Status Quo

The other day I found something really funny and laughed out loud. I didn’t recognize the sound it had actually been that long since I laughed. While I have not been deeply depressed I have also not been really happy. I’m perfectly fine with that most of the time as it’s a safer place to be. Typically if I’m experiencing something really amazing at some point I think to myself it will soon be over and life will go on being tedious and drab. While in status quo, things just continue moving forward and predictable, easy and stable.

In my late teens early 20s I was a bit of an adrenaline junky. While I didn’t do anything illegal I did do some risky things and regret a lot of the choices I made regarding relationships. I was constantly searching for ways to be happy. Even if it was fleeting it was at least a break from the overwhelming sadness I was feeling on a daily basis.

After that I had continue to make bad decisions. Now I am living in the aftermath, cleaning up the emotional debris that remains to this day. I can honestly say I will never again be so naïve and desperate. I’ve stopped seeking out the elusive “happy” and started embracing content and safe. Yes, it’s a bit boring, but it’s better than the alternative.

While I, for the most part, appreciate this in my life I’m not advocating this everyone. Most people cannot stand the humdrum and without highs and lows there are no lessons or progressions in life. But I like to think I experienced so many up to this point I can sit back and take an emotional break. This means I don’t experience a whole lot of happy, but I’m also not in the pit of despair. For being an unmedicated, clinically depressed person that’s actually pretty friggin good.

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Too Hungry!

prepared-food-Whole-foods-market1

I am hungry! All the time! There is no explanation I can think of to justify this constant state of wanting to eat. Nothing has changed from my normal routine. I’ve not increase my activity level, nor have I decreased what medically is a healthy caloric intake. I allow “cheat” items every now and then but always include them in my calorie count or increase my activity accordingly. I’m eating plenty of protein and generally well rounded meals. I’m a little freaked…

To me, food was always a comfort. Whether I was celebrating, rewarding, or soothing my feelings, food was the answer. While I never considered myself to be morbidly obese, according to medical standards I was considered borderline. While I don’t have much of a sweet tooth I do have a weakness for salty, greasy, and saucy.

After deciding to gain some semblance of control in my life I changed my eating habits. I did it slowly and methodically so I wouldn’t ever feel cheated or like I was starving. It’s been 7 months now so I think much of my changes have become healthy habits. I succeeded in sheading most of the extra pounds and was feeling healthier than ever. Life still happened, work still happened, but I was doing ok and my episodes of depression had not been nearly as frequent as they were becoming.

Only within the last two to three weeks I have not experienced any feelings of being full or satisfied after a meal. Not only that I want more. I finish my breakfast but then stare longingly at the lunchbox on my desk wishing it were 12. I eat my lunch but then I can’t wait to get home for dinner. I go to bed at night excited about the next day’s food I will be able to eat again. What the heck is going on? I fully expected these feelings when I first started, not months after I’ve already lost the weight.

The good news is, my self-control is still intact. The bad news is, I feel like a crazed food obsessed beast! Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe it’s a phase. Maybe I’m in HELL!! Whatever it is I want it to end!

A New Reality

As of today I’ve lost almost 30 lbs.! I will never regret the decision I made to start the ‘fad’ and I hope to maintain this as my permanent healthier lifestyle. Once people started noticing it was great! I was proud I had actually stuck with it and surprisingly succeeded. It was a wonderful affirmation of the transformation of my physical self and I appreciated the kind words of encouragement. Some people even told me they were reluctant to ask me about the change sighting that I, “looked just fine before.” This was a really kind gesture, and I appreciated that I wasn’t the full on troll I imagined myself to be. Now, here’s my question: When do people stop commenting on the weight loss?

It is heading into almost two months and I’ve written previously about my fear of “falling off the wagon” and gaining it all back. But as time progresses I remain conscientious of my eating habits and keep my activity level up. Co-workers are still commenting on the change e.g. “Wow, you really did it.” and “Congrats, what a change!” I often wonder if they are also waiting for it all to return. I totally understand this as sometimes it is in others failures that make people feel good, hence reality TV.

Some have told me I’ve motivated them to start losing weight. This was cool…at first. Then a few weeks later they mention how much I’ve lost…again…and say they need to start “something”. I’ve told them what I did (if they ask), some take a look at the ‘fad’, others say they will look at it but then don’t. The ones that don’t do anything then get angry and frustrated with themselves for not doing anything. This is a very strange place for me to be in. I know that everyone is motivated and inspired by different things. While I try to provide empathy and motivation, I’m not by nature a motivating person. But I think I’ve actually become a source of frustration for those that simply have not found their perfect “motivator” yet.

One co-worker even said to me, “Dang it, you did it, I should be able to also.” Really? If it were that easy, wouldn’t we would all be healthy and exercising regularly? Here’s what’s different between her and I. I had just the right motivators at the right time to push me forward. I needed some semblance of control in my ever growing chaotic world and head. I had to make this change for me or my pit of despair was going to swallow me whole. That’s it.

I’m looking forward to the day this healthier body becomes my everyday reality. The day I stop seeing the “fuller” version of myself whenever I buy clothes, I don’t worry that a day of TV watching will make me gain it all back, and people I know stop commenting on the change of what I looked like before and accept this is where I’m at. I think that will be the true measure of this successful outcome.

Moved and Survived!

Last weekend was the big move to our new house. I actually let my boyfriend talk me into not hiring movers since we had donated a lot of our stuff to charity and only had the master bed set, family room, laundry room and kitchen. My mother and her husband helped as well. I had tried to point out to him that there was probably more stuff than he realized as there we numerous boxes in the garage and bedrooms. He was adamant and for once I gave in and said go for it.

1/3 way through the move, covered in sweat and dirt, he looked at me and said, “Next time we will hire movers.” I behaved and didn’t do the, ‘I told you so’ dance, but I did say I would certainly remember that years from now should we move again. Our intent is for him to finish school and get a job so we can upgrade to our dream home.

Even though this isn’t the house of our dreams, I love that we are not renting anymore. Finally I can hang pictures and window coverings with wild abandon! The dogs have a full back yard to run in and explore and the cat has an entire room of windows (a built on sun room) to bask in and recharge his little kitty battery.

The weeks building up to the move were stressful as hell. With my personality and impending doom expectations I surprisingly survived. The mini vacation we took helped a lot and staying active with karate eased much of the strain on my neck and back (where I hold my stress).

Now to begin the exciting journey of home renovations!!

Come on get happy!

In February I made a choice to take control of something in my life. So much is happening that is out of my control I needed to take charge of something. I chose weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve written about my journey with the ‘fad’ diet I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. For as difficult as it is for me to say, I’m even a little proud of my accomplishment. I’ve lost over 20 lbs. since I started. This is the healthiest I’ve been since I moved out from my parents’ house at age 19, maybe even more so.

While I’m happy with my progress I’m still working on losing about 8 more lbs. to be my ideal weight for my height. This is where my own self-doubting and insecure nature comes into play. I’m utterly terrified I’m going to somehow screw up all I’ve accomplished. If I go more than one day without exercising (just walking or karate nothing crazy like the gym hahaha) the guilt and shame come creeping in. All I can think about is that I’m sure I’ve gained back weight, I’m going to have to eat less and work that much harder to lose anything more. But then I don’t eat less and I don’t work harder. I’m still within my calorie count thanks to my handy dandy phone ap. But then I worry if I’ve under estimated how much I’ve eaten and how do I know I only had a single serving and not a serving and a half?!!

Seriously, I’ve finally stuck to something, had a great outcome and I can’t even fully friggin enjoy it!!  What gives, you screwed up brain?! You lost weight, you’re in escrow for a house, be happy and stay happy…for once!!

Running Away!

Buying a home is friggin stressful. I know there is a lot involved and upfront expenses e.g. inspections, appraisals, but dang it I wanted this to be a more positive time! I feel like I should be excited and happy we found a home we could afford and that appears to be everything we need. Instead I’m freaking out because we may have to move in with my mother because our lease is ending before escrow closes. This means moving and storage costs on top of all the other stuff we’ve paid for…and living with my mother :-O!! The word ‘homeless’ is a huge exaggeration, but that is the ridiculous word that keeps going through my mind when I think about that approaching week in July.

It’s sad and unnecessary for me to be this freaked, but unfortunately that is where my mind goes. People tell me to focus on the positive, remember what the end goal is, a new home to call your own. But until I’m physically in that place, my body and mind won’t let me focus on anything but the crap I have to deal with.

Knowing the potential of how bad my anxiety and depression may continue to become, I’ve forced myself to take a mini vacation. I had some points to use on a credit card so I booked us a hotel by the beach for the weekend. We are even taking the dogs! I’ve just got to keep showing up at work, get my shit taken care of then we are off for the weened.

I hope I can stop the intrusive thoughts long enough to relax and just be in the moment. I will deal with the up and coming weeks later…hopefully…

Moving Forward

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The momentum of life keeps pushing me forward. Though I can feel the depression in me trying to dig in its heals with a desire to just crawl away sometimes, progress is being made! We are currently in escrow for our first home together. It’s been almost 10 years since I bought a home and I forgot how tedious and expensive just starting the buying process can be.

The last place I bought after my divorce was at the peak of the market back in 2006. I was told the housing market was so strong the value would only go up. When the crash hit not long after the value of my place went down over $150000 and falling. I was paying a ridiculous rate on a split mortgage I had no hope of refinancing. That’s how I learned about foreclosure.

I realize I had no control over the market or the economy for that matter, but part of me is afraid I may be making the same mistake now. I doubt my ability to make a good choice all because of one home buying screw up. When I told my parents that I was looking to buy again, since my foreclosure “penalty” was coming to an end, my mother was very supportive. My father, being who he is, was concerned. Do you have a reputable realtor, what type of area is it, is anyone parked on their lawn, can you really afford this? As if I didn’t have enough self-doubt, my father will always ensure I have enough to torment me through the entire process.

My rational side knows that I’m currently throwing money away on rent. Home buying can be a good investment if done properly. I trust the trained realtor, the area is decent, no cars on lawns that I could see, and YES I should be able to afford this with some help from the BF.

My days and nights consist of agonizing over my doubts and fears to being excited I’m finally getting out of renting. I’m not one to go on and on about the benefits of exercise, but I must admit, the fact that I get on that treadmill or go to karate training has allowed my body to keep functioning better than it used to under stressful situations. I still struggle to make it into the office everyday, I still struggle to get quotes I need, but I’m still getting by.