Energy

I’m moving right along still on my weight loss journey.  Last week I was definitely more hungry and had a few more treats that my “perfect” first two weeks, but still managed to lose 3 more pounds.  I started a private IG account too in order to track myself.  It’s fun to connect with people but I’m still being very protective of what I’m doing here, so I haven’t opened it up just yet.

I did tell one of my best friends about the medication.  She’s super supportive and is even helping me tonight when we go to a wine tasting and dinner together with friends.  She will be around me the most when we are at parties or out to eat, so it felt like a good idea to have an ally.

Speaking of tonight, I have a game plan: Doing a 3 small tasting & sharing with my boyfriend and giving another person my 8 tasting.  I’m ordering off the low calorie menu and staying clear of the bread at the table.  I’m also having iced tea with my meal vs. a glass of wine.  I’m going to do a 10 minute ab series before we leave after work, as well, since I was too tired this morning to get out of bed.

My partner who I live with mentioned working out in the basement with me.  I don’t know if this was to get me to stop asking him if he was going to join the gym with me (I haven’t been pestering, just mentioned it over dinner).  So this morning I tried to get him up and he wouldn’t budge, so I went back to sleep too, as I didn’t sleep well and every muscle is sore on me.

That is exactly what I was worried about if we did join a gym together.  His lack of motivation would drag me down.  I’m going to stop asking him to join or worry about him for now.  I look at this morning as a test.  I need to do this on my own, for myself.  I do not want to share my victories with anyone quite frankly.  This is my work to do.

I’m also noticing that my energy for everything in my life is not infinite.  Now that I’m spending a lot more time on me and my weight and nutrition, I don’t have the capacity to extend or compromise myself for my partner’s shortcomings.  I don’t know what this will mean for us, but if I have been patient with him, he will need to be patient with me.

I’m nervous for the holidays.  It’s a lot of buffets, alcohol and food presented to me that is not in my control.  I have set a small goal to get to and through the 270’s by 1/1.  That’s 2 weeks to lose 11 lbs.  I lost 11 lbs. in 2 weeks since Dec 1, so I don’t think it’s unattainable.

I’ve already let a few family parties know I’m not drinking so no reason to stock up for me (when they asked).  I’m being the designated driver for a few events at restaurants and bars.  I’m making plans head of time.  I’m also using the time off work to get in a ton of workouts.  Last night I swam laps since I didn’t have my kid with me.

No alcohol is going well too.  One of these days I literally had one sip of wine to taste a bottle before choosing it as a gift, but it still counted.  My skin is definitely showing the rewards, as well as the scale.  I just need to figure out what to do with myself sober.

streaks

This last Friday I went to my company’s holiday party and did indulge in 2 glasses of wine over the course of 5 hours.  I was pretty much sober for the event and as everyone moved to the dance portion of the evening, I just found myself standing at the side of the dance floor bored.  My date was a little drunk and having a good time, I was trying to make small talk, we danced to one song, but mostly I just wanted out of there.  Afterwards we went to our local dive bar to listen to music and I had an iced tea.  I lip read some movie on the NFL network about a linebacker from the Steelers career while a cover band played and tried not to fall asleep.  I’m feeling super boring without booze.  I don’t MISS it at all, honestly.  But i don’t know who I thought I was if I’m not the life or the party girl.  Something else to figure out as I go.

It’s insane to me how protective I feel about myself right now.  Like I’m holding the little girl in me that is afraid of the world.  This is an interesting journey for me, for sure.

-Lulu

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Fat Girl Tears

On December 1st I went to my doctor to check up on a cough that wouldn’t go away.  Turns out I was ultimately fine, getting over Whooping Cough.  I’ll live.  At the appointment I purposefully didn’t want to be weighed because I knew it was probably not good and I had been halfheartedly working out for awhile, so I thought I was okay.  However, those pictures from Thanksgiving where I was at a side angle, not posed, had been haunting me.

When the nurse left I jumped on the scale anyways and to my horror realized I gained more weight since August.  I was 8 lbs. away from 300 lbs.  A number I didn’t even see when I was carrying another human being on my person.

