Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Modified Journaling

Therapy was good. I liked the counselor. Her SIL works for the same department as I, and her husband retired from the fire department. That in itself makes it worth going to her.

I spent most of the time talking. She explained that addictions are coping mechanisms that are usually seeded when we are young. She said I get triggers which depress me and leads me to want to eat. Thats the psychological part of it. The physiological part of it is when that thought enters my head it causes dopamine to release and the biological "need" kicks in.

Anyway, its not about what causes the issue....its now about finding new coping mechanisms and addressing the issues that cause the want to eat in the first place. Its very much the same kind of stuff that is talked about in WW meetings, but on a much more personal level.

She brought up issues with my dad. Almost immediately I got that uncomfortable feeling in my belly and my first thought was food to make it better. I was so frustrated. There I am in therapy and I think I need to eat.

We didn't get to touch on a lot, but I did ask her for a tip/trick to get me through the next week. She asked, "what happens when you are about to binge?" I explained, "I know its coming and once it starts I can't stop." She told me that this may not stop the binge, she wants me to keep paper around to write down what I'm feeling at the time I realize I want to binge. I've had people tell me to journal my feeling after eating or my hunger before eating, but I've never tried this approach. She said it should help pinpoint my triggers, such as being sleepy, frustrated, in pain, etc., and then we can work on those triggers.

Her feelings? I probably have narcissitic daddy issues (duh!) and lots of things during my day remind me of him or a way he's treated me in the past. She said I get frustrated with others because they are too passive and it reminds me of people I was close to when younger (family, probably) who didn't stand up for themselves and allowed themselves to get walked on and abused. Interesting. All that in fifty minutes. How bout that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visit to the Shrink

I went to my shrink today. We adjusted my meds, again, to help keep me from getting depressed. I'm back on the antidepressant so hopefully I'll be where I was last month, which was feeling pretty good. He's keeping me on the mood stabilizer because that seems to be working, as well. He told me I was sick because I was basically withdrawing from my antidepressant. Thank God that's over.

I told him about my food issues. He recommends I go to OA. If I don't like one meeting he told me to go to a total of three different meetings. If I don't get anything out of any of the meetings, then I can say it didn't work for me. He also said I need to go to addiction therapy, which starts tomorrow.

He said binge eating is truly an addiction. He said it acts on the same area of the brain as opiates, nicotine, etc., and gave me a bunch of handouts to read about it. Apparently, the chemicals, flavors, additives, fat to sugar ratio (whatever that is), actually causes an addiction. When someone who is addicted to food is having withdrawal symptoms (prior to a binge) they don't go to fruit or veggies, as is explained in the link above. Humans are supposed to eat natural occurring foods. Fruits, veggies, and whatnot don't cause cravings like processed and refined foods. Those foods, their additives to make us "want" them...from a business point of view its brilliant. Get people hooked on your foods and they'll keep coming back making you money. From a biological point of view it does nothing but screw up homeostasis. He explained its not so much an addiction to quantity of food as it is an addiction to the stuff in processed and refined food, etc. I don't understand it all but dopamine is released which causes the "good" feeling. This explains it a little better.
He said its not uncommon to have food addiction, its just a matter than most people don't admit to it. He feels its because there isn't a stigma attached to food addiction as there is to alcohol and narcotics. He said food is corrosive---it will make you fat and eventually cause medical just wears you away. Narcotics can and will kill you with an OD. He's not claiming food addiction is at the same level of narcotics, but it definitely as addictive properties and many people need true therapy to stop. A good comparison was made: Food is what cigarettes were to our grandparents generation. They started smoking at 12. We start eating shit at 12. He said some people who have said addiction are lucky and are able to overcome it without therapy and they are able to do so because they have a great support system. But, he says its hard to overcome based on the pathophysiology as well as the emotional aspect of it all

So, tomorrow starts it all. My appointment is at 2pm with the therapist. I'm going to look into an OA meeting, even though it still freaks me out a little. But I told the doc and Brian I'll do it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

God Dammit!

I was doing SO good today. Then I went to visit a friend, came home around 11pm, got the dogs out and went to make a snack since I ate around 5pm. Twenty minutes later, I realized I just sabatoged my whole day. I never thought I'd say this, but I can't wait to go to the shrink tomorrow and the therapist the next day. Somethings gotta give!

Wednesday @ 2pm

I have my first appointment with a psychotherapist the deals with food addiction. I was going to call the place Chuck initially suggested but to be honest, I chickened out. I know I shouldn't judge a place by a website, but its depressing. Plus, I'd rather not do an inpatient thing if I can help it. I'm not going to say I'm completely against it, but I don't feel like I'm that bad. Maybe I am. I don't know.

Anyway, I found a woman who is ironically the MIL of one of my co-workers. I'm not really a shy person, so I could care less if he finds out I'm going to see MIL. The advantage to seeing her is she knows our work schedule and she works on a stress management team for another local department. Ironically, I was supposed to join our stress management team for our department (to be run by my old partner) but I had to back out. I figure I have to help myself before I can help anyone else.

There's a sense of relief now that I've made my appointment. There's a huge black hole of fear that I'm afraid to enter. Not so much of therapy itself, but what is going to be drawn out of it. What is it that caused or causes me to turn to food instead of an issue head on? A HUGE fear of mine is that I'll always be this way. I know I should be more optimistic. I guess I gotta let the lady do her job and figure me out.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Here are pictures of the kids from last weekend. The extra kid is the neighbor, Kenzie. Of course, the furry one is Rio with his fur finally grown out. The shedding fool.

A Different Kind of Cake

Maybe we should ditch the cake and replace it with this.

Clean closet

I bitch to Brian about how we live out of clothes baskets because we don't have adequate storage for our clothes. Then I realized I'm storing clothes. Stuff that doesn't fit. I'd like to say too big, but they're all too small. After having a mini breakdown last night because clothes I bought for OBX in May are already too small. I started to wonder why I'm holding on to these relics that just make me feel bad everytime I look for something to wear. So I decided to clean shop. I ended up with two laundry baskets full of stuff to donate to Goodwill. That is not including the clothes that are sitting in the "to be ironed" basket in the basement.

I thought all this time I was doing a good thing by holding on to too-small clothes. Like I'd finally be happy that I lost weight and fit into something I used to fit into. I'm sure that is a great feeling but the reality is I'm a 16W or 18W. Its going to be quite a long time til I'm in a 10 or 12 again. By then, I'm going to want, or deserve, new clothes.

As for now? Not too much in the way of clothes. I'll buy a few things for cheap, but definitely won't go overboard. I hope not to stay in this size long. I gotta say though, based on recent history, unfortunately, I'm not optimistic. :(

Renfrew Center

I talked to my old partner the other day. He's the guy that is a social worker/therapist. I told him what was going on and he told me he saw it over the years. He agrees with the binge eating/compulsive eating disorder and referred me to a place that deals only with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating) and the triggers behind them. He said it is a hard thing to overcome, but is very doable. That scares me. Its like I have my guard up already because I'm going to end up giving in and failing. I know I shouldn't think that way, but the pure thought of that makes me want to feed til I get that "its okay" feeling.

I'm going to make an appointment with them. I need to. I need something. I'm feeling like a hampster on one of those spinny wheels. I just want off the wheel.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just talk to me!

I had to call Brian today when I found myself sitting in a drive thru after I just picked my supper up elsewhere. That was after I sat outside of Five Guys til I talked myself out of walking in to order something. I could hear myself talk to Brian. I heard myself half yelling at him to "just talk to me." I hope he didn't take it personally. My embarrassed defense mechanisms kicked in. It didn't feel like a normal conversation between us. Maybe it was because I know why I was calling him and it was uncomfortable and embarrassing for me.

Good news? I talked him into making me cheeseburgers with grilled onions for lunch tomorrow. :) I'm guessing Five Guys doesn't use 93% lean beef with their burgers.

"Well, this is awkward."

A neighbor I don't know that well was out front the other day while all the kids were playing. I was getting ready to run out to the store when she stopped me and said, "I saw your picture in the paper. Good for you." Hmm.

"I didn't know my picture was in the paper," was my reply.

"Sure you do. In the Gazette for the weight loss challenge. Good for you."

Ok then. "Ummm, I'm not in a weight loss challenge."

"Yeah, I saw your picture. You're the one that has her hair back in the band...well, like it is right now."

"Nope. Nope. Not me."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. Definitely sure."

Obviously embarrassed she said, "Oh. Well, this is awkward. I just told you that I think its good you're losing weight....I mean you don't have to...."

"Its okay..." and explained my situation and clarified I most definitely was not involved in any weight loss challenge.

As for my look-a-like weight loss buddy. We don't look anything alike -- the only common feature, I think, was the headband.

Sarah Project -- Week 1

One week down. A lifetime more ahead.

The first few days were tough. More than tough, to be exact. But I made it through seven days without binging--well, too much. I really had to use Brian to keep me on track. There were PLENTY of occasions where he'd take food away, tell me I couldn't have something, find something else for us to do to distract me....its stuff I know needs to be done, but I don't have the will power to do it myself.

My worst day was yesterday--my day at work. I still wasn't as bad as I usually am. Probably because I knew I was going to WW this morning, but I still gave in to temptation. Actually it was funny because this morning while on the computer trying to find a meeting on the way home from work one of my co-workers said, "I don't know why you go to meetings. Just don't eat as much." If it were only that easy.

Some meetings are great---like a counseling session. All the ladies (its primarily ladies...) bitch and moan about their husbands and kids and how they get stressed and eat. Sometimes you're not learning anything but the meetings just make you realize there are people like you out there going through the same struggles--especially if you are surrounded in real life by people who aren't. Today's meeting sucked. I walked out early because this leader was trying to sell WW products. When I go to Kirsten's meeting up here, she rarely mentions their products. She's all about tips and tricks to get you to goal.

The results??? Down 3.2 pounds. I'm happy. I needed something positive to keep me on track. It made all the frustrations of Brian not allowing me to eat when I wanted to worth it. My personal goal now? Go to four weeks of meetings consecutively. Usually I drop out after week two or three. I get cocky and think I've got it all under control, which I don't.

Its very interesting to talk to people about their views, suggestions, opinions about how to lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle, or get in shape. Everyone tries to push what works for them. I know I've done it before----WW worked for me so to me everyone should have done it. I worked with a woman the other day who swears by personal trainers and dieticians. Others found things that work for them online. The South Beach Diet. Atkins. Alli. I was even told, "just get that phen-phen stuff off the Internet."

I'm not going to say where I'm at right now is perfect, but it feels good. I am not at the point yet where I can make all good decisions. Its like the bad angel on my shoulder takes over and makes 30 minutes worth of bad decisions for me. But, if Brian and my friends/family can continue what they are doing by keeping me in check, taking food away from me, and removing me from situations where I'm bound to binge or make bad decisions, I think it will be only a matter of time until I can do it on my own. Its just "my" thing.

Starting: 234
Now: 230.8
Lost: 3.2

Monday, June 21, 2010

Goal #1

I've gotten ALL kinds of responses from you all about my posts. Some people have me halfway into a fat farm while others think this is something I have to do on my own. Whatever your views, I just appreciate you are interested and care for me enough to even speak your mind.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to go to OA. Whatever their values or what they stand for or if I qualify to attend the meetings....the point is I think I can use some help. Weightwatchers provides some of that help with their weekly meeting but lets be honest, they're still a corporation and are trying to sell a product. I've considered the OA group because of the support of someone else who's been successful within the group. Another part of me doesn't think I have to attend. I'm NOT saying I think I need nothing, because I'd be lying.

If I came off in my posts like I'm making another excuse, I'm not. I'm asking for help. If I don't have help, I'll eat all the time. My goal is to stop binging---whether its potato chips or cucumbers. Those of you saying my real issue is depression or that this is a bad coping're probably right, too. I don't think there is a end all, be all answer to this. Really at this point the origin doesn't matter.

