Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gratitude

Well, I've been at this for nearly a month now.  I would be remiss if I didn't stop and  say thank you for your comments, support and love.  It warms my heart and is further evidence that I need to get the sledge hammer and demolish my brick wall.  Or maybe I'll just put a door or a window in it.  Or just move to a less fortifying model like wood or hay.  (Hey, this puts a whole new spin in those Three Little Pigs.)  At any rate, my cries have not gone unheard and I am blessed.  My sincerest gratitude.  I love you all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where are the Rainbows I Ordered?

This morning, after a restless night, I woke up thinking, "Woe is me!"  I confess that sometimes I feel so burdened with problems that I want to give up.  "Uncle."  "When."  I'm waving my white flag.  The towel is being thrown in as we speak.  And I think, "Where are the rainbows I ordered?"

Food, weight, illness, money, relationships, the future.  I often feel like I am trying to walk through mud that is up to my neck.  I am physically and mentally exhausted.  You know those people who persevere in the face of horrible circumstances and become an inspiration to all of us?  (Holocaust Survivers, The Pioneers, Job)  I am wondering how they survived with such dignity, when my little hiccups are throwing me for a loop.  I am not enduring gracefully.  I want to whine and complain.

"Your weight is creeping up," the dietitian said.  The food is killing me (perhaps literally).  It seems I cannot stop eating!  I am stuffed and I eat still.  I am driven to eat.  And I am at a loss to find something that will help me stop.  And then there is the endless debt, the nursing career down the tubes, the physical stuggle to go about my day, and the husband, the family and the white picket fence that is getting harder and harder to see in the distance.  Sometimes the pain and turmoil in my heart doubles me over and takes my breath away.  What am I supposed to do?  I don't want to live like this. 

In a effort to soothe myself today, I began to read a little about trials and tribulations from a Gospel point of view.  I was reminded about the eternal perspective, that "thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment."  I thought about the moments when I knew that God was with me, comforting me, reminding me that He's still out there.  Frankly, I've spent a good chunk of my life struggling to believe that He loves me or that I am valuable.  So I have to hold on tight to the glimpses of light I get when I allow myself to be vulnerable. 
 
I went to dinner with some friends tonight. I was just going to go eat, hope that the others would carry the conversation, and go home. But I found myself laughing and, after some persuasion, opening up a little about my day.  I am grateful for caring friends.
 
Well, it's the end of the day and while my disappointments are not gone, the sting has been muted.  I was surprised to discover that my protective brick wall is so tall, that it "protects" me from my Heavenly Father and from people, and that there are light and love on the other side.  I've been huddled in the dark for so long, I didn't realize how accustomed I had become to the gloom.  It's safe, but it's pretty lonely.  I am beginning to wonder if my hard candy shell is worth it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Lab Rat

My friend took me to Wendover last weekend.  I've never set foot in a casino before, so it was a new experience.  We played the penny slots for a while.  It was really fun, especially when I began to win a little.  We quit about 9pm, watched a movie in our room and went to bed.  I couldn't sleep, so I went downstairs to play some more.  It was 3am and I was sitting on a chair, resting my head on the side of the machine, pushing a button over and over, watching the reels go round and round, when my mind went back to college.  (Cue harp music and fog machine)

I am sitting in a lab trying to get a thirsty rat to push a lever for a drink of water.  I feel a rush of power and excitement when I get him close to the lever for a drink.  And then he touches the lever for a drink.  And then he finally pushes the lever for a drink.  Now I can get him to push the lever a few times for a drink here and there.  He keeps pushing over and over until the drop of water comes.  Wow, whodathunk it would be so easy?

I suddenly felt a little foolish.  I wondered if I were in a box and some giant being was looking in at me, excited because he had gotten me to push a button over and over again.  I sort of felt like someone's lab rat.  To think that I could be so obviously influenced by the concepts of behavior modification.  Well, the bottom line was that I left Wendover with more than I came with so, lab rat or not, I didn't care.  I was struck, however, at how easy it would be to become immersed in gambling.  I think I caught a glimpse into what it's like for someone who gets caught up in it.  The rush of winning.  I could feel my heart race each time I won a little.  I don't think I need another vice calling my name, driving me to push the button just one more time.  I guess the bad thing about winning on my first outing was that I have spent the last few days daydreaming that I could be a part-time penny slot machine player and win some extra money at will. Sounds...not likely. Oh well.

The day after Wendover, my eye got red and painful and the eye doctor said I had "iritis" or inflammation of the iris of the eye.  He said that this can be caused by autoimmune diseases like lupus or by infections in the body like TB or syphilis or herpes, but most of the time the cause is unknown.  I explained the diagnosis to my co-workers and now they choose to believe that I went to Wendover and got syphilis in my eye.  (I don't remember how that happened.) ;o)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Flip Flops

It's the middle of winter in Utah and I wore flip flops to work today.  Yes, my feet were cold.  But I got up this morning and my body did not want to move.  I ached from head to toe and I was exhausted.  Being fat takes a lot of energy, not only to carry the extra weight around, but when you move and bend over, all that flab squishes into your diaphram and you can't catch your breath.  So putting on socks and shoes is quit an adventure. 

This is what it takes to get my feet into shoes.  First, I gather my pants, my socks and my shoes together and I sit down on my bed.  I turn to the side so that I am facing either the foot or the head of the bed.  One leg is on the floor balancing me and one leg is on the bed, my knee bent, with my foot hanging off the side.  I put the hanging foot through one leg of my pants.  This requires that I bend a bit which causes my belly to push all the air out of my lungs, inducing temporary suffocation.  Then I sit up straight and catch my breath.  Sock.  Bend, reach, suffocate, sit up, breathe, rest.  Shoe.  Bend, reach, suffocate, sit up, breathe, rest.  Tie the shoe.  Deep breath, bend, reach, stretch, suffocate, the room is going dark, tie, hurray, hurray, sit up, breathe, rest.  Then I turn the other way and do it all over again.  I was too tired and hurt too bad to want to tackle that task this morning, so I opted for pink flip flops.

I tell you this because I'm getting a lot of pressure to exercise.  I know what it's like to work out and feel good and strong and happy.  I know.  But right now, I am a 5 Star General in command of the Exercise Resistance. 

I have a lot of excuses:  I hurt.  I'm tired.  I can barely make it from my car into work, do you really think I am able to exercise?  The gym is out!  I can't take the staring, the judgement, the embarrassment.  I don't feel well.  I need to feel better.  I am exhausted.  I need to lose weight first, so I can move better.  When I feel better, when the pain is gone, when I feel rested, I will exercise.

I'm just sitting here waiting for it to be easier and it's not happening.  The ironic thing is that exercise promises all the things that I am waiting for.  Maybe if I start moving more I won't hurt so much.  Maybe I'll have more energy.  Maybe walking into work won't be such a hardship.  Maybe I'll feel better.  And maybe getting my shoes on won't be such a hassle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Intermission

I've been to Olive Garden a couple of times recently and for the second time in a row the hostess asked me, "How can I help you?"  I was rendered speechless.  That's a weird question to ask when you walk into a restaurant.  Isn't it obvious?  What am I supposed to say?  "I need a cut and a perm."  "Did that shipment of clown hats come in?"  "Where do you keep the (whisper) hemmorrhoid cream?"  ;p

Good Enough?

On Saturday, I told my therapist that I had started a blog. I tried to tell him how excited and good I felt about it. I told him about how supported I felt by my friends and that I was thrilled to have a voice. I tried to convey that writing this blog was a positive step for me, as I would never have thought that I had the confidence or courage. That putting myself out there had been hard but had been so rewarding. I tried. I suggested that he read it. He declined. (Something about it being more therapeutic if we just talked. Whatev')

So HE talked. He talked about me exercising and losing weight and how much better my blog (that he won't read) will be when I can say that I have lost weight. And how I've got to finish nursing school (a whole other story) and then I will feel really accomplished...blah, blah, blah...Pretty soon I discovered that my big bubble of blog enthusiasm had a hole in it. I watched as it zoomed around the room and then floated to the floor in a clump.  (In his defense, I suppose he was trying to motivate / push me along.  Nevertheless...)

My brain began to sing a familiar song, "You're not good enough. Your successes today were not good enough. No matter what you do, it will never be good enough. You can't even blog right; you're supposed to share weight loss stories and inspire people correctly. You are not accomplishing this new mind set, this weight loss, this whole life style change fast enough. What is wrong with you?  Failure!"  I walked out dejected, discouraged, and feeling like a fool. To be so pleased with something and find out that it didn't matter.

So, I took the blog down.

I took the blog down and I sat in the corner, as it were, and cried myself to sleep. If my body were capable of the fetal position, it would have been there, all scrunched up in a ball.  And I prayed to know what was good enough. 

I was reminded that I have accomplished some good things. Some things regarding food have begun to click in my brain. For example, I left food on my plate at a restaurant because I was full and because it's okay not to eat everything. I am learning the necessity of eating regularly and eating enough. I am more cognizant of hunger cues and fullness cues.  I am praying more.  I am learning to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

So for now, the blog is back, for better or worse.  I think I need it right now.  Hopefully, someone out there is changed for the better because of it.  There is no weight loss to report, just the struggle to get there.  But that's okay.  I am learning and one of these days, "I will triumph!"--Meg Ryan "French Kiss"