Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Counting Blessings--Stay Calm and Carry On




Hey Y'all, I'm grateful for many things this year and hope you all are considering this for yourselves too. I do forget. I have to remind myself how much I have and have done. I had worries and concerns that plagued me, but are now taken care of and heading in the right direction. It isn't all perfect but that's ok. Counting blessings - I think I'll journal a list of this for myself to mark it in time. Thank you for your comments and support-it always helps.

Food wise -I have a calm and peaceful feeling. I plan. I have options. I always make sure I stay active , exercise, or just walk and enjoy nature around this holiday since it is otherwise so food oriented. I have my food planned loosely for today and pretty specifically for Thursday. It is all written out. I won't waste my calories on certain things. I won't over stuff myself. I will Savor, enjoy, and save for leftovers. I always make sure the birds and squirrels in our yard have food on this day. My husband and I opted to stay home and have Thanksgiving at home and I am so looking forward to that. Breakfast together, newspaper, parade, walk , nap , cook, eat, nap, walk, movies or read.


Shopping wise--I hit up Publix early this am and finished my grocery shopping for the next few days. I don't have a lot of presents to buy for the holidays as I've already done most of that over the last few months. In the past, I would get wrapped up in looking at sales catalogs and Black Friday sales. We have most of what we need.

Off to the gym now and to see Mockingjay . 'See ya' Friday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Safety On

With that last post I explored that I'm being triggered and what is triggering me and why. I get tired sometimes of posting that I'm struggling and revisiting the same issues over again. I feel pressure (from within myself ) that if only I did this ...or gave up that...or never ate again this...that I would not be having these problems. If I don't get any comments on a post, that enhances that feeling of failing. People pleaser, that's me. But....this is my journey which is different than yours or theirs.

But sometimes posting the failures helps me and spurs me on to come up with anything that will help me. Funny that sometimes I'll post how well something is going for me and then I'll have an issue with it. I didn't have a blog until I'd already lost over one hundred pounds and had kept it off a year. I guess I don't consider having a blog as a weight loss measure as much as a release for feelings and thoughts and a quest for support and a way to share to others that I understand their struggles.

Currently, I feel like my triggers are there but are manageable. I'll tell myself why I will wait or won't have something or may have it later when I can savor it. Then when I can put if off , I put it off. And when I'm ready to have it within my food plan that day, I have it. Guilt free and savoring it and not overdoing it is the best I can hope for.

It's not perfect but if feels safe, secure, not punitive, forgiving, and not perfect some more which also feels right.

I rarely post what I'm eating but here goes for today for the sake of sharing-I always wonder what people eat.

Breakfast: One packet Trader Joe's pumpkin pecan oatmeal with more pumpkin, a few pecan halves, and maybe 5 reduced sugar Craisins and milk mixed in. A few slices of baked apple. Yummy.

I did follow my dietician's guidance and trust that it is enough protein and that I don't need to add another protein sources like veggie or turkey sausage to feel full with this particular meal . In the 'old days' I'd have 2 packets of oatmeal.

Lunch: Sandwich: Rye bread one slice, Country Dijon mustard, turkey pastrami, Sargento slice of thin Swiss cheese. Kale slaw salad mixed with some of the pumpkin seeds and cranberries from the salad bag and a little cranberry juice as a dressing. Crunchy and sweetish.

snack plans are probably chicken broth soup or sugar free hot cocoa with a few mini marshmallows, or probably some 100 calorie popcorn and cheese, or greek yogurt. It depends on my hunger level.

Dinner plans are up for grabs--alternates for this are Homemade veggie and beef chili with cornbread and later some fruit.
OR Mini pizza and salad with fruit later
OR Chick fil a chicken salad
OR Baked potato half with turkey , cheese or with chili

After dinner: the sugar free hot chocolate for after dinner or one piece of chocolate or tea and a halo mini orange with a mini gingerbread man head (tee hee hee--had this the other day and enjoyed and cracked me up)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

triggered

This is a post about exploring what is currently triggering me and struggling to find my way out of being reactive with food. It's purely for me, but shared with you if you have similar feelings / issues or methods for working on this.

