Monday, December 19, 2011

Shoulda, shoulda, shoulda

Hi friends - Once again I'm starting out with...apologies? laments? excuses?...for not having posted in so long.  I offer none of that today - rather I will say that I'm not feeling my own blog right now because I'm not making any real progress on my weight loss goals.  I'm maintaining at 208, which isn't where I want to be, but I am lacking the motivation at this less-than-a-week-before-Christmas to get back to carb or calorie counting, journaling, tracking or any of the other good habits I know I must incorporate daily to get back to losing.  The one thing I continue to do with no problem is exercise...that's a good thing!

As Stuart Smalley sagely noted in the movie Stuart Saves His Family (which is a hilarious Al Franken movie about a character, originally seen on SNL, who is in 3 different 12 step programs and pokes fun at the whole recovery movement), I'm "shoulding" all over myself these days.  But what I'm shoulding on myself about isn't those aforementioned good practices necessary for consistent weight loss.  Rather I'm "shoulding" that I "should" feel motivated even though it's the holiday season; that I "should" avoid holiday snacks, treats, and the general feedbag I tie on around this time; that I "should" make a command decision to avoid all the succulent baked goods I whip up every year, for "giving away" as well as for my family (read: mostly me).  But my "shoulding" of myself feels obligatory because I'm not really all that twisted up over my weight loss ennui.

As I just reread that paragraph, it sounds as though I'm in a place of despair about where I am right now.  Actually, I'm not, and even that is fodder for self "shoulding".  I "should" be upset with myself right now because I'm just not going to be strict and restrictive with myself at this point.  But I'm simply not upset with myself.  I have 2 of my 3 kids home now with the 3rd scheduled to arrive late afternoon on Wednesday.  The kids are good; hubby and I are good; my job is bothering me less than usual; I love my friends and feel loved by them.  I don't love my weight, but it's been a lot worse.  I'm not eating with reckless abandon, because trust me that if I was - I'd not be weighing a lithe 208!  I'm feeling content in the present moment.  A glance into the near future assures me that I DO desire to resume my tried and true weight loss behaviors - but not 6 days before Christmas.

This sounds like a long apologetic masquerading as an excuse to put off resuming REAL weight loss effort until January 2, and maybe it is.  But it's the truth right now, and I guess that's why I'm not blogging much - no fantastic success to report.  Or even average success.  I miss blogging more regularly, though I'm reading the same blogs I have been for several years, plus a few new ones.  I know I'm not alone where I am now, but I also see that when I read blogs where people are floundering and feel a touch of sadness for or judgement of them - I'm experiencing those same emotions for myself.

So - things are good except my weight.  I plan to hit the ground running January 2, or maybe even first, and I hope to not put on any more pounds prior that have to be lost before I can hopefully begin my final trip down below the 2nd century in Onederland.  And when the spirit moves me to just say no to a tray of cookies being passed under my nose - believe me I will say that no and be grateful.  But eventually, if I really want what I profess to want - to lose 50 pounds - things will have to change substantially.  In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the family, my friends and the season, and keep reading here even if I'm not posting regularly.  It feels like I have a revamping building inside me - but at a glacial pace.

In case I don't post again before the 25th, I wish everyone a Merry, or a Happy, or a Blessed whatever it is for which you feel gratitude and find peace in these last days of 2011.  We really should endeavor to count blessings and take note of all for which there is to be grateful.  Healthy shoulding at its best!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Low carb = Low crabbiness

Best day of the week...FRIDAY

Best time of the best I'm walking through the parking lot to my car to drive away from the grind.  Only about 2 hours away from the collision of these bests and I'm ready.  My job has gotten busier and busier, and I'm actually called to be a REAL NURSE more often than I used to be!  I guess that is equivalent to job security, so I'm not complaining - but weekends are simply divine.  So are week and a half breaks for holidays, which will be coming up soon, and helps remind me I'm not as real of a nurse as I used to be when I worked many holidays in hospitals.  I feel immensely fortunate to have a M-F work week, and the cushy hours of 8:30-3:30. 

Work isn't the only reason I've been out of pocket - actually I've been in pocket, but out of my blogging routine, as has been the case for quite awhile.  I'm not feeling the blog as much these days, but I am feeling - and reading - my favorite blogs, and commenting frequently.  I've been in a knitting frenzy - making socks for Christmas gifts, and a reading frenzy as well.  Where I used to blog as my main method for goofing off at work, I'm now doing either of the above, or playing Words With Friends with friends.  And my 2 daily crossword puzzles are as essential to my well being as my morning coffee.

Anyway - I'm doing well with low-carbing.  I've been taking a day off about every 6th day, but my overall yield is apparently okay as I'm down to 204.  Or it was, before I decided to take a day off yesterday and went rather overboard.  Hmmm, can you spell  d-e-e-p-e-n-d-e-d  it?  Today I'm back on trying to stay at 25 carbs for the day to set the ketosis back into play.

Low carb eating really suits me - everytime I really do it for awhile, I see that it is the best plan for me.  For one thing, I don't have to count calories, and unless I'm being ultra strict, like today, I don't even count carbs.  I know what I can and can't eat to keep my body in the fat-burning mode afforded by low carb eating.  Think liberal Atkins Induction or Phase 1 South Beach - I have monster salads with blue cheese, avocado, bacon bits, olives and the olive oil for dsg with a little of the green olive juice instead of vinegar (though I like vinegar but this is a bit, salty), and by not eating junky carbs I don't retain water at all.  It's going well for now.  I make no promises of not indulging in some forbidden fruit (no pun intended as it won't be fruit!) at Christmas, but I truly don't feel deprived, or even hungry that often, on this plan.  Why oh why do I stray?  Oh yeah, I'm an addict.

I actually rejoined my cadillac gym, dubbed as such by me due to the ridiculous monthly fee, on a month to month basis rather than an annual contract.  It's actually more expensive that way, but if I start NOT using it, I don't have to wait until the contract expires.  I plan to use it through the winter, esp. when there is snow and/or ice on the ground, because this gal will not be taking chances walking on icy patches after a serious fall last year where I sustained a nasty head injury.  Thankfully it was mainly a huge hematoma (about the size of 1/2 an orange on the back of my head where I hit), but it scared the sh*t out of me.  So indoor walking and jogging for me this year.

I'm thrilled to pieces that all 3 of my kids will be home for the holidays.  We haven't been together for 2 years (besides briefly at a weekend wedding in Kentucky last June, but Jean was in the wedding so we really didn't get to just hang out in our little nuclear nest), so it should be great.  It'll also be busy and chaotic, as all 3 will likely have boy/girl friends coming for short stints, as well as just friends.  This weekend I'm going to get the decorations going.  I'm holding off on baking for obvious reasons - for at least another week.  It's hard to resist the plethora of homebaked stuff.  Especially cookies.  I'm a cookie freak - always have been.  Would take quality cookies over cake or pie anytime.

That's it for now.  I wanted to post, but there is a mondo salad staring at me, screaming to be eaten.  So off I go.  Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Takes more than HOPE to help this Food obsessed girl!

Last week I wrote about the return of hope into my mental and emotional landscape that abstaining from bingeing was affording me.  It's still helping me keep a lid on my still frequent (though sometimes they feel constant) food obsessive thoughts.  And this morning I'm realizing something else that is helping me - reading blogs of others whose weight loss journeys are not a linear process from weighing too much to weighing "just right".  For whatever reason (misery loves company?), it really helps to see that even people who have had a lot off success in the weight loss arena still struggle, often mightily.

It also helps to read others' comments to frustrated bloggers lamenting about following their plan 98% of the time and having marginal weigh ins, close feeling snug - whatever.  This morning I just read Helen's post, which was great and REAL as always - and then read the comments people had already posted.  There I found a golden nugget to help me keep on keepin' on...Shelley had  pointed out that even on The Biggest Loser, week 2 weigh ins were usually crappy.  Not being a TBL watcher, I didn't know that, though my 50+ years of dieting has certainly sent me some major clues of that fact.  Anyway, I'm grateful for whatever can lighten my mind and reinject me with determination for just the day - TODAY - to stay the course.

My weigh in today was 206.  Down a pound.  (Actually .8 of a pound as last week's was 206.8 which I rounded up for reporting because I knew when I inhaled the .2 would would probably attach itself back to my waist.)  Anyway - I was not impressed, expecting something more substantial.  Why I don't know because I was anything but perfect in my low-carb eating for the week.  I continue to do better, but feel myself slipping up and thinking about just taking Thanksgiving week off.  WHA?????????????????Am I freaking kidding myself???

And therein lies another benefit I got from reading blogs and comments...maybe I can take TG day off instead of the whole week?  What a concept!  I can honestly say my mind was all over the map this morning, contemplating whether I was just going to surrender to the dark side today.  Reading those comments and Helen's post really helped turn it around for me.  For today.  Tomorrow isn't here so I can leave thoughts of that for when it becomes today.  In the meantime I'm grateful for whatever and whoever helps me stay sane in the only place I can - today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's the HOPE that's helping

Last week at my work was utterly crazy and as busy as it's been in my 7 1/2 years here - thus minimal posting.  By the end of the week as I was driving to my early morning meeting before work, I gazed into the sky and got a clue as to why things were so bonkers with my clients (they'll always be patients to this nurse!)...there was a full moon in our neck of the woods!  I swear that darn astral orb really does exert forces and influences that we aren't aware of.

