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What do you do when you're almost to your goal?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's been awhile since I've written. Okay, it's been a long while.

I wish I could say things are really good now, or at least significantly better but I cling to optimism that this is a statement I will be able to make soon. Right now, I'm still struggling.

Do you ever get those times, where even the easy things in life just come a little harder? For instance, the main road between me and, well, everything such as grocery shopping, errands, the gym could easily be renamed Fast Food Lane...within a 3-4 mile stretch is every fast food, pizza, wing, donut, quick-mart, chinese takeout, diner and upscale chain restaurant with curbside order and pickup known to mankind, several of which are open conveniently till the wee hours of the morning or worse, 24/7.

Normally, this is not a major issue for me. But lately, with a kitchen that is still not finished 4 months after I've moved in and which means everything from cooking beyond microwave reheating to simple washing of dishes in a 60 year old sink that takes an hour to drain 2 inches of water, is a major pain in the..uhm derriere. Add to that my still enduring struggle with getting solid sleep and you can see that a gauntlet of convenience foods is not exactly the place I need to travel on a regular basis. I'm usually good the first mile or two, but soon all that neon, and getting stuck behind cars turning into them which allows time for the smells to reach me...well, you get the temptation this can cause when one is very, very hungry. And I don't even really like fast food! It is almost never as tasty as it promises to be.

Oh lordy, I've now fallen into that whining zone. I don't want to be there, ergo one of the reasons I've not blogged a lot of late.

So, moving on. I'm getting ever closer to my weight loss goal and I'm not even that much off target schedule wise. I did learn this week that I may be even closer than I know because it seems the gym's scale in the ladies locker was significantly over weighing people for at least a few weeks. It's currently out being repaired, but from what I gather, it may be as much as 7 pounds over. The not so good part of that is it is my only scale and depending on how long it was in error, I could have been losing lately at too accelerrated a rate to be healthy. Which might explain the faintness and lightheadedness I've had which has encouraged me to pull back on exercise exertion and intensity.

To be honest, if I've lost that much weight in the last couple months, I'm concerned...I've been trying to slow down the loss, to spread it out. I need to do this both because my skin just needs more time to adjust but also because as I near the goal and a healthy weight, there is the very real danger of my eating disorder reasserting itself and making it difficult to get off this ride. I've spent almost 2 years of my life actively losing weight. At very few times in that journey did I experience set backs that significantly slowed the loss or regain more than a pound or two. I like the feeling of being successful, and I'm willing to sacrifice a lot, face a lot of emotional crap, and work through just about whatever I have to in order to be successful. Once I decide, I do. That's just me. And I've been very, very successful at this weight loss game. It's tangible. It has visible rewards and emotional ones. Transitioning to weight stabilization, which won't have any real visible rewards, is, to be quite honest, just plain scary.

Though the upside will be getting to eat more calories each day. I must admit, since my tracker has been dropping down my limits really fast these last few months, I suddenly found myself facing a bottom number of just over 1200 calories a day. Living healthy (meaning, not being in the throes of a self-starvating jaunt) on 1200 calories, especially with the plan I've so carefully honed of 5 meals of 300-400 calories each is not easy. It's painful to see each day with me riding that upper limit, and often crossing it either from sheer hunger or forgetfulness, and yes, sometimes, emotional eating because I've used up all my calories and there's 8 hours till bedtime!! If that thought doesn't make you hungry and stressed, what will??

