I am truly a mom over the top! I have been a compulsive overeater for most of my life. The first time I remember specific over the top eating behaviors was when I was 13 years old. That was 24 years ago. I started on this journey to health, to abstinence, to sanity in May, 2010. I hope that by blogging I can help, not only myself, but help others to know that they aren't alone. My tools on this journey are Overeaters Anonymous and SparkPeople.
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One Piece of Advice

If you are a fellow blogger you need to go back every once in a while and read your own words.  These past six months have been such a struggle for me and I have had a really difficult time managing my emotions, my food and my weight.  I have found myself acting like I never found sanity last year.  I have been "sneaking" food, hiding wrappers and binging in secret.  It is like I learned nothing last year.  So I finally sat down and started on day one of this blog.  If I could do it once I can do this again and this time I will do better.  I am praying that I won't let myself fall down the rabbit hole again but if I do I climb right back out.   As of today sugar is gone, out of my diet, out of the house.   It just isn't worth it to me.  Click on the images to zoom and feel free to copy them for your own use.






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Melodies

I love to share music when I write but sometimes I run into a snag as I attempt to share a video that I cannot embed into my blog.  Such is the case today.   So I will simply link to it.   Josh Groban "You Are Loved".  There are several other versions on YouTube that would allow me to embed but they don't feature Josh performing so I am not going to cheat you out of the real thing.


I was fortunate enough to see Josh perform on May 25th of this year at the Kansas City Sprint Center.  This was a concert I had been waiting for over the past seven years.   I saw Josh during his very first tour in 2004, twice.  Best performances of my life and he just continues to grow.  This was the first time he had returned since.   I was simply thrilled to be able to attend.  My wonderful husband sacrificed his attendance incentive from work to purchase the tickets for my birthday.  This was major.  We live life completely broke and extras like this are few and far between.    The friend I have seen all three concerts with has made a pact with me that we will sell our husbands as slaves to get decent tickets the next time.  I am determined to actually see the features on Josh's face as he performs the next time.


Anyhow, one of the reasons I love Josh is the songs he chooses.  Few artists consistently choose songs that move me but the lyrics and melodies of his songs seem to reach into my soul more often then not.  Then you add his amazing voice and there is simply nothing like it.


"You Are Loved" is a particular favorite of mine.   When I started this journey toward health last year I made a cd of inspirational songs and this was an absolute feature for me.   "Don't Give Up" is the main message of this song and it is a message that I need to hear repeatedly.   I need to remember daily that I can start with a clean slate with this thing called compulsive overeating.  I don't need to beat myself up because I slipped I need to keep moving forward and continue to try my damnedest to beat this thing.   I  WILL do it.   I may have slipped and allowed myself to regain some weight but I didn't allow myself to regain it all and I am getting back to a place of sanity.   Oh, some days I miss the OA honeymoon I had last summer but I hope to feel that way again soon.
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Sing

Today is one of those days where the sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, I feel good and I just want to sing.  So I have been on a great hunt for songs about just wanting to sing.  Amazingly some of my favorites are from Sesame Street.   Here are just a few that are making me feel good today.







I won't torment you with more.  I just needed to say that I feel good today.  Yesterday was fantastic.  My food was really good.  I didn't overeat.  I hit all of my nutrition goals.  I am anxious to stay on track!

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I cleaned my house

It has been so long since I have done nitty gritty down and dirty cleaning of the kitchen and living room and it was time.  We all worked on bedrooms last night as a family so they were in good shape but I did the kitchen, living room and bathroom..  Then my friend stopped by with her kids to visit for a while and so she could run to a quick Dr.'s appointment without her toddler and preschooler in tow.  It was nice to know that my floors were clean enough for the 14 month old to be all over and I knew she wouldn't find anything icky to put in her mouth. 

I have done well today.  I am staying on target with my eating and even budgeted for a snack of air popped popcorn later.  I found ranch popcorn seasoning and it is super low cal and really tasty. 

My hubby is out playing video games with his buddies for the evening...yes, I married a geek.  I really don't enjoy being home alone at night especially when that is my most difficult time of day with my food.  Oh well!  I am determined to power through.
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Nights are killer

Mother nature and hormones are not helping my food cravings right now especially when evening cravings are always tough for me. I had a fantastic day yesterday.  Then the kids went to bed and I not only ate two huge bowls of air popped popcorn but followed it with 8 generic sandwich cookies and when that wasn't enough I had two bowls of fruity pebbles.   NOT OKAY!   Seriously, my insanity astounds me.  

