Saturday, December 14, 2019

Health Update


Before I begin my update, I want to give a little back history about this blog to new readers. I decided to write a blog as part of documenting my journey towards healing from a tumultuous past and recovery from an eating disorder.  My formal diagnosis is Eating Disorder-NOS (nonspecific).  I’m not sure why I received such a generalized diagnosis.
At my worst, I was starving (restricting) during the day and binge eating by night. I’d often hoard food throughout the day and begin eating around 4pm. I would eat for several hours, consuming a series of small meals until my ribs hurt and I felt as though I would pop.  Sometimes I wouldn’t or couldn’t stop eating until the wee hours of the morning. Even still, I’d always have to top my binge off with something sweet in order to relax and drift off to sleep. Thankfully, I am no longer that person. That’s not to say that I don’t still struggle with occasional binging and restricting. I’m just saying, I’m thankful I’m no longer at my worst.

One of the things I promised myself when I began writing this blog was that I was not going to give numbers here, such as weight, calories, measurements, reps, etc. Numbers can be cumbersome, even triggering to some. I want this place to be a safe space where readers won’t have to deal with the weight of numbers or comparisons. I hope by sharing my experience, I can shed light, foster courage and promote hope.
That being said, I will continue with my report. My doctor’s appointment was a few weeks ago. Sorry, I’m just getting around to telling you about it. The visit went well. According to my doctor the corrections made to my diet with proper medication and the drop in my AIC was life-changing. He’s not going to change my treatment for now. I’ll see him in another couple of months. Hopefully, my AIC will have come down a bit more. I’m not far from normal levels. Needless to say, I walked away feeling really good and very thankful.

Thanksgiving also went well. I didn’t have an urge to binge during the festivities. We visited friends. I purchased some of our favorite foods and carried it with us, only because it’s too difficult to get into all of our dietary needs, we simply fend for ourselves. The coolest thing, we were unexpectantly able to eat a few items prepared by our friends, and they were able to enjoy a little of what we brought also. It was the best holiday experience we’ve had so far.
Now we’re having to face Christmas, which we don’t traditionally celebrate. What we enjoy is fellowshipping with loved ones, and getting a much-needed break from work and studies.  We also don’t actually know when Jesus’ birthday is. So instead, we celebrate the gift He is to us every day.

I am thankful for the gift of better health, and I look forward to continuing this journey.

Onward and Upward.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Shake The Dust Off

It’s a wonder I haven’t given up entirely by now. I did give up for a time but clung to the hope that I might find the strength to start again. This time, I wasn’t sure how far down I’d go before beginning the climb.
It’s been over a year. To be exact, it’s been one year, three months, and four days since I’ve posted here. Feeling a little relieved to finally face the funk.

Before my untimely hiatus, I was close to being at the top of my weight loss game, eating healthier, fewer binges, and stress levels lessoning. Despite my progress, I still felt the pang of slipping, even after finding out I’d gotten down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I hadn’t seen that number for almost 20 years.
The struggle was getting to me, as evidenced in my last few posts. I thought I’d find an opportunity to write more. I suppose I had the time but lost the inclination.

Fast forward. It’s time for my annual well check. I call to make an appointment later in the week. Still struggling with exercising regularly, but reveling in my unexpected success. I practically skipped into the doctor’s office and leaped onto the scale. Then I did what I call the skidally wop, which is my happy dance, into the examination room. Weight’s good…check, vitals good…check, standard tests done…check. I sit with perfect posture, grinning so hard my eyes squint. I wait patiently for the doctor to enter and render her accolade for my outstanding accomplishment.
Dr. Dash (not her real name) enters the room. She smiles a big smile and proceeds to give me what I’m waiting for. Happiness, happiness, happiness! And then…

A knock and the nurse enters the room. She blurts out a number, smiles, and leaves. Dr. Dash turns to me and sais, “Well, it looks like you’re diabetic.” What?! I’m confused. I’ve lost tons of weight, cut out bread, pasta, rice, wine and, processed sugars (with exception to the occasional binge). I drink nothing but water, exercise almost daily, and I’m at a weight I haven’t seen in 20 years. How is this possible?! Dr. Dash scrolls through my chart and reveals that my past glucose levels were perfect. She writes a prescription and with a stern voice, encourages me to take the medication. I’m at a loss. This can not be happening. Damn!
Already on a slippery slope and now this. I may never regain my composure. My mind shut down, and I began to sink into a pit of despair and denial. I tried taking the new medication for a couple weeks before finally giving up. Screw it. I’d had enough. Let the binge-fest begin! I ate my way through last year, but not like the past. Instead, when I went out, every time I went out, I’d enjoy treating myself to something small like an ice cream cone and a 4 or 10 piece nugget, sometimes medium fries, and water. If I went the sweet route, I’d limit myself to only 2 or 3 of the item of choice. Not too bad, except I stopped exercising altogether.