Anyway, I continue to do my exercise which I'll admit, I'm addicted to again. I realize that to keep my mood from plummeting into the subbasement of depression hell, I've got to work out several times a week. Even when I don't feel good doing it, even those *gasp* times I don't enjoy it in the doing or feel the slightest bit better, I know it's helping elevate my mood enough to keep me from stupid things and thoughts. I tell myself this and practice the half smile and then feel ever so relieved and grateful when I do enjoy the exercise again. whew! And I use distraction. Create, even when I'm not making anything good, is so much better for my psyche and my life than oreos. Repeat that twice a day and call me in the morning, dear...create something, NOT oreos. Anything is better than oreos. :)

See, that's how intense the cravings can get...I almost bought oreos and I don't like them!!! I mean at all. bleh...all sugary fatty feeling slimey on my tongue. That pseudo chocolately cake part that gets all gooped up in my teeth and not only looks gross but takes hours to get off my teeth. bleh. But I found my hand holding them and dangling them over my cart in the grocery store last week and my little inner thoughts saying..."well, you keep insisting you go outside your comfort zone, try things you don't usually like to keep from getting really depressed." OMG!!! That NEVER meant OREOS!!!

And while sometimes those little inner diet devils sneak past my defenses lately, I do catch them and I recognize they are telling me some deep needs aren't getting met. Until I meet them, they're going to passively agressively try to fill themselves with any snack food they can sneak through. So I'm addressing those other needs. I'm facing them, finding them and I'm doing my best to be the loving, nurturing parent to my little hurt inner children who are a bit unwell right now.

What are those things? I suppose I should come clean, as a good example and to keep myself accountable.
1. I need more local friends to do things with, I need to expand my local social circle. I have friends, yes, but due to economy or life changes, most have moved away, even out of state in the past few years. Being single, in your mid 30s and working for yourself, long hours and on a nocturnal schedule counter to the average person does not make creating a new circle of activity buddies the easiest thing to accomplish. Even for me, the extrovert who meets 10 people every time I leave the house. But meeting and developing a real friendship is a different fish altogether, isn't it?

2. I need more discipline in my creative life. I need continuity and I need to be trying to create every day, not just when the inspiration strikes. And I also can't keep letting the muse run me into exhaustion for 3 days or more at time, and then spend a week in recovery doing nothing because I'm sick and physically exhausted. This is a tough beast to rope, let me tell you. But I'm working on it. Finding ways to make the rewards of it tangible, and the baby steps to achieve it very small, easy to succeed at and trackable...just like I've learned how to do losing 130lbs.

3. I need to get more work that I get paid for. I need to hustle. I've been doing a lot of work for almost no pay, and sometimes no pay, for the experience, for the growth and I'll be honest, cause I was afraid. I was afraid I just wasn't ready to go out there and only do jobs that pay, cause, well, they're hard to find and c'mon, I've got so far to go before I'm that good. Right? Wrong. I'm that good, and while I was learning and growing, I'm now using those volunteer gigs as a crutch to keep me so busy I don't have time to 'go hustle up some work'. But that luxury has to end. My bills are getting bigger (aren't everyone's in this economy) and my little meager grant is not stretching as far as it used to. I blame the new wardrobe I've had to buy, yes I do!!! :)

4. I've got to face my childhood demons and the fact that depression and an eating disorder are going to be something I will have to deal with and manage, maybe for the rest of my life. But I'm stronger now, and happier, and I'm doing what I've always wished I could and frankly, what I never should have quit doing in the first place. And I love music and performing. I mean I LOVE IT. I can't live without it. It terrifies me breathless but I can't live without it. And reaching for that is enough to keep me moving forward through anything, any storm, and trouble. Even those in my own mind. I may not every fully heal, but I can live as though I have and learn by doing.

So there you have it. What does one do when a 2 year journey...well, more like 4 if you include the year of recovering from the hip injury and all that physical therapy and then the year just getting off all those medications to help me get through the injury that caused most of the weight gain to begin with. Anyway, what does one do when facing the end of that journey? Since it's said that achieving a goal is one of the most treacherous times for a depressive episode (yes, that's true) then for me, it means keeping on in the right directions, and making new goals to strive for. I don't sit still well. So I will move, and if it's not the right direction, as soon as I know that, I'll make course alterations and keep going. It will get better. I know that. I own that. Now, I've just got to get there.

Thanks for reading me, hope it didn't ramble too much. :)
~cassandra

Copyright ©2009 Cassandra Kelly. All Rights Reserved.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 4A-HEALTHY-BMI
    Glad to hear from you, even if the news is not all roses!

    (I recently changed my name from ORIGAMIFREAK, in case you don't recognize me.)

    DIAMONDFOOLER has a point - some of US are in the area, and even though it's a bit cold for kayaking, I can be up for other stuff. Like exploring the consignment shops or Salvation Army stores in Roc, which is pretty much the only way I've been stocking my (shrinking) wardrobe lately! LOL Or once there's decent snow, Nordic skiing...

    About the kitchen, do you have a toaster oven? You can do amazing things with one of those. I have a spare one if you're interested. I love broiling fish for lunch in the one at work, and you can even bake bread in one, if you don't mind the carbs...

    About the survival with food, I'm going to bring up low carb protein bars again. 'Cuz for me they are a lifesaver if I'm in a pinch and need something to keep me from reaching for carbs or pulling in at Taco Hell for a crunchwrap or something equally deadly...

    Hang in there, Chica! Like ROYALETBONE says, please keep expressing yourself on here - so we know you're alive, and so we can support you.
    emoticon
    4221 days ago
  • LIMELITESHINES
    ugh. You bring to light things I need in my life. Like your #2. Being without music is terrifying. But just as terrifying is putting myself out there and going for it. So I hover in this endless state of "freelance". I hate that term. Sure I get great gigs . . meet lots of great people . . busy busy busy all the time. But *I* know I'm better than all that . . . *I* know that what I really need/want is that full time gig. Why did I have to pick the horn again? heh.

    Great blog . . . proof that this is definitely something we learn from for the rest of our lives. It's not just something we can turn on and just coast with.

    Can I ask you about your surgery? I'm planning (once I reach my goal weight) to have some skin removed . . . and I'm TERRIFIED that the drugs that will help me heal, will also cause me to gain weight. (terrified!). I had my wisdom teeth out . . and the drugs they gave me caused me to gain 14 pounds. And that was just a 3 week ordeal.

    You sound like you have your head in the right place. So keep it up. :) OH! And a great tip for food . . . get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Great protein, no cooking, no clean up! :)
    4221 days ago
  • DIAMONDFOOLER
    Every time you blog, I learn something. So Don't give up blogging, I need you!
    We could be sisters, you had one type of eating disorder and I have the other. I stuff my self to keep all those demons away. Now I have to face them.
    I didn't know that achieving a goal is hard for a depressive personality, now I do so I can be prepared. Maybe that is why I don't ever get to a goal completed??? I usually sabotage it before I am done....hmmmm.

    And as for performing, I lost that when I was a teenager and haven't really recovered from it yet. So keep singing, dancing and working with that muse. Just tell her to stay less time, but she is welcome more often... emoticon

    I am here if you want to get away to the "country".
    Barbara
    4221 days ago
  • ROYALETBONE
    I enjoy reading your blogs- keep going, keep posting, keep working it through!
    I know I keep working, over, and over, and over, on knowing all the way down, deep down, that there is no finish line, that I won't ever be 'done'- that this journey is about learning about me, my interior stuff, and my emotional needs, and learning to listen carefully to my body, and NOT just pounds- not just pounds at all.
    YUCK to fast food- try to have more convienent food in the house?
    FYI- I didn't have a micro or an oven in a kitchen for about - oh- 6 months at one time. I got way good at using an electric skillet. I could bake a chicken, cook a 3 course meal in it... or there is always the crock pot. I have also had the no good kitchen sink woes- I ended up doing my dishes in the bathroom.
    Hey- you just moved here to be mold free.... what a rip off, to move into a non-functional kitchen! Bummer! Those things happened to me when it was my OWN home, and I didn't have the loot to repair... s'up with your landlord?
    Oh, well, blog on sweet sister.
    4222 days ago
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