A new plan

I realized something while chatting with PFG Jen online the other day – I need a plan.  Deep at heart I am a planner, or rather, I am an over-planner.  Part of what allows me to roll with the punches is the ability to have thought out a variety of contingency plans in advance to situations so I already can act without having to agonize about a decision in advance.  This is an excellent trait in my career working with kids – I plan things out with lots of flexibility and then can roll with the unpredictability of children’s ministry well.

One of the thing depression robs me of is the ability to plan positively for myself.  It makes it difficult to come up with positive paths and scenarios to improve things because ultimately  my brain is quick to tell me that it is “pointless.”  It isn’t of course, but it feels that way.  I’m lucky, most of the time this doesn’t filter into work, friendship, etc, but it hits the health and wellness plans hard.

For all of the benefits of therapy, dietitians and psychiatrists, I have felt like there is not a plan to get to a place of losing weight again.  I can understand it from a clinical standpoint.  To treat BED they want to make sure I have a healthy relationship with food – and many “diets” don’t encourage that.  There is also a sense that they want my worth and my weight to be separated and dealing with issues with food take time that is hard put a timeline too.

On the other hand, for my depression and anxiety not to mention my physical health, I find myself really desperate to make some weight loss changes NOW.  I feel sick about it, literally sick.  Clothes don’t fit, I am winded and I feel acutely aware of each moment of the weight I’ve gained.  It is hard to tell yourself that weight is a non-issue to loving yourself when it is such a present issue in every other aspect of your life.

So I need a plan.  But what?  I don’t think it is Weight Watchers right now, in this I agree with my team.  But I’m not sure what it IS.  Exercise certainly.  Food changes and portion control.  Whole30?  Keto?  Possible bypass? Just calorie count for a while?  Or simply start tracking and see what happens?

I’m just not sure.  It is strange to know so much about so many programs and weight loss concepts and still feel so lost.

So that is my goal for November – I am going to come up with a plan.  I am going to use November to explore, blog and dream.  I am going to come up with ideas to make me a better me again, in a way that works for me.

Thinking Things Through

I have been wondering if I have anything to say here lately.  Or rather, if I have anything of value to say.  The reality is that I am just managing as best I can.  Things are not good even though nothing specific is “bad” and I am struggling.  I’m having a hard time getting appointments with my therapist too so I’m not really able to address things well.  At this point I’m looking for a new one just so I can get some appointments, but that has a whole new level of stress and anxiety.

In the midst of all of it though is a deep sadness of being back here.  In this large body.  In the achy, out-of-breath, icky-feeling, clothes-not-fitting, place.  Even if I was not already struggling with depression, this would be a bitter pill to swallow.  Combined with my current state of mind and it is nearly defeating.

I want to find success that I have had in the past.  I want to find joy in exercise and health.  I want to be healthy.  But I have fallen down a very large mountain and I am laying at the foot of it looking out with the wind knocked out of me.  I honestly don’t know what path to try up the mountain right now, or where to go.

Everyone you talk to has an answer for obesity.  Most people are more that willing to share it with you, and often do so freely without you even asking.  It is easy to say eat less, or eat only this, or work out this much or whatever, but obesity is a little like racism.  There are obvious causes, and there are systemic causes.  There are overt cases, and cases where unhealthy habits sneak into everyday life in seemingly innocuous ways.  I know many of my causes, and some of my triggers, but I’m still figuring a lot of what makes this my issue.  This is my biggest fault and failing – food.


I wonder if I should run away and hide, like every ounce of me wants to do.  To hide away in shame and be forgotten as a one-time “inspiring” blogger who gained the weight back and disappeared.   A deeper part of me knows that my story doesn’t end here even if this is a really low low.  I don’t know where I am going but I do want to keep trying.

Blogging has felt like something I should be doing and I’ve felt guilty for ignoring it and you, but I didn’t know how to say that “I have failed” and I am going to keep on trying.  But there you have it.

Mental Health Monday – On Binge Eating Disorder

Welcome to Mental Health Monday!  This was born out of Steph and my session on Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living from Fitbloggin’ 15.  Every 1st and 3rd Monday one of us will host a link up for others to share their experiences with Mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others.  Speak out:  “I am crazy…CRAZY AWESOME!”  (You are welcome to use the badge below!)


To deal with depression, anxiety and mental illness is a lonely, scary and heartbreaking reality of many people.  The majority of people do it alone, in their own heads.  You may never see it and you may never know the wars being fought for the right to be free and happy going on right in their own minds.

It is a daily struggle and some days are better than others and people cope the best they can.  Often people turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate themselves, and we know that those things lead to other dangerous addictions and problems.  Some people throw themselves into work, or gambling,or shopping, or exercise.  We develop means of coping as best we can.  Some of those means are destructive and some are positive but once chosen it can be hard to break habits and patterns.

When you throw in an eating disorder in the mix, you get some really ugly results.  Food is not one of those things that you can simply ban from your life, but when food is a method of coping with anxiety and depression a complicated system forms.

I have been slowly unraveling these cause and effects through therapy and work with my dietitian.  I am not a master of seeing the patterns, but I am getting better at knowing that they are there.  I saw this comic on Facebook yesterday and it made me think of this topic for today’s post:

anxiety brain

My illnesses feed off each other (literally) in destructive ways.  Anxiety and depression lead to desires to binge, binging leads to further anxiety and depression and the cycle continues.  As I learn about my own triggers for food, they are NEVER about hunger.  Ever.  I often eat, and can frequently overeat, if hungry, but I binge because I am overwhelmed, anxious, feeling out of control, or sad.  I eat to hide.  I eat to find time for myself.  I eat to escape.  I idea of food as fuel is as foreign to me as the idea of electing Donald Trump as President. (sorry, not sorry).

Binge eating is tricky and its treatment is complicated.  I am supposed at the same time – NOT limit myself from eating foods that I enjoy so I don’t freak out and binge, while at the same time, AVOID trigger foods that might lead to a binge.  I should try to manage how much I think about food, but plan my meals in advance while being flexible for cravings.  (Don’t think about elephants anyone?).  I am not supposed to diet or count calories, but I am also not supposed to care that I have ballooned back to my near starting weight and I feel sore, sick and scared all the time, which enhances my depression and anxiety, which in turn…. Well, you get the idea.

My life feels like some riddle that has some clever answer but no one quite knows the answer to it.  It is maddening to be trying so hard and fighting so hard, to be making the opposite of progress.  Binge eating makes you think strange twisted things like….”Gosh, at least the anorexic girls get to be skinny with their eating disorder, I wish I had that willpower…”  Which is straight up messed up.

But there is progress.  6 months ago I wouldn’t even admit I had an eating disorder and cried if you asked.  Now I just feel like I want to cry but can type without blurry vision.  So there is that?  I don’t like to be ashamed of who I am and the weird ways that my brain makes me different from other people, but I would like to see myself more well than now – both in mind and body.

[inlinkz_linkup id=570231 mode=1]

Ways to shut up a blogger for 3 weeks

  1. Get a 2-week flu-like virus complete with fainting and ER trip.
  2. Have your children continue to trade germs necessitating staying home regularly each week and working extra on the weekends to catch up.
  3. Having someone IRL mention that maybe you should tone it down online because “…you are making people uncomfortable.”

Honestly, I am just so over it.  I am over illnesses and constantly working to play catch up at work and at home.  I am tired of getting calls to come pick up my kid who has something else, or then getting it myself.  Even last night I went to bed at 7pm and managed to sleep off whatever bug was threatening but it has been a very hard fall for the Goat family.

I am also really taken aback by my friend’s comment.  I am a peacekeeper, I don’t like to make people uncomfortable, and it makes me question what I should be writing here.  But I also want to be honest and life is not always unicorns and rainbows.  I’m having a hard time being upbeat and finding a positive spin on things right now and my negative self-talk is at record high levels.

I’ve made some interesting breakthroughs in therapy about my relationship with food and it is causing me to set up some priority shifts, but until those happen it is hard to share.  I’ve been so sick lately that exercise has been non-existent and my eating has been all over the place because of the craziness too.  I just feel beat down and gross.

So I hope to be back with good news and hope and grace and progress.  But right now, I am putting words down to let you know that I am still here.  Still here is as good as I’ve got.

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