Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Time off almost always throws me off (151.2)

Warning: minutia of the last 5 days coming up....

I took last Thursday & Friday off, and then was off yesterday b/c of Memorial day, so I had 5 days off in a row.

Thursday I spent all day working in the yard with my mom & step dad.  We trimmed every single tree we have and burned a ton of old branches that had built up under our holly trees (any time a big branch would fall, I'd drag it to the branch pile by the fence.  There were years of built up branches & it looked awful).  My step dad Bill cut down small unwelcome trees that had grown up in the holly trees and in our large bushes at the back of the house.  He trimmed the blue spruce trees that were dragging the ground on the front of the house. He trimmed our six bushes in the front.

Bill also brought us a large fire ring (which he made out of a large barrel--it's about 4 feet in diameter) so we can have a fire pit.  We burned all the branches. I couldn't believe how much we burned & how quickly it all burned up. 

The back yard is transformed.  I can sit outside now and enjoy myself.  I could never enjoy myself before.  I'd look at everything and be overwhelmed by how much needed to be done, and disgusted that it had gotten so out of hand. 

We also had a new couch (sectional) and recliner delivered on Thursday.  Our old furniture was 14 years old and was horrible.  Dirty, torn with stuffing peeking out, broken arm on the loveseat, pillows whose seams had come undone.  We would not invite people over to our house because it was so embarrassing. 

So the family room, which looks out on the back yard through the patio doors, is also transformed.  It's like a new house.  We can finally feel good about having friends and family over.  And I don't feel so defeated when I come home at night.

The kids went home with mom on Thursday night, because Mark & I went to Indianapolis for a work event at the 500 track on Friday.  At 9:30 Thursday night he asks if I want to go see Star Trek.  I was beat but no way was I saying no.  We saw it in IMAX.  Such a fun movie & 3D IMAX is incredible.

Friday we drove to Indy, spent two hours at the track, looking at the cars in the garage area and gawking at the drivers.  We aren't racing fans, but it is still cool to see famous people.  Dario Franchitti was 5 feet away from us on his golf cart.  I have a great picture of him waving at us.  He is a 3 time Indy winner and is married to Ashley Judd (although they are getting a divorce). He spent a lot of time signing autographs and taking pics with fans.  A really nice guy.  And gorgeous.

We picked up the kids Friday night on our way home from Indy.  They had had a good time at mom's. 

Sophie turned 12 Saturday, and her birthday party sleepover was also Saturday (4 girls including Sophie).  The weather was perfect.  Mark set up the tent and the girls sat out there and talked and played.  We spent the entire day outside.  We had a fire & roasted hot dogs for dinner and made s'mores when it got dark.  She had a wonderful day.

Luke loved being outside, too.  We played with his rocket launcher toy and played a short game of croquet.

We are indoor people by nature, so it was refreshing to get out & enjoy our backyard. 

Sophie's party was a lot of work for me.  I clean up after them as they go b/c I can't stand the mess.  I was on my feet for about 10 hours straight, which was worth it so Sophie could have a memorable party. The girls stayed up until 4 a.m.  They went home at noon on Sunday. 

Sunday we relaxed for a few hours, then we went shopping for a different recliner (didn't like the first one), then we went to our friends' house for a cookout.  It was another great day outside, and we all had a lot of fun. 

Monday we slept in and then hung out.  Sophie slept until 11:30, catching up from her late night.   I read a book & sat outside.

Then Monday afternoon I took Sophie bathing suit shopping.  Oh. my. gosh.  It was miserable.  She has a long torso but isn't fully developed up top. She's also very modest and won't wear a two piece, not even a tankini.  We went to five stores.  Tried on suits at Justice, which I thought would work but her torso is too long.  We tried on women's sizes and junior's sizes at Penney's, Old Navy, and Gordmans (went to Sears too but they had nothing for her to try on). Junior's suits are all too revealing.  And one piece suits are practically non existent.

We finally found a suit at Macy's.  It is gorgeous.  It was also a fortune, but we had spent almost 3 hours in frustration, and I just wanted to get her something she felt comfortable and confident in.  It is the most beautiful suit I've ever seen.  Sapphire blue with shirring on the front (which makes her more comfortable because it makes her tummy look flatter) and a white band at the top, with a white halter tie.  Size 6 womens, Ralph Lauren.  She'll be the best suited 12 year old at the pool.

I had no idea what size she'd be or that we'd have so much trouble.  She had no problem finding a suit last year.  If I'd known I would have looked at Land's End or Speedo, and measured her to get a good fit. She needed a suit today since they are going swimming this afternoon, so ordering wouldn't have worked anyway since I waited till the last minute. Live & learn.

So.  How does all this throw me off?  My food was allllll over the place.  I'd have a good meal then a crappy meal.  I ate more meat this weekend than I have in ages. I am still bloated from all the salt.  I didn't eat cake or ice cream or s'mores.  I didn't eat sugar.  I just ate too much and not high enough quality a few too many times.

This is a partial work week.  I'm working today and part of tomorrow, then taking Thursday & Friday off to be with the kids again.   I wanted to spend their first full week of summer break with them, at least as much as work would allow.

I have learned my lesson though, and will do a better job planning my food and our activities.  I don't want another long weekend with willy nilly food. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Graduation day and beginning of summer (149.6)

Sophie's promotion ceremony was yesterday. It's hard for me to grasp
she is now a 6th grader.

Her birthday is Saturday. She will be 12.

Last day of school is today. I'm taking a few days off to be with the
kids. All of us are ready for a break.

They have a busy summer planned, but for the first time they are not
doing a camp every week. My mom is keeping them for about 6 weeks
(mixed up between camps). I'm working 4 days the weeks she has them so
I can have them one day a week, which breaks up the days with grandma.

Here's Sophie yesterday before school.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cooking debacle (151.6)

(I don't know why I'm up a pound.  I had a great food day yesterday.  Probably pre-period weight.  Who knows.)

If there were ever a night for me to lose my sh!t, it was last night.

Before I picked up the kids at school, I went to the store and bought fruits, veggies, and meat. 

When I got home, the first thing I did was go light the grill.  Only the grill was totally and utterly broken.  My husband had told me the last time he grilled that it was shot.  It's been "shot" for a while, but we've been limping along with it.  Well, what he meant to communicate to me was "it's deader than a doornail."  The middle burner was completely rusted to the point it had collapsed.  No more grill.

Here I was with two pounds of chicken and two pounds of ground sirloin. I decided to dry saute the chicken after cutting it up into bite sized bits. 
I wasn't sure what to do with the sirloin; I don't like pan fried sirloin.  So it's still in the fridge, for me to figure out tonight.
I decided to use the wok and cook the veggies first.  I put the wok on the stove to heat it up.  I bought pre-cut squash and a package of snow peas, and I peeled & sliced a few carrots.  I put the carrots in first. The second I started tossing them, they were coated in black flecks.  The wok was toast.  You don't cook with a pan once the teflon starts breaking loose.

This had happened to my big cooking pan a few months ago.  I haven't replaced it yet, and have been using my small saute pan for pan cooking. 

I took the wok off the heat, poured the carrots into a strainer and rinsed the black flecks off.  Then I started crying. 

I hate to cook.  I don't cook enough.  Here I was, determined to cook a healthy dinner, and I was getting hammered on. 

My son asked if I was ok.  I said yeah, I'm just having problems with the grill and the wok and I'm frustrated and sad.  He asked if he could give me a hug.  He's such a sweet little boy, and very intuitive of other people's feelings.  His hug helped.

I turned on the oven, put the veggies in a baking dish, tossed them with garlic and salt & pepper.  When the oven was hot, I put the veggies in to roast them.

Then I got out my small saute pan, cut up the chicken, and cooked.  I cooked it one breast at a time (4 total--full butterfly breasts), and it didn't taste as good as it would have grilled, but it was passable. 

I made Sophie a salad with strawberries and chicken.

I gave Luke grapes, broccoli, and chicken nuggets. The grapes cost $4.50 for one pound.  He said they were all sour.  One more stupid problem! So he got strawberries instead; at least they tasted good.
Grapes are stupidly expensive, but they are one of two fruits that Luke can eat, so I buy them every couple of weeks. 
I finally sat down to dinner myself, after an hour of this debacle.  Then I spent another hour cleaning the kitchen--in addition to washing everything up and loading the dishwasher, I put away all the clutter that had accumulated in the hot spots (clutter landing spaces).  I swept the floor.  I was beat.
Sitting down to eat is something I'm working on.  My sponsor told me that I am worth the time it takes to sit and eat a meal.  In the past, I'd have taken bites between cleaning. I hate to eat while the kitchen is a mess.  Last night I let my OCD go and sat to eat.
I listened to my book on my playaway while I was cleaning, which helped distract me.  I get playaways from the library.  They are MP3 players the size of a credit card.  I'm listening to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series; I'm on book 2.

