Getting rid of Hang-ups.

Getting rid of Hang-ups.

I’ve been working on a closet project. The calendar shows the season of fall is here, but there seems to be a hang up in the weather. (High eighties and humid.) So whether or not to put the summer clothes away and move into fall and winter is the question. Hang? er not? I started the transition, but my closet needed a clean out.

The answer for my closet project last week was to get rid of the excess hangers, or as I like to call them sometimes, hang-ups. I think that could be a good way to approach major projects in general (is that a colonel of wisdom?).

What is the hang up? Can I just toss it out? Or at least remove it to a different place so I can move forward with this particular goal? Will it be useful again? Or is it time to pitch it? It’s a home run-down if I hang onto hangups that don’t work for me. (This goes for clothes I just don’t like or don’t wear, as well as the metal, wood, or plastic devises that keep them on the closet rod.)

Which leads me to the idea of hangups offending (off-ending, or messing up a goal). I think I’m onto something big. Sometimes hang ups get tangled together. Reach for one and it doesn’t come clean. Or it brings out a bunch and makes a mess. Better to keep the hangups to a minimum, I think.

But back to the closet. I like the idea of the closet being a place of change. It’s easier to change if there’s not a lot of clutter, including hangups, in the way.  This is a multi-level thought that I want to ponder for awhile.  It may seem like I’ve already pun-dered it to death, but I think I need to think about it until I get to the “oh” moment. That may be the key to changing the “mom meant” to do something to try-umph.

Writing my thoughts has been a big part of me changing my paradigm about how I eat. It may seem like a hangup to need write about things, but I find it helps me keep order. Sometimes I write to distract myself from eating between meals. Other times, I write to explore my thoughts from a different angle.

Originally, I shared my thoughts on the Weight Watchers community blog site. I was using the Weight Watchers online tracking tools along with some sugar addiction management rules to try to get some control over my health. (I had some hang-ups about my Weight Watchers meeting room memories.) I lost a lot of weight, got rid of some hang ups, and I gained a support group.

With the encouragement of a lot of people, I published a book from my Weight Watchers blogging experience. It’s helped me when I’ve gone back and remembered how I used to be (obese and unhealthy) and how I changed. I’ve had positive feedback to let me know that sharing my thoughts has helped others in their journeys.

Weight Watchers discontinued the blogging site last year and I started blogging more (e’en) here. I’ve also tried to use Weight Watchers Connect. I’ve had ups and downs with my addiction management. I think that has to do with life. I haven’t gone back to eating sugar, but I struggle with eating between meals as an emotional or stress reaction. (Food does provide a fleeting measure of relief, but it’s too close to self medication or using drugs for this addict.)

I don’t write as often as I used to. Perhaps I’ve accumulated some hang-ups along the way? It’s a continual process. Working on, or in, the closets. Seeking to change. For the better. It’s worth it.

PS. I’ve had a lot of requests to publish a cookbook. But I’ve also had a lot of hang-ups about doing it. The project seemed way to big for me.  A special deal for free extra pages in photo books with Shutterfly helped me get past one hangup: I needed to see what I could do without spending a huge amount of money.

I put together my first attempt at a cookbook last week. Soon, I’ll have a physical book I can work from. I’ll be able to see what works and what doesn’t. I’ll be able to see what quality pictures I need. I’ll be able to get feedback about how to organize the recipes and what else I can include. I think this book will toss out a lot of hangups, too. What has seemed impossible may just turn out to be I’m Possible again. The I’m Possible Chef.

 

 

Or Actually, I Can!21557937_10155846896994558_8220981694730113947_n

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Justavacation.

Justavacation.

20170214_145612.jpgI just got back from a week long vacation to the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I flew into Seattle and spent the weekend with a few relatives before we flew east to Spokane and then drove further northeast to Schweitzer Mountain. We were on a ski trip to the west because the snow wasn’t great in New England.

Our flight out of Boston was delayed a couple of hours because it was snowing. And it kept snowing in New England. The whole time we were gone. Meanwhile (and it did seem a little mean, but we didn’t take it personally), it rained and rained and rained at Schweitzer Mountain. We did have one perfectly wonderful bluebird day logging 20,000 vertical feet of skiing. No, we didn’t cut logs, we skied and skied and skied. And then the skies started falling.

