Saturday, June 18, 2011

Emotional Hunger!

Saturday, June 18th 2011

I missed writing yesterday - I intended to do it a few times then got distracted and just neglected to. Shame on me! Friday was a good day. My cousin did my grocery shopping and well, the compulsive overeater (lil fatty) in me always feels more calm when I know there is enough food in the cupboards. It's funny because I was in no way out of food - I was just out of my usual food that I like to eat everyday.  My cousin brought another cousin and her two small children with  her to visit. I had to admit, being around small children sometimes makes me feel self conscious. Kids are so honest sometimes and I guess that's where the saying, "Out of the mouths of babes!" came from - I'm always waiting for them to ask why I'm so fat or some question that will make me want to crawl into a shell of embarrassment. I haven't seen these two young cousins in years, literally. They are 9 and 7. I have talked to them on the phone and they've seen pictures of me but not in person since the 9 year old was about 3 or 4. I was so shocked at how sweet and loving they were towards me. I wasn't prepared when the 9 year old - a boy, hugged and kissed me hello. They both gave me a hug and kiss goodbye as well. They are very well mannered little kids. It was nice visiting with them.

While my cousin, L was here she gave me a huge compliment. She walked in and said OMG LOOK AT YOU!! I hadn't seen her for about a month (the last time she brought me groceries) and according to her the weight I've lost in that month is extremely noticeable. I can't lie, that felt AWESOME to hear. I can tell the saggy skin on my stomach and  even my face seems smaller but it makes it feel even more real to hear from someone else. Now here is where the strangeness comes in at. I am scared to death!! I'm afraid of losing weight, of being 'normal'. I have spent so many years being big and hiding from the world that now that I am losing weight and will soon be able to do things like the average person - I am terrified. People will expect things from me, I won't be 'Jennifer the girl that's too fat to work' or 'Jennifer the girl that can't go to family functions because she's too fat'. What if I fail? What if I'm not good enough? Smart enough? Or just ...... enough? All these fears played on my mind all day Friday and all day Saturday. I wrestled with emotional (head) hunger all day along and YES, I over ate. This is the part of my journey I hate admitting to but if I didn't - it wouldn't be a true blog of my ups and downs through this journey of finding myself. So without further ado, here is what I ate today. It started out good then went down hill by 4pm.

Breakfast - Hungry Girl Smores Oatmeal
Lunch - 3 Turkey Hot Dogs (plain), 1c FF Cottage Cheese w/ blueberries, strawberries, a peach and blackberries (pictured above).
Dinner: Waffle Dip (2 waffles, 1/4c egg omelet,  1 slice ff cheese, 2 turkey sausage links), 1/4c SF  Syrup, 2 extra Turkey Sausage Links, 4 Chocolate Chips Cookies (90 calories per cookie!!! ACK!)
After Dinner - 3 Slices of Wheat Bread Toast w/ butter and SF Strawberry Jam, 2 String Cheese and a Fiber One Bar
11pm 'Snack': Hungry Girl SMores Oatmeal
For a grand total of.... 2,450 calories! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I am SO embarrassed to have to admit that. Yes, it could have been WAY worse. Back in the day I'd eat whole pizzas and 2 liters of soda without blinking an eye. But today, this is horrifying to me. I had planned on just not admitting it but what is that going to do? I ate it - it's not like not talking about it will make the calories roll back. My head screamed hunger all day - even when I ate the 'after dinner' meal about 30 minutes after my dinner. My stomach was full, I felt the fullness yet still pushed more food in my mouth in an attempt to shut my brain up. I didn't work and even as I lay here now, physically full my head is ticking, wondering what else I can eat. I refuse to eat any more thought. DAMMIT!! I hate times like this. I know its the stress that is making me feel hungry, I know it all too well. I wish I could just deal with life normally and not want to eat my face off over everything, big and small stuff. After a day like today I think about my goals and plans for the future and it all seems further away.

Ok, so here's what I need to do. Pick my butt up and move forward. Yes, I ate too much/too many calories/points. Yes, I felt/feel stressed but is eating going to fix that? NO! I am done eating for the day - I had more than enough to physically fuel my body - my next meal is breakfast. A new meal and a new day. I can make the choice to do better and I will. My plan for tomorrow is 3 small meals, 120oz of water and my 7 minutes of marching along with 25 squats. I know what I need to do and I WILL do it. It's a choice. I will make the right choices. If my head decides to try and take control of my stomach I will politely thank it for inserting the insanity and then dismiss it. I will ask myself, "Are you REALLY hungry?" If I still answer yes, I will drink water first then wait 20 minutes. If I'm still hungry then perhaps I need a small snack. If not - it's the squirrels chattering again. In Overeaters Anonymous they say the squirrels is the insanity of the disease that you listen to. I've always remembered that and always refer to my crazy thinking as the squirrels. :)

I have come so far already and accomplished so much, I refuse to ruin this chance I have at a real, normal life. This is my time to shine. My time to find out who Jennifer is. I will conquer this, I will reach my goals and NOTHING will stop me. There will be hard times like today and bumps in the road but I will continue moving forward. I CAN and WILL do this!!

So with all that being said - I am off to shower and then get ready for bed. Being able to shower daily is a luxury for me now. There was a time in my life when showering was not a daily thing. As embarassing as that is to admit. Being close to 700 pounds made cleaning myself difficult and add the depression factor to that, I sometimes just didn't care. Now almost 200 pounds later - I love sitting in the shower on my shower chair - letting the warm water run over me, soaping up with pretty smelling shower gels. It's small things like that - when I stop to remember where I was make the extra food just not worth it. I need to remember that next time. okay, enough ramble. My Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea shower gel is waiting! Stay tuned....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big Ol' Bunch of Blah!

