Wednesday, November 30, 2011

20 Pounds continued....

There is a BIG difference between 140 and 120.

Unfortunately, there is not a big difference between 244 and 224. At this weight, you can't really see a 20-pound loss. Nor can I really tell in my clothing.

BUT. I know that 20 pounds is gone. I have to trust the scales.

The mirror and the clothes will change if I'm patient. Right?

(Need reassurance here.)

It would also help if I exercised.

I've been sitting here trying to think about what weighs 20 pounds.
Nurdy weighs 20 pounds.

So did my slutty Thanksgiving turkey.

I've lost a small dog. Or a turkey slut.

Love,
Me minus 20

20 Pounds

Yesterday, the scale said 224. It was just for a little bit because after fajitas, wine, and salsa last night at Chili's, this morning it said 226.

So, I took a new blog profile pic. I'm going to do that every 20 pounds. Unfortunately, my face continues to be round and squishy even when I weight 120! But, you should be able to tell there is a weight loss by the increase in wrinkles.

That's one of the good things about being an old, FAT person. Our wrinkles are pudged out. I can already see how much more wrinkly my neck is looking. Yuck. What movie was that where there were jokes about a wrinkly neck? Was it There's Something About Mary? Or maybe that was just the wrinkly boobs. I have those, too!

Unfortunately, I went a little crazy (the bad kind) when I saw the 224 yesterday morning. I was also waiting for a phone call from the oncologist's office about my latest test results.

Well, actually this type of insanity had visited me before. In fact, its had the power to make me completely blow off diets in the past. Maybe talking about it will take some of its power away.

Most of you are lucky enough to NOT know that I can be a crazy hypochondriac at times. I've been this way all my life - or at least since I was old enough to read "I Am Joe's Pancreas" and "I am Joe's Lung" in Reader's Digest when I was twelve. I'm not your classic frequently-go-to-the-doctor-with-psychosomatic-complaints type of hypochondriac. I'm just more of a low-key worrier, a low-key "this has got to be a symptom of something" kind of hypochondriac.

Let's visit the sane part of my brain:
I've been losing weight since I started eating less.
I've been losing weight since I started making better choices about food.
I've been losing weight since I started trying to be a conscious eater.
I've had cancer and didn't lose weight then.

Now, let's visit the insane part of my brain:
Weight loss is a symptom of cancer.
I must have cancer.
I need to keep my weight up.

I really have memories of when my FEAR of weight loss has made me quit eating healthy and start pigging out. On some sick level, I identify fat with healthy.

Go figure....

I NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THE CANCER IS IN MY THINKING!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Becoming Friends With My Appendages



This is going to sound crazy (what? me sound crazy?) but, I'm trying to make friends with my legs again.

We became emotionally (and physically) distant from each other a few years ago - I don't really remember when. We've just grown apart... and now I just contact them whenever I have to shave - and, once you're single (at least like I'm single) - that isn't very often.

More recently, the trouble with our friendship has gone way beyond emotional distance.

A year and a half ago, my legs really started to piss me off. It was like they hated me or something! In July 2010, I stood on a stool and my right knee literally burst into pain. And it's basically hurt every day since. I've been to the doctor, to the orthopedic surgeon, and to the physical therapist. I've heard that it's arthritis, it's ITBS, it's my knee cap being pulled over to one side by a tendon or something. Then, October 2010 is when I did my I-am-a-big-fat-homecoming-float routine and broke my elbow. I also hurt my other knee in that fall.

Suffice it to say that, since that point, I've just been giving my legs the cold shoulder. I have only reluctantly (and infrequently) fed them lotion. I have only shaved them when A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y necessary. I've hardly even touched them! I thought, "OK, Legs... You think you're gonna screw with me? Weeellll, right back 'atcha, bee-otches!"

And since then, my legs have gotten about as much attention from me as an unwanted roommate.

I've become more self-reflective as I started blogging and I've remembered my mother's old saying of "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." I've thought about the fact that I NEED to be friends with my legs.

I'm kinda up shit creek if they get too pissed at me.

So, for the last two weeks, I've been nurturing them with lotion and with actually getting down on the floor and just playing with them.

Well, not really... I just couldn't pass that up. But I have gotten down on the floor at least once per day and done all kinds of leg stretches. I am amazed at how painfully stiff and rigid my old friends have gotten from my inattentiveness.

Rebuilding a friendship can be hard. Especially after it's been damaged by neglect. But, I think that I've realized that a friendship with my legs is an important one.

I hope they forgive me.

They did! They're happy little fellas!!

Learning To Tell Myself "No"


Oh, I hate to admit this, but I haven't been told 'no' very much in my fifty-seven years of existence.

There has been a lot of shit in my life - dad dying, mom becoming alcoholic, divorce, cancer.

But, in spite of that, I am still a dyed-in-the-wool-only-child-the-light-of-my-daddy's-eye princess. I still, maybe because of my background, have been able to manipulate my life situations so that everyone, including myself, usually tells me...
"Yes!"
"Of course you can do it!"
"Of course you can have it!"
"Here, take this!"
"Here, take mine!"
"I don't see why not!"
"It's all right. You can do it."
"Uh-huh."
"Go for it!"
"Whatever you want!"
"Go right ahead!"

...... And all the other opposites of 'no' that you can think of.

How does this affect me now? Well, I think that's pretty obvious.

If I want to buy it, if I want to spend it, if I want to do it, if I want to eat it...... I usually do.

Over the last five years, I've worked hard to learn to tell myself 'no' when it comes to buying whatever I want.


When I was married, I entertained myself by shopping. If I was happy, I shopped. If I was upset, I shopped. If I was bored, I shopped. That had to go away when Charlie went away. Well, actually, that's not true. That went away when ALIMONY went away.

Alimony was kind of like having the good parts of Charlie without the bad. Except alimony couldn't cook or clean.

Now, I'm having to learn to tell myself 'no' about eating.

I know I've learned this before. I mean, I went THREE MONTHS in 1991 without eating at all - just drinking Optifast shakes! I had to have told myself 'no' then, too!

But I feel like I'm having to learn it all over again.

The other day, I read this line in someone else's blog: "I knew it was a counterproductive desire, and I knew I had to tell myself no."

And it was kind of like hearing something for the first time. I thought, "Tell me 'no'?" Hmmmmmmmm.

I'm big on trying to say "YES" to life. I think it's important to LIVE NOW and to say "YES" to the opportunities that are presented to me by life.


But, I never thought about the fact that, for me, part of being able to say "YES" to life means being able to say 'no' to my compulsive desire to eat.

