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National eating disorders awareness week

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Spark calendar proclaimed this at me yesterday morning as I turned the page: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins Sunday (today).

As normal as my body size may look (right now), I do suffer from an Eating Disorder. I am a compulsive over-eater. I have accepted this, it's a fact about me.

Some days I get stronger reminders than others of my condition. Turning the calendar page yesterday was one such reminder. Reading a blog by PonyFarmer yesterday was the beginning of another. She mentioned a book in her entry, "Passing for Thin" by Frances Kuffel.

The title alone spoke to me: "Passing for Thin" evokes some inner feelings, because despite my body size, despite having been "in maintenance" for over a year... there are times when I feel I am just pretending to be this fit, active, slim person.

One incident from about 1994 or 1995 comes to mind. I had dropped the weight then, too. I was in a new-to-me city, working, and at a work event. A dinner, no less. I was sitting with other normal sized people and treated (if you can call it that) to some conversation about another person in the room, who was a size I used to be.

These people did not know my history, and clearly did not INTEND to be cruel. They honestly did not "get" what it is like to live with addiction, or for that matter, that food could be a substance of addiction. That evening, I made them uncomfortable by enlightening them.

That, in turn, made ME uncomfortable, and within a year of that dinner... I had regained about 50 of those pounds I had worked so hard to shed. At that time, it was very important to me to be understood, and it was as though a switch was thrown: "these people" would never understand.

What's different today? I no longer care whether normal people understand. It is more important that I understand it. I know I have this disease. I know that eating certain things will make me want more of them. And that's OK. It is within my power to decide how to act, based on that knowledge.

This disease has several faces: over-eating and carrying the excessive weight, over-restriction and over-exercising, and binging and purging. That is its practice. But its roots are in the mind, as well: when food is at the center of one's universe... and all things revolve around it, to the exclusion of the enjoyment of the rest of life, that's a danger sign.

Here's to recovery: It's the best thing that has ever happened to me... one day, one decision at a time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 2/23/2011 1:06PM

    This blog really got me thinking. (Your blogs usually do!)

Anyway, I wrote a blog of my own as a result of reading yours.

Thank you once again for stirring up the thought processes.

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MSLZZY 2/21/2011 9:07PM

    So glad your have recognized the inner demons and acknowledged their influence on your life. Would that we all were so intuitive. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/20/2011 6:29PM

    I need to do the best I can and If I help someone along the way, then that is terrific. I never thought of myself as having an eating disorder but it does make sense. People don't understand the struggles if they have never been there.

Thanks for a great post.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 2/20/2011 5:57PM

    I'm with Deb in the fact that I don't really care what people think...I just want to be the best that I can be a to be a good role model to my grandkids. I know my trigger foods and know that I cannot trust myself with them and that's ok...it's only taken me almost 60 years to figure that out.I am still learning every day about nutrition and wellness and know that every day is a gift and to treat it with health!

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SUNNYWBL 2/20/2011 1:37PM

    I had no idea!

For me, the issues are simpler- eat less and exercise more, Thankfully!

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REJ7777 2/20/2011 12:42PM

    I can relate to what you wrote. Sometimes I realize that there's something *wrong* with me. Why do I binge? Why is food so important to me? I have to be extremely careful about trigger foods, or I can lose control. I don't relate to food in the way *normal* people do. Sometimes I feel like a phony-baloney when I talk about fitness and hiking. And yet, that's where I am. That's my reality. It's where I have to begin. And what I'm hoping is that, in time, it will begin to feel authentic. As I've read, "Fake it 'til you make it."

You're becoming an athlete. I hope that in time, you will truly see yourself as that. I think that we'll always have to be more on guard than normal people, as far as food is concerned. But as we develop new interests, I hope that our identity and self-perception will change to reflect who we are truly becoming.

