My Journey with Food Addiction (part 1)

It’s said that knowledge is power and when it comes to food addiction and me, that saying is so true.

Here is a decent explanation of Food Addiction and how it relates to me…….(just click on the underlined words)

I’ve struggled with my weight for a really long time…..I’ve had issue with food for even longer. I remember sitting down as a child/preteen/teenager and pounding back cookies or chocolate bars or candy or to a lesser degree chips…..any kind of junk food specifically those with sugar and/or flour.

I’ve never really understood people who could take “just one”. As far back as I can remember, it was kind of an all or nothing deal. If I had a bag of M&M’s….I’d eat until they were gone…..and it was never the small bag – always the BIG ONES. I’d never just buy 1 chocolate bar…it was 3 or 4. I’d grab a handful of cookies and most likely head back for a second or third handful.

While I was a teenager, it never seemed that big of a deal because I was a tall, big framed person and weight wasn’t ever an issue for me.

I was 170lbs when I got married and definitely was not overweight by visual standards.

I still struggle because according to different standards like the BMI or other weight calculators, I was overweight based on my height vs weight ratio….but in no way was I overweight back then……I was thin, I modeled. I firmly believe those standards are flawed…

As far as my weight goes, I did ok until after I had my second child and then things started changing……I didn’t lose the weight as fast as I did after having Angelica. Literally, 10 days after having Geli, I was back in my pre-pregancy clothes and I could see my hip bones and everything. It was not the same after having Alexandra and from then on I began to actually “struggle” with my weight.

But this whole issue is about SO MUCH MORE than weight……and that’s where the “knowledge is power” aspect really comes into play for me.

I remember my sister telling me about a friend of hers who was eating a certain way and she briefly mentioned “food addiction” when she was telling me about this “way of eating”. I briefly looked into it but mostly because I was desperate to lose weight. I didn’t particularly “like” the food eating plan and so I dismissed it…..after all, I wasn’t an addict and I most certainly wasn’t addicted to food…I only had 10 pounds to lose and then I’d be happy……

I’ve spent a huge portion of the last 20 years dieting or eating according to a “food program”. I’ve eaten low carb, sugar free, fast metabolism, 3 day diet, and so many more gimmicky eating plans to try and lose weight. And while some of them worked for a bit, in the end……I’ve gained the weight back and felt more miserable and like a HUGE failure on top of it all.

I think that there have been 2 periods of time over the last almost 20 years where I’ve been close to a healthy weight. Neither lasted very long and between the different traumas and stresses in our lives, its been a brutal battle.

2014 has been an extremely difficult year for me and yet……’s been an amazing year.

We are exhausted.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve had numerous job changes and losses, a stillbirth, 2 second trimester losses, an early miscarriage, the long desired arrival of Josiah, a crazy long, difficult and exhausting journey to an Autism Diagnosis, children with special needs, cancer and the birth of our sweet Judah in the middle of it, serious Mental Health Issues, and 2 BIG house moves…..there is more that I’ve not accounted for, but that’s enough….it’s just too much. We are tapped out.

I feel like I’ve been fighting a battle for a long time. I have been…….. but what’s worse is that I really didn’t understand what or who I was fighting.

Earlier this year, I committed to 100 days of investing in myself. When I look back, I see that I was searching for answers and that I was close to finding them but just not quite there….

See, in the past, my focus has been for the quick fix….

– If I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier and then I can go back to doing whatever I want.

– Ok, realistically, I should lose 20 pounds, but that’s a lot and so difficult so if I eat no/low carb for a few weeks, I should loose a ton of weight, and then I’ll be happy and be able to do whatever I want.

– OK!!!! So I should probably be REALLY SERIOUS and just go for an entire month and hopefully lose more than 20 lbs and then I’ll be happy and can do whatever I want……….

It was all about losing the weight as fast as possible – which for me typically meant no sugar, no fruit, no carbs……just veggies and protein….and then something would happen and I’d “cheat”………. cause everyone deserves a cheat now and then, especially when you’re being SO GOOD. That cheat would typically turn into more than just a little treat and BAM…….soon I’d be stuffing my face with whatever I could find.

The “100 Days” challenge was difficult for me and yet amazing, when I look back on it. I’d decided that it needed to be more than a quick fix. I needed something longer term, because the quick fixes were not working. I needed a shift from “short term/quick fix” thinking to something that was more a “lifestyle/long term” plan.

So I started back in February….on Valentines Day to be exact…. my plan was no sugar, no gluten, low carb, only natural foods that I could eat in whole form or combine to make something. I’d started running in 2013 and planned on combining that exercise with my food eating plan to be able to lose weight and really get control of my life which felt so chaotic and out of control.

It started out pretty good. I started 2014 at 230 lbs…..

Towards the end of March, I was doing pretty good. I was down to 208 lbs. I’d run over 100 km in the month of March….and then I stalled.