So here I am, shaking the dust off and starting up once again. I gained a few pounds. The good news, I didn’t gain back as much as I thought. I started exercising about 3 months ago. Not an easy feat after a year off. I no longer purchase treats when I go out. I’m taking it slow. Slow and steady wins the race. I’ve only had one small binge in the last 3 months. I ate 4 packs of peanut butter nabs, a roll of fruit-flavored mentos, and a piece of smoked turkey sausage. It’s not so easy to binge when the result of my shame is readily available by way of glucose levels.
Though I ignored my health for a year. I’ve managed to work my way towards having healthier glucose levels in a relatively short period. I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m looking forward to having a lower A1C. I’m feeling confident about making progress with weight too. It won’t take me long to cross over the threshold again.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Release. Regroup. Regain Control.

For the past few weeks, I've attempted to do some soul searching, and I still can’t put my finger on why I'm struggling with daily exercise. Exercise had become such a joy to do. I almost never let anything stop me. Even on the hard nights, I was committed to doing at least 15 minutes. I wish I could identify the problem. I can’t even remember when the problem started. I think about exercise. I genuinely want to exercise. I tell myself I need to exercise, and then I do nothing.

My anxiety has gone down quite a bit. I was able to teach and present last week without feeling like the world was about to cave in on me. I think I’m finally developing the process I need to do public speaking engagements more regularly. I also continue doing well with eating. I’ve not binged since the last time I mentioned nor have I starved myself. I’ve indulged in soft-serve cones from McDonald’s here lately. It’s become my favorite Summertime treat. Even still, I’m mindful of what I eat.

I’ve not gone back to church since I had the mini-binge after service. I miss going, but I will not force myself to be part of a group that does not want me. I had enough of that as a child. I promised myself when I grew up I would not willingly be subject to that kind of treatment. Why should I go to church every Sunday with a smile on my face only to have it wiped away by being reminded how much I don’t belong? How dare those people try to make me feel I’m not good enough. I even endured rejection when I opened my heart and my home to a few of the members. I’ve come way to far to fall back into that trap. I am good enough. I know that for a fact and no one can tell me different. Hmph.

So now that I’ve released, I put my soapbox away, and am left with the conundrum, what next. How do I regroup and regain control again? I don’t know. While I figure it out, I will continue to focus on the good.

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

I’m Scared

The scariest thing on this journey is the looming possibility of failure, deposited back to whence I came, missing out on finding who I am. The person I became 40 plus years ago is not the person I am, my organic self that is. I only had two years as my original self before everything began. I’m just getting to the point where I’m not as empty inside. I can feel. I mean I can feel something real, not just my PTSD and anxiety checking in.

Healing has placed much in me and taken much out of me.
I wish hurting didn’t hurt so much. It was easier living in a fog. Of course, if I opted for easy, I wouldn’t have made it this far. Would I appreciate life as much as I do now had I not gone through hell? Hell was home. It keeps trying to creep back into my life. I have a new home. It just doesn’t feel like home right now. Nothing feels right.

I just ate a little chicken and a few crackers. I may have a small bowl of ice cream. At least, that’s what I tell myself as a comfort. I may not eat ice cream. Not in the mood. I’m thirsty. They say thirst and hunger register the same in the body, so if you’re hungry try drinking water first to see if the hunger will subside. Well, that may work for the physical hunger, but it does not work for emotional hunger, better known as “the feed.” The feed won’t be your fool. It has it’s purpose and does not stray from the course.
It's 11:46 PM, too late to eat and too early for bed. Still feeling tired, but not as tired as I did this afternoon. Perhaps I’ll clean up and journal for a bit. I might even write a letter to my therapist. I do that from time to time. It’s easier to share deeply when not watching the clock. Time is money.

I wish for you all a peaceful night and a good day tomorrow.
Until next time. Onward and Upward.


I can’t tell if I’m struggling more this year than other years or if it just feels like it.
Hi, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve written here. There has been a fair share of ups and downs on this leg of my recovery journey as well as with my son’s health. He’s getting over a very bad asthma episode. It was the first time he’s ever gone to the emergency room due to asthma. The more I pray and work to find ways to combat his illnesses the more they seem to persist. Doctors aren’t much help. He’s doing better so far. I pray he continues doing well.  

