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LIFE is short - Processing feelings

Friday, September 21, 2012

I got to work yesterday morning and as I was sitting down at my desk, one of my team asked had anyone stopped me on the way in to tell me. No, I responded... tell me what?

R* passed away last night, she said. There was an incident there at work, shortly after I'd left. J* and L* tried to get R* to agree to call 911, but she refused. J* finally got her to the emergency room, but she died there at the hospital. J* was pretty broken up as he told the story to the group gathered together, because he didn't want to repeat it over and over all day to various individuals.

Poor J*. R* had resisted getting help. He did the very best possible, but we all teared up when he intoned "I can think of all the people I'd want to be with in the final moments of my life, and R* got stuck with me". The point of this blog is not necessarily the facts, themselves, or even how we're all coping up at work. We are, of course... they brought in the counselors, as tends to be the normal practice these days when "something happens" at a work place or school.

The point of the blog is my own self-pep talk about a common problem, that I believe many Spark people can relate to: priorities. You see, R* was a great gal. Always positive. Very dedicated to her work and the service she was providing to the children of our state. She had been ill, over the weekend, and out from work Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was her first day back, and she looked pale.

R* was heavy. Many of us are (or have been). Her own health and well-being took a back seat to things she was doing for others. It wasn't just at work. In her vacation time she did volunteer work! She loved to camp... but while camping would clean the parks she camped in! She dressed up and told stories to kids at Halloween / harvest festivals.

In some ways I think she didn't want to know. Maybe if we ignore it, it will go away? It's just the flu, right?

But seriously, dizziness? Pale skin? Clamminess? Fatigue? Difficulty breathing? These are women's heart disease red flags, that we should know. More importantly, as women, we need to not shrug them off. We need to be willing to accept help, and take some responsibility for self-care...

Now that R* is gone... she can't do all those things she loved. A big hole is left in the workforce, too, where her knowledge, expertise, and spirit helped so many.

If you *don't* take care of you, who will? And, you know, if you don't have a bucket list: how about making one and starting to work on it? Few people regret things they did do... more regret what they never did!

LIFE is worth living... and we never know just when the journey ends... so take good care of you... TODAY! emoticon

My friend, your sign was for someone else, earlier this year... I'm sending the sentiment on with you. Be free. Be happy. Be blessed where you are now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/22/2012 3:58PM

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Encountered a similar story in my work this week: death because of focus on others. Literally. Ignoring the clear indicators (and tenative dx) that there was life-threatening disease: refusing to go to the doctor: focusing on caring for another family member instead. Who survived. And who is devastated.

We're on an airplane. And we have to put our own oxygen mask in place first. Or we cannot help anyone else at all.

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PATRISNA 9/22/2012 7:59AM

    Thank you for sharing this sad story. I am sorry for you and all your co-workers. I hope hope counseling helps J* as he did his best to help R* by taking her to the ER. She was a caring lady may she rest in peace.


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DOGLADY13 9/22/2012 7:42AM

    Thank you. Powerful.

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REJ7777 9/22/2012 7:00AM

    Thank you for writing this insightful blog. It reminds me of the time my doctor told me that I was in denial.

It sounds like your friend made the world a bit better wherever she went. I'm sorry for the loss.

Comment edited on: 9/22/2012 7:01:12 AM

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KARIDIAN1 9/21/2012 10:10PM

    Thanks for sharing with us. Such a sad story and a lesson for others that one needs to put yourself and your health first.

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DLDMIL 9/21/2012 6:57PM

    Sad to hear of the loss of your co-worker. Thank you for posting the very important lesson of taking care of ourselves. Hugs and prayers for you, coworkers and R's family.

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/21/2012 3:08PM

    I am sooo sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and co-worker. Unfortunately, this story rings too true for me. It happened to my favorite cousin last December. She too hasn't been feeling well. She had flu symptoms and was out for a day or so. she was fatigued. she had problems breathing. she was overweight. she neglected her health. She died of a heart attack. Like you, all that's left is that hole in our heart.

We all tried to get her to have a care for her health, but she's an adult. We can't force someone to be healthy. They have to want to do it for themselves.

I hope more women (men too) take this message to heart. Please take care of yourselves. We don't want to lose you.


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KRISZTA11 9/21/2012 2:48PM

    I'm sorry for your loss.
There are so many wonderful women who put well being of other people before their own, and it is bad to think of the consequences.
Indeed we all need to take good care of ourselves.
Nobody can do that for us.

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IRONBLOSSOM 9/21/2012 2:13PM

    Thanks for sharing this story, it's really important that we all be aware of this. Also, I feel REALLY badly for J*, I hope he can work through this trauma!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/21/2012 1:22PM

    So sorry for this tragedy and your loss. It has to be very unsettling to a work unit. Sharing it does help putting our efforts to achieve optimum health in perspective. It matters. It matters a lot. Thanks for sharing. -Marsha

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MISSB8604 9/21/2012 12:35PM

    Such a sad story, but one that we should all learn from.

