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25 April 2013
Well my ADHD won't allow more than a cursory 30 second search on the internet so I'm going to have to paraphrase. The great Jack Benny referring to playing the violin, "You have to practice a long time to even play badly." I recall him saying that in an interview long ago wherein he lamented to play the violin really well was a natural gift he didn't possess; that he practiced three hours a day just so he wouldn't get worse.
That pretty much applies to most things in life, doesn't it. You're either born with it or not. You can study and practice but you'll never be as good nor will it be as easy as 'The Naturals'. So how do we not give up when faced with that reality?
We practice. Every day. Maybe not all three hours; maybe more. But every day we have to practice and remember and stay dedicated to the thing we want to do even when we weren't born to it naturally.
Sure, I'm referring to eating right and attaining a healthy weight. But moreso, I was thinking about this today in terms of 'confidence.' Like the ability to play the violin, I think some people are luckily born with it. And I'll confess, I resent the heck out of them. In my own rationalization I want to tell myself they're mostly delusional because being confident does not come easy for me. Having my confidence shook at an early age has been a constant gut-check throughout life to know if I'm 'right' or 'just faking it hoping no one finds out I'm wrong.'
I truly believe this is the 'thing' to which I referred in my journal a few weeks ago. The Thing that keeps me wondering when I'm about to be found out, fired, or called on the carpet. The Thing that pushed me when I was afraid, forced me to overcompensate when I just wanted to rest, and keeps me off-center when I just want balance.
Confidence. If I'd been born with it, I'd have been able to maintain it despite my childhood. My friend tells me to try it on like a jacket; eventually I'll feel better wearing it. I argue I've been pulling it on for years and it never fit right. It's like trying to wear Chanel when my frame calls for Wrangler. I want to be calm and sophisticated but I always seem to be scrapping my way through life. It's exhausting.
Many of you are probably weary today after I brought you in for an unexpected trip to Bellawood. As I sat through another albuterol enhanced rage and rant I channeled several of you as I repeatedly prayed the serenity prayer while forcing myself to listen with compassion but not absorption. Despite my fists clenched in defense beneath my folded arms I listened without interrupting until the venting person sighed. Then I walked away, totally wiped out, head down, tail tucked, believing what I'd heard.
Then one of you met me in the kitchen, helped me pull on the Wrangler, spun me on my heel and sent me back. As I took a deep breath and zipped it shut like a suit of armor I began the conversation with 'Okay, I listened to you, now it's my turn.'
I was logical, not emotional. I was factual and compassionate and managed to avoid resorting to profanity or blaming. I said it the way it needed to be said right then, not written later in an edit. And by the time I was finished, I was confident I was not wrong. Not this time.
Was I heard? I think so. I'm a pretty fair guage of emotions based on decades of experience. It's a little chilly here in Bellawood today; I think I'll keep the jacket on just in case. I can always pull it off later if things warm up.
Today is my eight month anniversary of Operation Oatmeal so it's time to journal any changes noted since the previous anniversary and then include the ongoing list from the beginning. I keep and share this list as a motivating reminder to myself and others who find themselves with a long journey ahead that losing or gaining one pound at a time seems minimal in the big picture of life but it's important to recognize the small accomplishments along the way.
