Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Opening Up Again, Stretch Pants, and a Plus Sized Illusion

I'm not really sure where I am right now. I mean, yes, I am home on the couch sipping coffee, but I am not sure where my head is. All week, thoughts about posting here have flitted through my head. Thoughts and ideas are so jumbled, not just about weight loss or about blogging, but about life. I have been shutting down and bottling up my feelings since my aunt died... not really talking to anyone about anything of importance, not typing it out, either. Blogging has been my outlet, my way of sorting out emotions and dealing with issues and releasing things that are bothering me or knocking around in my brain, and that stopped. I stopped letting it out at all. I turned back to closing off and just avoiding and ignoring and pretending. This is really not a good strategy for me, so this is my attempt to *begin* letting it flow again... cracking the barrier I've put up around myself and releasing some of the built-up pressure behind the wall.

I am emotionally frazzled. I am upset about my aunt dying, about not being able to go to the funeral or visit my family or even make plans for a future visit. I miss my oldest son who moved to another state and is going to college there and I don't know when I will get to see him. My third oldest turned 18 and now I only have two 'minors' and it has been an emotional roller coaster with me feeling my age and trying to find a new role besides "mommy", and though four of my kids still live with me and I am proud of their independence, I miss my babies. I didn't even realize it until the other day I was in the store and walked down an aisle and glanced up and saw some of those cheap plastic teething rings you freeze and give to babies, and I actually got choked up and felt like crying. In the same aisle the smell of the clean new diapers and baby powder washed over me just as I was having those flashbacks to my sweet infants chewing those teething rings... wasn't it just yesterday?... and I wanted to go back, back, back in time to when these very grown-up boys were snuggled safe in my arms and I kissed their cute chubby little feet. I am not kidding, the time whizzed by and my little guys morphed ever so quickly into men, and oh how I miss my little tribe.

It's all one thing. It's all about time passing, people growing old and dying, *myself* getting older and seasons changing. It is not a bad thing. It is life. But it has hit me all at once as I try to grab onto every second before it is gone, as I frantically try to soak up every second with my last 'baby' as she sits on my lap in the evening for stories. I savor every minute, not only with her, but with my boys, because I love them all so much.

There are other things, but this is enough for now.

The eating:

I sort of linger around the low carb and Medifast. I wander off. I don't really have the focus I need to see the scale going down. At least, I think not. I have not been on the scale in several weeks. I have my pants, though. My jeans that have no elastic and are unforgiving always tell me how I am doing. I know I am within the same 5 pounds or so. When the jeans feel more snug, I naturally cut back. They feel okay. But I totally understand how the weight regain thing happens to people. I really get it now. There is this sort of "lalalalala I can't hear you" thing that happens when you just don't want to deal with/acknowledge/think about weight anymore and you stop getting on the scale and stop any efforts in the weight loss direction and tell yourself it is okay and it is just a couple pounds and you'll catch it before it gets out of control again, and all the while your fingers are in your ears and you're lalala-ing away with a pan of lemon bars in your lap. And let me tell you, the only thing standing between me and that is the jeans. If I let myself wear stretch pants, all bets would be off. I could gain it all back in about 8 months, and it would go by in a flash. Poof! 300 pounds. Just like that. Because in stretch pants, you feel the same. They support the delusion. You haven't gained THAT much weight. Your clothes are comfortable. Oh they get holes in the thighs and you go to buy new ones and somehow you need a *slightly* bigger size but of course that's because they are a different brand, right? And you and your black stretch pants just grow and grow and before you know it, you take your fingers out of your ears and stop singing and eating and look down to find yourself 50 or 100 pounds heavier. And you say, "how did I let this happen??" Well, that is how. Throw out the stretch pants and get some unforgiving jeans, and they will reality check you into being unable to regain more than 5 or 10 pounds. Seriously. Throw out the stretch pants.