Thank you so much for sharing.


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RONNIEHUEY 9/21/2012 12:34PM

    Your blog makes you think of how precious life is and how it can end before we know it.RIP R

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ANDI571 9/21/2012 11:14AM

    I am so sorry for your loss Barb. I had a friend over last night. She is also one that does for everyone, but doesn't take care of herself. We had the talk. At the same time we were discussing her, Robin Roberts was being interviewed from her hospital bed. She looked at the camera and said, "If you don't change your way of thinking, you won't change the way you feel." I looked at my friend, and she was shaking her head yes. I told her, she was the only one who could take care of her.

Thank you for sharing your story. emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/21/2012 10:51AM

    That is very sad and very true.

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/21/2012 10:33AM

    Very good reminder blog. Sad for your loss. RIP, R.

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1CRAZYDOG 9/21/2012 10:31AM

    My condolences on the loss of a wonderful co-worker. **SIGH** You have really honed home the message -- we have to make ourselves a priority!

Blessings to you and your colleagues and R's family. How difficult and sad.


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CODEMAULER 9/21/2012 10:05AM

    Your words will keep her memory alive and help others save their own lives, too. Thank you for sharing, especially during this difficult time.


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DRAFTLOVER 9/21/2012 9:55AM

    Powerful Powerful blog......My heart goes out to those she touched. She sounds like a wonderful person...hopefully her death will help save many lives.....thanks for helping us all with the reality check.......We only get one shot in do-overs. Thanks and I'm sorry....

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TANYAP71 9/21/2012 9:11AM

    I'm so sorry that you lost a friend and co-worker. This blog is fantastic and it should be shared far and wide.

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DEBRITA01 9/21/2012 8:13AM

    My sympathies to you and your co-workers on the loss of R*...she appears to have been a very caring and giving person and I'm sure her loss will be felt by all. Often we put the needs of others first...even before our own health. May R*'s passing remind us to pay attention to those nagging, vague symptoms associated with heart issues and to take care of ourselves each day. Life is sweet, but short...
God bless, Barb emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 9/21/2012 8:12AM

    What more could I say beyond these wonderful insightful responses except while she is watching down on us, she more than likely is already busy in Heaven. She will rest in Peace, thoughts and prayers of comfort for the family and friends. emoticon

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CHRISTINECAN 9/21/2012 8:11AM

    I am sorry to hear of the death of your friend. Yes, you know to look after yourself physically, but at this difficult time, don't forget to look after yourself mentally and emotionally too.

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CELIAMINER 9/21/2012 7:58AM

    My condolences on your loss. R* sounds like a wonderful person taken too soon from this world. You paid her a beautiful tribute with your kind words about her compassion and selflessness.

On the subject of health, thank you for reminding us all of the fact that symptoms of heart disease and heart attack in women can be vastly different from those in men. And Fifi pointed out how people tend to minimize their own discomfort and symptoms. I am old enough to remember "hysteria" as a common REAL diagnosis doctors made for women. No like diagnosis for men. So I believe women our age do tend to minimize symptoms, whether out of denial or out of fear of "making a fuss." One of my colleagues put off going to the hospital too long after the first symptoms of stroke for the emergency medicines to be administered; her recovery was long and slow and incomplete. I should say it's not just women though. A male colleague at first denied anything was wrong when he felt weak, out of breath, and dizzy from unloading groceries, but finally understood he was in peril and had his wife call an ambulance. He recovered fully from his heart attack.

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SWEDE_SU 9/21/2012 7:57AM

    how sad - i'm so sorry for your loss. but you remind us all of important points:

Few people regret things they did do... more regret what they never did!

LIFE is worth living... and we never know just when the journey ends... so take good care of you... TODAY!

these are important nuggets of truth!

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_LINDA 9/21/2012 7:17AM

    So very sorry for your loss :(
You brought up two really important points -looking after yourself for your health's sake and the fact that women don't often recognize heart attack symptoms or ignore them.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 9/21/2012 7:15AM

    Barb, what an awful thing to happen to such a wonderful and dedicated woman. Someone who was clearly willing not only to put other people first, but to leave herself off the list entirely. Yet, the life you describe sound like one of great joy -- I hope she received much satisfaction from the good she was doing all around her. My condolences to you and your office for what must be a sad and shocking time.


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EBEAMS 9/21/2012 7:01AM

    It is so very important to pay attention and put in the work it takes to be healthy ... not for looks but for longevity. Thanks for the *nudge* to stick with it. So sorry to hear about your loss ... Many hugs, my friend.

