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01 April 2014

Tuesday - April 1st - and I know this may read like a prank but I was thinking this actually sounds fun - - until I looked at some of the photo’s.

I think I could crawl thru the mud but that stump walk ~ whew! I’ve been searching for something to do on Mother’s Day weekend with Blondie and that sounded very ‘bonding’ as well as there are a heck of a lot of nice hotels in Dallas according to the websites. Would make for a fair weekend trip. Maybe I just need more coffee.

Mani/pedi yesterday after closing - my hands and feet were a mess after the gardening this weekend. That’s ok. But as I sat there trying to drown out the noise and just meditate I found myself caught on the hamster wheel of thought following the conversation with the NBB and trying to wrap my head around all of this ‘healthy living’ and sanely reaching a point where I love myself at any weight.

NB (for short, LOL) has been very impressed with what I’ve done (weight loss, he knows of my eating disorders to which I’ve not succumbed this time around, was truly impressed to see the bike, etc) and is very encouraging about ‘going at my own pace and what feels comfortable’. He reminded me ‘you never reach your goals because each time you do better you set more goals.’

By the way - NB has not been MY guide, nutritionist or coach - he's just a person I know and shares ideas now and then when *I* ask. He encourages me to lift weights; I've told him of my 'case of water bottle' lifting and he chuckles 'it's a start...'

The thing that had my marbles going in circles was how he panics when he loses weight (like when he was sick for two days) because he feels it’s water, muscle, etc as his fat percentage is so low. He shared how he was 119lbs when he started being a body builder (and shows me the photo of him looking ‘okay’ but a little ‘soft’) and now he’s 185 to 190 and yeah, that guy is ‘ripped’.

No, I’m not heading in that direction. I am quite happy my body is still here with me letting me stand, walk, lift plants, dig with a shovel and pedal my bike. That’s more than I could have done with it two years ago.

Getting to the headline I’ve obviously buried: the conversation that had me nodding as I ran these topics thru MY head included the one about ‘converting fat to muscle’ and how we let the scale get in our way.

I kept revisiting the fact that so many people have commented to me ‘you’ve lost a lot of weight since last summer’ and the reality is I’ve gained 5lbs although I'm wearing a size down. I’ve had some lows going into the fall (my weight history shows me recording 171) and then I hit this 180 up and down 3-5lbs for over two months and decided ‘what the heck, record it and move on.’ Maybe that’s it. That HAS to be it or my clothes would be tight.

So *I* … trying to STOP the insanity by doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result… *I* have to stop thinking about that scale. I have to. I am so grateful my body has stuck with me thru so much abuse with weight loss, I don’t think I want to push it with a fifth attempt.

The food recording and measuring - it put me back on that stupid track of ‘well if my RDI is ‘x’ I’ll drop down below that and lose weight. Also, I’ve been ignoring TRUE hunger a lot lately thinking ‘do that, it’ll be good for you, take off that next 10lbs.

But then I’d be hungry so I’m following the EWYL that reminds us to eat when hungry and do other things when we want to eat when not hungry and I have cluster-mushed my thoughts into a complete mess. I’d let myself ‘go hungry’ and just drink coffee or water instead of eating. IF’g to shave off the calories. AND I think, for me, right now, it’s lowered my metabolism and will only get worse. Time to mop that up and rethink this process.

But back to that age old question by others ‘OMG, you’ve lost a ton of weight, how much have you lost?’ - the one I avoid by saying things like ‘Thank you for Noticing - Not nearly as Much as I’ve gained’ because I refuse to be a carnival side show for free… well, that’s how we get stuck on that DARNED number. That DARN scale. That DARN measurement by which, despite how many times I’ve said ‘I’m more than a number on the scale’ and ‘I refuse to let a piece of plastic determine my mood for the day’ … I still do it. AND it's INSANE.

And it needs to STOP. Do you hear me, Bella? It needs to S-T-O-P or you’ll be right back where you’ve been your ENTIRE weight losing life … resorting to little tricks to move than needle south because you’re hung up on the number.

NB reminds me I’ve converted FAT to MUSCLE. That’s the ONLY explanation for the gain on the scale while my clothes still fit. So I wonder if answering the HowMuch question would shut the asker down by replying, “It’s tough to calculate… I think I’ve probably lost about 150lbs of fat but gained about 45lbs of muscle so in the end when you carry the three and divide by the number of bottles of water I drink a day …” do you think by then they’d stop listening?

