Sunday, October 31, 2010


Ok, so I ended my last blog talking about feeling undeserving of the life that I do have!  While I was hiding from the world and feeling sick and scared, afraid of the opposite sex, afraid of rejection, somehow I met the man of my dreams!  Well I guess I didn't really "meet" him then.  We actually grew up in the same town.  We were in some of the same classes since we were in the 6th grade.  By high school we were in the same big group of friends.  In fact, his best friend, who ended up being the best man in our wedding, was my first kiss.  We were friends, but not super close friends, and he always had a girlfriend. 

When we were sophomores in college, at different schools, we were home for spring break at the same time.  I was actually really sick with some gallbladder issues, and he was the one who took care of me.  The one who worried about me.  That week we kissed for the first time and before the end of that month we knew we would be together forever.  He was my first "real" relationship.  No one thought we would make it.  The first year, all of my friends were worried about me getting my heart broken.  No one believed me when I said we were "different!"  Looking back I understand the skepticism, but I honestly KNEW that he was the one for me.  We were engaged after that first year, and married with a baby on the way a year after that!

He really truly loves me. From day one, I always asked him why? Why me? Why do you love me???  ME? of all the girls out there.  I still ask him that 10 years later.  He is so good to me. He is an AMAZING father.  He is perfect in so many ways.  I still don't feel like I deserve this funny, handsome, cute, strong, loving, kind, and even dorky, amazing MAN!  He gave me two beautiful children!  He works so hard every day to provide us with all that we need and more.  He wakes up in the middle of the night to the wet beds and bad dreams, he is the one who reads stories at night and is most of the time the one who says the last i love you's and sleep tight, no buggies at bedtime! He is our rock and I really appreciate him every day of my life.

I want to be more for him though.  He says he just wants me to be healthy and happy.  I want to be the girl I know he wants.  Athletic, competitive, stable, fun, healthy, and consistent.  I do a lot for us in our home, but I rely on him to do so much more than he really needs to do.  He picks up my slack and never gets angry or disappointed.  Actually I'm sure he does get angry and disappointed, but he never tells me that.  These are all reasons that feel like I don't deserve him, or more accurately, that he deserves  better than me!

I need to stop playing that game in my head and making excuses.  He does love me.  He is faithful to me.  God gave him to me as a gift in my life.  Most people in my life do not know love the way that I do.  They are constantly searching for something even remotely close to what our relationship is!  Instead of wasting it away, I need to be grateful for what I do have.  God does think that I deserve this man.  God had a plan, and He gave us our amazing children.  Again, I am reminded that I have to stop hiding in this chaotic disease.  That this beautiful man has been with me through all of this because that was the plan that God had for my life!  I need to recover from this addiction for myself, not for anyone else, but I can't wait to continue to give back to my husband all of the love and patience and kindness that he has given to me over these last few years!  I am so excited for the rest of our lives.  This life that I deserve!

Halloween Party

 Tonight I went to my first ‘real’ party since I started this new stage of my life.  This was just a small Halloween party at my little sister’s place.  A party where I knew a lot of people.  But these people have been “real” friends with my sisters for years.  To me they are not people that I considered friends.  In fact when one of the guys heard I was coming, he literally said, “Megan is coming?  Is she even fun?” 

At first this question about my personality bothered me a bit, because I used to be so much fun!  Silly and goofy and fun.  But when I thought about it, I realized that it reflects the way I have been living my life.  I was always so afraid to go out of my comfort zone, especially when it came to “partying.”  The few times that I actually let my guard down and had fun, someone would make fun of my weight and I would get so self conscious and anxious and want to run away.  I was also always afraid of getting in trouble, of breaking the rules.  And that too, was because of my fear of negative attention.  I don’t like interactions with people who will judge me! 

I know this is stupid, but it is a fact that I have lived my life like this for too long.  I have missed out on a lot of things in my life. I never went to a high school dance, I was afraid of being alone with guys, I avoided college parties and activities at all costs, I dread car rides with people I don’t know well, I’m afraid to get back into the work force, I avoid school functions, I don’t do some of my sons activities and would rather miss boy scout meetings and ball games, I don't want to meet my husbands friends, I won't go watch him play volleyball.  I am embarrassed of what I look like and who I think I am!!!

I am a stay at home mom.  At first, it really was to be there for my kids and be able to do all of these things.  But now it is because I would rather hide than interact with the world.  When my husband is actually home, I tend to use that time to spend it alone, rather than with all four of us together.  I disengage.  I hide in my room, or I leave to do something alone!  In the moment I have a hundred justifications about why I need and deserve the alone time.  But I know those are just excuses!  Excuses that this disease has helped me create in order to avoid the real world.  But this needs to change, and I feel it changing already!

The party was a lot of fun.  I brought candy and a gooey Mexican cheese dip, but I didn’t eat any of it.  I had some red wine, but didn’t get drunk.  I had fun, and Damn it, I was fun!  I was able to be myself and have fun the whole time!!  I wasn’t anxious!  I didn’t leave early.  I didn’t get miserable and self hating and turn inward.  When I do this, people see me as boring and bitchy.  But that is not how I ever intended that to be.  I just get too scared to be me… it has always been easier to get “sick” and run away. 

I am so glad that I went!  I am so glad that I never once felt uncomfortable or self conscious.  We stayed until after 3 am, and had fun the whole time!  By the end i was joking with the guy that questioned my ability to be "fun!"   I am seeing new miracles every day, and cannot wait to see what else is in store for me.  I am adding new goals of being more involved with my family when my husband is home.  I am going to engage and not be afraid to feel.  I am going to live my life instead of being afraid of what will happen if I try to live it!  I have missed out on way too much and I can’t do that anymore!   All I ever wanted was to be married and have a family, and now I feel like I don't deserve the one I have!!!  This is too long, so more about that in another blog!  Tonight, I do feel grateful and deserving, and it feels good:)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Scariest Halloween of My Life

When I was seven, my parents had a big “grown-up” Halloween party.  Although we weren’t around for the party itself, we were around for the decorating and preparations.  My dad made a guillotine!  Complete with decapitated bloody head.  It was hidden in a corner of our basement and the idea was that people would literally fall into this room and then be face to face with the “dead head!” 

I was terrified of the dead head! I hated it! I do not like to be scared. To this day I detest scary movies and haunted houses.  I blame the dead head!  After trick or treating that Halloween, we were going through our candy, as excited as could be about all of the treats we had brought home.  My dad thought it would be really funny to put the dead head on his own head and sneak up behind us!  He crept up behind me and yelled BOO!   My little seven year old self almost had a heart attack!

For three years following that particular Halloween, I had nightmares several nights a week involving the dead head.  I could not go to the bathroom by myself in elementary school b/c I envisioned the dead head rolling under the stall. I was constantly scared that I was being haunted by the dead head.  It was one of those parenting moments that my dad laughs about and the reason that some people (like me) need therapy.  HaHaHa.  

