Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Last Post for a While

Just letting you know that I won't be posting for a while.  Just taking a break.  I don't know when I'll be back.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fifty Pounds Down

Fifty pounds are officially off my body!  I crossed that threshold a couple weeks ago.  I'm 1/5 of the way there.  Two hundred more pounds to go.  I've thought about what my goal weight might be and while I would be thrilled with around 150, I think realistically, 180-200 might be a better goal.  But you never know.  I realize that 200 would still be considered overweight, but considering where I've come from, that's a lot healthier than where I am now.

I've had my challenges the last couple of weeks.  I got "booed" recently.  It's not a bad thing.  This is when a neighbor secretly leaves you treats with a "you've been booed" message for Halloween.  Then you have to "boo" 2 more neighbors within 24 hours.  Ideally, this continues until the whole neighborhood has a "We've been Booed" message on their front door.  Well, I felt obligated to treat 2 of my neighbors and keep the thing going.  So I took some change that I had managed to collect, and bought stuff for chocolate chip cookies.  I managed to "Boo" one of my neighbors and I had intended to treat a second neighbor, but, feeling exhausted and achy, I didn't make it there.  So I basically had cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day.  Blah.  I managed to only gain 1 pound on my weigh in, which was okay with me considering the amount of cookies I ate.  But then I again, recommitted myself to the program.  I may have said this before, but, for me, this process is definitely not a seamless one.  There are ups and downs.  Thankfully more ups than downs and thankfully I am still able to lose weight.  Incidentally, the neighbor I managed to "Boo" didn't carry on the tradition...I am the only one with a sign on my door.  Sorry to whoever started the thing.

While I'm still susceptible to eating too many treats, I am able to eat a moderate amount of regular food and not overdo it.  Eating out is usually okay.  I only eat half of what is there.  My anxiety without food is lessening and I'm learning to live without constantly feeding my face.  This has just come with time and patience and perseverance.  It hasn't been easy and it helps that I usually don't have access to treats.  However, I think it's healthy that I am allowing myself a treat occasionally.  It takes the panic away of "I'll never be able to have chocolate again!"  It also takes the guilt away, when I do allow myself some chocolate.  Nothing is forbidden.  Instead it is moderated.

Halloween is around the corner and I've decided that Smarties will be my treat.  I don't really like them so they are safe with me.

My next challenge is getting off of diet Mountain Dew.  I could drink 2 liters a day, if I let myself...and sometimes I do.  I don't like that.  So I'm taking a few extra days off work during Thanksgiving week to "detox".  I usually don't get the headaches when I'm without it, thank goodness, but I'm always exhausted.  So, I'm going to take those days and rest and hopefully, when I'm done, I'll have some natural energy back.  They say withdrawal usually lasts at least a week and depending on how much caffeine you are used to having, can go for a month or more.  So we'll see soon how that goes.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Resisting My Cookie Monster

The last month has been filled with ups and downs, as usual.  I've been on the verge of a 50 pound loss for the last couple of weeks without much movement.  I find this has been a process of continual rededication to the plan.  It's not easy.  I've been doing well for the most part, I think.

I opened the door the other day to find my new neighbor introducing herself...with a plate of cookies.  I definitely had mixed feelings about it.  Both joy and terror (about the cookies, that is).  They looked and smelled delicious...pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  I had started the day with a feeling of rededication.  It had been my birthday the day before and after having a good day, I found myself the recipient of birthday cookies.  I felt sabotaged and trapped and I couldn't just leave them be.  I was hoping after some time and practice, I would be able to handle such dilemmas on my own.  But this was not the case.  I promptly ate all 5 cookies within a moment and feeling discouraged, I went out for ice cream...a half gallon of it.  I'm sure you can imagine what happened next.  So with that being my day before, I was once again faced with cookies.  I wanted to do things different this time.  I tried to think.  Do I eat just one and crumple the rest in the toilet?  Do I not eat any because I know I can't stop?  Do I have the strength to do either one?  I did decide to wait for after dinner and then I ate a couple.  But it wasn't long before the rest called my name.

It's difficult to say when or if I'll be able to be in a room alone with treats and not overdo it.  But I keep trying.  I've been told it's too soon to expect.  Maybe with more time.  But I have lost almost 50 pounds in the last 6 months.  I must be doing something right!

