The Log and The Shore

Yesterday was a really long day. I started out with a cafe au lait on my way to work and then had a bowl of cereal once I got settled in. In my bowl was shredded wheat, cinnamon, ground flax seed and milk.

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The day was really hectic and I felt as if I would never get it all done. I took a break for lunch around 11; I had the chef make me a small spinach salad to get in some good green veg

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and then I had my 4 second flat lunch. I packed leftover brown rice topped with a black bean and corn mixture from the freezer. I added in a little Cajun spice and olive oil and lunch was born. When I heated it up, it smelled like a Mexican restaurant. Sadly, it didn’t taste as good as it smelled but it got the job done.

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Around 2:30, I was hungry again so I had greek yogurt topped with thawed mixed berries and a few mixed nuts.

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I finally finished the huge pile of work that had been daunting me all day and then headed home. Once home, I did a half hour walk run interval program on the treadmill while watching Sex and the City. It was the episode where Mr. Big is leaving NY to live Napa. That episode always makes me sad, like Charlotte, I always rooted for Mr. Big. But I digress.

After the treadmill, I popped a frozen pizza in the oven and took a quick shower. Once I was fresh and clean, the dear husband and I had a very fast dinner. The pizza was the Buffalo Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato made my Archer’s Farms, our favorite brand of frozen pizza.

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On the side, we had steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil and a sea salt sprinkle.

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I had to rush, rush, rush to eat dinner because I had to be at group therapy by 6. I arrived at group just in time for the opening music. I joined this group last week at the recommendation of my regular therapist. The group focuses on eating disorders using the book Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Anita Johnston. The books uses fairy tales, myths and metaphors to aid in recovery from ED.

The group runs 15 weeks and last night was session 2 which focused on chapter 3. This chapter really spoke to me and I am still working through all of the ways that it hits home. The part that touches me so much is the story of  The Log . The summarize, the log represents ED, the shore represents a healthy, happy life and the rough waters represents all of the reason why we cling to our ED. We learned that we have to appreciate our ED for getting us through times that we may not have been able to cope with otherwise. Each time we return to our log, we have to realize that there is still something we need to learn.

Now, I don’t know about you but I have never appreciated my ED. For me, it has been a curse, a force to be reckoned with. But now, what I can see is that my ED helped me cope with times that were too overwhelming for me to handle. I never developed the coping skills I needed in order to survive without ED. I remember being a young teenager, hiding in my room with cake frosting. In my solitude of cake frosting, I was safe from the things that happened outside of those doors. I was child that only felt safe when I could stuff “it all” down and I am not a bad person for wanting to feel safe.

Now, in order to recover from compulsive/binge eating, I have to learn new coping skills. I learned in group that each time I reach for my ED during hard times, it means that I still have yet to learn everything I need to know to get to the shore. Ironically enough, once I got home, I wanted to binge. I wanted something chocolate and something crunchy.  I ate a few varieties of chocolates before realizing I was about to be out of control. So, I grabbed onto my log and made popcorn. The popcorn felt safe.

Thought Provoker: What do you think or feel about the log, the rough waters and the shore?

Another Day In Paradise

UGH. Work is a nuthouse. We are in the process of closing last year and it is very stressful. I am hoping to have it all wrapped up by the end of the week so that I can take advantage of the slow play and have some down time.  It always amazes me that working in an industry of leisure can be so stressful.

OK, mini rant over, let’s get onto the food and stuff.

Before leaving work yesterday, I had some greek yogurt topped with thawed mixed berries. I guess my camera likes greek yogurt, too, because my picture is missing. 😦 With a satisfied belly, I made my way to therapy, which has been pretty intense lately. But, I have to say that I have started to develop some healthy coping skills and finally feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Along with therapy, yoga, regular exercise and meditation have really changed my life.  I’m so thankful to be on this path to wellness.

And for those of you that are curious, no, I’m not dieting anymore. I learned with  my last stint that I’m just not cut out that way. This revelation came to me about six weeks in, I had a net loss of 1 lb and it sucked. I’d rather focus on being healthy and strong. I *know* in my heart that I will find my happy weight without deprivation. So there ya go, thanks for sticking with me through the tough times.

After therapy, I picked up the dear husband and we made our way to the gym. It was PACKED. This was our first time going to this particular location at this particular time of day. Normally, we only go there on the weekends and we learned last night that we will not go there again for free weights and cardio machines at 5:30 PM ever again. We are signed up for a class there on Thursday night but since we are already signed up, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Anywho, we did the STRIVE strength training circuit followed by 15 minutes on the bikes. There were no treadmills, no ellipticals or no incline treadmills available. Not even one. The bike isn’t really my thing so I was bored to tears after 15 minutes, no offense to you spinners out there. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

Once we were home from our sucktastic gym experience, we were both hungry and tired. I made a easy peasy dinner to fit our mood.  I baked Boca Chik’n in the toaster oven and topped it with jack cheese. Once it was done, I put it on a sandwich thin with BBQ sauce and pickles. Kinda reminded me of Chick Fil A except for that actual chicken thing.

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On the side, we had  a steam bag of yellow and green beans with carrots. I topped them with an olive oil drizzle and garlic with sea salt. The dear husband was really diggin’ the little round carrots that he lovingly referred to as “carrot balls”.

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For dessert, I had a little “junk food” to satisfy my sweet tooth. A small bowl of cocoa pebbles with milk, I love those things, they make me think of my grandma. As a kid, we only got junk cereal at Grandma’s house and cocoa pebbles was always my favorite. As an adult, I have learned that they really satisfy my sweet tooth.

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By the time dinner was over, it was almost bed time! I did some reading and a little tv watchin’ and then turned in for the night.

Be back later!

An Emotional Day

Well, I will tell you, the downside of getting up at 4:30 am for work is getting up at 4:30 when you don’t have to work! I woke up bright and early and finally was able to fall back asleep for another little while. Once I had my chocolate cafe au lait in hand, I sat at my computer and wasted a little time until I was ready to write my post for the day. I was really emotional for me to write it out but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I had never written about my brothers passing before and feel that it was really therapeutic. As the day progressed and I read all of your comments, it was even more so. I was able to let it out even more as I read the thoughtful and kind words. So, thanks to you guys for being so kind, I know this is supposed to be a food blog but for me, it is so much more than that.

Once I pulled myself together, I heated up a bowl of oatmeal that I made a couple of nights ago. I was made with 1/3 cup rolled oats, milk, mashed banana, a smidge of salt. Once it was done, I stirred in ground flax seed and cashew butter.

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I had errands to run and a Doctor appointment so I headed out shortly after breakfast. The doc said I had yet another sinus infection and gave me a heavy duty antibiotic and a steroid shot. After a battle with my insurance company, I got my prescription settled and headed out to buy a pair of rain boots. The weather forecast for the dear husbands race was very rainy and with the number of blocks I would be walking, I wanted my feet to stay warm and dry. I wanted a cute pair with ducks or something but I could only find the heavy duty ones for the winter. I guess the cute ones probably come out in the spring. I finally settled on a pair and headed to lunch. I went to Panera and got my favorite, the tomato mozzarella sandwich and creamy tomato soup with no croutons. It was really good but I wasn’t able to finish the soup.

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After lunch, I headed home to get packed up for our mini trip to Richmond. Though we only live 14 miles from downtown, we booked a hotel near the race to avoid the hectic traffic situation that we have faced year after year. Once we were packed and ready to go, we made out way downtown. The rain was just starting and I was glad I had on my new rain boots. Once we arrived at the hotel, I had a mini meltdown because I assumed there would be a parking deck but there was not. And though I am 32 years old, I do not know how to parallel park! I have never really been a city dweller so I’ve never really had to practice it. So, the dear husband ran into the hotel and advised them of my meltdown. A lady rushed out and parked the car for me! Then the valet came out to help us with our backs and to whisk the car away to a secret parking deck. Crisis averted. I think I need to pay my friend Sarah to teach my how to parallel park in order to avoid such situations in the future.

