Sunday, May 31, 2009
I Like PhD2
I am thinking I like PhD2. He is a soft spoken man and seemingly very kind hearted. He keeps telling me how great it is of me to be willing to talk to him and to have sought him out and he reinforces it when I tell him something "deep" by restating again how great that was and strong that was of me to share it with him.
PhD2 Likes Me
And on Weds. as I left he thanked me as I left and told me he was really enjoying getting to know me. I kind of scoffed and made a face and said thanks. It's not that I don't think of myself as likable. Like my father, I am charming and like to think of myself as a charmer. It's just that I don't think of myself as being particularly likable with PhD2, unless you like someone who cries a lot and uses a lot of tissues to blow her nose.
My Crying Profile
He tells me it's fine to use our sessions to cry. The therapist I had in Boston BBT used to say the same thing. I have to admit, I'm a crier. Not a watch-a-sweet-commercial-on-TV crier or see-someone-I-love-do-something-that-makes-me-proud crier, like my lovely stepdaughter. And not a cry-at-my-own-creative-works-in-pride crier like my stepdaughter and her father (my Hubby). I'm more of a of bawling-sniffling-self-pitying-floundering in indecision and woe crier. I'm a frustration crier. I'm most likely to cry in everyday life if I'm frustrated.
Do you remember how Holly Hunter's character in Broadcast News took a break at least once a day to unplug her phone and sit at her crowded desk in the middle of a busy newsroom and just boo hoo? She'd cry hard and solidly for a few minutes, wave at people who walked by and spoke to her, keep crying, then blow her nose, sigh, hang up the phone, and get back to work. Since I saw that many years ago, I've always thought what a great relief that would bring. Like a hard refreshing southern rain. More reviving than a siesta.
What kind of crier are you?
Our Session Profiles So Far
I've told PhD2 that talking about my feelings isn't a challenge for me. .. it's doing something about those feelings that is the challenge. But so far, he seems to have this approach, which seems quite effective: He lets me do a kind of spew. Then, he says, Let's pause here. And he recaps briefly and takes few moments to talk and focus on the key parts. This helps keep us focused and with a more actionable chunk.
The First Bonding Moment
The funny thing is that on my way to my first appointment with him, I got lost. This is not too surprising given my mapping challenges. After driving back and forth a few times, I pulled over on a side street and called him. You may know that PhDs never answer their phones. They all have some kind of voice mail. . . sessions going on and all. So I didn't expect him to answer. I just thought, he would probably be looking for me and so he might check his messages. So I left a message and decided to just sit tight for a few minutes to give him a chance to call me back before I started driving around more and looking on the other side of the road.
I only had to sit a few minutes before my phone rang. PhD2 hadn't listened to my messages, he just saw my name and number and called me back. He asked me where I was and said, "You're close. How about I just stay on the phone with you and guide you in?" He waited as I made a U-turn. . .his voice leading me to him. . . until he saw my car through his window. As soon as he said those words, I thought you are the PhD for me; it was kind of like Renee Zellweger's character in Jerry Maguire saying, "You had me at hello."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
- Al Jolson, 1886, known for singing in black face
Dorthea Lange, 1895, photographer, known for her photos during the depression
John Wayne, 1907, The Duke, OK. . . maybe he's not dichotomous. . .but definitely noteworthy!
- Peggy Lee, 1920, known for this very sad song called Is That All There Is?
Miles Davis, 1926
- Jack Kevorkian, 1928, known for euthanasia enthusiam
- Brent Musberger, 1939, sports commentator for ABC (ssshhhh. . . don't tell Hubby! He hates Brent Musberger because he is often commentator of Ohio State football games and hubby thinks he is biased against the bucks!
- James Arness, 1923, also not dichotomous as far as I know, but I had to put him here and out of chronology to make up for Mush Mouth to Hubby (he met James Arness so he has a soft spot for him)
- Stevie Nicks, 1948, best known for being part of Fleetwood Mac
- Me, 1963
Gemini Information for May 26
You should embrace: Comfort, conversations with yourself, solitude
You should avoid: Pragmatism, estrangement from friends, self-pity
- Lenny Kravitz, 1964, ; I liked this version better, but it wouldn't allow download:
And I admit, I am not cool enough to have really known this song. I just stumbled over it and liked its attitude.
