Baby Blues

I am convinced that I am the last person in the world that is NOT pregnant.

 

Ok, not really. It feels that way though, as my Facebook feed explodes with news of expectant mothers and fathers or pictures of newborns. Don’t get me wrong – I am so incredibly happy for my friends. Children are blessings. But…when do I get one? In the latest series at church, we talked a lot about patience. A lot. And that God will answer your prayers when he’s ready. But…when? When God, when?

It’s to the point that I’m kind of depressed about it. I don’t want to be an old mom (no offense to those who are, it’s just not my style). I’m tired of waiting. I’m obviously not one of those freaks of nature that gets pregnant on the first try, so while we continue to try, I’m almost tired of trying. Can I even have kids naturally? All of my doctors tell me that I need to lose weight before getting pregnant, but one doctor told me that I just couldn’t gain a lot of weight. I can handle THAT. Point is, fertility drugs aren’t covered by insurance, and unless I suddenly start making tons of money (LOL) or my husband gets a freakishly good job, we can’t afford it.

Every time I hear a doctor say “just lose some weight and you’ll get pregnant” I want to slap them across the face. If losing weight was so easy, no one would be overweight! It is so triggering. I met with a couple of girls from my IOP today for lunch, and we were all talking about how we needed to stay more focused so that we don’t find ourselves wanting to binge again or slip into old habits. And yet, I am slowly slipping back into some patterns. Counting calories. Placing foods into “good” and “bad” categories when really, it’s food. The only way I know how to lose weight is in an unhealthy manner. It is hard – so hard – to shift thinking from those unhealthy ways to healthy ways. It is a constant struggle to remind myself that it’s okay to eat a cookie without wanting to exercise it off or throw it back up. Or that no really, it’s okay to not go to the gym when you’re muscles are screaming in pain.

But I digress.

Now, adoption is always an option, and we’re totally open to that. However, that takes time and money. Classes, home studies, etc. I don’t even know where to begin with things like that! Furthermore, I want a young child. That could mean waiting for years. Years that quite frankly, I don’t want to wait. Some may think that I’m selfish for not wanting to adopt an older child. But I want to see a young child discover the ways of the world and see the excitement when they learn something new. Not that I doubt teenagers do that too, but in a way less cute way. I want the challenges of raising a toddler or infant.

And I know this part is selfish: I don’t want to heal a child messed up by someone else. I do that every single day at work, and I don’t have the energy to do it at home. I just don’t. I want to be able to come home and enjoy my child, tantrums and fits and messiness and all.

 

I don’t really know where I was going with this post. Partly a vent, partly a cry of sadness?

 

I’ve been keeping this in mind:

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

Review: Fitbit Flex

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a Fitbit Flex. I was waffling between a Flex and a Jawbone UP24. However, they both essentially track the same things – steps, distance traveled, calories, and sleep – however, the Flex had a much better price point ($99.99 vs. $149.99 for the Jawbone) AND I can switch out the band color if I want to (I’m eyeing you, pink one). And, call me vain, but Tory Burch just came out with a line of bands for the Flex too…

My Fibit Flex!

My Fibit Flex!

So far, so good. At first it felt a little bit odd to have something constantly on my wrist, but I am pretty much used to it now. It hasn’t been snagging on anything, nor has the clasp come loose. The only gripe I have is that the band seemed to get dirty easily (I have the teal one) but I also haven’t tried really hard to clean it yet, either.

I think there may be a bit of an overestimate of the calories I burn in a day, but I have nothing to compare it to, so I am not sure. I don’t really used the calories in vs. calories out part of the app because I use MyFitnessPal to track everything. However, it does sync with MyFitnessPal, so that is definitely a perk.

Sleep tracking seems to be pretty accurate. The times I do remember waking up and looking at the clock was when Fitbit told me I was “restless”. I found out that I really do sleep a bit more soundly (looking at the data only, that is) than I thought. I average about 8 hours a night, and the most I got in an evening was 8 hours and 40 minutes! Look at me go!

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Fitbit’s sleep data, as seen on the app

Although I have nothing to compare it to, steps seem to be pretty accurate as well. When you tap the Flex, LED lights show up and give you an indicator as to how many steps you have taken so far that day. What a motivator! I really need to push myself to get up and walk, especially at work. I have yet to hit 10,000 steps in a day. I need to get on that, pronto!

Syncing is done either via a little USB extenstion that syncs automatically when you are within 20 feet of your computer or via your Android or iPhone with Bluetooth. For me, with my Android, syncing only takes a few seconds. I like to sync to my phone during the day just to see how I’m doing.

