The hidden voice

9 times out of 10 I am aware that I am a strong, confident, independent woman.  I recognize that I am beautiful for who I am and I know that I contribute in a positive way to the lives of others.  9 times out of 10 I know that I am a good  mom, or at least that I keep TRYING to be a good mom which is most of the battle.  9 times out of 10 I am able to see things objectively and give myself plenty of grace while still holding myself accountable for my own choices.

And then there is that 10th time.

It never seems to  start with food, (though food is often used as a means to cope when in fact it makes things worse.)  It starts with doubt.  It starts with me doubting who I am, that I am enough for the tasks inf ront of me, that I am enough period.  On that 10th time all I see is my failures and flaws.  I feel deeply broken and impossibly alone.  It is hard to describe the certainty with which I feel this when rationally I know it is basically crazy.  And when I get back out of it and see things a bit more clearly I can see the truth – Depression lies.

The challenge with depression however is that you are fighting with your own head, and your head already knows your greatest weaknesses.  It knows the worries you carry in your heart and how to exploit them.  To fight depression is to fight against yourself, and it is also to fight for yourself.  It is virtually impossible to recognize your worth when each thought of yours is reminding you of all that you lack.

The triggers for these days are varied.  Sometimes they are obvious (hi there hormones), and other times they come without warning (a little PTSD trigger here, a cruel comment there).  Sometimes, if you are lucky, it lasts a few hours or a day.  Other times it lasts for a week or more.  During that time I do my best to keep up the facade that I am fine – I take care of the kids, I do the dishes, I do my work – but the reality is I want to crawl into a bed and not come out until I feel better.

And I eat and I hide.

When I first started meds three years ago I assumed that they would clear up these days.  That they would simply not exist any more.  What the meds do is lessen the severity and the length of these times, but there are still days when it seems impossibly hard to be me.  Meds don’t solve the problem, but they do give you a life preserver to help you weather the storm when it hits.

As I re-emerge from these periods I feel sheepish.  I know better than to believe myself at those times, yet I so easily become trapped in the well of despair.  When I emerge I have to take stock of what I’ve missed, and what needs addressing – get back on the food wagon, weigh in, work out, face facts.

And yes, ask for help and call for an appointment with the therapist.

Depression lies, but sometimes it is believable.  But I am stronger than the depression and when I am not I am learning how to ask for help.

So if you want to know where I was, it was that 10th time.  It was ugly.  It still is a little ugly, but it is getting better.

Depression lies so there is power in claiming the truth.  I struggle, I overcome, but some days are harder than others.

Not my best effort….not my worst

I did not have a great weekend food-wise, both for good and bad reasons: hormone driven anxiety attack, check.  Date night, check.  Bridal shower temptations, check.

I am tempted to be depressed about my struggles with weekend, but I am choosing to look on the bright side – as a whole, my “bad” choices are far healthier and more balanced than ever before.  While I still can go overboard I am better about eating real foods, about stopping when I am full and about balancing bad choices out with good.  And throughout the bad choices I kept moving – nearly 30,000 steps over Fri, Sat, Sun.

Still, there remains room for improvement and growth.  Sometimes I think I am in a particularly difficult spot with the season of life I am in.  It is hard to make lasting changes with two small kids, and two jobs, and being pulled in countless directions.  But I make room for addressing my health because it is a priority to me.  I mess up plenty, but I keep on coming back to the fight because this is a priority for me.

I am a priority for me.

I am home with a sick E2 today and using the change in the routine to get back on track and get back to tracking.  Sometimes a day where I am forced to slow down and consider the important things is just what is needed to regain perspective.

And if there are extra snuggles today then that is a good thing too.

Sometimes you really are hungry.

Have you guys heard the acronym H.A.L.T.?  I heard it in a Weight Watchers meeting the first time, though it is not strictly a WW thing.  It is a checklist of sorts for determining if you should eat or not.

H… hungry

A… angry

L… lonely

T… tired

If you’ve ever struggled with weight you know that there are lots of times we eat for reasons other than hungry.  We may be lonely (or anxious or feeling awkward in a social setting).  We may be tired, or thirsty, or sad or angry or just want to treat ourselves.  We often eat to celebrate, or to grieve, or to remember.  We eat for many many reasons.

That is a lesson I understand.  I am fully versed in eating for a host of reasons.  But there is one lesson that I am still learning:  Sometimes we want food because we really are HUNGRY.  Duh.  I don’t know why this is so strange but it happened to me again this afternoon.

I was driving E1 to choir and thinking about food.  I wasn’t angry, or lonely.  I am not terribly tired or stressed (any more than normal).  I wasn’t thirsty – I had a liter of water with me in the car.  Lunch was 4 hours ago, it turns out I really am hungry!

So often I think I have to wait to eat, that if I eat outside of my meals I will go crazy.  I am not sure why I feel this way.  More often than not if I have a snack in the afternoons I am better able to handle dinner, but hunger still takes my by surprise.  Sometimes I get uneasy allowing myself to eat when I am hungry, but slowly I am learning to recognize my bodies cues and giving myself permission to eat.  When I got to choir I grabbed a protein bar and an apple for a snack and am writing a blog post while I wait for E1.

Hopefully having a snack will make tonight’s portion control easier.

Eating when you are hungry.  What a concept.

(I am sometimes a slow learner)

(Also I am often Captain Obvious)

Weigh In Week 67

Another week, another weigh in.  Sometimes I am bogged down by the repetition of all of this…the tracking, the weigh ins, etc.  But I do snap to my senses because what other choice do I have?  The choice is between doing the work and losing weigh and bouncing back up to 350+lbs.  Seeing as I don’t like the way my body feels or looks, not to mention my health, at that weight it really isn’t an option.  So I keep going, even though sometimes I still grieve how I used to eat.  (Of course it is better to grieve it than to slip up and eat that way, which I have been known to do from time to time).

I never know quite what to expect by the scale, but I had a strong week.  More eating than I ought, but I did track and I had plenty of Activity Points to help offset things.  I was more worried about the fact that I had lost 5lbs in each of the last two weigh ins and I know that that pace is impossible to keep up.  And sure enough I had a small loss this week, but it is still a loss and I am happy about that.

-0.8 Pounds

89.2 lbs lost on WW to date

When I am tempted to get down on a loss like this week I remind myself that it is three sticks of butter and I feel a bit better.  Beyond that though I worked really hard and I met my non-scale goal of reaching my goal step count each day (10,000).  Despite making the goal each day I can look at these fitbit summaries and see clearly which days I worked out and which days I had steps that were a function of my daily life with no extra movement.  But working out each day wasn’t my goal, getting to 10,000 steps was.

Plus it inspired me to get out there and work out as well.  I even went for a 2 mile walk/jog on Monday and my pace was under 15 minute miles and my knee felt good.  I have another race coming up on Mother’s Day weekend and I think I may be able to do some light jogging there.  It is so strange how I spent so much of my life trying to avoid running at all costs and now I wish I could get back too it.  Still, no pushing my knee, when it twinges I stop.

So things are good around here at PriorFatGirl.  Working hard, keeping busy and losing weight.  And if my darling daughter ever stops teething I might even sleep too!

Good thing she is so cute.

That’s the weigh in news.  Thanks for reading blog friends!