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Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Plan -- Get Free from My Sugar Addiction

I think I am ready to talk about my current plan.  I may totally fall off the wagon, but I do feel this is what I need to do.

Before the end of this week, I was off one day and on the next.  I couldn't seem to stick with anything, as far as eating goes.  I am trying something that worked for me years ago.  Usually, I would want to take some days to prepare for this, but that doesn't work, oftentimes.  So I jumped in last Sunday and started without any buildup to it.  I wanted to see how it went for a few days before I posted about it.

When I was 19, I was trying, yet again, to lose some weight.  I didn't start out planning to do this, but at some point my goal became to not eat sugar.  When I say that, I mean desserts and candy, etc., not "incidental" sugar (there is sugar in almost anything you buy these days).  After I had been doing this for a while (maybe 3 weeks or so), I realized my cravings for sugar had all but disappeared and my appetite in general had kind of regulated itself.  I stayed off sugar for 3 years.  I got down to very small for me -- I weighed 135, which at 5'7" and not small boned, is pretty good.  It was a loss of 60-65 pounds.  I also began walking a lot during some part of this time period.  I walked around our park in our small town, up and around the baseball fields, through a certain neighborhood, around the high school, and back home again.  I estimate it was somewhere around 5 miles and I did it most every day.  It was kind of a social thing, sometimes, too, since I saw people I knew at the baseball fields.  When the weather started getting colder that year (and I also want through a heartbreak in a relationship), I stopped walking so much and gained a little bit back.  But I stayed somewhere around 20 pounds or so from my low during that 3-year period I was off sugar  (was above that, at times, but never near where I started).  I got very practiced at saying no to sweets and I didn't give it a second thought.  It was not hard after I broke the addiction.  I didn't go into this with any knowledge, this is just what happened.

Right now, if I binge, it is usually going to be on sweets.  I might overeat from time to time on other foods, but binges are always on sweets.  Sometimes I try to think of what sweet I could eat that would satisfy me.  But there is nothing.  No matter what it is, if I eat it, I will want more.  And more...and more.  It is never enough.  I have had so much trouble staying on track lately, I started thinking this is what I need to do.  So I have not eaten any sweets since Saturday before last.  I have done pretty well -- no huge battles -- but I am not naïve enough to think there won't be any.

Since I decided to do this, I feel like I have gotten some "confirmation" that this is what I should do.  I started following a new blog, and ran across this post.  It is very long, but it kind of reinforced what I had been thinking.  I am not planning to do her detox plan, unless I start having problems.  So far, I am doing pretty well.  The other confirmation was an e-mail with this article.  This is the author of a book I read a while back, The Blood Sugar Solution, so it is not a surprising that he says this, but I have not been checking these e-mails for months, and my eyes just happened to fall on this one.

So this is my plan, and I have 8 days under my belt.  I am doing a little better overall on my eating.  I am sure my battle is not over, but in a few weeks, I should be through the worst of it and I hope my appetite will regulate itself.  I cannot think about that I will never eat sweets again; I just have to think I will not eat them today.  But to have any long-term success, which is the whole goal, I think this is my best chance for success.  And I do not want to lose this weight and then gain it all back again.  I have to change my lifestyle.

I saw this post from Joyce Meyer (a well-know minister who went through a childhood of abuse and whom I identify with a lot):  Don't expect your life to change if you are not willing to change the way you live.--Joyce Meyer.  This is so where I am right now.  I do want my life to change, so I am working on changing the way I live.  And this getting free from sugar addiction is a big one.  I think it will make a huge difference.

Incidentally, I started eating sugar again when a friend convinced me to try some of her Christmas goodies she had made using honey.  I knew better.  It wasn't long until I was eating one thing, then another, then another, and pretty soon I was addicted again.  I know better, but I let her talk me into it.  She was feeling sorry for me because it was Christmas-time and I "couldn't" eat any goodies.  It wasn't bothering me.  I know one Christmas week during this 3-year period I lost 4 pounds.  That was so much better than stuffing myself on all those Christmas goodies.  People who do not have this problem do not understand that sugar addiction is just as real as any other addiction.  You wouldn't try to convince an alcoholic to drink just one drink, saying one drink won't hurt you.  An addict knows that one drink is all it takes.  And that is the way I am with sugar.

So, that is the plan.  This is not all I will have to do, by any means, but I hope it will greatly reduce the crashing and burning I have been repeating over and over lately.  Already, I feel a little better in control.  I hope to get to the place in the next few weeks where saying no is my immediate response and I don't think any more about it.  I chose life, health, wholeness, sanity, etc. over being controlled by food.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doctor Visit and New Tires

I went to the doctor this morning, and she agreed with my plan to get on an antidepressant for a while, and an anti-inflammatory.   So I got started on those today.  It will take a couple of weeks or so for it to have its full effect.  She put me on the one I was on a number of years ago.  I hope it does a better job than it did then, but then I don't have the negative environment (an abusive husband) I did then.  Hopefully it will give me the little boost I need to follow through on the changes I am trying to make.  The ways it did help me were that I coped better with stress and I was not as hard on myself -- my self-talk improved.  I guess that would be a good thing.

After the doctor, I went to get new tires put on my car.  This may be the first time I have bought four tires at the same time.  These should last as long as my car, since it is getting up in years and I average less than 25 miles a week on the road, thanks to living a 5-minute walk from my work.  I would love to be able to get my car painted in the not-too-distant future.  I also need to fix the passenger side mirror which got broken when a woman forced my son to swerve into a construction barrier.  That and a good detailing, and the car would look fairly decent for being 8 years old.  It took 3 hours to get the tires done, which was trying on my patience (and every other customer's there, too).  Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday, but it needed to be done.  I was concerned every time I got out in my car that I was going to have a flat.

After that, I went and got a few groceries.  Actually, more than a few.  I can't seem to master this buying groceries for one thing.  But between that, what I buy for my pets and drinking SF Red Bulls regularly, it adds up quick.  I really need to kick that habit, but as long as I am having to take medication that makes me so sleepy, I have a feeling I am not going to get that done.

I finally got home after 4:00.  Bringing in groceries at the loft is quite a chore.  There are a lot of doors to go through, so multiple trips is not fun.  I have a basket I could use, but it is not very efficient either.  I need to find a better one.  After all that I am worn out.  But being this busy is better for my appetite -- less time to think about eating.

