Monthly Archives: February 2016

Getting off the (emotional) teeter-totter

I’ve stated before that, unlike most people, I’m not really an “emotional eater”. “Emotional eating”, while obvious to some, is defined as:

Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.

Except me being me – always the rebel – I’m the complete opposite. When I’m stressed and/or upset, I can’t eat. Simply the idea of eating, even foods I might like, when I feel like that actually makes me feel sick to my stomach and nauseated. When I’m stressed or upset, my stomach ties up in knots and on the occasions I have attempted to emotionally eat, well let’s just say the results were so far from comforting that I don’t even bother to attempt it anymore.

But it’s a Catch-22. Because being the opposite of an emotional eater is someone who doesn’t want to, can’t or even likes to eat when they are upset or stressed. Skipping meals isn’t any healthier than drowning your sorrows in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey (get it?).

Reduce stress, they say. Just be happy, they say.

afa24d9cb92a7bf05294eab7425ef5e2  Hmm…

In any case, as many of you have found, just as with losing weight, reducing stress is easier said than done. That’s not to say that we can’t reduce stress, it’s just not that easy. Especially when you’re like me.

That is, a worry-wart. That’s not to say that I sit around all damn day and worry about everything and anything. I have never been like that. And I’ve always tried to limit my worrying to those things that directly affect me, ignoring the things that haven’t happened yet or may never happen, but again, it’s not easy. I’ve gotten so much better at it, but still, I’m not perfect. For years when I was married I worried about our finances, even though I worked hard every month to make sure every bill way paid. But by the time I was divorced, it hit me how stressed I had been for most of my marriage. It explained why I felt sick so much.

But those things that I do stress about, I can often “turn that mole hill into a mountain” with my over-active imagination and just overall fear – because I can’t always control what happens. So…

Hello, my name is Danielle and I’m a (bit) of a control freak.

I can’t say how long I’ve been like this. I grew up an only child so maybe that had some effect on that. No siblings to boss around, or none to boss me around. But more and more as I grow older, I’ve noticed something else. I’m far more emotional than I used to be. So no matter how much used to affect me before, now sometimes it seems to be to an epidemic level.

Crying at every Budweiser commercial that has puppies and Clydesdales. I can’t read or watch a video that is sad without bawling my eyes out. Forget Marley & Me. I watched it once and don’t think I ever could again. And I know that it’s natural to feel emotions like that – I’m not a robot – but to get choked up just reading a novel or seeing an emotional movie or commercial, it’s disconcerting to me to be THAT emotional.

I understand as well that it’s not just external forces that drive how we feel but chemicals in our bodies and in our heads. Sometimes my hamsters are mellow and chill; sometimes they’re on crack. I’m starting to deal with menopause, so who really knows what that’s doing inside me as well. But there are days when my moods swing like, well…

mood-swing

Whew…that was a close one. Did you stand by or run?

But in all seriousness, I’m not bipolar or something, but I can be emotional. And most times, I really can’t even tell you why I’m feeling the way I do. Sometimes I just wake up in a foul mood; sometimes I don’t. Okay…sorry…I usually wake up in a foul mood. But let’s move on to later in the day…

Even if I’m in a foul mood in the morning, most times by the afternoon I’m fine. More so when I’m home on the weekend am I less cranky than at work – can’t imagine why since that’s usually the source of my stress, but I digress. There are days when it doesn’t take much to upset, hurt or anger me – to where even my favorite music annoys me. And yet there are times when I’m quite happy; I might even say euphoric.

Sometimes it takes me taking some alone time to move on. Other times it’s the kind words of support from my mom, a warming message from a friend, a nice smile or kind words from an awesome good-looking guy. But I’ve come to realize that no matter how I feel at any given moment, it will change; it won’t last.

It’s like what I always say about how fast the weather here in New York changes: It’s like “weather by Sybil” that means so does my moods.

A Sybil, named after the famous psychiatric case of Shirley Mason who reportedly had 16 personalities, and popularized by the book and movie “Sybil” is somebody who acts moody and irregularly. In a self-description, it may refer to a feeling of being “not quite oneself”.
Just an hour ago, she seemed fine, now she’s lost her temper again. She’s a real Sybil.

 

So even if I feel absolutely like I hate the world, I know that I eventually will be fine.

I always am. I always have been.

My dad died when I was eleven. It was one of the worse moments in my life. But I survived. But it wasn’t easy. The worse moments never are. But in the grand scheme of things, some of the things I stress or worry about really aren’t that important. They are for that brief moment of time in my life and then I’m fine.

