Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 wrap up. Which is good since the world's ending next year, right?

Seriously.  I've had a terrible time getting my thoughts focused enough to write about anything.  I do know I have a knack for feeling like even mundane things are worthy of writing about, but yeah.  Not sure what happened.  Maybe I was just practicing being present?  Not sure.

I do know that I'm not ready for 3 weeks in between therapy appointments.  I mean, I'm not in some sort of downward spiral freefall, but whew.  It's hard work being out there on your own when you're used to a weekly love and support-fest.  And it's another 6 days until my next appointment.  I was sick, the therapist's kid was sick and then she was off on Christmas break this week.  Im' muddling through.  The biggest place it's showing up is in my body image.  I think it's been triggered by not being able to get out and run as much as I had been.  I was getting slightly addicted to feeling the changes in my body shape/weight/strength and now that they're not there everyday, I'm feeling fat, lazy and sluggish.  So, I guess there's a lesson in that as well, huh?  The not running consistantly thing is "ok" with me.  I mean, I know WHY - I'm not running with the stomach flu, for one.  I had a HUGE wipe out on the front stairs earlier this week and smashed up my knee like a badass champion.  And then well.......I need to try running on the treadmill because it's gotten in my head that I can only enjoy running if I'm outside.  Clearly I have no way of KNOWING this as I haven't run inside at all.  So, challenge it is.

Speaking of challenge - that's likely going to be the theme I work around for a piece I'm submitting to a CD project promoting ED awareness.  I'm totally excited to be working on it even if it's causing me a little writer's block.  I just want it to be "right" (ahem - perfectionism anyone?) and I need to clarify what it is I want "the world" to know.  Piece of cake, right?  LOL  But I'm on to an idea I think is good if I can just get writing.

What else have I not updated about......

OH - I'm in another show.  FUN!   It's a fabulous cast and I'll only be working with one person I've worked with before so even better - a chance to meet new people!  I'm the obnoxious supporting role of Kitty DeMoyne in "The Royal Family" which is a satire of the Barrymore Family of actors.  We don't start rehearsing until April, but I feel awesome knowing what's next.

My new "happy light" is rocking my world.  Cuold be psychological, could be biological.  Don't care.  LOL  What I care about is not feeling like I'm going to lapse into a coma at 3:30pm every day.  I'm still working on the minimum setting but may bump it up next week. 

Christmases one and two have happened and #3 is this weekend.  Whew.  I will say though that this was one of the most relaxed Christmases we've had.  Not totally sure where that came from but it was great.  The kid is 7 and well, that's a FAB age for Christmas.  She loved all the presents and was so sweet and grateful.  I sure love her.  This weekend = three days at the inlaws.  Bolster that energy.  LOL

So, that's the past month or so.  What's going on for 2012?

My goals are to continue to simplify.  My home, my mind, my relationships.  To quote Lethal Weapon, "I'm too old for this shit."  LOL  I'm going to keep working towards recovery.  It needs to be back in the forefront again - I've gotten a little too "comfortable" in my treatment plan and it's time to start pushing again.  Let go of the garbage and baggage I've been lugging around to make room for new joy.  Oh, and I fully intend on kicking running's BOOTAY as I train for 10K and then a half marathon!  GO ME!

I hope all who are reading this find the same sense of peace I've found in 2011.  It hasn't been easy and it isn't always pretty, but I have hope that some day it will be.  And it's that hope that will make it possible!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The updates! As promised!

Soooooooooooooooooo........how have you been?  LOL  I don't know.  I needed a lead in.

I RAN A 5K BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!!  YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

So there's that.

AND, not only did I run it - I ran it without stopping to walk even once, I ran the last 1.1 miles faster than the first two AND I ran it in under 44:59.  42:11 to be completely precise.

I'm totally a bad ass.

Empowered doesn't even begin to touch on how I felt after crossing the finish line.  That was amazing.  ANd motivating.  And exhilirating.  Really really just proud.  It's hard to describe.  But it's amazing.

As a reward, my body decided I could have a crazy ass shin splint as a souvineer.  It's nice like that.  So, I'm working through that hurdle as well as figuring out what happens next.  I'm figuring out what the "balance" is going to be without a specific goal.  This is where it runs the possibility of getting hard for a person with Edie's brain.

I've never been real successful with balancing exercise.  This time I'm keeping extremely mindful of keeping running for FUN and for nothing else.  As my therapist said, if it becomes even a little bit about weight loss or physical appearance change, I need to quit.  Or at the very least, regroup.  And finding this zen place with still only needing to go run three days a week will also be challenging as well, that whole all or nothing thing creeps up.

So far, I'm OK.  But it's been a week.  LOL  All I can do is try and embrace the support around me to keep from getting crazy.

More to come on the rest!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Updates are coming! I promise!!

I haven't abandoned you all!  :)  CRAZINESS around here - some highlights to keep you up to date:

Ran my 5K and met BOTH my goals!  (Running the whole thing and finishing faster than 44:59)

I've been cast in another show!  Yet another obnoxious comic sidekick.  LOL

In my innaugural sessions with my new "happy light"....liking it so far!

Thanksgiving!  Always entertaining with family in the mix

Going to be having a new niece or nephew in June!

Tomorrow we head out of town to celebrate with the inlaws....then things should settle enough for me to give full updates.  Until then, things are going swell, so don't worry that the lack of updating is for anything bad!  I'll be baaaahk!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Decision making with Edie.

Never as simple as it should be.

As my previous entries have shown, I've taken up running.  In a fairly committed way.  Of course, in my good treatment way - in a flexible committed way instead of a crazy obsessive way, but still.  Committed.

I also live in the tundra.  Maybe not the exact geographically correct tundra, but close enough.  I'm *hoping* to somehow miraculously become one of those crazies you see running outside all bundled up in a snowstorm.  We all have our goals, right?  LOL  But, I'm also smart enough to know I need a contingency plan.  You know, for when the windchill is -3000 degrees and it just isn't going to happen.

A "normal" brain would just say, "Well, I'll join a gym for a few months to get me through the winter.  Come spring, I'll head back outdoors." 

My brain said that too.  And then I started thinking, "Hmmm, well, if you join the gym, then you really should figure out how to go more than just your 3 runs a week.  I mean, what a waste of money having a membership and not using it to its fullest.  You should look into the classes and then maybe start swimming on your off days and then if you're there running, you should look at doing some weight work.  It's good to do weight work according to all the magazines.  But you don't really know how to do the weights.  So, you'd look sort of stupid trying to figure it out.  And speaking of looking stupid, you're going to look like a real prize schlepping around the track.  Who joins a gym just to run around their track?  Especially when you have a treadmill at home.  Why can't you just use your treadmill at home?  Why do you have to turn this into a big production?"

Ahhhh, yes.  Edie.  She's a real charmer, huh?  And that's really the abbreviated version of her fillabuster.

See, it makes sense to me to just join the gym for the three months I'll most likely need it.  It's less expensive.  BUT, I have to take into consideration the extra mental baggage that comes with a gym membership.  I'm doing really great in my treatment process, but I'm still not sure I'm in a place where I can knowingly set myself up for a scenario where Edie will be challenged on a specific daily basis for three months.  Not when it's surrounding something that's so new to me like running and having a HEALTHY outlook on what exercise is and what a HEALTHY relationship with it will look like in my life.

This same gym does day passes.  If I can hold off another couple of weeks, they are half price.  $3 a visit.  Not THAT much more than a membership if I'm going 3x a week.  Not ENOUGH more for me to deal with the baggage I think.  This way, I can have the passes and know they're there to facilitate my running program.  Keep the other garbage separate. 

Now to just hold Edie off until I can make that happen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm my inspiration.......

And yes, I totally just sang that in my head ala Peter Cetera/Chicago.

Finding my own inspiration is HARD.  I'm going to take a moment to whine here, so brace yourself.  Thankfully, the whining is unusual for me.  But I'm just feeling the twinges of melencholy and this is my line of defense.

I love inspiring other people.  It fills my proverbial tank.  It makes me happy when I can have ideas, complete actions which have lingering echoes and energize other folks.  I want to share the stuff that's making me so happy.

So, what happens when I'm not feelin' it?  That's sort of where I am today.  I spent yesterday coming off the high of finally finishing C25K.  (Oh yeah, biznatches.....THAT totally happened!!)  Bad back and neck.  Husband and kid off adventuring without me.  Missing an event I'd been looking forward to.  Just blah.

The blah lingers today.  I don't understand negative people.  I don't understand why negative people can't just keep their mouths shut and stew in their own negativity.  (Maybe they're thinking that about positive people like me!  LOL)  I will forever feel bad not being invited to things.  It's in my nature and my instinct is to decide it's because I'm unlikeable.  Which is TOTALLY not true and not something I believe when I'm in a normal state.  But BOY does Edie LOVE IT when she sees a group gathering which I'm not a part of.....LOVES IT.

So, it's named.  Now how to release.

I'm not sure.  Church is this morning.  I'm hoping to hear something inspiring there.  I have a run scheduled for today and it's gorgeous out.  I'm hoping to feel something inspiring there.  I guess the plan of attack is to stay open and ready to receive the inspiration the day brings.  And to not dwell on the feel "down" - which I also need to accept as part of normal life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Owner of a burning heart...