Breakfast this morning was a peanut butter sandwich (2 slices light bread with 2 T. peanut butter).  Lunch was a grilled chicken sandwich and some fries at Braum's.  It was the only place close to the place where I got the tires.  At least I stayed away from the ice cream, etc., which, of course, is what Braum's is known for.  When I got home I had some grapes and a few crackers with peanut butter.  For dinner I had some French toast made from reduced calorie bread, spread with some SF jelly, scrambled eggs and 2 slices of bacon.  I had some more fruit during the evening, and that was it for today.  I used weekly points, but I tracked everything.  Today is the beginning of a new week.

I haven't gotten nearly enough done today, but I was worn out when I got home.  I did put away all the groceries and did some picking up around the loft (but need to do a lot more).  My tummy is giving me fits this evening, for some reason.  Maybe it was the Celebrex?  The prescription anti-inflammatory I got is not Celebrex, but she did give me some samples since I told her it worked well for me in the past.  However, it does not have a generic and I had to take that into consideration.  If I find it works for me better than the other (which is Meloxicam) after taking the samples and I felt it was worth the cost, I am sure she would change it if I asked her to.

I gave Cas a meaty bone to chew on, and when he is not chewing on it he is either trying to bury it or walking around with it in his mouth and whining.  I wonder what that means?

That's it for today.  Hoping to be able to report a positive weekend on the eating front this time.  Night all!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Barry Manilow Concert

 Struggle, struggle. I ended up eating some Pop Chips last night. I just can’t seem to overcome my  “snackiness” lately. I guess I won’t keep anything like that in the house for now. Just hope I can keep myself from going to CVS (a few feet from my front door) and getting something there. Or maybe I could implement some kind of strategy that leaves me more points at the end of the day, which is when I am the weakest. At least eating Pop Chips was better than eating a bunch of sweets or a fattier snack.  Maybe if I did some kind of workout in the evening, that would help. But I have to make myself do that too. Darn, I hate feeling like this.

I am doing protein bars for breakfast and lunch today. I will be eating out tonight, so I want to have
more points available this evening. I am going to a Barry Manilow concert with a friend. She was
originally going with her sister, but her sister can’t make it, so she invited me. It should be fun!

I have a busier weekend planned than I normally like. I need to get new tires on my car, and I am
having to drive a ways to my doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so I want to get the new tires before my appointment at 11:00. I don’t want to take any chance of having a flat on my way. One or two of my tires look pretty bad. My son was using my car for about a year, so I wasn’t paying attention to that kind of thing. I also need to get my oil changed. Then there is grocery shopping and cleaning, and church on Sunday. I also need to take Cas to the dog park for some much-needed exercise. I should either walk or ride my bike there to give him a chance to really work off some pent-up energy.  I need to do this sometime in the morning or the evening, not mid-day when it is the hottest.

I need to take my bike to a bike shop. My chain is loose and comes off too easily. Someone said the
wheel just needs moving back. The wire that controls the gears is also too tight, so I am not able to use all my gears.

I need to stop being “afraid” to spend too much time away from home. Home feels like the “safe” place to be, but I don’t think it is always the best place for me – or at least being alone at home is not the best thing for me. It probably contributes to my depression. I have always felt that if I am not home enough, I don’t feel rested. Getting out and doing things can be resting (since it is time away from my job) too.   But I always feel a little crazy if I am not home “enough.” What enough is, I don’t know. I need to get over it. This is a big thing for me to face and get over. It has controlled me too much in my lifetime. Of course, that is part of the reason for the doctor’s appointment and part of the reason I want to be on an antidepressant for a while – to get some help with the anxiety while I am trying to forge new habits and thought patterns. Please tell me it can be done. Spending the rest of my life in front of the television doesn’t sound too satisfying.

I think I have done well enough this week to at least not have gained any weight, or maybe even to have eked out a tiny loss, but that is not going to get me where I want to be when October 5 gets here.  I really hope the antidepressant helps. I am going to give myself a pep talk and purpose to get up and do some kind of workout Monday morning, no matter what. That means getting out of bed on time.  It’s hard while taking these muscle relaxants, but I can do it if I want it bad enough. Someone told me yesterday it looked like I was losing weight, but I didn’t believe her. It’s always nice to hear, though.  But it's time to buckle down and get serious.

I think it might be a good plan to try to limit my TV watching. Even if I am home alone, I need to do
something else. Of course, there is the cleaning, and I can do some reading. I need to do things that
make me feel more productive and, therefore, more satisfied, even if they are not very active things
(yet). I want to get to the place where there are a lot more active things in my schedule. With the heat
of the Texas summers, it is hard to motivate myself for much that is outdoors, at least during the day.  But it is not so bad in the evening. And I could use the pool some during the day, if I take care not to get burned.

I’m doing better today on drinking my water. That is probably one of the keys to improving my appetite problems.

On the headache front, I am cautiously saying it is a little better today. I do have a headache, but it is not quite as incessant as it has been.

I’m going to give a mini report on what I have been trying to do this week. My goal has been to not eat sweets, meaning desserts, candy, etc. I have not had any sweets Sunday through now. I will go into more detail about that plan if I keep this up. I’m so flaky right now, I don’t want to do that.

Later

I'm home from the concert.  It was awesome!!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The music brought back so many memories.  I'm going to have download some of it.

For dinner we went to a Mexican food restaurant.  I had about 3 chips with some hot sauce.  My entrée was fish tacos.  There were two of them with corn tortillas, grilled tilapia, a cream sauce and some cole slaw.  Instead of rice and beans, I got their veggies, which seemed to be just steam carrots, cauliflower, squash and broccoli.  It was pretty bland.  I mixed it with the cole slaw I didn't eat on my tacos.  I tried to be very generous when figuring points.  I had 23 points left before dinner.  I counted it as 16 points for the meal (I broke each component down separately).  When I got home I had a little popcorn with very little salt.  My eating was under much better control today.  I am going to try to start building some momentum.

Busy day tomorrow, so I'm going to close.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Massage Therapy

Another rough morning, motivationally speaking.  I overslept, and as soon as I opened my eyes, there was the headache.  I keep thinking, “What is wrong with me?” (meaning my motivation).  I am so used to coping with a headache that sometimes I forget.  Many times, just getting through my days at work, or getting myself off to work every day, is doing a lot.  Speaking of which, that has been tough lately.  If I went by how I feel every morning, I would almost never go to work.  I still feel like I need time off.

