Category Archives: Emotional Health

Eating Cupcakes While Watching the Biggest Loser?

The Biggest Loser is inspirational, a little unrealistic, but inspirational nonetheless.  Watching this show, I’m reminded, for the umpteenth time, as to why I haven’t completely given up on Weight Watchers.  I may have been moving a snail’s pace, but I haven’t given up 100%.

Watching these people stand up on national television and bear it all to help inspire others is pretty amazing.  And yet, here I sit, enjoying a chocolate cupcake.

Yep.  A chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and fall colored jimmies.  It was good.

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kat Kellner [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I probably should have been doing squats or lunges.

Sometimes, I think I need Jillian or Bob to yell at me to keep my fat butt in motion.  But then I realize, that they can yell at me all they want.  If I don’t fix what is broken, it won’t matter one bit.  The broken parts will always be broken.  It’s hard work.  Having done some form of this hard work my whole life (since I was 8), I get tired of it.  It’s what’s wrong right now. I’m tired of having to weigh and measure every single bite. I’m tired of having to write everything down.  I’m tired of having to wake up thinking about it.  It wears you down.  Even if I get to a point where I’m at a healthy weight, I will still have to track, weigh, measure.  Constant vigilance.

It’s sometimes discouraging.  But, then I think about being six feet under and not being able to see the Daughter hit some of life’s major milestones…that’s even more discouraging.

It’s a constant struggle. I know that I cannot give up, but on the other hand, I have never been able to fully imagine myself at the finish line.  Either way, I’m not giving up. Time to pony up and put the cupcake down.

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Filed under Emotional Health, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Names will Make Me Fat

I read this article today from NPR, “Hating On Fat People Just Makes Them Fatter.”  It’s interesting because here we are in 2013 and it’s one of the first time a study like this has been done.  I am a little amazed by that fact but, given the state of America today compared to even 20 years ago, I suppose it’s not that shocking.

eating cinnarolls

The study observed over 6,000 people who had been discriminated for whatever reason.  Four years later, they followed up with those people and found that those who had cited weight as their discrimination factor were still obese and possibly even heavier than they had been before.  While I’d like to think America is over being racist and discriminatory, I know that it’s not.  Look in the department stores.  See if you can find the “Women’s” sizes.   If you can, how small is the section compared to the rest of the store?  Then compare the prices…

I remember having times in my life where people would tell me that no one would want me if I kept gaining weight.  Mind you I was around 13, 14, 15 when those things were said.  It makes an impact to hear words like that come from someone who thinks they are “trying” to help you.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t good enough then so what was the point?

If only that were as deep as it went...

If only that were as deep as it went…

The worst part about it all was trying to understand that what was being said was being said out of love.  I remember on time, for a birthday in middle school, I had a friend come and stay with me at my Nana’s and she made a comment along the lines that it was too bad I wasn’t thin and pretty like my friend.  It was her weird way of trying to encourage me to work on my weight.  Needless to say, that was the last time that friend did anything with me.  I wonder sometimes if I reacted badly after that comment – it’s quite possible.

I am fascinated that people needed a study to realize that these types of “motivators” are really detrimental to people who are struggling with obesity.  Some people think it’s as simple as “Just don’t eat it.”  Sadly, for some of us, it’s not that simple.

The worst part is when you are working on it, because there is no quick solution that instantly transforms your body, people don’t always know you are working on it.  People just let their mouths flap, despite the fact that you are going to your doctor every three months for check-ins and you go to your weekly weight watchers meeting.  They don’t see it.  They just see the fat person that they assume is lazy.

As I work toward my goals, I have to not get angry at those comments.  I have to let go of the hurt that was caused by those “helpful” comments.  I have to just move forward and keep working toward a better me, no matter what names are thrown my way.

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Filed under Emotional Health, Exercise, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food

Outside the Zone

I am a creature of habit. That may be a giant understatement. I really find my groove and stick in it because it is safe. Safe is good. Safe is known. Safe let’s me breathe more easily. Safe is no way to live life.

