Monday, June 28, 2010

Am I Invisible?

Since my post about not being the drama queen I can at times be, things actually feel much more settled down. My cravings and veering off course has been tamed and I've actually been doing really good. I somehow found my way back to the groove. It's interesting when I'm doing well how much less I feel the urge to blog. I will say that the feeling of being invisible has been quite strong lately. And it's in those times I really want to eat. I went on a road trip with my mom and I would talk - a soliloquy of about 2 minutes with absolute silence afterwards. Not even a hmmm. This didn't happen once, this happened several times - I finally decided it was useless to talk about things not of interest to her. Then at home I was actually sitting in my favorite chair and Kurt claims he looked for me there and couldn't find me. Talk about feeling invisible by those that love me the most. So Kurt and I spoke and hopefully things will get better. Other than these recent incidents, life is good. I'm still losing weight and I'm content - what more could I ask for???

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Perfectionism - it's been on my mind a lot lately (as you see from the length of this post). I never was a perfectionist - I tried to be a type A person in a type B body, but I always relied on phrases like, "It's good enough" and "C is still passing" - things a perfectionist would never think. But my friend/client is needing help and is a true perfectionist. Of course she won't say she's a perfectionist - because being one isn't perfect. The argument is, "What's wrong with trying to do things correctly? We are to be Christlike and he was perfect so what's wrong with that?" I find it interesting how perfectionism is such an intrinsic "Christian" quality. But in my opinion, not at all Christlike. Here's why - Jesus might have been perfect, but he didn't expect his disciples to be. He even used their imperfection to make them better people - I think of Peter. He knew of his imperfection of fear of man and used that in the end to teach him a lesson of boldness - remember "by the time the cock crows 3 times you will disown me". Peter was so convinced of his loyalty he totally didn't believe him and yet when Peter was so afraid and disowned Jesus he wept bitterly - this was a prime example of Jesus knowing he was imperfect, he would mess up but would be a better man because of it.

Where we go wrong isn't trying to be a better person, but thinking that perfection or correctness is the expectation. Imperfection should be the expectation and the goal might be using it to become a more well rounded human. I expect my kids to mess up - I just want them to learn from those experiences. I expect to not get my whole list done in a day - that's what tomorrow is for. (See! Totally not a perfectionist!)

There seems to be a lot of "should" thinking that goes along with perfectionism. He should, I should - should "expresses a duty, a necessity" so what's lacking from should is desire. WOW!! That's it!! Okay, so my other thought about my friend is having her think about her day - write out everything she does on a typical day "wake up @ 6:30, eat a bar, make my husband lunch, go to work, handle employees, etc" and mark by each one how many are Desires and how many are Duty/Obligations. One thought I had was that perfectionists blur the lines between Desire and Duty/Obligations because they desire to be perfect so they think they are "wanting" to do it all. But that's where it falls apart. So the question to help define the action is, "If you didn't HAVE to do that, would you still do it?" In this case, if you didn't have to get up @ 6:30, would you? If yes, then it's a Desire. If no, then it's a Duty. If you didn't have to go into work that day, would you? I think we'll see that almost all of the day of a perfectionist is Duty. The desire part comes in at the end of the day when they can think back and feel good about having a perfect day. But the problem when it comes to food is - the only Desire they allow themselves all day is FOOD!! There still is the child in each one of us that requires fun and desire and when we only allow our child fun when it comes to food, then we won't be able to control our eating.

