Fear. What am I afraid of? If you ask, I will tell you “nothing”. But if I think about it, that’s not really true. In reality, fear rules my life. All of my choices are made from a position of fear of the other choice. Even when I don’t make a choice, it is because of fear. I am so lucky my life turned out as well as it did, because most of the time I wasn’t guiding the ship, I was simply reacting to the storms.

I am afraid of being wrong. First and foremost, I would say that is my biggest fear. And in order to avoid making the wrong decision, I don’t make any. I just let things happen, and then react to them – not a good way to lead one’s life.

I’m also afraid of hurting my family’s feeling – especially Mom. I feel responsible for ensuring that everything stays on an even keel. Maybe that’s because when I was a kid, if anything upset Mom, we all paid the price. She wouldn’t freak out, but she was so moody that she would either pout or lash out in retaliation. That was fun, trying to avoid that. Then of course there was Dad and his temper. If you upset the apple cart he would fly off the handle and punishments would ensue. And lastly, little Karen, who would simply shut down when it all become too much for her little mind to handle. I never wanted my baby sister to be so shut off from her emotions and her world – and me (I love her).

I fear the unknown. Like a dark hallway gaping in front of me, I am afraid to step into the darkness for fear of what might be waiting. When in reality, this dark hallway is in Disney World and there are only good things ahead. What is so scary? There is nothing ahead of me that I cannot handle, and so there is nothing to be afraid of. This fear of the unknown is a killer. It has kept me stuck in a bad situation, rather than risk the unknown of change. What a fool I’ve been to linger so long in this place.

I’m afraid of having a boyfriend. I don’t know how to be with someone. I want everything my way and I am not willing to budge on many things. Plus I know exactly how I want to be treated and I doubt any man can provide what I need. I know that no one will measure up, so why even waste my time and serenity on some fool with a dick.

I am afraid of being alone. If I am not the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect employee, no one will stand by me. They will abandon me for someone else – someone better.

I am afraid of regret. I don’t want to be 100 years old and be plagued by all the living I haven’t done. This is my one chance, what if I miss it?

I’m afraid I don’t really care as much as I pretend to. Why do I keep pushing myself to be more, be better. Can’t this be enough? Maybe I don’t really want any more than I already have. If I did, wouldn’t I have made sure I got it? Maybe I am right where I want to be.

I’m afraid I will finally know what I really want. What if all the things I want for myself are at odds with keeping the people in my life happy. What if I want to live in Paris, marry a woman, become a muslim, live in a commune, adopt 15 kids and 75 cats? What if I want to sell my house, quit my job, cash out my IRA, and travel the world non-stop for the rest of my life?

What if all of this change brings up emotions I am can’t won’t don’t want to deal with?

Posted in Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE 300 … GONE

In re-reading my last few entries, I can see how far I’ve come since then; and I am so happy.

I was feeling depressed and hopeless, yet continued to see my therapist and attend my weight watchers meetings; all the while gaining weight. By late July, I was at my heaviest weight ever – a whopping 308 pounds. Holy crap!

In May, I was speaking with a friend and she mentioned she has been taking Zoloft for a little while now, and really noticed a difference in her anxiety levels and how she deals with stressful situations. So I mentioned it to Margaret (my therapist) and she thought Zoloft was a great idea. Not only would it help me deal with stress, it has also been shown to be helpful with weight loss. So I started taking it. It took about 6 weeks until I noticed any change, and about 4 months until I realized that I was dealing with my life differently. I had less anger at the little annoyances in my day, plus I didn’t get myself so worked up in stressful situations, allowing my behavior to get out of control. That is great, but I’m still not losing weight.

Finally one day in early August, I had determined that something had to change. I’ve been pursuing the same course of action without results for too long. I sat down on Margaret’s couch prepared to tell her that I think I should stop coming – at least for a while. When I sat down, Margaret said to me that this isn’t working. She suggested we try one more type of therapy and if that didn’t work, I should stop coming to see her. Wow, I’m so glad we both see that things aren’t working. It reinforces my belief that she is good at her job. So I said okay, I’m willing to try anything. What do you have in mind?

EMDR therapy. Margaret explained that this therapy was developed to treat PTSD, but has been shown to useful in treating other conditions, including compulsive eating. “Okay, I’m in!” And so we began. We started by establishing where I am today: what my problem (trauma) is, and then deciding where I want to be. I started with the statement “I make bad choices about food.” and decided where I want to be instead is “I love myself enough to always do what’s best for me.” Good stuff.

