Saturday, December 09, 2006

Week Ten Weigh In

Wow have I been cranky! I've been biting heads off, irritable and foul.

There's a lot of things attributing to this: holiday preparations at home and work (this is a very busy time of year for a church secretary!), moving, family stuff, and this weight loss odyssey. There's a hell of a lot going on, the stress is climbing, and I'm feeling it. Oh, and expressing it.

That's a big deal for me, to express my emotions. It's taken me a lot of time to learn that it's okay to be angry. It took me until my 20s to figure out that if I get mad at somebody and chew them out, they won't hate me forever and the relationship is over. I'll never forget flipping out on my best friend from my college days; I was depending on her for something and she let me down, so for once I let her know about it. I was sure the friendship was over, but instead she sent me flowers the next day! I was shocked, and I learned for the first time what the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" really meant. How can anyone know what you want or what upsets you unless you tell them?

The problem is, in the family I grew up in, you could risk severing a relationship permanently by saying or revealing the wrong things. My father and his older brother haven't been on speaking terms for the majority of my life; this same uncle disowned himself from the entire family not long ago. And my father's relationship with his baby brother isn't much better.

I once came fairly close to the ax myself. One evening I looked at my father the wrong way after he did something totally repugnant to one of my other family members right in front of me. I proceeded to get a drunken tirade consisting of "how dare you disapprove of me" and "there's things you've done I don't approve of," blah blah blah. I walked out of the house that night and didn't talk to the man for months. And that was just because I looked at him funny! So you can sort of see why I've had a hard time expressing myself to others.

It doesn't help that my Hubby sends me totally mixed messages. He's always after me to talk to him more about what I'm feeling, to express myself instead of holding everything in. But God forbid if I'm cranky! I get lectured about being so irritable, then told "maybe I should just cancel buying this house if it's going to stress you out so much." One day I'm told not to hold things in, then I'm scolded if I let myself get crabby. I can't win!

Granted, biting other people's heads off isn't the best way to get my needs met. But as I've also learned over the years, sometimes you need to smack a mule over the head with a 2x4 to get its attention (my apologies to those animal rights people out there, I don't really hit beasts of burden with lumber!). I can be Miss Polite, Queen of Tact, nicely asking someone time and time again to "please not do that again," but I tend to be ignored. However, if I flip my lid and holler about it, suddenly everyone looks around dazedly and says, "Gee, I didn't know it bothered you so much!"

Like last night. Hubby gets home from his trip with a load of stuff from $am'$ Club. In he walks with the giant barrel of cheese balls, and I can't help but make a face. "What?" he queries innocently, "I thought you didn't like them."

"I don't like them because if they're around I can't stop eating them!"

"But I thought I did good by getting something that wouldn't tempt you," he replied.

So we go out for dinner. Half of the reason I was cranky was because I have really learned to detest eating out. If I want to eat healthy my options are so limited, and even then I usually have to make special requests. The restaurant we went to offers a vegetarian chili, but serves it on a bed of (white) rice. So I had to ask to have the rice on the side so I could give it to my daughter. Yes, it wasn't an elaborate crazy request, but I'm just the type of person who has always tried to be low-maintenance and has always rolled my eyes at the people who order their food with a million instructions attached.

Then we went to the grocery store. I was so glad we went after the meal so I wasn't ravenously hungry and compelled to buy lots of trigger foods. However. To get to the meat section from the produce section you're pretty much forced to go by the bakery. Hubby walks up to a display table of pies and says, "Which one of these would be the least likely to tempt you?"

If looks could kill... I quickly snapped, "None of them!" I guess he got the hint, because we left without a trace of pie in our cart.

I hate getting angry about this, but he has been told nicely time and time again to please not drag a bunch of junk food home. I don't care what he eats (I mean I do, but I'm not his mother and I'm not going to order him to only eat carrot sticks), but please don't rub my nose in it. And don't leave enough lying around for me to get into when I'm alone! I now have this barrel (and I do mean it -- the thing's huge) sitting in my house, taunting me. I can almost hear it going "neener-neener-neener" at me as I walk by. That's hard enough. But if I had 3/4 of a pie sitting on the kitchen counter winking it's flaky, buttery crust at me, too? Forget it. This afternoon you'd find me in the corner like Little Jack Horner.