Thursday, June 16th 2011
Blah! I don't know if, BLAH, is a real word but it sure does describe a lot for me right now. I feel BLAH, I look BLAH and well you know - blah, blah, blah! It's a terribly dreary, rainy day and my mood suits the weather well. I have felt anxious and depressed most of the day - funny, my last blog post bragged about being panic free. I must have jinxed myself. I can't say that I've had a panic attack just a lot of anxiety. I know what set it off too. I woke up to the phone ringing this morning and I went to reach for it and kind of pulled a muscle in my chest/shoulder area. Nothing serious just an, "Ouch, I moved wrong!" kind of thing - then that sent my mind reeling convinced I was having a heart attack. It's one of those times where logic says, I'm not but my head says OH MY GOD YOU'RE DYING!!. Of course, instead of listening to logic, I listen to my head.

It's thundering now - nothing major, just some rumbles. I have to admit I have come to enjoy thunderstorms more this year than ever. Living in a building with a generator is nice! :) S texted me this morning to let me know her Dr's appointment was yesterday instead of today and missed it - she rescheduled for next week. Still praying things go well for her. After waking up and feeling anxious I didn't exercise like I had planned - I was afraid and let that fear dictate my actions. Instead I just laid in bed and stared out the window. Waiting. BLAH!! Finally around 1pm I decided enough was enough - I got up and fixed a turkey sandwich, my first meal of the day. When I get anxious I tend to not eat then when the anxiety passes I am starving and ready to eat everything in sight - not good. I ate and then did my 25 squats. I do them the way I saw the man on Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition do them. He starts in a sitting position on a chair and then stands and sits without using his hands to help. I get to 10 then start getting winded - but you really can feel the "burn" in your legs after just 25. I really hope all these little exercises will help me get stronger. I have decided to add 2 minutes to the marching and 10 to the squats for next week. I have to admit, I am losing motivation to exercise. My body isn't enjoying it and well, I don't like it either. BUT...I'm not going to reach my goals by just sitting here wishing things would change. The only way to change is to get up and make the changes. No one said this was going to be easy but it sure is worth it. When I feel the sand between my toes and the sun on my face and smell the ocean water - I won't every doubt if it was worth it. I'll KNOW!!

So I watched Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition this week and WOW, how inspiring. That guy looked great. I loved the part when he was on the floor, sweating profusly saying he couldn't do it and was going to vomit - the trainer, Chris got in his face and was telling him he could do it and to not give up. He got him a waste basket and told him to go ahead and vomit and keep moving! I really need someone like that in my life. During the course of the show the guy confided that he had been sexually abused as a child and had began turning to food to cope. I started thinking about my past and how similar it was to this mans. I was physically and sexually abused by my Father from as early as I can remember until about 6 months before my parents divorced when I was 12. The physical abuse started much later probably around the age of  8 or 9 - about the time when I started fighting back and became resistant to the sexual abuse. Let me clarify, I was never ok with the sexual abuse, I didn't like it but being so young and scared I didn't know what would happen if I did fight back. When I did begin fighting back I would get hit and slapped - once I got kicked in the back, down a flight of stairs while he was wearing steel toed boots. I don't remember the actual fall but I do remember laying at the bottom of the basement stairs unable to move. My Mom wasn't at home at the time and my Dad told me if I didn't get up and "act right" by the time my Mom got home, he'd kill her. Naturally I was scared thinking he actually would do it so I got up and went along with the story of - I was climbing a tree in the neighbors yard and fell out, landing on my back. I remember after the abuse which usually took place at my Grandparents house, my Dad would always take me to a fast food restaurant to get me  to stop crying or to just shut up. I remember many times at school dreading the end of the day and having to go home. At lunch I would eat my normal serving of food then stay in the cafeteria at recess and eat an extra helping or two almost everyday. The lunch lady and I became pals and she would feed me well. Food very quickly turned into a comfort for me.  Even after the abuse ended and my Dad was no longer a part of my life I continued to drown my confused feelings in food. Even today, now - when I think about the past, I feel my hunger creeping in. I know it's not the actual food I crave but the comfort it gave me.

Talking about the past is scary. Not many people know about the abuse. Everyone always thought of my Dad as a good guy. Even to this day just this past weekend as a matter of fact, I got a message on Facebook from someone I went to school with who knows my Dad and his current wife/family. She was letting me know my Dad had broken his hip and was in the hospital - the words she used we're almost as if she was trying to shame me for not speaking to him in 20 some years but I'm sure she doesn't know the reasons behind it - I can guarantee he didn't tell anyone and I didn't feel as if it was any of her business, so I didn't either. I thanked her for letting me know and told her I hope things went well for him then left it at that.  It didn't effect me one way or another - I was surprised at my lack of emotion towards it. A couple of years ago I'd have been truly upset by not only hearing his name but by having to think about him. Now, I feel nothing. I try to be a good Christian and in trying, I do not wish ill well on anyone - even him. I guess that's progress, right? Not sure.

The storm is over but the sky is dark and looks like more rain/thunder is on the way. I am going to dig through the kitchen and see what I can throw together for dinner. Tonight is movie night, I hope it won't be another stinker like Super 8 turned out to be. Blah! :) Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Short n' Sweet!