I grew up in a town that didn’t have a high school because it was just that small when I was a student there. That meant for high school we were sent to the next town. Our small group of 75 kids, the same 75 kids that had been together since kindergarten, were now going to be merged with about 300 other kids. The week before my freshman year, I was so nervous I was sick every night. I didn’t know the teachers. I didn’t have an older sibling to tell me about the three cafeterias. I didn’t know and I didn’t like not knowing. It was a good thing for me because I was forced out of my small pond. I was uncomfortable but I know I had some amazing times with some amazing people. College was more of the same.

Now I find myself a mother. Talk about being out of your comfort zone. Someone is now my responsibility. Scary. I hope I don’t make her neurotic like I have recently become. Though I like to think I am neurotic with some good cause.

This past Friday, I had surgery to remove three pretty big cysts as well as the parts they were growing on. My comfort zone has been completely dissolved. I realize that this bubble I thought I had created as my comfort zone was really more my scared zone. I go there when I am terrified, not when I am happy. When I am there, I am stifled, stymied by the thoughts that fill my head. I retreat into myself and slowly drive myself insane with the negative things.

With this surgery, I am in uncharted water. I don’t quite know what is in store. I don’t know. Even this recovery is just plain weird. I am forced to be aware of my body and pay attention to everything to make sure I heal correctly. I am well away from my comfort zone. My comfort zone would have had me hiding in my room pretending that I didn’t need surgery; the pain I had been feeling in my hip was nothing. My comfort zone would have killed me.

Realizing this, I know that after I recover, I have a new goal. Well, not so much a new goal as an old goal renewed. I need to focus on my health. I need to live a healthy lifestyle. I need to live. In my mind, living is riding the zip line across the river in New Hampshire, biking across Cape Cod, maybe even trying to set up a local amateur tennis tournament for cervical and ovarian cancer research. I need to get out more and make a change. I need to always live outside my comfort zone. Because when I am in my comfort zone, I am not living.

This post was written as part of the May NaBloPoMo. The theme this month is comfort. Today’s prompt was “How much do you push yourself to leave your comfort zone?”

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Music for the Mood

Music is one of those forces that can bring me off the ledge. I call it a force because it truly moves me. I know that whatever emotion I am feeling, there is a song that will help me calm down, cry it out, or come to some kind of empowered feeling over whatever may be troubling me.

I don't think I've ever listened to music like this...

I don’t think I’ve ever listened to music like this…

To pick just one song is difficult because, for me, it really depends on the mood.

If I am feeling upset or maybe angry, Tori Amos can usually do the trick with most anything off of the Little Earthquakes cd.  I think it’s because that particular album is so raw and open. She pours her soul into every song and to this day, it does something to me.  I can get in my good cry, shake my fists at the ghosts in my head, and move on.

On those perfect summer days, the days where the sky is a perfect blue and the sunroof and all the windows are rolled down, I find I need something happy and moving, even if it means I might risk a speeding ticket.  Dave Matthews Band (Two Step, Dancing Nancies, Warehouse), O.A.R. (Crazy Game of Poker, Dareh Meyod, Hey Girl, Love and Memories), U2 (Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby) are all songs and albums that can make me just want to drive until I run out of gas just because I can.

driving music

The blur I see when I drive listening to music that makes me happy.

Music is powerful.  Don’t ever underestimate it!

This post is part of the May NaBloPoMo.  The theme for the month is Comfort.  Today’s prompt is “What song do you play to bring yourself comfort?”  Tired…that’s why this post is so short…tired…

What songs comfort you?

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Three Words

There are three words that are not said enough.  Even if you say them regularly, it’s not enough.

As I work on getting back on track with myself and my weight loss journey, I realize that there are so many other motivations here than just me feeling pretty for once in my life.  Being overweight has so many bad side effects.  Aside from the aesthetics and questionable styled clothing for us fat women, there are increased risks on almost every medical front.

overweight_problems

High Blood Pressure. Arthritis.  Gall Bladder Disease.  Cancer.  Heart Disease. Stroke. Type 2 Diabetes.  Sleep Apnea.

All of those things linger in the wings, waiting.  Some have already happened to me and now is the time to make sure none of the more serious ones happen.