And if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you can see I’m fine. You can see that I’m not bat-shit crazy and have mood swings that rival Babe Ruth’s bat. But sometimes I do. And I hope you can all tell the difference.

The point to this (again) long-winded post so far it to talk a bit about how my moods have swung a lot since I started this healthier living plan with Maria.

The first several days I was very moody. Most likened it to my giving up the Pepsi. I have no doubt about that. But as a friend told me today, my body is still likely trying to figure out what the hell is going on and it’s adjusting. It affects not only my body physically but mentally. I don’t know all the science behind this and will do more research on it but I believe this to be true – I’ve experienced it. My body was used to my feeding it all sorts of greasy, fattening things and suddenly it’s like, “Wait! What? What the fuck are you doing? Did you not see that Dunkin’ Donuts you just passed??”

So while it might feel like it’s getting easier each week, there are moments when it suddenly feels harder. The daily weigh-in stresses me out, I admit. I’m physiologically programmed to look at the scale and if any time it goes up, that triggers a foul mood. Even though I know as I get fitter and build muscle (which weighs more than fat), so the scale may slow down, I can’t deal well with the up and down of the scale. It directly affects the up and down of my mood. Regardless that I’ve dropped 2.5″ in my waist and 3″ in my hips, because I always wear loose-fitting clothes, I count more on the scale to measure my success.

Even though I know I shouldn’t.

I’m very pleased with all of the hard work I’ve done since starting this plan 3 weeks ago so to not see the best results all the time is a bit disheartening.

But as that same friend said, “Underwear doesn’t lie.”

For those that don’t know that reference, this is what I posted to my private weightloss group on Facebook last week:

Now normally I wear my clothes quite loose anyway but I grew tired of having my underwear not staying up or pinching/binding (sorry! 😉 ) so 2 months ago I bought new boy-shorts type underwear. I’m not calling them “panties” because they resemble nothing like nice girly panties. In any case, I normally was buying the largest size so 2 months ago I bought the next size down. And now already they are getting too big. I put on a pair this morning, brand new out of the package and thought…well shit…now I have to buy the next size smaller.

And that’s effing awesome!!!! 🙂

 

In any case, the mood swings will happen. Hopefully fewer and farther between but we’ll see. And for as needy as I am for people’s support, it really is during these times that I need my friends and family’s support more. More than criticism; more than questioning my decisions. Neither of which frankly, I don’t need.

So how do we get off the emotional teeter-totter?  More to come in my next blog on there after some research. 🙂

Regardless, I’m still here. I’m still doing. I’m still trying. I’m doing well and even if there are moments when it doesn’t feel like it – as Brandon Auret told me recently – Just keep on keeping on.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Love to all and thank you for your continued support – no matter my mood.

Dani

 

 

 

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The “Big” 50. A Half Century.

Everyone talks about getting older. It’s a fact of life. And while it’s true that as we get older, we get wiser because of our first-hand experiences and how we’ve lived up to that point, it’s when we’re hitting certain milestones that some of us (ahem…me) start to freak out. Just a bit.

We typically recognize some milestones for what they represent:

  • 16 is “Sweet Sixteen” – at least it was when I was a kid. I’m not sure I want to know what they call it today. It’s also when we could get our learner’s permit to terrorize the streets of our cities
  • 18 is when we could vote.
  • In Canada, 19 was when we could legally drink.
  • After that, it’s usually just the decades milestones: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90…

You know the old adage: Age is just a number. Sure it is, but when you’re body is telling that you’re actually older than you are, it’s time to make some changes. And I’m doing that. But it’s hard to not look back in the past and wonder the “what ifs”. Believe me, I’ve had those thoughts for many years whether it’s about losing weight or my failed marriage. It’s been a struggle but I’m trying to live my life to its fullest and no dwell on the past; the “what ifs” because right now – today – there isn’t anything at all any of us can do to change that. That’s why it’s called the “past”. It’s behind us. Let’s leave it there.

Many look to the future in their planning of their lives. Some say to only look at the “now”; what’s happening to them today, and look no further beyond that. I’m somewhere in the middle of those thoughts. I’m concentrating on where I am today, but I’m also trying to look forward to my future. That I’ll not only HAVE a future, but that I’ll be healthier in my future – more than I am today.

