CaurLife

Getting to the Core

Jinxed

The plan was to join Weight Watchers last week. It didn’t happen. As usual the problem was time. It seems I never have time for the things that are good for me.

Everyone tells me and I know intellectually that I need to take care of myself, because if I took care of myself I’d have more energy and patience to deal with the rest of my life. But really how many working moms have time? Or if you do tell me what you choose to omit so that you can have time for yourself. I’d really like to know.

Last time I left off talking about how my eating habits started off wrong. I also talked about the beginning of my depression. Now let me continue the story.

High School was a horrible experience for me. The constant stress to do well to get into college, the social things I wasn’t allowed to participate in and the overall experience was the worst time of my young adult life. I was growing and learning and yearning for freedom. But my parents were very conservative so I didn’t go to any dances or football games, I couldn’t join extra-curricular activities that had overnight components, basically I was feeling the pressures of school and the inability to join in the fun that everyone else was enjoying. It didn’t make for an overall happy time. I was totally depressed during my High School years. But through all that time I did not take medication. I just found my own way of coping. Usually it meant doing a lot of reading.

After High School life took a twist and I must say my college years were the happiest years of my life. I worked hard and played hard. I finally had the freedom to be who I wanted to be. Unfortunately that only lasted the 3 1/2 years. I often equate those years of my life as my skinniest as well. I was happy and I wasn’t fat. Even today I want to find that happy place again so I can go back to being good to my body. I always tell people that I was skinniest when I was happy. But today I don’t really have that much to be unhappy about, yet the weight is the constant problem. I am still eating and I know it is emotional/psychological.

Yesterday I read  a New York times article talking specifically about emotional eating. I had always thought of the emotional eating as a way of covering up feelings. But it goes much deeper. The author talked about  how often emotional eating is also a way to prove to yourself that you cannot succeed. I found this to be a very interesting concept. She discussed how overeating was a way of punishing oneself as well as covering up emotions. As I read the article I realized that I’m looking at my eating issues the wrong way. I do think I eat to sabotage myself and my ability to succeed. It’s a way I can make myself feel bad and it’s a vicious cycle. I have found that I eat when I’m bored, tired or really stressed. I’m going to think on this more. Because I have always felt that I get jinxed when I start on a plan, have success and people start making comments. But am I jinxed or am I trying to say I don’t deserve this? It’s as if my mind wants an excuse to eat because I can’t handle the success. It’s an intriguing idea. I think it’s worth exploring.

The next part of my story is how the weight came on. And it will be a bit harder to write because it is very private and emotional. But I started this blog asking people to get to the core of life and asked you to follow me. So I will begin by getting to the core of my own issues. Keep reading!

Not So Successful = A good thing!

The first time I was close to being successful was in Junior High.

I had tried cutting, but I just didn’t have the guts. But there was plenty of Valium and other stuff around so I took as much as I could find. I ended up home from school for vomiting. Nobody knew. I was just sick. I thought my parents didn’t have a clue. (I was wrong, but more about that later) I was living my own little hell and was mighty unhappy for reasons I couldn’t sort out at the time.

I don’t think I would have ever been successful. But the larger question is why was I so hell bent on trying. Why was there so much desperation at such a young age. I know my family life contributed. But that can not be the only reasons. Everyone has bad times at home. But the despair was so all consuming.

That’s when my depression began.

However, my eating problems began even before than. I have a distinct memory and feeling from either first or second grade. I was a helper that went to the kindergarten classroom to help with snack time. My responsibility was to put peanut butter on saltines or make bugs on a log. Well, I remember sneaking crackers to eat for myself as far back as then. I would look for a moment when the teacher left or I was hiding in back by the counter and cabinets and I would secretly eat. Over the past few days I was trying to remember why I would do that. I realized that through my school years I don’t remember having a solid breakfast or what I had for lunch. I know in grade school I must have had something. But in Junior High, I didn’t have lunch often.

A bit of explanation is probably needed. I was what you call a latch key kid. I had an older sister who was responsible for taking care of me. But that’s a 10 year old who was responsible for a 5 year old. Both my parents worked and we were an immigrant family trying to make ends meet. We did not have the traditional routines.

I do think however this was the beginning of poor eating behaviors that have caught up with me as an adult. I did not begin having serious weight problems until my mid 20’s and there were a lot of reasons behind that as well.

Feeding myself as a reward or to feel better is a recurring theme in my life. When I was younger it did not physically manifest. That happened as I grew older and my depression increased and my metabolism slowed down. This is the beginning of the story I’ll be sharing more as I gain more courage to be honest with myself.