Anyway, odd things with the eating: I find that even if I give in to my cravings, nothing really tastes that good. Oh, things are okay, but not fantastic. I have given myself more leeway lately than I should for weight loss, but out of all the little bites and tastes and yummy things I have had over the past 2 weeks, there was only one food I ate that I'd call 'delicious.' It was fresh kiwifruit. Yep, I've had some off plan stuff, but nothing came close to the amazing flavor of that fresh, cold kiwi. It was just heavenly. None of the other crap I ate was even close. I also find that when I go out for dinner, I not only order the small version of whatever dish I am getting, but also can only eat half of it. Half a small, and take the rest home and give it to a kid. I would say my appetite is pretty normal now. I can't/don't want to put away the amounts that I used to.

Yesterday, I went to a clothing store to find some pants for my daughter. Something very odd happened that I have not experienced in more than a year... maybe two. I was walking through the ladies clothing section and thought I would look for a sweater for myself. I wear a Ladies medium for the most part... maybe a large if I want a very loose fit. So I am looking and don't like anything, and I look ahead and see the Women's Plus section. And I find myself thinking I need to shop there. I go over and start looking at the plus sized sweaters. I find some I like. I start looking through them AS IF I were still over 250 pounds. I was there in my brain. I find myself thinking I need a 2X. I look at the 1X's and think they are too small and would be too tight. I wonder if a 2X would be about right. And even though my brain knows darn well that these would just be way, way too big on me, my eyes are seeing sweaters MY SIZE. And I finally just had to tell myself to knock it off, that it is not a good thing to be visualizing myself at 250 pounds, and to get the heck out of the plus sized clothing section.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe now that I have gotten some things out, I will be able to write more and stop shutting off my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for listening.


violinista said...

It sounds like being a mom was your calling in life! I really hope your children know how much you love them and will always come back home. Don't have any kids yet, but got a little choked up reading about your missing and reminiscing about them.:(

Maren said...

First of all let me say that your children will always need you. :) I've just turned 26 and I would lose two rocks in my life if I lost either of my parents. I will always count on them for support, and I know that they will always be there. That, for me, is a lighthouse that shepherds me through dark times.

Then, I have to say something about this: "Oh they get holes in the thighs and you go to buy new ones and somehow you need a *slightly* bigger size but of course that's because they are a different brand, right? "...... That part made me cry. This is me! I am wearing these damn black stretch pants RIGHT NOW. And I'm crying because I've been fooling myself for years, and only just started to open my eyes.

Thank you for a great nugdge!

Diandra said...

Welcome back, I missed reading here!

Don't worry about things that are past, enjoy the moment and look forward to the future! So many things your children are experiencing these days are "firsts" for them, at that age life is still a miracle! And who knows, soon there may be grandchildren (and, like all women, you will still be as young as the morning and as light as a rose petal). I once asked my father whether he had any regrets, and he told me how he felt time was moving faster, and he was afraid he wouldn't have the time to do everything he wanted to do. Don't waste any of that precious time pining for the past.

As for the weird size image - look at yourself. Every morning in the mirror.

Erika said...

Missed you, Lyn!

I don't have any kids myself, but I understand the feeling of getting overwhelmed with time passing. It's difficult seeing my grandparents and parents get older (I live in a different state, so I see them about a half-dozen times a year with frequent phone calls). I don't know if it ever gets easy. I can go months without thinking about it, and then for some reason it creeps up on me. I get a little jostled for a few days but then the feeling passes.

When you have so long tied your identify in with something else (I am a mother, I am a lawyer, I am a teacher, I am a student, etc etc etc.) it is painful and confusing when you find that missing. However I do agree, once a mom always a mom, and your kids feel the same way.

I've mentioned this before, but what about a new hobby, or social activity? Or part time job or something? I don't know what your day-to-day entails but the best thing to keep from ruminating is to stay busy :-).