I need to say NO so I can say YES.

YES to sitting on the floor to wrap Christmas presents (which I can do now!)
YES to standing on a chair to hang up garland (which I can do now!)

Those are two things that I COULD NOT do in September - 19 pounds ago. It was so freeing and so empowering to be able to decorate and wrap presents without having to depend on someone else to do it for me.

There are other things that I have been able to say YES to just in the past week:
* Black Friday shopping - even though I had to sit down and rest at Target and again at Khol's, I am at least grateful that I was able to shop all night and I didn't need a cane/wheelchair/walker - like many overweight people I saw. Praise God.
* Size 18 jeans. OK, yes, they are killing me and making me look somewhat like a two-stick popsicle because every bit of fat below my waist is now pushed up to above my waistline... but STILL!
* Doing housework at my house and Donna's house. Lots of laying on the floor reaching under beds, get up/get down types of tasks. Not fun, but DOABLE!

I think I need to start making a list every night of the things that I've gotten to say YES to because of my newly-learned ability and willingness to say NO to compulsive eating.



I'll let y'all know...

I Won The Thanksgiving Five-Day Skirmish In Jennyland!!!

Weight Wednesday before Thanksgiving = 227
Weight Monday after Thanksgiving = 225

I WON!!

19 pounds down since September 19th!

Goal by Christmas: 220? Can I do that? Oooooh, don't know. And don't want to set myself up. But...... I'm going to try...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

tyandninasmom - It's Who I Am

tyandninasmom

It's not just my blog address - it's also my favorite, most important, and sometimes hardest job.

I claim four children. I have four birthstones in my "mother's ring". And as most of you know, each of them came into my life, and into my heart, in a different way.

Here they are in the order that I got them:

Josh came with Charlie. He was seven when we got married. Josh had had Charlie to himself for a couple of years before we got together so he had a hard time understanding why I got to sit in the front seat of the car. I wanted to be a good step-mom to Josh but made many mistakes. By the grace of God, our relationship has survived longer than my twenty year marriage.

Josh is thirty-seven now and is an amazing human being. He is one of the wisest, most caring people I know.

Josh was eleven when Tyler was born. I have loved Tyler since I first laid eyes on him. I think he's so cool. I've always thought he was cool. And I'm proud of the fact that he came out of me. Bless his little heart - he takes after his mama. There's pros and cons in that statement. He's a balloon person. Laid back, funny, compassionate. But he's also impulsive, lazy, and bad at math. All character traits that he got from me.

Tyler is twenty-five now and sitting in here in the living room with me, laughing at the tv, and eating ice cream mixed with cereal as I blog.

Elisa was thirteen when she wormed her way into my heart and sixteen when she came to live with us. Her parent had moved out of the country and I was lucky enough to be loved by her. Getting chosen by her to be her "mother figure" has been one of the biggest honors of my life.

Elisa is thirty now and is just as much "my child" as any of the others. She has my heart.

Nina is my baby. She came to us as a beautiful, strong-willed survivor of a Russian orphanage at age three and a half. I've loved Nina since I laid eyes on a video of her. Charlie and I were at the adoption agency, watching four-minute videos of available children. I don't know how many we watched before we saw the one of Nina. But, at the moment she came on the screen, I knew that she was my daughter. I recognized her as my own. I can't explain it but it was like the first moment they laid Tyler in my arms after giving birth to him. Same recognition.

Nina is eighteen now and is still beautiful, strong-willed, and the most honorable person I know. Nina is r.e.a.l. She is trustworthy, committed, good-hearted, and honest. Nina is a gift from God to me. She is a rock and we balance each other out well.

As an only child, I always had fantasies about what family holidays with siblings must be like. I imagined lots of laughter, loving looks, and board game playing.

That was my expectation of my two youngest, Tyler and Nina. I thought that, though seven years apart, they would be 'best friends' in addition to siblings.

Well, I thought wrong. And, for some reasons, holidays seem to be harder than regular days. I guess it's because I let my childhood fantasies of sibling love become my expectations of reality.

Most of our Thanksgivings and Christmases include sibling conflict, cuss words, yelling, and lots of frustration. A classic example was last Christmas Eve when I tried to take a group picture of Elisa, Tyler, and Nina but Tyler let out a big fart when Nina came to sit down next to him and Nina got pissed and they started yelling at each other and Elisa got really bummed and I yelled 'fuck' at the top of my lungs while standing in my front yard and then we all went to a midnight movie together. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Merry effing Christmas.

All this to say that THIS THANKSGIVING WAS WONDERFUL. No conflict, no yelling, no cussing, minimal farting.....

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED being in my house on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day with Tyler and Nina - BEING JUST LIKE I'VE FANTASIZED FOR THE LAST FIFTY YEARS! And then Nina went Black Friday shopping with Donna and me and she was sooooooooo much fun to be with! And today, I've been in the house with Tyler all day and there's been nary a cross word from either of us.

The sick part of me is thinking "Why is this holiday being so wonderful? What bad thing is about to happen?"

I need to remember that that is little Jenny who thinks she doesn't deserve good things or good times. It's little Jenny who is always expecting a monster to come around the corner and get her.

The fact is that my kids are growing up. They are all becoming amazing adults.

I am so proud to be tyandninas.... and joshandelisas..... mom.

Halfway Through The Thanksgiving Five Day Skirmish In Jennyland (and the enemy is winning...)

I started this blog on Thanksgiving Day while waiting in the car for Donna. I wrote:

"Today was successful! (So far. Its only 5:30.)

To tell the truth, after making my turkey spread her legs and sticking my hand up her butt and down her throat, I was feeling more like a gynecologist than a compulsive overeater. Add that to stirring in raw mucousy eggs to wet, soggy cornbread"


At that point, Donna got to the car and we headed to Albuquerque for 26 hours of Black Friday shopping.

Right at this moment, I feel like I've been through the spin cycle in a washing machine. I'm tired, sleepy, dirty, and hung over. And I weigh three pounds more than I did Thanksgiving morning. At some point during the 26-hour whirlwind in Albuquerque, I forgot most of my war strategies and pretty much surrendered to my personal enemy.

I actually didn't do horrible on the food front. Grilled chicken salad at Buffalo Wild Wings (the only place we could find open for supper on Thanksgiving night), a spinach and mushroom omelet at IHOP at 4AM yesterday, lots of Diet Cokes while standing in lines at various stores..... The only meal that felt like a splurge was yesterday's lunch at Sweet Tomato and it wasn't what I ate, but how much I ate. I got uncomfortably full - a physical and emotional state I've really tried to stay away from since September as I think I only get there through unconscious eating.