Once settled into the hotel, we hit the sidewalk to plan out the morning and how we would meet up once the race was over. We also had dinner at The Capital Ale House planned but walked about 40 blocks waiting for it to be 5pm. It was raining the whole time so by the time we arrived we were soaking wet for the rain and the sweat from walking so far. More than hungry, I think we were thirsty so we started off with big glasses of water. For dinner, I ordered fish n greens. The fish of the day was tilapia and I ordered it blackened. When it arrived the salad probably didn’t even equal a cup of salad so I asked for an additional salad on the side! I guess that is better than ordering an additional dessert!

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After dinner, we walked the 10 blocks back to the hotel and then settled in for the night. Just before bed, my stomach was talking to me again so I had a bowl of cocoa pebbles I had packed in preparation. Cocoa pebbles remind of time spent with my grandma when I was a child and bring happy warm memories. She always gave me cocoa krispies bu when I was buying them, I noticed that the nutrition information on the pebbles was better than the krispies. The have less calories, less sugar and more fiber! I’m not claiming they are health food my any means but they sure are a nice treat!

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Before hitting the hay, my dear friend Mara from I Made Dinner made my new header for me! Let me know what you think of it! Give her a shout out if you’d be interested in having a new header for your blog!

Thought Provoker: Do you have a favorite junk food cereal? Though my parents were not health conscious (AT ALL) they did not allow us the have sugary cereals because they were more expensive than the plain ones.  I only got junky cereals as a treat every once in a while when I was away from home.

RIP, Baby Brother

Four years ago today, my oldest younger brother was killed in a car accident. Since that time, my life and my family have not been the same. In some ways, it hasn’t been the same in good ways and obviously, some ways bad. For me, my grief comes to me at the “worst” times. Mostly while I am driving. Yesterday, when I thought to my self that today was “that day” I was overcome with grief. My mind automatically went to the creek that my brothers car was found in by his wife and my father. And the memories started to flood my mind.

My brother was missing for two days before anyone found him. He was driving home late at night and the accident caused him to land in the creek so his car could not be seen. When he didn’t come home from his late night shift as a police officer, my sister in law became worried. All day on Sunday she played phone tag with my parents and tried convincing the police station to help her look for him. They insisted that he was fine. Once she and my parents finally touched base, they went to find him. By this time, it was late Monday afternoon. My mom called me after work to tell me that he was missing and my first instinct was to get in my car and drive to NC to help find him. But I was too late. Within an hour my father was on the phone telling me that “he didn’t make it”. I collapsed on the floor and let out earth scattering screams that no one could hear because I was all alone in VA. I tried my best to vomit because that was what my body was telling me to do but it wouldn’t come out. Only deep long sobs.

I called my friend Beth and she immediatley rushed to my house to keep me company. My parents didn’t want me to make the trip to NC alone so they sent my other sister in law with some friends to pick me up. I sat there in shock and waited for the 3 hours to pass until I could hold someone in my family. Finally, when she arrived, I collasped into her arms and the crying started again. By the time we made it to NC, it was well after midnight and the first thing I wanted to do was talk to my mother. She was laying on her stomach in shock. All she could say was ‘”this can’t be real”. I didn’t want it to be real either.

The next few days are a blur for me. I only have a few memories that I can recall. The thing that stands out the most is my yelling at a reporter in our driveway because she wanted to know “how we felt”. I yelled at her  that we had just lost a precious member of our family, how the hell did she think we felt. You see, there was mass media attention around my brother’s death because he was a police officer. I can clearly see in my memory turning on the television only to see a big truck pulling my brother’s muddy car out of the water. I can clearly see the hundreds and hundreds of people that came to pay there respects.

I don’t think that I cried very much during that time, I took ativan instead. For some reason, being the eldest, I guess I felt like I had to be the strong one or something. I guess we all grieve in different ways. For me, I can’t listen to the song “I can only imagine” without bursting into tears. One of the ladies in my parents church is a christian recording artist and she sang that song at his funeral. I can’t see a deer cross the road without remembering that these things really do happen to people like me.  My grief is also wrapped up in my anxiety. I panic when the dear husband is only two or three minutes late and “know” that he is dead. When crazy drivers on the road do something to put me in danger, I see my life flash before my eyes and hope that my family won’t have to go through this again. When my phone rings, I panic that someone else is dead. I live my life in fear that those that I love will leave me before I am “ready”.

Today is the first time I have ever taken time off of work in order to grieve again. Yesterday, I was wrapped up in my crying and miserable thoughts when four deer suddenly crossed the road. I think that was my brother sending me a message that he will always be in my heart and that it is OK to let it out.

 I remember a story that my grandmother often tells about me and my brother. She was there with my parents when he was a tiny baby and she made me a bologna sandwich (on white bread, of course) and I tried to feed it to him. I went to my grandmother crying telling her that “baba” would not eat his lunch. I was only three years old, I didn’t know that the sandwich could have hurt him.

I look back on the short time that we had together and I am full of regret. We didn’t have a very good relationship. When I was in high school, my mom went to work after being a stay at home mom all of those years. My brother and I would beat the crap out of each other on the couch and my youngest brother would take a different side each day. I guess we didn’t know that hitting wasn’t supposed to happen.

I often wonder what it would be like today. Would he be proud that I have cleaned my life up and am trying desperately to make it better? Would he still be the goofy one making goofy faces at family functions? Would we have come to be friends after all the rotten times as kids? I miss him so much.

I’m not sure where people go when they die but I hope that his young soul is dancing and singing. I hope that he knows how much I love and miss him. I hope that he knows that now, because of all of this, my family says I love you. I hope that my grandmother is there and is making him mayonnaise sandwiches and macaroni and cheese and that they console each other over the red white and blue pillow that he always dragged around. I hope that one day, my painful memories will fade and that I can remember the fun times.

Rest in Peace, Baby Brother.

Do It Anyway

At 4:30 AM yesterday, the alarm went off and I groaned. Oh, I really did not want to get up to workout. I talked myself into by telling myself that, for me, skipping a planned workout day always leads to skipping three weeks of workouts. I knew that I didn’t want that, so, I got up and did it anyway! One hour on the treadmill later, I was done with my workout and glad that I did.

On the way to work, I had a chocolate cafe au lait and had breakfast once I got settled in. I had shredded wheat with almonds and milk. I had planned an apple but the cereal did a good job of making me satisfied so I skipped it.

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For lunch I had this little salad from the staff lunch with oil and vinegar dressing and leftover skillet lasagna. The dressing on the salad was so good! I really would like to know everything that was in it so I could make something similar at home.

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Around go time, I had greek yogurt with thawed frozen cherries and walnuts. This snack had tons of holding power and got me through the rest of the afternoon and my therapy session.

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Therapy was good. We first discussed my feelings about last week’s session. She said that she could tell that I was feeling very misunderstood which was true. Misunderstood is a feeling I feel very often. I feel like I am often back peddling and explaining myself even when I haven’t done anything “wrong”. After that, we talked about my joining WW again. We got into a lengthy discussion about how I plan for this time to be different. We talked about my binging and my “I don’t care” (the days that I eat without regard to my health) days. We talked about why I always quit.

The whole discussion was enlightening. I realized that my binging comes from emotional triggers rather than dieting and that my “I don’t care” days come from feelings of deprivation. This realization is big progress for me and my mind set. Mainly because it will help me in the future to pick myself up and keep trudging along. I realize now that we all have our struggles and that we all have days that the pizza sounds better than the size of our pants. But the key is to move on from it instead of letting it turn into an all out food festival.

