good stuff.  Big whoop.

From the first paragraph's inventory of feelings, what emerges as prominent for where I am right now is sensitive.  Here's the deal...I got several calls from friends who came to the party Saturday night saying how great it was and how much fun they had.  Others told me in person.  I believe them because I was there.  But this morning after my meeting I was talking to a friend, Liz, who was at the party but had to leave early because she was working 11-7 (a nurse).  She said she'd have stayed longer had she not had to work (about 8 people stayed pretty late, just talking and laughing, and word got out that THAT part was the best).  But she'd come with another friend, Donna, who always has a hard time settling in to gatherings like that, and I commented that she'd have had to leave early for Donna regardless.  Liz replied, "Oh I know, when we got in the car, Donna said, "THANK GOD you had to leave early"." 

Now I know Donna's "Thank God" to Liz wasn't about me.  Or the party.  Or my house, or anyone else, other than about Donna.   But it's been gnawing at me ever since I talked to Liz this morning.  Everything isn't about moi, but I'm feeling really annoyed with Donna, and also annoyed with Liz for telling me that.  But I was the one who noted Donna's frequent need to dodge from an event or situation early in the first place.  Liz wouldn't have mentioned it if I hadn't.  See what I mean about junior high?  Why am I so sensitive?  Well....

I've not overeaten at all since Sunday afternoon when I dipped into the leftover sweets from the party.  Can it be that after 2 measly days of normal sane eating, I'm starting to bounce around emotionally?  I pose that question because though I haven't overeaten at all, nor have I wanted to, the thought is constantly with me that this is the time of year to indulge, if ever there is a time for such.  Not that I've ever needed a holiday season for an excuse.  Yet often when I get a run of "good days" with eating (sad to say that 2 days is a "run" right now),  I start to get squirrelly and eating takes the discomfort out of the squirreliness and refocuses my attention on my struggle with food and anger with self over the eating.  This feels like an insight for me.  At least hating myself for being overweight is familiar.  Free floating vague anxiety and emotional discomfort are much more uncomfortable because THEY ARE NOT familiar.  They have been promptly stuffed at their earliest entry into my awareness for years.  YEARS.  DECADES.

Something as insignificant as the junior high emotions noted above send my eating disorder into high gear.  But not today.  Just having written about it here (over the last 2 hours, because I'm at work and only blog between legitimate work stuff) has helped me get a perspective and not feel weird or upset by Donna's words, or Liz's mindless retelling of them.

From my long term sobriety in AA (and life, obviously), I've learned that most of my problems today are related to my thinking.  Not my drinking (since it's been 19+ years afterall).  Or even my eating.  Lack of feeling okay in my own skin is a reflection of all that old pain from childhood forward that is just murky mental memorabilia now - not reality.  The answers are in figuring out what's causing the vague whisperings of anxiety or pain du jour, looking at it squarely and setting it right.  Often that means letting it go.  Sometimes making an apology.  Or accepting that what was, WAS.  And isn't now.  The food thoughts have left, replaced by genuine hunger for lunch that will be coming up in about a half hour.  That's reality I can deal with so I can add another day to the 2 day run of "good".

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar coated

Yesterday after I posted about my virtuous lack of eating much party food, I got into the desserts that were left over from the Saturday night soiree.  Namely a chocolate "bombe" that was utterly sinfully deliciously wickedly worth the calories of the relatively small piece I had, however many they numbered.  I'd had a really healthy food day and just wanted to "try" it.  HAH!  Self, you fell for a line of crap from your inner binge-er who assured you she just wanted to try it.  It had a ganache outer layer, then a lushly moist devil's food cake layer, and an inner core of chocolate cream - sort of light and whipped.  The word orgasmic comes to... er, mind.  I stopped with just one ladylike wedge.  But then this damn red velvet cake started singing it's love call and I had a piece of that too.  Both these confections followed a healthy steaming bowl of leftover vegetable beef soup we had for dinner. 

Now, as binges go for this girl, one piece of each of those desserts in no way constituted a binge.  However, an hour later, I mosied back into the kitchen and discovered a large ziploc bag left by a gal who promised me she was taking it was chex cereal tossed in what I think she said was a melted morass of peanut butter, chocolate chips and something else, rendering each little chex square coated in said morass, and some squares sort of clumped together.  The clumps were REALLY tasty.  To be festive, she'd added some red and green m&ms for holiday color.  Anyway - I had probably a cup of that, then brushed, flossed and went to bed.  A taste and texture media extravaganza.