But I digress...I'm mainly checking in on how I've been doing since restarting, or continuing , my neverending journey to health, fitness and wholeness.  Recall when last we met (last Tuesday), I'd strayed off my very low carb combo of South Beach Phase 1/Atkins Induction, and managed to actually gain 1.6 pounds for the Monday weigh in.  Since that post, I've been mostly on plan, with a few deviations over the weekend, like splitting an order of world class onion rings with hubby at dinner Saturday night, and another bowl of ice crean that somehow found it's way into my belly.  But truly, honestly, I was much more on plan daily, and had zero incidences of bingeing.

The zero bingeing is a biggie for me, because as I've shared with a blog friend who has been so kind and gracious to offer additional support via email (like a therapist!), I haven't abstained from bingeing because I've got this thing licked.  Every afternoon and especially after dinner, my obsessive and addictive brain starts sending me messages to eat one of my favorite "whatevers"...and each afternoon and evening I find myself back in the boxing ring with the obsessive food thoughts.  It's really exhausting mentally and emotionally, and I see (when I'm not instantly acting on the desire to eat) that often I cave because it shuts up the obsessive thoughts.  But caving to the one thought by eating the one "whatever" ALWAYS, repeat ALWAYS (that means every single time) leads me to the next whatever.  Repeat ad nauseum. 

I've said it before - I don't have to refrain from eating a sleeve of cookies; I only have to refrain from the first bite of the first one, and the binge doesn't get started.   How many times do I have to prove this?...well, I'm not going to self flagellate as that doesn't serve me well at all.  But what has helped this week as the thoughts have hammered at my consciousness - mocking me, wooing me, luring me, tempting me?  It's been the sense of hope that I found back a few weeks ago when I emerged from a long period of out of control eating and confessed it all here.  At that point I was 215.8 and had been feeling hopeless about ever getting back the desire to stay in this arena.  Seriously.  Within several days of clean, on-plan eating, the biggest thing I felt was the return of hope and the loss of the daily remorse and misery of putting on something that was getting more snug by the week.

Hope.  I didn't realize how much I didn't have it until it resurfaced.  And it felt glorious and still does.  I'm grateful that God is giving me a glimpse of that contrast between hopelessness and hopefulness, because when the thought of going stark raving binge crazy comes up, I know I don't want to go back to the absence of hope.  Yet I didn't even reconize its absence before during those rough months.

So - while I haven't been perfect, I've been doing so much better and not getting hung up on sharing onion rings and deciding I have to come home and "finish the job" by eating all that isn't nailed down.  Because once I do that one time, the hope begins to dwindle as predictably as sand flowing down through an hour glass.

My weigh in this morning was 207 - down 3 pounds from last Monday.  I'll take it.  I was delighted, surprised and disbelieving when I saw the I told my blog therapist friend, I actually got off and back on the scale 3 times before believing it.  I was praying I hadn't gained, and yet knew I'd doing pretty well and exercising a lot. 

That's where I find myself this morning, and it's a hell of a lot better than where I was a month ago.  Thanks, universe!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The worst laid plan

We have an in-service day today because my workplace happens to be a polling place on this election day.  So not much time for me to craft a prosaic piece of literature for my post today.  Mainly I just wanted to update my progress.

I made the dubious decision to come off very low carb eating over the weekend because I was craving an apple.  Hahaha - as I told a blog friend via email...of all the things I DID eat over the weekend, not one molecule of apple passed through my lips.  I didn't go totally bonkers, but I ended up having ice cream twice, 2 slices of pizza, and several other decidedly OFF PLAN items.  So after my weight last Wednesday being 208.4, it was 210 Monday morning.  But not to worry...I'm back on plan and have already shed the extra poundage which was most likely water weight.  Seems I'm not ready for a weekend break yet so I'm back to South Beach I, and no matter how intense my "apple" craving gets, I'm not coming off Phase I for 2 weeks.  Hopefully.  That's my intention.

Exercise is good, and I still feel the more clear headed benefits of cutting way back on sugar (was 10 days clean and then had the ice cream over the w/e, plus other carby things that surely got my blood sugar reeling).

That's it for now.  I'm feeling a trillionth Day 2 in the works here, and grateful for it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Give me patience NOW

I logged Day 8 clean and still spot on with reasonable eating.  I'm feeling a bit euphoric about this and am striving to remind myself to just stay in the day and not get ahead of myself.  I haven't strung together 8 days in a loooong time.  Eating in this very low carb manor has really put the cravings and food thoughts to bed for now, but I'm wise enough to know that they can be awakened very easily and so am figuratively tiptoeing around myself and my eating disordered tendencies.

Case in point:  As I lay in bed this morning , I was aware of my stomach feeling nice and empty.  Not in an uncomfortable way, but in a "surely this is a good sign" way.  The expectation of another pound down was great, so I decided to get on the scale even though I'd told myself that I should only weigh once a week, or at least no sooner than 4 full days apart.  On Tuesday I was 208.4.  Today I was 208.4.  Huh?  What the.....???  Immediately I felt disappointment, frustration and fear.  My mind flashed me the message,  "well this is lowest I'm going to get, unless I start eating a lot less!...".

About 30 seconds after my visions of weight loss grandeur drained like sand in an hourglass and my crazy thinking went into overdrive, another voice came up and urged calm.  I know I need to keep doing what I'm doing.  No starving, no saying "eff it", no giving up.  Just keep doing what I'm doing.  Pray for patience.  Pray for help. weighing more than every 4 days.  I have committed to not weigh until Monday morning, no matter what.  The scale can become a mood ring for me very easily, and it's verdict on any given day can make or break my mood.  This thinking is part of my eating disorder, and the only way to address it is to regiment it to once a week.  Monday mornings will be good because it will help me stay mindful of my eating over the weekend.  Once a week is reasonable to map progress, and see where I may need to make adjustments.

That's it for today.  I'm 14+ hours into Day 9, and I'm sure I'm going to make it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

There's light in the distance

I sort of left off that last post in cliffhanger fashion.  My intention was not to divide this saga into chapters (boringest book ever), but this is what happens when blogging at work, and then trying to hornswaggle my own laptop away from #2 son who is currently living at home and recently experienced the sudden and total demise of his own computer. 

So - when last we met I'd just had the jolt of scale trauma/drama/oh!mama! and was suffused from within with the deep knowledge that I couldn't continue in the destructive eating pattern I'd been in for months - and if truth be told...for years.  I felt done.  Scared.  Using my knowledge of hitting bottom (and hoping for no trapdoors in that bottom), the first thing I did was literally pray to whomever/whatever is controlling my personal marionette strings and asked for help and for willingness to accept and receive whatever form that help may manifest.  As I told a blog friend - I was hoping the divine source would not send me to a 12 step food program but was/am willing to try again if that's where I feel led.  So far, that hasn't come up at all.  (In fact, it seems just the opposite...)

I just knew that the best action plan for myself was to go cold-turkey on sugar, flour and aim for low carb eating.  This has always been a good plan for me - and I've been doing a sort of merging of South Beach Phase 1 and Atkins Induction.  I began last Wednesday morning, and so far I have stayed true to the plan.  No sugar at all.  No flour or products with flour at all.  No highly processed junky stuff.  Within 48 hours of this my head was clearer, my cravings were gone - caput - and I was stunned that I'd actually been able to get those 2 days.  And I've been on plan since.  Today is Day 8 - a full week under my belt, and my weight was 208.4 yesterday morning - a loss of 7.4 pounds.  I feel better in every way, and it's remarkable how I'm not constantly thinking of food.  Clearly, with my Type 2 diabetes, the whole insulin mechanism is out of whack, and I'm terribly triggered by even one bite of "contraband".  As I've said here many times before, I don't have to resist a whole cake, or a bag of candy - I only have to not take the first bite, and that will greatly help the biochemical piece of my overeating.

So - I'm feeling much better, and the biggest change I am seeing is the restoration of hope.  I'd actually been thinking that I was not going to be able to get my eating under control again and that I should work on accepting myself as a fat person who struggles to be "only" 50 pounds overweight.  I was really mired down in negativity, fear, muddled thinking from endless sugar intake, and inertia.  It feels miraculous that I have a full week clean!  And I feel just the slightest bit optimistic that I CAN get better, find healing and ultimately, peace with food.

But - the BIG BUT...the part that will be the most difficult will be the emotional piece.  Just last evening for the first time I started having food thoughts - no cravings, but just the desire to eat something.  So I had about a 1/4 cup of nuts and went to bed.  The thoughts passed, but not before I sat and reflected for a little while - trying to breathe into that desire to eat and see where it took me.  I didn't unearth anything of import, but I know that there are feelings and thoughts and maybe memories or fears that I've been stuffing.  They will emerge if I don't restart the stuffing process, and it's my fervent desire to not return to that living hell of out-of-control eating.

I'm perfectly content for now with the way I'm eating, but I'm not even having fruit for the first 2 weeks.  I don't trust myself, and since I'm not missing it or craving it, I'm going to take it a day at a time and see if I want to continue with this or add in a few more carb items like an apple, or dried beans or something.  But the biggest thing is that I'm going to stay accountable to a friend in my real world, as well as to a virtual friend who extended herself and her support to me.  And I'm going to be honest.  This current burst of truth telling by me has been motivated by a very courageous blogger, Lyn at Escape From Obesity, who has always role-modeled honesty on her blog.  I'm done with glossing over reality.  It wastes your time and mine, and affords me nothing.