- Helena Bonham Carter, 1966
- My niece, 1983 (born 20 years and 2 min after me)
Monday, May 25, 2009
So May 26 makes me a Gemini--the sign of twins. The metaphor of having a split personality. That's me. Sweet one minute, short tempered and scowling the next. Upbeat and cheerful then turn around to be depressed and dispirited.
I guess it's little wonder that the post title "Dichotomy" by Lyn at Escape from Obesity caught my attention. In her essay, she talks about the fat girl and fit girl inside her. The single letter difference reminds me of my own post on the topic. It's a nice read, as many, many of Lyn's posts are. But it was the ending that I most wanted to inhale and absorb as my own:
I'll let Fat Girl sleep for now. She can slumber away, dreaming of cupcakes and lasagna while I live the life I've always wanted. When she awakens, I'll teach her to be civil. I can love her until she learns that it's safe to let herself become one with Fit Girl. And then there will be peace.
I am so desperate to be free of feeling overwhelmingly tired and defeated before and after I eat. The hopelessness I feel when faced with choosing what to eat is like being zapped with a weapon of sci fi world. . .feeling myself vaporizing into bits then into nothingness. A few minutes of mind numbing escape while serving, chewing, swallowing. Then spirit crushing heaviness and weariness after eating that begs for sweet sleep only to awaken with the leaden and painful steps that follow overeating. When will I choose change? When will change come?
Friday, May 22, 2009
I'm kind of surprised that I don't see more bloggers writing about this, but then again, it's probably something most people think of as private and have boundaries against talking about. Me, I have so few boundaries. . .for better or worse.
Plus, I'm not sure many of us like to claim depression. You can get away with not claiming it, unlike denying that you're fat, which everyone sees.
When I read blogs about people like me who are struggling, who know what to do but seem to have trouble actually doing it, I think they are probably depressed. I remember when I was going to Weight Watchers meetings regularly --the time I actually lost 60 lbs going, and hearing people talk and thinking, they're depressed; they're not ready. I admit I felt a tad superior. I'd been reading Prochaska's Stages of Change book, and I felt ready. I had turned on that magic switch. My husband was sitting beside me in meetings, and we were doing it. We were going to the the grocery store for the week's menu right after the meeting, and we were walking together at least once a day, and adding onto that time spent on our trek. I thought, what took me so long to do this? It's not so bad.
Fat people. . . are people who have eaten too much, exercised too little,
haven't created or changed their lifestyle to a healthy one, haven't gotten the
counseling if necessary, haven't gotten the regulating drugs if necessary,
haven't asked for the help, haven't learned what they needed to learn, etc.
The line about not getting counseling leaped out and slapped me in the face. I admit part of me thought. this guy is 26 years old; he's just having these realizations for the first time; good for him; he thinks, like I thought that by the time he is my age (20 years his senior), he will be over this fat thing. Just like I thought when Oprah lost all that weight before she turned 40 that I would achieve that earlier than she did. And I admit as mean as it sounds, that I wasn't sure if I wanted him to succeed or hit the wall that I have.
But the fact that I have done--I have walked the walk and stayed on the course and during that time it didn't seem like such a challenge. The challenge isn't staying on the horse; it's getting on and off the thing over and over.
And after my sad post, 3 of my non-virtual friends confronted me. One to step beside me for daily help to confront this thing, and 2 to tell me that what I was feeling was not normal. One said, you're feelings are not from being fat, it's called depression."
And the other said words that also deeply resonated because of the way she said it, knowingly, or not, she said, "You're in a depression. . ."
That made it sound temporary--from and even keel to a lower place, a depression--and most depressions in the earth are a temporary concave spot, that rises back up to even ground. And that gave me hope.
