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Friday, August 26, 2011

Yummy, Yummy Ice Cream

There is a very small and equally unlikely chance that I may be eating ice cream every night of the week.  I know this seems hard to believe and, in truth, I am as shocked as you probably are.

It probably started with a Popsicle here and a cremesicle there.  It is, after all, quite hot and something cool after dinner probably seems like a reasonable thing to have.  Never mind that I don't normally eat sweets during the week, except on special occasions. 45 or 90 extra calories isn't going to hurt, right?  Somehow the nightly treat routine seems to have morphed into a nightly dessert routine.  A 230 calorie serving of ice cream?  Sure, why not?  Some peanut clusters on a Tuesday? Yes!  Bring it on!  An entire PINT of Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream?

WTF?  Okay, clearly I am need of some serious intervention here.  A PINT of ice cream is at least three (and maybe four) servings.  That is, oh, I don't know, at LEAST 900 calories.  And no, I don't know for sure because I DIDN'T EVEN LOOK!  Ugh!

This is not moderation.  This is literally too much of a good thing.   So I am going to lay off the ice cream and go back to my normal policy of eating sweets only on the weekends.  Luckily my weight hasn't (yet) been affected adversely by my little deviation into creamy, sweet ice-cream land.  But my peace of mind has been affected and that's a problem.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I lost a follower.  It happens and I don't take it personally, except maybe when I write about something personal like my last post and the next time I log on, I notice I've lost a follower.  Then it might hurt just a little, tiny bit...

Several of us are writing about what happens when food and fat are no longer around to insulate us from whatever it is that the food and fat protected us from.  Draz wrote a great post about what happens when being thin doesn't "fix" our life like we thought it would. For me I've noticed that one of the functions my disordered eating used to serve was helping me to do with anxiety and now that it's gone, the anxiety has become bigger and more difficult to manage.

Like right now.  I work as a property manager and as such some of my interactions with tenants are not pleasant.  There are a few specific tasks that I must do as part of my job that I have intense anxiety about.  To the point that when I know these tasks are coming up, I become a complete mess.  In my mind everything becomes tainted by this fear of what I've got to face.  I have difficulty enjoying things I'd normally enjoy because of the worry.  These fears don't stay at work either.  They creep into my regular life.  They interfere with my sleep.  I obsess about them.  I pray that I won't have to do it.

The tasks are conflict-related tasks: times when I have to deal with someone face-to-face (or on the phone) in a conflict situation.  The worst stress comes from time when I have to go to court with people.  I'm usually okay with the evictions that I must process through the courts.  I do those every couple of months or so and they don't normally evoke any major response from me.  The ones that freak me out are money disputes with people that go through small claims court.  The actual process isn't that big of deal, but the lead-up to the experience causes me to be riddled with anxiety and stress.  I have a court case scheduled with a former tenant (and alcoholic who is actively drinking) for August 29th.  I feel like the rest of my summer is ruined because I have to do this.  Usually my co-worker (and sister) would go with me and her presence is very calming to me, but she has to go to court with her ex-husband that day so I'll be on my own. 

I know that it will work out.  I think that the courts are usually pretty fair.  Intellectually I know that everything will be okay.  It isn't personal.  Even if I lose, the world will keep spinning.  But this horrible fear still runs loose in my head.  It has influenced everything in my life since I learned of the court case on Monday.  It isn't a rational response.  I now have no outlet for the anxiety that I once would have coped with by overeating.  And when I feel like that, I start feeling like I'm all on my own.  Like I have no one to turn to for help in life.  These emotions clouded the post I wrote the other day in which I talked about my relationship with my kids' dad.  Because I am feeling overwhelmed, my attitude in the post was that there were no redeeming qualities in our relationship which probably isn't accurate.  It was just the way I was feeling at the moment that I wrote the words.  It was influenced by this horrible feeling of dread and anxiety that is clouding my mind right now.

In a perfect world, I'd probably seek medical help for this anxiety, but I don't have health insurance so that would require careful planning.  I would need to save money for the office visit and the prescription.  It would probably be October before I had the funds and that would be too late.  This only comes up a few times a year with the court stuff.  I also have limited situations that are more common,  but also happen spontaneously so I don't have to worry about them for weeks. I have the same anxiety when a tenant comes in pissed off about a maintenance issue or a problem with their neighbor, but I don't have to think about it over several days.  They come in, we talk, the situation gets resolved.  Pretty much any conflict can invoke this reaction, even conflicts with my fella (or with my daughter's soccer team, another one of the fun things I have going on right now).  Often I just bury my head in the sand and try to ignore whatever is going on, but the fear still runs rampant in my mind.

Oh, yeah, my youngest daughter also has LICE (eek!) (well, hopefully not anymore), my fella is only working one day this week, I am up a bit on the scale, I just realized when I was planning to go camping next weekend for probably the last trip of the year, I also have an opportunity to make some money so now I have to decide what I'd rather do, and I have to work alone for the next two days.  I also have some fun things coming in the next couple days so I hope I can get out of this funk.

On a completely unrelated topic, I wish I had a cool tag-line to end all my posts like, "Now you have the skinny!" so I wouldn't have to think of a nice way to wrap up my post without just trailing off like I tend to do.      

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking stock at the beginning of year number 38

I turned 38 last week.  Damn.  I remember when my mom was 38 and I thought she was SO OLD.  Hell, she already had her first grandchild by then, thanks to my older sister.  I think most of us do a bit of reflection around birthday time.  So how are things thus far?  Have I done what I wanted and accomplished what I hoped?

Hmmm....Maybe some questions shouldn't be asked.

When I was in my 20's, I was so optimistic about the future.  Although money was tight and I hadn't finished my education and I wasn't settled into a relationship, I was confident that I was paying my dues and stability would come as I got older.  I thought if I worked hard, things would work out. Is my life the way I pictured it would be?  I know I've lost a lot of that optimism.  I now realize that even when you work hard, there's no guarantee that you'll have security.  Oftentimes things just don't work out the way they should.

This recession has really done a number on me and so many  others.  My fella was out of work for all of 2010.  He now has three part-time jobs, but is only contributing about $400 per month to the household. Who knows how much my home is now worth.  What I paid for it?  Probably not. When my grandfather passed away in 2003, he left his property to his wife (my step-grandma) and his four children (my mom and her siblings).  After a year or so, they put the property up for sale and it sold for 3.5 million.  The buyer had two years to finish paying.  He paid $750,000 altogether and then the economy went in the toilet and he bailed.  The realtor was the only winner in the transaction because a good chunk of the money they did receive went to pay relator fees on the entire purchase price and taxes.  Everyone else got a small chunk, but they each expected that more was coming so I don't think any of them were especially frugal with that money.

I didn't stand to inherit anything, but my mom is very generous and I figured she'd give me some money.  I was hoping for enough to bulk up my savings account, pay off my car and take my family on a nice vacation.  I was disappointed that it didn't happen, but my biggest worry is for my mom.  Through a combination of bad luck, bad timing and bad decisions, she has nothing.  She'll be 60 years old in November.  She deserves to live like a queen and instead she's facing a future of being unable to retire and constant financial worry.  It really sucks.  I'm sure the property will eventually sell again, but for a much lower price and who knows when it will happen?

I'd have to say that the element of my life that is the best right now is my weight situation.  I have struggled since childhood with food issues and later with weight issues.  I know I'll never be "normal" with food, but I am hopeful that I have the tools to be okay.  Thank you, Lap-band!

I did finish my college education in 2006.  I have a decent job with crappy benefits.  I hope to see some improvement in that regard in the future.

I have two beautiful children, but being a parent is hard.  I didn't know that before I had kids.  There's no guarantee that they'll turn out okay.  I make mistakes all the time as a mother.  They screw up as children.  But I love them very much and I'm doing my best.  I hope it will be enough.

I've written before about my relationship with their dad, Matthew.  It is...complicated.  I feel like the adult and he is another child.  I am the one who works full-time, pays the bills, saves money for back-to-school clothes, coordinates the kids' activities, lessons, etc.  He is a difficult person with a difficult personality.  He makes my life difficult at times.  I don't know if having a relationship with him is worth it.  I also don't know how to get free of him or even if I want to.  It is hard.  I don't know what else to say about it.  I do know it isn't the relationship that I imagined I'd have at this point in my life.

So that's the stock at the beginning of year number 38.  To recap, the economy sucks and has dealt some big blows.  My kids are challenging, but wonderful.  I am skinny and feel good about my weight.  My romantic relationship is a headache.  I have a college degree and a job.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Clever title to hook you in...

I took last week off.  It was my 38th birthday on Tuesday.  We went to Newport, Oregon for a couple days and I stayed home the rest of the time. 

Here's some pictures from Newport, Oregon.  If you've never been to the Oregon Coast, you must add it to your bucket list!  August is a good time to go because you might actually see some sunshine like we did.  The high temps were in the 60's both days, but it was so beautiful!

                                                                 California Sea Lions

                                                                        Harbor Seals

                                            My daughter Bryn touches a sea anemone

                                             Sea horse at the Oregon Coast Aquarium
                                              Regular horses - we took a family ride in the dunes

At home I stayed busy with house projects.  We painted both girls' bedrooms and reorganized things.  Here's some pics:

                                             My oldest daughter's room "before"...

                                          ....and "after"!

                                          Youngest daughter's room "before"...


I'm a little embarrassed by how messy their rooms were.  Really it had gotten to the point where they couldn't get things organized on their own.  They needed some help!

Food-wise things are going pretty well.  I haven't weighed myself for a while, but I will on Wednesday.  I feel pretty peaceful with food right now.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Last night I was making my lunch for today.  As I sliced some cheese, the idea occurred to me that it would be yummy with some saltine crackers.  Before I knew it, I'd gobbled down two crackers and cheese. 

No biggie.  But it was very good.  So I had two more.  And then I was fixing a snack for the pet rats and decided to make two more saltines with peanut butter for myself. 

Why do I do this?  It wasn't planned.  I wasn't hungry.  I was literally shoving food in my mouth for no reason.  And the worst thing?  I didn't even enjoy it.  I have some rules when it comes to eating.  I must eat sitting down.  I cannot eat while driving.  I can't eat when I have to pee or am otherwise distracted.  Standing in the kitchen, eating quickly definitely violates the rules!

Mindless eating does not lead to satisfaction and when I am not satisfied by my food, chances are I'm going to keep eating.  Shoving food in my mouth is like trying to eat as much as I can before I notice that I'm eating, before I put the breaks on, and before I make myself stop.  I used to eat like this a lot.

Thankfully, I no longer do.  Thankfully, I know that even though I made a poor choice yesterday, I don't have to continue making poor choices.  I know I deserve to eat food and I deserve to feel satisfied by it.  I don't have to gobble something up while silently screaming at myself  that I'm fat and stupid.  And THAT feels pretty good!