So here is trying to get this 8th day in the can!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The slow and steady decline

If for no other reason than to stop having to see the non-word "supah" in the title of my last post - which was a full month ago, I'm finally feeling like reinserting myself into the blogosphere.  I've been reading my faves and commenting occasionally, but emotionally I've been on a roller coaster of the self-induced kind.  Whoever first said, "Our misery is generally 97% of our own making" was a wise soul indeed.  I've felt out-of-control with self care and thus my self respect has been lower than a snake's belly.  Old shame has been percolating, rendering me vulnerable to even more bad choices regarding self care.

Things at work, home, family life, friends, AA - you know, the surface stuff - have been fine.  But in my own little world, I've been struggling with old behaviors (read: bingeing) for awhile.  I haven't done well really all summer with keeping my food in check.  And of course I didn't write honestly about it here because I was certain I could get a hold of it and turn things around.  What a crock'o'crap.  I'd been relying on my old faithful "Scale Roulette" as a means of "controling" my eating.  If the scale was up a couple of pounds, I tried to rein in my after work and after dinner eating.  When the scale dropped back down the couple of pounds to the less but still horrific # of around 210, I'd relax a bit and fall back into the "eating whatever isn't nailed down" tactic.  Realize this was basically all summer long when wrote here I was doing okay but could be doing better.  Liar liar pants on fire...

In September I tried not buying much in the way of junk food and highly processed stuff as a means of helping control myself.  Well.  It's amazing how creative I can get about concocting bad food choices from relatively few blatantly bad "foods".  Think healthy whole wheat bread with ice cold butter sort of sliced into thin pats to cover the surface and eating that - delicious.  So good in fact, that I'd go back for another.  This while virtuously avoiding peanut butter.  I'll spare you the details, but Scale Roulette got harder, and the required weigh-ins to play the game became fewer and farther between. 

About a week before before we left for California, I white knuckled some semblance of "improved" intake and managed to get down to a lithe 208 before we flew out on September 30th.  (Like 208 is my goal!)  I was relieved that I was back in reasonable territory for the trip.  Good grief.  While there, we literally ate 3 meals a day out - lots of good stuff, but also lots of bad choices (for me - not my skinny husband or skinnier son).  Not to mention a few clandestine forays to local grocery stores or Starbucks for scones, M&Ms (which I honestly don't usually like that much).  It was vacation, and I knew I was "probably" going to gain a few pounds, but figured I'd get back on track (you know, the track I hadn't been on in months) and get it off once home.  By far the worst day was the flight home - 2 stopovers before landing in Philly, so a long day in airports, all equipped with various and sundry eateries of questionable nutritious purveyance.  Over the course of that day, I had 2 different Starbucks scones, 2 different fast-food meals (which I literally hadn't had in several at McD's, one at Burger King - both with fries but NO SHAKES because I was being careful!)...and other assorted candy, cookies (Biscoffs on the flights - I might surrender an arm for a lifetime supply of those)...just totally out of control.

The first morning home, I stepped on the scale after mentally preparing myself for a "possible" gain  (I just laughed out loud as I wrote that!).  What to my wondering eyes should appear but the number 215.8, the highest I'd been since starting this blog.  The date was October 9th, and I immediately set out to turn it around.  But I couldn't.  I'd do well for several hours each day, obsessing all the way about what I couldn't shouldn't mustn't eat, and eventually succumb.  I did get down to 212.4 after the first week, but never got on the scale again until Wednesday, the 26th, last week.  In those days prior to weighing, I was really kind of crazed.  I bought big bags of little packs of Brach's candy corn (for trick or treaters), thinking I'd have 2 little bags each night.  More like 8-10, which probably totalled 80 candy corn - after other late afternoon and evening junk.  I knew I was out of control - a terrible feeling - but I couldn't stop and began to get scared that I was never going to be able to rein myself in again.  I felt pretty desperate and depressed, and getting dressed in the mornings was becoming a huge nightmare because everything was tight.

I could go on describing this - and already have for too long.  Finally last Wednesday I weighed myself and saw 215.8 again.  It shocked the shit out of me and I knew I couldn't continue. 

**This is where I stopped writing yesterday at work (Monday) and was never able to return.  I'll continue now but am going to post this first part of my neverending story's next chapter.** 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Supah quickie

Hi blog friends - I'm aware there is still a malware warning when someone attempts to comment on my blog, so I'm going to figure it out one way or another so I can resume normal blog functioning.  Very frustrating for a non-techie such as myself.  I've read a lot of suggestions but haven't had time to focus on the issue.

We're in California and having a great time.  Our son is doing great, and I have a lot of pictures of him and our adventures to date.  Tomorrow we're off to Lake Tahoe, then San Francisco Wednesday and Thursday.  Hope to share it all here, but not until I get this malware issue tackled.  Happy Monday all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gray lady UP

2 days in a row of posting!  That's a record for me in the last few months.  I'm having a quiet day at work (know that I knocked on real and fake wook for saying that!) and thought I'd update a couple of other things I've talked about lately.

One is exercise - as I said yesterday, I've been doing very well with moving more, and after work I grabbed the dog and we hoofed it for 4 miles at a very brisk pace.  Only problem was that it feels like late July here instead of early fall - it was 82, and humid as a sauna!  My clothes were heavy with sweat when I peeled them off upon our return.  I am ready for highs in the low 60s, damn it!  Then I can really kick some a$$ with fast walking and outdoor moving.  Honestly, once I got home and did some stretching, I just laid on the floor with a fan blowing directly on my underwear-only-clad body for about 20 minutes (sorry for the unfortunate visual that may have conjured..).  I felt drained! 

After a shower and a little more down time I rejuvenated, and got to fixing a nice meal for vegetarian sonny boy who got into Philly about 8:30 last night.  He was a sight for eyes - looking excrutiatingly handsome though in need of a shave (think tennis pro Rafa Nadal - and I'm not kidding), and very happy from a great visit with his sister in the DR.  But also he gave me a lovely big hug, and I shot up a major prayer of gratitude for him, his safe journey, and the fact that he seemed happy to be back!

Mark's return was appreciated most, probably, but the dog, Wally.  Some months back we received Wally at the Atlanta airport from the DR, as Jean, our daughter in the Peace Corps, wasn't able to keep him once she relocated to the capital city.  Wally is a little over 2, and of the countless varieties of canine that comprise him, at least 50% is greyhound.  He runs like the wind, and Mark plays with him all the time - throwing a frisbee that Wally can actually jump and catch in the air.  In Mark's absence, Wally has been stuck with his "grandparents" who walk him and let him off the leash in big fields - but no where near the level of playtime that his "Uncle Mark" affords him.  Mark wasn't in the door 5 minutes before they went out in the backyard for some frisbee in the dark time!

The other thing I wanted to update on is the progress on my new OLD hair color.  Recall a month ago (?) that I finally made the decision to kick the dye bottle to the curb in favor of going au naturel.  Needless to say the gray is making an increasing appearance, esp. since I got a trim last week.  It's taking longer than I expected, but with the colored hair being replaced at the scalp by gray, it's taken on a sort of frosted appearance that I actually like.  Maybe I'll do something temporary once I see how it looks all grown out to maintain that look.  No more permanent dye though - I've sworn it off.  Here's a few pics taken just now - and also because of the humidity my hair is doing this weird wavy thing -

Yikes!  Girlfriend is getting grayer by the hour!  Worst thing to happen is that I'll decide to return to the dark side, but hopefully not.  I stood up so the light was shining right into my hair - my scalp isn't ever as evident as it appears here - let's pray the hair doesn't get thinner as it makes its big transition!

Finally - I had a GREAT food day yesterday - no snacking or bingeing.  Woke up in the middle of the night starving...a friend once told me that when your stomach feels that empty, you're losing weight.  Whatever - I didn't get up and eat anything.  I just revelled in that all too unfamiliar feeling.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm still breathing

I want to check in since it's been awhile.  All is well - this morning I was down another 2 lbs from last week and am delighted about that.  I was a nice round (no pun intended but a good one, yes?) 208 this morning.  My week wasn't perfect but it was much better.  I've been doing a sort of modified WW, keeping a lower carb emphasis when snacking or eating out.  I was home alone this weekend and thus it was easy to just have simple meals.  I've been getting a lot of good exercise, between walking, a Pilates DVD, and occasional riding an exercise bike in the Physical Therapy room at work.

Last time I posted I talked about tracking my thoughts and particularly FEELINGS when a food thought found it's way into my gray matter - which on some days is hourly!  I haven't been writing the feelings, but I have been stopping and thinking about my inner landscape and what's brewing therein.  Just pausing and telling myself that I can revisit the thought of food (and the kitchen) in 10 minutes has been helping a lot.

Seems a craving does have a beginning, a middle and an end.  If I immediately grab food and shove it in at the first instant a craving or desire to eat hits, I miss the rest of the show...don't get to experience the middle of the craving, whatever it may be, and certainly don't get to the end (as in the craving passes) because by shoving in food, the craving and it's driving force (feeling?) are blighted and gone to my conscious mind.  I've actually had a few times of doing the pause and promising my inner binge-er that in 10 minutes we can revisit the food thought if necessary, where revisiting the food thought doesn't happen because I allow myself to discover the feeling, and either talk about it with a friend or just contemplate it for awhile.