Stupid motherfucking reflux.

GRRRRRRRRR.

Unbelievably, during my deepest purging days, I never had trouble with my esophogus or heartburn/reflux.  How I escaped both that and tooth damage is a complete miracle.  My sinuses being completely fried, I suppose is the way I paid my dues.

It took getting pregnant and the 80+ pounds that granted me to trigger my esophogeal sphincter to finally fail.  Really, I just mostly wanted to type sphincter right then.  Anyway.

All that pressure was apparently enough for the ol' sphinctie and I had reflux pretty much nightly for 8 years.  Some nights wasn't so bad.  Some, I felt like I was potentially having a heart attack or that someone had stabbed me without my knowledge.  I spent a LOT of time not telling doctors about it after one illfated appointment where not only did I cop to the reflux, but also to my fear that the years of purging had caused some sort of irrepairable damage.  AND, my craptastic doctor at the time basically ignored all of it and told me to keep taking Tums or if it got bad to buy some Tagament.

Which did nothing.

Finally with all the appointments I had this spring when I started the "ditch Edie" campaign, I once again spoke up about the constant reflux.  My NEW doctor rxed Prilosec and it was a MIRACLE.  I just recently finished the 6 month course and then began my "step down" to rantitadine.

I shouldn't be surprised, but yup.  Reflux is back and is pissed off.  Which gives Edie a perfect chance to tell me it's because I'm still so fat or it's because I was so stupid to purge all that time and attempt to make me feel guilt about things I have no control over. 

For now, the reflux is enough to be pissed about.  I'm not buying into what Edie is selling.  Tomorrow I'm going to call the doctor's office and ask them to renew the Prilosec.  It's FINE.  It's not failure.  It's medically necessary.  And I'm NOT going to keep suffering and potentially damage myself more because Edie wants me to feel bad.

But, ugh.  Yuck.  Stupid motherfucking reflux.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Smoke and mirrors.

Yeah, this isn't going to be about ACTUAL mirrors.  But that would probably be appropriate on any other entry.

I keep thinking about something Ms. Nutritionist and I chatted about today as sort of a follow up to Therapy yesterday.  Yesterday I had been talking about how I feel like I'm in a really familiar place in the "cycle".  The place where I've been before - succeeding at a new exercise plan, feeling by body change, etc.  And that the cycle then usually goes back around to me failing somehow and having to start all over again.

It was exciting because I felt like "Oh wow!  I've identified I'm in a cycle and this is the place where I get to pick my new direction."  And there were hand gestures illustrating my point even.  And I felt very good about that.  Like a good patient being proactive.

And then today happened.  And as I was sort of recounting my fabulousness to Ms. Nutritionist, I said this, "I feel like I'm in that same place in the cycle where I have been so many times before and that I have to keep really focused to make sure I don't cycle back in....that I make sure to veer off onto the new path that I'm choosing."

Which is really nice.

But.

I HAVEN'T been in this place in the cycle before.  Stupid ol' Edie.  I've never been HERE before.  Armed with tools and support to keep myself going on this path I want to be on.  I already got out of the cycle.  Edie is a sly little lady sometimes, huh?  Playing all these tricks on me to get me thinking I'm still at the mercy of this random cycle of behavior when really, the park closed and I'm off on another journey.

THAT was the big realization.  And this is why it's so important for me to keep my focus.  When I do, even better things come forward.

Reframing.

"Would you still exercise if it wasn't linked to losing weight/size?"

Well, geez Ms. Nutritionist.  Way to blow me out of the water! 

"What would you be eating if food had zero ability to control weight/size?"

*sigh*

I'm not ready to answer these questions yet.  I have some really good half answers, but need more time to really think about this in a way other than "well, ideally...."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I need a blow hole.

That would make coming up for air a bit easier to fit into the hecticness.  (Totally made that word up.  Can't help it.  I'm sleepy and can't think of real words.)

The past week or so has been a blur of Halloween related happenings, shit-tastic runs, one amazing run, new social environments, newsletter at work, piles of math homework for the kid and then just normal life stuff on top of that.

I'm exhausted.

When things get that busy, I go into survival mode.  I used to be someone who LOVED being distracted by being busy busy busy.  Now, I don't handle it so well.  It makes me want to shut down and totally deny that anything needs to get accomplished above and beyond the new stuff on my plate.  So, the house becomes a literal disaster area.  Grocery shopping gets put on the back burner.  The minimum only.

Of course, this is a new revelation.  In my attempt to break free of rolling back into the old and familiar cycle, I'm looking for opportunities to "push back" at Edie when she tries to bring me back in.  This is a great area to work on.  Life needs to go on.  There's a bare minimum that still needs to happen every day.  Dishes need to be done.  Things need to be put away.  I can't expect to keep finding new things to avoid those normal every day things.  Like building a new toy table instead of paying the mounting bills.

Maybe it's a problem with wanting to accept reality.  It's easier for me to just gloss over for fear of getting sucked back into the vortex.  The vortex = failure in my brain but I need to change that.  I need to just embrace that sometimes people have to go into the vortex, get their boring stuff accomplished, and come back out.

On a total aside, and only because it popped into my head, I'm still on a course of daily, hourly, minute-ly, reminders that the end result of my running training is NOT focused on what my body weighs or looks like.  It is that I'm able to do something I've never done before and that I've found something new to work on and enjoy.  Nowhere in the training does it tell me to weigh myself or get crazy about not seeing the number change/obsess about if my body is getting smaller while it gets stronger.  This is a hard lesson for me.

Anyway.  I guess my "blow hole" today is just dumping the mind clutter in the hopes that it will help me attack the house clutter.  I'm just exhausted and need to start tending to things like sleep and MINDFUL relaxation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places.....

I think I've had an idea of what's been feeling "off" for me of late.  I'm in a "familiar" place and it's a place filled with all sorts of fears of failing, fears of succeeding, and baggage aplenty. 

A major source of motivation for seeking treatment was knowing I wasn't going to be able to lose weight and get healthy until I'd dealt with it all.  I wasn't fat due to lack of ambition or lack of attempts.  Rather, Edie had placed up a gauntlet for me to try to go through on my way to achieving what I wanted.  The gauntlet is still there, even now, but I'm trying to find alternative paths through it.

It's sort of hard to explain it all because well, I don't think I totally "get" it either.  Here's the familiar cycle:

I'm overweight.  Period.  The end. 

I decide I need to lose weight and get in better shape.

Two paths are possible here - either I end up doing nothing or I go whole hog into dieting and a strict exercise cycle.

The "doing nothing" path leads to disgust and frustration and Edie being reassured that I'm a total failure who doesn't want "it" bad enough.

The "whole hog" path leads to one of two places - becoming totally overwhelmed by the pressure of the "ALL" I've imposed on myself or the inklings of success.

It's the inklings of success that is so tricky and is the familiar place I'm dealing with right now. 

I need to to stop quantifying "success" in terms of having a smaller body and a lower weight.  I NEED TO.  Because when that's the "success", Edie gets to have control over how I'm feeling about things.  And she's too reckless to have control. 
I start feeling good about my body shrinking and get wrapped up in either the obsession to make that happen faster and faster and then get wrapped up in thoughts on how I'll never be successful at it.  OR thoughts about how embarassed I'll be if people notice I'm getting smaller because then they've just acknowledged what a fatso I was to start with. 

Another no win creation of Edie's.  I can feel myself getting sort of sucked into that cycle of not being in the moment; of fearing success and failure all at the same time.  I've been here before and have never been in charge of how this path turns.  I need to get in charge.

Good thing I have therapy today.  Whew.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Commodity

Edie's at it again. I've been feeling strong, fulfilled, gorgeous, assured.

Then, all it takes is an email with a news video clip frOm a reading I was a part of this past weekend and bam! Fat, insecure, uncastable.

And obsessed.

How many times will I watch the video clip and hear Edie's voice telling me all the ways in which I could have looked better and sounded better. Hear her tell me that people are bound to see it and wonder what the he'll happened to me. Or decide they can't cast me because I'm so immense.

7 weeks of running joy and confidence threatened because Edie scapegoats it. The message of not working hard enough and my body not changing responding fast enough.

It's a battle. Every day a battle.

Too full of pieces...

I'm pretty lucky in that I have access to a lot of inspirational stories where I work.  Today a new one came across my desk.  The section which totally reverberated with me was this:

"...Even when what we most want or need is right there in front of us, we refuse to let go of the garbage so we can grasp the wonderful...Our hands are too full of detritus to grasp the new way that God sets before us."

It then goes on...

"...What do we have to lose?  ...  Sometimes it's because we're too full of anxiety about trying something new - what if it doesn't work?  For many of us, we really are in a place of not having anything left to lose.  Experimenting is the only possible way out of the valley into which we have wandered.  Opening our hands so we can grasp something new is the only way to find out."

"My prayer for you is that you would take stock of what you are carrying around that prevents you from reaching out to grasp that which God has placed in front of you."

Lots to think about there.  I carry a lot of pieces around.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New post...Hmmm...

I'm emerging from the cloudy time warp of having a sick kid.  Thank goodness she's finally better.  Fever started Sunday and didn't break until last night.  FOUR DAYS of it.  Which meant missing three school days.  Which meant the hubby and I had to have the big discussion/frustration of "Can't YOU take today off?"  Despite me needing to get sort of pissed off about it, we worked it out.  I hate that component of being a working Mom.  I'm eternally grateful I am allowed to use sick time to care for her, but still.  It's hard and stressful when all you really should be worrying about is being kind and wonderful to your sick kid.

So, what did that mean for the week - aside from the balancing act of trying to be respectful of my spouse while demanding he be respectful of me?  It meant I had to change my running day from Tuesday to Wednesday.  As you know, I'm not the most flexible lady in the universe.  I was worried that by switching it I'd get all off track.  Doomsday OCD stuff of course.  So, I started getting my plan together for Wednesday just in case she was sick again.  And she was.  Treadmill it would have to be.  And I took all morning to get ok with it.  And I was.

Then my Mom called and asked if she could take the kiddo to convalesce at her house so I could go get my run in.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

This is noteworthy because it's just not like my Mom to do that.  I tend to get sidelined because I've been deemed "capable".  Getting them to watch the kid is oftentimes challenging.  So, for her to volunteer was a pretty big deal to me.  Especially because it was so I could go do something "selfish".

I didn't have therapy this week due to a conflict with the therapist's schedule, so we went out running during that time instead.  It all just worked out perfectly. 

Forced flexibility.  Sometimes that's just how it has to go.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

There are too many adjectives for today...

I've had one of those crazy inspirational and wonderful days.  Wow.

We had church this morning.  Which was sort of meh.  Boring sermon.

We taught Sunday School  - "Actor's Alley".  The kiddo and one other boy were the only two who chose to come to our station but man did we have fun!

I went for my Week 6, Day 1 run.  It SUCKED GIANT BALLS.  Holy crap.  Seriously brutal.  As my running partner said, "It was humbling which was probably a good thing.  I finished our 20 minute run and felt ready to run a 5K right then and there."  Which I totally agree with.  Humbling doesn't begin to explain it.  BUT....in the midst of it completely and totally sucking - neither of us quit.  SO THERE!  It was horrible but we just kept asking our bodies to do one more step and our bodies complied.  Awesome!

Came home for about 15 minutes to a sick kiddo whose asthma is flaring.  Ugh.  But this time around we have her peak flow monitor so we can tell if it's in her lungs.  Being prepared helps me know if it's time to get serious about the inhaler or not which is something we struggled with 6 months ago.  Her fever went up to 102.6 but came back down before bed.  I hate when she's sick.

Headed off to a rehearsal for a staged reading about breast cancer.  Really a beautiful piece put together from the real journals of survivors.  Universal and specific all in one.  And really a cool experience to give life to someone's personal journalling words. 

Then out to dinner with a friend who is also in the reading.  Espresso martini, panini, profiterole and rich decaf coffee.  Wonderful.  Wonderful.  Wonderful.

Home to a kiddo feeling a smidge better and to a hubby who is going to work on getting some flowers donated to the staged reading event next week.  :) 

I have been on the go all day.  But every component (aside from the sick kiddo!!) has been such am intense part of the bigger picture.  I'm content and fulfilled and rejuevenated.

What a wonderful life.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Run-ning post.

Seriously can't NOT say that like Forrest Gump.

Today's the 20 minute run.

Day three, week #5.  Couch to 5K.

I can DO IT!  The two 8 minute runs on Tuesday went fabulously.  My legs feel recovered (although it took them a full two days to relax!  LOL)  It's chilly and grey here today which, as long as my ears stay warm, is really successful running weather.  Me no likey the sweat.

I'm excited and nervous.  The 5K I registered for - oh yes, I'm paid and registered BABY! - will only be maybe double that, hopefully less than double if I can get my speed up.  Mostly, I just need to remind myself I don't need to quit and that the reward is going to be that amazing feeling at 20 minutes, 1 second.  When I've done it and can throw it right in the face of ED who I'm pretty sure is the source of the nervousness.

I CAN DO IT!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If you wrote a letter to your body, what would you say?

Dear body,

The time has come for me to apologize.  I have treated you as the enemy, as a ticking time bomb, as the only thing that made me who I was and who people liked, as a garbage dump, as a punching bag, as the problem.  I've recently come to discover that it's not you, it's me.  Or, more specifically, Edie.

You see, my "friend" Edie has a tendancy to fill my head with nonsense about you, me and the world around me.  She's very convincing and extremely sly.  Things that she says which make no sense at all start to make sense the more she's around.  And you should know, she put the blame squarely on you for the past 25 years.  That's a long time to take the blame for something you didn't do.

I'm sorry for abusing you in the ways that I have.  I would like to offer my deepest gratitude for your ability to stay with me even in the darkest times; even when I put you through hell.  You've stayed there for me, relatively healthy despite the damage I've inflicted.  The responsibility is my own for listening too closely to Edie.  The wounds she asked me to give you, the hate she stirred up for you, the frustration that I couldn't just make you listen and do what I wanted leave me looking like an out of control crazy person.  Nothing I've done to you is something I would do to anyone else. 

My promise to you is that from here on, I will be doing my very best to embrace you and atone for my past trangressions.  I have so much appreciation for how you've responded in strength to my request for you to help me run.  I appreciate you continuing to let me know what you need even when I haven't listened to you in the past.  I will try to fulfill your needs and stand by you the way you have stood by me for all these years. 

Most of all, I promise to try as hard as I can to stop listening to what Edie says about you and to start listening to what I say about you.  I hope you can understand that Edie has been a part of my life for so many years that it will be tricky for me to phase her out.  Even though her presence is destructive to both of us, she's got a lot of roots I'll need time to chop and dig up. 

Let's make a pact to be patient with each other as we re-establish this relationship.  You do what you need to do and I'll accept that.  I'll do what I need to do and you accept that.  As we build that new trust and get rid of Edie's influence on what our relationship should be, I am confident we can be friends.  I hope you feel the same.

Me.

I'm making blueberry muffins.

In the morning.

To be eaten for breakfast today.

On a school day.

This has never happened before.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reconciling the images....

We're gearing up for our 20th high school class reunion this upcoming summer.  Facebook page all set up, requests for contact information flowing, plans being made.  One of the plans is a slide show of photos and people have been posting them on our group site.

This one came up yesterday:

Due to privacy concerns, I cut everyone's faces off.

I'm the girl in the peach.  9th grade dance.  I vividly remember that night.

We started at my friend's house for a pre-dance party.  *I* had a boyfriend as did one other friend and they were there as well.  I was so nervous because I felt so ugly and fat and unattractive and just really wanted my boyfriend to not see any of those things.  I felt like my boobs were HUGE and that I was going to look ridiculous in the dress next to all my friends.  The friends to either side of me in the picture were the girls I looked at and thought, "If only I could be as skinny as they are!!  They're so skinny."  It's mind blowing to see this picture and to see no boobs, no belly, none of the physical imperfections I was so sure had neon signs pointing at them.  And that I'm smaller than some of the people in the picture and about the same size as the "skinny" girls.  Really.  I have a hard time reconciling what I see in that picture.

The other part I'm working towards reconciling is what happened later that night at the dance.  While my boyfriend and I were slow dancing, he started blowing into my ear and licking it in a totally pervvy 9th grade boy way.  And then he pressed closer against me and I felt how turned on he was.  And I totally freaked out.  Like TOTALLY freaked out.  I remember being totally unprepared for something so sexual.  The most we'd done at that point was a couple of open mouth kisses and hand holding.  I had no basis for how to handle something so forward and instead of it feeling exciting and awesome like our innocent first kiss, it launched me into a full scale panic attack complete with tears.  Not right in the moment.  In the moment I felt paralyzed.  Like I had to let him do this and pretend to be totally fine because I didn't want anyone to know how terrified I was.  It felt so wrong and invasive and my brain and ED told me it was because there was something wrong with ME.  I should be loving this.  What sort of a freak are you?

It also was the catalyst for me feeling like I had to make up grand situations to cover my inability to react in an emotionally appropriate way to things.  To protect myself and to keep from looking stupid, when my friends descended on my crying mess of a self, I made up this big story about a boy I had previously dated and how he was so awful to me and dancing with my boyfriend at the dance triggered all that, blah blah blah.  I just really needed support and sympathy in that moment and couldn't see that happening with the truth.  I really felt like people would think less of me if I just said, "It was too much.  I feel uncomfortable."  So, I made something up.  And it worked.  And kept working for years and years.  Anytime I felt uncomfortable and needed an emotional buffer especially in relationships/sexual situations, rather than being able to be honest about it, I'd create a grand scenario in which this over the top emotional reaction could live and make sense. 