And maybe there’ll be other new things in my future: moving back home to Canada, having a relationship, spending more time with my mom, family and friends. Nothing drastic. Nothing unattainable. Nothing that’s impossible. Even the weight loss.

So, while age is just a number, the next number in line for me age-wise is one of the BIG ones. The Big Five-O. The Half-Century. <—And holy does that phrase give me chills!

That’s happening in 94 days or 8,121,600 seconds or 135,360 minutes or 2,256 hours or 13 weeks and 3 days. No matter how you slice it…it’s coming.

zzz-s-20

So yep, on May 25th I’m turning 50. 

I really am trying to not let that stupid number bother me. I’ve tried joking that I’m too immature to be 50, which incidentally, is the God-honest truth. I’ve tried joking that even if I’m turning 50 that nearly all of my first cousins are older than me. I’ve even tried to suggest that because I don’t look like I’m about to turn 50, the number must be wrong.

But alas, it isn’t. I’m turning 50. And immaturity aside, I will do what I can to come to grips with it. 🙂

One of the interesting things about getting older is that your body starts to rebel. There’s a line and once you cross it, there’s no turning back. Just some of the things that happen to our bodies as we get older:

  • menopause (obviously for women only)
  • brittle bones
  • graying hair
  • lower metabolism
  • aching joints

Even losing weight the older you get becomes harder. So when you’re my weight, most people don’t live to be very old. Their bodies give out on them long before their minds might. And I’ve said it before – I want to live as long as I possibly can.

So, I’m doing something about it now. Because 50 isn’t really THAT old. Is it?

Yes, it becomes harder to lose weight as you get older, but it’s not impossible. With determination, passion, guts and courage – we can fight this battle. And win.

I can win.

0a36ac16416ba164a7f607e168aad33b

So, that’s not to say that you can’t at least enjoy getting older. That you can’t, at least, still play and have fun. Why can’t you? What’s stopping you?

Nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. Because…

What’s the point of continuing living, if you’re only living to die.

No matter how you feel physically, find the joy in something. Let you mind overtake your body and rule your happiness. Because it’s usually your mind that is telling you that you’re old – not your body. Aches and pains are natural. Everyone has them.

It’s up to you to decide how to live the rest of your life from this point forward. Choose wisely. Choose to live your life to its fullest, no matter your age right now. Choose to enjoy the journey that you have left – for however long that is – so that not a minute more is wasted.

30a506e7faa4a14f0cb6f9046f2bb311

That is my wish for you and something that I am going to strive to do every day for the rest of my life.

Let the negativity go. Don’t dwell on the past. Find the funny in even the most ridiculous situations.

And above all else – Love. One. Another.

Blessings and joy to all. I’m ready for 50.

Bring it!

#ROYL

Love,

Dani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When IT finally hits you

I’m late with posting a new blog posting. Again. But since I already apologized in a previous post for all the times I would be lax in posting thereafter, I’ll move on…

This wasn’t even the posting that I had originally scheduled to post to this blog – it will come next. Because sometimes life moves really fast and things change and by the grace of God, not always in the wrong way.

After more struggling to lose weight, but more importantly, to get and stay motivated, I’m not sure what actually happened that made me want to say it was time to get drastic. It’s not like I haven’t had plenty of  opportunities during my adult life to make the change. It’s not like I didn’t have plenty of embarrassing or hurtful incidences that should have motivated me to make the change. So what changed?

Apparently I did. That is, my mindset. For all of the support I received and it fueled me greatly, it wasn’t enough. I knew that I needed to be the one to make the change. Myself. That no one could do it for me and that if I really wanted it, I would have to step up. I would have to switch it up. I’ve said that before and meant it, but it never stuck.

Until now.

So 9 days ago it happened. With no fanfare, no big boom and no divine intervention, I finally got a clue. It finally hit me. It was time to get drastic. It was time to fuel my desperation into action. It was time to let my inner beast go.

And Voila!

I had met a nice woman who is a certified Health and Life Coach through a mutual friend. Her name is Maria Riboli and her business is Spoon of Life. spoonoflife.com/home/

We talked and she thought she could help me.

So without even giving it much thought, I agreed to have her help me. I guess you could say that I went in blind. I, honestly, wasn’t sure if she could really help me but I was determined to try. And try hard. So we set up to Skype for 60 minutes on the 9th of February – she’s in New York City and I’m in Ithaca, New York.

We took 90 minutes.