 I also realize that moderation is a big issue for me and that this time, I will incorporate the foods that I love to eat. I will enjoy treats or even treat days but instead of turning it into days and days of not eating healthy, I will move on and keep going with my plan. I also am accepting up front that I will make mistakes and that instead of beating myself up, I need to learn from them. And better still, I hope that this process will one day be an intuitive one. Until then, I need to learn my boundaries and get rid of my fat suit. I hope to one day stop using food as love and instead, I will express my thoughts, fear and deepest emotions.

My great therapy session led me into feeling good about dinner. When I got home, the dear husband had made a frozen pizza and steamed broccoli, his specialty 🙂 The pizza was the Mediterranean Vegetable from Target and it was really good, it had cheese, spinach, sun dried tomatoes.

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Dessert was a vitamuffin with chocolate and peanut butter chips, mmmmmm.

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Thought Provoker: Does your black and white thinking get in the way of a healthy relationship with food?

Only Hungry for Chocolate

I started another day with fast oats except this time, I didn’t use so much banana. I used 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk and a dash of salt. I cooked it for 2 minutes, stirred and cooked for 2 more minutes. Once it was done, I topped with half a small banana, a smidge more milk and an almond butter spoon. I like it much better this way and what I like most is that I can multi task while it cooks and pack all of my mini meal supplies.

Work was slow and steady. For some reason, I didn’t get hungry for my second meal of the day until almost 11. I had a leftover spinach and feta chicken sausage

and a little roasted butternut squash. I ate it all cold but think next time I will heat it up a bit.

T had to run errands so she offered to pick up sushi. I got a shrimp tempura roll with brown rice and a veggie roll. I only ate about half of both as I still wasn’t all that hungry, so look for a repeat of this tomorrow!

A little after lunch, I had a raging sweet tooth and decided to have a little square of chocolate. It did the trick for the time being. Just before go time, I had some greek yogurt with granola and agave. I promise there is some yogurt and agave under that pile of granola!

I was still craving chocolate so I ended up eating what was left of my chocolate stash, not quite half a ritter bar. It made me feel sick, I felt like a kid at halloween. When I left work, I really felt like I was going to be sick but I made it to therapy without having to pull over.

I guess my therapy was coming back to me because my therapist saw that I was there very early and went ahead and called me back. I guess that makes up for her being very late last week. This time, the water works started right away. I had been having a real tough week and even though I was pinpointing some issues, I wasn’t kicking the depression or the anxiety. She really pulled some answers out of me and I realized that I have been harboring something that I haven’t really talked about.

On Saturday, I was verbally assaulted by a crazy drunk driver. It really scared me at the time and still today I have some pretty creeped out thoughts about it. It has really triggered my anxiety and depression. My therapist wants me to focus this week on “coming down” from my anxious episodes by doing things that make me feel better, namely exercise. She also suggested medication since this time of year is always tough for me because of the lack of sunshine and the anniversary of my brothers death.  I am thinking over the medication idea but will try to exercise more to see if it breaks my gray cloud.

Once home from therapy, the dear husband had lovingly prepared a frozen pizza for us. It was the Archers Farms brand with goat cheese, tomato and spinach. I wasn’t very hungry so I didn’t eat very much of it.

After dinner, we watched Oprah on the DVR. By the time that was over my stomach actually growled, I think for the first time all day. I had a bowl of hazelnut biscotti cereal with milk and then called it a night.

QOTD: Do you eat just before bed if you are actually hungry? I have never really been a believer that you shouldn’t eat before bed, I was always in the calories in calories out camp.

Looking Back

Yesterday was a momentous occasion for me. I woke up and got on the scale for the first time in a long time. Since August 1st, I have gained one pound and I am, ironically, happy about it. Even three months ago, a gain at all would have sent me into binge mode. But now, just a couple short months later, it somehow feels different. The main reason is because in my first adventure of trying to eat intuitively, I gained 15 pounds in just a short couple of months. I thought that intuitive eating meant I could eat whatever the hell I wanted whenever the hell I wanted it. I would curl up with a jar of nutella and loaf of bread most nights and exercise was rare.