Screenshot of the app.

Screenshot of the app.

Battery life is good. It charges fast and I think I went about 6 days without charging. I don’t have any silent alarms set to drain the battery, so keep in mind, if you want alarms, it will drain the battery a bit more.

Overall, definitely worth the money! If you’ve got a Fitbit of any kind, feel free to add me as a friend!

Workouts: A Little Rant

So I’ve been working out more regularly now (read: the past 4 days) and I feel good. I think I went a little bit too hard though considering I HURT LIKE CRAZY. But, this brings me to a bit of a rant…

 

WORKOUT CLOTHES. It is so difficult for me to find ones that fit comfortably, that are also affordable. If I wanted to be sucked into something, I’d wear Spanx. If I wanted to be swimming in something, I’d wear a muu-muu. I see a lot of “exclusively online” stuff (Old Navy, I’m looking at you)…why? Why, because I am a woman of the fluffier persuasion, must I have to buy things only online? I know there are brick and mortar stores, like Lane Bryant, that sell workout clothes too…but I cannot justify $39 for a freaking sweat wicking t-shirt when someone of a “normal” size could find it for $15 or $20? $50 for a pair of capris? Really?

Sure I could work out in regular old shorts and a t-shirt, but I’m a total sweat bucket. It can be -4 degrees out and I am dripping buckets when I work out. I LIKE the sweat wicking capabilities. Also, call me vain, but I don’t want to look like a total bum when I work out. I like to color coordinate and look as cute as possible – not for the benefit of others, but for myself. Because I am larger, do I not deserve to also look good in workout clothes? My IOP group leader constantly tells us that we are not made to fit clothes, but clothes are made to fit us. So true.

Back to the exclusively online thing. It makes it sound like it’s awesome, but really it’s not. Why would I want to chance buying something that doesn’t fit, and only be able to return it online? That policy changed (again, looking at you, Old Navy). I would be way more likely to purchase items if I could return them to a store, but noooo. I have to drive to the post office, stand in line for what feels like an hour, possibly pay return shipping, and then wait to have you ship me back another size, which again may or may not fit.

After scouring the internet, I may have find a (mostly affordable) solution. Target is now selling fluffy girl workout gear online, but you’re able to return it to the store. The prices seem pretty comparable to their non-fluffy girl clothing line, so that is good. Also, I spend so much time at Target that it wouldn’t be a hassle for me to have to return something.  I plan on ordering a few things when I get paid again, and do a review, of course.

Where are your favorite AFFORDABLE places to get workout clothes that also offer “extended sizes”, if you will?

Updates!

WOW has time flown!

I am in Week 5 of my binge eating IOP. Things are going well. I haven’t had a binge episode since starting, even with there being “binge foods” in my house. While I still have a long way to go, I have definitely progressed. 3 of my group members are finished tomorrow but there are still 3 newer ones. I am definitely going to miss the other 3 though! I am planning a post next week about what I’ll be doing for “follow up” aka totally outpatient.

Work is work. Not bad, not great.

Still settling into our new place. We finally have some stuff on the walls, yay!

I must be the most boring person ever, because literally nothing is going on in my life. I did get a new laptop (thanks, hubby!) that I am totally in love with.

I also joined a new gym that I am already digging. It’s way more expensive than my last one, but discussions about physical activity in group made me realize that I avoid the gym because I don’t think it’s fun. This gym has 3 pools (!!), tons of programs and group classes, a cafe, a spa, and is overall fabulous.

Another thing I realized (well, am starting to, but having a hard time with it) is that I am worth taking care of. I am worth spending money on to get my hair cut or nails done or spending money for a gym that I will actually use.

Here’s hoping this mentality continues!

Tune In Thursday

I’m not sure about you guys, but I love music. It has the ability to boost my mood. So, when I’m feeling down, it’s an obvious choice for a healthy coping skills. So, without further ado, here’s a “recovery” playlist, if you will – songs that I’ve been listening to that are helping me through treatment. They’re just…happy. Or upbeat. Maybe they’re nice and angsty. Maybe they’re about eating disorders. In no particular order, for the first Tune In Thursday here at Shrink That, Girl!:

 

Ben Folds – “Still Fighting It”

Kelly Clarkson – “Since U Been Gone”

Pink – “Fuckin’ Perfect”

Eminem – “Not Afraid”

Third Eye Blind – “Semi-Charmed Life”

Sara Bareilles – “Brave”

