Friday, February 26, 2010

Speaking of Dreams . . .

As I was contemplating my strange dreams the other morning @ 2 am, I thought of a recurring dream that I've had all these years. You know that "fork in the road" scene in a movie where the character can either go one direction and stay on the path carved out for her by family or go the other direction where life will be a total risk and adventure? You know, Thelma & Louise off the cliff? Meryl Streep staying in the truck with her husband instead of going with Clint Eastwood? Well, my life had that moment - much less dramatic, of course. Nothing movie worthy. But I often think of how my life could have gone if I had ventured down that path with this other guy (no, not you).

There was a guy from work - not that it was a real offer - well, I guess it kind of was. But the culmination, the fork in the road, was our last day of work - we were both leaving the branch on the same day and his going away party was downtown and his friend had called me to make sure I was going to go. This guy was about 15 yrs older than me and, compared to my family, had quite a bit of money. He was my "Mr. Big". He was in charge of the branch but being the 18 year old I was, I treated him like anyone else. I'd have him get my coffee or proof read my letters. In those days I would have said to the pope, "Hey you in the tall hat, can you be a dear & grab . . ." Anyway, I left work and all night I kept thinking of going downtown - it really took something for me not to go. But instead I had friends come up from CA and drive me back down to CA the next day. Get me OUT OF HERE! He and I stayed in touch for a few years and the truth is, he's the only one that I would have been horrified to see as an overweight person. In fact, I'm pretty sure he saw me once and chose not to say "HI" - which still is embarrassing to me.

So over the years, I often have dreams about him. None of this was "real" - I'm sure in the real world we would have hated each other, but the idea of him and going that direction was my "grass is greener" scenario. So as I was thinking about this, I thought, "It sure is a good thing I didn't want to escape my life when I was 19 or else I would have gone downtown that night." Then I thought, "but when I want to escape NOW is when I have dreams about him" - isn't that amazing. He represents an escape from the life I have. I actually had an "AHA" moment at 2 am that I need to realize when I'm having dreams about him is when I need to check in with myself about what I'm trying to escape right now. This is a moment for my Adult to take care of my Child (see Aug posts). And as I had THAT thought, I actually felt comforted - like, "you're actually listening - thanks" (No, I'm not on drugs)

It's funny - people have commented that putting pictures of myself on my website is "really putting myself out there" but writing down my dreams makes me feel really exposed! But this is all a journey and I'm sure I'm not the only one going through these issues. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has a "fork in the road" moment in life that they revisit "What if???" And, more importantly, if we can realize that when we revisit that moment it probably isn't about the actual "What if?" but more "What am I not getting right now that I'm daydreaming about . . . And how can I help myself get what I'm missing?"

As I thought of publishing this I thought, "what are the odds this guy will ever wander across my site?" Then I thought, "what's the chance a 60 yr old corporate stiff will wander into a weight loss journey blog on accident?" None, right? Let's hope!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nighttime Hottie!

This is somewhat embarrassing to admit (but then again, it's my subconscious so it's not really my "fault") but my subconscious mind must be working out some issues in my sleep. It's preparing me for being "hit on worthy". I have had in the last 3 weeks of being sick, 2 dreams about guys hitting on me. And I have to admit, I'm quite flattered by my subconscious of the caliber of men it thinks will be hitting on me - the first wasn't that great to look at but he cooked for me!! But the one last night was a college age star football player - WOW. I guess somewhere deep down I think I'll be cougar worthy after another year of weight loss and after my plastic surgeon puts these girls back up high where they belong! Who knows where that dream might have gone if not for my son's bloody nose @ 2 am. No, by the time he woke me up my 6'8" husband and 3 rambunctious kids had arrived at the event & he saw he had no shot. :-)

But, seriously, I am fascinated that I must be somewhat preparing myself to be "flirt worthy" again. I used to be "hot" in a Romanian looking sort of way. Nothing like my friend - let's call her Barbie - but good enough in my own little world. But since I gained 100 lbs within a year of marriage, I have felt gender neutral all these years. There would be times that someone would flirt with me or suggest interest, but I never really took it as a compliment because I had such a low self image. I thought it said more about the guy and his low standards. I don't think less of myself in any other way because of my weight except where it comes to being attractive to men - so it might be true that gaining the weight was a way to feel "safe" while being married. I have played with that idea over the years. Maybe having 3 kids screaming all around me all the time now makes me feel safe enough to lose the weight. Oh well, at least I enjoy going to sleep at night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Health Coach Wendy

I've been working with clients for the past month and it's been quite interesting. I've felt nervous hoping that they find some of the success that I have had - yet at the same time I know it's their journey so I need to respect that. But so far, so good. My newest client, though, will be more challenging because she's a "foodie". I got to thinking that I gained my weight with food that I didn't necessarily enjoy. I had sleeping kids in the car for the past 8 years so much of the food I would eat is drive-thru & I don't like fast food. And before that I would buy food and even if I didn't like it, I'd eat it. But my new client is a caterer and loves GOOD food and takes pride in cooking for her family. She has a beautiful garden in her back yard and even has an artichoke plant. It might just be me, but I think you really have to LOVE food to grow an artichoke plant in Oregon. So, for her, eating bars or shakes throughout the day feels like major deprivation. For me, it was hard because I wasn't emotional eating, but not loving my food wasn't too horrible. I don't mind what I eat throughout the day. So we'll see how this goes. I guess part of having a weight problem is figuring out that food isn't always about enjoyment - sometimes it's about nutrition and energy. If you can combine both, that's great but in this culture where we drive everywhere and sit most of the day, we have to sacrifice eating what we love and settle for eating what is healthy for us at the moment.

PS - My phone call from this client this morning likened eating bars and shakes to Nelson Mandela eating gruel in prison. "If he could do it, so can I" (Yes I have permission to publish this)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey Skinny

I'm in this strange ambiguous position of being 75 lbs lighter and still 100 lbs overweight. My friends now greet me with, "Hey Skinny!" Such a dichotomy of reality. I appreciate the sentiment but it feels strange. I went to the outlet mall with the kids today and I felt great walking around in my "skinny" jeans - size 20. What a difference from 6 months ago & yet in the windows I see a round overweight mom looking back. I always suffered from the opposite of body dysmorphia. Instead of being obsessed with my bodily flaws, I chose to remember myself as the robust, full bodied, 20-something, size 12 I once was. I think my losing weight has shed more light onto my real body image. I guess I'm moving into a more reality-based life in most areas so why not include body image to the list? The other day, I ran into someone that I hadn't seen for 19 years and it struck me that 6 months ago I would have been embarrassed to see him because of my weight but the other day I felt good - even though I'm still 100 lbs overweight. Perspective - it's all perspective. I wonder what he saw - there's no way to have the gift of reality from where we stand. There are too many areas beyond our field of vision. So onward I go . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mouths of Babes

So talking about my weight has been off limits for my daughter for a while now. She had hurt my feelings a couple of times when she was younger (she's now 7) so we explained to her why it wasn't appropriate to talk about someone's weight. She's really good about it but she has a funny way of still talking about it. For example, there were these pictures of extreme things that I was showing her. One was of people climbing to see someone like the Dalai Lama. They were walking on 2x4s attached to the side of a steep cliff & it looked terrifying. I said to Emily, "Can you imagine that? I would NEVER do that." She said, "I would. I mean, I understand why you wouldn't want to. I mean, well, you know how you are. I mean, I know why you'd be scared but I'm little and you're, well, you know, I don't need to say it."

Then recently, she was dropped off at an appointment and as I went to pick her up, the woman said, "Wow! You really have lost weight!" I asked why she said it like that - what had Emily said? And she said that Emily was bragging about how much weight I had lost and she could wrap her arms around me now.

It really hit me how much my weight affects her. I mean, I've heard how heavy parents can embarrass their kids at school, but she really has a NEED for me to be healthier. She watches what I eat and asks if I'm supposed to eat it. She said recently, "I ask you about what you're supposed to eat because I want you to be as healthy as possible so I want to make sure you're eating right." And I thoroughly believe that. I think we don't give our kids enough credit about how our health, or lack thereof, affects them and their sense of well being.

Hopefully, soon we'll see the end of comments about, well, you know how I am, I don't need to say it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Boundary Progress

I was fortunate to work with Kendel Grigg this morning. She is a counselor in CA (530) 622-5925 - in case you're interested. Anyway, I talked about a recent dilemma of how I was feeling mis-treated by someone but still felt such a desire to engage with them and try to "help". I liken this pattern to two people holding onto the ends of a rope and one person yanks the end and the other person responds instinctively, without even a thought. Many times it turns out the first person likes to "yank your chain" just for the response. So I've worked hard on putting down my end of the rope as soon as I feel the pattern starting. Then I'm not always being yanked around, feeling out of control.

Up until now I had held out engaging with this person and I had made the connection to past experiences with family. But today it came together in my head. So I'm patting myself on the back today that I have learned from past experiences and even though it's tough, I'm finding my boundaries easier to find and I'm recognizing my weak areas faster.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Enough??

I had a feeling this time would come. The feeling of, "This is good. I can quit now." I feel this way about most things, I evaluate whether it's good enough or whether it's worth the effort to continue. That's where I'm at. 250 was such a huge goal for so long that now that I'm here, I'm finding it hard to continue. Not that I want to quit - I just want to "take a break". For those of you playing along - What do we call that? "QUITTING". It's like the question - What do we call persons using the rhythm method? "PARENTS". It's a moment to be honest with oneself - what do I really want? Good enough or success. DANGIT! - Success. So on with the show.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I remember coming to the realization, when I first started paying attention to political arguments, that no matter how good an idea sounded, there were opponents. And sometimes those opponents had really good points too. So instead of trying something to see if might work, instead, nothing gets accomplished.

Today, it dawned on me that I wasn't drinking my water because it was full of water from yesterday. I don't like tepid day old water - I like fresh, cold water. But, I don't want to waste the water, so I just sit there and do nothing. Don't drink the water that I don't like but don't throw it out because I don't want to be wasteful. As I'm contemplating how bizarre my behavior is, it dawns on me how often we are paralyzed to act because we have such opposing forces working against each other.

For example, I listen to the guy that wrote "Eating Animals". This argument that animals are being harmed or maltreated intrigues me so I actually looked for "free range" eggs the next day at the supermarket. But then today I learn that free range means nothing except when it comes to poultry and then it means that they have "access" to the outdoors 5 minutes a day. Which means the doors are opened but there is no way the majority can make their way outside. So, basically, it's a waste of money.

I want to buy soy protein to make w/ my spaghetti instead of ground meat but then my naturopath's words are ringing in my ears about how bad soy is, how high it is in estrogen and how it's a conspiracy to rid the world of the excess soy left over from something or other.

People are frustrated with taking drugs so they want a natural approach but the media tells us that study after study prove that herbs are ineffective and can actually do harm.

One wants to limit their sugar but then we aren't educated how bad fructose is and they name a chemical sucralose which leads us that it's somehow related to sucrose which means it must be okay. But I'm reading labels and sugar isn't in the top 3 listed, so it must be okay. But come to find out they break out sugar, hf corn syrup and other sugars and when listed separately, they might still make up 80% of the food, but they don't show up until later in listing.

So we try a low carb diet but are scared about the horrible affects of eating low carb. Someone knows so and so that had a heart attack because they were eating low carb.

Or even dieting. I heard from a counselor this week that doesn't believe their clients should lose weight while dealing with emotional eating!! What?? Seriously, something so obvious as the fact that a 300 lb. woman should lose weight is being challenged because it's not dealing with the underlying issues. Why can't we do both??

And then there's the argument about therapy/counseling. Yes, most of us would benefit by it - but what if they tell me to do something that goes against my beliefs? I personally was afraid I'd develop multiple personality disorder but then my friend put my mind at ease that, being the control freak I can be, that I would never let someone else take over anyway.

The point is, there will ALWAYS be a contrary belief to an action - even in our own minds. But some sort of action is better than NO ACTION! Being paralyzed with indecision won't get us to our goal. Trying something and learning for ourselves what works for us and what doesn't - this is what will allow us to find the path to lead to the goal. My path might not be your path, but if your path hasn't worked, why not try mine & see for yourself if it works. Just keep trying different things until you find what works - DON'T GIVE UP!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Caught Up

Well, it's official - I weigh the same as my husband. It's been nearly 20 years since I could say that. Of course, he's 6'8" so 251.4 looks a bit better on him. (I've always said, "I'm not overweight, just vertically challenged") But, hopefully tomorrow I'll actually weigh less - HA!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hang Ups

I discovered last night that I'm hung up over a number. This is why we shouldn't weigh ourselves. We think it's motivating, and it is for a while, and then our head starts working against us and the numbers that we see become discouraging. I'm almost to my first HUGE goal and I slowed WAY down because I was almost there. Then I became hung up on how far I still have to go. People would say, "70 lbs Wendy, that's amazing!" And I would immediately think and say, "Only 100 more to go!" Which is the perfect way to psyche yourself out and discourage further progress. So I'm done with that. 71 lbs - YEAH! Way to go Wendy! Keep up the good work! ;0)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


6 birds are sitting on a wire. 3 make the decision to fly away. How many are now sitting on a wire?

SIX! A decision is not an action. How many times did I wake up & decide to "diet" - too many to count, but it never came to fruition. The only decisions that count are the ones followed by intentional actions. (Okay, the occasional accidental action can count too)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I've heard it said that balance is that thing you see while swinging between two extremes.

It's true - balance is hard to come by. I know, for myself, I don't trust what balance even looks like. I think, "You're not doing enough". Then I think, "Give yourself a break. It's thinking like that that got you so sick". Then I think, "Don't use sickness as an excuse". I'm so confused (and worn out from arguing with myself). I find I need to really rely on a few people to help me come to a place of modesty - knowing my limitations. In the end, that's what it comes down to. I constantly quote the scripture that reads, "A live dog is better than a dead lion." Isn't that the truth!!

I find that while trying to bring my eating into balance I've then tried to bring my finances into balance as well as my relationships. Instead of pushing everything to the extreme, it's time to settle down and try to find the illusive Holy Grail - BALANCE!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mom Duty

It dawned on my Monday that I have used food to cope with being a mom for the past 8 years. I have used food to cope with a whole lot else but I didn't realize how I used it when it came to Mom Duty. My boys lost their preschool so while we're working out a new plan, I've been a FT mom and I can't believe how much I want to eat out every day. Either eat out or shop. And then it dawned on me that most moms are either overweight, shopaholics, or natural born moms that actually enjoy play doh and art projects.

When Emily was a baby, I had friends with kids the same age so I had more of a social circle but when I had the boys I was already 37 so most of my friends were well past the toddler years, if not helping raise their grandchildren already. So I don't have much of a social circle and so I eat out A LOT! It's something the kids and I enjoy so it's an easy fall back. The same with shopping. But with control over my eating, came more control over my spending. It seems that balance in one area begets balance in other areas.

So now I'm trying to find ways to be frugal, eat on plan and entertain both my boys and myself without wanting to pull my hair out. I am coming up with some ideas but I'm open to suggestions!!