Then I went and sat outside on the deck for 30 minutes and listened to my book.  I took my sleep med, had the kids get ready for bed, tucked them in, and went to bed. 

No eating to drown out my feelings.

I woke up early this morning and read an OA book.  I got the kids' breakfast and lunch ready before they got up.  I was much more relaxed because I wasn't in a rush to get their lunches packed in time for the bus. 

I'm not as angry today.  I am still covered in fear, which is where all my negative emotions come from.  I have a lot I'm worried about--stuff I don't need to get into here--and I keep trying to give it away but the feelings won't leave me.  I talk with my therapist Wednesday. 

Choir is over for the summer, so I have Thursday's free.  Tonight I'm going to a second OA meeting this week.  I need it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't drive angry (150.6)

One of my favorite movies is Groundhog Day.  Remember the scene when Phil is driving with the groundhog on his lap, telling him "don't drive angry."   I love that scene.  It makes me laugh every time I see it.

I haven't been laughing lately, though. I have been angry.  Irrationally angry and irritable. Angry at little things and big things.  Angry almost all of the time. 

I may be anxious and depressed frequently, but consistent anger has not been an issue for me in the past.

After 3 or 4 days of this, I finally decided to research wellbutrin and anger.  Turns out anger has been a side affect for many people.  I'm not alone in feeling this way.

Wellbutrin has never caused this problem for me before.  I'm rather in a quandary.  I won't take an SSRI because of the proven (both scientifically and by my personal experience) weight gain side effect.  Wellbutrin is the only anti depressant that doesn't cause weight gain. 

I've been researching other treatments for depression.  It's the usual blah blah blah.  Get more sleep.  Exercise regularly.  Do yoga.  Meditate.  Eliminate stress.  Eat right.

Nothing new. I know all this already.

What I did find that was new is the relationship between inflammation and depression.  There's a lot of mumbo jumbo science behind the link between the two.  The take away is to reduce inflammation and you could possibly reduce your depression.

You reduce inflammation by not eating foods that cause inflammation--which just happen to be all the crap foods I shouldn't eat anyway.  Processed foods, wheat, milk, sugar. 

I haven't completely eliminated any of those.  My diet is much cleaner that it was last year, but I still eat processed foods every day.  I'm not clean "enough."

So there are all these healthy things I need to do, which I know will help.  It's more difficult to do, though, when I'm depressed, anxious, walking through mud, & angry all the time. There's the rub.

I'm not walking through mud today, or yesterday, but I still have the pent up anger feeling.  I haven't decided if I should wait it out--have only been back on it for seven days--or stop it again.  The anger and anxiety is very upsetting.

I obviously shouldn't make that decision on my own. I know I need to go see my nurse practitioner who prescribes my meds. But honestly, I don't know what she can do. I've researched all the meds and nothing looks like it is the right fit. There are even studies now that suggest anti depressants work no better than placebos. I'm not sure I believe that, because I have been helped by them in the past. Presently, however, they aren't completely helping, and may be making things worse.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Night eating--circadian rythm (150.8)

I read last week that researchers confirmed our circadian cycles affect our hunger.

Here is a link:
Study explains what triggers night-time food cravings

Bottom line:
The researchers found that the internal circadian system regulated hunger, with participants feeling the least hungry in the morning (8 a.m.) and most hungry in the evening (8 p.m.).

“Our study suggests that because of the internal circadian regulation of appetite, we have a natural tendency to skip breakfast in favor of larger meals in the evening. This pattern of food intake across the day is exactly what Sumo wrestlers do to gain weight.” said Steven Shea. “So, it seems likely that the internal circadian system helps with efficient food storage. While this may have been valuable throughout evolution, nowadays it is likely to contribute to the national epidemic of obesity.“
Here's another study: Circadian clock linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease   This is a study on mice, which have similar molecular structures to ours.  Their cycles are a mirror image of ours--they are active at night, while we are inactive at night.    Bottom line: "Mouse tissues are relatively resistant to insulin [convert food to fat] during the inactive/fasting phase [our night time cycle].   "Whereas they become more sensitive to insulin (therefore better able to transfer glucose out of the blood [and NOT convert it to fat]) during the high activity/feeding phase [our day time ] of their 24-hour cycle.

"As a result, glucose is converted primarily into fat during the inactive phase and used for energy and to other tissue building during the high activity phase."

That is why it is good to fast every day…not eat anything between dinner and breakfast,” said Johnson [one of the researchers].   The take away?  I'm wired to eat at night.  I have to fight evolution to eat breakfast early and not eat the house down after 8 pm.     Of course we have practical, real life experience of the results of eating at night, although I have read health/fitness articles in the past that say it doesn't matter when you eat--a calorie is a calorie is a calorie.... calories in/calories out.  But that's simply not true, as evidenced by our experience and now by scientific research.     I guess it's helpful to understand the WHY's of my behavior.  But it's still a fight to change.  Thanks a bunch, evolution.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Depression settling in again--? (151.0)

I still have a pound or so of travel weight to shed.  I didn't overeat, but we ate at weird hours and I had foods I don't eat at home, with more sodium than normal.  Not worried about it.  Just noting it.

I had some anxiety in  Colorado that I think could be altitude related.  I had a major anxiety attack last summer, when we were there for a week.  It was mostly due to the increased dose of lamictal, I think, but I noticed the same type of anxiety (but milder) on day 2 of our trip. 

Travel went perfectly smoothly--no airline or driving issues. We flew direct from Indy to Denver (drove to Indy, about 3 hours).  I was relaxed about traveling because I'd allowed plenty of time. Kids traveled well.  I love flying.  We had our TomTom so no directions issues in the car when we left the airport. 

So I don't the anxiety was situational.  I think the altitude was the issue.

Monday was a full travel day, about 11 hours from leaving BIL's house to getting home. 

Yesterday I let the kids stay home from school again.  They were beat.  I went in to work at 1:30 and Mark came home to stay with them.  I started feeling some "afters" yesterday.  I thought it was just that--afters.  But today I am listless, anxious, and starting to feel like I'm walking through mud again.

I started tapering off Wellbutrin on 3/7/13.  I was fully off by 4/2.  My intention was to get off of it, because I'd been on it long enough that it was no longer effective, then get back on in the late summer or early fall.  I assumed I'd be okay for most of the summer.  When I've tapered off before, it was a few months before I got back on.

Today, I feel like I am probably going to go back on it sooner than later.

I could be feeling like this because of lingering after affects of travel.  Or it could be hormones. I'm smack dab in the middle of my cycle.  I looked back over my cycle/moods notes that I keep in notepad on my phone--right before my period and about 7-10 days after my period, I'm moodier than usual.  It's 16 days after my last period.  So, not sure if this is hormones or not.

It feels like depression starting again. 

I will wait a day or so to see if it lightens.  If not, I'll probably start wellbutrin again.

Which is fine, I'm not opposed to taking medicine.  I just expected the "off" cycle to be longer than this (expectation based on how this went the last time I cycled off/on).  And I'm not okay with having more than more than 2-3 days of walking through mud.

Eating ice cream on Pearl Street in Boulder

I didn't eat any, of course.

View from front yard

Colorado snow

This is the backyard of my BIL's house.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Colorado bound

Here we are, waiting at the Indy airport for our flight to Colorado.
Nephew's wedding in Boulder is tomorrow. We fly home Monday afternoon.

It's going to be chilly so we have coats packed. Smooth travels
getting to the airport. Right on time. Very little stress today
because I allowed lots of time. Was up until midnight packing, wasn't
able to start until 7 last night. It's a lot of work packing for kids
and me, even though it's only 4 days.

Thankfully I have one trip (Florida in February) under my belt being
abstinent. Colorado will be easy. They are the healthiest people in
the country.

Be back next week. Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Adolescent thinking; feeling better; night time eating link (150.0)

There are days when I can't believe I'm a grown up, with all the responsibilities that come with it--mortgage, house, wife, kids, career, financial obligations, and all the trappings of modern life.

I don't know why, at age 43, I often feel like I'm still a kid inside.  I suspect it has to do with childhood emotional trauma and getting stuck in "little girl" thinking (Vickie had a recent post on little girl thinking, which is where I got that term from). 

I also suspect that it comes from my need to be taken care of.  While I'm hard headed and a control freak and independent and usually feel like I know what's best for myself and those in my life, I have a flip side that just wants to let go and let someone else take care of everything.

My vacation in St John in 2009 was ridiculously enjoyable because I had absolutely no responsibility.  Our friend Max did all the planning, so I just showed up with my packed bags and let him take the reigns.  I didn't drive once in St John.  I didn't have to cook, other than helping out where I was instructed to (we had a great cook in our group).  I didn't plan our excursions.  I had no kids to look after.  It was nirvana.

So why does a control freak like me secretly have a desire to be controlled and taken care of? 

It all seems really deep and worthy of years of therapy, doesn't it?

I just finished reading the Fifty Shades trilogy.  Yes, there's a ton of risque sex in it.  But I enjoyed it for the relationship and the development of both characters--there's more to it than sex.  It's pure escape reading, but it does raise questions about a man taking care of a woman (and I don't mean sexually) the way men used to take care of women.  That spoke to me on a primitive level that, in the light of day, I would feel ashamed to claim as something I desire.  But in my private thoughts, I think it would be incredible to have someone make decisions for me and take over the responsibility of my life. 

Ok, so I'm not quite so damaged that I live in this fantasy world. I'm not looking for a Christian Grey-type man.  I'm happily married, I love my kids, I like my life.  I'm blessed beyond measure.

I would still like a measure of letting go and letting someone else take over. 

In thinking through all this, I do believe this goes back to my adolescent years, when I felt like my parents didn't take care of my needs. 

When they didn't protect me but instead let me have an 18 year old boyfriend when I was 12.

When they left me home alone with my little sister during the summers in middle school. 

When I worked very hard in school without their help. 

When I was a senior in high school and realized my parents had no money to pay for college (thankfully I received a full ride 4-year scholarship, so that was taken care of, but I didn't know that was going to happen until I was close to graduation, and it happened because *I* made it happen, not them).   

When they let my boyfriend move in with us when I was 22, because he came from a broken home with a father who had molested my boyfriend's sister. 

When I felt like they were too wrapped up in their own drama to care for mine. 

When I felt like they should know better how to make decisions for me, and not let me make decisions on my own, even when I was 22. 
  • I understand now that my parents were immature and emotionally stunted themselves.  They likely had no more ability to make the right decisions than I did. I think I'm beyond blaming or being angry with them now, but it's taken me a long time and a lot of therapy to get to that point.

I was forced to be independent and care for myself, the best way I knew how, at a young age.  I couldn't believe it then, on a subconscious level, that I had to do these things myself.  I often felt bereft and alone, without the care I craved. 

The responsibilities I have now are hard for me grasp, even as an adult.  My husband and I are extremely close and very good at communicating, yet I sometimes feel like I manage my life alone and have the bulk of the responsibility.  (You should know that he has the sole responsiblity of earning our income, which is sales and fee based, so he has a huge share of the burden--it's not JUST me.)

Not being alone is one of the keys to the success of the OA program. At least in my food life, I am no longer alone.

My appointment with my therapist is May 22 (that was the soonest she could get me in; she's out the week of 5/13).  Add all this to the list of things to talk with her about.


I had a good talk with my sponsor yesterday.  We worked through my issues.  Just talking with her got me focused on cleaning up my food, cleaning up the way I take care of myself.  I ate three good meals yesterday.  I ran 3 miles (running is still hard--my heart and lungs are not conditioned--but I ran sprint intervals, and my sprints were in the 9:45-10:30 range for .1 miles at a time, so with more training I'm going to be rocking the speed and distance).  I sat down and ate dinner at the kitchen bar, instead of standing up or eating it on the couch.  I didn't eat at night (see below for more on that). I went to sleep at 10:30.  One good day under my belt.  One good day at a time. I feel much better and more positive today.


I read an article that Frances posted on Facebook about night time eating.  Researchers did a study on it.  Very interesting read.  Turns out we are programmed to eat at night.  Our hunger is at its lowest at 8 am and at its highest at 8 pm.  Egads!  As if we overweight people don't have enough to deal with to lose weight; we are absolutely fighting evolution when it comes to night eating.  Night time eating