More important, will *I* continue to listen? Continue to remind myself it’s NOT the number on the scale. It’s the over all moving and lifting and being able to stand and walk and even at 5am consider doing a Gladiator event for Mother’s Day instead of a big dinner out?

ME? Running, racing and jumping in mud at my 50something age in life? Me? The gal who doesn’t mind getting her nails dirty working with ‘flowers’ as long as a manicurist is on standby? Me? The gal who sprained her ankle wearing high heels? Me?

Why not me? Do I care if I get disqualified for walking AROUND that 8’ wall? The preparation for the event includes a ‘gut check’ listing the following: look in the mirror, take a stiff breath of courage, chastise yourself for taking life too seriously, promise yourself you’ll be gladiator tough and do better today than you did yesterday and dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

I may not do it. I’m also considering a hot air balloon ride too - another bucket list item. But the sheer fact that I did not respond with ‘Pfffft’ this morning reading about the Gladiator thing indicates that little changes are continuing to occur within me.

A change for the better. Or maybe I’ve gone insane. Time will tell.


31 March 2014

Monday Morning - March 31st. I haven’t journaled for a few days because I just haven’t had much to say - how unlike me, no? ATF is going okay except for Saturday - I can’t figure out if I was eating my depression or depressed because of my eating; probably a bit of both. But Sunday was back on track. And I forgot where the countdown for ‘no Midnight Munching Madness’ left off but I am still zero with that so that’s a good thing.

Took the bike out yesterday and while this reads like a joke, esp to Heather and Glen, I was pleased to estimate based on the mapquest search afterward that I rode at least six miles. A year ago I’d not have had the strength or ‘nerve’ to get on a bike in public; two years ago I’d … well, fahgetaboutit. I’d neither have been physically able to ride and would have allowed those voices in my head to snicker and imagine all of the hecklers with their ‘how are those tires even staying inflated’ insults.

I didn’t get ‘my speed on’ with my precious cargo (Mushy) in the basket but it was nice and I did get a ‘sweat on’ so not bad. I’m fighting my compulsive behavior to get a two wheeler as well now that I determined I can ride to many of the places I like to go regularly like the nail salon, library, and the bigger grocer for when I need things not sold at the corner market to which I presently walk.

That’s the high & low lights. The remainder of my journal has nothing to do with food or activity. It’s the reason I haven’t been here a few days - things in my head - emotions with which I’m struggling. Feel free to stop reading and have a wonderful day.


Friday morning was warm and sunny and it was the first morning I spent time comfortably in the back yard in a while tending to the flowers that had survived the winter. Those beautiful pansy’s that I planted the weekend of Cutty’s passing were still blooming. It was touching and sad - they are still here, he isn’t. I sat down in ‘his’ chair - the one from where he’d perched so many morning’s when he’d sit outside and dream until his declining health prevented him from walking that far.

At that point I’d take outside photos every morning and upload them to my laptop and we’d lay in bed in the evenings and view them. It was my only way of showing him the parts of the yard he couldn’t see from his bathroom window but it made me sad because it was only on the other side of the door but may as well have been another country to him. It was like showing him vacation photos to a place he really couldn’t go. Or didn’t want to see. Reminders of his limitations to a place he couldn’t go. I’d plead that I could carry him in his wheelchair; he refused because he felt I was already doing so much all day. I’d suggest having a ramp built for his scooter. He refused again. He said he couldn’t breath out there anymore even with the portable oxygen and inhalers.

The last time he was out he’d suggested I get grass growing around the A/C unit. I did, immediately. Cutty spoke and I hopped. He never came back outside to see it. I stared at it from his chair Friday morning and felt my heart breaking at the recognition.

Then the oddest thing happened. I’ve always enjoyed hearing the real Church bells ring from a block away. They normally chime the ‘WestMinster’ tune followed by nine bells and that was my indication it was time to come back in and get on about my day. Those bells were always accompanied by Cutty phoning me and saying, ‘It’s tiiiiiime….’ But Friday, of course, I had no phone outside. No one to phone me.

As my time outside has been limited this winter because of the cold and depression, I am not sure ‘when’ the Church upgraded their chimes or if Friday was the first day but they began to ring ‘Old Rugged Cross’. I was staring at the grass and crying because I missed Cutty so much and I hear this … his favorite hymnal. When I would play the piano for him (years ago, we no longer have it) I would play it and Unchained Melody. They were his favorites. It felt like a sign. Him telling me ‘I’m still here, Lil Darlin’, I’m still here.’