This years Halloween rivals the dead head Halloween!  This is the scariest Halloween yet!  I have been junk food and sugar free for 31 days.  It has been a lot easier than I thought it would be!  The reason it has been easier is that I have had nothing “bad” in my house, and have prepared ahead of time for situations that I knew would be tempting. But tonight was trick or treating for our community! My safe environment is far from safe right now!!!!  But I feel strong.  I am not grieving the food they way I have in past attempts at losing weight.  I recognize that it is because this time I am admitting that I have an addiction. In the past i would attempt to have just a piece or two of candy.  That has never worked.

If I lived through years of being haunted by a dead head, surely I can make it through a few weeks without eating ANY candy… RIGHT???? 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“Aren’t you frustrated?”

Today is Day 30!  Yay!  I really have made it thirty days?!?!  Thirty days of eating really healthy foods.  Thirty days of very little sugar! Thirty days of actively working on myself and my health!  I am actually pretty darn proud of myself!  I have lost 20 pounds, I have more energy, I feel better in general.  Already I can feel the changes in my body.  I know I still have a very long long way to go. In fact, I have the rest of my life!  I can never go back to my old eating patterns or I will easily gain weight and be back in the same destructive pattern! I need to live this way from now on!

I had this same conversation with a friend today.  I was excited to share my 20 lb mark with her.  When I told her, she said “aren’t you frustrated?”  I was really confused at first b/c I wasn’t sure what there was to be frustrated about.  Then she said, “I just can’t believe that’s all you lost.  I really would have thought it would be more?!  Not to be rude, but if I was working as hard as you and doing what you’re doing, it would be melting off of me!!”  My answer was just that she doesn’t have the same metabolism as me or the thyroid issues! 

Then I talked about this being a life long change in my relationship to food.  My addiction to food really.  Its not about just losing weight!  I’m not focusing on losing weight.  I’m focusing on taking care of myself and doing the healthiest things possible for my body.  The result of this will be weight loss and so much more!  My body will take care of itself if I give it everything it needs to live and grow and change in a healthy direction for once!  I am doing all I can, so no, I’m not frustrated!  I found myself defending my efforts and that was VERY FRUSTRATING!

I explained that if I think about forever, about living like this forever, I get incredible frustrated and overwhelmed.  Am I frustrated that I have an addiction?  HELL YES! Am I frustrated that I let myself get this way?  HELL YES!  But if I continue to live in the past, to get frustrated and regret what I have done, if I grieve over stupid comfort junk food, I will not be ok.  I have gained 125+ lbs in 10 years!  If I do that for the next ten years, I will be sick and dying at 42!  I’m not ok with that. 

I know that addiction is a sneaky, cunning, frustrating disease!  I know that I can’t avoid certain foods forever.  I know that living like this is a lot more work than just eating convenient unhealthy foods.  I know that I will be faced with major stressors in my life. We all do. I know that there is always I chance that I will relapse.  But I can’t fear that. I can’t get overwhelmed with that!  I can’t think too much about the past or about the future.  I need to think about today!  I have let go of my frustrating life, and I am filled with hope instead!  And for today, day 30, I am proud of myself for putting myself first and doing what I know I need to do!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Twenty Eight

Today is my 28th day!  It just so happens that 28 is my favorite number.  I was excited to live this 28th day of the journey.  It means I’m coming up on the 30 day mark, which is a celebrated day in the world of recovery!  Its also a Sunday that we are all home together with no real plans. Another gorgeous fall Sunday! A Steeler Sunday and they won the game.  All of these things make for a wonderful day.

I do find myself a bit overwhelmed tonight and I am trying to figure out exactly why!  I got up in time to get to church with my son, fixed a healthy breakfast, went to the park with the hubby, 2 kids and big black lab, I got in some good exercise, watched a whole football game (something that I don’t get to do often with 2 kids), cut the grass, cooked dinner, did 2 on-line support meetings, and now this blog.  So why do I feel like I got nothing done!  I’m at peace with my day, it was a good day.  I think I just know I have a really busy week coming.  A week with even more temptations as all the Halloween festivities begin.

This week includes stuff going on all day and all night until next Saturday.  So... I am realizing now that I got this overwhelmed feeling when I started to think about quick but healthy meals we can eat this week… I automatically go back to my old unhealthy standards in my head.  Then I get sad that we can’t just order pizza all week!  Why would that make me SAD?  Well unless you are a food addict, it is hard to understand.

So before I started this blog, I couldn’t have told you what got me so overwhelmed tonight and now I know.  I also know that I need live this week ONE DAY AT A TIME! One moment at a time if I need to.  I need to enjoy this exciting time with my kids.  I need to get all the support I need this week so that I don’t lose my way in all this chaos and temptation.  If I focus on the moments, live my life and have a good time with all of our plans (instead of my normal get through the motions mentality) it will be a good week!  IT WILL BE A GOOD WEEK!!!

Bethel Bakery Cake!

This was a slow blog week.  I’ve had zero time to think!  But here I am on a Saturday night with some peace and quiet and a moment to write!  I am not however feeling witty and creative tonight, so bear with me! 

Day 27 is almost over.  I have still been able to maintain my eating goals.  I have not binged, very little compulsive eating, and no overeating.  Just water, tea and soy milk to drink. I’m still going strong!  Ok, maybe strong is not the right word.  But still sticking to my plan!  This week was kind of a back to life, back to reality sort of week.  I feel like the honeymoon phase is going away. The excitement of the whole thing is going away, especially when life gets in the way and I don’t have hours to devote to reading writing and food prep every day!

I had to eat at different times b/c of obligations that we had.  I just wanted fast food, but I figured out foods that I could have.  I still had to cook and do the work, but it wasn’t about the need to fill a void with fast food anymore.  It was about not wanting to do the work to prepare a good hot meal at 8 at night on a crazy busy day!  But I did, and felt so much better that I did. 

I spent another day at my parents today.  This time it involved the BEST BIRTHDAY CAKE IN THE WORLD!  My whole family goes crazy for it.  No one can get enough.  My extended family members that have moved out of town, still request it for birthdays and celebrations.  My mom and my aunt are twins, and it was their birthday lunch at my parent’s house.  Again, I realized the roles I have assumed in my family to organize and plan and feed the whole group.  I have always been fine with this role.  As I have mentioned, I enjoy it.  After 15+ years of doing this, I can’t expect my family to just shift their thinking too.  Especially b/c I haven’t asked them to shift it for me.

Again, they supported me with words of encouragement, BUT who was the one cutting and serving the heavenly birthday cake???  Yes, it was me!  Me the food addict, me the one trying to change my life so that I can live past the age of 40, me the one who is only 27 days in to not eating sugar!  It was torture. I got all kinds of emotional… sad, mad, frustrated, hurt, and proud of myself all at the same time.  My husband of course was the first one to realize, oh, that is probably really hard for her to cut and serve the cake while the rest of my family yells out claiming their pieces with the most icing and their flavor choice for ice cream!  But I did it, I served it and I survived, I didn’t even lick the icing off of my fingers!!  But it really was a stressful 15 minutes to say the least. 

Just when I finished cutting and everyone was happy, my aunt says “what about yours?”  I just said no thanks, I’m trying to be really good right now.  She said, oh great, you’re going to make me feel guilty for eating cake on MY birthday.  I need to be “good” too, I mean look at me!  To which I responded, yes, but I still have a hundred pounds on you and if I don’t make some big changes I’m going to die.  She just said oh, ok, and turned around to finish her cake. 

