Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soothing Stress, and a Fat Jeans Story

A few days ago, I woke up with swollen gums. They were just on one side of my face, on the upper jaw, as if some piece of food had irritated the area. I waited for it to subside, but instead, it got worse. The swelling turned to throbbing and two teeth started to really hurt. I thought, great. An infection. I've had a couple of root canals in my past, and it is *not* something I want to endure again. Then the swelling went away and I was left feeling like someone had punched me in the face. I was in enough pain by this morning that a trip to the dentist was inevitable.

I don't know about you, but I get stressed out when people start looking at my teeth and I see drills and shots dancing in my head. I love my dentist, but I hate dental work. Thankfully, I got an emergency appointment this morning right after my daughter's gymnastics class. It was lunchtime. I had snacks packed, but who eats on the way to the dentist?

After a half hour of x-rays and exams, I got good news (no need for drilling) and advice from the dentist. I was relieved but still had the aching face, and had that let-down feeling after a rush of adrenaline leaves your system. (I think that "mental/emotional exhaustion" has often been a trigger for me to EAT for relief). On the way out the door, the staff gave my daughter a coupon for a free kid's meal at a burger joint across town. (Aside... yes I was glad for her to get it... and since I usually get a few comments/emails going "OMG why do you give your kid fries??" let me just say, her diet is not up for debate, and don't worry, she sees a nutritionist). Anyway, so we were getting into the car and I was thinking how we ought to go drive across town RIGHT NOW and use that coupon, because I am exhausted and hungry and after all they do have turkey burgers and salads there... but I came to my senses and headed for home. Halfway there, I saw McDonald's. My brain started talking... "You feel so horrible. McDonald's would make you feel better. Chicken nuggets are easy to chew. You deserve something comforting. They have lattes there now, you could get a nice hot soothing coffee to sip at home. You could get... " at which point the 'other' voice in my head butted in, exasperated, and said, "Just go home!" So I did.

But it's funny how I find so much comfort in food. One of the most indulgent, relaxing things for me is sitting on the sofa sipping a nice hot 'specialty' coffee drink. (I have sort of substituted mugs of hot tea for this lately... still relaxing, but hardly any calories). Even when I got home and was walking in the door, the old me was sulking and pouting because I hadn't brought home a "treat." After all I deserved it, being in pain and all. But I got over it, I came inside and took pain medication and made myself a nice big bowl of hot soup. After eating an entire can of Amy's Organic Vegetable Barley soup, I felt completely comforted and content, warmed and soothed, for only 140 calories. See? I am learning.

I'll probably make some tea later, too, for that bit of "ahhhhh" relaxation I need. I think I am building new neuron pathways in my brain for stress relief. The old paths just weren't working for me. Over time, the new paths will become the default reactions. I hope.

I had a funny thing happen this morning, too. By way of background, I have this favorite pair of jeans. They're sooo comfortable and flattering to my curves, but they're a size 22, so they're a little big. I used to wear them every chance I got because they made me feel sexy and cute and thinner (especially since I started out barely able to squeeze into my size 26 jeans at 278 pounds). When I got down to 214 pounds, the size 22's were ridiculously large on me to the point of falling down. I had folded them up and put them in the Fat Clothes pile to retire, but when I regained some weight I started wearing them again. I *knew* they were kinda big on me, especially because anytime I wore them I had to be sure not to wear silky-type underwear or they'd slip and fall right off. But still, I had "I am too fat, I need these size 22 jeans" going in my head. I still see myself as morbidly obese. Even in the mirror... oh the horror I see. Anyway, I had gone ahead and ordered a pair of these same jeans in a size 20 and a size 18 so I could still have my favorite jeans as I lose weight. I have had the 20's folded by my bed for awhile now, but I *knew* they would be uncomfortably tight so I didn't even try them on. Finally, this morning, having lost some weight, I figured I might be able to squeeze into those 20's. Hesitantly, I tried them on. I pulled them up. I buttoned them. And... they are LOOSE. They aren't falling off me like the 22's, but heck, I think I could probably go right ahead and wear the 18's! Unbelievable. And here I thought I was way too fat for those pants. The 22's are going on permanent retirement now, and I will be trying on the 18's in the morning. Wow. I am not as fat as I thought.

Another good day is well underway. For the record:

Breakfast: Chai tea with skim milk and agave, Scottish oatmeal with agave, vanilla, and half a cup of peaches with a splash of 2% milk, and green tea

Lunch: a can of vegetable barley soup, 1 serving thin Triscuits, and one ounce of reduced fat cheddar

Total calories so far: 733.

I'll have some tea later, maybe some fruit and/or asparagus and nuts. Dinner plan is whole grain spaghetti (I will have a pile of steamed yellow squash and mushrooms, a small amount of pasta, one turkey Italian sausage and Alessi smooth pasta sauce, my favorite!) Maybe a green veg with that as well... yeah, how about broccoli?

Will bike and lift later as well but it is kind of cold for a walk today.

Have a great day!

31 comments:

new*me said...

and I bet no latte is as good as how those jeans made you feel! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

Glad you mouth is okay :)

antgirl said...

Sounds like a great day!

Rewiring our thoughts and behavior takes time. Glad you found a victory today.

Wooo hoooo!! On the jeans. :)

Lucrecia said...

