The disappearing blogger fallacy

There is the “tried-and-true” stereotype of weight-lose bloggers that if you disappear, you must be gaining weight.  Though my posting has been sparse and my words rare here, my weight not been on the rise.  It has been maintained and slowly, SLOWLY, falling.  There are positive things being done and everyday I work hard for my goals and I set and make new ones.

I am not going gang-busters like I once was.  I wish I were, but I can’t right now.  Part of me can’t because my life isn’t as flexible to allow for it.  Part of me can’t because I need to avoid triggering binge-eating and deprivation mindsets.  I need to avoid foods actively that cause triggers, without avoiding them purposefully.  If that sounds like a catch-22 it is because in many ways it is exactly that, and for most therapists and dietitians it means that you, aka ME the patient, need to figure out what it looks like and how I can find a balance of wellness and health.  Because wellness and health are not the same thing when it comes to food and weight for me.

For ME, health is about the numbers.  And my numbers, with the exception of that pesky relationship to gravity, have really rarely been better.  My cholesterol, glucose, thyroid, and others are all on the really good end of normal.  My blood pressure, while still medicated, is averaging 112/70 and not a medicated 140/90 (which it was as little as 3 years ago).

Wellness is more complicated.  It is about keeping my depression and anxiety at manageable levels.  It is about balance in my life, keeping stress low, getting enough sleep, having time with my family and friends, moving my body, food that is energizing and delicious, etc.  Sometimes I do this well, other times I am struggling with one or more of these things, and if one part gets off base it is harder to keep the other parts on track too.

Today I wore a dress in public that made me feel like I was a stuffed sausage just a few months ago.  Though it is still a dress that likes to hug the body, there are enough inches and slimming that I have done that I no longer feel that I am an eyesore in it.  To my surprise, I got a ton of compliments on it at church today.  I mean a TON.  I never get compliments on my clothes.  It is a small thing, but a factor of the small changes and the slow progress I have been making.ana dress

Though I haven’t been here as much as I’d like I am out there fighting the fight and there is progress to be seen.  Sometimes a disappearing blogger is a function of kids, work, and a schedule that has her running too much to find the words to share or a life that feels too dull or repetitive to share.

If you are here to read that’s great.  If you’ve left I hope you’ve found a blogger to connect with.  There are great ones out there.  Ultimately my writing is a way to help process my own journey and I will continue to use this space to help me along the way whenever I can.  You are welcome alone if you’d like to join me.

And, we have a baby!

Baby Francisco Silva has arrived, we are all in love!

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Francisco was born on March 12th. Delivering Francisco was the most intense, indescribable and surreal experience I’ve ever had. I received some pitocin at noon on that Saturday and mild contractions started fairly quickly. Within a few hours, I was laboring pretty heavy. By about 6pm, I asked for an epidural however when they checked me at about 6:45pm, I was too far along and they told me to start pushing. Time goes so quickly in those intense moments. Every breath felt like seconds but last an hour. Encouraging phrases would wind through the room, in one ear and out the other. Carlos, standing right by my side, holding my hand, tears in his eyes. As my doctor and the nurses began to coach me into preparing for the final push, every ounce of feeling Francisco flowed through my body. Emotions were exploding all over, every painful sensation is felt and then quickly forgotten. And then. That exact moment. 7:43pm. Pushing Francisco over the pelvic bone and feeling him rush into the world.

9lbs, 3 ounces of the most beautiful,
perfect baby in the whole world.
21 inches of amazing.

The first 5 weeks were insane – Francisco was extra fussy and we struggled a lot with breastfeeding.  In the past week, the fussiness has calmed down and he is captivated with his surroundings. Despite trying everything nurses, doctors, the lactation consultants and the internet suggested, I was never able to get my milk supply to where it needed to be to feed our growing Francisco. I do still nurse however we follow-up every nursing session with a bottle. Not being able to breastfeed exclusively was horribly devastating. While I am thankful for being able to nurse what I can, I have had to grieve over what I am not able to do. A grieving process I never fathomed would have to happen.

Francisco’s fussiness has started to calm down and he has started to smile + laugh.

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For being an unplanned pregnancy, it truly has changed our lives. It is safe to say both Carlos and I have developed the most intense level of love with this tiny little baby that neither of us knew we needed. This whole experience has been so much more.