From this point on I'm working towards goals, which I feel are fairly realistic:

1. Stop binging. Find other coping mechanisms. Instead of eating I have to find something else to do. (Today, by the way, I spent lots of money at Home Depot and Lowes. I came home and painted our entrance way with Oops paint I got for $2.50. Can't beat that.

2. Be realistic---stop saying shit like, "I'm going to lose 100 million pounds by next week.

3. Use support. I KNOW its not all about food. I KNOW I use food to cope with things. I KNOW I may be able to get over issues I have by using my friends and family.

4. Leave my house. I have to leave this place. The more I'm here, the more bored I get and the more I eat.

So....I'm going to blog. You might get sick of reading them and feel free NOT to. I need to. I had a counselor years ago that told me to journal. This is my journal. The advantage is I get some advice along the way.

I started today with goal #1. I found something else to do when I felt like binging. I was actually productive. The easy way out is to sit around and sulk. I have to pull myself out of this comfy chair and get my mind on something else.

There are some of you who WON'T understand my thinking, my actions, or my posts. Thats okay....because, in reality, they're for me, not you. And if this is going to help me, then you better like it. :)

Starting Day 4

I woke up wondering what was for breakfast, as I usually do. What normally happens is I eat my "first" breakfast in front of Brian, he'll leave to do something and then I'll eat my second breakfast sometime later. I doubt he ever knew. Its not like he's counting slices of bread, although I have been known to leave a knife with peanut butter out on the counter a time or two. It used to be so bad that as soon as he'd walk out the door I'd head into the kitchen and start munching. I recall a few times where he would come back into the house because he forgot something and my stomach would drop because I thought I'd have to explain my second meal. I'd come up with all kinds of excuses--I was starving, it was my period, I even used the line that I had to eat because of medicine.

My mom has been an insulin dependent diabetic since she was a child. Our house was healthy. We weren't to the extreme or anything--she took care of herself by the foods she ate. Growing up in a diabetic household plus in the logistical area I did...well, I didn't have opportunity to eat out. The closest fast food place was about 30 minutes away. There were a few mom and pop restaurants in town, but it wasn't like you could just pop in and grab something. But, it wasn't that I didn't think about it.

Maybe this happened or happens to everyone, but I recall being SO excited when mom went grocery shopping. We used to go to Shop-Rite. It had to be way back when because I remember her standing in line to get her check approved before we even went shopping. Wow, times have changed. Anyway, we'd go all over the store and fill up our cart. The guy at the deli always gave me a slice of cheese and a slice of German bologna. That was my favorite part. I'd come home and help mom unpack the bags and put food away. We lived in the world of Tupperware, so everything went in some sort of container. I'd pour stuff out and nibble as I went. Hours later when things were put away and mom was off doing something else I'd sneak back into the kitchen and break open the containers. Grocery day was the best day because I could eat a little of everything. Although I've gained some self control I still love grocery day. I have learned to stay away from some foods---I can't buy deli American or bolgona because I go right back to my childhood.

My parents used to make fun of me because I'd eat two meals before I went to bed. My staple was PB&J with chips and then whatever else was laying around. I bet Mom wished she kept the Tupperware because they used to complain about me taking the noisy chip bags out of the cabinet "trying" to be quiet. Everyone blamed hormones and getting older. I was extremely active with sports -- I'd play serious basketball anywhere between 5-8 hours a day spread out, of course. I'd play with the boys and I played tough. I'm sure I burned most of my caloric intake.

I can honestly say I don't know what hunger feels like. I know what good tasting food feels like. I posted before I cheated on WW. I had to stop using the skills my dietician gave me because I COULDN'T stop eating. I don't really know what "full" feels like. I know what over-full feels like and that is my norm. I would eat until I felt like I was seconds away from vomiting. To be clear, I have NEVER purged. The thought of puking disgusts me. I have taken laxatives. I started that about two years ago when I was having all my GI issues. I suspected I was gaining because I started binging again. I started taking laxatives to clear my system when I realized I couldn't go to the bathroom. Granted, I had a legitimate issue but all that did was give me another excuse to blame my weight on. Then came depression, medicine, tiredness, etc.

Now, I'm not going to say everything I wrote in this blog over the past couple of years was a lie. I do eat more when I'm tired and upset or annoyed. I won't eat a container of ice cream....I'll eat non-stop until I feel like I'm going to puke. I used to go to sleep after I ate--usually because I was so full my body would need that time to digest.

My attempts at weight loss were sincere. I'd do good for a few days and then something would trigger a binge and the cycle would start again til I started to get embarrassed and felt like shit then I'd be back at a WW meeting. I KNOW WW works. I've lost with its help (and the fact that I didn't eat) and I've seen friends lose on it. But I never journaled just how much food I ate. There were times that I'd use my 35 extra points before supper time on my first day back to WW. I couldn't face the numbers anymore so I just stopped journaling.

Brian made me feel more guilty than my ex-husband did. My ex "helped" me without knowing it. He liked junk food too. A different kind than Brian. Brian can sit an eat desserts all day while my ex-husband would chow down on Doritos or Cheez-Its....or some kind of cheezy cracker. He drank Mountain Dew all the time. With the exception of maybe two Sprites, I don't know if I've ever seen Brian drink a soda. My ex and I started the tradition of going out for appetizers. I LOVE the taste of most anything fried. I love even more, dipping anything fried into any kind of sauce. My favorite used to be the appetizer sampler from Applebees. Although after running a few calls in Applebees kitchen while I work, the thought of the place makes me want to gag now, thankfully.

My eating worsens with drinking. If you've ever been at a bar with me, you know I can eat NON-STOP. The alcohol inhibits my "embarrassment" so I'd use my drinking as a coverup as to why I'd eat so much. I try not to drink too much now. I can usually control my eating when around people other than Brian, but once I'm home, it would look like a tornado swept through the kitchen.

