Thursday, March 29, 2012

My bad

It took me a couple of days to actually write this confessional post (of sorts).  I ended up bingeing on Monday late afternoon-evening.  It feels like it sort of came on out of the blue, but I know better than that, what with a long time in recovery from booze.  You often hear at meetings that a relapse starts well before the actual taking of the drink.  I know that's true with food.

It's interesting - I'd had a couple days last week where I wasn't hungry but really WANTED to eat.  Something.  Preferably sweet.  I was able to not act on the thoughts, and that felt so good - esp. the next morning when I woke without remorse, which is the best feeling in the world when you've known the waking remorse for soooo long.  The way I was able to not act on my desire to eat was really to gut it out.  Distract myself.  Read.  Walk.  Encourage myself in a loving way (rather than calling myself a stupid fatso and "don't even think about it!"). 

On Monday, I just ate when it occurred to me - starting with an innocent 60 calorie cheese stick.  Then another.  And so on - a package of Chips Ahoy, possibly the most overrated cookie on the planet, got involved, and that was it.  The trapdoor opened from my emotional bottom and I managed to dive - not slip - through.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling like genuine crap - upset stomach, nauseous, foggy.  And I started in with the emotional abuse of myself with negative talk and self disgust.  But I did one smart thing - I went to my AA meeting I ususally go to at 7 a.m., and by the time I left, I knew I would be okay.  I'm not a low down no good piece of garbage, and I can began my day over at any time.  In fact, I can begin my life over at any time because if I'm living in the present, I can simply do the right thing, right now - and in time (just about a day this go-round) I'm able to let go of the self pummeling and carry on the way I want to.

What is interesting/baffling is how I could sit through/gut out food thoughts last week, but this past Monday, I didn't even try to do that.  I wanted to eat more than I didn't want to eat, at that time.  If anyone has a bottled version of "ResistTheBingeUrge", please send me the details.  Seriously, I'm not sure deconstructing this will accomplish anything useful.  But with the memory fresh in my mind, for now, my fear of food addiction is fresh and acute - and painful.  I don't want to do it again.  I'm not powerless over my actions, but looking back to Monday, I didn't sieze any other option - I just capitulated into the food.  Knowing I was going to be sorry, regretful, remorseful, and disgusted with myself.

I've been on track for the last 2 days and that feels good, of course.  God knows what damage I inflicted on my body, but I know I hurt my heart and soul, because somehow I missed something I/they was/were trying to tell myself/me.  Missed or ignored.  I deserve better.

So that's my latest confession.  In AA, the only thing we're ever promised:  "You never have to hurt from alcohol again."  I know that's true with food too.  I didn't want to write this - just another way to hurt from food addiction.  I don't have to hurt this way again - I know that to be true.

Monday, March 26, 2012

With a little help from my friends

What a lovely, low-key, relaxing and even mildly productive weekend!  I'm Jonesing for one more day off, to sit and finish the Hunger Games.  It's totally pulled me in, despite being nothing remotely resembling any genre I'm ever much interested in reading.  Of course, Harry Potter wasn't genre specific to Leslie, and I loved that.  I guess my main genre is a great story, good writing, and ingenious plot. 

In a utopian society, I would be reading this very minute.  But in the dystopic world of work, blogging and living, I am only reading a page at a time between other tasks.  I have my secret book-in-drawer technique in place to facilitate maximum goofing off while looking the earnest desk top dedicated to work...

And here the SBID technique.  Ah - I love being a school girl again...

We had marginal weather here over the weekend, but I was still able to get 2 mile walks in each day without getting rained on.  I would have gone further except my low back was a little spasmy from the 5 miles at Ridley Creek park the day before.  That walk on Friday was glorious, but what with my um...spare tire, if I don't pay close attention to posture and abs, I think I get a little sway back thing going that causes me some low back discomfort for the next couple of days.  Another non-scale consequence of being overweight. :(

I didn't get on the scale, but my eating was good over the weekend.  I had a couple of things not on plan, but in reasonable amount and with no bingeing.  My intention is a clean week, and I actually have did some food prep yesterday to that end.

Yesterday I made a big pan of roasted root veggies - sweet potatoes, onion, brussels and cauliflower with a little olive oil and a helathy splash of balsamic, plus a shitload of garlic.  The whole house smelled like a restaurant in the best possible way.  Also, I made Helen's spinach, sausage and sweet potato Paleo friendly casserole and had my first serving this morning for breakfast:
It's utterly delicious.  Hubby, who does not care for sweet potatoes, also loved it.  This will be on my regular rotation from now on.  On the post Helen wrote about this, she cited the "pseudo Paleo" blog from which she got it - and I've bookmarked that blog now.  There really are some excellent recipes using Paleo principles - that include things I love and can handle without getting triggered to binge.  Good stuff.

I have a walk scheduled after work today, and am planning another blog inspired dinner that I'll write about if it's a keeper - which I'm sure it will be.  This morning while hubby was eating his breakfast casserole, I asked if I could write on my blog that he has benefitted greatly from my blog life - what with amazing recipes I would never have seen or tried showing up on his plate very often.  He responded "ABSOLUTELY!"  It's true - my blog friends have helped me in so many ways - good healthy eats is just one of them.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Keep this coming

My streak'o'bliss is continuing, in that I'm still staying on plan and not struggling with binge urges.  I did step on the scale yesterday morning (after much of the aforementioned surrendering of results) and was really happy to see I'm down 2 pounds!!  Hearty fist pump on that.  And at least for yesterday, it was motivating and encouraging, rather than giving me license for an extra little something to put into my sacred temple of a body.  And as has happened a quintillion times before, when I do better, I feel better.  Lighter.  Calmer.  Peaceful.

Wherever this current state of grace has come from, or why, or why now, or whatever mind crap is spinning of the hamster running on the wheel in my brain, I'm so grateful that for the last few days it's been pretty easy to stay the course.  No fighting compulsive food thoughts, which is amazing.  Wanting, even craving, to get out and walk a few miles.  The beautiful weather of the last week is set to change back to more typical late March going out like a lion after today, but the early appearance of blossoms, bulbs and buds makes being outdoors intoxicating.  The perfect non-storm of hope, optimism and promise.

Hmmm, sounds like I'm going for poet laureate or something there. 

I took today off from work (telling only the most white of little lies), and as soon as I publish this post am going to head out to Ridley Creek State Park to walk the beautiful 5 mile loop I've spoken of here so often.  Then perhaps some yardwork, and some reading (just started the Hunger Games - could only stay off the bandwagon for so long!).  Around 3:30 I'm meeting someone I sponsor in AA for coffee, and then at 7 taking Lisa - my sponsor (with lung cancer who continues to defy all odds and be living well) out to dinner at a local Mediterranean restaurant for her 24th AA anniversary.  What a day!  It occurred to me when I was driving home from a meeting this morning that I know how to take care of myself.

And about that - taking care of myself is pretty important, but can mask itself in unhealthy practices like going for the junk food, not exercising because I'm too...whatever.  When I'm in a good place in those arenas, I feel entirely different about myself and my life.  See the last 3 words of paragraph one.  This is what I want - so why do I lose sight of 'this' so easily??  I'm not going to dwell on the struggle today or on fearing that 'this' won't last.  I'm thankful 'this' is where I am today and that I'm able to want what I have rather than focusing on having what I want.

Have a good weekend friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brace yourselves...

Just a quickie here to stay connected.  I really feel better when I've posted in the last day or so - it's the virtual equivalent of not isolating.  When I go too long not posting, it starts my monkey mind climbing through the branches, telling me I'm not significant, important, worth a flip, a loser because I haven't been losing, etc.  Even a few lines here stops that mind maze pretty quickly.

I had a great day yesterday.  First, I posted.  See paragraph #1.  Second, when I got home from work, I had a few errands to do, and so I walked - over 4 miles - to accomplish them.  Mainly it was banking type stuff so I didn't have to schlep much on the trek.  I just fired up the ipod to listen to the Black Keys El Camino album - twice - and mushed along.  It felt great - righteous even :)

It's funny - I seem to be much more likely to go a lot farther walking when I have something to accomplish (which I could of course do in much less time via the car).  I guess it's a little mind game that works well for me.  Returning a library book, hitting an ATM machine (part of yesterday's sojourn), or mailing a letter at the post office.  Obviously buying milk or any other weighty or bulky item doesn't work, but I've got to remember this and set up more of these little "necessary" chores. 

After the walk, I got in the car to see exactly how far I went - 4.2 miles.  Nice - and in a pretty short time.  I was a drippy sweaty mess and had to pick up a friend to go out to dinner and only had 5 minutes to shower and change.  At dinner I had a burger (on a roll that I ate about a quarter of) that was covered with caramelized onions and gruyere - heavenly.  It came with fries that I had about 5 of - and then I poured ice water over them to stop me from having more.  my friend wanted to split dessert - and I declined.  Who is this person?  For yesterday it was me.  If only I could dial this gal up every day!  Maybe eventually...?

When I got home I had a Chobani yogurt - that was it.  Probably Definitely didn't need it, but wanted it.  Then to bed.  Now if that isn't a great day for this food obsessed woman, I don't know what is!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scale Tale

I'm finding myself in a weird place this week.  Usually I would have gotten on the scale either Sunday or Monday morning, but I haven't, and didn't today either.  Me - the original member of the Scale Roulette Oympiad not wanting to get on the scale.  And get's not because I've been doing bad - it's because I've been doing good.  Not perfect, but pretty darn good compared to recent months.  Not only that, my exercise has increased probably 80% in the last 2 weeks - mainly in the form of walking and some simple Pilates type stuff in my den when no one is within a 50 mile radius home.  I sort of sense that my clothes are ever so slightly looser.  You know how you sort of know when you're doing well, just like you really know when you're not? 

So why am I avoiding the scale like the bubonic plague in a very out-of-character way?  I think it's because no matter what it says, I know it has the power to make me feel better or worse.  Make my day or ruin my day.  It shouldn't have this power, as I am certainly bigger and stronger and have a sentient mind that tells me I'm more than whatever the scale says.  But I know myself well. 

It's about expectations.  Since I'm sensing some signs that I'm getting a grip here with eating, I'm imaging, hoping, EXPECTING that the scale will validate my effort.  I somehow conjur up an amount of lbs that I may have dropped, and anything less that my lofty expectations can deflate me faster than sticking a sharp pin a balloon.  If I think "oh, maybe 2 pounds.." and it's .5, I'll be angry, frustrated, certain this isn't worth it...whatever.  And if it's more than my expectation, I get this lofty sense of  "oh, I'll have a bit of a looser day today since I'm doing better than I thought".  Do you know that I just typed "ahead of schedule" instead of better than I thought, like I'm on a schedule to lose and if I'm ahead of the game I get to add in a few treats?

This must sound entirely crazy, and trust me that it feels that way from the inside.  But it's the truth.  The scale is a major mindfu*k for this additive person and I really see that since I'm on a decent roll, I'm better off just staying off the scale and avoiding all the mental abuse it triggers. 

Whew - this is where I know it would be good to have a support group, but you know I won't be going that route in the food realm anymore.  I just need to talk about this stuff and thank you all for listening and hopefully not judging!  You blog friends have never judged, so it feels relatively safe to just splat it out here rather than keeping it to moi-self.  Regarding judging others, I heard a great thing awhile back at an aa meeting - those who count don't judge; those who judge don't count. 

I'm sure some time in the next week I'll work up my courage and get on the scale, but I'm going to really work on surrendering the results, no matter what they are.  And when I'm sticking to a good orderly sane foodplan, I can feel okay about whatever verdict that scale bitch renders!  Maybe...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Overdue Update

Thanks Tammy, for reminding me it's been awhile since my last post - a week to be exact.  I didn't mean to go so long and had actually started a post on Monday while at work, but never got back to it after getting distracted with,

When last we chatted, I reported about the surprise finding that the pressure in my eyes was up for the first time ever.  That doc who inadvertently discovered this when I'd gone because I had a little irritation in my right eye had been pretty encouraging about the whole thing, noting that that structures in both eyes looked very healthy.  She had me return on last Friday morning for a recheck of the pressure by the senior guy in the practice.  Apparently eye pressure is always highest in the morning and lowers gradually during the day.