Can I tell you that all that sugar caused me to wake up with a true hangover - with brain fog and and slightly nauseous stomach.  Even achy all over, and no, I don't think I'm sick.  Other than sick from simple refined carbohydrates, most notably white sugar and God forbid, surely some high fructose corn syrup throw in for good measure.  I felt like total crap this morning.  I haven't had that much sugary stuff in one sitting for a long time.  I'd like to say I'm cured after how sh*tty I felt, but I 'spect it'd all taste just fine later today.  Which is why I took all of it to my morning AA meeting and it all got wolfed down by the masses.  Masses who apparently can eat a small amount and be satisfied (even though they couldn't drink a small amount...hmmm).  Anyway - I'm glad the contraband is out of the house.  I have a fantastic salad for lunch with some white meat chicken.  The hangover is about gone, succumbing to large amounts of water and a healthy Atkins type breakfast of egg whites and 2 strips of bacon.

I have to say that it all tasted good, and I didn't deep end it with any of the 3 confections - well, maybe a cup of the chex stuff was approaching the deep end.  Anyway - I'm just confessing it here so I can let it go.  And it's already gone.  Have a power walk scheduled after work with a friend, and that will further cleanse the body and soul of yesterday's iniquities.  I'm not upset or remorseful.  I was pretty intentional and deliberate about what I chose to ate.  I just don't want a repeat performance anytime soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back from Party Central

I'm just writing a quickie post to say I'm still alive and kicking.  It feels like forever since I posted last (think it was Thursday), and I've gotten a couple of emails from dear bloggers checking to make sure I'm okay.  And I am.  I had my big party with a bunch of AA women last night, so from Tuesday on I was in major obsessing, cooking, cleaning, decorating and not blogging mode!  The party turned out great, but if was a ton of work, even though it was a potluck.

And in case you don't know, AA gals can fix some GOOD GRUB.  I made a big pot of homemade vegetable beef soup and a Pampered Chef dessert creation called a Taffy Apple Pizza that is AWESOME.  Both came out great, or so I'm told.  Believe it or not, I haven't tasted the soup (there's a lot leftover for which hubby and sons are happy), and the "pizza" was gone before I even realized it.  When I entertain big like that, oddly enough I can't really eat.  I guess it's all the running around and getting things for people who brought stuff that they need - you all know what that's like.  I picked a little, and got a plate of food but lost track of it and only had about 5 bites.  IF ONLY I COULD BE THAT WAY ALL THE TIME!!!!!

There was a lot of good food - a huge salad, lots of appetizers, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad with spinach, sun dried tomatoes and feta that was great, homemade hummus, salmon dip, crab salad, and way too many desserts.  There are some leftovers in the fridge that people insisted stay here "for your family"...let's hope the men folk eat all the carby stuff up today, which they will.  We'll have the soup for dinner and hubby will make a salad to go with it.

All in all I survived the week well, and for my weigh in this morning I was down 3 pounds from my weigh in last Sunday for Allan's challenge.  Shocking, except that last Sunday I'd eaten out 2 meals the day before - one Thai and one Chinese!  So the inflated weight I was last Sunday was gone my Monday once I flushed out all the sodium retentioned(?sp) water.  I was 209 Monday, and then 209 this morning.  A maintain for the week feels like a victory.  I know I'm doing these challenges to lose, but not gaining counts for something during the holiday season with party prepping, baking and cooking!

I haven't read blogs since Thursday so I'm way behind on everyone's lives.  Today is all about R and R for this blogger, and holding down the couch with my reclined body is top priority, along with napping, watching Eat, Pray, Love, and catching up on the blogs.  It's raining, so walking may not happen, but if possible I'd like to get that in too.  I really appreciate the friends who checked in to make sure I hadn't stumbled into carbohydrate quicksand and been pulled under. 

I'm determined  to have a good, healthy, tracking and weight losing week, and I will, esp. when hubby and sons get these damned desserts and pasta dishes outta here.  There all so moderate with their eating it could take a week, so I'm employ mom pressure and threats that if the stuff isn't gone by tomorrow morning, it's getting chucked.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, blog comrades.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Out of the mouths of bloggers

I wasn't going to post today, but I just came home from work and perched on the couch to check my blogroll.  Allan had a post that included some pictures of food porn...cakes, cookies...and he spoke of the importance of not eating that kind of stuff.  At all.  Not even "one little taste".