I don’t know why I was shocked or why exactly this was the turning point, but I suddenly knew that I needed help outside of my own abilities.  We got through the exam on my lungs, etc. and I asked the doctor if she had a few more minutes to talk.  I laid it all out there.  That I was gaining (we looked at my chart, I have gained 40 lbs in the last year) and it’s not stopping.  I told her I was binging at times without using that word, that I was discouraged and desperate to try something further before we got to the point of surgery.  I am terrified of surgery.  That I know exactly what I’m supposed to do but I feel stuck and scared.  She listened and then suggested an appetite suppressant.

She told me it’s not a magic pill.  It may make me lose weight but I will gain it all back when I go off of it if that’s all I use, and I will have to stop taking it because it’s not a long term solution.  I have to do work with it.  She has seen some success but not much because people usually have that attitude.  I agreed to give it a shot for 3 months.  My blood pressure has always been fine and that was the only thing that would stop her.  It does not mess with any of my other medications and I should have no real side effects.  I agreed to try it for 3 months.

I left her office and walked to my car, closed the door and bawled.  I cried all the way to Walgreens to pick it up.  I took my first pill in my car before picking up the Thai I ordered for lunch and going back to work, still crying.  I looked up a ton of information on the pill at work to prepare myself for any lesser side effects (dry mouth, high energy, trouble sleeping, bad taste in mouth).  When I got home from work that night I went upstairs and sat in my dark bedroom on the floor and bawled some more.  Sobbing, heaving cries.  I gave myself 30 minutes of tears and decided to get up and get going.

I got myself here, I can get myself out.  No, these pills aren’t the same pills I found in our spare bathroom when I was a kid and realized my mom hated herself (why did my mother keep her diet pills in the kids bathroom anyways? Ah, probably hiding them from her husband.)  I’m not a failure for asking for help.  I trust my doctor to know if these are dangerous and I have a time line of 3 months to get my ass in gear.  USE THIS TIME.

USE THIS TIME has been my mantra for the past two weeks.

Immediately, day one, I noticed I wasn’t hungry like I normally am.  That all-consuming constant nag that says “EAT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW” was and is gone.  It has been, dare I say, EASY to stay under 1,500 calories, even 1,300 most days.  The hardest thing for me in the past is now suddenly a non-issue.  I can see why this works temporarily for people.

I don’t want temporary but I’m not sure where I’m going just yet either. When I start to spiral or shame talk myself I start worrying about the end of this 3 months and how much I’ll put back on. Are these pills a crutch?  Can I unlearn this behavior?

I haven’t set a weight goal or anything, because I don’t have a tangible goal like that yet.  Mostly I want to fit into my clothes again.  I want to be active for my kid.  I could give two shits about a size in a piece of clothing.  I can’t even fathom being lower than a 14, so I’m just going by “how much can I lose this week.”  I know this will change, but I can’t get past day to day right now.  It’s also dangerous for me to do so, I’m learning, as I spiral quick. Day to day.

December 1 I started logging my food, every bit of it and continue to do so.  If you know me, you know that I absolutely HATE this.  It’s why I resented Weight Watchers, etc.  But I haven’t hated it.  It’s felt like a science experiment on myself.  Day to day.

I rejoined the YMCA the next night and swam laps, weekly, for 45 minutes.  I walked my 292 lbs. ass across the pool and swam in the lanes next to the high school swim team practice.  I didn’t waiver.  I have a set workout routine at home and the Y that I use almost every day (except Wednesdays) that includes weight lifting and cardio, plus yoga that I do every morning before my family wakes up.  I am planful and I don’t miss anything, so far.  I even sleep in my workout clothes so there are no excuses.

I also haven’t told a soul I’m doing this.  My boyfriend knows I’m eating better and working out and it’s important to me, but I haven’t told him about the pills.  I’ve told none of my friends or family.  I do not want to even post about any pounds I’ve lost or will eventually lose on Facebook, etc.  I feel protective of my body and where it’s at.  Everything feels very fragile and I don’t need approval or input for where I’m going or how I’m getting there.  I am also scared that people really don’t have faith in me, like I always fear.

I trust myself enough to know that if these pills start making me act weird, I’ll stop.  I’m in contact with my doctor weekly about progress.  I have had no real bad side effects other than I can attest that the dry mouth is NUTS.

That nagging hunger being erased has given me a freedom to really start examining how I got here and where I’m currently sitting.  I’m only two weeks in here, I’m not naive enough to think I’ve conquered some hill.  There have been a few victories mentally that I can claim though.

Not having this all-consuming hunger has made me realize I don’t really need to eat as much as I did.  I was WAY under estimating just how much was going into my body and I was eating for reasons other than hunger.  I eat when I’m not hungry, when I procrastinate, when I’m tired, when I’m anything emotion and I eat enormous portions.  After work one day last week I went directly to the pantry to look for a snack and realized “Wait, I’m not hungry” it was just that time of day where I check the pantry.  I’ve caught myself doing this numerous times.

I also listen and watch those around me.  My mom came up and spent a lot of time talking about what she was eating or wasn’t eating, how “good” she was being, how much weight she was losing etc.  I sound exactly like her yet I watched her eat garbage, exactly what I had been doing.  My boyfriend eats terrible and constantly.  Mounds of food, snacks on a constant rotation to his mouth and never much greenery.  He has the luxury of moving all day at his job vs. me where I sit, but still, how long can that last?  Have I been trying to keep up with him when we eat together?

I didn’t really ever taste food as much as I thought I was.  I’ve shared the memes on Facebook that were all “fuck this, i want chocolate” and yet I’m sitting here turning down cookies for strawberries because I actually don’t like how sugar tastes in my mouth after I’m done swallowing. This Sunday I made my famous chili that I normally stuff a half sleeve of Saltines in.  I ate it without crackers, measured by a measuring cup, and I was a little nervous I was going to have to power through it.  It tasted amazing!

I have also almost completely erased alcohol.  I drank fat free hot chocolate Friday when my neighbors brought over Not Your Father’s Root Beer.  I’ve turned down cocktails when out to dinner with family.  I drink iced tea when we watch hockey at the bar.  I don’t exactly miss that either.  After two weeks my skin looks way better, as well.  I’m canceling my wine club membership in January with no regrets.

The spiraling is still going strong, but I’m trying to learn from it as I go.  Yesterday we had our office xmas party at lunch and there were a ton of cookies and brownies, etc.  I indulged in 5 cookies and half a cupcake and felt that binge mentality come on quick, like I couldn’t get enough.  I stopped, pounded water and had a very sensible dinner later but the guilt and fear that I had after it stayed with me until this morning.  I had to tell myself that I’m working out today not as punishment for yesterday but because it’s good for me.  I made myself work out when it’s normally been easy because giving up over one bad day wasn’t an option.  I’ve had to tell myself that if I don’t lose another 7 lbs. like last week, it’s OK as long it’s going down.  I cannot believe (well yes I can) how much guilt and fear and shame is ingrained in me over this.

When I start to tell myself this is just another phase, that my boyfriend has no faith in me that I’ll be successful, that I’m setting myself up to gain 30 more pounds after I eventually stop I have to really adjust.  As in, it’s a physical hard stop I have to make.  During work outs when I’m tired and want to give up, I just keep saying “use this time, use this time.”

For all the body positive work I have done over the past 3 years, I completely forgot about a huge chunk of my brain that still holds on to 13 year old chubby Lulu with new big boobs, 5’9″ sudden frame and hips and thighs that don’t look anything like her tiny sister’s.

Mostly, in a nutshell, I’m amazed at how I’m doing and how different this feels.  Did I hit rock bottom?  I’m terrified to tell anyone that I’m doing this.  I’m in awe of throwing away half a small salad because I’m full.  I’m proud that I can turn down booze or grab a protein shake instead of burgers and fries.  I don’t get sad when I think I have to do this life for the rest of my life, instead I’m excited to see where I go.

