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The Keeper of the Key to the Locks

Monday, December 01, 2008


I am back, from Thanksgiving, of course. And, eh, it was nothing exciting. That's not necessarily a function of how the holiday was. Rather, it is how I personally feel.

I am sliding into a downward spiral.

It's not anything really, really awful. I am still doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am still eating right, exercising, making good choices and performing portion control. I am just tired and bored. I am riding a lower wave. It happens.

It is a lot of things and there are a million reasons. One very large one is seasonal affective disorder. It is something I contend with every year and this year is no exception. The absolute darkest part of the year is about 3 weeks away and I really, really feel it. I had skipped taking St. John's Wort for a few days for Thanksgiving and I am paying for it. I'm back on it but it's disturbing to know that my mood is so profoundly affected by just skipping the herb for maybe five days instead of the usual two for the weekend.

Another reason is Thanksgiving itself. It is, unlike any other holiday, completely centerpieced around food. And I could neither make nor bring anything, which by itself bothered me. And then of course it is, well, it's not deprivation, but it is separateness. I don't enjoy separateness, oh no, she can't have THAT. And that's not true and it's not fair. It's that I am making choices, not that I am hurting or depriving myself. And then there's other weirdnesses. Being offered leftovers even though I'd made it clear that I wouldn't be eating them. And then being offered them again. And a third time. Oy.

I expected to be shooed out of the kitchen, but I did not expect how it would make me feel. I really disliked that. I am getting used to having control over my foods or at least some say in the matter, and have gotten to like that. Even though I knew what was being cooked, I could not witness or be a part of anything going on, except when I was finally called in, in order to peel potatoes. Then later I pulled out what I was going to eat and that was that. That was the extent of my participation in the entire preparation and presentation of the meal.

I realize that I should be thankful for family and hospitality, etc., but like I said I am simply tired and in a foul mood. Of course I expressed gratitude while there and did my best to not cop an attitude. It was also a raging TOM (which is over now) and that was not helping things one whit.

Another reason is, and this is ludicrous, but there you have it, something that happened online this morning. I run a forums website when I am not sparking, and there is a topic about food diarying. I do it as do about ten or so other people. One is a serious weight loser (she's already lost 100+ lbs. and maintained it for a good year and is now trying to take off the last 50 or so) and another is a marathoner. Plus others are in various states of vegetarianism or whatever. It is generally a supportive group and no one goes off on anyone's choices. No one screams, "What the hell are you thinking, eating 17 chocolate chip cookies?"

Except for this one person.

This person has decided that I am killing myself by dieting.

This person has been told, more than once, that I am under a doctor's care and am doing this with not only my doctor's permission and blessing, but at her urgent insistence.

This person has been told that I am on alli and so my weight loss is more rapid than most people's.

This person has been told to butt out repeatedly.

It does not seem to matter.

Today or last night, this person again railed about how my friend and I are doing just so many horrible things to ourselves, and said that we were subsisting on gruel.


I responded.

I guess pizza, chicken, pasta, bread, salads, soup and guacamole are all gruel. Amazing. I had no idea the definition had changed so dramatically.

I suppose I should not have gone off the way I did, but I am tired of this. This person seems to go hypercritical about once per quarter. Hence I could've let it go and let it happen again in 3 months or so. After all, going off or not going off does not seem to make one whit of difference.

But I did, and I hate doing that, but I felt I had to.

So I am weary from that as well, from justifying my choices and defending what I (and my friend) do.

And, to add to the fun, I walked like crazy last week, watched the portions and was austere as hell during Thanksgiving and I still gained 1.8 lbs. What kills me is that I actually lost inches, in almost all of the places where I measure. Right now that's kinda sustaining me. That and a friend on Facebook sending me all sorts of silly stuff. Nothing earth-shaking, just paying some attention.



A downward spiral.

I don't think it's a particularly steep spiral.

And I know I'll start to feel better once the solstice is done and the light begins to return. And this person will not bother me for months. And Thanksgiving isn't for another year. And, really, it's a test of this whole experience. I can do this when I'm happy. Can I sustain it even when I'm not? There's the question.

But right now I'm just tired, and all I want to do is withdraw.

When you see me on the subway, I'll be down at the end of the car.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Aw, thank you, sweetheart.