I am supposed to get another massage today, so we will see if that helps any.  Something has to give with these headaches.  This morning it is a bad one.  No coping with this one on a long-term basis.  I will talk to the doctor about it Saturday.  The trouble is, so many doctors start out trying to diagnose it as migraines when they hear how often I have them.  But treating it as a migraine has never worked.  I took Topamax late last year.  It didn’t help, and I felt dopey all the time.  Not drugged, but like I couldn’t remember things or pull up the right word.  I read somewhere that Topamax is nicknamed “Dopamax,” and I found that appropriate.  It wasn’t helping enough, so I quit taking it.  I am going to tell the doctor about my reading and how the description of “cervicogenic headache” describes my symptoms to a T.  The thing is, I have to decide if I am ready to spend big bucks on some of the treatments for it (injections, etc.).  If the injections are anything like those I have had in my back, they will cost somewhere around $1,200 each.  I hope that more conservative treatment, such as massage therapy, will help.

I am doing a regular (WW) eating day today (no protein bars, etc.).  I had a banana when I first got up, since my stomach was growly and I needed to take some medicine.  Breakfast was a peanut butter sandwich (2 slices light bread with 2 T. peanut butter) for 7 points.  I had another banana mid-morning (I know that is probably not a good idea, but it seemed the best option at the time – I was really hungry).  I took an appetite suppressant I have used in the past, just to see if it would help get my appetite on a better plane.  I was hungry again around 11:00 and so ate some baby carrots.  I also drank down some water.

Later

I have now had my massage and my lunch.  I feel much better after the massage.  I don’t know how long it will last, but it is definitely helping.  She will be gone on vacation next week, so unless I find someone else next week, I will have to suffer through until she gets back.  I know that as I have them on a regular basis, what she is doing will begin to stick.  Then I can just get one every couple of weeks to maintain.  $1 a minute for a 20-30 minute massage is affordable.  During these massages, she does a lot of work, pushing my shoulders down.  And as I was sitting here at my computer, I had my elbows propped, one on the desk at my left side, and my right one on the arm of my chair.  Doing this lifts my shoulders into a slight “shrug.”  Remembering the work the MT had been doing, I put my elbows at my sides, causing my shoulders to drop significantly, and instantly, I felt tension lift from my neck and shoulders.  After having to have the cervical fusion a couple of years ago, I have wondered if the fact that I slept in a chair for pretty much 3 years (it made my lower back feel better than the bed I had at the time) caused the breakdown in my cervical spine that led to the surgery.  As was the case at my desk, while sleeping I kept my elbows propped on the arms of the chair and kept my shoulders in a perpetual shrug as I slept every night.  This may have made my lower back feel better, but I am betting it contributed to my neck problems.  So I will try to watch myself and not do that at my desk or watching television from my recliner.  Shoulders down feels much better!

For lunch, I had a wrap made with a spinach wrap, grilled chicken, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, some pickled jalapeno slices, a little sprinkling of cheese and some salsa.  I was hungry for the Mexican flair.  It was pretty good, but I could get something much better at Chipotle.  I wish the downtown one was a little closer.  I watched them make it, and added up the points and it came to 8.  Not bad.  I also had some strawberries.  These were good ones – yum!

Now, if I could only have a nap….

For a snack I had a light key lime yogurt, 2 points.  Dinner was leftover Swiss Steak with some mashed potatoes, and some grapes.  I ended the day with some popcorn to use the rest of my points.  If everything holds steady, I stayed within my points target today.  Now, I'm off to walk Cas, then do a few more chores before bed.  Thanks goodness tomorrow is Friday and next week is a 4-day work week (although we have to come back Friday after being back Thursday; what a bummer).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Is Not a Race -- It Is a Journey

Tuesday Evening

It's almost 8:00 p.m. and I am finally home from the hospital and all the running around afterward.

I am getting on a much better track with my eating.  The plan today was to do a protein bar for breakfast and lunch, with some fruit if I needed it, and then a balanced dinner.  I had the protein bars for breakfast and lunch.   The doctor came out to report on Steph's surgery much sooner than I expected and we left there around 3:00.  Since she hadn't eaten in 20 hours, Steph was really hungry and wanted to go to On the Border.  I debated whether to eat anything then or not, but decided I would go ahead and get my chicken tortilla soup I planned to have (I was thinking about getting it to go and eating it later).  So I had that and 2 tortilla chips with hot sauce, and 1 corn tortilla.  Then we stopped by Target to get Steph some groceries that would be easy to fix and then took her home.  I stayed there with her a bit, helped with her dogs, etc.  I carried in all her stuff, which involved going up stairs several times.  Then I stopped for gas on the way home before getting home.  I had gotten me a few things at the grocery store too, so that took 3 trips to bring in all my stuff.  I was pretty done in after that.

But I was talking about my eating today.  I had a Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bar when we got to Steph's, then some grapes on the way home.  That's it so far, and it is 8:00 p.m.   Not a bad day, eating-wise.  I will probably eat a little something more, but I don't feel hungry enough to do much damage.  I just feel like I am getting on a better track.

I bought a new outfit today.  I am hoping it will help my motivation.  It is just a bit small, and I will be able to wear it in 10-15 pounds.  Beautiful bright colors with a skirt, tee and cardigan and some cute wedges to wear with it.

The results of Stephanie's exploratory surgery were that there was no blockage.  He removed some scar tissue and he said her large intestine does not look quite normal, but there was no smoking gun saying "this is what is causing her problem."  Diverticulitis was mentioned.  I think I might have posted this yesterday.  ??

Wednesday Morning

I'm having a rough time this morning.  This is one of those days I'm just having trouble facing my day.  No reason for it.  It is that paralysis that seems to take over.  While trying to make myself get out of bed, I kept telling myself that I'm going to have to do all the things I need to do now, or I am going to have to do them later, so I might as well do them now.  But it still took me a while to get myself going.

I think Cas must sense my energy because he was ornery during our whole walk.  It started when I was about to get on the elevator in the parking garage to go down for his walk.  Usually we are alone, but this morning someone got on the elevator with us.  Cas took exception to that and seemed to want to protect me.  The good thing is, I was able to settle him down without him even barking at the guy, but the energy was there.  Then he wanted to go after everyone we met on the street.  I think he is trying to protect me, and I am sure he is picking up my energy beforehand.  I was able to get through the walk without much acting out, but I had to constantly correct him when I could see his behavior heading that direction.  He needs a good long run to burn his pent-up energy.

Back to me.  I know I would feel better if I would get on the treadmill or recumbent bike, but walking Cas is all I could make myself do this morning.  What is wrong with me?  That's what I want to say, but really, I recognize the symptoms of classic depression.  All I can do is keep fighting.  Doctor's appointment is Saturday morning, but then it will take a couple of weeks for any medication to start helping.  I was going to buy some St. John's Wort yesterday, but it was almost $10 for a bottle, and since I am going to the doctor Saturday, I thought I might as well wait for that.

Wednesday Evening

I did fairly well on my eating today, although I did eat some things I wasn't planning on.  I started eating some Pop Chips, but at least was able to stop myself before doing too, too much.  I don't know why I keep having such a hard time.  I feel snacky right now and I am drinking down water.  That may be the problem.

I finally finished my ActiveLink evaluation period.  It won't start giving me a challenge until Saturday, which is the start of my week.  But it will record my activity between now and then.  It says I am earning 2 points plus per day with what I am doing right now, which is good since all I am doing is walking to work and back and taking Cas on two short walks a day.  I do think this might help, since I tend to be a little competitive with things like this.  I think my goal next week will be 4 points a day.  I'm going to try to make myself get on the treadmill in the morning for at least 20 minutes.  I really think if I just get rolling on the workouts, my eating will improve too.

I still am on track with the new plan I am trying on my eating (which I am not sharing details about just yet).  At least there is that to be celebrated.

I was reading a blog today, and at the end she said something about this not being a race, but a journey.  I would do well to remember that.  But I feel like I have wasted enough time the last few weeks.  It's time to get moving.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Unburying and At the Hospital with Steph

Monday
 
I made it through yesterday with the plan I am considering.  I don’t want to go into any detail yet, since I have been so on again, off again.  But I want to check in to keep myself motivated.
 
I am trying to keep the event in October in my mind to motivate me.  It really is a motivation.  I was on again/off again all last week, so don’t think I really made any progress in pounds.  I do think I am making progress in other ways, and long-term, that’s what really counts.
 
I struggled with headaches all weekend.  It seems like when I stay home for a good reason (this time, the headache), my reclusive tendencies start to kick in and I find it harder and harder to get myself out of the house for anything that is not absolutely necessary.  That’s what happened this weekend, although I had headaches all weekend, so there was that reason too.  I just didn’t feel like getting out.  The muscle relaxants don’t help that situation either, since I feel sleepy all the time.
 
I will go get a chair massage today and another on Thursday.  We will see if that begins to help.  I am also trying to get a doctor’s appointment scheduled for either Thursday or Friday.  I will go to my “old” doctor, since I can’t get in anywhere else as a new patient until the end of July.  I say anywhere else – at least where I intend to go.  I went to a doctor once or twice a few years ago and she is fairly close to downtown, so I might as well go back to her as my PCP.  But since it has been several years, I am considered a new patient.  I want to get in sooner so I can get on an antidepressant and an anti-inflammatory.
 
I had a decent eating day yesterday.  I’m not sure it was enough to lose weight on, but it was under better control.  Today I am doing a protein bar day for breakfast and lunch, and then eating a balanced dinner (kind of like Medifast).
 
I made a salad this weekend and made my own vinaigrette from garlic paste, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and olive oil.  I think that was the best salad I ever had at home.  I put some large shavings of pecorino romano on it and it was soooo good.  So much better than store-bought dressing.  I may never buy store-bought dressing again.  The salad itself was romaine lettuce, some broccoli slaw (chopped broccoli, red cabbage and carrots), and cucumber.  It was crunchy and tasty and the cheese added just the right flavor.  Makes me want some more right now – will have some with my dinner, along with baked tilapia.  I am determined to use all of the fresh veggies I bought with groceries this time and let none of them go to waste, like they often do.
 
I meant to do more reading this weekend, but when my head hurts, I don’t feel like reading as much.  That’s because it hurts behind my eyes, which is a characteristic of cervicogenic headaches.
 
Later
 
I have now had a massage and it helped a lot.  I will tense back up after only one session, but I can tell this is a good course to take.  I don’t know why it takes me so long to remember that.  She said our shoulders are very important parts of our body.  She spends a lot of time pushing my shoulders down and she pulled on my arms a lot.  She said she could see things on my face when she is pulling on my arm.  As she worked on the neck area, it was sooooooo sore.  I knew I was hurting very consistently in the neck and shoulders  My plan is to go twice a week for a while, then once a week, and always  at least every other week to make sure I don’t get back into this state.  She will be on vacation next week, though.  :(
 
I tend to stick my chin out when I am at my computer.  I think that is because I keep trying to look through the bottom part of my bifocals.  I think that is triggering headaches.

I also was able to get my doctor’s appointment set.  I can go in on Saturday (which helps me a lot!), so I will see her at 11:00 Saturday.  This weekend I was thinking I was needing to go to the doctor to get the antidepressant so it helps me get out of the house more, but I don’t want to get out of the house to go to the doctor!  What a vicious circle.  I really do get that way, too.  Despite all the struggle, I am working on things, at least, and that is good.

Tuesday

I have been at the hospital all morning and they have finally taken Steph back for her exploratory procedure.   We should have some answers soon.  If it is another blockage, they will fix it.

I was reading a blog post yesterday that really hit home, and she referred to another post.  These posts really resonated with me.  I think there is a lot of truth in this and I am going to be thinking back to things that happened in my past that may need to be unburied.  Nothing so traumatic as being raped (although there was an instance of molestation by an older kid when I was a child), but particularly, what may have caused me to want to hide.  I am also starting a book called Hiding from Love that I hope will be a good source of information and healing.

I am quite sore in my neck from the massage yesterday.  Very tender to the tough.  Still having a headache today, but I know it will take a few times before I start feeling better.

I did well on my eating yesterday -- protein bars for breakfast and lunch, an apple in late afternoon, baked tilapia and a salad for dinner and then some popcorn and some Light & Fit Greek yogurt late evening.  I decided since I am sitting around the hospital today, it would be a good day for the same type of eating.  So, I brought protein bars and water with me, they have fruit at the little cafeteria, if I want some, and we will probably eat out tonight if Stephanie is released.  She hasn't been able to eat much lately and is wanting On the Border, so I will have their chicken tortilla soup if we go there.  No chips (or only one or two) or flour tortillas, etc.  I will have some more popcorn at home if I am still hungry, as well as some fruit and/or yogurt.

That's it for now.  I'll post tomorrow about whatever we find out about what is wrong with Steph.  Praying it is not another obstruction, but praying they find some definitive answer at the same time.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Working a Plan and Fighting the Fight

Just a little token post today.  I am preparing a long post, over the course of several days, to see how my current plan of action goes.  I am so all over the place lately, it is kind of embarrassing.  I am making progress in some areas, but still struggling in others.  But I have a plan and we will see how it goes.

I need to focus on getting these headaches under control.  They are sapping my motivation and energy.

But I am still fighting and will not give up.

Over and out.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Headache

I woke up this morning with a headache and that was it, I called in.  My desk is in good shape and Jerry is gone.  I needed a day to regroup.  I stayed on the muscle relaxants today and planned to go get a chair massage, but was so knocked out, I slept all afternoon.  I haven't been wearing my neck collar at night -- the pets dragged it off somewhere -- so need to start doing that.  I found it under the bed.  I probably should get massages twice a week for a while to get things to settle down.

I have done a lot of reading on my headaches and I believe I have what is called cervicogenic headaches.  Every few years, I go through a battery of tests to see what is wrong and we always come back to the same thing -- headaches are caused by tight muscles in the neck and shoulders.  When I read the description for cervicogenic headaches, it described me to a tee.  The headache is referred from the hard structures or soft tissues of the neck.  I always have this knot of pain at the base of my skull and the headache wraps around from there to my forehead and temples.  Many things can cause it -- certain movements of the neck, etc.  I would probably do a lot better if I did not have to sit at a computer all day.  So I have to manage the build-up of that tension and tightness.  20 years of almost daily headaches is no fun.  Sometimes I get a little too adept at coping instead of looking for solutions.  It is easy to get caught up in the cycle of them so that I am just making it through my days and that's it.

I did a protein bar day today.  Between resting and taking care of my headaches, I worked on the loft and got it fairly clean and peaceful.  Cas is driving me crazy with too much pent-up energy.  I am not walking him enough.  I really have to find ways to tire him out more.  He got a little dose of melatonin this morning to help him calm down.

The other thing I decided, until I can get to the doctor, is I am going to get me some St. John's Wort, which is a natural supplement that helps with depression.  Bethany has borrowed my car this week because her alternator went out, so I didn't get to the doctor today.  I have been trying to find a new one to go to, closer to where I live now.  I haven't settled on anyone yet.  I prefer a woman doctor -- they seem to be more understanding, for the most part.

Even though I am still struggling with my eating, I feel like I am making some progress.  I am dealing with a lot of emotional stuff that is a part of why I overeat.  I am thinking about going on a holding pattern with my withdrawal until I get going on a good eating plan on a consistent basis.  Plus I need the medicine when the headaches get really bad.  These particular headaches are not rebound headaches.  I can tell because of how tight the muscles in my neck and shoulders are.
I want to do some stretching exercises and see if they help, but I am a little nervous doing that since wrong movements set them off.  But I probably should go ahead and try since I am having them anyway.  I'm sure that would help with the muscle tension.  I will just have to pay attention to what works and what doesn't.

I did well on just the protein bars and that makes me feel better.  I had some meat thawed out that needed to be cooked, so I made this Swiss steak recipe.  I will have dinner all ready for me tomorrow.  I just need to make some mashed potatoes to go with it.

I'm afraid I am still having the headache this evening.  I will try to nip it in the bud tonight and break the cycle of it.  It really is wearing on me.

Confessions

Wednesday

I am not having a good start today, mentally speaking.  I don't know why, exactly.  It was hard to get up after working late and the short evening.  I got out fairly immediately to walk Cas, got back and was struggling with a headache and just didn't get out the door to walk on the treadmill.  I sat there struggling, not wanting to go to work.  I ate a little breakfast -- a banana, a cup of Kashi GoLean Crunch, with a little 1% milk -- nothing wrong with that.  I want to comfort myself with food, but right now, I want to stay with my plan more than I want to do that.  That may be the problem.  I am trying to deal with this mental stuff and I am used to doing that with food.  Take that crutch away, and...I don't know.  I have to find a different way to deal with it.

I got on the scale this morning (I haven't done that since Friday or Saturday, I guess).  It was up a bit.  It kind of took me by surprise.  I would have expected to be up after the weekend, but I have had two pretty good days since then.  It could be any number of bodily processes that caused it, so I am trying not to worry about it.  But it didn't improve my state of mind any.  Still, I have the fight in me at this moment to want to get through this.

I really wanted to call in today, but I hate to call in.  This headache situation is really getting me down.  But I could think of a few things that really needed to get done today, so calling in didn't seem like a great idea.  I decided not to do that.  So there was nothing left to do but get up and get ready for work.  It was just tough this morning.

I work almost every day with a headache, so I obviously can do it.  I have learned to cope.  But every once in a while, it feels like I lose my ability to cope with it and I need a day to stop and regroup.  So I don't feel bad about calling in about it every once in a while.  I wanted to explain because you never know who might read my blog.  If I ever do call in about it, I think about what is expected to go on that day, whether it would cause a big problem for me to be out, and try not to do it on a day when it would be a big burden.  But sometimes I just can't cope with it anymore and I need to take a day off.

Later

So I wrote all that early this morning.  I was trying to think of what I was really struggling with and what I needed to do to take care of myself, other than eat.

I’m going to get real here.  Some may question the wisdom of that, but maybe putting myself out there will help someone.  I have to have a way to get things out of me, and this is it.

Bottom line, I am fighting a lot of “demons” right now.  When you try to change your lifestyle, you have to find new ways to deal with things.  I have spent my life stuffing a lot of feelings down with food.  If I take that away, I start allowing myself to feel things and have to deal with them in a different way.  I think that is part of where this is coming from.

Big confession coming.  It will seem small to a lot of you, and I have talked around it a lot before, but this one has a lot of stuff tied up in it.  Do you know the difference between guilt and shame?  Guilt is feeling remorse over something you did.  You confess it, apologize, whatever, and you go on.  Shame is feeling like what you did makes you a horrible person.

I have always been organizationally challenged.  Let’s face it, at times, I can be a real slob.  It is hard for me to confess because there is so much shame tied up in that for me.  I may appear to laugh it off, but I have always felt like a low-class person because of this, among other things.  (Of course, it could be the other way around.  I already felt like a second-class person, and this was just a symptom of it.)  Anyway, I always wished I was different.  I wanted to be one of those people who kept a beautiful home and was really organized.  But I was never able to walk that out in years past.  One time, some years back, a family member said something that caused a light to come on.  Unconsciously, I was waiting for God (or something magical) to zap me and suddenly make me a good housekeeper.  It never occurred to me that I had the power to make it happen.  What I needed to do was get up and clean house.  Simple, huh?  But it was a revelation to me.