March-April-May…nothing shifted and I was getting frustrated. I started eating things that were outside of my chosen allowable foods and my running slowed down and by the start of summer….I crashed. it probably didn’t help that I was anemic over the summer.

Summer of 2014 was an absolute out-of-control, gong show. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t exercise. I felt lousy. I was trying to just survive. It was so bad, that even walking upstairs to my bedroom was a colossal effort and so once I came down stairs, I avoided going back up until I had too. Lotta couch time over the summer and anything I did do, came at a huge price as I’d crash the next day.

Every time I walk upstairs now, I flash back to how bad it was over the summer and I’m amazed at the difference from then till now. It’s pretty drastic. I went up on my anxiety meds and even added another one into the mix. There were days that I contemplated hospitalizing myself because I could not get the anxious thought under control and I’d spend the entire day fighting thoughts….crying… was pretty bad.

September’s are always like a new year for me….a new start……so I kept looking forward to September and the kids going back to school and routine and…….when it came…..everything was still brutally difficult and nothing changed except that I didn’t have the kids home all day…..I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t. I was so exhausted. Just existing was difficult….it was bad!

I went to give blood in September. I’ve been donating blood since I was 18 and while it’s not been as regular as I’d like and been broken up by pregnancy, breastfeeding, and different meds that I’ve been on….I could finally give and so I did….only to be denied because my hemoglobin was too low. While at the time I felt pretty embarrassed to be denied, that was the start of something amazing…….like the catalyst that kick started this next phase in my life.

I went to my dr and asked for some blood work. I started taking iron…..went and saw my naturopath, got a few supplements…… Finally towards the end of October, I started to feel a bit better.

I honestly cant remember why or how the whole concept of food addiction came to me but right at that same time, I started doing some serious research and reading about food addiction.

It was like my whole world exploded into tiny shards of hope and shame, exhilaration and denial…….

What does THAT even mean?

I mentioned that I felt depressed about my life yesterday.

I thought I might take a moment to clarify what exactly that looks like, feels like and means to me.

I ran into someone yesterday who had read yesterday’s post and gently asked me how I was doing. I threw something back at them saying that I was ok and that I was just keeping on, keeping on.

Anxiety speaking here: I’m not sure if they were expecting me to be a huge mess of tears, or if they were thinking that I’d be fragile, or really off, or shaken, or…..maybe they were thinking none of the above and that’s just the anxiety saying that they were “thinking” or “expecting” something.

Regardless, it got me thinking….because I’ve written posts before and had people very cautiously approach me wanting to cancel a get-together that was planned because it might be too much for me, or talking to me as if I couldn’t handle things and they were not wanting to upset my delicate balance.

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate people’s care and concern……NO! Actually, it’s exactly the opposite. I feel so cared for and supported and loved, when people care enough to step outside of the emotional distance that we, as humans, like to hold ourselves to and try to bridge over into my problems and stresses. It’s HUGE and I’m so grateful.

On one hand, I don’t like to appear weak, on the other hand, I don’t like to be needy, but so often I am both weak and needy……..and I’m recognizing that having a “community” or a “family” that can help to lift you up and carry you when you feel exhausted or worn down, is an incredible, INCREDIBLE thing.

When I share about feeling depressed about my life…….I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m in a tough place and I don’t have a clear vision as to how to move from this difficult place into a better place. I don’t like NOT KNOWING……..I like to have a plan, to be in control, to be working towards a goal, to be able to make things better……

There are somethings in my life that I cannot change. I cannot remove the emotional or physical marks that cancer has left on every person in my family. I cannot remove the anxiety that all 5 of my children seem to deal with in varying degrees, from severe and debilitating to mild. I cannot change the fact that autism is a very real, exhausting and difficult neurological disorder that we deal with, as an entire family, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I cannot change the fact that ADHD has impacted 4 of my family members intimately and the trickle down effect of that disorder effects the rest of us.

I can’t “just fix” those things. They are here. They are real. They require HUGE amounts of effort mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. They affect each interpersonal relationship within my immediate family and many outside of my family.

There are moments when “the reality” of my life seems WAY. TOO. REAL…….and my options are to keep on keeping on….or give up.

I cannot give up.

I mean, I could. That was something that my counselor said to me at one point. I could give up. I could check out. I could run away or end up in a hospital somewhere…..unable to “handle” things and that it was my choice to carry on.

I think she was trying to tell me that I “held power” in my situation and that many people did/do check out and that I was doing well, in the fact that I still had the ability to CHOOSE to carry on.

I think I get what she was saying and yet……oh there is always a yet or a but, isn’t there……..I don’t feel that giving up is an option. Yes, somedays, it’s all I can do to just get up and get dressed and put my make up on……

That’s my thing… gimmick…..the one thing that signals to me that the show must go on….if I get up and get dressed in real clothes (not pyjama wanna-be’s) and do my hair and make up……..then I accomplish so much more. Very rarely, do I ever, stay in pyjamas and not do my hair and make up. I get “ZILCH” done on those days and I simply cannot afford to not accomplish things……

The 2.5 years of cancer treatment was brutal. It taxed me to my extreme limits as a person, and definitely as a parent. I am still not recovered from the toll that it took on me.

