Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post-Vacation Blues, Weight, Tiredness

This morning was the first I've exercised since last Wednesday. That's almost a week. I had hoped to take advantage of the hotel fitness room, but it didn't happen. Our trip to Beaumont, TX to visit family was truly chaotic, as is our family structure!

You see, my family is originally from Arkansas. Though it is hurtful about all the Arkansas jokes regarding inbreeding, my family does not help any of their cases. First, my mom and her cousin married brothers. Therefore, they were not only cousins but sisters-in-law. Then, my grandmother passed away, the mother to my father and to my uncle. So, my grandfather married my mom's aunt, who was the mother to her cousin, sister to her father, and had been the mother-in-law to my uncle, but this now made her also his stepmom. Though no blood ever crossed the proverbial line, it's all a little bit... well... Arkansas! So, going to visit this family is really a treat because where else will I ever find somebody who understands my family tree?

Beaumont is a 9 hour drive from Tulsa. And Gabe just turned 18 months. We took two days coming and going. Hours before we left town, I knew I was getting a bad UTI. Upon first sign of getting one, I have to go to the doctor because, for some reason, my body just skips steps and goes straight into "sick" (which I found out is a family traight.) So, once we arrived to Beaumont, my cousin took me to a clinic. My husband had dropped me off at my aunt and uncle's house when we realized that we had left his diapers, sippee cups, food, and toys all at the hotel that we had just checked into, which was about 20 minutes away. And, that's how the stay remained until we left. Chaos! Gabe acted sick the whole time, until I finally gave him his first dose of Benadryl. He perked up just in time for us to start the long trek home. I barely got to visit with anybody in my family.

One thing I did do... eat. It is so hard to be "good" when you are traveling and then when you are eating at other peoples' homes. And, my uncle treated us to all-you-can-eat FRIED seafood. Ugh! And, it wasn't a buffet... they bring out a huge plate of everything and put it in front of you.

So, needless-to-say, I've not weighed since I've been home. Truly, I had tried to watch my portions, and then I closed my eyes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sabotage City of Stress

I'm guessing that by today's blog title, you know where this is going. Don't worry. I've no idea what I weigh, but I did wear some pants today to church that I hadn't ever been able to zip up. Though they'd been in my closet for a couple of years, they still had the tags on them. I won't tell you that I ripped out a seam when I sat down at lunch!! Probably should have waited to lose a few more pounds before wearing those puppies.

My husband will tell you that the happiest day of his life was when he married me. I'm not bragging. It's just a fact. I will tell you that the day I married him was the beginning of ALL my happy days.

After we were first married, I remember Doug's sister came into town from Dallas. He was so excited. Since his family doesn't really plan, Doug "planned" his whole weekend to be available to see his sister. Friday night came and went. Knowing she'd leave on Sunday, he anticipated time with her on Saturday. He really wanted her to go to a movie with us since they both love movies. We waited at home all day for her to call and let us know when she could see us. When Doug finally got to talk to her on the phone and told her about the movie, she said to call her when we got to the theater. When he did, she didn't feel like going. In our first year of marriage, we spent many weekends like this, or so it seems. If you're going on a cruise, you plan. Italy... plan. Singing in a musical... plan. Work projects... plan. Dr. Phil says that a failure to plan is a plan to fail. I think it goes deeper. You plan for what matters to you.

I truly am a failure as a Christian. I hold grudges. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Not Biblical, but unfortunately, this is how I tend to be. My mom says I get it from her dad. Anyway, how the saying TRULY goes for me is hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Hurt my husband, and you'll wish shame is all you had to deal with because IT'S ON, sista!!!!

Why do I tell you all of this? My sweet husband agreed for us to take a LONG journey down to Beaumont, TX to see my aunt, uncle, cousins this next week. I thought it only fair to stop to spend time with his sister on the way home, spend the night with her in Dallas. Though she opted to miss Gabe's first birthday so she could accomodate her boyfriend of 13 years, I truly thought she'd be looking forward to seeing him regardless of how she might feel about her brother or me. Visiting her... not my favorite thing to do, but that's the least I can do after he spends several days with MY side of the family. But, yesterday she calls and cancelled our visit because her friends wanted to come into town and stay with her. At first, she initially called to see if we'd be okay to ALL cram into her small home, but she made it clear what our options were and none included asking her friends to come another time. These are her friends. I've never met them, and I can't tell you if my husband has seen them any in the past 10 years. Awkward! She knew the answer when she called.