That has to be the best feeling ever!! How exciting!

Linda said...

Way to go on the new size(s)


it's awesome that you resisted the fastfood devil.

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Clothing NSVs are the best of ALL!!

Sara said...

You are doing well with your eating today! Good job!

Foodie McBody said...

This was such an impressive story. You bypassed all the siren calls and made it home safely!! I had several of those as well today - including an extra loud call for, believe it or not, HOT DOGS. I drove fast. I got to my destination without succumbing, but it's not easy is it?

I'm way proud and impressed. Good for you! And YAYY for those jeans! I just ordered some new jeans myself, a semi-splurge to celebrate my first ten pounds.

Super Squared said...

dentists are of the devil lol (even though mine is my son's godfather..he's different). Glad you didn't need any major work and kudos for getting into the skinny jeans :)

Me, Only Better said...

Yay for new jeans! Way to go!

I am glad you didn't need any serious dental work!

Vickie said...

so glad your poor mouth is okay - when you started telling the story all I could picture was Tom Hanks in Cast Away!!!

glad things are going better!

I often wonder how much of the food thing - is just pure conditioning - we do what we have always done just because that is what we did -

I find myself thinking of certain foods at certain times or places - simply because I had them in the past

driving through a small town - immediately hungry for something I have had there before

after an event - hungry for something I once had after that event

sometimes I feel like Pavlov's dogs. . .

Sandy said...

I had to chuckle. I went through the same thing last week...

MickyD's was calling my name and I finally retired my "safe" fat jeans.

spunkysuzi said...

What an awesome non scale victory!!

Pubsgal said...

Way to go, Lyn! NSVs are great.

I'd love to know what brand of jeans those are, if you wouldn't mind sharing? I'm always on the lookout for flattering ones...I've yet to find a brand I really like. (I remember buying an Oprah magazine that promised flattering jeans for all shapes and sizes...only to find that all the jeans shown were 100s of dollars! Ack!)

Lyn said...

Pubsgal~

they are Venezia 5-pocket jeans from Lane Bryant Catalog (online). They have a lot of different jeans, so make sure you get the 5-pocket that say in the description they have a small percentage of Spandex in them. I get the stonewash, it is dark with faint stripes and they really feel great on me. I know some people HATE this kind of material (with a bit of spandex) but for me it is sooo comfortable. Ad the waist is not stretchy or anything so they won't let you gain 20 pounds without noticing :) They are on sale for $15/pair right now!

Deniz said...

Lyn

Fabulous. A wonderful ending to a stressful and painful day. You are, as ever, amazing - what a strong lady!

The joy of dropping TWO whole sizes from where you thought you were must be just fantastic. Good on you for all your efforts - your reward is to know you look sexy as hell in the new jeans!

ani pesto said...

Woohoo! What a fab day indeed.

seesaraheat said...

You are rocking this week! You've been stressed out and have managed to not let it get the best of your weight loss efforts. I'm so proud of you :) Congrats on the jeans, I remember that feeling, its amazing!

Beanie said...

Congrats Babe!!! I remember my "jeans moment"...it was a pair of size 18 Tommy Hilfiger's...Now I just want to get back into my size 10 Old Navy's ;)

VeeGettingHealthy said...

I recently had a lot of dental surgery and sometimes I still get twinges of pain. Took forever to heal. Hated it.

Good job on the eating plan. I am really struggling - can barely leave the house because I'm still soooo tempted to stop by jack-in-the-box or somewhere else.

Good going! Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

p. potter said...

There is nothing more satisfying than putting on a pair of jeans you didn't think you'd be able to fit into, and finding out that they do, in fact, fit.

Congratulations!

Vickie said...

for years - when one of the kids found a piece of clothing that fit very well and was a good price - I would buy the same thing in several sizes - especially pants for the youngest - because she is hard to fit. So I was buying things in BIGGER sizes with growth in mind. When I started losing - I did the same thing (just like you said about your jeans!) - but in reverse for shrinking sizes.

Good for you on your jeans!!!

Tina said...

Great job Lyn! You are really doing well and continue to be an inspiration. I had to talk myself out of a few things this week. We can do it!

Pubsgal said...

Thanks for sharing the jeans info, Lyn! I appreciate it!

Heather said...

congrats on getting in those jeans! that is so exciting!

Karyn said...

So much good news! It is exciting to hear your healthy girl speaking loudly enough that you listen to her over your fat girl!

And the jeans! Woo Hoo!

You are no where near as fat as you think!

Karyn said...

And I meant to ask....what about the pain and what caused it? Did the dentist have any answers?

Hope you are feeling better.

Debbie said...

Yay for the size 18 jeans!

bbubblyb said...

Glad you got your teeth looked at it and it wasn't anything serious. I love hot tea at night too. Way to go on fitting into the 20's, I bet you can fit in the 18's too. Can't wait to hear your update on them.

Karen In Tennessee said...

What a great victory, Skinny Girl. I hope that by next month I can pull out some of my smaller clothes from 2 years ago!!! You are a great inspiration!

And I am so glad your dental issues aren't about to cost you thousands of dollars like MINE!!! (I am mired in self pity over this so don't mind me!) :)

Sarah said...

Hoping everything is ok in your world...

Winivere said...

Come get your award!
XX

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