I find that I feel a bit like I am a hollow egg (Humpty Dumpty, if you will). I have a very thin and fragile shell and as long as things don’t shake me or bump me, I exert every bit of energy that I have to hold my broken and cracked self together. One little bump and the precariously balanced pieces start to fall. I fall apart……

Jeremy has a bad Autistic day……….BUMP!
Geli has an emotional day relating back to cancer crap………BUMP!
Josiah has an ADHD frustration flip out…….BUMP!
Judah is 3 (enough said)………BUMP!
Xani experiences extreme anxiety for unexplained reasons…….BUMP!

So many bumps……so much energy expended trying to keep all the pieces in place… many pieces falling… little left at the end of the day.

I can’t make these things go away, and so I must learn how to live and carry on and continue with pieces of myself broken and fallen apart.

Some of it will get better….or at the very least different, with time. Some of it will never go away, but the kids will grow up and learn coping skills. And my hope, my prayer, is that I do a good enough job of training these amazing blessings of mine how to deal with life’s challenges with grace and dignity; and how to keep on keeping on even when you are unsure of how to proceed and what the best course of action is…..


………sometimes, the enormity of my job weighs heavy on me. Sometimes, I’m unsure how to best help these ones I love so dearly. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t have the emotional or physical strength to deal with “even one more issue”(…and there is always “one more issue”). And then I feel discouraged…….

We have had a few BIG BUMPS recently. Ones that I’d love to share, but it’s just not the right time…….and the added pressure and stress weighs very heavy and makes “coping” that much more difficult. And so here is where I am at today……..

I’m dressed. I have my make-up on and my hair done(sorts of, if a messy pony tail counts…). The kids are off to school, except for Geli – who is still feeling sick (Thanks to Xani for bringing home a stinking bug from New York) and Judah. I’m needing to make a list and see what I can actually get done today. I know I have a mountain (probably 8 large loads) of laundry to fold, sort and put away. I know the main floor is a disaster and the kitchen needs to get put right. If I can accomplish any (not all, but ANY……) of that before the kids come home; as well as planning dinner for Angelica’s 17th Birthday (which is today) I will consider today a success. I have LOW standards…..

So, my “feelings of depression” are an exhaustion, a feeling of uncertainty and brief moments of hopelessness, a sense of constant pressure and chaos, an insecurity of my abilities to adequately parent these amazing children who have been presented with striking challenges to overcome……it’s a little bit of acknowledging a desire for some easy days, yet not wanting to stay in a place of discontent with my life, because that helps no one. It’s a tough place. At times it’s a wonderful place…..but right now, it’s mostly a tough place.

It won’t stay that way forever. I know that I’ll feel stronger and stronger again….I always do, but it is tough.

I would encourage you to look around you and encourage each other… doesn’t matter whether you are a single parent by choice or by circumstance, or whether you have special needs children or a child with a long term or chronic illness, whether you have a difficult or challenging child(ren) or need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, whether you or your loved ones struggle with any kind of mental illness or disability, or whether you seem to have a fairly smooth go of things at the moment……

Be Kind.
Be Compassionate.
Be Loving.
Be Encouraging.
Be Understanding.
Be Gracious.
Be Merciful.
Be Caring.

Understand that everyone is doing their best, and while “our bests” may differ depending on our circumstances and experiences and abilities…… gentle with each other. Your care and support may make the difference in someones life today.

The Ups and Downs of Life

I’ve been struggling lately.

And I’m feeling really worn down.

Which is crazy frustrating cause I’m pretty much doing all the right things…….sort of.

I’m exercising more than I ever have in my entire life…..all put together. I’m eating well (except for the last 3 days). I’m regularly taking my anti-anxiety meds. I could maybe get a little more sleep, but 7 hours a night isn’t too bad. The sun has been out (should probably be out in it more.) I’ve got tons of seedlings started for my garden, and dirt all piled up ready to go. So many good things…….

And yet, I wish I felt stronger…..more powerful, more capable, more in control….

Instead, I’m walking around feeling……weary, defeated, uncertain…..

It doesn’t feel good.

There are things that I think I should be proud of, accomplishments that are a good thing……I’ve lost over 15 pounds. I literally ran myself down a size in my running tights. (my last run in them was a horrible run because I literally had to hold them up the entire run cause they wouldn’t stay up and the extra roomy fabric caused some extreme chaffing in some sensitive areas……ahem!!) I also ran/walked 100 km’s in March. That’s kind of mind blowing to me because…..well I’ve never done that before. The highest km’s I had done in a month when I was running before was April 2013 and I managed a whopping 46 kms. So I more than doubled it. And today, I ran for 25 mins, no walking, no stopping. 35 mins in total with a 5 mins walking warm up and a 5 min walking cool down. That’s all good right. I even managed to pound out 4.5km in that 35 mins. So it’s not like I’m sprinting, but I kept up a steady pace……..

I’m just………I dunno. Today I actually felt depressed about my life. I don’t think I’ve felt like this since about 3/4 of the way through Angelica’s cancer treatment.

I posted a comment on Facebook the other night…..

Sometimes I think about the people who seem to have it all together and how everything seems to really work for them…..then I wonder if somebody might be thinking that about me and then I laugh and laugh and laugh – ’cause seriously?…….and then maybe, I cry. #sometimeslifesastruggle #onefootinfrontoftheother

……I was thinking about how it’s seemed like a tough run for us for the past…..well, it’s been a long time. Nathaniel died in Jan 2007 and there has been a lot of tragedy since then and there was quite a bit of stress in our lives (for differing reasons) before then. It’s not that there’s not been good. There has been so much good, but the tough stuff wears on you.

I got some varied responses and to be honest, I struggled with actually posting it, and re-wrote it a few times before settling on that wording. I was concerned how people might take it. I wasn’t whining and those who know me…..I think they “heard” my voice in those words.

I was more saying that sometimes I might think that there are those who seem to have it all together or seem like they have a fairly “normal” or “less stressful” life, but no one knows what is really going on, behind the scenes, unless they actually know them and have been given insight into the inner workings of their lives. I’ve had people comment to me that I seem to have it all together or that I can handle SO much……or that certain things don’t seem to faze me.

What I know is that my life is not perfect. It’s not easy and if for some weird and strange reason, I “seem” to have it all together……that’s totally not the reality.

I really,Really, REALLY do NOT have it all together.

And if it could possibly appear that I might have it all together…….. then my view of someone else having it all together may be completely off, as well. Everyone lives life…..and life has a tendency to be messy and real. And sometimes you just gotta laugh, and sometimes….it’s just too hard to laugh and well…..well, then you might cry. And that’s ok too.

Regardless, I hate feeling like this.
I hate feeling………”less than….”
I hate feeling overwhelmed.
I hate feeling like I’m drowning…’s that feeling that things are just piling up on top of you and you can never get enough done to just stay caught up; let alone ever getting ahead…….I hate that feeling.

I don’t want to feel like this, but probably the hardest thing for me right now is that I’m not sure how to “change” or “fix” this; and that’s tough.

I just keep reminding myself that season’s change and this one will too.

What do you do when you are feeling a bit down or overwhelmed? Any suggestions?

I am Winning! Day 26 – Tuesday March 11

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, a million lego pieces on the floor around me thanks to 2 little boys who eat, sleep and breathe lego.

I have so many thoughts swarming around my head. I feel like I’m trying to herd a cloud of flies. I can’t seem to grasp one or get them to neatly line up so I can process through them. I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously avoiding dealing with “them” or if I just get so few opportunities to sit and think……..and now there are just too many……

I mentioned that I have a Dr’s appt on Thursday. It’s the yearly appointment of joy and fun, if you are a woman. And, it just happens to work out that it will be 4 weeks/28 days since I started this journey. So, I will get up on Thursday and take my measurements. I’m unsure whether I want to step on my scale at home or just do it at the Dr’s office.

I mentioned that I’m scared of the number.

It’s true! And so incredibly stupid.

It’s been so freeing not knowing the number. And yet, I still mull it over and over in my head, way more often than I’d like. My thoughts go something like this……

If I’ve lost 10 pounds, that’s awesome.

Yah, but your eating has been impecable…..surely you’ve lost more than 10 pounds.

But you’ve seen yourself in the mirror….you’ve got a LONG way to go.

But you’re doing SO good.

Yah, but it’s not fast enough and you are running like crazy.

I know but I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to set myself up for a blow.

Is it a disappointment if you’ve lost weight and gotten stronger?

No, but what if I’ve not lost hardly any weight because I gained muscle?

I don’t want to be over 200 pounds. I hate that number.

And on and on and on……..

None of that is positive. It’s not helping me.

I know that I’m fitting in clothes differently. I feel better. I can actually see my cheekbones. I feel less exhausted and crazy(anxiety is less….sort of, I guess). I’m sleeping better. I’m accomplishing more (I think). And yet, I’m still on this stupid merry-go-round.

There is less of it. So, I guess that’s a positive.

I’ve probably upped my distance in running/walking too fast. The difference is…..I feel so much better when I’m exercising. I seem to hit the “high” after 35 minutes. And it feels SO GOOD!

BUT……my knees are tired and one is a little swollen. It’s funny because it doesn’t really hurt, but it feels……weak? Maybe that’s the best word for it. So, I’m going to back off a little because I don’t want to actually damage it. But as soon as I think about backing off…I start to feel a little panicky because I don’t want to gain weight back and I don’t want to feel anxious again.

Ha! Again with the “having anxiety” about having anxiety.

