Monday, January 31, 2011

Tying up loose ends

Happy to report I have 2 days under my belt of tracking, and as it's almost 6 p.m. now, I'm getting close to having a 3rd.  Saturday I stayed at exactly my daily point count.  Sunday I bobbled a bit when a friend brought the big amazing cookies from Panera to a meeting.  WHY???  I ended up having 2 - a chocolate chipper and and oatmeal raisin, which was the best OR I've ever had.  They each had to be 7 or 8 points, I'm guessing.  I counted them as 8, so that's 16 out of my 49 weekly allowance.  Not happy to admit that, but AT LEAST I TRACKED THEM.  That's huge for me.

I came to work this morning loaded with fruit and other stuff to eat that will keep me nicely entrenched in healthy food that will nourish and satisfy without triggering a binge.  I decided to be anal and take a couple of pictures to show you my food stash at work:

Outside the fridge, EVOO, spring water, tons of fruit including a big Fuji apple, banana, grapefruit, clementines, and red pepper.  That's a box of Cheerios on top of the organizer.

Inside the fridge that you really can't see is a big ass salad, a container of homemade ratatouille (total of less than a point for the smidge of olive oil used in prep), 1% cottage cheese, Laughing Cow lite cheese, mustard, organic fat free salad dsg, lime juice (for salads with a little EVOO, and cranberry apple butter from Trader Joes, and some plain Greek yogurt.  Tomorrow I'll also bring in some white meat grilled chicken. 
Having this well stocked "pantry" at work really helps me stay away from the junk food emporium known as Ben's Store that one of our clients runs daily.  I've been known to make several runs to it when in a binge mode...hopefully those days are over.  I'm really lucky to have a fridge in my office that's just for moi!


I'm also happy (and relieved) to tell you that I suffered no achiness or damage from that nasty fall on the ice I had on Saturday afternoon.  The next morning I was a little tight behind the right knee that got hard flexed, and the ankle was sore, but 4 Advil did the trick and I haven't felt any of it since.  Whew!! right knee had been popping and stiff for the last couple of weeks for no real reason other than it has arthritis.  Several similarly afflicted folks told me that the cold and continual snow with its related moisture can aggravate arthritis.  Anyway - since that fall, the knee hasn't popped or been stiff at all!  Maybe I jolted something back into place?

Another item I need to catch you all up on is that I called our insurance company to see if that crazy woman  who claimed I rolled into her car in the drive thru of a Swiss Farm store in early January had filed a claim.  Recall that she said I rear ended her, WHICH I DIDN'T, and acted like an angry psycho - demanding my insurance info...  Well, so far, they haven't received any claim or call from her!  I realize she could still do something, but feel certain it's unlikely.  I think she was just a rage machine who thought she'd mess up my day - which she totally did.  So far, a happy ending.

That's about it for me today.  It truly feels good to be tracking and NOT BINGEING.  And best is how good it feels to wake up in the morning and not worry that clothes are going to be tighter than the last time I wore them.  When I'm staying on plan, they may not be looser, but the definitely won't be tighter.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reaped what I sowed

This morning I was up at the butt crack of dawn, dreading anticipating my weigh in after a very ho hum week of not tracking consistently and eating crappily.  I got out and walked the dog for 20 minutes, intending to go for 30-45, but it was too cold and I kept slipping on ice patches in the dark.  Managed to stay upright, but barely.

My friend and I arrived at WW by 7:15. and my weigh in was as crappy as my eating was this week.  Coinkydink?  I think not.  I was up 2.2 pounds, but relieved it wasn't more.  I'd lost a total of 8.8 pounds during my first 2 weeks on the program, so now my loss is 6.6.  Still okay, but I am recommitted to staying on plan and writing it all down.

I didn't mention that last week after I weighed in, I was almost home before I realized that the woman who weighed me didn't give me a tracker for the week, and I didn't have time to drive back to get one.  Now this sounds like no big deal due to the fact that I have PAPER of all shapes and sizes in my house upon which I could have simulated a tracker, but for some reason I just couldn't get back into the tracking mode using a notebook.  I'm not blaming HER for my sorry ass week, but it did contribute to me just sort of giving it up for the week.  Today at my weigh in there were stacks of them at each weigh station, so I took a stack of my own so I can't claim that sorry excuse again.  Today I'm back on track and tracking, and it feels GOOD!  I was realizing this afternoon that I feel sort of "safe" and a little bit righteous when I'm writing it all down.

I have 2 goals for this week up to my next weigh in...track everything I eat, and stay on the program and within my points allotment.  I want another big loss next Saturday - and by big, I mean NOT GAINING!

This afternoon hubby and I went and dug out the driveway of a friend who has been pretty ill and undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C.  Her driveway is on a fairly steep hill, so we got a great workout shoveling snow and ice for about an hour.  We got her down to all pavement which was so satisfying.  She was grateful, and we had fun, so it was win win for all.  Love that.

About an hour and a half ago I decided to take the dog for a brief walk, and made the DUMB mistake of wearing a pair of fleece lined fake Crocs.  WTF was I thinking??  We started down a path that this morning was snow covered but after being trampled all day by kids going to sled, it was more packed and thus much more slick and slippery.  About 1/4 way down, my R foot just skated ahead of me and I ended up falling HARD, with my right knee tightly flexed and right ankle twisted!  UGH - I rolled right over and unflexed my knee, which thankfully didn't seem injured.  It took me a couple minutes to get myself back to standing between the slick surface, my idiotic shoes and the dog nosing me as though trying to help me up.  What a scene.  I limped walked home slowly, glad to see that I was able to walk pretty normally, though my ankle and knee felt a bit tender. 

Upon returning home, I took a pre-emptive Ibuprofen strike and iced the knee and ankle.  Now they feel normal, so hopefully that's the end of that, but I have a feeling that between the shoveling earlier and the fall, I may be sore tomorrow.  Good excuse to lay low, watch a movie and read my book!

Forgot to mention I did a lot of cooking this morning, some for the week, and some for dinner tonight.  After WW I hit the produce place and the grocery, and came home to slice, dice, chop and cook.  We're having stuffed peppers for dinner, which I can smell as they cook now.  I plan to do some more food prep for the week tomorrow, because as I mentioned before, I AM GOING TO STAY ON PLAN ALL WEEK.  Mark my word.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SNOW DAY!!! (and confession time)

I absolutely can't believe that my work gave us the whole day off because of the shitload of snow that fell between yesterday and this morning.  Despite the fact we serve a disabled population, they are famous for NOT even giving us 2 hour delays much less days off for weather, incurring the wrath of employees.  After last winter when we had a record 76 inches of snow over the season and the agency pulled that a couple of times, they got such employee rage negative feedback that they've finally gotten a clue.  This year has been better, and I'm grateful. We have about 14 inches in our area this morning.

I've already been out helping hubby dig out the driveway, but I only lasted about 5 minutes because I had the old crappy snow shovel that is now curled into a U shape and pretty useless.  The one who's going to do the brunt of the work gets the good shovel.  Today, with the 14 inches or so of wet heavy snow we got, that's hubby.  I also got a few pictures that hopefully blogger will let me upload.  It is beautiful - having been raised in Florida, snow still amazes and delights me.  Until it gets muddy, slushy and ugly of course.  But to stand out in the garage while it's snowing is intoxicating to me - so much activity in the air - so silent.

 It's really beautiful before the wind and civilization set in and start to mess with it.  I just finished doing about 8% of the driveway after Tom did 92%, and it was a good workout!  Hoping to get a dog walk in later, once the sun is out.


On a slightly somber note, the last 2 days I got pretty fuzzy with point counting and snacking - as in I stopped tracking once I started snacking.  This is the first since I began WWPP and I'm bound and determined to get back on track, with tracking AND eating today.  I was talking to one of my closest friends last night who didn't know I'd started WW, and she's going to start this Saturday by coming with me.  I'm really excited to have a buddy, not to  mention my across the street neighbor, do this.  We both have some similar issues around food and food addiction, so the mini support group (as opposed to the HUGE support of my blog world) will be great.  She does not know about my blog or the blog world, but she did ask where I always get so many great recipes!  But I think I'm going to stay anonymous with my local folks about the blog.  Do I really need people to know my weight and the degree of my nuttiness when it comes to eating?!!

Snowy weather means soup, so I'm off to make a big pot of ham and bean soup.  I posted on Facebook last night about the temptation to bake and eat sweets that being snowed in brings.  I vow I will not give in to the temptation to whip up chocolate chip cookies, brownies, lemon squares or any other sweet confection.  Because I know full well that I am not a one and done kind of person.  One cookie?  Puhleeeeeze.  One brownie?  Why bother.  So I will continue my clementine consumption with a sprinkling of apple and banana if necessary.  Stay warm if you're in the north.  Chill out if you're in the south.  And have a great day wherever you are.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dangling conversation

This morning at work I experienced an interesting little take on my eating behavior.  I'd had a nice 7 point breakfast of a breakfast sandwich of Canadian bacon, 1 slice of red. fat swiss cheese and a quarter cup of Eggbeaters cooked with a bit of onion on a mustard spread 2 point English muffin.  Very satisfying - very yummy (the plain ole yellow mustard and sauteed onion makes it).  About 2 hours later I had 2 clementines, which are zero points on WW (as is ALL fruit).  The clementines tasted like sweet freshness cubed - utter delight exponentially magnified by their absence of points.

Well.  An hour later I came back into my office and eyed 3 more clementines, an apple and a banana I brought to have on hand for legitimate empty stomach hunger based snack attacks.  I plopped into my chair and grabbed a clementine, poised my right hand to begin the big peel, when a voice sounded in my consciousness, "Do you really need that?"  What?  Shut up.  Here is the dialogue that ensued (silently - not talking out loud with myself here):

Me: "Well, maybe I don't need it, but I can have it."

TV (the voice): "If you don't need it, why would you have it?"

Me: "It's ZERO points, for Heaven's sake.  I CAN HAVE IT.

TV: "Are you hungry?"

Me: "I SAID it's ZERO points!"

TV: "But are you hungry right now?  It's 11:30 and you'll be eating lunch around 12:45."

ME: "No, I'm not hungry.  But zero points...I can have as much fruit as I want for NO POINTS."

TV: "You know in Blogdom they say that overeating healthy food is still overeating."

ME: "If Blogdom told me to jump off the Empire State Building, should I do it? What don't you get about zero points"?

TV: "What don't YOU get about the fact that eating when you're NOT hungry is addictive eating?  It's  NOT intuitive.  Not mindful.  Not necessary.

Me: Okaaaaay - and NOT happening.  For now.

And so the clementine was returned to the fruit stash, unpeeled, uneaten. 

I clearly just wanted to put food in my mouth.  I wasn't hungry, I wasn't even upset or emotional in any recognizable way.  I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it NOW.  I think that little vignette may have been a baby step of progress.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Out of hiding

I see Vickie asked me today if I was still burrowing under the covers and the answer is a no. Actually I never did take to my bed, though I thought about it=D  It's just not my style to hibernate. 

I've had a really nice quiet weekend, and have taken a few steps back from a couple of people (ala my last post) who were making me feel like a giant breast from whom they were suckling, and that has helped a lot.  Unbelieveable how I can keep going along with certain care-taking behaviors, and then quite suddenly hit a wall - in that I feel like I'm slogging through quicksand - having to screen calls, dodge certain folks - just to stay sane!  I've been in way over my head with a few nutty people, to say the least.

I talked about being burned out and peopled out, and have been reflecting a lot on that over this weekend.  Why is it so hard to set boundaries with some people?? One gal in particular has some substantial mental health issues that she has shared with me, but not with many others.  In fact, I figured it out by some of the things she was saying and encouraged her to see a professional because some of her thoughts weren't entirely based in reality.  She dutifully did see a psychiatrist who put her on some big-ass psychotropic meds, and over several months of playing around with doses, she was getting better.

Except...she was doing so much better that she talked to the doc about weaning off one of the medications, and he reluctantly gave her a tapering of dosing to try.  Well, in the last 2 weeks, she's sounding crazier than a shit house rat again, and if I gently mention that her thinking is starting to sound a little off, she gets prickly.  So I've backed off saying anything, but it's impossible to carry on a dialogue with someone who's immersing herself in a conspiracy against hersef that simply isn't happening.  Scary serious stuff, and rather than upset her I've been tiptoeing around the issue and being vague with her.  Not good for her.  Very bad for me.

