Friday, September 28, 2007

Woman of Heart and Mind

Over the past 24 hours I've been doing a lot of thinking.

The doctor's appointment went okay. We're cutting down my Lexapro from 20 to 10 mg a day for a week, then see how I feel, and maybe do the 10 mg every other day. In two weeks I'm to call the doctor and let her know how I'm feeling. We're both torn as to what to do next: go off entirely, or switch to something else, namely Wellbutrin. It has less occurrence of the side effects I'm currently experiencing, which sounds good. She needs to check on the Wellbutrin and the binge eating, however, because there is literature saying that people with eating disorders shouldn't take it. This literature is based on anorexia, though, so I don't know if that applies to me.

The other thing that's been hounding at me the last 24 hours has been an odd thing: I feel like I've somehow lost myself, and that this loss of identity is at the root cause of my depression/anxiety (or possibly bipolar II, as Frances pointed out to me in her comments yesterday).

I seemed to step outside of myself yesterday and see this pseudo-soccer mom, struggling June Cleaver wanna-be, and I didn't recognize or particularly like what I saw. There's nothing wrong with being the carpooling, domestic wonder woman who fusses over home made cupcakes for the kids at school or stands at the door with her husband's lunch and brief case in hand to send him off to work. It's just that I never envisioned myself filling this position.

Instead, I suppose I envisioned myself following in the footsteps of one of my idols, like Joni Mitchell. Independent, a free thinker, pushing the boundaries and definitions of being a woman and of creativity. A painter, a writer, a musician, following my muse and not adhering to the antiquated standards of my parents and grandparents. A Woman of Heart and Mind, if you will.

Yet here I am in my Podunk little town, in my little church job, planning my daughter's ninth birthday party and spending my days sweeping and dusting and folding laundry. Where are the paintings? Where are the novels? Where are the albums (okay, it is the 21st century, I should say CDs)? Where is my little cottage in Laurel Canyon with the colored glass bottles in the window? Where are my musician boyfriends who write beautiful songs about me, and my songs about them?

I can't blame anyone else but me for this strange place I've gotten to. Although I did have one big warning sign a year or so ago when my husband gave me a string of pearls as a gift. Those things really freaked me out. He thought they were beautiful, and they are, but all I could think of was June Cleaver and a life of servitude to my husband and my children while chained with those pearls to the house I must clean and present to the world as a representation of my self-worth.

I was watching "Crossing Jordon" on A&E this morning and the one character Lilly (played by Kathryn Hahn, who I just adore, and not only because her name is spelled the same way my middle name is) was having this existential moment about her life. She said something to the effect of "I just thought I was meant for so much more," and it hit me like a rock.

I don't need to be a nationally-known singer/songwriter, some critically acclaimed painter or novelist. But right now I just feel like I should be doing something else, something more. Or that I should be more Me instead of what I think people want or expect me to be.

The problem is, I'm not quite sure what that's supposed to be. Thus my dilemma.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If It Looks Like a Duck...

I'm sure most of you have heard the idiom, "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck."

The more I think about what's going on and what I've written in the last few days, I realize that "if it looks like depression and feels like depression, then it probably is depression."

Why would I be in denial about being depressed? I've always been very pro-active in getting myself help when I need it.

I suppose it's hard to break the stigma/stereotype of depression being a sign of weakness, laziness, etc. And let's not forget how it ties in with obesity. I guess I'm trying to deny I'm depressed because I equate it with gaining weight and getting fatter. And I don't want any of it.

Yesterday I found myself really thinking about this realization and taking a good hard look at myself and my behavior over the last few years. It's been such a tumultuous time, and my moods have been so up and down, it's no wonder I'm crashing and burning now.

I guess the big thing I'm wondering is if this cycle of anxiety and depression could be a form of bipolar disorder. I have two members of my immediate family that I know have been diagnosed with it, a few more in my extended family that I suspect may have/had it, so it's not out of the question. Now granted, I know my highs and lows aren't quite as extreme as the typical bipolar case, but I would think that like any other disorder that there are different levels of intensity.

All I know is, I have to get this under control. I'm tired of being in this fog, of every little thing feeling like a climb up Everest, of not being able to muster up the energy to enjoy anything. Except food, that is.

That's the worst. I have reached the point that I am so sick of turning to food, yet I can't seem to break that compulsive need. I'm at that scary place that thoughts of weight loss surgery seem like my only option. Of course, I know it's going to take more than a Lap Band or cutting up my digestive system to fix this.

Well, today we'll find out. I'll also face the music with my weight. I took a preliminary reading at home over the weekend, so I basically know that bad news. We'll just have to see how bad the official weight will be. The only positive I can see in it is that it's proof that I'm not doing well with this medicine and that I need help. I just hope my doctor sees it that way, too.

Non-Emotional Eating

I have a subscription to a clip art program that gives us royalty-free pictures for our church newsletter. I borrow some of these for the blog, because I figure it's still a non-profit publication that doesn't make me a penny. The best part is the edit caption option, which helped me create the clip art here.

I like having pictures or clip art in my blogs. They often illustrate my feelings, depict where I've been or just tickle my fancy.

I've written before how my husband likes to initiate bedtime discussions, and usually I'm too tired to really contribute or state my case. Well, last night I was lying there with my eyes wide open, and when he started, I was ready.

It wasn't an argument, but I was able to talk assertively and not aggressively about an issue that continues to bother me. To add to my good luck, he did not get defensive about it and was able to see my point of view. I don't think anything was resolved, but every time he can understand how I feel, it's one more step in the right direction.

In addition to discussing this issue, I talked about what I wrote here yesterday -- how I'm feeling and how it's probably associated with the medicine I'm taking. It was during this description to him that the light bulb popped up above my head.

I was talking about how I can't seem to hold on to any real emotion and how empty I feel, and I realized that I'm (over)eating because it seems to be the only sensation I can really enjoy. In fact, it's the only thing I can feel, positively or negatively. Part of it's habit, I know, but I can see that over the last couple months the only thing that has brought me anything close to euphoria is the sensation of eating.

Could you call this non-emotional eating? That I'm eating in response to feeling nothing? I'm to the point now that I'd actually prefer being upset or angry or even anxious, because it's better than this bottomless vacuum I'm in now.

This is an important discovery, and I'm glad this came to me before my doctor's appointment tomorrow so I can tell her exactly what's going on. I'm not sure what she's going to do -- switch medicines, add something else, drop everything -- but something has to change. Because if this continues I'll be back where I started four years ago. And that's NOT where I want to be, ever again.

Thanks, my loyal friends, for commenting yesterday. It was so nice to hear from you and get your support. I feel so bad that I haven't been reading your blogs and staying in touch. Like I said yesterday, my focus and attention is terrible right now, and I can't seem to muster the energy to do it. I'm hoping that will soon change. Please be patient with me. Thanks again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Prayer of the Day

While I'm a church secretary, I don't consider myself ultra-religious. Spiritual, definitely, but not in a strictly Christian way.

However, I just printed out next week's bulletin and I looked at the prayer of the day:

"Benevolent, merciful God: When we are empty, fill us. When we are weak in faith, strengthen us. When we are cold in love, warm us, that with fervor we may love our neighbors and serve them for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

I'm not saying that God is speaking to me directly, but it's odd sometimes how these little snippets of wisdom tend to fall in my lap when I need them.

Filling the Emptiness

It's been too long since I posted. Granted, I've been busy -- somewhat.

But I just can't seem to pull myself out of this funk I'm in. I can't seem to focus and concentrate. It's virtually impossible for me to read -- and I've always been such an avid reader, so this is really frustrating for me. I'm apathetic, lethargic, and worse of all, I can't seem to stop eating.

I'm walking regularly, but last week I didn't get to Yoga or Pilates due to Mabel's illness and this huge party I had to help with. I'm getting the house work done and keeping my family on track the best I can. But I don't have the energy for much else.

And the final icing on the cake -- I'm having problems in the bedroom. This just adds to some issues I've been having in my marriage lately.

While this might sound like depression, I can't seem to even feel enough to be depressed! This includes all emotions -- happiness, sadness, anger, you name it. It's hard to blog when you can't get up enough interest to write about something.

I'm putting a lot of the blame on this medicine I'm on. I just don't think this Lexapro is for me. Fortunately I have an appointment on Thursday to check up on how the medicine is doing, and I'm preparing this list of complaints. Granted, I'm not having anxiety attacks, but this list of cons doesn't seem to make up for the one benefit.