I have no delusion that this period of grace will last, but I'm eternally grateful for it right now.  Each day I try something new and find it works - even if it only works 1/2 the time, there is interior change and deepening awareness.  I've been at some despairing places in the last 6 months thinking I didn't really have the desire to get some weight off...I think that despair was generated by a deeper fear that "nothing will work for me" and "this is hopeless".  Intellectually I know that isn't true, but settling into despair enabled me to just wallow and eat.  That phase seems to have passed, and I'm again optimistic about the possibility of real change.

That's it for now.  We leave Friday for our trip to California and I'm SOOOOO excited!!  Hubby is on a business trip until Thursday evening, but tonight our youngest son who was visiting his sister in the Dominican Republic will be arriving back in Philly.  I can't wait to see him.  Things are good - peaceful and pleasant.  I'll take that anyday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Track and feel

Wow - it's been almost 2 weeks since my last post...time flies when you're busy and having fun.  Things have been going well in my neck of the blogdom...and while I don't have a lot to report, I did want to touch base and let you know I'm okay.

The Sunday before last, which would have been August 28th, my weight was 213.4.  NOT GOOD - shockingly so.  Last Sunday it was 210, so things are moving in the right direction, though I'd love it if they'd move faster.  One thing I'm seeing clearly as I am striving to eat with awareness is the value of a food journal.  I'm really trying to stop and think - or more accurately reflect - on what I'm feeling when the urge to eat comes at a time when I'm clearly NOT empty stomach hungry but rather just want to shove something in.  Usually I have to first parse what I'm thinking in order to discover the feeling below the thought.  This takes time - more than the nano-second it takes to shove the aforementioned something into my mouth.  When I take the time to do this, it helps.  Even if I don't get at the content of the feeling/s, at least I can convince myself to put the eating off for a bit and see what happens.

This is where a food journal can really help me.  My track record (no pun intended) sucks when it comes to consistency and diligence with keeping a journal, but possibly that's because I've always tried to be very anal and specific with writing exact amounts of food ingested, etc.  I'm thinking that just noting the occurence of the food thoughts and a one word description of the feeling (or 2 words, as in "don't know") might serve me better in starting this endeavor.  I have a virtual stationary store at home of cute journals and fancy pens purchased for the 87 times I've set out to keep a food journal in the last 3 years, so I need not purchase another.  Beginning to scratch out some stuff in any one of the cuties would be a good start, and helpful for sure.

Other news off the endless diet front include that hubby and I are going to California for 9 days at the beginning of October to see our older son who's working on an organic farm in the Sacramento Valley.  I'm thrilled to pieces because I've never been to California.  Son and hubby are hoping to play golf at Lake Tahoe - I'm sure I can find plenty to do while they hit the links.  We're also planning to get to San Francisco and Reno, where we have a niece and her family.  I'm so excited about this trip, and it presents yet another reason to keep working to drop some more pounds before we leave in a little over 2 weeks. 

Our younger son, who graduated college this past spring, flew down to the Domincan Republic on Monday to spend 2 weeks with his sister - our oldest, where she continues in the Peace Corps.  I Google chatted with them both today, and it sounds like they're having a great time.  Hubby and I feel so fortunate and grateful that our 3 kids love each other and like to spend time together. 

That's about it from me for today.  I think I'll be back to blogging more often again after my recent hiatus.  And I'll keep you posted on my journaling efforts that I may begin this afternoon when I get home from work.  Happy Hump Day, all!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What'll you have?

This idea is 100% entirely, totally and completely bootlegged from Karen's post today.  Thank you, Karen, and my apologies.  Rather than paraphrase what Special K (I nickname everyone in my mind, and Karen is Special K!)  spoke of, I urge you to follow the link and check it out for yourself, if you haven't already.  It's excellent, as her posts and writing always are.

I will expand on her thoughts with my usual perspective that comes from AA.   And this will make more sense if you DO read Karen's post first.  In early sobriety, it's often terribly hard not to default back into drinking when the going, or the thinking, or the living gets tough.  Drinking's what we've done for a long time, else we wouldn't be sitting in an AA meeting.  And it stopped working for us, too - or we DEFINITELY wouldn't be sitting in said meeting.

During my earliest days in AA, I heard a man who was in his 80s if he was a day, suggest that when the thought of a drink comes, to think about how waitress, or bar maid, or server of any kind in a food and beverage establishment will often ask, after you've ordered something, "What'll you have with that?"  There's also the notion of a bartender wiping down the bar and calling out, "What'll you have, what'll you have?"

The old coot went on to say "what'll you have with that" is a very good question to ponder when the desire to drink comes up.  The answer can vary from a hangover in the morning to being locked up in jail to getting a DUI, or killing someone while driving under the influence.  There's a veritable smorgasboard of answers to the question of what I, alcoholic Leslie, will have if I pick up a drink (and it's never one - believe me), and I don't even want to ponder the thought for a moment.  Whatever happens, it won't be good, and my life is fantastic today, having undergone a very slow 180 degreee turn from my drinking days.

Karen's point was about food - and it's the same thing.  What'll I have with the single handful of chips (that turns into the whole bag) or the sliver of cake (that turns into a several hour-long binge)?  Self hatred, shame, self disgust, unhappiness, a sugar hangover, clothes that don't fit...the list goes on and on.

Hopefully, this can be another implement to add to my toolbox of tricks to circumvent the first compulsive bite.  Because if I don't have the first, all those "what'll I have with its" won't be inevitable.  Thanks Karen, for getting me thinking about this.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sorry summer

Thanks all, for the suggestions about the Blogger issue.  I tried unclicking that "remember me" box and it worked - but of late I don't even get that option.  I'm going to keep at it, and if I have a comment I can't resist passing on, I email to the person if the address is available.

I just want to ask a question...what the hell has been going on this summer???  I'm seeing, both in blogs I read as well as in the comments on those blogs, that a lot of us have really struggled this summer - often resulting in regaining some hard fought off pounds.  And seeing others' courage in reporting, I will throw my hat into this rather dismal ring by noting that I too have gain back about 5-7 pounds in 6 weeks.  Not the worst I've read, but bad enough to jolt me.

Part of me takes comfort in the fact that I am clearly not alone in this.  But if I take too much comfort, I can keep these newfound old pounds and add more.  In a New York second.  And it's puzzling, because usually I drop a few pounds in the summer without trying because I'm so much more active.  This summer I haven't been - I quit the gym to save $, and it's been hotter than the hinges of Hades until the last 2 weeks when earthquakes and hurricanes have made their presences known in places they don't usually.

Hey!! Maybe that's it...deep, cosmic, preternatural forces have aligned or collided to get in the way of us earnest bloggers' efforts to lose weight and get fit!  That just came to me as I'm stream of conscious-ing here, but methinks it doesn't hold water.  At least not about myself.

I have had many desires to eat sweets and highly processed crap this summer - and rather than wait out the urges, I've succumbed with the intention of just having "a little", or "one", or "just this one last day"...knowing it's a crock of horse manure to think I'm going to stop at a moderate amount.  I've talked over and over on this blog about the nature of addiction, linking my ideas to what I've learned in my long term sobriety in AA.  But I have been struggling with the desire to lose weight and get fit.  I want to eat less and move more, but when push comes to shove, it seems I don't want it enough to do what it takes to get it.  So I desire to desire to be willing to be willing...  you get the point.

It's really hard to stick to a plan when at the most basic level I'm not feeling desperate enough to follow up my plan with action.  (Do I really need to feel desperate to want to be healthier and more fit?)  For now, I'm praying for willingness and desire to get on track and stick with it when I want to eat cheez-its and other assorted junk food when I get home from work when the going gets rough.  Resisting cravings and sitting in the discomfort of not responding to my food thoughts is like having a muscle that is atrophied from lack of use.  It hurts to move it, but as you begin to exercise it in little ways, it gets stronger and less painful.  My muscle for resisting extra eating is not only atrophied, it's practically dead from lack of action.  But it can be strengthened - I know because I've done it before.

With the atmosphere evidencing early vapors of autumn, I'm feeling more optimistic that I can and will begin more walking, more exercise DVDs, and less mindless dependence on the virtual groaning board that has become my pantry this summer.  Also I've mentioned before that I think I need to join a new (and less pricey) gym, just to get back into the discipline of showing up most days after work and at least doing some elliptical work and strength training.

Motivated by more courageous bloggers than myself, I'm coming clean to admit my sorry summer of sloppy self care.  From 205 in early May, I was 212 on Sunday morning.  And that is with eating plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein and low or no-fat dairy products.  Obviously they are not at the core of my current status.  I can't blame having a 23 y/o son home, because he doesn't eat most of the junk that someone I bring into the house.  I'm not quitting.  I'm in it for the long haul, but it's already been long enough!

Monday, August 29, 2011


I've been out of pocket for a few days due to no electricity (thanks Irene) (it's back as of 2 a.m. this morning) and no cable sevice no internet access at home (still not back - thanks Irene for your gift that keeps giving).  So the last hour here at work was the first time I've been reading blogs and a problem that had been brewing for awhile seems to be getting worse.  I don't know what to do and need HELP, advice, a computer overhaul (though I don't comment as much at home on my laptop so not sure if it's worse on the work computer...).

The problem is that I cannot comment on any blog powered by Blogger now.  When I try, - get the following screen: .  At first it was only happening on a couple of blogs, but now it's on every Blogger blog.  I don't know what to do.  Has the entire blog kingdom blocked me?  Even I'm not so paranoid to think so!!!  My settings don't appear to have changed but I have no idea what to do.  I appreciate any help, suggestions or sympathy you all can muster. 

