Thursday, September 25, 2008

Safe in Yellowstone

We are leaving for a couple of days in the Park. I found a cabin with a kitchen and a view. It is in our price range. I am determined not to make a huge production out of this trip. If I don't get some things done before we leave and if I forget some things, SO BE IT. I want to be relaxed not crazy in the time leading up to our vacationette. I am only vaguely planning this trip. I was going to drag along all the food for my food plan. Changed my mind. I will eat as best as possible and that will be good enough. I am really looking forward to being in Yellowstone. I always feel very safe in there.

Comes the second half of this post. I eat to feel safe. No big surprise, right? Was to me. I eat to feel, not emotionally safe, but physically safe. When I am eating I do not feel physically vulnerable. I suppose I have a long term case of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. In WWI they called it "Shell Shock" and in WWII "Battle Fatigue." All three titles feel applicable. A veteran and I compared symptoms. In his words, "You got 'em all sister." Difference between us is that he is got help for this specific problem and I never did. ...Anyhoo, when I am eating I feel protected.

(Damn, my hands are so cold I had to put on my gloves. Dog spent until noon yesterday licking the frozen water in her outside dish.)

Do you think part of maturation is coming to terms with our physical vulnerability? As in being aware that we are never really physically safe? Having been a nurse I think I am fairly comfortable with accidents, sickness, aging...and death from the afore mentioned. What I can't get a handle on is violence. I remain petrified of being attacked. Mark calls me Wild Bill Beula because in restaurants and else where I always want to sit with my back to the wall. I tell him it is so my hips won't show (and this is also true). What the heck am I afraid of? That some crazed waitress or church usher is going to cold cock me? I am always aware of the potential physical danger in every situation. Is this just prudent caution acquired over years of being alive, or am nuts?

On a lighter note. I have had a massage and two sessions of yoga. The massage was wondrous as usual. Patty (I am having trouble remembering what I called her last time) talked to me about spinning energy into my chakras. She said many of them were frozen and energy was not moving through my chakra system. She had me visualize my chakra system and then visualize movement at each individual chakra. Was very enlightening. Lo and behold, when I envisioned movement between my shoulder blades the pain in my neck went away. I want to form a habit of visualizing my chakra system and movement at each chakra at night before I go to sleep. I keep forgetting.

Yoga Fran said I would get more fluid as time goes on. Right now I crack and pot just bending over to put my mat on the floor. The best exercise so far is something she calls "angel wings." This exercise has alleviated the pain between my shoulders. It is also the only one I can half way do. I love yoga. The breathing is all. Amazing how much further I can stretch when I breathe out and "creep forward by millimeters." Yoga Fran is sweet, encouraging and at 60 plus, graceful as a gazelle. She is also very tall and has recently lost 30 pounds. She has more to go. This yoga is for every body.

I had a bunch to say today. Oh yeah, I am enjoying my meals again. I love brown rice with buttermilk and cinnamon for breakfast. And papayas.

Take care of yourselves. I am working toward taking care of me. Love Bea.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Self Respect

Above all I yearn to respect myself. So...I made a list of the characteristics I respect in others (in no particular order).

1. Ability to say "No" with grace.
2. Organized. They can find their birth certificates and the dog's vaccination records at a moments notice.
3. Do not watch t.v..
4. Get massages, pedis, manis, waxings, hair cuts, facials, etc. on a routine basis.
5. Dress with understated well tailored style.
6. Get rid of stuff they are not using.
7. Do yoga and walk.
8. Eat non processed foods.
9. Cars are clean and in good repair.
10. Not self conscious.
11. Do not tailor their personality to suit the situation.
12. Friendly.
13. Deep spiritual life.
14. Ability to keep their own counsel.
15. On time.
16. Non-procrastinators, and can plan ahead.
17. Take tea breaks.
18. Good at the housewifely arts, canning, sewing, baking, etc.
20. Can clean toilets without griping.
21. Work at jobs they love.

As a woman who just bought a reed diffuser she didn't really want and then agreed to co-host a "Home and Garden Party," I am working on number one.

Take care. Love Bea.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wending My Way,

back toward health in spite of an outrageous number of invites to eat out. When I first started The Plan I refused to eat anywhere other than home. If you want to have no friends this works, otherwise, not. So...this time around I am working with the food presented to me, and then I go back to The Plan for the next meal. Since I am no longer interested in rapidly losing gobs of weight I think this strategy will work. Amazing what putting that scale in the closet has done for me. To let go of the daily weight check is like taking off a tight girdle. Ho, ho. I am eating in a healthy way to feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. If weight loss follows so be it. If not, then I guess I will make peace with the weight my body desires.

I am still cleaning out the freezer, fridge and pantry. Gad what a lot of off Plan stuff I have accumulated. Muffin mixes, pancake mix, stuffing mix, bread machine mixes, white flour, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, rye flour, flat breads, tortillas (whole wheat and corn), honey wheat bread, cinnamon and orange rolls, pizza dough and frozen left over cake. See a pattern here? I apparently love the baked stuff. (I thought my major down fall was cheesecake and peanut M&M's. You learn something new every day.) I have also been acquiring the accoutrement of baking: raisins, craisins, currants, dried apricots, white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, Hershey's syrup, vanilla, nuts of every vintage, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and flaked coconut. To go on all those scones, muffins, biscuits and toast I purchased apple butter, marmalade, apricot preserves, raspberry preserves, honey and grape jelly (for Mark.) And this is just the sweet stuff. My salt obsession was met with olives, pickles, salsa, V-8 juice, Calmato juice, chips and microwave popcorn.

The church food pantry made a huge hall last Sunday.

I am having fun going back to being inventive with beans. (Hi Vickie) Rice and oatmeal and barley have also reappeared on my shelves. Mark is delighted with the increased amounts of meat I am serving. He dearly loves unadorned grilled meat and a potato for the evening meal. I am learning to make thick soups to pour over salad greens for our lunches. I made a jambalaya yesterday to die for. Today is split peas and ham. I FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE TURKEY SAUSAGE THAT DOES NOT GAG US. I need to get more creative with my bedtime snack. I have about exhausted the possibilities of fruit and yogurt. Any and all suggestions gladly welcomed.

My exercise is curtailed at the moment because I fell off the deck and messed up my shoulder. But this too will pass and I will enlist at Curves. All in all I feel like I have a new lease on life.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea

P.S. I have a massage scheduled for next Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I Surrender

(With thanks to Cindy.)

I have been in relapse for almost two years now. I remember the day it happened.

A month or two after we moved up here we received an invitation from "home" for a "Going Away party." We had moved in such a rush there hadn't been time to have one. I did not want to go. Dreaded it in fact. I was not yet settled in here and going back to the place I loved and had to leave was more than I thought I could cope with. But, you know how it is, these were friends who were missing us and wanted to do something for us. I went anyway. I was right. I couldn't cope.

I read somewhere that our coping skills work until we hit a situation that is too strong for them, and then we revert to comfort seeking behavior. I did okay for the first couple of days. We stayed in a motel I was unfamiliar with so it did not seem like being home. I was shaky but still able to adhere to my food plan in spite of eating out and at friends' houses. The final day of the trip was the scheduled big blowout party. I ate appropriately to prepare for this challenge. As we got dressed for the party I looked in the mirror and thought, "Not bad, not bad at all." I weighed 179. On the way to the party I asked Mark if we could drive by our recently vacated house. We had been studiously avoiding going any where near it the whole time we had been there. He was dubious but I said I felt strong enough. BIG MISTAKE. After seeing the house the damn broke. Evey ounce of strength I had used for the move and relocation was used up. I broke. I sobbed all the way to the party. I cried during the party and all the way back up here. I started eating "off plan" at the party and I have been eating like that ever since.

I am a testament to losing weight slowly. It has taken me two years to re-gain 16 pounds. That is something. My body had really gotten used to using food as fuel and not as comfort. In the past two years I have tried all sort of things to get my motivation back. I tried to go back to the Kay Shepperd food plan, no dice. I tried Atkins, no dice. I tried Intuitive Eating, no dice. I read every book I could find about motivation, no dice. Nothing worked. I craved sugar and fat, and I have been eating it in ever increasing amounts. I couldn't stop. I hadn't yet hit bottom.

I was okay the first couple of days Mark was gone. I did my normal routine and was fine. But the third day something happened. I couldn't get out of bed. If it hadn't been for the dog I'd be there still. After Mollie forced me to move I showered and went to the grocery store. I bought everything I wanted to eat. And I mean everything. Then I went home, put on an old baggy sweatsuit, closed the drapes, turned off the phone, and began to eat. I did not shower or leave the house for three days. I see why depressed/addicted mothers abuse their children. I hated Mollie and the cats for needing me. I did only the bare minimum for them. The dog was the worst. She kept wanting attention. I hated her.

The day Mark was due home I got off the sofa and tried to hide my depression and binge. It was very heavy (no pun) sledding. The house was filthy and so was I. I cleaned at some of the mess and took a shower. I was so sick it took all I had to just get that done. I was way past self loathing and was numb when he finally arrived home. He was so tired he didn't notice. We spoke very little and went to bed. At least he did. I told him I had the flu and would need to sleep on the couch. I spent the better part of the night in the bathroom. Mark was very solicitous the next morning. I told him the house was so awful because I had been sick most of the time he was away. He was so sweet it make me feel worse. We both slept most of day. He made himself breakfast and lunch. I couldn't eat. Come dinner time we were both perkier and Mark suggested we go out to a fancy place and eat. I just stood there like I had been pole axed and then started to cry. The whole ugly story came out. Was another very long night.

...I put the scale in the closet. I cleaned out the kitchen. We went shopping and bought good food. I am re-reading, "From the First Bite." I got out my measuring cups and little scale. I am back on THE PLAN. I feel shaky and weak but oh so happy. At this point I don't care about weight loss. I just want to feel better and not be led around by my obsession with food. The only way I know to achieve this is to turn myself and my food over to God and the food plan. I am grateful to God for giving me His strength. I am at peace, finally.

When I feel stronger I will analyze WHAT HAPPENED but for now I am just grateful for the miracle.

Take care of yourselves. Love Bea