I have always been the dramatic type, but this really is serious.  Its like the crouton thing, I know one piece of cake on a birthday is not going to kill me, but added all up they will.  Some day I hope to be in a place where I can have my slice of cake again, but for a while, I know that it will just lead to me continuing my destructive lifestyle.  So I have to remember that it is JUST food!  Heavenly delicious creamy goodness, but JUST food!    

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Paying for a "Lazy" Tuesday

I learned this morning that even if it’s getting easier, I need to actively work on this thing EVERY day!  I need to have the support, so that I remain aware of this addiction.  Yesterday was a typical busy day, but all of the kids were very cranky, needy, and sick.  So I had much less time to work on myself.  I know that I am a busy mom of two (or more on babysitting days), and that life is going to happen.  But yesterday I could have made time for a meeting and more exercise. Last night however, I chose to lay on the couch and catch up on all the TV shows I had not watched. I thought I was pretty strong, and could take a ‘break’ from everything.  I felt good, I was tired and PMS-ing, BUT I didn’t eat anything last night! Then when I woke up this morning, the very first thing that popped into my head was, “I want to eat something bad for me!” 

WHAT?  One day of not focusing and I am paying for it!  Well, I said this was my job and I have to put my work in every day as if it were a job!  In a real work situation, you usually can’t take time off without scheduling it and planning things ahead of time.  That’s what I need to do.  I can’t just take a break because I feel lazy.  In the “real world” I could get fired… but in “my world” I could just stay this heavy and get sick!  Not worth it! 

The stinkin thinkin was starting to creep back in and starting to make me think that this is too much work.  I can’t let that happen because it isn’t too much work.  AND, when I do this work and eat right, I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!!  Why do we quit things that are good for us just to go back to destructive old habits?  Why is it comfortable to put garbage in our bodies?  Why do we dread exercise when it keeps us alive and healthy and we feel better afterwards?  Why do we doubt ourselves and what we deserve, or what we can accomplish?  If I could answer these questions, I guess I would be a millionaire!  I know I am not alone in these patterns of living.  Everywhere I look there are people living the same lifestyle that I have for years!

So I am doing my best to put and end to that lifestyle and start a new one!  Today is day 24 of this leg of my journey!  I have stuck to my eating plan and my goals for all 24 days!  I used to think about dieting with such sadness and stress.  When I would buy “healthier” snacks and “diet” by eat everything I wanted but in moderation, I still felt guilty and I didn’t understand why? I now know that I felt guilty b/c I am an addict.  My drug of choice is food.  If a recovering alcoholic walked into a bar and just had one beer, they would feel guilty!

When I first tried to learn about food addiction a few years ago, I got so overwhelmed!  I mean it’s not like drugs, alcohol, or a gambling addiction.  You can’t QUIT eating!  This time I have learned that it is not about just eating, but about the food I eat, and the relationship I have to certain foods, like sugar and fat.  It is about making a plan of what you are going to eat and doing your best to stick to that plan.  I am trying not to eat on impulse, even if it is just a juicy and delicious apple on the counter that catches my eye. If I did not think about eating it until I saw it, than I am eating it for the wrong reasons.  It is a total shift in thinking and I am making so much progress, but little relapses in that thinking happen several times a day.  I have not acted on them, but I am constantly aware of food, even though I am not hungry most of the time, food is still a part of my day all day!   It was getting easier, but the “will power” and excitement is starting to fade.  All the more reason to fill myself everyday with the energy and tools and spiritual strength I need to push through!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Manic Monday

OK, so maybe I should not have gone to bed with my house in the state it was!  It is only 9:00 AM and I am ready to see this day come to an end!!  Either that or start it over! 

Let’s start with this statement.  “I am not a perfect parent!”  My seven year old son lost a tooth last night.  He has been working on this one for WEEKS!  My husband pulled it out before bed so that he would not be up crying half the night that he was scared to pull it out all the way!  YAY DADDY!  So anyways, in the midst of the unorganized and messy chaos, we were doing bed time and bath time.  After reading my daughter her book, I went in to my sons room. Lately when I look at him or talk to him, I feel like he is getting so big. I stop treating him like a 7 year old and expect too much of him sometimes!  Until I see my skinny little guy tonight in his transformer pajamas. (All summer it was too hot in our un-airconditioned house to sleep in real pajamas.)

When I walked into his room and saw him so excited to leave the tooth under his pillow, it made me remember he is still such a little kid!  He was asking my husband whether he thought the Tooth Fairy would bring him five dollars instead of one.  We both said, I don’t think so, maybe when your silver tooth falls out (he has a crown).  So he gets on his knees and starts BEGGING the Tooth Fairy for more money.  He spent time writing a note stating the reasons why he deserved it and making sure to say please and thanks you to her.

Fast forward to 6:30 am…  I woke up energized and feeling good. That is until I opened my eyes and saw my husband digging through the mounds of laundry to find a pair of clean underwear.  I felt bad, guilty, and overwhelmed all over again.  So I jumped out of bed and started to fold laundry while my husband, who was late and rushing to get out the door, tore through things to find what he needed.  All I can think is I hate this and I suck.  I close my eyes and think, its ok, its going to be a good productive day.  That’s when I hear my husband getting in his truck outside and hear my son stirring in his room…  OH FUCK, I bet he forgot to be the Tooth Fairy after I crashed last night.

I dial my husband’s cell to catch him before he leaves.  He too says, fuck, I forgot. So he attempts to quietly rush upstairs, and tries to find 5 ones b/c my sweet little guy does put up with so much and deserves to have a little magic in his life!  I start to write a quick note back to him about asking so nicely and being a good kid.  I also include the fact that this is just a one time deal, and maybe he’ll get a little more for the silver tooth, but after this one it goes back to a buck!  ~Love The Tooth Fairy.  So my husband becomes a ninja and somehow is able to do the switch of tooth and money.  He kisses me goodbye and starts to walk downstairs.  Within seconds my son, all sleepy eyed and crazy-haired, flies into my room jumping up and down with such JOY.  “It worked, It worked, It worked!”  look she wrote back, help me read it! NO wait, I’m gonna catch dad before he goes, he isn’t going to BELIEVE this…..    DAAAAAAADDDD WAIT!  And with that he dashes downstairs.  WHEW!!!  I am not a perfect parent, but somehow we survived that one!

So the excitement of the morning has woken my 3 year old earlier than anticipated.  So much for folding laundry, guess I’ll do later!  I grab the only clean school outfit I can find for my son head down to start the day.  While the kids eat breakfast, I try to remind myself that this stressful start doesn’t have to ruin my day.  Then the girls I babysit come early, my son spills his entire bowl of cereal and milk on the only clean outfit, my daughter and the two year old I babysit dump the whole box of cereal on the living room floor to eat just the marshmallows, my son can find only one school shoe and forgot to tell me he was out of lunch money and the bus is 2 minutes away. I find the shoe, write a check for lunch, and push him out the door as the bus pulls up to the stop. 

