Any Which Way

What a glorious day. My uncle had his brain surgery yesterday and they removed all of the troublesome tumor, with no side effects to his vision, speech, or mobility. Yeah! The other tumor is small and on his frontal lobe so they will treat it with radiation. He should live a long and healthy life.

The silver lining to my uncle’s medical emergency happening while visiting us here in Florida, is that I have gotten reacquainted with all my cousins. The other unanticipated side effect, is that with all the stress, I have lost 3 pounds so far this week. Hey, I’ll take ‘em any way I can get ‘em. ;-)

My eating has been pretty good. Even yesterday when I went to Five Guys, I got a single hamburger and only ate half the bun and half the fries. All in all, not bad.

I had to cancel my appointment with Margaret yesterday, but I feel like I have made so much progress with her. The other day I stopped and got 3 chocolate milkshakes for my uncle and cousins and I wasn’t tempted or tormented at all. I chose not to have a milkshake and so I didn’t feel like I had to resist the urge to have one. I am so grateful for that peace of mind. I do realize though that I am not completely “healed” and that I still must be mindful of every food choice, and that at some time in my future I will want to stay away from a particular food but then go ahead and eat it anyway – that is what compulsives do.

For now, I am feeling relief, peace, and exhaustion.

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What A Difference A Day Makes

Today is a rough day. 48 hours ago, I thought the toughest thing about this week was going to be trying to lose weight by weigh-in on Saturday considering I had pizza on Tuesday. Unfortunately that “problem” now seems like a silly joke.

I spent my birthday (Saturday), celebrating with my family. Including my great-aunt and uncle from Sarasota, and my uncle from Maui. He didn’t fly in for my birthday, but I sure was glad that his trip coincided with it. We spent the whole day laughing and reminiscing while swimming in the pool and enjoying delicious grilled chicken.

My uncle is staying with my folks, he’s dad’s brother, and I went over there again for more family time on Sunday. Then he took us all out to dinner on Monday. He wanted a whole Maine lobster, something he cannot get on Maui. Tuesday night, my sister and her husband decided to treat us all to New York style pizza, another thing my uncle cannot get on Maui. We were sitting around Tuesday night having a wonderful time, when he mentioned that he’d had a terrible headache for a couple of days and some blurry vision. We all expressed concern, and he said he would visit the doctor when he got home to Maui. But things progressed and overnight he went to the hospital where tests revealed 2 metastatic tumors on his brain.

OMG, Tuesday night we’re eating pizza and laughing, and Wednesday morning he’s fighting for his life. I’m getting all my information third hand but the prognosis isn’t good. This is his fourth bout with melanoma, and he isn’t optimistic. It’s all so tragic, I can’t stop crying. I’m here at work getting things done, but every time I stop to think, I burst into tears.

Still, I am trying to stay on my food plan, even though I did throw up a little after lunch (it’s just too much emotionally). Usually under stress, I revert back to very bad eating habits; like ice cream and hoagies. But no amount of ice cream will extend my uncle’s life – if only the solution were that simple; I would gladly sacrifice the pounds.

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Make A Wish

Saturday was my birthday. I did the obligatory wishing on a candle and blowing it out, but my feelings about the whole thing were mixed.

Normally I hate to be such a pessimist, but there is something about big annual events, like my birthday, that make me reflect on my life. I take a long-view of what has transpired and what is to come, and I can’t say that I am really thrilled with what I see right now. This year was worse than usual because it seems that I am beginning menopause, and it aint good. First I have to accept that I am really that old. Sheesh, how did that happen? Second, I have to face the fact that I will never have children. Of course I realize that I passed childbearing age a long time ago, but it was still a possibility – no matter how remote. Now, all hope is gone. Thirdly, my hormones are so out of whack that I feel awful most of the time. I am not my usual perky self. Instead I am tired, irritable, disinterested, negative, sore, fatigued, and my mind is foggy.

So you can understand why it’s hard for me to be excited about my birthday when I am fat, alone, and menopausal. Yeah, happy birthday to me. [eye roll]

On the other hand, my uncle is visiting from Hawaii after 7 years, and it is great spending time with him and the having the whole family together. We have been doing lots of fun stuff, and enjoying those things with the fam has kept me from being a complete downer. Plus I know that my uncle is really enjoying spending time with us too. He is so warm and funny, and I have really loved hearing all of his stories about Hawaii and the people who live there. One more dinner tonight and then he’ll be gone again. Maybe we can go visit him there. Who doesn’t want to go to Hawaii?!?!

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The Long And Short Of It

I need motivation. I feel like I am slogging along here, endlessly tracking every morsel with no reward. My long-term goal is to be fit, healthy, and at a normal weight. But that is going to take some time, meanwhile I am getting bored with my diet. I need a short-term goal with a big payoff. Something I can really look forward to, that will truly get me motivated – the proverbial carrot on the stick.

Thinking, thinking …

Hm, massage? Normally that would be a good option, but I am feeling so yucky with all my hormone issues that a massage would be difficult to enjoy right now.

What else? ….

Sheesh, I can’t come up with anything that isn’t food or expensive. I’ll have to think on it a little longer. In the meantime, my goal is 30 pounds. I figure if I treat myself every 30 pounds, that will be often enough to keep me energized.  I should be to my first 30 by the end of the month. Woo Hoo!

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Hunger Game

I saw Margaret yesterday and during our session she suggested that I journal about the question “What does hunger mean to me?”

Can I just start by saying that I now experience hunger. Before I was eating crap all the time and never felt real hunger. I am grateful for my real hunger, it has helped me to know my body and myself.

First and foremost my hunger is a physical sensation. My belly grumbles and if I ignore it too long, I get a bit light-headed and start to feel the need to eat urgently. The longer I let it go, the more indulgent my thoughts of food become. When I allow myself to get really, really hungry what I want to eat is a big Italian hoagie and ice cream. Now I finally understand that feeling is my body screaming for nutrition that will boost my falling energy: fat and fast carbs. Now I know better than to give into that poor choice. Instead I eat a high protein food with plenty of good fats, like a steak, and a piece of fruit for dessert. Those foods send much-needed nourishment to my body without adding to my waistline.

The other component of my hunger is the little devil inside of me. It is the liar inside my head trying to convince me to eat foods that are bad for my body and my goals. In the past, that devil would speak and I would obey, as if in a trance and unable to resist. I was convinced that I was trapped by this crafty captor, forever bound and helpless to disobey. Now, through the guidance of Margaret, I have learned that indeed I have control over what I do. Furthermore, I can banish those taunting thoughts so that I am not in a constant battle with the devil. By practicing that dynamic, I am becoming more adept every day. I make choices instead of succumbing to compulsions, and that is the most amazing change in my ongoing transformation from The Fat One to me.

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… It Tolls For Me

Well, last weekend’s nachos took their toll and I paid the price at the scale on Saturday. I was up 0.4 pounds. I know it’s not much, but it breaks my streak – I have lost every week since April (some weeks big, some small). Now I have a gain. I know it was all that fat, and starch on Sunday – queso and chips, I cannot have it in the house.

Since I can’t change the past, I am focussed on the future. This week I am trying really hard, and it isn’t easy. Over the weekend I attended 3 parties. For each, I volunteered to bring the vegetable tray. I did partner it with a dip, but not for me – for them. Overall I did pretty good. For the most part, I stuck to my plan of no flour, no sugar, limited dairy. The only little slips I had were 5 candied pecans, 1 small piece of organic chocolate, 1 cake ball (made by the hostess and delicious), 1/2 a hamburger bun, a handful of tortilla chips, and several servings of different creamy dips. Overall, leaps and bounds better than a year ago when I would have said “ah, forget the diet for today and just have anything everything you want.” I tracked everything I ate as best I could and made thoughtful choices with just a few indulgences.

Today I am back on plan and have a perfect day ahead. My goal this week is to lose 3 pounds. I would also like to start walking again. Tonight I am busy, but tomorrow when I get home from work, I am going to get my sneakers, and workout wear together so that I can go for a brisk walk Wednesday morning before I go to work. There, I said it. Now I have to do it.

This Saturday at the scale, there will be no bells tolling for me, only the sound of cheers as I reach my goal of 3 pounds. Yeah for me!

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One moment I am convinced that I have my food issue licked (pun intended) and the next moment I am daydreaming about grilled cheese sandwiches and cupcakes.

I went a little nuts over the weekend with the nachos and smores. I was so sick from all the chemicals, fat and sugar I felt awful.

Conversely, yesterday I had lunch at a vegan/raw food restaurant and loved it. I had a delicious satisfying meal that was actually good for me. It made me think that I could eat this way every day, feel this good every day, and lose weight every day.

Of course then I thought, “Every day?” Does that mean I can never have a cosmo at a cocktail party, a hot dog at a cookout, or one of Grace & Shelly’s amazing cupcakes on my birthday?” My thinking is so all-or-nothing. I love the way I feel when I eat food that is good for me, like my lunch yesterday. Everything was organic, hormone, gluten, and dairy free while still being delicious. The meal satisfied my hunger, my foodie, and my health conscious self. I thought to myself that if I ate that way all the time, maybe the weight would just fall off, my hormones would balance, my skin would clear, my blood pressure normalize and I would feel better than I have in decades. Then suddenly I was filled with fear and dread – what about …

I began naming my favorite treats one by one: Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes, Shula’s steak and baked potato, Chipotle’s barbacoa burrito, Tommy Bahama’s coconut shrimp, mom’s meatloaf, The Pub’s fish & chips, and so on.

What am I afraid of? I am afraid that I don’t know how much is too much. If I eat healthy 6 days a week and allow myself a treat on Saturday, will I destroy the health benefits of eating all the cage-free, non-gmo, grass-fed stuff? Will my hormones forever be screwed up? Will having that treat slow my weight loss? Trigger a binge? How bad is it.

I am feeling overwhelmed. I just want to go to sleep, and quiet all the voices in my head.

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