Checking In

Let me start off by saying, this is a way for me to get it out, a way of journaling. By sharing it here I feel like I might help someone else know they aren’t alone in feeling the way that I do. I talked about this last night with my husband and he listened – but I really think he just doesn’t understand all the emotions (or lack there of) that I’m experiencing. So if you aren’t into reading about all my current woes then here’s your chance to bail.

When we started “stay home, stay safe” for COVID back in March, I thought it would be fine – temporary. I figured I was home most of the time anyway. How hard could it be. Then weeks turned into months and shit just kept getting weirder in the world. All of the things I enjoyed doing – grocery shopping, regular shopping, visiting state parks, geocaching- the list goes on, became an unpleasant experience. Grocery Shopping felt like the Hunger Games and only now feel slightly better. Shopping at Target or Walmart is depressing – shelves are bare and everyone looks sad. I haven’t even tried to go to one of my favorite places – IKEA – because I just don’t want to ruin it for myself. I just don’t find it to be an enjoyable experience anymore – now I only go to the store for purpose or necessity. State Parks are busy and limited capacity – when before some of my favorite places were near empty. I haven’t even gone to some of my favorite nearby places to visit for the same reason – not wanting to ruin the memory of it. I miss my summer trips to Newport, Salem and Mystic.

We’ve also had some crazy family stuff happen during all this and there’s all sorts of emotions that happen with that. I only mention them to add to “where I’m at”, but haven’t really shared much outside of my house. There are some things that are meant to stay in house. It’s just been… emotional.

I’ve been trying to keep my boys out of the general public during all of this too. I hate seeing them wearing masks. Yes, I know the importance for wearing a mask – so don’t come at me for that. That’s why I just keep them home as much as possible. I don’t take them out for errands if at all possible and we are keeping them home this fall to continue distance learning for this same reason. I think the mask wearing and social distancing will be more detrimental than keeping them home with me. I am hopeful it’s short term. Most of my friends are sending their kids back in person. I respect them for that. It’s a tough decision either way. I wish I could do it too, but I also think my anxiety would be in high gear all the time. Keeping them home with me if for my mental health too. Hopefully I won’t have to fight with them as much this time around to do the work!

So after all of that, I completely lost my mojo about a month ago. I took a week off from working out, that turned into two and now I’m pushing four. I’m sleeping late and can barely find the motivation to do the simple day to day stuff. Yesterday was the eye opener for me that I am on depression’s doorstep y’all. I’m about to knock to have her let me in to join in her misery. I’ve got all the classic signs. I know them well. I’ve travelled this road a few times, it’s been a while since my last visit and I’m really wanting to bypass this stay. By classic signs – for me – I mean – no joy in the things that used to make me happy, not working at my fun job (my Etsy shop) as much as I would like, feeling empty, stopping working out, getting up late, going to bed early, not wanting to socialize with friends as much, not wanting to leave the house, eating…a lot, but then not wanting to cook dinner. There’s some of the things I’ve noticed. There’s also a lot of negative self talk happening and constant jealousy of anyone experiencing success-in anything- I have no limits on that one. It’s an awful trait that I tend to have. Comparison to others is a toxic trail to take. I need to pull a u-turn and come back to home base on that. It makes me feel ugly and pulls me deeper into where I don’t want to be.

I’m hoping that by writing this and sharing what I’m trying to do will help me climb out and get back to “normal”. I want to workout (weirdo right?) because my awful body issues are also rearing too. I keep thinking – “if I lose 10, 20, blah blah pounds I’ll for sure feel better” – then I eat two snickers ice cream cones – yep that happened yesterday. Here’s the thing, my brain knows that working out provides endorphins. Those endorphins after 30/60 minutes of exercise can be similar to taking an antidepressant. It’s proven to work if you can get your depressed ass moving. BUT THAT’S THE STUPID CRAZY PART! You’re so deep in your head that you talk yourself out of getting those endorphins!

