Weighty Matters

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What I Feared

In the conversation I had last night with a dear friend, we both talked about resisting weight loss surgery years ago. I remember about five or seven or whenever years ago, my sister-in-law asked me about it and I said that I was afraid to have the surgery.

At the time, and for years, I firmly believed I was afraid of the surgery itself. I feared that something would go wrong. Or so I thought and said.

What I really feared came through loud and clear for me today while I was in the shower. I was afraid to give up my crutch. As destructive as my eating behaviors were/are, as much damage as my super obesity was doing to my health, I feared giving up the behaviors and putting down the quantities of food. I think it’s a real sign of the depth of my disease that I continued to choose that which hurt me in the present and jeopardized my future because I was afraid of trying to live without it. Does that qualify as the devil you know?

It feels like I’m focusing a lot these days on the aspects of my eating disorder and diseased thinking. For me, it keeps coming up which indicates that I’m ready to work on it, pick it apart, understand myself more and move on from it into healthier ways.

Since reading that essay a few nights ago, I’ve reminded myself every morning to make the choice to live in recovery. It isn’t that I haven’t been doing it, but every day I actually say the words out loud to myself. Today I choose recovery. That sentence packs a lot of punch. It sends a message to my old fears that they are not the option. It not only internally strengthens my intention, but it also means that turns it into a public declaration. Ok, I don’t run around telling other people, “Hey, today I choose recovery”, but somehow speaking it aloud makes it more real.

After having the thoughts this morning, I pondered a lot about how I really feel about not using food in the old diseased ways. Choosing recovery takes the drug impact qualities away from food and allows it to be its appropriate role in my life — nourishment. It’s okay to derive reasonable pleasure from the taste as long as I don’t imbue it with lots of other traits that aren’t healthy.

What I’m finding, much to my satisfaction and delight, is that I’m okay with food just being food. I don’t need it to be anything else, so I have no need for fear. I can give up my crutch, shelter, armor and do very well with it, thank you. There isn’t anything that I’m going to face or deal with that requires me to overeat in order to cope. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I’m strong. I can handle anything.


Endless Possibilities

I emailed the man who wrote the essay that I cited in yesterday’s blog. He wrote me back and told me about a new book he has out. He also commented that it seems a number of bariatric surgery patients develop alcoholism and he doesn’t know why.

I wrote back and clarified that I’m not an alcoholic but that the 12 Step teachings help me a great deal with my addiction to compulsive eating behavior, binge eating, etc. I also offered up from my personal experience that it doesn’t surprise me that someone would transfer their food issues and pick up a different drug of choice, i.e. alcohol or narcotics. I’m grateful every day that I choose to delve into my issues and emotions, go deep into the past, including my triggers and everything else. It’s important that I do all this work for my recovery, even when the work is painful. The only way out is through. If I don’t do the processing, I could easily find some way other than binge eating to numb the feelings.

When I was active in OA, we frequently were joined by people from a local outpatient drug/alcohol rehab program. They’d discovered that when they stopped using drugs and alcohols, they began to eat more sugar and fat-laden carbs etc. These addiction transfers are all too common.

I also shared with the man that we who have had bariatric surgery don’t tolerate alcohol very well. I used to have a good head for drinking. Now, it goes right into my bloodstream and I’m muddled from less than a single glass of wine, so I’m careful about when/if/how much I might imbibe.

Anyway, I hope the info is helpful. I know that I connected with the message of the man’s essay in a big way. I woke up early this morning – 6:00 a.m. — to a day where the wind finally laid down. By 6:15, I was on my bike, pedaling toward the beach. It was a beautiful morning. I could see the sun breaking on the horizon meanwhile, over my shoulder, the almost-full moon still glowed bright. Amazing.

A little earlier tonight, I called a dear friend of mine who had weight loss surgery about a year ago. She had both her knees replaced in June. Like me, her life, health and ability have dramatically improved. We talked for quite some time about a lot of things, but one thing kept resonating. We talked about the possibilities we have in our lives today. Honestly, we both know how, before we had the surgery, it was so hard to envision that our lives could change so much — and so much for the better.

