54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 2

Down 1 pound…right on target.  If I can maintain a one pound per week loss then I will reach my goal (or just 2 lbs shy – big whup) by the end of the year.  To me, that not only feels doable, it feels peaceful.  Still a quiet determination.

I’m reading another book, It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell.  Here’s the Amazon description:

“A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.”

While Ted Spiker’s book Down Size showed me a way to reach my goals by uncovering my own truths and facing my sexual abuse head on (that’s an entirely different post that I will address…sometime), Andie’s book has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to make peace with food and the role it has in my life.

Like her, I have never had a normal relationship with food.  Food has never been just sustenance for me.  While I don’t emotionally feel I’m using (and have used) food for comfort and to numb my feelings, intellectually I know that this is the case and her book helped to confirm it for me.  All I can say is thank God I found a great therapist because working through all of this may take a while.

From her alcoholic father (that hit so close to home I had to put down the book from time to time and catch my breath) to her obsessive calorie counting and exercise to her battle with undiagnosed depression, her journey is my journey.  I hope mine turns out as well as hers.  Thank you Andie.

And, TA-DA, my treadmill arrived this morning!!!!  My husband and son are going to put it together for me today and I’ll walk/run on it for the first time tonight.  I am SO EXCITED!!!  I’ll post a pic of my baby as soon as I can.  😉

Finally, I ordered a wellness journal from Amazon which, coincidentally (?) is due to arrive today as well.  I’m going to use it to set small, attainable goals (as well as the big one at the end of the year) and also record my workouts and food and moods to see if any patterns emerge.  I’ll let you know if I uncover anything.

Happy Friday!


PS – If you’re interested in following Andie, she blogs at Can You Stay for Dinner.



I got some truly amazing comments on my post yesterday about The Before.  It resonated with a lot of people which made me happy because, well that’s why we’re all out here right?  That, and the cheap therapy.

One comment in particular has been stuck in my brain since yesterday and I have to write about it or it will be up there tumbling around unaccompanied until it drives me batshit crazy.  So to avoid all that drama – I’ll be writing about it here.

Josie over at The Miracle Is Around the Corner commented that she feels like she’s in The Before when it comes to her eating and exercise plan and that it feels just like it did when she was in The Before of her drinking career.  She and I have discussed this, so she knew I would understand (which I DO).  Pop onto yesterday’s post and check out her comment – it was awesome.

The reason I get it is because it’s the same for me.  The only difference is that this particular Before has been going on for me since fucking puberty.  It’s been rolling around in my brain and making me miserable since I was about 12.  That’s almost 42 years of bullshit brain activity (or approximately 336 dog years). 

What the what?

This is my 474th post on this blog.  Of those posts, I would estimated that at least 1/4 to 1/3 of them are about eating, exercising, dieting, body image, etc.  That means between 119 and 158 posts have been written about my struggles not with alcohol but with FOOD.  That feels like a lot to be on a blog that is supposed to be about sobriety.  Maybe it’s not.  What the hell do I know?

What bothers me is the up and down in and out back and forth of the whole thing.  One day I’ve got this killer eating plan and I’m exercising every day, the next day I’m stuffing my face with Oreo’s and Halloween candy and my self-esteem is in the toilet.  One day I’ve sworn off thinking about food and I’m just going to learn to love myself the way I am, the next day the doctor calls me “obese” and I’m crying in my Diet Pepsi.  One day I’m meditating and practicing self-care and telling myself only good things, and the next I catch sight of myself in a mirror and I swear I’m not going to eat until my 55th birthday by which time (in 2016 btw) I will have lost approximately half my body weight and have to check into Betty Ford for an eating disorder.

I’m not making fun of eating disorders by the way – I’m saying that thinking like this IS NOT HEALTHY.

Where does it stop?  Unlike cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or gambling, WE HAVE TO EAT!  What’s more, food is one of the greatest joys of life.  Sharing a meal with friends and family is a beautiful thing.  Sitting down to a table of food made with love (including dessert and bread) is a blessing that I never take for granted.  (There are too many people in the world that never have enough to eat.)  All this bullshit going on in my head ruins that joy if I let it get away from me.

Which I do.


I wish that for once in my life I could make peace with sustenance.  I wish I could find a happy place that was free of guilt or shame or self-righteousness (when I’m doing well I can get very self-righteous).  I wish I could learn to treat food as sacred and, in turn, treat myself that way.

I know there’s a root to this issue that I’ve yet to uncover.  I’ve read book after book on the subject.  I’ve scoured the Internet and plunked down lots of cash in an effort to understand what’s going on with me and food.  I’ve been to nutritionists and spas and doctors in a desperate attempt to right this ship.  And here I am typing about it again.

