Sunday, April 29, 2012

Becoming A Food Grown-Up

Both my sons were vegetable-phobic.  

Josh cried in the 5th grade when I told him he had to eat at least ONE bite of carrot.  And they were candied carrots.

Tyler was resistant to even touching lettuce and the other veggies on a burger.  Finally, when he was nine, I said "Tyler, on the day you turn ten, you have to start taking the veggies off your own Big Macs.  Mommy's not going to do it for you anymore."

You can see the high-falutin' eating we were doing.

I considered them real food babies(Said in whiny, mocking voice.)

I, myself, have always been a food baby when it comes to seafood.  I have never been able to make myself take a bite of lobster, clams, oysters, or mussels.  I can only eat crab in the form of cakes - and that is with a lot of ketchup.  I had my first bite of tilapia in the last three months.  I ate salmon for the first time in the last year, and smoked salmon for the first time earlier this month.

And I can't eat seafood if I'm anywhere close to the water it came out of.  When Charlie and I visited the San Francisco pier, I ate a burger.  The fish...........well, they looked too much like fish.

I like fish that looks like a breaded stick.  Or that comes out of a can that you mix with mayonnaise and stick between two pieces of bread.

I love shrimp but have always hidden behind my proverbial mother's apron if the shrimp had legs.   The idea of peeling my own shrimp?  Nah.  Princesses don't do that.

Well, after being divorced from Charlie (my personal shrimp-leg-taker-offer) for ten years, I finally decided to take the bull by the horns (or in this case, the shrimp by the legs) and peel them myself two weeks ago.  What really happened was that I was at a fancy buffet with seven adult female co-workers and they weren't being whiny about the shrimp having legs.  It was a case of having to keep up with the Joneses.  Peer pressure at it's best.

And I was so proud of myself afterward.  I strutted out of that restaurant with my tail up in the air, blowing on my fingernails like Miz Hot Shit!

And now, I can't wait to rip off the legs of some more of those little boogers!

I have also been a life-long food baby about cheese.  My two favorite cheeses have always been Velveeta and Kraft sliced American.  Actually, I think those slices are called 'processed cheese food' - whatever that means.  After 28 years of living in New Mexico, I've also learned to love Colby and Pepper Jack. 

Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Parmesan (except the shaky kind) and Mozzarella (except in the form of string or on a pizza) were too smelly for me.

And Blue Cheese, Feta, or Goat Cheese ------- they were out of the question. NO WAY I WAS PUTTING THAT STINKY STUFF IN MY MOUTH!

Well, has anyone else noticed how hard it is to try to look cool and not eat Feta?  Haven't you noticed that ALL the cool people eat Feta and Goat Cheese?  Have you experienced the absolute mortification of ordering a fancy salad that is topped with Feta and having to say "Can I substitute shredded American cheese for the Feta -- or little chunks of Velveeta if you've got any back there?"

This is the area I'm currently working on becoming a food grown-up.  I've now tried Feta a couple of times and .. it was ok.  Next, I'm going to try Goat Cheese and fresh Mozzarella.  The kind that comes in little squishy balls.

And in my ever onward quest for grown-up eating, my next hurdle is going to be sushi with live fish rather than dead fish -- no, no.  I mean sushi with RAW fish rather than COOKED fish (grown-ups eat real sushi).  I took a tiny baby step last weekend by eating wasabi and ginger on my cooked California roll.  Donna (who knows I'm a food baby) and I were eating our sushi when Michael dropped by to visit.  As I easily fall into thinking that Donna is a reincarnation of my mommy, I nearly interrupted Michael to say something inane to Donna like "Aren't you proud of me for eating my ginger and green shit?"  My faulty filter fired up long enough to not blurt that out.  At least until Mike left, when I then told Donna with the expectation of praise as though I had used the potty for the first time.  And, being the good friend she is, she complied and showered me with praise.

Or maybe she REALLY IS the reincarnation of my mother!!

The final frontier of grown-up eating for me will be the meats-that-are-not-cow-pig-chicken-turkey-or-non-fishlike-fish.  I WILL some day conquer my aversion to venison, quail, dove, lamb, goat, and buffalo.  But it will take a long time.  My cousin Doak cleared up my misconception that Bambi was a deer instead of a lamb just last week.