When I was at my lowest point, I could scarcely wrap my brain around the possibilities. I couldn’t bring myself to really believe that it could happen, let alone that it would. It was honestly hard to hope. Now, activities and adventures that super obesity had rendered near-impossible are not only possible, I actually do them! I used to spend a lot of time stressing and worrying about so many things. Some I automatically discounted, so sure was I that my weight or diminished physical strength stood in my way. Others I feared even trying.

I live, work and play in an entirely different world now. Nothing is impossible. It’s no longer a matter of whether I can, I know I can. Living life unlimited is amazing.


Going to Any Lengths

A few minutes ago, I wasn’t sure what to blog about tonight. A couple of thoughts and ideas flitted around in my brain. Earlier today I changed the setting on my alarm clock to 6:00 a.m. I am determined to wake up on purpose early every day so that I can get in solid exercise before I get ready for work.

Thinking about that made me think about a phrase that I heard first in Al-Anon and then later in OA. It comes from AA’s “Big Book”. “If you’ve decided you want we have and are willing to go to any lengths to have it, then you are ready to take certain steps.”

That was exactly what I needed to hear again tonight and remember. Being willing to go to any lengths to recover is a huge choice and a defining moment. It isn’t easy to always maintain — that commitment of willingness — but it’s necessary, or recovery will be a fleeting thing.

With this in my head, I Googled so that I could find the exact reference. Instead, I found an absolutely kick-ass essay online. From 2011, it’s attributed to John MacDougall, the Director of Spiritual Guidance at Hazelden — a famous addiction treatment center. Click here to read the entire essay.

Regardless of the drug of choice for the addict — narcotics, alcohol, food — the addiction itself is powerful, often it feels more powerful than any frail human willingness. This essay, however, reinforces another power — the power to choose recovery. I also love when Dr. MacDougall says that we don’t negotiate our recovery.

I must choose my abstinence from compulsive eating, choose my recovery, every day. Then, as Dr. MacDougall says, I find out what the price each day will be. Some days, like today, will be relatively easy. Some will take more effort and require me to give up more in order to sustain my recovery another 24 hours. The price might mean not eating that unplanned dessert or not giving into the anger/upset/stress caused by a situation I run into. Whatever the case, I cannot, will not, wake up with anything less than total commitment. It doesn’t work to say that I will remain abstinent as long as it’s a good day or as long as nothing happens that stresses me out, or even as long as I don’t get a super craving for a favorite food that isn’t on my plan.

A high level of commitment in action engenders successful recovery. That’s what I want. I’m willing to go to any length to achieve it.


Food Plan vs Diet

You might have noticed that I rarely call what I’m doing dieting. That’s deliberate. I hate thinking of being on a diet so I try to keep my brain trained on following a healthy food plan which, right now, is also intended to be a losing plan. But not a diet. 🙂

Why, you might ask, am I so resistant to a simple word? I admit that there are a lot of negative memories and experiences infused in that simple four letter word. When I think of a diet, I automatically think of every single extreme, desperate, or even crazy thing that I tried over the years. Many of these were medically supervised, thank God, or I could be dead.

I can’t remember if my first structured commercial diet was Weight Watchers, or if it was the fat camp that I went to when I was 11. Here’s all that I’ll say about fat camp — it knocked off the pounds and we were definitely physically active, so it wasn’t a bad experience. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn enough to transition the benefits to my every day life for very long.

What I remember most about Weight Watchers was Mom driving me to the weekly classes, hating the weigh-ins, and Mom also buying some of the foods. (This was long before WW had their full lines in grocery stores.) I also remember being forced to eat tuna, which I hate. I don’t like any seafood. The only way I could choke it down was if I drowned the taste in mustard. Still, Weight Watchers is not a horrible, extreme diet to follow. Even back then it was well thought out.

So, those were the least extreme diets in my life. Now let’s get to the other end of the spectrum. In college, some doctor released the first liquid protein diet. My father checked it out and I believe it was a sign of how desperate my folks were for me to get healthy that he ever greenlighted me for it. Mom took me to the first appointment. Basically, all I took into my system for months was this viscous red, godawfultasting protein liquid. Not very much of it at that. It’s a wonder I never passed out, but I lost weight. My body fed itself on its stored fat. I took the train into NYC from school every week for a check up and to get my new supply of liquid. I was deep in ketosis, had to constantly guard against bad breath, and emotionally miserable. I can’t remember how long I stayed on this diet — maybe six months? — but I never did reach goal weight. Of course, as soon as I stopped and began eating, I put the weight right back on.

Next on the extreme scale, was one that earns its ranking for weirdness and unproven methodology. A local doctor claimed that shots of human placenta would accelerate weight loss. I don’t remember now if that was before or after my Dad’s death. I know I was an adult and Mom went with me the first time for moral support. I can’t even remember what the eating guidelines were for this program. The doctor was definitely on the creepy side. I didn’t last long with this effort.

The most successful diet I went on, prior to the weight loss surgery effort and my current success, was another one that focused primarily on protein. Nine ounces of protein a day and a cup of salad a day. No starches, no fruit at all. I ate so much chicken that year, I’m surprised that I didn’t cluck upon waking. I lost 103 pounds. Because this was another extreme plan, I went to the clinic three times a week for monitoring and also attended the weekly discussion class.

Sprinkled among the years were more attempts with Weight Watchers and forays into other popular plans like Optifast and other similar ones. I was a yo-yo dieter for sure. In 1996-1997, I consulted a nutritionist and had decent success, helped by one of the popular “diet” drugs. That drug was later pulled from the market because of it possibly causing heart problems.

After that, except for a couple more Weight Watchers online attempts, I really didn’t have any big loss successes until I decided to do the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. One could say that my current food plan is pretty extreme, but it doesn’t seem crazy. I eat enough and it’s well balanced. There just isn’t much to it. Honestly, I think I eat healthier now than I have ever, and not just in terms of quantity. I really do make an effort to eat lower fat and less sugar. I don’t eat a lot of junk starches. Fast food restaurants, which were once staples in my weekly eating, are now places I drive by instead of drive-through.

It’s almost two years since I had the surgery. Two years where I have either steadily lost weight or, when I’ve plateaued, at least maintained the weight loss. This is a record for me in terms of time. It’s been a terrific confidence boost too. I grow less scared that I’ll ultimately screw up again with every day that I soldier on. I still want to lose the remaining pounds. When I do, I don’t yet know what the maintenance food plan will look like. However, I feel really strong and positive that I can incorporate this one for life.


Evening Out

First of all, thanks again to everyone for your comments and support on yesterday’s post.

After posting, I did just what I said I would. I soaked in the bath and went to bed. This led to me waking up early. It’s been blowing high winds the last few days. I honestly would not enjoy biking in 30 mph winds with higher gusts, can you blame me? So I turned on my in-home walking program and did the two mile program. I then took the dogs out for another three quarters of a mile. All this before 7 a.m. I had another busy day today, but one that had me outside and walking around a lot. I also walked the dogs again when I got home. It’s no surprise that I topped 11,000 steps today. Booyah!

Emotionally, I evened out for the most part today. Every once in awhile, upset bubbled up. I didn’t stuff it back down, but I kept it in balance and didn’t let it swamp me either. Even emotions help me keep my eating on track.

I’m not surprised that my shoulder and arm don’t hurt as much as they did. That said, I’m planning to call the massage therapist tomorrow and see if she has any openings on Saturday afternoon. Being good to myself is important, and that includes being good to my body. I can do a lot of that by feeding myself healthy food on my plan and exercising. Getting a massage is therapeutic. I need some of that care and it’s important that I arrange to receive it.

Good self-care — mentally, physically and emotionally. Practicing that will keep me in recovery. I have a goal and refuse to postpone achieving it.

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Defined by Disease

I am in a really lousy place emotionally tonight. I’m upset, angry, sad, grieving, embarrassed. Oh hell, pick an emotion that isn’t happy and I’m sure I’ve experienced it. About a half an hour ago, I was on the verge of a meltdown in Tai Chi class while I was leading the set. I think somehow the emotional distress locked onto the shoulder pain I’ve been experiencing, or something, but as we neared the end of the 90 minute class, my arm hurt with every move. I could no longer focus on the set and what came next — not good when other people are following you — and I had to stop. I left the class for a few minutes and went outside but knew if I just left and went home, I’d leave concerned people, so I went back inside and sat down until the set was over. I then gathered my things, mumbled something about hurting and needing to get home and split.

I started crying in the car, so badly did I just want to be here. So, what caused this? I think it’s a combination or a culmination or somenation of things. Bear with me while I try to sort it out.

Fifteen years ago today, my mother died. I knew the anniversary of her death was approaching and it honestly wasn’t something that I dreaded. Do I still miss her? Oh, you better believe it. But the missing her didn’t trigger the upset. An hour or so before class, I’d shared this message on FB: “Fifteen years ago, we said goodbye to a very special woman. She was my hero, role model, teacher and so often the wind beneath my wings. Then, now, always, I love you, Mom.” My mother was all those things and more. She was also an alcoholic. Sometimes she was in recovery, sometimes not, but the fact that she had a disease did not negate all of her wonderful qualities.

Still, the thought hit my consciousness like someone had whomped me with a baseball bat, that she was labeled. I catch myself doing it sometimes when I talk about her and say she was a recovering alcoholic. It’s like there’s a silent “but” in every description. “She was a wonderful woman, but also an alcoholic.” Even in reverse, it still sucks. “She was a recovering alcoholic, but a wonderful woman.”

This realization made me think of all the ways, all of the times, that we get defined by our disease. She was an alcoholic. I am a compulsive overeater, a binge eater. Even in the rooms of 12 Step programs, there is that identification/definition when we introduce ourselves. It isn’t just the way that others define us. I’ve done it to myself. “Hi, I’m Mary and I’m a compulsive overeater.”

It’s like this process of definition diminishes us, makes us “less” than we really are. That silent “but” negates the good — if we let it.

I had all of this going on in my head when I went to class. I thought I’d be okay and that I could settle my mind with the breathing and flow of movement. As class progressed, my emotions didn’t settle in the least. I got more pissed off over the idea of being defined by disease — for myself and for my mom. Then it bothered me that I’d joined in the defining. The tension stressed out my body, which made my muscles more tired and led to more shoulder pain and, finally, I was one big mess.

At the moment, I can’t even figure out why this became such a big deal and caused me so much upset today. I only know that it did and I need to reframe the situation. From now on, I’m going to do my best to delete the label. Instead of defining myself as a compulsive overeater, I will think and say that I have a compulsive overeating disorder. On the surface, it might appear a minor shift, but if it helps me to not feel “less than”, if it improves my mind set, it will strengthen my recovery.

I’m glad to report that the near melt-down did not trigger a binge. I came home, brewed a cup of tea and ate the snack of half a banana with a teaspoon of peanut butter. Emotional upheaval is exhausting, so I’m going to run a bath with some lavender scented salts, relax and go to bed early. Thanks for listening.

Before I go . . .
Mom, you were the most special woman I’ve ever known. You were my hero, and everything I would like to be. Thank you for all of your love, support, kindness, and encouragement. Thank you for showing me by your example how to be a good person and to treat others well. Then, now, and always, I love you.


Just Saying Don’t

I’ve been saying “Don’t” to myself a lot the last couple of days, as in, “Don’t eat that” or “Don’t reach for it” and “Don’t start compulsively eating”. As a result, I’ve done pretty well yesterday and today. It hasn’t been that much of a struggle either mentally or emotionally. Processing it out here in the last couple of posts really helped. I had a much easier time of it, experiencing much less craving of chocolate and other sugar and eating fewer blah carbs. Strengthening my mindset helps when I need to cancel out a sudden compulsion before I act on it.

Every day I slip on my FitBit. I find if the afternoon rolls around and I know that engaging in even another 12-15 minutes of walking will help me get closer to the 10,000 steps a day goal, I’m more likely to take a break from my desk and move. Today’s the first day that I officially topped 10K steps. I made it past 11K! I know there were other days that I must have reached the goal but the FitBit didn’t measure all of my movement. Some mornings when I wake up earlier, I’ll load in my in-home walking program DVD for 15-30 minutes. This program includes side steps, kicks and knee lifts in addition to walking in place. When hooked onto my bra or shirt collar, the gizmo misses most of the movement except the walking in place. So, there were nights when my daily step count was only in the 7500-8200 range but I knew in my heart I’d exceeded 10K.

Over the weekend a smart friend thought about how the FitBit probably works and suggested that for my in-home walking program, I should clip it onto the leg of my shorts so that it feels more of the leg movements. I tried that this morning when I did the two-mile program and it worked like a charm! The rest of the 11K steps came from two dog walks, and a little above average amount of walking at work. Luckily, there were co-workers I needed to see in other buildings, so I had more opportunity to get out of the office!

FitBit doesn’t track my bike riding either. I’m going to try clipping it to my leg when I go out for a ride tomorrow evening and see if it helps.

One thing that I don’t agree with is the calorie count. I do not believe for a second that I burned almost 4200 calories today, even factoring in my basal metabolism rate. I can live without counting on the count. I’m trying to go by the amount of calories that I actually consume, rather than figuring on the net calories after I’ve subtracted whatever I burned. Make sense?

Back to the “Don’t” concept for a minute. I normally do not react well to saying no or hearing no when it comes to my food and eating. So, when I crave something, am tempted, or simply find myself in the vicinity of food that isn’t on my plan, if someone (or if I) tells me no, I immediately want to dive into the bag of cookies they told me not to open. I have big issues with feeling deprived or being deprived of food and food choices. This is one reason why practicing don’ts and nos more consistently for the last couple of days and being successful is so gratifying. I’m trying to turn the inherent negative action — saying “no” — into something more positive, i.e. I tell myself that avoiding the improper food is a gift to myself. Positive action really can change everything, even if it’s one difficult craving at a time.


Why Don’t You Just Stop?

I was having an intelligent conversation with someone today about eating disorders. I was explaining how with binge eating a person can demonstrate different behaviors. The two behaviors with which I’m personally familiar are eating a lot of food spread out over several hours but with very little time in between eating bouts; and eating a large amount of food in one sitting — i.e. not stopping at all until gorged. It is entirely possible that in both cases the same amount of food is ultimately consumed and that amount is humongous. If that sounds a little abstract, here’s a smaller, simple comparison. Picture a large pizza and someone sitting down and eating all eight pieces before leaving the table. Now picture that large pizza and someone eating two pieces, then walking away. They return within an hour and eat another piece, or two. That behavior gets repeated a couple of more times and, ultimately, all eight pieces of pizza are devoured in maybe three hours.

Anyway you slice it, a person without an eating disorder does not consume an entire, large pizza pie.

The explanation made sense to the person with whom I was speaking — to a point. She seemed to take it all in and then asked, “But why don’t you just stop eating?”

That, my friends, is the bazillion dollar question, why can’t you just stop eating? Here’s my brilliant answer: Damned if I know.

The truth is that I don’t know. I don’t know why the compulsion to binge can be so strong that I can’t stop. At my worst, even if I’d eaten enough to feel physically ill — say if I had a batch of homemade, sugary sweet cake frosting and consumed spoonful after spoonful after spoonful — there was seemingly no shut off switch.

I’m sure that there’s some brain connection or physical analysis that links to the emotional or sensory triggers or something. Unfortunately knowing all that doesn’t really help. Once in progress, stopping a binge is incredibly difficult. It might continue until someone eats so much that they vomit, or at least can’t fit in one more bite. Maybe it continues until there simply isn’t any food left around to eat. At least then there is time and distance between the binge eater and more food and they might be able to convince themselves not to go out and forage for more.

Whatever the case, the very best way to prevent a full scale binge isn’t “just stopping”. No, the answer lies in not starting.

My friends and I in OA used to talk a lot about the fact that alcoholics have a choice which is drink or don’t drink. People with eating disorder diseases do not have the choice to eat or not eat. We called it letting the beast out of the cage at least three times a day. Once the beast is out, it can be a challenge to confine it again.

So, we have to eat, but we don’t have to eat in a compulsive manner. We do have the ability to choose what and how we eat. Non-compulsive eating, i.e. eating to a plan no matter what that plan might be, alters the behavior. It is the closest thing to control that we can practice.


Making the Most of the New Sleep Pattern

Have I mentioned before that I’ve never been a morning person? I keep holding onto that thought, all evidence to the contrary. In the last year in particular, my internal clock keeps resetting its alarm and waking me up earlier. I’m not sure if waking up earlier is connected in some way to my weight loss. It could just be a result of me being in my mid-50s. The older we get, the less sleep we need.

I sleep well and am no longer concerned with the sleep hypopnea with which I was diagnosed prior to weight loss surgery. I fall asleep easily at night and, for the most part, sleep soundly unless I really have stressful things going on. The dogs usually wake me up once at some point in the night, but I fall right back to sleep. For the most part however, when I would happily sleep in on a weekend until 9:00 a.m., that hasn’t happened in a long time, unless I’ve gotten up earlier, been up a little while, and then gone back to bed. (That’s rare.) The other exception is after I’ve traveled. I tend to do well if I have a little longer lie in the following day.

For probably the last year, most mornings, I wake up before my 6:45 a.m. alarm. For a long time, I’ve really resisted this reality. To be honest, I’ve resented the early wake up. I don’t know why. Lately, I’ve begun to adopt the attitude that it is what it is. Why fight the inevitable? Most days this past week, I woke up between 5:45 and 6:15 a.m. Some of this might have been the time change, but whatever the case, there was no way I was falling back to sleep these mornings so I tried to be productive. Three days I bounced out of bed and did a program from my in-home walking DVD. This morning I said the hell with the 15-18 mph wind from the north east and went for a bike ride. Me. On the bike before 6:30 a.m. Somewhere in Heaven, my mother, who was always an early riser, is giggling. I have to say that I felt pretty damned good about getting in an eight mile ride. When I returned, I leashed up the dogs and got them out for a good walk.

I almost hate to admit it, but there’s something to be said for being a morning person. For the next few months, it gets dark pretty early, so I have less opportunity to walk or ride after work. Walking up and not squandering the time has its advantages if it helps me put in solid exercise time before I go to work.

Honestly, I don’t think this sleep pattern will change anytime soon. I might as well make the most of it.


Confidence Thievery

Of all the things that I detest most about having an eating disorder, the theft of my self-confidence is the aspect I most loathe. It’s also one of the most puzzling. I bet if you asked most of the people who have known me for the majority of my life, “Is Mary a confident person?”, they would answer yes. They’d probably be surprised to know how much time I spent mired in self-doubt with lousy self-esteem and how often my accomplishments were diminished by the stress and worry that I would fail.

It’s the kind of emotional and mental garbage that eats at your strength. Even when there is lots of evidence around that one is a strong, capable, talented person, when something steals your self-confidence, cracks and instability appear in your foundation. A weakened foundations means you never feel 100% secure.

It was the worst in the years before I first started going to a therapist who specialized in eating disorders back around the beginning of 1992. I learned a lot from that point, both in therapy and the ten plus years that I regularly attended OA meetings. Most of all, I learned that my outside persona — the strong, capable, confident woman — was not fakery. I was not a sham. I really was, and am, that woman.

So, if I am that woman, why does the eating disorder have the power to convince me otherwise? I don’t know that I’ve ever explored the why of it before. Sometimes, I’m black and white in my approach to issues. What is, is. What isn’t, isn’t. Knowing why can be a booby prize in that it doesn’t change what is or what isn’t. Tonight, I think it’s important that I understand the why. I’m feeling my self-confidence get a little shaky and it makes sense that this erosion is connected to feeling like I’m not doing a good job of controlling what and how I eat. Disease behavior leads to diseased thinking. The disease is once more doing it’s best to steal away my confidence.

Anyway, I believe the disease gains its power from my poor choices. Every time I eat something that isn’t on my plan, I’m making a choice to be in disease instead of health. I equate that as not being a wise choice. So, if I’m not wise about my food and my health, if I’m actually choosing to be sick, then how smart and capable a woman can I be? That takes away a little more self-confidence, which then makes me feel worse, which leads to me wanting to eat to suppress the bad feelings and so on and so on.

See how that disease thinking works? It’s like I become my own self-fulfilling prophecy, or more to the point, it becomes a form of self-sabotage. This is only a rough thought-outline at this point. Like I said, I haven’t gone deep into this evaluation before and it needs some more thinking. I want to pin down this “why” because I think this time that it doesn’t have to be just a booby prize. I think if I get a handle on this, then I can stop sabotaging my effort and get more consistently back on track.

I also need to remind myself of what I learned long ago. I’m not a sham. Absolutely, unequivocally, I am a powerful, talented, successful woman. It is not bragging to say that I totally rock my job. I’m not just good at what I do. I’m awesome. The disease is not taking that away from me, but it’s taking shots at me on other matters — such as my volunteer involvement with another organization and, tonight, on something as little as cupcake baking. Yes, I had cupcake anxiety tonight, worrying that the 36 cupcakes I baked for an event are too domed. I’m fully aware that this sounds ridiculous. It is.

It’s just another sign that the confidence thievery needs to end.