Archive | October, 2013

Two of the BEST words…

20 Oct

My two favorite and most heartening words right now are, “Me, too.”   Especially when I’m convinced that no one else on earth could possibly understand what I’m feeling.  This crazy sauce I’m covered in is my personal recipe, and no one else gets it!

C R A Z Y.  Not Carrie on Homeland crazy, but…okay, not even close.

When I hear those comforting words, it means I get to dim the neon lights on my ‘freak’ sign for a while.  Oh, it’s STILL very much hanging in the window, but harder to see.  I can feel like part of the rest of the world again.  Where did I get the idea these feelings were unique?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because we don’t talk about them all that much.

Last Monday, as I was imploding with a volcano full of emotions I was afraid would ooze out and burn the ones I love, someone on our weekly Flourish coaching call said she’d been feeling angry and didn’t know why.  I let out the biggest sigh when I heard her say that.  Wow, it’s not just me!  I’m not alone.

Immediately I felt less anxious.  I would say I even started to feel calm.  If someone else has these feelings, then *I* must be okay…

Several years ago, I spent some time with a volunteer organization that trained service dogs.  The woman who started the organization told me that there are some dogs trained to work with schizophrenics.  One of the main jobs of these dogs is to let their person know the difference between the voices in their head, and the voices in the real world.  If someone is hearing voices, but the dog is not and doesn’t react, then they know – it’s in their head.  Isn’t that marvelous?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could train dogs to signal us when we’re overreacting or being ridiculous?  Like, ‘Hon, you are WAY in your head right now, and no one else is thinking you are strange.  It’s just you, so pass me one of those steak bones, and chillax.” That kind of help would be SO useful.

Do you think that idea is crazy?  Do you think it’s cool?  Either way, I bet you’re not alone…

Anti-hero

13 Oct

Yesterday, as I was thinking about updating those of you in my blog-iverse, (and journal for myself) I knew EXACTLY what I’d write about.  I was excited, too.  My folks and sister were coming over for dinner, and we were making some things that are NOT on my food list.  This included making my dad some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I thought, I will get through this culinary challenge without letting even the smallest sweet crumb of dough cross my lips.

And, I did it!  I imagined writing that I was some new kind of SUPERHERO – impervious to chocolate chips, mashed potatoes (which we also made, and I did not have).  Able to leap food temptations in a single bound.

Instead, I’m overwhelmed by a big giant knot of emotions that have me feeling crazy.  It feels like way too much for me to handle.  It’s like when your computer gets a virus and opens window-after-window-after-window, and you can’t make it stop, except to turn the whole damn machine off!

Unfortunately, it seems the less I eat, the more I feel.  I had no earthly idea all the feelings I was covering up with my ‘too-much’ and binge-y foods.  I’m unsettled and highly irritable, and worry I’ll lash out at people and say things I’ll regret.  Like I CAN’T control myself.  Like being at the top of the Space Needle thinking I’m going to accidentally jump.  Of course I don’t WANT to jump, I truly don’t.  But, it’s like, well what if I do anyways, without any choice of my own.  I mean no disrespect, but it feels like emotional Tourette’s. 

I feel like anything but a superhero.

I’m in a whirlpool and headed straight toward the falls.  I don’t know what to do with all of it.  Yes, breathing is good, but it’s not enough.  I don’t like how I feel.

There is some good news – I don’t seem to be thinking about what I can eat to make this go away.  However, I VERY much want it to stop. 

I noticed last week that somehow I feel I have less control over my life without my emotional eating – n worried I’d forget to do something for a client.  Before, my ‘to do’ lists were more than adequate.  I felt that if I wrote it down, it was as good as handled.  I don’t feel that now.  It’s like there are things I may be forgetting, and they could be floating out of my grasp like those damned Three Musketeers Bars on TV.  I won’t be able to reach them – they’ll get missed and I’ll perform my jobs poorly.

I thought not eating certain foods would be the big challenge.  No – this is the hard shit – being with these feelings I don’t want to have, worrying that maybe I’m going to turn into someone I don’t like.  That the people who love me aren’t going to like or want to be around me as I get thinner and bitchier.  Maybe I’ve been a ‘mean girl’ all along, but the Cheetos, popcorn, ice cream have taken the edge off and helped me be nice.

I very clearly remember a time in my life when I thought I’d never find a partner who loved me, because if they REALLY saw all of the scabby, scar-ish parts, they’d hightail it in the opposite direction Roadrunner style.  When I think about that time, it seems like irrational thinking.  And, though my brain is telling me it still is, emotionally, it seems like a serious possibility.