Or was she a lamb?  They all look the same to me. 

So, what all this means is that when I eat Bambi, I will be a food grown-up.

Disclaimer:  No animals (or cheeses) were hurt in the making of this blog.  They were just shunned, put-down, threatened, intimidated, and generally treated mean.

Sweet 'lil Jenny...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm In A Squiggly

I love this image.  I'm in a squiggly right now.  Possibly upside down.

Weight is OK.


But I feel a little bit untethered.

Since Friday night (where I showed myself that I still remember how to stuff my face like The-OLD-Jenny), I have not been vigilant.

But I haven't been off either.   I've been like a bowling pin that is wobbling back and forth and you don't know if it's going to fall down or not. 

I've thought about this all afternoon.  Well, not ALL ......................... A little bit.

And actually, I think it's good news.  I think I would be off, out-of-control - BUT I think my default eating has changed.  Do you know what I mean?

Friday night, I partied.  Cheese queso, buffalo chicken dip, two hot dogs (only one bun), copious amounts of ketchup, potato chips, potato salad, chocolate peanut butter cake with ice cream, wine................

It was a "Well, fuck it" meal.  The kind where, historically, I go.........
"Well, I screwed THAT up, might as well just give up, close my eyes, take my fat clothes and move back full-time to Jennyland..."
But, Saturday morning, I was back being AWARE and making good choices.  And I really believe it was by the Grace of God.  Because it wasn't me.   I believe that God is changing my desires.

WHOA!  THAT STATEMENT SURPRISED ME!  But, it's true!  I think my default eating has changed.  And that's something I've never been able to do. 

Saturday, Donna and I worked hard in her office and in my backyard.  No lunch but a late breakfast.  By evening, we were starving so we went to the store and got sushi to eat as an appetizer to the salmon we were going to grill.

We ended up eating eight pieces of sushi EACH (a full meal) AND THEN guacamole, baked chips, grilled salmon, and banana boats.

Really, two dinners.  The bowling pin was wobbling.

But, Sunday, I was back on it.  No unconscious eating.

Monday, I was back on it.

And the God-given gift was that I felt like I was going back to my default setting.  Not forcing myself to get it under control.  Isn't that amazing???????

Today, I've done fine.  The lack of money forced me to come home after work, make myself a tuna sandwich, and sit out in my backyard eating and blogging.

AND I'M ENJOYING IT!  Just me and the dogs.

There are things happening right now that make me a wobbly bowling pin.  Tyler is off in Texas in my car, I'm out of money until Friday, I haven't paid the speeding (ETC!) tickets to the pueblo, there's only five weeks left of school and the 8th graders are getting restless, I feel tired of emptying the cat box then feel guilty for longing to be catless.........

But, today........ my eating default setting has changed.  I can't become complacent about that.  I know that I will ALWAYS BE HIGH RISK for chucking it all and giving up.

But I'm not today.  And I have no idea what this blog has to do with it's title.

But I loved the success image.

And I'm still loving sitting in my backyard.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tomorrow, I Will....

Tonight, I will forgive myself for royally and completely ignoring my goals, who I want to become, and the whole idea of conscious eating.

And ignoring is what I did.  I didn't forget.  I made a conscious decision to close my eyes and not listen to the internal voice of reason that was saying:

Tonight, I will let it go.  It's too late to change my mind.  I've already closed my eyes and stuffed my face all day and all evening.  Now, I have two attitudes to choose from:
"Well, screw it.  I'd gained five pounds this morning; it will be even more tomorrow.  This isn't worth it.  Its taking too long and I still look like a whale.  I can't do this.  Fuck this shit."
"Today is over.  Tomorrow is a new day.  I deserve this.  I deserve to feel proud.  I deserve to feel like a normal person.  I deserve to walk with energy.  I deserve to like myself."
Ugh!  My whiny-ness is driving me CRAZY!  And, in order to be true to myself, I have to say that I've been trying to not write the 'f' word so much.  I told my cousin that I would work on that.  But I would be masking who I really am if I didn't admit that FUCK THIS SHIT is really how I feel sometimes.  I'm fighting that right now and sugar-coating it and saying something different and polite like "I'm having a hard time not giving up" JUST DOESN'T CUT IT!!!!!