I'm learning things about myself. I'm learning about my cravings. I don't really crave pizza, I crave sauce and bread. I crave vinegar--mustard, BBQ sauce, most of the things I dip in. I crave mayo (I know...) and cheese, but not like cheese from a pizza. American cheese usually (I know, Brian, make your faces now). The pizzas back home are made with American cheese. Its like heaven on Earth for me. Sauce, bread, and American cheese. When Laura was getting married, I went to her house a few days early to help her set up, as the wedding was in her front yard. Instead of cooking we ordered a few pizzas. Way more than was really needed. Whenever I was the only one around I'd shove (literally) another slice in my mouth. When I went to my parents house to sleep they had pizza, too. I ate more there. Three days later, the day of Laura's wedding, I gained enough weight that my dress didn't fit. When I left MD my dress fit PERFECTLY. The day of the wedding it kept bunching up over my belly and hips and I had to keep pulling it down.

The best way to describe know how you eat and gain weight on a cruise--like 10 pounds in a few days? That is me everyday. I never thought I ate much on a cruise---because honestly I was eating the same amount that I did on a normal day, just different food.

Anyway back to my doing better---I'm learning what I crave and I'm working with it. I find I'm not really craving diet Pepsi (with the exception of a fountain one, first thing in the morning). I'm craving flavor. Over the past four days I've found unsweetened tea does the trick. I drink a boatload of tea and it fills me up and its harder, but not impossible, to eat more. I drank so much diet Pepsi over the years that I associate it with foods. Like pretzels. I love diet Pepsi and hard pretzels.

Before I eat, I'm trying to take a time-out and think about what I really want. Last night I was craving floppy pizza and a turkey sub. So, I went to the pizza place and got two slices (one of pepperoni and one cheese) and had them cut eat in half. I ate two halves, ran some errands and a few hours later decided to go to Subway to get a turkey sub. I chose Subway because they use light mayo and is fairly low in points. I made sure I had enough points for the day for both items. Because I slept all day (day after my shift) I slept through lunch so I had plenty at nighttime.

Brian suggested when I get a craving to go do a lap or two around the circle out front. It worked last night before bed. I'm blogging a lot more because that is keeping me from the kitchen. Work is still tough. Basically being outside my comfort zone is tough. I mean, hell, I'm only four days in.

It was said to me that my binging isn't an eating disorder. You are entitled to think that. But, let me ask you, how much different is my binging than binging and then forcing yourself to vomit afterward. That has a fancy name of bulimia. I'm not bad enough where I'd make myself vomit. Like I said, the thought and smell disgusts me.

I read somewhere that being a compulsive eater is much like having an addiction to drugs or alcohol. I agree. A saying I read was something along the lines of overcoming substance abuse is like locking a tiger in a cage. Overcoming an eating disorder is like locking a tiger in a cage and having to take it for a walk three times a day. Its not like you can just stop eating.

As for my eating...
I'm doing better. I told you about yesterday and today so far has been pretty good. I'm fearful to sneak food because I'm sure Brian is watching now. I don't like that feeling---not Brian watching me, but that I still want to go empty the pantry. Its only 10am so I've got a lot of day ahead of me. My mornings are often good until the afternoon. I have to remember to keep taking a time-out before I do anything stupid.

The Truth Behind the Sarah Project

Its been a rough few days. I'm exhausted. Physically, mentally. It's been draining. But, as of right now (just after midnight, Monday AM) I'm more at peace with myself than I have been in a long time. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Before I begin, let me say thank you to everyone who has given me advice, comments, opinions, suggestions, made WW meals, etc. You have made those comments, opinions, suggestions, etc., primarily based off information I provided you. Now, let me tell you the truth.

My problems with eating are far beyond having a few too many cookies or one slice too many of pizza. Its not that I don't eat enough vegetables or drink enough water or get enough exercise. Its not because I have PCOS and am on hormones or because I was on antidepressants. I don't eat to just comfort me when I'm upset.

The truth?
I'm a compulsive binge eater. I have been since I was a child.

I'll start with this website. It explains the basic concepts of binge/compulsive eating. Its still rather vague, though. This page gives more specific information about what "we" do. After reading #'s 5, 6, and 7, I started crying and still do every time I reread them.

So, my story....
I've been eating like this since I was in middle school. It worsened when I left home for college. Granted, some of this can be related to being free and out of mom and dad's house. I didn't have to eat pot roast for supper every night, I could have pizza or chicken or Chinese. When I lived on campus I was limited to the pre-determined amount of money on my campus meal card. I didn't have any other income so I didn't really go out to eat. I didn't have a car so I didn't go off campus. But once I moved off campus and had my own care and income, it was game on. Before it was pizza, chicken, or Chinese, but it later turned into most nights it turned into all of the above. I'd have the pizza, the chicken AND the Chinese. I remember ordering (and eating) and ENTIRE Papa Johns sausage pizza (including the garlic dipping sauce) and almost immediately getting in my car, driving to Burger King's drive thru and had some other meal from there. I'd sneak food whenever I could. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and eating a can of Pringles that I had hidden next to my bed. I think I realized I had a real problem, when I was eating those Pringles. It was 2am and I thought my roommate, Rachel, caught me eating in bed in the dark. Up until that point I thought it was just, "Sarah likes to eat," but it got to the point where I was embarrassed of my actions and lied and hid them. Not long after that day, I was 240 pounds. I tell people I used to be skinny then I was fat then lost it. While true, its kind of propaganda. I make it sound like I was thin a lot longer than was true. Over the last 13 years, I have been overweight for 8 or 9 of them.

I talk the world of WW. I suggest it to everyone---it helped me lose 75 pounds. The truth is, the only way I started to lose was because I got a job. In 2001 I started working as an ER Tech at a busy emergency room. I was on my feet 12 hours + a day. I was only supposed to work 3 days a week. What I didn't realize (don't ask me how....) was they scheduled for me for an extra shift, so that made for 4 days a week and then I usually picked up OT. All I did was work and sleep. The money was great. It allowed me to go to paramedic school. During that period, I went to school everyday, an hour from my house, did clinicals at night, and worked weekend nights in the ER. I wasn't around food, but I was stressed to the max. If you ever worked in a hospital or public safety or anything like that you know we don't usually get the meal breaks we are supposed to. Sometimes our jobs just can't be put on hold. While at work, we were short staffed so I skipped plenty of meals. I started WW around the same time with hopes it would help and I lost. Working nights helped because nothing was opened, restaurant wise, and the hospital I worked at was Vegan so I didn't touch anything they made with a ten foot pole. WW worked, but the truth was, I didn't have time to eat.