At least I can recognize this and laugh at myself. Even though it’s no laughing matter. Anxiety sucks. If you’ve never really dealt with it on a constant day to day basis….count yourself blessed. It’s as wearing as long term physical pain. It’s soul crushing.

I don’t want to think like this. I don’t want to be like this. And yet, even in my weakness, there is a positive side. I’d like to think that I have a certain amount of understanding and compassion for others who may be experiencing anxiety or other mental health issues. If you haven’t really experienced long term anxiety, it can be difficult to really comprehend.

My least favorite “helpful” suggestion is, “Just stop thinking like that!”

I wish I could.

I’m not sure if it has to do with a crazy imagination or what, but just recently I was standing in the shower and my mind flashed to a picture of me slipping, hitting my head on the temperature dial, splitting my head open and dying. In one second, I went from doing a mundane task of getting clean, to a flash of panic.

I don’t want to die. I’m actually quite satisfied with where I am at right now. I don’t want to think thoughts like this. That thought or picture flashed through my head, followed by a wave of anxiety and my immediate next thoughts were, That’s the anxiety. Why does my brain do this? I don’t want to see that picture. I don’t want to feel this anxiety. The panic that washes over you in an instant, like water flowing from the shower.

I didn’t ask to feel that. I don’t want to feel that. Even though I can recognize that it’s “anxiety”, that doesn’t mean that I can just dismiss the whole experience. I’m left exhausted by the surge of panic. Even if it was only for a moment. Even if I know it’s not real, and that there is little to no chance of “that” actually happening……the experience is still wearing. I want it to just stop. If I never had a thought like that again…..I would be thrilled.

But I can use my experiences to understand and show compassion and to teach….so that when my son comes to me asking if the mark on his face could possibly be cancer. Even though, his next comment is that he knows it most likely isn’t and that its probably just the anxiety speaking…..

I can know that I’m helping him to differentiate between the anxiety and reality. I can also understand that he’s emotionally exhausted and has little reserves to “hold himself together”. I can “get” that he’s not wanting to feel or think like this.

It makes this whole situation a little easier to deal with.

But believe me….if I could just stop this…..I would.

If you don’t deal with anxiety, maybe the next time someone shares an anxious moment with you….instead of encouraging them to “just stop it”, you could just listen……and say something encouraging like, “That’s tough. It’s got to be hard fighting against that or feeling like that.” It’s amazing how encouraging validation is. It’s not saying that being anxious or stressed is okay. It’s just acknowledging that the person is experiencing stress on the mind and body; and that they are fighting against it. It’s incredible to hear someone say, “Keep going! I’m standing here with you, beside you. Even if I’m unsure what to do….I’m here!

If you do deal with anxiety, keep fighting. Every day is a fight. Every day you fight….you are winning!

You are winning!

I am winning!

Day 15 – February 28

Today feels like a good day. I woke up at 6:15…..stayed in bed until 7:15am, BUT….I made the choice to do that because the older kids are home today; and except for breakfast and getting dressed….Siah was all ready and packed to go to school (Yay for evening prep). So, I had time……

It’s been 2 weeks since I started this “journey” and it’s been filled with ups and downs. There have been a lot of downs, but I keep attempting to focus on the ups.

I’ve seen a pattern that I hope to break. I managed to make it out of my “fat” jeans and into my “regular” jeans…..this was a fabulous feeling, BUT…….I noticed that as soon as I reached that milestone, I wanted to quit.


I have no idea what my weight is right now, but I know that I’m no where near an optimal weight/size/shape/fitness level. And so I choose to carry on.

I know that this has happened in the past….I’ve reached this place and figured that it was good enough and that it gave me a reason to give up. I say give up, because while I am comfortable eating this way (closer to Whole30 than paleo), it’s not easy. It requires effort and discipline. It requires not inhaling a bowl (or 3) of Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms. It requires planning ahead to have lunch and snacks. It requires making dinner instead of eating out. It requires going out for a walk/run even when I don’t want to because I’m tired or it’s snowy or it’s raining…..or I really just don’t want to. It requires a recognition that all my choices have consequences, when a part of me just wants to “do/eat whatever I want” without having to deal with the consequences.

That’s really what it comes down to……one of the things I talk the most to my kids about…..


Now, I did make a choice. It was actually a conscious choice. I chose to not monitor my food choices for a while because I was exhausted and so worn out. I knew that the consequences would be weight gain and a general feeling of physical, mental and emotional “blergh”. I needed to not feel like I was trying (and failing) to control every aspect of my life. And so I just ignored that area of my life….until I felt pretty horrid and was at the point where I could no longer fit into my “biggest” clothes.

And here I am…..wanting change.

When I was on my walk/run last night, that word was on a loop in my head.


I’m typically resistant to change. I like safe. I like routine. I like knowing what to expect.

Basically it all comes down to fear and control.

Again with the fear and control. ARG!

But………… I feel like this is a year of change for me.

I’m not out to force change onto myself, but I’m willing to allow change to happen and to do what I can and what I need to do to encourage that “change” to happen.

The last 2 weeks have been interesting for me. It’s eye opening to see that I do things to sabotage myself so that I can stay in a “comfortable” place. And yet that’s part of the lie….that the place I am in is comfortable….cause it’s not. And who said that life is supposed to be comfortable, anyway?

One of the “downs” of the past 2 weeks have been anxiety.

I haven’t been walking around in a 24/7 panic attack, and in fact, I’ve felt pretty stable most of the time.

I have noticed that I must be feeling worse than I realize because the desire to “escape” has been intense at times. I’ve wanted something to “take the edge off”. I’ve noticed that there have been a few more times than I’d like where I’ve wanted a glass (or 3) of wine; or to take a few Ativan just so I could escape from the pressure. I’ve noticed this particularly at the end of the day, and definitely on weekends. I’ve also noticed that when confronted with certain situations, my anxiety goes from what has seemed like “non-existent” to full on panic.

For example, Jon called me the other day when I was picking the girls up from school. My initial thought, when I heard that he was not at work but on his way home (it was earlier than his quitting time – but I had forgotten that he had a dental appt), was that something terrible had happened. He couldn’t explain himself fast enough and I could feel “worse-case-scenario-girl” kicking into overdrive.

And, Geli messaged me the other day from school…..I totally forget about what….I just remember “the forbidding feeling of doom“. I quickly cut her off to clarify that everything was ok and that she wasn’t about to “drop a bomb” on me.

I hate that aspect of my brain. I have a Dr’s Appt on March 13 and I’ll be talking with him about meds and whether or not we need to tweak things. I feel pretty good most of the time but those “flare ups” and the “desire to escape” bother me.

On a positive note….I feel a lot stronger, in regards to walking/running, than I did 2 weeks ago. I don’t feel like I’m going to die before I finish, HA!. Which is a good thing, right? I’m going further, faster than I did two weeks ago. I’m definitely not where I was when I stopped running last year, but I have the memory, both physical and mental, of what I am capable of and that has me excited for both attaining and surpassing where I was. I’ve restarted the C25K program because I figure that it can’t hurt…..and even with that…..I see differences from where I was to where I am.

Last night, I just turned the running app on and hit play without looking at exactly what the walk/run info was….I just followed the prompts, instead of anticipating them. It felt a lot easier. Just going with it. Instead of anticipating the “tough” times and counting down every second…….I just let go of all that “control” and trusted that I could do it.

I let go of the control and put aside fear and…… felt great. Even better, I was over a minute faster per km than my previous run/walk.

I’m excited for where I’m going and trying even harder to be content with where I am at.

It’s a process. I’m in process. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’ll be ok.

How are you doing? I’d love to hear what’s happening in your life….the good, the bad, the ugly…’s all ok.

Day 5 – February 18

I was disappointed that yesterday morning didn’t feel as peaceful or calm as the day before. I’m not sure what alternate reality I was living in…… It’s not like peaceful and calm mornings have ever been “normal” around here. I’m also not sure how much of the peacefulness had to do with my own personal sense of calm as opposed to the reality of what the morning was…..regardless, I managed to get up before 7am AGAIN…..and get everyone off to school with a minimum amount of chaos.

The Therapy brushes that I had ordered from School Specialty arrived and the boys each got brushed a few times. Dinner time actually went pretty smoothly. Again, I’m unsure if the brushing had anything to do with that or not, but I’m not going to complain about it. I had meant to brush the boys again before they went to bed, but after dinner……I ran upstairs and changed into running gear and headed out while Jon took the boys through the bedtime routine. So, that didn’t happen….and I didn’t ask Jon how bedtime went… really nothing to report on that front….not even sure why I mentioned it……….. oh well.

Yesterday was a MUCH better day for me in regards to anxiety….in the fact that I really didn’t feel anxious about anything. Yay for small victories….It was also a WAY better walk/run than my Sunday night one. My pace was faster. I ran more….and it felt pretty good overall. YAY ME!

I find this whole process to be intriguing. I am questioning why I do things and how my thoughts are affecting me both positively and negatively. I’m so aware of negative behaviours and becoming more aware of what the positive behaviours feel like.

For example, the whole “weighing” issue. I’ve been so focused on weight, particularly weight loss. And I’ve allowed the number on the scale to influence my overall happiness and sense of being. Don’t get me wrong, I catch myself wanting to know the number, too many times throughout the day. BUT……not knowing it and choosing to not weigh myself is actually quite freeing. I’ve read about others doing this and thought to myself that if I didn’t weigh myself then I wouldn’t have the motiviation to keep going. That it was nice that others could just put away the scale, but that would NEVER work for me. I think it all comes back to fear. Fear of failure. Fear that if I just gave up the “control(of the numbers dictating my efforts)” that I would spiral out of control.

Fear and control….I hate those two things. So much of my life has been consumed and run by fear and control….and really, the control is all about fear….so the root of it all……is fear.


Jon gave me this sign almost a year ago and I really loved it, but just being aware of how much fear has been an issue for me…….it makes it so much more important and special to me.

I came home from my walk/run yesterday and briefly thought about the scale. I quickly dismissed the thought, and realized that the dread and panic (that I typically feel right before I step on the scale) just kind of dissolved. It was very bizarre. I realized how much negativity that act has on my life. I really like NOT feeling like that……and so I carry on. One foot in the front of the other. Making choices. Being aware. Attempting to focus on the good and allowing the negative to just float on past me. It’s not easy, but I feel good.

Day 4 – February 17

Yesterday was a bit of a hard day for me.

It was an “at home” day and I find that unless I am super busy, then the “noise” seems to be louder on those days. It’s like there is too much time to “think” about things.

My biggest worry – my health…….every little ache or pain seems intensified. I spend a HUGE amount of effort talking “reality” to myself. The “cancer fear” seems huge. I hate it. I hate that Geli was sick for a while before we knew and by the time we found out….she was really sick. So, little things swirl around inside of my head and become huge things.

I know it’s anxiety.

I hate it.

The exchange goes something like this….

That feels “off”….hmmm, that’s weird. I remember feeling that before. I wonder if it’s serious.

Of course it’s not, that just the anxiety talking.

But how much do I discount, and what if I discount something serious because I think it’s just anxiety.

Ok, so now you are having anxiety about having anxiety….that’s messed up.

I know. I’m fine……………right?

Of course you are. Remember, you brought it up the last time you were at the Dr and he explained it.

I know, but we can’t see “inside” of me and what if……

What are the “what if’s” going to do to help you?

……………Nothing….I know………, but this is just so hard.

I wish I could just turn my brain off.

And this goes on and on….

Except that when I am busy…..I can entirely forget that there had even been an issue…that is, until I remember, AGAIN….at which point, it cycles around again.

It’s messed up.

So I go to bed and wake up the next morning and……….I’m fine. And then I have a busy day and……….I’m fine. And then I have another tough day………..and in reality, I’m still fine.

Which is why I (mostly) believe that I AM FINE.

I’m thinking I might need to go back to my trauma counselor and have a session dealing with this……..

I remember dealing with a very mild form of this before Geli was sick, but it’s been just stupid intense since Geli was diagnosed with cancer………

Other than the anxiety….it was a fairly good day. Yesterday morning, getting out of bed at 6:45am really helped with the insanity of the morning situation. It felt like a really calm morning….which is odd ’cause we don’t have too many of those.

We even had a Team Meeting between Jeremy’s two schools and it went fabulously. He really is doing well. it’s not easy. It’s never easy, but it’s nice to hear that he’s doing well, as opposed to hearing that there is something wrong. I’ve had way too many of those meetings. I will be thrilled if I never have another one, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Do you struggle with anxiety? Any tips on dealing with the intruding thoughts? Have you found a way to “turn it off”?

Day 3 – February 16

I am still nervous about actually getting up at 5:30am and going for a walk/run. Mornings have never been my strong point and so, I went for a walk last night instead of this morning….and then I woke up at 6:30am this morning and reluctantly heaved myself out of bed at 6:45am. That’s still better than 7:30ish – no?

I really, REALLY did not want to go out last night, but I didn’t want to do it this morning, even more. So, before I could really think too much about it…..I laced up my runners, harnessed the dog, and set out. It was GREAT timing on my part. There was a horrific rain storm and it hit about 5 mins into my walk. Zeus was all stressed out and kept stopping to shake the water off himself.

But, I plodded out 3 very wet and soggy kilometers. Yay me.


post walk/run, blotchy lipstick and all

I’ve been struggling a bit with anxiety over the weekend. I have a tendency to run events over and over and over and over inside my head. Which……can be absolutely horrific. We were chatting with someone this weekend and later, I mentioned to Jon what stuck out at me the most from that conversation. Which I received as a horribly negative criticism and yet in reality it was a totally unimportant and insignificant comment. I recognize that it’s “anxiety” but that doesn’t seem to stop the “loop” from playing endlessly in my head.

At that point, Jon said to me, “It must really suck to live inside your head, sometimes.” Which it totally and utterly does.

HOWEVER……..I also realized, that this exact same tendency to go over and over and over an event or scenario is also what allows me to come up with creative, inventive and excellent ideas for issues or problems that I may come up against. I look at the “issue” from every angle and aspect; and am typically able to come up with incredible solutions.

So, what is a weakness……can also be a strength.

It’s interesting for me to realize that something that I thought broken about me……is also a huge gift.


Day 2 – Scale Addict

Daily Photos

Day 2 – Hi, my name is Patti and I am an addict. I weigh myself daily. And based on what the scale says….I walk around happy and motivated to continue on…..or I feel like a failure and beat myself up over every food decision that I make.This is not a healthy way to live. I get that. Which is why I will be weighing myself once a month for the next 100 days. All day, my thoughts kept wandering back to my bathroom and wondering what those numbers would say. I hate that. I feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff…..this is a bit of a scary place to be. On one hand, it's exciting to be walking away from the scale. On the other hand, it's what I've done. It's how I've lived my life. I don't think that's a good thing. Which is why I'm on this journey…..I want to change. I don't like where I'm at. And that's why I'm going to have Jon put that stupid thing away. That way, it's not even an issue. #100daystowardsmyself
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100 Days Towards Myself

Friday February 14, 2013

Day 1

I woke up this morning, earlier than I have in a while, but later than I had hoped. That’s still a win, right? I don’t really know…….. if I’m being honest!

I have this HUGE fear of failure and in my mind, anything less than perfection is failure.

Why is that?

That is something I have been thinking about today. I’m unsure why I believe that.

There is a huge part of me that wants to control everything. That same part says that if I’m not doing things 100% perfectly, then I’ve failed. So, I’m trying to be gentler on myself.

I’d planned on doing things perfectly. Only whole foods. 3 times a week of exercise. Only 2 cups of coffee per day. Getting up to start the day at 6:30am or on the days that I’m exercising…..exercise at 5:30 for 30 mins until 6am and then shower and get ready for the day until 6:30am and be ready to go at 6:30am.

I gout out of bed at 6:45am, but I was awake at 6:30am. I don’t usually crawl out of bed until 7:30am and that is only because that’s about the latest I can leave it and still get Siah to school on time.

I had drank more than 2 cups of coffee this morning before I even realized it. Once I realized it, I stopped drinking and turned off the coffee pot.

I ate eggs, with green onions and orange peppers and proscuitto cooked until it was crispy like bacon. Then I ate more proscuitto and then even more. I justified it by telling myself that it was protein so I was ok to eat it so that I wouldn’t be so hungry again soon. And then I told myself that it was only 70 calories for the 2 slices and so in total, I ate 210 calories (of the proscuitto)…..which was probably less that 2 slices of regular bacon….but really…….it just tasted really good and I was feeling stressed.

My sister messaged me before stopping by this morning and asked what I wanted from Starbucks. I could have said nothing, but I asked for a 2 pump sugar free vanilla Americano. On Atkins, that would be a zero carb drink, but my “plans” said that I was not supposed to be eating chemicals and I was not supposed to be drinking any more coffee today…..

So have I failed…….or am I just making choices?

Are those choices leading down a positively charged path or a negatively charged path?

I had a green smoothie for lunch. Spinach, banana, orange, strawberry, mango and coconut oil.

I’ve set out on this 100 day journey and I’m not exactly certain what I’m doing. I want to lose weight. I want to feel better. I want to not ache and need pain killers. I want to have more energy and to feel stronger. I want to not feel tired ALL THE TIME. I want to ask myself some tough questions and hopefully find some answers.

I need to make some changes, but I want to figure out why I’m doing some of the things that I do, so hopefully I can make changes that will ultimately impact me LONG TERM in a positive way.

I lost 10 pounds in January. I set a goal to lose 10 lbs and I accomplished it. I’ve gained back 7 lbs in the last two weeks. All my hard work….all my effort…..all the denying and self haggling… what was all that effort for?

I don’t want to keep doing this. I don’t want to run this cycle, over and over and over again.

I’m nervous and unsettled. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to put this “out there” and then have people see that I’m a failure when I falter. I almost feel like its inevitable and that makes me feel horrid too. Like I’m just a failure waiting to happen.

Why? Why do I see myself as a failure? Why do I think that I will let myself and others down? Why do I have such a negative viewpoint of myself? What caused this? What contributed to this? Why do I feel like I am “unacceptable?”

So then, will I carry on and actually accomplish this in order to “look good” in front of others or will I accomplish this “for myself”? Or will I “fail” and accept that I am human and it really doesn’t matter if I falter, because what matters is that I carry on. Or will I fail and then give up because it’s too difficult or too much effort or because I really don’t want to have to do this…….I don’t know.

What I do know is that I want to be happy and accept myself. I want to be able to accept that I am imperfect and I don’t have to be perfect in order to be accepted or acceptable. I want to not feel so much pressure from myself to live up to some impossible standard.

It frustrates me because I actually do think I am a pretty good person, but then I wonder if I am acceptable because I try so hard to “be perfect” and that if I eased up on myself then maybe I wouldn’t be as “good” or “acceptable.” It gets pretty messed up inside my head and there is a part of me that wants to keep hashing it all out, right here-right now, so that I could figure it out and have it “done.”

But, I’m going to accept that the answers are not so clear to me at this exact moment and I’m going to walk away from this and “let it sit.” I’m not a failure for not figuring this all out right now. I’m not a failure just because I don’t have all the answers.

I’m just me. An imperfect person who keeps putting one foot in front of the other hopefully in a forward direction. And for right now……I’m choosing to be okay with that.