Category Archives: Life

Can We Talk About Something Else, Please? Thank You

I wanted to give an update about how the whole “Lose 50b Thing” is going.  It’s both going well, and not so well.  I will update in a moment.

But what I really came here to rant about, is how EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN MY DAILY LIFE IS DIETING.  And they are for appearances sake, doing better than I am.

I’ve taken steps to bettering my physical life since January. You know, when everyone does that.  I started getting produce deliveries on January 21, 2015.  I saw my dietician for my first appointment on February 20th, and I saw my trainer…. about 2 weeks after that.

So we are nearly 3 months in

So far, I have lost a total of about 3.5 pounds. The scale fluctuate however it wants.  My dietician tells me this is hormones at play. I wound up spending a wonderful Saturday night in the local emergency room two weeks ago.  I was going to blog all about the adventure of an urban hospital on a Saturday night. Eh, but I never got around to it.

No one worry.  After 5 hours,  a $100 copay, and thousands of dollars of tests (hopefully) covered by my insurance,  I am a “Very Healthy 30-something” Well, Hooray. And by the way,  unlike my general doctor, this ER physician said NOTHING about my overweightedness.   How kind. And he was kind.  He patted my head as I left.  Because I drove myself there and back, so as not to ruin anyone’s Saturday night.

But they weighed me. In Kilograms.  Because that’s fancy. I immediately had to Google that shit.  But I was happy. The scale read lower.  That following Wednesday, I saw my dietician for our regular appointment.  Scale, back up!  I wanted to argue with her.  She made such  face!  “You are arguing six tenths of a pound here!”  

Here’s why I am arguing and why I am really here today:  My boss shared with me today that he is dieting, and he has cut NEARLY 100% of all carbohydrates.  Basically, if there is a carb in a food that he can find, he’s not eating it  He then shared he;s been doing this for 3 weeks, and has lost TWENTY POUNDS.

I hate all you men for this.  My dietician and I had a long discussion about Men and their LACK OF HORMONES and more muscle that makes this so much easier.    My best friend is male, and  he won $1,100 in 2013 for being the Biggest Loser among all his guy friends that went into a money pool.  He’s very money motivated. 🙂

He also gained every pound back as soon as be bought a wine fridge with $1,100.

My “other boss”– they team-Lead our department, mentions at least once a day that he does not own a microwave.  That’s not healthy for food.  He also only eats cage-free eggs bought from the Farmer’s Market once a week,  and eats no red meat.

Last week I pretty much stuck my big foot right in the old mouth. It really came from a place of where I am tonight.  I am just fed up with all of this.  But I said, “Are you sure you don’t have an eating disorder?”  Really, how insensitive can I get?

But he responded.  “Well, I sort of used to… yes..”

Ohh.. whoops.

My friend-at-work is selling and taking the next diet pill/potion of the future.  Seven weeks on a daily pill and potion, and she has lost 21 pounds.  And because she is selling it, with a HIGHLY social media focus, its all over social media.  Seriously, I may need to hide her posts soon.

Because it’s not FDA approved at all, I am NOT convinced there is not some sort of meth or cocaine in it.  How else would a drink a day get you those results?  And by the way, she would tell you she is sleeping better than ever before, she is happier, no headaches, her baby never fusses….

So I am nearing the end of one of the most competitive processes of my whole career. I am in the last round for a significant job advancement.  To my knowledge, I have close to 100 competitors Company-wide.

I have a very nice suit, that was very expensive.  Okay, well, it wasn’t. I bought it Majorly on sale. 🙂 I paid maybe 1/3 of what it was retail.  Discontinued or something, but its awesome.   It’s a very expensive brand, and it still was an investment on my credit card at the time.  Three months ago, I knew I had a problem when I couldn’t even come close to zipping the pants.  You know how when the fabric just won’t meet because your belly is in the way??  Welcome to my world.

It really was then, that day when I was feeling confident enough to wear a VERY nice suit to the office, and that it was not even a remote possibility, that I said to myself, “Dude, you have a problem.”  I  bought that only 10 months ago, and it (although size up) fit like a glove.  Myr sister cried when she saw me try it on. Well, she said, “Theres something in my eye.. ”  Baby sister all growed up.  (She was proud of me. Maybe).

Anyway, here’s the raw details that no one knows. I;ve made “Some” progress.   The only weighing I am doing is with the dietician (and that one night in the Emergency Room). This is good for me, and what I need, because don’t I sound CRAZY ENOUGH ALREADY?!   But if you would look at me, the sad reality, is I still look like I am somewhere in the second trimester of pregnancy. My stomach is round, and protrudes, and I can’t button my pants a lot of the time. In fact, I am still wearing maternity tank tops most days, because my belly won’t  stay under my tops and within my pants.

And just if anyone is wondering, THERE IS NO BABY IN THERE. AT ALL. OKAY.  For MULTIPLE REASONS.  NONE.

I mean, I am really… sad.  And discouraged.  And angry at myself, that I waited so long to make things right.  Is there room on my credit card that I could go and buy something before this final interview scheduled in 10 days from today?  Yes.  Do I want to do that? No. Should I have to do that?

My sister said to wear Spanx.  Someone else said, “Just work out every day for the next two weeks.(when I had two weeks and not 10 days) and you’ll get to wear you need to be.”    

I am scared.

And yet, I thought I was doing everything the so-called “right” way.  I got human support. I called in reinforcements.  I got a trainer and a dietician for heaven’s sake!  I know only one other person doing both of those things,and that’s because I referred her to BOTH people to prepare for her wedding. **  I am not doing pills, or potions, or throwing up, or starving myself for days on end.. and yet I am really not making MUCH measurable progress here.  My clothes are still uncomfortable. I am not getting into anything in my closet that I have “Saved til I get back in it”. Mostly because I can’t bear to part with it.

if it’s not obvious, internally, my feelings of pills, and potions,and 0% carbs is CHEATING.  You’re short-cutting it.

**side note… this same individual approached me just today.  She made that first appointment with the dietician,and went running in there, “Sarah referred me.. You know her. You see her.  She said you are the best”.

I don’t know why this came as such as surprise, (I am obviously freely talking about it) but the dietician basically cited HIPAA and said she couldn’t confirm or deny she was seeing me at all.  This is not an issue for me at all.. but I feel really good about that!  Good for her.   Somehow I didn’t think she had to hold to those stringent guidelines.  Way to protect my identity and my privacy.

Bottom line, I feel like my whole world is filled with people’s diet and exercise talk. I mean, be proud of yourself, I am.  I biked 16 miles in one hour tonight, and burned 400 calories.  Im proud of that.  But LETS ALSO HAVE OTHER INTERESTS.

I am stressed out enough as it is.  I just don’t want to be bombarded by it anymore, not until I can feel that all I am doing is having any effect.  And I don’t care what the dietician said on April 1st.  That I had lost 1.2% body fat, and gained 2.5% muscle.  Not important to me when my pants are still tight.

I just need to get into that suit for about 10 hours or so.  Tonight, I honestly don’t care what happens after that. Because I leave for an annual vacation two days later.  While I won’t go hog-wild on vacation with eating, and SURELY lack of exercise, I will enjoy myself.

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The Weight of Your Soul: What Do I Believe?

In Part II of this series, I will examine more of what I am processing and learning while experiencing this chapter of my life.

Finding Balance 

Today, I woke up and decided I would workout before eating breakfast. I am not sure I’ve ever done that before.  However, many people I’ve known in life do this as a daily discipline. I had also read recently that its beneficial to work out before breakfast, as your body burns more fat this way.  I was able to bike six-and-a-half miles this morning.  This fact, I found interesting. Two other evenings this week, and I was able to bike eight and nine miles . Maybe I have more energy in the evening?  Maybe because I haven’t had any fuel yet for the day, I have less energy? That would seem to make sense.

I finished my workout, and quickly came home to make breakfast. I tried some different foods this morning. Again, I intended to eat slowly and enjoy this breakfast, but yet again, it was like as if I had starved for a full week.  I honestly had wanted to put a photo of my “Healthy breakfast” on Instagram, but it was gone before I could give it another thought.   So then the thought came to me, “I miss eating till I am satisfied.”  I really do.  I get great enjoyment out of big cups of Starbucks coffee, sitting on my couch, and enjoying the morning news or some Hulu Plus.

 

Since I have declared war (and I am calling it that) on this physical issue, I am truly eating for sustenance and that is it. And that’s how it needs to be for now.

 

Anyway, last time I mentioned my friend Katie, whose career is primarily walking with people who have actual eating disorders and other mental health concerns.  Katie is amazing.  She is getting to be “quite the online celebrity” with her presence on social media channels. Her passion in life, her mission and vision statement is “Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness by forming Healthy Communities.”  Katie believes that nothing is out of reach, and there isn’t anything that can’t be learned about or discussed.

Anyway, I briefly reached out to her recently, and since then I have delved really deep into her website and the products she has created for social media.  While this may not be a technique that is originally Katie, she says a common technique that therapists use when dealing with an eating disorder client is to ask this questions:

 

“What Does It Mean to Be Fat?” 

The client is then asked to come up with a list of words or phrases that they think of.

Fat means I am Lazy” 

“Fat means I am ugly” 

“Fat means I am unlovable” 

“Fat makes you unattractive” 

“Fat means I am stupid” 

“That person has no motivation and no self-will” 

I’ll add a few more that are a bit more personalized:  “Fat means you are undisciplined.”.  ” You are irresponsible” (having to do with the Christian principle of ‘good stewardship”. )

Do any of these concepts have anything to do with your size?  But I GET IT.  I feel am feeling most to all of these things. Where does all this crap come from?  And its so common!   How do we go from, “I’m struggling with my weight, to I am not productive?  Or that someone couldn’t love me for WHO I AM, not WHAT I LOOK LIKE?

Katie suggests that a person that is struggling writes a love-letter to themselves.  She said “As bad as you could be feeling, everybody likes SOMETHING about themselves.”  Which is true. This issue is taking about 60% of my headspace and my time right now, but I am not completely useless. There are good things about me.

“Okay, so I have gained lots of weight. But I am truly a content specialist in my career. People depend on you every day.  I am funny, I am thoughtful, I am loving, and I am open.  You can talk with me about anything. No topic is off-limits in general (although it might be with certain people that can’t handle brutal honesty). I am the worlds-greatest-aunt to six amazing children. People adore you.  You find value in every person you meet”.  

Around the time of lunch today, I came to the realization that true hunger on some level feels like I am dying to my mind. Maybe this is instinctual. Maybe we are wired as humans to feel this way.  I took a phone call this morning where I lamented that “I never feel satisfied anymore”.  I made a decision that I would eat a HEALTHY lunch where I would eat till I felt satisfied.  It felt like a big moment. I actually made a plate of choices.  A fruit, an avocado, some raw carrots, and hummus.  The goal was not to eat everything I put in front of me, and I didn’t.  I only chose two items (three if you count the humus, but thats not going to be eaten solo!)

My dietician asked me to “be thinking about balance” this next week.  Balance for me, will be about NOT making every day about staying under 1200 calories.  It sure is getting a lot of attention.

 

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The Weight of Your Soul: A Series

Read at your own risk.  Things are about to get very real.  Things are about to get very deep, and very shallow all in the same moment.  Some may be offended by this. Some may call me “shallow and self-absorbed”.  Some may think I might need see a physician.  That’s all cool with  me too. Because it is what is.

 

I recently came to face the reality that I have gained 50 pounds. Much of it over the past 15 months. There is no real explanation for it.  Trust me, I went looking for one long ago.  I showed up to my primary care physician one day last year in early summer, and nearly begged her to tell me something was desperately wrong with me that I had gained all this weight.  I truly was living no differently. I don’t  eat horribly. I put forth effort to eat healthy my whole life.  I  don’t excercise at  all, but what would cause the change?

 

She humored me, and ran a blood panel.  Bless her heart.  All within normal limits.  I won’t forget the words she said to me for a very long time.  “You have to reduce what you are eating. Then when you’ve reduced. Reduce it again”.  “bitch”.  was my thought.  Since that visit, I don’t believe I actually lost a pound. Only added about 10 more.

 

For months on end, I have looked in my large bathroom mirror mostly naked every morning, and scowled at what I see.  I actually stick my tongue out at myself like a 3-year-old might.  But it’s not to make me laugh.  It’s the mind saying to the reflection “You disgust me”.  I’ve had the new experience of learning what it is to have stretch marks all over your body.  I’ve counted them. I’ve studied them.  Kinda like a broken blood vessel;  kind of like a shallow bruise, or a bout of bad acne.  However, they don’t look like the one’s I’ve seen pregnant women get.  I have to stare at this large flap of skin hanging from my abdomen. How will I ever rid myself of that?  Many months ago, I started buying maternity sized clothes online, because it was the only size I felt would certainly cover my belly. To make sure my midriff wouldn’t show at the office because my pants don’t fit, and my shirts don’t come down low enough.

 

Maternity tops and tanks  fit for a little while.  My stomach still exposes now.   It was not the answer I hoped for.  I spent $650 dollars on my credit card last year on pretty much a new wardrobe from lingerie all the way down to shoes. Trust me, $650 spending sprees  on one income, is nothing to blow off.   All  of the purchases in a  very comfortable size up from what I wore in the stores.   Only the shoes have survived.  Even the bras I bought hurt to wear now.  And those were a size them the ones before. Who knew your breasts can enlarge past puberty?!  Never me!

My clothes actually hurt to wear. Some days recently, I had that type of distraction at the office where you were just imagining getting in the door so you could strip off these horrible clothes. What I am describing is a pair of dress slacks also part of that $650 shopping spree.

I’ve seriously contemplated taking “Shame” photos.  Meant for someday like a before-and after.  I’ve contemplated putting them on Instagram where I am not active, so the world can shame me for how much I’ve let myself go.  Maybe I would enlarge some and hang them up in my house,and reflect back on them when I make progress.  You had a great body at one time.  You squandered it. You let it all go.  “How dare you”.  

I was listening to a talk-radio show recently.A woman from the city that I live called in.   The host of the show, as many of them are, is a comedian so they wise-cracked some joke about whether she was overweight or not based on the minimal lifestyle details she shared; and the fact she said she lived in Los Angeles. ”

Her answer was so dumbly.. profound to me!  “I live In Los Angeles. I pretty much have to skip a few meals  each day for people to even talk to me”.   I know I smiled in laughter instantly  But did I feel her comment deeply!  “sister, you aren’t truly kidding”. 

 

I’ve gotten help as of the last month.  I have a registered dietician working with me every other week, and a personal fitness trainer  working with me as many times a week as our difficult schedules can align.  I feel proud of this step. I really need the help, and I hope I have communicated that.

My dietician is a wonderful woman with great training,  credentials, and a  great reputation.  She has a very full schedule of clients!  She gives me bullet points to work on between appointments.  I love bullet-points.  Definitely my focusing/organizational tool.  One of those  is to log all of my food.  I’ve chosen to use an online app that I’ve had for five years (previously mentioned in other blogs).  I then have agreed to hand over my iPhone to her during our appointments. Do you know how vulnerable it is to even had someone your phone? But I am.   She judges nothing, even when I picked probably the MOST unhealthy meal at the Olive Garden, and only ate half.  No judgement Do you know how stressful and frustrating it is to log everything you’ve put in your mouth? I feel a very adolescent rebellion rise up some days. “I am not accountable to anyone but me. No one tells me what to do. Screw this!” 

Which to be honest, probably is the first train car on this runaway train of out of control weight.  Being in total control is a big theme of my life in this stage. I have my own small home. I am accountable to no one in my personal life.  I work as late (or not) as I want.  I sleep as late as I want when its responsible to do so; I eat what I want when I want;  I play my music as loud as the speakers allow, I clean my house and make my bed–or not.  More than once these past few years, I’ve realized I am n a minority.  I am a 30s career woman with no liabilities.  Sort of joking, but I answer to no one.  I will watch TV with no pants on as much as I like.  You only wear pants when you think someone else will be offended if you don’t!

What I find to be really helpful to are these things:  1. She always asks if she can weigh me at our appointments. I would think she wouldn’t ask.  Doesn’t she just expect to do that?  Isn’t that what everyone is there for?   No, she asks.   She also uses a pretty advanced scale that measures more than just weight. Body composition, body fat percentage, BMI.  But it also doesn’t SHOW you the weight!   She has to tell me if I have lost, gained, or stayed the same.  I am not permitted to see any numbers.   This is so relieving to me.

Numbers drive me crazy!  and not just because I am useless at AND hate math!  But every time I pick up my phone to use this app, my eyes are drawn to the top corner to see “How many calories are left for the day in your budget?” I’ve even logged things thinking I would sit down and eat it, but deleted it when I saw it “Spent” too many of my few daily calories. AND– because I have begun my weight loss, every time I record weight, it will actually REDUCE my daily calorie allotment.  Bigger bodies need more calories to function. Those that weigh less actually NEED less.  So, as I lose weight, to keep to my “Set goal” of weight loss, they continue to cut the daily calories I am allowed in the “budget”.

I can already feel myself spin mentally when I think that I’m already hungry, and my calories are going to continue to reduce.  Today, for instance, I was enough aware of what I was feeling to know that I was SCARFING my lunch.  And it was not for the fact that my lunch breaks are only 30 minutes most days. I was hand-over-hand, I couldn’t get it in fast enough.   And then I instantly felt guilt and shame again! I logged the half-turkey sandwich and the 1/2 cup of cooked cauliflower I brought with me.  I think the app doesn’t understand serving sizes. Because it wants to tell me that 1 cup of cauliflower that is sautéed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil has around 300 calories.  Does that seem fair?  My calorie budget said I only had 285 calories left for dinner.  And that’s with only eating 55 calories for breakfast.  Lunch cost me 661 calories?!  Hardly seems worth it.

 

And my “witching hour” seems to be the moment I leave work. My dietician are  having many conversations around this issue.  I am never more hungry during the day then the second I leave work.  I have a few theories on why this is.  I told her that I think one contributing factor to my problem is that I literally will here a voice in my head say when I eat something I really enjoy, “You worked really hard today.  You Deserve This”  As I bite into a delicious bakery cookie.   She stopped me right there and said, ”

 

     You can’t view food as a reward.  You can’t view food as a ‘treat’.  Don’t even use the word ‘treat’. My kids will ask me if they can have this,– or that.  I won’t say to them, ‘Oh, you want a cookie’. I’ll say to them ‘You want some junk to eat.Because that’s what that is”. And without skipping a beat, I said, to her, “GLAD I DONT LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE!  GEEZ LOUISE”.   She back-pedaled and explained why she feels its important to shame her kids into thinking nothing they could want could ever be healthy for them.

 

In my next installment (which may be written VERY soon), I will talk about my friend Katie.  I am purposely not spelling Katie’s name correctly, because she has a HUGE, thriving, and monetizing presence in social media. Katie is also a marriage and family therapist with a specialization in Eating Disorders.   Certainly not as a client, she has offered me some amazing insights into what I am going through, that is simi to what her clients go through.  I will work those thoughts out next.

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About Family.

So I have a lot of observations about Family lately.  I want to understand. I have lots of thoughts on things I am observing all around me.

It’s really itching me lately how much parents/grandparents are inflating and praising  It started with seeing all these Memes about “I love my son”  “Repost this if you love your daughter”.   “My son is the reason I get up in the morning.  Repost if you agree”

 

Okay. Please. Of course you love your son or daughter. I’ve haven’t seen a Meme yet that says, “My son is such a pain in my ass. Glad somebody married him and got  him out of my house.”

 

But lately, people just have a need to publicly tell people how much their kids/grandchildren.

 

Here are a few examples

 

 

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There is nothing truly wrong with doing this. That’s not my point.  My point is how I don’t remember anyone in my life ever communicating something similar.

 

Thinking of my mother, if I said to her, “What do you think about the phrase, ” Your happiness is their (your) joy; You future is their legacy”, she would launch into a long and punctuated rant.  She has very passionate feelings that the choices children make are no reflection on their parents. Parents do the best they can, but eventually leave the nest, and parent’s lives go on into their retirement years.

Most of the people I know have parent’s– mother’s especially– that will text them once a day (or more) just to basically say, “What’s up?”  “Are you having a good day? “Just thinking of you”.

 

Taking this further, one friend’s mother that I am thinking of specifically (and I am closer to) one time commented on a Facebook post that my friend was up late dealing with her sick child. It was around 11pm or 12am.  The comment said, “I am still up.  Feel free to call Mom if you want to talk” Something like that– don’t quote me.

 

I was like, “Wow.. ”  Just call. I am here. 

 

My mother has a few rules around our communication.  My mother lives in the Southern US. I live in Los Angeles. I have lived here for 16 years. Sixteen years later I am still hearing, “Well there is a TIME DIFFERENCE”. The time difference is TWO hours.   But she is adamant that I never call after 9pm Central time. She is either watching TV (that’s connected to a DVR,  by they way..) or is going to bed.

 

Fine. I get it. My mom is now in her late 60s. She has gotten up at like 5:30am her entire adult life(why you do this in retirement, I have no idea!) and I think people get more tired as they get older. I need to respect the boundaries of her personal time.  What does bother me, is out of the blue, I will get text messages that say something to the effect of:

“In the event you MIGHT call tonight.. tonight is not a good time. I have this club, or this sport, or this party to go to.. busy busy!” 

 

I wasn’t even thinking of calling, but thanks for letting me know how full your calendar is.

 

But she never calls just to say, “hey, was just thinking of you”

 

Another story: I went to my friend’s parents home the other night for dinner. This was the first time I met these folks.  Parents of four adult children, now with children of their own.  I have seen plenty of Facebook photos over the years of this family. The focus now is the 4 granddaughters. It’s nice.I enjoy seeing the photos of them all together as an extended family.

They were discussing with each other that my friend’s sister was going to be driving down to spend the night with the grandparents. About a 90 minute drive North.  There was discussion of only 1% milk in the house,and plates ready on the counter  for pancakes in the morning.

Then there was this:  More discussion of pancakes, and how the little girls like whipped cream on their pancakes. Mmm.. so do I. Whipped cream on most everything! Always a can in my fridge!

 

Well, they didn’t have any whipped cream.   My friend’s father made a proclamation I dont think I will forget:

 

“Well, we’ll need to stop at the store then. My granddaughters will not be denied.”

 

“MY GRANDDAUGHTERS WILL NOT BE DENIED!!!  

What the…what?!

 

I would expect the response to be “Well, we don’t have any whipped cream this time.. but, they’ll live”

No one has EVER made that statement to me about….anything!   We will do what we need to do to get them whatever will make them happy, bring them pleasure.  This includes my own grandparents.  All four of my grandparents are long deceased. In a lot of ways, they were a lot of the same personality.  I have better memories of my mom’s parents than I do of my father’ parents.  But both sets were…  lazy and unengaged.  Both grandmother’s never drove a car. So they depended on their children to get them around to spend time with us, or even just to get to the Market. I remember my mom having a of lot of resentment about how “dependent” they were.   My sister’s and I have commented that we don’t ever recall our grandparents wever “taking us to ice cream”.  I know that’s not a huge deal.  Maybe it was the 80s, but I always recall kids saying to me, “Our parents took us to Baskin-Robbins”, and to us, it was like, “WHOA.. Disneyland!”

 

Back to my other friend with the cool Mom who says, “Call me 24 hours a day if you need me”,  Her too. She comments on her grandkids photos, “She is the light of my life”.  And I look at that, and think, “Wow.  That is such a statement.”  Because I spend a lot of time with this family, I’ve seen this woman say that to her granddaughter.  So it’s not online, and its not “for show”.

 

How to wrap this up… ugh..

 

Anyway, I am not a worse person because the way I was parented was more “reserved”,and maybe even more shy? Some might say that there could be something wrong with a parent leaving an adult child a voicemail everyday (for example), “Just wanted to tell you I love you and you are the light of my life” 

 

But I guess it would be nice to hear.  My personal theory of why this is perhaps an issue for me, is I don’t see my family. Maybe twice a year. I can’t just “drive down” for the day.  Sometimes I feel like I’m just “There”. People check in to see that I am still alive, but that’s it”.  My mom’s voicemails usually have that tone.

“I haven’t heard from you in a while Just checking in”  It always has a ‘tone’.

Now, my mom would say, LOUDLY, “You made a choice in going to Los Angeles.  Nobody told you to go there. You are choosing to build a life away from your family.” This argument has softened and improved into my 30s.  They realize I have a specialized career that I am thriving in. I cant’ do what I do just anywhere. My life is here, and we’ve shelved the argument.  I am no longer a teen that ran away to find fame and the fast lane. WHICH NEVER HAPPENED.

 

What but if that message said, “I haven’t heard from you in a while. I miss you. I wonder what you’re doing. Hope work and everything is going well.”

 

Do you love your kids more because you publicly show it? How do you feel when you post something like that?How does it make your kids feel?

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Just Write: Third Edition: Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Be Closer than They Appear

Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Be Closer than They Appear

I had the opportunity to speak again this week. Speaking to strangers. I always question if it’s worth doing that. The story. My story.

To be known. We all desire this in our soul. I deny this need a lot. I tell myself I don’t need it. That it’s better and safer to just put up a big wall. Keep people at a significant arms length. That no one really cares to know the whole story.

But then someone else took the lead and shared before me. A very different story then my own. None of the components of theirs really matched mine, but I still really connected with it. I have learned a deep and meaningful lesson about people that have the “perfect” look on the outside. From the surface, you would never guess their story.

That was this situation as well. There was a whole life underneath the marriage, the children, the successful job at a Fortune 500 company and the “connected” friends and social circle.

But what I really came here to say is how surprised I am that so much of that story is still “alive”. I can retell some of these stories from close to twenty years ago now (and some even longer than that) like it was yesterday. There are parts of it that feel like it was yesterday as well. And while I keep it absolutely contained and professional, I feel like those days are just feet away from me as I tell it.

Tones of voice, conversations, tensions in the air, inflections still feel like I can reach out and touch them.

Is that the way it’s supposed to be? After thousands of dollar in therapy and years of my life? if not, then what should it be? I’ve heard people use a metaphor of “Instead of vivid living color, it diminishes to black and white”

For the next day and and a half, I felt that haunting feeling again. And this was post Halloween if that’s what you’re thinking. Like all day at work, it was trying to just sneak up on me and tap me on the shoulder. I laid in the dark that night, waiting to fall asleep, feeling vigilant. With those old haunted conversations still replaying in my head.

For today, I think it was worth the opportunity to be known. To share what I have learned. To educate other people. To prove to myself that others can still love me despite how unloved and unlovable I once was. That people don’t view me with a scarlet letter, and horror, or fleeing out of their inability to understand.

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Just Write– Second Edition

Oh look, here I am again. It must be important.

And it is.

I have at least a few thoughts tonights topic.

I am here to announce OPERATION LOSE 20lbs, or ‘Let’s Get This Fat Ass In Shape 2011″.

I know I’ve added on the pounds for a while. Slowly creeping up since sometime in 2009. I suddenly needed a bigger size  pair of jeans one day. And then there was…. well, then there was a little life incident in 2010..  Now, there wasn’t a ton of weight added there, it was mostly like being bloated.  And needless to say,  it was so fleeting. But the scale didn’t really go down after that either.  I recall beginning a committed lifestyle plan a month or two after that. A good friend had shown me two different apps for the iPhone where you can track your calories and food, and add in your fitness.  I know I was feeling heavy, but that was probably more my heart and soul then my body. My employer helps to subsidize a local gym membership as part of their benefits package. So I jumped on board with that. Besides, working out has great benefits other than just losing pounds and inches.  It helps ease stress, depression, helps you sleep better. Hey wait… all of those benefits could help me out!  Sign me up!

I have a theory about why I’ve been slowly packing on the pounds since about that time. I didn’t gain or lose more than 5 pounds from the age of 17-27. For a few years in high-school and college,I was an octo-lacto vegetarian. This was less about PETA and love the animals, and more about being able to control what would and would not go into my mouth.  Because I had really no control over any other area of my life at that time. MAJOR SERIOUS ISSUES. But thank God I was never bulimic or anorexic at that time as those are horrible diseases that are barely escapable.  And you know, “Heroin Chic” with Kate Moss as the spokeswoman was really in, and Kate Moss made heroin look really cool. And recreational. Also, she was super skinny. Anyway, around 2009, I stopped taking medications that I had taken for years earlier. Most with a stimulating effect. Some people gain tons of weight on medication, and a few lose. I only briefly lost weight on a really awesome off-label medication, but I think it helped to maintain my lower weight

I was super committed with the gym  for a while. I was going 3-5 times a week. Getting in the pool, swimming laps, climbing the stairs, and doing a lot of cycling.  Also really enjoying the heat sauna afterwards. You’re probably thinking,

You paid to go sit in a heat sauna? Why don’t you sit on your bed at home in the dead of the summer.. or on random days in mid October… same diff?

And to that I would say—TOUCHE. But it’s different…The sauna is relaxing. And it smells like cedar.

But I digress..

So I went for a while. I made excellent workout playlists on my iPod, I found the days/hours  when the gym is empty. I even tried a few gyms in different neighborhoods until I found my favorite . But then in October 2010 I took a promotion at work. A promotion that kicked my ass for about the first four months. Those first three months I didn’t know which end was up by the end of the day. I would slump into the seat of the shuttle each day that drove to the parking lot and try to recover for the next day.  Good friends of mine had a relationship trauma at this time as well, and I was on the front lines of helping both process what the hell was going on.

What am I saying here? My gym membership and I are not exactly BFF. I don’t have a lot of endurance. There is a bit of preparation that goes into going to the gym. You need the gym bag, the lock, the water, the emergency snack for later.. As far as I am concerned, you need to pack a carry-on for one session. And when it comes to endurance, I would go, workout for 30-45 minutes, and then feel tired. I would try to push myself thru it and keep going, but I could only cycle thru that so many times. Many of my friends also have memberships to the same gym, but no one can ever go at the same time. Or in the case of someone in my life right now, the moment you get the workout inspiration seriously, they are done with that phase, and are no longer working out. Or let their membership expire.  Awesome.

And so this fitness company has gotten some substantial automatic funds from me this past year for not a lot of gain  no gain on my end. Or maybe TWENTY POUNDS OF GAIN.

The last few months, I have been bummed out with how I am looking in the mirror. And I don’t mean my face. I mean this belly I see in the mirror. Several times I’ve gone to zip my pants when getting ready for work to find they just aren’t going to coöperate. It’s a little less than sexy.  I’ve known I should be doing something about it. On a couple of occasions now people have asked me if I am expecting. Which, at my age, is more affecting then funny.  But it’s easier to laugh and just keep it light. I admit that somewhere not quite at the surface, I would be cool with gaining some extra  pounds if it meant that a healthy little bean was swimming around inside. I would wear it like a badge of honor.

Fast forward to this week.  I got a biometric screening done. TWENTY POUNDS OVER WEIGHT. Not only that, a BMI that is in the Fair/Poor rating category.  What the….what?!

Excuse me? I am an “A” student. I don’t get Fair/Poor ratings!

So let’s talk about my diet.“Well, what are you eating? Are you eating healthy? Are you eating crap everyday? Maybe that’s why you’re fat!” 

This is where I get really pissed.

I work really HARD to eat healthy. I believe in it passionately. My grocery bills are bigger than yours—I promise (assuming you are single and buying for one).  Every time I get my grocery total—EVERY TIME— I think to myself. “Man, these grocery bills are getting ridiculous..”   I make weekly visits, even. Because nearly all the food I purchase is fresh.  I quickly stifle my economic worry by reminding myself that I pack lunch every day for work. I rarely eat out unless I am starving and not home, or it’s a social occasion.  And I am buying HEALTHY FOOD. Mostly raw food as well. Tons of vegetables, yogurt, some leaner proteins—I eat a lot  often eat fish actually as my physician calls it brain healthy food.

But most recently I have discovered raw vegan green smoothies. Which are basically some kiwis, and a bunch of green veggies (brocooli, celery,kale, parsley, wheat grass, barley grass and green algae).  I try to have one every morning, because I find that I feel better during the day after I have one. More alertness or energy or something. I think I could even characterize my diet as like 20% vegan. I voluntarily consume a lot of vegan products, not because their vegan, but just because they are the choices I am making.

But I don’t have the patience or the time, or the resources to be completely vegan. I know a 20-somthing that is getting FOOD STAMPS to subsidize her vegan diet, and that is governmental fraud if you ask me. I have to pay for your soy cheese?

I watch a lot of what other people eat. In a way, you could say…. I am judging what you eat. But it’s because I feel sorry for you. I want to guide you to better choices. I want you to want more for yourself.  One coworker of mine comes into work every day with an entire LITER of Mountain Dew. Have you seen that Diane Sawyer special? Mountain Dew Mouth?  Teeth BATHED in Sugar water all day??  Sometimes alongside of that she has a Venti size frappa-mochachino with whipped cream on top. A MILKSHAKE, OKAY at eight o’clock in the morning!  And then from the diner across the street, I regularly sit next to her as she consumes some fried foods, with some more battered friend foods on side.  I feel sorry for them really. I believe that you only get one body. You have to treat it well. I really believe this. Now.

I am to the point now that when I eat fast food.. I feel awful afterwards. Tired, crampy.. it’s really not  worth it.

YET I HAVE 20 POUNDS TO LOSE, and am rocking 29% bodyfat. (they tell me my bodyfat should be around 20%).

So, I am at the mall today. And while I am trying on item after item, I am just fixated on how I have “let myself go”.  I found a stretch mark, yo! Bulges that show thru the clothes…. terrible.

Maybe it was the stores I was shopping in, but woman after woman that came into the dressing room, when asking for another size asked for a DOUBLE ZERO.  The fact that there is a size this small blows my mind. I know I’ve discussed this before in this space. Double Zero– dead???

We often discuss “Standards of Beauty?”  Is that the standard in this image-obsessed affluent culture?

This size is on the racks in seeming abundance and it’s repeatedly asked for by woman after woman in these stores. Meanwhile, I am lucky to find my size anymore in my two favorite clothing stores. If I do find it…. it’s the pair  at the very back, or the blouse completely at the bottom of the stack.

Lets say you’re a Double Zero size and you drop 5 pounds from a stressful month at work. WHERE DO YOU GO FROM THERE?  BabyGap???

Anyway, this week I embark on the 1st of five sessions with a personal trainer. I am committed to going 2-3X per week  And I begin to start logging everything I put in my mouth. WHICH I THOUGHT WERE THE RIGHT THINGS.  I can’t wait to see how he’s going to restrict my food in some way.

 

How did this all come to be?  I hope to log my progress (and probably plenty of whining) here.

 

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Just Write–First Edition

This is my attempt at contribution to the awesome idea of Just Write . With the way things are with me, this very well will be the only post.  But I love the rules.: The fact that THERE ARE NONE. Because that’s exactly where I am at with my blogging. If you were to look in my archives you would notice that my blogging is often well researched, thought out, my arguments backed up as best as I can.  But I am just not there a this point in my life. I am desperate to get the fleeting thoughts in my head out. Outside of myself. And so this experience is exactly what I need. I don’t want to censor myself, check my spelling, give backstory and context etc.  I just want to get my thoughts out of myself. My own thoughts that belong to me, no matter how trivial.  So here we go.

I went to a meeting on “Mentoring” last week. I went thinking that I really really  want to be mentored in some way. As hard as it is to admit, I have many needs. Not even just needs “right now”, I just have needs. I’ve spent hours contemplating what I would like to grow and improve, and in some ways fix.  And how could a mentor pour into, or speak into that?  Then I walk in the door, and I say. “I am not sure if I need mentoring or if I should be doing it”.  And I really feel that way. I’ve had some out of this world mentoring in my life in the past. I am much of who I am today thanks to people that have poured into me. But it’s been many years since I’ve had any real mentoring. I am in a very different place now, and I am filled with questions. I could think of a million things that I could be taught, that I could learn by becoming an”apprentice” of someone else. I am desperate for someone to ask me “How is it going?”  It’s so funny that with dozens of social media outlets out there, people are “Checking in” everywhere.  But when’s the last time you asked someone, “Hey, how’s that thing going that you were talking about? Have you made any progress? Is that getting any better?” Why are people only superficially engaged these days?”  I would love to be able to say to someone sincerely and with a mix of vulnerability and confidence, “I don’t know what I am doing here. Can you guide the way?”

interestingly enough,I it’s been about 4 days since the meeting, and my hunger to both give and receive is gone. Just going to the meeting satiated something with wanting to be mentored. If I have to be honest, I am afraid of being rejected. Of someone telling me “You have more needs than anyone here could match”. I am afraid that I can’t narrow down one goal that I would like to tackle the most.

However I also need to be pouring into other people too. I really believe I have at least something to give. I can pour-in too.

I am falling asleep “justwrite” ‘ ing this. My job is on a mission to kill me these days.  I will have worked 13 days in a row with no day off coming up. But my blogging thoughts never flow during the wakeful hours.  I even drank a Diet Coke. It has no effect.

I desperately need a vacation. Maybe someone can mentor me to not allow work to swallow up my life. Making me tired, bitter, cranky, no fun, and feeling like I’m just surviving my life.

I want to write more the next time I am awake and coherent.

 

I love love love the welcoming to JustWrite.

 

 

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