Eventually, I got hired by the fire department. Shift work was wonderful. I'd work one 24 hour shift then be off for 72 hours. Well, technically, that is how it works, but I started working OT. My ex and I just bought a new place so we needed the money. I think I had figured out one month I worked 28 out of 31 days---and each of those days worked was either a 12 or 24 hour shift. I couldn't eat what I had stashed in my house. My partner was a psuedo health nut so I tried to mimic him, but we had separate bunkrooms. My bunkroom had pop-tarts, chips, Snickers bars piled high on my nightstand. I was eventually transferred to the busiest medic unit in the county. My partner didn't eat and when she did it was like a damn bird. Chips with American cheese on them and chicken fingers. The shift cooked dinner a lot so I ate with them, but I was always embarrassed to eat as though they knew what my issue was---if it weren't for the embarrassing feeling I'd eat 3 times as much as I did. Usually I was saved by the bell--we'd get a call mid-meal. I used to go back up into the kitchen when everyone else was on a call and steal leftovers from the fridge or chips from the bag on the table. I maintained my weight by not eating due to the circumstance of my job not because I was trying.

Two years later, I got a new assignment and a new partner. My partner was heavy and loved to eat. We ate shit--pizza, Chinese... but in all seriousness, I could out eat him any day. Some people go shot for shot or beer for beer---I'd go bite for bite with Mike. The difference was he was 6 foot something and probably over 250-260 pounds. I started to gain. I started to eat comfortably with Mike. I remember being seriously pissed at him when he went on a diet and was eating veggies and fruit. I remember yelling at him---it was like he was my dealer or something. How could he do that to me? I was okay eating like that when he was eating with me. Mike and I were split up in order to train new people and I decided to stop working OT. I needed the break. It was stressing me out and I didn't really need the money anymore. So, I had my 72 hours off to myself.

When Brian and I started dating seriously we ended up on the same shift. I hid my eating from him. So I ate what I wanted when I was at work and when I was home I ate whatever it was we ate. Last year, I was moved to a different shift so we work two different days. That is when it all started again. I figured I was a grown woman with my own money -- I can spend it on whatever I want. I started to eat out. A lot. Then way too much.

My typical day off? Meet Brian and his partner at Denny's for breakfast. Sometimes I'll get something sensible, sometimes not. I leave there and drive an hour home. I take the dogs out, feed them, then feed me. No way I could be hungry, but I usually start with something easy from the pantry. A bag of chips or something. Then I move to the fridge and find some sort of leftover that needs to be heated up. While thats in the microwave I might have some peanut butter on raisin bread. Then whatever was in the microwave. Less than 10 minutes later, I've already consumed enough food for a person for a day.

I go to sleep for a few hours, but as soon as I wake up my thought is food. Disgusted with myself for my actions in the morning I "try" to talk myself into being good. I'll usually post something on the blog about feeling bad and wishing I could lose weight, blah, blah, blah. Around that time I get ready to go out to run some errands. If it ends up like the last day Brian worked I'll stop at Roy Rogers for chicken strips (with dipping sauces) then head over to Burger King for a chicken sandwich value meal with funnel cake sticks. Oh, and while at Roy Rogers I got the 5 piece chicken strips, asking for multiple sauces, saying, "I don't know what kind they want," so it seemed like I was getting the food for someone else. I did stop myself before I ended up at McDonalds for more chicken strips (its not that i like the chicken, I like the dipping) but I was embarrassed the drive thru person would see my other bags so I decided to make a right turn and go home. I got home and saw my neighbors were outside. I combined all my fast food bags into one so they'd think I only went to one place. Home, I had some cupcakes and three glasses of milk before I went back to bed.

I know what I'm doing, but its like I can't stop it. I lie all the time about my food. I lie to myself. I lie to Brian. I lie to anyone who reads this blog. Why? Who would want to admit all of that? Its embarrassing. Its easier to come up with excuses. And it doesn't just happen when Brian's at work. I lie about what I ate before I come to bed. If he's outside working, I'm inside snacking.

So why am I admitting now? This post made me do it. I've been reading her blog for a while and after all the years I've been bitching about weight...she was the first one to admit she had the same problem as me. I hate to say we don't know we are doing it, but its like trying to stop a train. It doesn't happen quickly. I know when my binge starts its bad. But I shovel in as much food as I can for 10 minutes and then its over.

I knew it had a label a few months back. Up until that point I just thought I was a fat ass. I came across this book a few months back and it described me to a T. I gave it to Brian to read so he'd understand what I was going through. It was very discouraging to find it at the bottom of his magazine holder in the bathroom, under magazines from last November.

I think a lot of my posts and blogging was me really trying to ask for help, but too embarrassed to say what the problem was. I knew what the truth was. I tried to tell Brian but I couldn't do it with words, and he didn't read the book. I took his not reading the book as an, "I don't give a shit," and its been a downward spiral since. I made/make several references in my blog about standing up for him and supporting him and others and all I really wanted was someone to do the same. I guess its hard to know how to support someone when you don't know whats wrong with them.

So, this is where the Sarah Project comes in. I don't really know where to go from here. I think I've got Brian on my side now. He didn't know about all of this until this morning. It was suggested that I go to Overeaters Anonymous. That scares me. I don't know if its fear it won't work or fear of humbling myself or what. The only thing I do know is I can't get over this alone. This isn't an eat healthier thing or exercise more thing. If this was alcohol, you'd call me an alcoholic. My drug is food -- I want to overcome this and then find out who the real "me" is. Are my other issues really cover ups for this? I don't know.

To you, Rogue, a special thank you. I don't know you, but you'll never know how you have affected my life, especially over the last three days.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Avoiding the kitchen rambling

I have nothing to blog about but if I don't sit in this chair a few minutes longer my ass will be in the kitchen looking for some sort of dessert to munch on. I'm only 5 points over my daily amount and I refuse to tap any further into my 35 freebies for the week. I'm a little jealous, because Brian and the kids are meeting Mommom at Maggie Moo's. If I went, although delicious, I would have screwed up my entire day, points wise.