Hmmmm, so now what? Well for a non-perfectionist I'd say, "so find a desire and find a way to incorporate it into your day". The problem with a perfectionist is that there won't be any time in their day to add something as mundane as a desire. I can't get an appt on my friend's schedule to have coffee because it's full of Duties. I almost always have to go with her on her duty laden day to spend time with her. So there's where choice comes in, I guess. If the only desire you are finding time for is food, then you will continue to be fat. Otherwise, you might have to become more Christlike and understand that Desire/Enjoyment is also part of a Christlike personality - for goodness sake, his first miracle was turning water into wine - I don't think he could have been more Perfect!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Don't Look Back", says Mrs. Lot

I've been thinking that reaching my goal and having surgery would be an end. I've been saying, "I can't wait to be done with this phase". But this morning I had the thought that reaching my goal and having surgery is not only the beginning but the reality of that is scary, scary, scary. It feels like a test to see if I've learned anything over the past 20 years. I'm already ramping myself up to doing more "once I have surgery" or taking on more "once I have surgery". It's me wanting the old me back - once I look like I did, I can act that way too. Of course, we all know that acting in the old ways is what led me to being sick and gaining weight - so who wants to go back there? Anyone?? So we need a new way to look at this. Having my body back is not going to change my immune system, it's not going to change my emotional makeup, it's not going to change my endocrine system. I'm merely going to have perkier boobs. I need to stop putting so much "weight" on the package and come to terms with the gift on the inside. As Kathi likes to say, "It is what it is". Acceptance and lowered expectations - the key to happiness. I'll work on that this week!

Monday, June 14, 2010

6 Pack Abs - somewhere under there

I wake up this morning and feel the "flat" "empty" stomach under my hands - of course I must first push the mounds of flesh to the side. I lay there with this unfamiliar feeling and remember my friend/client saying a few weeks ago how she has lost 10 lbs and is feeling uncomfortable with the flatter stomach she has. She's uncomfortable with not being full all the time. All of this takes me back to 5 years ago during my counseling for Emotional Eating. I would lose about 10 lbs and then sabotage myself. After a few times of this I began to realize that I hated the feeling of my stomach feeling flatter and I hated the feeling of not being full. The most obvious question is, "Which areas of life are empty that need to be filled, where you're using food instead?" I would sit and contemplate this over a big lunch. But this morning I had another thought. Waking up without feeling guilt over the day/night before - waking up with the reality of my body, not the bloated aftermath body I used to create - this is an awkward feeling. It's reality. This morning I likened it to someone that misuses alcohol - they use the alcohol to avoid feelings of reality. It's much easier to deal with the "walk of shame" or the hangover than to deal with what you are trying to avoid. For an Emotional Eater, it's MUCH easier to focus on the bloat and "why did you do this to yourself again??!!" question than "why are you so unhappy?" or "what do you really need to feel happier". People coming off addiction have a horrible time looking at themselves in the mirror without the smoke screen of their addiction - it's too real. And the same is true when losing weight. That bloat and blubber is comforting and distracting and to wake up without guilt or self-hatred is a bit disquieting and too real. Man, we're messed up!! But I say that in the most loving way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Skinny like me

Skinny people!! I'll tell ya - they are just not at all in touch with reality. Okay, let me clarify - naturally skinny people. Those with food disorders are me in smaller clothes - but my wonderfully skinny Pilates instructor keeps going on about "diets" and what's so wrong with them and lumps in Medifast with the rest. I, of course, come to M's defense - how dare you disparage the salvation of my thighs!! But she says, "I just don't understand why people don't just eat healthy, natural food! Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full!" What a concept!! She should write a book! I say, "Go into Costco & see how many people look like you and how many people look like me & then we'll talk." She then says, "Tell me, how many times do you eat every day." I say, "6" She, "Now you see - there's NO WAY I could eat 6 times a day. I usually eat 2 times a day." Again - how many people look like you & how many people look like me??? She eats 2 meals a day (sometimes the 2nd meal is an artichoke - that's my pre-meal!) and does Pilates/Yoga 4 hrs a day. They own a wine shop so she also gets to drink wine every night. This is as natural to find in nature as Halley's comet! I mean, I know it exists, but don't think you'll see it again for another 75 years!! I'll go back to what I said a while ago, asking people with warped relationships with food to eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full is as foreign as a concept as an "honest politician", "monogamous Frenchman", "straight anti-gay activist". I, personally, need a plan - a well-researched, proven method to kick start my metabolism, help me not obsess about food and help me not be starving all day long plan. Do I wish I could workout 4 hrs a day, only want to eat twice a day & drink all the wine I want & be a size 2? Hmmmm, only if I could still be me, I guess - and we all know that's just not how I roll.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ah yes - MUSIC

I've been plugging into Pandora using my bluetooth wireless headphones. And I'm RELAXED!! WOW!!! I forgot what a difference zoning out to music makes. Remember laying in bed as a kid w/ the music turned up and the problems would melt away? - at least for me they did. But having music on in the car with the kids' chatter just isn't relaxing. So I've been coming home and plugging in and I actually feel my body relax and I start to breathe again. Not only do I relax, but I zone out - I stop thinking. I feel suspended. Life ceases to have movement. It's been great and what I've been needing!! I've been in the habit of being stressed for the sake of being stressed. I am without work right now (I have work when someone calls so I can go a couple of months without work) and I have nothing pressing so I have no reason to be stressed - but I would still work myself into a frenzy - just for fun. So this is good. This is comforting and it's not food - how about that!! What a novel concept.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Break Ups

Break ups are hard. I was reminded of that recently. Even when everyone is on the same page and knows it's time or for the best - it's still hard and traumatic. And what I hate most is how puppy doggish I get. I'm so ready to wag my tail and be best friends again. I have very short term memory when it comes to people. It's taken me many years to realize "forgive and forget" is not a long term strategy - rather "forgive and be cautious" works much better. I know this was part of what was going on last weekend. So I'm trying to be mature and know that we all can still run into each other and laugh and get along but it can't be the same.

I once had someone quit in an awful way - mean, hurtful, accusatory. I wrote a kind note back and wished her well. I ran into her a few years later and recognized her but didn't recall the details - I gave her a hug and talked a bit and it wasn't until afterward that the details of our last contact came back to me. Kurt said he wondered how it would go when he saw her walk through the door - but I just don't remember the bad very well. It's a good thing in general, but it also puts me in the line of fire much more than necessary.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stuff the Piñata

Okay, I'm getting bored with myself. You know those people whose life is full of drama & they are always telling you all the drama going on, looking for sympathy or understanding and you just keep thinking, "You are bringing this all on yourself!!" But they SOOOOOO don't see it nor are ready to, so you have to keep your mouth shut & say little things like, "So what might have been another way to have handled that?" Well, I'm now the one that I'm tired of hearing complain!! If you don't like where you are - MOVE! Boy, that's Freudian.

I played "Stuff the Piñata" with myself last night and I was thinking, "Why am I doing this to myself? What am I missing?" Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. Enough Wendy. I'm getting bored with the drama. So new day, new attitude. I'm over myself right now & I'm going to get out of my head and into the moment. I'm going to listen to more music, move more and enjoy the wonderful life I get to enjoy right now. I'm going to enjoy that I've lost 90 lbs (81 on plan) and that it's easier to enjoy life. I'm going to enjoy the fun I have with my amazing kids and not worry about losing weight. I bet if I enjoyed where I am, I'd end up losing weight anyway because I'd be enjoying life!! Let's see how this works out . . .

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It all makes sense now

A week into my mom being on program and it all makes sense now!! She has thoroughly designed her own individual program and isn't to be bothered with the scientific, proven method - she'll just do it her own way. The truth is, her own way is still better than her old way, but it really has helped me see why dieting has never been effective for me my whole life. I was enrolled into every diet program out there from about the age of 12 and I have always modified them into obscurity. They were always eventually unrecognizable after a few weeks. NOW I KNOW WHY!!! I thought it was me - I should know the mother is always to blame. Have I learned nothing from my many years of therapy!! Always go back and blame the mom! I just needed a fresh perspective.