As he pulls away I thank God that somehow we survived that morning.  So the girls are fighting about who is going to go to preschool today (the two year old who doesn’t go to preschool is insisting that she is going today), the dog is eating the non marshmallow cereal (at least I don’t have to vacuum), and I remember its weigh in day!  I go back upstairs and get on the scale.  293!!  Yay! 17 lbs lost in 3 weeks.  I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!!!!

Chaos Is OK On This Sunday Night

While on this journey to a healthier me, I am trying to find balance in my life.  One of things that is helping me on this quest for balance, is my attempt to maintain some sort of organization, structure, and cleanliness in my home.  I am not anal retentive about it.  There is usually dust and dog hair galore, smudged windows, and crusty surfaces all over my house.  My bathrooms are rarely super clean, and there is always an unorganized drawer in every room!  BUT, I am trying my best to get up and make beds, to stay on top of laundry, to keep papers and school stuff organized, to keep the shoes and coats and backpacks together, and not to go to bed with a dirty kitchen (to name a few).

I hate waking up to a state of chaos.  So far this has worked wonderfully to avoid just that. I get to wake up and not be angry and overwhelmed.  If I start my days feeling that way than I am setting myself up for a stressful day!  I have been working on this organization and cleaning project for a few months before starting the weight loss part of my journey.

Well, while I was getting ready Friday for us to go away for the weekend, I knew that I needed to spend some extra time getting myself prepared for what was ahead of me.  So I spent more time reading, doing on-line meetings, writing, and food planning…  As a result, my organization pretty much fell apart.  The house was picked up before I left, and the laundry was clean, dishes were in the dishwasher, and the cats were fed.  BUT....  I ran out of time to finish some of the things I really wanted to get done. I barely had time to shower and rush out the door. 

When I got home a few hours ago, the kitchen was stinky.  I forgot to take out the garbage, and did not turn on the dirty dishwasher.  The laundry that was clean, was not put away, but in piles all over my bedroom and bed.  The floors were disgusting and bathrooms were repulsive.  I had to go to the grocery store to get some of the healthy food for our week and I was totally overwhelmed.  I wanted to scream!  AND my trip to the grocery store was the most tempting yet b/c I wanted to eat away my anxiety and stress!

While keeping my house organized is very important to me, I NEED to learn what really matters.   I NEED to understand that life is going to go on if my little world seems a mess.  I NEED to understand that I am not superwoman no matter how hard I try.  Instead of being angry at myself for not being able to get everything done, I need to be proud of myself for spending time ON ME before I left.  If I hadn’t prepared myself for the weekend, making sure all of my tools to stay on track were in place, I probably would not have been able to do as well as I did.   Tonight, I am accepting the chaos that is my life, going to bed and dealing with it tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Few Croutons WILL Kill Me

So it is Sunday night….   I am home and survived the weekend at my Parents house!  It was a nice time! The kids had a great time at the pumpkin farm and with the family.  I got a little down time and stayed strong the whole time!!!   There were some stressful moments, but I survived. I stayed on my food plan and did not eat anything that I was not supposed to.  I went for a good walk with my hubby and some of the dogs, and I did a few on-line support meetings!  And thank God I had all the tools I needed to stay strong.

Friday night I was greeted with my FAVORITE pizza ever! ( I brought a 6 inch turkey and loaded veggie sub with no dressing or cheese on wheat)   Saturday morning, I ate my oatmeal and yogurt so I was full before Trax farms.  It was a good thing too, because at the farm, I resisted funnel cakes and fried oreos! (That my family got and ate in my FACE!)  I walked passed my favorite cookies and cake and candy apples that we get every year.  I did not have one bite of the cotton candy that Gamma bought the kids!   Lunch at home was sandwiches with cheese curls and potato chips.  I brought a huge salad and ate that and a sandwich on the healthy organic bread I brought too. Then I had a nice afternoon of just catching up and hanging out with my sister, mom and cousin!   

I also have assumed the role at my parents house of planning and cooking meals when we are together…  which I was always fine with.  I thought I would be fine this time too, until it was time to think about it!  As my parents left to run some errands, my mom said, “there’s lots of fish in the fridge, we can eat that for dinner and its healthy!”  I was excited that they were willing to eat something together with me instead of having me make something unhealthy for them and eat salad and fish by myself. 

Well, my mom’s “lots of fish” turned out to be three small pieces.  And although one of my biggest tools right now has been relying on God to get me through all of this, he did not perform a miracle of multiplying loaves and fishes that night when I asked him to.  So I called my mom and she said she would stop and get something for everyone else and I could eat the fish with Grammie.  Which I was fine with…  but their dinner was tempting!  They had sloppy joes baked inside biscuit dough and smothered with cheese!  My dry overcooked cod was not so appetizing when the ooey gooey sloppy joes were on the table with it! As badly as I wanted to have just one bite, i didn't!

My family thought they were being supportive b/c they were telling me how proud they were of me, but they didn’t understand the battles that I was fighting ALL weekend long in the environment of junk and diet coke!!!  They were supportive as far as encouraging words.  But the action part is a lot harder.  In fairness I did not tell them ahead of time how hard core I was doing this!  And everyone knows that when they start a diet, everyone always has all the answers and suggestions for what might help.  “Well, you can’t cut out everything, or you will crave it too much and fail.”  You need to eat more than three meals.  “They” say you should have 5 small meals.”  “Its better to exercise in the morning.” Etc. Etc. etc.  I TOTALLY understand that they are trying to help and be supportive, but I have a plan this time.  A plan that I have spent 15 years of my life figuring out and it is working this time!  So just let me do it! 

I think my mom finally understood where I was coming from at the end of dinner on Saturday.  We were sitting at the table eating.  My mom just put croutons on her salad.  I didn’t say a word, I didn’t criticize or judge, I just picked up the bag to read the nutritional information for myself.  She said, “they are not that bad!!  A few croutons isn’t going to kill me!”  To which I responded, “no, a few croutons won’t kill me either.  BUT, if these croutons are loaded with fat and/or sugar, those things keep me fat or make me want to overeat.  If small servings of fat or sugar keep me this fat, then YES, a few croutons WILL kill me! One cheeseburger won’t kill me either, but it will make me stay this fat, and that WILL kill me!”  She didn’t say anything back, but I knew she knew what I was talking about!

So I survived a truly emotionally draining weekend.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be to resist all of those temptations, but it wasn’t easy either!  I have to say that I am proud of myself!  In the past, I would have thrown my whole “diet” out the window on a weekend like that.  But this isn’t a diet…  This is the way I am going to live my life!  If I give up on saving my life, then I quit living!  Here’s to being ALIVE!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Un-Comfort Zone

Ok, so, as I have said, I had a great childhood! Although I learned my overeating behaviors as a child, I still had a wonderful childhood.  We pretty much had a happy care-free existence.  I realize now, as a mother myself, that my parents worked really hard to allow us that kind of life!  I still get excited to go home.  Like if I go there, the peace that I had as a kid will fill me up!!  Unfortunately reality hits me within a few minutes of walking in the door.  My kids get crazy and normal grown-up life continues. 

This weekend we are planning a trip to Bethel Park, our hometown.  Although we only live an hour and a half away, it is still nice to go and spend the night and be together.  But this time I am nervous.  Along with the warm fuzzies, I also have some reservations.  NO matter what diet I have been on, I always seem to “lose it” at my parent’s house.  Like the rules don’t apply there and I have permission to eat however I want.  I get into my ‘comfort zone’ and want my old habits to be there with me!

