Friday, September 27, 2013

Okay, Then . . .

Okay, what I do know:

The meds I am are working, quite well actually. I feel better than I have in months.
I still don't know what's wrong with me.

So, I wait in the office at the ENT, waiting forever to see the dr, with a cranky baby who is missing her nap. Grrrrr. An hour and a half after being checked in, weighed, measured and hidden in an exam room, the dr comes in, looks at me, and says, "you are not a candidate for surgery, you need an endocrinologist." Well, great? I wish I had been told that at the beginning, instead of waiting forever to be told I was at the wrong spot. So, back home I go, to wait for a different dr to call me for an appt. I call my regular dr and she orders lab work, which I go do.  I start feeling really tired and worn out again. Not fair. My medicine must not be working, I must be getting worse. I cancel all of my activities for the week, and just veg out, waiting for bloodwork to be done. I call a week later to tell my dr how awful I am feeling again. She days she isn't terribly surprised, because my thyroid numbers have dropped! And, it is her belief that what we are seeing is my thyroid trying to self-regulate, hallelujah! So, we back off of the thyroid med, and within two days I feel like a new person, energetic and ready to do stuff! Yay! But the threat of an endocrinologist hangs over my head. Another few days go by, without any call from his office. So, I call my dr again. She and I talk for another, and I ask the question I've been wanting to ask, "do I still need to bother with an endocrinologist?" And I am relieved to hear her answer, "no." Yay, again! According to my fabulous dr, the drop in thyroid levels, my clean thyroid, everything else, is indicative of thyroiditis, whether it be infectios, viral or postpartum, I do not seem to have Graves' disease. This is so awesome! I do a little happy dance. I go back in a month for another blood draw, and if things continue leveling out, I should be able to get off the meds, and go back to my life. I am so happy, so excited. I was so afraid before. So afraid of the unknown, of being in limbo, etc. Those who know me, know how much I hate the unknown, and I despise living in limbo, absolutely despise it. And I am grateful for a small release. We still don't know what caused this thyroiditis, but my guess, in my wholly untrained opinion, is it is postpartum thyroiditis, I mean, I did just have a baby in the last year.

So, there you go. I can get back on track, and re-lose those 7 lbs I gained during the first month of new meds. I have been released from my exercise ban. I am ready to get back out there. :) and even better, my favorite season is in swing: SPRING!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Appointment, An Explanation, A Diagnosis, Testing, & A Resolution

Where to begin? What I have to say, could fill up several pages. I feel I must say something, but I shy away from saying something that might be wrong, or possibly negate another person's pain, which is not my intent. I talked to a sister of mine a while back. I love talking to her! And as we were discussing current events which are hurting us, I said, something to the effect of, "ugh, I can't believe I am pouring out my minuscule problems to you, yours are so much more painful. I should just be grateful for what I have, and try to let go of what I could lose." And her response was so lovely, so compassionate, so TRUE. She said, "I don't think we need to compare our hurts. Life hurts sometimes, we feel pain, and it doesn't matters whose pain we believe is worse. What matters is that we feel pain, and we ought to support each other in our pain." So, there you go, I am going to try to live by that.

So, all summer, and a few months before that, I have been feeling really tired, just unnaturally fatigued and exhausted and worn out. I blew it off, thinking that I just wasn't recovering as quickly from the birth of my latest princess. I thought, well, I have five kids, they are busy creatures, we are all busy, it's just going to take a little longer to recover. But as the fatigue and exhaustion continued, and I felt myself feeling worse, and worse, I started to consider other causes. The finally straw was when I noticed my heart would be racing, for almost no reason whatsoever. I have been eating right, and trying to stay active, me getting healthier, why wasn't I feeling better???? I finally dragged myself to call my fabulous Dr., and schedule an appt. I show up to that appt, and get all the preliminary stuff done, weight, height, pulse, etc. my Dr. works with a university and provides on the job training to medical students. So the student comes in and does her assessment things,  again with the pulse, reflexes, etc. she asks me if I have ever been told I had a heart murmur, well, no. She steps out, then a bit later, she and my Dr. come in. My Dr. listens, and agrees, I have developed a heart murmur, and she also agrees with the student that my thyroid is enlarged. Great, what does that mean? She sends me off for bloodworm and stuff, which I do. Then, we start the waiting game.

A couple days later, I get a phone call that it looks like I have Graves' disease. Well, that doesn't sound good. I mean, who puts "graves" in a disease unless it is bad? So, I get off of the phone and have a panic. I research all of the symptoms. One of which is "unexplained weight loss." You mean all that work I did was all for nothing? It was all from this disease? I could have been living large, and I still would have lost the weight. Grrrr! I lost a total of 81 lbs in about 8 months. It has been great, I felt like I was really looking good, and that I had "changed my stars" and changed my path and direction, only to find out that the path was already changing, and while I helped a little, the disease was doing most of the work. I feel like the biggest fraud in the history of weightless. I was ashamed, and still am, to a degree, I felt like I had cheated somehow, that somehow, all my work and effort didn't count, because I had had a secret accomplice on the inside. How could I continue to write this blog? How can I continue to show my face around here when I didn't earn this position, and etc. and I still struggle with those feelings. I worry that anybody who I have touched with this story, will see this as some grand charade, and look down on me for it, and believe I didn't play the game right, and a small part of me believes that they are right, I did cheat. And there is a lot of ashamed associated with these feelings.

But I am not a cheater. I have to remind myself of this every day. My Dr. ordered meds for me, three, to be exact, and I take them dutifully. I don't want Graves' disease to control my life, I don't want to lose the life I have to it either. So I try, and I fight the nausea and the headaches and the dizziness, etc. and I try to get through the day, and just survive. After the first week, I feel better, and better. The I get sick again, so off to the Dr. for an infection, then some other blood-work that needs to be done and I schedule a thyroid ultrasound too. Blood-work is expected to take a week to come back, so we wait on that, this waiting is so fun!!! Not.

Thyroid ultrasound is exactly that, an ultrasound of your thyroid. Mine looks good, slightly enlarged, but no nodules or anything like that. So, off I go to wait some more. About a week or so goes by, and I get the phone call on my blood-work, there is no graves-specific antibody they can find, so I wait some more. Today I see an ENT, who tells me I need to see an endocrinologist, after, of course, I sat in an exam room of his for an hour and a half. :P So, we wait some more.

. . . To be continued

What I do know:
the two meds I am on are really helping, I feel

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 11, 2013

I tried to post on the 11th, but for some reason, was unable to (i.e. my computer hates me. Or, SOMEBODY doesn't want me to post this, LOL). So please accept this
thought a day late. I know it has nothing to do with weight loss or body image or
acceptance or self-esteem. But it does have to do with change.

(copyright Mateus_27:24&25)

Where were you when the world stopped turning, in that September day?
I was on the band field, then we came inside, put our stuff up, the bell had already
rung, so we were late, as usual. As we entered the main part of the school, I was struck
by the eerie silence. Usually, you heard some sort of noise, secretaries on the phone,
teachers teaching, students talking, etc. the silence was so thick, you could feel it
pressing in on you. My 2nd period class was history. As I neared my class wing, I could
hear the TVs were on, and as I walked into class, I saw the towers on fire, smoke
billowing out, and everything. I quietly took my seat, then watched, in horror, as the
second plane hit. And then, they fell. It was tragic and heartbreaking. After the towers were hit, then the Pentagon, then Flight 93, we worried whether our own areas would be hit next, living near a nuclear plant was a scary place to be at this time.

In the days that followed the grief was heavy in our country. We ached and grieved
for the families affected, for the men, women and children whose lives were taken
from them. We grieved for the family and friends they left behind. We hurt.

Mr. Rogers says to look at every tragedy and look for the heroes, find the good when we are scared or frightened.

                                                  (copyright bbaltimore)
Our country banded together at that time. Instead of being white or black, instead of
being Christian or not, rich or poor, etc, we became New Yorkers, we became Americans, and more than that, we became "just people." We cared about each other, we helped each other, we loved each other. We struck down the dividers and the blinders, and just lived as one people for awhile. We watched the crews of police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics, combing the rubble, risking their lives before the towers fell to help others get out, searching long after their shifts were over, etc. seeing the search and rescue dogs get depressed from finding no living, and then random people on the street volunteering to hide, so that the dogs could find someone to help.

                                               (copyright Beverly & Pack)

                                                     (copyright ssistak)   

                                                  (copyright brianac37)

We watched America stand shoulder to shoulder, in a circle of devotion, strong as brothers, bound in love. These are the things we ought to remember, yes, remember the fallen, remember the lost, but never forget, that we are people first, we are ALL of us, people first, everything else is second. And people deserve respect, people deserve love.

                                                    (copyright frerieke)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life Isn't Always Going to Be On The Up-and-Up (and I don't think it is supposed to be!)

So, time for a bit of my own recipe. It's been a crappy few days. Yes, I said crappy (oh no!) but I promise, it will probably be the worst word you will hear from me.

So yea, life is really disappointing right now. I can't get anything done. Nothing stays done. I have a huge mess at my house (a lot of it IS from going though things and weeding out junk we don't need, but a lot of it isn't, and it's just clutter, that never goes away). And mostly, I am just down of late. And to top it all off, I had a bit of a tiff with a loved one today, and I just feel all kinds of out of sorts.

So, what does my *Happy List* say? well, a whole lot of ideas, so I chose one of them (write on my blog) and here we are.

What I want to talk about today is GRATITUDE. You know, there is a whole lot of joy found in being grateful. So, what I am going to do today is write down some of the things I am thankful to have in my life.

* my husband
* my children: Warrior, Butterfly, J-Dog, Rambo, and Missy
* our pets
* the gospel of Jesus Christ
* forever families
* my friends
* our home
* my husband's job
* my musical talent
* this blog
* our vehicles

Why is gratitude so important? What can it do for me? Well, a quick internet search, revealed a study ( at the University of California Davis. In their study, they found that:

* In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported  fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

* A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal, and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subject in the other experimental conditions.

* A daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.

* Participants in the daily gratitude condition were more likely to report having helped someone with a personal problem or having offered emotional support to another, relative to the hassles or social comparison condition.

* In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one's life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to the control group.

* Children who practice grateful thinking have more positive attitudes toward school and their families (Froh, Sefick, & Emmons, 2008).


What does that mean? Well, those who maintained daily or weekly gratitude journals had healthier eating and exercising habits. They had fewer physical complaints, they felt more confident and relaxed about upcoming events. They had more energy, were able to stay away, determined and attentive, were more enthusiastic about their various goals, and they also made greater strides in reaching than goals than those who did not keep gratitude journals.  They were also more likely to have offered assistance to others. Those with neuromuscular diseases (which is a broad range of issues which affect the muscles, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) found their pain lessened, and their energy, mood, sleep duration and connectedness with others improved, within only 21 days! Not only that, children who are grateful view their families and school more positively. 

Therefore, being grateful improves your mood, your energy, your health, your happiness. and those who value what they have, will always have enough. Knowing that, I hope that I will be able to maintain a grateful attitude, even when life gets rough. If you notice, the study above did NOT say that people did not experience sadness, grief, or trouble, nothing in this world can remove those things. However, grateful people feel better equipped to handle those stresses and hassles and problems when they arise.

Time to be more thankful for what I have, and to be more gracious of what I am given, compliments included.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My thoughts on CHEATING

I got your attention, didn't I?

Cheating is wrong. Cheating won't make you happy. Cheating won't make you stay happy. Cheating won't make your life better, longer, etc. cheating hurts people.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day, a woman asking others to give her advice on cheating. She wasn't happy with herself, she wanted change, and lasting happiness. Other cheaters were glad to offer their insight, how they cheated, even WHO they cheated with. I was saddened that so few people wanted to work it out, with honesty, effort, and time. People don't get desperate after one day. One bad evening doesn't ruin your life (most of them time). And instant gratification doesn't last. Lasting change, lasting happiness takes hard work and dedication.

Because you didn't get fat and unhealthy off of one meal, you can't expect to get fit and healthy after one small grilled chicken and dressing-less salad either. And cheating with pills, protein shakes, wraps, etc won't create the lifetime of health and  happiness either. And while we are on the subject, being skinny wont make you happy either. Happiness is a choice and an action. We choose happiness, and we act happy (grateful). Happiness does not happen to us, it's not luck or anything else. It is a virtue, we should to cultivate it, or not.

Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle, NOT a stroke of luck, genetics, nor a fancy-shmancy pill or shake wrapped up in a slew of marketing and pyramid-style "team members."  These shortcuts, fads, etc do not create lasting change. Sure, they might work for a few weeks, or months, but once you stop taking them, and continue on with your poor food choices and lack of physical activity, here comes the pounds once again. And when you choose to get all fat and depressed again, who comes slinking back around the corner, begging you to come back? None but your cheating partner in crime. It is a nasty cycle, and one that is perfectly preventable. As hard as it is, as much as you don't want to have to work to get and stay healthy, it is the only way to do it. And by the way, those crazy-cool shakes, pills and wraps won't make you happy either. Shoot, no health and no happiness? Why even bother taking/doing them?

And that is the point, isn't it? You want happiness, you want to look good, well sister, cheating, trying to take shortcuts, won't give you either of those things. Sure, it will make you lighter, but really, only from the loss of money that used to be in your back pocket. If you just want to look good for some vacation, or your high school reunion, fine. But if you want to look good forever, then do it right. Put forth the effort, exercise some determinations and perseverance. Don't fall prey to clever packaging and marketing gimmicks. Be honest, be true, be real. You got this.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Photos: Bear With Me

So, I promised some photos. Some are more clear than others, so just go with me on this! I promise, I HAVE lost 69.4 lbs!

Before: at my brother's wedding, this was actually after I had lost about 20 or so pounds. I am in the purple on the far left ;)

And after, wearing a dress I made:

And, second set of comparison shots. The first one was taken when I was about 17 weeks pregnant with my 5th baby, so I did eventually gain more weight, but it's the nly one I could find!

and the after, same pants and shirt, oddly enough:

So, I think it is fair to say, I want new pants. Not just want, NEED new pants! Anybody wishing to donate to the cause, message me, and I will send you a link ;)

New Theme/Topics/Thingy

I have decided that I am going to be adding more topics to this blog. I have a lot to say, and it isn't just about weight loss. And (as I saw a meme on Facebook), my opinions are like farts. Once one slips out, everybody will know it, and at least one person will leave the room.

Now, having said that, some stats! I am .4 lbs away from having lost 70 pounds. And overall, I am feeling fabulous! I am a bit tired, and I feel pretty stiff in the mornings, but other than that, I feel great! 70 lbs is a lot, unfortunately, it is still 30 lbs less than I want to lose. I've gone from a BMI of 38.4 to 28.1. And a size 26 pant to a 16. My ribcage has dropped from 38 inches to 33 inches. 

Yay for me!

(pictures to follow soon, I hope)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

So, Here's The Deal

First, a sort of apology/explanation for my absence.

I have neglected this blog a lot the last several months. It's been pretty rough, dealing with introspection, the nearly insurmountable task of keeping 5 children, not only alive, but healthy and growing, supporting my ever loving husband, and mostly, just trying to keep an even keel as we weather this storm.


Life throws some pretty nasty storms. Things that would love to flip over our small boat and toss us into the deep blue see of loathing, depressing and self-hate. Life is pretty good at that it seems. Some days, arguably, are better than others, but most days it's a struggle for me to even keep the boat afloat. Some days I feel like I have lost any ability to actually enjoy the trip anymore, and that makes me sad.

Bootstraps--have you heard the tale? When life gets you down, you gotta pull up your bootstraps and get back to work.

I told a good friend awhile back, that I am afraid that my bootstraps are going to rip, from being pulled up so many times. But I am increasingly wondering about the strength of said bootstraps. I don't think our bootstraps are made of something as fickle as leather or cloth or rubber. I am beginning to think that our bootstraps are actually made of muscle, and that perhaps, the more we pull on them, the stronger they get. And perhaps, eventually, they won't fall down as often, or maybe just not as far. But it's not just the pulling that does it. I think that when we substitute healthy behaviors for our destructive ones, it makes our bootstraps stronger still.

If our first response to trouble or stress is to self-medicate with food or drugs, etc. Or worse, to take our addiction, and then plop in front of a tv so we can further numb ourselves, then our bootstraps are not actually being strengthened. We are, in a sense, allowing them to fall further down as we numb ourselves to the feelings.

However, if our first response to stress is to breathe deeply, do a yoga posture, meditate for a few minutes, paint, read, play piano, sing, listen to loud happy music and dance, or do 25 jumping jacks (or some other exercise) then we are going to lift our spirits and tighten up those straps. Not only that, but it is a "high"
that is going to positively affect our health, waistline and background checks.

So, I would encourage you, next time you feel down and want to reach for that doughnut, or ice cream, or wine, or codeine (etc.) instead, pull back, take a big breath and choose something from your "Happy List" to do.


What's a "Happy List?" It is a list that you make of things that you like to do. It should be fairly lengthy, choose perhaps 20 to start with and add more as you think of them. THIS SHOULD BE WRITTEN DOWN! If it is not written, and easily accessible, then you won't use it. Also, if any item on your list requires supplies, then make sure you have them on hand. I will share with you part of my "Happy Lit." However, be aware that not all of these things will make you happy. This is just an idea to get you started.

* Give/Get a hug from one or more of my children
* Hug my husband
* Pet one of my cats
* Pet my dog
* Garden, smell the roses
* Read some Louis L'Amour books
* Draw a picture
* Write in my journal
* Write my blog or books
* Step outside and breathe deep for a few seconds (20-30)
* Turn on some music and dance crazy with the children
* Play the piano
* Sew something
* Design a garment
* Call a friend
* Stretch
* Play the flute
* Play a Native American instrument
* Put on a Richard Simmons tape, and DO IT! He loves you
* Pray
* Read the scriptures
* Watch videos of babies laughing
* Watch videos of baby animals being cute
* Play a game
* Turn on some relaxing music and breathe deep
* Have a good cry, then rinse face with water
* Paint my toenails
* Put on make-up
* De-clutter and donate stuff
* Shop--but be careful of the pocketbook

There is so much you can do! Maybe you can take a class and learn something new. Maybe you could visit a nursing home. Maybe you could volunteer somewhere. There are so many options, many that are low cost and FREE, you just have to choose to do it. I promise, the first couple times, it is hard to choose off the "Happy List," instead of your food, drug, alcohol, etc. That is your addiction speaking. But, the more you choose to be happy instead of addicted, the easier it gets.

You can do it. Get a friend to support you. Get more help if you need it. And, I would advise to seek a Higher Power. God is there, waiting to help you, waiting to make weak things strong unto you, but you have to ask Him, He won't interfere if you don't ask.

You are getting stronger, every day you try to do better. Keep going. Keep Trying. Keep picking yourself up. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Are You A Pusher?

Are you a pusher?? If you had a friend who was a recovering alcoholic, would you offer them a tall glass of beer? What about just a small glass of wine? If they turned you down, would you offer them a shot of liquor, or just a tiny sip? If you would, shame on you, but I hope you don't! What about a friend trying to quit smoking? Would you push them?

  If you had a friend who was a drug addict and who was trying to quit, would you offer them heroin? How about a couple lines of crack? What about just a quick puff? NO! You wouldn't (at least, I hope you wouldn't). Because you love your friend, and you want them to better themselves, right? You want what's best for them, right? If you are a good friend, you don't want to drag them down, you want to be supportive in helping them reach their goals.

 However, so many times when we have friends who are trying to lose weight, we seem to try and convince them to try just one bite. "One bite of chocolate isn't going to hurt," we might say. "Just try one bite-size piece of cheesecake," "or it's only one cookie." Unfortunately, food addiction is real. And just one piece of sugar-inundated dessert/candy/thing we-are-trying-to-avoid is enough to send our friend over the hill.

 I thought I could eat just one Girl Scout cookie. Yeah, cue an entire day of binge eating, trying to up the sugar high again.

Let me be frank. If you offer someone something, be it alcohol, drugs, or food, and they turn you down, it is not an insult to you. We are not trying to tell you your cooking is bad, or make you feel guilty for indulging yourself. When we turn you down, we have just surmounted the most difficult thing, I think, that we face. Turning down our addiction is so hard, especially when you hold it right in our faces. And I promise, if you continue to press us to partake, it will only make us either a) mad and defensive, or b) feel like we are hurting your feelings by not partaking, and lead us to making a difficult decision, even harder, or possibly c) we may need to re-evaluate our friendship, because quitting an addiction is hard, and we need people who will support us and help us quit. We need you there, in a supportive role.

Let me put it this way. That one bite, one sip, one time COULD hurt us. That one incidence of partaking could be likened to a bite from a cobra. It IS dangerous for us. Overeating leads to obesity, obesity leads to heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, lost mobility, and so many more problems, all of which can lead to death. It's as simple as that. We know that that is not what you intend. There are a variety of reasons a person might become a pusher, and those are important ones. Reasons that the 'pusher' should examine within themselves, some reasons may include feeling guilty, perhaps they struggle with the same addictions, or others. It could be fear that drives someone to be a pusher, fear of losing their friend, or the relationship changing. It could be any number of other reasons. But the bottom line is, no means no. Please don't push us. Please respect us enough to love us and support us. We need your help. We need your support. We need your love and friendship. Thank you.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I miss my junk food. I miss being able to escape pain and depression with food. We have had a couple of really sad events in my family of late. Three of my dear family members have suffered miscarriages. One of them is currently going through it right now. My heart is broken for her and her husband. And I know from experience that that pain is not nearly what she is going through. But I ache and grieve for them. And their loss brings up the memory of my own, and of my other family members and friends. And it's a lot of pain to deal with.

We also received word that my husband was turned down for another job. I don't talk about it much, and I don't wish to elaborate much, so let me be brief in saying that my husband has been looking for better employment for a long time. I have lost count of how many applications, interviews and rejections we have been through. It's really draining on me.

And I am dealing with some other personal issues that I also don't want to discuss right now. Maybe some day I will, but not now, I need to sort it out in my mind more, before I share it.

Suffice it to say, I am very overwhelmed. And I am tired. I have a 9 week old baby, and four other children. The oldest is 7.5 years old. Needless to point out, I am sleep-deprived and tired and probably over-worked, and exhausted in every way.
I joined this fitness challenge. I'm going to lose it, I am sure. It cost $10 to enter, which I felt was fair enough. One week in and I have lost a measly 1.4 lbs. Which is okay I guess, but nothing compared to those who lost 6 or 7 pounds. The contest goes for 90 days, winner takes all (highest percentage lost).

Anyways, as part of this challenge, and as part of my healthier lifestyle, I am trying to boycott sugar, like as much as I possibly can. I am not perfect at it, not by any means, but I am trying. I am also trying to limit excess fats. Unfortunately, when I am anxious, stressed and discouraged/depressed, those are the things I turn to. I turn to candy and cookies and pizza and ice cream. They have always been there for me, like a friend to lay my shoulder on and cry. So here I am, grieving and depressed and tired and stressed, and I want my drug, my junk food. I know it won't fix anything, it won't help, it won't solve the issues, nor will it help me to solve the issues. But I don't want it because I think it will. I want it because I know that it will dull the senses. For 5 minutes I will be able to escape the worries and the pain. For 5 minutes I won't have to feel anything. Maybe even longer, if I eat enough. Sure, I will feel worse after it wears off. Like a hangover after a night of drinking (I have never drank alcohol before, but I have heard), when the effect wears off, I will feel worse than before, sick and bloated, crabby, and probably a headache too. But today is so heavy on my soul, that it sounds worth it for right now. And as I struggle to put it off (stores closed at 10 pm, so I am safe for tonight), I find myself trying to figure out how to get rid of the pain. There is only healthy stuff here. Won't do any good to binge on that. I should go to sleep, it's 11:17 pm right no. My kids are all asleep, the dog is asleep, the hubby is asleep. But no, I am awake, my mind turning gears and bringing up more and more pain. And there is no junk food in the house. If there was, I could eat it, then go to sleep and escape the anxiety, stress, pain, until the baby wakes up to eat. But still, the food would shut my brain off for a bit. It would shut out the emotions I am dealing with, and allow me a respite.

Then I realize what an addicted statement that is. 'I could shut off my brain for a bit.' This wonderful, impressive, fascinating organ, I want to turn it off?' I want to numb my brain, to cause damage to myself? All at the expense of what? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? an hour? Followed by feeling sick for at least a day, destroying my body, and cutting my life and health short. I don't have anything left to fight off the emotions and grief I feel. And I know food won't help it. I don't know what will, or if anything can. My mother said I needed to turn it over to God. But I don't even know how to ask Him. I thought about asking some family and friends to pray for us, but I don't even know what I want anymore. So I soldier on, feeling very alone.

And so, I sit here, hoping to feel tired enough soon, so that I can try to go to sleep. So that I can try to rest up and replenish my store of 'willpower' in order to live another day and fight off the desire, the addiction to food.  I feel bad that this post is rather sad, perhaps even unhelpful. But I am trying to be real. I am striving to be authentic and vulnerable (read Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection" or looks up her TEDx talks on YouTube). The point of this blog is to chronicle my journey, and to be honest and real with anybody who might happen upon it. So that's what I strive to be, Honest and Real.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sabatoge, or Capitalism at it's Finest?

I talked with my mom today. This is not a new or rare occurrence, we talk pretty much everyday, but this morning we were talking about about health and such, which is also not rare. I love talking with her as we share and gain insights with each other on a vast myriad of subjects from childbirth to weight loss to shame/vulnerability/guilt to religion/faith to parenting to politics to just general thinking.

Anyways, this morning we were talking about weight loss and exercise. My mom has been going to a gym a few days a week with my sister for some extra exercise. And it was rather appalling to me the amount of sabotage that was going on there. Now, this gym advertises itself as a judgment free zone. This is a good thing. And a popular weight loss competition show advocates for this gym (according to my mom, I don't watch any television, so I wouldn't know). My mom was telling me that at the registration counter, there is a bowl of free candy. And, the place also happens to sell high sugar, HFCS drinks and other assorted junk food. I mentioned that that sounded to me like sabotage. I mean, why would a gym encourage it's members to partake in high calorie, low benefit foods/drinks? I mean, soda? Free candy? How does that fit into the gym's mission statement? Their statement reads:

"Our Mission Statement
We at Planet Fitness are here to provide a unique environment in which anyone – and we mean anyone – can be comfortable. A diverse, Judgement Free Zone® where a lasting, active lifestyle can be built. Our product is a tool, a means to an end; not a brand name or a mold-maker, but a tool that can be used by anyone. In the end, it’s all about you. As we evolve and educate ourselves, we will seek to perfect this safe, energetic environment, where everyone feels accepted and respected. We are not here to kiss your butt, only to kick it if that’s what you need. We need you, because face it, our planet wouldn’t be the same without you. You belong!

The Judgement Free Zone® (haha, they misspelled Judgment on their Corporate page, LOL)
As the most innovative health club brand in the United States, Planet Fitness is known for a lot of things – our absurdly low prices, our Lunk™ Alarm, and most of all perhaps, for our Judgement Free Zone® philosophy, which means members can relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms."

Now, I understand that for some people, it can discouraging to work out alongside body builders and model-esque women. I get that, and can see the need for a place where people can work out without judgment. However, here we have a gym full of overweight people (body builders and skinny people are not allowed). Now, in my limited experience, and mostly just my own, putting a bowl of free candy out is a bad idea! It's like inviting a friend over for dinner, a recovering alcoholic, and putting a glass of wine at his chair. Oh sure, you can tell him all you want "don't feel pressure to drink it, it's your choice, I won't feel bad, etc, blah-blah-blah, ad nauseam." Or smoking around someone who is trying to quit, and offering them a pack too. Isn't the sugar/candy/food the reason these people are overweight and obese? So why are they supplying them with their drug? Some of it FOR FREE!?

My mom brought up a story she had seen (also on this weight loss show) about a school that sold all kinds of junk food to the students. When pressed on why the administrators allowed this sort of thing, they tried to make some lame excuse about there being some fruit on the list too, etc. What it really boils down to is the students were addicted to the sugar, to the "highly palatable foods" that the school was offering, and the school was making MONEY off of that addiction. They didn't want to stop offering junk food, because it was going to affect their pocketbook. No matter the effect it had on the students, sugar highs and drops, behavioral, obesity, ill health, etc. No, the almighty dollar ruled.

I wonder if this gym, which promotes themselves as this wonderful tool for weight loss and health recognizes the danger they present by supplying high sugar drinks (and probably other 'highly palatable' items: candy bars, etc) and free candy to their patrons. Or, if they even care? Is it the almighty dollar at work again? Keeping their clients fat so they come back? This, I do not know the answer to, however, I do think it is fair to point out the unhealthy irony. Just as an alcoholic cannot drink in moderation, a heroin addict cannot shoot up in moderation, a sugar or "highly palatable food" addict CANNOT eat those items in moderation.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Think . . .

I think I have a sugar addiction.

I am not sure how long this blog post will be. I feel I need to do some more exploring before I can fully express my thoughts, but I wanted to at least get the subject out there. I haven't had sugar in awhile. I mean, I suppose I have had some, but not this way. My daughter brought home a box of Girl Scout cookies the other day, and gave everybody one. Thinking nothing of it, I accepted one. It wasn't that great tasting at all really. However, since then, I have had an intense desire for more sugar. It is so intense. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I want sugar. During the day, when I am driving, watching a movie, feeding the baby. I want it badly. Sitting here typing about it, I am picturing exactly where in the kitchen I have more. It blocks my desire to eat anything else even. In fact, I found myself calculating the caloric value of some sugary treats so I could see if I could cut out some veggies or a meal to allow it. Yea, it's that bad.

I talked to my mom today, while she was walking 9 miles. Yeah. I talked to her a bit about this sugar thing. I did not ever think I had a food addiction or sugar addiction. I mean, I just like food, I can stop whenever I want to, etc. (Yea, THAT doesn't sound like a smoker or alcoholic!) I don't remember it being that bad stopping eating sugar. I don't even know if it was a conscious decision, versus a cost saving one, you know? But after that one cookie, I almost couldn't stop eating more. And I haven't been able to stop wanting more either. It's almost frightening how badly I want that sugar.

Last night we went to a birthday party. I knew there would be pizza and cake, so I made sure to allow myself calories to eat it. I had two slices of pizza, and a very small piece of cake, perfectly within reason. I didn't even finish the cake. I didn't like it (sorry to my friend!) But all the rest of the evening, I wanted more pizza. Today too. And the cake? My husband brought some home. I told my friend no thank you, we didn't need it, but I guess my hubby can't turn down free food. So now, this cake is in my kitchen calling my name. I didn't even like it. But I crave it, and pizza. WHY?!?! That I do not know, I don't understand the science behind it. But, I do know this. Something in the cake and cookies (sugar?) and something in the pizza must trigger something chemically in my brain or body to make me crave more of it. Especially, since I didn't even like the two sugary options when I had them.

I am starting to see the wisdom in my mother's method of 'dieting' (term used very, very loosely). She never cheats. With her, it's all or nothing. Maybe moderation is NOT a good idea. I didn't have these cravings until I had just a little. Is this what an alcoholic tries to do? "I'll just have ONE beer, and be responsible." Does that work for them? Or a smoker, "Instead of two packs a day, I will just do one." Do those types of responses lead to the addictee to being able to quit? I don't know. But I do know that trying to keep things in moderation this time around, is harder than just abstaining from the junk completely. And I fear I am addicted to it. As I try to picture myself never having cake again, and the sorrow, the deep sense of loss I feel. Like saying goodbye forever to a dear friend. Why have I made food my friend instead of real people? That's not right.

We were discussing the dangers of smoking and alcohol in the children' class on Sunday (discussing agency and choosing the right) and one of the teachers brought up a powerful point. Some people (maybe more, I don't know) have a genetic (perhaps) trigger to being addicted. One puff or sip might be all it takes to pull that trigger, and when that trigger is pulled, we give up our agency to choose. We then can't say no to having more. I am feeling the same way about sugar right now. I don't suppose I will ever stop wanting to eat it, but I hope the intense craving lessens over time.

I need to tie this into how our traditions make us fat, but I think that is a topic for another day.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

So, It's Been Awhile . . .

A lot has happened in the last two (almost) months. The day after my last post (November 30), my precious princess #3 was born (child #5). Miss W was 9 days late, but isn't a lady always a tad late, in order to make a grand entrance. Since then, we have battled illness after illness in our home. But, finally we are all healthy, and hopefully, it will STAY that way for a LONG time.

Lately, I have been studying/reading up on the topic of SHAME. And boy have my eyes been opened. There is a wonderful "shame researcher" on YouTube named Brene Brown. I recommend you ALL to watch her two videos from the "TED" conferences. I am also reading her book "The Gifts of Imperfections." And as I read them, I discover a lot of pain, and introspection, and stuff that I REALLY don't want to deal with.

I have a confession to make, I gained back pretty much everything I lost. That's right. I look and feel awful, again. And on the one hand, I feel like I kinda deserve it. Like, I am not worthy or deserving of looking and feeling good. And I am really struggling with LOTS of feelings of worthlessness and such. It's been quite a struggle, especially of late it seems. I hate the way I feel. And a lot of me hates myself. I want to be happy. I am tired of the struggle, of the work, of things being so hard for me and my family. And while I recognize and appreciate the blessings I have been given, I still struggle with those things making me feel happy. Brene talks about how we numb ourselves, with food, alcohol, prescription (and less savory) drugs, etc to avoid feeling things we don't like. And boy is that true for me. I don't like feeling worthless. I don't like feeling trapped. I don't like feeling unhappy. So I use food to medicate myself into NOT feeling those things. Food makes me feel good, if only for a short while. And that short while is WORTH it for me.

There is a meme floating around that says "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." I don't think that that is necessarily true. The prospect of being "skinny" does not feel as good to me as a nice, warm brownie. "Skinny" does not feel as good as it feels to mindlessly eat through a bag of candy or chips and to feel free of emotional stress and worry for just a few minutes. "Skinny" isn't enough for me.

But I am trying to remind myself why I started this blog, this journey, in the first place. I started this journey because I wanted to be able to play with my kids. I want to be able to sit on the floor and play, to run and jump with them, to be involved physically in their lives, right in the ring with them; not stuck on the sidelines. I want to live long enough to watch them all grow up and become upstanding adults, to watch them raise their own little families. To meet all of my grandkids, some great grandkids, and if I am lucky maybe a few great great grandkids. And you know what? Fat people die earlier. And, in my experience, fat people don't have very happy lives. The reason I started this blog was because I wanted to maybe inspire one person to try again, to lift one person to start anew, or to begin for the first time. And today I realized, that one person? The one person who decides that he or she can start again? That one person can be me. You know, if I am the only person that this blog helps get control, isn't that enough? Yes, I do believe it is.

And so, even though I am fallen so far back, even though I totally blew my 'diet' (term used loosely here) today, that doesn't me that tomorrow can't be better. It doesn't mean that I have to go into my kitchen and finish off that ice cream. It doesn't mean I have to throw in the towel on this day. For another hour and a half, this day is salvageable. So, here I go, back on the train. As long as I am alive, it is not too late to change, to make a difference.

Two things: I have joined a weight loss challenge. $10 to join, winner (highest percentage lost) takes all the money. And the other: I opened an account on Basically, it is a calorie counter. I like it because I don't have to count all my calories myself, it does it for me.  Oh, and also, I have found a video series on YouTube by 'CafeMomStudios." They have soooo many videos, like 30 minute cardio routines, 20 minute yoga, etc etc etc and so forth. While I still love my main man Mr. Simmons (you know I love you Richard), the videos I have of his are 45 minutes to an hour, and with my now 8 week old baby, I just don't have the time to devote all at once like that. I am hoping to be able to do a 30 minutes cardio in the morning, and a 20 minute yoga in the evenings.

So yea, I guess that's it for now. Welcome back to a live blog. And one more thing, I saw a meme the other day, which I will butcher horribly with paraphrasing, but essentially it said "Even if you are the slowest runner/walker, you are still lapping everybody on the couch." How true is that? No matter how slow you have to go, you are still doing better than you were before.