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn. I've been reading your blog since I started Medifast. I started up around the time you restarted - this September, so I kind of feel a kinship with you.
I have totally been where you are. When things are a little darker, and you eat things because you think deep down that it will make you feel better, but they just don't taste the way you thought they would. You dont get the joy you are looking for, because what you are looking for is solace.
I hope things pick up for you. I think this kind of feeling is natural after a tragic thing happens or is lost. I think one of the best decisions I ever made was during a time like this one - after crying everyday for a month, I decided that this year, I was going to do all the things I had thought might be nice to do, but put off because of lack of urgency. I was going to enjoy all the things that I could only do here, in this place.
Anyway, I hope things look up for you!

Rachel said...

So glad you're back! I was concerned.

Good advice on the stretch pants, and good going for not regaining a lot of weight during this difficult time! It's impressive and it gives me hope that change is possible for us emotional eaters.

Nothing will ever replace mothering, but I'm wondering if a job that somehow nurtures young children might appeal to you? It sounds like kids really light you up and that you genuinely enjoy caring for others (children, dogs, etc.). Don't know what your degree is in, but wanted to throw that observation out there. And you seem to have particular concern for the physical and emotional well-being of overweight children...could your next role possibly involve any of these topics?

Anonymous said...

It is great that you posted. I have been wondering how you are doing. Take care !

Forty Pound Sack said...

You really struck a chord with me at this line: "lalalalala I can't hear you". I call it the tunnel of fog. I feel like I wander into a tunnel filled with fog and weeks, months later I come out the other side and the sun is in my eyes and I can't see myself clearly and wham! I look like a different person. It's easier to stay in the tunnel, oblivious, than face the damage I've done to myself. Hugs to you, honey. I hope this rough patch passes quickly.

lisa~sunshine said...

Lynn.. I'm so glad your back.. I hope you got my message from facebook.. I was really wondering how you have been doing..

I'm going to agree with a post above.. we need to live more in the present and think about all the grand possibilities the future holds.. Don't get me wrong.. I know its hard because with my kids in school for a full day this year.. I feel like I'm not needed as much and it's been a twist to find myself again and to do things I enjoy for me.. it's just so different..

I agree on the stretch pants.. they have to go.. I wore them for years.. jeans were just never comfortable... now I wear jeans and I keep tabs on where I am with my ears not plugged..

Thanks for posting.. I missed reading your blog.. I hope you start to write more about your feelings because letting things out.. is the best way..

Joyful Noise for a Joyful Life said...

Grief comes in waves. It is okay to let yourself shut off for a while and okay to be sad you weren't there with others at the service. Talk to a couple close friends about your loss.
We lost our son to suicide a year ago. I still have days when I need to crawl under the bed, days I can laugh about how wonderful our times together were, and days I need to punch something. Faith, family, and friends get us through each storm in life. But being honest about how we are and what we need is extremely important. Praying for your peace.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lynn, I think most moms will totally understand your feelings of loss - getting emotional at the years that have zipped by. I know I understand! (((hugs))) I do miss them as little ones but chapters end and other (exciting!) chapters begin and feeling sad as you transition seems to be quite normal! Our son just got engaged and I've been feeling so excited but so melancholy - knowing that in less than 1 year he won't be living at home any longer and one chapter (with him anyway) will have closed! How sad - BUT there are so many exciting things - to see him be married and happy and to share in that, to get a daughter-in-law, maybe GRANDBABIES one day (!!!) ... my advice? Allow yourself to grieve and then move on - it's all normal, and you'll read about it on my blog too!

Debbie in Texas said...

Lyn -

Like all the others that have left comments so far, I've missed you! A day without Lyn is like a day without... a good friend.

As several have noted, your calling is children. Have you ever thought of working part-time in the childcare section of your local YMCA? You'd have a safe place for your children to be when they get home from school (or on the weekends) as well as a free membership with up-to-date workout equipment available for you. There are even personal trainers on-hand. Let me know what you think...

So glad that you're back. ;-)

Melanie said...

Welcome back! Glad you're opening up again. Also - the stretch pant suggestion is great!