So... my commitments:

Tomorrow, I will have a Weight Watchers breakfast, a frozen dinner for lunch (with as many vegetables and fruit as I want), and Subway for dinner.

Tomorrow, I will return to my no alcohol/no diet sodas until 200.

Tomorrow, I will drink at least ONE glass of water with lemon.  These waterless days don't help.

Tomorrow, I will post my weight on Facebook.  You can't get more transparent than that.  At least without a megaphone. Today, I was 209 after weighing 204.5 on Friday.  It will be at least a couple of pounds more tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will remember that it is my blood pressure pill that I'm supposed to be cutting in half - not my water pill as I had been doing for the past two days.

Tomorrow, I will think about this summer, the pool, the cruise...... not what current emotion I can paint over with gravy.

I have to fight this.
I have to pray through this.  

I will not give up.  Nor should I flog myself.

Just get over it, Jenny!  Dust off your fat butt and get back to it!  Quit 'yer bitchin' and DO IT!

(Sorry, Rosie, but nothing else expresses it.)

I'm Lost And Trying To Find My Way Back

I am incredibly tired but know that I must blog now in order to hold on to the tiny shred of accountability that I can muster up.

I've had  a crazy busy weekend that, last night, accumulated in me becoming so flustered and nervous and people-pleasing that I lost myself.

You're asking yourself, "Oh My God, did she have a meeting with the President?'  "Oh WOW, was she invited to Cinderella's ball?"  "Praise God! Did she have an audience with the Pope???"

Nah........ I had Bunco at my house.  But because I am me, it might as well have been an audience with the Queen Of Sheba.

Having eleven women, who are my Bunco friends but not necessarily a part of my inner circle, come to my house for the first time, was nerve-wracking for me.  It brought up ALL my insecurities about not being rich enough, not being a good enough housekeeper, not having good taste, not being creative enough, not being worthy of love enough to have a husband, not getting good enough prizes, not being generous enough...... in general, just not being good enough. 

Those insecurities are what has plagued me all weekend.  I have given them control over what and how much I ate, how much I spent, how balanced my weekend was, what I talked about, and my mood.

If it was a wrestling match, I'd be pinned to the ground by my insecurities and the final score would be:

Jenn's Insecurities - 45
Jenn - 0

That's how I got lost.  I got lost in a maze of I've got to do this ... and this ... and
 this...and buy this ... and this ... and this ... and this ... and make this ....
and this .... this ... and this ...  ad nausem.  By yesterday, the maze included I've got to eat this ... and this .... and this .... and this .... and drink this ... and this ... and this.............

 Here's how out of control everything got:
1.  Friday night, Jen and I went shopping for food, decorations, and bunco prizes. We bought Bunco prizes, supplies to make a Mat Hatter's hat to put fruit skewers on, supplies to make Mad Hatter signs, different colors of bread to make a sandwich checkboard, dark chocolate-covered edamame, dark chocolate-covered ginger, cocoa truffles, wasabi trail mix, crown and high heel-shaped cookie cutters, and weird wines.  Of course, that's not all I bought but it shows you how I was handing out the moolah.
There was a highlight to the shopping trip and that was spending the afternoon and evening with Jen talking and laughing.  She is a younger, more creative and responsible me.  We had dinner WITH WINE.  I'd like to say that I had wine because I was celebrating reaching the 40 pound loss mark.  But really, I had wine because Jen was with me and she was having wine.  We weren't doing a good job supporting each other on our weight loss goals.

2.  Saturday, I manipulated Tyler and three of his friends into raking, sweeping, hauling, and cleaning in my backyard.  And I paid Tyler's friend to deep clean my kitchen.  I had this fear of my Bunco group looking into my kitchen's butt crack.  You know...... all the crevices where crumbs, dust, wayward pills, single pinto beans, and lonely cat food nibbles hide.  And the backyard cleanup?  Somehow, I hooked that into Bunco, too, even while knowing that no one was going to go into my backyard.  I spent my time pulling the nails out of my staircase that were left over from when Nina and I pulled up the carpet TWO YEARS AGO.  I had never really noticed them before, but in the face of a pending Bunco party, they became literal EYESORES!   That's all I could see when I walked up or down the stairs.

Conscious eating wise, whatever started to rock my intent and vigilance on Friday night with the glass of wine, really started whacking the sides of the boat on Saturday night.  I went to Barb's for dinner and had FIVE cups of pinto beans! Be glad you didn't spend the night with me.

3.  Sunday, after a bit of cleaning, I spent most of the day at a fund-raising bowl-a-thon with a group of coworkers.   It was a blast and we won second place for yelling the loudest.  I'm not a good bowler, but I am a LOUD bowler.  And, in this case, that helped.  We even won this penguin bowling pin as a trophy!

After bowling, my little weight loss boat was in seriously rough waters.  We went to a......... (sorry for the bad word).... BUFFET.  Where I was buffeted.

I just looked up the definition of buffeted..
"buffeted - pounded or hit repeatedly by storms or adversities

I like that definition because that's what happens at buffets! You are repeatedly pounded by the sight of food.  And, in my case, the food sometimes wins.

Sunday night, I went over to Jen's to help her with the food for my Bunco party.  She made cupcakes and I chopped chicken, apples, and veggies and trimmed the pork loin.

By this time, I had totally lost my focus on conscious eating.  Thrown it overboard.  In addition to the buffet, I had sampled Jen's cookies, I had wine, and I had beer. 

Lost.  I was lost.  And I had lost.

4.  Monday, I took off work to finish preparing for the Bunco party.  I had to rearrange furniture to get the three Bunco tables into my tinywhitetrashgaragesaledecoratedfoofoofunkypink house.  I had to make salad cups.  I had to make fruit skewers.  I had to set out the gummy dice!  I had to put my plastic cups in order (don't ask!).  I had to make "eat me" and "drink me" signs.   I had to watch Jen makes crown-shaped, high heel-shaped, Texas-shaped sandwiches, cupcakes, and barbequed pork!  

Finally, after days of insane preparation, anxious feelings of inadequacy, and just plain "I AM DRIVING MYSELF EFFING NUTS!", the Bunco party happened. 

People loved the sandwiches.
They loved the barbeque.
They loved the salad cups.
They loved the fruit skewers in the Mad Hatter's hat.
They loved the cupcakes.
They made nice comments about my house. 
They loved the prizes.

No one made any comments about the nails in my stairs.
No one said, "Wow, you are so white trash, you shouldn't be in our Bunco group!"
No one laughed hysterically at the colors of my living rooms walls or looked at me pitifully after checking out my floors.
No one even mentioned my baggie of white m&m's that is thumb-tacked to my kitchen cabinet.
No one tried to peep at my kitchen's butt crack.
Only one person even went upstairs to use the bathroom.
Even Nurdy was on his best behavior.

But it was stressful.  For a social butterfly (which I admit I am), I close up and become very insecure when having people over to my house.  I ate anxiously.  I played Bunco with my left hand and kept my right hand in constant motion between whatever bowl was in front of me and my mouth.

After everyone left, I crashed.   

Oh hell....... I've got to be completely honest.  I crashed on the living room couch drinking the two nearly finished bottles of wine straight out of the bottles!  I was cleaning up, ya know?

This morning, I weighed five pounds more than I did on Friday.  It's not a surprise. 

I came to work feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically beat up.  I'm tired.  I'd brought all the goodies from the Bunco party to share with co-workers.  However, rather than putting them in the teachers lounge, I kept them on the table in my office.

They are THIS FAR from my computer.
And I have put them in my mouth all day.  Even the gummy dice. 

Blogging this afternoon has helped me feel less lost.  So............ tomorrow is a new day.  Right? 

Thanks for helping me find my way home.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nearly To A Milestone. And Other Things Rolling Around In My Head.

I've nearly lost 40 pounds.  Nearly.  I've lost 39 on my scales. 

Since Easter, I've been telling myself that I'm not going to blog until I can blog that I've lost 40 pounds.  Then tonight, I realized that that was "stinkin' thinkin". 

It was like saying "I'm not going to take this medicine until I feel better". 

That is such an unsafe way for me to think.  I have 25 years of self-sabotage under my belt.  I like to pretend that I haven't lost this much weight before, but that's a lie.  In the last 27 years, I've lost this much weight four times.  And, each time, I've SOMEHOW turned my mind off, gone back into Jennyland full-time, and eaten myself back into a place of oblivious self-hate. 

Can you be oblivious and feel self-hate at the same time?  Technically, I doubt it.  But you know what I mean.

Sorry.  I have to do this for me.  Just bear with me.
* 1982 - I weighed 118 when I married Charlie.  HOWEVER, my highest weight had been 150 at some time before that.
* 1983 - We moved to Los Alamos where I was terribly unhappy.  I ate.  And ate.  And ate. 
* 1984 - I stopped smoking.  When I stopped smoking, I weighed between 135 and 140.
* 1985 - I got pregnant after less than a year of not smoking.  I'd gained over 40 pounds from quitting smoking so started my pregnancy at 185.
* 1986 - I had Tyler at over 240.  He was a very big baby.  ;-)
* 1987 - I got down to 190 by living on Budget Gourmet frozen dinners.  Which I now won't touch with a ten-foot pole.  I only spent a couples of weeks, maybe days, at 190 before going back up.
* 1990 - I went on Optifast - the medically-supervised shakes only program when weighing 255.
* 1991 - After the three months on Optifast, I weighed 175.  But not even for a month.  Then my mom got sick and I ate my feelings.
* 1994 - Donna and I joined Jenny Craig.  I was 240 when we joined and 207 a few months later on my 40th birthday.  But by the time we adopted Nina in 1996, I was back up to 245.
* 2006 - With Topomax, lots of exercise, and Weight Watchers, I got down to 203 in May of 2006.  But by the beginning of 2007, I had started working for the school and gotten back up to 225.  AND BEYOND!!!!!!!

So... four times being this low.  How can I make sure that this time is different?

Well, here's my ideas.....
1.  I'm older.   I don't know if that gives me more motivation or just makes it easier to lose.  But I DO know that you don't see many elderly fat people.  And that fact scares me.  They must either die or become home bound or lose weight.  I want to be in the third group.
2.  I'm taking my time at this.  I have always been able to easily lose weight.  All it takes for me is not stuffing myself with copious amounts of food.  I know I'm lucky in this way.  When Donna and I were going to Jenny Craig, it was obvious how different our metabolisms were.  She struggled with every tenth of a pound - eating much less than me - while I lost between one and two pounds most weeks.  I'm aware, now, of how much I would eat in my previous oblivious state.  I would eat a meal before a meal.  I would go to McDonald's and get two meals.  I still eat a lot.  As I've told you, portions are really hard for me.  But, WHAT I eat is different now.  A lot of veggies or a lot of apples or two chicken breasts is different than two hotdogs from Sonic on my way to dinner at DeColores where I would have cheese enchiladas with an egg and all the fixings. 
3.  Most of the time, I don't feel like I'm depriving myself now or "dieting".  I know I'm eating at Subway too much and risking all of a sudden being TOTALLY SICK OF THAT and never going back like I did with the Budget Gourmet frozen dinners.  But, it's not like being on Optifast or Jenny Craig or even Weight Watchers.   I did make that commitment to my blog that I wasn't going to drink alcohol or diet sodas until I was under 200.  In hindsight, that probably wasn't a very good idea because it sets up the sense of depriving myself.  Luckily, alcohol and diet sodas have been easy for me to go without (well, except for that one drinking day last week) so I'm pretty much sticking to it.  But, I know better than to say something like "no chips and salsa" until 200" or "no ketchup".  It would be a set up for failure.
4.  I'm doing what I think works for me - not necessarily what people tell me will work for me.  I'm weighing every day.  All my fat life, I've been told to only weigh once a week or to go by how my clothes feel.  But, for me, I know that weighing every day works best.    I'm not making myself write down what I eat.  I know that is a tool that many people use but it really doesn't work for me.  Being organized and anal about writing things down has appeared to work because that's like my personality.  I am very organized and compulsive FOR SHORT PERIODS OF TIME, and then blow it off.  I follow this pattern in how I deal with money, cleaning my house, keeping my car clean, keeping my appointment calendar, following diets, keeping progress notes about my clients, doing crafts, exercising, watering plants - in addition to following this pattern with writing down what I eat. 
5.  I'm blogging.  This is helping TREMENDOUSLY right now.  Only God knows why.  I have some ideas:  I'm truly learning about myself by writing my heart.  I have many "Ohhh, so THAT'S why I do that!" moments while blogging.  For some reason, knowing that some of my friends read this (and new virtual friends) makes me be accountable.  It's so weird because I don't consider myself an accountable person.  I say 'yes' all the time - even when I'm not going to do something, I have been known to make promises and commitments that I can't keep, I can usually bullshit myself out of any situation (except for tickets).  I'm very flighty, very Gemini.  I am not accountable when making commitments to myself.  Diaries haven't worked.  Journals haven't worked.  I lie to myself all the time. 
But, somehow, knowing that my thoughts and dreams and wishes might get read by you has worked.  Thank you for being out there. 

