Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't quote me on this...

"Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease." - William Osler

Plugging along here.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Tumultuous is the only way I can describe how I’m feeling right now/recently. Well, I guess I can add in there; sad, sorry and suck-y but tumultuous pretty much sums it up.

Asking for your help

I'm not sure how many of you know about the Pepsi Refresh Project, but basically Pepsi is offering money to people who have ideas/dreams they'd like to fulfill, and it's the public vote that chooses the winners. You get 10 votes a day (you can only vote for one idea once per email address) so even if you have your own favorite pepsi refresh program projext idea, if you could still spare one of your votes for this idea, to rebuild the elementary school in the little towns of Benld and Gillespie Illinois (where I grew up) the community would be very grateful!

Here is a copy and paste of what the community would like to do:

On March 28, 2009 our community suffered a horrible event. Our 700 elementary school students have permanently lost their school!

Benld Elementary located in a small rural community about an hour northeast of St. Louis, MO and about an hour south of Springfield, IL was built about seven years ago. The damage from mine subsidence happened throughout the school, forcing it to be condemned. This was not an ongoing issue, the damage happened in one weekend and it's expected to get worse. The walls are twisting and cracking, floors sinking and rising, in many different directions and basically, as the building is sinking, it is being torn apart. The rural communities in this area developed as mining became its key resource many years ago. The school, as well as a majority of the homes, businesses and other buildings, were built over the top of these mines that are hundreds of feet under the ground.

There are pictures on the Pepsi website of the school. This grant money would only be a fraction of what it is going to cost to rebuild the school but every bit helps and this could be a huge help for them. I grew up here, my family is still there and my nieces and nephews have gone or will go to this school. The kids have been in modular buildings since the sinking of their school and they just deserve better for their education. They're making the best out of the situation but these kids need and deserve a proper school.

Please vote for them!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A half blind tornado, yep, that's me!

Sorry I’ve been MIA, there’s been a lot going on. Between the house being remodeled (it’s finished now, except for the whole that the punched through the bedroom wall from the bathroom which now has to be patched and repainted. Nice, right?). In the meantime, I started losing vision in my right eye on Friday. Not all the time, just for a few minutes at a time, then it would go away, then it would come back. It was like I was looking through a dirty, fogged up window, so not black. I was at the doctors and the hospital all day Friday. They weren’t sure what the cause was but it stopped happening (after they dialated my eyes) so sent me home claiming “migraine in my eye”. I had no head pain or any other symptom but partial blindness.

It didn’t happen Saturday so thought they may have been right, but started happening again Sunday so another morning and afternoon was spent at the hospital. Again, nothing could be found so I was sent home to write down who/what/when/where/why of the episodes until I could get a follow up appointment and they could discuss my case further. Monday it didn’t happen. Then Tuesday I had an appointment again (after a team of neurologist met to discuss what could be wrong with me since they cannot find a single thing wrong with me eye) and they’ve put me on a calcium channel blocker, which is actually used for high blood pressure, which I do not have. So I’m trying this for two weeks and then having a follow up appointment.

They’re saying it could be a vascular spasm (they no longer think it’s migraine) but there is no way to actually SEE a vascular spasm (just like there is no real known cause of a migraine, only known triggers), so if the blind episodes go away then they’ll assume the medication is correct and we’ll see where we go from there BECAUSE taking a pill for high blood pressure when you don’t have it of course causes low blood pressure. So now I feel a little sick and tired a lot and the medicine makes my face flushed and hot so I look like I’m walking around embarrassed all day. I guess it’s the lesser of two evils though. I haven’t had a blind episode since Sunday though so I don’t know if it was some fluke, freak thing and now I’ve been on the meds for 2 days with no return blindness, so are they really working or did the episodes just go away?

So THIS is why I’ve been neglecting my weight loss blog. Good reason, no?

I have my second psychologist appointment Tuesday. I’m having a lot of nervous, anxious feelings about my weight (not about the appointment but about my body) and it’s not necessary nice. I don’t really know how to explain what it is I’m feeling, which is new for me as I can usually find some way of getting things across, but I guess the best way to describe how I’m feeling is tornadic (is that even a word, meaning like a tornado? Well it’s a freaking word now, for the purpose of this blog). Like a tornado, I have all these feelings, emotions, thoughts, expectations, wants, needs, concerns, fears, realizations, a whole mix of crap basically, going on in my body and it literally feels like they’re spinning around, changing one emotion for the next in such a rapid pace that I don’t know what to think or feel or do. (how’s THAT for not having the right words?).

The weather is vastly improving and I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time outside and getting in some exercise. Sadie LOVES being outside and this is a great motivation for me to also be out there.

I will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Retro .02

Okay, so I don't really know how long it takes something to really be considered "retro" but it sounded cute, so there ya go.

I was thinking today about where I have come from, where I have been and what I have been through with my weight loss issues and I thought maybe I'll search back and see where I drew inspiration from in the beginning of this whole thing. I stumbled onto (well, okay, I just clicked it) a post that still can give me goosebumps. So call it cheating, call it whatever you want, I'm calling it "Retro .02" as we take a look back and show you where I've drawn inspiration in the past and how I just keep pushing on.

(now's the part where you click that colored part that's underlined, that link, so you can go to the post that I am talking about, see it up there, yeah, click there, then you'll understand why this is Retro .02).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

now that didn't hurt a bit, did it?

So the appointment went really well, as far as appointments can go. The doctor was super duper nice, easy to talk to, his English was great and we totally went over the time limit.

I have mentioned before, I have the gift of gab and people tend to open up to me. I swear it must be the look on my face because it seems to say "tell me every thing about you, your family, you life, your wishes, your hopes, your dreams, what you ate for breakfast and how your bowels are moving along" because those are the stories I get no matter where I go. And don't get me wrong, I don't mind at all, I love talking to people but do you see where this is going?

About 15 minutes into our appointment he had to stop himself to say "oh wait, I forgot the introduction" because it was seriously just that easy to have a conversation with him.

At another point in the appointment as the psychologist was in the middle of telling me a story about his wife and her struggles when she moved to the Netherlands (she's an expat just like me!) he stopped himself and said, well wait, we're reversing the roles here. We had a good laugh and I actually learned quite a bit about his own family.

Eventually we did have to wrap it up and we got down to the "down and dirty". He said I've actually done a really good job at pinning down what I think my problems are (self destructive behaviors i.e. shoving a whole pie in my face, hiding my eating) and that the work that I did on my own with Dr. Phil's book The Ultimate Weight Loss Solutions has done me a lot of good and gives him a good base to work from. (He is a Dr. P fan by the way, LOVE THAT!).

He said that every two weeks the group of doctors get together and discuss the new patients and talk about what they feel the next steps should be. He said that for me he is going to recommend that I see a specialist who deals solely with eating disorders and he thinks he knows one who practices in a hospital near by our house (which he also used to live in this neighborhood a while back when his daughter was younger but then they ended up buying a house in Amstelveen, which is a great little city that Marco and I actually wanted to move to as well...)

So I have my follow up appointment with him in two weeks and he'll let me know where we go from there! It was such a good experience for me and I am so glad that I've taken this first step to getting the help that I need to get these issues under control.

p.s. he also recommends that I go back to school and finish my degree because he thinks I'm a really clever person and can do pretty much whatever it is I want to do. Nice!

today is the 1st day

my first appointment with the psychologist. wish me luck!

(p.s. the house is coming along at a super quick pace and may even be done by the end of the week!)

Friday, March 12, 2010


We're having our house remodeled (kitchen, bathroom and toilet room, which is, indeed, a seperate room here) which started Wednesday so that's why I haven't been posting. It's a disaster, it involves a port-a-potty in our walk-in closet and showering in a community trailor. It's just not pretty. Good news though, I may have a working toilet by the end of the day today so no more holding it! YAY!

I really want to thank everybody for commenting lately on my posts. It really means a lot to me to know that:

a) somebody is reading my blog
b) other's understand what I'm going through
c) I'm not owning the patent on crazy, food-related thoughts
d) I have a cheering section

Tuesday is my first appointment and if I don't get back here before then, I'll be sure to post after.

Hope you are all having healthy, successful weeks!

Monday, March 08, 2010

A new week, a better week

I've found myself in a bit of self destructive mode since knowing that I've made a psychologist appointment to talk about my feelings/food issues. “Self-destructive” may be a bit of a harsh or exaggerated word and I’m not trying to use it for its dramatic effect (insert very dramatic music) but what I’ve been doing is surely not constructive in the least. Over-eating. Eating sweets. Eating out of boredom. Eating because once I “start” then I won’t be able to have ____ or ____ or ______ ever again for the rest of my life.

Now isn’t that ridiculous? Especially since I know that saying “you can’t have ___ or ____ or _____” makes me eventually binge on ____ and ____ and ____ with a huge side order of ____ to top it off. Oh and heavy on the guilt please.

It’s a familiar pattern for me though, this self destructive mode, and I’ve blogged about it before here. And while searching for that post I went ahead and re-read what I wrote oh, almost three years ago to the day, I see that I am still doing exactly what I tried to stop doing before. The mental game of self sabotage. Those last few paragraphs of that post really hit home for me. Here I am three years later still unable to win at that mental game of weight loss. I even battled it out this morning in the canteen while picking out my breakfast.

Me: don’t get the sausage roll, lord knows that’s not good for me.

Me: why not? You know you’re not going to be able to control yourself this week anyway. Just look at what you ate all weekend. Why start improving now?

Me: okay, let’s have some yogurt instead.

Me: that muffin looks good

Me: muffin = cake for breakfast

Me: what about a banana

Me: you’ll be starving by lunch if you only have a coffee and banana, get the muffin

Me: what about ontbijtkoek, you can have breakfast, the Dutch way.

Me: the second ingredient in that it sugar, you know that, you’ve looked at it before. It literally translates to "breakfast COOKIE".

Me: have the sausage roll

Me: would it kill them to have more @##%@$ choices here?

And on and on and on the conversation went. Notice there is only one character in that dialogue although there are two very distinct voices heard. One is “sensible Sarah”, the other is “the Sarah you’ve been all of your life, don’t change now, oh please, oh please, oh please”. After all these years, she’s still strong and kicking although I did manage to suppress her for a while.

This lackluster revelation of “I’m still doing it…STILL” three years later from that post (which was talking about situations of self sabotage that had happened even years before THAT), this dimmed light bulb moment that I’m still sabotaging myself from being a successful weight loser, just cements the fact, in my mind, that seeing this psychologist is exactly what this girl needs. Exactly.what.I.need.

I am clearly unable to get past these dueling banjos of “eat it – don’t eat it” that are picking away in my brain, even with the resources I have tapped into (Dr. P, I still love everything about that book!) but it’s just not enough to really help me kick the mental habits. Yeah, I shoved those habits around a bit, for a little while, and probably bruised their shins but I never finished them off, never really kicking their butts, fully.

I am the one that can make good food choices, exercise, drink water, stop well before I’m full the list goes on. The PHYSICAL side of this I am 100% responsible for and able to do. I’ve done it before and, not to toot my own horn, but I kicked some banjo-playin butt back in the day (TOOT! TOOT!) .

It’s that mental part, which is HUGE in weight loss, it’s THAT part that I can’t get right 100% of the time. Hell I’m lucky to get it right 30% of the time. And honestly, standing in the cafeteria grabbing this item, setting it back down, walking to the cooler, walking back to the baked goods, glancing at the toasted cheese sandwiches, fondling the fruit, all while the girl at the counter stands, patiently, waiting for me to make my choice... those moments can be a bit embarrassing for me (especially since the entire time that's going on I'm having a total mental battle, silently (I HOPE!) in my head) and what I don't need right now is another 'thing' that is going to make me feel less than fantastic, and a little bit nutty.

