Weighty Matters

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Extended Funk

Man, oh man, when I get into a funk about my eating disorder, I really get into a funk.  I stopped wallowing in self-pity but could not shake a number of other negative emotions and behavior.  I went from depressed to disgusted with myself.  That’s where I’ve been, saying all kinds of mean things to myself about myself.

I would never be so mean to someone else.  If I was, I’d consider the someone else totally within their rights to bitch slap me.

So, because I’ve been calling myself names and castigating myself for being a weak-willed, lying, denying, fat slob idiot, I’ve been doing my level best to manifest those traits with my eating.  Nothing like negatively reinforcing bad self-directed behavior.

This all began to, naturally, effect my self-esteem and confidence.  It’s the same old vicious cycle.  I began to doubt my physical abilities.  I also instantly started viewing my image in the mirror with “fat eyes” in which I no longer see my real body but an inflated, swelled, fatter one.

Today my emotions began to shift back to reality.  I can’t claim that a switch got flipped or anything so automatic, but a combination of things came together and I began to change back to a healthier mindset.

I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I know a couple of the factors that I think have helped turn the tide.

I’ve gotten on top of the heel pain so every step I take no longer causes me to flinch and wince.  I am much more inclined to be active.

A couple of things that were stressing me out at work were resolved and I was able to get more caught up.

I got a truly terrific share of organic produce.  I ordered a larger share than I normally do just because doing so meant I received celery root.  I love steaming and mashing celery root but my local supermarket rarely carries this particular veggie delight.  So, I got excited about cooking and consuming something healthy that I love to eat.

A friend and I planned a paddle boarding adventure.  I’ve been wanting to try the activity again so we finally scheduled it for Saturday afternoon.  I had a bunch of trepidation at first because we weren’t climbing onto the boards from the shore.  Instead we were in a private area at her condo and would have to clamber up and down a dock ladder to get on and off of the boards.  Remember, that in my mind’s eye, I’ve been a cow the last few weeks so I experienced a return of the “you’re too fat to do this” false fear for everything from handling the ladder to staying on the board, etc.

It was a huge boost for me to handle the activity and provide ample evidence that I’m not “too fat”.   We practiced for about an hour and that was enough.  Once I’m on the board, I’m sort of nervous about moving my feet and throwing off my balance.  Unfortunately, this resulted in my feet cramping up and beginning to hurt.  So, even though I was successful with the whole adventure, I’m not sure it’s something that I want to frequently do or try for extended periods of time.  All in all, I prefer kayaking.  However, the important thing is that I challenged myself and succeeded.  It was a booyah moment.

Oh, and earlier in the day I’d gotten out on my bike for a nice 10 miles ride which also contributed evidence to my still-existing physical fitness.

Friends and I were hoping to go out on my boat on Sunday, but a persistent high wind deep-sixed that plan.  Instead, I invited them to come over and hang out on the porch and by the pool.  With that plan in place, my thoughts returned to the produce I still had from the organics share.  I Googled eggplant-zuccini salad and found several yummy-sounding recipes.

Oh, the scrumptiousness!  I roasted eggplant, zuccini, red onion, and baby sweet colorful peppers, tossed in a little bit of olive oil and herbs from my garden.  When they were done and cool, I mixed them with drained chick peas, crunchy raw celery, feta cheese and sherry vinegar.  The resulting dish was absolutely delicious!

I derived a lot of happiness from making something healthy and delish for myself and my friends.  Seriously, I felt my mood elevate.  We had a really nice, relaxing afternoon.

There might be other things, but these are the key mood-shapers that came together.  My spirit has been much lighter today.  I even dared to go to the local clothing store to see if there were a couple of nice tops/blouses that I could buy to rev up my wardrobe.  I have a trip to see family and go to my high school reunion in a couple of weeks, followed immediately by a conference that I love to attend every year.

I had been dreading trying on current clothes, positive that I’d blown up in size and nothing would fit.  Obviously, finding out that my clothes fit fine helped me counter the F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal.  I did find a couple of new garments that I know I will enjoy wearing.  I came home and further gave myself a boost by making some more progress with the ongoing decluttering project.  Then I made a tasty, and healthy dinner for myself with grilled chicken, some of that roasted veggie salad, and a skewer of grilled pineapple and watermelon.

I’m waiting for the sun to go down a little more and then Nat, Pyxi and I are going for a walk.  A little last exercise for the day will only serve to help maintain the upswing.

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Wallowing

A good friend called me last night because she hadn’t seen me post anything to this blog since I talked about the car accident.  Every night over the last week I’ve meant to write a post, but I always found a reason not to.

Her sweet, loving concern gave me a wake up call.  I realized that I’ve been wallowing for the last week.  First there was the accident.  Even though I wasn’t seriously injured and I was mostly incredibly grateful and seeing the bright side, I experienced some residual emotions while my body gradually got over the twinges and soreness.  My energy level was much lower than normal for several days, which was probably from the combination of physical stress to my body and the emotional drain.  This rolled into Mothers Day which, frankly, is never a great day for me since I am not a mom and I always miss my mom a lot, particularly on this day.  To cap off that already difficult time, I dropped an empty bottle on my foot and cut my toe.  The wound didn’t need stitches and, thankfully, no bones broke, but it hurt like the devil – particularly if I wore close toed shoes or sneakers.

I believe I’ve mentioned that, in addition to getting the injections in my knee, I’ve been suffering from plantar fasciitis in my left heel.  It has hurt to walk for six weeks.  Frequently in that same time period, the heel has hurt even when I just have the slightest pressure on it when lying in bed.  Between the knee injections and the heel pain, I haven’t been able to do Tai Chi and taking the dogs for our twice daily walks has been torturous.

Monday rolled around and I got the less-than-pleasing news that it will probably take at least a month before my car is repaired.  Yes, I have my older SUV, for which I’m incredibly grateful, but given my already less-than-stellar mood, the thought of this dragging on for four weeks just compounded things.

So, blah blah blah.  Whine whine whine.  Bitch bitch bitch.  Wallow wallow wallow.

You know, I don’t like to be around people who are negative and who complain a lot.  Pity parties are not my idea of fun… particularly when I’m the hostess.  Self-pity brings out the worst in me.  First off, it’s a miserable energy state in which to exist and then, it’s a giant food and eating trigger.  It doesn’t matter how much I tell myself that it is impossible to eat away the sadness or truly use food to smother any feeling, this is, unfortunately, my go-to response.  When my positive personality and attitude take a dive, I mistakenly think that food will buoy me back up.

When I’m wallowing, I also have to cop to a certain amount of “f*#k it” in my attitude, like I don’t care.

That’s bull of course.  I do care.  Even when I snack and then get upset with myself for eating off the plan, I still care.  Unfortunately, I have a hard time effectively using the caring to alter the poor behavior in that moment.

Since I’m not willing to chuck it all, give up on myself and eat my way into oblivion, it’s seriously past time for last-call at this pity party.  There honestly is no payoff for me to allow it to continue.  Tonight I’m putting a time limit on the wallow.  I have dinner plans with a friend for tomorrow night and I’m heading into a weekend.  So, I’m basically telling myself to suck it up and move on.

I have too much good in my life with endless potential for more.  There is no more space on my calendar for being a downer in my own life any longer.

 

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Perspective After an Accident

My day started with a car accident.  I’m okay, or at least not seriously injured.  I have some whiplash and twinges in my lower back, but some soreness in my shoulders and arm.  I went to the ER where they took x-rays so nothing more serious showed up.

I was very lucky.  I was slowing down to a stop because of a red light.  Unfortunately, a truck in back of me was not timely in his own slowing down process.  Once he noticed that the light was red and cars in front of him were stopping, he hit his brakes, but ran out of room and hit my car in the back.  Again, I was lucky because he didn’t hit me at full speed.  I was also far enough behind the truck in front of me that I wasn’t knocked into him.  My car is fixable.  The other driver is also insured.  My insurance company is already all over it and my car was towed to the local body shop.  Fortunately, the local body shop happens to be very good at their job, since we don’t have a large choice of establishments from which to choose.

Right after the impact, I knew that I was sore.  What surprised me was how shaken up I was after the accident.  My hands trembled and I had to force myself to focus on calling the sheriff’s department, locating my insurance info and registration and just thinking about what I should do, who else I should call.  The EMTs came and I couldn’t make up my mind whether to let them strap me on a back board and transport me to the hospital or whether I could take myself there after finished with the police.  Thank goodness for the deputy who kept checking on me.  When I apologized for being shaky and weepy, she looked at me and told me I had every right to be after getting hit from behind.  That little bit of affirmation and validation helped a lot.

Where I live, we only have one main road.  It was no surprise to me to soon get a text from a friend and co-worker who’d passed the scene on her way to work and wanted to make sure I was okay.  She would have stopped but it was a busy intersection at the time.  I texted work.  Before the highway patrol was even finished checking out the situation, getting everyone’s info and writing up the report, my top boss and friend arrived to provide a ride to the ER and moral support.  The tow truck driver is also a friend of mine and he was able to tell me exactly where he should transport my car to get fixed.

At the hospital, the manager to whom I directly report showed up after her own doctor’s appointment to see if she could be of any help.  Others were texting the boss to see what they could do.

All told, I wasn’t at the hospital very long and, after a quick trip to the pharmacy for my meds, I was home, resting on the sofa, and answering texts of other friends at work expressing their gratitude that I wasn’t badly hurt and asking if there was anything that I needed.

I spent the afternoon with ice packs, puppy cuddles, and a nap… followed by some serious reflection.  I know that in times of trouble, friends reach out to assist each other.  I’m the same way to my friends.  But today, tonight, experiencing the outpouring of love and support from my friends and work family is really hitting home and filling me with great gratitude.  (We do consider ourselves family at work, in case I haven’t mentioned that before.)

Maybe it’s because I’m older, single, and live far away from my blood family.  I don’t know, but all of the kindness truly resonates.  So, on a night when I could be grousing and grumpy over the inconvenience of an accident and the residual aches and soreness, what I feel most is happy, humble, and blessed.

My heart is full and that fullness comes out in a smile.

 

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Skewed Food Perspective

My two week Lean-Green-Clean period is complete.  All in all, I did really well.  My body feels so much better inside — in a way that is more about better quality food going in and less to do with the nine pounds that I lost.  Mentally and emotionally, sticking the program provided a much needed boost.  The two weeks demonstrated to me that I can, indeed, manage my food and eating in healthy ways.  Certainly much healthier than I’d been doing.

I’m so pleased with the results that I’m continuing on, but with, perhaps a little less strictness.  Not much, but the occasional carb or small chocolate treat — also occasionally and not in great quantities.

This is a potential slippery slope because I have a very skewed perspective when it comes to food.  Part of it comes from not ever being able to totally free myself from the diet mentality.  I’ve had it drummed into me so often, and self-drummed it, that carbs are bad.  Awful bad.  The baddest of bad.  So, even when I eat something like half of a whole grain, high fiber bagel – it feels like a cheat.  I went to Miami today to see my Phillies play the Marlins.  This was a terrific treat for me to see a ball game in person and spend time with friends.  I had an all beef hot dog at the ballpark for lunch.  Okay, a hot dog isn’t the cleanest food, but can’t I cut myself a break and not feel guilty?

When I get into that diseased thinking, it’s dangerous.  It quite often  leads to self-disgust and a “well I f#*#ed up today anyway.  I might as well keep going” reaction.  So a simple eating of something that really wasn’t bad or damaging can turn into a binge.

As I continue on my program, I need to be very aware of the mental aspect of my relationship with food.  I need to be able to separate behaviors into their proper descriptions.  Eating half of a whole grain, high fiber bagel is not the same thing as plowing my way through a bag of potato chips.  A small serving of chocolate does not equate to a pint of ice cream.

Two successful weeks when I’d been struggling for a while have produced much needed clarity.  I’d like to build on this even more moving forward.

How’s everybody else doing?

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