Miscellaneous things that are rolling around in my head that I need to get out:
1.  My doctor congratulated me on losing weight but then, unaware of the exact extent of my ability to be crazy, used the words "your" and "weight loss" and "rapid" in the same sentence.  Now, no one will understand this if they don't live in the scary neighborhood in Jennyland, but I'm frightened of "rapid weight loss".  It's one of those Seven Signs Of Cancer indelibly carved into my brain since childhood.  I worried about my mother losing weight.  I've worried about Tyler losing weight.  I've worried about Nina being skinny. 
And, to my wonderful doctor and friend, Dr. Carr:  Michelle, I'm sorry for insanely blabbering when we had that conversation this week.  I'm sorry for being a 57-year-old woman and asking in an 8-year-old voice if I'm losing weight like people do who have cancer.  How effing embarrassing!!!!!
But, that really is a fear.  And I don't want to let it sabotage me.  I don't want to start eating to see if I'm still able to gain weight.  I'm pretty sure I still have that ability!
2.  I bought two new kitchen utensils.  They're really cool but, because of them, I've sat here tonight and eaten two whole potatoes as an after-dinner snack!  I bought a thing that slices potatoes really thin and a thing that you put in your microwave that makes potato chips.  Both from Pampered Chef.  (Jen, what are they called?)  I used two whole potatoes and made these chips tonight. 
 Then I ate every one of them.  It's so cool because you don't use anything but the potatoes and seasonings.  I put WAY too much salt on them so I imagine my weight will be up tomorrow. 
3.  I get to cut my blood pressure medicine in half because of my weight loss.  When I went to the doctor this week (and had my usual going-to-the-doctor anxiety that I could feel throughout my body), my blood pressure was 103/72. 
4. I think I'm going to try an experiment with ketchup.  Now that Heinz has come out with these....
 I'm thinking about limiting myself to one per meal.  I hate to admit this, but that will SERIOUSLY cut down on the amount of ketchup I use.  What do you think? 
5.  I love you and appreciate you.  Even if you weren't able to muddle through this whole long blog.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Buffet

Happy Easter, Everybunny!

Why, oh why did I think that coming to a $30.00 Easter Buffet was a good idea?

 Talk about being surrounded by food. Food literally encircled us!

The ghost of my mother that I carry inside me was quietly screaming "YOU BETTER GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH!".

 So under the circumstances (and with all that yelling going on in my brain) I think I did pretty good. OK, so it WAS three platefuls. They were luncheon-sized plates. And I filled them with tomato-cucumber salad, fruit, cheese, a small chicken breast, smoked salmon, hearts of palm and artichoke salad, and one little cheese enchilada. And for dessert, I had some granola and strawberry yogurt on it.

Coulda been worse. No candy, no chocolate.