So I'm working on it, and have realized that all I have to tell her is that as her AA sponsor, I am qualified to offer suggestions and lend an ear, but that I'm not a mental health professional (though I seem to play one in my life pretty often).   When I hear her sound like she is biochemically out of whack, all I can do is urge her to see her doc rather than try to convince her that her paranoid thoughts aren't real.  This may upset her, but it's the truth and in her best interest.  My not doing that is based in not wanting her to get mad at me or not like me??!!  How did this people pleasing stuff get so embedded in my psyche? 

At least I'm aware of it, which means I can work on it and change it, little by little.  But just having a few days to look at the situation and my responses has helped me feel better and more empowered to take care of myself in the midst of the chaos around me.


My weigh in yesterday showed a loss of 2 more pounds, (total 8.8) which made me happy and further encouraged to keep with the WW Points Plus program.  I think my weight might have been down a little more had I not had dinner out with hubby and friends on Friday night before going to see The King's Speech (2nd time for me).  I chose very carefully at a good restaurant, the Bonefish Grill, having a salad with mango, jerk chicken (being a spicy wimp I got my chicken "unjerked"), avocado, bleu cheese and other veggies, with an awesome citrus vinaigrette.  By itself that would probably not have caused any sodium drama in my cells - but I also split a decadent bacon-wrapped scallop appetizer with the husband, as well as ate some of his homemade potato chips.  They were INCREDIBLE.  Anyway - I'm pleased with the loss and intending to not do a meal out next Friday night!  I'm hoping for another big loss this week, which will put me in spittin' distance of ONEderland.  Stay tuned, and thanks for listening to my psychobabble above.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Throwing the covers over my head

Very brief post from me this evening to say I'm in a funk - feeling overwhelmed in several areas of my life (NOT blogging), antsy and anxious.  I know some of what is gnawing at me, but suspect there is other material within that is trying to hook me as well.  I know it will all shift, change and pass, and I know that there are things I can do to take care of myself in the meantime.  Like setting boundaries.  Getting away from stressful situations where I don't need to be.  Gently reminding myself that it's alright to say no AND that no is a complete sentence.

The good news?  I'm not eating over it.  I haven't really been very hungry this week - and no, I don't have a fever, nor am I at the brink of death!  I think the combination of work and friend issues has really burned me out.  It seems like a lot of people are struggling right now and I've felt in the middle of several different situations where my friends are at odds with parents/husbands/kids...whatever.  And the middle is not always a good place to be!

The big story?  The stress of my over-involvement in others' problems is something I can have an effect on.  I just forget that sometimes when I'm trying to be a good listener and supportive friend or AA sponsor.  People pleasing is one of my defects and while I've gotten much better over the years, I still can "forget" and start dancing as fast as I can to keep other people happy and thinking I'm the be all and end all.

So this 24 hour emporium of taking phone calls, endless listening, running errands, giving closing for a few days.  I'm pulling back from some of my usual activities and haunts mainly to give myself a pause that refreshes.  (How many cliches have I already used here???!!!) A little distance for a bit of peace.  Once my tank is empty, I can't give anything to anyone, and it's time to refill.

And that's all there is from me tonight.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shucks, I'm speechless...

Awww - I got a lovely blog award from my buddy Patsy who lives across the pond in merrie olde England.  First I have to say that I'm so happy that Patsy is back blogging regularly.  She and I entered this arena around the same time, but for several months at the end of 2010 she was on hiatus  Now she's here often, and if you're lucky she'll have a pic of her utterly adorable little girl Tabitha somewhere among her words.  If you haven't read her blog, check it out - she's doing a great job with moving more and eating less.

The award is The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, and I'm tickled pink to have received it.  The rules of this award are to list 5 guilty pleasures and nominate 3 more sweet bloggers for the award.  This is right up my alley as guilty pleasures are my specialty, and I'll have to work to keep the list to 5.

1)  an afternoon nap on any given day.  Always heavenly, and since I'm always up by 4:30 a.m., therapeutic!  Don't get them near often enough.
2)  Having a friend who cleans houses for a living do my house every 2-3 months.  I can't really afford it - but I love coming home to the smell of mixed cleaning solutions and the sparkle of shiny appliances.
3)  Bacon.  Real thick sliced bacon cooked crisp enough that nothin's moving on it, but not burned at all.  Bacon is one of the true pleasures in life.  No, not turkey bacon.
4)   A "Say Yes To The Dress" marathon, (or House Hunters, What Not To Wear, Frasier), to enjoy while knitting to my heart's content.
5)  Apple fritters made by a local Amish bakery that are indescribably delicious.  They make me moan like little else does =D.  I haven't had one of these in about 3 years for obvious reasons.

I made a conscious effort to not have all my guilty pleasures be food, but know that many are. 

And now the bloggers to whom I pass this on:
Darla - a new blog to me, who is a good writer with a great sense of humor,
PJGeek - PJ talks about food addiction issues that I always relate to, also with great humor.
Jane - talks often about some of the emotional issues that can impact food and eating desires - as well as our lives in general.  Very thoughtful stuff.

I'm still hanging in with Points Plus and continue to be surprised and reassured by the flexibility and variety it affords.  I don't want to get too confident, esp. given my dismal food performance over the last several months, but I'm starting to think that I can sustain with this plan because nothing is verboten.  Within this, I also have to be honest and know my trigger foods that, once ingested in any amount will result in consumption of mass quantities.  Even though WW doesn't prohibit any food, I need to leave certain ones out.  OR ELSE.

Hmmm...guess I wasn't speechless after all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


*UPDATE below*

Good stuff:

2 hour delay
knees feel much better today (weather related?)
already have roasted a pan of veggies for the week (that'll only last a couple days, prob)
lots of time to have already made a BAS (big ass salad) for lunch today
food in check and counting those points

Less good stuff (trying to not be negative):

icy mix has been falling since the wee small hours, necessitating the good 2 hour delay (yin and yang?)
nagging little minor symptom for couple weeks that I'm going to call to have checked out today

Damn it ( = 3 items)

I have no idea right now where my little blue book (that lists hundreds of Points Plus values in foods) is.  I had it yesterday, at home, so it has to be somewhere.  I have my trusty calculator, but the book has practically become an appendage.  I. Will. Find. It.  I hope.  Or I'll be buying a new one after work today.