I improved over the years, but still struggle with it.  I know there are many other factors, like how much I work, my physical limitations, etc., but bottom line, I am not walking this out.  I don’t like the way I feel when things are a mess.  (And I don’t mean they have to be perfect.)  This issue makes me feel like a low-class person.  It also keeps me isolated, because I don’t want to have anyone over, and the thought of getting married again until this is under better control doesn’t sound inviting.  And I don’t really want to marry someone who doesn’t care about that and is the same way or worse.  But, as I said, it is a vicious circle.  If you feel like a low-class person, why would you do things to take care of yourself?  You have to love yourself to really take care of yourself.  There is a lot imbedded in this area with me.

I used to think I was extremely lazy.  I no longer feel that way.  I am a hard worker in many ways.  But this area is a big challenge to me.  I don’t know why.  Now that my kids have gone out on their own and I live by myself, and I am not working as much all the time as I have the last 5 years or so, I have more time to focus on a lot of things.  And this is a big one for me.  I am really working on it.  But it is something I fall back into all too easily.  It’s like maintaining your weight after a lifetime of being obese.  You can never let your guard down.  I can sit around too much one evening and my bedroom looks like a tornado went through it.

So, back to this morning.  I had intended last night to do a couple of things that were bothering me (pet maintenance stuff and messes they had made).  I had written them down as things I “absolutely” wanted to get done yesterday.  But then I ended up working until 8:45, came home and by the time I had eaten, etc., I was ready for bed.  (Plus I was struggling with wanting to eat off-plan last night, so I went to bed to get away from the cravings.)  This morning, those things I had not gotten done were really bothering me, underneath.  I hadn’t put my finger on it – I just knew I was feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.  When I realized that was what was bothering me, I decided to call in to work and tell them I would be late.  I was already struggling with a headache, so I was being honest.  I got those couple of things done and it helped a lot.  Cleaning was what I needed to do to take care of myself right then.  It satisfied me.  Eating to comfort myself would not have done it.  I felt like that was a big breakthrough.

Whew.  You will never know how hard all of that was to confess.  But just another day in this journey.  There are so many things tied up in why we have a weight problem.  In the future, I am going to try to look at cleaning house as something I do to be good to myself.  Because I feel so peaceful and at rest when things are clean and tidy.  It is very therapeutic for me.  I think that is why I have had trouble improving in the past.  It was something I felt like I had to do so people wouldn’t think badly of me.  So my response to that was just to shut other people out.  But if it is something I do for myself, because it makes me happy, that is a whole different motivation.

Lunch today was a bowl of Potbelly chili.  I had some Pop Chips with that.  I had some baby carrots for my veggie and some Light & Fit Greek yogurt.  I was trying to think of what I was really hungry for, so hopefully I would be more satisfied.  I really wanted something like a big, juicy hamburger.  I knew that wasn’t a good choice, so went with the chili.  A salad or other kind of sandwich just didn’t sound like what I wanted today.

I still have the munchies a lot.  I don’t know if it is because of withdrawal (still trying to do that, although I have had to take some unplanned doses a couple of times when the headache was more than I could cope with) or if it is because I have been eating too much for the last 3 weeks and my appetite has to adjust.  I try to think why I am wanting to eat.  Sometimes I am feeling a little empty and realize I haven’t drank any water, so drink some down.  That does help.  Other times I try to eat raw veggies or some fruit, if I don’t feel I have the points to spend.  Last night’s “dinner” was a little “carb-y” since I worked so late.  I just had some popcorn and a couple of crackers with a little Nutella.  Probably need more protein.  I think a lot of it is emotional, though.  As I said, I am dealing with a lot of “demons” right now.  But at least my motivation has picked up.

I should not have to work late, since Jerry is out of town.  I was going to go to choir practice, but they are working on a big production to be performed a week from Sunday.  Since I have missed out on the other rehearsals, I don’t think I will be ready to sing with them.  Plus Cas really needs some good walking – he is too feisty right now – so I think I will wait until after that production before I go back.  Singing also tends to set off a bad headache.  L  I may have to talk more about the headaches tomorrow.  I’m trying to think that situation out.

Later

I tried to hold it together tonight, but it didn't go so well.  Toward the end of the evening, I realized I was in full-blown withdrawal.  I thought I took my medication this morning, but I guess not.  I had to take a warm bath to get my restless legs to settle down enough to be comfortable  and I was having a lot of cramps in my legs and feet.  I took some potassium to help with that.  No wonder I lost it on the food.  :(  I'm going to do a protein bar day tomorrow to minimize the damage.

I felt like I had some breakthroughs today.  I wish I had held it together on the food.  It is really tough right now.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Confronting Instead of Avoiding


Yesterday went pretty well.  I did what I needed to do to make progress toward my goals I have set for the next 100 days.  I felt a little hungry last night, and ate fruit, but I think my appetite is adjusting again since I have been eating too much the last few weeks.  I would like to eat less fruit when I get adjusted again.

I mentioned the other day that when I am not doing well, I tend to not face things.  Like the scale.  I don’t get on the scale because I know it will not have good news.  I also don’t want to go to my WW meetings.  That is not a good way to be, because the meetings would help.  I need to go to the meeting even when I am really screwing up.  I also don’t want to go to the doctor because I know they will weigh me, so I put off doing something that will help me.  Another thing I do is I start wearing my roomier clothes.  I feel bloated and “fat” from eating too much, so I don’t want to wear the more close-fitting clothing.  It still fits, but I don’t like the way I feel, so I don’t wear it.  But that makes me lose incentive.  This is how weight creeps back up on me.  My ex mother-in-law laughed at me one time when I said something about how sometimes gaining weight creeps up on you.  She said, “wouldn’t the fact that your clothes are getting tighter be a clue?”  But, having never been overweight, she doesn’t understand that we often have several sizes of clothing in our closet and we tend to avoid the ones that are starting to feel tight.  We get into a place of big denial.  Deep down, we know what is happening, but we don’t face it.  So I think that is a big thing I need to stop doing.  Don’t put on those bigger clothes because I am feeling bloated and fat.  No one else can tell at that point, so it’s not like I look worse.  It’s just that feeling we try to avoid.  But if I stuck to the smaller clothes, it might pull me out of the behavior that is leading me in the wrong direction.

I have a weight loss journal I have been keeping for several years.  I keep a chart of my weight in it.  When I am not doing well, I am avoiding the scale, so of course there are weeks that I have not logged my weight.  Then I somewhat pull myself back to facing things.  When I post my weight I see all those weeks when I haven’t posted and I see the time I have wasted.  I hate that.  On May 18, I weighed 247.6.  I haven’t posted a weight since then because I have been screwing up.  So now I posted a 5-pound gain and I see all those weeks of wasted time.  Sigh.  I know this is all part of it and that these things happen, but I don’t want to have to keep retaking ground I had already conquered.  However slowly, I just want to keep moving.