He reminded me of a pamphlet from OA I read years ago called "Before You Take That First Compulsive Bite", about things to consider when food is wooing you and your resolve to resist food's love call is waffling.  I don't remember what all it suggested, but I do recall that it reminded me of what they say in AA all the time, "Don't pick up the first drink. That's the one that gets you drunk."

Whaaa?  One drink doesn't get you drunk.  I oughtta know, and so ought all those other alcoholics that preceded me into AA and kept saying that little ditty to me.  Finally I worked up the nerve to say it out loud..."I never got drunk after the first drink..." and guess what the reply was?  "Try getting drunk without taking the first can't be done."   Hmmm, yeah...guess that makes sense.  So theoretically the only drink I have to not take is the first one; and if I don't, odds are damn good I won't get drunk.

Allan's seemingly simple advice of not even having one little taste of decadence (or a red light food, if you will) hit me right between the eyes.  I don't have to resist the whole sleeve of cookies, and then the salty something that needs to follow the sweet, followed by some creamy cold ice cream that of course necessitates a crunchy nauseum.  All I have to resist is the first bite.

I'm pretty certain that I won't wake up from a binge induced food coma if I just don't eat the one unplanned compulsive first bite.  That's not such a tall order.  Just say no to the first bite.  The initial mouthful.  The first swallow.  Another meal is only a couple hours away.  It'll be alright.  I won't die if I don't take just that first bite.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random tangentia

**Changed the name of post 5 minutes after publishing cuz I thought of a better one, so no you're not crazy**

Question of the day for you healthy food folks:  Do you use an artificial sweetener?  If so, which one and why?  I use Splenda because to me it tastes the least artificial of any I've tried - which is all of them I'm sure.  In fact, Splenda truly just adds sweetness rather than injection evil chemical tastes into food.  Truvia, stevia, aspartame, saccharine, and a few others I can't think of leave a medicinal aftertaste - at best.  In my humble opinion.

But...I still feel vapors of guilt over using the Splenda just because of its artificial status.  Thanks for your input.  I'm just curious, and looking for roll model bloggers to sweep away the dregs of my guilt.


I mentioned last week that prior to decorating for Christmas, my house is in dire need of cleaning and vacuuming.  BTW, can anyone tell me why a dog loses more hair in the winter?  Seems they should be hanging on to their fur coats as temperatures plunge.  Lou has always lost as much in the winter as summer, and the forced hot air heat blows the large puffs of canine thoroughly throughout our humble abode.  It seems I could build a new dog with all the fur a'flyin.  So last week's vacuuming ain't keeping the house clean this week.  Damn.

So, when one needs to get her a$$ in gear for cleaning and decorating, what better way to turn in the screws than  to schedule a party this Saturday night with 30+ of my closest AA women friends?!  Yeah - I put it out to the masses yesterday, certain that many would have previous holiday parties, business gatherings, etc... Nope.  Only 2 folks have said no so far, and several yeses are calling and "reminding" me of gals I forgot.  It could turn into quite a soiree, and it will definitely be fun with meanderings into the hilarious.  One thing I didn't know when I first got sober was that you could come close to expiring with laughter without consuming quantities of alcohol.  No like, I thought my laughing days were over. 

Anyway, it's going to be a potluck and Chinese Pollyanna, where everyone brings a wrapped gift, all of which get thrown into the center of the room.  Each person is given a number, and one at a time get to select a wrapped gift.  Well, the first person's gift is wrapped; everyone else gets to choose between the remaining wrapped gifts plus the already opened ones.  It's really fun, esp. when people get something good and try to hide it so someone else doesn't choose it.  After one round, you go around one more time so all the gifts are "known".

I'm going to make a big huge pot of soup and maybe a dessert.  But with so many people bringing stuff, I'm not going to have to prepare much.  And the cleaning and decorating WILL get done!  I'll keep you posted of the partay details!


I'm just having my new go-to mid morning protein hit I wrote about before...cottage cheese with an apple cut up pretty finely in it, with cinnamon and the aforementioned Splenda.  I realize that last week when I noted that I'm not a huge raw apple eater because of the texture of apples, I was right.  For the last week I had winesap apples, which were perfect (and coming from me that's high praise), both in taste and texture.  I ran out of apples so went to get some this morning and was greeted with a dearth of winesaps, so had to get another kind.  The had Honey Crisps, which I know are THE apple of the rich, famous, and apple loving bloggers, so I decided to give them another try.  I sampled them when they first came out and they didn't move me.  Guess what - it's not moving me today, and IT IS a texture thing.  The flavor is great, but the way it rasps my teeth in unpleasing to me.  I know, could I get any weirder?  Anyway - I'm suffering it to be so with the apple, but the rest of the HCs will be available for the men folk in my house.

