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Root Causes

April 28, 2011

It’s 7:30pm and I just watched a really surprisingly powerful Oprah show (I’m going to miss her).  It was with Rob Lowe and he was talking about his new book.  I heart Rob Lowe… so I took off my work clothes, grabbed something to eat and snuggled into my favorite chair to watch.

Switching gears for a second- over the last couple weeks, I’ve been reacquainting myself with the concept of intuitive eating which I’ve talked about before.  My two major downfalls with intuitive eating last time was that I judged myself and I never really put weight loss on the back burner.

This time, I’m learning from my past… no judgment and no obsessing about weight loss- the latter being harder than you can imagine.  If I had to give myself  ” an intuitive eating” grade over the last couple weeks, I’d give myself a solid B.  I am trying to be fully present in deciding what and when to eat; I’m trying to be fully present when I overeat and catalogue what overeating feels like;  I’m trying to recognize when I’m hungry and what that feels like and what it feels like to eat at different levels of hungry; I’m trying to be cognizant of the different gradations of overeating and what they all feel like (physically and emotionally); I’m trying to pinpoint why I don’t stop eating once I’m full and why sometimes I take just a couple extra bites or why sometimes I basically have another whole meal.  I’m in the exploration phase: right now it’s all about non-judgmental observation and documentation.

Most times, my documentation is just 5-10 minutes of quiet time with myself reflecting on all those things I just talked about and taking mental notes.  Tonight, I overate… consciously.  Another definition of conscious overeating? Bingeing… as I sit here and write this- my stomach is still uncomfortably full.  Tonight, while watching Oprah, I binged for the first time since I re-started this process.  And once I was done watching Oprah, I didn’t judge (ok, maybe a little judgment for a few seconds).  But I began reflecting on what had just transpired to observe and document.

As I sat here, reflecting… I knew there was something going on that would need more than mental note taking so I busted out some paper to journal it.  Four lines in, I thought: “Why exactly are you writing this long hand in a random notebook when you have a blog?”… and so here I am: the clearly delinquent blogger.

So what was I feeling and thinking about tonight before the binge?  I was feeling nervous and anxious because my car registration expired FIVE months ago. I finally renewed my registration last weekend but I’m still waiting for my new tags to come in the mail.  After five months of ridiculous luck, I finally got pulled over by a cop this evening on my way home from work.  Thankfully, he was a super nice cop and didn’t give me a ticket. But he did tell me that even though my tags are current in the system (he checked), failure to dislpay your tags comes with hefty consequences: they could impound my car and take me downtown AND give me a $150 ticket.  So even though my tags are current, I’m not displaying them (because they haven’t come yet).  After this near miss, I got home and checked my mail hoping that my new decals would have come (no dice).  And so I’m upset with myself for being so delinquent in renewing my registration and nervous about driving in to work tomorrow (which I very well may not do given the potential consequences).   I was also angry at someone from work who recently has made me feel excluded on things that I used to be included on.

I had unexpressed anger at a work colleague knowing full well I could never express that anger and was nervous and anxious about the idea of driving before my new tags get in and mad at myself for putting myself in this position where I may be stuck without a car for a few days.  Before writing this last (run-on) sentence, I thought the reason I binged was out of nervousness, anxiousness, and anger. I shivered at what I actually felt as I wrote those words, I felt  powerless.  Powerless to tell my co-worker how I really felt, powerless to get my new tags for my car any sooner than the DMV gets them to me, powerless to know if I could get away with driving a couple more days.

There is probably no feeling that rocks me to my core more than feeling powerless.   It took nearly 800 words, but I figured out that the root cause of my binge: feeling powerless… no judgment, for now just observing and documenting.


Thank God for Nightmares

March 9, 2011

This morning, the alarm went off at 5:10 so that I could go to the gym. I hit snooze a couple times and as I am about to hit snooze again, I realize… its now or never. Instead of another round of snooze and sleep, I decide to wake up and turn off my alarm. I remember the sense of pride I felt this morning in that moment although I was still half asleep: it was 5:30 and I was getting out of bed and going to the gym.  The next thing I remember?