It's funny because I used to think of myself as a compulsive liar and endured a lot of shame at EDs hands because of it.  But I don't think that's what it was anymore.  It was a coping mechanism and I was a child.  I was doing the best I could with the limited tools and resources I had.  And when it kept working and kept me safe, I just kept using it.  The ability to just turn my inner self off in intimate settings with men just because the norm.  Sometimes because I truly liked them and didn't want to be hurt when they'd eventually leave (which is what ED always told me they'd do) and sometimes because they were a complete stranger and I'd gotten myself into a situation where I didn't feel like I was allowed to say no.  Those stranger situations were always also fueled my the alcohol I used to buffer against the possibility that NO ONE would find me attractive.  Which was even worse.

Anyway, it's a lot of rambling.  It's been spinning around in my head for a while now since seeing the picture and in an effort to just give everything I experience during this process a life and a voice, here it is.  Hopefully now that it has its own being it can fly away, taking its guilt with it and leave peace in its stead.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No. I'm not.

Yeah, I just got asked if I was expecting. 

Super.

Thanks.

That makes a girl feel real good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Like the old timey wild west....

I'm feeling unsettled.

Not sure why.  I mean, I have a lot going on just in normal life stuff.  But not that much more than usual.  My ED has been being challenged a lot more (as is proof in my post from last night) but I feel like I'm meeting that challenge head on - or as head on as I can.  My new running program is going great.  Food is going well.

Why do I have that little nervous anxious spot in my chest?

The only thing I can pick out from today is a feeling of disappointment about not being included in an upcoming staged reading series.  But would that trigger anxiety?  Could it come out like that?  Not sure.

I guess my plan of attack is to be mindful of it.  See if I can meditate a little on what's causing it so I can release it to the universe.

Feeling things is still a tricky concept for me.  I still have a tendancy to get that force field up to deflect any negative feelings which may try to sneak my way.  Now that I leave it down more often, I'm finding that I do't always have the "right" way to handle things like being disappointed.  I guess that comes with practice?  Maybe that's what my body is doing right now too.  Maybe it needs practice as to how to alert me to what's going on in there emotionally.

We'll work it out, my body, my brain and I.  But for today, right in the moment, it's all just a little "blah."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Head meets wall.....

I get irrationally pissed off seeing or hearing people tell someone who is overweight and who has identified eating disorder issues that they just need to count calories or work a little harder and the weight will just come right off.

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT, PEOPLE!!!!

The weight is a symptom.  The awful body image and low self esteem is a symptom. 

It makes me insane when people lump eating disorders in with lack of self control.  In many cases it's the exact opposite.

Just because I'm overweight it doesn't give you permission to judge me and how and why I look the way I do.  You have no idea and would have no idea.  I make it my mission in life for people to not see that.  The judgements create this climate of shame - like you're not even worthy of getting help because clearly you're just a lazy slob.  Even if that's not what people say, that's what they're saying.

I know this is an uphill battle against a ridiculous social norm.  I know I will not be able to change it all.  My goal is to open people's eyes, one by one, through my story and my example.  I'll be that thorn in their side with gentle and not so gentle reminders that there are a LOT of people out there and every single one of us lives our own story and our own truth. 

No one needs to try make their truth MINE.  CHances are, theirs is complete garbage anyway.  It may be Utopian and unrealistic, but I will hold out hope for a society who can stop making assumptions about the very make up of others' souls simply based on their body shape.  And if I'm holding society to it, no better way than to continue to hold myself to it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Invasion of the body snatchers.....

I think I've turned into a runner! 

How did that happen so quickly??!  I'm LOVING my C25K training.  Aside from the first day and the run last week where we didn't take our rest day, it been.....um......easy.      Amazing what a change of mindset can do.

Running to me before starting treatment was something I could never be good enough at and was something I did to punish myself for eating.  But I've always sort of WANTED to learn to run.  I mean, the people who run, generally, seem to be enjoying themselves.  So, by making it fun and not a punishment or something I just knew I was going to fail it, it opened a door.

I may not be the fastest or the prettiest runner you'll ever see, but I can honestly say, "I don't care."  I'm loving it.  Loving how accomplished I feel when I get another session out of the way.  Loving feeling my body being able to take on me challenging it.  Loving knowing that I CAN do it if I just get out of my own way.  It's like a whole different person is living inside my head these days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks, universe, for deciding it for me!

At my appointment two weeks ago, my nutritionist brought up the idea of me starting to only see her one a MONTH instead of every two weeks. And, true to form with me, I totally freaked out. LOL I didn't know if I was ready even though I sort of knew I was ready - if that makes ANY sense. Any step down in frequency is considered great progress and I embraced that, but I just got a little nervous about the accountability piece - going in every two weeks means I HAVE to keep up on my meal planning and stuff or I go in and feel like a loser. LOL (Not really, but you know.) So, I told her that I wanted to keep my next appointment two weeks from then so I could think it over and then we could decide then.

Today was supposed to be that appointment and I just got a call that she's sick and out of the office. I absolutely had the option of rescheduling even as soon as tomorrow, but EEEEEEEEK! I'm going for it.

A month in between nutritionist appointments. 

Totally exciting and empowering and motivating and a smidge scary. But that's par for the course so far. Days like today reinforce that I'm doing it. I'm really, really doing it even though the dance takes its different paces and directions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Process

I had an audition this morning.  For a musical. I haven't auditioned for a musical since COLLEGE.  Which was a loooooooong time ago.  LOL 

It's funny because before college, I had no idea I'd be any good at musicals.  In college, I because obsessed with musical theatre and fully intended to focus my future career on it.  After college, somewhere my brain decided to get phobic about musical theatre and told me I couldn't do it.

To break that cycle, off I went to today's audition.  And it went FABULOUSLY.  I felt great.  The people in the room were great.  Really just a solid positive experience.

And, here I sit at 9:50pm without having recieved any sort of phone call inviting me to a callback tomorrow.  After specifically being told the calls would go out tonight AND being asked to be sure I had tomorrow open and available for the callback.

So what do I do with this....

The primary thing I'm feeling is incredulous.  Not even a callback?  Really?  What the hell??

Then I think, well, maybe they're just making the calls super late.

Which shifts back to, seriously??  Not even a call back??  Or a "Thanks but no thanks" email to let me off the hook and into bed?

But in all this disappointment and uncertainty you know what's missing?  That little voice that has always used to say, "Well, it's because you're not good enough."  That's not there.  If they don't cast me it's because there are other opportunities out there for me.  I'm a firm believer in everything working out the way it's supposed it.

Doesn't mean things don't sting when they go a different way than I'd hoped.  That's for sure.  But, in this moment, I'm going to try direct my attention to embracing and encouraging that new voice of confidence which emerged today.

I like that one much better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trigger points.

A friend of mine is going through a situation with her daughter.  She's found out that her daughter has been cutting herself and like any parent caught totally off-guard, she's finding her way through the situation to a resolution that keeps her daughter safe from harm. 

As with a couple of previous incidents I've blogged about, things like this can be huge triggers for me.  It's like I'm instantly transported to when I felt those things and since they've been largely unresolved, it's an opportunity to talk myself through them.  Which isn't really the most pleasant process and is also one in which I have to remain vigilant in keeping them separate.  My friend's daughter is not me.  I'm not her.  All I can do is process out the feelings that are popping up from it and take it as a gift.  A chance to work through things and not let them sit inside where they can gain more control.

I'll start with copying what I wrote as a message to my friend:

I started cutting for attention. Flat out. I was overwhelmed on the inside and felt like I had no one who would believe/understand how bad things felt. I was a perfect student, child, friend - all on the outside and it can take immense toll to try keep all those plates spinning in the air. At the time I remember thinking, "If people see physical injuries on me, they'll ask me what's wrong and that will be great." I'd use a razor and would cut just enough so that if someone asked me if I did it to myself I could claim "a cat scratched me" or something else ridiculous as the cause. They weren't deep ugly scarring gashes in the stereotypical way we tend to picture cutting. There was too much at stake for me to be discovered as a "cutter" due to the stigma of who traditionally cuts and why.

I do know that I was desperate for someone to see into what else was going on, but since I didn't have the voice to do so, I took another avenue to get that concern/support. No one ever would have guessed that though. Ever. On the outside I looked perfectly well adjusted.

I guess I just feel like *something* made her go through with it not once, or even twice, but at least three times. Because of my bias from personal experience I can tell you the very last thing that would have helped me was to feel like I was in any way being punished for the cutting.
 
None of that part of my life is something I'm proud of as it was a really challenging, dark time for me.  So much work went into me trying to be the perfect everything.  All I wanted for for someone to say, "Hey, it's OK.  You don't need to be perfect at everything all the time."  But, as we know, that's not validation I received.  A lot of people talk about cutting as a release of pent up emotions.  I'm not sure it was ever that for me.  At least during that time it was more about wanting people to see the emotional wounds I was walking around with.  And the only way they could was through physical injury.  And I liked people showing concern for me.  It was something I wasn't getting enough of or at least didn't feel I was getting enough of.
 
It's strange, really.  In the grand scheme of all the baggage I have from that "era" of my ED, the cutting is the hardest for me to acknowledge.  I think it's because it feels like, in retrospect, that I was deceiving people.  I wasn't really - I was just replacing one "injury" with another so that it would make more sense to those I sought comfort from.  But because it was the most outward of ED behaviors, I have a harder time with it. 
 
I have a small scar on my right calf.  A battle wound.  It was my last cut, the deepest.  And it reminds me.  Reminds me that while you can wear your damage on the outside, it changes nothing on the inside if you're not able to embrace it and let it go.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And on another note...Eviction notice served.

UGH!  What the heck is the magnetic attraction I have to that damn scale.  I went for YEARS without having one and just went by how my body felt and fit into clothes.  I mean, I was totally curious about what my weight was during that period, but if you don't have a scale, you don't have a scale.

Tomorrow will be Day #3 of the Couch to 5K program I'm doing.  The first two days were a blast!  I'm running with two friends who are commited but slow non-runny type people just like me.  I felt fabulous after my run yesterday, I feel fabulous still today.  I feel strong and positive and capable and that I can totally make it to the 5K part of the process.

So, tell me WHY I felt the need to get on the scale last night to see if I'd lost any weight and when I hadn't, in fact, lost 40 pounds from running twice I felt a twinge of disappointment.

I'm not even DOING IT to lose weight!  I'm doing it to see if I can.  Stupid friggin' scale and its hypnotic magnetism. 

Today the scale will find a new home at my parents' house.  I'd say it could go to the basement, but I'm not there yet.  The pull is too great and I'm not ready yet.  And that's OK.  Just own where I'm at in the process and evict the scale. 

I'm excited for tomorrow's weigh in-free run!

Yup, this.

http://theemilyprogram.blogspot.com/2011/09/recovered-vs-in-recovery-either-way-im.html

Recovered vs. In Recovery: Either Way, I’m Living Authentically

The debate over being “recovered” versus “in recovery” from an eating disorder is one that I have not participated in for quite some time.  A year ago, I reached a point in my own recovery where I felt comfortable with describing myself as recovered.  I also decided then that the only person I needed to define that word for was myself.  The debate became irrelevant to me, since I believe that every person’s definition should be one that works for him or her, regardless of what other people might think.

For me, at that time, “recovered” seemed to fit.  It meant that I was living my life in an authentic way.  My eating disorder was a part of my past, not present.  I didn’t need to put energy into saying “no” to the thoughts and behaviors on a daily basis.  I finally had time to put my energy toward rediscovering my identity and speaking my own truth, not the eating disorder’s.

Recently, however, I went through an emotionally turbulent period of life, and it uprooted me from my solid foundation in recovery.  Old thoughts and urges started creeping back in, and I found myself in a negative mindset I hadn’t experienced in a long time.  The word “recovered” no longer felt right for me to use, so I changed my language.  I am once again a woman “in recovery:” I make an active decision to say “no” to my eating disorder on a regular basis, and to say “yes” to my recovery and my life.  I focus more intently on practicing self-care, surrounding myself with my support people, and cultivating a loving relationship with my authentic self—body, mind, and soul.

So, have I relapsed? Have I “failed” at being recovered?  Have I taken a step backward in my journey?  Certainly not!  Having old thoughts and behaviors pop up along the way is normal in recovery.  It is not a failure but a signal to me that I need more self-care and more reflection on what needs of mine are not being met.  My eating disorder is something I once used to soothe myself in uncomfortable situations.  Right now, it just takes more work to find other ways to cope with discomfort and stress.

Changing my language around my recovery temporarily does not mean the eating disorder has won.  In fact, it means the very opposite; it means I am once again becoming more active against my eating disorder in order to protect my recovery, health, and overall happiness.  And that’s what I think this whole recovery process is all about.  No matter what stage of recovery I am in right now, I truly believe that moving toward my new beginning will ultimately lead beyond “recovered” and on to being simply me.

In the end, the language we all use to describe our journeys doesn’t matter, because being “recovered” is not the end goal.  The “end goal” of recovery is to create a beginning for ourselves; to build a foundation from which we can nurture our authentic selves, discover who we are without our eating disorders, and step freely into the lives we create for ourselves.

By: Maia Polson

As you've seen, I recently have been thinking about what "recovery" actually is.  This article laid out brilliantly what my own mind couldn't totally shape yet since I'm not quite there.  I'm getting closer every day, but this just illustrates exactly how I want to feel at the end of this process.  Especially this:  My eating disorder is something I once used to soothe myself in uncomfortable situations.  Right now, it just takes more work to find other ways to cope with discomfort and stress.  I need to print that out and stare at it every day.  Or something less OCD.  But yeah.  Good stuff.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why so serious?

PERFECT thoughts on a day when Pink's "Raise Your Glass" has already been running through my head......

Today I'm going to start officially running again.  I'm rockin' the Couch to 5K program.

How is this time different than last summer's attempt?

I'm embracing the FUN part of it.  The part that is all too aware that I'm no Olympian but will go out there and give it a try anyway.  Why can't it be fun?  Why does it have to be so serious?  It's just something I want to try to see if I can do it just like painting or cake decorating or any other "hobby".  Shifting the attention away from "Oh man, it's going to be hard and I don't know if I'll be able to do it and what will happen if I fail??!" to "Hey, this could be a really fun and funny thing to do.  I mean, how crazy is it for a 230 pound out of shape ED patient to go running??!"

I even invited others to be a part of the mayhem.  WHy not??  Everything's more fun when others are with you. And if we're all united in how sucky it feels to run and not be able to breathe, well, we'll channel the power of the humor to get us through!

I'm excited!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy 6 month anniversary to me!

Anyone know what the traditional celebration gift is for 6 months in treatment?  No?  Well, that's OK I guess.

So, yeah.  Six months in.

I'm not going to get too contemplative here because well, that's not really how I roll.  Some amazing things have happened in the past 6 months and some things have totally sucked.  How's that for romantic?  LOL 

To be honest, it feels like I've been in treatment forever some days.  I'm not a patient person by nature so frankly, this whole business of working towards recovery just pisses me off a lot of the time.  I'd like recovery now.  The end.  Stamps foot.  But yeah, that's not how it works I guess, huh?

Instead, I'm going to try use this anniversary as a chance to recommit and refocus and remotivate.  I feel a little like I've "settled in" and have to seek out the opportunities to push myself and my ED rather than there just being a bazillion things to choose from to work on like in the beginning.  Having the value assessment I think will help tremendously as I get back to having my appointments this week.  Get a little focus and direction going again.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how far I've come in the 6 months and will choose to embrace that part while I look forward.  The tremendous sense of relief that has come for me to have this all out in the open is worth any of the valleys I hit while processing and working on it all.  The relief in knowing it's OK to be fallible and deserve help and support is a gift in its own right. 

Maybe that can be my anniversary gift.  How does one go about declaring that?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.......

The kid is a week away from starting 2nd grade.  That in and of itself is enough to tug at my heartstrings.  But some big changes are happening for her this year - brand new school building, her bestie isn't going to be in her same class and............she's riding the bus to and from school for the first time. 

I don't think I'm ready for it.  I know SHE is ready for it even though she tends to favor me in the realm of caution and anxiety.  She's the last pick up and the first drop off.  I'm so nervous for her but not because I don't think SHE can handle it.  It's causing me to react all flashbacky (you like how I'm smart enough to totally make up my own words?  I'm awesome.) and the anxiety I'm feeling is mostly linked to my brain dumping ME into that situation.  And the ED LOVES to find scenarios in which I'm too incapable to handle what's happening....even if they're completely fabricated and not at all about me.

*sigh*

It's a similar feeling to what I feel when anything 9/11 comes up.  I really and truly believe I have some PTSD from watching it all 10 days ago.  It hit something within my OCD that just paralyzed me.  The compulsion to force myself to watch every minute of coverage so that anyone who died would have a witness.  I sat there like it was my job and that if I missed anything people would die for nothing.

No pressue, huh?  Oy.

When they talk about a nation being changed, I feel the weight of that.  I feel like that was a defining moment for my emotional capabilities and the amount of fear and sadness and terror I felt triggered a huge downward spiral and a huge surge in my ED's power.  It found the biggest opening it could and grabbed on.  I felt so helpless and incapable in the days of watching the coverage and so scared.  ED jumped in and reaffirmed that over and over and over.  It's when I first started having panic attacks.  It's when I started the behavior of always needing to know how I'd escape a room reemerged having been under control since I put it away as a small child.  My brain drew up escape plans from cities, places I'd go to be safe.  ED was having an emotional buffet.

So here we are on the precipice of the kiddo's new adventure into the unknown and the anniversary of 9/11.  How I choose to handle it is going to make a difference.  The world doesn't depend on it like I have long told myself, but my emotional health does.  I'll be honest and say in this moment I've never been happier to not have cable TV.  That's going to be a huge help in cutting down on the compulsion to watch the coverage of that day over and over as I have every 9/11 for the past 10 years.  I know what I feel about it, I've bourne witness to the tragedy, now I need to close that wound and move past it.

As for my baby getting on the school bus, I'm going to do what so many other Moms do out there - I'm going to smile and talk excitedly about how fun the bus will be and I'm going to let her experience it for herself.  It's hard to let go of that little slice of your own soul walking around in a 7 year old's body but it needs the freedom to make its own way.  She's safe.  She's capable.  She's ready.

Just like me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In the interest of full disclosure....

I'm still struggling a smidge this morning.  I don't want to paint this process as something it's not.  I know I tend to have a positive spin on things but that's sort of my natural outlook.  So, in an effort to not gloss over some of these fluctuations, I'll just be honest.

I wasn't hungry until right this minute.  If you read last night's post, there was some overeating and impulses that I check in check once I noticed them.  I woke up full - obviously, given what I ate yesterday.  And I was content in not eating breakfast with the justification that over doing it last night evened out not eating this morning.  Especially since my body wasn't asking for more food, right?

Well, the first little hunger pangs hit about three minutes ago and my response was, "Well, you still shouldn't eat anything.  You had plenty yesterday."

*sigh*

So yeah, that voice is still there.  That voice of food as atonement/punishment.  Now I'm going to scramble to find something to eat before I leave for work to try knock that voice off balance and show it that eating food, even if it follows a big meal the day before is OK.

Then maybe it will shut its damn mouth.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things I learned at the State Fair....

The State Fair has always been a giant excuse to binge away.  I'm not sure why anyone goes to the fair otherwise.  Seriously.  That's the only thing we ever did growing up while at the fair - "Money clip!" and the plastic sandpail of choclate cookies or the chocolate dipped bacon or the malt was all mine.  Gorge.  Gorge.  Gorge. 

In the more recent years, I've gone all sorts of ways with this gorge-fest.  Sometimes giving in, sometimes doing "OK" with balancing it and others, well, there was the year all I would eat were lime sno-cones.  Six of them.  And that's it for about 8 hours.

This year, I knew going in that I had a "situation" brewing with trying to attend, stay sane and stay active in my recovery process.  We're not to the place where I'm charting my fats, proteins, etc and having to make exchanges or anything.  So the trick really was how to be like a "normal" person at the fair.  Not get food lust the second a scent hit my nose and not being too scared to eat anything for fear of a binge.

And I was pretty successful.

How am I deciding that?  Well, I tasted the things I wanted to taste.  I didn't end up completely face down in a pile of fried cheese curds.  I only had one sno cone and even then as part of a varied day.  I didn't go insane and eat everything and I didn't go crazy and eat nothing. 

To me, that seems like a win.

How did I make that happen?  Well, before we went I decided to map out all the $1 and under things and the free things at the fair.  We sort of focused on finding those things and had a completely different experience than we usually do which *I* found to be fun and interesting.  Maybe no one else did, but they didn't say anything so who cares.  LOL  The only improvement I think I could have made while at the fair was more water.  But otherwise, I'm pretty happy.

Here's the other thing I learned.  When we're coming back into town, I need to have a meal planned for the return.  When I am tired, the stupid urge to binge is at its strongest.  Mindless eating and eating.  If a meal would have been planned/available this evening I'd like to think that I wouldn't have eaten the amount I did of frozen pizza.  Which is to say was a LOT and MORE than I needed to feel full.  ANd I kept eating it and eating it because I was exhausted and not keeping accountable.  Once I keyed in on that, I stopped.  And have completely fought that nagging urge to get rid of the pizza from my system.  That impulse isn't gone and honestly, I have no idea if it ever will be.  Will it be?  But, the victory is in the not actually acting on it.  At least to me.  Sort of like when I want to ram into some idiot driver with my car and I don't. 

Not acting on the crazies makes them a victory.

I may start making bumper stickers with that gem.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Drive by posting!

I'm here!!  Just a little hectic right now....

Highlights:
  • I'm super glad we don't have cable TV right now or I would be obsessing about the hurricane (which is nowhere NEAR me!) and the upcoming anniversary of 9/11.  For real.  And I'm thankful for not having the opportunity to sit and torture myself.
  • This whole refinancing thing is intense!  Oy.  Once we get through the appraisal I'll feel a smidge better but until it closes, I'm going to be on pins and needles.
  • I had a party!  8 girlfriends over to my house and it was a rousing SUCCESS!!  And I was pretty calm throughout.  I could have done better with trying other people's food and drink, but baby steps, right?  I'm already thinking of ideas for the next one!
  • Heading out of town in about a half hour.  Should have a good time.  One last trip before the school year starts back up.
  • Speaking of school, we got the kiddo's bussing information.  It's fabulous in terms of schedule and where she's getting picked up - FINALLY.  I think we've agreed to me dropping her off in the mornings on my way to work and then her riding the bus home.  It's hard for the control freak in me, but sometimes the lazy lady inside wins out.  :)
That's it for right now.  I have to go finish packing!  See you in a few!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In my happy place....

OK, I calmed down this morning, ate the oatmeal and lived.  Shocking, huh?  LOL  I also followed my meal plan all day PLUS added a special post-kid's soccer game ice cream treat.  So there.

I felt that needed to be said.

Just EAT the OATMEAL!!

*sigh*

Breakfasts.  Still turning me into a cranky 2 year old.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ice Ice Baby....

I went for another walk/run today.  With the dog.  Who I have suspicions of working for Candid Camera or something with how many times he tried to trip me and splay me out across the pavement.

It almost didn't happen.

My back has been a source of ill-repute for years now.  Too much pushing myself in dance training in college and not taking proper care.  Today it got all crazy from me cleaning and sorting papers in my office and sorting/folding the kid's school clothes.  It doesn't take much.

But, as long as the dog didn't take a crap forcing me to bend down to pick it up, I felt like a walk was manageable and a run was possible.  And it was.  I stopped when I started feeling my back and my shins telling me to chill out and didn't feel all guilty or bad for not completing the assigned training for Couch to 5K.  It will come.  I mean, I'm 235 pounds.  I'm not going to be this elite athelete on day two.  ANd the back thing and shin splits have been around longer than this weight, so I'm working on accepting them independant of each other.

Thank god for ice though when we got home.  The dog was exhausted and panting like crazy and my shins and back needed some TLC.  I did a little stretching as well and feel like some yoga tomorrow will feel dreamy.

It's a start.  Now to not get all crazy about it...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More work on the Values Assessment Homework....

Oy.  I'm not even going to try predict how this will go.  But I know I need to do it, so JUMPING IN!

#1.  Marriage/couples/intimate relations:  In this section, write down a description of the person you would like to be in an intimate relationship.  Write down the quality of the relationship you would like to have.  Try to focus on your role in that relationship.
I would like to be a trusting partner in an intimate relationship. Trusting in myself to be open and available and trusting that the other person in the relationship won't disappoint me.  I would like to be kind and understanding and someone the other person looks forward to seeing and spending time with - that I'm important for who I am and what I bring to the relationship as a person.  The quality of the relationship I would like to have is one of warmth and safety.  I want to feel like we take care of each other and can rely on each other and support each other.  The cliche "soft place to land".  My values in this domain are trust and support.

#2.  Family Relations:  In this sections, describe the type of brother/sister, son/daughter, you want to be.  Describe the qualities you would want to have in those relationships.  Describe how you would treat the other people if you were the ideal you in these various relationships.
I want to be the type of family member that they look forward to seeing and spending time with.  I want to be the sister who can be allowed to be different and unique.  I want to be the daughter who is trusted as capable in her own way of doing things.  I want to feel loved and unconditionally supported and supported by my family and not judged or spoken about negatively.  If I were the ideal me, I would treat the other people in my family a lot like I do now.  My values in this domain are unconditional love and support.

#10.  Health/physical well-being:  In this section, include your values related to maintaining your physical well-being.  Write about health-related issues such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, taking medication and so forth.
I would like to be able to regain physical well-being in a way that isn't obsessive or wrapped in fear of judgment.  I would like to regain physical well-being to be a role model for health for my daughter and for those around me who know how crazy of a journey finding physical well-being has been for me.  I would like to be more physically well to be around and share my love and talents with the strongest tools I can and to incorporate my physical well-being as a tool of positivity rather than the focus of the negative.  Areas in which I still could see improvement are sleep, nutrition and exercise.  Practicing to see them as ways to be more healthy rather than ways to punish and control.  I also need to be more proactive in tending to medical issues without the fear of judgment getting in the way to prevent illness/injury.  My values in this domain are positivity, non-judgment and practice.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Let the record show......

Today I finally went out and did some walking/running.

Yes, yes I did.

And it felt great.  Like it always does once I get out there and do it.  Now, if my "all or nothing" brain can just let me do it SOME days rather than ALL days or NO days, we'll really be onto something here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

People....people who need....people....

It started with a call from the billing office wondering why I haven't paid anything on my account....ever....since my first DOS in March.

Well, as I chronicaled months ago, my insurance is a mess and hasn't yet been resolved.  Which was adeptly handled by someone at the program.  Except she didn't note it in my account in such a way to avoid this call coming out.

So, I launch into the saga.  Kind of thinking, "Man I wish this was in my account so I wouldn't have to explain it again!" but whatever.  Thankfully I'm organized and all the EOBs are together and my bills and my notes from phone conversations.  If you're ever in treatment, I can't stress enough how important it is to look at your EOBs and note conversations.  They're confusing and a pain in the ass, but it's likely you'll need to reference it or there will be a question or a mistake and you'll want all that handy.

Anyway.  The lady was understandably confused - she's just the billing lady and wants the money.  But it had been agreed that I shouldn't pay on anything until the mess was resolved.  She understood that but I decided to just go ahead and pay for my very first visit as a sign of good faith and that would make her happy and I mean, I WILL need to pay this bill at some point so it's ultimately fine.

But then it was time to follow up to some mystery notes on my recent EOBs.  First I left a message for the HR guy at my husband's employer to get back to me with an update.  It was going so well and I think it just got shoved to the sidelines.  It would be more urgent to me if I didn't already know I have my nutrition services adjusted, but still.  Let's just get this done.

Then I called my "Client Care Advocate" at the program I'm receiving treatment through.  Bless her heart.....I love her.  Because she exists, I never need to call the bitchy lady at my insurance company again regarding treatment or the idiots at the mental health benefits place.  She does all that.  And she's NICE.  Even when she's telling me that the bitch at the insurance company told her to "stay on top of her job" despite it being an error on the INSURANCE COMPANY'S END.

I cry when I get angry so I can just picture what a mess these conversations would be if I had to handle them.  And it's just so much better to have the program call the insurance people anyway.  They know what info they need better than I do.  ALthough at this point I'm pretty well versed in the ways of insurance.

Anyway...it's just really really wonderful to have an advocate.  Again she has ridden in and saved the day.  All companies should have this.  It makes such a difference.  As I said in the early posts about the mess, I wouldn't be getting the level of care I need without her helping advocate for me.  Sometimes it just takes someone else to get it done.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For posterity....

Today's therapist appointment sucked.  Yuck. 

I'm not really sure what happened or what was off, but it was going ok and at some point I felt like the tone changed.  Almost like my therapist was cranky with me. 

Who knows. 

What I do know is that I left there feeling really "ick" and off which bums me out because I look forward to my therapy appointments all week long.  I'm still feeling a little ick about it.  Hopefully it will pass.  I'm sure it will.

But yeah.  It's not all sunshine and roses I guess.

Values? I got your values!

As much as I've been digging in my heels and acting like a 2 year old about this Values Assessment Homework my therapist gave me last week, I need to at least get started on it.  Sometimes that perfectionist gene is a good thing I guess....I don't want to go into my appointment today and tell her I didn't do any of it!  LOL!!  I *will* fess up and tell her I only was able to start this morning, and under duress, but I think she'll think that's fine.  And I'm starting with the easy ones.  So there.

Here's the instructions:
The following are areas of life that are valued by some people. Not everyone has
the same values, and this work sheet is not a test to see whether you have the “correct” values. Please describe your values as if no one will ever read this work sheet. As you work, think about each area in terms of the concrete goals you may have and in terms of more general life directions. For instance, you may value getting married as a concrete goal and being a loving spouse as a valued direction. The first example, getting married, is something that could be completed. The second example, being a loving spouse, does not have an end. You could always be more loving, no matter how loving you already were. Work through each of the life domains. Some of the domains overlap. You may have trouble keeping family separate from marriage/intimate relations. Do your best to keep them separate. Your therapist will provide assistance when you discuss this goals and values assessment. Clearly number each of the sections and keep them separate from one another. You may not have any valued goals in certain areas; you may skip those areas and discuss them directly with your therapist. It is also important that you write down what you would value if there were nothing in your way. We are not asking what you think you could realistically get, or what you or others think you deserve. We want to know what you care about, what you would want to work toward, in the best of all situations.

#3.  Parenting:   In this section describe the type of mother you want to be.  Describe how you would treat your child if you were the ideal you in that relationship.
I want to be the type of mother who has a child completely and utterly aware of how much I love and support her.  I want her to feel free to share any of her thoughts, feelings, fears, and dreams and know that I will respond with respect, joy and/or sympathy.  I want to be the type of mother who is engaged.  My goal is to raise her to be a fully empowered adult - able to strike out on her own and make her own decisions and to have trust in herself that she can do anything she chooses.  My values in this domain are love, respect and support of my daughter.

#4.  Friendships/social relations:  In this section, write down what it means to you to be a good friend.  If you were able to be the best friend possible, how would you behave toward your friends?  Try to describe an ideal friendship.
Being a good friend means being able to be open and honest and trusting as well as being available as a source of support and encouragement for my friends.  If I were to be the best friend possible, I would bring fun and love and light into their lives by picking them up when there were feeling down, celebrating with them when life gets exciting, by being a ear to listen when things get tough.  There wouldn't be any fear of abandonment as it would be a two way exchange of love and support.  An ideal friendship to me would be a relationship in which I'd know that no matter what happened my friend would have my back and that they would know the same was true.  We'd have fun together, we'd feel relaxed around each other, we'd want to know even the silly little details about each other.  My values in this domain are trust and support.

#5.  Career/Employment:  In this section, describe what type of work you would like to do.  This can be very specific or very general.  (Remember this is an ideal world.)  After writing about the type of work you would like to do, write about why it appeals to you.  Next discuss what kind of a worker you would like to be with respect to your employer and co-workers.  What would you want your work relations to be like?
In an ideal world, I would make my living in the arts.  Not necessarily just as a performer, but also as a mentor, a coach, a teacher, a planner, a marketer, a painter, a writer - basically, anything that allows creative freedom and no limits and restrictions.  It appeals to me because I have an intense need for creative expression and that is the most satisfying to me through art.  It makes my thoughts and emotions make sense.  I would like to be a worker who encourages those around me, assumes they are capable and be able to trust that they will complete their portion of the work with the same effort and determination I put into my work.  We don't need to be best friends, but I would like to feel valued and respected for the work I do.  My values in this domain are respect and artistic/creative expression.

#6.  Education/personal growth and development:  If you would like to pursue an education, formally or informally, or to pursue some specialized training, write about that.  Write about why this sort of training or education appeals to you.
I have thought many times about returning to school or getting more training.  I like to learn new things.  Right now, what I would love to do is take a painting class or another cake decorating class or a cooking class.  Something creative and not linked to a job.  Although it would also be interesting to take a computer repair class.  Come to think of it, that's creative as well to me....being able to sleuth out what the problem is and trying to find the right repair.  It uses the same parts of my brain.  Education makes me feel like a more well rounded and interesting person.  My values in this domain are learning new and creative things.

#7.   Recreation/leisure:  Discuss the type of recreational life you would like to have, including hobbies, sports, and leisure activities.
I'd like to have a recreational life which is more engaged and that doesn't involve hiding on my computer.  I'd like to read more, craft more, get out and see more things and experience more things.  I'd like to get out and get moving and doing things outside.  I'd like to play more board games; maybe find a group of people to play board games with.  I'd like to host/organize more social get togethers.  My values in this domain are engaged and active.

#8.  Spirituality:  What we mean by spirituality is whatever that means to you.  This may be as simple as communing with nature or as formal as participating in an organized religious group.  Whatever spirituality means to you is fine.  If this is an important area of your life, write about what you would want it to be.
I would like to be more specific and intentional with my church attendance and participation.  I would like to spend more reflective time on thankfulness and serenity through my spiritual values outside of the church building and group mindset.  I would want my spirituality to have a stronger spot in my life and schedule with more focus on volunteering and participating.  My values in this domain are intention and serenity.

#9.  Citizenship:  For some people, participating in community affairs is an important part of life.  If community-oriented activities are important to you, write about the direction you would like to take in these areas.  Write about what appeals to you in this area.
Volunteering and supporting community causes is an important one for me.  It's an amazing way to be reminded that there is a world outside of your home and your family as well as a reminder that there are other who face much harder struggles than your own.  I've wanted to volunteer at the animal shelter, with various church supported causes or with causes personal to me for quite some time.  It's a way to feel proactive and useful.  My values in this domain are feeling part of something bigger than myself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Samson

I chopped my hair off yesterday.

That in and of itself isn't all that miraculous.  I've done it before.

But I finally got it cut the way *I* wanted it.  Not the way I felt like other people would like it, not the way I felt would make me more marketable as an actor, not the way I felt would make me look less fat.  A cute short asymmetrical cut with bangs.  Like I've wanted for years but just couldn't ask for as if my hairstylist would say I had no business getting such a cute and trendy cut.  And guess what?  Despite being a hairstyle my ED wanted to determine is "fat girl hair", it looks adorable!  I LOVE it!  It totally suits me and my personality and I'm thrilled.

I'd say that in parts of the back I got about 11 inches cut off.  Crazy.  Washing my hair this morning was totally bizzare as there wasn't even enough hair for me to wash it the way I usually do.  I had to wash my hair like I imagine boys do!  Hahaha  I feel a sense of lightness.  Both physically and emotional.  I have beautiful hair.  I know this as it's always been the one thing I could cling to as knowing it could get complimented no matter how horrible I felt about myself otherwise.  Curly, beautiful color....it was my safety net of sorts for a long long time. 