By the way I’m going to join Weight Watchers this week. Wish me success!

 

 

The Sadness

I looked up the Weight Watchers website to figure out how I’m joining. That is a step in the right direction. I will weigh myself again next week and fill you in on my first meeting with Weight Watchers.

I, however, have come to a new realization. I need toget to the core of what is causing my overeating other than my physiology. I have accepted that I am an emotional eater. But how is this emotional connection going to be controlled and overcome? I also now must accept that I cannot continue ignoring the depression I have suffered my whole life which is so closely connected to my emotional eating and my weight issues. These issues are tied together and need to be solved in tandem.

Writing about depression is going to be tough. But I think so many people suffer from it silently. I want to provide a safe place to think on how it affects us and those around us. I am also acknowledging it openly first to all of you.

I have battled depression since my teens. At this stage in my life I am struggling with it still. I am a firm believer that depression for some people is a genetic/physical illness that can be controlled with medication. I have been on medication for a very long time and I cannot function without it. I recently read a very disturbing article in the New York Times titled Post-Prozac Nation. There were some experts who were vehemently against medications and claimed they had a only a placebo affect. I do understand the controversy surrounding certain medications and I am not in favor of giving young teens medications before trying therapy. However, as a sufferer I can tell you that my body functions differently when on the medication vs. off. When I am not on my medication my ability to cope with the issues in my life is severely impaired and I feel the physical effects.

So when did it begin and what was it like. I can sum it up for you; I was suicidal in High School. I am not suicidal anymore. I have worked very hard over the years to understand what was going on with my mind and body and have found solutions that allow me to get through every day. Outwardly very few people would ever assume I suffer from this disease. Over the past three years I have again lapsed into something more severe and have actively taken the initiative over the past year to overcome this sadness that is all consuming. People who have never been “blue” cannot imagine the devastation of what being depressed means. I envy those who have never been depressed.

The interesting thing however is that while I have battled depression most of my life I have not always been over weight. I will need to think on this more deeply to see when and how the two became connected.

Over the next few posts I will share my personal stories. Some of which I have never spoken of to anyone. I hope by sharing some of you out there will find solace knowing that you to will overcome the sadness that overtakes you at times. For those of you who have never had the sadness, perhaps you will gain more insight into what people battle when they have the sadness.

I also hope this encourages many of you to share your triumphs over something that hurls many out of control.

I hope these stories help us be more compassionate and thoughtful of those around us who might be suffering silently.

 

 

204.8

That’s the dreaded number. I’m 204.8 pounds. I am two of who I should be. I was so afraid to see this number but now I’ve put it in black and white. Maybe it will make me more motivated to see that number come down to ideally 140.

I’m not sure what exactly is going on with me. But since I discussed my issue with emotional eating I can’t seem to stop. I have decided to do weight watchers but have not signed up yet.

I have a strong feeling that I will soon have to blog about my serious issues with depression along with the physical manifestation of it which is my weight. I’ve got lots on my mind but am sorting through it before I tell all of you about it. Keep sending me your positive energy. I need it so that I can make the life style change I need in order to be a healthier person.

Decisions

Ok I’ve had a week or so now to wallow in my own sort of bad place. I have come to some conclusions. I think I need a support group to get on track. I am going to investigate Weight Watchers and a Nutritionist some one recommended to me. I think I cannot go back and forth on this life change. It’s hard to do it alone and now it’s time to ask for help. I think having the support of you all out there in the blog worlds is also helpful. I don’t feel so alone in my struggle.

I’ve been a bit hesitant to get help. I think it is part of my overall denial of the problem. For me food is emotional. I feel bad, out of control, bored, anxious, and I end up eating. My cravings as most of you know is for sweets. I don’t know what it is about sugar…but it makes my insides feel better so it ends up being my crutch and not just sustenance. This is all wrong. What’s funny is I know all this intellectually but still can’t get a handle on changing my patterns. It’s like I’m punishing myself for my feelings.

I also am going to start tracking my weight more regularly. I am planning on putting it up once a week. Let’s see how I do.

So this is how bad it is. After I wrote that last sentence I got up and made myself a strawberry smoothy. I had some strawberries that the kids didn’t eat, added lowfat yogurt, ice and sugar. Let’s analyze this, I write about weighing myself and then have to get up to put something in my mouth. The connection is so obvious, but the smoothy tastes great!

So I’ve reached that first step of acceptance (it’s been a good many years that I’ve been in this stage) now I need to find the second step. I think doing this in a group might be more helpful. I will admit I’m skeptical about it since my track record has been so abysmal. However, I really have to do something. This is truly a health issue.

Writing this blog is cathartic. The comments and support are so necessary. Somehow it’s much easier to pour my heart out to all of you than to my closest friends. Please keep the comments coming and send me your positive energy.

It took my a while to work through my issues this week. Sorry it took so long to share with you. I was just in a bad place.

 

 

Acceptance

Things since Sunday have been really difficult. It seems the reality of someone asking me if I’m pregnant is weighing me down emotionally. I have not stayed true to my plan. I haven’t totally gone off the edge, I’m still talking myself out of many things, but I’m gravitating towards carbs. My eating is obviously tied to my emotions. I am one of those people that eats to cope with stress and depression. Needless to say Sunday put me back into a place of depression versus optimism.

I’ve also been thinking that maybe it would just be easier if I accepted my size. Maybe I need to realize that I am big and that it’s not the end of the world. Maybe my focus on weight is the problem. I wonder if I just accepted myself and worked on feeling good about other aspects of my life the weight issue would recede. I am so obsessed with the weight that I can’t see the other good things in my life.

I’ve also realized I need to buy clothes. I keep putting it off thinking I will lose weight and that will be my reward. In the meantime every morning looking at my closet I am confronted with all these clothes that just don’t fit. That’s depressing too. I need to get myself clothes that fit and not consider it a reward. The more I look at clothes that don’t fit the more unhappy and despondent I become.

Maybe it’s time I thought seriously about getting help through Weight Watchers or a nutritionist. Outside support and encouragement might help me stay on track and see the bigger picture. I really am impatient about this. The more impatient I become the more lapses I have.  This process is hard but, I’ve done it before. Now I need to do it in a way that is sustainable.

It’s time I just accepted myself.

Any good advice? Please share!

The Dreaded Question

I got that dreaded question this weekend.

ARE YOU PREGNANT?

Well no, I’m just fat was my response. I assured the person who asked that I had no intention of having any more children so that she would make a mental note not to ask me again.

No this didn’t make me feel too good. Ironically, I’d been talking about this with my husband. Telling him the way my weight centered on my upper abdomen and its roundness really did make me look pregnant. But really, when someone else asks you the question, it’s such a slap in the face. How the hell did I get here and why can’t I get out? I’ve been thinking, “no this is the truth, don’t let it bother you,” well easier said than done.

I was supposed to weigh in today. I just couldn’t do it. I was scared to see the numbers. Being asked if I was pregnant didn’t help dispel the fear. It’s all stressed me out and gotten me craving chocolate and stuff. I’m sort of in one of those bad places today that get me back to doing the things that are not healthy. Facing the reality that to some people I’m so big they can only think to ask if I’m pregnant is just depressing. I’m really struggling today trying to figure out how to stop this madness and take the weight off. It just seems that unless it’s something extreme I won’t be able to do it. Is gastric bypass for me?

It’s not the best way to start the week. It’s going to be hard. I can just feel it. The sadness, disappointment, guilt, low self-esteem are all really strong at this time. I will try for a better tomorrow, but let me confess, I started the day with a small slice of leftover birthday cake. The sugar from the frosting tasted soooo good. It’s like I was out of rehab and took a hit of a drug and relapsed. Why is food like this for me?

I need lots of support this week. Even as I write I’m struggling to stay put and not run out to buy chocolate. Let’s see, maybe I’ll try a sugar free hot chocolate to get through the afternoon. I need to get back to my inner pep talk monologue.

Why isn’t magic real on days like today? I could really use a good old spell to make the blues go away and loose a quick 50lbs.

 

 

Me + Brownies = GUILT

Guilt

I’m feeling so much of it today. Here’s the confession. Last night the kids were begging for cupcakes or brownies. They’d been really good so I baked them brownies. I had every intention of having a small portion with my hot milk. Well that didn’t happen. Me and my daughter had a taste as I cut them up. Then she had a piece (which by the way she didn’t finish, but enjoyed whatever she did eat.) I on the other hand took another “small” sliver and another and another. Then I warmed up the milk and gave in and ate two nice size warm pieces of chocolaty goodness. Well, I told myself get back on the wagon! So I went to bed feeling a bit of guilt but telling myself not do dwell and I will go back to the usual routine. When I woke up this morning I felt so sick. I was so weighted down by the brownies and just feeling horrible. I realized then that I need to remember that feeling, because that is what will stop me from going out of control. I realized my body was used to two weeks of no refined sugars or sugar substitutes. When my body got such a huge amount at once it reacted as it should have, making my whole system feel unbalanced.

