March ANTI-Res

March roared in with subzero chills on the kite wind.  Winter stalked the Midwest all the way down south and up the east coast like a jilted lover who refuses to let go.  The ides passed without a word.  I did not make a March Res as the resolutions made for February kind of spitter spatted and stalled.  (Spellcheck tells me “spitter” and “spatted” are misspelled.  We can “spitted” and “spatter” and but not the other way around?  OH WELL.  Everyday lingo does not always sync with dictionaries.)  Now where was I before red squiggly lines interrupted my train of thought?  Oh yes, February.

I finally got wet.  In March.  Last week, to be precise.

After gathering up my courage and swim gear, I walked over to the YMCA to do some deep water walking and learned that my Y-PASS card had been deactivated.  I had changed insurance companies, got a new  Silver Sneakers card, so I’m guessing the Y dropped me during the transition.  (Silver Sneakers is a perk offered by some insurance companies to old and/or disabled people.)   She let me in anyway, and I was the only person in the shallow pool, which was not deep enough to keep my feet off the floor.  I was also the only person in the locker room so I got a good look at myself in the full length mirror.  The Y called me latter in the week to let me know that my Y-PASS works again, so now I am good to go.

The two piece swimsuit purchased to replace the baggy suit does not look nearly as cute on me as I thought it did.

To tell you the truth, and this may sound bizarre, my body actually looked better when I weighed 80 pounds more.  I told my sister and she was all, “oh no… you look better now” but she’s seeing me with clothes on.   Everything that used to just be big and rounded is now saggy and lumpy.  I have folds where I never had skin folds before, lumps where they don’t belong.  And it is going to get a lot worse and that scares me.   I am afraid that by the time I am done, the skin on my tummy will hang to my knees and the skin from my knees will sag like capris.  The bat wings will be so long that I will have to flip the skin around my arms a few times and secure it with scrunchies.   I have this mental picture of how it is going to be and sometimes having a vivid imagination can dramatically exaggerate things, but I knew when I looked in that mirror that reality is not too far off.   It scares me because I have heard horror stories of nasty sores, which thankfully I don’t get but then again, I take extra care to pamper that excess skin.

I am seriously thinking of putting myself on a diet.  My weight has been stagnant, the needle barely moving up or down a pound or two for months on end now.  I think the fear of excess skin has got me self sabotaging to maintain where I am as I don’t dare gain back any weight.  My imagination goes extreme that way, too.  It never goes on or off the same.  If I gained weight, I imagine it would go to those lumpy areas and turn them into monstrous things attached to my body.  Yeah… gaining weight is not an option.  My best bet is just get through this as fast as I can, get it done and over with.  I still have a lot of weight to lose before I would be a good candidate for skin removal surgery.

Ye gads… it leaves me with one question:  Are navels optional?

Feb Res 2014

Today’s blog in a nutshell:  February Resolutions (practice art, revive BeesATC blog, get wet, ID anti-social behaviors) and a BED Reality Check (weigh-in)

Last first… pulled the scales out of the closet today for a “reality check” on that binge eating disorder thing.  I don’t talk about it much anymore as it is not such an issue anymore.   The anniversary of seeking treatment quietly came and went three months ago.  Weight loss has slowed down to a snails crawl, but it was amazing to enter the New Year weighing less than I have in years even after eating all of those holiday goodies.  Breaking free of the scales was kind of scary as going by how I feel and how my clothes fit can be deceptive so I was half tempted to close my eyes today.  But, I weighed myself.  Then stepped off the scales and weighed myself again.  Huh.  Three pounds down both times.  I want twenty to add to that previous eighty, but I am not yet willing to diet.  I’m not strong enough for that yet.  I am still learning moderation, finding the happy medium somewhere between under-eating and overeating.  I think it is called NORMAL.

Okay… February Resolutions!

1.   Practice art:  get back into the daily habit of making art in “practice size” again.

I bailed on my goal of 1000 practice pieces at #334,  or at least that was the last numbered piece that I posted.  Yes, I am reviving BeesATC with a few changes… new template, cleaner look, and a self-imposed rule of NO RAMBLING!   It will be as it started out to be… an art blog.  I can ramble here, no need to ramble there.  I want to try some new techniques and different things, so it might get interesting.  At least for me… maybe you will find it interesting, too.

2.  Get wet:  go to the Y at least once a week.

The water pressure helps my circulation, even if all I can do is a little deep water walking.  When I went to a pool regularly, I got so I could float on my back so I’m thinking maybe someday I will be able to swim again.  (Previous attempts resulted in spasms.)  They have a water exercise class for people with arthritis, so maybe I can do that, too.

3.  ID Anti-Social Behaviors:  am I becoming too anti-social?

I am resolving to think about that this month.  Then, if warranted, come up with a strategy to remedy the situation.  The thing is, I don’t know if I am becoming too anti-social or just getting  more weird about my personal space.  I very rarely invite anyone over. Friends and family have always known to call first, to give me at least an hour advance notice.  I have to mentally prepare for guests and sometimes, I have to put my toys away.  My nest is my nest, my personal private space, not a place to hang out.   I don’t want people knocking on my door.  When I feel like socializing, I go out.   It works for me… but I’m afraid it may offend people who are more socially inclined.

 

Sneak Peek of last night’s “first new post” on BeesATC (otherwise this post is just words):

a335

Thanks for reading!  Hopefully, I will catch up on my reading this weekend.

Endings

My last shrink appointment was Thursday, so therapy has come to an end.   It was a good ending.  I told him why I thought I was done, that I wanted to come in person instead of just calling to cancel because I wanted him to know that I wasn’t quitting on me, just quitting therapy.  My recovery continues.

On a good note, he told that he read something about “mindful” eating becoming an acceptable thing in the treatment of eating disorders, that he never heard of “mindful” or “intuitive” eating until he had me for a patient and now he is hearing more and more about it.  Said something about it being good for people with “strong personalities”.   

Like me? Oh my… what negative things that implies?

No, it all good.  I do have a strong personality, but my strength is not in bad things.   It may sound wacky, but my strength is one of the truths about myself that I had to come to terms with because it is part of the me I tried to hide, shove down, and deny. 

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” pops into my head. (It is a Bible verse, Phil. 4:16.)

It does NOT say “I can’t do a damn thing.  God has to carry me, tend to my every need, and tie my shoe laces.”  To me, that verse is about empowerment.  If you too weak or timid to deal with what comes your way, God will strengthen you. 

So why deny or hide internal strength when strength is a blessing?  I’m not talking about boastfulness or arrogance.  You can be humble and strong at the same time. 

Maybe that why I had such a problem with OA?

OA is a program that uses the AA twelve step program. They scratched out the word “alcohol” and replaced it with “food” and for some people, it does work.  Unfortunately, I cannot lie to myself to prove that I am not lying to myself.   I cannot pretend to be powerless over food, that I need devine intervention to rescue me from carrots, those evil and cunning tomatoes, or sneaky chocolates.  Sure, I could assign power to particular foods, my choice of foods to binge on, and at times I felt powerless in the midst of a binge while silently screaming at myself to stop, but food is not the problem.  Logic tells me that if I were as powerless over food as an alcoholic is to booze, where a bad chemical or whatever reaction to alcohol is going on, then it would be ALL food and not some.  Have you ever met an alcoholic who only had a problem with SOME but not all?  I haven’t… I’ve met alcoholics so lost in addiction they poured perfume in a tea cup, drank things obviously not intended for human consumption in their despiration.  If food were equivalent to booze, if all food were the problem.  I could buy into the OA program.  Of course, they getcha with a Catch-22 by saying if you cannot admit that you are powerless over food, you are incapable of being honest with yourself.  Maybe I am TOO honest with myself for OA?

Mindfulness and/or intuitive eating offers an alternative for people who, like me, cannot embrace OA.  I found it to be empowering.  I made peace with food (its just food) and more importantly, I made peace with myself.  I am losing weight, slower than would suit most people, partly because I still have bad days (not the end of the world, recovery is a process) and slow partly because I refuse to diet.  I can go out with friends and eat cheesecake in public without one drop of guilt, shame, or remorse. 

image

This photo was snapped to share with a friend in Illinois who had dropped a five for cheesecake in a greeting card, part thank you and part teaser, as she knows that the Mocha House makes THE BEST cheesecake in NE Ohio. 

The thing is… there is a big difference between enjoying a slice of cheesecake now and then and bingeing on cheesecake.

Binge behavior would be to buy or make a whole serves 12 or 24 size cheesecake (or two) pretending you are taking dessert to a party, then secretly eating it all yourself while hating yourself for doing so, feeling so much guilt and shame and out of control that you have to hide the evidence so no one else will know, followed by self punishment in the form of dieting or exercising to counteract the excess calories.  It is a horrid thing.  You may feel powerless, but that cheesecake (or whatever) has no power over your behavior unless you assign it imaginary power. 

I guess what I am saying is… dealing with why I binge and using the principles of intuitive or mindful eating to break the cycle has proven to work for me.  I can live a binge-free life now free of all the internal strife that goes along with binge eating disorder.  Some people find help in OA, but I would rather feel empowered than powerless.

UPDATE FROM PREVIOUS POSTS:

I blew off the “nbarnbees” email addresss (temporarily set up when I forgot my “barnbees” email password) and created a NEW email address that is rather dull (n4barnes) but it is something I can live with.  It may take me awhile to start get email and notifications at the new address as I have to figure out where all it needs updated, but in time, I will stop using the barnbees email, too.

Yes, I have been doing some serious thinking about  ending my use of the word barnbees.  I haven’t decided exactly how to do that, all I know is it just doesn’t feel like mine anymore.  

I really hate the idea of blowing off this blog… barnbees is not just the name on top, it’s the wordpress URL.

I have “Barnes: Artsy Things” pretty much just hanging out in limbo as I haven’t done much posting on that blog.  I launched it as a blog to show my art to friends & family who don’t need to read my rambles.  I could add a poetry category, move poems and art posted here over there before blowing this barnbees blog away… it will take time.

I think I’m done rambling on about eating disorders anyway.  It is becoming a non-issue, and that in itself is a very good thing.