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Struggling to handle my emotions without food

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Five months ago, I ended a "friendship" with a man I met six years ago. He was in town for a conference, I was on vacation and painting the town red with my friends. We connected and went on several dates. He was an attractive educated, southern gentleman who opened doors and insisted on paying for everything. He returned to town a month later and we went on more dates. He wanted more, but I was still healing from a prior breakup. We settled for phone conversations because of the distance. The plans we made to get together again never materialized; trips to Vegas, trips to the east coast. The years rolled on. We dated other people, but stayed connected as "friends."

In March, I realized that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits of the phone calls and emails. I wanted cake, but I was getting crumbs. The "friendship" was no longer fulfilling and I was unhappy. It was time for this "friendship" to end. But before it could end, I decided to tell him how I felt and ask for what I wanted. It was a tough conversation, but everything was out in the open and I was satisfied that it was time to move on.

Then, mysteriously on Friday, I found myself connected to him on Facebook. I didn't even know he was on Facebook. Maybe when I synched my phone with my Facebook account, it sent him a friend request. Whatever. When he connected with me, I saw pictures of him huddled up with a woman. Not surprising, but Ouch. She wasn't even cute. Ouch again. I spent the weekend feeling miserable and reflecting on all the tough things I've endured in the last two years: job loss, moving from a house to an apartment, becoming a grandmother at an early age, missed promotions, unhealthy relationships and superficial friendships.

Now, given my circumstances, I need to reframe what it means to be successful and to exorcise the feelings I had buried under layers of fat. It's tough but necessary emotional work.

When I was young I dreamed of getting my degree, living a comfortable life in a big house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with my successful, handsome husband, prestigious job and well-behaved overachieving children. The classic pipedream of "having it all". LOL. I did get the degree--actually two of them, but I'm also a single empty-nester middle-aged grandmother living paycheck to paycheck in an apartment. Not sure how I got here, but here I am.

So how do I reframe my thinking? Well, after five months of unemployment last year I did find a job. It's not a big job and I'm slightly underemployed, but it's a decent, stable one in a good environment and I can pay my bills. Hey, who needs a house anyway? I don't know how to fix stuff, I don't garden and I hate cutting grass. I like the lock and leave lifestyle and my apartment is spacious and has nice amenities. My daughter and grandson are healthy and she's working hard to get back into college. Although I spent this weekend embroiled in a classic pity party, I do have friends who listened and offered support as I ranted over drinks at happy hour. Most importantly, I exercised and maintained a degree of control over my eating. I'm even planning to play softball this fall. I haven't played softball since I was a teen.

The remaining 27 pounds will be harder to lose because the pain of being overweight has diminished, I'm closer to goal and I'm dealing with these raw emotions that had been hidden under layers of fat. But, I'm still blogging, recording my meals and exercising. I haven't lost weight in nearly two weeks, but it's too early to declare a plateau. Right now, I blame it on monthly water weight gain and salty food.

Somehow, I've got to dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward. Even if my progress slows down to baby steps, I've got to keep on keepin' on and have faith that everything will be all right.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABY_GIRL69 8/13/2012 6:21PM

    There is not a thing wrong with wanting what you so rightly deserve...

God bless,


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LILSHINE 8/13/2012 11:01AM

    Venting/blogging is an outlet that you have utilized to express where you are. Sometimes we have to face ourselves in order to make changes. Sometimes we have to clean our closets in order to make space for other things to move in. We learn as we go through things --- it's when we go through things and don't learn from them that we fail. Your dreams are still possible - it just may take you a little longer to get that house in the cul-de-sac with the handsome successful husband and all that goes along with family. Don't give up on the dream just because you've grown older... you've also grown wiser and that husband is waiting patiently on you just like you're waiting patiently on him.

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BARBAELLEN 8/12/2012 11:39PM

    Hey, you've joined the ranks of us who often get little sympathy because we're at the lower end of the scale. It's still hard, and the extra motivation you get because you're way overweight does diminish. Always gotta keep your eye on the ball whether you're still trying to lose or just trying to avoid gaining. Sigh. Yep, it's always a struggle. Sometimes those things that are hard to do are the only way to make yourself better. Your weight loss proves that!