We didn’t fall. The rain fell. The second day of skiing was a bit damp. But we had some good runs (on our skis) before we traded them in for our bathing suits and a run to the outdoor hot tub. Wednesday night, we went off mountain to the village of Sandpoint, Idaho. I think it would be a lovely place to visit in dry weather. We had supper and then went to a meeting with some friends we hadn’t met yet. (Long story, but a good one.)

Thursday morning, we decided to not even try to ski. It was pouring rain with a few snowflakes thrown in for a little hope. But we didn’t trust the forecast that was calling for two hours of straight snow in the middle of the day followed by more rain. We left after breakfast and decided to swing by the town where I first went to college 36 years ago.

We drove south, through Idaho and took a right when we got to Moscow. A few miles west of that and we were in Pullman, Washington. The home of Washington State University. We enjoyed burgers at the Cougar Country Drive-In, and then visited some folks I knew when I was there for school. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane. But it was also sobering to realize a lot of the reason for me not staying there to finish even one semester, was related to sugar addiction.

I vividly remember a lack of impulse control regarding food, especially sugar. I know there were other factors involved, but I wonder if I had known back then what I know now, if things would have been different.

I’m not bemoaning this. There is no point to exploring the what ifs. My life is good and I cannot despise what has led me to where I am now. The present is lovely. The future looks bright. I mentioned this thought as a little insight.

I was happy to show my husband the amazing hills of the Palouse as we made our way back to Spokane to catch our flight home. We checked out the lobby of the Davenport Hotel-a 1918 heyday preserved in its magnificence. And then we enjoyed a Northwest Inland dinner with elk meatballs and grilled salmon at a less swanky place near the airport.

Since returning home, I’ve continued with my plan of three meals a day and no grazing. I didn’t track my food on vacation (it was usually served up without any need to track it down). My justification was justavacation and it produced a five pound loss. I’ll take it.

Historically, and somewhat hysterically, I lose control of my eating after vacation. But I’ve been hanging on and feeling good about my choices since returning to normal. Perhaps I’m enjoying the ride so much that I don’t feel like falling off the wagon.

I do think reconnecting with some of my former blogging buddies has helped. I also think my acceptance of what Weight Watchers Connect can and cannot do has been a good thing, too.

A Weight Watchers leader shared my Facebook page with her group and I’ve seen a bump up in book sales. What a thrill to be in the 100,000’s out of over 8,000,000 titles on Amazon! Even more reason to keep doing what works for me!

I’ll let this be all for now. Well, I might try to post some pictures. You’ll know if I was successful!

Resolutions. Re: Solutions. Results in: Oo.

Someone showed me a video of a 4 year old girl waxing eloquent on resolutions. She had some good things to say. And she said them very cutely. Maybe you’ve seen it, too.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions. They seem a bit blowy. Kind of like a balloon and then they’re gone. At least, that’s my personal experience with resolutions.

Five years ago, this week, I joined Weight Watchers online. I was obese and needed to lose weight, but that’s not why I joined. I joined because I had greatly reduced my sugar intake just before Thanksgiving. I was trying to follow some guidelines for managing sugar addiction. Although I needed to lose weight, I didn’t know if I could. I wanted to make sure I ate enough so my metabolism wouldn’t go into a calorie hoarding mode. I used to consume a ton of sugar calories, so this was a real concern.

A book I read, Potatoes Not Prozac,  had validated my decades old suspicions that I was like an alcoholic with sugar. I wanted an easy place to track my food and how I was feeling. Back then, Weight Watchers had a blogging community and it was a safe place for me to write and interact with other people as I tried to keep from eating between meals. Weight Watchers Points system had worked for me to lose weight previously and even though I had always gained the weight back, I trusted the tools. I was joining to USE the tools. That was a huge difference from prior times of joining to be ON Weight Watchers. As if it were a diet.

I wrote blogs about how I was feeling.  I also explored words and concepts from different angles. I liked the try angle that produced results in: Oo! I wasn’t sure what to do with the o’s, but then I thought they’d make a good cheer for “results in:”. Could I call them Cheery O’s? I know when I work my sugar management tools I’m much cheerier. Sugar has a big impact on my mood. And it’s not cheery.