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Little Hiccup

My weight loss has slowed a little.  I'll know for sure tomorrow when I weigh in.  But last week I only lost 0.2 pounds.  The reason, I imagine, is because I found myself with a half gallon of ice cream.  I changed banks and I got the new debit card in the mail on a Friday.  I thought I could just give it to my money friends the next morning when I went grocery shopping.  But it was Friday, after a long week at work, and I was craving an ice cream cone.  I felt it was my only chance to have a treat, so I decided to go get an ice cream cone.  On the way, I was afraid that I wouldn't be satisfied with just one ice cream cone, so as a buffer, I purchased a half gallon of extra ice cream.  It was dumb.  After I ate my cone, I felt pretty satisfied and full, and I could have just gone on with my life, except for the other ice cream staring me in the face.  I had just a taste, and then one more, and then one more, until half of it was gone.  I was feeling pretty panicked and sad about it.  I thought, "Wendy, throw the rest of it away!"  But I have a hard time "wasting" things and I lied to myself once again and decided that I could handle having the rest in my freezer.  But Saturday came and by the afternoon, I had eaten the rest of it.  It's not quite reminiscent of my bingeing days, but it's not a healthy choice either.

After I found out I had only lost 0.2 pounds, I was disappointed and...guess what (shocker!)...I threw in the towel for a couple days.  I found myself in the break room at work, eating chips and queso and brownies.  If you remember, I sent an email to my co-workers daring them to catch me doing such things and the reward would be $25.  Well, several saw, but only one asked if she was supposed to be stopping me.  I said yes and thanked her for not demanding the $25.  When I told my therapist about it, he was pretty insistent that I give her the money.  It was what I promised and, as he reminded me, the deterrent isn't going to work if there are no consequences for me.  So, I told her a couple days ago that she was the winner and I'd be giving her the $25 when I could get it (which will be tomorrow).

Heavy sigh.  I'm afraid of giving up for good.  I've got my feet under me for the last few days again, but what if I give up for good one of these times?  I really don't want to.  I need to keep picking myself up.  I need to learn that just because I didn't lose weight one week, that it's over and it's not worth it.  It just puts me further behind for the next week.  I'm not sure what the scale will say tomorrow, but I'm promising myself that I won't let a disappointing number stop me again.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Small Changes

It's been a good couple weeks.  I made it into the 300s!  My next goal is to make it to under 370.  That was the weight I got to last time and if I can surpass this, I'll be feeling extra good.  But, as of today, 393.4.  That's 37 pounds lost so far!

Many evenings are still hard.  After I eat dinner, I want more and more and more.  Sometimes I prevail.  Once or twice a week, I do not.  I've started cross-stitching again to keep my hands and mind busy.  This has seemed to help.  If I'm craving food and I'm not hungry, I'm reaching for water instead.  I've also started walking farther and not using my scooter as much at work.  So, little changes here and there are adding up to big changes for me.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Las Vegas

Right before I left for Vegas, I weighed myself.  I lost 4 more pounds that week for a total of 29.  For the record, I'm rounding up and saying 30, but it's really just 29.  I am thrilled.  401.

Vegas was great.  The conference was good and I had a good time with my friend from Texas.  We were missionary companions back in the day and we've been friends ever since.  It was good to see her and do things with her.  We went to a few shows and I spent my $35 on the slot machines.  That was a waste of money for sure.  They don't even let you win a little bit.  I'm cured of my desire to gamble.

So now for the eating part of the trip.  It turned out that I was in control of my money the entire trip (i.e. I had my credit cards in my possession.)  I had a bit of a hiccup at the airport.  I was feeling "Free at Last" and I bought a king-size Reeces.  Now that is not entirely off limits, but I probably should have just eaten  one cup and left the rest for later.  You see, I still can't control myself if that stuff is in my possession.  But I can proudly say that I successfully navigated the world of eating out most of the week.  I was leaving tons of food on my plate because I was full and I only had a bite or two of dessert.  There was an exception.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory and since I love, love, love cheesecake, I had to order some and eat the whole thing.  I thought I might allow myself 2 half desserts, so I came close with the Reeces and the cheesecake.  I did eat them all, but I only had 2.  I would consider that a success.

I also found myself walking a lot more than usual and it felt good to figure out that I can walk farther than I thought I could.

I came home, Saturday, feeling pretty good about what had transpired.  After I weighed on Monday and found out that I had just maintained, I went and fell off the wagon for a couple days, eating way too much and eating treats that we had at work.  If you remember, I did send an email out to my office offering a $25 reward for anyone catching me eating treats in the office.  That went out the window, when I discovered that no one was going to bust me.  Oh well.  Again, I have decided to chalk it up to a small misstep and I continue on.  I have subsequently done well these last couple days.  I visit the doctor tomorrow and I'm hoping to see a loss.  I really want to get into the 300s and I hope that happens tomorrow.   I know I have to brace myself in case that doesn't happen.  I don't want to fall off the wagon again just because I'm disappointed.  So, we'll see.

By the way, a shout out to my awesome therapist who let me email him everyday while I was gone for support.  And a shout out to my friend, Dawn, for offering, even though I didn't get the message until after I was back.  And all the rest of you who listen and help in other ways.  Thank you.  I couldn't do it without you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I thought I'd check in really quick.  I've been doing well the last couple weeks.  I've lost 9 pounds which brings my total to 25 lost.  405 on the scale.  I'm learning to not eat so much at night and watching how much I eat.  It's been long time coming, but I hope I can solidify these habits.  It feels very new and awkward.  The good thing is that the anxiety is lessening that I feel when I'm not eating.  I don't have to hide my feelings by eating.  Again, new and awkward.

I have another challenge ahead of me though.  I'm leaving for Vegas in about 5 days for a work conference and everything is going to be eat out.  I've got to learn to leave food on my plate (if I'm full) and I'll be golden.  I'll keep you posted on what happens.  (Even though, what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas.)

My next goal is to choose more rounded healthy food.  Veggies are often missing from my meals.  I like them okay, I'm just not in the habit of always having them with meals.

That's it for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Keep Trying

Even though I feel like I'm trying, I'm finding it hard to lose weight.  After I hit the 20 pound mark, I gained 4 pounds and have been stuck there for a couple weeks.  I've decided that I need to not eat 6 bran muffins every night.  I'm out of ingredients so I'm safe for a while.

I've also been given a challenge to "work the program".  I'm going to Las Vegas in a few weeks for work and while a couple other co-workers are going, I'm going to be traveling by myself.  Because of this I really need possession of my credit cards for lunch while I'm waiting for the plane and to check into the hotel.  My therapist wasn't going to agree to that.  He was all for me  packing a lunch for the airport and waiting around in the hotel lobby until the others arrived several hours after me.  No way, I said.  It's my chance to enjoy a more expensive hotel room and I want to get in there as soon as I arrive.  After a lengthy discussion, he proposed that I could be in possession of my credit card for the day, (until I meet up with my friend), if I "work the program" until then.  I heartily agreed.  I've been messing up every week since I started this, but now I have to really dig in and do a good job.  It's difficult.  I've realized I've allowed myself to eat a lot in the evenings and it's hard to break that habit.  But I've been successful for 2 whole days!

I'm also concentrating on walking more that I do.  I use a jazzy chair at work to get to the other buildings on campus and I've decided to go half way and park the chair and walk the rest of the way.  If I can make myself do it that is.  It's exhausting lugging around this extra 275 pounds.  But, this is a process.  This is not going to happen overnight.  I have to keep trying.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I finally gave up my new credit card to my money friends today.  After my epiphany about eating healthy, you would think that I wouldn't have any qualms about it.  But I do.   I still crave sugary things and wish I could have my cake and eat it too.  But I can't.  I often feel that some of my freedoms have been taken away.  The freedom to eat all the junk food I want.  The freedom to eat until I'm sick.  It's more like a compulsion to eat all the food in sight and an obsession with food that plagues me.  I'm shackled with chains that make me want to eat and eat and eat.  The desserts and other foods have me imprisoned.  That doesn't sound like freedom to me.  I want to be free of the cravings and I want to be strong enough to resist bingeing.  I want to be free to eat like a normal person and not think about it.  I want to be free to nurture and fuel myself with food instead of abusing myself with it.  I want to be able to truly choose, of my own free will, good, nutritious foods and not be bogged down by the drive to make unwise choices.  I'm hoping these "restrictions" that I've put on myself will someday allow me to be truly free as I learn to choose good things.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lesson Learned

I have realized this past week just how eating healthier and taking care of myself makes me feel.  It's kind of crazy, but as I was eating all that ice cream and Reece's, it didn't really taste all that great, but I kept eating hoping for that brief satisfaction and numbing I used to feel.  I was numb, but not in a good way.  My mind was a blur, my body was weak.  My sugars were in the 400s again (they should be at least in the low 100s) and I was feeling horrible.  I have learned my lesson.  The rewards for eating healthy are much greater than the rewards for eating poorly.  NO MORE BINGEING ON DESSERTS FOR ME!  I've never felt the contrast so distinctly before and I don't want those sluggish sick feelings ever again.

I was too scared to weigh today, but I think the lesson I learned this last week is invaluable.  I've decided not to beat myself up about it and I think this has allowed me to see what happened in a non-judgmental light.  I could wallow in self pity, but I'm not going to do that. As a result, it has strengthened my resolve to be healthy.  I'm going to take my credit card over to my friends and continue this journey with new vigor.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Topple Off the Wagon

It all started when I got that darn replacement credit card.  I ended up buying 3 candy bars out of the vending machine at work and eating them all that very second.  Then the following days are a blur of ice cream, bags of Reese's, loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter. I need to get rid of what's left and hand over that stupid credit card.  I don't want to.  I know after I ate 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and a bag of Reese's on Wednesday evening, I felt horrible, mentally and physically.  I was surprised at the contrast of how I felt between eating well and eating so poorly.  I only worked part of a day on Thursday and missed the entire day on Friday because I felt like I had the flu.  So exhausted and feeling really crummy and a little depressed.  I can feel the difference very clearly between taking care of myself and eating carelessly.  I can't believe that I lived my life feeling this crummy all the time.  I'm not taking care of myself as far as taking my pills or my insulin.  I'm in a bad way.  I need someone to help rescue me, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to do it myself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


The past few days have been a bit of a struggle.  First, I've allowed myself to have overeat food in the house (i.e. bread and peanut butter) and letting myself think that I can handle it.  I can't.  Second, I got a replacement credit card in the mail the other day and I haven't turned it over to my "money" friends yet.  I got some cash out of the ATM this morning and am this minute contemplating buying vast amounts of candy, ice cream, etc.  It would taste so good and I could be distracted from my dull day.  I don't know what I'll do. I'm trying to remind myself that there's not enough food in the world to cure my stress or boredom.  The anxiety is building.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stairs and Peanut Butter

I've noticed lately that I am tackling stairs a little easier.  I've usually done stairs by going up a step and putting my other leg even, then going up the next step with one leg and bringing the other leg even.  I do this while firmly gripping the hand rail.  I don't have enough strength in my legs to do it without the help of my arms pulling me up using the hand rail.  Same thing going down stairs...take a step down and bring my other leg even using the rail to balance and brace myself.  Well, I've noticed that I often have the strength to actually walk up and down the stairs one after the other now...no bringing the second leg even.  I still need the rail, but I'm feeling a little lighter on my feet.  20 pounds off has made a difference in my physical abilities already.  I know it's a small victory, but I only look forward to many more.

Last night, I didn't mind my fullness very well.  After eating dinner, I was craving those bran muffins so I baked up 6 of them, even though I told myself I was only going to bake a couple at a time so I wouldn't eat all 6.  Well I ate them all and then I ate several spoonfuls of peanut butter after.  Sometimes I can't get enough peanut butter.  It's officially on the "don't have this at home cause you'll overeat on it" list, but I thought I'd take a chance.  I guess I'm still believing the lies I tell myself about food.  I always think I can handle it...I think I can eat those foods in moderation and have just one.  But the addictive part of me comes out and I snarf it all down at once.  I think and hope that someday I'll be able to, but apparently, it's not time yet.  A little disappointing but enlightening.

On the upside, I cooked with some whole wheat macaronis this week and they don't taste that much different, especially when you put sauces and other stuff with it.  So I think I'll keep that habit, gradually replacing white pastas with wheat versions.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hanging On

Today's weight was encouraging.  It came in as maintaining my 410.6 lbs.  I've been overeating a little this last week so I'm grateful that I didn't gain any this time.  I'm successful about 70% of the time in eating only when I'm hungry and I'm continuing to work on stopping when I'm full.  I feel disappointed when I stop though and often I continue eating, so I've got to get over that.  I'm also thinking about eating slower instead of chowing down all the time, but one step at a time.

I've also got to work on emotional eating.  There was a point a couple years ago that I realized that there's not enough food in the world that can fill me up.  No matter how much I cram in, it doesn't make me emotionally full enough.  Food doesn't work for this.  Yes, it works temporarily, but then comes the guilt and disappointment and anger that I ate ALL THAT and then I feel worse than when I started.  I think I'm getting a hold on most of that outright bingeing behavior and I think that the reason is that I've finally got it in my head that there isn't enough food to cure my emotional life.  No matter how much food I stuff in, it's never going to work.  It's taken a long time even after I came to know this to back off on the extreme bingeing that I used to do.  I know having access to my binge foods taken away has been key as well.  Without it, I've been forced to sit with my emotions and I think I'm feeling better without the binges.  I'm not perfect yet, but it's getting better and quantity wise it's much less.  In a way, I'm lucky to be living by myself so I don't have to deal with other's food needs right now.

I am filled with intense compassion for others who are going through this.  I know the despair, the embarrassment, the self-loathing that they go through.  It's not easy.  Not at all.  I've got a good 40 years of food habits to break and it's not easy.  It's uncomfortable, it's exasperating, it's maddening.  When I think of what I've been through I'm depressed.  So much self-hatred to unload.  But I am also determined to make this work.  I want this to be the last time I lose weight.  This time it's for good.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Well, I stopped by the doctors office this morning, got my blood test, and weighed.  To my utter surprise, it said I had lost 12 pounds in the last 2 weeks.  While I understand that some of this is water, some of it has to be fat.  I'm choosing to believe this.  I'm down to 410.6.  Yay!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

To Weigh or Not To Weigh?

Monday's are my weigh days.  I have to go to the doctors office because I don't have a scale that will weigh that high.  I usually drop by before work.  I'm thinking I'll weigh because I feel like I need a way to tell if what I'm doing is working.  But if it turns out that I've stayed the same or actually gained, it ruins my day for about 3 days.  So I just don't know.  I have to go for a blood test anyway, so I'll probably hop on the scale just out of intense curiosity and hope.

I've discovered these refrigerator bran muffins.  You make the dough and it can stay in the frig for up to 6 weeks.  They're full of bran and whole wheat flour and seem to be a great source of fiber and whole grain goodness.  The problem is that they taste really good too.  So I'll make up 6 muffins, but I'll eat all of them.  I'm full at about 3 muffins, but I don't stop.  I've got to work on the stopping when I'm full part.  So what do I do with those muffins?  Do I continue to make them with the knowledge that I will probably overeat on them?

Now here is where I'm confused.  My new inspirational book, "Intuitive Eating", would say that in order to make peace with food, all food needs to be acceptable.  And during this phase of learning to be an intuitive eater, you will probably not lose any weight and might even gain a little weight as you experiment eating what you truly want and getting it out of your system.  You are showing your body that no food is off limits.  It's supposed to lessen the allure of the food if you give yourself permission to eat and then you'll find that you could do with very little of it or could do without it all together.  That's what the authors say happens.  You have to go through these first steps (there are 10 steps) before you concentrate on nutrition.  And they do eventually talk about nutrition.  But talk to my therapist and he's not real keen about that one.  It does sound a little weird and counter-intuitive.  My thing is that they promise that I'll be able to eat without guilt.  Guilt always sparks an overeating or bingeing session with me and if I could learn to eat just one cookie without guilt, that would save a lot of binges.  And you are supposed to come to a point where you know you can eat whatever, but you choose healthy because you have learned to respect you body and how you feel and you feel best when you eat healthfully.  I want that to be true, but I'm not sure about it.  I don't know how to proceed.

While I'm thinking about all of this, I intend on keeping my helping friends in place.  I feel good about their help and I'm so grateful for their service to me.  I don't want to blow this and have their efforts be for naught.  How embarrassing would that be?  I think we've been at this for 2 months and I've only lost 8 pounds?  We'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  I'm hoping to see some progress.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Feeling Hunger

First of all, some of you may have noticed that I took my blog down yesterday.  I was feeling overexposed and "naked" and I was in need of some privacy.  To my surprise, a couple of people noticed and asked me what was up.  I put it back up today.  I'm feeling a bit better about sharing.  It's a risk, being so open and it scares me.  But like I've said before, sharing helps me and hopefully helps someone else out there...so I'm back.

This week I am concentrating very hard on paying attention to my hunger.  I haven't mastered that yet and I think it's crucial to keeping my weight and health under control.  Back when I was eating so much and bingeing a lot, it was hard to notice any hunger...I usually didn't allow myself to get hungry.  So it's been an awakening to actually wait until I'm hungry to eat.  And I've found that food actually tastes better and is more satisfying when I wait.  Evenings and nights are the hardest for me to do this.  I struggle with eating out of boredom or loneliness or because the TV is on or because I'm at the computer, etc.  So I'm trying to find other things to do to combat those feelings or situations.  Sometimes I just have to talk myself out of eating and literally say to myself out loud, "You're not hungry, Wendy!"  Sometimes I just have to sit with it and let my emotions run their coarse without food.  It's most definitely still a work in progress.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Diets Don't Work

I spent the weekend reading a book that I've had on my shelf for several years, Intuitive Eating.  I think the bottom line for this one is being able to let your natural body tell you what, when, and how much to eat.  The first goal is to build a good relationship with food and then weight loss will follow.  The first concept is giving up the diet mentality.  I have some work to do there.  I still feel guilty if I eat something that is "forbidden" or "bad".  Even though with this new plan, I have stated that any food is okay in moderation, in the back of my mind, I still have foods that should not be touched.  I need to work on making sure that no food is forbidden.  According to the book, this takes the allure out of the food so you won't desire it so much and also if you do decide to eat it, you'll eat much less and you won't feel guilty.  I'm all for that! Guilt Free Eating.

I do have some diet mentality out of my system.  I swore off counting calories a few years ago.  Counting calories leads me to become super obsessive with food and when and what I'm supposed to eat.  Then if I go over, I feel guilty and eat even more because I blew it.  I started doing it when I was about 7 and the doctor put me on my first diet, a 1200 calorie diet.  When I do it, it's all I can think about.  So no counting anything for me.  Some might argue that's the way to go, but it hasn't worked yet and it's been 35 years of trying.  It has only made me fatter and fatter.  That's what diets do to me and I think a lot of others.

I've also partially decided that I'm not going to weigh myself anymore.  I'm not committed yet, but I skipped my weigh-in this morning and I think I feel okay.  When I weigh, it's either bad or good and that, in turn, calls for either a food pity party or a food celebration.  And I have a feeling that this plan of mine is going to cause very slow weight loss and I don't want to get discouraged.

I just really want to take inventory about what I'm trying now and making sure that there's no "diet" stuff going on.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Portion Control...Ugh!

I've been holding off posting because I've been feeling embarrassed and disappointed about the 2 pounds I've gained.  But I just decided that this blog is meant to be my real journey, and sometimes the truth isn't the greatest news, but it's the truth.

I am doing very well at staying away from sweets and deserts.  I thought that if I accomplished this that the weight would just come pouring off of me.  This has not happened.  I'm struggling to make adjustments in the amount of "regular" food that I eat.  I've heard that your stomach is the size of your fist, so my first goal going forward is to eat close to that amount at meals.  My second goal is to honor my hunger and fullness.  In other words, eat when I'm hungry and stop before I get too full.  It sounds easy enough, right? 

Friday, May 30, 2014

This Week's Shenanigans

I'm finding that it's getting harder and harder to live this way...to live without my drug of choice.  This is no easy task.  Logic would suggest that it should be getting easier after time, but it's not.  Maybe because I keep finding loopholes and then I have to close them up, like the treats at work or my extra credit card I was holding back.  They were my unconscious back-up plan in case of an "emergency".

I've had a pretty rough week or two.  Two weeks ago I was just thinking about how my life seems emotionally flat the last several months...no real joy or sadness.  I'm sure it's because of the drugs I take to keep the depression away.  But then I found myself dealing with something that caught me off guard and put me over the edge for a few days, laying in bed depressed, missing work and not showering....(.ah, the good old days :) )  Of course my craving for sugar and sweets grew very big. And I also had no energy to cook anything.  I then tricked my mom into giving me some grocery money and then proceeded to buy some ice cream among other things.  It tasted so good.  I felt better for a little while and then went down hill again.  I got the idea that I could go to my money friends and write a couple of checks that I needed to write and include an extra one that I wrote out to my mom.  After I left, I scratched out my mom's name and put Smith's.  I went to one Smith's to try and buy a big bag of Reece's, but it's been so long since I cashed a check there that they were demanding to see a driver's license.  Well, my money friends have my driver's license to prevent such occurrences.   The checker asked if I had my number memorized and I didn't, but it gave me an idea.  I went home and called my money friend and got my driver's license number and took that with me to the other Smith's in town.  This checker was not going to let me use the check without seeing my driver's license.  I was unsuccessful at scoring any "drugs" that day.  I was so mad.

I am normally an honest person, but it's weird to know that I can pull these shenanigans when it comes to getting my sweets.  I have since confessed to my therapist who in turn called my money friend and asked her not to give me my license number anymore and my mom and asked her not go give me money anymore.  And I have apologized to all parties.

I've been feeling better the past couple of days, went to work, showered, cleaned my apartment...those are all good signs.  So far, I've lost 10 pounds...down to 420.  Slower weight loss than I would like, but I'm still losing and not gaining.  Patience. Patience. Patience.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Can I Really Do This?

This weekend, I gave up my last means of purchase.  I held back one of my credit cards because I'm only allowed to use it during a work trip.  There hasn't been a problem of inappropriate purchases before, so why would I worry about it now, I thought.  There have since been some days where I've really considered buying binge food with it. Ugh!  I decided to hand it over after I went to a meeting in Salt Lake for work and I almost bought some things I shouldn't.  It was a hard decision.  It has been my secret means of purchase if things get really, really bad.  Now I have absolutely nothing to fall back on.  It's scary.  Can I really do this?

I weighed this morning and I only lost 0.8 pounds last week.  I guess I should be grateful for that, but I'm disappointed.  I feel like I've been trying so hard, my work should have created a greater loss and I wonder to myself, "Can I really do this?"

I sat on the couch tonight, watching TV, and munched on Chinese noodles.  I was supposed to be saving them for Hawaiian haystacks, but I broke down and ate the whole can.  I wasn't hungry, but it was so enjoyable and comforting.  I had a sense of relief.  Relief from some anxiety and dullness in my life.  The relief hasn't lasted very long, in fact, my anxiety is increasing and now I want my Reece's.  I want a whole bag of them.  I want them so badly that I'm fantasizing about how I might go to the store and bring some home.  Now remember, I have no means of purchase, so this would mean shoplifting.  It's not the first time this has crossed my mind.  In the mornings, I go to the food court at work and get ice for my mug.  I walk by all the candy and think about putting it in my pocket.  What am I, 5 years old?  The embarrassment factor is what stops me.  (The thought of fat me getting caught with a candy bar in her purse is humiliating.)  There is some, "It's the right thing to do" mixed in, but mostly the embarrassment.  That's where my morals are when it comes to sugar.

I feel so inept in the food control department.  What does it feel like to look at a cookie and take it or leave it?  What does it feel like to eat just one cookie and not want all of them?  I don't know yet, but I'm learning.  It's why I have enlisted so much help, but I wonder if it's enough.  I wonder if I will ever overcome the psychological hold food has on me.  I know I'm just starting this new leg of my journey, but I wonder if I can be successful.  I've tried so many other times.  Can I really do this?

I have to remember that this time is very different.  I have people helping and supporting me.  I am not dieting.  I'm not counting calories.  I've had any means of bingeing taken away and I'm hoping in 2 years, when it's time to wean the training wheels off that I can do this on my own.  I hope I can reverse 40 years of food abuse and yo-yo dieting.  It seems daunting, but I'm ready to do it.  I have to do this.  I think I'm learning some things already.  For example, I bought bagels the other day and normally, I would eat them all in one sitting.  Because of this, they got sent to my "food friends'" house for reasonable disbursement.  It has been so refreshing to be able to have bagels left over for several breakfasts instead of one.  It has been a learning experience to eat just one and not be able to eat the rest.  I think I'm getting used to being satisfied with just one.  I still don't trust myself with all of them, but I believe I'm learning.  Just one of many lessons ahead of me.  I think I can really do this!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Email

Before I start posting about the present, I have a few more catch up items to let you in on.

I had been having problems eating way too many treats at work.  I couldn't eat just one thing, I had to eat 10 (no exaggeration).  I would have myself a little mini  binge all alone in the break room.  And then guilt and disappointment would ensue, not to mention the sick sugar-coma feeling in my body.   My therapist and I talked about how we could deter this behavior.  "You should put up a sign in the break room," he suggested.  "No way," I said.  That would be too public and I would feel awkward.  We then talked about writing an email to my colleagues offering $50 if they caught me in the break room.  I was resistant to that as well for several weeks, imagining how embarrassing that would be.  I got closer to complying when I discovered that the real reason was I really didn't want my access to those sweet, binge-producing foods to be taken away.  My addiction didn't want to give up my last avenue for release.  Then I realized how important it was for me to stay away and get control of myself.  This was my life and well-being and my struggle to overcome this.  After I dealt with that and realized the importance of me being able to stay away from everything, I sent the email.  We wanted it to be light and not too serious and I did change the reward to $25.  This is what I came up with:

Catch Wendy Contest...Win $25

Hi All,

As some of you may know, I am making concerted efforts to eat healthier and lose weight.  One of the holes in my plan is the food that is shared in the break room or elsewhere around the office.  I have a hard time resisting and I need your help.

Because of this, you now have the chance to win $25.  Here's how:
  • Catch me in the break room, treats or no treats.  ( I never know when something will be in there, so I need to avoid this.)  I can be in the sink/kitchen area, but if I cross the threshold, I'm busted.
  • Catch me eating any treats from anywhere in the office (i.e. the time clock, across the hall, Karen's desk).  This includes treats at meetings and office lunches.
  • Be the first one to speak up and you win!
If the shared food is fruits or veggies I'm allowed to eat, but anything else is up for reward.
If we have lunch set up in the break room, which happens sometimes, I'm allowed to get my lunch, but any other time is up for reward.
This contest is valid for the next 2 years.

Thanks and Good Luck! :) 

(Please no tempting me :) )

After I hit SEND, I was nervous about the response I would get.  I imagined laughter and ridicule.  But there was none of that (at least not overtly).  In fact, someone offered to get me walking, which is a great help as I try to recondition my body.

I sent the email about 10 days ago and so far it has deterred me from eating any extra treats at work.  When I hear about a treat being shared, my anxiety goes up about 10 notches.  But knowing I'll owe someone $25, has stopped me from partaking.  I'm too poor to go around paying for a $25 brownie.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hope Rejuvinated

As I began to come out of the disappointment and hopelessness of not finding the treatment I thought I needed, my therapist and I formulated a plan for healthy eating and weight loss.  I've truly realized that I can't do this alone.  So I have enlisted friends to help.  Here's the nuts and bolts of it:

I have decided to relinquish control of my money and some problem foods (foods I am likely to binge or overeat) to others in order to begin to make a habit of eating healthy and in appropriate portions.  I am not excluding any food from my diet (i.e. I can have a candy bar every once in a while), just learning to control portion size and frequency of all foods.  I will keep non-binge/non-overeat foods in my apartment.  I will try to eat when I am hungry and stop when I’m full.  I will try to have a protein and vegetable/fruit with each meal.  I will eventually start an exercise program as I start to feel better.  The specifics of that exercise program are to be determined.

I am doing this because I have struggled with food my entire life.  I have tried multiple times to lose weight and eat healthy on my own…sometimes successfully, only to eventually gain everything back and then some each time.  The weight and unhealthy eating habits are taking a toll on my health and my quality of life.  To name a few, there’s the uncontrolled diabetes, mobility issues, need for supplemental oxygen, etc.  This affects other aspects of my life as well.  I have lost, or at least put on indeterminate hold, a nursing career and significantly decreased my chances for fulfilling relationships.  I have come to the conclusion that I need outside restraints for a prolonged period of time, up to 2 years, in order to be successful for good and enjoy the second half of my life.

What this means is I have given any means of purchase (credit, debit cards) to a couple of friends and I have given another couple of friends charge over my binge foods.  The money friends meet me at the grocery store after I have shopped to pay for my groceries.  I pay all my bills online and if I need something other than groceries, someone has to come with me to make the purchase.  I am not allowed to have these items on my own.  I can't be trusted to make good food choices right now.  My friends with my binge food keeps that food in single servings so when I want something, I only get a single serving and not the whole thing. There are other helping me also, in their own ways.  Anything from verbal support to encouraging me to walk.

Whew!  This plan takes a village and I'm grateful for my village, believe me.  I am humbled by their love and willingness to help me.  They are awesome.  I still don't believe that it's possible, that people would be willing to help me.  But it seems to be true.

In preparation for treatment, I received a priesthood blessing in which patience was reiterated.  I would need patience in this journey.  Since then, that word has cropped up in conversation and in written word many times.  It's not easy, but I am trying to be patient.

I started out at 430 pounds.  As of Monday, I have lost 9 and am down to 421.  I have to believe that this is it.  I am determined to stick with this for the next 2 years and even more if I need to.

Hopes Dashed

I want to get back to blogging because I'm in the midst of a plan that is helping me be healthy and lose weight.  I hope for the last time.  I'll explain more a little later, but for now I wanted to catch you up on the ups and downs of the past few months.

By December of last year, I had gained back all of the weight I had lost in my last weight lose attempt.  It was devastating and humiliating.  I had failed again.  During this time, I became aware of an acquaintance of mine who had died.  I wasn't sure what happened, but she was recovering from an eating disorder.  I met her while I was in treatment back in 2009.  I felt sad and scared.  It hit me hard that if I didn't get my own eating under control, my own life was in danger.  My quality of life was already dismal.  My obesity was slowly causing various health problems including diabetes, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, to name a few.

As I was in this mode of thinking and feeling, I came across a Dr. Phil episode in which he sent a woman to an eating disorders treatment center in Orem, UT.  It piqued my interest.  After the last in-patient treatment I went through, I didn't think I would ever consider trying another one.  But I guess it's like they say about childbirth.  After a time you forget how painful it was and try again.  I had hope that this would help me...finally.  I wanted to try again.  I thought, "This is my last-ditch effort--my last try at this.  If this doesn't work, there's nothing left."  I found out that my insurance, if they allowed all of the days that were available to me, might pay for up to 4 months of treatment.  This was great news.  The longer I had to practice good eating habits and to heal my mind and body, the better.  I was going to a partial-hospitalization program.  I would be there only during the day.  I made arrangements to stay with a friend during the week and took a leave from work.  I got a loan for my portion of the cost.  I was set.

In January, I left for the treatment center.  My first few days were difficult, but hopeful.  The schedule was exhausting on my unconditioned, sick body and I was in constant anxiety, not having food when I was used to having it.  But the staff was wonderful and caring.  Then day 3 came.  "Your insurance is denying coverage."  They were actually demanding that I go to an in-patient facility to get treatment because I was medically unstable.  I didn't understand that.  I had been handling my medical life just fine on an out-patient basis. They were also worried because I was still bingeing.  The facility I was in couldn't take me in-patient because they weren't equipped to handle some of the medication that I was on.  I was greatly disappointed and for a couple hours inconsolable.  I had this all figured out.  Treatment = Cure.  They threw a wrench in my plan.  Not only was my recovery plan screwed up, but my leave from work and my finances were now messed up.

They suggested I contact a facility in Denver who treated binge eating, along with the other eating disorders, and would be able to manage all my medications.  I called, was evaluated and planned on going there within the next few days.  I had hope again that things would work out.  This treatment was my salvation.  I would be cured.  But, after all was said and done, I was told that I "wouldn't be a good fit for them" because there were no other binge eaters there at the time.  I was devastated again.  I kept putting all my eggs in one basket and when my basket tipped over, it was the end of the world to me.  It took me several days to come back from that hit.  I thought all my options were gone and I might as well not stick around.  I've been fighting this thing long enough.  I had no hope left and I ended up very depressed and angry.

After some negotiation and a letter from my therapist to the insurance, my insurance agreed to pay for the partial-hospitalization that I originally tried.  I called back the original treatment center, excited and full of hope again.  After a few phone conversations, I was told that they weren't comfortable taking me back because they now felt as the insurance had that I was "too fragile and needed in-patient attention."  I called a couple more places, but they were too expensive.  I had been jerked around enough and this is when I decided to bag it.  Bag the whole idea.  And while I had bounced back a little from the depression, I was still left without hope.  I imagined I would just stay this way til I was dead and buried.

No worries.  This isn't the end of the story.  Hope is coming up next.