Monday, January 3, 2011

Slipping Up

A special thank you to the folks who have called or emailed to check in for fear that the only running I'm doing right now may be to the candy dish.  You all know me so well.  I'm an emotional eater and, when any sort of negative emotion hits, I've been known to drown my sorrows in a handful (or ten) of chocolate and a case of soda (or vodka on some occasions...)

But not this time.

I know that I havent conquered my eating demons yet.  In response to a hurtful comment about my weight at a recent gathering, I hovered around the dessert table, looking at the delicious offerings.  I had to mentally yell at myself YOU AREN'T HUNGRY-GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE COOKIES!!! just to take that step back and realize that the comment made was a reflection on that person and not on my self worth.  I confess, it's hard.  I struggle at the pantry when the "I need a cookie" feeling hits.  But I have learned to walk away.  And, sometimes, it is only momentarily.  "Are you hungry?  No?  Do you really want a cookie?  Yes?  Okay, walk away now and, if you still want it in 45 minutes, you can have the 100 calorie pack of cookies."  In 45 minutes, I may end up in the pantry, ripping that package open.  Or not.  More often than not, I walk away and forget.  Sometimes, I know the difference between me eating the entire fridge and managing an ounce of self control lies in eating one piece of chocolate RIGHT NOW.  And, I do.  If that 45 calories or 25 calories is the difference between 2500 calories (in a sitting), then it is well worth it.  I eat it and I'm done.

And I really am.

It has taken me these months to realize that my body is talking and it was me who wasn't listening.  So, now I do.  I have my safety nets, like Coke Zero and my preportioned Lean Cuisine lunches or 100 calorie pack snacks.  And they really help me.  Like A LOT.  I was always terrible with portion control; but now I'm learning.  I'm learning how to go out to dinner and still end up around 1700 calories for the day... How to throw a party and not gorge on the appetizers and then still eat enough of a meal that would fill up a Wide Receiver.  I'm also learning to go ahead and eat that tempting stuffed mushroom or fried oyster or piece of cake that someone brought.  It's okay.  To have the one.  To eat a small slice.  To enjoy it and to be finished.

I eat in response to grief.  I know I do.  And I am hurting and grieving right now... But I'm not eating.  And I'm not just sitting on the couch instead of running.  And, to be honest, it's because of the pregnancy.  Even though I didn't anticipate getting pregnant again, this was a huge eye opener.  I'm infertile... I have been for my child bearing years.  But I got pregnant... Maybe it was Bobby and Maya, resetting my clock.  If so, yay for you babies!  You are my miracles in lots of ways.  Or maybe, it was changing my lifestyle.  Maybe it was eating better and in proportion.  Maybe it was taking time each week to run a few times or swim or do yoga or bike.  Maybe that was Grace's gift to me... Saying "YES!  You are doing it!  You are getting healthy!"  Maybe, just maybe, she came BECAUSE of these good, positive changes.

And, if that is the case- and I think it has a lot to do with it, although I do think I somehow "reset" too- then to sit on the couch instead of running or to eat everything in sight instead of continuing to eat healthy portions of homecooked, healthy foods or to buy and chow down on a box of cookies instead of enjoying a 100 cal pack, that would be an insult to her and to her miracle presence in my life.

It's strange... With my miscarriages and losses, I constantly blamed myself.  It was me.  It was because I wasn't optimistic enough or because I didnt think about "what could go wrong" and I was one of "those" pregnant women or because I was too fat or worked too hard or was too stressed.  Or because I was just broken and screwed up.  Or because I was a survivor of sexual assault.  Or because I married too young.  Or we weren't wealthy.  Or I waited too long to be diagnosed with PCOS and treated.  Or... the list goes on and on.  You get it.  But I dont blame myself this time.  I didnt do anything wrong.  I've been treating my body well.  I got pregnant with a beautiful miracle of a child.  I was able to surprise my husband with the news that I took a home pregnancy test and it was positive.  We were able to delight in that moment, even in fear.  Yes, I miscarried and that hurts.  A lot.  But that wasn't the baby's fault... And there wasn't something I could have done to control it.  It happened and I wonder why and I'm sad and angry and hurt.  But I'm happy too.  For a moment, I had the joy of that child within and now, even though I know that I will not carry her to term or raise her or look into her eyes and say "I love you", I know that she is now with her siblings in heaven and that Bobby and Maya will have another sister to play with in their dreams.  I can be content with that.  And I can look to that special visitation and say that my lifestyle changes made a difference... That they brought her to me in some way.

And that makes slipping up not an option.

I will continue to indulge in a bite of this or that... I'll have a glass of wine every now at then at dinner.  And I'll continue to watch the scale, exercise, and eat proportional, healthy meals.  I owe that to Baby G.  I owe it to all of them.  To Bobby and Maya- and to Peter- especially.

I owe it to me, too.


Joanna said...

Michelle - you seem so at peace, I applaud you! You are right, and I totally agree with you about everything. Could it also be that Baby Grace has offered hope for the future? Could that "infertile" diagnosis be incorrect? I don't mean to upset you Michelle, as I'm sure this has crossed your mind, but I seem to be all about hope lately.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy New Year - keep it up [and I know how hard it is]. Big hugs!!!

Anonymous said...

stay strong! I wish I had your self control... Im working on it though....
and whaaa? you drinking vodka? I just dont see you being someone who drinks alcohol at all ...

Ms. J said...

My mantra has been to look right at the tempting food and say out loud "I DON'T NEED YOU!"

My go-to's . . . a handful of white chocolate mini-morsels, kept in the fridge. I suck on them and let them melt slowly in my mouth. And lots of hot tea, regular and decaf, with Sple.nda. My salty go-to's are microwaved popcorn or a handful of mini-pretzels.

I keep in mind that when I am on the treadmill, at a moderate pace, it takes about 5 minutes of walking to burn 30-40 calories. Do I have 5 minutes to exerise? Is it worth it physically? Mentally, at that moment?!

Grace is such a lovely name, and so apt for this baby, and your attitude. I continue to mourn your loss alongside you, as best you will let us support you.

Whew, I have tears again!!!

Aisha said...

You are such an inspiration Michele. Seriously. Thank you.

Michele said...

Oh Anonymous... Do I have stories! I used to be quite the drinker, and vodka is my drink of choice. I partake, ever now and again, on a few ounces of it straight, or I'll have a Guinness from time to time (I'm not really a beer drinker), but my boozing days are long behind me I think. :)

quadmom said...

You are so strong and your faith is so humbling. I have been thinking of you and baby Grace often. Sorry we weren't able to see each other when you were in the area (believe me, I know how crazy it is moving the kiddos around), but I do hope we can meet up soon. If you can think of anything you need, let me know, ok? *big hugs*

Anonymous said...

Ive got stories too.. oh Lord! Its really difficult having alcoholism in my family and constantly fighting the urge to drink .. and then getting anxious about that and wanting to eat .. and then .. oh man, somedays it feels like there is too much on my plate to stand.
How do you do it?
I pray, I go to church when I can (the options here are slim) .. and Ive started to work out again ... but I still feel so anxious all the time.