The saddest part is that my husband has been treated like this so much, he acts like it is all okay, says he is "use to it." For me, it's like being used to a beating every night. Just because it's always that way, doesn't mean it hurts any less.

So, for Father's Day, we went to Mazzio's. Actually, we go there every Sunday but always get salads and thin crust canadian bacon pizza. (Believe it or not, this is very low points.) Today I ordered the Artisan pizza with sausage and had a coupon for a free dessert pizza. But I'm still angry. And I mean SEETHING. The pizza did not work any magic. The Bible says to be angry but sin not. (I wish I could reference this verse, but I can't at this time.) Anger is not a sin. It's how we manage it that determines if we're sinning. Let me just say, I'm sinning! I need prayer. It hurts to the core of my being.

Sometimes "not forgetting" is just a way of protection from those who might harm us. But, my current frame of mind is mostly in Grudgeville, which somehow adds to my anger towards her for making me feel this way. Ugh! Please pray for me. I was so hurt when she opted to miss Gabe's first birthday. Every time she hurts us, I think it can't get any worse than this. I think it's all building up. Again, please pray for me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


First, let me just say that I haven't weighed, because I've backslidden or something like that. Over the weekend I fixed fresh bruschetta. The bruschetta itself is QUITE good for me with fresh onion, tomatoes, basil, garlic, a little oil and vinegar. The bread... not so much. Of course, it is sliced very thinly but then covered with olive oil. Not the worse thing, but enough to sabotage a diet. It all counts as calories, no matter how good for you it is. Then, I had to make a pie for a Sunday School party. Why I signed up to make pie, I'm not sure. I seem to have a thing with wanting to make something that I think everybody will rave about. My oldest sister does that too. After all, she's the one who originally made the dang bruschetta for me! I make a mean german chocolate pie. But, here's what happened. There were only three of us who signed up for dessert, so I would have bet that the whole pie would have been gone by the time the party was over. But, one of the dessert-bringers bought a Marie Callendar's chocolate pie. The meringue was around 12 inches thick. So, everybody ate her pie without even touching my homemade pie. I did give most of the leftovers to my mom who shared it with my nieces. Yes, they raved, but it just wasn't the same. And, of course, I ate a small piece. Sounds fairly harmless, but when combined with bruschetta...

Last night was M.E.N.D., my support ministry for women who lost babies. I'm in charge of bringing snacks. Marlita used to do it but she quit a year ago. So, I just do it and can do it quite affordably when I find cookie and brownie mixes/dough on sale. So, on the third Tuesday of every month, when I have the support group meeting, I have NO self-control and end up eating cookies or brownies. Yesterday I ate three. Sometimes I hate myself! The good news is that I shared my challenge with a few of the girls from the Advisory Board, and they volunteered to bring the snacks over the next month or two. We decided that if we each took a turn, then the cost to bring fruit would not be so problematic. I am grateful for them. So, hopefully by next month I will have lost the weight that I've gained and can continue on instead of getting pushed back by Cookie Tuesday!

Another confession: I looked up all the symptoms for hypothyroidism and had all of them! Well, almost all. Truly, my ob/gyn can confirm that I complained about quite a few of them at my last appointment, so she agreed to get my thyroid tested, especially since it runs in the family. Does it sound weird for me to say that I am disappointed to find out that I'm perfectly healthy?

Nothing spiritual today or terribly insightful. Just the confessions of a fellow food-lover who is not adjusting well to aging!

Oh, and one more thing... For those of you who follow me because you have your own blog, I PROMISE I am going to become your follower too. Truly I tried already and somehow managed to join my OWN blog, which was great because then I looked like I had 5 whole followers... I am going to try to figure out how to become your followers very soon. I have visited your blogsites though! (How do you do that fancy stuff?!?!?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Very Personal Story of Loss

215.2! Now we're cooking with oil! (Olive oil, that is!)

As I was exercising on the eliptical at the Y this morning, I heard a song by my utmost favorite Christian artist Bebo Norman. The song is called "The Way We Mend," and it's not his best... nor do I like it because it has the name of my ministry in it... but I happened to hear it on my MP3 player. Some of the words go:

But sometimes my shadows surround me
And you take me in your arms and say
It’s the way we mend
We tear it all down and we’ll start it again
And I don’t know how but you find me where we begin
And that’s just the way, the way that we mend

As a therapist, I get it. Sometimes we have to revisit issues in our lives that hurt us in order to move past them... move past them for now. Healing isn't a one-time event. This is why in M.E.N.D., the ministry I run in Tulsa for people who have lost babies, we always talk about commemorating our babies, doing something on anniversary dates or holidays to recognize them. In essence, we revisit our pain.

How does this pertain to dieting? It certainly pertains to emotional eating, that's for sure. Preparing to have another baby for me is scary. I've had a lot of life experience, much of yet I haven't even touched on in this blog, but some of the most significant pain was when I had my miscarriages. The first d&c didn't go so well, and I still ended up having to miscarry at home for WEEKS after the d&c. It was physically painful. Then one morning I woke up and decided I was sick and tired of being strong, and I just broke down. My doctor was giving me so much information about my body that I didn't understand, and all I could think of was this baby just didn't want to leave me. I had a second miscarriage several months later. I was then convinced that something was so wrong with my body, confirming what I had thought my whole life... that something's wrong with me. Most women who lose a child feel shame. They wonder if they did something wrong, if they had done something differently would that baby have lived, if they hadn't eaten that piece of pizza or exercised too hard or taken an OTC pain reliever or thought poorly towards another person or.... I had all this on my shoulders. On top of it all, I felt like nobody understood. I was so lonely.

Third time was a charm but oh so scary and full of drama. Some of my heartbreak came when I found out my niece was pregnant. My niece... I love her despite the fact that she works hard at giving us all reason not to. I had always assumed I'd be the next one to bring a baby into the family. It had been 10 years since the last grandchild was born. Never did I think that my niece would beat me to it. On top of it, she was having a boy. My mom had 3 daughters and 4 granddaughters. I was supposed to be bringing a boy into the family who would be doted on and get all the attention. Now, he'd have to share it with his cousin's son. Twenty months later, I must say that my niece's son is such a blessing, but at the time, it all felt so tragic.

During the whole pregnancy, I counseled women whose babies had died. I never relaxed. Then I went to one of those places that does 4D ultrasounds. It is supposed to be for fun, so they can't tell you if they notice anything wrong with the baby. I saw Gabe's cord around his neck. Having WAY too much faith in the gal doing the ultrasound, who was also a doula, I listened to her explain that babies will often play with their umbilical cords and that it just looked like it was around his neck because he was holding it up to his face. I relaxed... told her about my ministry and how that might make me a little more nervous than their average customer. She called me at home the next morning. She explained that a fellow doula's customer had lost her baby a day after it was due to be born and requested some brochures about M.E.N.D. She then said she'd be praying for my baby. Now, she hadn't struck me as a very spiritual person. Combined with the way she said it, I was unsettled. I talked myself out of my panic, knowing that I was way too nervous.

Seems like my whole church was praying for me, Doug, and Gabe during my pregnancy. I had shared about my miscarriages with several people as I sought out support. Little did I know how much I would need their prayers.

Doug got laid off from his job of 8 years just 2 weeks before Gabe was born. Two days later, I was put in the hospital for high blood pressure and to be tested for preclampsia. What a time. When it rains, it pours. I did have mild preclampsia, but we were able to manage it with rest. I wanted a vaginal childbirth so bad. I would prove that I was a real woman. But, in talking with the doctor about my issues that caused the first d&c to go badly, combined with the preclampsia, she encouraged us to go with a c-section.

I don't know if my ob/gyn is a Christian. As a matter of fact, I sorta think she's not. I've spoken openly about my faith with her. She listens but shares nothing of hers. It was so important to me to reflect the Lord to her. So, on the day of Gabe's birth, he was born with the cord wrapped around his neck not once, but twice, AND a true knot in his cord. You don't even want to know how many people I've talked with who have lost babies due to cord accidents and knots. Had I not made the decision to have a c-section, Gabe likely would not have survived labor. Out loud, before my doctor, nurses, and anyone who could hear, I cried and praised the Lord when my ob had given me the news about his cord and that he was just fine. I know my doctor had to wonder about my God that day.

It doesn't make sense, does it? How a girl who God protected so much could be scared to get pregnant again? When will I get it... be the woman of faith I long to be?