However .... I somehow managed to delete it from my computer. All is not lost as my list is up to date through my journal on March 25th but anything I've listed in the past month is gone. And yes, I checked the recycle bin. Gone. And now we know why I'll never work for NASA. So while the list for this past 30 days may seem a little short of recognition I am eternally grateful for the strength, support and encouragement I continued to receive every day. So here goes:
March 25 through April 24, 2013:
*Lost 6lbs; total 96lbs since August 25, 2012
*Fear factor breakfast of liver & onions; survived it but lost sanity points (oh well)
*Finally got birds for the feeders
*Discovered and made peace with my inner toddlers
*Working in my garden
*Eating intuitively; I still record but eat for hunger rather than to fulfill my RDI allowance
*Made more new friends and kept my really good friends here on Fat Secret - you folks are
The ongoing list serves as my reminder that the little things weight and unhealthy eating took away may not have been so noticeable as they happened but getting them back has been
2/25/13 through 3/25/13:
*Lost 7lbs bringing total loss to 90lbs since 8/25/12
*Continued exploring and discovering food I love vs foods I was eating out of habit
*Climbed up a ladder to work on windows - could not have done that in Aug12
*Chose to walk outside more ~ rather than driving short trips in town
*Recognized I'm actually outwalking my little dog (she used to drag 'me' four months ago)
*Avoided binging my emotions during a really stressful month
*Recognized there's more to feed than just our hunger
*Have moved my weigh in to monthly insteady of weekly
*Finally got birds at the feeders - yay
*Happily recognized more and more I am intuitively thinking about the quantity of food for hunger satisfaction rather than the total caloric estimate ~ not over eating just 'because the RDI total says I can'
*Spring flowers are 'sprouting' - yay
*Began eating more fearlessly with my mindfulness instead of prerecording my entire day
*Added sauerkraut to my breakfast with noted results (probiotics)
*Finally found and cooked Steel Cut Oats ~ like them
*Lab results on 6mo checkup much improved on blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure
*Continued to work daily on finding peace in my relationship with food
*Tried Chia seeds - love 'em!
*Recognized when I do have 'more food' some days, I'm not as hungry the next day ~ my body is driving my eating rather than my mind or cravings
*Think I may have a bit of 'foodie' in me as I recognize more and more how sensitive my palate has become as more junk clears my system
*Started making peace with my inner toddler
*Continued to make and keep great friends here at FatSecret and be inspired by every one of you every day.
1/26/13 through 2/25/13
*Lost 9lbs bringing total to loss to 83lbs lost since 8/25/12
*Have a lap now ~ can rest a plate or book on it when sitting without a table
*Have NOT needed a two hour weekly massage to relieve pain in my neck and shoulders since Nov ~ my gosh, how much money have I saved??? Then again, a massage for the sake of a massage sounds good... hmmm...
*Have started returning to more 'standard' food without freaking out ala regular cottage cheese, mayo, and yogurt instead of that proverbial 'Fat Free' label and compromised taste with higher sugar
*However, did find 'Smart Balance' chunky peanut butter and it really has a great 'roasted peanut' taste - gosh, I hope that's not a synthetic chemical effect
*Found myself much more relaxed eating out now that I feel more confident about the food choices I'm making and enjoying them
*Multiple weird undiagnosible lumps on the back of my calves went away - have had those for 30 years - not sure if it's due to the treadmill, food, or just weird concidence or combination but nice to not look like I am smuggling golf balls in my ankles
*Gave up processed carb snacks (pretzels crisps, bagel chips) and still lived - better than that, nearly ten years of acne finally cleared up
*Can almost touch my forehead to the floor when I'm sitting cross legged on the floor - (am 6inch away) - could barely sit on the floor six months ago and needed a chair to pull myself up from the floor
*Actually run from time to time on treadmill at 6mph - no marathon but more than I ever thought I'd do
*Am not the hottest woman in the room anymore (haha) - I used to be so hot & out of breath I always needed a fan blowing on me.
*More of me, much much more of me, slips under the water line when I soak in my spa tub now - have had it for 5 years and always needed a wet towel on my upper body before to soak without getting cold
*Slid into a booth at a restaurant the other day confidently without slowly LOWERING myself and dreading having the table serve as my chest prop or having to move to a table with a chair
*Size 14 jeans (down from 28 or something with 3x on it)
*Stopped weighing myself daily and lived through it without going nuts
*Made some good progress on identifying screwed up thoughts that led to my poor eating habits (but you'll have to travel back in my journals to find them, LOL)
*Continued to be inspired and supported daily by the wonderful community here at FS
*Found myself wanting less and less sugar in my food
*Learned to really enjoy my precious CHEESE pleasure - Sartori Balsamic Yum!
