Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A rough weekend

My folks and my sister came out to visit this past weekend.  It was awesome to be around my family, who I miss dearly.  We had a great time, with lots of laughing, some shopping, some sight seeing, and plenty of eating.

I did do well with not comparing myself to my sister, who is losing weight.  I'm thrilled for her, and she totally deserves good things in her life.

I did not do well with restraining myself around foods like brownies, chips, candy, etc.  We planned our meals and went grocery shopping, and we planned a variety of foods which were reasonable and relatively healthy.  However, what got me was simply having an open bag of chips in front of me.  And being cooped up in the back of the car with brownies.  And having leftover candy sitting around.

So.  Chips.  My mortal nemesis.  I swear to God, I could eat them non-stop all day long.  Sadly.  I found myself grabbing some when I was cooking (hungry) or when I was passing the time (boredom) or wanting them when I was hurtling down the side of the mountain in the very back seat of the vehicle (anxiety and trying to fend off sleepiness).  So, I didn't win all the battles.  But the one chip battle I won was today when I got home.  There were three partial bags of chips on my counter, and I tossed them in the trash because I don't need them, and don't even really want them, but I know that at some point I won't be able to stay out of them.

Brownies.  Ah, brownies.  Ironically, I don't like most brownies.  I do, however, LOVE my brownies.  I made a pan of them to take with us on our sightseeing trip up to Grand Lake on Sunday.  We took mom's fried chicken, potato salad, chips, and brownies.  Hard core picnic food.  Which we ate on a chilly picnic table while being slightly snowed upon!  :D  It was fun!  However, as the most bendy and smallest in our group, I took the 3rd row seating spot in the Explorer during the trip.  What that meant is that I was completely cooped up next to a pan of brownies and bags of chips.  I was super sleepy at some point, and I was sorely tempted to snack to stay awake.  In fact, truth be told, I feel sure that at least one brownie was a direct result of trying not to fall asleep.  However, others were a result of boredom and anxiety.  We traveled back home over a snowy mountain pass, on windy roads, with lots of bumping around and iffy (to me) conditions.  I was super anxious (I am a nervous nelly in the car), and I definitely ate to fend off those thoughts and emotions.  I was pretty aware of it at one point, and I put the brownies away and focused on reading my book.

Leftover candy.  Well, this one didn't get me until today when I got home from work.  I couldn't stop thinking about the leftover reese's pieces eggs in my cupboard.  The kind with a hard candy shell and PB filling.  Little tiny balls of sweet crack.  I finished what was left when I got home, before dinner.  I feel shitty about it now.  I was hungry, and I was waiting dinner a bit on my DH who had some other things to do first.  Would it have killed me to have an apple instead?  JEEBUS.  The relief of the candy being gone (even tho I stuffed it in my mouth, versus throwing it out or giving it away) is palpable.  Right now I'm not feeling any desire to graze or wander around the kitchen.  Is it because I'm not hungry (we ate dinner) or is it because those damn eggs are gone?  Or is it because I'm feeling ok right now?  I'm not really sure.

I also had a bit of a meltdown again on Sunday night.  WTF is wrong with me?  It was over something that happened with my DH, and I couldn't stop crying about it.  That turned into a marathon self-loathing session, complete with taking a shower to mask my free flowing tears.  I laid in bed thinking about being a failure for a very, very long time.  Apparently I didn't sleep it off, because DH asked me the next morning if I'd been crying.  While reasonably, I understand I'm not a giant fuck up, I feel differently in my heart sometimes.  I have a good job, a husband I love, two kitties who adore me, and three nieces who think I'm the SHIT.  My family loves me, and I don't want for much.  I am smart, and I should feel like the world is my god damned oyster.  But...  I do not.

I feel like I'm failing at work.  My boss definitely has high standards, and I feel like I'm constantly falling short of them.  Details and double (or triple) checking things are not my strength.  Creativity, innovation, helping people, and learning are my super strengths.  I feel like I've settled in to this job that pays just enough I can't just say "FUCK IT" and leave.  I want to go back to school for SOMETHING.  But I really don't know what that would be.  I feel like my current master's degree comes with a big fat asterisk next to it because it came from DeVry (Keller), which is a for-profit school.  And while I learned tons, I am extremely aware that sometimes those degrees are viewed as not the equivalent of something from a more traditional university.  So I have this sort of fake master's degree that my boss doesn't see value in, and I'm paid just enough I feel like I'm stuck, yet I'm underpaid by our department's standards.  I feel like I deserve more money, but there is no more available (I've had this conversation with my boss, and I know that it's true).  I'm super frustrated that at 33, I still don't have a clue what I should be doing, professionally.  I've been in my current position for 5 years, and with this employer over 9 years.  It doesn't feel like there is any real room for the stuff I love about my job because I'm overwhelmed with daily tasks.  I can't get to the fun, challenging stuff because of the (literally) hundreds of emails I get every day.  And I'm bored with much of what I'm doing.  It's not exciting, it's not fun, and it's tedious to me.