It was a year or so after I started blogging that I recognized the other ways to see resolutions. Perhaps it’s fitting that I added a colon. My initial detox from sugar was in conjunction with a colonoscopy.

I’ve struggled with grazing since I got home from the two weddings in November. I regained control went I went on a road trip with my mother in December. We traveled a round trip of just under 1000 miles in a day and a half. And when my husband and I went on a ski trip to Vermont last week, I did very well with just three meals a day. I felt good and my weight wasn’t an issue. I think it has to do with days that don’t have as much structure. Sugar structure resolutions down. Or something. Lack of sleep doesn’t help.

I also made the mistake of reading an article claiming there is no such thing as sugar addiction. I know, for me, that addiction is the proper word to describe what happens with me and sugar (and anything that breaks down to sugar) when I don’t manage it by paying attention to how I feel. Whether it is a psychological thing or a physiological thing, I don’t think it matters. I wrote a little ditty early on: There’s science and data and all kinds of facts, but the proof that helps me is in how I acts.

Sometimes words are poisonous. And other times it might be people. Or circumstances. But when I am in control of my tools, I’m good. Three meals a day, with protein. Tracking what I eat. Writing how I feel. No grazing. Taking a multivitamin. Drinking enough liquids. Exercising. I pay attention to reality. I eat fuelishly. And I don’t miss the things that make me feel lousy. But sometimes I slip. I feel thankful that I can recognize the slip fairly quickly. And I know what I have to do. I don’t have to beat myself up. That doesn’t work. I just have to work at following my guidelines again. Sometimes it means changing up mealtimes. Sometimes it means eating a lot a meals. Sometimes I can turn myself around in a day. And sometimes it takes a few days. Or weeks.

I’m reminded of an invaluable comment a dear friend left on another blog post. It’s okay. It is okay. Because I crave healthy more than I crave out of control. I can still remember the sugar rush and crash from eating a simply caramel candy bar over a year ago. Outright sugar doesn’t tempt me. But a dinner roll can, even thought it’s pretty much the same in my system.

I’m doing better today. I went to an exercise class this morning. Then I went grocery shopping. I managed to hold off lunch until 11:15. And then I managed to hold off supper until 4:30. I had just come home from getting my windshield replaced. I’d avoided stopping at any stores because I felt the addiction calling. I was drinking white chocolate seltzer and feeling like part of me wanted to cave to grazing and part of me wanted to hold on to using my tool of no grazing. I actually think it was the sugar monster wanting to come out of its cave and make me cave. (It helps to personify sugar.)

I have to go out again. But I’m done eating for today. It feels good. It feels like me. The point of this blog post? Positive reinforcement for me. And perhaps it will result in: Cheery O’s for you.

How do you feel about resolutions?

Comfort. A Peace of my Mind.

Food doesn’t offer me comfort. The memories tied to it do. How many times have I eaten that stuff–roux leading straight to rue?

That street is not the way for me to go. ‘Tis better for me to just say, “Know!”

It’s best to be aware of where it is going–the pit falls and pot holes that cause a wreck and if there’s anything left(over) it will need a towing back to repair from the depths of despair.  (To make a rhyme from this reason. That’s a rap.)

It’s better for me to toe the line and not crossover for a collision–with my head handed over to sugar and a total loss of vision.

I’ve spent a great many long hard years wirh comfort food tending to lead me to tears.

Not everyone has an addiction. But I, most certainly, do. My comfort is not in the eating. My comfort is simply eschew!

If the smallest bite leads me out of control with sugar driving me crazys, I must stay away from the tasting part that could lead to me pushing up daisies.

It’s a matter of fact that I want to feel well and it’s also a fact I continue to tell: Sugar simply sends me to

a very bad place. I think I’d rather have egg on my face. Protein and fat and writing all that, help me to stick with my GOAL. Going On And Living. I’m Possible. In control!

This post was inspired by the Weight Watchers Connect hashtag prompt #comfortfoodday. My brain wanted to read it as comfort for today.

I will take that as a sign of my paradigm shift because comfort and food don’t work together for me.

I used to think they did. I have a lot of experience with trying to make that work. My top weight (253),moo’d swings, and aching, out of breath body was all the “comfort” I got from food.