BTW - otherwise I'm fine :), but I miss my ability to share my extremely sage comments with my peeps!  Thanks for any wisdom or tech assistance you can provide.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The big reveal - and keep your expectations low

Attention young and fair-haired bloggers:   this post will likely bore you to death = be a major snooze.  But it is a cautionary tale that most, if not all, will relate to at some point while on this side of the filmy membrane that separates us from living now and the next realm.  So maybe skim through and file it for when your bodies start to remind you that you ain't the gals you once were...snicker snicker.

I doubt anyone will be shocked to learn that my big reveal is not that I have secretly lost the 50 pounds I've been trying to lose since Hannah was a pup and fooling you all with "woe is me" posts about overeating and such.   There will be no cream puff shots of me in slinky clothes and big hair, proudly displaying my willowy new body.  Maybe someday. 

When I mentioned yesterday that I was going to share something new, what I really meant was that I'm going to embrace more fully something old that isn't  Something I've been wanting to do for a couple of years - something I encounter every single month - actually every 3 weeks nowadays, and at age 58, you know I'm not talking about that special Aunt Flo who used to come around at about the same intervals.  I sent her packing about 5 years ago (or did she leave in a huff?).

To start, Martin Luther once said, "The hair is the richest ornament of women".  Not sure why such a noted religious pioneer was concerning himself with women's ornaments, but he was, afterall, a man.

Yeah, I'm talking hair.  As of now, chemicals used for the purpose of dying hair will no longer touch mine.  I'm done.  DONE.  FINIS. CAPUT.  I actually can't remember how long I've been dying my hair, but it's been at least 15 years.  Interesting to note that I started when I had just the first wisps of gray around my temples and the rest was its usual medium blonde.  But along the way, the gray advanced in its ruthless pursuit for dominion over my head, and quite frankly won the battle long ago.  The appointments with the colorist increased from every 6 weeks to 5, 4 and so on to where even the hoity toity Aveda product used now will only hide the gray for 2 and a half to 3 weeks; so I spend a couple weeks - every month - determining I'm not going to color it any more, only to succumb when things start looking pretty unkept and stripey. 

But this time I'm positive.  I'm ready.  I've done research, actually found a blog about going gray that's GREAT, and in preparation for writing this post even looked up some quotes about hair, and grayness!  It's happening, and with my short do, it shouldn't take too long before I can get a cut and be rid of the remnants of the dyed tresses.  So I thought I'd take a few pictures of where it is now, and then follow with progress shots every few weeks until I'm offically a gray lady.  Or white, or silver, or whatever.  I took the photos of my own head this morning with my iPhone, so they aren't that good, and as I'm wearing no make up and haven't tweezed the brows in decades, I decided to wait until this transition is in the can before doing a full frontal shot of face and hair in decent light.  You're just getting muted tones, and scalp shots for now.

So there you have it.  The graying of Leslie, begun many years ago, will soon be made not only manifest, but visible by all.  The worst thing that can happen is that I'll look awful, but I've never been a very vain person, thanks to certain self beliefs I've had for my whole life (thanks Mom), so I think it will be fine.  I actually think it's going to be more than fine, and I'm really excited about it - finally.  It feels like I'm upgrading my image and embracing fully exactly who I really am.  My affair with dying hair, and paying exorbitant fares for dyed hair, is over.  It's just me and Mother Nature from now on.  Hopefully she'll help me get some pounds off too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It doesn't happen everyday that you suddenly see your computer screen, keyboard, and other objects on your desk start to shake back and forth!!  Especially here in suburban Philly.  We had ourselves an earthquake!

Actually it was Virginia that had itself a small earthquake, relatively near Washington D.C., but apparently it was felt as far west as Michigan, and in Boston, CT, and North Carolina.  And here in Swarthmore, PA, where I work.  Very strange.  Suddenly the most common phrase to be heard in the halls of my agency are, "Did you feel that?"  The forces of nature are remarkable and powerful.  There is little info on the internet yet as to whether buildings or utilities were affected, much less whether there were any injuries or worse.  Hopefully not and that this will be a reminder to us all that we really have very little control over much of anything, other than ourselves.  Anyway - can't wait to see the news later this afternoon to get the whole story.  Any bloggers feel the shaking and trembling besides moi?

I've had a GOOD last 2 days - 4 mile walks and sane eating.  So far so good today, as well, but I know to take it an hour at a time.  Or a minute, when a food thought or compulsion to eat or binge arises.  I'm grateful for every bit of sanity and peace with food that comes, and pray that more is possible if I pause between the impulse to stuff something in my mouth, and the actually stuffing.  It worked just stop for a few moments and reflect on the notion that once I put a bite of something off plan into my mouth and swallow it, dollars to donuts more will follow - and the more may include the donuts!  Or other garbage.

I've heard it so many times, but the other day I read something written by a blogger (for the life of me I can't recall who) about how she treated herself like a garbage receptacle, and it really jolted me.  More like a dumpster in my case.  Seriously - how can I treat the only body I'll ever have with such wanton disregard and hatefulness?  It, and I, deserve better.

I've been writing a post in my mind for a few days that maybe I'll actually get into the virtual world tomorrow.  It's about a BIG change I'm itching to make and coming very close to doing...and that I've mentioned in this blog at least a couple of times over the last 3 years.  I'm feeling excited and anticipatory, and am reading up on this particular upgrading of my image (so to speak).  So stay tuned, and in the next day or so I'm going to talk about it.

In light of the shaky events in the last hour, I'm compelled to say that it's okay to have your head in the clouds, as long as your feet are on solid ground!  (excerpted from The Big Book of AA - where else?)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pickle anyone?

I had a really nice weekend.  I took a sick day Friday and spent much of it with my almost 23 (at the end of this month) year old son - having lunch out, then hitting the local going-out-of-business Borders (so sad to see that company have to fold after 40+ years) to see if the REAL markdowns have started happening (they have!), and then a romp through Tar-ghay for countless items we didn't need but couldn't live without. 

Saturday I got lots of exercise - in the form of a 5 mile walk and then some CD led Pilates in my den.  By Sunday, my abs and other assorted core parts were achy in the best way - I really felt like I'd done something constructive for my body, and that made me more determined to keep it up and get back on a regular exercise schedule NMW (no matter what).

Saturday afternoon I went with some girl friends and saw The Help, which was wonderful.  Such a great story - only slightly altered from the book.  It was a movie that included laughing and crying - my favorite kind.  Wonderful performances, great period costuming and sets (cars and buses from the early 60s).  Highly recommended.

Yesterday we had torrential rain all day long, to the point where our back yard had so much water that it was looking like the Everglades, minus the gators.  It was a perfect day for watching mindless Lifetime and Hallmark movie channel movies and reading, which is what I did.  Sometimes days like that can make me want to graze all day, but I did pretty well staying on track with good food choices.   I did end up have 2 ears of fantastic corn on the cob with dinner rather than the one I'd planned, but that wasn't too heinous.  It was the bicolor corn from a local farm and it was like candy - sweet, succulent and delish.

I want to talk about something that I think I may have posted about a couple years ago.  As is often the case on my blog, this notion is inspired by something I learned about in AA, which I'll get to in a minute.

There are many of us in the blog community striving to either lose weight or maintain weight loss, as well as to get as healthy and fit as possible.  Many folks have lost weight and done great maintaining for years, and find they can successfully adopt the intuitive method of eating once they reach their goal weight and strike a good balance of eating and exercising.  Then there are others who've found weight loss and fitness but quick to say  that they will always have to work at staying in their desired range - that the tendencies to turn to food in times of emotional turmoil or other stresses remain long after the weight has vanished.  In other words - for some, the fight is over once they "learn" how to eat healthfully and move enough to burn fat and tone muscles.  For others (most?), maintaining will always be a fight challenge.

In that 2nd category there is a sub group that are true food addicts...a tribe of which I'm unfortunately a member.  (Hey, I'm not complaining, just stating fact - I could have a lot more serious, limiting or life-threatening diseases!)  And this leads me to the aforementioned nugget of wisdom I learned many years ago when I first started going to AA, which is this:  Once a cucumber is pickled, it can't go back to being a cucumber.  

In AA this relevant because once a person's drinking has become alcoholic in nature, it won't go back to being "normal"  - ever.  I recently shared with you guys that I celebrated 20 years of sobriety.  That's a shitload of sober time.  But it isn't enough, nor will any amount of time be enough, to enable me to successfully drink alcohol again.  Not a civilized glass of merlot with dinner.  Not a shared pitcher of beer with a few friends.  Maybe I could have one glass once or twice, but dollars to donuts, once I put alcohol in my body, it's a matter of time before I'll be back to the races again.  I'm pickled - and no amount of time out of the pickle jar will render me a simple cucumber again - or a simple normal drinker.

The same is true with food.  I've proven this to myself about a quintillion times.  Lose weight.  Feel great.  Add back in certain foods that have ALWAYS sent me back for more - and off to the races goeth I.  Sad but true.  I KNOW THIS.  Maybe that's why I'm so resistant to ultimately power through my cravings and food thoughts and get this weight off once and for all.  Because there is no once and for all.  There's only one day at a time and I will never be able to totally relax and eat the way I'm hard wired to eat.  Knowing that is helpful, I think.  But not helpful for losing the weight.  It's helpful in that it cuts through my denial, and my wishing I was not this way.  It convicts me with responsibility for my own well being.  I know how to live without one of my substances a day at a time.  And I know that if I can do the one, the other is within my grasp IF I REALLY WANT IT.

These are just thoughts - triggered by a couple of blogs I've read lately where people with similar issues to mine are pondering how to proceed on their respective journeys.  I'm just realizing that if I want to get on down the scale and actually get there, it won't be the end.  It will be the beginning of more one days at a time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I heard something at my AA meeting this morning that sort of caught me off guard and therefore went straight to my solar plexus - translate:  the truth hurts.  But it also informs, so here it is.

Interestingly enough, it was my sponsor and dear friend Lisa (who continues to defy the odds and the medical profession with her insistance on not succumbing to Stage 4 lung cancer for over 3 years now) who said the words that rang all too true in my ears.  There had been a speaker at the meeting who told their story (of drinking, and then getting and living sober).  Typically after the speaker is finished, there is general sharing from the group for the remaining 30 minutes or so.

The speaker had told about his numerous aborted attempts to stop drinking both in and out of AA.  Now he is on solid ground and seems to "have it", but he talked about how he'd get a few days, weeks or months sober and then the relapse would happen, seemingly out of the blue.  Or was it "out of the blue"?

It's often said that a relapse usually happens long before the actual picking up of the substance.  Maybe it's complacency, or stinking thinking, or a resentment about someone or something that is gnawing at the recovering person.  Also could be thoughts of, "I think I have this licked now...", or just getting tired of doing what it takes to find and maintain sobriety.

Anyway, many people who shared after the speaker told his story seemed to focus on that aspect of relapse and deciding to pick up after a period of time.  And then my sponsor talked about how while she was in the revolving door of early sobriety where she was relapsing frequently, she always noticed how once she decided she was going to drink - either immediately or a few hours later, her entire mood shifted and she'd be starting to feel lighter and happier even before she ingested any booze.  Anticipatory buzz?  Just knowing that it was coming sent the addiction switch from OFF to ON.

Well.  I could relate to that as I thought about my countless attempts at stopping drinking before I finally stuck and stayed in AA.  But more than that, I could identify with this from the perspective of trying to rein in my overeating and bingeing.  Just yesterday (the day after I was feeling pretty optimistic about my process), I was at work, feeling annoyed by myriad things at work that were, well, annoying - and I "decided" that when I got home, I was going to have one napkin full (a good sized handful) of BIG Cheezits that my son bought.  And do you know that once I decided that, my frustrations, annoyances, and irritability sort of melted away and I became the rock star nurse for the rest of the time I was there - funny, visiting the various classrooms to hang out and "work" the rooms with joie de vivre and enthusiasm? 

UGH.  It was my anticipatory buzz - and even though I contemplated NOT eating the Cheezits, (because before they were "on board" I still had the choice to not eat them as opposed to after the first bite when the choice was gone because the flip was switched), I DECIDED to eat them, knowing full well that would likely be the beginning of an eatin' evening.  And it was.

Hearing the discussion at the meeting along with Lisa's remarks about lighting up just at the plan of the later drinking hit me right between the eyes.  Yet another window into addiction in general, and my food addiction in particular.  More keeps being revealed.  Good news and bad news.  But I'm not going anywhere and I'm not quitting.

Thanks for letting me share.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Maybe, just maybe...

I had a good weekend with food and exercise. Actually a better 2 consecutive days than I've had in quite awhile. I got 2 long (over an hour each) walks, as well as spending about 3 hot, humid and very sweaty hours doing yard work yesterday. My food was good - not sugar free as I continually talk about trying to do, but with absolutely no overeating.

My vague sense of funkiness and anxiety has also shifted substantially, as it always does, despite my impatience for that to happen. What began the turn was getting to my meditation group last Wednesday evening for the first time in a month. It was so helpful to sit with other folks and just focus on my breathing for the nano second before THOUGHTS intruded, at which point I just returned to breathing. About 30 times in the 20 minute sit!

A friend from AA who has been a meditator for many years actually told me that in the getting still and quiet, she's able to finally observe her feelings - giving them recognition and acceptance that yield valuable information about ourselves, not to mention peace in the present moment. For some reason, I'd been resisting my feelings of antsiness and discontent. You know what they say...that which we resist persists. I've proven this to myself dozens of times - running away from the still small voice within seems to be my default setting, and it never works. I'm grateful that some higher force in the universe allowed me to break through and show up for meditation. The reason it had been so long since I'd been was because I was RESISTING it...out of fear? Dread? Who knows - but the weeks I missed, I had any number of excuses that sounded nothing like the truth!

Not much else from me today. I'm thankful to feel lighter, more content, and more anchored in the world here and now, as opposed to running from the present moment with worry about the future or guilt about the past. It's nice to start the week in a good place.

Friday, August 5, 2011

20 big ones

I'm here to share that today is my AA anniversary.  I am celebrating 20 years of continuous sobriety, and my gratitude and wonder at that fact know no bounds.  I'm darned proud of myself, though I could never have done this alone.  Never. 

While I wasn't an under the bridge drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag when I was shown the way into the rooms of AA and started the most important journey of my life, my bottom was low enough.  Pretty early on in my sober journey, when I still wanted to drink every day and was holding on by the skin on my teeth, I would say to people in the program, "Maybe I haven't hit bottom yet".  I was hoping against hope would tell me that it would be okay to drink if I hadn't hit bottom. 

Guess what?  Nobody said that to me.  One day a woman responded to my glib and hopeful proclamation about not having hit bottom, "Well, the bottom goes all the way down to death.  But you can get off on any floor you want." 

Sneaky folks, those AAs.  They have an answer for just about any BS a gal (or guy) can sling.  The answer is that there is a solution to the problem of alcoholism that begins with not picking up the first drink.  They don't promise a charmed life, abundant wealth, new cars, jump started careers, healthy happy relationships...the only guarantee I was ever given when I started attending meetings was that I never had to hurt from alcohol again.  And I haven't.  Life is still life - with ups and downs.  But there is no circumstance I will ever encounter that will be improved if I pick up a drink.

I'm status quo-ing along with my eating - no bingeing, and making better choices.  If I can acquire continued sobriety for a day at a time, I KNOW I can find peace and sanity with food as well.  It may be  trickier in some ways, but the basic principles apply.

I can never give back to AA all that I've been given.  The most important thing is for me to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.  Beyond that, anything is possible and things work out as they are supposed to.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Okay - so I was beating myself up

Thanks to all the kind commenters yesterday for the encouragement, support and tough love you extended to me in response to my true confession # 42,346.  A couple folks basically said I was WAS being hard on myself, daring to contradict my protestations to the contrary.  Of course you guys were/are right.  My default setting is to over-own my piece in my own struggle and misery to the point of self pummeling, and that isn't productive.  So thanks again for the wonderful fellowship of support and motivation.  You're the best bunch of bloggees a girl could ever know! :)

I had a much better day yesterday.  Lots of water, a little exercise, no overeating.  Dinner was leftovers of homemade manicotti (of which I had one), low-carb meatloaf (of which I had about 3 ounces) and about 1/2 cup of potatoes and onions sauteed in a little butter.  Talk about ANTI Low Carb!  I need to stock up on fresh veggies which I'll do after work today, so I have no more of that kind of carbo-manic dinner.  While it was not a day of overeating, my dinner could have been saner.  But I had no seconds and very menial portions so that was a lot better than other days of late.

Just coming clean about where I am knocks some of the shame and isolation out of my day, which is where the blog is so great.  I'm still not really feeling OA meetings, and I can't really share about eating at AA (other than in passing), so the blog is a great outlet and I so appreciate people I've come to know and respect telling me when they hear me slinging the BS I'm so prone to conjur up in my wacky brain.

Here's to a good day today for all of us.  It's my intention (there's that word...) to stay more accountable here as to how I'm doing, even if I'm eating 2 cakes and 4 pies every day - which it's NOT my intention to do!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who am I kidding?

New month, new resolve.  New commitment to honest and consistent reporting.  New accountability.  Weight today - 210.2.  In the last month I was as low as 206.2, and high as 212.

It's not that I've been doing "bad", but I haven't been doing "good".  I read on a blog recently (can't remember which one) that maintaining at a place that isn't where one wants to be is not the victory I can fool myself into claiming it is.  "At least I'm not gaining" is about the sorriest excuse I've heard, and one I've used too often.

That's what I've been doing - maintaining at a too high weight, but still a good bit lower than I used to be.  When I maintain at an unhealthy weight, progress isn't happening.  I'm still eating too much and moving too little to travel in the direction I want to be going.

Can I tell you how sick to death I am of confessing this crap ad nauseum, every few weeks or months?  I'm wondering if I need a frontal lobotomy, except that wouldn't remove the big belly that is out front.  I'm soft and doughy and not happy about it.  I really feel like I don't want to keep blogging when all I do is vow to do better and then do worse.  But if I give up blogging, that will remove one of my best support systems, as well as bringing me closer to giving up and accepting my "fate" of being less than/more than I want and know I can be.  I'm not going to stop blogging, but I sure would like to become a success story rather than a never-ran.

I'm also in a bit of a funk and not sure what is at the core.  One thing I do know is that at some level my stringing myself along with just enough overeating to maintain my too high weight is a strategy that isn't working to ease my anxiety and distractedness very much.  Unless it's occurred to me that if this eating I do is keeping my anxiety and funkiness at bay, what might it be like if I 86 the eating?  Would I be even more antsy?  I really have no idea what my current yuckdom is about, but it will pass.  It always does.  Eating it down only gives me another thing about which to feel like $h*t.

In the meantime, I think my poor decisions about what I'm going to put in my mouth and what exercising I'm not going to do aren't helping at all.  In fact, they are contributing to the funk.  I really know that.  Add that to also not sticking with my meditation that helps me quiet my racing mind SOO much, and you get what you're reading here.  A mish mash of frustration, fear, envy, self doubt, restlessness and irritability.  Don't try this at home as it's very unpleasant.

So I commit again.  I'm writing down my food for today.  Wednesday I can return to my meditation class, though a class is not essential for meditation practice.  Useful tools:  willingness to show up for myself, without tv, music, noise or self sufficiency,  the ability to trust that I'm not just going to be okay eventually but that I already am okay, just as I am today,  trust that the process of regrouping and recharging is as alive and well as always even though I've not been availing myself of them. 

I could go on and on.  You know that.  I'm getting tired of being the poster child for "Don't Let This Happen To You", and only I can remove myself from that picture.  I'm not beating myself up but I am really embarrassed to be posting this kind of stuff.  Again.  For the umpteenth time.  Better to share it than to hide it.  So to myself I say, "Come out, come out, wherever you are".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Drabs and dribs

It's high time I put something up in place of the birthday post!  My birthday was very nice - I left work 45 minutes early and watched about 6 episodes of Arrested Development with youngest son.  Quite hilarious, but I recommended it to one friend who reported back to me that it was "weird and stupid", and "not funny".  Interesting because I told her she wouldn't like it, knowing her sense of humor is no where near as demented as mine. 

Anyway, (it doesn't take much for me to digress, si?) then hubby and son and I went to dinner at a lovely BYO that had been recommended, and it was great.  Pricey, but delicious and worth the $$$$.  I'm just thinking I should have taken pics of our meals, because they were so artfully presented, but I've gotten out of the habit of doing a whole lot of blog pics.  I should reinstate more pics for visual interest, and less of my blathering!  I had broiled scallops along side of a small light and custardy corn pudding - to die for!  Also had an arugula, goat cheese and strawberry salad with a citrus vinaigrette that was also great.  I actually recreated it last night for dinner, though I didn't get the dsg. quite right.  It was good, but missing something.  I'll keep working on it.  Because of the prices, we decided to forgo dessert at the restaurant and headed to the local Rita's for water ice.  It was the hottest day we've had in years (104), and water ice was one of the few things that could cool us off from the inside out!  It was also many fewer calories than some of the desserts they offered would have been.

Hubby and son gave me nice presents - sonny boy gave me the first season of the show Dexter, which is one I've been wanting to watch and can't find at the library.  Has a pretty dark theme, but as much as I love dememted humor, I also can enjoy a little darkness on occasion.  Have any of youse seen it?  (Every once in awhile I like to toss out some Phillyspeak for ya!)  My son, who knows me very well, assures me it's right up my alley.  My favorite show of all time was Six Feet Under - also dark, but fantastic.

Because of the heat, I haven't done much walking, and it's making me nuts.  I did a Leslie Sansone DVD a couple of days just to get moving, but it doesn't give me the great feeling that a good 5 mile walk outdoors does.  I'm not trying to wish away time, but I'm looking forward to fall weather in a few months.  I really feel like I need to join a gym again and am kind of regretting having terminated my membership from the Cadillac gym I went to.  It was great, but $90/month, plus extra if you signed up for classes.  I know I can find a perfectly good gym for less.  Will keep you posted on my search.

My food has been pretty good.  Still not sugar free, and the fact that I am currently finding myself not able to leave it out completely tells me that's exactly what I need to do.  Between the birthday, a baby shower this past Sunday, a friend bringing me homemade cookies, I'm just not WILLING to do it right now.  Defiance rather than denial seems at the core here.  I'm not bingeing and that's huge for me.  But not enough.  I'm not self-flagellating here - just being honest.

I've just started reading The Help, fully aware that I'm probably the last person in the free world to read it.  It's great, and everytime I have a few minutes free at work, I open my desk drawer where I have the book and read a few pages.  I love nothing better than having a book I can't put down.  So that's what I'm going to do now, since it's thankfully a quiet day here.  Anyone reading anything good?  I have a big stack waiting but always appreciate new titles! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's just a number!!

Hi all - I promise to be brief here, for once.  I just want to check in and say I'm doing okay with the food, no bingeing but still not finding abstinence from my trigger stuff, and likely it won't happen today because......

Today's my birthday!!  It's not one that ends in a 5 or worse...a 0 - haha.  The next "0" for me will be in 2 years, and it will be a humdinger!  Actually, I don't mind any birthday, because I'm tickled pink and GRATEFUL to be alive and have the rich and full life I do, with a fantastic family, great friends, a mostly tolerable job, and this wonderful blog community, many of whom actually bother to read what I write!   I'm 58 today, which at one time sounded ancient - now it sounds like late middle age (not really, though I still feel pretty young).  My kids love to tell hubby and me how old and dotty we are now, though I know think they actually believe we're pretty cool old folks, and right they are! 

Anyhoo - no big plans for the day other than surviving this Friday of 102+ degrees (some predictions say could go to 106 - ack!).  Hubby, youngest son and I are going to a new place for dinner that's supposed to be good.  I'm not going crazy, but I know I'm having dessert.  Don't judge - old people such as myself have to keep up our strength.  hahahaha.  Tomorrow some friends are taking me out for breakfast, which won't involve any sugared items though.

I also want to note that when I said in the first paragraph that "I'm still not finding abstinence from my trigger stuff (of sugar and white flour products)", I am fully aware that abstinence isn't to be "found" - it's a tool to be WORKED.  I had about 5 consecutive days about 10 days back, and then had a few cookies at a party - with full knowledge.  No binge, but not abstinence.  Any overeating I get into results from those forays into "just a bite" of something.  Abstinence is on my planner - but not today. 

I'll weigh in Sunday morning and report back.  Earlier in the week I was down a couple pounds - if I can maintain that through until weighing, I'll be delighted.

Finally, thank you Vickie from Baby Steps V who actually remembered my birthday!  You have a great memory, Vickie, and I appreciate it. ;)  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fear Factor

I haven't forgotten about blogging, nor have I gone over the deep end with eating.  My food has been pretty good.  No bingeing, though I have had some items with sugar, so I can't claim abstinence from trigger substances.  Happily haven't been triggered, but I know that the result of ingesting a trigger food can happen days or even weeks down the road.  Whatever - I'm okay today and happy to have not had any binges since my post last Thursday.  I'm not expecting to get too many miles in walking this week as the forecast is that it will be hotter than the hinges of Hell - but I can do an exercise DVD if I get off my sorry ass the spirit moves me.

Perhaps one thing making it easier for me to resist the siren call of overeating right now is the fact that I have a mild toothache on the upper right side - the last molar in the back.  It's been subtle and on and off for about 9 days - disappearing completely for a couple days and then asserting itself into my consciousness for a few hours here and there.  It responds perfectly well to ibuprofen, but I haven't had to use it more than once a day, and not even every day.  But I know this isn't going away...

This doesn't sound like a big deal except for one thing...I'm dental phobic.  Or should I say DENTAL PHOBIC, as in terrified of going to the dentist.  My dentist is a lovely kind funny man who caters to cowards - and yet I tremble at the thought of even picking up the phone and making the app't.  So I haven't.

I didn't grow up being this way.  One of my elementary school classmate's dad was the dentist to the masses at Madeira Beach Elementary School, and I had perfectly fine visits with him.  No fear, no pain, no emotional trauma.  I never needed braces.  I'm not sure when this all kicked in but I think it was when I was living in my mid 20s and went to a friend's boyfriend who had just opened his own dental practice.  I'm sure he was perfectly well trained and competent, but after working to do a root canal for 2 hours, he informed me, "I can't save this tooth," and ended up pulling it out.  That may have been the inception of my phobia.

Anyway - I need to call and get an appointment.  But the thought of having little metal items picking at my teeth literally sends shivers up my spine - I have goose bumps just typing about it.  You can imagine that feeling as I do about the dentist means that I'm slightly over due for a visit - like about 4 years!  I'm not this way about anything else.  I was just telling a work friend about my phobia, and she said she'd rather have a C-Section than go to the dentist, to which I replied that I'd rather have an unmedicated vaginal birth - and I'm not kidding. 

Am I the only blogger with this affliction?  And are you thinking that I'm the MOST neurotic blogger, if not human being, EVER?  I guess I need a pep talk, but no horror stories, please.  I have to make this appointment in the next day or so - maybe for next week to give me time to wring my hands and gnash my teeth in fear.  Thanks for listening!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I have good news and good news

Good news # 1 is that I did stay entirely sugar free and white flour free yesterday!  It's the first in quite a long time.  There have been plenty of days when I didn't binge from eating sugar and/or related high processed crap, but any day I did binge it followed ingestion of the first bite of the aforementioned evil stuff.  Coinkydink?  I think not! :)

Even after one clean day, I woke up feeling a little more energetic, less fogged in before the coffee that helps chase the sugar haze away, and very grateful!  The journey of a thousand years begins with the first day.  I'm not shooting for a 1000 years, but now I'm shooting for Day 2.  Will keep you posted.  I just effing KNOW I can do it.