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SAMI199 9/21/2012 6:39AM


I'm sorry about your friend,

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/21/2012 6:36AM

    What a great blog. You really nailed it. Thanks for your inspiring words encouraging us to take care of ourselves and get the help we need.

I am sorry for your loss. It is sad to be with without your colleague, and you will miss her for a long time.

You are so right about the heart attack symptoms, and I am sure if J & L had recognized them they would not have been asking about calling 911, they would have just gone ahead.
Which brings me to a point from my own experience of an acute illness that required hospital treatment: it is instinctive for very sick people to minimize the seriousness of their symptoms. And someone who is very sick does not have the best judgement and is not necessarily rational, because they are under extreme stress, whether they are aware of that or not. It is up to the well people around them to step up and offer wise assistance, using their very best judgement.
I'm not criticizing your colleagues here, they did their very best, knowing what they knew at the time. Just supporting what you have said and adding what I know from my own experience.
My learning is from a very similar scenario when I did not take myself to hospital because I was not well enough to be able to get down my path. My thinking was, I was so ill I could not walk, and if I got to the car, I couldn't drive safely, ergo, I couldn't go to hospital. And, if I called an ambulance, that would be making a fuss, which would be embarrassing. Adding a new meaning to the phrase, die of embarrassment! Luckily DH had the wit to take control of the situation, or who knows where I would be. If that happened again I hope I will make better decisions, but I can't be sure that my altered state would allow that.
Anyway, enough of that. Thanks again for a great blog. And, take care of yourself during this time of loss.

Comment edited on: 9/21/2012 6:41:40 AM

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NEW-CAZ 9/21/2012 6:19AM

    So sorry for your loss hun, but thank you too for the reminder to take care of ourselves.
My thoughts are with you and your friends emoticon

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MILLERGIRL719 9/21/2012 6:07AM

    So sorry for your loss. emoticon

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30 Blogs Hath September #20

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today's topic: What are your favorite healthy foods? What healthy foods have you 'discovered' along the way to better eating habits?

Goodness, "favorite healthy foods" would be a long list. I love my veggies, always have. Fruits... I'm a little pickier, but learning to like more of them... especially when they are in season. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, especially have been great seasonal additions to breakfast.

Relatively recent discoveries along the way have been steel cut oats and quinoa... both grains. I read a friend extolling the virtues of steel cut oats and did not understand they were different from what I knew as oatmeal... and discovered a whole new food!

Here's to the discoveries! Healthy food is a wonderful discovery, adding to enjoyment of LIFE, which is good! Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 9/22/2012 7:39PM

    My favorite healthy food is the flax bread that Open Harvest makes.

And my own fruit salad, which I make every Sunday to last most of the week.

And I've been off of hot cereal for a while, but I may think about the steel-cut oats. That could be a good change.

I've been careful in the last 25 years to cut out dairy fat. A friend has been telling me that I need to re-consider. She's had good results with full-fat dairy, just eating/drinking less. I just can't help but feel my arteries close up whenever I swallow that.

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KARIDIAN1 9/20/2012 10:51PM

    I am not a hot cereal fan. Just doesn't appeal to me. I am one of those weird people that eats dry cereal with no milk. All my sisters and I eat cereal this way. None of us like milk either.

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WATERMELLEN 9/20/2012 8:36PM

    OK, will have to try steel cut oats!! (Yup, I thought this was just "fancy oatmeal"!)

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DOGLADY13 9/20/2012 8:36PM

    I like steel cut oats, too. I prefer them (and all grain cereals) savory rather than sweet. I often add salt, pepper and some cheese in mine. And before any noses turn up, just think "cheese grits".

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    Veggies are great!

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MOBYCARP 9/20/2012 8:28PM

    Ah, yes. Last year you fed me steel cut oats with strawberries and unsweetened cocoa. They were bland, so I added salt. I thought they were good, but far too much trouble for me to prepare for myself.

Fast forward a year, and I have steel cut oats for breakfast most mornings. Spices vary, with unsweetened cocoa making regular appearances; but I never put salt in them. Unexpected things happen in life, which makes the journey interesting.

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    Love steel cut oats! Favorite comfort food.

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SNOWYOGA 9/20/2012 8:10PM

    I agree to and thanks for the post! emoticon Woot! Woot!

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RONNIEHUEY 9/20/2012 7:29PM

    I agree!

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DLDMIL 9/20/2012 7:16PM

    I agree 100%. Thanks for posting emoticon emoticon

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TANYAP71 9/20/2012 4:23PM

    I forgot all about steel-cut oats! I avoid them when I am maintaining just over goal... and I've been there for months.... but now that I'm back under AND it's getting chilly.....ooooh, need to make a big pot! The family LOVES them! Thanks for the reminder!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/20/2012 2:21PM

    I must try those steel cut oats. I just love the old fashioned ones and they are so much cheaper, but since you are tauting them, I will try! Another good blog, Barb.