One day soon after I spent the day looking through my insurance for a new counselor. I prefer men. I looked them up online. I made a few calls. I asked a few questions. I set up an appointment that happened this past Weds. The first meeting seemed good. . .I'll let let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Steam green beans
Fry a few slices bacon
remove bacon and excess grease, add sliced shallot and minced garlic with a bit of olive oil
pour shallots and minced garlic on green beans
add halved grape tomatos
add chopped fresh rosemary and grated pepper
Question for other fat walkers or those with problem feet: What are your favorite brand of sneakers? And do you add arch supports? Do you pronate? My feet hurt where the toes connect to my foot--wiggling my toes hurts. I think it may be from wearing sandals. . . a doctor told me once they don't support your feet as well.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I felt this ever so minor, never before recognized, sensation, kind of like a baby baby flip, in my gut during a minor tense point of the meeting.
To my shame and dismay, I've realized in the past that I often incorrectly assign every gut feeling to hunger. I've eaten when it became clear later that what I interpreted as a need to eat was actually apparently a sign that I was going to be sick. This has happened more than once.
Every now and then, when I am having a conscious moment, and I want to eat at an untimely point during the day, it dawns on me that I suddenly feel tense. And I actually take a moment to ask myself: What just happened? And I may realize some incredibly small seeming, unconscious, never-fully-registered thing that just happened--I talked with someone who I am not sure I can trust, for example.
Does this make me a weak human being? Over analytical? Under analytical? Completely normal? More like everyone else than I ever realized? More neurotic than I ever realized? I am not sure.
A post I read recently was about "Checking In" where Lyn of Escape from Obesity was talking about obvious things that cause us to check, or zone, out, like watching TV or playing video games.
But obviously I check out in much less obvious ways. In fact, I may be functioning more like a complete ZOMBIE through my life than I ever recognized.
On Saturday, we had our dog trainer Wendy of PupsinProgress here to help us out with Puppy Yeats. And once again, I find that puppy training may apply to my life.
Hubby gets a much better response to Yeats than I do. She (Yeats is a she) knows commands like sit, down, off; she just doesn't do them for me, or at least not with one command or for more than maybe 30 seconds.
Yesterday when Wendy, who is part dog trainer and part human psychologist I'm coming to believe, started pointing out to me that I am clearly unconscious/in a zone when Yeats does certain things. Like if I'm talking (which admittedly is most of the time when I'm awake) or watching TV or cooking or something, I may not notice or say anything to Yeats when she jumps on me. So she'll do it again, and probably again. Then she moves to my toes and starts biting them or she snags my blouse, and then because I suddenly feel pain (physical or financial), I yell "OFF!" But even then it's a kind of yell that energizes her, not a tone that lets her clearly know I mean it.
It turns out the poor dog may be leaping on me just to get me to FOCUS.
Hubby said this zoning out is probably why I have no sense of direction--why I don't mentally map; that is notice landmarks and stuff that would help orient me--because I am in a zone.
I had my hearing checked once (at Hubby's insistence) and it was perfectly normal. I kind of realized I just wasn't paying attention well. Sometimes if I thought for a moment I knew what was said, I just automatically said, "huh?" before it registered.
It makes a girl wonder; how often am I checked out? And why exactly am I checking out?
Several reasons have crossed my mind--
- I'm bored.
- I'm caught up in something else.
- It came from childhood and my mom calling for me (translation: I'm self-centered and lazy).
- It came from childhood and angst when my parents divorced and when my mom lived with a man I hated--I didn't want to have to listen or partake (translation: I'm pathetically caught in a time warp).
But I think the closest reason that I may be checked out is because I'm too busy being in my head saying shitty stuff to myself and worrying about something other than the moment I'm in.I think it's time to find a new inner companion. I need more of an inner, kind, protective, guiding spirit instead of a nasty little voice perpetually telling me I'm needy and lazy and all around never succeeding.
Maybe a puppy jumping on me turns out to be a gift to shake me out of myself and look out at the world. . . and deserve to be listened to.
It's a restaurant turned lab; and diners are the rats. Scientists in an adjoining room dubbed Big Brother Room 1 (read 1984 if the reference is lost on you) monitor such data as:
- How much consumers weigh: a black rubber scale at one of the cash registers unobtrusively weighs diners.