I CANNOT do that this time!  I know that there are plans to order some of our favorite comfort food.  I am armed with different tools this time and I know that one day of going back to old habits is not worth blowing 19 days of abstinence!  However, that rational thought tends to go right out the window when I am in front of a Danny’s Hoagie and Trax Farms candy apples!!! 

At least I know that my husband will support me.  In fact, he reassured me 20 days ago, that if I am doing this differently this time, so is he.  He is no longer going to let me make excuses in his presence. I am not aloud to rationalize overeating.  He said no matter how many times I give him puppy dog eyes, or how many tears I cry, he’s going to be tougher on me.  He was afraid in the past to say no to me. But all of that has changed this time too!!!

I do love that my parent’s house feels like home.  It’s more like home than my own house is.   I love the fall!!!!  This time of year brings back amazing memories of home.  It also prepares us for the holiday season and all of the family gatherings that will take place.  I love the warm fuzzies I get just thinking about it.

 Too bad my expectations for a peaceful, wonderful, and magical holiday season are normally too high. It’s usually filled with stress.  This year, I hope to focus on what matters most and enjoy family!!!  If I can change these patterns of overeating when I am with my family, then it CAN be more peaceful!  I know that for sure! 

I will update tomorrow night to see how it goes!  I hope to JUST ENJOY time with family. I hope to not worry about making everyone happy.  I hope not to get over-emotional about anything.  I hope to change old habits and start new ones!  I plan on NOT overeating.  My comfort zone may be a little uncomfortable this weekend, but I will never change if I don’t make the changes within myself!

Now I only have to clean the house, finish the laundry, pack the car, feed the kids and cats, and get the kids and dog into the new car without trashing it on this rainy day!!  If I can do all that in the next hour, surely I can go 24 hours without overeating…  RIGHT?


I have been one gigantic stress ball for at least the last 10 years of my life!  Actually, I have always been an anxious stress ball!  Each year that goes by, I get worse and worse.  Trying to be in control, to have all the answers, worrying about death and being afraid to live, are just a few of the reasons that I live in a constant state of anxiety.  I know it is all connected to my addiction and the way I eat.  I am not sure about all the reasons and the connections yet, but that is what I am hoping to learn about myself this year on my journey.  I worry about my kids, about my husband, about everything!!!!  As soon as someone starts to get a little cold I have major panic attacks that they will get really sick.  I don’t have any idea where this comes from.  When my son and my husband leave the house in the morning, I get a pit in my stomach.  Along the same lines as my previous hermit post, I joke about taking my family and living in a cave! (As long as there is a Walmart within walking distance, we’ll be great!)

Anyways, I am stressed and anxious just trying to write this one.  So forgive me if it doesn’t make sense and jumps around a bit.  I know that I eat as a result of stress.  It is how I cope.  I don’t binge to get rid of stress. I just eat constantly to numb some of it.  Well I use to eat constantly. 

Today is day 19 of following my eating plan!!!  So I have not overeaten at all. Ok, I feel like I just lied.  Last night, I had extra bites of food.  Before dinner I picked at the meal b/c my husband was late getting home. Then after the meal as I put the food away, I absent mindedly took another spoonful!  I know that those were a few bites and not a big slip, but I was still disappointed.

I digress again… stress and eating.  For the last 19 days I have been painfully aware of the fact that I am a stress ball!  When I don’t have the food to help numb those feelings, they are all right there in my face.  My general stress level, however, has definitely decreased.  I have a peace of mind that I have not had in a very very long time… AND without the cloudy haze that I have been living in as a compulsive over eater, I am able to better deal with the little stressors that in the past would knock me on my ass! 

 BUT when a more stressful situation arises, it hits me hard and fast!  I have stayed strong through all of these moments as far as eating.  But I have had a few emotional breakdowns over it!   I know that is to be expected and that there are many more to come, but I hope by the end of this, I am truly able to get rid of some of my anxiety issues. 

This week we bought a new car.  Which in everyone’s life, (well everyone who pretty much lives paycheck to paycheck), is a stressful situation.  It’s a lot of money and you want to make the right decision.  We needed a used car, and found the exact kind of car we wanted.  So then it became a game of trying to find the right one, at the right price, and hope that we could get there and make the offer before it was gone.  (Which happened several times)   So every time I thought we found the “one” and it didn’t’ work out, my stress level would rise.  Then I would panic and get emotional because I didn’t know how to cope without food! So basically, I learned about my ability to cope with stress.  I need a lot of work and hope to continue this work for this year!  Sorry again about the chaos of this post!  It is what happens when I even think about stress!!!  AHHHH!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can I Be a Hermit?

I have been doing so well with this eating plan!  I have not had many cravings and have not had to eat many snacks between meals.  I have not had anything to eat after dinner.  I have been feeling good.  I’ve been drinking a ton of water and hot tea.  Not one sugary or diet drink since I started this.  Only putting healthy food in our house has been the key.  The kids are already sick of it.  My seven year old even went to the neighbor’s house with some change and offered to buy a snack from her!!!  Its not that I am starving them, I have a ton of fruit and other snacks, goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels, etc.  But both of my kids know the goodies are next door… like kool aid, cookies and candy!  But I have never stocked up on that stuff.  I really worry about them having these same issues some day.

ANYWAYS… things have been even easier than I anticipated.  That is until I need to participate in the outside world.  My addiction to fast food is worse than I thought.  It’s not even that I want the food.  But I get in the car and I realize how much of a habit it is, and how easy it is to make excuses about being out and too busy to eat anything else!  Wow, how messed up? 

Since being a hermit isn’t exactly a healthy option or solution, (although I seriously considered it), I guess I better figure out how to break this habit.  I read something this week about being aware of the addiction, accepting that this is my new lifestyle, and taking action to make better decisions.  I feel like I was able to do that. 

Today I went to the zoo with my daughter’s preschool class.  We walked the whole zoo and I was never winded, tired, or cranky!  I packed a healthy snack, ate it, and was satisfied.  As I walked to the car, I was so proud of myself.  I was so happy about the way I was feeling.  My daughter, however, was tired and cranky.  She threw a temper tantrum about her car seat and then I got stressed.  I got in the car, turned the key, and automatically thought, I need a double cheeseburger!

I started having a conversation with the voice in my head.  The voice had pretty much convinced me that it was ok to go get the cheeseburger.  It came up with all kinds of ideas about how ‘every once in a while is fine’… ‘nobody is perfect all the time’ … ‘just this once time’ … ‘nobody even has to know’!!!  UGH!  That last one was the one that snapped me out of it.  If I have to hide it, than it is WRONG!  So I reached into my bag and ate the apple that was left.   Then I called my husband and told him about the conversation I had just had with myself. 