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DEBRA0818 9/20/2012 11:06AM

    Love almost all vegetables (peppers are not fond of me), not a big fan of fruit but enjoy it occasionally, and most of all, I love WATER!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/20/2012 11:07:16 AM

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LINDAKAY228 9/20/2012 10:37AM

    It's amazing what we discover we really like when we start eating healthy. Our tastes change so much!

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MSLZZY 9/20/2012 9:52AM

    Keep on discovering the joys of life and healthy eating.

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_LINDA 9/20/2012 9:41AM

    I have been vegetarian most of my life, so fruits and veggies are a staple, more fruits then anything, but have expanded on the veggies and I just love all the root vegetables, especially beets, parsnips and sweet potatoes :) I also learned to love spaghetti squash when at first, when Mom used to make it, I thought it looked gross. But I have learned never to pass judgement on something until you actually TRY it :) I have tried jicama, turnip, rutabaga, kohlrabi and like them :) Yes, there is a whole world of things to try out there. I am not into grains that much as all the freggies I eat give me too much fiber all ready :P The crackers and a tablespoon of ground flax is the sum of my daily grains -and muffins when Mom makes them. I do enjoy steel cut oats once in a while at Mom's -they are wonderful, way better then the old runny oatmeal.

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LAURIE5658 9/20/2012 9:40AM

    Another vote for quinoa and sc oats!!! Good stuff!

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LDRICHEL 9/20/2012 9:21AM

    Mmm...I love quinoa and steel cut oats.

You know what else I just discovered? Kale. SPECTACULAR!

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LEANJEAN6 9/20/2012 8:36AM

    I'd have to say , WATERMELON keeps me sane--fills me up--but--I also have to say that this journey is hard for me---It's people I meet along the way, like yerself that inspire me tho Barb!-Lynda emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/20/2012 8:25AM

    Love both grains -- steel cut oats and quinoa. Yummy!

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ANDASI 9/20/2012 8:23AM

    Love those steel cut oats i even use them in soups or stews like you would use barly i just put a couple of tablespoons in a soup and cook for the 25 min the oats call for it tastes fantatic in the soup.


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KALIGIRL 9/20/2012 8:04AM

    L'chaim! It IS good!

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Comfort and friendship for the inner child

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I have the best Spark friends, you know? I'm sure you have them, too!

The Sparkers who posted encouraging words on yesterday's Pep Talk are one huge example. Thank you!

Their comments got me thinking... some suggested slamming the door on the "old / fat / victim" me in the first photo, "putting her in her place." Interesting concept, but... I believe that she's a part of me that needs to be recognized, loved, hugged, accepted... and gently put down for a nap, sent outside to play, fed (yes, fed), and rewarded.

Why? Because harsh treatment leads to a breakout. In my case. In the decades I've lived with her... I have found out a number of things about her. If she feels her voice has been stifled... if she's tired, or overhungry, or lonely... and I ignore her... eventually she will act out.

Imagine the child who is saying "Mommy?"
silence... "Mommy."
silence... "MOMMY!" She wanted attention!

After a few iterations of Mommy ignoring the child, or giving a dashed off response (Mommy's busy with problems of her own grown up nature)... I'll leave you to fill in the ensuing mischief.

Usually there has been some kind of external stimulus. We have those happening all the time, surrounding us. That's life. We have very little control over what happens outside our skin. That's reality.

The external stimulus is not the CAUSE of behavior, an internal response is what trips us up! Take the phone call I mentioned. Well intended by the neighbor, I'm sure. But I ignored the internal response, the feelings...worse, I did a short cut: essentially I told her those feelings are not acceptable. Guess what she learned as a child to survive when feelings are not allowed... hide in a cave and eat.

Feelings have to be let out, examined, and dealt with. Coming here, writing my little pep talks allows that airing to happen. I edit, and certainly would not want others to change the way they live their own lives based on childish inner responses... but writing them out allows me to accept and acknowledge that they are there. This comforts that child within. And when the child finally gets the message that "Mommy knows and Mommy loves you"... things are OK again.

All she really wants is to be understood, loved and accepted. If I as the inner parent can understand, love and accept her... she happily goes on to keep on playing and living healthy.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Here's to having a good day... a balanced day... with all the parts of ourselves loved, accepted, and nourished! Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 9/20/2012 10:55PM

    Wow- this was a great blog and you summed it up perfect. Things get tough and that when I have a breakout and just want to eat something, anything because I just don't care at the moment.

You pegged it. emoticon

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MJZHERE 9/20/2012 11:31AM

    Great reminder that we all have those voices of parent, child and adult - and each needs to be treated differently. Funny how quiet we need to get sometimes to recognize those voices. I hear mine often saying "not good enough" and definitely "no playing." I love to play - and I am learning to cherish the child in me who teaches that adult to play. We can all learn from children, right?