Now, I eat whatever I want when I am hungry and exercise when I want. My relationship with food is far from “normal” or “healthy” but it sure is getting better. I have even decided that I need to try to eat more cleanly with less sugar because my hypoglycemia is coming back. Probably because in the past couple of months, I legalized ice cream and chocolate. By eating those foods that were always forbidden, I learned that I actually do feel best when I eat them in moderation rather than all day.  I would have never learned that had I kept depriving myself.

There is one food in my life that I still have not legalized, my old friend nutella. There is something about nutella that beckons me. It shouts my name until I have eaten the whole jar and feel sick to my stomach. Now, maybe I am ready to buy some without feeling drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Only time will tell but one thing I know for sure is that I am changing. Sure, I gained a pound doing it but it was worth every bite.

Speaking of bites, lets talk about the food for a bit.

I woke up REALLY late yesterday, I had been up all night with nausea and by the time I really got to sleep, it was almost time to get out of bed. When I did get up, I was in an insane hurry and had a bowl of Tj’s Twigs, Flakes and Cluster high fiber cereal topped with walnuts, a banana and plain hemp milk. For a high fiber cereal, I must say, it was pretty good. I am not sure of the sugar content but plan to take a closer look at that tomorrow.

Work was really busy since it was the first of the month. Once again, in one day we have to send out 500 member statements and close the books. It is a stressful time at golf world. While we were stuffing the statements, I at a peanut butter cookie larabar. It was good but I think I am over the texture of larabars and find myself longing for a KIND bar.

 

The statements were done just in time for lunch, we have really gotten into a rythm with them and are able to get them out much faster these days. For lunch, I asked for a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on wheat and a small bowl of soup. The soup that came was the most fowl smelling thing I have ever smelled. It was lamb curry stew, barf. Needless to say, I did not eat it and only ate the sandwich. Thankfully, it was really tasty.

After lunch, I really buckled down and met the rest of my deadlines. I left on time and stopped at starbucks before my therapy session because I was pretty hungry and knew it would be a while before dinner. I got a tall decaf latte and sprinkled cinnamon on top.

I am so glad I decided to get the latte because my therapist was running a half hour behind! This session was much less intense than the past couple of times. I reflected on the positive changes that are happening for me as a result of the intense therapy. First and foremost, my rekindled relationship with my treadmill and yoga. As well as, my ability to guiltlessly (is that a word?) buy a new fall wardrobe because last years was too small.

We did touch of the subject of my relationship with my dad. It dawned on me while I was talking that my expectations are just too high; I have had a fairy tale in my head about being daddy’s little girl. The reality is that just being able to sit in a room, alone, with him would be a major improvement. At this point in my life, it feels very uncomfortable to be alone with him. Having a conversation with him is like pulling teeth. It hurts and I just want to scream. 

I have an intense fear that he will pass away before I can forgive him and move on. I feel that if he were to die tomorrow, I would have intense regret making my existing pain worse. I want to be at a place of peace with him. A place that allows me to let in the love his has been trying to give me since my brother passed. A place that makes me happy and proud to say he is my dad. A place of forgiveness.

Wow, maybe my therapy was more intense than I realized.

Ok, back to the food.

Once I got home from therapy, I heated up some taco soup from the freezer and had it over barley. I skipped the toppings because I didn’t want to overdo it on dairy since I knew a greek yogurt would be in my future 🙂

For dessert, I had a greek yogurt with agave nectar. Agave has a lower glycemic index than honey so I am making the switch, again. It has a lovely light flavor that is comparable to honey, just not as sweet. I’d be very interested in learning to bake with agave!

After dessert, I was off to bed. It had been one heck of a day!

QOTD: Do you have a food that you fear because you tend to over eat it?  What can you do to overcome it? 

p.s. I have no idea what happened to all of my pictures, I think my camera ate them.