Through this lifestyle change I’ve begun to realize I need to remind myself of what makes me feel good and what doesn’t. So far I know when I exercise I feel great. When I eat too much sugar my body responds with a horrible heavy feeling. Now the true struggle will be to remind myself of these feelings so I can stay on track and get myself to the gym and remember that a small portion of a dessert is OK, but too much just hurts me.

I also needed to update you on my restaurant experience. Both were ok. I really held it together and ordered healthy protein rich foods and kept the carbs at bay. However, the portion issue is still a big problem. I’m so used to cleaning my plate that it seems wasteful not to eat the entire plate. Plus add that I have a bottomless pit of a stomach that never feels full. There is much more work to do on this issue, but I feel good about the effort so far.

The next big step will be my weigh in next week. I’m really terrified of getting on the scale and sharing the number here in black and white. But it is a reality that must be faced. I’m really worried that regular weigh ins will discourage me. I need your support more than ever! So please share your inspiration.

Supreme Farce

I’m appalled at what is going on with the Supreme Court. It is no longer about insuring there are checks and balances in our system. It is no longer about insuring the constitutionality of laws passed. It is a conservative pulpit. Between Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Breyer, Kennedy and Roberts is there any hope? (I do have some hope with Kennedy) I was really disappointed when Roberts was appointed Chief Justice. Part of it was because he is so young and with a life appointment to the bench I felt there would be no way to insure a level of fairness. But I do not remember a time when the court was so politically polarized. It seems that the extreme importance of the court is lost. It is supposed to be a non-partisan, truly fair and nonpolitical court. The justices have lifetime appointments so that they can work above the political machine. Is this an ideal of the past? Should we brace for a system that enforces political agendas versus upholding of our constitution?

But our current political climate is so polarizing. It’s amazing we all still get along. The level of lying, scandals (particularly affairs from the party that touts family values) is amazing. Most of the folks, especially career politicians, are totally out of touch with the average American. The lack of civility in our country and the lack of emphasis on being a good civic minded person is only going to add to the continued malaise.

I keep watching what’s going on in this country and am dumbfounded. Is this really American politics and trends? Is this what the people of the country want or are we all being scared into believing the folks at the top know what’s best? But do they?

If you thought the Clarence Thomas affair was the biggest “scandal” to hit the Supreme Court, just watch out. I think we’re about to herald in an era of bleak times. This really means the average American will suffer because all the big-shots in DC are exempt from the rules the rest of us have to follow. It’s really easy to oppose healthcare reform when you have life-time pensions and  healthcare at taxpayer expense. It’s really easy to uphold draconian immigration laws, when you’ve thrown your compassion and civility out the window.

What do you think?

Portions, Portions, Portions!

What do you do about Portions if you have a bottomless pit for a stomach?

Everything I read and see talks about portion size. I know that Weight Watchers presses this as well. But our sense of portion in America is really off. The amount of food we get when we “super-size” or any size is way too much. Fast food isn’t the only problem. Most restaurants we go to give us huge portions for appetizers and then the main course is even more out of control in terms of size. (Let’s not get into the fact that our food is so genetically modified that there is no way a real chicken breast should be that large.) And most of us know we should share the dessert.

I have also read that people who have insulin resistance (precursor or full onset of diabetes) have this problem of never being full. Given that I have a hard time feeling a sense of fullness, I’m struggling with what to do. I am still determined to stay the course.

So I’m on week two of my lifestyle change. I am overall happy with how things are going. It’s not to say I didn’t hit any road bumps. I kept it together and made sure I just got back up and kept going.  But I know I won’t get too far if I don’t figure out how to control the cravings and minimize my portions.

The other thing I know I have to do is get on the scale. Honestly, this is really scary for me. I’m not mentally prepared to see the number. I am going to give myself another week before I get on it and then I will share the results so we can monitor this together. In my head I know this is all possible. But keeping up the work and having a positive attitude is really hard. Add to all of this life. Things like, work, family, spouse, friends don’t help in the process. When we get together with friends it is usually a food related event. With family and work it becomes hard to manage time and figure out a good meal plan or make time for exercise. I know these are common obstacles all of us face on this arduous journey. I don’t think my struggle is anything new. But I know sharing and hearing other’s struggles can also give one some inspiration.

By the way, I also made it to the gym last night. This was a big win for me. I find it so hard to find the time. Granted, being at the gym late at night only made me exhausted today. However, it does feel good while I’m moving my body. I need to remember that feeling. Because it is pretty awesome.

I’ll keep you posted this week on progress. The big challenge tomorrow is going out to lunch and not caving in to all the potential food traps. Wish me luck!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: