The Little Engine That Could

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The In-Betweens

For the last several weeks I've been feeling in-between. I'm learning how to eat effectively for the pouch (as my head hunger has returned and it takes a lot of doing to not eat the table in slow, well-chewed bites), drink my water, hit my stride, take the vitamins, etc. With all the talk of eating disorders and watching (reading) fellow sassy gals discover, manage, defend and defeat their issues with food, I did my own weigh in. And in two weeks I have been the same, up a pound, down a pound, but really the exact weight I was a week ago.*** My brain goes "No No No, you are supposed to be losing 10 pounds a day, never hungry, and you are doing this all wrong wrong wrong." And for about 15 minutes I go on that roller coaster of scared shitless and that I will never lose another pound, dress size or really see the collarbones stick out.


So then I start my day with water and vitamins, coffee with protein powder (wow, really try Nectar Cappuccino, because I swear to go for coffee folks like me, umm, it's heaven) and head on into work. And then I work like a mad woman all day, taking a good 1/2 hour to have lunch in the lunch room. And head home at late o'clock. And don't go to the gym......

Yeah. I've been wanting too, but I haven't made the time. Made a bunch of excuses. "I'll go in the tired o'clock, I'll get up take iron and then go pump iron. I'll meet a trainer (hopefully the cute one that looks a little like an old friend I always wished something had happened with) and he will make me work out harder, faster, stronger. And by June I'll be running marathons and be a size 4 and have lost all 225 pounds that I had to lose pre-surgery".

It's disordered thinking. Not eating. The fact that I tell myself these lies on a pretty consistent basis is somewhat funny. Umm, a year ago I was taking my own extender on the plane. I was uncomfortable in business class plane seats because my thighs touched the sides and I would automatically recline (damn chinese airlines). I couldn't purchase a pair of jeans at the LB because I was beyond the highest size. My chair at work had so much pressure on it that it created potholes on the plastic ground covering and I got/get stuck constantly. And then I am doing the same thing as last year-- writing down everything I eat at the beginning of the day, but leaving off the stuff at the end. Powering through "I know this part" and not saying what was right there for me-- "Can someone please hold me and rock me and tell me that this part gets better because I am scared and anxiety ridden? Huh, someone, please?"

A couple weeks ago I did a budget that would have me be in integrity with finances and savings. I didn't put therapy in there "because I don't need it" and it's a big expense. I need it-- I need the community, I need the support. I need someone I can cry and rail at, who can point out issues with big red arrows and go "THERE THERE THERE" and I feel comfortable working with and who can help me sort through the disorder. Fer Crissakes, I pay someone to help me organize my home, clean my house, do my taxes-- why the f would I think I can do the emotional stuff myself.

The good news, I am in no imminent danger of harming myself or property. (Yeah me!) Its like I am on the highway and I see signs for "Happy and Goal Oriented" and "A bad place to be" and the fork in the road is coming up. Soon. Maybe 3 miles. (It's a big highway) And right now, I'm in that middle lane and I know which way I want to turn, but every now and again I loose my attention for a minute and realize I've ended up on the wrong road-- because I've done that before. And no no no, I'm gonna take the steps to stay on the road to Happy and Goal Oriented, on the destination to.... wait. That's right, success is a journey, not a destination. I guess the destination would be getting out of the middle lane. or at least the in-betweens.

*** and then I take a shower, use the restroom and down two pounds. It's a fucking rollercoaster, people. Maybe if I write the bitch blogs more often, I'll drop weight faster.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Responding to "This is My Confession"

"Most people with binge eating disorder have tried to control it on their own, but have not been able to control it for very long. Some people miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat. Persons who are obese with binge eating disorder often feel bad about themselves and may avoid social gatherings.

Most people who binge eat, whether they are obese or not, feel ashamed and try to hide their problem. Often they become so good at hiding it that even close friends and family members don't know they binge eat."

This is me. This is me this is me this is me. Aggh, this is who I am, and not who I have become. This is the old me, the one that was fat and miserable and upset all the time. The one who smoked and cussed and laughed too loud. The one that would sit crying on her couch and plan entire weekends around food and not let anyone else in. The one that slowly tried to kill herself.

While I was in San Diego, I was so triggered by my old haunts. My best friends in San Diego are places to eat-- Del Taco, Carl's Jr., Fidels, El Indio, Baja Fresh, Der Wienerschnitzel, Rubios, The Brig, El Pollo Loco, In-N-Out-- because you can't get any of that here in NYC. Nope, nary a one can you get here-- and pulling through the drive-thru is like visiting an old friend-- "hi, I'll have a number 2 with a strawberry shake please, and a side of ranch dressing". It's just like saying "hello, I've missed you, we have so much catching up to do." Pulling through the drive thru and taking that first bite of whatever, well, that is the ritual. Out of the bag, maybe if the light is green I'll just steal a fry or a ring-- take a sip-- in anticipation for the main event.

I would drive a ways away to get exactly what it is I needed for the binge. 30 miles to Vista for chili cheese dogs and fries, 15 miles to Mira Mar for a chicken cheese burrito, 17.3 miles for an In-and-Out Burger near the 15. Plus fried happiness on the side, whatever desserty thing was available and the biggest full sugar drink possible. I might even get a candy bar if I had run out of smokes and had to stop on my way. And I would plan my view. After going through the drive thru, the event would begin-- searching for the right place to eat this food. A good view. Usually I would head back to the ocean or up to Soledad Mountain. I sit in the car facing the vast emptiness of what was in front of me and begin the meal. The first bite of burger, pickle popping and the melty cheese goodness, grease dripping down my chin. Chew chew, swallow. Then four or five french fries all together, dipped in the ranch-- chew chew swallow. Then burger, then fries, then burger dipped in dressing, then bite of apple pie/dessert/ice cream, then swallow of drink then again, and repeat and repeat and repeat.

10 minutes later I was done. Grease on chin, napkins wadded on the seat next to me, cigarette in hand, lighter in the other. And think. Think about the beautiful view (not as good as those chili cheese fries) think about what's next (chicken soft taco?) think about what's going on tonight (doesn't matter, I messed up and I don't deserve to go. No one likes you anyways.). Sit and smoke and think. Why am I here, what am I doing this for?

All those demons-- every one would rear their head. Conversations from six years ago, conversations from my childhood, overhead conversations with the doctor about my weight, visions of aunts and grammas and mom having "tastes" of dinner, finding chocolate Helen Grace eggs under mom's front seat and eat that as a kid, sneaking chocolate cake mix and mixing it with water to make pudding, getting caught eating all the butterscotch chips out of the cupboard, eating all the candy out of my cousin's easter baskets, drinking Alba 80 shakes for breakfast, thinking about that boy who really loved you but didn't know how, listening to the voice inside my head say over and over again-- it's not enough, is that all there is, what are you doing, can't someone really hear me.

Radio silence. Radio silence. Like two seashells up to my ears, almost like static. My belly extends. I burp, take a sip of soda, and burp again. What to think, nothing to think. Stop thinking. Ahh, the view is so pretty. Thank you God for giving me this view to share with you.

In this moment I am satisfied. I am glowing in the post-coital moments I have just spent with my food. Time stopped and went too fast and stopped again, and then without knowing, the bags of trash are under the front seat and I am off to rehearsal, work, school, home. I am off to nap, to nod off, to deal with my day. I'm off because now I have a handle on the situation, I had a moment to think.

In San Diego this past time, I had an opportunity to do this, and I didn't. I couldn't. I can't do the fast food. I am not allowed. It triggers something so deep in me. I made dinner and breakfast for D and myself. We ate good food made with love. We talked about loving ourselves. Nothing is easy. Everything is hard. Hard, hard hard. But that is life.

The reward of life is so sweet. I feel like I am living it in moments and in daydreams. I wake up feeling lighter than before, my arms feel small, my eyes look huge. Hy hunger is for something greater than food. It always has been. I haven't identified the source of the hunger, but it is not satisfied with the ritual of eating. Binge eating. It's impossible for me, and yet I know how to wiggle around the food.

I am calling it my search for the hunger. Something needs to be fed-- I think it's my soul. Connect with the outside world, really connect with another human being. Love fiercely. Take stock in who you are and what you love. Express more. Emote less. And perhaps be vulnerable when you need help.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Goodbye 100

I've lost 100 pounds from my highest recorded weight (which was slightly after the garden birthday party/mid-west trip of cheese and fried-- July 1, 2007).

Holy crap.

There are things to notice, and things not to notice.

Things to notice--I notice I am more confident and not as wallowy as I was before. I notice that weekends on the couch don't happen as often. I am going to the gym, and actually enjoying it. I walk up the escalators from the subway. I say what's on my mind a heck of a lot more. I have made and re-made some new friends, but I keep the closest ones to me with all my might. I can eat more than I thought I would be able to, but my eyes are still ginormous compared to my tummy. The clothes are now a fun thing to complain about (I really have 2 pairs of pants, 1 suit and 1 pair of jeans plus workout wear). I am working through anger, sadness, upset in ways that are healthy.

Things not to notice--
When I get sad, angry or frustrated, my go to is food, but now it gets noticed. I am less stressed at work. Not everyone has to like me. Friends make judgements-- life is a comparison. I sleep for longer and for better. I think I am addicted to turkey meatballs and Nectar Cappuccino Protein powder. I am gassy. I obsess over bowel movements. I still do the scale dance. Lack of clothes are not a fun thing to heave others hear you complain about. There are people in my life that are pulling away-- I am still me- regardless of the weight. Me-- Just me! I talk alot about surgery and what I can and can't eat-- and well, it's just a part of me, not all of me.

I spend an awful lot of my time not celebrating the victories because I don't want to upset the apple cart, don't want anyone to feel left out, don't want to be too bold. But for Chrissake's I am fucking happy happy happy and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

There. The happy dance.

Back to your regularly scheduled programing of bitchy snarkiness.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Mom

It's one of those posts. My mom.

I've been thinking about how I treat people, how I manage problems and issues, where I take out my frustration. And it all stems from mom. If I am not beating her up in my head for all the "bad" things she did to me as a kid (like not giving me ice cream, watching my weight like a hawk, giving me different meals than my brother), I am assaulting her verbally in phone calls.

So hears the truce and the truth. We all have mom issues to work out. I get so upset when a victory for me is clouded by her pessimism. And yet, she'll turn around and give me something great-- a very small way of saying "Good job" by handing me my favorite thing, or being so incredibly thoughtful, giving me the smartest piece of advice, or bailing me out of yet another situation. She is always going to be that person who no matter how blue the sky is and how perfect the day is-- storm clouds are in the forecast and on the horizon. She doesn't throw herself wholeheartedly into things, really getting behind them or excited by them-- instead steps back and judges to make sure it is a good product, an interesting and safe endeavor, or a worthwhile cause.

I wonder if that has to do with her own disappointment. Because she is guarded, and in the moments she is not, it's beautiful to have mom there, soft, loving , gorgeous. But as guarded, she is showing her vulnerable side without showing it-- the years of upset or disappointment. I want to scream sometimes "It is okay to let other people love you. You don't have to do this all on your own. You can make friends and be with people just because you want to. There is no conspiracy that we are all out to get you." But that's her wall.

I've got my own wall (walls) too. I trust no one, but pretend like I do. C'mon, it's fun-- it's like trying to live everyone else's life for them. Because only I know what's best. Hmmphsnark.

Back to mom. I realize if I stop blaming her for everything, my life gets less complicated, and I get to grow up to be an adult. I take responsibility for my actions and inactions. So what if she says something that triggers me-- it's in my genetic makeup to get triggered. She's not doing it to hurt me intentionally. She is protecting herself and by default, me, from anything out there. Even if she is making up stories about monsters under the bed, it's her way of keeping me in my bed and not in hers.

Because when it comes down to it, I fiercely love this woman. She is so powerful, with her tiny tiny hands and her bitty bitty feet. And her perfect hair and gorgeous face (I am so lucky to look like her), and her charming sparkling personality. My favorite moments of me and my mom are singing in the car-- my whole life we have had music as our shared joy, singing along with the radio-- so much so that my brother can't stand it. Which of course, makes me laugh. And her too.

I loved summertime with mom. She would get on her suit and go in the pool. She would let me hang on to her and she would wade in the water bouncing me up and down, singing songs to me in her soft voice. I would tell her, "Mommy you are so beautiful. Your skin is so soft and you smell so good." My little blonde head would find a spot right where her collarbone should be, and I would hold on, and fall asleep as she would walk around the shallow end of the pool, just me and her. I'm not sure where my brother would be, but those are my best memories, just me and her, in the sun, in the pool, my little hand in her wet hair, bouncing up and down in the water.

I know now that for her putting on a bathing suit was not easy, and she didn't like to, because of the weight. But when she did, like when my gramma did, it was magical-- because we were mermaids together.

So mom, if you are reading, know that I love you. And that this life that I have is because of everything you have taught me-- to question, to second guess, to keep plodding through, to forgive, to love, to be the one that makes the difference, to lead, to follow. You have encouraged me to be a woman, when I have wanted to be a girl, you have led me to be silly when I have wanted to be significant, and you teach me every day that it's not easy but it sure is worth it.

I love you mommy. A lot. And in this blog I will sometimes say things because I am angry and upset at you, but it passes. So don't think that I am writing the "Mommy Dearest" story-- because I am not. I am just writing my story, it's not dirty laundry, it's just life-- and we all have something to learn from it.

Now, stop reading my blog.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I fully get ya.

I love this woman. No one tells it more raw than she.

I have so much more to say, but first, to the gym. To pound out my thoughts on the bike and the treadmill.

God bless you Melinda.

How do you like them grapes?

The Wookiee just called.
Can't find his car keys. I looked through my bags and don't have them either.
He eventually found them, but for two hours he tore apart the room. Hee Hee.

I asked if his friend took them-- "No, I slept alone last night."
So he went from two to none. Nice job.

Isn't there a story about the Fox and the grapes-- and the fox is looking in the pool of water and wants to get the other grapes that his reflection is holding? And then when he opens his mouth to get the other batch of grapes, his fall to the water and he is left hungry with no grapes?

Yup. Karma.

I swear I did not do anything to his keys. Even he said "that would be too low class for you". Maybe in another life I would have taken them or hid them. It's just the universe saying "deal with this". I apologized for leaving abruptly, and said I learned a lot about him and about myself over the weekend.

He went quiet, and yeah, that was the end of it.

Feeling loved and hugged by the universe today.

I'm not really sure what to say

First-- I did my six month update with the doctor, and am officially down 87 pounds. I wish it were more. I am not complaining, but I also know that I can do better by eating three squares and a snack, and doing water. And I am choosing to have low sugar Popsicles and such in the house, and eating after 8pm. I am cutting that crap out.

My surgeon didn't really even speak to me. Asked me a few questions-- yeah, you are still losing weight, but nothing really at all. I am thinking that for follow up, I may want to change doctors, because honestly, what the heck am I paying him for? His staff didn't get back to me on the types of blood tests I needed to take, and it was like "no big deal". This is my life buddy, and I don't care if you are busy. I am a big deal.

Note to self: Support groups. For a reason.

Second-- Someone stole checks from my checkbook and now I have to deal with check fraud, closing of accounts, etc etc. But, the good news is that I know am so certain of all the money coming in and going out, more so than I have ever been.

Note to self: Lock box in the house.

Third-- The Wookiee. And the universe once again opens its arms and cuddles me when I am too loving, too forgiving, or too blind to watch out for myself and my open heart. This weekend (well, and last weekend too) opened my eyes to the selfish dark nature of human kind, as well as their inability to comprehend hurt, sadness and longing. The good news is that from now I don't have to cheapen myself to be friends, acquaintances or lovers with anyone I don't have a profound affection for.

The third one I am still reeling from. We went to this thing, not quite a faire, not quite a show, and although it was a weekend long date, he had sex with another woman, which of course, I accidentally walked in on. When he came back downstairs, I was angry, but more hurt, because I felt cheap. I felt disgusting. And I felt this way because I was out of integrity with myself, because I was being in a not really kind of relationship with this man that I knew was not emotionally available and who, although fun, is not boyfriend material for me. And I was the one that set the boundaries-- i said "we know exactly what this is" and "you are not my boyfriend". However, I also encouraged him to go after this girl because I knew he wanted to. And he did. I completely underestimated his ability to get in on the action and completely overestimated his ability to read my mind.

Note to self: only I can read minds.

Anyhow, I tried not to do the drama about it. He comes to me, as I am drinking coffee in the room where people are fighting with fake swords and stuff. And he smells like sex and sweat, tries to kiss me to which eww happens and he says "i brushed after". Proceeds to tell me all about the event, relishing in the details. And he has pictures, do I want to see? And my disgust doesn't register on my face. I reach out, put my hand on his arm and say "Wow, I completely underestimated you" and go on to tell him that it's time for me to cut bait, that this isn't my scene, and I have to go, to get out of here. And he asks if this is about what just happened, and I say yes, I feel cheap and dirty and disgusting. And that I am going up to the room alone and packing up my things and calling a cab and going back to my apartment. He is confused, almost hurt, but I am not going to give him the chance to let me beat him up. Because that's what I want to do. I want to unleash that part of Kim that is so so so ready to slay him. However, he is a person, and people make mistakes, over or under estimate each other, get confused and move on.

"Can I walk you out?"

No. It's time for me to be a big girl about this. Go have fun, have your weekend. There are so many things I wanted to say, insult his manhood, his integrity, insult his performance, but I couldn't. I realized it just wasn't worth it, and it was time for me to heal, feel sad or feel mad, go up to the room by myself and pack up my things and get out of there.

I love when the universe kicks me in the gut with something SO OBVIOUS and says "wake the fuck up ".

Thank you, lovely universe. I'll listen more clearly now.