    The person apologized, kinda, actually it's more that they backpedaled and said they were concerned that my friend and I won't be able to do maintenance.

    Welllll, we are big girls (although we're becoming smaller by the second). We will handle maintenance like we handle (or don't handle) anything else. Plus a lot of this journey, this piece of the process, at least for me, is an improvement in my cooking skills and creativity. Any way you slice it, maintenance won't have a lot of restaurant meals attached to it and I can't just drown everything in olive oil or salt in order to make it acceptable. So I need to get better at such things, and I think I am.
    4382 days ago
  • SUMITH2008
    You need to fire that person, whoever that certain person is who is putting you down. No point surrounding yourself with people like that. Sometimes i wonder, if people just enjoy praying on others for their sick personal enjoyment like a vampire. You stay strong my friend, your doing fabulous and as a spark friend I'm thrilled with your success. *hugs*
    4382 days ago
    Good idea re the lights. Plus mushrooms. I am eating a lot of them. 'Sokay, I love 'em.

    Hang ten, baby!
    4385 days ago
    "riding a low wave" -- nice image. I've ridden a low wave before. Another is always behind it -- bigger and better. Hang ten!

    and in the meantime -- have you tried those full-spectrum lights? People with SAD use them to simulate real sunshine ... they have different UV rays or something ... anyway, I used to work at a store that sold them (health food store) and they seemed quite popular. Google the idea and see if you like!

    Here's to the spring equinox!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4385 days ago
    that is really crappy that no one would let you help with anything except peeling spuds. as for the 'she can't eat ....' do they not realize that if you watch what you are doing you CAN eat what ever you want, you just DON"T eat it?

    as for you forum group, some people just have spells when they need to b***h. especially if things aren't going so well for them at the moment.

    i understand the SAD problem. i had managed to avoid it so far this year by moving my desk under the east window. until saturday. now it is waxing and waning depending on the weather. i too am counting the days till spring.
    4385 days ago
    Em, I think you're right, that there may be folks who feel that whatever they eat is being judged. And that should not be happening. My buddy with the 100+ pound loss also said something. It was just so out of line. Funny what you say about needing a coach -- the thing of it is, I am the head of the Moderators. I am the equivalent of the coach. But we've all known each other for up to 8 or 9 years so I guess it's dysfunctional at this point. :)

    Your line about you wearing my pants made me laugh, and I realized I was feeling a tad better. Some of it is routine disruption, I suppose. Getting out of what's familiar and comfortable and then being thrust into something else. Plus you have the family dynamic and that's not necessarily a perfectly positive thing.

    And, I admit it, I can overdramatize these things. What I need, desperately, is a break. And not just a one-day deal, but something longer. I am going to get one during the last week of the year so that should help. I intend to paint my exercise nook. Purposeful activity is good, plus it's for something good for me. I'll see about taking some before and after pics of it. Right now the room looks pretty awful.

    Thank you all for your support. :)
    4385 days ago
    You look deep inside and sometimes I think you might be too hard on yourself and others. I am not trying to tell you that I know anything about what you are going through. I don't think I have ever been as down as you say. I have been down pretty low but that is when I am feeling sorry for myself and I try not to let that happen. I am so lucky but everyone feels down sometimes. I really hope that you feel better and just have a little fun.
    4385 days ago
    I know how you feel in the darkness, but it WILL get light again and I'm sending you a sunny smile. You're doing great. And you'll keep on keeping on! And she probably deserved being "talked to" if she's butting in where she has no business butting.
    emoticon Marit
    4385 days ago
    How about sending her a link to this blog. Context is everything. Also if it is a policy of the group not to comment on what other people are eating then isn't she violating. A coach might help. i think if it happens again you might want to pop inappropriate. Because what's infuriating you might be making the posting impossible for others. They may worry that they are being judged.

    Mushrooms are filled with Vitamin D. Can you get some?

    At thanksgiving I think there might have been some meat in my food. I've been queasy since. My DH was not with me and wondered if in fact I had had some meat by mistake based on my symptoms. It's not impossible. So I totally understand how you feel about not having control at dinner. I'm always sick after Thanksgiving and I am starting to wonder if it is not worth it.

    Don't let it get you down. You are my hero. I'm wearing your pants. Hang in there!

    4385 days ago
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