I feel so lost right know. Very empty. Perhaps that's why I keep turning to food -- to fill that emptiness. I hope I can resolve these problems soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Day Off

I was home yesterday with a sick daughter. She wasn't horribly ill, but definitely miserable with a cold, and I decided she needed a day to rest, eat chicken soup and drink English breakfast tea with lots of sugar (her favorite).

Yes, it meant I lost a day at work, and it's a bad time since I've got a bulletin, a newsletter, two weddings and a baptism to prepare for. But I knew I was in a decent position since I'd done so much work ahead of time, so I didn't seek out someone to watch her and I stayed home.

I made it my own mental health day and did almost nothing at home other than cross stitch and the aforementioned soup and tea making.

Today she's back at school and I'm up to my eyeballs in work, but that's okay. I'm tackling one thing at a time, crossing things off my list and not feeling worried about getting everything done. I need to get back to it, but if I have time later I'll try to post some more.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Horsing Around

This weekend was busy, but not in a greatly productive way. You could say I was horsing around.
Friday night Mabel had two friends, sisters, spend the night. They got along very well, no fighting or naughty shenanigans, and they even got to bed at a decent hour (midnight!).
We had an invitation to go out for wings that evening, too, but this sleepover had been planned well in advance. So instead of hanging out with the gang, we ate pizza, and the girls played Monopoly, sang High School Musical and Hannah Montana songs. I spent the evening subtly keeping an eye on them while I did my counted cross stitch.
The next morning I took the three girls out to my mom's place to see all the animals (yes, those are my mom's horses above). She's got a whole menagerie of horses, a pony, a sheep, two burros, goats, chickens, cats and dogs. The girls had a ball petting, and feeding the different critters and even rode the pony.

This visit felt like forever to me (I know, I'm a jaded "been there, done that" girl) and I brought along my newspapers and caught up on the news. But eventually we made it back home, and the girls' mom came and picked them up. I managed to get some more cross stitching done, and I finished this little project for my friend's birthday. This is a great weekend project and comes with the matting and glass with clips. It makes a great present for friends or family, especially those who appreciate "home made" gifts.

Saturday evening Mabel had to cheer at a game, and what a difference it was from the weekend before! At the Sept. 8 game we were fighting for a seat in the shade, and someone actually was dealing with the first stages of heat stroke. On Sept. 15 we wore coats, hats, gloves and snuggled in fuzzy blankets to keep warm.

After the game we stopped at my friends' house (J&M, who are going to London with me), chatted it up for a while and didn't get home until midnight.

I was going to go to church Sunday morning, but Mabel claimed she didn't feel well (sore throat, sniffles) and was being all demanding for tea, soup, etc., so I stayed home with her.

The majority of the day I worked on counted cross stitch again -- this big project I've been working on here and there for the last couple months -- and I really made a big dent in it. At 5:30 Mabel and I went to my friend's birthday party, while Hubby stayed home and started working on preparations for a big meal/party/event we're having next weekend. It was an interesting party-- while it was my friend L's birthday on Saturday, she was celebrating her dog's birthday that Sunday, even getting a cake with her golden retriever's name on it. It was a cute event and we had a nice time.

Oh, another weekend highlights: Mabel was celebrating winning first prize for two different pictures she drew of Tinkerbell at our local community fair. I will have to take pictures of them and post them here so I can boast and brag about my talented little girl.

So yes, another busy weekend. Eating wasn't the greatest, but not terrible. At least when I'm cross stitching I'm not eating. But when I take breaks, I don't make the best choices and have little portion control. But I'm not feeling completely out of control, so I guess that's good.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I have been so crunched for time this week. It's been run, run, run, for my appointments/classes, Mabel's gymnastics, piano lessons. Running to the grocery store, submitting Mabel's artwork to the community fair. Not to mention the constant vigilance I have to keep in my house to keep it from turning into a garbage dump. I swear, how many socks can one family litter all over a house? It's mind boggling.

There are so many things I have to keep track of, mainly because no one else seems able to, for one reason or another. At home it's getting the garbage out on Mondays, watering the plants, where we need to be. In the mornings I remind Hubby what's in the refrigerator for breakfast and his lunch (it's like there's some cloaking device in the refrigerator that renders everything invisible to him), help him find his phone, keys, sunglasses, etc., and ask him what he wants to make for supper. This morning I asked him and he replied for the millionth time, "I didn't even think about it." We have dinner every night, and he cooks 9 days out of 10. How can he forget?