Wednesday, June 16th 2011

I have been panic free for the last 2 days - what a miracle! Thank you, God! Funny thing though, as I began to type this and I remembered that, I felt a bit anxious! Ha, how funny - luckily that feeling passed without further incident! It was another one of those, "okay" days. But hey, I like those days compared to bad days. I feel sleepy now - I had planned to blog about the show I watched, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition but I think I am too sleepy to put my thoughts together and have them make sense!! I did 7 minutes of marching in place this morning followed by 25 squats this afternoon. My legs are sore and I feel like I weigh twice as much as I do - I guess that's normal for just starting out. I took 2 Advil - now I am going to load some YouTube videos to watch while I fall asleep.

Lunch: 1 Chicken Breast with sauteed green pepper and red onion, 1tbsp sour cream, 1/4 c cheddar cheese, and 2 flour tortillas. Water + Multi Vitamin!
Dinner: 1 Chicken Breast, 1c Three Pepper & Onions, 1C Brocolli, 1C Whole Wheat Pasta, 1/4C FF Italian Dressing. Water.
Snack: 1/2C FF Vanilla Yogurt and 3/4C Kashi Heart to Heart cereal. Water.

The best friend has a Dr's appointment in the AM - I hope she gets some answers and pray nothing serious is wrong. I will be up early doing the AM exercising, waiting to hear from her and hopefully getting groceries as well. Mmm, the smell of summer rain and the sound of thunder - what perfect sleeping weather. I haven't use the A/C in 4 days now - LOVE IT!! Stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

7 Down!!

 Tuesday, June 14th 2011 - 12:22pm

Seven minutes of marching in place - done! Hard and kinda sad to think I'm so tired after just seven minutes. But, progress. Last week I didn't even have the willingness to get up and do it. This week - twice already. Yesterday I did six minutes, today, so far I've done 7 minutes. 11, 11:05, 11:10, 11:15, 11:20, 11:25 and 11:30 - each time for one minute. The last three I was dragging, I have to admit. I just kept telling myself, "Keep pushing Jennifer, you can do it!" and "DON'T GIVE UP!!"

Now I'm laying here resting and pretty worn out - I'm embarrassed to admit how tired I am but yanno, this is my reality and God willing, I will NOT be in this position forever. I'm working on changing whats not working and being honest about myself and my situation is part of that change. Before I would lie or change the subject when I got uncomfortable in talking about myself, my weight and my situation. Avoiding got me to where I am today - no more of that. I'm facing it head on!! Perhaps someone else in my very same or similar situation will read this someday and it can encourage or give them hope that change is possible. I can't wait to read this post a year from now and see how my life has changed!

I'm still deciding on whether to do another 7 minutes this afternoon or that would be too much too fast. I guess I will wait until this afternoon and see how my body feels. I have a feeling Advil will be my BFF for the next few days! :) Stay tuned...

Long Time, No Blog!

Tuesday, June 14th 2011

Long time no blog! I can't believe it's been 3 days since my last blog. I started a blog entry  on Sunday but Windows updated and I clicked to restart before I remembered I hadn't hit publish. Blah - the whole thing was lost. So here I am, Tuesday morning or Monday night depending on how you look at it but it's early Tuesday morning here on the East Coast.

Let's see - Saturday was a truly awesome day! S got here around 5:30pm and we sat and chatted for a bit then ordered dinner. We had pizza and I am proud to say I only had 2 slices - there was no obsessing over having less or more and I was satisfied. I also didn't over indulge in alcohol either. I had 2 glasses of Sprite/Coconut Rum and 1/2 a glass of Mudslide. Wow, is the Mudslide STRONG!! It was good but has a very strong vodka taste as the first taste. After the vodka taste leaves you taste the good chocolate milk flavor. I wasn't drunk or tipsy even - just relaxed. We sat and talked until 11pm when her husband called to ask when she was coming home. I didn't think about my panic or anything stressful all evening and I felt good, relaxed and HAPPY!! I really think having a girls night did me better than any prescription a Dr could prescribe. We're already planning our next girls night! :) I'm excited already! It felt like we were back in high school again, hanging out in her bedroom, talking about all the kids at school we liked (or didn't like). Back then we were inseparable. Our Mom's always bought us the same Christmas gifts because they knew we'd see each others and want it. There is a part of me that is sad we missed out on almost 15 years of each others lives but there is also a bigger part of me that feels blessed to have her back in my life.  So after S left around 11:30 or so I think I fell asleep before my head hit the pillow and slept for 8 hours straight. My poor cat was laying in front of me licking my face, almost begging for breakfast - or I'm sure I'd have slept longer.

Sunday was a bit of a bad day. My chest, stomach and back started itching and when I got warm or my skin got warm it would get red and feel even more itchy like something stinging me. That threw me into a panic wondering what was wrong. There was no rash just itching. I scratched my stomach in one area until it bled. Oops! It wasn't until Sunday even that I realized - all of the areas I was itching, I had sprayed a new perfume directly onto my skin. I showered and put lotion on, it still itched but much less. As I type, it is feeling MUCH better.