Happy Easter! Weigh Down begins tomorrow!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Years Ago and Today

Today, I ate.

I ate with Elisa and Shawna at the Elephant Bar for lunch and had some spinach/artichoke dip and chips, sweet potato fries, a veggie burger, salad, a NON-VIRGIN Bloody Mary, a watermelon/cucumber/mint/gin drink, and a third of a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing and ice cream.

I ate with Barb, Natalie, and Pat at Dublin's for dinner and had some fried pickles, grilled chicken smothered in provolone cheese, rice, more NON-VIRGIN Bloody Marys, and a fourth of a piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and raspberry sauce.

Two years ago today, I didn't eat.   

Two years ago today, my friend Barb took me to the hospital in Albuquerque where they admitted me and did surgery to remove 19 abdominal lymph nodes to search for the spread of cancer from my uterus.  Along with my cousin Rosie, Barb stayed with me through the first post-surgery hours where I whined and worried and catastrophized and cried.  Barb left the hospital in the late afternoon to drive back to Los Alamos.  She talked on the phone to her son, Ryan, most of the two-hour drive home.  Thank God.  They talked of many things and nothing - the kind of conversation we all have with numerous people throughout the day - with no conscious awareness that it may be our last.

Soon after 7pm, as Rosie and I were beginning to watch American Idol on the little TV in my hospital room, Barb called with the news that, a couple of hours after she arrived home, she had received a phone call that Ryan had committed suicide. 

There was no cancer in my lymph nodes.  But, I've watched my friend wade her way through the horror and overwhelming grief of losing her child.  I've watched her have to live every parent's worst nightmare. 

But 'live it' she has done.  A day doesn't go by that Barb doesn't grieve the loss of Ryan.  Many days include tears in the midst of the joy and laughter that is Barb's "default" personality. 

It's been an honor to walk beside her.  

Today, I ate.
I ate with joy.
I ate with camaraderie.
I ate with a relish for life.
I ate with compassion.
I ate with love.
I ate with remembrance.
I ate with hope.
I ate with laughter.
I ate with tears.
I ate with a thankful heart.
I ate with an awareness of what a gift happiness is.
I ate with an awareness of how precious life is.

I have no guilt for my eating today.  Just gratitude.

Rest in Peace, Ryan.  And Barb, keep on teaching us how to joyfully show up for life.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break Is Not Going To Break Me

Today I weighed 206. Can I actually have a Spring Break where I lose weight rather than gain? That's my goal. I really wanted to go to Texas for Spring Break but I knew that I would sabotage myself if I did. When I go to the big state of Texas, I do everything BIG. I eat big, I spend big, I laugh big, I drive big, I GET big. So I'm staying in New Mexico. Also, I made that commitment to myself to have no alcohol of diet soda until I'm under 200. I usually don't pay to much attention to commitments I make to myself because, let's face it, I'm always running off at the mouth about what I'm going to do, what I'm going to make, where I'm going to move, etc. But, for some reason, it's important for me to stick to this commitment. Maybe to prove something to myself. It hasn't been easy. I've wanted a diet soda every single day. And Friday night, I went out with friends that I ALWAYS drink with. But I took a support person who helped me not blow it by suggesting that I order a virgin Bloody Mary that satisfied my craving for something spicy and hot without giving me alcohol. And, what I know about myself is that I can get just as silly and outrageous without alcohol as with. I don't NEED it to have a good time. Tonight, I went out with other friends that I usually drink with. We had a fantastic dinner at Becky's and I was able to not sample Kara's homemade Sangria. I DID eat two chicken breasts, one deviled egg, two servings of salad, and one glass of V8 juice, but I stayed away from the beans, the bread, the cheesecake, and the wine. Tomorrow, I'm going to Albuquerque, the city with a restaurant in every corner, for four days. I can do it. I WILL do it. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I don't have to have it NOW (whatever "it" happens to be at any given time). There will be more of it later. I am strong. I am conscious. I am awake. I don't EVER have to be as overweight and unhealthy as I was yesterday. I can do this one day/one meal/one craving at a time. Once it passes my tonsils, it was all just food anyway. These are my mantras. Love, Jenny.