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DEBRA0818 9/20/2012 11:10AM

    You're right -- my first impulse to banish the monster never really works long-term. Can we trust enough to love the parts of ourselves that we don't like? I hope so!


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_LINDA 9/20/2012 9:33AM

    Spark friends are indeed wonderful people and I am so fortunate to have such an insightful, thought provoking one such as yourself! Great concept and it really all boils down to accepting all parts of yourself, good, bad and ugly. Of loving yourself in order to succeed by taking care of ALL your needs.
This is why you are such a success, you can take an objective look at yourself and see what needs helping!
You go girl!!

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1CRAZYDOG 9/20/2012 8:38AM

    Yes! You are spot on. When you ignore that part of you, you end up acting out! Wonderful, thoughtful, perceptive blog.


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DEBRITA01 9/20/2012 8:09AM

    Here's to loving and accepting all parts of our self. I liked the car analogy that someone used yesterday...all are passengers, but WE get to decide who is in the driver seat. Have a beautiful day, Barb! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 9/20/2012 7:47AM

    "Here's to having a good day... a balanced day... with all the parts of ourselves loved, accepted, and nourished!" I'd say that's "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS".

Namaste my friend

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NEW-CAZ 9/20/2012 7:43AM

    a wonderful blog, make me think about I react to given situations, emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/20/2012 7:43AM

    That is a great way to look at it. Acknowledge her
but then move on with life as it is right now. HUGS!

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ROXYZMOM 9/20/2012 7:41AM

    I like this blog. Great analogy! I am going to think about this as I go through the day today and deal with things "outside my skin".

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SLENDERELLA61 9/20/2012 7:39AM

    What an interesting blog!! I'm going to have to think about it. Maybe I'm not as accepting as I need to be with that needy part of me. Hmmmm. Thanks, Barb.

It's great that you can come here and blog to get out some of the things you need to express. I understand that part for sure. SparkFriends truly are great!! Can't wait to meet you in person! -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 9/20/2012 7:34AM

    We can't ignore her, that's for sure!! Because then she'll find new more drastic ways of commanding attention!!

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GARDENCHRIS 9/20/2012 7:27AM

    I happen to agree with you.... there are reasons we have told them to "be quiet"...usually from a past hurt. So if we embrace them and assure them that we will protect them from further harm... they stop acting out! Hang in there.

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30 Blogs Hath September #19

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Link to TanyaP71's original question post:

Today's topic: What 'unhealthy' food(s)/drink(s) do you refuse to give up? Any that you have given up completely?

Well! I shall not give up my coffee. With fat-free fake creamer and sugar substitute, I grind flavored locally roasted beans. Yums.

I did give up soda... but rapidly replaced it with the coffee.

Advantage, without the bubbles, I stay fuller even when I overeat, thus stopping binging sooner! Weird side benefit that I did not expect.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYAP71 9/20/2012 4:25PM

    Coffee fills me up too! I used to drink two mugs in the AM and had to cut back to one because two didn't leave room for food! Now I often have my second in the evening when I don't feel full but KNOW I've had enough calories.

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_LINDA 9/20/2012 9:27AM

    Actually, moderate coffee drinking is supposed to be beneficial, so I wouldn't consider that a sin! Though I do wish they would make up their minds on things like that. One day its good for you and the next its bad! That is huge, giving up the soda! Well done!
I don't drink coffee or pop, but I haven't been entirely able to give up the salty snacks. One reason I think is there is no salt in my diet, and my high intensity workouts leave me with a salt craving.
Keep up the great work!

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KALIGIRL 9/20/2012 7:53AM

    Excuse me... who says emoticon is not healthy?

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DEBRA0818 9/20/2012 6:24AM

    Diet soda but I have plans for it to be eliminated soon!

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NEW-CAZ 9/20/2012 3:07AM

    I didn't really give up soda or any unhealthy food, more that my palate changed as I started to appreciate decent food and no longer craved it.
That said I still enjoy the odd naughty dessert emoticon emoticon

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STRIVERONE 9/19/2012 10:10PM

    We have two things in common. I'll never give up coffee and I did eliminate soda from my diet.

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KARIDIAN1 9/19/2012 10:08PM

    Pretty much have given up soda (or pop as we call it in the midwest). Never have drank coffee, so that is not an issue with me.

I do like ice tea and have that mostly or water if we eat out. I also like to mix ice tea and lemonade 1/2 and 1/2 for an Arnie Palmer.

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    Recently there's been articles about the benefits of coffee for you so I don't think that counts as a bad thing. Wish i had a link the articles but didn't save any. I know there was one in Prevention magazine about it. So drink up! I love coffee too! And green chai tea! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 9/19/2012 8:55PM

    Yours is the first of read in response to the question, but I suspect I'm going to see a lot of "coffee" responses.

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WATERMELLEN 9/19/2012 8:42PM

    Love love love my coffee: call it my only remaining sin (not true actually).

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1CRAZYDOG 9/19/2012 8:40PM

    Uh oh . . . I'd be in trouble if I had to give up coffee too! Soda was difficult to give up, but coffee . . . no no no! LOL I do drik just onc cup of regular coffee and the rest (maybe 1-2 more cups) is decaf.

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DEBRITA01 9/19/2012 7:57PM

    WTG on giving up the soda! I love coffee but can only drink decaf (can't handle caffeine). It keeps me full, too. Only downside is, I'm addicted to the flavored creamers and would like to get back to ff half & half again. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 9/19/2012 7:42PM

    Hooray for giving up soda!! I'm trying to learn to drink my coffee black and unsweet, but it isn't easy. Coffee itself is a mixed bag. I understand there are some health benefits to it. My 85 year old mom drinks it all day and evening, too, and has no trouble sleeping. It does keep me up if I drink it late.

I'm enjoying your series a great deal!! -Marsha

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SWEDE_SU 9/19/2012 7:35PM

    coffee? coffee is something we should give up?! nope, not even close, so i guess i did not give it up either:-) i was always glad that back when i was pregnant no one had heard of giving up coffee, because i am not sure that i - or DH - would have survived!

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ANDI571 9/19/2012 7:11PM

    Kudos for giving up soda. I definitely limit mine now, but I have to have one every once in awhile. A lot of the times, I have one a day, compared to 5 or 6 before.

I can't give up eating out. I would rather eat out and make good choices than to give it up. It's comfort to me I guess.

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We interrupt this series for a pep talk

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This woman has been back in the driver's seat for a few days:

I've been watching from the sidelines and wondering what happened to this one:

In the black and white world of the compulsive eater, I'm never "in between". Never "normal". Sometime between a 12.67 mile long slow distance jogging workout Saturday morning and bedtime that evening, a switch flipped in my brain and I became Ms. Binge Eater.

And I woke up as her on Sunday. She got put back in the box for most of Monday, but came back out Monday after work. And Tuesday after work.

Usually this is a sign that something is "eating" me. The observer in me is contemplating what that might be.

Lots of little things come to mind, but they are things that would not HAVE to have this effect... and yet they did. A phone call from the neighbor lady who wants to trim back my trees. Came to the lady on the top as a message of "you haven't done your chores, so you can't go outside to play."

Going to a film in the company of people who are more policy / social work / health care work folk and getting a reaction that I internalized as "they are looking at me through a microscope..." and "don't those people in the study (on the film) recognize they are being manipulated"?

Yi, yi, yi! She comes back quickly!

The lady in the second photo is having fun and doesn't care. The lady on the top got scolded for playing.

I have to figure this out. Because I am NOT the lady on the top, although she is a part of me. I am the lady in the second photo, and I deserve to train, to eat well, sleep well, and PLAY!

'Nuff said. LIFE is good. I shall Spark TODAY! I shall figure out this AWOL thing... and place it firmly in the past! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 9/22/2012 4:30PM

    You're way ahead of me in recognizing this aspect of yourself. I think we all struggle with this. My critical self gets to me more than I'd care to say. . . Thanks for giving me the reminder.

Love the picture of you on the slide. I don't think I have ANY pictures that look like that! emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/21/2012 6:53AM

    I love the way you look at this.
To me, that woman in the first picture doesn't look like she would be a very good driver, perhaps she needs a spell.
Uh, I bet her intentions are good though. My guess is, she is trying to help you out with something. Maybe you and she need to have a little chat about what has woken her up. Perhaps she sees some danger ahead, or she has noticed something you haven't? I'm sure you can clear this up if you up your heads together, then you will be able to thank her and let her leave the driving up to you again!

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_LINDA 9/20/2012 9:21AM

    So very sorry you are having this rough patch. I am guessing what the neighbor lady said just brought things to a head, as you said it shouldn't have affected you so deeply. You know your triggers but just sometimes forget dealing with them. There isn't one person who doesn't deal with this in their healthy lifestyle journey. I am getting more responsibility at the club at a time when I am least able to deal with it. The constant lack of sleep, constant pain and memory problems (I read in Health News you lose 20% of your memory when exposed to 2nd hand smoke and I get a lot more than what they said) makes me really worry I am going to make a major screw up. The treasurer already caught an adding error in one of my expense reports. That kind of thing mortifies me. I usually always double and triple check my adding. I must have been too tired to do it that once. I also made a bad error in my club championship game and struggled to fix it, but managed to in the end. I don't need to make things harder for myself and I gave in to buying my favorite salty snacks :( Yes, its so very hard to push that binge monster back in its cage. The double whammy of living alone is, while alllowing you to control what you bring into your home for food, also means you are alone to deal with your emotions and have no person to seek comfort in, so its back to the old food soother. I am right there with you on this!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 9/19/2012 10:15PM

    Keep having fun. You can do whatever you want to enjoy yourself. Never grow up!