I often talk about wanting to get back to the way I was when I was in my 30’s and early 40’s.  Now I’m not so sure.  While it’s true that I was at a healthy weight and was extremely fit, the fact is that I was not happy.  The shit going on in my head now was there then – a constant stream of consciousness about what I was eating, where, how much and how much exercise I needed to do.  That’s not healthy.  It also wasn’t very joyful.  It was, in fact, a Before.

There really is no point to this post.  No pithy comment that will make you think, “Yes!  That’s it!”  Only a recovering alcoholic, ex-smoker who would love, for once in her life, to find peace of mind on a plate.  I have no idea how I’m going to get there or even if I’ll ever get there.  I just know I have to keep trying because, as I said yesterday, The Before is no way to live.


No Thanks…I Don’t Like Roller Coasters


First…you guys!  Guess what?  I’ve been Freshly Pressed!!!  My post on Facebook was selected for Freshly Pressed!!!  (Can you tell I’m excited?)  Never in a million years did I ever think that would happen and yet…WOOT!  Thank you Krista for noticing me and pressing me…you’ve made my blogging year!

Now…on to today’s post.  

Earlier this year I wrote a post about eating cleaner and breaking the cycle of obsession that had been a part of my life for as long as I remember.  The obsession with food, with the scale, with how I look, all of it.  I was able to break that awful cycle.  I was able to set myself free.  Free from getting on the scale every freaking morning and letting it have the power to decide my attitude.  Free from waking up every morning and thinking, “I’m going to eat well today.  I shouldn’t have eaten (whatever) last night.  Ugh…I hate myself.”  Sound familiar anyone?

I broke that cycle until…until that bitch rude nurse poor uninformed woman at my doctor’s office used the “O” word.  Obese.

I said I wasn’t going let it affect me.  I said I was going to stay on my path to healthy, clean eating and moderate exercise.  I said

…doesn’t matter what I said.  What matters is what I thought and what I did.

What I did was jump right back onto that motherfucking roller coaster.  I started weighing once a week…and then once every three or four days…and then every damn morning.  I started tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal.com and using my FitBit to not only track my steps, but to give me back some of the calories (you can lync the FitBit to MyFitnessPal).  Before I knew it, I was right back into thinking about food either consciously or unconsciously every minute of every day.  I was dreaming about food!  Shit!

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, “Okay..today’s the day I’m going to eat better.”

And I stopped in the middle of my bedroom and thought, “STOP!”  Which reminded me of my day in my closet when I yelled the same thing (out loud that time).  Which made me realize that I have let one single solitary word uttered by a woman who didn’t give it a thought put me back into a place from which I fought to remove myself with every fiber of my being.  I let that word not only impact my eating but my thoughts about who I am and what I look like as well.  One simple word unraveled all that hard work, and I mean HARD work.  Double SHIT.

It felt like a relapse.  Not a relapse back into drinking but just as harmful to my well being because I have worked very hard in recovery to cultivate peace and quiet in this crazy head that sits on my shoulders.  AND I WAS THERE!  Sigh…

Here’s the cray-cray part, the more I let those voices in, the worse I ate!  Potato chips every night (I counted them of course).  Candy (counted). Cake (counted). Banana bread (counted). Fried chicken, full fat dressing, blah, blah fucking blah.  Plus?  Not one single pound lost…not an ounce!  In fact, I’ve gone up two pounds (and then back down…whatever).  All why counting every single calorie and staying below my target.

Prior to jumping back on this nightmare of a roller coaster I had lost the weight I had gained at Christmas and leveled out.  I knew Spring would arrive and I’d get more active and then – well then I was fully prepared to let my body do what it needed to do while I was feeding it only good things and moving it in a moderate and responsible way (i.e. not making my already bad knee worse).  I WAS THERE!  

Until I wasn’t…

To show you how bad it got (is),I ordered “Rockin Body” from Beachbody and led by Shawn T.  The same Shawn T from P90X and Insanity.  Really?  While I could probably do the exercises and might even like it because it’s dance and I spent a good part of my life doing aerobic dance, I am sick of worrying about when I’ll do it and if it’s going to work and should I start getting up a five am and do I need a knee brace and what if I can’t do it and feeling guilty if I decide to walk the dogs instead and UGHHHHHHH!!!!!  STOP!

So I am taking my overweight (NOT obese) ass off this scary clown, Stephen King, haunted, carnies with three teeth among them, rats and snakes and roach filled roller coaster.  I’m doing it intentionally.  I’m sending back the videos.  I’m deactivating my Myfitnesspal account.  I’m going to take the few minutes I have in my day to myself and do what I want to do…walk the dogs, yoga, meditate.  I’m going to go back to putting clean and healthy things in my body and give myself a fucking break.

Then I’ll reassess.  Stay tuned…I’m a work in progress.