New Year… same me…

New Year same meI saw the meme on the left and it really spoke to me. I’m so tired of making goals to lose weight. It’s a never ending goal. I weighed 170lbs and was in a size medium and it still wasn’t good enough. This year I’m focussing on changing things to make life better and easier for me.

I’m joining a gym, not to lose weight but to keep flexibility and sleep better. It’s one of the healthiest choices I can make.

I’m eating better because I want to stay healthy. Diabetes runs in my family and I’d like to skip that. Plus I really don’t think junk food is going to help my depression. That being said, I have no problems with making easy food. I routinely buy boil in a bag rice and chana masala. That’ll be dinner tonight. Two minutes and a piping hot, healthy meal. My depression and anxiety makes eating healthy a challenge but I’m going to do my best to make quick, healthy meals to nourish my body and soul.

And I’m not going to push myself to the point of an anxiety attack. I don’t have to take out the recycling now, it can wait until tomorrow. Same with the dishes. And the world won’t come to a crashing halt if I sit in my swing chair for a half hour to unwind. It also won’t stop because I took a nap, and if that nap ensures I can function for the next few hours, all the better.

We live in a no pain, no gain society. Work hard… no harder! Train hard… where are your six pack abs? Diet to a size zero. We ask whether someone’s on keto or counting their macros but never how they’re doing mentally or emotionally. Where we are is not good enough when there’s someone else doing better. And we’re rapidly burning ourselves out in a futile attempt at being perfect.

None of us are going to make it to perfect. We all have flaws. As Leonard Cohen writes:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

So do what you can… do what you must… but don’t forget about you. The only person you’re going to be with for your whole life is you and don’t you think she deserves a little respect?

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Me taking a walk on New Year’s Day

The Ten Year Challenge…

Lately my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with photos of my friends from 2009 to today, leaving people to see the differences. I added mine but felt so much was missing, namely the history going along with the first picture and the growth leading to the last one. They say that a picture’s worth a thousand words but I think some words can really round out the story.

10 year challenge

In 2009 I’d just finished a job working at a call centre representing Sympatico, a Canadian internet company. I started off in the tech support department and moved to billing after half a year. The job paid good money (compared to minimum wage) and came with benefits. The downsides were leaving a 12 and 14 year old home alone until dinnertime. I couldn’t even call them until 5pm. And the extreme pressure. One pressure was time. Three minute bathroom breaks (even if you were on the far side of the building from the washrooms) and getting written up if you were 30 seconds late from any break. The second was also time but phone time. You had to clear security, fix the problem, and make a sale in 15 minutes for tech and ten for business. That had to include any phone calls to other departments, bill adjustments and, for tech support, getting people to unplug every phone jack, except for the one they were calling from *click*. Yeah, quite a few people disconnected the phone.

That summer I got a job at Tim Hortons, a Canadian doughnut store chain, it was still fast paced but not nearly as fast as the call centre. I quickly made friends and got to know the regulars, some of whom came in two and three times a day, every day. The constant movement helped me drop a lot of the weight I’d put on at the call centre (the weight loss was after this photo). I was extremely lucky that my managers were willing to work around my quirks (later diagnosed as autism).

We also lived several blocks away from my parents and sister in a three bedroom apartment in an apartment complex. It wasn’t the best place to live but it was convenient for transit and shopping.

Fast forward to today. I’m about 40 days away from moving into my tiny home and I got to see pictures of one of the units. It looked gorgeous. A spacious kitchen and laminate flooring. I’d hoped to see more of the living room but the two pictures were backlit by the patio doors so all I could see was a wall and the flooring. I won’t see my own place until I move so it was great to get a view of what it will look like.

I haven’t worked since 2016, the year I became suicidal, and am now on disability. It’s hard in some ways. The friends I made through work have faded away but I’ve made new friends in my groups. I’m lucky enough to live in a community with lots of supports and, even though I’m leaving some of my supports behind, I’ll have new supports where I move to.

In 2009 I was positive I was straight; any thoughts to the contrary were quashed immediately. I’ve spent the last five years learning and understanding my sexual orientation. 2009 me would have been both shocked and scared to find out I’m a panromantic asexual and, for a short time, had a girlfriend (who I’m still friends with).

I now have a 22 year old, a 24 year old, and a one year old grandchild, none of which are moving with me. I’m facing my first move alone (well alone with five cats). Colin was supposed to have a meeting for moving options on Monday but it got cancelled at the last minute. He has another meeting tomorrow. And Kait has her own tiny home and family now. It’s her turn to experience childhood second hand.