I committed myself to a 18.9 mile virtual race this month. That I told myself I would complete by the last day of September. That means I have to move at least the amount of time it takes me to complete those nearly 19 miles. If I walk for 15 minutes a day I’ll hit my goal. I have to do something to motivate myself because the idea of being uncomfortable in my skin isn’t quite enough right now.

At the same time I’ve been trying to eat a little better. But that’s truly laughable, because who eats right when they’re stressed and feeling miserable. I’m trying to track what I eat and I even signed up for a nutrition webinar in about a week. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re still with me-thank you. I’d like (to try again) to update more regularly. I mean I pay for this freaking blog, you’d think I’d publish more. (Facepalm) My kids are heading back to school (in my office) on the 10th – so wish me luck. I need to find that “me” time quickly in order to manage having them here all day again. Just sitting in the office with me from 7:30 to 3 every day. At least the first two days are early release?

There is no magic number!

Sunday morning in the Weight Watchers meeting room one of the things we talked about is how you aren’t determined by the number on the scale or in your clothes. Those numbers don’t define you and shouldn’t be the cause for you to “wait until you’ve reached that so called magic number”. My leader caught me agreeing to all that she said and put me out there. I responded with some painful truth for me. When I hit my goal weight in 2010/2011, I didn’t find that pot of happiness at the end of the journey and at the time I couldn’t tell you why. I couldn’t tell you why until just recently.
Now don’t get me wrong, I had some other things going on around this time that added to my misery but my weight loss “let down” was from other choices. I’ll roll back to the beginning. My original “weight loss why”, the reason I started my journey was “To do something for me, put myself first”. Nathan was born in the summer of 2008 and he was a tough baby and then I went back to a job I was unhappy in. But at the time my husband’s business was still in its infancy and it was necessary for me to work outside of the home and carry a steady income and medical benefits. Come January of 2009 I had still not lost any of the baby weight and celebrated my 30th birthday. I was drained and felt horribly about myself. I was wearing size 18 pants to work and felt disappointed in myself constantly. I joined a gym and that wasn’t working for me. I just continued my poor eating habits. My job then offered Weight Watchers in the office. So I figured I’d try it. So I began in April of 2009. I lost 25 pounds by July and was feeling great. That fall I was really starting to feel confident, people were starting to notice my weight loss and my physical transformation. I began thriving off of those comments. I began to depend on them. I hit my lifetime status at Weight Watchers the following June (2010). I was still seeking out the compliments and the “how’d you do its!”
I kept the weight off for the remainder of 2010, all of 2011 and most of 2012. During this time I placed all of my happiness into other people’s hands. I felt if I wasn’t receiving accolades for my successful weight loss or the way I looked then I wasn’t doing something right. I felt like I must look horrible if someone wasn’t saying something about it. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and in my clothes. Instead of focusing on the fact that I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was physically fit and eating clean. I was wearing size small and single digit pant sizes.

(I used this as a before and after reminder.)
Towards the end of summer in 2012 things had settled down in other areas of my life and I seemed to be happier there. I changed jobs at work and home life seemed smooth. I started to gain some weight unexpectedly around this time but attributed it to enjoying summer too much. Then we decided to have another child so I really threw my healthy lifestyle to the wind.
Since James was born in 2013 I’ve been battling the weight loss along with Hashimotos. But I’m happier. Even though I’ve lost some and gained some over this time, I’ve remained focused on trying. After James’s accident I decided to try Weight Watchers again to have a little something for me each week (attending meetings), but my “why” changed. My why became “To be an example to my children and to be more active and involved with them. But also show them it’s ok to put yourself first sometimes”.
So what I’ve taken away from all of this is something that has been said to us so many times. Your worth is not determined by the number on the scales. But your happiness also shouldn’t be placed with someone else. I believe that you and only you should be in charge of your joy.
The pictures of myself from 2010/2011 are hard to look at for me. I see so much sadness and narcissism in these photos. I was so focused on the look at me, don’t I look great because I felt like it masked how miserable I really was.  In 2017 I think I’m getting closer to total happiness, one that I am in charge of.