I need to find a way to avoid slipping into denial and avoidance.  If I continually confront these things, I am sure I would not spiral out of control for such a long time.

A number of years ago, I lost quite a bit of weight on eDiets.  I think what helped me then was I had a community of friends I stayed in contact with.  We participated in challenges regularly.  I am competitive by nature, so those challenges really helped me.  When one would end, there would be another one to participate in.  It kept me more focused.  A challenge might simply consist of doing a list of certain things every day for a specified period of time – eat on plan, drink your water, add 5 minutes per week to your exercise routine, etc., etc.  And we communicated daily.  I think this would be good for me. So I am going to find a challenge to participate in, or create one of my own.

I struggled during the afternoon today.  I felt very motivated, but I was feeling the munchies – and genuinely hungry.  I tracked everything, and by 3:15 only had 10 points left for the day.  I need to stay away from my friends’ nuts.  One has a jar of peanuts.  I ate about a tablespoon of those and that was 2 points!  The other one has pistachios.  I had about 8 of those (you have to shell them) for 1 point.  I know they are nutritious, but they sure do add to your points total.  I tried drinking water and I ate some fruit.  But I really had to fight just eating whatever all afternoon.  But doing that does not get me where I want to go.  I need to bring some raw veggies with me, so I have that when I need it.  I finally did start feeling satisfied after eating a peach and drinking water all afternoon.

Stephanie’s medical test showed no definitive results.  They are going to do an exploratory procedure next Tuesday, so I will take the day off and go with her for that.  I halfway expect her to have an emergency situation before then.  I don’t mean to sound negative – I am just speaking from past experience.  She feels worse each day.  My hope is that the symptoms will be better before then and we can cancel the procedure, but realistically, I don’t expect that to happen outside of a miracle.  I really do not want this to derail me if we do go through another emergency situation and stint in the hospital.  I know what to expect, since I have been through it twice.  I have made up a plan in the event this happens.  I know what I will eat, I have a plan for getting exercise, I know what to pack so I will have what I need at the hospital, etc.  The only thing I haven’t got set is finding someone to take care of my dog while I am gone.  I am hopeful Bethany will take care of him, but she will have their two dogs already to deal with.  We all lived together the other times this happened, and we had a back yard, so taking care of the dogs was not such a big task.  Of course, I probably will go home each night; I just won’t have the time or energy to walk him, I am guessing.  At least not enough.

Later

 I ended up having to work late (until about 8:45).  I was really hungry, but by the time I left, it had let up.  I got home and ate some popcorn and 3 whole wheat crackers with 1 T. Nutella. to use up my points.  I also ate some grapes.  I want more, but it is almost 10:00, so I might as well go to bed.  I want to stay up so it feels like I actually got an evening, but I will end up eating something I don't want to eat, so it is better just to go to bed.  I need to take Cas for a good walk tomorrow, but I also need to go to choir practice tomorrow night.  I'll try to walk him extra in the morning.

That's it.  I'm going to bed now.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Writing a New History

I am really struggling this morning.  I am so tired.  I have never had a hangover, but I imagine how I felt this morning is what one feels like.  Of course, my ever-present headache, plus just feeling like I’d been run over by a truck.  I didn’t drag myself in to work until 9:00 this morning.

This is Day 1 of the 100 I talked about yesterday.  It is important I start it off on the right foot.  However, I think it is important that I try to have a “normal” day.  No trying to make up for yesterday’s slip-ups.  Just a regular on-plan day.  So that is what I am trying to do.
Being tired is a huge trigger for me.  Being in pain can be one too.  Tired and hurting together is not a good combination.  It makes me want to comfort myself by eating.  Remind me that going to a Rangers game is better on a Friday night or a Saturday, or take a vacation day the next day.  It gives me a day to recover from it.  I hope someday an outing like that won’t take it out of me so much, but right now it does.  All the walking and the hours of baking in the hot sun wears me out.

So, breakfast was protein waffles with blueberry topping.  I had a banana and a stick of RF string cheese for a snack.
Today I am going to try to make some headway on my desk at work.  I will feel much better if it is in a more orderly state.  The projects of the last couple of weeks haven’t helped that situation.  When I get home tonight, I am going to work on some of the cleaning I didn’t get finished this weekend.  That will make me feel better too.

In thinking about the anchor I discussed in my post yesterday, not only do I want to make as much progress with my weight as possible in the next 100 days, I want to make as much emotional progress as possible, too.  There are several books I have bought to read in that connection that I have not gotten to.  I am going to make it a goal to read at least one chapter a day in those books and to follow the advice it gives.  For instance, some will involve some journaling and soul-searching.  I know from experience that most of my healing has come from time and from being pro-active about getting well.  That is my focus for the next 100 days.
I made a list of some things I want to work on in the next 100 days.  I’m not going to put it here, because some are not just weight loss related.  And I already talk about some of it here.  I am going to assess daily whether I have done what I can do to move toward my goals.  That’s all I can do is work toward it.  You cannot put a deadline on these things.  If you have done what you can do each day to make progress, that is enough.  I am not going to pressure myself to do anything unreasonable.  For instance, when you watch the show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, an individual might be given the goal to lose 100 pounds in 90 days.  And they reach that goal because that is all they focus on.  I cannot expect that of myself with my job and my physical limitations, etc.  But I can make it my goal to stay on plan 90% of the time, meet certain elements of a physical challenge (exercise), read a chapter in a book each day, etc.  My list is just designed to keep me proactive.  I wore an outfit yesterday that I have been in for a number of weeks.  I was thinking that if I were really focusing on things and not letting myself get tripped up so much, those clothes would have already been too big.  I don’t like the feeling that I have not made use of my time.  That is my goal.  To make effective use of the next 100 days.  To not let those 100 days slip by without making more progress.  We will see how it goes.

Lunch today was 2 small crab cakes (a serving has 5 points) with a green salad.  I brought some Greek yogurt and fruit to finish out lunch and to have for snacks.  This evening I will have some of the stuffed shells I made, some salad and fruit.
Because of the way I started this morning – I was really struggling – I did not get a workout done.  So I need to do something tonight.  I have kind of pumped up my motivation and I want to be able to check off some exercise as one of the tools I am using on my 100-day challenge.  I also want to find a challenge to participate in – on WW online or something.  Those always helped me in the past.