That all-consuming hunger I had that died, hopefully forever, but maybe temporarily until I know how to work with it, has left me with a clear head for the first time in my life.  I’m scared of it, but I’m hoping to replace it with something else.

Wish me luck.

-Lulu

Creative Space

 

myfrontroom

From FB Memories this photo came up of my old apartment. The first place I lived in alone as an adult after I left my husband. Therapy on Tuesday was amazing and I have had a pit in my stomach all week from it. Then I cried when I saw this. I gave up everything in this picture I loved when I moved in with my boyfriend. Artwork, furniture, that mannequin, all of it, including most of the rest of the apartment.

Every time I look at this photo I literally feel like puking. I kept the weights and the computer and that orange chair came back to me because his sister didn’t want it any more, but the rest…all gone.

I gave up everything: 8-9 van loads of my stuff to live with him in a house that I have no creative control over that is filled with his life and I did it willingly. He didn’t ask me to throw everything away, there was just no room for me.

I was able to hang a few paintings where people couldn’t see them, I can’t paint any walls, I can’t get rid of anything of his. My kid’s room is full of furniture she doesn’t use because we can’t move it. I couldn’t get to the washer last night because everything was piled in front of it.

Something has to change.

Also, I’ve gained almost 50 lbs since I moved in with him. My therapist thinks I’m protecting myself and eating instead of dealing with the lack of security and self.

Quite frankly, not only did I give up my belongings and my creativity and my space, but I gave up my desires and sexuality. I’m not sure what is worse. Mostly I’m so mad at my parents for instilling in me that I’m worthless without a man.

I think the weight was easy to put on because he eats terrible and I mimic him. But it’s also definitely my go to when I’m bored or listless or mad and stand in front of the fridge or bar too. I eat and shop when I want to get away from the issue. I’m detached and detach quickly. And that’s what I do, I just crash into things then take them on and put down every part of myself that doesn’t fit that mold. The older I get the more furious I get at myself.

He is fun and sweet, but he’s not a partner right now. Does he want to be? He can’t tell me. Making space for us would be a GREAT first step.

It feels good to get it out and as my therapist said, stay in color. You are in color when you are here then you go back to the gray.

I don’t know, my point I guess is it’s SO easy to get wrapped up and forget who you are or feel worthless or feel like you have NO idea what’s going on around you. Like not having an axis at all and just constantly crashing into events, people, circumstances. That’s how I feel EVERY SECOND.

My friend told me this about myself, which really hit home: “You are an amazing sports woman and camping and archery and all of that. But you are also one who likes to dress like a dolly parton drag queen with a makeout purse and take disco naps and make artsy stuff and have mannequins in your house and genius goodwill furniture finds and create your own space. You can be all of those people. I think one took over the other. WE HAVE ALL DONE THIS. “

I did it again though. Another man, another self and I willingly gave me up for him. He didn’t even have to ask.

My therapy is blunt and Russian and looks like a ballerina and I adore her. She also recently got her lip pierced. She does WHATEVER THE FUCK SHE WANTS TO DO. On Tuesday she was telling me that I should envision my life like her office. It’s a room, when she got it, it was white walls, boring floor and she consciously choose everything in it: from the paint to the rug to the furniture to the placement. And if someone came in and said “The table would look better over here” that’s not how it works. It’s her table and life and the aesthetic for her works with the table like this. My life is the same way. If you get tired of the artwork, change it. If someone brings you something that doesn’t fit see if you can live with it or if it throws off “your room.” You can love someone but not like them or need them.

I thought that was all pretty brilliant. She said people’s surroundings reflect the way we feel about our life. Your space is how you feel about you. Your weight, your health, your surroundings, it’s a reflection of your inner life.

I’ve not lost all hope and my therapist said that when you know something you need to take action. My action is to tell him we are partners and we are supposed to be sharing space and I can’t live like this. If we are sharing space I need to be able to make it my own, right now it’s us living in his house, borrowing his things.

I’m scared but I’m still in color a few days later.

