I feel like I got plucked out of my life for a year and just got dropped back into it.
It feels like I've been living some random episode of a science fiction program, or maybe one of those dream sequences like in The Wizard of Oz, where the dream is so intense and so real that you, and only you, are convinced that it actually happened.
So many things are the same ..... so normal again ..... and so many things are different.
A year ago, July, my dad passed away. We were incredibly close and it's still a gaping wound.
A year ago August, my boss ticked me off and I quit my job, just like that. I felt, and still do, that he screwed me over on a bonus check.
A year ago September I borrowed $31000 against my house and opened a bead store. I was still so messed up about my dad that I did not give it an absolute 100%. Maybe the location was bad. Maybe it was the economy. Either way, by the end of December, it had failed.
At the beginning of last December, I decided I had to do something about my emotional eating and weight issues. I was about 220 pounds at that point. I began this blog at the same time.
At the end of December, I closed up my store and moved all my inventory home.
By the end of January, I was unable to find a job and had to apply for welfare to keep us fed.
In February, my oldest daughter moved out to go live with her father. I thought my heart would break in two.
In March, I finally went to the doctor for my depression and anxiety disorder. I had begun to experience such extreme anxiety that I was showing symptoms of agoraphobia. I rarely left the house. I felt like such a failure that I imagined people were scoffing at me, so I just didn't go anywhere that I might run into someone.
In May, I finally found a job and started training at the cesspool. The pay was so low I was still receiving money from welfare.
In June I reached my first goal weight of 165.
I hardly saw my kids all summer. They got to go on the vacation of a lifetime with my mom, who took them on a tour of the western US, including the Grand Canyon. I got a lot of writing done and finished editing my book about emotional eating.
In August I stopped making payments on my house, in order to have the money to move before it gets foreclosed on. My current debt load is well over $200,000.
Now, it's September again. I am back at my old workplace, with all of my old work friends. I am making a very good living again (or will be once I get a paycheck.)
I've lost so much over the past year. The biggest of those, was of course, my dad. I think of him everyday and wish I could just see him one more time.
It breaks my heart to lose the house. I look around and see the little things that my dad repaired here and there and it makes me so sad to leave. It's been our home for 4 years and I was so proud of buying it on my own.
I "lost" Chloe when she moved in with her dad.
I found some things too. I found that I had the inner resources to actually write a book - whether it gets published, we will see. I have a busy blog that I love writing. I lost a ton of weight and found my health. I found my inner jock that loves going to the gym, going hiking and trying new things. I found loads of new friends online that I feel as close to as anyone in "real" life.
Was this all some grand karmic experiment so that I could learn a valuable lesson? It all seems so surreal.
I really feel the hand of something Divine in all that has happened. I know I will never underestimate the power grief can have over your life. I feel blessed that no matter how bad things got, we never went without necessities - food, shelter, utilities.
One thing I've learned is that it can all change in the blink of an eye. There is no such thing as real security. A single bad decision can cartwheel through your life and take it all away. Real security comes from within, knowing that it is not the material things that are important, and knowing that you will be able to provide that next meal for your family.
I think the biggest lesson of all, though, is to appreciate the blessings and good things in life without always wanting more.
It's great to always strive for more or better, but only if you can also be happy with where you are. There is a fine line of motivation there. Many cannot work hard to improve themselves if they are happy. They just go with the status quo.
The real trick is to grasp what you have, love it, and enjoy it. Then try to do more just because you can - not because then you can get a nicer car, a bigger mortgage, or pay off the debt you racked up trying to buy your happiness or keep up with the Joneses.
I wasted years of my life by lacking appreciation for what I had. Now I feel I can be motivated without having to be unhappy to fuel my efforts. I want to do a good job because I feel accomplishment when I do so. I want to write because I love to write and I have experiences that I think can help other people. Mostly, I want to get off the hamster wheel and just smile because I feel good.
If there is one thing I can pass on to my daughters, I pray that it can be this lesson.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well, the food is not perfect, but it's somewhat on track.
Now I can't seem to make it to the gym to save my life!
What's up with that? It seems like, if it's not one thing, it's the other. I have a lot of trouble keeping eats on track and getting to the gym at the same time. The new job is longer hours, first of all. I have a 1 hour round trip commute until I get moved. This week has been "back to school" for my little one so we've been running around like maniacs getting school supplies, sneakers, etc. Sigh.