The damn it list has been eradicated as I found the little blue book in the car when I left for work.  Who the hell put it there????  Now the balance is heavily in favor of GOOD, which it already was.  The less good is down to the phone call to run something by my doc.  I'm thinking a good day lies ahead.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekend review

This was a lovely MLK day for me.  I didn't participate in any community service projects, but I did have an opportunity to be of service to a couple of different aa friends who were struggling and that always helps me more than the other person. 

Mostly it was a day of rest and relaxation.  I read the first 60 pages of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo and am just really getting into it.  I've been wanting to read it for a long time (and the other three), but kept not having the down time to start it.  Also did minimal cleaning (about 1/100 of what needs to be done around here), and laundry.  I just got back from seeing The King's Speech, which was outstanding.  Highly recommended.  I saw it with a friend today, and hubby and I are "double dating" with good friends to see it Friday nigh which is great. 

I'm tracking my points again since yesterday.  I did take a point vacation on Saturday with not 2, but 3 meals eaten out.  I know I could estimate, but I consciously decided to take Saturday after the weekly weigh in as a loose and relaxed day.  It wasn't hard to get right back on the tracking train yesterday.

One thing that I've discovered is that whenever I'm not keeping track of my food, my water intake essentially drops to zilch.  Well, maybe a glass or two a day, but not the 10 8-oz glass minimum I have on my focused days.  I need to work on that.  Actually, I probably need to work more on not taking days off from tracking.  Playing with fire and all that.

I've managed 2 falls in the ice and snow that remain all over the sidewalks and streets around here in the last week - one while I was shovelling the driveway, and one when I tried to step over a big pile of snow onto the street after dark, and the place I stepped had a sliver of black ice my heel managed to step on!  Neither fall was a big deal, but the second one landed me squarely on my knees, and for the last 2 days they've been stiff and achy again.  Siiigh.  My post op knees had been feeling absolutely normal for quite awhile - maybe several months.  Hopefully I didn't do any damage.  I think they're just sore from the moisture and upcoming storm we have coming tonight.  The achy knees didn't get int he way of a brisk 4 mile walk today - but the sure have been hurting since.  So I'm upping my stock in Advil again for awhile.

That's it from me.  Back to work tomorrow and I'm ready.  Time for this gal to get back to the structured day to day routine, which I think indicates a successful 3 day weekend.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And the verdict is...........

My fears of no weight loss on the WW Points Plus program this week were unfounded.  I lost - drum roll please - 6.8 pounds!  Darn decent, if I do say so myself.  Obviously I was pleased and motivated to continue.  Today will be a free-er day than usual, though it's occurred to me that I can still choose wisely and stay within my points for the day with the addition of some of the weekly Points Plus allotment.  That should seem like a great gift and a no-brainer, but there is part of me that wants to just enjoy the day without tracking.

I also have to say that while I had that nice loss, I had packed on more pounds over the holidays than I've copped to here, so I'm not exactly a shadow of my former self...yet.  The number is still pretty gruesome, though 6.8 pounds less gruesome than last week at this time. 

That's it from me, folks.  I have a busy and fun day ahead, and then not one, but 2 more days off for reading, walking and chillaxing.  Definitely planning to get horizontal and do some holding down of the couch too!  Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 14, 2011

5 big ones

Thanks for all the great comments and support yesterday.  I stayed on plan all day and ate all my daily points rather than succumbing to eating disordered thoughts.  I didn't weigh.  I continued to do the right thing despite the alarming "what ifs" and fears of permanent fatness my head insisted on presenting to my mind for consideration.  Shut up head!  Someone, either in a comment or email, told me to trust the process, which I needed to hear.  And now I have eaten right and well for 5 full days.  Zero bingeing.  Zero overeating.  That hasn't happened in many months.  Yay me!

Earlier in the week I said I'd weigh in on Sunday morning (eventually I hope to make that my official weigh  day), but I decided to do it early Saturday morning instead because I have 2 meals out tomorrow - lunch with a knitting friend and dinner at the restaurant of my older son's choice as he turns 24 tomorrow.  I plan to make good choices at both these meals, but I'd rather not have my weigh-in after the first week on program be after a 2 restaurant meal day.  Again - eating disordered thinking would definitely get in the way of me receiving my weight, accepting it, and continuing on.  I know myself too well.  And I've had a great eating week, no matter what and I don't want the head's bullshit to undermine that.

Perhaps the reason I fear not losing weight is that I haven't been suffering at all this week.  I've been satisfied with my food.  Yes, I've had moments where I thought "a napkinful of Cheezits would be just the thing", but I've been able to say no the the voice.  Why now?  Why not all the time?  I knoweth not, but I'm grateful for this rare outbreak of sanity.

Rest assured I'll report on tomorrow's weigh in.  I have had not one morself of food regret or remorse this week, and that's great.  I'm definitely calmer and less irritable.  I look better - even I can see it.  And I have good energy.  These are all tangible rewards regardless of the scale's verdict.  And at 2:30 this afternoon, my 3 day weekend begins.  Not too shabby.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm posting a lot suddenly - my mind is hopping all over the place which I know is related to 4 days of good eating with no sugar and no bingeing.  No overeating at all.  The emotional material that's usually well stuffed down into my toes is rumbling a bit, and I'd rather blog than contemplate re-instituting my stuffing behavior.

This will be brief.  I'm starting to worry that I'm not losing weight doing WW.  I woke this morning thinking I should "check" by jumping on the scale.  My jeans out of the dryer weren't any looser this morning than they were a week ago.  It's been 4 days.  Not long - but I'm wanting instant gratification and results.  I want - no NEED - to see what's going on with the scale.  I'm not going to weigh, but I need to put it out there that my eating disordered thinking is mobilizing.  I'm not going to let it take me down this time, and this morning I know I need to tell on myself just to defuse the intensity of the disordered thinking. 

A dialogue is beginning in my mind:
"I don't think I'm losing weight."
"Of course I am. I always do when I stop overeating."
"But the jeans *should* be looser."
"It's only been 4 days."
"I have to know.  If this isn't working I need to do something."
"What can you do? Cut your points?"
"I'll have to do."

You get the idea.  Obsessive mind blather that can and will take me out if I let it.  My antidote is to shine a light on the crazy thinking, hoping I can stop the dialogue between good and evil.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There oughta be a law

Seriously, there oughta be a law -
-against fruit going out of season.  My clementine fetish is growing and deepening daily.  Today at work, the peelings from the 3 clemmies I've had were in the trashcan next to my desk, filling my office with the most delightful fruity, fresh citrus aroma.  Everyone who entered noticed the wonderful essence hanging in the air.  Today's clementines are perfect, seed free and practically peel themselves.  But in a couple weeks, they'll start to have seeds, lots of pith on the hard to peel fruit, and we'll know they will soon be but a happy memory.  I experience this painful fruit separation far too often - the cherries, the many berries, and of course - peaches.  Why can't fantastic fruit be a constant.  I know...then we wouldn't appreciate it while it's  here.

-requiring at least one 3-day weekend per month.  Bring on the January 3-day, Dr. King.  2 more days until 3-day bliss.  And no, I don't wish my life away waiting for weekends.  I just love 'em when they're here.

-against a lousy quarter of an avocado having 3 points.  I could eat the whole thing  in the blink of an eye.  It's okay, though, because with fruit costing no points in WW Points Plus, I've discovered mashing a 1/4 avocado with a little lime juice for a yummy dressing on an otherwise zero point salad!

-requiring that no Kindle edition of a book can cost more than the paperback version.  It makes my feeble mind go into hyperspace when the Kindle edition is $12.99 and the paperback is 9.99.  I suspect this is a function of my advancing years and techno-boobism.  Somehow an actual book I can hold seems like it should cost more than a virtual one?  I know - I'm old. 

-against toxic people who wreak havoc in others' lives and
-requiring that MY definition of toxic people is THE definition.  And be assured I could supply some examples of such folks.  They seem to be crawling out of the woodwork in the last week.
For example (but not limited to):  the nut bar I encountered in the Swiss Farm drive thru last Friday.

There.  I feel better.

Still loving Points Plus.  How does Biz get that trademark in the circle thing to add after she writes Points Plus?  Tis a mystery.  And a technological wonder.

I realize I'm in the honeymoon phase of this new endeavor, but I've also had moments of wanting something that would use up half a day's points in one fell swoop.   Example - I had coffee with a friend today at a little cafe that had these huge amazing looking cookies, and I seriously considered having one.  I mean seriously.  But in thinking it through, I knew: 1) that one would never be enough, 2) that it would essentially break open the floodgates and I'd spend the rest of the day/evening eating more junk - "to get it out of my system and get back on track tomorrow," and 3) that I did not want to have to confess it on my blog tomorrow. Thinking it through enabled me to say no to myself.  Today.   And guess where I learned that trick of thinking it through?  The same place I learn just about everything I need to a day at a time...AA.


* 3 days in and I feel good. Optimistic. I'm actually writing this at 1 p.m. on day 3 (Tuesday) but I know I'll get the day. I think I'm starting to feel what Chris calls "a fire in the belly", and given my excellent food choices, for once it isn't heartburn.

* Speaking of heartburn, I've had ZERO Tums since Day 1 on WW. Coinkydink? I think not. Usually I live on Tums - my main calcium source since I HATE milk.

* This morning, after all of 2 on-plan days, every cell in my body wanted to climb up on the scale. I told those cells to STFU. Whether good or bad, the # on the scale would screw with my thinking. Sunday morning at WW will be my weigh day.

* I experienced bona fide empty stomach hunger just before sitting down to lunch. How novel it feels.

* I freaking LOVE plain spaghetti squash. All by it's lonesome, though S & P spiff it up nicely. The texture is very appealing to my mouth. Oral gratification of the zero points kind.

*Yesterday I starting feeling some resistance about tracking after I finish a meal or snack. This morning as I assembled my humongous salad, I tracked anything with points as I put it in. It's all tallied before eat.  Eureka!  The mind game can be eliminated with some planning ahead.

* Last night after dinner I had some food thoughts. I ate 2 clementines, then brushed and flossed. Zero points, and in the absence of already having a lot of sugar and fatty crap on board, they tasted decadent.

* I will not buy too many WW products. I got some WW multi-grain English muffins because they are only 2 points a piece. They turned out to look made from white flour and don't taste good. Better to use a couple more points for whole grain goodness. Better yet, I'm going to start using small 100% wholewheat pitas - 70 cals a pop. Haven't calc'ed the points yet but can't be more than 2, if that.

* I am definitely choosing wisely and carefully what I eat to stay in my daily allowance. Extra points for high quality highly ntrtitious items can come from the weekly Points Plus allowance.  There's nice flexibility here.

* I'm Leslie and I'm a clementine addict.  These would never taste so good if I was eating highly refined low quality carbs in excess.

* For dinner last night I made this from Tami at Nutmeg Notebook...Brazilian ham and bean soup.  It was fantastic and easy to throw together.

* Thanks to bloggers who mention meaningful posts they find in other blogs. I've discovered some good ones that way. A favorite of mine, Helen, mentioned several in the linked post today. I visited ones I didn't know and found some amazing inspiration.  So many blogs, so little time.

* Still no report to my insurance company from Psycho driver of last Friday.  Keeping fingers and toes crossed.

* Hoping for a snow day today, but it's unlikely.  I live in an area where our snow accumulation is supposed to be minimal, despite the storm being touted "a weather bomb" by the media.  Nothing hyperbolic press.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Seeking buried treasure

**I wrote this last night and posted it this morning. I want to say that I'm 2 days in on the WW plan, getting my points allowance for the day without going over. I have extra weekly points I can tap as needed, as long as they're tracked. I woke feeling good! Rested, clear-headed, calm and not even a tiny indentation on my ankles from the socks I wear to bed (every night!). I'm finding I'm already taking better care of myself in other ways...flossing daily (well, 2 days in a row isn't going to get me a Nobel prize, but it's something I let slide too often), brushing my hair before bed, washing my face and moisturizing! Please let this last. At least for today.**

I greatly appreciate all the support, encouragement and kind comments from my blog friends about me joining the new and improved (IMHO) Weight Watchers. I have to confess that when I wrote about it I was afraid that there would be a collective eyeroll from my readership, as if to say "there she goes on yet another wild goose chase for the next quick weight loss fix". I know it's a little sad that I feel that way, because no one in the blog realm or in my actual in-the-flesh life has ever given me that impression. Maybe they've thought it, but no one has ever been judgemental about my struggle to my face, and probably not on the down-low, either. See how I can be what they call in AA "an egomaniac with an inferiority complex"?

That impression comes from deep within my - soul? heart? mind? old baggage receptacle? - somewhere an expectation that I'm fundamentally flawed and everyone knows it. My MO used to include constantly criticizing myself in order to let you know that I know I'm full of it and essentially unworthy and bad, fat, dumb...whatever. Low self-esteem 'R" moi - or WAS moi. Truly I've gotten much better over the years. The most common thing people used to say to me was, "You are so hard on yourself!!! WHY?" Um, I don't know why. Oh, yeah I make sure you know that I know...see beginning of this paragraph.

I'm happy to report that no one has said that to me in at least 10 years, which indicates genuine progress. I don't verbally pummel myself or tear myself to shreads anymore. Through AA and therapy, I've done LOTS of work over the years and have let go of, if not destroyed, many old tapes that used to cycle through my brain persistently, reminding me of the importance of keeping my opinion of myself lower than an angleworm's tummy. Not anymore - I'm MUCH better. And yet...still harboring old vapors of my essential awfulness. Else why would those fears of bloggy judgement waft into consciousness?

The reason I'm compelled to write about this is that ancient negativity, low self esteem, self doubt and shame are among the detritus at the core of my emotionally driven eating. And what has become apparent to me in the last couple of weeks is how still active this old crap is in my subconscious mind, despite all the work I've done and healing I've experienced.

In Marianne Williamson's A Course In Weight Loss, she addresses this in the 2nd paragraph of the introduction. Nothing like cutting to the chase, Marianne. I'm going to quote her a bit here, because what she says seems starkly accurate and relevant, at least to yours truly.

"Perhaps you've made amazing efforts to lose weight in the past-employing everything from extraordinary diet plans to almost superhuman feats of exercise - yet have found yourself mysteriously unable to keep the weight off permanently. While you succeeded for a time in changing your behavior, you've not yet experienced the deep level of change necessary in order to truly solve the problem.

On your own you might have changed your conscious thinking, but you alone cannot change your subconscious. And unless your subconscious mind is enrolled in your weight-loss efforts, it will find a way to reconstitute the excess weight regardless of what you do."
She goes on to describe her "course" as "a lesson plan in aligning your thinking with the spiritual principals that will set you free", and lists them:

1. Your body itself is completely neutral. It causes nothing; it is completely an effect, not a cause.
2. Neither poor diet nor lack of exercise are the cause of your excess weight. Mind is cause; body is effect. The cause of your excess weight is in your mind.
3. The cause of your excess weight is fear, which is a place in your mind where love is blocked.
4. Fear expresses itself as subconscious urges, which then express themselves as either excessive and/or unhealthy eating habits and/or resistance to proper exercise.. The ultimate effect of this -that is, excess weight - will only be permanently and fundamentally healed when the fear itself is rooted out.

We'll see. The rest of the book is divided into lessons (chapters), each offering exercises for reflection and writing to help the individual discover and explore the old crap that continues to sabotage weight loss effort and the quest for peace with food. Marianne's premise is that once the crap (fear) is excavated and let go, there is space for healing and love. It's definitely new age-y and I may ultimately end up back with more applied work in the Steps of AA. Whatever, this work will be as important as eating less and moving more. That has worked in the past. Been there. Done that. Back here.

One thing I know is that neither WW nor any other food plan will ever be enough to promote the "deep level of change necessary in order to truly solve the problem". While I'm tallying points, I also need to be facing feelings and hunting down old pain. Claiming the old baggage submerged deep in my soul and making peace with it - one way or another. Letting go. Seeing the errancy of negative beliefs. Valuing my experience - all of it, including the weight and eating. And coming to know that I don't need that aspect of self-coping anymore.

Sounds like a tall order but it's getting harder to not do it. I'm sick and tired of mindless yoyoing. I'm ready to seek a resting place that leaves room for my rich full life. And I'm pretty sure the only way through is through.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another new old plan

It just took me four different tries that included an entire system reboot to get to the NewPost option on Blogger with the dinosaur that is my work computer.  I KNEW I should have written a post from home this morning.  I thought I was going to have to write this in Word, but finally I arrived at my bloggy destination.  I've been wanting to post all weekend but it was such a busy blur of 2 very short days that it never happened.  I have more news than the Washington Post today.  So much that I may have to write it over several posts.

First - I haven't heard anything yet on whether the crazy lady from Friday has filed a claim about her car and my alleged rear-ending of it.  I talked to the Swiss Farm folks about getting the security video reviewed and they were going to talk to their corporate HQ and report back to me.  As I type there is an adjustor from my insurance company out assessing my car and taking photos.  I'll keep you posted - hopefully she crawled back into her hole and won't resurface for a decade or so.  Thanks all of you for your bloggy support and validation over what a nut job she clearly is.

What I am most excited about...I took a big plunge and joined Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I've been thinking about it for a long time, but since the Points Plus was introduced and I've read about it on so many blogs, esp. Roni's, TJ's and Biz's, I really researched it.  I think the Jennifer Hudson commercial I spoke of last week that revealed my inner lack-of-belief in myself pushed me to finally go for it.  Full on go for it, in that I bought the cookbook and the Points Plus calculator that the lady actually told me I wouldn't need (WRONG - I've already used it several times).  I officially started yesterday because I had a lot going on Saturday (my youngest son's last dinner at home before going back to school yesterday and I made a cake that I was going to enjoy), and also didn't have time to thoroughly read all the material, and couldn't stay for the entire "get acquainted with PP" session. 

Sunday I was ready and had shopped with WW in mind the day before.  I was channeling Biz and TJ as I made a breakfast sandwich with a low carb, low cal, high fiber English muffin, egg beaters, reduced fat Swiss cheese and a slice of Canadian bacon that was great.  I tracked every bite that went in my mouth and had a great day 1 on the program.  Also got a long walk in the frigid cold for which I was so bundled that when I got home and un-layered, I was actually sweaty.  It felt so good to go to bed last night knowing I'd followed the plan to the letter, and waking up today was even better.

I'd done WW about 8 years ago (with the old points system), and predictably it worked long as I worked it.  I'm still going to try keep low carb eating in mind because I believe that it's the best food plan for getting blood sugar and carb addiction wrestled down, but for the first time I was missing fruit and craving Fresca and Diet orange soda and drinking them to excess.  I've gotten myself mostly off diet soda except maybe 1 or 2 a week, so I was returning to an old bad habit.  Following this program does not seem to get in the way of focusing on lower carb intake, and keeping the carbs to high quality and nutritious ones as opposed to the simpler refined ones that set the whole insulin syndrome into gear.

The biggest challenge for me, as always, is dealing with the addictive and nutty thinking my brain churns out when I start to not eat everything I want when I want.  Emotions will surface, food thoughts will settle in that will threaten my resolve.  But with the Spiritual Lessons for Weight Loss I talked about last week that I'm already starting to work on, I hope/plan/intend to stay the course.  It's all fresh and new right now so I'm beyond enthusiastic and compliant.  I like the WW program and the focus on healthier  whole foods that Points Plus directs us toward.  Stay tuned.

I have more news but in the interest of putting this up before midnight I'm closing now.  The other sort of big story is blessedly unrelated to eating.  I'll tell you about it tomorrow.  Hint:  It has to do with daughter in the Peace Corps...

Have a good Monday.  We're already counting down to Friday :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Harrowing morning

I need to vent.  SCRE-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!  Read that loud, strident, angry and angst filled, please. 

We had a total wimp of a snowstorm come through this morning - only about 2 inches, but total nuisance because it came from 6:30 - 9 am, totally F-ing up rush hour and turning the roads into nasty brown slushy slippery swampy messes.  I gingerly pulled into a Swiss Farm Store Drive thru on my way to work to get some 1% cottage cheese for my breakfast protein.  I pulled behind the car that was already being waited on, put my car in park, and then set to getting my wallet from my purse.  Next thing I know, a very unattractive angry woman is standing at my door claiming I hit her car from behind and pushed her forward ("I felt forward momentum").  Now, unless I had a mini-stroke or a moment of unconsciousness, that did not happen.  I felt no impact or even a tiny subtle tap that you occasionally feel when parallel parking and you barely tap the car in front or behind with the rubber bumper as you maneuver.  NOTHING.  The was no touching of her car by my car.  I know I would have sensed it, felt it or something.

I was shocked and assured her I did not even tap her car, let alone touch it enough to push her forward.  She started shrieking at me and asked for my insurance info.  I was stunned and flabbergasted.  I told her I'd give her my info but that I did not hit her car at all and would tell my insurance company that.  She stormed up to the Swiss Farm workers and said to them, "YOU'RE MY WITNESSES!", to which they replied that they weren't witnesses as they neither saw nor heard anything.  They also said there's a security camera in operation, at which point the woman came back to my car and said "You'll change your tune when you find out there's a security camera, HUH?" 

It was totally bizarre - I gave her my info, which she watched me copy from my insurance paper and then insisted she see my license to verify I was who I said I was!  OMG it was awful.  Not to mention that her bumper and mine both look perfectly normal.  I need to stop writing about it because I'm getting myself stirred up and I had finally de-escalated.  I came straight to work and called my insurance company and gave them a full report, including my rage and shock over this crazy woman.  That was the upsetting part - she started out treating me like a criminal and going for my jugular before I even knew what she was mouthing to me from outside my window as I rolled it down in the beginning.

Okay - I feel better venting it again.  I have to let it go because I've done everything I possibly can, and ruminating about it is only going to further affect my day.  You guys know I'll let you know if anything transpires.  My insurance company rep said she may not even call them, but I have a feeling she's going to try something.

And as the perfect punctuation to this story, once I pulled up to the very nice lady at Swiss Farm, shaking like a leaf as I was - the lady handed me a rubber spongey ball and said, "Here's a stress relief ball for you, and would you like a free cup of coffee?  She was nuts!"  That was good, but then it turned out they were totally out of cottage cheese, so that trip was futile anyway.  Oh well - there's no way the rest of the day isn't going to be better.  Thanks for letting me rant. 

I'm doing something major tomorrow morning related to my weight loss intention that I'll write about afterwards.  I'm psyched and excited.  Have a good w/e, and drive CAREFULLY and DEFENSIVELY!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting ready to get ready

This is just a short post to say I'm fine - I don't usually go so long between posting and I didn't want you guys to think I had eaten my way into a coma or anything.  Actually my food has been good this week - not perfect - but NO bingeing or craziness.  I'm still staying conscious of keeping carbs low, but the Phase 1 eating was really doing a number on my stomach so I've modified a bit and have been eating fruit and an occasional 70 calories worth of Joe's O's (Trader Joe's Cheerios). 

I finally de-Christmased the house on Tuesday - usually I'm ready to get all that crap packed and back to the attic before New Year's, but hubby and kids were calling me Scrooge and Grinch (they're right - oh well) so I let it stay as long as I could stand it.  Hubby acts like I'm threatening to murder Baby Jesus when I want the house clear before "Twelfth Night" - January 6th.  He was raised Episcopalian and between that and his Grandmother's b'day being 1/6, he thinks it's immoral and unlawful to tamper with Christmas trees and decorations before.  And I'm just ready for a new beginning!

I haven't exercised as much as usual (because it's freaking freezing) but I've actually begun doing some applied HEAD working out related to my eating issues.  I gave myself a few Christmas presents, one of which was Marianne Williamson's A Course In Weightloss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever.  I've just started it but it seems pretty good.  I've done a scan of the 21 lessons and there is a lot of similarity to working the steps in a 12 step program, though in different order and with different focus.  I'm committing to taking my time with working through of the lessons.  Already in just the introduction, she talks about how compulsive or addictive overeating that isn't dealt with in the subconscious (where the many and varied ways we use eating to fill a spiritual void in ourselves are generated) is likely to recur eventually, even after long periods of sanity with food.  I could write my own book on THAT phenomenon...think I've got it licked and then WHAMMO - hello 20 pounds I lost last year.  So many times.  Marianne talks about how our subconscious issues, beliefs and strategies can derail our effects endlessly unless we discover and parse them.

I might not have believed that had I not experienced what I wrote about the other day...realizing that I was answering a WW commercial with a voice from my mind that said "No, I can't do it".  That was an awakening for me...the awareness that I was DISaffirming myself unconsciously and automatically.  Wow - it's hard to fight what you don't even know is opposing you.  Suddenly the premise of Marianne's book seems relevant.  Important.  Vital.  And one of many programs or action plans to help get to our core stuff.

So...I'll be writing more about this as I delve in.  One of my favorite bloggers, Roxie, has been doing a lot of spiritual work in the last month or longer, and she has totally inspired me.  For years, actually since my 39th birthday when I vowed to spend the year prior to turning 40 getting inside my food issues, I've planned and intended and meant and promised and determined to really begin to investigate at depth the subconscious underpinnings of my relationship with food.  17 years later I've yet to have honestly done it.  Why? Fear - fear of not working, not doing it right, of doing it and still not finding healing, of discovering I'm essentially unworthy to have this issue resolved - by myself or by my God, of being destined to be pudgy and moosey by my genetic make up...fill in the reason blank ____________.  I've gotten started many times - lasted a few days, and then fallen away even before the going even got tough.  I want to be fearless and need to be if I'm going to do let go of the weight.

In AA you often hear that we don't have a drinking problem, we have a THINKING problem (once the booze is gone).  And in that lies the headgame (and I believe the soul sickness) that is operating for an addict.  Faulty thinking that impacts how I conduct my life and my relationships.  But this is something I CAN do something about.  With time and help.  Committment.  My committment gene has been a little thready at times - certainly regarding food and eating.  I don't know what to say about how I will try and strengthen it...again, other than I'm trying again.  Never quitting, but trying to bring in some new artillery to fight this addiction and it's related behaviors that are STILL trying to keep me hating myself.  But I'm not gonna do it...hate myself, that is. 

There's a guy I've heard speak in AA a bunch of times, and he always ends his talks with, "I don't know about loving myself, but at least I don't give myself the finger when I look in the mirror anymore!"  Exactly - a lifetime of maladaptive patterns doesn't turn around overnight, but it can get better a day at a time.

Once again a short post that turned into a novella!  Once I tap into the thinker, it starts percolating all kinds of stuff.  I could go on and on but will do everyone a favor and button it for now.  I have an awesome salad waiting in the wings.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Remembering to believe in myself

Happy New Year a day in.  It's been great reading peoples reflections on the old year and intentions for 2011.

My low carb eating has been going pretty well.  Friday and Saturday I eased up a bit on the low carb but stayed reasonable with my eating, outside of too many lemon squares on New Year's Eve.  I make kick-ass lemon squares, and apart from the sugar and flour content thought they were a better choice than many other desserts I could have over done.

In reading many late 2010 and early 2011 posts, I find comfort in being somewhere in the middle of the span from amazing success and dismal failure in this endeavor to lose weight and find fitness.  Perspective is important for this blogger...I can get emotionally inflated or devastated when comparing myself to another.  Actually any dabbling with comparing myself with anyone else is futile and self defeating activity.  Either I can feel smug that I didn't gain AS MUCH this year as another, or become mired in self-contempt and self pity in finding myself the lowest form of life when stacked against another.  This truth doesn't just hold true for the blog community...but spans all my day to day interactions.

Yet another concept about living a day at a time that I've learned in AA is to resist at all cost the temptation to compare oneself with anyone else.  Rather, comparing myself to myself is the more accurate gauge of reality when inventorying my progress in any realm.  How am I doing today vs how I was doing last week, or month, or year?  What is better?  What is the same, or worse? Which of my habits affect where I am now? Progress?  Change?  Is my thinking anchored in reality or am I in denial about basic truths about myself?  Now, even this kind of self appraisal can leave one feeling fantastic or craptastic depending on the results of the inventory.  Trust me - craptastic is where I find myself this January 2...weighing more than January 2, 2010 after the ensuing 12 months of the same behaviors over and over while hoping for different results.  But in looking at "MOI" honestly, at least the final tally is a clear picture of myself that is workable - by myself.  When I put myself up against Jane Q Blogger who set out to lose 30 pounds, lost 40 with seemingly little effort and endless enthusiasm and no "issues", my frustration becomes murky and more about "why I'm not like her" rather than accepting myself lock, stock and barrel and determining to work with what and who I am.  The one thing over which I have control is myself and my actions. 

I'm done with with resolutions and list making about all the changes I'm going to make in the new year.  Or for my current round of determination.  Or the newest challenge.  I see clearly that getting whipped into a frenzy of motivation and positivity is no problem for me.  It's the sticking and staying when things get tough.  Or progress is slow.   Or when I'm in a challenge and "keeping up" for awhile, but then starting to fall away when others are making more progress and sticking to their convictions in a way that I can't seem to muster.  There is a fine line between getting fired up and inspired by others' accomplishments and feeling defeated when it seems everyone else is "doing better" in some way.

I need to keep my focus on myself first and foremost.  How many times have you heard a successful weight loss blogger, or a celebrity like Jennifer Hudson who's had amazing success on Weight Watchers say, "if I can do it, anyone can!"  During a WW commercial last week I heard the voice in my mind reply to Jennifer,"well, not anyone...not me apparently."

It really hit me between the eyes when I became aware of that thought the other day - playing like a taped  message from the depths of my unconscious.  That's what jolted me into this whole taking inventory thing...looking at now vs last year.  Last year I was unknowingly between 2 knee surgeries on Jan 2, but my drive to succeed at weight loss was still in gear - fueled by months of steady success and progress - and losing 28 pounds from the previous summer.  I knew I could do it because I'd been doing it.  But over the months of 2010, my belief in myself deteriorated - out of my awareness - to the point where I was answering Jennifer Hudson that of all the "anyones" out there she knew could do this, I was the one who couldn't.

So my main goal/resolution/intention this January 2 is to affirm myself daily, hourly if needed, that I CAN.  That I WANT to.  That I'm GOING to.  I know I can because I have in the past, and the past is a darn good predictor of the future.