Monday was a very good day for me in the area of weight loss. I had been dragging my feet about exercising - finding a physical therapy plan to start my own rehabilitation. So today I decided enough is enough - I am still planning on going to the beach on June 5th 2011 and vlogging from there as my 1 year goal - both of my best friends have agreed to go with me to help me celebrate - SOOO there is no time to waste. I spoke with a nurse Monday morning, not treating me, just as a friend - she said the Dr she works for recommends marching in place to his morbidly obese patients as a beginning movement exercise. So that is just what I did. I marched in place 1 minute with 5 minute rests in between for 30 minutes - that averaged 6 minutes of exercise for 1/2 hour. I did that twice on Monday so 12 minutes of marching total. I know that doesn't seem like much but for not being active at all - it was a huge step forward. My upper legs are sore from using the muscles. I plan on keeping this routine except doing 12 minutes in the morning and 12 in the afternoon for the rest of the week. Next Monday I will move to 2 minutes every 5 minutes - 12 minutes every half hour. I am also going to pull out my hand weights and do some arm exercises as well.

My food for Monday was OK, not horrible but not great. I didn't eat breakfast. I had 1/2c spiral pasta w. 2tbsp italian dressing for lunch, dinner was 3 small blueberry pancakes w/ sugar free syrup and then around 11pm I had a turkey sandwich on wheat bread with fat free cheddar cheese and 1tbsp of fat free mayo. I had water to drink with each meal as well. I'm running low on my breakfast/lunch foods - my cousin is going shopping for me this week so I should get back on track normally soon!

Sending love and prayers for all - Until later....

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday, Friday!

Friday, June 10th 2011

Today was an okay day for me - nothing awesome, nothing horrible just, okay! Okay is good though - compared to the rough week I've had panic wise. I woke up and knew I had to get myself in gear, vacuum and just straighten up in general. Living alone, nothing gets very messy except the mountains of cat hair I vacuum up every few days. I swear, the cat should be hairless by now. I thought about taking a picture of all the cat hair I sucked up today then thought - naw, that's a little too creepy! LOL!!! I have a canister vacuum, bagless I guess you call it and the canister was full from just the livingroom and bedroom. I kid you not! Anyhow - when I woke up I started dreading having to get up. I still have it in the back of my head that my panic attacks are just heart problems in disguise. I started thinking, "What if my heart stops? What if I die?" Then I thought...STOP IT JENNIFER!! GET UP AND GET BUSY!! And I did just that - and guess what? I'm still alive! Yippie! It didn't take me long to get the place in tip top shape. I made a sweep of the livingroom area and kitchen then the bedroom. All I have left to do is the bathroom - which I will more than likely do in the morning. Then I will shower and relax until my friend gets here. I'm a little worried about that - her coming over. Not her, personally just having someone here - but I am glad it's her. As I said before we've been best friends for almost 30 years (we never stopped being best friends even when we drifted apart!) and I feel comfortable with her. She is bringing drinks and we will be ordering dinner in. That's another part that worries me. We'll probably be having pizza since I don't know any other type of food that delivers in my area. I read the nutritional facts for the pizza at the particular place I'm thinking of and with just regular cheese and pepperoni it's 215 calories per slice. Not horrible but not the greatest either.  I kind of have a loose plan of eating for tomorrow:

1/2c vanilla yogurt w/ 3/4c Kashi Heart to Heart cereal for breakfast 210 calories and for lunch a tortilla w/ deli turkey and a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese 235 calories for a total of 445 calories pre pizza. Then if I have 2 slices of pizza 430 calories that would take me to 875 calories so I might be okay with throwing together a side salad for us here and serving it with the pizza -  but that's not counting drinks. I have no clue the calorie content of  a Mudslide or Coconut Rum and Sprite!?! This is the part that stresses me out - I don't want to be pre-occupied with the calories and food all night. I have to admit I am really looking forward to having a few drinks though. As sad as this might sound, I have never had friends over or been out for drinks. I've had a wine cooler or a glass of wine at a holiday but have never even been tipsy before. Is it wrong to want to see what being drunk feels like? I know it won't become a habit as alcoholism runs in the family and I just don't have the money in my budget to buy alcohol on a regular basis. I rather buy candles! ;) LOL!! But anyhow - I figured it's safe to do it here in my apartment so no fear of looking like a complete ASS and I can just fall into bed if I need to. Pictures will be take for sure, to document the occasion!

I felt myself getting anxious a few times today - one small panic attack that only lasted a few minutes and as I type this I can feel a small amount of panic creeping in sooooo - I am off to crochet to take my mind off of it. We're in the middle of a pretty big thunderstorm so I will cut this short and write more tomorrow. Until then....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oh What a Difference a Day Makes!

Thursday, June 9th 2011
 Let me first start by saying, God is good! As bad of a day as Wednesday was, Thursday has been the exact opposite - an awesome day! I woke up panic free and that in itself made the day awesome. My best friend since childhood called and wanted to know if I was up for a girls night Saturday - I said YES!! I don't get to see S that often, she is married, has a 2 year old daughter and works fulltime, but we do keep in touch through phone, text and Facebook. It will be so nice to hang out with her though - face to face. We have been friends since I was about 6 and she was 4. Her brother and I are the same age and our Mom's were PTA parents together - they became best friends as did we. Growing up we were always together and I honestly have always considered her my little sister. Life happened and I burrowed myself away because of weight, panic and depression - our friendship suffered because of that. We went about 15 years with out speaking - not because we stopped being friends but because she was living her life and I had stopped living mine. A part of the food addiction, I pushed family and friends away replacing them with food and isolation. About two years ago after the birth of her daughter, we connected again. It has been a true blessing from God. Part of my motivation is knowing once I become more mobile I have a friend that I can do things with. I can't wait until the day I can say, "Wow, I have been on the go since dawn!!" Very exciting and motivational stuff. I'm truly blessed to have S in my life. She is a once in a lifetime friend. I actually have two - once in a lifetime friends, I'm a lucky girl. My other best friend lives in Florida, which is where I plan on living someday. Odd, random fact - both of  my best friends have the same first name. Weird, I know.

So that was actually the 2nd awesome thing that happened to me today. I woke up and made breakfast and as per usual I watch YouTube videos while I eat. I subscribe to a few people on weight loss journeys. Some have had weight loss surgery, some have not - all I find motivational and inspiring. This morning I watched a video from Becca (LosingItWithRebecca) - this week marked her one year "surgiversry" as those in the WLS community call it. Even though I have not chosen surgery for my self (after much consideration) I still find Becca (and others) and her journey so inspiring and that motivates me. I was watching clips she included of her before and during the past year. She looks AMAZING, I left her a comment telling her how beautiful she was inside and out. After watching her video it motivated even more - I felt inspired to take full body pictures of myself in just bra and panties. LOL, those I won't be sharing at this time - that would be waaaaaay too much skin to handle. Ha! ;) But I did a front, side and back and plan on taking new pictures every 3 months. Anyhow - in the midst of having this brainstorm I found a pair of panties that I had bought literally years ago, probably about 10 years or more ago. Tags still attached. At the time I bought them I knew they wouldn't fit but I had fallen in love with them. When you are "super obese" the simple things most take for granted like, cute panties, are things you miss out on - I've never had cute undergarments (I know this might be TMI, if so feel free to skip ahead!) and when I saw these I had to have them. I've kept them in the back of my drawer ever since - each time I'd come across them I'd take them out and look at them then out of frustration bury them in the back so I didn't have to be reminded of how out of control my life and weight was. Today I pulled them out and decided to try them on and guess what? THEY FIT!! Not only did they fit but they were comfortable.  And yes, I made a video of myself dancing around my bedroom in them. Again waaaaaaay TMI but hey, it's just for me and I am PROUD!! I found a pair of knee pants in my closet that do not fit - size 4X  or 26/28. My mini three month goal is to fit into them comfortably by September 9th. On that day I will post the video of them not fitting and with determination, them fitting!! :) I am so determined to do this now and I have Becca to thank for the renewed motivation. I want what she has - I want to look good and feel good. I want to do things without worrying about if I'll fit in seats or if I can walk that far, etc. I can do this - I WILL DO THIS!!

I walked to the elevator on my floor three times today, I cleaned the kitchen, I took trash to the chute and I decluttered around my bed. It was a good day, very, very good day! Now I am off to do some crocheting and video watching. I found a saying I had kept written in an old journal today, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of fear and the will to go on!"  I love that saying - how true it is. Sending prayers for all suffering and well. Until next time....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

From Bad to Good! Wednesday, June 8th 2011

Oh what a day! I woke up at 8am feeling pretty good, no anxiety although a little tired after not falling asleep until after 4am. I decided to feed the cat then lay back down for a bit. Big mistake! When I woke up again at 10am I could feel the anxiety creeping in - before long it surpassed creeping and hit me head on like a ton of bricks. I'm not sure what set my anxiety off this morning, maybe my messed up sleep schedule? Who know - all I do know is, it SUCKED!! I spent most of the day (until 5pm) battling the anxiety, trying to keep myself from totally melting down. I was sure I was going to have a heart attack at any moment, although I had no symptoms of one - just anxiety. I did manage to clean the bathroom and do dishes in between attacks. I did make breakfast around 10:30am right after waking up - I managed to eat half then got to sick to eat the rest. I hadn't heard from the home health nurse and Wednesday was usually her day to visit so, around 4:30 I called her. She told me that because there was nothing physically wrong with me, I was not being admitted as their patient and she wouldn't be coming back - which also physical therapy. I was so frustrated, I thanked her for letting me know and apologized for bothering her then hung up. I realize there is nothing wrong with me physically except unexplained neuropathy in my feet/toes which seems to have moved to my pinky finger now - but why would the Dr even bother sending them in the first place then? I tried to get ahold of the Dr yesterday - I think I talked about that fiasco. I am upset about the whole situation and at the time was hysterically crying. I called my cousin L in tears. I told her about how my day was going and the whole situation. Funny thing happened - after I had been crying for a few minutes and then listened to her voice of reason, I was completely fine. Every ounce of panic I had been feeling the entire day was gone. My stomach stopped hurting and my apprehension about the unknown was gone. AMAZING!! I have never experienced a  panic attack just end so fast, ever. Thank you, God!

  Anyhow - I spent a while sulking wondering what I was going to do now? All my plans and hopes for the future had started with physical therapy to help me be more mobile. Now that wasn't going to happen. I won't lie, I spent way too long feeling sorry for myself. But then something my Mom always said (and others) popped into my head. "God helps those who help themselves!" I've come a long way already - too far to just sit down and let this journey end before it really begins. Yes, I still need and want professional physical therapy and I will continue working on getting it but for now - I can start helping myself. I can either stay stuck or start fighting for what I want. For my dreams. For my goals - and most importantly to me, for what my Mom always wanted for me.  I'm going to Google physical therapy exercises, simple ones - nothing too complex to start. Just something to get me moving. I will post my goals for tomorrow later this evening once I have done a bit of research. I just wanted to make a quick post about the miracles God works. Things aren't going the way Jennifer planned but things are going the way God planned. Sure, it would have been easier to have PT start right away but for some reason (that only God knows) life happens. You can take many different paths on a journey and still end in the same place - sure, it might take a little longer to get there but who cares. As long as you get there! :)

More soon! Until then...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Tuesday Ramblings!

I was just sitting here reading some articles about addiction. Some "professionals" say addiction is hereditary while others feel it isn't. Personally, I think it is hereditary. My Grandfather was an alcoholic and gambler - his gambling addiction was betting on the greyhounds at our local track. I can remember more than once him coming to our home with a pocketful of money, passing out $100's like they were dollar bills. I also remember times when he'd come asking for money to buy food or to pay a bill - after losing every penny he had. Other times he would show up drunk, swearing he hadn't touched a drop of alcohol. Later we would find empty vodka or beer bottles in the driveway where he was parked. He had his license revoked twice for DWI or DUI, I don't remember which one - but it was only by the sheer grace of God he didn't kill someone or himself, driving drunk. My Grandparent's divorced when my Mom was only 2 years old - his drinking started way back then after he left the Army. My Mom grew up dealing with his alcoholic rants when he did show up to visit. I think that's why she had no tolerance for alcohol - she never had a drop until she was in her 50's and then it was a small sip of a wine cooler after we begged her to just try it. I can't say that I blame her - I can't imagine growing up with an alcoholic parent - I grew up with an abusive Father but that's a different story, for another day. I never thought about how much that must have influenced my Mom and perhaps part of the reason she herself, turned to food for comfort. My Mom struggled with weight her entire life, losing over 100 pounds two different times only to gain it all back. Growing up I never knew my Mom had an addiction to food - I don't think she even realized it either. I think we just thought, we liked to eat. Now that I know about addiction and binge eating, while I can't say for sure my Mom was a food addict, in my opinion she was. As am I. Food gives me comfort in the moment - sure afterwards there are feelings of guilt, anger, and shame about the food I ate and the reasons I ate it - but in the moment while I am eating, I feel soothed and like, everything is going to be okay. The guilt, shame and anger kick in and lasts for what seems like forever. That generally leads to eating more and again to stuff down those feelings. It's a vicious cycle that when I am participating in them, can last for literally days at a time.

I haven't binged in 3 months now. I think about it and how it would take all the panicked feelings away - if only for a few minutes but then I would have to deal with the anger, guilt and shame again. Honestly, at this point in my life - I am tired, too tired to deal with those emotions along with all the other feelings I'm sorting through. I'll always WANT to use food for comfort but it's just not worth it anymore. Food, an excess of it, has become more of a pain than a comfort to me now. I don't know where I was going with this post. I just started typing and this is where I ended up! Just ramblings of a food addict. More later. Until then....

Rainy Day - Tuesday, June 7th 2011

Blah, what a rainy day! Another morning waking up with panic - sometimes I feel as if I am complaining too much but that isn't my intention. I'm just journaling what my days are like so I can look back and remember how bad and be grateful when I am in a better place. It all started last night.  I was having a really good evening, no panic - relaxing and crocheting. Then an obnoxiously loud alarm started sounding on my floor. At first I thought it was in my apartment but after a trip to the front door I could tell it was coming from the hallway. I have been through a couple of fire alarms and this was different. When the fire alarm goes off the fire alarm boxes in each apart is set off with flashing lights and a pre-recorded voice explaining an emergency has been reported and to leave the building without using the elevators - but none of that happened last night. I sat on the edge of my bed, heart pounding, wondering what to do. I went to the front door and opened it but the alarm noise was even louder out there so I shut the door and came back to my room. After a few minutes of panicking - and wild thoughts running through my head of having to leave my apartment or worse yet, the building - I heard voices in the hall. I couldn't hear exactly what they were saying over the alarm but I did hear banging on a door and they were yelling for someone in that apartment to open the door. Eventually the alarm went off and I got enough courage to go to the door and peek into the hall again. Down the hall a few doors a group of people had congregated so I asked what was wrong. One very nice man told me that C, a very nice elderly lady, had pulled her emergency call alarm but they couldn't get her to open the door and they smelled smoke. There was choas and panic amongst the group of people. One elderly woman said, "C drinks and smokes in there and that just scares me to death!" Another woman said, "I smell smoke, they're going to make us leave, I just know it!" A man, the more calmer, cooler, voice of reason offered, "Well, the floor won't catch fire...that's why the walls are bricked. So there's no need to panic just yet!" The fire department arrived followed by EMS and while I don't know the details, from what I gathered C was smoking at the time when she fell and hit her head catching a pile of newspapers on fire. The fire department put the very small fire out and aired out the apartment. C was taken to the ER for a head wound and hurt arm. (I saw the apartment manager this morning and she didn't know about it but she said she saw C's friend when she dropped off C's rent check and she didn't mention anything so she didn't think it must of been anything serious...thank goodness!).

After everything got back to normal I realized how panicked I was and how mad at myself I was for letting myself get that way. Everything ran through my head from having to leave the building if there was no elevators working - having to use the stairs. Where would I go, what would I do? Just a million irrational thoughts at once. I was so mad at myself - here I was perfectly fine when poor C was the one who needed to be thought of, not myself and my own selfishness. I still am mad at myself. I guess the best thing to do is ask God to remove that defect from me and help me work on becoming less selfish and more aware of others.

So, I have been trying to write this entry for hours now - literally. I began around 1pm and it's now 4:15 as I type this. I have been struggling with panic and obsessive thoughts today - my worst day in a couple of weeks. I haven't done anything at all day except panic. I did manage to make a a tortilla with turkey and cheese for lunch - but have been too panicked to get out of bed let alone fix food or clean. Sometimes it feels like this is all too much to handle. Sometimes I wonder, why me? Sometimes I wish, just for one day, I could be "normal". I did call the Dr's office again today. The first nurse had no knowledge of my situation and said the Dr didn't make home visits. Not even five minutes after I hung up another nurse called me back saying he was trying to work me into the schedule but his schedule was tight right now and the best she could do was pass along my message. AHH! I'm so aggravated. I completely understand he is busy - he is a highly respected Dr in my town with a lot of patients and responsibilities but if I could at least get an answer to when I might get to see him, that would be a start. He does have a nurse practitioner that works with him, I'd even settle for seeing her. The RN's I've seen the last two weeks from the home health agency have been wonderful to me and I am so grateful for them both but they can't prescribe me medication or move forward with physical therapy until I see the Dr and he gives the "ok" for it. I feel like I'm not moving forward and part of that is my own fault, I know. I'm just having a bad day, I'm sorry for complaining so much.

I am going to do dishes and clean the bathroom - at least try to salvage a bit of the day so I won't have to say I wasted the entire day. Then - tomorrow will be a new day, a better day, I pray. Until then...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday, June 6th 2011 - Life Goes On!

Hello again! Day two and I'm here! :) It's just after 12pm noon here in my little corner of the world and I'm still eating breakfast. Not a typical thing for me. Most mornings I am up no later than 9am and eating breakfast around 9:30 - 10am but this morning I slept late. Last night was a bad night with anxiety - I fell asleep anxious and each time I woke up I laid there for a few minutes with my eyes open, wondering if or when the panic would start again. I feel anxious as I am writing this but have not had an all out panic attack. So I got up and made breakfast - I made a new recipe this morning from my Hungry Girl 300 Under 300 cookbook - Cinn-a-nilla Apple Oatmeal Parfait. (Pictured at the top!!) 240 Calories - it's good but not as good as my Morning Waffle Dip or S'mores Oatmeal, both recipes from the same book! 

Before I even made breakfast I made a phone call to my Dr's office - he is a great Doctor but along with being great, extremely busy, thus hard to get a hold of. It's been 2 weeks since my home health started and I've seen nurses twice but have yet to see him or get any info on medication, etc. My luck - the nurse I spoke with is on vacation until next week and the Dr himself is not in the office today - she told me to call back tomorrow. Lordy! I know - I need to have patience. Perhaps this is something God is trying to tell me. All things in His time and will. I just really want to get the ball rolling with physical therapy, medication and mental health therapy so I can start moving forward in strides instead of baby steps. But again, everything in HIS will and time. *Remember that, Jennifer!!!* 

So I left off with December being a hard month - emotionally. That spilled over into January and February. Those months the depression was worse than the panic. By the time March rolled around I was eating better - the bingeing stopped and the panic worsened and lasted through May. Much of that time is a blur to me. I spent literally all day, every day in panic mode wondering if I was dying, staring out my window wondering if anything would ever change for me. I was so far into the panic I would even forget to eat at times, sometimes a day or two at a time. That triggered stomach problems that only worsened my panic - thinking I was having a heart attack. In the middle of May my panic attacks kind of "came to a head" I guess you would say. I had the worst one I have ever had. It lasted 3 hours and I was close to calling 911. I sat through it though and after it passed I realized, I didn't die....amazing! With each panic attack after that I tried to remind myself of that one and how bad it was and how I lived through it - chances are I will live through them ALL.  Since then my panic attacks have been less severe - still very present but better. 

So - here I am today. Determine and ready to move forward with my life. I know my journey is not going to be easy but nothing in life is ever easy. Life is life and while I've had a lot of  tough stuff to deal with over the last year and through out my life, I have a lot to be thankful for. God has blessed me with a roof over my head, food to fuel my body, clothes to cover my big ol' butt and the knowledge that with Him...ALL things are possible. Over the next year I am going to work hard (I won't stop after a year, but this particular project is 365 days long!!) and accomplish goals I am going to set for myself. Some of the goals I already have in mind - some need to be thought out still, all of them will be listed here in this blog along with the dates I will accomplish them by. Life is meant to be lived. Life is too short to sit and waste time wondering, "what if". God has a plan and purpose for my life and serving Him and doing His will is extremely important to me. Sitting here in my apartment alone all day, every day is not full-filling His plan for my life. I will walk the path He lays out for me and not question the direction - I will listen to Him instead of myself. He knows best for me what and where I need to be! 

With that being is now after 1pm and I am still munching on breakfast - perhaps a sign I am not a fan of the cinnamon oatmeal yogurt dish, lol. I need to vacuum and clean my bathroom today - so that is what I am off to do before making a better tasting lunch!  I shall return. Until then....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Journey Begins!

Hi! My name is Jen and I am on a journey. Over the next year I will be blogging my journey of weight loss and self discovery. I'm not even sure where to begin - as there is much to tell. I guess I will start off with some of the most important facts about my life - "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say, will be told as I go. I am 35 years old and although I do not know my current weight, my highest weight in July 2010 was around 675 pounds. Over the last 10 months my life has changed dramatically - not just in the area of weight loss but in almost every aspect. Since July 2010 I have lost 170 pounds, although I suspect gained back 10 to 20 in the last 4 months. (I will be doing an official weigh in soon - so I will update then!) Prior to July 17th 2010 I had spent 4 years in my bedroom, in bed, only leaving the bed to use the restroom (which was about 5 feet from the bed!). Those four years are like a blur to me - while I remember it all, a part of me doesn't remember it either. Maybe I detached myself from the situation because it was painful and hard to deal with emotionally? I'm not sure. Part of the reason I did not leave my room/bed was because of my weight but the biggest reason was because I had convinced myself that if I left something horrible would happen - although I had nor do I have now, any idea what that horrible thing was. I know now that I am agoraphobic, I have severe panic attacks as well as depression.

The Change!
On July 17th my Mom (who was my caretaker in everyway) became unable to ambulate the steps to our 2nd floor bedroom. She had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease two years prior and her health was taking a downward spiral. So, we moved our bedrooms downstairs and made the livingroom into a bedroom. That day - leaving the familiarity of my bedroom was one of the hardest things I had dealt with - but not nearly as hard as what the next 2 months held in store. Our home had become close to unlivable because in my Mom's poor health and me not leaving my room, there was no cleaning or repairing taking place. The state of the downstairs area was overwhelming. I tried my best to clean the kitchen that evening - but having not been out of bed in so long added to my weight doing much to make a difference was close to impossible. I knew my Mom was slipping away from me - she was getting confused a lot and just wasn't herself. The next day around 10pm after a trip to the bathroom, my Mom fell. I knew right away there was something more wrong than just a fall. For the sake of rambling I will cut out some of the details but 3 days later after being admitted to the hospital she was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma that had metastasized to just about every organ in her body including her heart, bones and brain. After surgery to repair a broken shoulder (a tumor on her arm caused the bone to break) she was sent to a rehabilitation hospital. While there she suffered a stroke and it was later confirmed the cancer had spread to her brain causing bleeding with seizures and strokes. She was moved to a hospice hospital where she passed away on September 4th 2010 - less than two months after being diagnosed.  

Needless to say this was all so overwhelming to me. I was losing my Mom but if that wasn't hard enough to deal with I was left trying to cope with caring for myself and wondering how I would survive with no income and unable to work. The day after my Mom was admitted to the hospital my cousin V (I will only use initials for the sake of their privacy as I have not asked permission to use their names.) showed up at my door with groceries and offering to help clean. I was in shock - I had not seen V in years, literally. I was embarrassed about not only my living situation but my own appearance. I will just say that at close to 700 pounds hygiene was often put on the back burner. V insisted and assured me she was family and there to help and to let her help! And that she did. She called my cousin L to bring supplies and over the next 5 hours the house became livable again. While she was there we talked frankly about the situation and how I was going to have to step up and start taking care of myself and that started with my out of control weight. She offered the help if I was willing to take it. Scared and knowing I had no alternative I leaped at the offer. The next day she grocery shopped for me and brought me Weight Watcher material so I could begin an eating plan. Along with the help of L, they got the ball rolling for me to apply for disability and applications for apartments. At that time I was still hoping my Mom was going to be "ok" or at least I would have some time with her out of the hospital. I think I was in denial about that but I  never stopped thinking and dreaming about the life we'd have after she was healthy again, not until the night she passed away.

By August the weight was quickly falling off of me. I think most of the initial weight loss was water weight as well as the limited movement I was doing was more than I had done in literally years and enough to speed up my stalled metabolism. I was able to move better, walking was still difficult but was less of a struggle than the month before. The free clinic in my town agreed to make a home visit to give me a physical which was needed for my disability claim. By the Grace of God alone, I was healthy. My only side effect from my morbid obesity (I hate that term!!!) is neuropathy in my feet which I still have no answers as to why I have it. My blood work was all normal including cholesterol, glucose and whatever else they tested for. September was hard to deal with - my Mom passed away on the 4th...the little bit of money I had from her Social Security check was paying for the utility bills that month but then I was completely broke without a penny to my name. I had applied for an apartment through HUD but normally there is a long waiting list - another gift from God - the last week of September I received a phone call to inform me that there was an apartment available for me in a very nice neighborhood. It was an efficiency and my rent would be $25 per month since I had no income - which my family agreed to cover the cost of. I literally packed the things I needed along with the few clothes and keepsakes I had and for the first time in over four years - left my house. I was not only leaving the house I was leaving the ONLY home I had ever known. I had lived in that house through good and bad for 34 years. For the 2nd time in two months I felt like a piece of me was dying. I lost a piece of myself when my Mom died, now another piece was gone ..... my home.

My apartment is very nice - small - but nice! I am on the 3rd floor and my windows look out into a field, woods and lots of mother nature which gave me some comfort as it similar to the setting back home. My initial adjustment seemed easy. My cat kept me company as I worked on getting into a routine of cleaning, cooking and becoming a real adult on my own. I was approved for SSI not long after my move which was a huge blessing.  Then December came - facing my first major holiday without my Mom proved to be more than I could handle on my own. I slipped back into the food which was an old comfortable friend. I started ordering candy and junk food from an online drugstore and ordering pizza 2 or 3 times a week. This continued into the new year while swearing to family and friends I had no idea why I wasn't losing any more weight. I lied to them. For that I am embarrassed and ashamed but I am  telling the truth now in hopes of never repeating the same insanity that I went through.

There is much  more to my story and more about the journey that lies ahead for me but now - it is time for dinner. An abstinent, healthy, weighed and measured meal. :) I will continue where I left off soon! Until then...