Now I'm going to ramble about yogurt. Have you ever tried Source Lemon Meringue Yogurt? I try not to consume much artificial sweetener but I can't stop eating this stuff. It's HEAVEN. If you haven't tried it, you should!
This includes taking R out to dinner to celebrate back to school. She chose Pizza Pizza and we ordered slices. I got spicy BBQ pizza and the damage was only 440 calories.
I got a bunch of great packing boxes from my neighbor. They are perfect - a good size, very sturdy, and they have handles. She got them for me from her workplace, a nursing home. So now, my possessions will be moved in a uniform set of adult diaper boxes. That kept me giggling for a quite a while as I loaded a couple of them today.
Monday, September 6, 2010
This week's food prep included:
Baked Brown Rice (shown above)
Balsamic Chicken Breasts (baked at the same time as the rice
Mexican Style Ground Meat (combo of x-lean ground beef and x-lean ground chicken)
Steamer bag of broccoli and cauliflower
This sets us up for all sorts of quick easy meals.
Tonight we had Mexican pizza ( refried beans, Mex Meat, salsa and a sprinkle of cheese on a pita)
This week we will also have
Chicken, rice and steamed veggies
Broc/Caul salad with diced chicken
BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza
I love looking at my prepped food in the fridge - it really starts the week off on the right foot for me, plus it saves a ton of money!
We've also got a nice load of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, granola, and Ezekiel bread.
There is no better feeling than having enough healthy food to last for the week. I am blessed.
It has been one day since my last confession.
I ate potato chips and dip.
Well, I seem to have trouble having a completely guilt-free day. On the bright side, my diet must be changing somewhat, because the chips and dip I had for dinner made me so sick! I couldn't eat anything else for the rest of the day.
I did well until the chips and dip incident.
m1: ezekial toast with natural pb, skim milk
m2: fat free yogurt w/ protein powder, fresh peach, and granola
m3: chicken breast and oven fries
m4: Kashi Honey Puff cereal
m5: chips and chipotle dip
Unfortunately I can also chalk up the chips and dip incident to my state of mind. My ex wanted to take the girls to a party. After his temper tantrum last month, and his refusal to let me spend time with them during "his" month, I really wanted to say no. However, I gritted my teeth and did what I thought was best for the girls and let them go to the party. He picked them up and I immediately walked to the corner store and bought diet coke and chips.
I guess this habit did not create itself in a day, so it may take more than a day to get rid of it again.
This feels like.....a relapse.
I'm going to keep documenting my food, prepping in advance and wiping out the "reasons" and "excuses" one by one, just like I did before.
I've really enjoyed the long weekend. I got to spend lots of time with my girls and we've found an apartment to move into. It's tiny but very cute and only 3 blocks from work. It's also only a block from R's new school. It's a relief to know where we are going to be - it helps also because now I know what I need to get rid of!
Today's plan is some cleaning, to get the house showing ready again, and some downsizing. I need to divide my belongings into "keep" "store" and "sell". I'm also going to do the food prep that was neglected yesterday.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Well, as promised, I am documenting my food intake, whether it's good, bad or ugly. Yesterday ended up halfway between bad and ugly because I got caught out unprepared.
My little one and I went apartment hunting yesterday. We were running late for our first appointment, so we did not get a chance to eat lunch before we left. We hit a drive thru and got a small snack to keep us from dying. I selected a "McMini" grilled chicken sandwich and a bottle of water. 280 calories. Okay, not so bad.
We looked at 4 apartments. We found our lucky winner, which was really exciting. It's 3 blocks from my work and a block and a half from R's school, and in a nice family neighborhood.
At my daughter's request, we stopped to make an appointment for a haircut. She was able to get in within a half an hour, so we got another "snack". We shared a pretzel - my half : 185 calories.
The haircut took longer than expected. By this time it was after 6. We were absolutely ravenous. I was shaking I was so hungry. I hit the "don't really care" stage - you all know that stage, where you are so hungry that your diet means nothing. Yeah, that stage. Back to McDonald's, because it was the closest.
So, my final tally for the day:
You'd think with all of those calories I would have gotten a decent influx of protein. Nope.
At least the caloric damage was not too awful. Unfortunately, the only veggie I got all day was the wilted lettuce and tomato on my burger.
I feel good about tracking this, despite the unfortunate choices made.
Today is another day. We have no place we have to be today - only church. So there is no excuse for bad food today!