But folks, the crankiness paid off! This morning I was thrilled and amazed to see 215 on the scale! Yippee! A four-pound loss from last week! I could hardly believe it. But I had been spectacularly good all week, with food and exercise. It's so nice when it you get rewarded like that.

Now I don't expect any more big losses like that anytime soon. I know I was still coming off the Thanksgiving blow-out, so there was more to p*ss away, so to speak. I'm sure I'll go back to the 1.5, 2 pound losses now. And with Christmas just around the bend? My goal for Jan. 1 is to still be in the teens -- even if it's 219.5 -- and I'm going to do my darndest to achieve it.

Time to go -- Mabel's the Fourth Angel in our church's Christmas play and they have practice this afternoon. My little diva also volunteered to sing "The First Noel" as a solo and somehow got me suckered in to play piano for her! Wish me and my little singing sensation good luck!


Lori said...

Congratulations on the weight loss! Great job.

Have you read any of the "Sweet Potato Queen" books? They have a section in their last book on raising a mule only substituting the word "man" for the word "mule." I don't think you should worry about what you say about what comes into the house. It's a learning curve for you and your husband to adjust.

I think it's a male thing. If I got irritable or tried to make a point, I would hear from both the soon to be ex, Idiot Man and That Guy that I was either very irritable, insecure, or overblowing things. (Pick one.)

My family's a bit like yours; my aunt and uncle wouldn't speak and my father (when drunk) would get very angry if you looked at him wrong.

There's nothing wrong with speaking up or asking for something at a restaurant to help you get what you want.

I eat with a friend of mine; she has no hesitation in asking the waitress to make some changes or substitute something. I've learned to do this at times. And it's hard. But we pay good money for food and we do tip our servers so why not get what we want?

Vickie said...

Has your husband been married before? It sounds like perhaps this is a first marriage for both of you and he is just figuring things out. It does take a while to "break them in you know" - their moms just don't seem to do it - except for my son of course

Ideas for you:

Does he EAT LUNCH OUT? If he is able to do this - it would give him an OUT to eat time without involving you. Also, he can eat PIE then.

Can he keep his snack stuff at work or in the trunk of his car?

My husband says that you have to tell men WHAT TO DO - NOT what not to do - do you have a (posted) list of what you CAN eat and what CAN be in the house?

I also came up with a list of ideas for your socializing group:
bowling, indoor shuffleboard, square dance group, line dance group, card club, games (password, pictionary, etc).

Also, if you haven't done so yet - I think you might consider approaching the person most likely to understand (perhaps who is NOT a relative) and help stand up for you and really explain things to them. You might need an allie. Or work out a trade so that you guys do a VARIETY of things - and eating out is say 1/4 of your time together instead of 100%.

As always, take what is valuable and leave the rest behind.

Vickie said...

I have never really understood the term "passive aggressive" - but I think that is the thing (that we all do!) where we DON'T speak up for ourself - do you know anything about this? Someone mentioned it to me the other day.

I think it is very much a women's thing.

I know that I tend to be the same way - say it nice - they ignore - say the same exact words just a little stronger and they act as if I stung them . . .

Vickie said...

I had one more thought - this is more about me than about you - as I look back on 20+ years of marriage - I wish we had gotten communication help very early on - there was nothing in particular that was a problem - I think we would have just started out EASIER and on more solid ground if someone had worked with us - teaching us good communication skills from the beginning. It is the ONE thing that I would DO if I could do it over.

Grumpy Chair said...

Andrea, congratulations on your weight loss. How great is that, especially during the holidays?!

I love the way you handled the pie situation at the restaurant.

It's tough having those tempting foods in the house, especially little puffed cheese balls.