Nanette said...

welcome back, lady! You're such a great mom. I'm glad you're taking the carpe diem approach. Everyday is another opportunity to spend time with people we find important.

timothy said...

havin to consider yourself 1st must be a scary prospect for a mom, so scary you're considering it waaaay sooner than needs be. and besides it'll be ok kids grow up by honestly they never leave and it'll be ok. you're an amazing woman and so very strong. just trust yourself and keep busy it'll all be ok..............oh and stay away from the plus sizes! lolol

donner said...

I know you miss your small children, that's understandable....You might consider volunteering at your local hospital, or children's hospital. I'm sure you could find ways to enjoy spending time with little kids who need people to read to them, entertain them, play games, and just laugh. You might consider starting a reading group at your local library, or finding an elementary school that needs teacher aides. There are ways to find being around kids (that sounds creepy, but you know what I mean) that you'll find fulfilling...Good luck!

Steelers6 said...

I think Erika has a point..our identity has been our kids for so long. I am still dealing with that, as I have 1 in his career, 2 in college, and a princess at home. (kinda like you, Lyn!) It is a big adjustment. I remind myself that my goal is/was to raise mature, independent, responsible children into adults.

Glad you are writing things out.

I think it is pretty important to look at the fact that nothing really tasted or tastes as great as we remembered. I have to tell myself that too. I was recently at a wedding and automatically (can you believe that?) ate some wedding cake that didn't even look good. It wasn't. I stopped. What I REALLY like these days is veggies!

I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you. Chrissy

MargieAnne said...

Hi Lyn, I've been out of touch for a while so am glad to be able to catch up with where you are.

# There you have had many sad/grief times and losing your aunt is huge. Sometimes we take longer than we expect to live 'normal' again.

# While it's normal to feel some kind of loss as our children grow toward independence it's true that we will always be parents. Right now our son, almost 50, is in dire need of our help and support, but I must admit it's not as sweet as when he was a baby.

# There should be no shame in admitting to any kind of addiction. It's always hard to come to terms with initially and you have been brutally honest about binging so I'm sure you can be honest with yourself about using the addiction word.

# If you decide you need a new approach there are some basic things to know about breaking the power of addiction. .... - I'm still discovering and learning.

I was shocked to learn recently that most addictions take 3 to 5 years to overcome and then vigilance for the rest of one's life.

I'm on my way to learning more about the nature of addiction and breaking the chains of addiction.

Maentime Lyn I do hope you find each day is getting easier and you feel more settled in yourself.

Arkad said...

That's great reminders. Thanks for sharing such brilliant idea. Anyway, i'd just discover new way to lose weight. I love doing it, I lose weight while im in front of my TV monitor.

Elaine said...

Throwing out the stretch pants is a great tip and reminder. I buy very expensive, very unforgiving jeans, and because of that I'm unwilling to gain even a couple pounds.

I've thought about revamping the wardrobe and wearing more leggings and dresses....but keeping the tight $200 jeans is helping me stick to my 25-year-old weight as I get into my 30s and my metabolism is less forgiving.

Erin said...

I can identify so much with wandering into the plus-sized department. I've almost lost 40 pounds now, and in my mind I still don't fully understand that I'm now in the 140s instead of the 160s or 180s. Things that would fit me before just hang off of me, and not in a flattering way, but for some reason I don't understand that. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I need to be "resocialized" in the smaller sizes... maybe I need to go clothes shopping (though not buying) more regularly just to have more experiences with regularly associating with those smaller sizes.

More generally, Lyn, I have been an reader of your blog for some time and have a tremendous admiration for your ability to articulate the emotional and psychological aspects of eating well, being active and losing weight. So many weight loss blogs focus on activity or sharing recipes, and very few tackle this huge part of change - our psychological and emotional relationship to food. You do it so well. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

Tammy said...

A couple of years ago...I wore "stretch shorts" all summer. Thought I was about the same. In September, went to put my jeans back on and they wouldn't fit. I mean it wasn't even close! It was scary and I will never let that happen no more stretch pants for me!!