- What diners choose to eat (and how that varies based on their dining companions)
- How much food they throw away
- Their facial expressions as they eat
- How factors like light and smell and noise affect their eating
And I found these little additional details in NYT article about the place:
- Chairs can monitor the heart rate of diners
- Chewing and swallowing rates can be monitored
The Restaurant of the Future states several objectives. And I'm sure some of their results will be for good--like helping us learn about how we make healthier choices, and some will be for ill--like helping a fattening restaurant or food producer ensure that we keep scarfing down their brand.
So while I clearly find all this fascinating, my real wonder is, if I really paid attention, how much could I discover about myself? For someone who has been dubbed "overly sensitive" my whole life, someone who is considered by others and considered by myself to be very compassionate and full of empathy, it's amazing to me when I have it called to my attention how truly unaware I am of what's happening to me inside and sometimes even duh, to the outside. [In my personal story, this is where the DUN DUN music of Law & Order gets inserted.]
This is one of the things that made Weight Watchers Core program less than appealing and a bit frightening to me--that so much depended on paying attention to your level of fullness and stopping at the appropriate time.
In the research on the healthy eating habits of people in Japan that is also the secret--they only continue to eat until they are 80% full. This concept was so alien to me that I think the first time I heard it I actually laughed rather than saying AHA! The answer I've been seeking!
So if I could zoom in, turn on, and scientifically analyze my own dining habits, what do I think would be most important to study?
- How many more unhealthy things do I truly eat around my mother?
- How slowing down to eat would affect how much I consume?
- Whether eating 1/2 size my normal portions on a side dish size plate instead of a big dinner one would cause me melt in a puddle of tears, lead me to rip the cabinets open in a fit of self pity or hunger or rage an hour later, or send me to bed feeling nutritiously self righteous, smug, and perhaps dreaming of breakfast?
- And if videotaped myself eating (which I have no equipment to do that btw), would I cry? Wake up? I think it would be worth to try to step out of myself and look down on myself as my own big brother and focus for just long enough to collect some scientific data to analyze logically and without emotion or bias.
What would you study about yourself?
This video from the restaurant itself gives more scientific detail--check it out.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I mean, this message is clearly directed to me and only me, don't you think? How could he know through the blogosphere exactly what needed to be said?
"There’s a bright shiny new day waiting for you and you’re letting it slip away while you lie there beneath your layers and layers of covers, wishing the world would go away. I’ve got news for you, Sunshine: the world’s not going anywhere." Check out the rest.
So that got me to thinking about the perfect weight loss solution--a mind meld with someone who's already succeeded, someone who can give me just a teeny tiny (insert snort of sarcasm here at the gross understatement) jump start in my attitude, plan, and body.
- A mind meld from someone who already has the right attitude like Jack
- Or the right exercise plan like MizFit,
- Or an amazingly healthy diet like Lynn,
- Or the kickass flat abs of Sandrelle,
- Or the youthful perception and humor of Tricia.
Oh, hell, as long as I'm dreaming--how about a mind meld with them all?
Could the 5 of you please line up in my family room for a conga line mind meld? I'll provide antibacterial goop so you can stay free of transferable viruses, entertainment with puppy Yeats who has a more square nose and more fluff than puppy dog above, a nice cool drink, big hugs, and eternal gratitude.
If any of the rest ya'll want in on the transference (assuming the fab 5 agree, and how could they turn down a visit with that fluffly bundle below), send your check for $5K to me. I'll put you on the invitation list. Or . . . just send me a few kind words today and ongoing encouragement. I'm easily bribed, I loves me a crowded house, and succumb quickly to signs of affection.
Most recent pic of Yeats from my cell phone:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
My first ever blog award from Kelly/September Mom at My Voice, My View.
I'm supposed to pick 15 others to get the award. Here they are:
1. Gigi at http://chunkymonkeymama.blogspot.com She's been a great support to me and I want to give her a pretty thank you note.