Speaking of menfolk, their numbers will be increasing in the household as of this Friday when # 2 son (by birth order only, Jean (my daughter who does read the blog, so don't tell Mark he's #2 in my book) comes home from Atlanta for a 5 week winter vacation.  Hard to believe he is finishing his next to last semester in college!  There's no way I'm old enough to have all kids out of school.

That's about enough rambling from me today.  I'm feeling very Christmas-y and in a good mood.  The eating has been sane, and I've managed to get out in the sub-polar climate to walk everyday since Friday, including at 5:15 this morning.  Boy, the whole weight loss/health/fitness thing is NOT a one-walk have to do it every day for results.  I am trying to find some alone quiet time each day to meditate, or at least try to clear my mind of assorted detritus to see what comes up in terms of old pain and baggage ala yesterday's post.  That's not a one-walk dog, either.  In fact, I've been working on that stuff for many years and still remains "stuff".  But I don't have to wait until I'm all healed to reap the benefits of this journey.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Eavesdropping on a conversation

I had a complete mixed bag of a weekend, but one thing I can say for sure is that I'm back on track with eating, tracking and staying within my calories each day, for today.  Ever since I read a comments dialog yesterday, I've felt better about my process and the nature of how on again/off again it has been for the last year.  More on that in a sec (translate: many paragraphs...come on, you know me by now).

It's literally been a year.  December 4th was the one year anniversary of my first of 2 knee surgeries (arthroscopic, but still big deals in the big picture of my losing weight process) that signalled the slow but precipitous decline in my fitness and weight loss efforts that had begun in earnest in June of 2009.  I was working out at a gym, following an eating pattern that was giving me a very steady and satisfying 1-3 pound per week loss, and feeling positive.  Feeling like the years of struggling were miraculously OVER.  (If I could have typed "over" in a glittered font, I would have - that's how real and relatively easy it was.)  I'd gotten to my lowest weight in 15 years of 192 and was in hot pursuit of the 180s.  I was loving working out.  It wasn't hard to eat sanely.  IT WASN'T HARD. 

The surgeries, one in December, the next on the other knee, in February - did slow me down substantially in the work out realm, but in the beginning didn't derail my eating too much.  Last year's holidays did that, but I still managed to keep the weight below 200 until late January of 2010.  Once I burst back into the dreaded 2nd century of weight AGAIN, I haven't escaped from it.  It's been a steady struggle - good days, bad days.  IT GOT HARD AGAIN.  Feeling absolutely determined every single morning that THIS IS THE DAY I STICK AND STAY on plan.  More often than not, the STICK AND STAY has lasted until late in the day when resolve crumbled and I either binge-ed or garden variety overate.  Truth be told, I feel relieved I haven't gone above 210 other than for a day or 2 over the last months - using the scale as the ultimate "DECIDER" about my eating behavior for any given day.

Whatever I had from June 2009 through last January has been unattainable since.  I've been doing this stuff enough years to know the old adage "it's not what you're eating; it's what's eating you".  My history of substance use to either fill a hole in my soul or tamp down pain of fill-in-the-blank variety is an open book for the long recovering woman I am.  But knowing this is a head function.  Sensing its truth and feeling the impact of my addictive nature is a matter of the heart.  And it's a long 12 inches from head to heart sometimes.  I keep at it and will never give up.  But the crazy making aspects of what this does to my self concept and esteem are always present.

Enter the aforementioned dialog.  It's on Chris' blog, and the link will take you to the post of hers where in the comment section a wonderful discussion ensued between Chris and Deb of DebWillBeThin.  Please read it if you haven't because it's excellent.  Chris posted about this journey to fitness and leanness, and the struggles that we all have from time to time finding our motivation and tenacity to stay the course, but how ultimately we make a decision and then stick to it.  STICK TO IT...easier said than done.  Chris has had amazing success with weight loss losing over a hundren pounds and still counting.  What I didn't know was that she's struggled for a few months but has recently gotten back in her groove of continuing down the scale.  (She's close to "there", imho!) You can read it for yourself.  I'm not the first person to be writing about it after having read it.  It was real, and honest, and helpful.  And did I mention REAL?  I think I'm going to print it out because both these wonderful bloggers said such important, honest and real stuff.  Very normalizing for this blogger here who feels wackier and crazier thatn the rest of humanity most of the time when it comes to food issues.

