Vulnerable Truth Telling

I go on the radio this afternoon for an interview about the blog, and I am not sure what I am going to say.  Afterall, by the numbers, the latest efforts of mine have not been successful.  Food continues to have some serious emotional sway in my life right now, and the crazier my life becomes the more vulnerable I am to turning to food in a misguided search for control, comfort or anxiety control.

Still, these last months are not without progress.  I am addressing and making real progress in therapy to address my depression, my anxiety and my binge eating.  My current homework it to begin to recognize my cues for binge eating before turning to food and to try alternative means to address them first.  We are focusing on three main cues – 1. feeling overwhelmed 2. lack of control 3. anxiety/feelings of inadequacy.  Though these are often related they each send different food triggers for me.

With my dietitian, I am focusing on the foods I do need to have in my system.  To have balanced meals so that I am not lacking in certain areas and I don’t leave myself additionally vulnerable to overeating.  Often I eat too little during the day and then compensate in the evening (when I am also more likely to be overwhelmed, feel out of control, or be anxious).

With my psychiatrist, we are tweaking my medications to make sure they address what I need.  We cut out one that was making my anxiety worse.  He is on board with being one part of a team to improve my life.

With my physician, we are making sure my blood work continues to look good.  I still get my blood pressure checked regularly and make sure I am able to do all of the physical activity I’d like to.

With my activity I make my steps a daily goal since I can do that whether or not I work out.  I am also trying to get out for a workout at least once or twice a day.  Tomorrow (labor day), I’ll be cleaning much of the house so that I can start doing at home workouts when the kids go to bed as well.

The school year starts on Tuesday and with it comes a new routine for the family.  There is a sense of routine that gives some freedom to add some workout time to my life too.

It is hard to be a public weight loss blogger who is not currently losing weight but the reality is that I am working hard to face my food demons and get better.  Slowly but surely I am becoming a better version of me.

Just one thing.

Want to know a secret?

(Whispers) Sometimes I overthink things and am paralyzed as a result.


Still, it is a reality that I struggle against.  And often the more crazy, overwhelming or anxious I become the more I overthink and the less I accomplish.

So today I set out to have one goal for myself – get my step goal of 10,000 steps.

By 8:30 pm when I got E2 down to sleep it was looking bleak.  I was under 5,000 steps, it was hot and humid out still and my son was still up.

For once, I focused on just one thing however.

Dad took over E1’s bedtime and I went out into the heat anyway.  An 45 minutes later or so I arrived home sweaty and with fitbit stats that looked like this.

Today I didn’t have a perfect day, but I made a goal and I met it.  Sometime there is success in just one thing.


Tomorrow is my birthday.  I love my birthday, but honestly, for the first time ever I am just not excited about it.

It has little to do with age.  I don’t mind getting older, so I did some thinking about why I am dreading tomorrow.  It comes down to a few things I think.

1. First, I am disappointed with the year that passed.  This time last year I had walked 60 miles with the 3 Day.  I was training for the Disney Half. I was down 100+ lbs.

Then I was injured, dropped out of Disney, fell into a depression, gained weight, was diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and some other stuff too that isn’t for the blog.

It was a hard year and if I am being honest I don’t see any signs of a quick turnaround in fortune. I continue to do the work, to fight the fight, but I am pretty downtrodden at the moment.

The other reason I am not looking forward to tomorrow has to do with life and celebration.  Right now I want less in my life.  Fewer things, less weight, less struggle, fewer messes (literally and metaphorically).  

The things I want more of are hard to quantify, much less gift for a birthday.  I want more time with my family and more time for myself. I want more stability.  I want more peace and more joy.  None of these things are found in the aisles of Target.   

I’m sure tomorrow will be fine but overall, I am just not feeling in a celebratory mood.

Mental Health Monday – Know your limits

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!)


I am on day 9 of a 10 day vacation.  With my own family, and also with a lot of extended family.  At one point 7 adults, 3 kids (2 toddlers) and two dogs were in a beach house for 5 days.  Things were often loud and chaotic.  As an introvert there were times when it was overwhelming.  No matter how much you love your family there are always times when you just want to be….not with them…for a moment.

For me part of honoring self care and paying attention to my mental health is knowing my own limits.  I have to listen to my body and my emotions and my mind and take a step back when it is getting stretched too far.  And I have to do this BEFORE it gets so far that I get stuck needing a moment of solitude when one is not available.  (Bedtime, for example, is bad for this especially.)

Surrounded with so many people I had to be creative about my self-care.  On the one hand there were more people to help watch the kids, but on the other it was hard to find some time alone.  While I had hoped to go on some solo beach walks, that time never panned out.  I did however, head out to the porch when I needed some quiet time and sat for a while.  Sometimes I read my book, sometimes I played a game on the phone, but other times I just sat quietly.

When I was with so many others I realized something acutely:  I don’t ask for what I need.  I am a flexible person – to a fault.  I don’t want to bother, disturb, or complicate matters more than necessary.  If I DO speak up about a need, you’d better realize that it took me 20 minutes of agonizing whether to say anything or not.

I found myself watching some of the family this weekend who was good about saying what they needed at the moment.  Honestly, it always made me uneasy, but I also noticed that in asking for what they needed it gave them the space to manage the crowd and the close quarters well.

Moms, I think, in general struggle to make their needs know – especially with mental health issues or even just mental happiness.  I know I put my kids first most of the time, and even my husband first.  It isn’t about an antiquated system of family gender roles, but rather from an internal need to give more than I receive.

The danger is in doing this too much, and giving away too much of your mental wellness to others.  As an introvert, I need time alone to recharge.  My husband (also an introvert) and I can sit in a room in mostly silence for an hour or two after bedtime – not because we don’t want to be with the other but because we are both recharging.  We know this about each other and it is a time we share.  I know I have a closeness to someone when I can recharge when I am with them.

I also know other things that help me recharge – writing, working out, coloring, reading.  These things fill my tank.  I always have one of these options in my back pocket (in the case of a book often literally).

Sometimes staying well mentally is a matter of knowing what you need and asking for it.  There are times to be flexible and times to be firm about your needs.  You are your own best advocate.