Saturday, June 26, 2010

Living

As high as I have been feeling from the last week of new numbers and progress pictures, and as happy as I am, overall, with the vastly improved quality of my life, I have also had a hard time the last two days. Funny how, nowadays, I can have so much joy and sadness together on the same day. It used to be that a day/week/month was either REALLY GREAT or REALLY AWFUL. I was either in a positive mood or a negative one. I could easily label any given day or week 'good' or 'bad'. But now it seems life is more level. I have all kinds of emotions in any given day, and if I have some sadness or tiredness it does not eclipse the good parts of my day anymore. It's a pretty big change from the past, when honestly *most* days were so hard and shrouded in hopelessness about my weight, exhaustion, pain from joints and headaches, and the overwhelming feeling that I was not living my best life (or even getting close). Now, it's different. The positive and negative emotions have learned to coexist.

That said, the last two days have been tough for me. It certainly has something to do with hormones and where I am in my female cycle. I am at that point where I have a couple of sensitive/emotional days, which is actually a *good* thing, I have found, as it forces me to feel my feelings and face some underlying emotional 'issues' that tend to bubble to the surface once or twice a month. Since I am no longer stuffing those thoughts and feelings down with food, I have a chance to process the emotions and, more importantly, DO SOMETHING about them. For example, if some past hurt comes up in my heart and I find myself teary about the way a friendship ended ten years ago, instead of stuffing that down with a plate of nachos I actually call the person involved or email them and rekindle a friendship or make an apology if needed. Then the pain is GONE instead of being stuffed down for another six months.

Anyway (as I ramble), my little girl has been sick for 2 days. I have not been able to get out of the house. She has some major digestive issues going on and I have been doing a lot of cleaning up after her. I love her and hate seeing her sick. I am also nearly out of groceries (no milk, and the only veggies I have are asparagus, cauliflower, and cabbage. I eat a lot of veggies and usually have no less than ten fresh veggies in the fridge at all times). Two of my older kids aren't here at all right now and a third is trying to find a job, so I am out of babysitters (and with her having the issues she is, I probably wouldn't leave her for long anyway.) My house is a wreck, I am tired, and last night my stress level went up quite a bit... and I had a moment.

Someone had kindly given us a loaf of freshly baked bread, which was quite welcomed by the kids since we are out of many staples. Last night they were eating it buttered and toasted. The smell was wafting through the house. And I almost started to cry. NOT because I wanted the bread so badly, but because I was feeling so emotional and overwhelmed and alone in that moment. If you saw that new Jillian show last week, there was a family whose husband had lost his job and gained a ton of weight and pretty much checked out of life. As a result, the wife was having to do pretty much everything on her own: care for the kids, the house, worry about finances, etc. At one point she started crying uncontrollably because she was "so tired of doing it all on my own." Jillian had her express this to her husband, and she basically cried and said, "I need you! I am so tired... so tired. I can't do this all on my own. I feel so alone. When is someone going to take care me ME? I need you to lean on." Well I felt like that. I FEEL like that. Only I don't have anyone to say it to. I don't have anyone who is going to step up and take care of me. This is it, and I have to keep going. And I just wanted to cry. Last night I had these feelings: "I am so tired. I can't get the pleasure I want in my life. I can't have a day off. My finances are screwed. I can't do the repairs on the house that I want to. I can't go to the beach. I can't get laid, or even get a hug, or a kiss, or a back rub. Dammit, I am going to have a piece of toast!"

I just wanted some pleasure in a difficult day, and toast was it. I cut myself a slice and a half. I enjoyed it. It was off plan. But, in fact, I didn't feel at all out of control or crazy or like I HAD TO HAVE IT. I just thought, well, I want a piece of that fresh bread, and it would make me feel better. And it did. It DID help me feel better. It wasn't a binge and it wasn't unreasonable. And in that moment I felt normal in my relationship with food for the first time. I mean, I feel pretty normal everyday when I eat, but I always have this edge of "what if I binge, what if I want to 'use' food? what if I go nuts?" But it wasn't there. I was just a normal woman having a piece of toast. And while that may sound silly to some of you, I bet others who know *exactly* what I mean. Granted, it's not good to try and get a hug out of a box of chocolate as a general rule, but in this case, a piece of toast felt pretty darned good to me.

This morning I got up with the sick child, stepped over the beads and dolls and princesses scattered across the living room, made my green tea and sat down to assess what is going on with me. I always try to feel my feelings and acknowledge them. Expressing them, as I have done here, helps me figure out what to do next. It helps so that those thoughts don't stay trapped in my head, rattling around bothering me all day.

The sun is shining, and I feel pretty good (even if emotional). I know I am capable of all that is required of me today. This morning as I stood in the fresh air while letting the dog out, I ran my hands over my pajamaed midsection and thought, yeah. This is good. I am on the right track. And I really want this midsection to keep getting smaller, firmer, smoother. And I know what I have to do to create that for myself.

I will focus today on the things that *are* within my power, and let the rest glide around me like water in a lake. It'll all work out, and in the meantime, I am living.

21 comments:

Karen said...

I can certainly relate to the satisfaction of being in control, even with something off plan. I buy those little 100 calorie packs of cookies, crackers, or chex mix and WW popsicles just for those occasions. I can step off the straight and narrow but only a little bit...and then I am right back to counting my protein and calories and making sure that overall my diet is healthy.

Hope your little one is feeling better soon. Just getting out of the house will make you feel better. I met a friend for lunch yesterday and it was great just having an hour away from barking, whining, and dog hair!!!

Anonymous said...

Totally relate.
-Leslie

Mishe@EatingJourney said...

I totally get it. Thank you SO much for being honest with what you're feeling. Thank you for sharing so much, cause it's helping so many people--like me.

theresa said...

it really takes the wind out of the emotional sails when you vent doesn't it? Now you've "said it" and can move forward. Tackling each thing one at a time.....

I think you are doing a phenominal job. :)

Jennifer said...

I just posted yesterday about how my little girl has been sick. She had a stomach virus or so the dr's say but was pretty much laying on the couch without energy and vomiting for 5 days. She was crying and whining and nothing I did seemed to make her better. I was stressed, and worried.

You had a piece and half of bread. Not the whole loaf, and not a box of chocolate, or a whole bag of anything. Forgive and move on. You are doing VERY well. I hope she(and you) feel better soon.

Jennifer
http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

spunkysuzi said...

You know i totally get it! You handled it incredibly well. Have a good day and i hope the little one is feeling better soon.

Ice Queen said...

Boy, do I ever get it. You and I have some very similar issues with food and emotions and I relate to so much of what you say.

Good for you, enjoying a slice of toast and truly enjoying it, not using it to drug yourself or make the world go away. I get how huge that really is. :D

I'm sorry that your little one is sick. It is so awful when a kid is sick. You want to just take it away and make them better. I hope that she is feeling better, soon.

Margie M. said...

I sure hope your little girl feels better real soon. Dealing with that alone, is emotional.

Nice post. Dealing with feelings and emotions by writing them out instead of *feeding* them is a very positive step in the right direction.

Margie M. writes at:
www.myhealthylivingthruweightcontrol.blogspot.com

Leslie said...

Maybe it's a Leslie thing, but I also totally relate. And I like the image of letting the day glide over you like water in a lake.

seattlerunnergirl said...

Lyn, I totally get your experience from last night. What's more, I think it's closer to "normal" (whatever that is!) than NEVER using food for comfort or pleasure. I don't think it's wrong or unhealthy to take pleasure from food; it's just when we rely on it to the exclusion of all else...or to bury our feelings...that's the unhealthy part. Thank you for sharing your story!

401sue said...

I'm amazed that we are not the same person. I feel like you are pulling words out of my mind with almost every post. People are always telling me I'm a great mother (widowed when daughter was 2) I too eat my feelings.
You are on the right track and have gotten me on that track. Keep doing what you are doing. This too shall pass :)
sending feel good hugs to you and your daughter.

Desert Agave said...

Those emotional days can be exhausting. I think writing about them really does help. Thanks for sharing what you're experiencing right now.

Lanie Painie said...

Thanks so much for sharing that with us.

Karen said...

Wow. Once again you have really moved me with what you have written. This blog is exactly what I need right now...not that you are writing for us, but just so you know, it is helping people as well as being cathartic for you! Thank you for sharing your struggles.

birchgirl said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for quite a while, and just want to say congratulations on your success so far. You deserve it! You are one of the inspirations for my own blog (http://42magicnumber.blogspot.com/).

Betty said...

I am so impressed by your honesty, your insights, your courage, and your strength. You inspire me to keep "getting back up" even though I seem to stumble over and over again.

McCulley's said...

I love how far you have come and that you have learned to deal with your emotions rather than eat them! It something most of us struggle with and you give us inspiration to know it is possible.

morganbows said...

"And in that moment I felt normal in my relationship with food for the first time."

I had that moment a few months ago, but didn't realize it until a few days later. You've done such an enviable job of gaining self-awareness, even in the face of the chronic dissatisfaction that some say is the human condition. I have a scroll written in Korean calligraphy hanging on my wall. "The life is incompleteness," says the English translation, written in pencil on a slip of paper attached to the back. So it is. and yet..

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn, sorry to hear that you are having some rough "monthly-cycle" issues. I was wondering, since you have been getting Medifast for free for your honest reviews (which I am and I am sure several others have really appreciated) do you maybe have some extra money that you could get some outside help with your house? I know you still have several children to feed as well as pay for your lean and green dinners but honestly, I have a lady who comes every two weeks to clean my house (for $80) and I live in an expensive area and I cannot tell you how much stress it has taken off my life for the price of $160 a month. Granted, I am not sure of your financial situation or cost of living in your area but if you think it might be feasible, you should really try thinking of it. Like I said, it has taken a tremendous amount of stress off of me to just have one thing taken care of by someone else. Anyways, just a thought. You will get through these rough times; you always do :) And we are all rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I just quickly reread your post to make sure I didn't miss anything and the phrase "finances are screwed" popped out at me. I was the one who wrote the suggestion about getting a maid. Please feel free to delete that comment. Again, we are all rooting for you! Take care, Lyn.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

That's ok! I will keep your suggestion in my back pocket for the future. I am sure things will get better for me at some point! :)