By the way, “moo’d” was my phone’s autocorrect for “mood”. This is one of the few times the phone was right. My mood swings were related to my grazing through the day–a symptom of my unmanaged sugar addiction!

And now I’m reminded of a blog post I wrote about comfort. Come for Tea. It works for me.

That blog entry starts on page 286 of my book (The I’m Possible Journey: Learning to Live with Sugar Addiction). The sub heading is “I found comfort in food for thought.”

I’m going to fix myself a cup of tea. Would you like to have a cup with me?

Best wishes for a peace and comfort. There’s some food for thought!

Anniversaries.

Anniversaries.

My brain wants to compose a light little verse (perhaps airy?) for someone called Anni. Or maybe it should be for Anne, with an “e”. On third thought, it could be for anyone.

I got a notification this afternoon that it’s been a year since I set up this WordPress blog. During the week of Thanksgiving, I noticed it had been five years since I started my journey of learning to live with sugar addiction. During the month of November, I attended the weddings of both of my daughters–the precursor to anniversaries. I’ll include them as significant. Other might wonder.

Speaking of wonder. I wonder how I managed to get through the first four weeks of November–two weddings and a colonoscopy–without having any trouble controlling my sugar addiction. And then, on the final leg of the trip home, I fell down. Nuts. And dates. The dates usually come before the weddings. But the wedding dates were moved up from May to November. And there weren’t, or wasn’t, time for dates. Nuts. I used the nuts to stay awake while I was driving. So I could stay in control of the car. But it was the beginning of an out of control week for me. Unfortunately, I had dates to get into at home. And that’s what I did.

In case you’re wondering where the rhyming is, please don’t. It would be much verse than it is already.

My last post was brilliant. But it got lost. Three times I tried to post something to go with my picture of the intersection of N. Sugar St. and Newell Ave. After three times having the words disappear into cyberspace, I gave up. (Well, we were also visiting with relatives for Thanksgiving and it might have been relatively rude and thankless to keep trying to post a blog entry on my phone.) Perhaps that’s why I caved into nuts on the way home. Had I persisted in writing, I might have been in a better frame of mind to just stop and take a nap instead of taking a nut. And then another and another and another. Writing has been proved (by me) to help me manage my sugar addiction.

But I digress. Or detour. A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words. I think each attempt to post words involved about 300 words. Perhaps the second 200 words of the fourth try would have shown up. Or not. Or nut.

If you’re still reading and trying to make sense of this blog post, thank you. I’m still writing and trying to make sense of this, myself.

I feel like I’m finally getting back to myself after a week of grazing and getting closer and closer to eating sugar. I got as far as dates the first day and scared myself silly. As late as yesterday, I was still dabbling in white bread. But that seems to be over. I threw the rest of it out. I’ve never indulged in drugs, but I wonder if that’s what it’s like. Looking for the next hit. Out of control. It’s not about just saying no because no thing else seems to matter at the time. Even if it does.

20161123_101804

Back to that crossroads picture. Another way to abbreviate North Sugar, is No. Sugar. The Newell Avenue spoke to me as New Well. That’s the crossroads I was at five years ago. No Sugar and turning onto New Well. I had read Potatoes Not Prozac (K. DesMaisons, PhD) and recognized myself as a sugarholic. I quit sugar cold turkey the week before Thanksgiving. It wasn’t recommended in the book, but I was convinced that was my problem. I took my clean insides (from a colonoscopy prep–the rite of passage into my fifties) and committed to a New Well for me.

By the new year of 2012, I decided to sign up for Weight Watchers online so I would make sure I ate enough to lose weight. (I didn’t know if I could lose weight even though I medically needed to–the motivation for ditching sugar was to feel better.) The guidelines for managing the sugar addiction included tracking food and moods, and the Weight Watchers trackers for food and mood (blogging) seemed to be ideal for my purpose.

Fast forward a few years, I had enough blog entries and encouragement to publish a book. I opened a WordPress blog to have a platform to drum up excitement for my book launch. At the end of February 2016, The I’m Possible Journey: Learning to Live with Sugar Addiction hit the shelves.