I feel like I'm failing at home because I caught myself (this is the meltdown material) jumping to conclusions about my DH, and I think I must land on him as critical a lot.  I hate this.  I don't want to be that wife.  I don't want to be that person.  When I'm truly intending to be helpful, I think I am appearing critical.  I don't often know when to shut up, offering advice or feedback on something, when maybe he just wants to vent.  I like to fix things, and make things ok, and I attempt to do this before I even realize what I've done or said.  I definitely hurt DH's feelings this weekend, and I really really hate that.  I wonder if I walk around wounding people all the time.  I've seen my brother and sister exchange side-long glances when I talk about things sometimes, and it seems like they are thinking "There goes Miss Know-It-All again!"  I realize I'm writing that story, but I think there is a big fat grain of truth in there.

I feel like a failure at this whole therapy business, and getting ahold of my issues.  I want to be better, now.  I guess I need more permission to be not perfect.

I'm failing miserably at working out right now.  And I know I talked about not being black or white about it in my last post, but I STRUGGLE with that.  A lot.  Constantly.  So I do nothing instead of everything.  It's like I don't know what "middle ground" means sometimes.

The silver lining here is that I have a lot to talk about at therapy tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Meltdowns and Revelations

Not chapters of the Bible.  At least not in this case.

So last night I had a giant fucking meltdown.  Over the stupidest thing.  Let me set the stage.  Last night, about 8 pm...  I'm sitting here in my comfy chair, after entering that day's food into sparkpeople.  I'm all "hells yeah, things are going great!"  I have a plethora of calories left for the day, so the ice cream that sounds good is really a reasonable treat.  I email DH (in the basement :D) and ask him if he wants to go get a small ice cream cone from McD's.  I frickin' love soft serve ice cream or yogurt.  He says "Sure." and off we go.

We are sitting in the drive thru lane, and DH says that he isn't going to get any ice cream.  So instead of being a normal human, I am all "What?"  And then I start the whole "Oh, well, maybe I won't get any myself."  Then he feels bad, and says he will get some.  Then I start fucking obsessing about how I've given him a god damned eating disorder.  I didn't realize they were contagious.  It's not the damn flu.  He insists on ordering an ice cream cone.  So as we pull forward, I am having conversations in my head, feeling shitty, and it all comes pouring out in the form of a teary, slobbery "I'm sorry I made you get ice cream!"  Of course, DH was not in any way shape or form expecting an outburst like that.  He instantly feels bad, etc.  I get all weird, he gets all weird.

I mean, seriously.  W.T.F?

Since this was so fresh, I talked about it tonight with my therapist.  We talked thru what happened, and what I was feeling.  It turns out that I was feeling a weird comparison/competition thing with DH.  He was hoping to offset some weekend overindulgences by not having ice cream, and then I felt like I needed to be doing the same thing, and if I wasn't, what is wrong with me?  I felt embarrassed that I was going to eat ice cream, then embarrassed that I felt weird about it, and afraid my DH is going to think I'm nutso.  I felt sad that I was crying, and out of control about it, and I have a hard time verbalizing this stuff, so that makes it even worse.  I also feel the need to compare myself to DH and what he was eating.  Which is silly.  I mean, what I eat has nothing to do with what anyone else eats.  We talked a lot about how I do this not only with DH, but when I'm out with friends, etc.  I compare what I'm eating to what they are eating.  Am I, the fat girl, eating more than them?  Less?  What if they want an appetizer?  Will I eat too much of it?  Are they judging me?

I also talked about how I was worried about my reaction to my sister's weight loss, and the voices in my head telling me that if I'm not losing weight, I'm not as good.  I'm failing.  If I don't lose weight, I'll be the fat one the rest of my life.  We talked about how this weekend, I expect to have some challenges around this competitive/comparison issue.  If my sister is choosing to not eat something, am I going to feel compelled to behave in the same way, even if whatever it is is a reasonable part of my day?  How can I keep from comparing myself to her, or anyone else and what they are eating?