I'm thinking a good amount of my mood issues is dependent on the amount of sleep I'm getting at night. I'm working 24 hours tomorrow so I told Brian I'd be in bed by 9pm tonight. I'm curious to see if going to bed two hours earlier makes a difference tomorrow. I already have one meal packaged up---fake baked ziti. I took leftover whole wheat spaghetti, a half cup of pasta sauce, a 1/4 c of part-skim ricotta, 1/4 c of part skim mozzarella and mixed it all together with some spices. Its not going to be perfect, but I figured it will do for lunch tomorrow. I really have to remember to bring leftovers more for work. I can easily drop $30 a day in meals.

Ok, thanks for reading my ramblings. It seemed to have worked. My "craving" has eased a bit and I have 10 minutes til bedtime. I don't have time to eat anything if I plan on going to sleep.

Tomorrow will be day 3 of the Sarah Project. How many days/weeks is it til something is a habit? It would be nice if it was only 5 but I'm pretty sure thats not reality.

Lego my cufflinks?

I've come across lots of cool websites while planning our wedding. This is one of my favorites. Almost makes me want to have the guys wear some sort of formal wear.

The Sarah Project

Its been a few days since my breakdown via blogger.

I've gotten emails, calls, and had some conversations with some people. I have support. I just need to ask for it, I guess. Its hard to go to someone when you are having a bad day and offload all of your frustrations. Its not like I'm the only one in this world that has an issue. I'm just not doing a good job of handling mine. Why would I put that burden on someone else?

Its clear I have to work on me....I have to work from the inside out and things will hopefully fall in place. I have to take advantage of those friends of mine that might not know I'm having a bad day (or days) and use those people to help keep my spirits high. Its obvious when I fall, I fall hard.

Its so frustrating to know I am a person who's moods aren't stable. Not that I'll do something crazy to myself or someone else because its not like that. I just get frustrated and am not always the nicest person to be around. Usually, I'm my own worst enemy. I used to be able to handle someone talking down to me. But now, I talk down to myself and if I do that to me, there's no way in hell anyone else is going to help me.

I went to a WW meeting the other night. Not because I'm going all gung-ho on WW, but because it tends to be like a mini counseling session. Actually, I think I like that someone else is complaining about themselves instead of me doing it. The surprising thing is since, I've had two good WW days. I made good decisions---even going as far as re-ordering my lunch. I bought something that was 13 points but just as I was about to eat it I felt guilty, like I usually do. But, this time I decided to order another meal. I got a 6 point sub instead. Yeah I wasted a few bucks, but I felt better overall. Tonight I asked Brian to make supper and asked him to make it in a way that I could better track my points. I feel like I'm putting him (or anyone else) out by asking them to help me. I get overwhelmed because I think I am the only one that can take care of me. Only I can do it the way it needs to be done. All that does is stress me out beyond belief which leads me to get frustrated which leads to me eating to comfort myself.

I made a comment in a previous post about "staying" with Brian. First, let me clarify....yes, a few years ago I stayed with Brian because of the kids. Hadn't there been kids involved he and I would have broken up. But, and maybe God made it work out this way, we worked through our issues. We spent months in counseling and learned SO much about ourselves and each other.

Along the same lines, lets be weight gain (eating comfort) started two years ago when our drama began. In counseling I learned how to "let go" of stuff that upset me from work and I've grown to love my job again. There is so much stuff that is out of my control its not even funny and whether I bitch and complain about it or not, nothing is going to change. My problem? I did not allow the same to apply to my personal life. Instead, I micromanaged and had to have my hands on everything. I told myself I had to fix everything because no one else could do it better. So, all this time I've been driving myself literally crazy with stress---and usually it was over stupid stuff.

I'm taking advice. I'm going to go see a therapist/counselor. I need to vent sometimes. They like to get paid to listen to people vent. Win win. I'm not writing off my meds. I do need them, no matter how much I try to talk myself out of them. I have a mood issue. I get frustrated and say things, usually while talking to myself, that make me look like a bitch.

I'm not stressing about my weight. Yes, I'm pissed as all hell, but like I just wrote....there's nothing I can do about it right here and right now. In 20 minutes I'll still be 234 pounds. If I don't have the body I'm hoping for on my wedding day....Brian's going to marry me just the same. All I can do is be confident in me, be confident those who love me love me for me....not the way I look. How stupid is this? I have a friend who lost all kinds of weight recently by busting her ass. I'm so proud of her. But a huge part of me thinks I'm letting her down by not doing the same. I don't know why I think that way. Its just the way my dumb-dumb brain works.

I'm going to work at me slowly and surely. I have to do it in the same way I handled work last year. I didn't just walk in to work one day and turn over a new leaf. I didn't just become un-disgruntled. I didn't just stop bitching and complaining. It took time and patience to learn to accept things I can not change and work my hardest to fix those things I can. There were bumps in the road and some days were better than others. But overall, I'm proud of the person I've become as a leader at work. The same will apply to the Sarah Project. It will just take time, patience, and a few bumps in the road.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I need Krazy Glue

The kid thing today was the final straw. I'm done. I'm so tired of being me. I'm not saying I'm going to off myself of something, but I feel like I'm in a cesspool of negativity. I can't seem to get this weight thing under control. Today's weight? 234. Absolutely, freakin awesome, right? I'm getting bombarded from every angle it seems. I feel like I tell people what I need in order for them to be supportive of me and they treat it like its a big joke. I guess I can come off as the boy who cried wolf, but there is just stuff I can't do alone. I found myself on my bedroom floor today talking to Rio (the dog). I was so ready to pack up the car and a dog or two and just start driving. But then I realized, I don't have anywhere to go. Its not like I can go home. No support there. I just feel like I need a "life rehab," if there is such a thing. I felt like after my ex and I split I was revived---I could handle anything---look at how I could care for myself without anyone's help. That was short lived.