Things are unknown always, but specifically in our little neck of the woods it revolves around my husband. In January, he starts full time school for a degree in a medical field at age 40. School is something he's thought about finishing for years as is returning to the medical field. But he'd always stuck to the known of his work in the computer world though he was just DONE with that world. He left a good job because it was just throwing him over the edge. That brings up a lot of feelings in me and feelings , dealing and communicating with feelings, is what my eating disorder was all about.

So , husband going to school and not working full time and we now have to Pay for school. This brings up money and lifestyle issues for me. Meanwhile, this week he starts a seasonal job at a retail store for the holidays. We don't know yet what his schedule will be. What will he have to work around the actual holidays days or the weekends? and how is he going to handle the retail stress again? Honestly, If he had to work Thanksgiving day , I would be totally ok jus staying home alone and preparing a meal for us to enjoy together. Not the Hallmark version of Thanksgiving but then real life isn't.


Triggered

I'm obviously also triggered to use anything I can for comfort. My old eating disordered ways have always been there under the surface, but it's like I'm having difficulty remembering and doing what is needed to not react to life in that way. Just writing this is helping me explore this.

-The issues with my husband triggers a lack of security which goes back to my early childhood years. I've become stronger and responsible and created my own security over the years. But still there are the feelings of all of the unknowns and general change.

-There is the feelings thing. These can be my own insecurities and fears but also feelings about him or reactive to him. I'm angry at him , sad for him, scared, ashamed, resentful, and protective. Communication and listening and supporting are skills that don't come naturally for me in the context of being in a relationship. Codependent maybe?

-The Holidays. I could write a whole post here. But I won't.......now. Family /the lack of extended family, the focus around foods that I typically have around the holidays matched with the explosion of food imagery in media . Trigger trigger trigger. I need to avoid people , places, and things that trigger me. My last post explores that. I'm posting about this stuff, but it isn't fixed. My mind isn't there yet.



So the result..... I'm struggling with having any particular goals or food plans or balance or peace with every day life and every day food and then the "holidays". When it comes to my husband, I have to remember that I'm not in control . I'm not responsible. It's going to be ok. I'm not in control. It Will Be Ok.

But the food thing seems to be something I need to control, I have controlled in the past , I should control, but I'm not in control . Clearly , I'm not clear about this. This is what I'm working on . Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter is coming as is Who Hash and Roast Beast





Winter is coming.

Seasonal Food is coming. Temptations are coming. Parties. Family Meals. Those people in cubicles at work that have candy/cake/cookies/chex mix/that 'puppy chow' or 'muddy buddy' stuff on their desks. Then there are the boxes of candy or giant tins of popcorn that every office gets. I have nightmares about that stuff. Not joking.

And what? Midnight Feasts of Who Hash or Roast Beast?

Between life and church and work , there are also the catalogs, magazines, and commercials of pretty, yummy foods. It's
Everywhere! Images of foods are my # 1 trigger/nemesis. Walking through the Grocery store or Target TARSHAY is like an obstacle course for me. I often will have my hands shielding my eyes from this or that or keep my head turned and walk quickly by. If the eyes stray, I stand there in front of __________fill in the blank, with that O kind of expression on my face as my mind and different inner critic voices and food addict voices and loving mother voices consider the big question :

SHOULD I?

And, then the Chorus says.........

NO!! Absolutely NOT! I mean you want it but you don't need it. Gimme gimme gimme. It reminds me of my childhood. You can measure it out and handle this. What would Sean, or someone else do? Eh, Maybe? MAYBE NOT! Have a little, sugar, you only live once. But I WANNNNNNNNNNNT it . I want it now! You'll get fatter. You won't be able to wear your jeans. Why does SHE get to have it and not me! Now, can I promise myself that I'm only going to have just one?........? I will not! NOT!....oh just one won't hurt. I'm bad. It's no big deal. Oh shut up!


Le Sigh. :(.

I worked on all of this in therapy today. This is how I prepare. This is what works for me. I have to set the parameters and remind myself of this stuff. It's as much about just caring for myself as it is avoiding beating up on myself. It is also about actually overeating or eating poorly to the point of weight gain.

There is the absolutely not / 100% abstinent things-the only thing for sure in this category is Claxton Fruit Cake. I'm on year 4 of total abstinence. Thousands and thousands of calories, oh my. If anyone has fruit cake at a party, even my Claxton brand, I will have a slice. (no one ever has it). But buying it for myself. Un Unh. Also, were I to receive the fruit cake at a White Elephant party I would give it up. Has never happened.

In fact, if I allow myself a turn around the forbidden places (candy section of Target or Kroger or bakery places ) my chorus hoots and calls me out on it as I'm walking over. Those inner voices. grrrrrrr. But they love me.


I have Absolutely NOT behaviors that I practice---no cookie baking. Can't deal with it ..nuff said. Very little, if any, baking in general. My husband makes the treats which I won't mention here, but still have but limit. Other behaviors- No taking Claxton fruit cake to a party as a food item, gift, white elephant gift.

The next category is the Prepare category also known as Avoid All Together option
- Make lists for the grocery store. Pray if needed before entering. If I'm in a weak way, I will entirely avoid the bakery and candy aisles of a store. Or Avoid all together-just avoid shopping and ask my husband to do it or pay for a food service.
-Plan for parties or eating out. Plan options for each course and back up options and back up/back up options. Check menus on line but don't obsess. Set time limits. Take the veggie / fruit tray. Make up list of the foods you would like to have, can do without or "can't live with out." Or Avoid all together.
-Set time limits for looking at recipes or any of the magazines or blogs that have photos of food. Or Avoid all together.
-Fast forward or change channels during commercials or food shows. And / OR Avoid all together.
-Then there are the stores or places that it helps to Avoid all together. Starbucks is one of these places. I go a couple of times during the season and that's it. I hardly go the rest of the year, but it's those red cups , the seasonal flair, and those baked treats. Avoid it or seriously limit it.. It saves money and insures peace of mind.

There are a few things I will have, though I limit the amounts or the occasions or will have a portion and have my husband put the rest up in the top cabinet in the back where I can't reach it. This works for me.

I'm sure there is more, but this is what I've got for today .

These things may seem silly and this post has a silly tone, but I have done every darn one of those things. Every darn one. And will do it again in a heartbeat. It can be that serious for me.

And you?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

BOGO




On a lighter note... a Sunday morning kind of note. I'm sitting here in pink and coral Pjs and blue fuzzy socks with the dog and laptop vying for territory in my lap. She (dog) is dream barking in her sleep. I'm thinking about a few different things. I'm not always obsessed with food and that is a blessing. Yesterday, I did a walk-jog at sunrise, biked, walked the dog, did yoga and painted. I was falling asleep by 10 pm. Today I'm low key but going to the lake.

Here's what I want to share. Before or during my compulsive food younger days I also became a compulsive spender and poor manager of money. One bankruptcy later several years ago, I've become much more responsible with money. I have low debt and a savings account with a six month safety net. I tip well and donate big to kind of 'pay back' in a minimum kind of way. I've paid for that cleared debt in tears, guilt, fear, sadness. So I try to be more responsible. I try to save where I can and think before I purchase. I remind myself I don't need this or that..and I usually don't. And I am no angel, I like to go to casinos and drink free casino coffee and play nickel and penny slots. Good thing, I don't live near a casino.


So I kind of love the chance to save money now . It's like a game, but necessary. I love BOGO (BUY ONE GET ONE FREE) at Publix and the 10 for $10 at Kroger. I save and try to use the $10 off $25 coupons at Kohl's and Bath and Body Works and the $5 off Bed Bath and Beyond cards that come in the mail. I scour the store ads on line to find good deals on the staples I buy and when the prices are good I stock up. Sometimes these stores jack up the prices , so it isn't really a good deal. I've really started paying attention to this. It usually is a true deal.

I can't stand paying $9.49 or $8.99 for bags of Dunkin Donuts coffee that I drink like everyday when I know it is occasionally on a regular basis as low as $5.99 or in a blue moon it might be BOGO. I hate paying too much for Caffeine free Diet coke or toilet paper because I'm out at home and have to suck it up and accept the $4.99 for a 12 pack of soda that often only costs $3.00.

I'm not coupon obsessed though maybe I should be. I've just been buying the things I normally buy when they are bogo. I have enough TIDE, Dog food, Cat food, and Dishwaher tablets to last me in to the spring. The key to Bogo for me is to only use it for things I already need--I just bought turkey sausage, a cobbler to take to church and one to my father in law, pasta, pasta sauce, and tomatoes ($65 cents a can which is a good deal.)

According to my therapist, part of my main personality is self preservation. This is what I worry about and focus on. I've been poor enough when I was younger that I ate pb and j's for a week and counted my pennies to be able to buys sodas out of a machine while I was at school. When 9/11 happened I called my husband in a panic and told him to go get cash at the ATM and stock up on groceries. Ebola--I started buying water and dog food and more toilet paper. I'm not a doomsday prepper and I don't watch that show as it makes me feel woefully unprepared.

My husband is going back to college at age 40. The fact that he'll have a new career with a future ( medical related job) helps my mindset. Meanwhile, he is no longer employed and we are a one salary family. My hope is he'll get a part time seasonal job until school starts in January. He is not a multi-tasker though and it hasn't happened yet. When he still hasn't fixed the glazing on my windows or put up the board on the wall that I want because he is playing videogames or napping, I get pissed. I work more than 40 hours a week. Can he at least vaccuum? walk the dog? do the dishes? That's my issue and communication is something we work on. Job applications are out there though --say a prayer.

So I bogo. I remind myself I don't need this or that because I often really don't. I organize my house and find things I forgot or lost (my husband found 10 pens under the sofa yesterday). I also get things I really want and need and that comfort me in ways other than with food. I bought a new plush robe on sale for half price or the new bedroom slippers on sale and bought 2 Christmas presents for family at exceptional prices with coupons as well.

Do you Bogo too? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Battle With The Food Thing

Like a lot of folks, I ride the merry go round of weight control or lack of control / obsession / normalcy / abnormality on a regular basis ..well, almost always really.

The best days related to this are when I'm doing exactly what I need to do:
-exercising with joy and sometimes to the point of sweating,
-driving past the fill in the blank ______________ without a second glance or thought,
-enjoying what I eat which is mostly healthy , tasty, and not overfilling.

The most frequently occurring days are when most of those boxes are ticked off.

The 'bad days' are less frequent thankfully. But sometimes after one day , it tends to spread to another, but then I get a grip. Sometimes it's just a weekend. Or suddenly , it's been 2 weeks. Or worse case scenario, many months go by.

Does this sound familiar?

What worked for me recently, which is something that worked in the past many times, is to soak in a hot tub and think and pray and sometimes I just repeatedly recite the Serenity prayer or the first 3 steps of the 12 step program . Maybe, I take a walk and do this or lie in the bed or ride the elliptical. No matter--this is in my head like a mantra and I pour over the words and ideas and what it means. If I get confused or hopeless, I just repeat this over and over.

=I admit my life has become unmanageable. I have no control over food..my husband...etc etc.

=I believe that a power greater than me can restore me to sanity. For me, it's God most of the time , but it could also be the practices of someone we consider living a healthy and happy life. Or it could be what a trusted , learned person or program guides us to do.

=I make the decision to turn my life and will over to the care of that higher power. Which to me means when I try to control things I think about what would be the best thing for me or if it's a program or a counselor that has guidelines for me, I revert to those recommendations versus MY desires.

Sometimes there is an epiphany.

Most times there is not, so I just put one foot in front of the other.

Usually, if I'm really down in the dumps or beating up on myself I try to do just one thing like load the dishwasher or dust a book case or empty the trash. Things feel a little lighter...trust me it can. And then I do a little more.

Often , I journal but that can go nowhere if you are really beating up on yourself. A walk in nature helps.

Looking through old materials on weight control or weight loss or addiction or meditations helps but can also be counterproductive. It can be good fodder for more beating up on yourself. Sometimes a nap helps and sometimes it's just a brief escape. Reading blogs can go either way -it can be inspiring or overwhelming.

I'm an ALL OF THE ABOVE girl. I go through all of this for many reasons. It may not be about beating up on myself or about being
or JUST feeling out of control with food. OR because I ate a Snickers bar or 4 Snickers bars, or just too much or the wrong stuff. Then there is the whole scale thing : not having lost weight or enough weight. It could be about feeling guilty about anything related to this or feeling angry or regretful or scared or frustrated about what I have done or haven't done. OVERWHELMING!


It can ALL get overwhelming which is why just starting at square one helps......I'm powerless and can get out of control and I can't control this , I need help .

Does this make sense? Just wanted to say it. I'm in a pretty good place today.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween High and Low Lights





Surprisingly , we did not have the hundred++ or so trick or treaters we had like last year. Last year I'll always remember the herd of no less than 30 people moving about like the zombies from "The Walking Dead". I'd sent my husband for another bag of non chocolate candy on Thursday. I was ready , but no herd. I was able to give out bigger handfuls this time (and stickers and tattoos and fruit roll ups and Little Debbie's that were bought in a weak moment).

But there was a big load leftover, so I resorted to sticking the remaining candy in an old Easter basket destined for the Goodwill, and putting the basket and a Jack o Lantern with a flashing light at the edge of the driveway. Most of it was gone (all the chocolate) within an hour. Then it started raining.

I'd rigged up a dummy with a lit up skeleton head with one of my Cpap hoses to a giant spider. Like the spider and the skeleton head were transfusing other. It got a few wary stares. I also had about 20 rubber bats, roaches, spiders lying on the sidewalk. This somehow fascinated but didn't scare the kids.

The highlights and lowlights--
== I'd counted 4 Frozen characters by 7:20.
== An obvious kid but still 6 ft tall dressed as a doctor but with a bizzare set of goggles on his head that looked extremely steam punk. I asked if he was a steampunk doctor and he said "uh, no, just a doctor". I don't think he knew what steampunk meant.
== There was one kid talking on the cellphone while trick or treating.
== There were some unabashed and un-costumed adults ( I mean like in their 40's). I shook my head at those and gave one a Little Debbie -she didn't seem happy with it. tough toodles honey.
== No saucy wenches , but a few corseted naughty Little Red Riding hoods -what are these parents thinking?
== There was one person that I think was in her 20's but I couldn't be sure . She seemed normal from the front, but when she turned around her shirt was all torn up revealing a purple bra. Inappropriate.
== I recognized a kid in an Angry Bird costume from last year, but still asked him what he was just to be nice.
== It's funny how the kids look at what they are getting and remark over it if they like it.

My husband was supposed to help me, but had to work at his dad's lake house at the dock. He was in a mood when he got home. I ate more candy than expected and I can feel it now, but I'm not tempted at all today. I enjoyed watching the Casper movie with Christina Ricci-a favorite.

Today-cold, windy, snow (in Georgia !) in the mountains and flurries where my husband is working again at his dad's dock. I have a date with my work computer to catch up from yesterdays heavy caseload and later to Wallyworld for a humidifier and some plastic sheeting to insulate my office window because it is freezing in there.

time for fuzzy socks and warm pjs