But in that time she laid out only the first week’s plan for me. She said she only wanted us to concentrate on Week #1. It made completely sense. Often I was always worrying about the next week, the next month and it go to be very overwhelming, and eventually, somewhat dejecting. So we were going to concentrate only on Week #1.

Then the bomb dropped.

Now, for someone like me who is inherently lazy about many things, including cooking (I hate it), as she discussed all she wanted me to do or not do during Week #1, I have to admit, I got scared. Really scared.

Like, oh-my-fucking-goodness-I-am-going-to-fail scared. I’ve never been good at staying with something for very long. I talked about it before. Boredom sets in or I grow tired of it and poof – I’m done. Weight Watchers. Tracking my food intake. Watching calories, carbs and fat. Even just recording a food journal. Hell, even keeping up with this blog, no matter how much I love it, it sometimes hard for me to do.

Remember what goes on in my head:

bdeI8N0

So her plan for Week #1 was, for lack of a better word, aggressive. Frighteningly so. I have never attempted anything so far out of my comfort zone in my life. It wasn’t a “diet”, she stressed that to me. This was a lifestyle change. And this plan was specialized for just me; it’s not meant for others to follow.

So in any case, when you’ve lived the life that I have up until that day, even just hearing about her plans put enough fear into me to make my hatred of spiders look ridiculously minor.hat did I fear?

Well, everything. Fear that I couldn’t do it, having failed so many times before on less aggressive plans. Fear that I was going to disappoint everyone – yet again – and now I had yet another person to potentially disappoint. Fear that it would be so hard that I would weaken and given in. All of it.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you it was all a big awesome party for me. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even close. It is by far, save for dealing with my father’s death and my divorce, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It was, however, the hardest thing I’ve ever done about my health. Every day I woke up and wondered if I was going to fail that day. Every day.

But every day I talked myself down from the ledge and told myself to keep going. Told myself that I needed to do this for myself, no one else. And told myself that if it was so hard to do, it was worth doing and I was worth the effort. I had to tell myself this often throughout the day, particular in the first several.

A very sweet guy named Chris, who has worked (writer and director) with my “muse” Brandon posted a message on Facebook to me the other day after I told Brandon  (okay whined to Brandon) that I really needed a Brandon-Pick-Me-Up because I was struggling. Now what he said was reiterated to me in parts by others as well so I have to give everyone credit – they are wise words and I appreciate them. I hope Chris doesn’t mine my sharing his post:

Chris 2016-02-13

So when Chris posted this, I immediately felt better because everyone was agreeing on the same principle:

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And honest-to-God, I knew then that I was going to make it. I was going to do this because despite how hard it was, I was already doing it. I’d been doing it for three days already. I was halfway through Week #1 and I was doing it!

I also won’t lie and say it wasn’t without some huge physical and mental issues. I had headaches so bad the first 5 days I really thought I had my head in a vice and I was calling for the guillotine. I was momentarily disgruntled when I would weigh myself in the morning and the damn scale was going up, not down. I was, at times, feeling like I was starving even though I was eating 5 times a day and eating a lot.

I was moody. Really moody. Okay…I was a bitch. Not necessarily towards anyone  (and my profound apologies to anyone is I was – it wasn’t intentional), but just overall bitchiness. My emotions were playing havoc on my mindset. And there were times I thought I was losing it – my mind, not the weight.

And I went through moments when I, admittedly, did feel like I couldn’t keep going. My body wasn’t used to this drastic change. And it was rebelling. And it was hating me. And that’s okay. Because I knew what I was doing to it was something good, not bad. It would adjust; I would adjust.

So I kept fighting. And I had help. I had my friends and family behind me. Supporting me.

I did have some friends and family that, while they meant well, out of fear for me and perhaps misunderstanding about what I was doing, did project some negative feelings and comments in response to my moments of bitching. I probably did not help the situation by not explaining more clearly what I was doing but it all became a bit of a mess with hurt feelings all around and whatnot. I’m sorry that happened, but I had to speak up to let everyone know that it was then that I needed them the most as support – not to question what I was doing.

And then it was all good.

So I’m here to say that if I can do this, anyone can. Too many years of not knowing what I was doing or doing it half-assed, I hope is behind me now.

It’s been 7 days and I feel good. But most of all I feel very proud of myself. And that hasn’t happened too often in my lifetime.

Seven pounds in seven days. That a lot of sack of potatoes or flour (see prior posting).

So thank you all again for your continued support and love. It means the world to me.

Minion-Clapping

 

Love,

Dani  xo