Letting go of unhealthy relationships is another of those hard-to-do things that will make you better, too. I suspect that most of us have had to face the decision to give up on relationships that aren't good for us. Kind of like getting rid of unhealthy weight, huh? You've gotten through other things, and you'll get through this. I know it doesn't feel good right now, but I imagine you'd be dealing with the same emotions whether they were hidden under layers of fat or not. Keep the faith!

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NIKKICOLE83 8/12/2012 11:04PM

    You are speaking your truth no matter how ugly it may be. Even though it will hurt, you are going to have to unfriend him on FB because otherwise you are going to make yourself crazy. Perhaps focusing on your journey and putting your energy there will allow you to get over him faster. Good luck.

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FLEURGARDEN 8/12/2012 6:08PM

    I can so relate to your comment "I wanted cake, but I was only getting crumbs." That totally sums up the last relationship I was in. We had a give-and-take relationship - I gave and he took. It really hurt when our relationship ended, but I didn't unfriend him right away. And then there was the day that a mutual friend of ours started making a play for him right on Facebook. That really hurt and I unfriended them both on the spot. Severing that tie and no longer knowing what is going on in his life has really helped me let go and move on.

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SONYALATRECE 8/12/2012 4:48PM

    Unfriend this guy and keep pushing harder to prevent the dreaded plateau.
In your corner!


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JOURNEY2DESTINY 8/12/2012 4:10PM

    Your blog caught my eye as I saw my friend activity. I was simply taken a back by your story. You seemed like you had really had enough on your plate already and then to find that there was more background to his story, is well, even more depressing.

You are blogging about the situation which gives you an outlet to let go of the past. You really could have bashed this guy, but you didnt. Continue on this course. Let free all those things that can stand between you and your best life. Dont let the world dictate your future. You determine how happy you are in life by the choices you make, and your willingless to let go of the things that were meant to take you down. They are stepping stones to what you really want. Trials are necessary in order to appreciate the REAL blessings that are there waiting for you.

Keep Sparkin

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ANNEMAC5 8/12/2012 2:45PM

    It is great that you are able to blog about this, delete that man from facebook who cares what he does or who he does it with. Concentrate on you and your daughter and grandson. The weight will come off if you keep at it, no giving in failure is not an option. emoticon

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JAZZEJR 8/12/2012 2:37PM

    Amen to BlkLily's response. You are great at introspection. But OK, leave it alone now--onward, upward. Unfriend him on Facebook--you don't care what he's doing. Have you tried walk-jogging to rev up your metabolism? Now that you're smaller, it's going to take more effort to continue to lose weight. Cruel joke on you, right? You can handle it! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 2:38:12 PM

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BLKLILY 8/12/2012 12:39PM

    Well written blog! You writing about it shows how far you have come and your strength. You are dealing with things really well considering where you were. The man you were with left the old you. You are a new lady now and deserve a man worthy of that new woman so let the old past be just that...your past. I would not be friends on FB though but instead move on in knowing that not only is he/that relationship over but so is the ALL the fat you've lost!

Funny...when we change inside out, so will the people, places and things around us...for the better!

So hooray to you for being emoticon

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GETRBENTRACER 8/12/2012 12:17PM

  everything will be all right just keep it up

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Good news comes in twos

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yesterday, I got the results of my fasting blood glucose and A1c. Both have dropped to normal levels! My blood glucose is down to 92 from 100 and my A1c dropped from 6.2 to 5.7. Needless to say, I'm elated but my work is not done. Now I have to maintain the habits that got me here. Although I'm no longer officially prediabetic, I know that if I don't take care of myself, that diabetes is just around the corner. For now, though, I celebrate. Yay for me!


Yesterday, I went shopping for a new pair of jeans. I was surprised to discover that I can already wear a size 12. I should've been dancing in the fitting room, but I wasn't. Why? Because of vanity sizing. I tried on at least half a dozen pair in multiple brands, Gloria Vanderbilt, Lee, Levi, JLo, Sonoma. I was a size 12 in all of them. Wasn't this my goal? To wear a size 12 pair of jeans? Why wasn't I celebrating?

Because the last time I wore a size 12 jean, it was a smaller size. That was 10 years ago. I realized that over these years, I've been going to the store, trying on my usual size and they would continue to fit. Since my clothing size hardly changed, I never panicked about my weight gain because I was able to rationalize "But I'm still a 14." Or whatever size I was in. Now, that logic is out the window. Yesterday in the fitting room, when I saw my reflection in the mirror wearing a size 12 jean, I still looked heavy. I didn't look or feel thinner. Also, the slimmer fit of the jeans, accentuated my thick waist, reminding me of the work that's still left to do.

Now I realize that when I get to my goal weight which is still 27 pounds away, I will probably be wearing a size 8 or 10, which is now yesterday's size 12.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPLANE37 8/11/2012 10:28PM

    Congrats on your good results.

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MOBYCARP 8/10/2012 7:31PM

    I don't know how women live with the ever-changing meaning of size numbers. It's bad enough in men's clothing, having to figure out what "medium" means when the shirts don't come by neck measurement or the pants don't come by waist measurement; but at least for jeans, a 32 inch waist is 32 inches.

Still have to try them on to see how they fit the butt, though.

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AANGEL3 8/10/2012 4:49PM

    emoticon On your blood sugar!

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FITPRIS 8/10/2012 10:57AM

    I'm really excited for you about your blood sugar results. That is tremendous relief. You are right...you still have to work on keeping it at bay!!

I'm right there with ya Sister!!!! emoticon

As far as sizes, they are like the scales, I don't pay much attention to either. I go on the way I look and feel. On what I have achieved and where I still need to push. Keep on keeping on!!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 8/10/2012 10:21AM

    Numbers on jeans have really changed. For my goal weight, I should be fitting in a 14, but I know with the sizing of today that it's 2 sizes difference, so I just may fit into a 10 at that point. I understand that the manufacturers were trying to make us feel better, but it just makes it harder to find a proper fitting piece.

That's great your numbers came back great!

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DABLUECAT 8/10/2012 8:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MANILUS 8/10/2012 8:09AM

    Great job, I am just around the corner from a size 12! I cannot wait to get there, my shape is smaller this journey, my last large weight loss I got to a size 10 but I was not as toned!

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DIBANANA 8/10/2012 8:08AM

  Great news on the health front! WOO HOO!

The jeans....you are aware of your size and that you are still working toward a goal. You will get there. Look how far you have come.

Remember we are all here struggling too. You have done an awesome job. I'm proud of you!


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People Watching at the Gym

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

I work out at a community center in a suburb of Kansas City. While I'm there, I enjoy people watching because the membership is so diverse. The indoor track overlooks the gymnasium and goes around the pool, weight and cardio machine areas, making it easy to observe what other people are doing. Randomly listed below are a few of the more interesting scenarios I've observed during my workouts.

1. An Asian couple teaching their young child to play badminton.
2. A woman in full hajib attire going down the slipper slide in the swimming pool.
3. A dozen high school aged black boys shooting hoops while their girlfriends look on.
4. An attendant walking on the indoor track alongside a young man who appeared to have suffered from a stroke.
5. A group of 10 year old boys dunking a basketball into a lowered rim on one side of the court.
6. A slender, fit, woman appearing to be in her late 70s and wearing a turban, sprinting down the track and, later on, lifting weights.
7. A blond man built like an Adonis working out with dumbells and unintentionally distracting half the women in the gym.
8. An old man in street clothes on a leg extension machine.
9. A 225 pound teenager chewing gum, talking on her cell phone (yech) and pedaling slowly on a recumbent bike.
10. A slender man sprinting like a deer around the track.
11. An east Indian couple opting to walk indoors in their street clothes because it's 107 degrees outside. She is wearing traditional attire and has a long, black ponytail.
12. A slender 16 year old girl working out with her 400 pound mother.
13. A 30 something man with a large hairy chest, big huge biceps and skinny chicken legs doing hammer curls.
14. A 4'6" elderly Asian woman walking around the track with a towel wrapped around her neck.
15. A group of Latino children playing under the wading pool's "waterfall".
16. A middle aged Caucasian man wandering through the weight area carrying on a conversation via bluetooth, except I couldn't see the bluetooth.
17. A 5'10" 120 pound Caucasian "woman" with a prominent nose, Adam's apple (?), and glasses working out with weights alongside a personal trainer.
18. A 5'7" 100 pound anorexic-looking Caucasian woman pedaling furiously in a spinning class.
19. A Somali woman wearing a hajib standing alongside her 12 year old daughter while she works out on an abdominal machine.
20. A young, special needs woman with cute blond pigtails and a big belly, repeatedly doing a basic step on a bench. Her t-shirt is tucked into a pair of black sweatpants that are hiked clear up to her chest. When people walk past her, she smiles and says "hi."
21. A man in a wheel chair using a handpedal stationary cycle to get his workout in.

Seeing the folks from all ages, races, ethnicities and walks of life keeps the gym scene interesting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Love the diversity!!

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RESTORED_ME 8/9/2012 12:02PM

    Amazing.... that series of observations would keep me engaged (and somewhat entertained).

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BARBAELLEN 8/9/2012 11:52AM

    Wow, that is an interesting gym! No wonder you go there. It sounds like you're doing your workouts in the middle of a John Irving novel. :)

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SLASALLE 8/9/2012 11:45AM

    I, too, love people watching, just about anywhere. One of my favorite places besides the gym is at airports. Definitely a diverse group of people with lots of interesting situations!

Hey, nothing like interesting entertainment while you're working out!!!

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MDWSTRNR 8/9/2012 10:34AM

    When we lived in Des Moines, I loved people-watching at the Y, especially in the summertime when I could go in around ten and see all the super-fit seniors. I want to be like them when I grow up. :)

Thanks for the blog. It made me smile.

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SPARKLE1908 8/9/2012 9:48AM

    I understand about the people watching because I do it too...there is an Asian man at my gym that never works out but he goes around to random equipment and does handstands on the machines...I'm surprised the staff lets him do this since that could cause a liability issue if he were to fall off or whatever...but it is fun to watch...

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FLEURGARDEN 8/9/2012 7:30AM

    I like people-watching at the gym too. I used to think a gym was only for "athletes" and that I'd feel out of place, but now I realize that people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds go to the gym.

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KRISZTA11 8/9/2012 5:23AM

    How interesting!
Thanks for sharing, you are a gifted writer.
This gym sounds perfect, no wonder so many people of all types chose to work out there.

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MPLANE37 8/8/2012 11:29PM

    Wow. So many different people.

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GOOSIEMOON 8/8/2012 10:28PM

    Your descriptions are very interesting!


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DMEYER4 8/8/2012 10:06PM


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Woo hoo!--More baggy pants

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This morning when I got dressed, I pulled a pair of size 14 pants out of the closet and put them on. I was surprised to discover that they are starting to get baggy!

These pants are supposed to be part of my "thinner" wardrobe. When I restarted SP in January, most of my clothes were size 16W, 18, 1x or 2x. I relegated my size 14s and 16s to the back of the closet. Then, around April or May, I had to put my 16W's and 18s away and wear my 14s and 16s. Then my 16s got baggy and I had to go shopping.

Now, the size 14 pants that have been a part of my wardrobe for at least 5 years are starting to sag. Oh, I can still wear them but the only thing keeping me in them is my waist. Once the waist band sags to my hipbone, they'll have to go.

I have not weighed less than what I weigh now in more than seven years. Still, I'm 11 pounds heavier than what I weighed at my high school reunion 9 years ago. Soooo.... here we go.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLEURGARDEN 8/8/2012 7:22AM

    Woo Hoo! Baggy feels so awesome, doesn't it?

I noticed yesterday that the "next size down" pants that were tight a month or so ago are starting to get baggy as well. I'm not quite ready to try on the next smaller size yet, but I'm looking forward to packing up more clothes and making even more room in my closet. It's going to look bare by the time I meet my goal weight - but then it will be fun to go shopping again!

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BARBAELLEN 8/7/2012 10:25PM

    You've made such great progress and look just super! Since this is the result of a lifestyle change, and you won't be regaining all that unhealthy extra fat, what did you put those HUGE 16W's and 18's away for? They should be GONE! (just sayin')

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CECINOAKLAND 8/7/2012 1:38PM

    I love that feeling of my "skinnier" jeans gettin too big. Next stop, 12's!

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BUSYGRANNY5 8/7/2012 11:35AM

    You go girl! What a great feeling!!!!


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EGALITAIRE 8/7/2012 11:29AM

    Awesome - savour those Non-Scale Victories.

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My Blood Sugar

Monday, August 06, 2012

Tomorrow, I am visiting my doctor's office to get my fasting blood sugar and my A1C level tested. For the uninitiated, these are the tests doctors use to diagnose diabetes or monitor pre-diabetes. In January, I learned I was pre-diabetic. My fasting blood glucose was 100 and my A1C measured 6.1. Doctors diagnose diabetics when the A1C measures 6.5. In April, after being back on SP for three months, I got my A1C retested. It had risen from 6.1 to 6.2.

Not coincidentally, April was when I started to get serious about exercise. Before April, my exercise regimen consisted of pedaling on my stationary cycle for 10-15 minutes three or four times a week. I would also take a half hour walk once or twice a week. Not bad for someone who had been inactive, but apparently it was not enough to decrease my A1C level.

I incorporated strength training into my exercise regimen. I started lifting weights twice a week. I increased my cardio to 30-45 minutes 4-5x a week. This is the workout I did 95% of the time between April and July. I also started making smoothies in the morning, which increased my fruit, vegetable and Omega 3 intake. Hopefully, these changes have been enough to decrease my A1C level.

Still, I won't know until later in the week how my body has responded to the improved diet and increase in exercise. I am hopeful that since I've dropped more than 20 pounds since April that my levels have decreased. Right now, I am not on any prescription medication for pre-diabetes, but if my A1C level hasn't changed with diet and exercise, I'll probably end up on some sort of medication. Yech.

Regardless of the results, I know that I have to continue improving my diet and to exercise at least 150 minutes a week.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLKLILY 8/7/2012 11:00AM

    emoticon emoticon...I reversed my Type 2 Diabetes and so can you!

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FLEURGARDEN 8/7/2012 10:00AM

    Crossing my fingers that you get good test results.

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NYKIMMIE 8/7/2012 6:52AM

    awesome,you can do it!

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SONYALATRECE 8/7/2012 6:27AM

    Excellent habits!
Best wishes with your tests. I'm positive they have improved. Keep on doing what makes a positive difference!


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PAT4PROG 8/7/2012 5:12AM

  Best of luck to you for your upcoming blood work. Regardless of the number outcomes, you are doing a fantastic job keeping up the exercise regiment. Unfortunately my numbers haven't improved with exercise and diet, but the meds are holding them steady. Sometimes it's just how our bodies are made and not our lifestyles. But as stated, we are all better off making these life-long, life-style adjustments and will be better off in the long run.

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RUSSELLORAMA 8/7/2012 12:39AM

    I hope you see good results on the tests. I was glad to see my hypoglycemia improving as I increased my fitness levels and started paying more attention to what I was eating.

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SLUNDQUIS 8/7/2012 12:14AM

    Good Luck! Exercise does wonders whether or it will show. Just know sometimes your body has to catch up with what you are doing. If it hasn't improved much. It will in time.

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