The elusiveness of the mind/body/spirit connection I had back in 2009 baffles me no end.  I had it, I know I can do it.  Why not now?  Well guess what, Leslie - the same thing has happened and is happening to plenty of other humans.  Weight loss superstars and plain folk like me.  Yes, I need to make a decision.  I made it long ago.  Now what?  Don't give up.  Get honest with self and maybe others about what is eating at me.  Find a way to make peace with the reality of who and how I am and work within my parameters to optimize my efforts at moving more and eating less.  Never give up.  And most of all, at least for this blogger, the SHAME MUST BE JETTISONED OFF.  Shame avails me nothing and actually adds to my burdens.  The luggage of my ages that I carry with me, literally, wherever I go.  I am not the only one with this issue.  I don't judge others for it.  Why judge myself so harshly?  Do you know I'd been tempted to stop reading Chris because of her endless success?  How's that for a plan?  "It's easy for some people who don't have MY issues....".  What a crock of sh*t I sell myself.  We're all in this together.  When one person is having success and positive mindset, some else is struggling.  All of it can help me on my own journey, and most of all remind me I'm not alone.

**added after initial posting** - As I was thinking about the whole addictive eating issue, I recalled a therapist I saw for awhile who dealt with eating disorders.  She talked about how so many overweight women literally "wear" their distress, like a garment.  She herself had lost 80 pounds and had it off for years when I was seeing her - she noted that she sometimes thought of her extra weight as "this dress" as metaphor for "distress".  I think of that often when I survey my own "distress".

Reframing my thinking is essential.  I need to start talking a bit about what's really nagging at my heart and soul.  Because that's where the little girl who wants to binge is and it's going to take a lot more food to keep her silent if I don't start listening to what she has to say.  And that will send me in a direction I don't want to go.

Once again, the blog community provides experience, strength and hope.  I thank every single one of you for that.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hot 100 Update

I'm having real trouble with my blog on my work computer.  My blogroll hasn't updated since early Wednesday.  This doesn't happen at work, and I keep getting messages that I need to update my browser, but at work my attempts to update are futile.  I always have more time to post here at work than at home, but am afraid my posting will somehow not "take".  Gonna try, because I have a busy afternoon and evening ahead.

First, my Hot 100 update.  I realized this morning as I read my last week's update that I didn't even set goals for this week.  Given that I haven't done much in the way of tracking or tallying my calories, I guess that means I don't have to post bad progress!  The reality is I have not tracked beyond lunch at all this week.  I had one afternoon (yesterday) of overeating, but otherwise I know I've stayed within my 1870 calories for my other challenge, Allan's.  I know because I've kept the evening snacking to a minimum, having only 400 calories (actually slightly less) each day after dinner.

The weather has been either torrentially rainy, or ass-freezing cold, so my exercise has been less than usual.  I walked at least 30 mins 3 times this week.  I always aim for 6 times, so that was half baked.  I've been drinking tons of water.  I haven't weighed since Sunday, and I'll weigh again this Sunday.  Almost hopped on today but remembered my blog friends telling me to knock that crap off!  Too much weighing makes Leslie Loonier than Usual, and that's saying something.

For this week coming up, I am stating goals:
1)  Limit after dinner eating to 400 calories.  This amount is budgeted from my maintenance eating amount.  If my total is less (I'm going to try to stay at 1500 total for the day a few days this week), the 400 is part of it.
2)  I'm going to have to track if I'm staying within the calories.  I will do it every day.
3)  Exercise 30 mins or more 6/7 days.
4)  Keep up with 96 oz or more water daily

I don't have much else to talk about today.  Instead, one of our clients and I are working on decorating the bulletin board outside my office for Christmas.  It's a work in progress but we hope to finish this afternoon.  If so, I'll take a picture of it and of my buddy and ever enthusiastic client Carl and post it next week.  The weekend is for that house cleaning required to decorate - then Christmasizing the house.  It's going to be COLD - highs in the 30s, so a pot of pea soup is waiting to be brewed while carols fill the air.  The goal...coziness.  Hope you find some yourselves this weekend.