I’m less than happy with these developments – and I know I won’t feel this way forever.  But, while I am feeling it – it SUCKS!  I don’t really know what to do except reach out to my therapist, blog, and be honest about it.  It’s hard for me to have a conversation about it – but easier to spill here. 

Here I go again, wondering why things can’t just be easy.  I’m beginning to see more and more every day, THAT just isn’t going to happen.  It’s not the way life works…at least not if you really, truly want to live it, and maybe one day take your cape and tights out of that space-saver bag sitting way back in the corner under the bed…

Oh sweet relief…

3 Oct

I guess that old Dinah Washington song is correct, ‘What a difference a day makes.’

I can’t believe the difference between yesterday morning and today.  Granted, I had to get up today at a certain time to get my dog to his beauty appointment, so I couldn’t lollygag.  He hates being tardy.  But, I actually had energy when I got up.  Whaaaaaaaat?

I made my yogurt, peach, nut, seed, raisin breakfast to take to the coffee shop with me to eat before Zumba.  Before I left, I had a large glass of water, and kind of felt (dare I say it) full!  What madness is this?  AND, I worked it pretty hard (for a 51-year-old with questionable knees and lower back) at Zumba.  Tuesday, I dragged through class.

Another crucial piece of information is that I decided to step on the scale and – booyaw (how do you spell this word?), lost 5 pounds since I last weighed myself before vacation.  This definitely made a difference in my mood.  But, the energy may be the biggest change from yesterday.  I almost feel a wee bit manic, which I’m going to re-label ‘happy.’

At least I’m happy now…however, I have to leave in half an hour to go get a ‘dunked-in-water’ body fat test, and not sure how I’ll feel about that.  It’s silly, but I don’t like deep water (it may not be deep), and don’t like putting my head under water.  I know, poor me…the government is shutdown, and I have to get my head wet.  Apparently, I also have to puff out all my air to get a good measurement.  It will be fine, and I’m determined to keep my cheerful mood all day.  This includes NOT wanting to know the results of this test.

It seems I feel I have more to say/write when I’m struggling (all my bad teenage poetry was sad stuff), but I want to record my victories as well.  Not only does it help me keep things in perspective, but, if anyone at all gets something out of this blog, it’s good to share that it’s not always cloudy (unless, of course, you are in Portland, ummm…September through, say, late May).

So – things right now are good!  And now is all we really get anyways, right?  I do wish I remembered that WAY more often.

And now I get to go don a bathing suit…P A R T A Y…(still staying cheerful)

Rough morning…

2 Oct

I was tempted to title this ‘rough day’, but the truth is, the morning was crap, but the rest of the day wasn’t all bad.

I did NOT want to get out of bed this morning.  It felt so warm, cozy and safe in there.  I was NOT ready to face the day or any responsibilities.  Somehow it feels that everything will be okay if I just stay in bed.  Before I even got up, I reached for my Kindle and emailed Julie to simply say, I can’t get out of bed.  Ten minutes or so later, I was up and managed to do my required (less than) 5 minutes of strengthening exercises.

I realized that, typically, when I feel like I can’t get up, I at LEAST have some sort of yummy, comfort-y food I can look forward to eating, which, sadly, can help me get my ass out of bed.  (Never had I been so in touch with that fact until this morning when I noticed its absence.) Then I have my FOOD friends to look forward to.  But, I didn’t have that.  I didn’t even have my C O F F E E because it kind of sucks with that crappy coconut creamer I thought would work in place of half and half.  I love strong coffee with rich cream.  F*ck!

I received a nice reply from Julie, and I started to cry.   I realize I was crying for three reasons – 1) Since I’m not covering up the emotions with food, they are closer to the surface.  (duh!)  2) I feel like Linus who has had his blanket taken away.  Or maybe Samson with a haircut.  3) Having someone say, “I know how you feel” made ME feel less ashamed for having days when I can’t get out of bed.  It feels weak and lazy.

I wish I was one of those people who, when they get bored or stressed, became a house-cleaning Ninja.  But, I’m not and it makes me feel badly about myself.  I’m tired of whipping myself for these things.

The good news is, the day wasn’t all bad.  I made myself a delicious, and comforting (very important today) breakfast, got some work projects done, and stuck to my food plan.  On the down/punish-y side, I didn’t walk my dog, and he really needs/likes his walk every day.  I feel badly about that – badly enough to walk him now? Not sure yet.

So, here I sit – in the middle of my emotional goo – which I usually try to avoid with Cheetos, popcorn, cheese…and I don’t much like how it feels…it’s stuck all over the bottom of my shoes, and I can’t seem to get it off. It’s like some kind of bubble-gummy tar business.  But, I guess it’s a part of the process and I have to get through it.  The emotions will be there whether I deal with them consciously or not. (duh!)

I get to go sing tonight, which my ‘whiney-stay-in-bed-self’ kind of thinks she doesn’t want to do.  BUT, I know once I get to rehearsal, it will be a bunch of fun.

I sure hope tomorrow morning is easier…

Oh detox, you are cruel and unusual…

1 Oct

Here come those lovely detox symptoms…flushed cheeks, mild nausea. That must mean those adorable headaches aren’t far behind.  I’m going to need to take some ibuprofen and a few naps the next couple of days.  AND, I better warn Tom that my evil twin, Kiki may be coming to visit over the next 48 hours…she is not at all patient or tolerant of, well anything or anyone, really.

In fact, she can be a downright bitch…or, maybe actually a very tantrum-ish child.  Either way, she ain’t fun.

It’s like the teacup ride at Disneyland – couldn’t WAIT to get off…

You know what sure would help?  A   C A N D Y  B A R…Oh, Kiki, shut up!

Weeeeeeeeeeeee…..

Let’s do this…

1 Oct

Do I sound pumped and enthusiastic? Can you FEEL my burning desire to drink half my body weight in ounces of water and give up oatmeal, chips and pizza? Well, if you guessed that I’m not that excited, you’d be right.  BUT, I’m doing it…I’m faking it ‘til I make it, as they say.

At this moment I’m feeling T I R E D from drinking too much wine the last two nights, staying up too late and cramming down cookies and ice cream at midnight like the Artful Dodger with a crust of stolen bread.  I’m also feeling crabby – because, well, I WANT to have my Humboldt Fog and eat it, too.  I want everything for doing nothing.

Isn’t that kind of sad?  Or arrogant?  Or deluded?  I don’t want to have to work for things, I just want them to fall out of the sky.  It’s probably why I wanted to glide like Dorothy Hamill after my first ice skating lesson.  It’s not a quality of which I am proud.  And, I’m not really sure how I came to be this way (though I bet I could figure it out).

What I AM sure of is I need to change this trait.  I need to realize that hard work and achievement, as a result, feels awesome!  The death row ‘last meal’ mentality is getting old.  Plus, I always find it in my heart to grant myself a ‘pardon’, resulting in years and years of big calories and last meals.  I know some of you can relate – ‘oh, man, my ‘diet’ starts tomorrow, so I’m going to eat a whole pizza followed by some B & J’s, because after tomorrow I can’t have it anymore.’

That IS what it feels like to me.  I started out my vacation being somewhat reasonable with my choices.  I found breakfast and lunch to be easiest.  But, by dinner time, I wanted wine, appetizers, bread, even if I chose something fairly healthy on the menu.  THEN, as vacation started coming to an end, I could feel myself starting to panic…Saturday (two days and counting) at the farmer’s market I wanted a bit of everything…oh, that cupcake looks good, but what about chocolate, and etc. etc. etc.

By last night, the midnight dessert rave was on.  Tom and I did, however, make a menu plan and grocery list for the week yesterday afternoon.  That was something.  This afternoon when we landed at PDX, we SO wanted to call up Papa Murphy’s, the perfect dinner for one arriving home from a trip. BUT, we didn’t.  Five bags and $150 later, we had our groceries for the week (since we did NOT want to make more than one stop, this week it was all New Seasons all the way).

And, here it is 6:30 and chicken breasts have been roasted for the week, as well as a pan full of vegies.  I’ve made us a salad for tonight, AND lunch salads for tomorrow.  I’ve got some cashew butter and bananas for a bit of a ‘treat’.  There will be challenges – the detox will be a bitch.  AND, our food list consists of lean meats, vegies, fruits and nuts.  I’m going to miss dairy and (this really surprises me) grains.

But, I’ve committed myself to this, and the support thus far from Julie at Flourish (http://www.iamflourish.com/) has been really great.  I’ve never participated in anything like this before.  There is no way you feel you are going it alone.  The program consists of a weekly conference call with your coach, and you get recipes and learn about the nutrition behind what you are doing.  And I think, one of the BEST things is the support of everyone else in your group via a special Facebook page.  Logging in all your food is a bit of a pain (to me), but I think once you get into a routine, it’s better.  AND, doing it after each time you eat.  Saving it until the end of the day is tough.

So, here we go…I’m mentally ready for the good, the bad, the ugly and the triumphant, but I know emotionally, things will probably surprise me.  I’m quite sure I’ll learn new things about myself.  I’m a little scared, but…I CAN do hard things, right?

Let’s do this!