Sunday Vibes

So as I take a look back at my week, overall I had a good one. I ate when I was hungry and made mindful choices. I tracked each and everyday using both the Weight Watchers app and My Fitness Pal. What’s kind of crazy is how on days that were out of sight for points on Weight Watchers weren’t bad calorie/nutrient wise on My Fitness Pal. I haven’t been drinking enough water. That I do know. I have a personal goal of 120oz per day and I’ve been averaging about half of that so I’d like to step it up on that end. Not eating sweets has been an intermittent problem for me over this past week. However I was able to satisfy the cravings with some mini marshmallows. 
One thing I’ve noticed this week is I’m feeling a little down, emotionally. I’ve been recovering remarkably well from my gallbladder surgery and I am thankful for that. Right now I’m only taking Tylenol and Motrin as needed, which is rarely. I am able to move around fairly well with only moderate pain when getting in and out of bed and my incisions have healed up nicely. I haven’t really left the house, by choice. Which is a classic beginning to spiraling into feeling depressed. Being restricted by not only my body but the doctor is tough. I’m used to doing so many things without assistance. Now I have to ask with most of my daily tasks. So a lot of the time they just aren’t being done because I only like to ask for help on something once, otherwise I feel like a nag.   I’m looking forward to continuing to heal and just need to hang in there for a few more weeks until all my restrictions are lifted. 
My goal for next week is to leave the house. Just get out and for more than to the grocery. My husband and oldest son are heading to Boy Scout Camp this morning for the week so it’ll be just me and the little guy for the week. So I’ll only need to be responsible for the two of us. I know to take it easy, but getting out and about cannot be an option. I’ve been down this road before and I know the signs so it’s time to take an exit and get off!
I’m looking forward to a great week because I’m going to make it one. No excuses.

Get your head in the game Jenn!

I am living this today. I am my own worst critic. I am my own worst enemy. I see things is such a dark light that no one else sees me in (or at least I hope not). I don’t hide the fact that I’ve battled depression and anxiety for years now. I stopped (under my doctors care) my medication about a year ago and overall things have gone ok. I have flare ups. But recently the flare ups have gotten closer together. Losing my shit over the stupidest things. Wanting to throw in the towel on my current weight loss efforts and go in search of “someone who will fix me”. Today I started calling around to nutritionists in the hopes I would find one that would magically fix me. But then the reality of the cost hit me first (it’s not in the budget right now) and then just now my husbands words resonated in my head. It all falls back on me. Every diet plan. Then I took that a step further into looking at all I do. 
I hate telling people I’m a stay at home parent. I feel embarrassed. Like someone is going to look down at me for staying home. Quitting my job still continues to criple me emotionally. Instead of doing something with myself I’ve continued to pity party. I do some part time work for my husband. I became certified in Reiki. I learned to read tarot along with some other really cool shit. I need to flip my way of thinking, that it’s bad ass that I get to stay home and do amazing things. So I’m considering it a challenge to be kind to myself. Take it day by day at first. Then week to week. 
I put this all out there for a few reasons. None of which are for sympathy. 
1.  I need to share. I need to write it down. To have a place to look back to and remind myself where I’ve been. 
2.  To possibly let at least one person that is feeling the same way I am that they aren’t alone. 
So off I go to cook some dinner. Healthy dinner. Because I’m not giving up. Never giving up. My family wants to see me smiling and happy instead of miserable and yelling. (I yell a lot) 
Thanks for reading. 

Why do I do this to myself?