On Friday the pressure was still up, and a little higher than it was Wednesday midday.  The doctor also used some special lenses and mirrors to look into the structures within the eyes to detect any changes that could signal early glaucoma changes.  Again, he reported my eye anatomy "perfect", and that while I do not have glaucoma, I'm definitely at risk for it down the road.  The goal is to get  the pressure down; the treatment is one drop in each eye every night - for the duration, as in the rest of my life.  The condition is called ocular hypertension, is pretty common, esp. as one ages, and is very easy to treat.  I'll have the pressure checked in a month to make sure the drops are doing what they're supposed to do.  The final round of testing is today, where I'll have a visual field study and something else, to get a true baseline of where I am right now.

All in all, I feel very fortunate to have had this discovered before any serious changes in my vision had taken place.  One other thing I wanted to say is that when I wrote about this last week, I noted that I hadn't seen the eye doc in (turns out) 3 years, and since I didn't wear lenses and was having no trouble, I could have gone longer and not found out about the pressure.  Several of you were surprised that I don't wear lenses - what I meant was I've never had prescription lenses.  I've been wearing reading glasses since my late 40s - and I'm up to 2.00 with those!  Sorry for not being clear.  Yeah - age related changes have been happening for awhile, but this pressure thing was previously undetected.


So started this post yesterday and got as far as above the line!  We have a lot going on right now and I'm not always finishing what I start in a timely manner!

I had my tests at the eye doc yesterday and go back April 12 for results.  It was sort of a non-event, which left me free for the rest of the day.  I had a lovely day - lunch with 2 friends (I had a salad with grilled chicken and at < half.  Then did a 3 mile brisk walk with the dog.  I've been getting a 3 mile or longer walk in everyday, and it's not only helping my weight, but my sleep.  And when I get in a good routine, I'm less likely to be tempted by junk food.

The big event is that last night, we met our daughter's (who's in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic as most of you know) boyfriend who she's been seeing for about 6 months.  He has sounded like a great stand up guy, and he was in Philly yesterday to interview at Wharton Business School at U of P.  About 2 weeks ago, he said to Jean that since he was going to be in Philly, he'd love to meet her parents!  Now realize she wasn't coming with him - and this was his idea!  Very exciting, and said a lot to us about the fact that he's feeling pretty serious about about their relationship.  (I know she is!)

Anyway, hubby, both sons and I went into University City in Philly and met him at a very upscale hip restaurant for dinner, and we love him!  He's very handsome, speaks better English than I though he was born and raised in the DR, and we had a great time.  This was quite a big deal, and Cesar and I both were instructed by Jean to skype with her when dinner was done and we were home.  He got a hold of her first and said he felt very comfortable and easy with us.  All in all, it was great, and it would be even better if he ends up at Wharton because that would likely ensure Jean's proximity once she returns in June after finishing up with PC.  I don't want to count chickens before the eggs are laid, but for now, in this moment, we're very happy that she has such a nice, bright, stand-up guy with whom to be.

Food wise I'm doing better!  I'm at 208, which is not where I want to be, but I was vacillating between having a few good days, dropping 3-4 pounds, and then having an "open weekend" and having to start all over.  I was back at 211 early last week, and have been holding steady to sane days and slow loss.  The increased activity is helping to.  I'm still sticking mainly to Paleo-esque food, though I have been having oatmeal about 3 times a week.

The ridiculously amazing mild weather is helping me too - I always tend to shed a few pounds naturally as the weather moves from the dark days of winter.  It's happening early this year - maybe just for my benefit.  I've tried a couple of great recipes that I want to post and plan to do so in the next few days.

That's all from me.  Life feels very good right now, and that is great, because all we really have is the present.  I'm going to try and be here - with the Leslie Channel in my brain turned down to a lower frequency.  My mind is always spinning somewhere and I'm aware of missing just enjoying what is, right now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Well hell's bells

Have I mentioned that getting older is not for the feint of heart?  Of course I have.  In this day and age, 58 isn't exactly ancient, but things come up more than they used to!

For the last couple of days, I've had a little irritation under my upper eye lid on the right eye lid - not painful, but felt like an eyelash was up there or something.  No other symptoms besides the irritation.  This morning it dawned on me to irrigate my eye which helped, but I'd made an appointment to get it checked, so went anyway.

Since it was a "medical" visit, the doc didn't do a full eye exam, but said she'd check the eye, it's pressure, and then see if she could see what was causing the irritation.  Turns out both eyes look great - very healthy, and my vision is the same as it was at my prior visit, but the pressure is up in both (unrelated to the irritation, which she said was nothing).  It used to be 16 over 2 years ago, now it's 25.  She said that given the healthy appearance of all the eye tissue, nerves, etc - she seriously doubts it's glaucoma changes, but that has to be ruled out.  Yes, I'd like that please.  If there are no indications of glaucoma, then it's simply ocular hypertension and treated with drops.

So Friday I go for a pressure recheck in the morning, then next Wednesday I'll have "glaucoma screening" which includes a visual field test and something else - both of which I've had before.

I'm not really worried, because either of the options are entirely treatable, but it's a harbinger of the passage of time in this body'o'mine.  I did ask if any of it was related to weight, high blood pressure, Type 2 etc..., and she assured me that it isn't. 

I'm grateful that I had the eye irritation that got me to the eye doctor (a year overdue since I don't wear lenses), because I could easily have bumbled along another year before deciding to get my eyes checked!  Having excellent vision, which I do, apparently does not mean other things aren't going on.  And of course that holds true for the rest of the body.  Here is another item for my 'scared straight' list!

And I had a great on plan day yesterday with tons of walking.  And after the eye doc visit, I'm not feeling all that hungry!  Boy, that won't last!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mostly made it

Thanks for the support yesterday - I did make it through the day without bingeing, but I did have more nuts than would be  too many.  But it was a huge victory that the food and eating urges did pass and it wasn't until after dinner that I got into the nuts.

I have a meeting at 10 and meds to give before, so I need to scoot, but I wanted to follow up my sos plea yesterday.  Here's to a great day for all of us.

Monday, March 5, 2012


This is the first time I've sat down today at work - and my first time opening blogs.  What I'm going to post isn't what I'd planned, but it's what I need to say. 

This morning has been stressful, to say the least.  But in addition to the general Monday morning stress and chaos that always ensues in my place of business, there have been a couple of things which have tapped into my own unique frustration and inner demons that have left me slightly unglued.  In a feelings kind of way.  And guess what has come to mind?  Food.  Not just the beautiful salad I brought today and am currently taken bites of every few sentences here, but the kind that is mind-numbing, binge eliciting, and checking out of whatever "place" I'm currently in.

I don't want to binge.  I don't want to eat sugar and unleash THAT insanity.  But the urge is there.  For now I'm noticing it, reflecting on the morning and exactly when and where I got on the tilt-a-whirl to anxiety and need for obliteration of reality - just for a bit.  My closest friend and AA sponsor Lisa is currently undergoing a chemo-infusion, so it didn't feel quite right to call and dump my poor little wah wah stuff on her.  And then I knew what to do...write it here.  So that's what I'm doing.  I'm seeing so much more incisively the uncomfortable feelings to food connection.  I hate that I'm like this, but I is what I is. 

What's amazing today is that I actually picked up the earliest twinges in my psyche of wanting to binge today, long before I have in the past.  I've been doing well with on plan eating, and once my mind is clearer, this stuff comes up for examination a lot.  A LOT.  This is what makes long term staying on plan and then the elusive maintenance so hard.  But I just am making a decision today to not overeat.  For now I think I'll be good til I get home from work, because the on-site store where you can buy crap food closes at 1:30.  Unless I go out (which I can't), there is nothing to binge on.  So it's salad with deli ham and strawberries, and that is good for now.  Thanks for letting me dump that here.