-Lulu

Bi-Bi-Bi

Yesterday I was discussing how we use language in front of conservative people to let our kids know we think differently.  One lady gave an example where she always says “Wife or husband, whoever you do or don’t end up with is fine by me…” to her kids.  I promptly responded:

“I am bisexual and I would have LOVED to have heard this as a kid versus just hearing about me and men….”  Hit POST and boom.  Done.  No big whoop.  I say it all the time to my kid too.  We agree, neat!

Then I reread it and though “oh.”

My entire life I have been pretty fluid with who I was attracted to, not really putting a label on it and let’s be honest, who the hell knew about all these cool labels in the 80’s or 90’s or felt comfortable enough to put one on themselves?  ESPECIALLY in small-town Indiana.  I had a 2 year relationship when I was a young teenager with a girl.  She looked like a boy, was older than me, and she did most of the sexual things to me vs me in return, so I never really believed or said I was a lesbian.  Plus, I was threatened with losing my job, being sent to a mental institution (thank you mom and also the hospital for not accepting “gay kids” as a treatment plan option), and thrown out of her house by her parents so I stayed FAR AWAY from that label and lived in secret.

I went immediately into a relationship with a guy when this went south (and oh how South it truly went – restraining order notwithstanding).  I never really looked back.  I’ve also never really been attracted to another woman in that way since so I figured “eh, I was just confused because she looked like a boy.”  Plus, I was married to a man at 20.  My dating history was not that rich.

However, when it comes to porn or fantasies, TOTALLY different scenario and women are my thing.  Always has been my preference quite frankly.

As a 38 year old, I recently figured out something: Being attracted to some women is just like being attracted to SOME MEN.  You aren’t attracted to every one of them just because you are gay.  I’ve always known that not all gay men will hit on all men, I mean, that’s just crazy Uncle Steve!  I just didn’t do the math in real life and apply it to myself.

I’m a monogamist, I’m also starting to realize I’m very much bi-sexual and I’m also seeing how I can be completely both.  I can see myself having a relationship with the right woman should she come along and my current relationship end.  I can see myself being with a man for the rest of my life.

Mostly I want a partner.

Feels like a good time to come out with this on Bisexual Visibility Day.  Huh, who knew.  I guess I always did.

-Lulu

 

 

Freedom

Last night’s session was based on my feelings about my ex-husband’s wedding and my boyfriend.  I didn’t think we’d go there but we stayed there for another week, and in hindsight I think it was the right place to go.

I told her quite honestly I want a wedding.  I’m jealous they got a wedding and I don’t know if I will ever have another one, or a man that will want to marry me.  I’m still not convinced I should marry my boyfriend, but I know I want a wedding and I have it all planned.  We basically narrowed this down to wanting to feel wanted.

The theme of my life, apparently.

Marriage to me is security and completeness and crossing a finish line.  Even though I know it’s not, it’s just what I have been taught.  I have a mother that can’t stay single, 5 big white weddings in her lifetime, who taught me that my value was in if I was loved by a man.  Strangely this is a belief even though she didn’t provide that by marrying a good father.  When I decided to divorce, she took my ex-husband’s side, along with my sister.  My value was in if I was dating and how fast I was committed.  My value now that I live with my boyfriend is in when we get married.  Her rationale is I need to marry to have a man take care of me financially even though, I take care of me financially now.

Another way in which the people in my life do not know me, trust me to be me or let me be ME.

My therapist reminded me that security does not exist.  People change.  She said she doesn’t believe that all people should get divorced and she’s not against marriage, but to live an entire life in one relationship and never expect to change or grow in different directions is ridiculous and unrealistic.  Just because I get married or have a good wedding does not mean anything.  It doesn’t mean I will always have a place to live or money or security.  It means I’m married.

Mostly I want to feel wanted.  It’s a basic human need but with my past full of abandonment and abuse, it’s natural for that need to be present and show up front and center a lot more frequently.

We delved into our house.  It’s not mine, it doesn’t feel like mine.  The decorations, the paint, the mess, the stuff in it.  It’s his and my things fit around where they can.  When I made the suggestion last week that I would buy a shed and convert it into a studio, I was told he’d just help me clean up a bit.  Which we did, but it’s still his stuff we cleaned.  He doesn’t get it.

I want to feel like I exist and I’m loved for me.

I talked to her about my first apartment that I got as a newly divorced woman.  It’s right next door and I stare at  it when I am outside.  I refuse to go back in it because I fear I may move right back in.  Not because I don’t love my dude, but it was my first taste of me.  I decorated it, I fixed myself food I wanted in it, I had fabulous sex in it, I paid for it and I lived in it.  All me.  I found it, made it mine and it was home.  My first home.  She told me to use that as my measuring stick.  If something going forward doesn’t feel like that level of happiness, get rid of it.

At the time I was in that apartment I didn’t always appreciate it because i was grieving my divorce and dating men to fulfill the hole, but on a lot of levels, it was all mine for me that I created.

I’m supposed to tell him how I feel about our house and I will.  I came home and asked if we could go out so we did, we got tacos, I bought us some ice cream cones for our walk home, we read next to each other then watched a documentary on Vivian Maier.  It was wonderful to be together last night and I know that he just doesn’t understand, but the difference is, I found a man that wants to try.

I’m hoping to dig more into my past next visit.  I feel like I’m behind a bunch of walls to get to the other side, she mentioned this as well.  But at least the point I’m at now, I can see the walls and know they exist and are not permanent.

-Lulu

I Remember Freedom

Reception

My ex-husband got married on Saturday.  I knew it was coming.  I wrote about it here.  I prepare myself and my daughter all week.  I laid out a day of no plans whatsoever to deal with whatever surfaced.  Mostly I was okay.  Until I saw the pic of their rings and then I cried.  I sat on the couch and sobbed for a good 30 minutes.

I started to feel sorry for myself.  That no friends had called to check on me, no family checked on me.  My sister was still mad at me for not wanting to babysit her kids all weekend, but I don’t normally look to her for support ever anyways.  My mother stopped by and when she was reminded of the wedding, thought it was a good time to ask ME about when I’m getting married.  (I’m not engaged.)  That her ring was beautiful and it was official.  I went down the spiral of sadness and why me.

However, my boyfriend was perfect.  He was petty about her ring, checking for clarity, he was astounded when I wondered aloud if she had to buy her own ring like I did, he was sweet and there for me and helped clean the house and took me shopping all day.  He also didn’t hesitate to buy me a pint of ice cream, as well.

But something between seeing it was official and having him be so sweet to me, I just lost it.  Losing it though ended up being a good thing.  I sat with myself and told myself to cry.  To just feel it.  When my dude asked me what was wrong, I told him the truth.  That I lied when i said I was okay if we never married, that I wanted it.  I was sad that my ex wasn’t as scared as we were to try again.  I was jealous that he will get another wedding to remember vs. just ours.  After writing all of my memories of our wedding here I realized how awful it was and how many red flags were there.

He listened, hugged me when i asked and got me Kleenex, then got me ice cream later as we watched a comedian on Netflix to end the day.  Then I had a friend texst me to see if I was okay.  The next day another friend texted me petty things about the pics on Facebook of their rings and made me laugh.  (Yes, I know being petty is not a great quality, but I allowed a little this weekend.)  I do have good friends, I have a great boyfriend and a fantastic kid (who looked amazing in her wedding outfit and tinted lip gloss-a first!) but most importantly, I’m reminded that I have the skills and a great therapist to help as well.

I am jealous, sure.  And did I feel better when I saw pics of her dress and the event and relieved when she didn’t have a wedding I have imagined for myself?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Did I die a little when my daughter texted her dad last night and told him: “Good night to my perfect mom and dad.”  And when I asked her about the mom thing she said “well, she is my step mom now.”  Yes.  Yes I fucking died.  I have stuff to work through and pain will always exist, but mostly I know I’m actually feeling this and it won’t kill me to feel it.

It won’t kill me to be sad or jealous or mad for a little while and it will end.

-Lulu

 

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