Louis Armstrong – “What a Wonderful World”

Modest Mouse – “Float On”

Seether – “Remedy”

Bob Marley – “Get Up Stand Up”

Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’”

Sublime – “What I Got”

The Beatles – “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Katy Perry – “Firework”

Lady GaGa – “Born This Way”

Swedish House Mafia – “Don’t You Worry Child”

Katy Perry – “Roar”

Vertical Church Band – “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)”

Godsmack – “Whatever”

David Guetta ft. Sia – “Titanium”

Katrina and the Waves – “Walking on Sunshine”

 

Body Image: Part 1

Treatment is going well. There have been a few mental breakdowns, but that seems to be the norm for things such as this. It’s been a challenge, but I think I am making progress. I have a long way to go though. This week, I learned my weight and only cried for 5 minutes. It did sort of ruin my day, but I otherwise pulled it together.

Body image is by far the hardest group for me. This is what we did this past Saturday (so uh…yesterday, I suppose):

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Don’t laugh at my art skillz.

Basically, it is a drawing of a body (not mine, because it kinda looks like the Hulk) and the different colors represent different things:

ORANGE are parts of myself I feel ok about

GREEN are neutral body parts

RED are parts of my body with which I am dissatisfied

BLACK are parts with which I am extremely dissatisfied

 

As you can see, I am mainly green. I feel overly neutral about everything. It’s like…if I touch my shoulder, it’s just a shoulder.

My stomach is the main part of myself with which I dislike. I don’t like to touch it, I don’t like it being touched. I try to hide and cover it, constantly.

Around the picture are memories of hurtful things people have said to me, memories, etc. I have never, ever forgotten a hurtful word someone has said to me, even in my own family. Forgiven? Yes. But I will never forget the pain they have caused.

There was a lot of crying yesterday, both in group and at home. When I got home, I realized I needed to try stuff on for my trip to Houston next week. I needed a fancy dress or two.

Nothing. Fits. At. All.

Everything is too small. This is not an exaggeration. Every single piece of fancy clothing I own, I cannot fit. This lead to tears, tossing of all my fancy clothes onto my bed as I tried them on in desperate attempts to find something that fit. I ended up having to Next-Day Air a dress 2 sizes bigger than the majority of my clothes so I have something to wear. I bought a pair of pants for our all-white ceremonies at Convention…last month. They don’t fit comfortably. I don’t have the money for a whole new wardrobe.

While I know that treatment does not (as it rightly should) focus on weight loss, that’s still the goal in the back of my mind. I’m having trouble shaking it. I’m sure that will be a great conversation for therapy this week.

This is what I have been repeating all weekend:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

 

Treatment: Week One

IOP is going very well. The other women are very nice (there was a man too, but he graduated. He kinda rubbed me the wrong way for some reason too) and it is SO nice to feel connected to others with the same issues as me.

 

Here are the groups:

 

Target Group is where we target the eating disorder. We discuss our daily food logs, the struggles we have had, and receive feedback about how we can change our patterns.

 

Nutrition Group provides us with basic nutrition (duh) and also helps us understand why diets don’t work. The group is designed to ensure that we are getting all of the major food groups in.

 

Stimulus Control Group is where we learn to make our environment work for us, not us work with the environment. For example, my goals this week were to not eat in the car and to only use cash to spend on food. Once I’m outta cash, no more food.

 

Mindfulness Eating teaches us to mindfully eat our meals. I brought an orange and some trail mix last week and found I just wanted to eat the orange and that really, the trail mix wasn’t that great. Huge step for me!

 

CBT Skills help us learn to interrupt the negative thoughts we have and reframe them. Last week we also learned to identify coping skills and relaxation skills and use them.

 

Body Image Group (which tends to be the most difficult for me) is where we learn to accept ourselves as we are and love (or at least stop hating…I’m not sure I would say love) our bodies. We’re challenging surface thoughts AND the underlying thoughts.

 

I really enjoy the program so far. I also had my individual session with my therapist, Kelly, who I have worked with before and really like her. No nonsense, tell it like it is, and will call me on my BS. I see her again Monday and am looking forward to it.