More intense.
More complicated.
More emotional.
More love.
More happiness.
More tiring.
More incredible
More complex.
More amazing.

More everything.

It has been six weeks since Francisco came into this world. Six weeks of a lifetime we never knew we would love so much. Six weeks of seeing Carlos fall more and more in love with this little baby we created.

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We ended up flying back to Boston on Friday, a last minute trip to visit Carlos’ family. Watching Francisco’s eyes light up when he hears Cape Verdean Creole, absorbing the words like he already understands their definitions. Dancing with his Grandma Julia, memorized by her sing song.

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I go back to work in three weeks. I am both looking forward to the routine and adult conversation, and dreading the absence of someone who has become my whole world.

Life is so unexpected, so difficult, so emotional, so perfect. The unplanned becomes natural and comfortable. Carlos and me. And Iggy. And Francisco.

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The Ugly Duckling {Revised}

Once upon a time, up a narrow street, down a quiet path, in a peaceful park, by a shallow pond, there was a Momma Duck who had a nest of 9 eggs.  She loved those 9 eggs and sat on them diligently until they hatched.  One by one, cute, yellow fuzzy ducklings broke free of their eggs.  Finally one egg was left.  It was the largest egg and when it too finally hatched, a large duckling emerged.  She was not fluffy and yellow like her brothers and sisters.  Her feathers were dull and grey.  She was tall and awkward.  Her feet were too big.  Her neck was too long.  Her brothers and sisters looked at her and laughed.

Momma Duck worried.  She loved her ugly duckling but what would could she do to help her child?  Undaunted Momma Duck determined that she would raise all her little ducklings into the best ducks she could, just as she had been raised.  So the ducklings soon found themselves following Momma duck and learning the ways of the world.

Up and down the narrow street and the quiet path, through the peaceful park and in the shallow pond, Momma Duck and her ducklings joined the other ducks in their daily activities.  Momma Duck led the way, then 8 fluffy ducklings, and one ugly duckling with the other ducks laughing behind her back.

First job of the morning was the breadcrumb begging from the old folks who came to the park benches each day.  Momma Duck taught her ducklings not to get too close, but to show their cutest sides to the humans to get the best pieces of bread.  She encouraged her 8 fuzzy ducklings to eat their fill.  “Not too much now,” Momma Duck said to the Ugly Duckling, “You are already bigger than your sisters, you don’t need to eat any more carbs, besides, the cutest ducklings get the best bread for us all, best hang back with me and have a salad.” Momma Duck didn’t want the humans to laugh at her Ugly Duckling like the other ducks did, but her Ugly Duckling saw and heard more than Momma knew.

Next Momma Duck worked on swimming with her duckings.  Unlike land, here Ugly Duckling felt graceful and beautiful.  In the water her awkward legs felt strong and powerful and she could easily beat even her brothers in the duckling races.  She loved to make herself fly across the water, and to dive deep down to the bottom to grab the tender seaweed that grew there.  She loved it….until, she heard Momma Duck say, “Dear Ugly Duckling, you need to slow down.  If the mallards think you are better at swimming than they are they won’t want to share a nest with you.  You cannot afford to be so bold”  Momma knew what was best.  So Ugly Duckling choked back her strokes and her tears as she tried to be the best duck she could.

Finally, Momma Duck began to teach her ducklings to fly.  Their larger feathers were growing in now, and soon they would be fully grown and ready to soar.  Her brothers heads were turnings shiny and green.  Her sisters were becoming mottled and brown, ready for important nest making.  Ugly Duckling however, just kept growing.  She was bigger than ever, no matter how much she listened to Momma’s diet advice.  Instead of becoming a beautiful brown her feathers were turning white.  Her neck was longer too.  She was just so Ugly.  They all knew it, and she did too.

Finally the day came to make a first “real” flight.  Momma Duck planned to take her ducklings from the shallow pond accross the narrow road to the lake and back for an outing.  One by one the ducks took off and flew to the lake for their day away.  When they got there they were amazed by how many new things there were to see at the lake that they never saw in their shallow pond.  There were new fish and birds.  New kinds of ducks even!  As they took a break for lunch, they watched all the different kinds of birds who lived there at the lake and along came a group of swans.

The Brothers and Sister ducks got up and laughed and pointed at the swans.  “Look” they called. “There is a whole group of ugly ducklings here just like our sister!  Why do you let so many ugly ducks in the lake?”

Then the lake became very quiet.  Even the bees stopped their buzzing.  The group of swans got up out of the lake and came over to the ducks.

“We are not ducks,” said the swan, “We are swans, and it seems that your sister is too, though she does not know it.  Swans not the same as ducks.  In some ways we are similar, but in many ways we are different as well.  If we make ugly ducks, you would make ugly swans.  How much better it would be if we just said we both make beautiful birds?”

With that the swan turned to the Ugly Duckling and said, “If ever you want to learn to be a Swan come join us at the lake, for you are a beautiful bird regardless of what you are called.”

Shaken, Momma Duck and all her ducklings went home.  Her brothers and sisters were glad to see their shallow pond once more. “Swans think they know everything,” they said, “but they are still ugly.”  They happily spent the remaining part of the day begging for bread and racing in the pond.

Ugly Duckling spent the rest of the day thinking.  The narrow street, the quiet path, the peaceful park, the shallow pond, these places were all she really knew of life, but here she was the Ugly Duckling and would always be the Ugly Duckling.

“Come to the nest” Momma Duck called Ugly Duckling, “I made you a seaweed salad for dinner.”

Ugly Duckling turned away from the shallow pond, took flight and flew over the narrow street back to the lake of beautiful birds of all shapes and sizes.

Fear of Dreams

There is a Doc McStuffin’s episode where Doc has a bad dream and doesn’t want to go back to sleep.  The toys eventually help her diagnosis her illness (the scary-scares? I forget.) and together they work through the cause (the monster from her book) and the solution (they finish the story and get to the happy ending) so that Doc can go back to sleep without fear of more nightmares.

What, I have a toddler, I don’t get out much….

Anyway, as I was blogging, in the episode Doc is afraid to go back to sleep because she is afraid of having a bad dream again.  Her fear keeps her from doing the thing she knows she needs and truly wants to be doing, aka sleep.  Fear is a cruel thing, and I am starting to realize just how much control it has over my life, even when I am not actively feeling afraid or anxious.

The last time I was actively losing weight and pushing myself to make goals and keep growing and thriving, I feeling good and strong.  I was signed up for a half marathon at Walt Disney World, I was losing weight regularly and my activity kept my weight loss moving in the right direction and gave me the option of the occasional splurge.  It was working.

And then life intervened.  I tore my meniscus in my knee, shortly after experiencing a baker’s cyst on my knee from the Susan G Komen 3 Day walk.  I was unable to run or do much exercise for 6 weeks.  I spent money on PT that helped and did my exercises, but I hit a plateau.  I had a few gains and I lost confidence.  I experienced a few episodes of binging.  Fall and winter started and as the sun left my depression too hold and the binging continued.  The exercise never really resumed and a short 8 months later all the weight I had lost had been re-gained and all the confidence I had gained had been lost.  There was more too it than just that of course, there always is, but that is the short story of it all.

Since that time I have been working to get out of the cycle of binging and depression and I have successfully broken that and have been in a good place for a few weeks, even months now.  It is not perfect and there are hard days still, but it is SO. MUCH. BETTER.

But the reality, is that I am afraid to take next step into active weight loss again.  On paper we’ve been trying for a few months now, but in my heart, I am not fully committed, because my heart and my head are still afraid.  Afraid of failing and falling again.  I know the clawing it took just to dig out of the bad space I was in, but I also know the benefit and desire to be in a place of confidence, joy and strength again.  I want to be there.

So I to dream a dream that will be bigger than the fear, but somehow I feel even too scared to dream dreams.  Like I stop and pause and think about where I’d like to be in 5 years and I get…. *crickets* ….. ….. ….. …. …. ….

So I go to one year and I think and …. … … .. .. . . .

I have been operating in survival mode, and work mode and family mode for so long, I don’t even know what I want for me any more.  And I’m afraid of figuring it out because to do so is just another opportunity for me to fail.

It is ridiculous I know, to make that assumption and have that attitude before I even begin.  And it sets up a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I don’t want that either, so perhaps that is why I don’t dream and make those goals, so I won’t make them until I am ready to complete them and succeed?  But I want to be ready.  How do I get rid of the fear and dream again?

Anyone know?

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