Merry Christmas!

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Just popping in to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have plenty to keep me occupied over the next couple of weeks, so I will be unlikely to post until 2012.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

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Finding My Own Version of Normal

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I’ve made a decision.

I’m only going to weigh myself once a month.  I would like to swear off weighing myself altogether, but I know it just won’t be possible.

I realized the other day that I was less preoccupied with my weight when I was over 300 lbs.  Food was just food.

I need to learn to trust myself.  I don’t eat out very often and when I do, I usually make a good choice.  I cook in a healthy fashion and I get plenty of exercise.  I binge eat.

The binge eating is why I have trouble maintaining my weight.  I go through cycles of restriction and bingeing and neither is healthy.  Counting POINTS, calories in/out…it’s what’s making me feel horrible about myself.  I constantly feel like what I’m doing is not enough, like I could be doing more, being more.

Enough.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to count calories or log my food.

I’m going to eat mind fully.  I’ve done this before, but never successfully.  I usually notice that I’m eating more and then I panic and I weigh myself.  When I weigh myself, I find I’m heavier than I would like and I begin to restrict.

No more.  I’m good enough.  I can tell how much weight I’ve gained or lost based on what size clothing I’m buying.  Why does a number matter if I am still wearing the same pants I wore last year.  I’m still buying mediums and they look great. 

Maybe this will be a fail, but I don’t think so.  I’ve felt far more relaxed and happy these last few days.  I’m focussing less on food and more on how I feel.  I feel like a load of bricks has been lifted off me and I like it.

Exercise will be key, not because it will keep me thin, but because it will keep me SANE.  I like how I feel when I’m exercising.  My legs look nice and strong, my arms and shoulders get this really nice definition.  I like feeling like I could flee from an attacker without hacking up a lung too.  I have plans to join a half-marathon training group in January (ironically, it’s not the distance running that scares me, it’s the learning to run in the cold that I am dreading) so I think I’m pretty covered.

I want normal.  Now I’m willing to work on getting it.

If You’ve Got It to Give

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My sister who has been through so much is being assessed as a transplant patient.

Her doctors now believe that her spleen is enlarged due to the beginning phases of liver failure.  It’s working overtime to try to take some of the stress away from her liver but that’s not the way the body is supposed to work.

Caitlyn has an appointment on January 4th with her surgeons, social workers, counsellors, nurses and transplant coordinators to discuss her status and her position on the transplant waiting list. 

There are some positives here.  Shes’s in much better health than the last time she had this surgery (six years ago) and they may consider a live organ donation.  Her husband has volunteered to be tested.  So have I. 

I have always felt like this was meant to be.  Six years ago, I felt like I should donate but not only was there not enough time, I was morbidly obese and not eligible. 

Thank God I changed my life – I should have no problems qualifying to donate a portion of my liver this time around.

My mother and I discussed this, she would rather it was Jason, my sister’s husband.  My mother said that she had no idea how she would survive the two of us being in there at the same time.  I know, I just know in my gut, that I am going to be a better match and my liver will be healthier.  I’ve never smoked, I drink only in moderation (last Saturday night excepted), I eat clean and I exercise regularly. 

I only hope I can give her this and it turns out well.

One Day, I’ll Figure Out What’s Wrong With Me

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Why am I an eating machine on the weekends?

It’s so weird – I manage to stay on track all during the week, even though I’m busy and on the go.  I’m struggling so much lately and this morning I saw an EXTREMELY scary number on the scale.

I know that a lot of it is water weight from eating on the weekend and that tomorrow it will likely be significantly lower but still.  It’s upsetting.  I’m tired of feeling like my clothes are all too tight – tugging on them and feeling constrained is not fun.

I’m sick of this.  I’m sick of letting myself get out of control.

It always comes back to control.  I feel like I’ve got myself on some kind of leash all the time and then I take any opportunity to break free.  I think I actually plan for the times when I’m going to break away and do whatever I want.

Why can’t I “whatever I want” be the desire to sleep all day or ride my bike?  Why does “whatever I want” always come down to eating?  I really try to let go of a perfection mentality, but I can’t seem to lately.  I don’t want to beat myself up over mistakes, but I do anyway.  The entire time I’m doing so, I am reminding myself that I’m only human.

Maybe I really am crazy.  Maybe I need therapy.

In the meantime, I’m trying to recover from a weekend-long work meeting at a fancy hotel.  They fed us constantly and I took full advantage.  The food?  Wasn’t even that good.

The wine was though.

I felt even worse the second day of the meetings – I was hung over and feeling sick from the gross food the day before.  That didn’t stop me from trying to make myself feel better by eating. 

I make the same mistakes over and over and wonder why I don’t get different results.

I think that IS the definition of crazy (see above, I’m correct).

I have to get my act together.  I’m sick of feeling this way and I’ll be darned if I gain back anymore of my weight.  I want to at least maintain through December and then return to my goal weight next year.

If anyone has any advice on how I can do this, I’m all ears.

It’s Hard to Feel Sorry For Me…

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You know what’s frustrating?  Trying to make friends as an adult.

See, one story I have yet to tell is how I figured out that I’m gay.  Yep, I’m gay.  It’s weird coming out to…the internet?  Whatever.

Anyway as stories go, it’s not very interesting.  I met a girl, she intrigued me more than she “should” have.  She was gay, I was straight…until I wasn’t.  I put together some puzzles pieces and realized I’ve been gay for a long time, I just wasn’t aware.  It’s upsetting in a way to think you know yourself and then realize that you were ignoring something pretty blatant.

I am an extremely lucky person.  This revelation cost me almost nothing and I gained more than one person might be entitled to.  My family was accepting and although telling them was nerve-wracking, no one reacted badly.  (My grandmother hilariously asked me if it was because I couldn’t meet a nice boy and then asked me if I was sure.  That was quite literally, the worst reaction I got from my family.  I am surrounded by awesome.)  My friends, for the most part, were happy that I was happy and that was that. 

The reason I started telling this story is to bitch.  Irony, you are a hilarious beast.

I don’t have any lesbian friends!  It’s annoying.  I’ve got lots of friends, and I’m pretty sure that all of A’s friends like me well enough.  However, maybe because I wasn’t gay in my teen years or in my partying 20’s, it’s been next to impossible to meet any friends from my “people”.

I don’t actually think that this is a phenomenon exclusive to me and my gayness.  I think this is pretty universal amongst people who are a) not in school and b) not parents.

Where do you go to meet people to make friends?  Work?  I don’t like most of the people I work with.  That sounds horrible, but it’s true.  I don’t HATE them, I just don’t want to be friends with them.  Bars?  I go to my local pub once a week for trivia night and I’ve met some awesome people there, and we do occasionally hang out.

They are not lesbians though.  So even though I know how to make friends, I obviously am lacking exposure to the very group I want to infiltrate.  I’m certain if I just met some of my kind, they would love me.  I’m clearly adorable.  I’m going to have to figure this out because although I love my straight friends, there is a part of me that wants to hang out with people I have something pretty fundamental in common with.  At least some of the time.  I’d at least like the option.

I think this may be the weirdest thing I’ve ever written.  Or thought.  But it keeps bothering me, so there must be something to it.  It just makes me feel like an asshole seeing this in black and white.  I may come back and delete this.  We’ll see.

The End is the Beginning

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I rejoined Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I never really stopped going this past year, mostly because I was working for them, but I turned my notice in as leader at the beginning of October and now I’m just a regular ol’ member.

It makes me almost laugh to rejoin (or whatever) because I’m re-learning all my old lessons and I think it’s funny that I keep remembering things I already thought I had down pat.

Things like:

Sweetened beverages screw up your ability to taste how sweet real food is.  This is true of both real sugar sweetened beverages AND artificially sweetened beverages.  I had to relearn this lesson after I let diet pop (or soda) creep back into my diet.  I kept rationalizing this by saying ‘hey it has no calories!  It doesn’t count!’.  It was still not good for me!  Thankfully, I’ve cut all this stuff out of my diet again.  If I want something sweet, I eat real sugar/honey/maple syrup or agave and call it a day.  I’m just back to it being a once in a while thing as opposed to everyday.

Muscle is worth being heavier.  You may not think so when you look down at the scale, but it’s so much more attractive to be muscled.  Lean muscle makes you look pretty hot, even when you feel like it’s messing with the scale.  The scale is just a number!  Those muscles?  They represent you in a way that a number never can.  Muscles say ‘I’m a badass, I can change the water bottle in the water cooler whilst wearing a skirt cause I’m strong’. 

Losing weight in a healthy fashion is actually about self-love.  In order to take care of yourself, eating right and working out, you have to like yourself.  All this stuff?  Is effort.  If you don’t think that you’re worth the effort, you will never lose weight or get healthier. 

That last one?  It’s the most important thing I’ve forgotten over the last year.  What’s weird is I don’t remember when the switch flipped for me.  I don’t remember ever thinking that I WASN’T worth the effort but it happened.  It happened because I have a long history of not recognizing that I’m good enough to care about and even though I practiced taking care of myself for a while, it’s got to be a conscious effort for much longer than a few years before it becomes natural. 

I’m not going to post my weigh in’s like I did on my other blog, but I will give updates as I hit my big milestones.  Right now, my focus is on getting back into the 160’s without getting blinded by weight loss obsession.

A Fresh Start

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I weighed myself this morning, as my official starting weight.  I want to get back to my goal, or at least back to that goal “feeling”.

I don’t mind sharing how much I weigh – as of this morning, I am 174.6 lbs. 

That means that since I stopped weighing in publically on my blog, I’ve gained almost 20 lbs.

That sucks.

It’s not the end of the world but it’s still not the greatest feeling.  I liked the way my body felt at 155 lbs.  I felt healthy!  I felt invincible!

But the thing is, I’m pretty sure that the feeling of invincibility and health had nothing to do with what I weighed.  It was a state of mind!  I felt like a champion because I was working on something, I was accomplishing my goals and I was kicking ass at it.  I think that’s why I’ve been basically at this weight since last Christmas. 

It’s not about the twenty pounds.  I’ve already done this.  I’ve already lost weight and I’ve already been good at it.

My problem is, what now?  What is my next step?

I feel like I can’t figure it out.  The people who manage to keep their weight off seem to have to find a focus other than weight loss.  The issue is that I have no idea what I want to make MY focus.

Really, I’d like my focus to be my life.  Why is that so hard?

Sometimes Life Sucks

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My sister is really sick. 

It’s hard to think about anything else.  Caitlyn had a liver transplant almost six years ago.  Life did not really go back to normal, at least not the way I expected it to.  I guess it’s a bit of a fallacy, based solely on what I’d seen on TV and in movies, but I really expected my sister to just start living a normal life, maybe taking medications to prevent rejection but mostly the way it was before.

It didn’t happen.

She’s struggled with health issues all along – from rejection episodes to unexplained seizures and now it’s gotten worse.  She’s been diagnosed with portal hypertension and her spleen is enlarged to four times the normal size.  She has to have her spleen removed and is now on a no-salt, low protein diet.  They are also discussing putting a stint in her hepatic artery to improve blood flow to her liver. 

According to my mother (I live quite far from my sister and mother and have not seen Caitlyn in person), she moves like an old woman.  This is complicated further by her doctors assessment that her other organs (specifically her kidneys) are so taxed from everything else that they’re not sure how much more they can do if these treatments don’t work.  Her kidneys are functioning at the level of a 70 year old’s right now.

It’s so freaking scary.  I am worried constantly.  It’s not fair.

IT’S NOT FAIR.

She is 23 years old and recently married.  She’s already been told she cannot have children, why can’t she catch a break? 

I walk around feeling like I have a time bomb burning a hole in my throat.  I can’t breathe around it sometimes.  I lay awake at night and think about all the “what ifs”, which is horrible, counter productive and useless, but you try NOT doing it when something horrible is going on in your life and let me know how you accomplish it.

I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t contain my sister.  She’s the best of my family, everyone agrees.  Caitlyn never speaks ill of anyone, she’s funny and generous and open-hearted.  She makes the world a better place.

I’m trying really hard not to talk about this stuff out loud.  I feel like its jinxing things or somehow I’m prophesying something.

But I had to spew it to someone.  And since no one reads this blog, it feels safe.  If my chance someone stumbles on this, please pray for my sister, even if you don’t believe in prayer. 

Caitlyn needs every good thought you can send her way.