To top it all off, toward the end of my pregnancy I received a call from a girl in pain. She had lost her baby just one day after it was due to be born. She came to a M.E.N.D. meeting and told me how a doula had been scheduled to deliver her beautiful boy Samuel. Yes, it was the girl that the ultrasound tech had called me about. And, no, she hadn't received any M.E.N.D. brochure from any doula. She found M.E.N.D. another way. God wanted her to find M.E.N.D.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Always a Price to Pay

215.6 I'm not sure if I really lost a pound or if I just lost water weight since the weather is so much cooler outside today than usual, but... hey... I'll take what I can get.

Weight loss is fun, but doing all the work to get the weight off... not so fun. My mom wanted us to go out to breakfast today and then shopping. Initially, I thought it was doable. We were going to go to Mimi's, where they are known for trying to cook things fairly healthily and offer fruit and other options. But, Mimi's didn't work out, and we ended up at IHOP. Now, I've got to say, pancakes are not the worse things in the world you can eat when dieting. It's the butter, syrup, sausage, and bacon that will kill you. We split an order of pancakes, and I went extra light on the butter. (Fortunately it hadn't all melted into the pancakes yet.) Then I ate part of a sausage link. It's hard to judge how much syrup I used, but all-in-all I'm going to say that I probably ate about 13 points worth of food. The price I must pay for this fun: Now I only have 7 points of food left. So, I had a mini bag of light popcorn for lunch (1 pnt). Tonight I will fix hamburger patties made of 94% fat free meat with zucchini, corn, and green beans! I think I'll make it through this day without blowing it. Just 8 more hours until this day is through. If you could hear my son screaming right now, you'd know that I am saying this not JUST because I'm trying to get through the diet! He fell asleep on the way home from shopping, so he had a 30 minute power nap, prohibiting him from taking his regular two-hour nap. I had thought that going somewhere with his grandmother in the morning would make the day go by faster. The price I'm paying: No free time today.

There is a price to pay for everything!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You are Stronger

I maintained my weight and managed to not blow this whole effort through the weekend. I must admit that I am amazed at how much work goes into losing 3 lbs. I do aerobic exercise 4 times a week, track what I eat while trying to make allowances for mistakes, don't use any of the extra points that Weight Watchers gives everyone, which is a whole days worth of food or more, and after two weeks I am still only at a 3 lb weight loss. I'd understand better if I only had about 20 lbs to lose, but come on, people! I weigh 216!!! If I'm keeping my Weight Watchers points at 20, not giving myself extra points for exercise, and am still having such slow progress, then something seems off. I decided that maybe it's not JUST about caloric intake but the source of my calories. So, Friday night I went to the store and bought all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Quite honestly, I'm expecting to have some good news on the scale tomorrow. If I don't, I just don't know if I'll endure.

I am doing this blog out of desperation. I really need help to get this weight off, because I really want to try for another baby and be as healthy as possible. However, since my husband was laid off from his job toward the end of 2008, he's been doing contract work while our Cobra benefits expired a couple of days ago. We decided that I would have plenty of time to try to get fit since having a baby wasn't a good idea under these circumstances. Can I just point out one thing... maybe two? Please notice that I said WE DECIDED. Yes, we prayed about it, but sometimes I think I am too practical to make for a very good Christian. Let me explain... We found out last week that the company that my husband has been doing contract work for is going to hire us on permanently. Though no paperwork has yet been signed, the official announcement has been made at his work place. Papers will be signed likely this week. I really anticipated that this would not happen until next year. So, in my mind, I had months to get serious about dieting. Can somebody tell me where my faith is? Had I been more a woman of faith and worked on my health in the more desperate manner like I am now, I may feel fit enough today to have a baby. Who knows. I just know that God came through with a job, but I'm still too overweight to consider getting pregnant! I decided that He wouldn't provide until NEXT YEAR, but He knew differently.

You are stronger. You are stronger. Sin is broken. You have saved me. It is written, Christ is Risen. Jesus, You are Lord of All.

We've been singing the above anthem at church on a fairly regular basis now. I love it. I can't help but raise my hands and praise Him for being stronger than my sin, for saving me from not only Satan but myself. He is stronger!

Friday, June 4, 2010

On Wednesday morning I weighed only to find out that I somehow had gained 3 lbs. There I was, back at the beginning again. I wanted to go back to bed. I've had better nightmares than this. As a coping mechanism, I convinced myself I needed to go to the doctor. Surely there is something dreadfully wrong with me if I can't lose weight any better than this. Haven't you heard about those women who go to the doctor to find out they have tumors the size of globes growing inside of them? I'm convinced mine is just beneath my belly button. I shouldn't joke. But, sometimes I feel if I don't find some humor somewhere, I'll cry.