My homework this week is to try to remain aware, and have intent in the moment.  Awareness of the shit going on in my head and the automatic response to base my eating decisions on what others are doing.  I need to have intent as well.  Intent to make decisions based on what I want to eat, or when I'm hungry.  Not what someone else may or may not be doing.

My therapist also helped me to see how All-or-Nothing I see this stuff.  I am easily swayed by others and see things as either OK or NOT OK.  And I reach that conclusion often based on someone else's actions or words.  As soon as I start down this path, I do the whole "this is bad" thing in my head, which is not the case, and I gotta figure out how to think in grey areas, not black & white.

As soon as we started talking about this, I realized how textbook B&W I am on working out, too.  Seriously.  I feel like an absolute fraud when I say I'm a runner.  I have never run a marathon, and I really really don't enjoy running a half marathon.  Running for 2+ hours is just not my idea of fun.  30-60 minutes is.  I need to learn to be OK with that.  I don't have to do a fuckin' Ironman to be a triathlete.  I don't have to be a marathoner to be a runner.  GAH.  And if I didn't workout yesterday, I'm not a giant ass failure.

Write that down.  Not a giant failure.

More about the revelations and meltdown later :)  Sleepy time awaits.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Structureless days suck

Ah, these are the days that are rough for someone who tends to overeat or binge when she is bored or needing distraction.

Yesterday wasn't great, but wasn't terrible either.  I overdid it on cookies and actually had to wake up and take some Tums.  UGH.  Today we bought a bunch of easter candy to make baskets for my nieces...  which meant leftover easter candy just SITTING THERE.    I had planned to eat a little bit of it, specifically a Reester Bunny, but I ended up eating more candy than I needed or wanted, and felt kind of icky afterwards.  Not just icky, like "I wish I hadn't eaten those calories" but icky like "If I move around too much I'm going to puke."  Good times.

Boredom.  Eating while I'm pondering.  These are long-standing habits.  Like, I've done this as long as I can remember.  I realistically can't expect to just *poof* be done with them.  My therapist told me there would be steps backwards, and I kind of feel like today and yesterday were small ones in that direction.  But, I am not going to get all worked up about it, because this is a process.  A journey, as cheesy as that sounds.

Something else that is coming up for me right now is that someone I love dearly (my sister) is losing weight.  I'm so happy for her, because she's proud of herself, and SHE SHOULD BE.  I'm feeling this weird sense of "What if everyone else loses weight and I'm still chubby?"  I mean, I lost a crapload of weight about 7 years ago (holy shit, has it really been that long?) and kept it off, but I've still got work to be done.  I have this stupid irrational fear that I'll be the fat one again if other people (not just my sister) lose weight.  I have my suspicions around why I fear this, but that is better saved for a later post...  it involves a long explanation of stuff.  And right now I'm sleepy and kind of just want to crawl into bed.  I'm vowing to be supportive and encouraging for my sister, and not let my own shit rain on her parade.  Because really, who wants shit rained down upon them?  :D

I saw my doctor on Monday about my ridiculous allergies and potential exercise induced asthma.  During this conversation, she pointed out that I was about 10 lbs heavier than last year at this time.  Which, of course, made me sad.  But she talked with me a bit about where my goal weight should be.  I'm so grateful that I have a doctor who will actually discuss weight with me.  Many of them are wary to mention it.  She said she thought 150 might be reasonable.  It probably is.  I really have no f'in idea, since the lowest I've ever weighed as an adult was about 180.  And I'm a wee bit above that (ok, about 10 lbs) right now.  So I can't even fathom 150.  My goal has always been around 155 or 160.  I suspect that will be a fit number.  But until I get a handle on my self-destructive habits, I really have no way of knowing.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another positive week... and my races for the summer.

It kind of feels good to build upon good weeks.  That is probably obvious to anyone with a brain, but I was just sitting here on the couch thinking about it, and that really stood out to me.

Today, I went to a musical with my friends.  SO FUN!  We saw Swing at the Boulder Dinner Theatre.  It was amazing to see those people whirl and twirl all the hell over the place.  Seriously, I'd be so dizzy.  Of course, I'd have to spin long enough to get dizzy, which would mean NOT falling.  Which isn't likely.  But it sure makes me wanna prance around the house!  We had a really good time.  Food wise, I probably overdid it a bit with our appetizer, but not like I might have done in the past.  I'm really at home with these girls, so there wasn't any weird, awkward social crap going on.  The food was decent, although not spectacular.  The appetizer and the wine were the best part.  :D

I came home and fixed chicken spaghetti for dinner.  Mmmmm.  Grilled chicken (on The Griddler!) added to my favorite jarred sauce from The Sunflower Market.  I know I should get off my ass and be true to my blog name and make my own...  but seriously, mine isn't as good.  I did put some olive oil and garlic on some hot dog buns (fancy?  not so much) and toasted them.  It was delicious.  Kind of like french bread without the top-of-the-mouth-ripping-open outer crust.  Win!

Now as I sit here, I'm definitely craving something sweet.  I'm trying to work thru my thoughts on this.  Am I just really craving something chocolate?  Or is there more to it?  I haven't really decided yet.  I am still revisiting the list I made earlier, of the fun, crazy stuff I want to do.  I should have added another tattoo to that list.  I've got a body part in mind now.  But I need to settle on what I actually want tattooed on my body.  This dancer at Swing today had one in this spot, and it reminded me of how much I want to do that.  She also had a fabulous hair cut.  My hair has gotten super long, and I'm trying to stave off the desire to whack it all off.

On another completely unrelated topic, I have a bunch of races planned for this summer.  First up is the Mini Haha Triathlon, which is local and SHORT.  The short part is really good, especially in the swimming area.  I haven't been to the pool in at least a year.  Seriously.  So yeah.  I need to go.  I'm signed up for a swim clinic next Saturday, so that will be a good start.  Although I should go at least once this week prior to that...  to make sure I haven't forgotten how to swim!  The Mini Haha is in June.

Then, in July, I signed up for something crazy.  The Warrior Dash in Kansas City.  My crazy ass friend (aka:  Soulmate) Bobbi Jo talked me into this nonsense.  It's not a long race, 5K, I think.  But there are obstacles.  Like, climbing over a wall, up rope ladders, over hay bales, and across a burning pit.  Oh, and there is a nasty ass mud pit.  My little brother and his wife are also signed up, as well as a friend of mine (and her cousin) from college.  It should prove to be dirty an super fun.

Next up?  *sigh*  I signed up for, AND PAID FOR, the Denver RnR Half Marathon on October 9th.  I hope this isn't a waste of money.  I've (hopefully) talked my neighbor into training with me.  If I can get myself out the door to do the long runs, I'll be fine.  I usually get to about the place where it's time to start running 8+ miles on the weekend, and I'm all "Nevermind."  I've been most successful training for a half when I train WITH people or as part of a group.  However, all the groups typically do long runs on Saturdays, and I'm teaching spin every other Saturday morning all summer.  So I don't want to sign up for a group and PAY and only get, at best, half of the runs in with them.

So we shall see...  I have a lot of training to do over the next six months...  I really like having goals and races on the schedule, because it reminds me not to skip a workout when I'm feeling lazy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Color, Exile, and Tools.

Color makes me happy.  This isn't news to me, as I've mentioned before...

But I made some super fun stuff this weekend, and they are all colorful and I <big fat puffy heart> them.  Just for funsies:
Hippie Dippie Mug (SODIE) Rug

I only made the apron, y'all.  My SIL & BIL made the beautiful girl.

New purse style - for my SIL's b-day!

These make me happy and cheerful, and it makes me wish I could quit my job and be creative all day long.  I desperately want to figure out a way to make enough money on my hobby to replace my day-job income.  I think the "cooped up in an office all day" thing is getting to me.

Exile.  I have put fitness and health magazines on exile from my home.  My therapist recommended magazines as a tool (more on this later) but put a caveat on it.  She said that often the health & fitness mags are full of diets, programs, and unattainable images.  I think she's right.  As I've been purposefully NOT reading them, I feel lighter.  I need some new magazine suggestions, tho.  Any ideas?  I got DH a subscription to Wired, but it hasn't arrived yet.  Secretly, I got it as much for me as for him.  :)  Maybe that Simple Magazine?  Martha Stewart?  Hmmm...

So, Tools.  Not like "Tool or Douche?" tool, but tools I can use when I am feeling the urge to fall back on an eating behavior that isn't serving me.  Something to replace those advantages I've talked about.  We have talked about creating a real live tool box, where I can put items like non-fitness magazines, or my nail polish, etc...  stuff to DO when I feel bored, or am procrastinating.  We'll talk some more tonight about tools, I'm sure.  Another tool that we discussed is going outside.  Whether that means going outside and doing yard work, or going outside and just sitting on my deck to read a book.  SOMETHING to change the behavior, and stop the pattern. 

I'll share more after tonight's session!