Then we started talking about my statement – I make bad choices about food. Margaret asked me how that makes me feel, and can I recall a situation where I made a bad choice. So what was different about this conversation and all the others? This time I was wearing headphones and holding sensors. Through the headphones I heard a beep in my left ear, then the right, then the left, etc. Back and forth a rhythmic tone in my ears, while simultaneously feeling a buzzing sensation in the companion hand. The conversation continued all the while a beep and buzz on the left, then the right, again and again. And when my recounting of a situation would become extremely emotional we would stop and examine those emotions from a distance. Interesting I thought, but how does it work? Apparently the tone flipping from the right to the left distracts the brain from making its usual neural connection and allows for the creation of a new, less harmful, one.

Does it work? Yes it does. How do I know? Well, not only do I feel less stress about food, but I fell less anxiety in general. Plus, and best of all, as of this morning I am down to 284. Woo Hoo! Finally, I am seeing some real results. And my whole attitude about food has shifted. I still have more to do, but this time there is a real difference in how I think about myself, my life, the world around me, and food. I’m very happy.

Posted in Featured Entries, Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I had a run-in with yet another co-worker. I like to think it’s them, but when it keeps happening, I’m starting to think it’s me.

I tried to tell the administrative assistant, who has been here just one year (the rest of us have been here 16 years or more), that she is spending too much time attending to personal business on company time. She did not take it well. She became argumentative, defensive, and tried to turn the whole thing back on me – saying I also spend too much time on personal stuff. Ultimately she said “you’re not my supervisor”, though I have been acting in that capacity during her entire employ, I do not in fact, have the title of “supervisor”. Now she’s mad at me. Sheesh. I should have kept my mouth shut. There I go again, thinking I can take care of any situation on my own, without help from anyone else (like our boss in this instance). I learned a good lesson. The primary key of personnel management: Be certain the staff recognizes your authority to manage them.

Now things are uncomfortable around here, and I am feeling very depressed. I want to have a big sandwich and some wine, and go to bed.

Posted in My LIfe | Tagged , | Leave a comment


I keep making the wrong choices. I hate the way I look and feel, and yet I have 2 cookies after lunch. I eat all the things I shouldn’t, while simultaneously wishing I were thinner. Margaret suggests I stop and take a moment to examine my emotions when I have the urge to eat off plan. So …

I feel like
This thing that I want to eat will make me feel better/happier/calmer. And really, it’s just one more. After a lifetime of eating how can just one more really matter. If I just eat this, oh and these other few off-limit things while I’m at it, once I eat these, that will finally satisfy me and I can finally get down to business and really stay focussed. I really need this, I cannot resist this craving, but once I’m past this craving, then I will be able to buckle-down and do what is necessary. If I eat 100% clean, I’ll drop this weight in no time at all. Yeah, it’s no big deal, I’ll just start tomorrow. Tomorrow I will feel stronger and more prepared. Tomorrow I will finally be ready to conquer this beast. Tomorrow 

Posted in Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding Blues

Yesterday I went to a wedding. My boss’s son got married and everyone from work was invited. We were all at the same table at the reception. The other 3 ladies all looked lovely and I told them so. No one said anything like that to me. That tells me two things.

One, those bitches couldn’t even throw me a bone. They know I tried. My makeup was perfect, my hair stylish, and my dress fit me well. I looked as good as I could, but they wouldn’t deign to pay me a compliment.

Two, I really don’t look good. I used to get compliments from time to time, even though I was heavy. But now I am so large that I never really look good. I always look not quite put together.

I felt freakish at the reception full of beautiful people. Three times I had the same thing happen to me: I walked over to a group of people, and they all left. It was weird, just as I walked over to them, suddenly without any notable reason, they all decided they wanted to be somewhere else. The first time I barely noticed. The second time I took note, by the third time I began to feel conspicuous and uncomfortable. It was not a coincidence, or paranoia. No, these people were leaving because I was there. I don’t get it. I think I give off a nice, friendly vibe. I  smile, I look people in the eye, I introduce myself. I can only assume that when standing next to me, people feel fat-by-association, and so need to get away as quickly as possible, before they are swept into the social pariah group along with me.

Other horrible social interactions that I am all too familiar with also occurred. But the worst was after dinner when everyone is dancing. By now, everybody has had a few drinks and all the single guests end up hanging out in the same area (usually by the bar), and start flirting with each other. Well, I have been through this before so I know what is coming, and I’m not staying for it. I don’t need to stand there while everyone talks around me – like I’m the invisible woman. It’s humiliating. So just as the party was heating up, I left. Which was fine. I didn’t know anyone there except the groom and my coworkers, and being ignored by dozens of singles is not my idea of a good time. Adios. To comfort myself I took a bag of candy from the favor table and ate it all on the way home – another good choice.