Good news # 2 is that I've "discovered" (from many blogs) about how you can mix uncooked old fashioned rolled oats with yogurt (or milk, which I hate so would never try) for only 10-15 minutes, and the oats take in enough moisture to soften and become kind of doughy and VERY satisfying to this blogger! 

I've read several blogs where people make overnite oats, mixing equal parts oats, milk and yogurt in the fridge overnight, but it never occurred to me to try it because I thought it would be a too-cold gloppy mess that would bother my sensitive teeth.  I like my oatmeal hot, but this summer I've been burned out (no pun intended) on hot oatmeal, and wasn't having luck finding a good cereal to mix with yogurt that had high protein, fiber and no sugar.  Then I read in one of my regular blogs (can't recall whose) about how the oats just need 10 minutes to achieve yum level of mushiness, and yesterday I tried it.  LOVE! 

I used 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup Trader Joe's Greek nonfat plain yogurt with a splenda, and a cup of fresh pineapple.  It was definitely a thick glooping goopy mess, but just right for me!  I think I'll be doing this for awhile, and hopefully I'll keep finding good fresh pineapples because the taste and texture with the glop is perfection.  Oh - and I added a skimpy Tbs. of chia seeds which made it heavenly grainy too.

Hopefully you're not gagging at the thought of this concoction.  If so, just breathe in and out slowly for a few, and it'll pass.  I'm just always excited to find a breakfast combo that suits me and so this morning when I woke up, after reflecting in wonder over my first sugar free day, my second thought was to my mix.  At least for the moment my food obsession is focusing on a healthy item!

Good news # 3 (bonus) is that we have an absolutely perfect, beautiful late spring feeling day today, with no humidity.  High in low 80s!  We'll have a few of these before the next heat wave, and I'm taking advantage.  I plan to walk my 5 mile loop this afternoon as soon as I get off work.

Finally - I'm curious.  I'm love carrots, but confess to being a carrot snob.  I hate baby carrots.  They don't taste near as good or have quite the same crunch as good old California REAL carrots.  But a friend told me I'm ridiculous, so I'm taking a very scientific poll:  Baby Carrots or Adult?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do you have reservations?

Actually, I do have a few...reservations, that is.  Not about losing weight...of course I want to lose weight.  But truth be told, I'm realizing that what I'd REALLY like is to be struck thin, much like I'd like to walk out to the mailbox and find a decree informing me that a long lost relative had bequeathed me his/her entire multi-million dollar fortune, and I only had to go to Lawyer X's office to collect.

Obviously neither of these things is going to happen.  But if I could choose between the 2, I think I'd pick being "struck" thin, as I'm fairly certain I'd handle being thin a lot better than being rich.  Or would I?

I walked my local state park's 5 mile loop on Saturday, just me and canine Wally, and thought a lot about abstinence, 12 step programs, weight loss, overeating...all the things I've been talking about lately.  And it occurred to me that while I am certain about wanting to lose 40 pounds (though 30 would be great), I'm sketchy about wanting to do all that it might take to actually lose them, at least given my recent and current mindset about accepting my food addiction as a real entity that needs special unique attention of the 12 step or Overeaters Anonymous variety. 

There are aspects of the weight loss journey that I don't resist.  Exercise is one of them...I genuinely enjoy exercising, walking, the elliptical, strength training, etc.  I've never minded exercising.  I also am pretty good about food prep on Sundays for the week ahead.  I love healthy food - veggies, fruit, lean protein, whole grains.

The part that I still know I'm resistant to is giving up certain things like sugar and white flour.  First, the white flour:  I haven't bought white bread EVER, so it's not that kind of white flour product of which I speak.  It's the crackers, chips and other junk not so healthy items that are purveyed as snacky foods.  For many folks, that stuff truly isn't entirely "junk", because they can enjoy it in moderate amounts, whatever that term means. But for me it simply is, because I know and accept that I can't eat it without following with a binge soon after.

Same with sugared items, of which there are countless.  Some masquerade their high sugar content in things like ketchup, barbecue sauce, high fiber cereal, and of course the more blatant presentations of cookies, cakes, pies, candy.  Duh. 

Again, I KNOW.  I ACCEPT.  So when I decide to have a serving, or a bite or a taste of any of those things, I don't even bother telling myself "THIS time I'm stopping after this taste."  Nah, don't go through the false denial act, because I know what I'm doing when I do it.  I'm choosing to give myself carte blanche to eat what-I-want-that-isn't-in-my-best-interest for the rest of the day.  With this behavior, the best results are when I hold off til after dinner, because I'm always in bed pretty early (from being up at 4:30 each day) and the time frame of my getting into other stuff is short.  And I can honestly say that once in awhile I can eat a known binge food and not get triggered, though usually that's not the case.

In order to lose the weight, I am going to have to abstain from those red light foods.  I want to lose weight, so where's the disconnect?  Is it not what I'm eating but "what's eating me"?  This is where my title comes from...what are my reservations about?  I'm not sure and I'm not coming up with much.  Is my weight "working" for me somehow?  I don't think so.  Am I just heavy but not so much that I'd rather stay where I am and keep enjoying stuff that isn't good for me?  My size 16 body is definitely overweight, but it's better than the 18-20 I was at my highest weight several years that what's at the core of my resistance?

All this thinking isn't getting me anywhere.  I know from AA that it's more likely to act your way into right thinking than to think your way into right acting.  I'm living proof, and as I've said before, I really won't have access to my inner landscape as long as I'm periodically bingeing and stuffing my thoughts and feelings. 

My intention for today is to eat no sugar or white flour.  I will be back tomorrow to report honestly that I did (or whatever the truth is) achieve that goal.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Important things

I wish I could say this week has set me firmly on a new path (or that I've set myself firmly on a new path) regarding overeating, but alas - not yet true.  I still find myself thinking about food waaaaay too often, especially when I'm not eating it.  It feels like food thinking is synonymous with breathing for me at times

This reminds me of obsessing about alcohol when I first stopped drinking...I actually ranted at a meeting one night that I felt wackier than I was when I was drinking, because at least THEN I wasn't utterly tormented by thoughts, plans and fantasies of drinking.  I also told THEM (those other drunks!) that I wasn't NOT drinking for myself...I was not drinking because they'd been nice to me, and I didn't want to dissapoint them...and furthermore, I knew that was the wrong way to be trying to stop drinking because I was supposed to be doing it for myself.  You bet I gave them a piece of my mind.

(Looking back, it's clear that I was hoping they'd kick me out, so I could go back to drinking, "sanctioned" by the recovering folks who told me I didn't have the right attitude and shouldn't be there.)

Guess what - the first thing I heard was, "Thanks for sharing!  Keep coming back!"  What a bunch of losers, I thought.  At halftime a few minutes after my share, I was inundated by kind understanding folks who told me a couple of important things that really helped me that night, suggesting to me that perhaps THEY weren't all a bunch of losers - rather that they'd been just where I was and were certain I could find recovery.

Important thing #1 was that it made perfect sense that I was aware of the obsession to drink screeching at me from inside my head and from every cell in my body.  I felt the obsession because I wasn't drinking it away.  No anesthesia from emotional withdrawal that didn't show up until I was several months without a drink.  They assured me the obsession would lessen and encouraged me to keep whining talking about it.

Important thing #2 was that the obsession and compulsion couldn't get worse unless I fed them...with booze.  They suggested that if I fed them, not only would it get worse, it would stengthen the obsession and lengthen the time it would take for it to dissipate the next time I tried to quit - that is IF I still had the desire to quit.  Having a desire to stop is a gift, and if squandered may never return.  Then it becomes near impossible to stop drinking.

Important thing #3 was that it was okay that I wasn't trying to not drink for them, or for anybody else.  It was okay if I was doing it to save a marriage or for my kids...and it didn't matter if it wasn't for me.  Why?Because for an alcoholic, THERE'S NO BAD REASON TO NOT PICK UP A DRINK!  And if I didn't drink a day at a time for whatever reason, eventually I'd discover I was doing it for myself.

Yep, those damn "losers", of whom I'm one, gave me some fantastic food for thought that night that continues to inform me today.  I can apply all those important things, along with volumes of other wisdom I've learned over the years in AA, to my struggle with food addiction.  I swear, sometimes I end up eating a bunch of crap after dinner following a day that was entirely ON PLAN, because the food thoughts and desire to binge start intruding.  Once I have "one compulsive unplanned bite" of anything, the thoughts diminish and I feel the volume in my addicted brain turn way down.  And I've fed the compulsion, strengthened it, and lengthened the time the obsession will persist the next time.  Eventually, one has to sit through an obsessive thought without feeding it in order to begin the process of emotionally weaning from the behavior. 

The reason I'm saying all this today (some of which I've said before) is because last night, after an excellent, on plan day, I "decided" to have some ice cream.  Had I stopped at even a medium dish and nothing else, it would have been fine.  But after the cold, creamy and sweet, I "decided" to go for crispy and salty in the form of a flavor of potato chip I don't even like...because it was there.  I had 2 napkins full of chips.  Gheesh!  All I had to do was not have the first bite of the ice cream.

And it's okay that I want to lose weight to look better and wear great clothes...right now more than I want peace with food, freedom from compulsion and the prison of overeating.  Because when - NOT IF - I put together many days at a time of abstinence from overeating, I suspect that I'll find enough rewards that are internal, as well the external ones.

The food program I did a few years ago had a saying I liked:  "I came for the vanity, and stayed for the sanity."  Sounds pretty good to me.