You're probably thinking, "oh, sappy Sarah. Need some new medicine." Lol. The funny thing is coming off my medicine has been wonderful. I can feel again. I have emotions, even if they aren't always good. I'm just stuck in this crater and I no matter how hard I try, I can't get myself out by myself. Actually it feels like people are throwing rocks at me while I'm down. (Nice symbolism, huh?) I think a boulder covered in cow poop was thrown at me with the "mother" comments today.

Maybe that's why I get along so well with my neighbor, the one who had drug issues in her previous life. Although we lead VERY different lives, the one thing that is the same is that we've got ourselves in the same kind of hole -- she may have used an illegal substance to numb herself while I'll use pizza. You can tell me to stop eating pizza and her to stop using, but unless the root problem(s) fixed, there is still going to be comforting needing to be done. Its like pizza and heroin are our support groups.

I have absolutely NO idea what to do now. I want to fix myself and get back to good SOOOOO bad you don't even know. I don't know where to turn or who to turn to. I don't know if I need to make a big change in my life. Maybe I'm in a spot that I thought was good for me, but really isn't.

This isn't about working out or eating right or whatever. This is about fixing a soul. The soul in me now, is cracked. I need some Krazy Glue.

Babysitter to your kid?

I had someone challenge me today about what kind of mother I will be when I adopt a kid. Yes, I've made the decision that sometime down the road, I will adopt as opposed to IVF or other fertility options.

No....I have no idea what its like to be a mother. I'm not one. I'm a stepmother, but apparently that means different things to different people. Unless you are one (or stepfather for that matter) you WON'T understand what its like to be just that---a step parent.

I feel I have more authority over the neighbors kid at times than I do my own stepchildren. I am reminded day after day that I am not "mommy." I have treated those kids as close to being "my own" as I can, in my opinion. I have held them when they cried. I have brushed knots out of their hair. I'm cooked countless "favorite" meals. I've been the go to person when, "a secret that Daddy can't know about" needs to be told. While lots of people disagreed with my decision, I stayed with their Daddy when things got really rough. I stayed for them so their life would not be disrupted again. No matter what my feelings are inside I've tried to keep a stable front for them.

I'm not looking for a pat on the back. I'm not looking for a thank you. Quite honestly, I'm not looking to be their mother, even though it hurts to know I've treated them the same I would treat them IF they were my own--and won't get the same treatment as a "mommy." But they have a mother who loves them very much and I would never try to challenge her position.

So, how DARE you challenge what kind of parent I will be. Some of us want a kid more than than YOU will EVER understand. Some of you thought having kids would be fun, or at least, the making them part would be. Know that some of us have been let down by God over and over again. I would take the child that you feared, regretted, or took for granted in a heartbeat.

You want to question me about being a stepmother or how I'll be as an adoptive mother? I challenge you to imagine your life without your kids and then be told the same as I was today. All I can say is its shitty.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

an almost excuse

I almost made an excuse but didn't. I almost said I was too woozy to go to the YMCA last night but I went anyway. I was nauseaus but I went. And, it was awesome. I love to lift. Granted right now I use machines til I feel more confident to use free weights but I guarantee you I am not lifting a wussy amount of weights.

I stayed within my calories too. That doesn't make me feel better now that its 330am and I "think" I'm hungry because I can't sleep. The reality is I'm hot and a little sore. I'm so used to feeding myself to give me that full feeling before sleeping I "think" I need to go downstairs and feed myself. I'm not going to though. I just pray I can have another successful day, Sunday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

No kids for me.

I have not been to the gym--I've been sick. I didn't even go to work the other day. I'm not sure if its sinuses or the change in dose of meds from Dr. Bad-toupee, but I've been throwing up, dry heaving, and had nausea for a couple days. I told Brian, I'm not birthing any kids. I'll adopt, but there's no way in hell I can do morning sickness for 3+ months. I've been down and out for the past few days. The mere thought of getting in a car and driving made me sick. Today, I'm feeling better although I'm still having issues with my eyes. Its like my eyes move but my vision doesn't keep up with it. That, tied in with that yucky feeling you get when you take pain medicine (well, that's how I feel anyway) hasn't made for pleasant days. Anyway, after four days in, I think I may venture out today. I NEED to go to the gym and lift.

I found the recipe calculator device on which will/is making things SOO much easier track. I found I'm NOT a good guesser when it comes to determining calories of meals. But I've entered a few recipes so my journaling is much more accurate. I hope with the addition of some strength training I'll see some kind of difference.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm a broken record

Its to the point where I'm tired of hearing myself talk. I do good at journaling and charting and everything and then I have four or five days of crap and I feel like it all goes to hell.

The problem? Beer at this point. Its been hot out. We mingle with our neighbors and that usually involves beer and a cookout. Beer then turns into munching which turns into eating crap. I'm having such a hard time saying "no." Its not that I don't say no, but its the "ah, come on, Sarah," that I give in to. I found a hand out from WW yesterday in my purse that was about just that topic. Hopefully I'll do better, otherwise I'm going to become a water drinking hermit homebody.

Good news though...I was taken off my antidepressant. Dr. Bad-toupe made a funny during our appointment the other day. He said, "yeah, that last doc did you a lot of good. Put you on a med that knocked out all emotion, made you not poop, and made you fat. Yep, bet that did a lot for depression." Ha! Honest man, what can I say? I'm on a "weight-neutral" drug that is supposed to help with my mood swings. I don't know wht anyone else thinks/sees, but I think its great. I find my patience has increased dramatically. Instead of sitting back taking it all in, I'm playing with the kids, hanging out with the neighbors and their kids, and getting off my butt and doing things during the day. I never made it to the gym. I have NO excuses, but I will be going today. Which brings me to.....