After that I have to follow Mabel around and hound her to get dressed, brush her hair, pick out an outfit that remotely matches, make sure everything's in her book bag and keep her from sneaking out of the house without her eyeglasses.

That's just the morning. I need to start documenting how many times a day one of them asks me where something is. They both get so angry, stomping around throwing toddler fits, until I find it within 20 seconds and hand it to them. How did I become such a master of finding things? I suppose it's because I learned not to rely on someone else to do it for me.

And let's not forget my job. I've bailed one woman out twice this week, taking time out of my day to do things at the last minute that she either forgot about or lost that had to be done before Sunday. It's my job to remind people about meetings, about getting information to me, to make schedules and make sure all the supplies are ordered.

There are a seemingly endless list of things that everyone relies on me to take care of. There have been many times in my life that resentment has built up about this. Fortunately, right now I'm not feeling that. Instead I'm actually finding it kind of self-validating. "Look how needed I am. People rely on me, and for the most part I fulfill their needs. I do a good job and I'm proud of what I accomplish on a day-to-day basis."

I suppose part of me worries what will happen when I leave for a week in January. Not at work: I have become the master of getting work done ahead of time, making things easy not only for my fill-in, but also for myself when I return.

It's home that concerns me. I know how quickly my family can decimate our house. In a 48-hour weekend our home can go from clean and tidy on Friday afternoon to a cluttered shambles on Monday morning. Granted, no one is going to die in a week's time. However, my family will probably walk around in a daze (actually, probably stumbling through piles of shoes and socks), then roll around in the floor in a tizzy when they can't find anything, and they'll have to eat out every night because no one will remember to make supper plans.

I don't even want to think about the mess I'm going to come back to. But I'm not letting it keep me from going. I'll just have to slug through it and deal with it.

Another busy weekend coming up. I'll try to post if I can.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Deed is Done

Well, there's no going back now: the plane tickets have been ordered. I am London bound.

Hubby came home yesterday from work and said this issue is resolved, saying, "You do what you need to do." Not a resounding endorsement, but I didn't really expect a complete turnaround and overwhelming support from him.

On Sept. 10 Linda Moran wrote a blog that really struck home, especially with this situation. I am a person who really craves validation, and I went to several people to get their input on this decision. I realize this is a sign that my confidence is not the best, that I'm not content with my own thoughts and opinions and need someone else to tell me I'm right.

In this instance I received overwhelming support for my decision to go. I brought up my pros and cons, and time and time again I was told that this was an opportunity I shouldn't pass up. Not surprisingly, the only disapproval I've received about this has been from my husband and his parents. It's not that I completely discount their opinions, but taken with all the feedback I've received, they were in the vast minority.

Will I continue to deal with fallout from this decision? Probably. But like my IE gurus say, it won't be anything that I can't tolerate. And if it crosses the line, then I address it.

By the way, the eating has been going pretty well recently. There's nothing like being assertive and taking care of myself to lead me away from binge eating.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Yesterday the tension between Hubby and I grew and grew. It was so uncomfortable, yet I wasn't completely sure if it was completely over this London trip or if had to do with other stressful events that have beset my husband this past week.

Nevertheless, I kept my distance, which wasn't hard since we spent the afternoon at our church picnic. A few of the kids wanted to come to our place to swim, so I watched them while he visited with his parents.

Later that evening, however, things came to a head, and he kind of blew a gasket over this trip. I did my best to stay assertive and not aggressive, or worse yet, shut down and give up. At the end of his tirade I had to leave the room. I truly felt at that moment that I was going to have to give up this trip, because it simply wasn't worth this much strife between us.

But then, after a few minutes, Hubby followed me into the kitchen apologizing for his irrational behavior. I said it was clear I couldn't go, because if I do he'll make my life miserable because he's so upset about it. He told me I should go (which honestly felt like deja vu from Friday) and that he's just going to have to get over his issues. I got some more apologetic emails this morning from him, too. Yet after all of this I'm still not sure if Hubby is okay with it.

So here I am, not sure what I'm supposed to do. My friends want to book our airline tickets tonight; SS is researching B&Bs in London. The time of final decision has arrived.

I've been put in an unpleasant situation. If I say yes I make myself happy, yet my husband won't be. If I say no he'll calm down, yet I'll be full of regret. Is it time to be selfish or selfless? Is it time to assert myself or back down?