After he told me I might be crazy... he encouraged me and talked me back to the reality of all this.  Back to that awareness place where I was able to accept that I can’t do that any more and then take the appropriate action (not pulling into a drive-thru)!  Now I just have to keep that awareness thing going, or I will do that every time I leave the house.  Hmmmm… maybe being a hermit isn’t a bad idea!?!?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Good Morning Lord

I mentioned that yesterday’s church service was about being grateful and about counting your blessings.  But it was also about being grateful even when we don’t feel like it.  Like first thing in the morning for example. Especially when we wake up on a day that we know will be crazy busy and probably stressful. The priest told us about a comic strip that he once saw, and it stuck with him.  There were two pictures:  One was a dad getting out of bed, and the other was a little boy.  Above the little boys head as he jumped out of  his bed (in the classic comic strip bubble) was “GOOD MORNING LORD!” In the bubble above groggy sleepy dad said, “Good Lord, morning!” 

Last week, I wrote about how hard mornings are for me, so this really hit home. I've learned that we need to wake up and be grateful for another day.  It's how we get out of bed, and choose to take on the world, that determines how we want our day to go!  Do we do it alone and miserable?  OR… do we choose to wake up, and pray and get things right before the stress even begins?  

This past weekend, even though we were able to sleep in a little, I woke up refreshed.  I don’t know if it is just the healthy eating choices, or if it is the exercise, or if it is my renewed attitude.  It’s probably a combination of all of them.  But whatever it is, I LIKE IT!  So this morning is a Monday morning, the start of a new week.  I woke up early this morning and was able to get out of bed and stay awake.  I finally got that quiet morning alone that I have needed! I chose to get out of bed and instead of my usual ‘good Lord, morning’ attitude, I greeted this morning with Good Morning Lord. 

Right now things continue to improve and I feel great.  I am getting nervous that everything is going to crash soon because it has in the past.  The best I can do is try to stay positive and stick to my eating and exercise plan.  Oh and today was my weigh in day....  296!  5 more pounds lost this week!  I'm down 14 lbs from 2 weeks ago:)  I pray that I never ever see that 300 number again in my life!   Peace out 300lbs !!!!  280's here I come! 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I cannot begin to tell you tonight about how grateful I am for this change in my life!  I know it is early, and I know that I have felt this way two weeks in on my past attempts at healthy living and weight loss, But this is a different feeling so far.  I have NOT been thinking about food!!!  Eating has become something that I do to fuel my body.  I used to just eat.  ALL THE TIME!  I used to think about food constantly.  I would also eat without thinking.  Just eat out of boredom, or routine, or loneliness, or for no apparent reason at all.

I went to church today with my son. The whole sermon was about counting your blessings and being grateful for all of the little things in life that we take for granted all the time!  This weekend was a very peaceful weekend.  I can’t believe I am saying that because I very rarely have peaceful weekends when we are all at home together.  I’m always stressed about what needs done and what we are going to eat. I worry about who is misbehaving and get resentful and angry that we can’t just have time together without so much chaos.  But that chaos is life, my life!  My life as a mom with two kids, two cats, and a dog… oh and a husband ; )

If this were normal weekend for me, (a weekend that included getting a lot accomplished and  making time to exercise and the truck braking down, and having to cancel plans that I was looking forward to), I would be so angry tonight!  I would be pouting and frustrated and probably totally full of garbage foods that I would feel physically ill.  Instead tonight, I am at peace.  Very relaxed and comfortable.  Happy and filled with hope!   I am simply... grateful!

Strong Saturday

This is my first “normal” weekend at home since I started this year to a better me.  Normally on weekends home, especially in the fall, I plan my weekends around food.  It starts on Friday with ordering some sort of take out.  Then on Saturday morning, after I figure out what I am in the mood for and make my list, I go to the grocery store and spend around $100 for us for a weekends worth of food.  I usually bake in the fall, so there is always some treat on the list.  Meals include comfort food meals, including a BIG breakfast for at least one of the mornings and usually the other morning is doughnuts or cinnamon buns.  Then I come home and cook and we sit on the couch and play games, watch movies and EAT. 

 On this particular October Saturday, God blessed us with a gorgeous and unseasonably warm day!  So I didn’t focus on food at all.  We had oatmeal for breakfast and headed outside.  We cleaned the yard and put away some of the “summer things” to get prepared for the inevitable cooler weather.  Instead of my hubby cutting the grass as he always does, I decided I would do it to get my exercise in!  So I cut our grass AND the neighbors.  I even had to do a big part of it twice because the grass was so long.  I doubted a few times that I could finish the whole task and even told my husband he would have to finish. But I pushed through!  It kicked my butt!!!  But I didn’t give in to the stinkin thinkin in my head that told me I wasn’t strong enough.  I finished the whole thing and still had energy to do some major cleaning outside!  The first part of my day proved that I am physically stronger than I give my self credit for.

The second half of my day proved to me that I was emotionally stronger than I thought I was.  A good friend of mine is getting married next fall, so I had plans to meet her for dinner and do some wedding planning.  I even picked the restaurant and looked the menu up on-line before going so that I knew what to choose instead of acting on impulse and making a mistake with my meal choice.  Since I was spending the evening out of the house, I told my husband to order some pizza for him and the kids, guilt free : ) 

So they left to run some errands and pick up the pizza while I got ready to go.  I was feeling so good about everything, about my food decisions, about finishing the grass cutting task earlier in my day, about how I was feeling, etc.  So I was literally on my way to meet my friend when my husband called.  His truck died and he was stuck on the side of the road with both kids…  BUMMER!!!  So, I called my friend (who was in from out of town and I never get to see by the way) to tell her that I can’t meet her.  I headed to pick up the stranded fam. 

When I get there he tells me that he hasn’t picked up food yet, and he is bringing food home for the neighbors too, so I have to figure that out…  now for a non-food addicted person, that would seem like a small task…  for me it threw me for a loop.  I have spent the last 2 weeks not tempting myself and not stressing about food!!!  When I had to, it really upset me at first. 

 It ended up working out, I talked to the neighbors and they weren’t starving, so we waited for my husband to pick up pizza as planned after he got the truck to the garage.  I made a big salad, and we spent the evening outside eating dinner and playing with the neighbors on a beautiful fall evening!  I only ate one small piece of pizza and a lot of salad.  AND, better yet, when I was running in the yard and playing with the kids, I was able to move a lot better than I was even two weeks ago!
All of this effort is paying off : )  I am strong and getting stronger!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unconditional Friendship and Support

I was having a hard time coming to terms with telling people I am doing this again.  Mainly b/c I have done it so many times!  I have one “friend” in my past that hurt me very badly when I asked for support.  She said… “Quit talking about it. I’ll believe you when you actually do it.  I’m sick of you talking about it and then getting fatter!” It made me doubt myself, and I quit that night.  I feel like no one should have faith in me… Especially the ones that have watched me trip and stumble my way through this journey I’ve been on!

So as I am gathering my support team for this year to a healthier me, I am careful with who I choose. But when I start to talk about it I find myself starting with this disclaimer…  I know I have said “this time is for real and I am going to lose this weight” 500,000 times in the past, but I am saying it again.  I am not thinking about losing the weight, I am thinking about recovering from food addiction.  My focus is on one moment at a time right now, so it really is a different approach and total life change this time.   