Bubble off Plumb

My friend, N, was preparing a meal at J's house. J's dogs were running all around and getting under feet. Now, J doesn't have children but dogs instead. I saw a sign once that describes her, "I had kids once, but the dogs were allergic to them". So N asks her to please put them in the laundry room or on the deck, so she could cook & not twist an ankle. "NOOOO - we don't put the dogs out!" Later N complains, "I just couldn't believe that - here I'm trying to cook and I'm going to break an ankle because the dogs are so special!" And I think - "HEY! You are the one that brought your kids to EVERY event despite the invitations clearly saying 'No Kids' " We all have our blinders on and our areas of protection. J's is the dogs - they are to be babied and protected. N's was her kids - she wasn't about to get a babysitter - we would just have to deal with her kids for the night. And mine is FOOD! I have no pets and I have NO problem hiring a babysitter - but ask me to give up eating out or denying myself comfort food and I think you're asking me to give up air. What I think is funny is how in our own minds, we are thoroughly justified and normal but to others, we are a bit bonkers. So I'm trying to keep in my head that this thinking is not normal and justified but rather demonstrates I'm a bubble off plumb!

Why so sad?

So Kurt & I head out for our "anniversary weekend" after a day or two of fighting. I'm already a bit on edge but need the days off. I take along a biography of Cloris Leachman - don't ask me why, I just found some biographies at the library & grabbed a few of them. The book is happy and she's a very inspiring upbeat person but I start crying near the beginning of the book - then I cry more and by the time it's about 10 pm, I'm in the "pit of despair" sadness. I described this a few blogs back - this state of sadness that I've had my whole life - udder despair and sadness. So I'm avoiding Kurt, hanging out in the hot tub trying to figure out why I'm crying and feeling so much sadness. So here are the thoughts that ran through my head:

I always felt like a chachka (bet you didn't know it was spelled that way!!) in the life of my parents. I was the obligatory girl. I wasn't meant to be smart or talented or a contributing member of the family unit - I was to be the cute girl. I literally felt and acted invisible for years. I dreamt of running away and finding my place in life. I always felt as if the song "which one of these is not like the other" was playing when the 4 of us were in the same room. Reading about how Cloris' mom was so supportive and loving and made her feel so special from an early age, made me feel extreme sadness. It also made me feel sad that I am not living up to my potential when it comes to my daughter. I know I make her feel as if she's annoying me or getting in my way - more often than is acceptable. I just felt so sad - I have always felt so sad. It makes me want to cry now.

I then thought, as I was crying, how extravagant of me to be crying and wallowing in my sadness when people actually had horrible childhoods and real pain in their life. But then I thought, "Well then, they can cry too - I'm not stopping them. It doesn't mean I don't feel sadness as well." So there! The truth is, I'm sure the majority of people felt out of place and unsupported by their parents - I'm just sure it affects some of us more deeply than others.

I then worked at trying to remember enjoyable moments with my mom. She began taking me on trips - just her and me or me and a friend once I turned, maybe 11? I don't remember when those started - and those were good memories. But before that, the only memories that I could come up with were about food - we would go to her favorite Japanese restaurant about twice a year and I could eat with chop sticks by the age of 5. We would get slurpies at 7-11 when I behaved. We would go get ice cream on special occasions. And I remember one date night with my dad where we went to Farrell's. All food memories. I have 2 pictures that I took as a kid with my cheap little camera - one is my mom yelling at me to get into the car - she looked stressed and irritated and the other is my dad with a look of "gosh, you got me" and a little smile. These pictures thoroughly sum up my experiences with my parents. Always irritating my mom and getting in her way and my dad being laid back and casual. Of course my dad was on the road and not around very much.

DISCLAIMER - I give my parents TONS of credit for being such good parents. With the shaky start and lack of family kindness they came from, it's a wonder they did as well as they did. My brother and I have strong, lasting marriages and are very spiritual people - because of my parents. What I've learned is that sadness and hole in my soul that I experience has less to do with good parenting and more to do with my individual needs as a human. It's not their "fault" it's more just what I happen to need. And now it's my job to find a way to fill that void and not use food to do that.