Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gray lady down...no 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.