How Not To Fuel the Fire

I have been a plus-size woman for the majority of my adult life.  Some years bigger than others (ahem…some DECADES bigger than others), but with the exception of a few years here and there, I have carried quite a bit of extra weight.  I have been extremely lucky, in that I have developed very few medical problems this extra weight.

Yes, I have sleep apnea and slightly high blood pressure, but both are easily treatable — one with a CPAP machine that I am devoted to wearing every time I lie down, and the blood pressure with a tiny dose of medication.  I again say, I have been extremely lucky, and I don’t really lose sight of that.  I know things could be much worse for my physical health because of my size (oy, and the smoking), but thanks to good genetics or the moon pulling the tides or what-have-you, I don’t suffer much with physical ills.

When I first started this blog over seven years ago, I was quite overweight, although not nearly to the degree I am now, and I actually DID have some health problems.  I joined Weight Watchers, dropped a bunch of weight, and walked three to ten miles a day (every day).  Unfortunately, I had a knee energy when I (foolishly) decided I was skinny enough to start running, and the scale has been on the uptick ever since.

For the past few months I have been feeling quite miserable physically, and I finally went and saw my primary care provider, who ran a bunch of labs.  It turned out that my fasting glucose was quite high, and she immediately decided that I had diabetes and she needed to prescribe Metformin (a diabetic medication) and all would be well.

Well, hellz no, lady!  With the 19 pills I take every morning and 24 I take every night for mental health issues, I’m not going to just throw another pill on top of things, all willy nilly.  SO, I asked her to test my A1C (it is more of an average of your blood sugar levels over a much longer period of time, rather than just the one instance).

And my A1C was NORMAL and my mononucleosis test came back NEGATIVE and so I am celebrating because…yay…I haven’t totally screwed my body up yet!  Now, of course, this doesn’t explain why I feel so awful physically, but at least I know that most of my labs are normal, so this is great news.

I spoke with my provider’s nurse, and my provider would like me to mostly eliminate carbohydrates and eat more fruits and vegetables.  I am going to take this under consideration, but I don’t want to do anything too extreme as I have a history of eating disorder, including but not limited to extreme preoccupation with food and calories.

I have not participated in *hardly* any eating disorder activity since LarBear and I have been together, and I want to keep it that way.  I don’t want to get really focused on a certain diet that I need to keep, and end up back where I used to be — all-consumed by anything that went into my mouth (and, similarly, that which was purged).  BUT, I do want to be a healthier person and I really do want to feel better physically so I can do more things.

There is the push and pull, now, that I need to lose weight and exercise more, and I do know that.  I am grateful I have yet to eff up the one body that I have been given on this planet (although I have really put it through quite the cycles of abuse) and so I feel very thankful for that.  I don’t want to worsen things, and turn that next A1C that I have to have drawn in two months into a problem number, but as stated before, don’t want to restart the eating disorder cycle (because it is the biggest bitch ever to get out of).

Any constructive thoughts are welcomed, desired, hoped-for, et cetera, ad nauseum!  😀

God Bless the Rice Steamer and my Crock-Pot

When DSB and I were together, we (or rather, I) would cook home-made dinner ever night.  There was always meat, there was always a starch, and there was usually a vegetable.  And nine times out of ten, I made gravy from scratch.  When we did actually eat breakfast (maybe twice a week), DSB would whip up pancakes or french toast or who-knew-what.  The point being, is that we cooked much much more often than we ate out.

Now here I am, single lady, and I don’t miss cooking one bit.  I do, however, miss the food.  When I’m not eating fast food (which is far too often), I’m eating pre-made meals and dinner at other people’s houses.  I need to stop eating fast food, for my health AND my pocketbook, so I’ve been scoping around the Internet today and realized that I have really, the only two tools you need to make a fine meal, with minimal effort:  rice steamer and crock-pot.

You also can’t put down the value of a good microwave.  And I’ve had friends say a toaster oven is the way to go.  I am working with what I have and will likely be trying to avoid the microwave, as the things I put in it are generally full of salt, and my lower appendages are swollen like melons.

I’m still having those durn stomach problems too, pretty much no matter whether I eat fast food or dinner at Mom’s or dinner at Dad’s or pre-packaged whatever.  Or even not eating at all.  Doesn’t seem to matter.

But I’m ready for winter-foods that I can put in my crock pots and for things I can steam in my rice cooker, as well as, yes, more rice!  I think I may be over Ramen, although it’s unclear, but I have been so tired and sleepy lately, I think I am vitamin deficient and I think changing the way I am eating could help my budget (definitely), my health (for sure), and my sanity (probably).

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And who doesn’t like a little buttered rice? 🙂

Building Rome, Week 23: Gettin’ Ready to Get Ready

I have severe procrastination problems.  Always have.  Even back in grade school, I’d wait until the last minute to read a book or start a project.  It has grown and ballooned and blown up into Earth-sized proportions as I have become a 30-something.  I can’t seem to stop it or usurp it or tackle it or otherwise combat it.  It is oppressive and the fallout is always unpleasant, and sometimes painful.

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Green Embers apparently started a goal-setting-and-achieving challenge called “Building Rome,” some 23 weeks ago, but ya know, I’m always the last to know.  I’ve been advised that it’s quite all right to jump in midway.  As far as I can tell, there is a general given “theme” for the week in which you set a few related goals and then report back on goals from the week previous.

I’m all about setting goals right now, and so thought this would be something to keep me accountable for the things I have been trying to do.  As you may remember, Goddess of Mindfulness and I set four things that I WILL do each and every day so I will also be reporting on these every week.

This week’s theme is “Reaching Out” and I love the quote that tops Green Ember’s post:

“Ask for help when you need it. Even from your parents. There is no shame in needing help.”
– Unknown

Amen to that!  And even though you really do know that, you might not feel it deep down inside.  To reach out this week, I am going to:

1)  Send a handwritten card to my sister and step-sister letting them know how much they mean to me.

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2)  Perf0rm one random act of kindness for a stranger each day.  A smile, holding the door open, helping someone carry something, advising where something is located in the grocery store.  Small things, important things.

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3)  Talk with Goddess of Mindfulness about this constant cycling and what we can do about it, other than following the “crisis” medication regime.  Also talk with her about the mental  health center’s lack of follow-through with my needed medication requests.  Ask for her help in communicating with them.

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Those are about all of the goals I want to set for this week, as I am working hard at the main four:

 

1)  Take medications exactly as prescribed.  I have struggled this week.  Once I took my 9:00’s at 11:00 and I did forget one morning until about 3:00pm.  I’m back off Ritalin until further notice (aggravates mixed state) and I sure will be happy to be back on it.

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2)  Take care of Kizzie’s needs.  This went better than the medication stuff did.  She only ran totally out of water once, and I don’t think it was for long.  We had lots of play time and treats.  I have the stuff for her heartworm and flea/tick for next month.  She is a happy puppy, I think, too, because we have been spending more time outside.

Kizz as a pup

3)  Take care of  personal hygiene daily.  I definitely did a great job at this until about Thursday.  I don’t know what my problem was, but before that I’d been showering daily and putting on lotion and Friday just kind of went to hell.  That was about when I started cycling again and I have a lot of problems with negative thoughts, so I think that was part of it.  I’ll just need to get back on top of it.  My week restarts on Sunday, so I’m already a day behind, but that doesn’t mean I need to let the rest of my week go to hell.

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4) Eat healthfully and mindfully.  Ahhhh I don’t even want to talk about this.  I did eat healthfully some, definitely not very mindfully.  I really must to better this week and need to get to the grocery store so I have good options available.