I was thinking of going through a beginning walking plan, just to give me a script to go by on getting more exercise.  I am already walking as much as that plan gets to.  So I pulled up an intermediate plan.  I am almost already doing all of that one.  The exception is that I need to walk more briskly.  So, I am going to follow the intermediate plan and do the brisk walking (my rate of perceived exertion should be between “somewhat hard” and “hard”).  I want to focus on getting the pace/exertion where it needs to be.  I think the best way to do this is on the treadmill.  I don’t have to worry about the heat, and I can get the exertion where I need it to be with incline, as well as speed.  This week only starts with 5 minutes of warm-up (which would be how I usually walk), 10 minutes of increasing that to where it is at least somewhat hard, and 5 minutes of cool down, at least 3 times this week.  I can face that.  I will also have my walks with Cas, but I have to focus more on his behavior during those times, so probably will not use those for my workout.  Those walks can be the added, everyday things you are supposed to do to increase your activity.  So, it is set.  This week I will do at least 3 days on the treadmill on week 1 of the workout.
I was looking at some advanced plans.  They don’t seem to be as much as what I used to do every day.  I walked on the treadmill for 60 minutes most every day, at an incline of around 7-8 most of the time, with speed intervals.  That is what I will work back up to.  I just hope my back can handle this.

The other thing I want to start this week is some toning workouts in the pool.  I am bummed that I forgot to buy me a “noodle” this weekend.  I’ll have to make a special trip to the store to get one; then, in the evening when it is getting near dark, I’ll go to the pool and do my toning workout.  I think that is the safest place to start to hopefully avoid any flare-ups in my lower back and to be kind to my knees.
If my knee starts bothering me too much with the walking workout, I will try it with the elliptical (or even walk in the pool).  I will keep getting the injections as long as they are helping, and I am planning to ask to be put back on Celebrex, which is an anti-inflammatory that worked really well for me in the past.  I am hoping to avoid that knee replacement altogether with weight loss, but I hope it will at least be a couple of years before I have to have one.  However, many people who have had one say they wished they had done it long before they did, it made such a difference for them.  I would want to get a partial, if possible.  My doctor said that might be all I would need, if it comes to that.  But I am nowhere near feeling like I need it right now.  I just hope the increase in exercise doesn’t change that feeling.

We have still not heard the results of Steph’s testing.  However, she is not feeling well at all.  She is now feeling nauseous, which sounds very familiar.  Before they found the last blockage, she was vomiting dark bile, but had been feeling nauseous for quite a while before that.  I am planning to get an emergency plan in place in case she goes into the hospital.  I want to start building momentum, and I don’t want to lose that momentum by letting this catch me by surprise.  I will plan what to eat, how I will get my exercise, and how I will take care of everyday things.  Since the trial was continued until November, I may end up just taking off some while she is in the hospital.  It is a lot to handle with being there (at the hospital) as much as you feel like you need to and working.

Later

It's evening and I am home, implementing my plan.  I had my planned dinner and stayed on track.  I am doing a little cleaning in short spurts and I walked Cas.  Tonight, I decided to do my walking workout while walking Cas.  I warmed up by walking him to the usual park and let him do his business.  Then I took off at a much quicker pace for a few blocks.  It definitely felt "somewhat hard."  I don't know that I did 10 minutes, but pretty close.  By that time we were to another small plaza, where I let Cas sniff around and explore.  He would have been pulling at me if I didn't.  I walked the rest of the way home at the slower pace as a cool-down.  Tomorrow morning I will go to the fitness center for a walking workout, and possibly some weights/resistance.

Now I am going to finish out my evening with some more cleaning and reading a chapter in one of the books I have been meaning to read.  I will also listen to Daily Audio Bible, which is another thing on my list.  Maybe a little reading for pleasure after that, if there is time.

I can check today off as doing what I needed to do to have the results I want in 100 days.  I am being proactive about "writing a new history" for myself (with God's strength and wisdom).$

Sunday, June 16, 2013

100 Days

I didn't do so well today.  I have to get back on track.  It was an extremely busy day.  I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep, so got up and did some work around the house, then got ready and went to church with my daughters.  After church, we went to eat at the restaurant where my son works.  It's a kind of high end steak house(by our standards).  I didn't try to eat like I was on a "diet."  They have a great salad bar, so I had a salad, plus oso buco (sp?) with mashed potatoes, plus one popover (which is their signature bread).

We were running late for the Rangers game, so we hurried to the game.  It was hot!  I was pretty much roasting in the sun for a while.  Fortunately I had put on some sunscreen and it did its job, I didn't get burned.  I would have otherwise -- I am very fair skinned.  The only thing I ate at the ballgame was a Lemon Chill.  It was so hot, I needed something cold.

I got home somewhere around 6:00.  I was so worn out.  There is lots of walking when going to a Rangers game, plus the hours in the hot sun.  We stopped and got something to drink on the way home.  I didn't choose wisely.  I wanted something carbonated so bad and got a big cherry Sprite.  My eating went downhill from there.

Here's the deal.  My niece and former brother-in-law were at the game, and my daughters went and found them at their seats.  My niece is getting married on October 4.   I can go to the wedding if I want to.  The thing is, I will most certainly see my ex when there.  I really wanted to look good by the time I see him again.  So I have 100 days to get whatever done I can, if I choose to go. 100 days.  I will make a decision then if I want to go, but I am going to use it as motivation to get as much as I can done by then.  This is a big anchor (as WW calls it) for me.  For it to be obvious the next time I see him how much I have changed.  I left an abusive marriage with a diagnosis of Battered Wife Syndrome.  I had a husband who told me often enough that he was ashamed of me, etc. that I could never forget it.  The image I want to present next time I see him is not only an outward thing.  But I want it to be obvious that I know I am a beautiful, confident, worthy woman.  You can look at my before picture to see the way I looked when I left my marriage.  I had so little confidence in myself.  I want it to be obvious that I am not that same person.  That I am so much better now, inside and out.  And so much happier.  Because I am.  I just need my outside to catch up with my inside.

I talked to my pastor's wife from my old church today.  I asked her if she remembered the time shortly after my divorce when she sat down beside me before a gathering.  I said hello to her, but I was so shy and so drawn into myself, I sat there like a bump on a log and couldn't even have a conversation with her.  We talked about how much I had changed -- something she recognized.  I am writing a new history of my life.  That's what she said.

So, 100 days.  I want to make the most of them.  Then I will see if I am ready for this meeting.  I may not be.  But I am going to prepare for it.