In the past few years I got into a cycle of growing it out to a shapeless mess and then bobbing it.  Rinse, lather, repeat.  Really, I got away with not having to invest in my appearance because my hair was a magical deflector shield.  I wouldn't be forced to deal with what I looked like since I had that one great feature that seemed to get more powerful to hide behind the less I did to it.  Then, in my OCD way, one day I'd decide it HAD to get chopped off then and there.  I'd call and call hair cut places until I could get in and get it done.

This time was different.  I was choosing between two styles - one choice was to keep the length and get it shaped differently or to go short and totally different.  I made an appointment and waited the week it took for me to get in.  The biggest part?  I didn't totally obsess about it in that week's time.  In fact, I only decided on the short style a couple hours before the appointment.

I'm loving these moments of clarity and progess that I can identify as they're happening.  I feel gorgeous and special with this new hair.  And it can totally co-exist with the work I'm still doing on accepting my body and not be taken down and minimized because I'm not 100000% happy with my overall appearance.  I'm accepting the awesomeness of my hair and can use that as a springboard for the other parts of me.

Who says the strength is in the LENGTH of the hair, Samson?  Huh?  Cutting my hair has made me stronger.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Clearly, I am not a weekend warrior.

WHY is it so much harder for me to keep my focus on the weekends?? 

*sigh*

I'm assuming it's the lack of structure and the addition of the potential for laziness.  All or nothing mentality stikes again.

Yesterday?  I didn't eat anything until lunch.  Why?  I don't know.  I could have.  I should have.  But I didn't.  And now today I'm sitting here complaining about it rather than going and eating something.  But nothing sounds good and I don't feel hungry.  (Whines the 2 year old who lives inside me!  LOL) 

I wonder if it has to do with being tired....hmmmm.....I do go to bed a smidge later than usual on weekend nights and I wake up insanely tired instead of rested.  I wonder if being tired pops up an obstacle for me.  Something to note and ask my therapist about I guess.

Today I NEED to get my lazy bootay up and getting stuff done.  NEED.  The kitchen table is all cluttered up again, surprise surprise, and that's just never a good sign.  It's sort of like the kitchen table is a metaphor for my brain.  I can look at it and know where I'm at immediately.

Also on the goal list is going for a walk with the dog.  I'm going to make that happen today.  For sure.  If I get nothing else done, THAT will get done.

Right after a little more procrastination coffee.....

Friday, August 12, 2011

As if anything is possible....

The time has come for me to work on my "Values Assessment Homework".  In a nutshell, it's 10 catagories in which I'm supposed to clarify my values.  "We want you to know what you care about, what you would work toward in the best of all situations.  Approach this assessment as if anything is possible."

Eeesh. 

Sounded like a brilliant assignment Wednesday at therapy.  But now that I'm sitting down to tackle it?  Not so much.  Some are going to be easier than others.  The first two gave me palpatations, so uh, I'm skipping those for now. 

"As if anything is possible......"

That's the hard part.   What it seems to be triggering in my brain is a flood of everything that's WRONG in these areas rather than a vision of what's right.  Everything I wish I could have but don't and never have found.  *sigh*  The idea of then having to share all that makes me seize up even more.  I'm pretty sure that's not the point of this exercise! 

Back you nasty ED thinking, BACK! 

I guess what I'll do is scan the list and tackle the "easier" ones first and move in on the triggery ones after that.  We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

If SHE can do it, then.....aka: using envy for the forces of good!

I have a dear friend who has recently re-started the Couch to 5K running program.  And she's kicking its booty.  I tried it last year and wasn't mentally in the right place to finish it and my body started rebelling as well.  Too much weigh crushing down on my knees I guess.  Anyway, my friend.  In under 30 minutes she ran almost two miles!  On day 2!

Oh, one more thing, she has Cystic Fibrosis.

Yup.  My friend with chronic lung disease can kick my ass in a running competition.

On one hand, that's sort of awful, right?  I mean, great for her, but sheesh.  What a slob and sloth I have become.  But on the other, what a friggin' INSPIRATION is she??! 

I'm making the choice to allow this to inspire me rather than give my ED a chance to use it against me.  The end.

Now I need new shoes.  LOL

Monday, August 8, 2011

I love when someone else has the right words....

Still dwelling a bit on the lunatic sister incident.  I'm trying not to, but it's not that easy.  We'll go ahead and call it "processing"....that seems more proactive and healthy and positive, right?

First example of someone having the right words.....
The incident really gave the husband the opportunity to totally step up and be awesome. He sat there with me as I cried and vented and lamented my crap family. He infused some much needed humor as we talked about how we're complete opposites when it comes to personal relationships as well as when talking about what a hot mess my sister is. He went so far as to offer to look for new jobs elsewhere if I felt like we needed to move to give myself a chance at feeling better.

We may have our ups and downs, but it just makes me feel so good when I'm able to open up enough to let him comfort me and that he is able to step up when I do let my guard down. Progress, for sure!

Second example of someone having the right words....
Quotes from two friends helping me "process" this all:
Remember that you're dealing with your family of ORIGIN, not the family you're in now. You and xxx and xxx are a family, and you can revel in the fact that its awesome and loving and mostly normal.

THIS is your family. Yes, the others are, too, but your chosen family is what matters most...where you lay you head and your soft place to land.

I need to remember BOTH those things.  Forever.  Especially now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's like a Britney Spears song medley....

Toxic.  Crazy.  Stronger.

Thanks to my lunatic sister, I have this week's therapy topic all set.

*sigh*

I'll spare everyone the rehashing of the details, but basically she sent an email to me last night filled with nastiness.  I've chosen to not respond at all to it because my textbook Narcissist sister WANTS that - she wants the drama and I'm chosing to not engage. 

Lots of tears from this chicka last night while I talked it out with my husband. Not because of what she said - she's crazy and no one who knows me would ever agree with what she said in that email - but because I'm just so tired of my family sucking. It's so disappointing to me that I have this family sometimes because I long for more. And have since I was a small child. It's just hard to come to terms with the idea that I need to accept that I'm not going to get a loving nurturing relationship from them. It's a HUGE part of what we're talking about in treatment therapy because it's one of my biggest wounds.  That feeling that no one is there for me to help me avoid being destroyed by things life throws my way.
We talk a lot in therapy about "matching expectations" when it comes to my family.  If they have reacted the same way over and over for 37 years, and over and over it's the source of sadness and pain for me, it's time to adjust my expectations.  It's crappy to have to do that when it comes to family, but it's part of blessing and releasing it and accepting it for what it is to be able to move forward from that point.  Because I've spent a lot of time in that place of wishing and hoping it would be different.  I'm a good person, a strong person, a person that other people are drawn to and enjoy being around.  If my family isn't capable of seeing that and supporting that, then I need to stop letting it hurt me.  It feeds all those ED messages that tell me how worthless I am and how I'm capable of nothing.

*sigh* So, yeah. It is what it is I guess. I just wish it wasn't.  But I'm not going to let that stop me from finding it from other people and from myself. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ahhhh.....that's more like it....

After two weeks off, I finally got back to seeing my therapist today. 

Ahhhhhhhh................

That's just what I needed. 

I was so excited to get back to seeing her that I even made up a list of things I wanted to be sure to tell her in case I got so confused that I forgot everything.  I called them "successes and challenges" because, well, I knew if I said failures I'd get corrected.  ;) 

We talked through the last two weeks and touched on what I felt went well:  The awesome family vacation, turning down Mexico, Inviting people to come with on my birthday celebration knowing they might decline, buying new clothes without a barrage of negativity about my body, volunteering at the kid's church camp, trying new foods/smoothies.  We talked about where I was feeling challenges:  body image on vacation was weird, some anxiety issues and how they're a gateway to food issues, getting over being sick again.  We talked about my goals for the week and she was super excited about the idea of goal setting.

I love my therapist.  She's such a cheerleader but in a totally sincere way.  She celebrates small acheivements that I previously would have deisregarded as not "enough".  She challenges my ED all over the place and pushes me to think past the limitation of my ED.  She makes me feel "normal". 

So thankful.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Smooth moves...

I did it.

I made a smoothie.

Not only that, but I DRANK said smoothie just like it said on my meal plan.

I'll admit, it gave me the gaggy heebie jeebies, but I'm trying to broaden my scope of "acceptable" foods and this is one I have always WANTED to like.  I like everything IN a smoothie.  I just have trouble with it all blended up and drinkable.

Again, let's remind the reading public of my weird taste bud OCD issues.

The smoothie situation came about after reading a recipe for "Freezer Smoothies".  This person, who is apparently brilliant, makes a batch of smoothies and then freezes them.  When she wants one, she either takes it and thaws it in the fridge over night or just brings it along to work with her and it's thawed by lunch time. 

See, I told you....brilliant!

Out came the blender last night and in went peaches, frozen strawberries, a banana, milk and honey.  Two containers of the concoction went into the freezer for future testing and the little leftover bit went into the fridge for me to have this morning.

And I did.

Clearly, with the gagging and drama, it wasn't my FAVORITE thing ever, but it wasn't as awful as that description makes it sound either.  I have texture issues and that's what was to blame.  The flavor was actually really nice.  I sort of suspect the banana as the culprit in the texture issue.  More exploration will have to be done at a future date.

For now though, I'm totally taking this one as a victory!