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Grocery Shopping Issues Come Full Circle

For as long as I have been adult, living out on my own, my biggest fear and most dreaded chore has always been going to the grocery store.  At certain points in my life, I have been almost phobic.  During those times, QoB would take my list and do the shopping for me.  Those were the times when the phobia was at it’s worst.  Other times, and oftentimes, she would simply go with me and help me find what I needed in the most efficient manner.

For the past long while, I’ve been able to do my own grocery shopping.  Or rather, I’ve been able to do all the grocery shopping for DSB and myself.  I relied heavily on Dollar General and a tiny IGA in a bad part of town, because they’re small, not crowded, and not very big.  There’s also almost no selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the prices of everything except meat are almost robbery.

When DSB and I were together, I cooked rich, fatty meals that were often cheap and, more importantly, things  he liked.  There were rarely vegetables, mostly because DSB would eat only green beans, corn, and broccoli, and I was an idiot who didn’t just wise up and buy  herself some vegetables, even if he wouldn’t eat them.

There was also the issue of the ginormous amounts of food that DSB would eat.  It would be nothing to buy two pounds of lunch meat, cheese, and a loaf of bread, and for it to be gone in 24 hours.  Without me having eaten a sandwich.  It is almost incomprehensible, looking back.

So, I stopped buying a lot of things because it was too expensive, at the rate that DSB ate things.  We relied heavily on meat and starch.  And gravy.  Good Lord, there was always gravy.  And there were a ton of things that I liked to eat that DSB didn’t.  We didn’t have enough money to cook two different meals each night, so I just went ahead with whatever he wanted.  Total idiocy.

Ok, this was supposed to be a positive post, and here I’ve been ranting for 400 words.  My ap0logies, but I’m not deleting it, because I mean every word of it, and I think you  have to read that part to understand the true beauty of what is to follow.

As a side-note, my emergency visit to the pdoc is tomorrow @ 2:30pm, for those of you who read yesterday’s post.  Hopefully all will be well soon.

Now, here at Day 8 with no DSB, it’s come time to grocery shop.  For the first time since March of 2012, I am shopping just for myself.  I’ve been pumping myself up about it for the past few days, thinking of things I’ll be able to buy, meals I’ll be able to cook, money I’ll be able to save.  It’s actually been on my mind quite a bit.

I’ve been talking things over at work today with Catfish, about grocery shopping, and commented how much I hate the monstrosity of a grocery store that serves the North side of town.  I mentioned that I missed the smaller Dillons’ that was out southwest.  He pointed out that it’s only a five mile difference, and maybe I should just go to that Dillons’.  Catfish can be mighty smart, sometimes.

So, I heeded his advice.  I parked in the smaller parking lot (ya know, one smaller than the size of a football field, like up North) and readied my list.  It wasn’t too busy and I hit the produce aisle first.

I shopped like a woman who has been without fresh fruit and vegetables for two years (close to the truth).  I have apples (Honeycrisp!!) and celery and carrots and bananas and strawberries.

I bought a little tray of sushi for a dinner treat and almost jumped up and down when I realized that YES, I can afford this!  I bought salmon and edamame and the fixins’ for salad and sandwich stuff.  I bought a box of granola bars and it was like I’d been set free.

I bought all those condiments that DSB would  use up in a week, like mayonaisse and BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing and red wine vinegar and soy sauce.

I bought a box of frozen taquitos, because they were on sale and I haven’t had them in a million years.  It was almost more exciting than finding cash in your pocket.

I bought several other things, but those were the highlights.  The bottom line is that I will be eating MUCH healthier, and I will be eating things that I want to eat, and the food will be there when I’m ready to eat it (unlike before when shit disappeared like a Grizzly bear had stalked the fridge).

So, I’ll just say that I’m a little bitter about my food life for the past two years.  I gained a significant amount of weight, living the lifestyle we did, and really did feel stuck in it due to constraints like trying to feed two people on only my weekly money (because DSB rarely bought groceries, and then, only on the 1st) and also just not wanting to argue.

But it’s OVER!  And I am CELEBRATING!

And eating sushi and edamame for dinner.  Because I can.

I feel like this was a big victory, and maybe it seems small to others, but this really is a big huge deal for me.  Go Team Rose!

 

The Last Glass of Milk

I was very fortunate to grow up in a home filled with plenty of food.  We never went without, and, to the best of my recollection, we always had a nice sit-down dinner every night (with everyone attending) often had hot breakfasts on the weekends.  We wanted for nothing.  It’s possible that my parents struggled to pull this off, but that’s how it felt.

There was always salsa and chips or carrots and ranch for snacks.  Often there was fresh fruit and vegetables that could be munched on.  Mom pulled that off with (seeming) ease.

It’s funny how one’s upbringing around food can change their attitude about it.  While there was always plenty of fo0d at home, I’d get in trouble constantly for “sneaking” food.  I don’t know why I did it.  If I had asked, it would likely have been given to me.  But there was a lot of sneaking around.

The Big Dawg had perhaps the worst habits when it came to food.  You didn’t eat anything out of the fridge or pantry that you thought he might possibly want.  He grew up hungry, and lived hungry for years, fighting with his brothers over food.  He seemed to have this almost paranoid idea that you were stealing food from him when something would go missing.  To this day, I still think he gets a little bent out of shape when Mom offers me leftovers.

I don’t fault him for this.  It’s how I grew up.  I grew up learning that everything in the kitchen was not to just be had.  We had to ask.  Maybe lots of kids grew up that way.  Maybe it kept me from blowing up into a little porker, I don’t know.  Even now, my mom (and occasionally the Big Dawg) will criticize the amount of food I put on my plate when I come over.  I know it’s “about health,” but it’s a bad, bad feeling to have your parent police your food intake like that when you are a grown-ass woman.

Sometimes it’s easier just to have Mom dish it up, put it on a plate, and put it in front of me.  The way I grew up with food has significantly affected DSB and mine’s relationship.  Where he grew up, there was also nothing lacking, but there was a more open relationship with food.  If you were hungry, take it, even if it’s the last one.

This has led to issues sometimes with us when say, for example, there’s not much milk left but I really want a glass.  In my mind, that’s DSB’s milk, because he’s the one that drinks the most of it and it’s “his thing.”  DSB wants me to just drink the friggin’ milk if I want a glass.  Drink the milk, eat the last piece of cake, just go for it.

I spend so much time trying to make sure everything is “fair” between us, that sometimes I go a little crazy.  I worry when I’m putting our plates together that I got a slightly bigger piece of chicken, so I will give him slightly more mac and cheese and so on and so forth.  DSB could really care less, as long as  he has a plate of food in front of him at suppertime.

The way I grew up with food influences my shopping habits today.  At home, there was (and still is!) a full stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  When we’re running low on supplies, I start freaking out.  DSB has to walk me through the fact that there are at least eight meals left in the house that could be had.  I just don’t see it like that.  If there’s not gobs of stuff to cook, I think we have nothing.  You would have thought I grew up in the Depression.

I’m not saying all this to make anyone feel bad, and certainly no one should.  But more to highlight how growing up around food affects how we view food as adults.  To me, food is comfort and  home and something to be cherished.  To DSB, it’s fuel.  And that’s it.  Maybe that’s why I’m so big, I don’t know.  There are a lot of answers to that question, I think, and it can’t all fall back on my childhood, other than some wicked stepmothers who warped my mind against my body and my appetite long, long ago.

To sum up, childhood experience plays a huge role in how you view food, grocery shopping, the division of food between family members, and so on.  I wish I could get it a little more scientific, but I know that my mom and stepdad didn’t create my eating disorders.  I KNOW where that came from — evil stepmothers.  And hey, my own doing, too.  I can own up to that.  I hope at some point I can be at a healthier weight, but it has to be on my own time, at my own choosing.

Sam has made these before.  Divine.  No butter or syrup needed!

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Banana Pancakes — great recipe!