There was a point where I would sometimes wonder about the next morning.  I’m too young to wonder those kinds of things but that’s how badly I felt I neglected myself.  Would the people I love know I felt that way if that next morning didn’t come?  Would they have heard me say it enough?

Right after my Nana and then my Aunt passed away, I kept thinking about how I didn’t say those words to them enough.  They just weren’t the type to say it that much.  You knew they loved you but it wasn’t something that was just openly said on a regular basis.  I couldn’t help but feel guilty, especially after my aunt died, that I didn’t tell them enough that I loved them.  I felt guilty that I didn’t call her more often to just catch up.

say i love you

With the Daughter, I tell her all the time.  I mean all the time. When she wakes up, when she gets her breakfast, when I drop her off at school, when I get home from work, all the time.  The husband ends every form of communication with those three words.  I tell my Mom.  I even say it to my brothers sometimes, but I think they think it’s a little weird.

The point is this.  Say those three words and mean them.  We never know when our time is up.  We never know when we’ll get another chance to say them so say them whenever you can.  Mean every one of those three words.  Feel the words.  Know their truth and make sure that those who love you know it too.

When was the last time you said those three words?

This post is part of the February 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme for February is “Love and Sex.”  Today’s prompt was “When was the last time you said, ‘I love you.’?”  Just remember they are powerful words so do not use them lightly.

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Filed under Emotional Health, Family, NaBloPoMo

Letting Go of Control

Even though the weight didn’t go on overnight, it sure feels like it sometimes.  The emotions got to me this past two weeks.  I have been stressing over things that are completely out of my control.  I like control.  It’s unnerving to me to be out of control.  I think that a lot of people have trouble not being in control but the difference is how we all deal with it.  Because I tend to internalize a lot, this often results in me being a not so pleasant person to be around when I’m stressed.  I eat which makes me upset with myself and adds to that sense of spinning out of control.

Now you may be asking yourself, kind reader, if I can recognize this behavior, why not simply change it?  Good question.  A lot has to do with the fact that I learned to be an emotional eater at a very early age.  It was the only thing I could control – what I put in my mouth.  And since emotions were not something we were encouraged to talk about (I should note that it was only by one of my parents who unfortunately had too big of an impact on all of our lives), I learned to control my emotions by feeding them.  It took me years to realize this and accept it.  But if I have accepted it and recognize it, why do I fall back into that pattern so easily?

Because I am human and prone to mistakes.

That’s the only answer I can come up with.  I get scared and even if I have been doing well, that fear is almost paralyzing so I go back to old habits.

Today is weigh in.  Last week was a terrible gain.  Today is most likely going to be another gain.   I am bracing for it.  It’s a mental blow every week there is a gain.  I know I deserve it but it still just hits that spot in my heart where I have let myself down.  The fact that I’m even going to go to weigh in tonight is a victory.  In the past, I would have blown it off and just written it off as a bad week.  I can’t afford to do that any more.  It’s part of breaking the habits.  It’s part of changing life.  It’s part of being in control of the right things.  Gaining control of the things I can control.

There is a saying in many of the 12-step programs:

Let Go and Let God

For years, I heard this saying from people and kind of just would shake my head in a “yeah, yeah, sure” kind of attitude.  This past year, however, I have really come to a full understanding of this.  There are things that are completely out of our control.  There are things that we cannot change simply because they are things we cannot change.  But, there are some things that we can change.  There are some things that we can improve on.  All the rest, we have to let it go.  We have to have the courage to say that it is not something we can control.  It is not something that we have the power to change.

All the fears, the doubts, the worries…they are not something you can control.  All you can do is trust in whatever you believe in and know that “it will all be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.”

Call it a realization of Faith.  Call it common sense.  Call it an awakening.  Call it whatever you are comfortable with.  When you get there though, to that point in life where you fully and truly embrace this thought, you will feel a sense of peace that is so precious it will be your beacon  for those days when you need to hit that mental reset button.  I know that the struggles have been partially built up by my own mind but it’s my own mind that I need to quiet.  By letting it all go and realizing that the fears are not in my power to control but what I put into my mouth is; what I do for exercise is; how I treat others is all within my control, I can be a little less upset with myself and this gain and move forward.

 

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Filed under Emotional Health, Exercise, Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss