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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Todays Theme: No fat wrinkle on my side

I have been checking myself out in a full length mirror.  Every day.  Sometimes more than once.  Pretty much every time I have to change actually.
I do this not because I am so very vain.  Though I may be a little vain, I don’t think much.  I do this because scales are forbidden.  Scales are forbidden because numbers are misleading and the body sees the scale as an instrument of torture.  That may sound nuts to you, I’m totally okay with that.  I committed to the program and everything that goes with it.
And it’s working.
Want to know how I know it’s working?  Because I look in the full length mirror several times a day and today, today?  Today I noticed that the fat wrinkle, the one that runs along my ribs when I’m up at the top of my weight range, that fat wrinkle is gone.  Even when I do a spinal twist and try to get a wrinkle . . . okay when I do that there’s a tiny one, but no different than a “normal” person, flesh moves and all.
It’s funny, it doesn’t matter how loose my clothes are, and the ones I bought at the beginning of the summer so I would have something that actually fit are very loose.  It doesn’t matter if people notice.  It doesn’t matter that my dad says that I look really different.  Those things don’t matter because they don’t affect how I see myself, that adjustment comes with time.
For awhile I knew I was getting smaller but I couldn’t see it.  I have no measurements by which to compare now to the beginning.  I see the difference in my clothes, I have to roll the legs of my most comfy shorts because they are loose on my hips instead of tight at my waist and they hanging past my knees.
Without the measurements I still see big.  I don’t see big, but smaller than I was, I just see big.
But now the fat wrinkle is gone.  Now I can see the smaller than I was instead of seeing still big.
I have a bit to go still before I look in the mirror and say, I am so hot.  But it’s manageable.  I’m fitting into smaller clothes.  I’m fitting into the pants I bought last fall when my weight was heading down toward the 140s.
My name is Tara, I’m 45 days sugar free and I have lost my fat wrinkle.

Todays Theme: Food isn't my escape hatch, at least for today

New episodes of Parenthood showed up on Netflix and I’m crying at everything.
I walked out on my deck to head out for my swim this morning and I thought, I can’t sit out here anymore.

I used to sit out there and talk to the man I loved.  We lived far apart and that’s about all we had.  We’d make dinner and each sit outside and talk for hours.  That was several years ago.  I miss him.  Being apart is better, but I miss him.  And I miss those talks on the deck.
Then there was Bobby.  Sitting out on the deck knowing that he won’t walk up and sit on my lap or curl up under my chair or curl up on the railing - sobbing will make the reading or the eating my breakfast kind of challenging.  I miss him.
So I’m sitting in my living room.  I just had a taco salad.  A lot of people find a taco salad at this hour (I ate a little after 10AM) disgusting.  I find it tasty and filling.  And I’m still only eating meat and veg, much as I’d like one of the lovely Tuscan melons from Guidos (they smell so good and when they are ripe they are amazingly juicy and flavorful) I had a taco salad.
I turned on the TV while I prepared my taco salad, sans avocado which is really bumming me out.  There were the new episodes of Parenthood on Netflix and I started watching.  And I kid you not when I say that everything that is going on in this show is making me cry.  They did the season recap, which is handy because it can take awhile for new episodes to show up on Netflix, and everything they showed made me cry.  Then everything that happened in the episode made me cry.  Kristina is running for mayor, sob.  Crosby has a new baby, sob.  Crosby is struggling to like the new baby, sob.  Sarah’s ex-boyfriend makes friends with her nephew, sob.
I’m freaked out about moving.  I live in a spectacularly beautiful area where the rich and famous come to vacation.  The beach I swim out of is three minutes by car and a few more by bike.  The neighbors are invisible.  It’s dark at night and quiet always.
And Bobby is here.  Silly I know, but right now it’s how I feel.
I’ve had the benefit of living alone without living by myself.  My landlords are wonderful people and they have become like family to me.  They check on me when my car sits in the driveway for a couple of days.  They lend me their car when mine is in the shop.  I’ll miss them.
Packing is going surprisingly well, it is currently my escape.  I’m realizing that I might actually be packed on time.  Don’t say anything, but it might even be early.
Then I have to move.
Which, as I said, is freaking me out.
PACKING is my escape.
Not eating.
My name is Tara and today I am 45 days sugar free.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Todays Theme: Plateaus

Yesterday I told you I feel fat.  I also pointed out how absurd that is because I’m pretty sure I’m down 15-20 pounds.
Today I was working and I thought, plateau!  In that moment I remembered Julie telling us, during one of the hypnosis sessions, that after the body loses a bunch of weight it needs to heal.  It needs to tuck things in and recover from the effort of getting rid of all that fat.
Sort of like training for a race.  You run six days a week.  Some runs are hard and fast, some runs are hard and slow, some runs are easy, some runs are uphill.  Then you take a day off.  Sometimes even two.  During that day off you rest.  You eat well.  You drink water.
And your body heals.
And that’s what happens when you are losing lots of pounds.  The body needs a rest.  The body needs to pull things together.
So maybe I am on a plateau.  My beautiful body is getting a rest and preparing to drop another 20* as easily as the first 20*.
*I’m totally guessing here, scales are not allowed and I’m getting rid of mine.

Todays Theme: Feel Your Pain

Last week I was working on a woman and I started to ask her a question about her back.  Before I could even get to the meat of the sentence she said, for the last two years I’m completely disconnected from the neck down.  I have no idea what’s going on down there.
Today I worked on a woman who cringed verbally or physically every time there was a slight bit of discomfort.
It occurred to me, strangely for the first time in the 11+ years that I have been doing massage, that people will do almost anything to avoid pain - including disconnect from their body.
I’ve had people ask me to tell them what if I find anything significant while I work, telling me I’m the expert.  Sure I know what bodies feel like, but you LIVE in your body.  You are the expert on your body.
At least you should be.
Before I went off sugar in 2009 I didn’t realize that all the things I knew to be true about myself were actually only true about me on sugar.
I believed I was an emotional basket case.  I believed I had a large frame and could never be a small person, even though I’m only 5’ 3 3/4”.  I believed that I would always feel lousy (heartburn, bloat, etc).
When I got off sugar in 2009 I discovered that I am, generally, not an emotional basket case.  I discovered that I have a small frame, and have actually been referred to as tiny (not at the moment, but I’m getting there).  I discovered that feeling lousy isn’t actually my norm, unless I’m living under 500 pounds of sugar.
I discovered what it is like to experience your body as it actually is.
Then I started eating sugar again.  It took several years to get back to where I started - over 180 pounds, uncomfortable in my skin, feeling lousy, spending most of each day in a sugar coma.
The problem was - now I knew.  Now I knew what living in my body could feel like.  And I wanted to feel like that.  I didn’t want to live in a sugar coma.  I didn’t want to be eating Tums for the heart burn.  I didn’t want to be walking around in this giant body.  I didn’t want to be depressed.
I wanted the euphoria that I had that time I was off sugar.  I wanted to feel good in my body (and my clothes).  I wanted to be nice to the people in my life (sugar turns me into a somewhat less than pleasant person more often than not).
I wanted that so bad I paid $600 for hypnosis on the off chance that I could get back to that place.
Feeling the pain of being in your body, or your life for that matter is not as awful as people think it is.  It is there to let you know that things aren’t right.  It’s there to ask you to fix the situation.  I am okay living with some of that pain until I figure out how to get rid of it.
Today is day 40 without sugar.  I’m happy.  I’m comfortable in my clothes, and getting comfortable in my older, smaller clothes.  I’ve been sad because my kitty died, but pretty much happy.
When my body is unhappy it lets me know and I make a change.
Because I live in my body and I listen to it.
Get in touch with your body, listen to it, it’ll tell you good things.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Todays Theme: Amorphous and Blobulous

This piece is dedicated to my dad because he liked the word blobulous when I made it up earlier.  Plus, he reads my stuff before everyone and he's a pretty great cheerleader.

Today I am sad and unfocussed.
My dad says, “write.”
I have nothing to write, says I.
You have lots to say, says dad.
It’s all amorphous and blobulous.  I miss my kitty.  My house is very quiet without him.  And getting home is lonely because he doesn’t run up to the car to greet me and walk me to the door.  My bed is three times as big as it was when my 10.5 pound cat slept on the pillow next to me.
And I have to pack.  I’m moving in a month.  Which is freaking me out.  And packing to move like this - well, I’m going to need some number of things in the month before I move.  The weather is changing, how do I know it won’t get freezing - and my winter coat is packed.  And do I keep out sweaters?  Am I really ready to wear the same shirt, shorts and sweater for the next five weeks?  It will make laundry challenging.  Among other things.
Dishes?  One pot, one dish for the next five weeks?  That would certainly help me keep my kitchen (which is just 2/3 of a wall of my living room) clean.  But will it work?  There are paper plates, of course, but I’m broke and they are environmentally unsound.  Though they may be a necessary evil.
I’m sad.  I’m freaked out.
And I’m feeling really fat.
Which is pretty ironic as I’m fairly certain that I am down 15-20 pounds since I stopped eating sugar (and anything else that isn’t meat or veg).  But I’m feeling stuck.  Mostly everything is fitting too big or just right, there is one area I’m in between the size I have been wearing and my former, delicate, girlie . . . undergarment.
Yesterday I paid for a visit to the doctor and a blood test because I have had a spot on my leg that has been itchy for weeks.  I noticed it was lightly bruised a few days ago and I showed it to my dad who ordered me to get to the doctor, so I did.  My doctor is in MA and my insurance is in NY and it doesn’t cross borders.  That was a handy $336.87 that was unplanned.  Woohoo!
I didn’t work the weekend before last and so my paycheck was about half what I am used to.  Not good when I have to come up with extra rent for the move, and all the expenses associated with moving - new car registration (NY to MA), new license, truck rental, filling up an oil tank, probably other stuff I can’t think of right now.
On top of it all, I forgot to put yesterdays purchases at the meat and fish counter in the fridge yesterday.  I’m not going to include the amount of money I cost myself, so damn foolish.  I went back to the store to get some trout, salmon, and beef.  Since I was out I got some corn and some cheese.
But Guidos had Tuscan Melons.  I smelled one, it was ripe and smelled perfect.
And I’m not eating fruit.
I left the melons at Guidos.  But I wasn’t happy about it.
All in all a bad day.
Amorphous and blobulous.
And as I write that, I recognize that I am whining.  My life is fine.  I am fine.  Yes, I miss my cat.  Yes, I’m completely broke.  Yes, packing is overwhelming me.
But I’m 37 days sugar free.  I’m eating well.  I have a job, two actually.  My body is happy with the changes.  I’m moving into a larger apartment absurdly closer to one of my jobs, closer to my parents.  (First floor, the far left and center doors are mine)

I have wonderful friends.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
That doesn’t make how I feel right now any easier, my sweet kitty is gone and I’m lonely.  But it does help give perspective.
Now to go put more stuff in boxes.

Todays Theme: The Perfect Snuggle Day

It’s rainy, grey, and chilly today.  The kind of day that Bobby and I would stay in bed and snuggle while I read.  Bobby isn’t here to keep me company, but I stayed in bed reading until 10.  Today is the first day in a while that I have no commitments whatsoever and I will be packing, but I just relaxed this morning.
It’s sure not the same without a warm, snuggly, purry kitty.
I miss my sweet Bobby.
This type of day is also the type of day that, in the past, I would have had bunches of junk to eat.  While I read and snuggled.
Yup, eating in bed.
When I am not eating well I have a very difficult time motivating and lying in bed hiding with a book and some sweet and salt junk food is perfect.
Of course perfect here is relative.  I’m pretty miserable when this is going on because I feel like I’m wasting my life.
Actually I know I’m wasting my life, unless the book is really good, then it’s not soooo much of a waste.
Lay’s Potato Chips, Snickers Bar, pint of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch.  All are fair game.  Were.  Were fair game.
Today I stayed in bed because I am overwhelmed with the disorganization of my house as I prepare to move.  I’m not moving for a month, and I have to decide what I won’t need - giant pain in my tusch.  I was avoiding, pure and simple.
Well, not 100%, the book was good and the weather was conducive.
The difference today is that I feel good.  I wasn’t lying in bed because I have no energy for anything, I was reading a good book and I really didn’t want to face the  packing.  Really.  Didn’t.  Want.  To.  Face.  The.  Packing.
You’ll notice I’m still not packing.
I’m about to make food, real, actual, tasty, healthy, whole food.  It will be filling and satisfying.
And then I will pack.
And all day I will feel good and awake and I’ll go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep well and wake up at a reasonable hour and swim and have a great day tomorrow.
Because I am 37 days off sugar.  And life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Todays Theme: How I got off sugar

I have been off of sugar for 34 days.  I stopped at Big Y on the way home to pick up some groceries.  I walked past a bunch of sugary things, including some two bite chocolate cupcakes (12 to a pack) that I have eaten more than my fair share of in the last year or so.
No problem.
Walking past the black cherries that were large and dark and looked really ripe and super delicious, that was a problem.  And the peaches.  Local peaches are in the stores now, that’s the only time I eat peaches, when local peaches are ripe and available.  Also difficult.
So I’ve been promising for several weeks to tell you how I managed to get off sugar.  In my head there are thousands of people champing at the bit to know how I pulled it off.  But I am not The Bloggess.  Nonetheless, I’ll pretend there is a screaming thong of thousands wanting to know, I kind of like that thought.
At the beginning of the year a friend of mine told me that she had gotten on the wait list for The Key Hypnosis.  The Key Hypnosis is in West Springfield.  I said, great, let me know how it goes.  She was given a spot in June and I had dinner with her on the sixth day after the first session.  She told me that she hadn’t had or desired sugar since the first meeting.
So I told her I would look it up when I got home and see about getting on the wait list which, apparently, is about 5 months long.  When I went to the website there was a banner that said, spots in July open, spaces for the first 30 callers.  So I called and left a message.
It’s not cheap.  There are three sessions that run three and a half to four hours each.  It’s $200 per session.
All I know is that when I thought about the $600 (that I seriously don’t have) it seemed like a very small amount to pay if it would help me stop eating sugar.
I got a call back the next day.  It turned out that the first session would be on the 14th of July at 6PM.  Which meant the last session would fall on August 4th, the day after I was supposed to head to Maine for vacation with my family.  Crap.
Sign me up.
I was committed and I told my family I would arrive late on the morning of the 5th instead of late at night on the 3rd.
I was a little freaked out.  Lots of money, complete uncertainty and . . . hypnosis.  Really?
At some point during the week before the first session I thought, am I ready to give sugar up forever, never have it again, ever?
And, shockingly, the answer was yes.  A quiet, calm, self-assured yes.
So I walked into that first session very curious and very committed to following all instructions to the letter.
And I have.  I have walked past all the foods I’m not supposed to have.  I have had no kombucha.  I’ve had no fruit.  I’ve had no sugar.  I’ve had no nuts.  I’ve had no flour.  No potatoes.  No avocados.  NO TEQUILA.
Keep in mind that I spent the better part of two weeks in Maine with my family.  There was lots of booze.  There were cherries (normally I live on cherries all summer).  There was blueberry pie and blueberry bread.  Zucchini bread.  Pepperidge Farm Snickerdoodles.  Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Cheese Goldfish.  White bread (good white bread).  Good whole grain bread.  Ghirardelli chocolate carmel squares.  Black cherries.  Rice.
I had meat and vegetables.
I also had meltdowns.  Not huge ones, but I had them.
I went out to eat, several times.
I dealt with trauma, my sweet kitty Bobby died on the 14th, the one month anniversary of the day I gave up sugar.
Through all of it I ate meat and vegetables.
Not all of the plan makes sense to me.  And I survived explaining it to my family multiple times.  And yes, that generally involved - I don’t know, I can’t explain it, I’m just doing it.
And I didn’t do it because it was a weight loss plan.  I strictly did it in the hopes that I would not want sugar.
And I haven’t wanted sugar.  Like I said, it was hard walking past the beautiful cherries at Big Y today, but it was easy walking past the sugar.
If you read yesterdays post (almost the day before yesterdays post) you know that I walked into the lounge at work to Taft Farms cupcakes.  Noticed them, didn’t want them, walked away.  I was miserable.  I was silently crying during services.  I was going home at the end of the day to bury my beloved companion.
And I didn’t dive headfirst into the cupcakes.
Totally worth $600.
It happens that I have lost a lot of weight.  My shorts, which were getting uncomfortably tight and sitting at my waist, on the 14th of July, are now loose and really comfy and sitting on my hips where I like them.
In the first session we told Julie (the program leader) what our goals were, how much we wanted to lose and what size we wanted to be.  I said 40 pounds and size 6.  Though I think that possibly it’s more like 4.  I’m not sure where I can land and stay comfortably.
Then she told us no scales.  Scales scare the body.  Plus, the numbers don’t mean anything.  You could have a low number, but a lot of fat and be larger OR you could have a higher number with very little fat and lots of firm muscle and be smaller.
Makes sense to me.
So no more scales.
How do I know when I’ve reached my goal?  Reasonable question.  Julie tells us that when we look in the mirror and say, “ I am HOT” we’ve reached our goal.
Which totally works for me.
I’m getting there.  And a hell of a lot faster than I thought I would.  If I had to guess I would say that I’ve lost 15 or 20 pounds.
And I feel fantastic.  I realized today, as I walked five miles before work, that my hands don’t hurt.
At all.
For quite awhile I was waking up and both of my hands would be intensely painful.  Not anymore.  Not surprising, take foods that cause inflammation out of your diet and inflammation goes away.
Eventually I will add other foods into my diet.  Next summer I anticipate eating some cherries and blueberries (the fresh wild ones we get in Maine) and peaches.  I will add some avocados back in.  Some rice.  Some black beans.  Some nuts.
But no sugar.  I decided, before I went to the first session, that I was done with sugar and I meant it.  It does not serve me in any way.  Which should not come as a surprise to any of you.  And you should not take it personally - if you want to eat sugar, I am totally okay with that.  If you think sugar is fine in moderation, I am totally okay with that.  If you think that sugar in everything we eat is fine, I’m totally okay with that - and by that I mean I’m totally okay with the fact that you think that, I’m not totally okay with sugar in everything we eat.
You can do what you like, I have absolutely no issue with you consuming sugar in any quantity you want.
Me?  I’m done with it.