I tried to hold onto that feeling when I went to Lowe’s yesterday but I couldn’t. I had a tough time working my emotions there as my hypersensitivity to being a lonely widow on Sundays (bothers me worse that day because it was the day I spent the most time with Cutty) seemed on overload.

Yesterday at Lowes looked like ‘date night’ as all of the garden shoppers were ‘paired up’ except me. I caught myself just walking thru the aisles hugging my sides tight and fighting back tears behind my sunglasses. This yard, my church, had all began because of Cutty’s encouragement. Before he grew so sick HE was the gardener and aisle leader and I was the basket pusher. This was at our other homes. He’s spend what seemed like hours fussing over which shrubs to pick. Once we moved here as his health declined he’d pick out and suggest items from the Home Depot flyers in the paper then wait at home in his recliner to see what I’d picked and give me his advice and comment.

But I pushed thru; finally snagging a basket to grip instead of my sides. I gave into the hope that warm weather is really finally here and picked out a lemon tree, two hibiscus and a pink rose bush as well as two bags of soil and a bag of mulch. Quite a load and I carried it all thru my home and into the back yard by myself. A year ago I’d have paid the grandson’s to do it. I still could have but wanted to prove to myself I’m strong enough physically and emotionally to keep going.

Down in the dirt, digging and clearing, I planted and cried then smiled as the Church bells seemed to go on overload and played a ton of hymnals while I planted. I pulled the lounge chair over into the shade for Mushy.

No great epiphany. No revelation other than tired and sore. I just knew I needed to start ‘feeling’ my life again rather than avoiding it with mindless shopping and avoiding the reality that this time when I am alone, I am truly alone in my home. I’m not at a hotel or corporate apartment nor am I home alone because he’s in the hospital. He’s really not coming back and it just freaking hurts. But life goes on. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last. I need to make this time count.

That’s all.

31 March 2014

Second Journal and a Weigh in - please don't worry - I'm not panicking. I had a long talk with my friend, the nutritionist and body builder, and I decided to record 'how it really is' especially as my clothes are fitting a little looser. He assures me I'm obviously gaining muscle and am at the stage where it will, slowly but surely, burn away the last of the fat but will take longer as I don't exercise regularly.

HE says, and I don't think he was placating me, that I look thinner than I did months ago. He says my body is catching up and this is a good thing. I need to go take a photograph because I did take one at 50lbs lost and again at 100lbs lost and I really feel I do look slimmer despite it only being 5lbs. I've had many people tell me 'you've lost a lot of weight since I saw you last summer' and that's not true. So the NBB said 'you've converted more fat to muscle'. Nice way of thinking about it.

So reflecting on my journal of the other day, I am at the weight so many people find themselves. Wanting to lose that last 10-15lbs. And I've been here many months. But this time, I will not give up and will not give into that same old bag of disordered eating tricks.

I was thinking another thing I do ... once I connected 'good fat' is that I may be eating too much fat. Then again I may not. But I shouldn't reject trying things like a yogurt dressing because 'it's lower in fat'. Or low fat cottage cheese at night. I do think I really do need to stay away from too much sugar. I didn't have a chance (okay, I didn't REMEMBER) to discuss this with NBB.

I also think I'm not eating enough. I say this despite being 150% of my RDI but I don't think it's high enough. I am going to raise that for a while and will continue to measure with more than a scale.

Change at this point is harder noticed. NBB assures me as long as I continue to eat clean and be physically active it will make a change bit by bit. There are many forces at play here - age, body type, etc - the the biggest is being happy with myself and loving myself today.

Even as *I* type this it sounds much like whistling in the wind because my old 'starve, get used to the hunger' eating disorder voice wants to wade in and say 'wrong, eating more is wrong, you just don't need it' but that's the same voice that led me astray over four decades. I'm going to try a different voice for a month.

Thank you all for your kind comments this morning. I apologize for being a downer and making you cry. I think sometimes I tend to want to 'shake it off' and forget what's really going on in my life while I try to hold onto and grip everything else. It can't be ignored or I'll be back at square one. I don't want to go there.

Weigh-in: 180.0 lb lost so far: 105.0 lb still to go: 0 lb Diet followed reasonably well
   (3 comments) on diet Make Peace with Myself   steady weight

30 March 2014

Weigh-in: 180.0 lb lost so far: 105.0 lb still to go: 0 lb Diet followed reasonably well
   add comment on diet Make Peace with Myself   gaining 3.9 lb a week

29 March 2014

Weigh-in: 180.0 lb lost so far: 105.0 lb still to go: 0 lb Diet followed reasonably well

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