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KASEYCOFF 2/20/2011 11:33AM

    Yes, I think all too often people hear the words 'eating disorder' and immediately jump to anorexia or bulimia. There have been famous people who've publicly acknowledged they suffer from those; there have been shocking pictures of people who are practically skeletons, and even well-known deaths. But you don't tend to hear that 'eating disorder' is an umbrella category for ANY addictive food behaviors, whether it's eating one Cheerio for breakfast, binging and purging, or hiding 'caches' of chocolate so you can indulge in secret. I can appreciate the fact that you tried to enlighten the people you'd been with at that dinner - and I can understand that they didn't get it. But sometimes it breaks my heart that overeating (as opposed to undereating) is so little understood that it's not even recognized as a problem.
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CHRYS13 2/20/2011 11:28AM

    What a powerful blog. I thank you so much for sharing your journey with its ups and downs.
Way to take it one day at a time! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 2/20/2011 10:43AM

    Awesome job you've done, Barb. Thanks for sharing.

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SWELL10 2/20/2011 9:09AM

    Thank you for sharing. We must each learn how we react to food and what our triggers are. I am an "all or nothing" kind of girl and know I can't eat or drink certain things. As you said, they are a gateway, eating them would open a door. I know many preach moderation in all things, but we must do what works for each of us and for me, I must leave certain things alone.

Good blog!

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DEBRITA01 2/20/2011 8:21AM

    It's hard to make others understand when they have no idea...the great thing is, YOU understand and have made great progress in working through this addiction. Another great thing is, we have people here at SP that DO understand and are living it...such a wonderful support when we need it.

Something I've learned recently (I'm a slow learner...lol) ... it's not my job to teach others. It's my job to be the best role-model I can be and be a good example if others are so inclined to follow (or learn)

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HOT4FITNESS 2/20/2011 8:18AM

    Thanks for sharing this blog and a little about yourself, your strength and your success, It is definitly one step at a time in these journeys of ours.

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Blogger's block

Friday, February 18, 2011

I haven't blogged since Tuesday. Each day, I've got to this point and found that like one of my favorite pastors preached... "today I got nothin'". I've said a lot of it over the course of the last year. Most recently, I even blogged through the "hold it together" week following my nephew's passing. But now... I don't know... my thoughts are feeling a bit hollow. Perhaps it is the magnitude of that last set, and everything else pales in comparison and seems a trifle flippant.

I may spend a few days reading others, hopefully catch up on some commenting, rather than writing new material. Call it a battery recharge in progress. One of these days something worth saying will bubble to the top again... and I'll be back.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 2/19/2011 3:41PM

    I'm sure that you'll soon 'unblock' Barb, knowing your creative brain.

I have really missed dropping by to catch up on your news and look forward to easing back into SP again soon.

Take care my friend!

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DEBBIESTY 2/19/2011 9:17AM

    Barb, thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. I'm sure your block will disappear soon. And I will get a chance to know you better.

Peace out. emoticon

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ANDI571 2/18/2011 3:58PM

    We all need to step back and recharge sometimes. Just step back and be kind to yourself and take care of you. emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 2/18/2011 3:44PM

    Yep, I know what you mean. And even when you don't have anything to say, I will still listen.
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SUNNYWBL 2/18/2011 1:55PM

    We all need a time of recharging - now and then! Just keep on, keeping on!

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WENDYSPARKS 2/18/2011 1:45PM

    God Bless You!! We are patient!

Wendy emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/18/2011 1:39PM

    When the time is right, dear friend! HUGS!

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REJ7777 2/18/2011 12:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMOOAUG 2/18/2011 10:15AM

    We all need to recharge at times. You have been through a lot lately. You deserve to take some time just for you.

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DAISY443 2/18/2011 10:10AM

    Waiting.......

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SUNNY332 2/18/2011 9:52AM

    I definitely understand. Hang in there - you will receive the inspiration you need to write again.

Hugs, Sunny

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CONCHA77 2/18/2011 9:10AM

    I understand but do look forward to your next blog, always enjoy them. Enjoy your weekend.

