Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I’m not going near a scale for a few days. Too much nonsense in my life right now causing emotional stress and that will be the point in a minute.

Hey, I pulled off a Tree Pose on the left side in yoga today!! Woo! Hoo!! And Woo Hoo! Lila calls me the Incredible Shrinking Woman.  Soon enough, those size 11 jeans…

I know I’ve said this before, but I am so delighted that the newer, smaller wardrobe I needed was one I already had. Good stuff, too.

Due to family issues (which I will not detail as I have gotten a dumpster of emotional shit dumped on my head for saying something), I am stressed. Highly stressed. If I was a Persian cat, I’d be damned near bald right now and you’d be rolling clumps of my hair off the carpet. When things came to a head last week, my instant response – no thought, no planning, just Pavlov stimulus/response: I headed straight for the refrigerator to stuff myself.

And it scared the hell out of me.

 My thought was “I’m using.” Normally, this is the language of drugs, but when a substance, even a legal one like alcohol or food, becomes a coping mechanism, you are using.

Luckily, what was in fridge was Atkins, yogurt, Brussels sprouts (WITH BACON) and fruit. And almonds (well, not in the fridge, but available). Bullet dodged, but still…

I’ve been working very hard to change my habits and the fact that I could so easily go back was terrifying.

What’s different this time from before? I know it’s okay to ask for help this time. If I start to slip or actually slip, there are people out there who can help me get and stay back on track. And they will do so without judgment, guilt trips, shame and making  me feel as small and worthless as possible because that’s worked so well in the past.

Health insurance that covers a psycho therapist is a beautiful thing, particularly when you can see someone who is trained in your particular issues. I still want to eat, but somebody’s got my back and can talk me down from the ledge.

I also have wonderful friends who have my back and are willing to take off their earrings and do battle. I wouldn’t ask them to do so, but it’s nice to know they’re out there.  And trust me, you do NOT want these women to take off their earrings.

A better coping mechanism I’m finding is weight/resistance training. Channeling anger and frustration into pushing or pulling lead plates helps to diffuse the negative energy, burns calories and spares the lives of those who have caused it. If you’re not Lindsay Lohan, you’ll have to actually do time. I’ve seen “Oz” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”  No thanks.

This time of year is a stressful one anyway. Andy Williams may sing about it being “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” but the song lyrics say nothing about finding the right gifts, trying to get through a mall without losing your mind,, credit card debt showing up in February and returns. The song is “I’ll be Home For Christmas”, not  “Well, Ted, we were at your folks for Christmas Eve last year, so it’s my folks for Christmas Eve this year and your folks Christmas Day and then we can swing by Aunt Gladys’…”. “All I Want For Christmas” is for the dog to stop drinking out of the Christmas tree stand and then barfing all over the rug that I just paid $300 to have cleaned for the holidays (Um, hypothetical dog and hypothetical carpet. I have neither a dog not a carpet).

Humans in large groups are like cattle in large groups: they feed on each other’s nervousness and tension will spread through the group faster than the latest gossip on the Whoredashians. And it won’t end sooner than one of their marriages.  I’m not sure contact “high” is the most appropriate term. Contact frazzle maybe? Naw, sounds too much like a subcategory of Muppets.

All of the above by itself used to be enough to send me on a binge. This year, I’d been able to ignore all the special holiday foods (including all the I Hop special pancakes. I had those two years ago. Sugary. Good, but sweet as hell) and keep to my cleaner eating. It just took a nasty (and, on their part, truly dumb, badly spelled and grammatically incorrect) exchange with a couple of people to trigger the old patterns that I had thought were in the rear view mirror. And because this exchange triggered the “I must eat and not stop” response, it tells me that walking away from these people was a good decision as far as my health/sanity and fitness are concerned.

Like John Wayne used to say, “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”

And I am.

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