Waking up from a nightmare (in which scary unidentified creatures were chasing me).  It was now 6:30 am.  No one likes nightmares, but thank God for this one, otherwise I may have slept the morning away and been ridiculously late for work!

So no gym, but upshot… got to work on time!


March 7, 2011

Albeit small, I have had a few accomplishments over the last couple days. And if I’m going to call myself out on the non accomplishments, then got to blog about the good stuff too!

Guess who went to the gym twice in the last 3 days? Yep, me.:-) Saturday evening, my friend had to basically drag me there. But I went even if it wasn’t my idea.  And this morning, yep… this morning before work, I got to the gym right before 6am.

Let’s hope I’m turning a corner. 

My little sister told me once that I needed to find something that would serve as my stress relief.  It didn’t have to be major, it probably shouldn’t be my “workout” – just something to unwind each day. I knew she was right, but I never made time to find my something let alone do it. This weekend, I found it.

Each night, I’m going to come home and I’m going to dance. I’m going to bust a move in my living room. Whether for 10 minutes or longer, I’m going to put on great music and dance like nobody’s watching.  I made a playlist on Saturday and tested it out. OMG, I haven’t had that much fun in a  long time. 

So there it is and I feel pretty damn accomplished!


March 2, 2011

I had a revelation in the shower this morning: I only have a finite amount of energy to expend into this world… and I’m possibly not using it appropriately.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I just can’t get to the gym and focus on my weight loss.  It was one thing when I was fighting depression, but I kind of figured that once the depression dissipated- I’d get back in the groove of things. It’s what I want, to lose weight.  But in a moment of honesty in the shower this morning… it dawned on me.

I’m distracted. Yes, things are better at work…but its far from perfect. And I spend most of my energy dwelling on my job: all the negatives and frustrations about my job; whether it was the right decision; and what if anything I can do to improve my situation as it relates to work.

This is what I am always thinking about, its what I am incessantly talking about… its what I expend all my energy and focus on.  And since I only have a finite amount of energy, I have no energy to focus on the betterment of myself.

So now the question is, what do I do about it? A post for another day.

Let’s Try this Again

February 28, 2011

Today was going to be the day, the day I finally got back to the gym. Today was supposed to be the day.

Clearly today wasn’t the day. Sigh, oh well. I guess tomorrow will be the day…

Waiting for Better Days 11-1-10

February 23, 2011

I don’t know about all of you out there, but for me- my personal computer is primarily used for the internet.  So it’s on the rare occasion that I’m in my documents folder.  Last weekend, I was in “my documents” folder and a document title caught my eye: Waiting for Better Days 11-1-10.  I knew exactly what it was even though I probably haven’t set eyes on its content since 11-1-10.  For whatever reason, I didn’t open the document (which is really a journal entry without the journal) until tonight.  And although most of the things I speak of in this faux journal entry aren’t my “current” feelings, reading the words felt currently familiar. And now that I’m blogging again, I had to share.

I have a story to tell.  Many think they have heard the story but they have only heard bits and pieces of it.  I fear telling the whole story because to give it a voice seems unthinkable.  But my current way of “dealing” hasn’t worked for a very long time and so I have decided to try another approach.

When I step out of myself and look at the life that I lead in public, I’d describe me as fun-loving, full of life, successful, smart, overweight but with a pretty face, great friends, charismatic, overachiever but humble.  I guess I should add master manipulator to that laundry list because that’s what I do.  I manipulate myself and those around me into thinking that everything is o.k.

Everything is not o.k.  Things are far from o.k.  I am unhappy in a way that rocks me to my core.  I am unhappy with my weight.  I am unhappy with my career (the usual silver lining of my pathetic life).  I am unhappy with my non-existent personal life.  I am just plain unhappy.  Unhappy is the wrong word.  Unhappiness is bearable… what I’m feeling is an unhappiness that has spiraled out of control and has now opened the door to desperation and hopelessness.

I have been through things that make people say- “you are so well adjusted”.  I always smile when I hear that… I think to myself- “I’m not well adjusted, I just play well adjusted convincingly.”  My well-adjusted façade serves me well most days.  But when I am truly alone with my thoughts, my façade vanishes like a ghost… and I’m left with a dismal reality.

I didn’t know my father for my first 10 years of life and when I met him, I realized he had no real interest in knowing me.  I was molested by my mother’s boyfriend who I was desperately hoping would become my dad and fill that void. I didn’t speak of the molestation for months out of fear, shock, shame, and who knows why else.  I finally did tell my family and no one believed me.  NO ONE… do you have any idea what that does to a child? My family finally came around and believed me after a few months, but we moved into my molester’s home anyway for financial reasons. By 13 years old, my hope for a father and my trust in people were gone.  I had been abandoned or let down by nearly every adult in my life.  I began to binge eat, I began to create my façade, I began to survive instead of live.

I have never been intimate with a man.  I have loved but never had love truly reciprocated.  I am told that my believing that my weight is what is holding me back from dating is all in my head. And although I can hear that my thinking is flawed, I don’t really believe that my thinking is flawed.  I have never had a boyfriend although I give great love advice to my friends (even they say so).  I have done a lot of “work” on myself so that I could be open to love but love still can’t seem to find me (refer back to weight and dating).  I have no reason in the world to believe that love will ever find me.  I have placed a lot of emphasis on my career because it was the one area of my life that I didn’t somehow screw up and that was seemingly healthy… until a couple months ago.

And now I’m at a crossroads.

I’ve been waiting for better days for all of my life and I’m growing impatient.  I have pockets of time when I believe my life won’t get any better than it is… when I believe I will always be a binge eater… when I believe that I will never find peace with my body… when I believe that I will never know true love… when I believe that I am in this world alone… when I believe that it would be easier and less painful if I just gave up.

I think most of us have these kind of days, but I think these days and the feelings happen to me more than it does to most.  And that’s scary.  Because I don’t want to give up… there’s a part of me that wants to believe it will get better.

But you know what the worst kind of heartbreak is?  Holding out hope for something that never seems to happen so as to always experience the let down and disappointment.

That’s what I have been doing for the better part of 20 years.  Holding out hope that life will get better.  And sometimes it does get better…but even when life gets better, I can honestly say that life is never good.  I mean, really good.  And isn’t that what I deserve?  Isn’t that what we all deserve? I want a contented life. I want to stop waiting for better days.

I’m exhausted and defeated from all the waiting.

Slow Dance

February 15, 2011

Last night, I went to go see Josh Ritter (whom I adore… you should all check him out).  It was a great concert per usual.  It was also Valentine’s Day.  When I agreed to go with my friend, I should have payed more attention to the date of the concert!  There were couples everywhere.  I mean everywhere.

So Josh thought it would be cute if we had one large slow dance during an interlude to one of his songs… he had been slow dancing with himself all night on stage.  I guess he wanted us to get in on the fun. But the doe-eyed couples didn’t get the memo on what we were supposed to do so all of a sudden the entire place erupted into couples slow dancing leaving the few single folks feeling trapped and helpless.

Has this ever happened to you at a wedding.  The band or DJ is playing you song and you are jammin it out, you’ve got moves on the dance floor, you’re feeling pretty on top of the world and then BAM.  Out of nowhere the band or DJ decides to play a slow song and everyone partners up and all the couples come on to the dance floor and all the single people sheepishly scurry off.  You know the scene, I like to call it the single/couple wedding shuffle.

Unlike at a wedding, I had nowhere to run.  So I just stood there with my single friend while everyone around slow danced.  A few feet down stood another clearly single woman who was also trying to put on her brave face… but I knew what was right beneath the surface:  another reason for the ever growing list of why it sucks to be single.

I’m pretty content with life right now and am not dwelling on my singledom… at least that’s been the case for the last several weeks.  I would even go as far as to say, I’m  over looking for a man. If he finds me, great… but my looking days are over (for now).  And then Josh Ritter and hundreds of couples reminded me with a slow dance one of the many reasons it sucks to be single.