I wrote my OA sponsor yesterday but haven't heard back from her yet.  So far this morning I am doing okay.  I have been very busy searching for my missing car keys and haven't had much time to think about food.  Right now I am trying to figure out (after two hours of searching) where I could have possibly left them.   I have a vague memory of retrieving them from the 2 year old and putting them out of his reach but for the life I me I can't figure out where that might be, and it could be a memory from a different day since that's a pretty common occurrence around here.  I had to have them to drive home from the store yesterday so they made it into my house somewhere.  Guess I will be cleaning the kids' rooms today to make sure they didn't end up in their toys somewhere.


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21 is my not so lucky number!

21 pounds is what I have allowed myself to gain back.  I lost 64 pounds last year and since my ankle injury almost exactly 6 months ago I have gained 21 back.  The thing is, I would have expected a good 7-10 pound gain because I was non weight bearing for 3 weeks and in a cast for another 3.  By the time I was allowed to walk freely I was still in pain and was so out of shape that it took me a while to regain strength.  7-10 pounds would have been understandable.  21 pounds is evidence of my addiction.

I allowed myself to miss meeting after meeting.  Living in denial that I was in relapse.  When I realized I was in relapse I was, apparently, not ready to turn my will over to God.  I hope that I am now truly willing.  I want to believe that I am. 

There are positives here.  In the past I have remained in denial and in the midst of life-threatening behaviors.   In the past I haven't stopped before regaining my entire weight loss plus a significant amount.

I recognize my behaviors.  I want to get a handle on them.  I want to rediscover the threefold recovery that I was beginning last year.  Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical healing all go together on this journey.  I am determined to make all of my Saturday meetings and depending on our budget try to swing the extra gas money to make a mid-week meeting as well.

I am going to work hard to touch base with my sponsor at least twice a week.  I need to get back to making one of those times a phone call.  Email is way too easy and on the phone it is harder for me to hide things like the many Reese's Eggs I ate before Easter---so glad I only have to contend with them once a year...until the Reese's Christmas trees at least.

So for now I pray for release.  I pray for strength and I am forever grateful for a higher power that loves me and a group of Overeaters Anonymous member who understand me.

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Finding Silver Linings

Saturday is my meeting day.  For the past 10 1/2 months I have attended a Saturday morning OA meeting.   I love my meeting.  It is like being in a room with people who get me.  No one else does but they do.  For the past month I haven't managed to make it to a Saturday morning meeting.  Although I have been able to sub a different one here and there it isn't the same and I see the loss reflected in my life.


This past Saturday I was excited to finally be heading back to "my" group.  Then came the 5:45 a.m. wake-up call of our 2 year old vomiting.  By 7:30 (time for me to leave) my 6 year old daughter had joined the fallen.  By 9:30 her twin brother was taken down as well.  Lucky me, not only didn't I get to my meeting but I had three sick kiddos to take care of.  I am so incredibly grateful that it happened on a Saturday though because my husband was home to help.  While I was nursing kids he was cleaning up messes, running to the store for ginger-ale and more.  By late afternoon the kids were still queasy but much better.  They went off to bed that night and we thought we had gotten off easy until the youngest woke up doggy sick at 9:00.  Poor kiddo was so incredibly good.  He had been asleep when it hit and was literally covered from head to toe.  I had to shower the sick, barely awake, child and he was only mildly fussy through it.   Thank goodness he was in bed an hour later and no more sick kiddos for us.


By noon on Sunday I knew that they had taken me out.  I never never never vomit.  The last time I vomited was a reaction to a medication I took following a serious car accident.  That was over 11 years ago.   I don't ever remember being so sick.   I spent most of Sunday in and out of bed thanks to my amazing husband taking control.  When I woke in time to get the kids to bed though he was feeling queasy too.  Monday I was so weak that I could barely keep my eyes open but the big kids were so good that I was able to nap while the youngest napped.  By today I felt really well again.


The silver lining in all of this is that I spent the better part of the past three days eating like a bird.  Nothing high fat or high sugar has sounded even remotely good.  I am looking at the past few days as an Extreme Detox.   I am hoping I can use the really icky sickness as a turning point to get back on track!
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What a day!

I went to a meeting I don't normally attend.   It was pretty amazing.  A woman was celebrating 29 years of abstinence.  Her story was so much more extreme then mine.  After hearing her speak I thought about how many excuses I have made for myself.  I am the only one who can control my food.  I am the only one who can turn my flaws over to God and ask for the will to do it.
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Things are starting to give

It seems like I am getting back into gear.  I am on the road of less than perfect abstinence but at least I am on the right road instead of trying to take a freaking shortcut.   I am down 2.5 pounds from last week.  I still can't believe I had allowed myself to gain 13 pounds during my recovery.  Winter was rough and it seems like spring is refusing to begin.  I am looking out the window at this moment watching snowflakes fall.  Wanting to yell MOTHER NATURE IT'S SPRING and knowing it won't make a difference.   I went out to check the mail a little while ago after remembering that we never did yesterday.   As I walked out the door it was just beginning to spit snow.   I actually said loudly "stupid snow" and the builder working on the house next door cracked up.  Next time I must remember to check for an audience before muttering in frustration.

So my mom read an article this week about grapefruit reducing blood sugar when eaten with or just before a meal.  She bought me 12 grapefruit and a half gallon of juice.  I HATE grapefruit, unless of course it is covered in sugar which completely defeats the point.  So twice a day I have been choking down bitter fruit to appease my mom.  It might have helped my weight loss, it might not have but I am not enjoying it and am having acid reflux which doesn't usually bother me.  I guess it is time to tell my mom I don't want to bother.  EEK!  I hate those conversations.

I have an appointment with the allergist on Saturday and have to be without long acting antihistamines (like loratadine or cetrizine) for 7 days ahead of time and can't take diphenhydramine for 4 days ahead of time.  I am less than two days off of Zyrtec© and am a complete and total mess.   I am sneezing, coughing and choking on drainage.  I tried taking Benadryl© with no ease of symptoms.  This is going to be a long week.  I am hoping this is simply a cold that will be gone in a couple of days and isn't just the beginning of a week of misery.  Either way I am just anxious to get answers.   I am so incredibly tired of being sick.

I have been keeping busy with my crochet business.  It is starting to pick up.  Now I need to get some sunhats made up so I can get summer business as well.  There is seriously nothing cuter that a baby, toddler or child in a handmade hat.  No matter what time of year.   I know summer is a big season for baby gifts as well so I am hoping to continue being able to contribute financially as I have been the past few weeks.


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Setbacks

Facing reality isn't easy.  I stepped onto the scales Sunday morning and had gained a total of 14 pounds since the beginning of November.  How does that happen?  It happens by thinking I can do this on my own.  It happens by passing by the steps that I know work.  It happens by ignoring the need to turn to God.


I am once again starting the day new.   I have had one huge strawberry, two spicy black bean burger patties, a cup and a half of diced tomatoes and 1/3 of a cup of raw almonds.  I have had plenty to eat, water to drink and am trying to keep busy instead of keep thinking about food.
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Bizarre dreams

I just love this song.  It doesn't have much to do with my bizarre dreams last night but at least it is along the same theme.







I have been so incredibly sick for the past week.  In the past three days my ears and my throat have hurt badly enough that I have been planning "strategies" to get enough relief to sleep at night.  Two nights ago I was desperate enough to take some pain killers left over from my ankle surgery to attempt relief.  An hour after taking them I was just as miserable as I was before and that meant that I had to wait 5 more hours to take anything else.  I ended up staying up until midnight when I took some good old-fashioned ibuprofen and some benadryl.  I slept deeply enough that if I dreamed at all I didn't remember a bit of it upon waking.  
Night before last my throat was bothering me enough that I hadn't eaten since a late lunch.  I asked my amazing hubby to run to QuikTrip and get me a slushie to sip on.  That helped enough that a couple of Tylenol made me comfortable enough to fall asleep.  However, I ended up waking up to use the restroom several extra times that night.  
    Last night I was simply exhausted.  I used ear drops from my toddlers' last ear infection to relieve my ear pain, shoved a sugar free menthol cough drop in my mouth and crashed.   I had the most bizarre dream.   I won concert tickets to see Taylor Swift.  I invited my landlady to go to the concert with me.   A freak snow storm started on our way there and my headlights went out on the car so I drove us into a ditch.  We called a friend who took us the rest of the way to the concert weaving in and out of stalled cars in the snow.  When we got to the show it was canceled due to the weather but they had some vaudeville show on the stage and were giving away tickets to other concerts.  You had to dig through these boxes of gift bag things to choose your tickets and they had bizarre groups among the choices.  People long gone like Cole Porter to New Kids On the Block!   When we left the theatre road crews were out using some chemical on the snow and then setting it aflame.  We had to zig zag through flames to get home.
   I don't know what that strange dream was about but it was so clear it was like watching a movie!   The funny thing is I usually eat a snack in the evening which often brings on weird dreams but last night my throat just hurt too much to bother. 

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Looking for answers

For twenty years I have battled with chronic sinusitis


Definition

By Mayo Clinic staff


Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen. Chronic sinusitis lasts 12 weeks or longer despite treatment attempts.

Also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, this condition interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. If you have chronic sinusitis, it may be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face may feel swollen, and you may have throbbing facial pain or a headache.

Chronic sinusitis may be caused by an infection, but it can also be caused by growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by a deviated nasal septum. Chronic sinusitis most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults, but it also can affect children.

Symptoms

Chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis have similar signs and symptoms, but acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses often associated with a cold. At least two of the following signs and symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis:
  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
Other signs and symptoms can include:
  • Ear pain
  • Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
  • Cough, which may be worse at night
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Fatigue or irritability
  • Nausea

 Some years are better some years are worse.  Usually it has been something I can just live with.   Not anymore.  The past six months I have been so incredibly sick.  I have been on antibiotic after antibiotic and within a week or so of finishing a course I am sick again.  I finally have an appointment with an allergist in two weeks to have testing done.  I know, after a sinus CT in January that I am structurally okay but something is causing this to recur time after time.


I am ready to be healthy.  I know that being able to breathe correctly and not feeling continually ill will help my energy level as well.
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The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow




What a gloomy gray cold and drizzly day.  Oh well, my food choices have been almost acceptable today.  I truly believe that starting my weekends with my Saturday morning OA meeting is cathartic.  This week I said the words out loud, I admitted that for the past months I have been in relapse.  I began again with the first step.  I admitted that I was again powerless over food and that my life was once again unmanageable. 
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Determination for today

Determination: 
  1. the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.
  2. a fixed purpose or intention 
  3. fixed direction or tendency toward some object or end 


For today...I am determined to make smart decisions.   I am determined to have a positive outlook.  I am determined to do something fun.  I am determined to get some sunshine.
For today...I will be grateful for all the good things in my life; for a loving husband, for amazing children, for a nice home, for cars that run.  I will not focus on things like the price of gasoline, or where grocery money is coming from this week.  I will focus on the positive and not the negative.

For today...I will take joy in every moment of my two year old son.  Even the moments when he isn't behaving because he is healthy, he is happy and he is about the funniest little guy I have ever been around.

For today...I will appreciate all aspects of my six-year-old daughter.  I will wonder at her creativity, I will glorify in her strength and I will know that her dramatic nature will serve her well in life.

For today...I will take wonder in all the parts of my six-year-old son.  I will sit in awe of his gifts with letters and numbers.  I will giggle at his inability to get all of his clothes on right side out.  I will be amazed as he beats me at yet another video game.


For this amazing day I will be grateful to God.



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Warning Guys, this is girl talk

I was raised in an era (wow that word makes me feel old) where PMS was the basis of many comedian's jokes, of many TV shows skits, of much eye rolling.   So when I hit puberty and life became a roller coaster ride it was incredibly difficult to talk about it with anyone.  I really think that many of my food issues stem from, or were at the very least multiplied, by my fluctuating and out of control hormones.  For some women PMS was a hassle, a little bloating and some food cravings for a few days before their period and life moved on, for some it was more serious with mood swing, back pain and cravings.   For me it was chaos.  Half of the month I was a happy normal young teenager who ate like any other person, laughed at jokes, interacted with friends and enjoyed life (well as much as any normal teen does).  The other half of the month I was depressed, angry, binging on salty or sweet food, sequestering myself in my room and just feeling crummy.

It wasn't until after I was married, went through fertility treatments, birthed twins and tried to get back to "normal" that I got answers.   I was diagnosed with PMDD.  Looking at the list of symptoms (I experienced each and every one) I wish I had put it all together years sooner because once it was diagnosed I found what, for me, were miracles.



Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

PMDD; Severe PMS
Last reviewed: December 22, 2010.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when or shortly after her period begins.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes of PMS and PMDD have not been found.
Hormone changes that occur during a woman's menstrual cycle appear to play a role.
PMDD affects between 3% and 8% of women during the years when they are having menstrual periods.
Many women with this condition have:
Other factors that may play a role include:
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Being overweight
  • Drinking large amounts of caffeine
  • Having a mother with a history of the disorder
  • Lack of exercise

Symptoms

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include a least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.
Five or more of the following symptoms must be present to diagnose PMDD, including one mood-related symptom:
  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Feeling of sadness or hopelessness, possible suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Feeling out of control
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Mood swings marked by periods of teariness
  • Panic attack
  • Persistent irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
  • Problems sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
My Dr. prescribed Lexapro© for me.  Lex is frequently used to treat PMDD and for me it has been a miracle drug.    My emotions and moods are now normal and although I feel a full range of appropriate emotions in any situation I don't go through a two week funk every month.  This also helps with my eating behaviors.   Yes, I still experience some  PMS symptoms, I go through some cravings for two or three days before my period, I often have headaches (but since I have chronic sinus issues that isn't always a sign), and I can be a tiny bit teary but on a scale of one to ten my symptoms, on their worst months, maybe hit a three while there were many months before my diagnosis that I was at a  ten to the nth power.

This post was brought on because I woke up this morning to my period.  The realization hit me, "Oh, that's why I had two bags of (light) popcorn last night instead of one".   That's the difference between then and now. 

If only I could blame all of my food issues on the PMDD I would be home free but sadly it isn't the cause of all of my foibles.   I struggle each day to handle my food.  Some days I succeed better than others.  Rarely do I have a completely out of control day but they do happen.  Today I weigh 60 pounds less than I did one year ago.  To me that is an amazing thing.  For now my only weight goal is to maintain and to track my food.  I have had such an emotionally and physically challenging few months that maintaining is a success in itself.  I have another week on this maintenance goal and then I am going to drop my intake slightly and give myself a loss goal of about 2 pounds a month.  I still have 70 pounds to go to get to my goal but am determined to do it.


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Doing better

Okay, so I am doing better.  My compulsions to overeat aren't as strong as they had been.  I have been eating fewer carbs and more protein.  I have been up and moving more.

This weekend was a huge emotional roller coaster.  Friday I accepted a job at a local daycare center and almost immediately regretted the decision.  I spent most of the next seven hours sobbing.  It wasn't the thought of working that had me overwrought but the thought of entirely changing our family dynamic.  Luckily my husband, in all of his (if slightly belated) wisdom came to this realization as well.  The benefits of me working full time were far outweighed by the sacrifices our family would have to make. 

As the arrangements for the job were running through my mind I quickly realized that I would be working for just slightly more than three dollars an hour after paying child care expenses for our youngest and the twins.   I have been a stay at home mom since the twins were born.  We weren't planning on any of our kids going to daycare, mostly because  we knew it wasn't an option with the cost of daycare for three.  When I started applying for jobs several months ago it was with the understanding that I would apply for things that would either work around my husbands' schedule or there would be very little overlap allowing us to leave the two year old with someone he already knows well and the twins would have come home to her after school for just a few minutes until hubby got home. 

Well, I wasn't getting interviews and I threw my hat in the ring for this job.   However, when reality hit the thought of clearing $130 a week didn't seem important enough to put Chance into full time care.  To make the kindergarteners spend 40 minutes on a school bus each day.  To give up on all the sacrifices we had made over the past six years that allowed me to be home up to this point. 

The thing is, we aren't desperate for money.  Sure we are tight, we live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes "emergencies" come up but we are always able to handle them.  So, for now, we are going to continue on with our family the way it is.  Well, kind of.  We have some plans in the works to increase my income.  I have a small crochet business that has been growing slowly but we are going to add some oomph to it.  My husband is going to start producing some artwork to sell.  We are going to start working together to scrimp and save any little bit that we can.

Amazingly, through it all my food hasn't been terrible.  Not perfect but not terrible. 
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Relapse

I guess I just need to admit that I have been in a total relapse.  Recovery has not been part of my life for nearly three months.  I have gained 7 or 8 pounds since injuring my ankle.  When we went to Disney in November I allowed myself too much leniency and started the downhill journey to all of my old habits.  Reinjuring my ankle which was followed by a surgical repair just added to the stress and I began eating trigger foods again.  3 weeks on my butt on crutches and rarely getting out of the house pushed me over the edge into a mild depression and the weeks of snow on the ground while I was in my walking cast kept me indoors for longer than I had anticipated.  I am hoping that my finally increasing mobility is a step in the right direction. Between the weather, family illness and my surgery I have missed several OA meetings over the past months.  I haven't been communicating with my sponsor at all.  I haven't used the tools I have been given.


I have started using SparkPeople again and changed my goals to maintenance right now.  I plan to add a 2 pound weight loss goal every two weeks starting from today.  So for this moment, my goal is to stay the same for the next two weeks.  In two weeks I will change my goal to 2 pounds less than I am now, 2 weeks after that I will change it to 4 pounds less than I am now.  I don't intend to lose weight that fast but this is an easy way to slowly step my calorie count down without going from 2500 calories a day to 1500 and having to fight the urge to binge.  




I am not going to ramble on more.  I am tired.  My ankle is sore from getting more use than usual and my house is a disaster.

For my family
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Today

I have been alive for 37 years today.  It doesn't seem possible.  As I worry about blood sugar issues and my relapse into food addiction I can't help but realize that my life is almost half way over.  I hope that starting now I will be able to make better decisions and give myself every possible advantage to live a long one.     
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I think I pushed it too far

I think these last out of control months may have pushed me from borderline diabetic right into the fire.  I am going to get in to see the Dr. and have lab work done this week.  I am having headaches and feeling light headed, getting shaky and more.  I am not overly thirsty though which gives me a bit of hope that it is all still sinus related but since it almost always coincides with a high-carb meal I am not holding out too much hope.
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Letting go



This is my prayer for today. 
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I never thought



One of my dear friends is the mother of a gender non-traditional child.  Today she posted a link to this song and the lyrics to it.   This song has to mean different things to different people.  For me, it simply reminds me that God doesn't make mistakes. 

I have really been struggling these past few months.  Struggling with letting God take the reigns of my control.  I often feel like a failure like something was messed up with me from the get go.  I love the message of this song.  I am not a mistake, I am just human.

I began to once again wonder if I have some seasonal depression issues.  If maybe I need a tweak in my medication during the winter months.  Both times in my life that I have been on the road to health the journey has come to a screeching  halt when the gray gloomy skies of fall have set in.

I am tired and ready for the sun.  It has been over 50 degrees for the past 3 days and we still have snow on the ground...that gives you an idea of how much snow we had.  I need to be up and moving.  I need to be using my brain.  I have an interview this morning.  It is a job at the school my big kids go to.  It is an after school position as a child care assistant.  9 years ago I was the director of the school age child care program at that school so I am hoping that my experience gets me the job.  It would help our finances so much for me to have a regular income.  Also, it would get me out of the house and doing something productive every day.   The twins would be able to come to the program for free until my husband picks them up around 4:15 each day.  This means we only need to have about 90 minutes of care for our youngest each day and we have the worlds' best babystitter who will do that for us affordably.  So here's hoping that it all pans out.


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Love



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Uh oh!

Has it really been two weeks since I last posted?  I am horrified to find that out.  Wow!  Let me say this.  It works if you work it.  When you stop working the program you lose your way pretty fast.  I am trying to re-connect with my sponsor who has been amazing while I have been slacking.  I am about 4 pounds up from where I was before my surgery.  That sucks!  I need to get back on track and have been having a terrible time doing it.  Following through is my problem.  EEK.  I am out of my cast now though.  In a walking boot.  I am slightly more mobile.  The sun has been out and we are going to try to get to the zoo tomorrow. 
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Tools of recovery

From OA's Tools of Recovery 
 In working Overeaters Anonymous’ Twelve-Step program of recovery from compulsive overeating, we have found that a number of tools are available to assist us. We use these tools—a plan of eating, sponsorship, meetings, the telephone, writing, literature, anonymity and service—on a regular basis, to help us achieve and maintain abstinence and recover from our disease.

Sometimes I forget to use the tools I have been given.  Sometimes I try to do this alone.  But I have all of these tools at my disposal.  I feel like it is time for me to spend a little while concentrating on these tools.

A plan of eating--My plan of eating revolves around using SparkPeople to set healthy goals for my daily food intake.  When I am staying on program I track my food daily, in fact I try to track it as quickly as possible just before or after a meal.  One of the first signs for me that I am slipping is that I "forget" to track my food.  Also, eliminating trigger foods has been key and when I decide to add those foods back in is when I start slipping.  For me trigger foods include, chocolate, most cookies (I seem to do okay with oatmeal), potato chips, most fried foods, white flours, and white sugars.  Some people may look at that list and think "Why bother eating?" but I have discovered that if I avoid those foods I don't crave them anyway.

Sponsorship--I have a fantastic sponsor who has been in the program for many years.  I am terrible about taking the time to actually talk with her.  I have been using email faithfully but still forget sometimes.  It is time for me to take the time learn from her experiences and her insights so I can move forward.

Meetings--Life has been so out of control busy lately that I have missed several meetings and I hate that.  My personal goal is to make at least 11 out of the next 12 meetings.

Telephone--I have the numbers of some of the most amazing and supportive people and I don't use them.  My goal is to use one of those numbers each week just to touch base.

Writing---I need to work harder on blogging.  Taking the time to come here and get my feelings out.  Like now, I was wanting to eat for no reason and decided to write instead.

Literature--I want to set aside 20 minutes each day to read.  Whether it is a meditation that I read or a chapter in a book it doesn't matter.

Anonymity--the foundation for the group and our ability to be open about the issues that plague each of us.  I am very grateful for a place where I can do that.

Service--I haven't had the opportunity to do much for the group but I hope that day comes soon.


For now, I have my twins' 6th birthday party to get prepared for.  It is tomorrow afternoon and the house is in need of an overhaul.
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Healing

I need to remember this song.  I have spent the last two months forgetting to let God lead me.  Even if you aren't a religious person there is always a voice inside of you telling you what the right choice might be.  Some might call it intellect, some would say it is instinct, some might call it conscience.  At this time in my life I choose to believe it is the way that God expresses His will for me.  Whatever beliefs you have you can always listen to the voice inside of you that is leading you down the healthy, healing path.





Healing myself is the point of the journey, right?  There is a part of me that is NOT healthy and I need to fix that part of me.  I can't do it alone.  I try to remind myself of that daily.  Today I dumped a package of frosting mix down the drain after preparing and eating another one.   I am not healed.  It was easy 2 months ago to "think" I was healing because I had lost nearly 65 pounds.  If I could do that, if I could stay abstinent for 99% of six months time then my addiction must be a thing of the past.  I knew that wasn't true but I sure tried to convince myself that it was.  For the past two months I have been out of control, not as out of control as I was 8 months ago, a year ago or 5 years ago but still out of control.


At some point I decided, without discussing it with my sponsor or even other OAs that it would be okay to add trigger foods back into my diet.   Again, the sugar needs to leave my house, the chocolate needs to stay out of my house, the ice cream needs to be here in single serving containers.   The fried foods need to be eliminated, including things like potato chips.  If I need crisp and salty there are wheat pretzels and light popcorn.


I have started the past two days with breakfasts filled with healthy proteins and complex carbs.  I have found my body sated for longer periods of time but my mind has still screamed for a fix.  For sugar, for fat, for binges.   It is so hard to see myself in this place again.  5 months ago I felt so healthy and so positive.  It has been a really difficult couple of months and I have allowed myself to relapse. 


I have created a little poster to hang up and remind myself of the basics.



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SLACKER!

I am one!  I will admit.  So much has happened over the past 3 months that I just haven't been concentrating on my recovery, my healthy, my weight loss.  We are looking for a place to live as our landlord and landlady need to sell our house, my repeated ankle injuries followed my surgery have certainly impacted my energy level and simply my ability to be up and move, my kids and their tantrums had me running to the Supernanny for help---literally.  



I am determined to get back on the recovery bandwagon though.  This is important to me.  I had a little less than 3 weeks until my walking cast comes off.  I am hoping to be pain free shortly after that.


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Life has come crashing down

My dreams that were in the making are now on hold.  My financial aid has fallen through and I won't be back in school this semester.  It looks like it will be at least fall before I can get things straightened out.   This puts a wrench in all of our plans.  It keeps us from having the money that we need to move.  We are still looking for places to live.  We have decided to stay in our community so we can keep the kids at the same school they go to now.  I am struggling so hard with my food.  I keep looking at the positive side though, every year recently over the holidays I gain 5-10 pounds.  I haven't done that this year.

The good part of this week is that I get my walking cast on Friday.  I am so ready to be mobile again.
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A New Year and a New Day



I didn't stay up to ring in the New Year last night.  I have three young children and just don't have that much energy.  I did get up early to go to my OA meeting.  There couldn't be a better way to kick this year off than to remember my addiction and to look forward to the rest of my journey to recovery.
 
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