It wasn’t that long ago I came down from a period of binge eating. I haven’t yet stabilized completely. My eating has improved over the past couple months. Me exercising is another matter. I’ve made attempts to exercise more. To be completely honest I’m exhausted. In March I had what seemed like month-long anxiety attach. It happened in waves. I started feeling better April and May. Binge eating stopped as I turned my focus toward much more rewarding subjects like creativity which I’ve had abundantly lately. I’m not mad about that. There were days I had to pull in the reins so not to lose focus on projects I needed to get done. I’ve also done well to stay away from donuts which can be an intense trigger for me.
Am I back on the right road to recovery. Not yet. Today I had a mini-binge after church. What was the trigger? Church. My church, in particular, is not a haven. I’m not sure why this is. Everyone else seems to be happy there. Maybe it’s me. I left with an old familiar feeling of being unloved and unwanted which lead to a deep heaviness in my heart that also translated to my limbs. I managed to pick-up something for lunch. When I returned home, I found my son taking a nap, so I sat at my computer and voraciously ate a few chicken legs, wings, and cheesy potatoes, after which I nodded a bit. When I woke up, I could barely move. My body was heavy as if weights were on me. It took every bit of energy I had to get lunch for my son. I had to lie down. I cried, asking God why am I so unlovable. TD Jakes was on my tables. I watched a couple of sermons and felt better.  At least I’m able to move around. I’ll try to get a few things done before I call it a night. In the meantime, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts with you.

Sorry I haven’t been around more. There are so many things I need and want to get done and do. Until I’m able to sort out my schedule, this is the best I can do. I’ll have more time to write this month and next. So I’ll take the opportunity to do so.
Going to get something else to eat. Onward but not upward for now. I have hope that tomorrow will be better.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Thank God It's Friday!

First of all, happy Friday to you all! I hope you are as happy to see the week’s end as I am. It’s been a doozy of a week for me. Glad to be able to get away from everything and just chill out for a couple days.

I faced two major triggers this week, one of which I did not see coming. So let’s start with Monday. I was scheduled to do a presentation that evening. Already a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to contend with this month, anxiety is triggered. I’m no stranger to anxiety, but it’s been a while since I’ve experienced it to this level. Usually, it comes and then it goes, so I’m not quite sure why I’m still struggling.

The wave of anxiety started around Thursday of last week. There were times when everything seemed like it was going to be okay and other times when I felt like I was on the verge of panic. I kept my schedule stress free for the weekend and managed to get myself to what I thought was a more comfortable place. Monday comes, all is well except for the low-level anxiety that is still present. I didn’t have time to give thought to my condition. It was all I could do to get ready and then I hear the weather forecast. There’s a strong chance of snow. I know…I know, what’s snow got to do with it? Well, it wouldn’t have much to do with anything if it weren’t for my anxiety deciding to invite PTSD to the party. Now I have to contend with even more negative thoughts compounded by front row tickets to worse case scenario theater and I’m the star. I begin to tremble.

I get in the car, put on a good CD. Snow is just starting to fall as I back out of the driveway. The weather’s not bad and I don’t have far to go. My anxiety seems to be leveling out. I call a friend, put her on speaker phone and partake in jovial conversation until I reach my destination. Okay, so far so good. The sidewalks are a bit slushy. I managed to get inside without slipping. That’s another thing. When I was much heavier, my worst nightmare was falling in public. I promised myself If I ever fell in public I’d just lie there pretending to pass out, hoping witnesses would feel a bit of compassion if they thought something was wrong. End of confession. On the elevator, I feel a rise in my anxiety and take a few deep breaths, thankful I arrived early so I could give myself time to calm down. Turns out that wasn’t a good idea after all. The person presenting before was beyond awesome. Her presentation was dynamic. Overall it was engaging, funny, impactful, insightful, and at times jaw-dropping. It was everything and a bag of chips with a drink on the side. Damn!

I’m thinking, why didn’t I stay home. As the presenter winds down my anxiety wound up and is set to go off. Panic in progress! It was too late to turn back. There’s nowhere to go but forward. So I did. A few minutes into my presentation I call it quits. This is the perfect calling card for a binge fest. Guess what – I didn’t binge.

I’m having a mental celebration of my triumph when the second trigger happens on Wednesday. This is the one I didn’t see coming. I was joking around with a few friends when one whispered something inappropriate in my ear. I was shocked, no, more like shook. I wasn’t able to respond as I should have. This is the very substance of the thing that causes me to gain and maintain an unhealthy weight. My weight was my badge of shame as well as a band-aid for pain. As long as I was heavier my dad didn’t rape me or sell me. As long as I was heavier I could go unnoticed, unwanted. I know this sounds like a bad thing to say and I apologize for that. Being heavy does not equate to being unattractive. What made me unattractive was letting go of everything and being my most possible worse. I told myself if anyone liked me in that state they were a true friend.

Have you ever been asked the question, “If you had a superpower which superpower would it be?” My answer was always to be invisible because I could not bear the thought of being seen. I’ve been fortunate enough to be aware of the severity of this feeling and have been working on getting better for some time. I have gotten better. I’ve finally worked my way to being a little comfortable with public speaking. I publicly share stories about my childhood and the things I’ve been blessed to learn and do toward having good mental health. Even with all the work I’ve put into this issue, I still sometimes fall into sabotage mode. Remember, I just got past my last bout with this problem a couple weeks ago.  

The fear of someone coming on to me whether serious or in jest all feel s the same. What made this situation worse is that he knew my history. He knew about the abuse.  I wasn’t able to respond the way I should have, which is not unusual for me in most situations. When he walked away, I just sat there wondering how something like this could have happened without me having the smallest inkling of the possibility. My head began to pound, my chest tightened. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to cry.

It is now Friday. I thank God for it being Friday. I survived two of my biggest triggers and am no worse for wear at the moment. Wow! Prayer is a mighty thing. I’ve been praying for God’s help with my fears, triggers, and weaknesses. He’s answering my prayers. This week I have not binged. My hope…to continue not binging.  Taking it one step at a time, one day at a time.

Onward and Upward!   

Monday, March 12, 2018

Thankful for the Slow Progress

I used to wonder why some of the people from the TV show The Biggest Loser struggled to maintain their weight loss. The first season winner claimed he celebrated his weight loss by eating a burger and fries. What could it hurt to have something he’d been craving for a few months? It seemed harmless enough until he found himself back at his original pre-show weight.  I read that a spin-off show, The Big Fat Truth was created inviting several winners from previous seasons of the original show to participate. I’m not sure how they thought a second show utilizing pretty much the same methods would help outside of losing the weight again. Did the creators of the show consider addressing what caused the participants to put on the weight other than “biological factors” and “bad behaviors?” This is a testament to the danger of shedding a lot of weight without addressing the root cause.  That being said, it’s obvious the creators of the show didn’t get it. Critics of The Big Fat Truth made this statement, Roth's new show is another version of what they see as a dangerous approach to weight loss that favors quick results over science. I’m sure there are a great many people that can attest to the dangers of quick weight loss. I’ve certainly had my share of ups, downs, and merry-go-rounds. That’s why this time I’m taking it nice and slow.
I’ve been on my weight loss journey for several years, but that doesn’t mean I was always actively dieting and exercising. I knew from much trial and error that I needed to start my journey at the beginning, not the end. In other words, I didn’t need to focus on the current behaviors without revisiting my past taking a long, hard, honest look at the significance it had on my previous and current weight gain.

The first couple years I spent much time figuring out who I am outside of who I was created to be by my parents. There had to be more to me than being a product of abuse or victim of circumstance. I found that to be a great place to start with therapy. It wouldn’t be until after I started to figure out who I am and how to love myself that the weight would begin to shed. Slow and steady. The 3rd and 4th years my self-worth came up and I was able to enjoy doing good things for myself like being more consistent with exercising and eating better. There were many struggles and periods of uncertainty where I found it difficult to maintain good habits, but I didn’t give up and that’s what made the difference. That’s why I’m still in the game. In the distant past, I would have given up before completing year 1 and I would not have looked back until several years and a few health concerns later.
Now I’m looking at years 5 and 6. Year 7 will start this Fall. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight. There is still a ways to go, but I’m in no hurry. I am thankful for slow progress. I’ve finally crossed a threshold I haven’t seen since pregnancy. Are there still struggles? Yes. Slow progress allows me the time I need to face and confront my struggles head-on. There have been slips here and there. I’m struggling with fear and triggers as I move towards weights I haven’t seen since my 20s, but that’s okay. I’m praying for strength and wisdom.

My newest method for dealing with triggers is working. This past winter season I fell head-first into a binge frenzy that I could not work my way out of. While praying it came to me to stop focusing on losing weight. Make my focus on maintaining the progress I’ve made. This train of thought tricked my mind and kept me from getting majorly depressed while dealing with the binging. If I were still hyper-focused on losing weight, knowing that my behaviors were making me gain weight, I could have potentially spiraled out of control just on the guilt alone. But somehow thinking of maintaining my progress made the struggle a little less damning and I was able to think about my behaviors one day at a time, not focusing on any particular measure of loss or gain. I just focused on decreasing the binging as best I can for that one day. I did gain a few pounds, but have since turned the binging around and am losing those pounds again. No major setbacks, moving forward.  
Onward and Upward!