You could say I'm torn.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

In the Dog House

This morning SS called to check in with me about the trip to London. I said I couldn't imagine getting a better deal on tickets (I expected to pay 2-300 dollars more) and knew I'd regret not going. So he and our other friends are going to finalize dates tomorrow night and get these tickets ordered.

My husband and my mother were in the room during the phone call. I overheard Hubby say to my mom, "Well, I guess she's made up her mind." And when I hung up, he said to me, "I guess you're more than leaning towards yes."

"How can I pass up a deal like this?" I replied.

But apparently he knows how, because he's been giving me the silent, unhappy treatment ever since. He and I are both people-pleasers at heart, and I think he knows that it kills me when I know someone's displeased with me.

It's so unfair. I've never given him any guilt or resistance to any of the trips he's taken without me. He claims it's because it's "mixed" company. For Pete's sake, the one guy is gay, and the other extremely devoted to his wife. There is absolutely no chance of any shenanigans.

He asked me what I would think if he announced he was taking a trip with a married couple we know and a lesbian. "Yeah? So?" I replied.

He claims our small town will "bash" me about taking this trip with these people. I responded that it's really nobody's business where I go and with who. "What am I supposed to tell people if they ask me where you are?" he asked. "I'm on a trip with some friends," I answered.

He's concerned about Mabel getting ready for school, because he has to leave early in the morning. My mother's already volunteered to stay here and take care of her in the mornings.

He brings up the money issue. I countered that I get money for Christmas from my parents and that should cover it.

I've answered every question he's raised, but it comes down to the fact that he doesn't like me leaving him alone, and worse yet having fun with someone other than him. I understand this, but yet again, it's a double standard. I know, life isn't fair, but in this instance I think it should be.

Anyway, I think I'll be in the dog house for a while around here. At least when something like this happens it makes me not want to eat.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tickets, Money, Passport!

Whenever I'm preparing for a trip, as I'm heading out the door, I cry out, "Tickets, money, passport!"

It's a quote from one of my all-time favorite shows, "Absolutely Fabulous." Eddie Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders, at left) is leaving for Morocco and is heading out the door, then comes flying back into the house screaming these words because she's forgotten all three important things. I say this so often my husband now sometimes rattles off this checklist before we leave the house.

I've lost my passport. I was sure I had it in our safe with our other important documents. Everything else was there -- Social Security card, birth certificate, marriage license, etc. -- but no passport. It was due to expire next year, but still, it would have been nice to find it. I'll probably find it six months from now in some crazy demented place. Oh well.

So, before I ventured to my new Pilates class, I went to AAA to get a new picture taken, then to my county Prothonotary's office to fill out the paperwork for the new passport.

Did I mention it looks like I'm going to England? SS sent me an email saying Virgin Airlines has a fantastic deal ($311 from Washington DC to London) in the time frame we want to go. It's hard to beat that and seems like a sign that I should not miss this opportunity.

So I told Hubby yesterday I was leaning towards yes on this trip. Let's just say he is not a happy camper about it. In fact, our discussion even got a little heated, with him coming up with a multitude of reasons why I shouldn't. But none of them were really legitimate, and he knew it. He finally grudgingly relented, but I know he is still against it. I'm steeling myself for the fallout that I know will continue to come.

Anyway, about my Pilates class. There were about six of us, I'm guessing in age from 30s to 60s. Some were regulars, some of us were newbies, and a variety of shapes and levels of fitness/flexibility. The instructor gave us a background and history of Pilates, then ran us through some very basic warm up exercises and focused on breathing and posture.

While it was different from the Winsor Pilates tapes I was doing at home, some of the basic principles were the same, so I didn't feel totally inexperienced. The yoga work over the past month helped me keep up, I think, since I haven't done any Pilates since May.

The great thing about doing Pilates is that through the rest of the day I kept pulling my navel to my spine (any Pilates people out there will know that phrase) and adjusting my posture. Even after an hour it really starts to effect me and gets me more in tune with my body. I'm very happy about this, because this has been lacking in my life recently, and now I have both the yoga and the Pilates to help.

The food/eating has been okay. Not fantastic, but definitely a lot better than the past two weeks. There hasn't been any all-out binging, the secretive hiding of binge foods has decreased, and I don't feel compelled to overeat to the point of misery. I've caught myself several times wanting to eat more but recognizing that it is a mental desire, not physical hunger, and that stops me.

