Weighty Matters

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Once More With Feeling

Once more, I dig deep and resolve to get myself moving in the right direction.  I was doing so well with balancing things for a while and this past week I crashed emotionally and physically.  I’m eating in full out relapse and physically feel like total crap.  My stomach is off.  I’m bloated like I’m retaining fluid for three people.  I refuse to get on the scale so that I don’t totally demoralize myself.

Emotionally, I’m sad, depressed, angry with myself.  Spiritually, I’m downhearted.  Mentally, I go between WTF (What the f&&k) and DGU (Don’t give up).

Here are the bright spots.  Despite everything, I stuck to working out three times last week and gave it my all in rowing classes, Tai Chi and getting Nat out for walks.  When I finish this I’m either going to go for a bike ride or go in the pool.

Emotionally, the bright spot came when talking to one of my closest friends, I talked about how I’m still going through grieving for Pyxi.  My friend could have said, “Suck it up.  It’s been two weeks.”  Instead, she shared that she still experiences moments of grief when she sees a box of things that belonged to her beloved dog who passed a couple of years ago.  So, instead of a negative judgment, I got a much needed validation.

This helped a great deal because I’ve been judging myself all week.

I understand that this is a function of my disease.  If I ever wanted to make it an actual creature in a horror novel, here’s how I would characterize it.  It would be an evil, needy force that craved human emotional pain to to feel alive; that gained substance in form whenever its victim criticized, judged, and body-shamed herself; that took sustenance from the addictive substances that its victim consumed.  So, needing these things for its own survival, the disease would take control of its victim to incite these things and then gobble them up.

Knowing all this, there are times when I just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and hide or wallow in my own misery.  Times when I want to say, “What’s the use.  I can’t win.”

Thankfully, somehow, somewhere with help from whatever Higher Power refuses to abandon me, I find the need to dig deep and try once more.

Tomorrow, I’m going the full liquid route.  This is not a crash diet.  I simply want to remove as many food options as possible.  Fewer choices mean fewer chances for my disease to take control and lead me to making the wrong choice.  Plus, my stomach physically feels raw inside from the crap I’ve been eating, like I’ve rubbed it raw with junk.  It needs to be treated gently for a while.

I’ve thought off and on about whether to face the music and weigh myself tomorrow.  Right now, I’ve decided against taking that step.  I’ve meditated over whether this is denial on my part, but I’ve decided that it isn’t.  What I want to achieve is the simple act of getting abstinent again.  I don’t want to make this about how much weight I might have gained over the last week or how much weight I might lose on a food plan of full liquids.  It isn’t about moving up and down in my numbers.  It’s how restoring my emotional, physical, mental and spiritual stability.

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Home from the Cruise

Thank you all for the good wishes about my trip.  I had an amazing fun time.  I love country music and every day featured multiple concerts, interview sessions and other activities.  Plus, I met numerous nice people from all over the country – many of whom I will remain in touch with going forward.

We visited three ports plus the cruise line’s private island.  I was active in all four places.  I also walked all over the ship, seemingly all of the time, every day.  I also frequently took the steps, climbing four or five decks.  For fun, I took part in three or four hour-long line dance lessons and then a couple of times went up for the nightly dancing again.

Full disclosure time:  I ate well every day, but I did not eat right.  By right, I mean that my good intentions apparently stayed in port when I sailed away.  I definitely ate too many carbs and too much sugar.  I’m not going to lie or pretty it up.  I won’t claim that I didn’t mean to do it.  I got on board surrounded by all of that delicious food and I ate it.  Conscious choice.

So all of the activity was intended to be not only for fun, but also to partially compensate for the increased caloric intake.

I am absolutely terrified to get on the scale.  So, I’m not going to right away.  Now that I’m home, starting tomorrow I’m going to do a three day liquid diet with protein drinks and fresh fruit & veggie smoothies.  Because I know that I get a crunch-texture craving when I do this, I also have some celery sticks and crisp apples.  Those will be the only deviations.

This is a real test of recovery for me.  It is one thing to deviate so drastically from my food plan.  It is another thing all together to pull my act together and get back on track.

Emotionally, deviating from the plan did not affect me.  I wasn’t consumed with guilt.  It didn’t make me feel fat and ugly.  A couple of my daily readings reminded me not to let those negative feelings and emotions overtake me and ruin my fun.  Instead, I enjoyed myself.  I was social all of the time.  I took part in snorkeling excursions, and a bike and kayak ride.

I wore a beautiful gown for costume night and joined the parade across the stage.  I was even mildly flirted with by a charming Texas gentleman who asked me to dance and assured me I’d do fine even though I’d A) never danced the Texas two-step and B) was dressed in a full gown and hoop skirt.  I’m delighted to say that I didn’t stumble, trample his toes, or tangle us up in a satin heap of material.  I was actually on the graceful side and I do not have a lot of experience dancing in a couples’ dance.  So, booyah for me!

Even though all of the musical artists mingle around the ship and are open to people approaching them for photos and autographs, I am so reluctant to go up and ask.  Seriously, I’m such a nerd about it.  However, I will help out a friend on ship if they need someone to be their photographer while they get a photo taken.  Honestly, doing that paved the way for me to also get into a few pictures.  Not once, I’m proud to say, did I think any bad thoughts of myself or my body as in, “I hate asking these people to put an arm around my fat self.”

Seriously, years ago, that thought would absolutely have prevented me from asking.  Oh hell, when it came to pictures, I was always eager to stand in back of a group instead of actually letting my body be seen.  So, I am also proud that I was even willing to pose – and that I’m willing to share the photos here.  Enjoy!

Like I said, I had a great time and am now excited to get back on track and down to business!

I felt beautiful in this gown and loved that so many people complimented me and the dress.

I felt beautiful in this gown and loved that so many people complimented me and the dress.

After we took this photo, he played with my hair and complimented my curls.  I didn't feel too much like a cougar. :-)

Singer/songwriter Darryl Worley and me. After we took this photo, he played with my hair and complimented my curls. I didn’t feel too much like a cougar. 🙂

 

Singer-songwriter Wade Hayes and me on costume night.  He is a super nice guy and complimented me on my outfit.

Singer-songwriter Wade Hayes and me on costume night. He is a super nice guy and complimented me on my outfit.

I've been a big fan of Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers for more than 20 years.  I was thrilled to get a photo with him - particularly since I didn't last year.  He was so nice about it!

I’ve been a big fan of Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers for more than 20 years. I was thrilled to get a photo with him – particularly since I didn’t last year. He was so nice about it!

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Two Days’ Progress

I wrote yesterday’s Just for Today post yesterday morning. It’s now almost bedtime tonight. I’ve had two good days.

48 hours don’t represent a huge amount of time in a life, but when you’re struggling on the tightrope of recovery, trying not to tumble into relapse, each day matters. Remember, it’s the whole “One Day at a Time” approach.

I’ve kept clean with my food plan — planning and preparing what foods I would eat each day and when. Each day I woke up, repeated the Serenity Prayer and reinforced my plan to say no to compulsive eating. Delivering pep talks to myself helps a lot too. I kept telling myself that I can do this, as you saw with yesterday’s post and all of the “Just for today” reminders.

A couple of times, I had minor bouts of “white knuckling” when I was really tempted to eat off of my plan, but I worked through them and stayed the course. A few moments ago as I watched television I reflected on how I’m blessedly free of compulsion tonight. I’m not obsessing over food. I’m not beset my the desire to eat — either with physical hunger or mental hunger. Not getting constantly hammered by the eating compulsion eases my stress. Less stress further reduces the ill effects of the eating disorder. This all helps me line myself up for another successful day tomorrow.

The mindset has greatly improved. This spread over to me getting out of bed earlier the last two days and exercising more — a long bike ride yesterday and a good dog walk this morning. I’d fallen off of on my fitness too, so adding it back in further bolsters the overall efforts.

Yesterday I stayed in recovery. Today I stayed in recovery. I’m not declaring long term victory, but I am happy to say for the time being at least, I’m out of the relapse.

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