But, after driving home last night, unloading the car, and stuffing all the bags into my closet.... I was truly in a sleep deprivation fog. I ate a turkey sandwich and drank wine. And wine. And wine.

Now, it's noon on Saturday and I weigh three pounds more than I did 48 hours ago. I think it's probably caused by the wine and subsequent "water weight". Too much of a good thing.

It's the hedonistic part of me that I need to learn to control. The fun-loving, pleasure-seeking part that goes overboard - in eating, drinking, spending, staying awake, sleeping, laughing....

But, right now, I'm going to give into that part and go take a nap.

As my mother would say, "Day-day".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day One Of The Thankgiving Five Day Skirmish Of 2011 In Jennyland

Boy, the missile strikes have been coming strong. And it's just Day One!

First of all, let me say that I don't think even Helen Reddy can drink five 34-oz bottles of water a day. I'm changing that rule war strategy and dropping it down to two. I feel like I've been chugging water all day and that's all I've gotten down.

It's been a busy, productive day cleaning house, helping Donna rearrange furniture at her house, going to the grocery store (again), and deciding on our plan of hitting the stores on Black Friday which actually starts at 10PM on Thursday.

Food-wise....... (sorry for boring you, but I think I have to do this on my blog)....
Breakfast - Two scrambled eggs at Viola's with lots of green chili and one piece of toast.

Lunch - Went with Barb to Sonic (for "just a coke") and had a grilled chicken sandwich, no mayo, and only one side of the bun.

Supper - Wanted to go to Cafe Sushi (too late), then Subway (the safest), but ended up with Nina and Donna at DeColores where I had half a veggie burger, half a salad, 10 tortilla chips, and LOTS of salsa. It was that darn having to take other people's desires into account!

This evening I poured a glass of wine but then actually poured it down the drain when I remember what Deezer commented on my blog - "No walk, no wine".

I'm going to try to make that my motto, too!

I just got through trying to make cornbread dressing from the memory of the one time Rosie told me how to do it. Cornbread, bread, crackers, onion, celery, sage, poultry seasoning, chicken broth, eggs. I don't think I'm going to have to worry about eating a lot of it because it tasted like shit when I took a bite before putting in the eggs. The cornbread I bought (yeah, I didn't make it) was sweet and the sweetness overpowers the sage, poultry seasoning, onions, and celery.

Maybe it's dessert dressing.

I didn't stick to my strategy 100% - but I didn't totally blow it either.

So, my goals for tomorrow:
* Two 34-oz bottles of water
* Eat on a luncheon plate
* Maintain consciousness of who I am and how I want to be

I wish you a wonderful, peaceful, laughter-filled Thanksgiving. If you're dieting, I wish you good judgment and the ability to say 'no' to yourself. If you're not dieting, I wish you a tummy full of your favorite food!

Love,
Jenn

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WAR - And I Don't Mean Political

Ahhhhhhh, no work for five days!

Lots of free, unscheduled, UNPLANNED time!

It feels sooooooooooooooo goooood - but a little scary on the food front. Which, believe me, is the "front lines" in my life right now.

I'm afraid it might be a war between me.................................... and me.

Who are these opposing sides of me? Grown-up Jenn and Little Jenny? Good Jenn and Bad JENNIFER (what I always got called when I was in trouble)? Internal Skinny Jenny and External Fat Jenny?

I don't know, but I do know that who blogs is the grown-up, good, internally skinny part of me.

That's the part I'm rooting for.

All generals know that you can't win a war without a good strategy.
So, here's how I'm going to win the Thanksgiving Five Day Skirmish of 2011 in Jennyland.

Tuesday:
So far, so good today even though there were a bunch of munchies around. Someone gave me a breakfast burrito as soon as I walked in the door. I only ate half. I was able to pass on the donuts, pumpkin pie, cornbread pudding (that one was hard), sweet potato casserole, and candy. In addition to my Lean Cuisine at lunch, I had some tomato salad someone had brought.

Tonight, I'm going to DeColores. My plan is to have a bowl of beans and two glasses of wine. And salsa, of course.

Wednesday:
Breakfast with Donna at Coffee Booth - eggs and toast. WAIT! WHAT IF SHE WANTS TO GO TO VIOLA'S? OK, Huevos Rancheros with no tortilla, no cheese, no beans, no potatoes. (Eggs and toast. And green chili.)

And then The Dinner of Champions - Subway.

Thursday:
We've already done the menu for that. But Thursday night, we'll be in Albuquerque. I'd like to find an open Subway. But here things get really shaky because I've actually got to consider other people's desires. Damn!

So, my secondary plan may have to be put in action if I'm ambushed by other people's desires.
Secondary Plan:
NO MATTER WHERE I AM...
*Share with someone or somehow figure out how to eat only half of whatever it is!
*Try to stick with a la carte. Or salads. Or appetizers.
*If at someone's house (or my own, for that matter) use luncheon plates or bowls.
*Water, water, water, water, water! My goal for the next five days is five of these things a day.
Five for five!
*Do something to MOVE. I've been sitting on the floor (which I can do now) doing stretches every morning. I need to at least do that. If I'd actually make myself walk around the park one time a day, that would be wonderful. And for those of you not from around here, I'm talking a tiny park. Once around is 1/5 of a mile. But, better than nothing.
*Do all the things I know to do to help get healthy (but don't do). I'm just talking about doing them for FIVE DAYS! Surely, I can do that! Things like park far away from stores and squeeze my butt muscles every once in awhile when I'm sitting.
*Remember NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS THIN FEELS!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:
On Friday,we're getting up in the middle of the night to do Black Friday shopping. I should act as though there is an incoming missile attack and arm myself with my secondary plan. And for those three days, I plan to stick with leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, Subway, leftover butterbeangreenchilichicken stew. I'm going to make a pot of beans.

Today, I weighed 227.
My goal for Monday after Thanksgiving? 225.

I can do it.
I am strong.
I am invincible.
I am woman.

Love,
Helen Reddy, Jr.

Lyrics to I Am Woman (I just made this my ringtone for the next five days!)
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman


Monday, November 21, 2011

What Thanksgiving Really Is And Whether Or Not I'm Gay

;-)

Gotcha to read this, huh?


"Thanksgiving is just another meal."

This is a quote from a wonderfully motivating blog that I read called Kris Gets Healthy. His blog today is titled "Welcome To Hell Week".

We're having a very small Thanksgiving this year.
We're waiting to go to Texas at Christmas..
My foster daughter, Elisa, is spending the day with friends in Albuquerque..
Nicole is staying in California until Christmas..
Dianne moved to Boston....

So it's just Donna (one of my oldest friends - not my gay partner in case anyone was wondering)........................................

UH, OH - FLOW OF CONSCIOUSNESS SIDE NOTE!
I have to make this disclaimer because, since becoming single nearly ten years ago, I have experienced people thinking that about Donna and me! It used to be Donna, Charlie, and I were best friends. We used to travel together, go out to eat together, spend holidays together.... And, no, not as a threesome!
Donna is the closest thing I have to a sister.
When Charlie announced that he was leaving, his words were "I leaving you. I'm in love with someone else and she is arriving today. Do you want to call Donna?"
Then he handed me the cordless phone and walked out the door.
Donna was there in a heartbeat.
As I have written before, Donna is one of my rocks - maybe my biggest rock. She is my rock in both positive and negative ways - she grounds me and is part of the group of people that make up my human security blanket. But she also pisses me off and rains on my balloon parade. (See my blog about balloons and rocks if this isn't making sense to you.)
Anyway, WE'RE NOT GAY!!! We travel together, we spend holidays together.... but we both like men! We just can't find any!!!


And, believe me.... if I was gay, I would talk about it. Ya know?



So, back to the original topic.....
This Thanksgiving dinner is just going to be Donna, Nina, Tyler, and me.

WHY, OH WHY, DID I BUY A 20-POUND TURKEY????

I went to the grocery store planning to get a TURKEY BREAST to put in the crockpot, some sweet potatoes to roast, and Christmas lights for the tree.

I came out of the store with the 20-pound turkey, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pudding makings. This was along with all the regularly needed staples, the Christmas lights, and a little purple Christmas tree.

Barb (who is my grocery store shopping partner - again, not gay) had to loan me some money.

HERE IS MY MENU. HOPEFULLY, IF I PUT THIS OUT THERE, I'LL STICK TO IT.
* Turkey
* Cornbread dressing (I'm buying this from a specialty store in Albuquerque)
* Cranberry sauce
* Roasted sweet potatoes (with teriyaki sauce and cilantro)
* Mashed potatoes (for everyone else - I'm really going to try to eat only a little)
* Roasted brussels sprouts (which I may be the only one who eats)
* Pumpkin pie (a frozen one for Donna - I won't eat it)
* Pumpkin pie pizza (from Tyler - I'll eat a piece)
* Low fat pumpkin pudding (made with non-fat vanilla yogurt and low-cal whipped topping)
* Rolls (which I can pass on)

I'll also get ice cream for Tyler and Nina since that is their favorite dessert.

Damn...... as I read this, I realize that I really don't 'get' that "Thanksgiving is just another meal".

One doesn't have to list one's menu, one's grocery list, and BLOG about "just another meal", does one? (Trying for very proper English here.)

I eat "meals" all the time and don't blab to you about every little thing. (Well, close but not quite.)

How do you put a FOOD HOLIDAY in perspective?

I really and truly don't know. Give me your ideas and I'll think about this, too.

To be continued.........


P.S. In reading this over, I have three comments:
1. I got Donna in the divorce!
2. I don't really even know how to cook a turkey. Barb is going to walk me through it. Just thought I should give credit where credit is due.
3. Don't forget that I'm not gay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Do You Spell The Sound Of A Sigh Of Relief?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Maybe that's it.

I feel relief right now. And excitement about the holiday season that, for me, IS GOING TO START TOMORROW!!!!

Last night, I had a jewelry party at my house. A lesson I keep learning is that, though I love being around people, I go into a place of embarrassment, shame, and shyness when I have people over to my house. I keep learning this lesson because I keep repeating the behavior!

I don't know if people see the shyness, but I feel it. And the embarrassment. I used to live in a big pretty house with three floors, a two car garage, and a hot tub on the deck. I was proud of it because it was very different from the lower middle class home that I grew up in.

Through divorce, I've worked my way down to what I consider lower middle class housing like I grew up in. Now, I live in a fairly shabby duplex that I've decorated in a funky way.

My embarrassment is because I used to have the outside fixings that a lot of my friends have - the house, the garage, the money to spare, the husband......

The shame comes from, on some level, feeling like I did something wrong to lose all that.

But, the grown-up Me believes that things happen the way they are supposed to. And the grown-up Me knows that my life is better because of my divorce and all the losses it entailed, including losing my big pretty house.

With divorce, I lost my husband, my financial security, my house, my parenting partner, my housekeeper, my cook, my laundry person, my "daddy".

But I also lost my childishness, my boredom, my immaturity, my inability to be myself, my sense that I could never do anything right, and a huge part of my fear.

I like me better now. And I like my shabby little house with its pink walls and stenciled vines and Texas memorabilia. I like my cozy, girly bedroom.

But, I'm really getting off track here.

My sigh of relief is because:
* My jewelry party was a success - and it's over.
* I went to my 4-month oncology appointment today with a minimum of anxiety.
* The oncologist said everything looked and felt good (I'll know test results after Thanksgiving).
* On the doctor's scales, I had lost 14 pounds.
* My house is clean.
* And, TOMORROW I'M GOING TO DECORATE FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Life is good.

Love,
Jenn

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hanging On By My Fingertips!


Oh, man, this week is HARD!!

And I'm not sure why.

My weight has gone up. This morning, it was 231.5. I DO know why that's happened. Let's see, there was......
* the total lack of exercise
* the constant hand to mouth routine at Bunco
* yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner at school (ham, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and roll) - which I chose to eat
* last night's salad and chili at Hill Diner (a bowl, not at cup)

Day after tomorrow is my regular 4-month oncology appointment. I don't feel anxiety about it like I frequently have. I mean, it's nearly been two years since the cancer, my oncologist is always saying that recurrence would be rare, I feel good.....
So I'm not in touch with anxiety, but I wonder if its there.

Am I capable of having a doctor's appointment and not flipping out? I never thought so.

But maybe that's what is driving this kind of constant hunger that I'm feeling.
Isn't that what "feeding your heart" and "eating your emotions" means?

As I sit here, I realize that I'm also fighting magical thinking. And, boy, can I get magical! The little voice on the inside says "You're usually anxious before doctors' appointments and nothing happens. What do you think is going to happen since you're not having anxiety?"

I know that voice. It's little Jenny. She grew up believing that worrying about her mom is what kept her alive and worrying about herself is what kept her healthy and safe.

I know from past experience that food doesn't shut her up.
In fact, since my eating is frequently an exercise in self-hate, I think that food may actually make little Jenny more out of control. And food definitely makes Little Jenny stronger.

Because, if you're so scared, you are incapable. And if you're incapable, you eat a lot. And if you eat a lot, you might just deserve to be sick and die. You may not deserve a good, long life.

On some level, I know that, for me, it's all about the word "DESERVE".

Hmmmm, I've never thought much about that word. Seems like it might be time to.

I just read back over what I have written. It's always such a surprise to me what types out of my fingers!

What struck me was "food definitely makes little Jenny stronger". What does that mean?

Does it mean that...
Adult Me can make good choices about food?
Adult Me doesn't have to binge?
Adult Me doesn't have to hide behind fat?

When I binge/pig out/eat unconsciously/have a food frenzy - am I feeding little Jenny?

DID Y'ALL ALREADY KNOW THAT????????????????????????

DID I?????????????


It's crazy how you can know something and not know it at the same time!

Whoa. Lots of think about. What I immediately know is that I've got to find another way to take care of little Jenny.

***IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER***
I am not a split personality, and I don't have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Little Jenny is my inner child.

If you're not familiar with the term, it's usually used to to describe the remaining effects of one's childhood experiences.

My inner child is basically where my scars live.


You have one, too.

Twelve-Step programs talk about "healing the inner child" as being one of the essential stages in recovery from addiction, abuse, trauma, or post-traumatic stress disorder. In my case, that includes eating.

I just didn't want y'all to get too worried.....

Ooooh, just googled and found this interesting tidbit:
"The inner child can be considered a subpersonality, and many of those therapy approaches that work with subpersonalities deal with the inner child, even if they don't use that term. Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) has expanded the concept considerably in recognizing that there isn't just one inner child subpersonality, but many. IFS calls the wounded inner child subpersonalities "exiles" because they tend to be excluded from consciousness in order to defend against the pain and trauma that they carry. It has a sophisticated method for gaining safe access to a person's exiles, witnessing the stories of their origins in childhood, and healing them."

This is giving me lots to think about while I hang here.

Love,
Grown-up Jenn

P.S. DON'T FORGET TO VOTE ABOUT SWEET POTATOES ON MY POLL!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Epic Failure

Well, that didn't work....

Eating before I go somewhere is not a strategy for me - because I just go ahead and eat when I get there, too.

Before Bunco = Subway. Sounded like a good plan, didn't it?

At Bunco.....
* massive amounts of veggies - so far, so good...
* salsa
* soup - barely hanging in there...
* goldfish crackers - I don't even really like them...
* almond roca candy - things are going to hell in a hand basket now...
* honey mustard pretzels - I could have eaten the whole box...
* m&m's - need I say more?

The only things I stayed away from was the bread and the wine. Oh, and the apples.

And, then..... I won a prize for losing the most Bunco games. Really.
And my prize was a cookbook.

And this is what I've been doing since I got home.
Marking the pages (in the slow cooker section) that sound good.

And this is the one I really want. Right now.

OK. Lessons learned. I hope.

I decided it was time to blog.

BUNCO!!

Tonight's Bunco night!!

I LOVE Bunco! What makes that unusual is that I'm not a game player. Well, I've been known to play head games but I'm not a BOARD game player.

When I was a child, games were parental drunken behavior. I remember mom and other relatives playing password and 42. I don't have memories of Monopoly, Life, Checkers, or others.

Maybe we played them but I was just never too interested. What I always wanted to do was get people to play in my playhouse and me get to be the
mom/queen/teacher/princess/boss/president/sexy secretary/principal.
The cushy role in whatever make-believe we were into.

So, I've grown up knowing how to play Solitaire and knowing how to get others to do what I want them to do. Those are fairly common 'only child' activities.

But I truly love Bunco! I love it because it's fast, you get to visit, you don't have to think, you get prizes, and you get to eat.


RED FLAG ! RED FLAG ! RED FLAG ! RED FLAG! RED FLAG !
So, I have a plan.........

Subway first, then Bunco.

If I must nibble at Bunco, I can NIBBLE!!.
Not slam down, pig out, get wasted.

And, if I eat Subway, I won't be so hungry and feel like its-the-end-of-the-world-if-I-don't-get-to-eat-whatever-they-have.

Common feeling to me.

PLUS: I weighed 228.5 this morning. I didn't do as much damage last weekend as I feared.

I need to remember that nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

Love,
Bunco Babe

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Practicing An Attitude Of Gratitude

I did really well last week by focusing on eating healthy and binge-safe foods. I had a little pattern going where I'd eat Lean Cuisine for lunch, then Subway for dinner. I got down to 227.5 by Friday morning, but would have gotten tired of the monotony without a break.

Well, spending the weekend in Albuquerque was definitely a break. Saturday morning, Elisa and I ate Thai Steak Salads - not too bad except for the toughness of the steak. After a thrilling day shopping at the mall (insert finger into back of throat) that included Elisa's being disappointed because I wasn't as "into her" clothes shopping as much as she would like me to be. I wasn't animated enough, helping her find stuff, giving feedback.....I tried to be more with it and joyful about our experience of shopping for clothes for her but the deeper we got into the belly of the mall, the less comfortable I was.

The mall - like birds, ducks, and itchy clothing - gives me a bad case of the willies. It's been that way since 1980 when I had a job from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Day taking pictures of little kids in Santa's arms while dressed as an elf.
There would be loooonnnnggg lines of crying babies, hyperactive toddlers, children with the strange inability to crack a smile (probably aliens), peeing kids (on and off of Santa), and grumpy parents with very high expectations of picture taking elves.

Anyway, as Elisa and I got farther and farther away from the mall entrance, the more sense of going into a dungeon I had. Heart rate up, cold sweats, shakes, and then full blown panic hit me and I had to get out of there right at that minute. It put a damper on Elisa's plans.

So, then we went to a restaurant where they serve roasted chicken, fresh veggies (sounding good and healthy), and wine. And wine. And wine.

By the time we got home around midnight, I had to eat AGAIN (hummus and wheat thins)to keep myself from barfing.

Too much wine means little sleep for me. Little sleep sets the stage for emotional eating and punishment eating for making bad choices the day before.

For breakfast today, I had scrambled eggs and cheese and green chili turkey sausage on an English muffin. I thought I was real smart to not eat the muffin. But as I sat there talking to my friend, I tore that Engish muffin into bite-sized morsels, dipped them in ketchup, and ate every single bite.

For lunch, Elisa and I took brussel sprouts off the stem and roasted them in olive oil and salt. Yum! We also roasted acorn squash and ate it with chicken.

Then, tonight for dinner, I had Tyler makes me a personal pan veggie pizza with no cheese. My newest way to like to eat pizza!

The sky has been overcast all day - which makes my mood overcast. I was having lots of thoughts of "oh, I fucked up", "I'm so stupid", "I can't do this".....

And then, I thought back to Marianne Williamson's question, "Is my eating an act of self-love or an act of self-hate?"

This weekend it has been some of both. But now I have a choice of what I focus on:
* the mistakes I made, or the
* ways that I was blessed

I can focus on the wine and the sobering midnight snack. I can focus on the English muffin that I really didn't want. I can focus on the pizza that was still a pizza even though it was cheeseless. I can focus on the total lack of exercise over the weekend.

OR.....

I can practice an attitude of gratitude.

1. I'm grateful that Elisa is on a diet, too, and we could support each other - and we made pretty durn good choices.
2. I'm grateful for the long, deep, emotionally intimate talk we were able to have last night - even though some of it may have been driven by the wine.
3. I'm grateful for the other friends that I ate with this weekend - Jen, Ady, and Roci - who know what I'm trying to do (mainly from this blog) and were trying to support me.
4. I'm grateful for Trader Joe's for yummy veggies to roast.
5. I'm grateful for Tyler's pizza making expertise and his joyful willingness to make one for his mom.
6. I'm grateful to this blog that I inexplicitly feel a compulsion to be honest on, which in turns helps me stay accountable, which in turn helps me lose weight. Who would have thought it?
7. I'm grateful for the lessons that I haven't forgotten from my childhood days in Alateen: If you're negative, get out pen and paper and make a gratitude list - even if all you can think of to be grateful for at that moment is that you don't have dirt under your fingernails. We have the power to change our thinking by making gratitude lists rather than "Why Me" lists. When we change our thinking, we change our behavior.

So, right now I'm grateful for the things I did do right this weekend. Punishing myself (by eating, saying "fuck it", going into emotional unconsciousness) isn't going to help Jack Shit. LOL! Or me!

I'm probably not going to weigh 227.5 tomorrow but whatever it is, it will be OK. And I"ll go from there.

Thanks, Dianne.

Love,
Grateful Jenny

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Mom

If you've ever wondered why I'm the way I am, let me just say..... I'm not as bad as my mom.

She had a warped sense of humor - even before she developed alcoholism.


Two of my favorite stories:

Sometime in the late 1950's, Mom and Dad were invited to a Christmas party at her friend Betty's house. It was going to be THE HOLIDAY EVENT in little Knox City, Texas. Betty was planning to go ALL OUT with every aspect of the party, including her dress. It was a big secret, but Betty had made a Christmas skirt with an intricate appliqued Christmas tree on it and her husband, Cydie, had engineered a contraption that actually lit up her skirt with tiny little lights powered by a battery pack in the pocket! (Remember, this was the 50's - way before tiny little Christmas lights and tiny little batteries). Betty was keeping her Christmas skirt on the down-low and waiting to dazzle everyone with her surprise.

But, somehow Momma found out. (My social worker nosiness is a genetic trait.)

In that horrid kind of "best friend friendship", my mom decided to show Betty up. She made a red felt skirt, then went out to the farm and cut a big branch off a mesquite tree and sewed it on. Then, she strung electric Christmas lights (those big ole screw-in bulb kind) on the mesquite branch. She went to the party and plugged herself in and focused all the attention on herself. (sound familiar??)

As she worked the party, Momma had to go from outlet to outlet because she only had a 6' cord. Years later, she was still talking about how she should have remembered to take an extension cord to that party.

That was my momma. I would have loved to been there.

My other favorite momma story:

Knox City is a little town - probably had about 2,000 people in the 50's. My parents owned the local newspaper that was published weekly. My mom wrote a column called "As Seen by Rene" ('rene' rhymes with 'seen'). It was basically a gossip column. She pretty much knew everything that was going on in Knox City.

See the little As Seen By Rene icon on the top of the newspaper before "The Knox County Herald"? Its a drawing of her.

Anyway... playing bridge was a big thing back then. It must have been kind of hard to have a small luncheon and play bridge with the girls when everyone knew everyone else in town. I mean, you couldn't invite everybody.

Well, Momma found out that Betty (I SWEAR! THEY REALLY WERE GOOD FRIENDS!) was having a luncheon bridge party - three tables of four. You know, card tables set up, covered with pretty tablecloths, luncheon plates with finger sandwiches and jello salad, ashtrays......

Again.... when Betty did something, she did it up right!

Mom wasn't invited.

Uh, oh......

So. Momma found three other uninvited gals from their crowd, got her own card table/table cloth/luncheon plates/jello salad/ashtrays/decks of cards..... and they set up their luncheon bridge table right outside Betty's living room picture window!

Don't you love it?

Ohhhhhhh, if we had been the same age.... I don't know if we would have been friends or enemies! Would I have been turned off by her because she was such a teaser? So attention-seeking? Would I have competed with her?

I don't know, but I think I would have thought she was wacky and silly and crazy and fun. I would have wanted to be her friend.

Just a few months before she died.

I miss her.

Love,
Annie Irene McAuley Branch's daughter

Some of her nieces and nephews

My favorite reunion picture. Look at how Timi is turned around talking to the people behind her. That's a McAuley trait. One of them is always talking. The blood line between my mom and her niece, Timi, is strong!

Tying Myself Up

I'm preparing and planning for the three day weekend.

Always looking for new ideas. Here's one off the web:

Tie Yourself Up
"A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy-particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!"


That means it's time to get the Christmas wrapping box out.

Ohhhh, and that makes me want to tell stories about my mom.

You'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Mad Men is calling me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm Gonna Be The New Jared-ette!

It's kind of embarrassing, but I've eaten at Subway for the last three nights. By choice!

Like I've said, it's a safe place for me and I've really been feeling the need to stay in my safety zone after last weekend.

It wouldn't be so embarrassing if my town had more than one Subway but, because we're too small for a Walmart/Taco Bell/KFC/Chili's/Target/United/Wendy's/Dairy Queen/Burger King/anything else, we just have THE Subway. For three nights in a row, the owner has waited on me. I'm beginning to feel sheepish. But at least less cow-like.

Because, drum roll...................

Today, the scale said:

229.5

Yep, I can put up with the embarrassment.

Love,
Jaredette

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The YMCA Parking Lot

It looks like any other parking lot but it has a strange magnetic quality that made me unable to get out of my car and go inside.

Unfortunately, it has wi-fi so I was able to entertain myself by lurking on facebook for one hour without opening my car door.

Then, I drove next door to Subway.

I guess I should be glad it wasn't Baskin-Robbins.

Better luck behavior next time.

Sigh.........

Blessing Restaurants

I'm reading Marianne Williamson's book "A Course in Weight Loss" and listening to her CD, "Meditations on Weight Loss".

On the meditation CD, she urges people to go into their kitchen and bless it. The blessing includes a beautiful prayer and a forgiveness exercise to let go of the food-related pain that you've experienced in your kitchen. Marianne guides you into removing everything from your pantry and your refrigerator - holding each item one at a time with no emotional investment, then letting go of it emotionally, while placing it back in the pantry or throwing it away.

Its really a very beautiful exercise.

However, I don't need to bless my kitchen. It has virtually nothing to do with my weight. In fact, my kitchen would be my weight loss buddy if I would let it. The problem is that I really have no interest in having my kitchen as my weight loss buddy.

What I'm going to do is bless restaurants.

DeColores, Hill Diner, Viola's, El Paragua, El Parasol, Bob's Bodacious Barbeque, Morning Glory, Olive Garden, Subway (well, it really doesn't need to be blessed), Gabriel's, Chili's, El Pinto......

I'm going to bless them all, because those are the places that I have difficulties.

Those are the places that I have too many choices and am served too big of helpings. Those are the places that I am entertained by my friends and focus on the entertainment rather than what's going into my mouth. Those are the places that my mouth is already open because I'm talking and it's easy to just stick stuff in there.

Subway has already been blessed. I think Jared did it.

And Cindy did a beautiful blessing of El Paragua.

So, here is my blessing for my favorite restaurants.......

* This is a restaurant where I experience eating as an act of self-love rather than self-hate.
* This is a restaurant where I feed my physical hunger with good, nourishing food - and feed my emotional and spiritual hunger with good, nourishing camaraderie.
* This is a restaurant where I make good choices - choices made out of a desire to be healthy and proud of myself. Not choices made out of a need to escape and feed my hungry heart.


Now, if I could just get into the habit of giving myself a moment before going into a restaurant.... just to center myself and REMEMBER who I am and what I want.....

I made myself this "sticky" to put on the visor of my car (believe me, it's always down so I can check my lipstick).
I'm going to read it before going into any place that has anything to do with food.

If you have any blessings.... or affirmations.... or mantras - please share.

We all need them.

Love,
Jenn

Monday, November 7, 2011

Welcome To The Monday Morning TAP Meeting!

Good Morning! Welcome to the Monday Morning TRUTH, ACCOUNTABILITY, and PLAN meeting in Jennyland!

My name is Jenny and I weigh 233.5 pounds.

Hi, Jenny..

Hi. I've had a three pound gain since this time last week and I HATE-HATE-HATE-HATE-HATE it.

Jenny, I'm glad you came clean about your weight today. Why do you think it happened?

Well, I just wasn't careful. I didn't binge but I ate what I knew I should eat - then a little bit more. All weekend.

For example, I ate half a bowl of spaghetti sauce at Becky's on Saturday, but then while cleaning her kitchen, I ate three big serving spoons right out of the spaghetti sauce pot! Last night, I ordered grilled chicken salad and I ate that, then some of Elisa's fajita chicken and veggies - and half her bowl of beans.

I ....... cheated.
And I didn't exercise. Not all week.

What did you learn from this week?

Well, Invisible Person, I learned lots of things, I think.

1. I learned not to order a damn salad at a Mexican food restaurant. Why set myself up that way? It makes me feel like I have to eat the salad because I bought it, and then, I have to eat someone else's Mexican food to feel fulfilled. I would have had probably half the calories if I had just ordered chicken fajitas for myself in the first place.

2. I learned I really need to work on stronger boundaries around my PLANNED meals. Just like I "nickle-and-dimed" myself into the poor house, I can "just-one-tiny-bite" myself into the fat house. At Becky's house, the serving spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce, the two bites of cake, the cleaning out the olive bowl by cramming them in my mouth, the cleaning the cake plate by using my finger to get all the leftover icing....... those strategies don't seem to work for me.

I have to stop being the one to clean up. ;-)

3. I learned that I easily spin out of control. What triggers my spinning is lack of planning, a change in plans, being emotionally unsettled with fear/sadness/ exhaustion/hunger, and alcohol. I need to do whatever I can to ward off those spinny things.

So, Jenny.... what are your intentions THIS week to make things go smoother?

Well, I only have four days of work, then I'm spending the long weekend in Albuquerque.
So here's my plans for the next four days:
* Go to the Y three days this week and get on the treadmill - even if its only for five minutes. My knee is really hurting today, but I can do anything - ANYTHING - for five minutes.
* Eat at home or eat Subway. Even a whole can of tomato soup and cheese toast at my house probably has less calories than most things I eat in a restaurant. And Subway is always safe for me. I need to stay in my safety zones this week. Unfortunately, my kitchen is one of my safe places. I don't pig out at my own house.
* DRINK WATER. So far today? None. I have to decide on a MINIMUM and at least make myself drink that much. I can do days without any pure water.
* No alcohol. It's just empty calories. And it makes me more impulsive and more at risk of saying "what the hell....".
* Read the first lesson in the book, A Course In Weight Loss.

Thank you, Jenny.

Now it's time to stop monopolizing the meeting and let other people have their turn.

Shhhhhhhh, Jenny! I know I'm invisible but I'm still in charge of this meeting!!

Would anyone else like to share their intentions for this week?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Curse Of Spontaneity

I had a plan.
But it got out of hand.


I'd been tittering on the edge of - bingeing? insanity? something - since Friday.

But, I had it under control.

* I spent most of yesterday with my fellow balloon person, Barb. We had lunch at Hill Diner where I made healthy choices.

* We went to our local grocery store where they were having Customer Appreciation Day and giving out samples of all sort of goodies - salmon, sushi, baked goods, fried chicken, cheeses, meats, sandwiches, fruit, alcohol......

I abstained from everything.

* We went to Barb's house where I tried on size 18 REAL JEANS WITH ZIPPERS (not pretend jeans made of stretch material and elastic waists). Barb gave me lots of pairs because she has lost weight and wanted them out of her house.

(Don't expect to see them on me in the next couple of weeks though. I can get them on and all zipped up but haven't learned the finer art of breathing while wearing them. Give me time.)