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DEBRITA01 2/18/2011 9:00AM

    Sometimes it's good to be still and listen...You've been through a lot lately and may need time to process it all. Take care... emoticon

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Checkmark

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The original "goal" post, when I was inspired to try this: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3767570


I put the check mark on New Year's Day (although I did it New Year's eve), getting 100 on the pushups and the run, but failing the situps by 3, at 24.

Last night, drugged with Benedryl and Advil against my sinus that acts up when the weather gets nice? (Yes, I know, excuses!) And without targeted training since New Years (more excuses)... here's how I did.

Push ups: 28 (score of 100, but a couple less than I pushed out New Year's Eve)
Sit ups: 24 FAIL by 3! Again... exactly the same!
Run: 20:33, score of 93... a little slower than last time.

All in all, I'm fairly satisfied with the results. Next test: Mother's Day... by which time I'll have that Half Marathon under my belt. The Half Marathon speed walking is my primary goal, but one of these days, I want to pass that sit up test!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 2/16/2011 11:25AM

    Determination WILL get you there--!!!
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GRYPHONQUEST 2/16/2011 9:54AM

    Wow... well, you're a great example/inspiration for your newbie followers, that's for sure! (I'm another person who is *very* glad Benadryl exists. Allergy season is already starting here in DC!)

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KALIGIRL 2/16/2011 8:57AM

    Half a marathon - and I'm just starting the virtual 5K...
Here's to you!

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LJCANNON 2/15/2011 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticonI will be watching for the Blog when you pass that test. It is just a matter of time.

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REJ7777 2/15/2011 9:28PM

    emoticon

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BONNEVIE 2/15/2011 7:32PM

    Sounds like you kicked butt to me!!!!!

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MSLZZY 2/15/2011 5:48PM

    You did the best you could and you tried! That counts too! HUGS!

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BUGGYS 2/15/2011 10:39AM

    You did great even tho' you were dealing with drugs in your system!!!

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HOT4FITNESS 2/15/2011 10:07AM

    Hey, thats great!! You will be passing those situps in no time. Have a great day and Happy training!!!

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SUNNY332 2/15/2011 9:00AM

    You did GREAT! Thanks for posting your results. You are an inspiration.

Sunny

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DAISY443 2/15/2011 7:38AM

    You did amazingly well considering the sinus thing! Congratulate yourself!

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Valentine's Day thoughts

Monday, February 14, 2011

As a gal who would pick "not looking" on any of the relationship status checks, Valentine's day kind of becomes like the kids version. I don't send 'em out, and I don't really expect to get any. However, I've found a bunch in my Spark Goodies! So, thank you... hope to get you back in a bit... if I miss you, I *did* think of you!

But that is a digression: today is one of the days I designated for my Army Physical Fitness Test. I will take this after work tonight and let y'all know how I did. Here's what I'm aiming for, the levels for females 57 - 61 years old. Yes, there are women this old in the Army! ETA: I'm not one of them, mind you, but they exist! I just have a son in the reserves and challenged myself to this little test.

Push-ups: as many as you can do in 2 minutes. You may rest in the plank position, but you can't stop at the lowered position. Passing: 8. Score of 100 at 28.

Rest 10 minutes - 20 minutes (max), then Sit-ups: as many as you can do in 2 minutes. Passing: 27. Score of 100 at 64. This is my weak area. Sigh.

Rest 10 minutes - 20 minutes (max), the run 2 miles, fast as you can. Passing: 24:48. Score of 100 at 19:42.

I last took this test on New Year's eve, I did 30 push ups, 24 sit ups, and ran the two miles in 19:16. Wish me luck this evening... I have not been training for this, as I've been focused on the half marathon and training speed walking instead of jogging. But I'm curious to see how I'll do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/14/2011 9:23PM

    You'll do fabulous!
Happy V-day.

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HOT4FITNESS 2/14/2011 5:15PM

    what a great way to spend your Valentines evening. Good luck will be anxious to hear how you do.