I’ve been exploring my new community along with my Mom. I’ve done a shop at the local grocery store to see if they have everything I need (they do). I’ve registered the cats at the local vet and myself at the local dentist, both right across the street from my new place. There’s also a pizzeria and a pub which has karaoke. It looks like a good place to settle down.

So much has changed these past 10 years, more than I could ever have anticipated. I can’t help but wonder what my life will be like in 2029!

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A filtered phone taken from one of the trails where I’m moving

Definitely not what I expected…

I bought myself six packages of dark chocolate peanut butter cups, figuring I could space them out for a month. I also bought a carton of vegan Haagen Daz peanut butter and chocolate ice cream and a bag of dill pickle flavoured kettle chips. I’d hoped they’d last the full month. They lasted one day. This has been going on for a while and just keeps getting worse. I’ve gained weight and am worried about not fitting my regular clothes. I don’t have the wardrobe money to reclothe myself, even if it’s all from Value Village.

I talked to my psychiatrist about my worries about binging and he suggested a dietician. So I made an appointment with one. We sat down and talked about what I eat and the general proportions. This was tough because I don’t tend to think about what I’m eating and because I have a foggy memory.

She listened to me and immediately told me the problem. I’m not eating enough, which seemed odd because I’m routinely turning into a human garburator but she explained. I’m not eating enough during my meals so when my body discovers high carb, high fat foods it immediately jumps on them. And, I must admit, I’ve been missing a few meals too simply because I wasn’t hungry. That can’t help. So now to work on having healthy meals, even when I’m exhausted or not hungry. This will be so much easier when I move and have the freezer space to store prepared meals. I used to make stews, chilis, and spaghetti sauce to freeze but I can barely fit a Haagen Daz container in there now.

Then I went to my Wellness Group where we’re doing a 5 part series on intuitive eating. I was reading through the pamphlet and came across this paragraph. This is so me.

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Now that I know what’s going on with me. I need to figure out how to go about changing most of my diet and especially how to keep up with my healthy meals when I’m too depressed to cook. Hopefully, by the time I move, I’ll have positive steps in place to support my eating habits.

And I’m off to figure out what to have for lunch.

Am I binging?

20190914_164447The first one slid down so smoothly and easily, an intoxicating balance of peanut butter and dark chocolate. The second one was almost as good. I lost count as I continued to eat. Taste and enjoyment faded away behind the urge to eat just one more… and another… and another… I couldn’t stop. I’d been planning on having two peanut butter cups a day but I ended up with twelve treats in under ten minutes. Why had I done it again? My mind continued to berate me. I was lazy… lacked self control… fat… ugly… I would never eat healthy… I’m the ugly sister in the family and this overeating just proved it. Obviously I was weak. Who couldn’t stop eating? I just needed to put the food down. It was that simple.

But it wasn’t that simple. Time after time I’d eaten a whole carton of Haagen Daz, a whole bag of chips, a huge bowl of spaghetti, a sleeve of cookies (and maybe one more). I’d eat until my stomach stretched uncomfortably and it felt like my food was kicking the valve to my esophagus.

And I have to stop.

This won’t be easy. I have to stop worrying about dieting and my weight because they seem to cycle into this eating. And I’m going to have to ignore some pretty strong cravings for just about anything unhealthy. Funny how I never crave an orange. Maybe that will change.

I see my psychiatrist this week, which is good. Even though I feel like I have binge eating, he’s the one that went to school for this.

If you struggle with binge eating, could you please share any tips on what made the cravings better? Thank you so much!

The weight loss merry-go-round…

I was so hopeful on October 3rd. I had just found out that I was going on a Caribbean vacation the following March and I was going to lose weight. I was aiming for ten to 20lbs with an emphasis on the twenty. I even made a weight loss journal on my computer as an incentive. I figured I would track my weight loss journey, instead I watched as I gained and lost the same five pounds over and over (and over). The trip came and went with me still losing and regaining those same pounds.

Then I saw my psychiatrist last month and admitted that while my depression was mostly under control, my anxiety wasn’t. My lithium and abilify were increased along with my weight and it has. not. budged. My anxiety’s only a minute bit better.

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t struggle, depriving myself of treats, panicking because I didn’t get out for a walk this one day or that my walk wasn’t long enough. I can’t keep feeling like a failure, that if I just walked a little more… ate a little less… I’d do so much better. It’s not working.

From now on I’m only weighing myself once a month, not once a day, and I’m not going to panic if I don’t get 10 thousand steps every single day. I will eat healthy but allow room for some treats. Mmm mini vegan peanut butter cups!

I don’t own a crystal ball. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but it’s got to be better than what I’m doing.

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Even with being overweight, I must be doing something right

Monday musings…

me-feeling-sunnyYesterday was amazing. The temperature went up to 25C and I was in shorts and a tshirt. Plus Value Village had a 50% off sale where I got five new tshirts that I love and a pair of lacy shorts.

The only down part to the day was I just had 3000 steps for the whole day, not nearly close enough for my 10 thousand steps goal. So I put on my sandals and went for a walk in the woods that evening.

I know I make it sound so easy but it’s not. I struggle the whole time I’m going to the conservation area and the whole time back. Even in the woods I struggle a fair bit of the time, although it’s easier there. I used to wonder when this anxiety would fade away. I’ve finally realized the answer is never. I did, however, enjoy the walk. Except for the mosquitos. I didn’t have mosquito repellent at home so I used Vicks Vaporub since half the internet insisted it worked amazing as a repellent. I had some reservations about it but the mosquitos sure didn’t. I’m pretty sure a sign went up saying “fresh meat” and then they descended en masse. I was so itchy last night, trying to scratch everywhere at once.

Meanwhile, by the time I’d finished my walk I had over 16 thousand steps, which is a great amount! I my-steps-on-the-9th-2went to bed very happy with my accomplishment. Then, of course, I wanted to weigh myself this morning. I think it’s a mixture of curiosity and anxiety that fuel my urge to weigh every day. I managed not to this time and I’ll keep holding off on weighing myself until July 7th.

Today is not so amazing. It’s calling for rain all day long and is 10 degrees colder. I’m currently hiding out in my room with my little electric fireplace puffing out warm air. I do have to get cat litter so that will be some outside time. Otherwise I’m going to hit the treadmill this evening. Not as nice as a walk outside but considering a walk outside would be miserable today, it’s a decent alternative.

Oh my goodness, adorableness alert. Lara and Blackie were curled up with their heads touching and they looked like they were making a heart. Of course I carefully turned my phone on and gently swiveled my chair around before quietly standing up, which is when both cats looked up at me curiously. So no picture but it was sweet.

I’ve got so much ahead of me, short term is getting ready for Colin’s birthday this Wednesday. I can’t believe he’s going to be 22 years old. And my packing. I’ve got two boxes done now, which is good for a movie in October. I had no idea how much stuff was in the corner of my room until I started packing it up. There’s still so much left. I’d been under the impression that I had one box of kitchen supplies and a box of decor. Boy was I wrong! It’ll all look amazing in my new place though.

It’s almost lunch time. I better get out to No Frills and buy the kitty litter (and hopefully some fresh berries) then start cleaning up the living room so it’s ready for Colin’s birthday on Wednesday. I hope you’re all having an amazing Monday!

glitter monday

 

Bobbing in the weight loss pool…

I went to pull on a short sleeved shirt today, one I’d worn in the Dominican Republic this March, and it didn’t fit. Like not even a tiny bit. The good news is I’ve only put on five pounds since then. The bad news is the effort at taking the weight off. Dieting while taking an antidepressant is akin to diving while wearing water wings. Once the pressure eases off, you’re bobbing to your original weight again. And I’m currently on three.

I have another issue, one I really don’t know how to solve. I regularly have days where I just don’t care about me or my weight. Feeling a bit peckish? How about a sleeve of Oreos? Really liked that ice cream bar? Have two. You know you want them. Deep down inside I know this is a really bad idea but the rest of me just. doesn’t. care. Right now I’ve limited the number of treats I have in the apartment to just one, salted caramel balls. The only problem is I can see the grocery store from my window, it’s no problem at all to nip over and buy something yummy and high calorie. How do I convince myself to eat healthy when I don’t care at all?

Meanwhile I’m still slogging along trying to get my 10 thousand steps in each day. I get it on most days, today I’m at 13,424 steps. I need to start using the treadmill regularly as well. I find my stride lengthens after using it regularly and I walk faster too.

The last thing I’m going to do is only go on the scale once a month. My weight bobs up and down (and up and down) which doesn’t help my mood. Hopefully ignoring the scale until the first Sunday of the month will help my “I just don’t care” days. Something’s got to.

Some of these things will resolve themselves eventually. It appears to be about a 20 minute walk from my new place to the nearest grocery store, making a spontaneous trip for ice cream not so appealing. Plus I’m signing up for a gym membership and hopefully will learn what some of the other machines are for and how to work them. And I’ll find cooking easier too. Colin rearranged the kitchen yesterday and I no longer have a counter (this isn’t unusual). It’s so much easier to chop veggies and knead dough with counter space. But for now, I’ll simply do my best and that will have to be good enough.

tomorrow is a new day