A lot of people will blame weight gain on hormones. I do know that women swell before, and sometimes during, their cycle. However, if it's not THAT time, I'm always very careful about blaming anything on my hormones. What if they hear me? I mean, I NEED them not to pack up and go home. I'm turning 40 and want another baby. This means, I must be very kind to my hormones. So, if I gain 3 lbs and it's NOT the beginning of my cycle, or in the middle of ovulation, my hormones are innocent. HEAR ME? Innocent!

Fortunately, this morning I had again lost my 3 lbs. I'm tracking every bite like crazy in an attempt to take full responsibility for those 3 lbs by perhaps having not been as precise in my tracking as I should have. So, just a minute ago I shared a frozen peach treat with my son. This stuff is sold in the canned fruit section of my grocery store. Tasted and smelled like peaches. Seemed fairly harmless. Then, I needed to figure out how many points I had if I only ate half. I was seriously thinking it would be half a point, maybe one full point. But, it was TWO points! What a scam! Live and learn, people. I could have had TWO Oreo cookies.

Last night we went to a Tulsa Drillers game in a suite with free food provided. Amazingly, they had burgers, chips, hot dogs, chips/dip, cookies, pop, and all sorts of other yum. BUT, they also had grilled chicken, beans, and a veggie tray. I was pretty satisfied with the choices I made to eat right.

Here's what I've eaten so far today:

1 1/4 c. Kix cereal (2 pnts)
1 c skim milk (2 pnts)
fat free dog with bun, mustard (1 pnt)
1 oz potato chips made with Olestra (1 pnt)
1 Oreo (1 pnt)
1 small apple (1 pnt)

Not too bad! Boogied in Zumba this morning and did circuit training with skinny Amy yesterday!

A special thanks to Sweet Sara for commenting on my last post. It encourages me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tips to Dieting Sanely

Didn't weight this morning. No real reason.

Weekends can be so difficult for me to diet! Add to it a holiday weekend, and typically it is Sabotage City. So, I feel pretty good about how things went over the weekend. Last night got a little rough as I was pouring chocolate sauce onto my Weight Watchers popsicle... Oh well!

For my first week on this journey, I guess we can agree that I lost 3 lbs. While this is good, we will really start cooking with oil when I reach 214. (I was just 214 a few weeks ago before backsliding.) I haven't been less than 214 in over 5 years.

Here are some tips that tend to work for me when losing weight:

1. Cooking can be laborious. I never know what to do with chicken, pork chops, etc to make it enjoyable. So, yesterday we grilled out a bunch of meat. Since there's just two adults here, grilling out is a waste if you're only doing two or four items. We put out pork chops, pork ribs, chicken, and fat free hot dogs. We ate some of the ribs last night for dinner, while my hubby took the rest to work for lunch today. Tonight I will use the grilled chicken to make a grilled chicken salad with lots of veggies! For lunch today I ate one of the hot dogs in a White Wheat bun by Nature's Own with some of those Lay's potato chips made with O'Lean, or something like that... the stuff that makes you sick if you eat too much. Fat free hot dogs are around 25 calories. You don't even have to count ONE point for that, and when grilled outside, they are tasty. The bun... ONE point. The chips... ONE point! Not completely healthy, but not gonna kill me either! A two point lunch! (We froze the pork chops.)

2. My husband and son love bananas, banana pie, banana ice cream, banana pudding, you get the picture. So, last night I made instant sugar-free vanilla pudding, put in some banana slices, then topped it with a few vanilla wafers and fat free cool whip. Very satisfying and a good alternative to the kind my mother makes, the good old-fashioned banana pudding that gets baked and has all sorts of sugar and yum in it.

3. Snacking is my favorite thing to do when I'm bored. Not the kind of snacking where you really cut something up or sit down to eat it, but the kind where you shove a cracker in your mouth and walk away... forgetting all about it when tracking your food input, though you've done it five times that day. So, here's what I do. First, I lower the amount of points I'm allowed to have a day by one or two and definitely do not count my exercise to allow for the extra points. This way I'm mostly safe.

Okay, that's all I have for now. More to come. Do you have any tips or favorite foods for dieting sanely? Please share.