Posted in Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

First Again

Well here I sit, winding down from a season of festivities. It’s the first of the year and already I don’t feel optimistic. I have a strange uneasy feeling that persists even while I celebrate the holidays with friends and family. I’m not sure if it’s about my weight, my job, or my love life. Maybe all three. I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday, and have gained back two-thirds of the weight I lost last year. I asked the lady at the center to change my start date to that day so that I could start anew and have accurate readings of my weight loss from here out, and just put the previous year behind me. Of course since Saturday I’ve been eating like I’m not watching what I eat. One party after the other and I keep indulging. Wine, cheese, dessert. And I’m still not exercising. I feel terrible.

As far as work goes I think my boss may not be able to deliver everything he once promised. It’s happened before with smaller things, he talks big at the outset but ultimately things are a bit less rosey than his projection. I think his idea that he would “provide for us” may have been inflated. As the months have gone by the talk of how we’ll be taken care of has subsided and the terms have not gotten any clearer. The reasoning for the uncertainty that we all used was that the contract for the sale of the company had not been finalized. And that was obvious; my boss was on the phone all the time with the other company that was buying us, but now I haven’t been aware of him being on the phone with them much at all. I think that the terms of the contract has been settled and we are not going to be as “taken care of” as we are expecting, and that my boss is afraid to tell us around the holidays. His son’s wedding is in 3 weeks and I think after that is when he’s planning to tell us. Not only do I think that we will not get a substantial severance package, but I also think that the other company will not offer us jobs at their headquarters in Atlanta. Why would they? They have a full staff there, once the transition is complete and they know everything they need to know about how we run things, why would they need us anymore. Of course everything seems to happening at once. I’m in the middle of redecorating my little apartment. Even though it costs, I’m going to keep going. The place needs it, I need it, and I am going to survive this and thrive. I refuse to go backwards. I spent too many years poor and struggling to let all that I have built be undone. I’m in such a good position now; I own my home, I have no debt, I have savings and a retirement account. Not a lot, but something. It’s more than a lot of people. So I refuse to dip into my savings. I will find another job and do what I have to do, that’s it. But the thought of searching for a job is … ug. I’ll be 49 this year and I live in a small town, it’s going to be a tough search for the right position. I’m so spoiled where I am now. I love my work, I have a beautiful office, and I make great money. What will I do now? The unknown makes me extremely nervous, anxious. I just want to lay down and cry.

In other news, my parents received notice of their court date. Their home is in foreclosure and on February 18th they and the mortgage company will meet with the judge and the foreclosure will be finalized. The bank will take ownership and an eviction date will be set. My parents homeless after working for more than 50 years, it doesn’t seem possible, and it’s definitely not fair. It breaks my heart I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll have another glass of wine.

Posted in My LIfe, Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Burning Desire

Last night, while shopping for a nutritious dinner, I was tempted into the holiday treats isle at my local grocery store. I can’t prove it, but I know El Diablo was there and it was he who turned my head so that my eyes could catch a glimpse of that peppermint candy that I love, the one which is only available this time of year (white chocolate with candy cane bits). I grabbed a bag and put it in the front of my cart. Then I plucked it out and put it back on the shelf, stood there for a moment, snatched it back and tossed in the bottom of the basket with the fruits and veggies. Eager to taste my annual temptation, I opened the bag and ate one on the way home; it was gone in an instant. By the time I got home, made a phone call, and had dinner it was 8 and I was ready for more candy.

The individually wrapped treats were disappearing faster than Black Friday deals at Walmart, while candy wrappers piled higher and higher on the coffee table. I closed the bag to stop myself from plowing through, but minutes later, I found my hand diving in to retrieve more yummy goodness. Sometimes I bit them and chewed them vigorously, sometimes I let them slowly melt on my warm tongue, all the while consuming at a tremendous pace. Finally, feeling a little uneasy in my tummy, I closed the bag for good and put the few remaining pieces in the pantry. I hopped in the shower, put on my PJs, and plunked in front of the TV. “Hmm… I think I may have eaten too many of those candies. My tummy feels funny.” 

Well, let me tell you, the rest of the night was far from funny. I got into bed at 10:30 and woke up around midnight with the most horrible taste in my mouth and burning in my throat. Apparently the overdose of candy had caused a massive attack of acid reflux. Oh my goodness, the burning in the throat and esophagus was brutal. Even now, 15 hours later, my tummy is still full of acid. When will I learn?

Posted in Weight Loss Struggle | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment