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05 December 2014

Broth watch continues. While preparing Thanksgiving dinner I’d saved the broth off two roasts to flavor a stew and I still haven’t found it. The only option is somehow I poured it into a foodsaver bag, sealed it, and threw it away. That is the best of my options.

I’m renewing my eating plan this morning. I feel like I’m going backward by eating breakfast when I’m not hungry but there has to be a connection between the weight gain that seemed to take on steam when I stopped having it. But my recent doc visit revealed my bad cholesterol has increased. The comment read to me was ‘less fried food, more fruits & vegetables’. I wanted to argue “I don’t EAT fried food” but the numbers don’t lie. Something in my WOE isn't healthy.

This has bothered me more than the weight gain. I guess I truly am pursuing this for health more than vanity. So if it requires a few steps back to build up the momentum I had in 2012, so be it. I may even reinstitute the 10 gallon salad for a while. And I imagine having five different cheeses in the fridge are contributing to the higher cholesterol. Time to put that on the ‘special pleasure’ list.

I know I can do this. I’ve done it, over and over. This is the phase I’d wondered about in the past - a repeat of the regain at this point in my journey. But the ‘past me’ would have just brushed it all beneath the rug of reconciliation; justifying it with the better qualities I possess ala ‘sure, I’m obese but I..’ and list my better points.

I want both. I want to continue to be a good person and have good health. I want to be able to move and stand and fit into the airplane seat if I ever do take that trip to Italy as well as be able to walk those cobblestone streets I’ve fantasized about all my life. This is important to me.

Other than food I’ve had an up and down week. My cold & cough was pretty bad by the time I went to the doctor but is easing up thanks to the medications. Tea at the Adolphus with four other ladies was quite nice. But the cold, medications and still soul wrenching depression have left me wiped out. A regular customer commented on the absence of my usual ‘perkiness’ yesterday. My demeanor is mostly sedate. I’m listening more than talking. I just don’t want to hear my stories anymore. Hence the absence of journals.

However, I heard the following this morning (zoning out to Grey’s Anatomy): At some point you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out, they fence you in. Life is messy, that’s how were made. So you can waste your life drawing lines or you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines that are way too dangerous to cross. Here’s how I see it, if you’re willing to take the chance, the view from the other side is spectacular.”

It seemed to speak to my present state of mind. I could feel myself throwing up wall after wall. Just like the lab reports, this served as a reminder for my plans to live in the world rather than sit on the sidelines and watch.

And that’s the latest. Thank you for visiting and supporting me. Hanging on by a thread here. But at least I’m still hanging on.

02 December 2014

Physically, mentally and emotionally depleted. And sick. That’s how I began my Monday and December. I’m still here and apologize if being away so long concerned anyone.

The Memorial was nice; several compliments (although, who would have criticized?) There were over 70 people in attendance. As I opened the ceremony I joked ‘I can just hear Cutty now..’Been gone a year, can still pack a room”. I noted yesterday ‘he’s been gone a year and still gets more mail than me.’

Thanksgiving day went well too; we fed about 50 people and still had enough food left over for at least that many more; I’d hauled everything but the kitchen sink down to the Money Pit (where we served) including the foodsaver - that came in handy. I didn’t keep any of it so Blondie’s crew should eat well for at least a month.

Friday it all caved in on me. The exhale of ‘whew, it’s finally all over’ was quickly replaced with ‘now what?’ The Memorial made it all fresh again; this feeling of loss, pain, uncertainty and sadness. I feel as if I’m right back where I was a year ago but the timing is off. I don’t feel people around me in real life will understand or give me the ‘widow’s wide berth’ as it’s a year later and I am expected to have moved on. I know this is all in my head; I’m the one imposing a timeline on grieving.

Regardless, I’m hurting. I tried to do a few things but mostly slept or zoned out on a movie; some because of depression, some physiological from being sick. I have a doctor appointment this morning; hopefully she’ll give me some antibiotics. I’m not a fan of those but I know this bronchial infection won’t go away untreated.

How is this affecting ‘all things food & health’? Some moments of mindlessness and a couple of unhealthy overeating binges. Otherwise hanging on with fingernails gripping the tools I can remember and scratching for that ‘thing’ that I had a year ago as I chant off of the mantras and breathe. I feel in some ways I’m doing well considering I still have a pantry full of every conceivable bakery item enabling me to whip up a batch of cookies, candies, cakes & pies (but haven’t). Right now nothing really has any taste to me so I find myself grazing for ‘something’ but discard it after a couple of disappointing bites. Even coffee doesn’t taste good; it’s just that bad.

Now what? I’ve had reservations for ‘O’ Christmas Teas’ at the Adolphus for two months; that’s tomorrow. I’m taking Grace, BCF, Yoga and a new friend whom I’ve yet to nickname but she came into my shop about a month ago and could have been telling ‘my’ story it was so similar. This is my Christmas gift to my friends. I hope I’m feeling better; I have to whether I want to or not as I organized it but don’t want to be an incubus of infection for the others in the car. Maybe sans the ability to taste anything will help me avoid overeating at the tea.

I have been reading your journals via the email notifications but am going to ask for a pass of forgiveness this time for not commenting. I am really trying to move forward week without looking in the rearview mirror. Another blow to my sanity Friday was realizing I’d double booked myself on a couple of events coming up next year. Or, as I joked “I’ve forgotten how to calendar.” But privately - that shook me and made me feel unsteady as I wonder what else I’ve missed.

So I’m mopping up my life again. And again. I’ll skip the Titanic reference; too easy.

Take care. Be good to yourselves. I’m going to try to do the same.


20 November 2014

Reflection this morning: is this ((the death and grief)) something for which I’ve been preparing via the challenges life has given me or is the present preparing me for even more?

Alec, my Beta, my warrior Siamese fighting fish, died yesterday. I’ve always loved Fall but my perception of ‘Autumn’ is shifting from ‘clean air, crisp cool days, new school year, a beginning of greater days to come’ to more of .. ‘an ending’. It’s beginning to feel like purgatory.

But that’s okay. I shall smile through this and look forward to better changes and brave the challenges.

Food and eating is going okay even as I experiment with different recipes for the upcoming holidays. A cup of vegetable soup for breakfast yesterday, followed by the other half of ceviche leftover from Tuesday for lunch and taste testing a ‘buffalo monkey bread’ last night. Apple for bedtime snack. MacIntosh are my favorites. Getting in plenty of water as I attempt to flush out … well.. whatever needs to be flushed out. Fell asleep imagining the bread recipe with different sauces. A variety on the visions of sugar plums dancing in my head I suppose.

I’m crying daily; several times a day at the drop of a hat. I imagine some of the weight regain this past few months is, in addition to playing pretty fast & loose with sugar and other tasty delights, the result of me stuffing down sadness. Without the daily replenishing of too much food my emotions are raw and bare. I’m feeling things so much more personally. Staring deep into the eyes of people sitting across me and feeling their sadness as well.

I want so much to be the kind of person that lifts them up; allows them to walk away from me feeling lighter and happier. But lightheartedness and jokes seem inappropriate right now. Their eyes seem to reflect the need to feel this sadness right now. Maybe they are just mirroring me.


PS - yes, I do love that you take time out of your busy days to visit with me and comment on my journal. I know I’m sad right now. I apologize. Thank you for your love, support and patience. I’ll find Bella-Light again soon. Maybe today. Yoga tonight; maybe it'll release me from this turmoil.

18 November 2014

Tuesday after a 'Lost Weekend'. Not food or drink though - so that's progress.

I've had my head down working on the slide show for Cutty's Memorial. Looking at those old photographs of him young and healthy stirred up too many emotions and I felt as if I were back where I was a year ago. Sleep was erratic or non-existent. I cried so hard I resembled a bullfrog with even swollen eyelids. Mush clung to me thru the whole thing; I think she was worried about me. I didn't cross the threshold of the front door, dress in anything other than pajamas, or even make my bed. I couldn't believe how much I still had bottled up inside of me.

But I'm better today.

Similar to the stomach flu, grieving was an appetite suppressant. Saturday I ate most of a homemade sausage roll before the blues took over. Other than chicken broth and tea I didn't eat again until I enjoyed a mug of homemade chili last night. Followed by a banana with almond butter. And then a flour tortilla with melted cheese. My sleep patterns are returning to normal although 'my' normal is nowhere near sane.

Activity is standing or walking with the occasional yoga poses. Nothing extreme as I try to find my solid footing and center myself again.

And .. as they say .. Life Goes On.


Weigh-in: 205.0 lb lost so far: 80.0 lb still to go: 25.0 lb Diet followed reasonably well
   (21 comments) on diet Make Peace with Myself   losing 5.8 lb a week

14 November 2014

Friday and Baby It’s Cold Outside. So I’ll begin by expressing my gratitude to have a home, heat, and my little Mushy snoring beside me. Yesterday was her five year anniversary of making me her human also known as the day she stole my heart.

Thank you as always for your kind, supportive, and candid comments on my previous journal. I appreciate you visiting me, reading, and sharing ideas. In my ultimate rationalization I’ll forgive the ‘dishonesty’ wherein I’ve not only lied to myself the past year but to you as well and congratulate myself for facing reality now. It’s helping me. Maybe this will be the turning point.

I believe it started somewhere around this time last year when I began concentrating on the body changes more than the scale. So fudging my recording 5-10lbs became the norm as I worked on accepting I’m more than the number on the scale and actually seeking a number increase as indicative of muscle mass. I still believe that - so many things have improved but if the number is reflecting more than muscle I must address it and adjust. And although my waist is slimming while hips have expanded, my upper body is larger.

However, it continued to escalate. I’d finally ‘confess’ of sorts; recording a somewhat higher number a little as a time but still buffered with my justification. I can label it ‘the new math weigh in’ but I have lost track. Track of things. Important things.

This is my journal. My online support group. The place where I am to be the most candid. Being vague about age and weight in person is one thing. But here, you are my very accepting and supporting friends. And lying to myself as well as you isn’t helping anyone, especially me. Trying to gauge progress and change with a fake weigh in is ridiculous.

Still, it’s more than the number. I know that.

But earlier this week when I began reflecting on ‘what can I do today that I couldn’t do a year ago’ the physical list came up short. The mental and emotional list has extended, thank goodness. Braver. Stronger. Calmer. More centered. Creative. Loving. Forgiving. Accepting. All of these, good qualities, indeed. And modesty, haha.

However, I recognize a pattern with this mindset. It’s the habit of forgiving my ‘weight, lack of moderation in eating, complacent acceptance of the extra weight as my physical abilities decline in reaction’ all because ‘Hey, I’m a good person.. isn’t that enough?’

And indeed, it is. But it’s not best for me. I want to continue to get stronger. Be able to ride my bike longer. Stand and walk farther. Shore up my physical strength to match my emotional energy to be able to glide into old age gracefully rather than limping and breathing heavy.

It feels like self hate. To continue to eat beyond hunger, consume though hunger satisfied, snack mindlessly - it seems I am back on the cycle of feeding something in my soul. Something lacking. Empty.

I’ve considered some of my old weight loss tricks. Fast. Starve. Something to get the old ball rolling. Maybe too many ‘natural’ foods … substitute with ‘fat free, low cal, etc’. But my mind argues the cliche of ‘doing the old thing, expecting new results’. I’m not sure yet. For today, I’m having breakfast. And recording. I feel this is progress because I’m not going too far backward by just guzzling water all day.

I recognize the other ‘cycle’ that has occurred in the past when I’ve regained the weight is the confusion about ‘healthy food’. ‘It’s whole, it’s natural, it’s healthy’ replaces moderation in consumption. Portions have to be addressed. So I’ve returned to the bowls I used when I first began EWYL; a visual reminder that my stomach is the size of my fist. And I walked outside and revisited my tribute to EWYL - the glass garden sculpture I created last year as explained here
Glass Garden Sculpture

Cooking more is helping. I know this is a killer for some but it helps me. I’m considering finding a part time job cooking for a restaurant or caterer; something to fulfill that creative desire. I love preparing food, chopping, reading recipes, enjoying the aroma. It helps me feel ‘full’ without taking a bite. Well, not many bites. I’m preparing now for Thanksgiving having invited the Firefighters and County Law Enforcement to the guest list. The third turkey in two days is roasting as I journal. The ‘foodsaver’ is getting a workout as several chili’s & beans are now frozen, stored, and ready for thawing that week. I’m anticipating around 100 people. I love a purpose.

I’m continuing to promote the two events at the Money Pit. Posters made; banners ordered; applications being requested. And after musing the ‘get out of jail free’ forgiveness cards last week Grace offered an incredible suggestion: create them myself using my own paintings and photography. I’d been considering pulling them from the already created images on the internet. How wonderful she is to suggest such a project. Yoga has already committed that she’d like to purchase several sets as Christmas gifts for her classes. Totally intriguing.

The universe messaged the word ‘core’ to me several times yesterday. In reading, posters, and a challenge invitation. I am using this word as my mantra for the next few days. Building a better core.
During yoga class last week and again last night, I felt different than last year. Heavier. Not as limber. Not balanced. I also felt my self esteem diminished as I was beside the ‘thinner’ ladies; the heavier ladies all congregate on the back row; I wanted to be there, comfortable among ‘my own’. Memory flashes from high school gym class generated slide shows on my diminishing self esteem. Several times I caught myself shaking my head as if to silently scream ‘no, not anymore!’.

I also recognized during yoga class last night I experienced a gamut of self perceptions ranging from ‘frail’ to ‘warrior’.

I prefer feeling like the ‘warrior’. The mental image of me ‘frail’ felt small. Aged. Elderly. Tired. Victim. And so began a cycle of free thinking that led to ‘if small feels frail.. weak.. needy.. am I trying to be bigger via the weight gain to feel stronger and more independent?’ Balance. I must find the balance.

Visualizing a strong cylinder shaped core. Like a battery. Energizing me. Feeding my strength in ways food will not. I do not need to be large to be in charge. I can do this. I can be healthy and not be a victim. I do not need my weight as protection. I can face this next phase of my life without my fat suit of armor or book of excuses. I will find a way.


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