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KASEYCOFF 2/14/2011 12:28PM

    Wow, love it! Great way of keeping tabs on your progress - and much more meaningful (thinks me) than just the number on a scales.
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SUNNY332 2/14/2011 10:00AM

    Best wishes on the test. Do have a Happy emoticon day and good job taking care of your emoticon!!

Hugs, Sunny

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MSLZZY 2/14/2011 9:51AM

    Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day! HUGS!

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BUGGYS 2/14/2011 7:35AM

    Good luck on your teast today...Happy commercial day! :)

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REJ7777 2/14/2011 7:27AM

    I too would be one to write *not looking* on a relationship status check. I used to ignore Valentine's Day. But now, I use it to let my friends know I care.

Happy Valentine's Day! emoticon

I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll do on your fitness test! emoticon

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ANGELOO29 2/14/2011 7:23AM

    Good luck to you!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

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Weekend odds & ends

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I had the overnight monitor job Friday into Saturday... and things went bump in the night and what should have lasted only a couple of hours stretched to about seven. But the job got done.

Warning: when you're over 50, messing with routine in your life is not as easy as it was back when you were 20. Or at least that's been my own experience.

I thought I would just go back to bed after breakfast. But, I didn't... napped a bit on the couch. Hopped up on the treadmill and did my three miles (per the training schedule). Showered and came downstairs to have lunch... and then restlessly started eating.

Oh, no, you're all thinking, there she goes again. Well, yes, there she went. Sugar, butter, chocolate, flour, cinnamon... "It's Valentine's weekend," said the
emoticon voice in my head. Anyway, I blew my calorie budget for sure, but... it put me to sleep... and I napped for three hours. Got up in the evening and did the first run at my taxes before bed. Ugh!

Napped on the couch to a TV show again, then transferred to bed about 10 p.m. Woke with sinus passages all bloated this morning. Popped a Benydryl allergy pill and went back to sleep. Kind of too bad, as it was one of the nicest days!

Had breakfast about 2 p.m. Napped again, then felt enough better to dress and go take advantage of the warm temperatures outside: dog duty! Got the deck and patio and part of the back yard cleared of the snow-storm droppings. Yeah, nasty job, but who else is going to do it around here?

And... in the evening, felt good enough to hop on the treadmill to do my scheduled 6 miles... promising myself I could go slowly. I felt better and better as I kept moving. See? Exercise is GOOD for me!

And hopefully, after tonight, I'll get my days and nights back on schedule for the upcoming regular work week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THIAGRAM 2/14/2011 2:47PM

  I think this proves it.. Your old old habits are gone, gone, gone and you have replaced them with good habits, otherwise you would not have exercised while you were that tired! Hooray for you!

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KASEYCOFF 2/14/2011 12:36PM

    Sounds like your little derailment didn't keep you from getting back on track - good for you, Barb!
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BUGGYS 2/14/2011 7:34AM

    I have such a routine during the week that I look forward to weekends when the routine goes out the window...I have no problem breaking with my routine but it sometimes bother my DH (he's 4 years older) because he says I'm always on the go...being tied down with 5 grandkids during the week, I kind of let go on the weekends! emoticon

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DAISY443 2/14/2011 5:02AM

    I can relate to the storm droppings! The path through the snow to my garage is almost covered. Not so bad when it is frozen, but now that it's thawing, I have to do something about it! That may be my cardio today!

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MSLZZY 2/13/2011 10:52PM

    Got to have a schedule! HUGS!

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REJ7777 2/13/2011 9:50PM

    I can sure relate to it's being harder to mess with our routine after 50. And especially if it was stressful work that took over 3 times the expected time! I got caught up in some stress eating on Friday. An issue at work, that I learned about on Thursday night, was such a focus and energy drain that my health was no longer even on the agenda. Everything was cleared up on Friday, but it wasn't until Saturday morning that I felt *normal* again. But I did get back on track.

I think that's what makes THIS time different from every other time before. No matter how many times we fall off the wagon, we get back on the treadmill! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/13/2011 9:51:29 PM

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