If only eating and the sensations of the scent, tasting, chewing, etc., weren't so damn pleasurable! I realize that it is this what I'm addicted to, not necessarily the sugar or the carbs. It's the physical act that draws me in. It's a distraction from the thoughts in my head and an escape from stress, boredom, etc. That's why things like cross stitch, yoga, Pilates, etc., are so good for me; they are another kind of in the moment activity but are so much more positive, productive, and let's face it, less fattening!

So I must say, a week into this "revamping," progress is being made. I can't ask for much more than that.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Are You A Heffalump or a Woozle?

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!
I was so sure I was going to be an Eeyore. But apparently my negativity and pessimism aren't as bad as I thought. My mothering skills, however, seem to have come to the forefront.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Fruit of My Action

I was feeling so cruddy last night and I went to bed early to read a little before Hubby came up and did his imitation of a cat -- he snuggles up to me, arms around me, and basically stares at me two inches away from my face as I read until I look at him, to which he replies, "Am I bothering you?"

I opened up "Practicing the Power of Now" to page 44, and here's what I found:

"DO NOT BE CONCERNED WITH THE FRUIT OF YOUR ACTION [his bold and caps] -- just give attention to the action itself. The fruit will come of its own accord. This is a powerful spiritual practice.

"When the compulsive striving away from the Now ceases, the joy of Being flows into everything you do. The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfillment and satisfaction -- you don't look to it for salvation. Therefore, you are not attached to the results. Neither failure nor success has the power to change your inner state of Being [my italics]. You have found the life underneath your life situation.

"In the absence of psychological time, your sense of self is derived from Being, not from your personal past. Therefore, the psychological need to become anything other than who you are already is no longer there. In the world, on the level of your life situation, you may indeed become wealthy, knowledgeable, successful, free of this or that, but in the deeper dimension of Being you are complete and whole now [again my italics]."

While I'm no expert at being a conscious person, reading this passage did make me feel better because it reminded me that these little bumps in the road, these successes and failures, do not change my inner Being.

When Hubby did come upstairs I addressed last night's ice cream incident, and somehow in the process of telling him how it made me feel he said something to the effect of "now we're even." While I knew he was joking (although it's often said there's a lot of truth in joking), I threw the notion out there that it was a passive-aggressive way to get back at me for something he's upset about.

Last week my friend SS invited me to join him and our other friends J&M on a trip to London in January. SS and I are ginormous Anglophiles, addicted to British entertainment, and he's been there several times and knows his way around. His partner B won't be able to go because he's just starting out as the sommelier of a great Tapas restaurant in D.C., so I would basically be SS's travel companion and make the trio a quartet.

SS, J & M have been three of my closest friends for many years. They have been like siblings to me and have been there for the best and the worst of times. Since SS moved to D.C. and I got married, I haven't spent nearly as much time with them as I used to, and I miss that. So this would be a fantastic opportunity to do that as well as go to a city I've always wanted to explore.

When I brought up this invitation to Hubby he was not happy. He admitted this was irrational and a double standard -- I've never complained once over his Alaska trips and actually encourage him to spend more time with his friends -- but it wasn't changing how he felt. Hubby and his family feel that couples should do almost everything together and do very little apart. They are in to constant togetherness to the point of suffocation, at least to me. Both my sister-in-law and I deal with the situation of wanting to spend time with old or new friends and dealing with husbands who try to make us feel guilty about it.

After his displeased reaction last week, I let it drop for a while, telling him I was still thinking about it and nothing was set in stone. During that time I've talked to a few people about it, trying to get reaction and feedback, and every single person has said I should go.

Yesterday afternoon I brought home some books out of storage and found my book of walking tours of London (obviously I've always dreamed of this). Hubby saw it and asked if I had thought more about the trip, and I told him I was leaning toward yes. I could tell he wasn't happy.

About half an hour later I gave him a kiss on his neck and he responded, "Don't try to butter me up!" At first I thought he was busting me for saying something similar to him (when he first got home he went on this rant about me being the most perfect, beautiful, sexy woman in the world, and I asked him if he was buttering me up for something). But then I realized he thought I was trying to make up to him for saying I wanted to go to London.

I don't respond well to guilt trips, which is what this clearly was. Which made it even funnier when later that evening he got so insulted that I accused him of being passive aggressive and said he never does that. Actually, his reply was something to the effect that I may be used to passive aggressive behavior, but he and his family don't do that kind of thing. Which made me laugh right in his face because anyone who knows him and his family know they are well versed in this behavior. But my initial laugh quickly turned to anger and I told him I was not going to get into a p*ssing match with him about whose family is better, and he retreated on that subject.

While he denies the ice cream was a roundabout punishment for me telling him I'd like to take a trip with my friends and not him, he did admit that he screwed up. At first he thought getting the ice cream would make me happy, but when he walked through the door he realized that the happiness would last maybe two minutes and then I'd feel bad the rest of the night. But by then it was too late.

I guess I should see this as progress. At least he's beginning to figure it out. Maybe next time he'll realize this before he buys the ice cream and will prevent another incident like this.

I'm glad I confronted him about this. I don't know what the fruit of my actions will be, but at least I made the effort and stood up for myself.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Does This Mean I'm 12 Percent Evil?

I feel like such a tool. A dope. A weak-willed addict.

I did so well today. I ate intuitively and felt really good about it. Hubby and Mabel went out this evening to the convenience store for an evening snack and I didn't ask for anything because there was nothing I really wanted.

Mabel walked back in to the house licking on an ice cream cone from the soft serve place across the street from the convenience store.

"Hey," I started to say in jest (because even after seeing her cone I really didn't feel hungry), "If I'd known you were going there--"
I was interrupted by my husband putting an Aloha Sundae under my nose.

"Mabel said this was your favorite."

Now, the assertive, intuitive, strong willed, non-compulsive me would have said "Thank you, but I'm not hungry right now, " and I would have thrown it away (because it wasn't the type of dessert that would keep, even in the freezer).
But no -- I'm weak, compulsive, and have it ingrained in my head not to waste food. So I ate it. And because I really wasn't hungry I had no gauge of fullness and ate it all.

I know I'm being hard on myself. I could turn it outward and blame Hubby for sabotaging me (he even said he needs to keep his wife "fat and sassy" --aargh!) but that's a cop-out. It doesn't help that he's now lost almost 40 pounds this summer with the help of Meridia.

I did say to him that he needs to call me next time before buying me food. But of course I've dealt with this behavior from him before, addressed it, and yet it's still happening. Maybe because I'm not getting angry enough. Good pal Lori always says people like my Hubby need the good ole' 2x4 over the head treatment for them to even begin to get the picture.

But it still comes down to me. I need to learn to look at a bowl of ice cream and consider myself and my body's needs more important than the few dollars that bowl of food cost.

Perhaps I need a 2x4 over my own head to finally figure this out.

Bound for Sainthood?

I'm still kind of floored by this.

You Are 88% Good

You are not only a good person... you are a model citizen and a natural leader.
Whether you know it or not, your high moral standards and good judgment is truly rare.
You don't take ethical short cuts in life. You are able to do what's right - even when it's very difficult.
And while it may seem like no one else is as on track as you are, take heart in knowing that you set a good example for others.

You are also probably: Very sensitive and in tune with the world

Right now you are on track to being: A saint

To be a better person: Gently mentor someone who is taking the wrong path in life
(Thanks to Bigassbelle for this link)

The Tell Tale Tops

Okay, first off, this is not a picture of me. It's some anonymous stock photo I found online. And in all honesty, I wish that was me!

Reality hit home this morning when I was looking for a shirt to wear and all my "skinny" tops were too tight. Mostly around the belly. What a bummer.

Now granted, today is the first day of my Time of the Month, so it is the most bloated day of my month. But still, these clothes fit me just fine in May, and now they look awful.

There's just no denying that I have been diving head first into food, solacing myself in fat, sugar and carbs, and now I'm facing the consequences. I don't need a scale to know I've gained weight, enough to make a noticeable difference.

Now on to the good news. This morning I arose with my husband's first alarm (his clock has two, one that goes off at 5:20 a.m. and and another at 5:30) and went out for a two-mile walk. It almost turned into a two mile kicking-myself for not keeping up with it this past month. I do feel so much better, more alert and awake when I do this.

This morning I also had a healthier breakfast, and I'm noticing I feel better with this in my system, too. Not a "diet" meal, but a reasonably portioned, well-balanced breakfast.

Today I'm starting new hours at work, which involves staying over part of the lunch hour. Because I have my yoga class at 1 p.m., I packed a lunch. Again, I didn't prepare a diet meal of celery and carrot sticks, but a "normal" portioned, nutritionally-balanced lunch that I will enjoy.

This morning I finally jumped back into my IE group digest emails, and if I have time I will try to visit some blogs and see how my Blog Friends are doing.

I know I'm full of optimism and excitement right now, and I do fear I'm tackling this like a diet. I hope the fact that I'm not counting calories, measuring food or making certain foods forbidden will keep that from happening. I don't expect any miracle results and will be gushing at the end of the month that my skinny clothes fit again. But I do admit that I'm finding great satisfaction in the fact that I've got a plan, I'm re-establishing routines, and it feels good. I just want to be able to look back at the end of my day and feel that I've taken care of myself -- physically and emotionally.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Falliday

On the Today show this morning they did a piece on Labor Day being the new New Years. Think about how much starts this time of year: school, football season, the new network TV shows, I could go on but I won't bore you. At the end of the segment they were using the phrase "Happy Falliday," which was kind of cute.

I realized as I watched this piece that yesterday's post could have easily been written on Dec. 31 and been a list of new year's resolutions. So I've definitely taken on this notion of the new New Years before I even saw it on TV. I'm such a trend setter!

I didn't really adopt any of my new goals today, but I didn't really expect to. But I didn't overeat terribly or have any kind of "last supper eating" either. It helped that we didn't have any picnics or events to go to and we lounged around the house most of the day.

Tomorrow, however, is back to the "grind," and even though it's going to be a shorter week with the holiday it already feels like I'll be getting back into the groove shortly. I sure hope so.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Making Goals

It's Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. and it's a busy one for me -- no surprise.

I thought this past week things were "magically" coming back into place for me, but it's not happening as fast as I'd like. While I'm now beginning to catch myself in disordered eating and often talking myself out of gorging, eating seconds or thirds, what have you, it's not all the time.

I'm still caught up in a lot of mindless, emotional, and dysfunctional eating. Even after all those years of restricting and learning new behaviors, it's scary how fast I can return to the old ones and how normal they still feel.

And boy am I feeling the weight gain. I'm staying away from the scale, partly because it's the IE thing to do, but also because I'm terrified to see how much I've actually gained. I have a doctor's appointment at the end of the month and I know they'll weigh me then, so I'm forcing myself to wait.

The diet mentality would lead me to believe that if I start dieting now, by the end of the month I could probably knock a lot of this off. But I know where that would really lead me -- back to the diet/binge cycle.

What I need to do is get back to my routines, get some structure back to my life. Now that we're getting back into the groove of school, it's time.

Here are my goals:
1. Get back to walking at least four days a week.
2. I'll be doing my yoga class on Tuesdays and a Pilates class on Fridays. I want to try to do two other strengthening/toning sessions on my own at home each week.
3. I pretty much have all the binge foods out of the house. My goal for the month is to keep them out. I'm not banning all junk food, etc. But I'm going to either limit them to eating out (ice cream, dessert at a restaurant, etc.), or bringing home a single serving.
4. I'm going to get back to reading some kind of IE material every day, whether it's one of my books or one of my Internet IE resources.
5. I'm going to get back to blogging more regularly -- if not every day, every other day. It's too easy to fall into mindless, unconscious behavior when I'm not checking in with myself.
6. I'm also going to get back to reading my favorite blogs. I feel like such a bad Blog Friend by not checking in and commenting to those people I've really grown attached to. Again, my apologies.

That sounds like a big list, but a lot of them tie into each other. You'll notice that other than #3, there's no talk of counting calories or fat grams, banning foods, i.e. a diet. I know that #3 will be the most difficult, because this past week as the binge foods have been disappearing I've noticed myself walking around the house in a panic that I don't have something to gorge on. That's really not good. A real sign of addiction/compulsion. And something has to be done about it. I have to sit with this anxiety, break it apart and get into the reasons behind it. It won't be pleasant, but it has to be done before I find myself at a doctor's office reading 300 on the scale again.

I'm heading off to church shortly, then a bunch of us are heading to Johnstown for the Folk Fest. It's a lot of music and yes, food. But at least we'll be walking around and not sitting at a picnic table shoveling food in our gullets all day. I'll let you know how it goes.