The few people I have talked to so far have been good to me.  My neighbor, (my “life partner” as I call her), is someone that has been very supportive and let me talk her ear off about it.  She is a relatively new friend to me, so its easier with her. I don’t feel like she is sick of  my weight struggles yet : )  She has recently lost a significant amount of weight too, but can still relate to the food addiction aspect that I am struggling with.  Today we talked about recovery from overeating and then went on a good long walk!  How blessed am I to have that support right next door?!?!

I have one particularly close friend in my life that has been a constant love and support.  She has never let me down.  She is the only person in my life who has never turned their back on me! We have been friends since we were in middle school, and although we are now both busy moms, we try to get together a few times a month to catch up and support each other.  The crazy kids and even crazier husbands stay home and we just get to be us! 

Well last night we had our ‘night out’ and I shared with her the details of my life changing experiences these last few weeks.  In the past I have admitted to having “issues” with food, and even an addiction to sugar.  But saying that I am a food addict and have the disease of addiction is totally different.  I did not hesitate to tell her, although I did include the “disclaimer” for her as well.  I talked and talked about this blog, and my goals, and my food choices, and my recovery program… then I figured we were done….  I said, “Ok, your turn what’s going on with you?” 

 She started to talk a little about her life, but I could tell something was up.  Then she stopped, looked down at her plate, and she was trying not to cry!  My heart sank and I thought “oh great, I’m the worst friend ever! She has something serious going on in her life and I was going on and on with excitement about my life!!!”  Then, through her tears she said, “Before we move on, I feel like I owe you an apology.”  I was so taken back by it.  She went on to talk about how it never hit her how real my addiction was, and that for the last few years she knew I was struggling with this, but not to this degree.  She felt bad and apologized for ever being an enabler to my addiction, and not realizing how bad it was for me.

I stopped her immediately!  I told her that I was not ready to accept how bad it was, so it wasn’t her responsibility to figure it out for me!  I had a million excuses for my weight gain and for making bad food choices.  I also told her that addicts are master manipulators.  When we would go out to eat and I would order and incredibly fatting unhealthy meal and I would say things like, "Oh I’ve been so good lately so I can have this tonight"… blah, blah, blah.  So she would think, well then, its ok!  I felt bad that she felt she had not been there for me enough, when she is one person that has not given up on me!!!  I did ask her to help me maintain my current food choices when we have our nights out this year and to hold me accountable!  

 It feels so good to know that I am not alone in this journey.  It is so great to have support!  The people in my recovery group, that know this addiction, have been an irreplaceable support system for the last few weeks! But it feels even better to have people that know ME and love ME want this for me too…  even more than that, they believe it is possible!  I am incredibly grateful for true friendship today! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Mornings…  why can’t my family let me have a minute in the mornings to myself???   First of all I am NOT a morning person.  Most of the time I wake up feeling unrested and still tired.  I am grumpy and cranky in the mornings. I have been for as long as I can remember.  I remember my parents pretty much having to drag me out of bed in the mornings.

I have tried getting up earlier than my family, but it seems the earlier I plan to get up, they just KNOW!!!!  I am quiet. Very quiet. But they are awake and in my face SO quickly.  Last night I went to bed planning to get up at 6:30 and have AT least 30 minutes to an hour to read my devotions and do some blogging, eat breakfast without stress and demands, maybe even stretch a little, start some exercise for my body!!!  But… what time does my 3 y/o get up today???  SIX! Just before 6:00 am I hear mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, I’m awake, mommy.  Can I have a pop tart?  Seriously?  I really want that time in the morning but I’m not sure how to get it and still get sleep and still have some time to MYSELF at night! 

I need to pray long and hard and hope to get some answers!  At 1:45 pm today I was still tired.  I felt like I couldn’t  catch up with myself today.  I still hadn’t exercised, I felt too TIRED!  All I can think about it a  NAP!  I even called my hubby to tell him he needed to come home early so I can get myself together, but as I knew he had to, he stayed at work. 

After I hung up with him though, I looked at my daughter, who was also so tired, told her I loved her even though she was super cranky and asked her to be my cheerleader while I tried my new exercise DVD.  She let me do 30 minutes which was way more than I had hoped for, and then she was miserable and draining again.  I want to have more patience again…  I feel like I am torturing them while I take these major steps in my life to take care of me.  Again, I know that this is for them just as much as it is me, but wow… my little girl is having a hard time with me not giving her more attention:(

Oh how I want to be a better mother!  I know I am not superwoman, and I cannot do everything perfectly, but I worry that I am messing them up.  I want them to be able to show their feelings, to be heard.  I want them to learn that it is ok to be angry, sad, hurt happy and excited.  I am so quick to anger and say mommy needs a break.  Stop moving, stop making noise, stop bugging me, I’ll listen to you in just a minute!!!  I am a freakin stay at home mom so that I know they are getting the best care that they need…  but are they??? 

  I have let the chaos of my addiction to food take control over so much.  I am almost resentful when I am trying to take care of myself and have to stop something to take care of them….  Does that make me horrible???  I love them. I love them with every fiber of my being.  I hate that this disease of addiction has hurt them too.  I have so many days that I wake up in a foggy haze.  I’m not sure if it is my thyroid, depression, my weight affecting my quality of sleep, my anxiety, or a combination of all of them some days.

Up until this week, I would deal with that haze by eating.  But eating just brings more haze.  This week of abstaining from overeating, there has definitely been more clarity.  But as I let go of my coping mechanisms, the quicker I am to get irritable right now…  I really hope that this part gets easier soon.  I am doing so well and really proud of myself.  But I want my kids to know I know this is hard for them to and that I love them!!!   Week one is done :)  I have stuck to my goals and my plans.  Still figuring this out one day at a time…  but I am down 9 pounds! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Summer 2010

This past summer was a good summer.  We had a lot of fun.  Two of the highlights for me were our vacation to North Carolina and a trip to our local amusement park, Kennywood.  This summer was definitely the heaviest I have ever been. However, I did more this year.  Up until now, I would have been so nervous about going to the beach.  To wear a bathing suit and play with my kids on the beach would have been torture. To go to Kennywood and attempt to ride a few things would have been too anxiety producing.  But for some reason, I stopped caring so much about what total strangers thought of me. 

This is not to say that I did not have some sad moments and reminders on both trips of the limitations I have put on myself as a result of my weight gain. I wish I could have gone on some adventures with my husband (he took my sister instead)…  I have no problem that my sister and my husband had some fun exploring and riding bikes, etc…  I was happy they had each other, but I was sad that I couldn’t go do those things too.

I wish I could have gone on more rides with my family at Kennywood… something that has made me sad for the last few years because I LOVE roller coasters! This year I did ride a few things and I didn’t think too much about my weight while riding them.  During both of these trips, I was happy.  I truly had a great time. I didn’t let my weight define me. 

THEN I got home and would look at the pictures.  The pictures of me made me feel like that fat girl didn’t deserve to have those good times.  Those images of me didn’t match how I was feeling in the moment.  It is such a sad sickening feeling that comes over me when I see those images of myself.  I have been struggling with the decision to post pictures to this blog or not.  I want this journey to be about so much more than before and after pictures.  Its not about just focusing on the weight loss.  I have done that in the past, and I have just continued to gain weight and not break this cycle. 

This time it’s about my ability to manage my relationship and addiction to food. So I have decided to post a few pictures of myself from this past summer.  This blog is intended to be an inspirational experience for me. A log of where I have been and what I have accomplished. So I want to include these images in order to remember the fun moments that I was able to have with my family (even at 300+ lbs). 

The weight doesn’t define me, but it affects me and my family in so many ways.  It’s just another reason to change my way of thinking.  So here goes nothing…  Below are the pictures of myself that I would have wanted to rip up and hide.  Hopefully next summers pictures will include some of me and my hubby riding bikes and riding roller coasters with my son : ) 


GUILT....  I live my life feeling guilty so much of the time.  I always feel bad about something I did or did not do.  That I didn’t call, or that I didn’t do enough for someone, that I ate the wrong thing, or that I am not living my life to its fullest!!  Right now, I feel like I need a break from my kids. The guilt I feel just typing that hurts me.  My husband was very busy last week and then he went away to ‘camp’ for the weekend. SO, I was pretty much a single mom.  My heart goes out to all the single parents out there that do this day in and day out.

Anyways, taking the beginning steps on this journey is always like a rollercoaster ride for me.  I go from being confident, proud, happy and strong, to overwhelmed, angry, irritable, and full of doubt so quickly… and my poor kids are along for the ride.  I hate that I can tell my 7 year old son is walking on eggshells!!!  GUILT! 

But then I think about the alternative, about not doing this and staying heavy.  I won’t be here for him, or my daughter, if I don’t make these changes!  Then I feel guilty that I even let myself get to this point. I mean, I am not abusive! But I am not there for them like I want to be.  I don’t want to yell and be sad around them. That’s all.

Tonight, a gloomy fall Sunday night, we are all home together.  I feel like I should sit around with all four of us and spend time together, but if I don’t sneak away and take care of myself, then I am not going to be able to keep up with this journey this year.  I won’t even make it into week two.  So, right now I am in my bed by myself at 5:00 in the evening.  First I am going to write this blog.  Then I am going to participate in an on-line support meeting.  Then I am going to paint my toe nails and watch the cheesy chick flick I rented and never got around to watching this weekend! 

As I type those words, I am filled with peace, not guilt… oh, wait, now I feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty. UGH!  So another goal – Do the best I can in each moment.  If I am trying hard to be the best I can be, for myself and the people that love and need me, then I cannot feel guilty!  I may not always make the right choice, but that’s ok! 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Plans and Goals For My Journey

In my first post I said I would list my plan for this year and my goals….  I gave you a general idea of my goal to continue this journey and make it my job!  No excuses!  But as far as my plan, I am currently struggling with how to define my abstinence from overeating.  I am going to abstain from overeating.  Abstain from eating as a result of emotions. Abstain from eating things that I know are incredibly unhealthy for me. Abstain from eating as a form of entertainment.  Abstain from eating large portions. I am not going to drink any soda (even diet coke which is an addiction in itself).  I will not be drinking any alcohol in excess so that I do not impair my judgment and have a relapse with my diet.

My current food plan as I begin this journey will probably change throughout the year as I figure out which foods are “trigger” foods for me, and what foods I can eat that help me stick with this.  I am going to eat healthy sensible meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am going to try to eat only one small healthy snack between meals, and not eat anything after dinner.  At this point I am avoiding sugar, but not obsessing about it…  but definitely no sweets or cakes or desserts of any kind.  Why do I always seem to start this no sugar thing in the fall …  Halloween breaks me every time, I don’t even make it to Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies!!!  But this year will be different.  So that is my plan for now…  one day at a time.  I will update with changes. I am also going to exercise everyday.  This week I am focusing on 30 min/day. I will update those changes too as I hope to increase that soon!

Ok, so some goals….

By the end of this year I hope to:

 #1)  Lose weight…  duh!!!   But I don’t want to set a number b/c if I honestly stick to my eating and exercise plan, my body will do what it is meant to do and help me get to a reasonable weight that is right for me.  I am not expecting to lose all of my weight over this year, but I hope to lose a lot

#2)  Be able to run and play with my kids easily

#3)  Learn a lot about why I eat and how it relates to my moods

#4)  Work on my stress level and bring it down so that I can live peacefully

#5)  Have more patience for my family

#6)  Do the adventurous competitive things that my husband loves to do

#7)  Not be the fat mom, I don’t want my kids to ever be embarrassed of me for my weight.

#8)  Participate in life and not let my weight and my self-esteem issues hold me back

#9) Ride roller coasters and travel without the fear of whether I’ll fit places

#10)  Be free from this cycle of eating and the chaotic emotional lifestyle that results from it

Those are the ones I came up with tonight!  Those will probably change too

So, day three was Abstinent, healthy, and fun.  I was quick tempered with my kids a few times and I feel bad about it.  I am irritable during this first week of letting go of my eating behaviors.  I hate that my family has to live with this part of this….  BUT I know that it will be better for all of us in the end!  It just causes so much GUILT… I sense a blog about guilt in my near future. 

Tomorrow we are having a Steeler party at our house.  I am going to be good and not eat  sweets and only drink water!   I can do it!! 

Can I be 300+ pounds and be a weight loss expert????

Here's the deal.  I have been trying to lose weight for at least 15 years.  But after years of yo-yo dieting, I have never been successful at losing weight and keeping it off.  I lose twenty to thirty pounds and then gain ten... then gain ten more, twenty more, then lose a few only start the gaining process all over again.  This used to make me feel like an absolute failure!!

About a year ago I had a shift in my thinking about the failure part.  Each time I lost weight, I was trying some specific diet and learning about what my body reacts positively to, and what it doesn't.  If I continue to view myself as a failure, then I am afraid to "start" again b/c I don't want to fail again.

So, I have shifted my thinking to that of a journey.  The past 15 years have been a journey… a journey to understand what it will take to reach my goal of a healthier me.  So with each "failure" I have learned more about what to take with me on this journey and what to leave behind!  I have not failed, because I have not given up and I am still trying to reach my goal. While on this journey I have graduated high school, graduated from college, fell in love and got married, lost loved ones, made friends, ended friendships, became a mother, battled depression, anxiety and thyroid disorders, etc.

Bottom line is that I have changed… I have grown into the woman that I am today.  On this journey I have talked to doctors, paid to be in weight loss programs, bought dozens of books, ate one food for weeks on end, fasted and binged. I have studied and researched and learned about the best ways to lose weight, about what foods are best and what foods to avoid… About support systems, about journaling and reflecting, about prayer, meditation, and hypnotism, calorie counting, about cutting out all things “unhealthy”, and about eating everything in moderation.  I seriously feel like I have armed myself with all of the knowledge I need to be a weight loss expert….  SO????  WHY am I still heavy? ….  That is exactly what I hope to figure out on this journey and this year to a healthier me!!!!

I am going to continue on this journey, taking all of the things I have learned about weight loss (and about myself) in my past attempts to become healthy, and make it my job to focus on those things everyday.  I am joining a recovery program b/c I have come to terms with the fact that I am a food addict, and that is what has stopped me from succeeding to this point.  I am going to focus on God, the people who love me unconditionally, and all of the things I have to live for…  So here we go!  Bring on day three!