Fast forward to this past summer. Weight Watchers was replacing their blogging community with a fast paced twitter/book option (well, it seems like a combo of twitter and Facebook, but the moniker twitbook doesn’t really work). I floundered a bit when my neighborhood of support was being demolished. It felt fishy that the community support system that worked so well for me was deemed unimportant by Weight Watchers.

It was during this period of time that both of my daughters met and got engaged to their now husbands. When their wedding dates both got moved from May 2017 to November 2016, I felt like I had a renewed purpose to control what I could control: my eating, more specifically, my sugar addiction.

The weddings were put together at warp speed. I helped as much as I could. By some definitions, I could have been considered the caterer for both weddings as well as the MOBx2. They both were lovely events. And I hope for the best for both marriages. Lots of happy anniversaries and all that.

Back to that crossroads. I really didn’t want to go back to that intersection, but I was there this past week. Not actually on sugar, but really close. And not well. But I’m writing again. Righting again. Not rioting with sugar and grazing.

Although this has been the biggest slip up in a long time, I feel hopeful. Because I’m on my I’m Possible Journey.

PS. As I punctuated that end sentence, I noticed my word count was exactly 1,000. Picture that!

PPS. The intersection picture was in St. Clairesville, Ohio. My husband and I were making our way back home from the wedding in St. Charles, Missouri. We treated ourselves to running local trails the first three mornings of our journey. When I heard the GPS announce a turn on North Sugar Street, I pictured the sign reading “No. Sugar.” The Newell part was an added bonus that played perfectly into my history. Actually, mystory. As I read my post to my husband before it (not he) vanished, I commented that the crossroads thought was deep. He thought I was punning on Newell. But I hadn’t noticed. Perhaps it was too dry.

OK. That’s probably enough. If you have any reactions to this piece, I’d love to know what they are. (Including you, Anne V!)

Thanks for reading my righting. Best wishes to you.

 

 

Signs of Success.

#Signsofsuccess was a recent prompt in Weight Watchers Connect app. Connect is the replacement for the blogging community that was taken down this past summer. Because writing and connecting with people with similar stories is one of the tools I use to manage my sugar addiction, I have been trying to make Connect work for me.

It hasn’t been a smooth transition. But I feel like I’m making progress. I don’t feel personal connections to individuals the way I did with blogging, but there are a few people I am starting to recognize and interact with. One of the big deals with Connect is TRENDING. When I open the app, I am greeted by a post that has thousands of likes and hundreds of comments  (think twitter/facebook). It feels a bit like a popularity contest.

I can’t figure out how or why a post trends. Some people blatantly ask for it. Others post a picture of a car accident or a sick person or a before and after collage. Sometimes it is a first day on program picture. Someone told me I was trending one day with a post that highlighted some of my frustration with TRENDING! I got over a hundred likes with that one. But I digress. Here’s what I wrote about this morning. When I read it over, I thought I’d share my thoughts here, too.

Yesterday was a 53 SP (my daily allotment is 30) tracked day with no angst about using my weekly points (I had even forgotten that a new week started today). This morning I weighed less than I did yesterday morning.

The #signsofsuccess is that I am not celebrating that by throwing caution to the wind and eating everything in sight (been there, done that, couldn’t stop).

I have learned, especially over the last five years, that the number on the scale is not as much a sign of success as the reaction of my brain. This is lifetime. I’m doing what works for me to stay in control of my sugar addiction. The price? Paying attention to what I eat and how I feel. Totally worth it.

Ongoing success story, post publication. I’m not saying the road is always smooth or that I have never deviated from it. I’m saying there is a road. It’s possible. I’m Possible. You are, too!

The I’m Possible Journey: Learning to Live with Sugar Addiction. It’s my best cellar foundation of support for a healthy me: physically and emotionally. In memory of my dad, who was one of my best encouragers.

This post may look like shameless promotion of me, but it’s really a shout out to Weight Watchers tools. They work for me when I use them.

Thank you to all who have read my book. If you are intrigued, check it out at your local library. If they don’t have it they can order it.

I’ve wondered, at times, if TRENDING is a sign of success. But I have to think the answer is no. Perhaps it is more of a sign that a ton of other people want you to have success. The actual sign of success is doing it. Every day. In the spotlight or not. Best wishes for personal signs of success all day long!