Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One Door Closes...

Another One Opens.

My apologies. This transition took longer than I expected.

For those of you still interested in reading my ramblings, I will now be at

Hope to see you there.

Monday, December 31, 2007

The End of the Year

Holy Cow, it's been so long since I blogged that I forgot my password to Blogger! That is a bad, bad sign!

I can't believe it's been almost a MONTH since I wrote here. The month of December went by so fast, with so many holiday preparations at home and at work, that I hardly had time to do anything "fun" -- reading, needlework, etc. And let's face it, I basically "gave up" when it came to food and exercise. Not admirable, but I'm not going to deny it, either.

In a way I'm glad 2007 is almost over. This has been an incredibly tough year for me. While there was no single thing that stands out as a tragedy or a terrible experience, something inside of me seemed to have waved the white flag of surrender and ... not died, but went into a deep hibernation.

The majority of this year I've dealt with low to mid-levels of depression, with a small period of anxiety attacks thrown in for good measure. I'm still trying to sort out how much was physical/chemical/hormonal and how much was psychological/emotional issues. I know both were involved, and it was a lethal combination that has wreaked near-total devastation on my food and weight issues. I've gained back a LOT of weight, way more than I'm willing to admit here in print, although in January I've got a doctor's appointment that will not be a pleasant experience. However, I'm hoping at this appointment to rectify some mistakes I've made with my medications as far as my PCOS is concerned. I'm convinced switching medications at the beginning of last year had a lot to do with my weight gain, lack of energy, mood swings, etc., and I'm going to get on my knees and beg if necessary to go back to what was working before.

I'm not saying it was all biological. I know I got mentally burned out on the dieting, which evolved into a vicious cycle of restricting and binge eating. I thought I was getting a good handle on Intuitive Eating and Conscious Living, but my depression kept getting in the way. I know I still have a lot of issues to work through, the core reasons behind my disordered, emotional eating, and at my last therapy session I asked Dr. K. to begin helping me go through Karen Koenig's "Food and Feelings Workbook." I think having someone to answer to and a deadline to complete the chapters will help me to quit procrastinating and do the work that needs to be done.

I realize now that the last couple months I've been dragged down by huge amounts of negativity and pessimism. I find myself resentful, grumbling and angry way too much. It's been so hard for me to look for the positives in anything, and it's sure hard to feel good about myself when I can't seem to find the good in anything.

I know it's incredibly cliche to jump on the New Year's Resolution bandwagon, but I find myself looking at the new calendar and wanting to make a fresh start. Part of me is scared, because traditionally the January through March period is usually my most depressed part of the year, and I can't bear to think of feeling worse than I do right now. I already feel like I'm scraping bottom, and if I get any lower I'll be underground. It seems like I have no where else to go now but up.

On that note, I have decided to let go of this "Onederful Bound" title and start a new blog. I need to reassess my goals and aspirations, and at this point I can't make it a number on a scale. This is NOT a farewell; I need to write and express my feelings now more than ever. But looking at that title reminds me too much of my self-perceived failure in this one aspect of my life. I think a starting fresh on a new, blank slate may help to let go of the negativity that has taken hold of me.

Don't worry, I will link the new site to this one so anyone who still wants to (those of you who are still checking in on me, my apologies again for my long absence) can find me.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc., and will be able to celebrate the new year. We're having a party at my house tonight, and I'm hoping to paste on a happy face and enjoy myself.

I promise, I will be back.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cleaning House

I know I've been missing in action here in blogland. The holidays are taking a lot out of me: there was all the cleaning before Thanksgiving; at work doing a lot of work ahead of time to prepare for my days off; all the work and preparation on the actual day; cleaning up afterward; visiting with relatives in from Annapolis; my daughter and I catching a cold; then continuing to clean and decorate for Christmas.

I do feel like I've been in a haze, a holiday haze: going through all the boxes in the attic, lugging down the artificial tree (I just can't justify chopping down a living tree every year, plus the expense of them) and all the lights, ornaments and other decorations. On Friday I did a commando shopping trip, bouncing from store to store like a ball in a pinball machine. Over this past weekend I've been working on the Christmas cards; I send about 50, and it involves looking up addresses, signing them all, and yesterday I had a photo shoot with Mabel and the dogs that was incredibly difficult to coordinate.

This past week I've been a woman on a mission: I got sick of my husband and I snipping at each other about our disorganized basement (that I'm still waiting on him to remodel) and decided that something had to be done. Since I'll die an old woman before he would ever organize the stuff down there, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. On Thursday evening I spent a couple of hours on it, and Saturday morning I attacked it again. Even though Hubby swears someday he's going to build more shelves and give me more storage, for now I did the best with what I had, and it looks so much better.

In addition, knowing that bad weather was on its way Saturday night and Hubby would not have any time to do it because of deer hunting, I decorated the front porch for Christmas, too. He claims he's going to put more lights up on the shrubs, etc., I didn't want the front of our house completely dark until Dec. 24th.

Finally, I got sick of asking my husband several times to clean the dog poop out of the back yard and did it myself. It must have been at least a month since this was last done, and I spent at least an hour trying to pry frozen dog turds out of the grass. Mabel helped me clean the other (non-poop) garbage/dog destruction out of the yard, and in addition to my two big buckets of fecal matter, we also amassed a garbage can and a big box full of destroyed dog toys and chewed up wooden lattice from our deck.

Even after that I still wasn't done. I kicked the dogs out of the kitchen and thoroughly cleaned it, too. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I was achy and sore and all I wanted to do was curl up in my comfy chair and watch the season finale of Torchwood. Of course, Hubby came home all full of energy and wanted to go Christmas shopping in Pittsburgh -- which is over an hour away from our home! There was no way I was leaving the house at 6 p.m. and fighting the Christmas shopping crowds after slaving in that house all day.

Lately I feel more like a maid or servant than anything else. There are so many obligations placed upon me; I find myself forced to do so much endless "grunt" work because no one else will. I seem to be inheriting the fate of my mother and her mother, taking on the brunt of all the household responsibilities because the husbands in our lives don't take on what we feel is their share.

Okay, my husband cooks dinner. That's great, and a lot of wives probably envy that. But I'm not sitting around eating bon bons while he cooks. I'm setting the table, getting out condiments, drinks, etc. I usually help carry serving bowls to the table, too, and have to run back to the kitchen because he rarely remembers to bring serving utensils. And once the meal is over, my family instantly vanishes, leaving me to clear and clean the table, put the food away, then wash the dishes, clean the stove top and counters and put everything (kitchen gadgets, spices, ingredients, etc.) back in their places. You can tell he learned to cook in restaurant kitchens and is used to having dish washers take care of everything: in a regular meal he uses several different knives, multiple pots and pans, bowls and sheet pans, then puts the finished meal in separate serving dishes. When he does actually put his tools in the sink he never rinses anything, so by the time I get there all the sauces, cheese, etc., is dried on them, or else he stacks the sink to overflowing and loads up the top item with water, which then topples over and spills all over the kitchen when I'm trying to empty it. There are times I feel like telling him not to cook dinner any more because it seems to make more work for me than if I cooked myself.

I know I sound resentful, like the stereotypical wife who feels overburdened and under appreciated by her family. I'm not writing this to martyr myself to the world, although sometimes I do feel that way, I admit. I do try to voice my needs and my desire for help, but the usual response is "I'll get to it," yet hours or days later I still wind up doing it myself.

The good thing about this past week and getting so fired up about tackling these projects is that it gets me moving and energized. I have less time to sit around and eat; instead of sitting around brewing on my emotions and thinking about binge eating, I'm working off these feelings with scrubbing, lifting and other chores.

My eating still isn't great; the holiday season has brought lots of high calorie foods into the house and they're hard to resist. But at least I'm not sitting for hours ingesting them all until I'm bloated and sick.

Again, sorry for the absence here on the blog. But rest assured, I haven't been idle. I've been thinking a lot as I vacuum, dust and organize, and I'll try to relate those revelations here as I find time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Here's what I'm thankful for:

Today is the last day of work until Tuesday. I've been working especially hard to get everything done, and I think I've been able to do it all with a minimum of mistakes. I'm looking forward for a few days off to spend time with my daughter (who is also getting a break from school and gymnastics), decorating the house for Christmas and maybe making some cookies.

Tomorrow is my family's Thanksgiving dinner and everything's falling into place. My cousin and his wife are bringing their five month-old baby girl Molly and I simply cannot wait to hold her.

I'm grateful that my family is healthy. One of our neighbors unexpectedly died yesterday, and I feel so much sympathy for his family as they have to deal with their grief over the holiday season. My parents are in good health, my husband is fine, and my daughter's a cartwheeling ball of vim and vigor. And I'm doing okay, too.

Despite the cons to living in a very small town, I appreciate the good things about it. Yesterday afternoon I stopped to drop off something to my former neighbor who recently lost her husband (I wrote about this at the beginning of the month) and we wound up talking for two hours. There were plenty of things I was going to do yesterday afternoon -- mainly clean my house -- but this time with her seemed so much more important and precious to me.

I'm also thankful for the other good friends I have, who have been there for me in good times as well as the rough ones.

Yes, I have my share of problems. There are things in my life that I'm unhappy with. Some are within my control and some aren't, even though some of the ones that in theory are in my control seem impossible to change. And sometimes I let these things drag me down and feel miserable. But, like the song we sang in church last Sunday, I need to Count My Blessings. I have to remember all the good things I have, all the positives in my life.

The lady I visited yesterday talked to me about this, too. And her comment was, "When I think I have problems, I look around and what some other people have to bear and I realize I don't have any problems at all." And this is a woman who just lost her husband of 60 years, who has diabetes and probably other issues I know nothing about. If she can have this attitude, I need to take her as an example and realize how fortunate I am.

So, to everyone out there, spend a moment or two in the next 24 hours appreciating the good things in your life. Be thankful for all that you have. I plan to do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Church Lady Snaps

This is without doubt the busiest week of the year at my job. Compare it to the week of April 15 for accountants. To survive this week I have to do a lot of pre-planning, time management and multi-tasking. My biggest headaches come from outside sources: mainly procrastinators and people who expect me to drop everything and get their last-minute requests done.

I am not proud of the fact that I made someone cry yesterday. This is a person who makes tons of demands on me and is always expecting me to fulfill her last-minute requests throughout the year. But yesterday she hit me on the absolute wrong day, and I snapped at her. I didn't even explode on her like I really wanted to, but my obvious aggravation and displeasure was enough to send her over the edge (and let's be frank here: this is a woman who is always teetering on that precipice from all the drama in her life).

Of course when she starts crying I feel awful, although I was kind of confused as she starting gushing about some relative who's dying and doesn't want anyone to know. This made me think that the tears really weren't about me, but then she came back a few minutes later and tried to give me a $20 bill for my "trouble." This started the whole discussion of me not wanting her money, that I just need things in a timely manner, not two hours after I've completed the project she wants to contribute to. I reminded her that I put reminders in the bulletin about this for the past month, and I can only wait so long. But then she was martyring herself all over the place and offering to stay and help me. At that point all I wanted was for her to get out of my office so I could do my work without her tearful theatrics disrupting me.

Then there's this other woman who drives me absolutely crazy. She is the queen of procrastination who feels it's perfectly fine to call me at the last minute -- often at home -- with all her requests. Even though she works at a place full of computers and e-mail, most of her requests are handwritten and left for me on the piano bench in the basement of the church, so I have to go hunting for them. Worst of all, she leads me through her directions like a dim-witted five year-old and often forces me to read back her stuff when she dictates it to me over the phone.

I've slowly been trying to correct this situation with this woman. Two weeks ago she called my house at 9:30 p.m. -- the night before I print the Sunday bulletin -- to dictate an announcement she wanted in there.

"Do you have a pencil handy?" she asked me.

"Um, no," I replied curtly, "I'm in bed."

Boy did she stutter around! I told her to call me in the morning (wishing it would be at the office), but instead she called me at 7:30 a.m. while I was trying to get Mabel ready for school. I of course had to write down her announcement and read it back to her. Oh, and by the way, she needed a bunch of copies made for her Sunday School classes, too.

So this morning she calls me at home again at 7:30 in the morning, asking me to go find her papers in the church basement and make all these copies for her for this Sunday. The same week I've got the newsletter and annual meeting and envelope distribution and poinsettia orders and everything else.

I wanted to unleash holy terror down upon her, but the image of the other lady crying in my office kept me from verbally ripping her head off. I told her I would try to honor her request, but it was awfully last-minute and it's an extremely busy day, not to mention week. She him-hawed around and said if I couldn't do it all, if I could at least do make copies of the one sheet. I told her I would do my best, but that I'd appreciate it if in the future she would get things to me earlier.

I so wanted to tell her to take her copies and shove them up her butt. But what kind of a church lady would I be? I'm supposed to be gracious and helpful and take care of people. But where's the line when you become someone who gets taken advantage of and becomes a doormat?
It's no wonder I've been doing some stress-eating the past couple days. Not a binge, but nervous, mindless eating. I'm incorporating other options to reduce my stress -- yesterday was my appointment with my therapist, I'm exercising in the mornings, I'm trying to read a good book and start my Christmas counted cross stitch projects. But let's face it, it's hard to fight those urges to eat some cookies or some chocolate to soothe myself. But I'm trying.
Today's crunch day, and fortunately things are coming together well. But my personal life is equally jam-packed right now, and this afternoon I have to try to cram in as many errands as possible, especially since the weather man is calling for several inches of snow tonight. Often our road crews aren't prepared for our first major snow, and I'd like to be able to avoid as much traveling as possible tomorrow.
I have to admit the thought of being snowbound in my house for a day sounds nice. Of course, I'll have to disconnect the phone so no one can bother me with their demands. I can just sit back, read my book, do some stitching, and rediscover some relaxation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What Other People Think of Me is None of My Business

Today's better, I guess. I was so busy at work today I didn't get a chance at all until this evening to think about blogging. It's newsletter time, but also time for our church's annual meeting, which means I need to compile agendas, minutes, budgets, reports etc., and assemble them into 200 packets. It's also time to distribute the new offering envelopes, so I had to label all 299 boxes. The Christmas Eve poinsettia orders are due this week, so they're flying in, as well as memorial gifts for a deceased member of the church, and these have to be recorded so I can put them in the newsletter. Oh, and the Sunday School superintendent needed lessons printed up for grades 1-6, and our associate pastor needed 200 copies of his Christmas letter copied. All of this on top of my usual work. Fun fun!

I really kind of worked myself into a bit of a frenzy over this whole ordeal I shared with you yesterday. But at least when I'm upset I'm not compulsively overeating. Hubby and I talked about it more this morning, and I suppose it's as resolved as I'm ever going to get it.

I feel kind of foolish about the whole thing now. I look back at myself and see a whining, spoiled brat who threw a fit because she didn't get her way. The scolding mother in me looks at this little girl and says, "Guess what, kid? Life isn't fair, so get used to it."

I also think I totally set myself up for more disappointment and hurt feelings with my e-mail to him. Looking back, I think I expected him to respond objectively and empathetically -- basically like a therapist would. I wanted him to listen and validate my feelings and not interject his opinions into it or give me any judgments or criticisms. And that just isn't realistic. I know this man pretty well, and he responded pretty much like he always does. He gets defensive, he sees things subjectively and can't help bringing his feelings into it. And let's not forget the family gift of guilt.

I also realize a lot of my upset feelings stems from my age-old quest to win someone's approval. It started with desperately trying to get my dad's approval (i.e. love) and has moved on to peers, teachers, bosses, boyfriends, etc. This also feeds into my difficulty saying no to people and the need to be perfect. I've always had a horrible time coping with criticism, negative reviews and full-out *ss-chewings. I fall apart emotionally because I feel worthless, stupid and unlovable.

Let's face it: Hubby and his family did not approve of my trip, and although they've apparently backed down on their outright disdain (at least to my face) I will never make any of them think it's a great idea. And that's what's felt so unfair this weekend: all of the "boys" were basking in their fully sanctioned, 100 percent approved trips, while I will never get that.

There's a great saying my Mom shared with me: What other people think of me is none of my business. I have to quit relying on outside validation to feel good about myself. I have to tune out those people out there who are out to make me feel bad or that my opinions are shoddy because we don't agree on certain things. I have to stop comparing myself to others and focus on my good qualities and how I can improve the ones that are a little shaky.

So, instead of telling this little girl to suck it up and tell her the world is a cold, hard place, I need to give her a hug, tell her I love her and let her know that things will get better.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sick As A Dog

It's been ages since I've published pictures of my doggies. In case you're new or you've forgotten, Bruno is the yellow one and Pearl is the black one. They are practically inseparable. And did I mention how freakin' BIG they are? It's like having livestock in the house. But like children, they're always so precious when they're asleep.

I put this picture on my entry last night, which has now become somewhat apropos, since I awoke at 2:30 a.m. sick as a dog. Why? Because, folks, I had my first full-blown binge since starting the Wellbutrin. I can tell it's been about a month since I last did this, because my body is already out of practice, and I was miserable.

As I laid in bed chewing on antacids, I tried to figure out why I did this. It didn't take too long to figure it out. Over the course of the weekend I watched my BIL and FIL plan and go on an overnight fishing trip to New York; then on Sunday my husband and his buddies were on the phone all day like a bunch of giddy teenagers planning next year's Alaska trip. It stirred up a lot of feelings about my upcoming trip to England and the unpleasant time I had when I first decided to go.

I thought about how great these guys had it compared to me: no one jumped all over them with guilt and criticism about going; no one judged them and their traveling companions as being morally "unfit" or "deviant"; no one had major discussions behind their backs, ranting what a horrible spouse and parent they are; and no one accused them of being unfaithful to their spouse.

I have tried very hard to get past and forget about what happened to me over my England trip, but it's been very difficult. Even though I've tried to explain it to my Hubby, I don't think he really understands how terribly hurt and angry I was at how I was treated. I rank it as one of the most painful experiences of my life. In Hubby's defense, he and I discussed what happened between us. He apologized, I understood what his feelings were behind his actions, and I was able to forgive him.

I have done my best to put my hard feelings aside and be polite and courteous to his parents, even though it didn't help me begin forgiving when I was told "not to take it personally." I know this is a major exaggeration, but it's like telling the Jews not to take the Holocaust so personally, because the Nazis wanted to wipe out all the homosexuals and gypsies, too. It's continued to be a challenge as I was first given the silent treatment for several weeks. And now I and my England trip have been relegated to the family's Shameful Secrets Closet, where if we never talk about it and pretend it doesn't exist, maybe it will all go away and we can pretend everything's fine. Yet I have continued to try to rise above this. I had no qualms about Hubby inviting them to my family's Thanksgiving dinner; despite what has passed, even I didn't want to see them with nowhere to go on the holiday. But the feelings don't go away.

I dwelled on this (okay, obsessed) over this for several hours, then finally got back to sleep. I didn't wake up until Hubby was walking out the door, so this morning I e-mailed him a basic rewording of what you see above. I told him I'm not telling him this because I don't want him to go to Alaska. I WANT him to go, I want him to have a great time and enjoy all the anticipation leading up to it and relish all the wonderful memories afterwards. I just wish I had been given the same opportunity.

I told him I AM telling him this because I have to get these feelings off my chest and quit burying them with food. I have packed on enough pounds over the last couple months because of it, and it has to stop. Only by feeling my feelings and not hiding them will I be able to break this problem I have.

I feel like a fool for emotionally eating and making myself ill. But at least I was able to realize why it happened and made an effort to stop it in its tracks and not let it continue to fester and run out of control. And maybe next time I can see it coming and prevent a future binge.