115 days til our wedding. We finally have a date--October 3rd. We contemplated going far away for the wedding but we ended up finding a perfect place about 20 minutes from our house. Its just what we wanted for a laid back wedding. I'm getting pretty excited--thanks Dr. Bad-toupe for fixing that. I'd be pissed if I felt no emotion with getting married. Anyway, we are below budget which is wonderful. The Internet has been a great tool in finding all kinds of stuff we need for the wedding. I found the perfect dress, only to learn it comes in black, brown, and electric blue. What a bummer. But I did read that if I can get a bridesmaid dress in white or ivory for next to nothing. And I think that a bridesmaid dress would be more appropriate than a gown for the type of wedding we are hoping for. we have a grooms-woman. Ha...Brian wanted his BFF, Kim, to be in the wedding and he wanted her to stand on his side. Our ceremony will be probably 10 minutes tops, but still---I think it will be a little bit funny, but thats okay. Its definitely going to be the wedding WE want...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cure a Weight Problem with Weights?

This photo shows who I don't want to be anymore.

I started a "Weight Photo" file on my computer today to visually chart my progress. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to see this picture. I literally started crying about an hour ago when I saw a video of me dancing at this wedding. I'm so embarrassed.

After reading the article that I posted earlier, it got me thinking. Maybe I'm focusing a little bit on the wrong things. Yes, I need to cut calories, although I've cut them down to 1550 a day. Yes, I need to get cardio in. But, maybe part of my issue is I'm not getting enough weight training in. Well, mainly because I'm getting NONE in other than lifting equipment at work and whatnot. I'm starting to wonder how much that has to play into my issue. I guess the one thing that I didn't even account for over the past few years is that while I say I didn't go to the gym and do cardio workouts, I did lift weights---and quite a bit. I guess I forgot about it. Maybe I had enough muscle in me to speed up my metabolism. Granted, I have a feeling my meds have significantly slowed down my metabolism, but at this point I'm willing to give it a shot. And, to be honest, I love to lift weights so it wouldn't be a chore. I have to work 7a-7p tomorrow. Barring any major catastrophes at work, I'm going to be a gym rat and start this lifting stuff again. Maybe I'll even throw in a little trot on the treadmill while I'm at it.

Something's gotta work sooner or later, right?

How to Lose Weight

Good page to "ground" me when I'm frustrated. I like science. This gives me facts.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Frustrated Overnight?

Nothing happened, so how can I be frustrated?

Last night I went to a step class and it kicked my ass. I've stayed within my calories. At bedtime, I was so proud of myself. I was actually taking care of myself. But, this morning I woke up and everything felt different I don't know what I expected. I guess I thought with four days of hard work I'd see some progress. That's dumb, I know.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Poo in Blue

I'm not sure if I think these are cute or ridiculous! Watch the video.

Love Your Mark

When I was in my accident in 2000 I came out of the experience with all kinds of scars. Most of my injuries were to my face and head. Being 19 at the time, I was devastated. I was a girl. Girls were supposed to have pretty faces, not scarred ones. It took years for the scars on my face to finally turn an almost natural color from the deep purple they were before. I didn't like when people asked about the accident. Not that I was embarrassed or something to say what happened, but because it always turned into this big conversation. I contemplated surgery early on to "fix" the scar on my chin, but a very nice doctor talked me out of it. He told me to give it time.

Time was just what I needed. I learned the scars, whether on my face, my head, my hip, my chest or my knee, didn't make me. I made me and the scars were just part of my story. They remind me where I've been. Now I get people who that try to rub the "ink" off my chin---it does kind of look like I wrote on myself. When they do so it always brings me back to the accident. But instead of being sad and hurt like I used to feel, I look at it as something I overcame. Instead of complaining about a imperfection I should be embracing life. Something may have cut me down to the bone, but it didn't cut my life short.

This website
is all about loving your mark, whether its a scar, a birthmark, a missing eyeball...whatever. So cool. I wish it existed when I thought my life as a girl would no longer be the same. Boy, was I wrong.

I heart

I just finished day #2 utilizing to journal my food and I am in love with it. I know I did it once before and didn't stick with it, but this time its so different. Everything that has gone in my mouth is logged in my journal. Even the extra hot dog that I tried to talk myself out of journaling from today's lunch. That, my friends, is why I failed at Weightwatchers. Yes, I know I was only "hurting" myself, but in my head it made me feel better if I accidentally on purpose forgot to journal a bite, a food, or a meal each day. In my head, I was on plan because my journal said I was eating 28 points and not going over. Hell with all the other unaccounted for garbage that went in my body. My theory on life: if I don't say it or acknowledge it---it never happened. LOL. NOT a good outlook to have.

So, am I still cheating myself? No way Jose, as Carter would say. I'm counting everything even if it really sucks writing it down. Its amazing just how disappointed you can make yourself when you have to be honest. Today I went to a Memorial Day party when it was almost over. Partly, it worked out that way because I slept a good portion of the day since I worked last night. But I purposefully avoided the prime eating time once I woke up because I knew if I got there, I'd eat all kinds of stuff. I love me some BBQ/picnic food---hence our wedding menu. Anyway, once I got there, I had self-control. I drank only the water from my water bottle, even though they had this HUGE container full of homemade lemonade--and I love lemonade. I avoided all the snacks and chips and had a plateful of cucumbers without dip. I did have a piece of cake, but it was small....and I even took a piece home and weighed it so I would know exactly how much it weighed so I could accurately log it in. (NO! I did not eat the 2nd piece of cake. It was a Costco cake, so some is for Brian and some is for tomorrow! Don't be jealous, Amy.) I'm finding "meals" like ham and WW pepper jack cheese with mustard on a bagel thin is very satisfying and fairly low in calories.

Even though I don't want to do it, I started incorporating some exercise. Yesterday even though I was hot and busy and had things to do I made time to play basketball at work. Amazing. It didn't feel like a workout because I liked it and my competitiveness came out. I felt great afterward. I didn't do anything today, but tomorrow I'm going to a beginners step class at 7:45pm. Its a half hour class and I figure if its beginner I won't be as embarrassed to attend. Laura and her sister have been taking Pilates classes and like them so I may try the beginner Pilates class on Wednesday. I know if I want to see any changes I have to work my butt off over the next 19 weeks. I want my wedding pictures to be "after" pictures so I can get out of this "before" body.

Maybe Brian should have proposed sooner---I could have had myself on track already.