So I’m ready. I’m going to stop this square dance, mid-step. I’m going to take that second banjo picker, bust that dueling banjo over “the Sarah you’ve been all of your life, don’t change now, oh please oh please oh please” head and start listening to sensible Sarah more often. I’m ready for the change.

(and I chose a cheese and cracker thing for breakfast which was, terrible to eat, but a decent amount of calories, nothing too flashy and will hold me over until lunch. I need to come to work better prepared!)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Aftermath or The After Shock (or just the day after...)

So it's had a full 24 hours to sink in, hence the oh-so-clever title to this post.

Firstly, thank you all for your kind words and support in my post yesterday, (and via email my special little friend Becklette) that's exactly why I loved this blog and am glad that I have kept it up.

I went to my GP this morning to get a referral to a psycologist and there happens to be one in the group practice so I have my first appointment on the 16th!

From the comments and encouragement here, it's really helped me realize that this is a good thing, a positive thing and it's just the next step I need to take in overcoming my food obsessions, negative self-talk (and my God if anybody would say to my face what I say to my own self, I'd probably give them a knuckle sandwich for breakfast lunch and dinner!) and "disorderly eating" as I will refer to it.

I'm going to kick this things butt, there is no other solution. I know I can lose weight, that's not the issue anymore, that's just going to be the side effect of getting myself where I need to be mentally. I'm just glad and relieved that I'm going to do it sooner, rather than later. so.relieved.

and that's what I have to say about that!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stunned into silence, me? my weight consultant

As you know, I went to see the weight consultant last night for a feel-her-out (not to be confused with feeling her up, which is something totally different altogether), a sort of test drive. When I contacted her, I liked her tone even via email so I was looking forward to the appointment.

"Just in case" I decided to use her, she had me keep a food journal for the week, including the weekend so we could start immediately, rather than me deciding "yeah, this is going to work" and then have to journal for a week so she could see where I'm doing right and where I'm going wrong. Made sense and I liked her enthusiasm!

So I showed up to her doorstep for my appointment, well documented week worth of eating in tote and the meeting began.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but I'm a bit of a talker. I don't know if you're able to tell that through a blog though, but it's the truth. I get the gift of gab from my mother who used to make us stand in the drug store for an hour while she discussed lipstick shades with some total stranger. As kids, my sister and I just couldn't believe that she could talk to anybody so easily but she rubbed off on us because both of us girls, and even my little brother, have been blessed with the rare ability to talk to a wall. Or fire hydrant. Or rock. You know, whatever's around. I also seem to have a face that says "I'm safe, talk to me, tell me your deepest darkest secrets because I will listen and I have nothing better to do right now". You know that face there to the left.

Anyway, back to the story, so I talked her ear off, sharing many of the things that I've shared with you, my loyal reader(s), over the years. I told her of my panic-y feeling I would get in my body when I would tell myself I was "dieting". I told her my fears of never quite getting this right. The fear of passing my messed up habits onto my innocent little angel, Sadie. I shared my story of my first memorable food issue , diet's I tried in the past, what worked and didn't work for me, what I loved about my old weight training routine. We spoke of the weight loss bible and Dr. Phil's book that changed my life as well as the other doctor's I had discussed my weight with in the past... I talked and talked. Oh, occasionally I would let the woman interject her thoughts or feelings and what I was hearing, I liked. We flipped through her book that she gives her clients and I thought "okay, this is somebody who I can trust, who knows her stuff and who will hold me accountable".

And then she dropped the bomb. Oh it wasn't the price, I was well aware of the cost, of the insurance reimbursement and the balance due. It would be worth every penny. The bomb wasn't that she didn't think she could help me. It wasn't even that I has been sucked so far into the black hole of fatness, that I was so far gone, that there was just no hope (that's just silly!).

Nope, the bomb went a little something like this (45 minutes after I arrived):

her: Okay Sarah, I've been listening to what you have to say (me in my head: oh lady I have just skimmed the surface!) and I think I can help you.

me: great

her: but I'm afraid I'm not allowed to work with you alone

me: sorry? (hey lady, there is no way in hell I'm paying for two of you!)

her: by law I am not allowed to work on somebody with ________(insert Dutch word that I had never heard of) on my own, it has to be along side the help of a psychologist.


(yes, I couldn't say anything)

her: I don't have the background to consult people with __________ (insert that damned Dutch word that I still couldn't quite make out but was somewhat in a fog so I couldn't think to ask "what in the hell is that?") and the law doesn't allow me or any dietitian to work with you. ________ (there's that effin word again) blah blah blah...

I'm not sure what she said word for word because my mind was racing well ahead of our conversation. She can't help me? I finally take a step to ask for help from a professional and it's going to take more than one of them to "fix" me? I'm THAT messed up?

Finally I squeeked out "I'm sorry, but what is _________?

her: Oh sorry, ohhhh what's the word in English.... yeah, eating disorder.


me: You think I have an eating disorder?

her: Yes

Of course she didn't say "yes"and leave it at that, but this post is getting long and I can't pin point any other pertinent information other than those two words "eating disorder".

What's messed up the most is that I always assumed I had some sort of eating disorder but had never been diagnosed. Hell, I couldn't get a doctor to even scratch the surface as to why I was eating until I almost puked. It was like my asking them to help me with my weight was more uncomfortable to THEM than it was to me. And it's not that I wanted to wear the label of "disorderly eating" as a badge of honor or anything, but hearing it said out loud was stunning. Not in a beautiful, shiny, new diamond earrings type of stunning, but stunning in that the-girl-who-always-has-something-to-say-can't-spit-out-a-complete-thought type of way.

She's going to email me the name of a phycologist in the neighborhood that she has worked with before. And now I've had some time to mill around the idea in my head and I think the following

  1. she could have said "yes! I can help you" and taken my money, helped me lose weight and left it at that. Of course, if I don't deal with the root of the problem, facing that demon, then am I really being successful and, even more importantly, will it last?
  2. I appreciate that she took me seriously, and that she's taken the things that I've told her seriously. She was, seemingly, concerned. You can just tell that about a person, if they're bullshitting you or not.
  3. It makes sense to seek further professional help. I mean, I loved what Dr. Phil offered me in his book, The Ultimate Weight Solutions. It was (is) life changing and he did bring to the surface many of my issues but maybe I don't have the real capacity to work through those on my own.? (is this a question or a statement, I'm not so sure)

But honestly, I've just sort of been quiet since my appointment. I'm not sad. I'm not upset. I'm not thrilled by any means. I'm not happy. I'm not angry. I'm not anything, really. I don't have a real grasp on what I'm feeling, again I'm at a loss for words. It's a stunning revelation yet I feel a bit peaceful and a teensy bit numb.

My mind seems to be doing all the racing, considering it's 5 in the morning and here I am sitting at my kitchen table, writing in my blog. But as always with my writing, sometimes if I just get it out there, get it out of my head and down on "virtual paper" then my mind can have some peace.

The plan for now, for today, for this minute, is to continue to lose weight. To continue to do what I've been doing in the past (especially over the past week, as I've made quite a few positive changes) and to give this psychologist a ring to see what he/she has to offer.

I know this was a long post, and I appreciate it if you've read the whole thing, or hell, even just skimmed over it. I appreciate you're clicking my link and reading what I have to say every now and again. I appreciate your advice, your cheers, your information, your laughs and your valuable input. I appreciate your help. (only I could make this long post longer, right?!?!?!?)

I hope you're having healthy, successful weeks.