Recently after eating like I was going to the chair I came to the conclusion that I suffer from binge eating.  I spent some time on the web and realized that I had a legitimate problem.  This is what has been standing in my way over this last year of constantly trying to lose weight.  I’ve always been guilty of doing this.  It used to be on weigh in day for Weight Watchers.  I would starve myself the morning of the meeting until I would weigh in, then I would binge eat for the rest of the day, not counting points and just hanging my hat on the fact that I had a whole week to “work it off”.  I somehow ended up being successful with my weight loss pulling this crap the last time.  This time the reality of life and not concentrating that “Free Food” day to one day has kept me at a stagnant weight.  I am close to the heavest I have ever been and from what I’ve been reading, that is not helping my disorder.  
Now please don’t mistake me opening up about this as an excuse for why I can’t lose weight.  Because I want to lose weight and be successful in the worst way.  I want to feel my best and right now I don’t  Every time I look into the mirror I am disgusted at how I let this happen.  Saddened that I keep “closet” eating.  I used to think I could handle anything that came my way, that my shoulders were broad and held the mentality of “it is what it is”.  Truth is I bottle my feelings and it comes out in one of two ways – sheer anger or shoving my face with every yummy treat you could think of.  Funny how we don’t binge eat on stuff like veggies.  I also know that the cards life has delt me over the last six months would have never been the ones I chose.  However I know that everyone has challenges in their life, it’s how they chose to hanldle them, that essentially make you sink or swim.  Honestly until this last week, I thought I was swimming, come to find out I was sinking.
I put this out there to not only “make my secret known”, but I want to share my road to recovery.  I have researched Overeaters Anonymous, there are meetings in my area that I hope to get to.  My home schedule is unforgiving when it comes to me getting out of the house without one or both of my children.  I think I would benefit greatly from going to a face to face meeting, but they do offer web and phone meetings-which is great.
This was hard to put into print and to have my friends know.  But I cannot do this alone.  I’ve tried and been unsuccessful.  Al, my husband, doesn’t understand, but when it comes to anything with mental health he’s at a zero with “getting it”.  I knew I had a problem when I would go out and buy a bunch of crap food, eat it until I felt gross, then throw the rest in the trash to stop myself from continuing the cycle.  It’s embarassing for sure.
So…Here’s to my personal road to success in recovering from this.
Below is some information on Binge Eating Disorder:

What Is Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.)?

A Real Medical Condition

Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.) is not just overeating. It is a real medical condition that was formally recognized in 2013. B.E.D. is the most common eating disorder among US adults. So, if you think you might be struggling with the symptoms of B.E.D., know that you are not alone.

B.E.D. can be diagnosed only by a health care provider, and only when specific criteria are met. So be sure to talk with your health care provider about any concerns you may have about your eating.

Binge Eating Disorder Statistics: 
The Most Common Eating Disorder in US Adults

Find Binge Eating Disorder statistics in the U.S. *Based on 12-month prevalence estimates applied to the full U.S. population ≥ 18 years. †Based on estimated 12-month prevalence data in the U.S.

  • B.E.D. affects an estimated 2.8 million adults, according to a national survey.*
  • B.E.D. is more common among adults in the US than anorexia and bulimia combined.
  • B.E.D. affects both women and men. Based on percentage, two times as many women are affected as men in the US.
  • B.E.D. can occur in normal-weight, overweight, or obese adults.
  • B.E.D. occurs at a similar rate across non-Latino white (1.4%), Latino (2.1%), Asian (1.2%), and African American (1.5%) adults in the US.

*Based on 12-month prevalence estimates applied to the full US population ≥ 18 years. 
Based on estimated 12-month prevalence data in the US.

Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder

People with binge eating disorder are embarrassed and ashamed of their eating habits, so they often try to hide their symptoms and eat in secret. Many binge eaters are overweight or obese, but some are of normal weight.

Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating

  • Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating

  • Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
  • Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
  • Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits

Ask yourself the following questions. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you have binge eating disorder.

  • Do you feel out of control when you’re eating?
  • Do you think about food all the time?
  • Do you eat in secret?
  • Do you eat until you feel sick?
  • Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
  • Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
  • Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?