2. Jack at http://jackfit.blogspot.com because I want to add a little yin to the yang award on his site now (and I think he's macho enough to handle the frills)
3. Souporsoprano at C'est La Vie because she's a bella
4. Lynn at Hungry Little Catepillar--where ya been, Lynn?
5. Lynn at http://lynnsweigh.blogspot.com because she is my hero.
6. Maria at Gardening with Turtles because her photos and her artwork and her stories are all simply beautiful
7. Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain--another site with beautiful photos and sentiments
8. SiSi at My Craft Thingies she's just starting out and has some cute step by step crafts
9. My new friend at http://chocolatecovereddaydreams.blogspot.com because she has a beautiful heart
10. Maria Rose at Little Things Are Big because she sees the beautiful side of everything
11. The mom to be at Hot Belly Mama another woman with rose colored glasses
12. Brenda at Rinkly Rimes a delightful site
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Please allow me to share the laughs.
#1 If the Truth Be Told Headlines
Cammy of the Tippy Toe Diet, rants and rambles about magazine headlines and then suggests a few ideas of her own. Here's her intro along with some of my favorites:
Clearly, most of these headlines are geared toward women who have very little weight to lose and most are focused on physical appearance. Just once I'd love to see magazine headlines the kind that reflect the realities of those of us for whom weight loss can't be summed up so easily:
5 Seldom Used but Effective Profanities to Toss at People Who Stare or Shout Insults at You While You're Exercising
Quit Reading This Magazine and Move!Move!Move!
Check it out.
#2 Parodying Poe
Jack Sh*t is clever, Baby, I tell you. I loves me a clever man. (Don't worry, Hubby, I still choose you--the cleverist of them all!)
I'd like to copy Jack's whole poem here so I have it forever. . . but I don't want to plagiarize. . .
so here's the first stanza to get you intrigued. . . you must read it all:
The Raven-ousCheck it out!
By Jack Sh*t at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit (http://jackfit.blogspot.com/)
Once upon a morning fleeting,
I was pondering what I was eating,
Logging in my early meal's caloric score.
I was finally able to finagle,
how many carbs were in that bagel,
When suddenly there came a rapping,
rapping on my kitchen door.
"'Tis my wife," I softly muttered.
"Returning from the grocery store.
Only this, and nothing more."
I put down my bread (unbuttered), "Honey, is that you?" I uttered. . .
#3 Too Fat to Exercise
Are you ready to laugh? Then go meet & check out Tricia at Fight Fat Phobia. Her recent post: I would walk 500 miles . . . but someone has to count! is a riot!!
Her challenge?--finding a cheap exercise device that will accommodate her 250+ lb frame! Her post reminds me of this T-shirt offer. Here's one of my favorite bits:
I went [to Wal-mart] because I wanted to get one of those aerobic step thingies. Like, the little step thing, you know? I had this grand plan that I could set it up on the kitchen floor and every time I go into the kitchen, I'd make myself do 10 or 20 step-ups on it. Those would add up since the kitchen is my favorite place to be lately. And since I hate stairs so much, one of two things would happen: a) I would start to not hate stairs so much or b) I would just stop going to the kitchen. Win/winCheck out the rest!
And I've found that funny bloggers, also often have funny commenters. . .
Here's part of what what Kristine said to Cammy:
PS I'm currently 378 and I use the STEP at the gym just fine. No one rushes up and yells NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you're toooooooooooooo bbbbiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig. Nor does it bow or bend as I get on and off :)
This makes me giggle every time I read it! Totally annoyed Hubby as he was trying to watch Lebron James! And everyone knows you have to have complete silence and NO LAUGHING to focus on basketball!
Hubby, this is for you:
Saturday, May 9, 2009
In a few weeks, I will turn 46. . . another year gone by with no personal progress. In fact, I think I'm more down than I was.
I've been really bothered by something I read on Stages of Change recently. His post says being fat is a choice. I find this hard to. . . umm. . . swallow. I am not saying that I don't I have a role in being fat. I certainly overeat and I've returned to a sedentary life. But you know, there are plenty of other people out there who overeat and are sedentary who are not obese. OK, so I have a genetic tendency--gives me all the more reason to eat right and exercise--right?
I just don't think it's all figured out yet. Everyone makes it sounds like there are basically 2 components, but I think there's an unidentified X and maybe also a Y.
I have above average intelligence. I've accomplished a lot of things in my life. By most accounts, I'm successful. I'm compassionate. I have perseverance. I've been fat since I was 7 years old. Even when I lost 60 lbs and kept it off for 6 years, and worked with a trainer 3 times a week,, and saw a counselor, I was still shopping in the plus department.
Maybe Fat is something I choose. . . I have never really believed the existing weight loss programs would work for me. So I don't have a huge history of trying diets. I've basically tried 3 things. . . a kind of Atkins when I was in high school (lost 35 lbs and started gaining it back instantly); counting calories in college (1000 a day--lost ~35 lbs and kept it off a while--was the only time I briefly shopped out of the plus sizes), and Weight Watchers, again and again and again and again.
They say the sign of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Of course, I've tried to shake WW up a bit. I added exercise. I added a trainer. I added a counselor. I added antidepressants.
I never thought weight loss surgery would work for me--how would that change my brain? I never thought liquid diets or packaged food would do it for me--what would that teach me? Except I'm sure it would be easier to move my body if there were less of it to move. And I guess I've always believed that being fat is my fault enough that pills didn't appeal.
Maybe I do choose to be fat because something in my brain says fuck it.
Maybe I do choose to be Fat because even though I fear having a heart attack one day when I'm just standing still (I told my doc boss this week that if I had a heart attack I hope it took me out because I couldn't stand the humiliation), it doesn't spur me. Even though I feel like I'm just sitting waiting to be shot at with the diagnosis of diabetes, and even though I think, Will that do it for me? Will that make any difference? Would that be the click? or would I just slink away in self pity and watch myself get bigger and bigger, deeper and deeper in the muck so blue sky is unreachable?
All these articles and people talk about being healthy to live longer and I think, what is the point? I don't have children. My husband is older. I don't do anything but work. Who wants to live longer to spend the evenings to watch TV or read one more book?
I wanted to travel, but then went on a few trips and felt like it wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Hubby isn't keen on traveling. Of course there are people I love and who love me, but no one who needs or depends on me that I need to sustain myself for. I don't believe in an after life.
Plus, as I get older, I realize more and more things I thought I wanted really aren't practical anymore--I've tried taking piano lessons (at 41), but it seems unlikely I'll ever really play. I sucked worse at trying the guitar. I've always wanted to write fiction. . . but I only have one completed short story to my name (unpublished). I think it's too late to really learn another language, and to do it, I'd need to travel (see above).
I think of myself as a friendly and outgoing person, but I basically have no friends (no one nearby or that I talk to frequently).
So maybe I do choose to be fat. Maybe being fat keeps me from trying one more thing that I realize wasn't as neat as I thought it would be. Maybe being fat gives me a reason for why people don't want to be around me instead of something more painful for me to take. (Like I'm boring and lazy and overall pathetic and too loud and outspoken and just plain out of sync with the modern world.)
I must be choosing to be fat because ever fricking morning my alarm goes off at 6 and I lie there hating myself. Saying get the fuck up and walk. And it rarely happens.
I must choose this ever single fucking day because even though I really like fresh foods--tomatoes and balsamic and portabello mushrooms and asparagus. . . I let food rot in the fridge and order pizza.
I used to have a cross stitched sign in my room that said Life is not a series of chance but a series of choices. Stages of change is probably right; I probably am choosing this.
The question is why? Why the hell would anyone choose this? And how the hell do I force myself to make another choice? Or is the easier choice to just stop letting fat be the focus on my life? Just give up and coast down hill until genetics and survival of the fittest takes its natural toll?
Monday, May 4, 2009
(CLICK ON THE PARALLEL LINES AT THE TOP RIGHT--THE PAUSE BUTTON--IN THE GREEN RADIO BOX TO STOP USUAL BACKGROUND MUSIC)
Smothers Brothers - Crabs Walk Sideways