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WATERMELLEN 9/19/2012 8:46PM

    Girls just wanna have fun!! What a great blog: pep talk for me too, thanks!!

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MJZHERE 9/19/2012 7:53PM

    I love the pics!! What a good job of recognizing who is trying to run the show all of a sudden. I sure know the one who says "what do you think you are doing playing?!!" Boy, she is such a bore. Well no way does she get to be in charge. It is great you have these pics to pick from - I mean, who are you going to let take control? Miss Guilt you about everything you do - especially playing. What were we suppose to do - we were children - it is all about playing or at least suppose to be. Well, heres to you and me playing now. Go have fun for me too while I heal and I will soon join you.

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DLDMIL 9/19/2012 7:11PM

    I love the photos, you looked like your were having a good time on that slide. emoticon

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LJCANNON 9/19/2012 5:33PM

    emoticon Yes, the Lady on top will ALWAYS be a part of who you are. She is part of what makes YOU Special. She IS Trainable, but you have to be Firm & Consistent. You will have her back in line soon!!

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DEBRA0818 9/19/2012 2:52PM

    UGH! I hate it when the binge monster comes out to play because it's no fun, no fun at all. I'm hoping that you are able to figure out how to stuff that monster back into a box and slam the lid down soon! In the meantime, I know you have awesome food and exercise routines to fall back on, so perhaps you can gently guide yourself back there.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNOWYOGA 9/19/2012 2:27PM

    No one knows you better then you! I always hate it when others tell you what is best for you or what should do, but sometimes you can look at their life and say maybe you should work on yours first. But I think, again that you know you, and I love the lady in #2 too! emoticon emoticon emoticon
Having alot of fun emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 9/19/2012 1:51PM

    Thanks for your honest blog. It gives me hope. Why? Because I do the very same thing and I think you are awesome so I must be okay. I go for days eating healthy and working out, to just losing it. It isn't always easy to figure out why. I have figured out that I don't have to be perfect to live at the weight I want. I do have to be determined and get back on track ASAP. You've read this before in my writing: if I do the best I can each day, recommitting to healthy living, it is good enough to maintain my weight. I still hope to get closer and closer to eating the way I want every day. Progress not perfection! Take care, Barb. Hope you figure out what's eating you and tackle it head on. You can do it!! -Marsha

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IRONBLOSSOM 9/19/2012 1:29PM

    Oh my goodness you look so happy in the second photo and in the one on your background!! Focus on her, she/you're AWESOME! :-)

My only (hopefully) helpful suggestion would be to add something that destresses you to your routine. (I don't know what your routine is, so these are just suggestions!) A yoga workout once a week, a meditation session, even just 5-10 minutes as soon as you get home, etc... Something I've had good luck with is a lunch time walk at work when I have time, and then sometimes stopping at a nearby nature park on my way home from work, even if I'm not dressed to hike or anything like that, just being out there and absorbing the calm, the natural world, etc...

Find something that works for you, lets you destress and get into that great frame of mind that has gotten you from the lady in picture #1 to the lady in picture #2.

Kick it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 9/19/2012 1:12PM

    The most important part of this story is that you KNOW the ending, so "old you" can rear her head as often as she wants....but you will always find a way to knock her back down. She is your past. And the present and future holds so much more than she would ever have believed.

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/19/2012 1:02PM

    So glad you recognize your True Self -- the woman who enjoys being healthy and making wise choices! You are NOT the one who stuffs her feelings by stuffing her mouth! How wise you are to search for a trigger to the last few days' eating. I'm not sure I ever look to see WHY I make bad choices ... which may hinder any efforts to prevent it happening again! Thanks for setting a good example!

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XRSIZE18 9/19/2012 12:06PM

    Your spirit is incredibly amazing and inspiring. I'm glad I stumbled on this blog today!

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1CRAZYDOG 9/19/2012 11:54AM

    OMG, SONGBUDDAH said it all. We are the sum total of all our parts -- the good, the bad, the ugly. Can't change. But we ARE in charge of US. Time for a "smack dow" with the Lady on Top to let her know. Alrighty Ma'am . . . you are a part of me but **I** (the woman on the bottom) am in charge and always will be. Period . . . end of discussion. So get over this and let's co-exist peacefully."

Maybe easier said than done, but you have the tools to remain in charge. We're here for you just like you're here for us with all your wonderful blogs and tales of success to emulate!

You can do this, you WILL do this.

You know, Barb, our sons are doing such difficult things, so when I feel like a wimp I just think about him. All the time. It empowers me to move on.

There ARE times when I just need to have that bloody pity party, but I put my timer on and when that ding happens, that's IT. NO more. Time to move on. You'd be surprised. After a few repeats of this, the pity parties get done before the ding!

HUGS, dear Barb.

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LINDAKAY228 9/19/2012 10:36AM

    I can so relate to what you said. I have time when that other person who has been part of my life, or controlled my life, for so very many years tries to come out and take control again. But the new you is a strong woman too, and I know you'll figure out what it triggering her to try to take over. Then you'll be able to address her behavior in the right way. You can do this!

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ANDI571 9/19/2012 10:24AM

    Thank you for writing this blog. You have said things a lot of us are afraid to admit. I can usually look and find what is troubling me when I see my eating crumbling. I know all summer is was the fear of the unknown and what was going to happen in the future.

That little girl in me comes out when I feel backed to the wall of what is expected of me. You know, you have to be a perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect christian. When you say no, I want it to be about me, then the world falls apart. There is times I feel like I am smothering and to breath, I head straight to the food.

The first woman will always be a part of you, and makes you who you are today, But the woman in the second picture came out stronger and can take care of that first woman in a way she could never take care of herself.

My mom was one of those that liked to do things to the neighbors yard. She had expectations I guess. She would paint the neighbors fence etc. So your neighbor might just be feeding off of what her mother did. Her little girl might be coming out in her. I will do things like that and think, that is my mother made over.

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DNRAE1 9/19/2012 10:16AM figured out why Lady 1 was there, and you nudged her back where she belongs! emoticon

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LDRICHEL 9/19/2012 9:44AM

    You are amazing. And the secret are both women. The first will always remind you of how far you have come to transform yourself into the second. There is nothing more beautiful than this. I'm so proud of you. And I know that you will figure this out. You are strong, you are beautiful and you have all the power you need to make great choices.

Remember...the Iron Nun!!!!! We can do this!!!!

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MSLZZY 9/19/2012 9:39AM

    The lady in the top photo thought she was forgotten
and wanted time in the spotlight. She will always be
part of you but time to put her back in the dark and
let the new you step into the light of success. HUGS!

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SONGBUDDHA 9/19/2012 9:05AM

    “Look, you’re in a car, your new selves can get in, but your old selves can’t get out. You can bring new vision and guidance into your life, but you can’t lose or forget who you’ve been or what you’ve seen. New people can get in, but nobody every gets out… They are with you until the end of the ride and you just have to decide who gets to drive." --------- bruce springsteen

It's not black or white but fluid. There is a person in your car who needs to be heard right now, and they are letting you know it by engaging in these outdated behaviors. So what wisdom or pain do they need you to hear?
At the same time, don't drive yourself crazy trying to get to the root of every motivation or behavior; we'll never get there! But try to know yourself. And until then, act as if the YOU that you want driving is actually driving!

Minute by minute, day by day. Create it. They are all, all of them, parts of us. Don't trade the wisdom of any of them, but do pick the wisest choice for a driver!

And thanks for sharing this. We need to be honest with each other about it all, don't we?


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LAURIE5658 9/19/2012 8:57AM

    Life can be funny like that and it's all part of the journey. You WILL sort through this and become the fun lady again!!!!

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DEBRITA01 9/19/2012 8:52AM

    As you know,the lady in the top photo is always going to be a part of you. All of her emotions and ways of dealing with them will resurface from time to time. You are aware that something is "eating you" and in time you'll figure it all out. Give both of the ladies in the photos lots of loving care and patience in the are worth it. emoticon emoticon

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DANMAR1 9/19/2012 8:12AM

  Dear lady in the 2nd photo you are alive and well and getting stronger...the lady in the first picture is past history. She is just testing to see if she can come back. Your SP friends are yelling at her with you to get the heck out of here she is not welcome. Hugs from one of your cheerleaders. I have a good friend that says "this is a test and only a test" when something like this comes the test pattern on our TVs in the 1950's that said this is a test and only a test. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 9/19/2012 8:11AM

    I just showed "himself" your other person--and now "you"--He can't believe what you've done---Get that other person out of yer life!--You are stronger than her!-Lynda emoticon

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KALIGIRL 9/19/2012 7:54AM

    We are both aren't we and many more than just two.

Your (and mine) analytical nature 'requires' searching and looking for 'reasons'. Perhaps your neighbor was just offering help? (We do with ours as we have the equipment and they don't)

I have been contemplating why I am engaging with certain people - what they bring to my life and what I bring to theirs. A similar dichotomy only different...

Isn't it wonderful the dilemmas and paradoxes the universe offers?
Life IS good!

“There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.”
Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915); philosopher, author, publisher

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 7:58:12 AM

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DMEYER4 9/19/2012 7:53AM

  emoticon emoticon back to the new person in the second photo

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