* Somehow we ended up back at the grocery store.

Remember, I live in a very small town where there is little to do but play at the grocery store.

That time, I didn't abstain and soon had a little paper plate filled with fried chicken tenders, cheese, a tiny baby sandwich, and fruit.

There is something disquieting about pushing your grocery cart up and down aisles looking at diet food while eating fried chicken.

And that set the stage for my plan to really start falling apart....

The PLAN was that I was going to go over to Becky's house for forty-five minutes or an hour to give her a birthday gift and then drive to Santa Fe to pick up Tyler's girlfriend. (Because I'm a nice mom and he was working.)

BUT...

The late train from Albuquerque wasn't running so Marissa couldn't get to Santa Fe.

So, I stayed at Becky's and performed my untethered balloon routine.
I ate too much spaghetti sauce.
I drank too much wine.
I laughed too much.
I peed my pants.
I ate the icing off the cake plate.

I had a lot of fun but, today, I feel regret for the lack of consciousness of my behavior. Spontaneity. Sometimes in my life, just another word for lack of control.

If you google spontaneity, it ultimately takes you to spontaneous combustion. You can read all sorts of gruesome reports of people suddenly igniting and dying by fire that consumed them without torching their surroundings.

I'm very aware that I have the propensity for emotional spontaneous combustion. If I don't take care of myself emotionally, I WILL crash and burn. At this time of my life, that will mean getting back in my "well, just fuck it!" mindset. I will close the door on my dream of being more fit and healthy and eat my way to oblivion.

I don't want that.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Why Can't I Weigh 229?????

Happy Friday, Everyone!!

I said in a previous post that, for at least five years, my weight has hung out in the 230's and the 240's.

The last time I remember weighing in the 220's was in 2006.

Oops. Just let the secret out the bag.
There are people who know me who are probably wrinkling up their foreheads with confusion and saying, "Well, wait a minute..... I remember just last year when you said you weighed 200..." "....175...", "...190...".......

That's before I started telling the truth.

In the REAL world, the last time I have a conscious memory of weighing under 230 was one day when I walking down the hall at Mountain School with a fairly short skirt on. It was my second week of work there. Michelle Irish stopped me in the hall to tell me that my skirt was riding up in the back and my underwear was about to show. It was the first time we talked and the beginning of our friendship.

THANKS FOR TELLING ME, MICHELLE!

That morning I had weighed 225. That was probably the last time I weighed 225 and it was definitely the last time I wore that skirt.

Well, all this week, I've hovered at 230 or 231. I weigh daily. I know there are a lot of people who don't feel that is a good idea, but get over it. I do. It's another tool to help me stay accountable.

Historically, you can tell when I'm eating unconsciously by the dust on my scale.
If I'm not weighin', I'm eatin'.

This week has been 230, 231, 230.5, 230, 231.

Poopy

I just want to get below that damn 3!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

HALT

Today, God has put the word HALT back into my consciousness.

As a teenager in Alateen (a twelve step program for children of alcoholics), I was taught:
H.A.L.T.
Don't get too..
...Hungry...
...Angry...
...Lonely...
...Tired...
What that means in my life is that hunger, anger, loneliness, or exhaustion puts me in a precarious position - one where my eating and my emotions (and especially my emotional eating) become at risk.

Today..
I awoke after a restless night.
I had worry and hurt for a friend.
I didn't eat breakfast.
I THREW a Lean Cuisine and frozen veggies in my mouth at noon.
I didn't drink water until after 3pm.
There was an imaginary full moon this afternoon and the middle-schoolers where I work went nuts.

Right now, I feel food-vulnerable. Scary.

What I need to do is eat. Now, before the foodie monster inside takes over and scarfs down anything and everything.

Then I need to look inside and see what else I need. I really don't know what it is right now. To go take a nap? Go exercise? Go get a coke with a friend? Watch Mad Men?

Once again, I'm in that place of knowing what I need to do - actually having the tools - but not being sure I'll make the choice to do it.

The natives on the inside are restless. Must be that imaginary full moon that was creating such havoc here at school this afternoon.

Here's a much better explanation of H.A.L.T. from the internet:
"This tried and true slogan helps us to stay in touch with our feelings and needs. Sometimes the onset of anxiety or a sudden drop in mood can be traced to our having forgotten to eat so our blood sugar levels are off kilter. Sometimes we may be carrying a resentment, or feeling lonely, or we are just too tired. Taking a little time out from our busy day to ask ourselves if we are feeling too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, gets us in touch with our feelings. When we know what we are feeling we can make choices and take the appropriate action to get our needs for food, companionship, or rest, met.

Being too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, are conditions that leave us more vulnerable. Part of recovery is learning to pay attention to these inner signals and practice appropriate ways to meet our needs and resolve issues in a manner that will enhance our abstinence and serenity."


I hope H.A.L.T is a good tool for you, too.

Love,
Jenn

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Bucket List

I like the idea of a bucket list. You know, things you want to do before you kick the bucket.

I'm impressed with people who have lofty goals in their bucket list like.....

.......... I want to climb Mt. Everest
...............I want to swim the English Channel
...........................I want to hike across Spain

Don't those sound intellectual and ambitious?


My bucket list? Not so much....

Here it is in all its glory. Remember, it's a work in progress so I plan to add to it.

1. I want to meet a "swinger". Not BE a swinger or BE WITH a swinger. I just want to talk to a swinger about what it's like.

2. I want to meet a hermaphrodite. I just want to hear their story from their own mouth.

3. I want to play beer pong. I think everyone should have done that in their 20's but somehow I missed out. Or didn't get invited.

4. I want to have a cross dresser as a friend. I want to loan him clothes. (He'll have to be an overweight cross dresser.) I just want to learn what his life is like.

5. I want to take jello shots. Again, no one told me about these when I was at the appropriate age to do it. I was too busy eating magical brownies, I guess.

6. I want to have a friend who has had a sex change operation. I want to know all the details.


Hmmmmm, I wonder if these goals have anything to do with my career choice of social work....

I just love people. And I like to know what makes them work. We're all just so different, so unique - yet so the same on the inside.

I believe that you can give me anyone - rich, poor, smart, dull, fat, skinny, male, female, white, brown - and, on the inside, we're all the same. We all know hurt and shame and pride and longing......

You get my drift.....

Anyway, I've always said that 'social worker' was just a socially acceptable word for 'nosy'.


If you have friends with alternative lifestyles who would like a listening ear, think about having a juvenile party where jello shots are done and beer pong is played and, invite me.