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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.

Bells

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.

Bella

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.



Bella



12 November 2014

Time to face facts... I've gained. Some muscle weight, some fat weight, some knowledge, some acceptance, some something. How to sort it all out? I'm working on it. All I know is for my own record I've decided to be honest about it. All of it. I know far much more now than I have in the past, I am more than a number on the scale.



I read journals here... correction.. devour them. It seems we all 'say' we do it for health but the reality is vanity & 'looking good' is in there. I am moving into the health acceptance better; I suppose aging is helping with that.



Thoughts spinning like a hamster wheel lately - going in circles. It was my plan to stop this before it just continued until I regained the entire 110lbs again. I'm trying to be patient with what my body is doing right now. Just get thru the next six months with maybe a 5lb loss or no gain at all.



I've never maintained a lower weight. I often maintained a higher weight. I was consistently at 285lb over 5 years. That isn't boasting; it's a fact. Why not 290 or 315 then? How did I reach that plateau and stay? Why can't I stay at the lower weight?



Trying to revisit the start here. Thinking about a fast; maybe 24-36 hours. Something to kick start the way I have in the past. Maybe I just need one good stomach virus.

Another cycle on the hamster wheel: breakfast. I began reading 'how to lose weight, speed up metabolism' the other day as if I were starting from square one. Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast.

But I'm not hungry early in the morning. I'm not hungry until mid-day. I don't feel that I'm eating beyond hunger daily. But something is causing the weight gain. Again, either fat to muscle conversion on top of the few 'extras' and "yeah, buts"?

I don't want to force myself to eat when I'm not hungry; it goes against everything I've tried to incorporate in the EWYL plan. But maybe that too will shift things enough; a tipping point.

My body is shifting though. Hips are fitting a little tighter but waist is loose. Weird. Rings & bracelet still fit loose. So where's the increase?

But if I don't log it.. I'll continue to feel like a liar. And be confused forever when I come back to check on my progress. I've been denying and trying to rationalize this 5lbs at a time for months. Starting here will help me. And maybe help someone else.

Dear Angels.. heal me. Help me recover and live through this gracefully. Don't let me fall completely to the ground. Pick me up today.

Bella

Weigh-in: 210.0 lb lost so far: 75.0 lb still to go: 30.0 lb Diet followed reasonably well
   (16 comments) on diet Make Peace with Myself   gaining 2.9 lb a week

10 November 2014

Yesterday gave me gorgeous weather, safe travels, a day with my dear friend and great inspiring art. I call it a win.

A lot of walking as anticipated; I don't wear a pedometer so I'll just estimate it was around 97 million steps, lol. At least, it felt that way by the time I fell in bed last night on the heels of 12 hours on my feet Saturday.

No outdoor vendors to grab me by the nose and force food down my throat, yay. Grace and I shared brunch (a creme cheese danish) and a late lunch (club sandwich). Not exactly rabbit food



but not the latter here either:



And along with being mindful of my eating, I was mindful of my spending. Yay again. I did linger at one of the tents with gorgeous clothes but refused to listen to that voice that tries to tell me 'that $350 poncho is just what you need to change your life'. Then again, spending myself to 'homeless' would be a change, hmmm?

So great day. Came home and walked to the market with Mushy. I'm trying out a few of the Pinterest recipes for appetizers for Cutty's Memorial. So far, I'm at a fail. But that's why I'm trying them now instead of that day. Otherwise...I'd be all:




Reflecting on the poster below yielded few answers health and weight wise but I was able to begin my day this morning without the customary walk into the bathroom and glare at my body in profile. I did have some pain in my right leg after walking and standing for hours but a short break and I'd recover. Not so much a change from a year ago but two years ago I couldn't have walked and stood any length of time at all.



And finally, played around with this thought last night. Sometimes I feel like 'forget it' because this 'healthy mindful eating' is so time consuming - having to think about it, portions, nutrition, etc. In comparison, it 'feels' as if I never pay attention to food at all when I'm gaining. But in fall fairness, I probably do; even more; in that I just get consumed with the temptation and consumption. It just feels different. Convincing myself I'm 'starving' to justify a double cheeseburger and chocolate shake was just 'easier' than acknowledging I'm merely 'hungry' and will seek nutrition. Spinning reality.

So I'm going to stick with it. Try to keep the 'yeah, but' days to a minimum. Trudge ahead and hang on one day at a time.

Bella

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