I had a psychiatric consultation last Friday, and got confirmation that yes, I do have Bipolar II Disorder. However, the doctor also gave me a diagnosis of Dysthymic Disorder, which is like a really long lasting depression. She asked me the last time I felt truly happy. I seriously cannot remember. I fake it til I make it so often that I forget what being happy is really like. How sad :/

In the midst of my first week at IOP, hubby and I moved. I am loving the new apartment (although I found a roach today, WTF. Just one though. I am wondering if it came in a box we brought from the garage, cause it was dead as a doornail). We have so much more space, a dishwasher (!!!!!), lots of windows…it’s great. We’re mostly over at the new place although we have some more stuff to move from the old place. We just got a storage closet in the building today, so we can move over some more stuff now. My hopes are to get everything completely cleaned out by Sunday so we can turn our keys in. The moves was stressful and all I wanted to do was binge…but I used coping skills instead. Go me!

 

I continue to be optimistic about the program. While it will take a lot of work, I am hoping this will set me on the right path.

 

Treatment: Orientation

I had my orientation for my IOP on Thursday morning. The group leader seems to be a very nice person and seems like she’ll keep me in check. I have some anxiety surrounding being a client vs. being the therapist, so I need to be able to be fully present in order to get the best from the program.

She had me set 3 goals:

- Learn and use new cognitive coping skills when I feel like I need to binge

- Decrease my doctor anxiety enough to get a physical in the next 6 weeks

- Decrease anxiety of social situations involving food

I picked these ones. They have been made SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) but I won’t bore anyone with the details of that. I threw the doctor one in there because I am so terrified of the doctor commenting on my weight that I only go when I’m sick and I prefer to go to urgent care (or the ER if it’s life-threatening).

I feel less anxious now that I know a little bit more of what to expect. “Target Group” is the main processing group where we talk about the eating disorder behaviors. “Stimulus Control Group” will be about learning to manipulate our own environments to decrease our eating disorder behaviors and make the environment work for us. Definitely things that I need.

 

My first day is on Tuesday. Expect another update.

Friday Faves

It’s only an hour before Saturday, so this post still counts as Friday! :)

I decided to list some of my favorite things today. When I look at this list, I am aiming to be happy!

 

- Crossword puzzles

- My body pillow

- My animals

- My husband

- The dishwasher in my apartment

- This song

- The color pink

- Laughing

- Creemees (from Beanzie’s, preferably)

- Rock Point

- Manicures and pedicures

Food and God, Part 1

I have always dabbled in religion, so to speak. I went to a fantastically awesome church camp for 10 years. I’d go to church services now and then, but for the most part, nothing. It’s not that I didn’t believe in God or anything, because I did (and do). I just didn’t attend church services or anything like that.

Something changed recently for me. Part of it was reading Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. Part of it was reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. Part of it was reading The Daniel Plan by Pastor Rick Warren. I realized that I definitely wanted to start attending church and dig deeper into my faith. One of my best friends also pointed out that in my line of work (and hers, too), we need something good and positive and stable in our lives. Right now, food fills that void for me. Maybe I need to turn to something else. Maybe I need God in my life.

Now. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not going to put my entire recovery journey solely in God’s hand because I am the one who needs to take the signs He is giving me and apply them. I will, however, have to learn to trust Him. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to many, is that “God will not throw anything at you that you can’t get through”. That I believe wholly. Nothing in this life cannot be overcome. I just need to keep the faith.

One thing that I noticed in common in all of the aforementioned books was the theme that you need belief in some type of higher power and belief system to have a healthy relationship with food.

Here is the summary from Roth’s website about her book:

The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The world is on your plate. When you begin to understand what prompts you to use food as a way to numb or distract yourself, the process takes you deeper into realms of spirit and to the bright center of your own life. Rather than getting rid of or instantly changing your conflicted relationship with food, Women Food and God is about welcoming what is already here, and contacting the part of yourself that is already whole — divinity itself.

Here’s what Amazon says about Made to Crave:

Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn’t a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the “I’ll start again Monday” cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn’t a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal – and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the ‘want to’ in making healthy lifestyle choices.

 

Mind. Blown.

 

I contemplated a lot lot lot before going back to church. I was actually nervous (and really, who is nervous to go to church? Seriously!) but I am glad that I decided to go, because I enjoyed it immensely. I have found a church where the preaching is genuine, unapologetic, and real. And it has application to my life, which is a huge thing for me. I am going to do my first Bible study this summer (so look out for a post or two about that). I am working my way through the Bible (again, because I was pretty young when I read it the first time). I have been attending services regularly. I am happier, to use that term loosely, than I was before.

I have many, many, MANY more thoughts on this topic and I plan on making this a small blog series sharing my thoughts. However, I slept terribly last night, so now I need to head to bed. However, I will leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses that I think embodies not only spiritual recovery, but emotional and physical recovery as well.

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)