*Not sure if it's due to my increased self confidence because I no longer feel like a fraud or decreasing weight discrimination or a combo of both, I get away with serving up more (and taking a lot less) crap with men. I know, that reads horrid but I run a business in a male dominated industry ~ I guess being stronger with what I put in my mouth made me a force to be dealt with regarding what comes out of it??
*Finally made the connection between quantity and quality and how overeating ANY food is going to keep me at risk for failure.
12/22/12 through 01/26/13
*Lost 9lbs bringing total to 74lbs since 8/25/12
*Wearing jeans now six sizes smaller than when I started
*Wearing ring guards now because my fingers are smaller
*Upped calories, fat and protein; decreased processed carbs and lived to tell about it
*Survived a 3 week plateau without giving up
*Put up birdfeeders for Winter. Waiting for birds now. 2/25: STILL NO BIRDS :-(
*Discovered beef puts me in a feeding frenzy but tuna suppresses my appetite. 2/25: This is no longer true. Beef satisfies my hunger if it's not 'lean'.
*Learned new ways to make a sandwich without bread
*Started sleeping better
*Found new ways to have a crunch food without chips
*Added hummus to my healthy snacks and like it
*Jogged briefly on my treadmill
*Continued to be inspired and encouraged daily by my great friends here at FatSecret.
Year end 2012 wrap up -- not necessarily all weight related:
*Actually conquered cooking Prime Rib
*Grew a tomato & pepper garden in my back yard
*Went away for a 'resting' weekend alone - no working involved
*Managed business all alone and didn't run it into the ground
*Survived three of MH's hospitalizations without falling apart
*Became very skilled at administering IV therapy at home
*Birth Mother passed away closing a very sad chapter of my life
*Battled a family member legally and closed another sad chapter of my life
*Bought exercise equipment for the first time in my life
*Managed to use exercise equipment daily without fail
*Sanded my own sidewalks when icy weather arrived
*Cleaned and Organized the storage room
*Discovered I have artistic talent and decorating store display windows
*Paid all of my taxes early
*Grew my nails long naturally (but have since broken them off again)
*Stopped going to bad hairdresser out of habit
*Discovered how the flash card on my camera worked
*Learned to cook oatmeal correctly
*Decorated for Christmas for the first time in a decade
*Learned how to use PS3 for wireless, Netflix, Amazon
*Stopped being cheap with myself on things I wanted
*Earned the right to take Defensive Driving again thanks DPS
12/15/12 through 12/22/12
*I don't know how but I lost 5lbs this week, bringing total to 65lbs lost and putting me halfway to loss goal
*Bought a treadmill and have walked on it twice a day for 15mins; avg speed 3.5mph; six days in a row
*Discovered cough syrups and cough drops cause me constipation (at least now I know!)
*Licked the spoon of MH's Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup and was grossed out - was like licking a salt block!
*Discovered wonderful Sobe Zero Calorie Lifewater - Fuji Apple Pear is my favorite
*Went to bed instead of grazing after soaking in the spa tub (always makes me want to eat so I've been limiting that pleasure to only twice a month because of it )
*Realized I've only had acid reflux one time since starting this ~ cannot remember the last time I bought zantac
*Did not let a bad cold or bronchial infection from continuing to work on my treadmill habit forming goal
*Added Almonds to my snacks without freaking out at the fat content ~ good fat, good fat
*Tried Turkey bacon - didn't hate it but probably because it's been four months since any other bacon period
*Shocked someone who hadn't seen me since I started - obviously loss is noticeable
*Continued to make new and keep good friends, receive incredible advice and support, and learn how to work through old issues through this wonderful community at FatSecret
12/6/12 through 12/15/12
*Lost 5 more pounds bringing total weight loss to 60lbs since August 25, 2012.
*Can lift & cross legs without assisting them.
*Woke early (on purpose) to work out in the fitness room at a resort instead of Bloody Mary Brunch
*Survived the All you Can Eat Buffet twice in one weekend without destroying my RDI
*Developed within myself a phrase I now call 'Visual Fulfillment' (see Journal 12/10/12 if interested)
*Broke another spoke on my wheel of insanity (see Journal 12/11/12 if interested)
*Can now feel the bones in the back of my hands when I run my fingertips over them
*Was able to slide into a smaller size jeans
*Was asked by someone 16 years younger & 80 pounds lighter walking to 'slow down'.
*Survived a self image hatred attack and grew stronger
*Have to prop myself up in desk chair - I must now have less padding in MY seat.
*Finally connected that a craving indicates a desire to 'taste', not consume an entire 'serving'.
11/24/12 through 12/6/12
*Lost 5 more pounds bringing weight loss to 55lbs since August 25, 2012
*I can now wear a regular bath towel instead of a bath sheet
*Will not need meds for diabetes and cholesterol; healthy eating restored levels
*Had a Doctor tell me she was impressed; with my history of obesity that is indeed a rare thing to hear and experience
*Six people commented on my weight loss this week tho most of the credit this week was due to new underwear.
*Stood and worked on Storeroom over 5 hours of bending and lifting; impossible four months ago
*Continued to make friends at FS and be inspired more than ever with their experiences,
encouragement and support.
*I actually ate pasta and didn't have a guilt laden urge to purge
*Survived a couple of 'emotional' anger moments without binging; opened the fridge but walked away.
*Though a craving exploded to a binge I but didn't purge and got back on track with healthy eating the very next day
*Actually researched a treadmill online with really serious intentions to buy
*Made reservations for a weekend away and actually cared whether the hotel had a workout room rather than stocked minibar and midnight room service.
*Standing in line wasn't as painful as in the past
*Was able to bend down and pick a pen off the floorboard instead of having to step out of the car
*Twice I tried to get out of the car without unhooking the seatbelt (okay, that just reads idiotic regardless of weight but in the past it choked me so badly it was the first thing unbuckled before I even turned off the engine ~ now it's obviously loose enough to be an afterthought.)
8/25/ 2012 through 11/24/12:
*Lost nearly 50lbs
*Dropped 4 sizes in jeans and wearing pants with a zipper & a number rather than 3X
*Can stand over an hour now without pain
*Have more energy and confidence
*Have NOT STARVED or USED pills to suppress appetite
*Only one binge / purge incident and that was the first week
*Choose to walk more and park farther from stores when safe
*Can reach body parts easier as well as not feeling strangled by seatbelt
*Haven't suffered acid reflux at night once
*Am proud of myself
*Joined fat secret and met a lot of nice people and made some good friends
*Have found new healthy and delicious foods am confident I CAN do this the rest of my life
*Have lowered my fasting blood sugar from 160 to 110 without medication
*Am not fearing lab work check up due next week
*Am looking forward to doc visit - very rare as I hate the 'need to lose weight' lecture
*Have started taking stairs instead of elevator
*Have started treating myself with more care and respect
*Have found a nice balance between 'live to eat 'vs 'eat to live'
*Am looking forward to today, tomorrow and next 90 days.
24 April 2013
While it's nowhere near as brilliant as yesterday I'm going to give this mirror & reflection journal another try. Monday evening I went for a mani/pedi. The wall across from the pedi-chair kiosk is lined with mirrors. I've avoided making eye contact with those mirrors for years.
Years ago I wanted to think they were trick mirrors. I covertly tested the theory using the other women sitting beside me but their 'real' life bodies and reflections looked the same. As much as I'd wanted to rule it was simply an 'angle' thing and being directly in front of it skewed perception, I knew it wasn't true. So I came to terms with the struggle between my delusions versus reality and avoided the reflection altogether. I just didn't want to look anymore.
Being a charter member of the 'avoid the mirror' club I'd long ago abandoned close scrutiny. I'd check 'areas' (face clean? hair reasonably tamed? blouse buttoned? pants zipped?) but I'd never really stare too much at the whole big picture. Otherwise you'd have never got me out of the bathroom.
But at one point, when I'd lost about 30-35lbs and was feeling pretty darn good about myself, I screwed up and caught my reflection in the plate glass window of the grocery store on my way in. What? How could I still be so huge? As light as I felt? As fast as I was walking? Really?
It was hard to not give up.
Monday night despite the pedi-tech complimenting me I still avoided making eye contact with the mirror. I'm working very hard to politely accept the recognition from the outside despite what I may critique from the inside but I don't WANT to catch another reflection of me looking bad. Not right now. No, thank you very much.
Years ago I when I lost a lot of weight I had a dresser in the bedroom with a triple mirror ( I can't think of the name of it but saying '3 way' just sounds kinky.) Anyway, I noticed depending on where I stood in front of that mirror I looked super thin or super huge. It was my own private little fun house.
But that was when I began to realize that our own judgements and perceptions rarely match what others see in us and vice versa. I can't control which angle people are seeing when they look at me. At that time my husband was complaining I looked too thin but a Doctor told me I needed to lose weight. All within the same week. Two different angles and perceptions.
I am more than a number or size on a scale. The mirror will never tell the whole story of who and what I am; I doubt even an X-Ray would be much more revealing. What I have to do is find the balance where I am happy with what I see whenever I finally work up the nerve to look. And little by little, maybe, I'll stop squinting and let someone take a photo. Maybe not.
Right now I need to wrap up my day so I can take Mushyface to the vet to get her a little mani/pedi of her own. She really hates that. We'll both be exhausted by the time they're done.
Thank you for reading.
23 April 2013
Oh good grief. I had a journal simmering out in notepad that I'd been stirring and taste testing throughout the day of errands, customers and general ADHD distractions and then the phone rang and someone wanted to give me something specific really fast so I wiped out my wonderful 'brilliant solving all the mysteries and questions in life' journal draft.
Oh well, we'll get 'em next time.
If I hadn't done it on my own, the shock of seeing little Alex P. Keaton is on the cover of the AARP magazine would have certainly finished me off and required grounding myself before touching anything electronic. Holy smoke .. he can't be that old because we're about the same age so ... yowza!
Realized today I'll need to draw the line between ever eating 'normal' and refusing to yeild from 'clean & healthy'. My husband wanted to try the new KFC boneless chicken for lunch and asked 'are you going to have some?" In my 'I believe I will just to say I'm eating normal' (although I had tuna for breakfast) I had some. I only had half a piece and one biscuit but right now I feel like the Alien could pop out of my abdomen any second. Ick. Sorry Colonel but this little chicky is dead ... wait...LOL.
The only thing I can recall from the 'lost journal' was a thought about reflections and perceptions. Something about smoke & mirrors and how we 'think' we look compared to how others view us. I probably had some amusing metaphor for 'fun houses' and angles. I'm sure it was brilliant.
But for now, we'll never know. You're all pretty smart folks; I'll let you write it in your comments for me :-)
Have a good 'un...
22 April 2013
I wish I were better at taking photos & uploading them; I just had the most beautiful arrangements of pink & yellow roses with lillies in a beautiful glass vase delivered to me; from my husband of course. He said 'you need them whether you think you want them or not'.
Nope - can't do it - no matter how small I make the photo in photobucket it stretches it in my journal. You'll just have to take my word for it :-)
22 April 2013
Ahh... lesson learned. If you don't rush right out & refill the bird feeder as soon as it looks low or runs 'out' those merry little munchers will actually drop down to the ground and clean up the food they kicked over the edge during their seed eating contest. And after that, many of the smaller birds will choose to dine at the lower level out of the way of the bigger birds. Those shrewd little sparrows will just sit and wait for food to fall from the heavens. So no more need to rake up those seeds. Good to know.
Sure...had I read a book or website about this I'm sure I'd have learned this via someone else but my birdfeeder experience has been like many things I'm doing lately - by the seat of my pants. I don't want to follow someone else's blueprint of experience and try to adapt; I want to discover my own. That way, if it fails, I have no one to blame but myself.
I'm not so egotistical that I don't think I can learn from anyone else- that's not what I'm saying at all. I learn plenty; I learn something new every day.
But some things, I just need a little time to learn and experience. Like, oh, weight maintenance. I struggled with the theory this weekend so much so that I couldn't clearly express my struggle in a journal. I may have it this time. We'll see.
The EWYL book comments 'if you weren't gaining and losing the weight over and over, what could you accomplish with your time.' Some of my friends here offered, 'Yep, you struggle and struggle hoping you don't see a change.' My toddler said 'ugh, what's the fun in that?"
In Bella-Shrine church yesterday I prayed for enlightment. When I mow the yard I can admire the pretty lawn. When I plant flowers their beautiful. If they get a little dehydrated they display their wilting disappointment; a little water and all is restored. Feed the birds and they will come and chirp life into my day. Washed laundry looks and smells clean; folded sheets are wrinkle free; all things I can admire as an end result of my efforts.
Losing weight get's noticed; gaining get's ignored out of my own delusional denial and politeness by everyone but the doctor. The shame of my appearance, expense of constantly replacing clothing or worry about my health wasn't enough to draw my focus.
But when I recognized a large part of my day yesterday was subconsciously occupied by my whole 'worry' about the 'What WAS the Justice of the Peace phoning about on a Saturday afternoon' thing... I finally connected it. In a way.
It was a garbled connection but I finally got the message. It was as EWYL was asking, 'Can you hear me now?'
I'd spent the day thinking 'what could be wrong?' and went through the possibility list. I had called about my defensive driving and assured it was filed. My taxes would have been filed if not for the identify theft investigation going on. The bank accounts were fine; nothing bounced. All the bills were paid.
When I finally exhausted 'me' a quote from some movie slid into my forethoughts. Can't remember the movie or exact line but it was something akin to 'you can always tell the guilty guy in jail; he's the one who sleeps soundly. It's the innocent one's worrying.'
So I finally decided 'ok, it's probably not ME, it could be ...' and I allowed myself to wonder about some of the stranger people who've walked in & out of our lives. And even allowed myself to think 'hey, it could have been a wrong number.' But reaching that conclusion took over 24 hours. Twenty four hours wasted on worry. I even commented on my journal 'never a dull moment' implying I yearn for a few weeks of dull moments.
But do I? After all, the only difference between a rut & a grave is the depth.
Yeah, I yearn for dull. Okay, maybe not dull, just less 'worry'. I need peace and serenity to focus on my days, months, years left. My weight and health need to be in that mix.
And that's when it hit home.
I'm not so worried about this weight maintenance being boring 'food' wise. I'm not feeling deprived or as if I have to eat less to balance it days of gorging. I'm not even worried about 'this is it, this is all you'll be able to lose'. I continue to discover and enjoy new foods, have increased my interest in cooking, and feel like I'm getting a good handle on how and what to eat that best feeds my body and soul.
What I took away from this was 'one less thing to spend 24 hours worrying about.' Let's face it, in the beginning I'd do calculus all night in my sleep, if I slept.
'If I burn this calories or energy and only take in that calories in food I should lose that pounds by then and that should put me into a size blah and on and on and one.... '
And I know I am not the only one. I've read it in other journals.
And I've written of my own frustrations when that 'math' didn't add up. When the weight loss stalled. When I know that by all calculations I had an intake deficit that should be yielding this much lost so what's it all about.
More stupid silly worry. Whatever is gonna happen will happen.
So if getting these eating skills under control for ME in the way I'm doing them cements firmly into my subconscious, I won't be sweating everytime I'm at a restaurant staring at the mega servings or faced with the dessert buffet or pulling on my jeans wondering if they'll fit as comfortably as last month or if I'm going to have to lay down on the bed to get them zipped or even have to make a 5am run to the Walmart to get a new pair because I'm on a trip and my clothes don't fit.
Hey, it ain't sexy... but then, neither are the worry lines on my face. And this weekend put at least two new ones there that I didn't need. I sure don't need them over food, calories or weight anymore.
I get it.
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