Day 10: TMI

My butt hurts.

OK, I know that’s kind of funny, because, you know, what 4-year old doesn’t like a good butt joke? But it’s also annoying, because it’s my butt, and pain isn’t fun. Also, it’s exasperating, because my butt wouldn’t hurt if I wasn’t overweight. You see, I’ve worn out the seat in my office chair with my heavier-than-necessary behind. I asked the manager about getting a new desk chair (or at least a cushion for the existing chair), and I’ll be getting something soon, but it doesn’t help me today. Today my butt hurts.

On my walk to work this morning, I was idly considering the changes my body has undergone with age. Some changes are inevitable – fine lines, a few gray hairs – but others are purely a result of my relationship with food and physical activity. I think/hope/wish/plan to turn some of these things around in the coming months. This blog isn’t a place for me to be opaque, to obfuscate, to generalize. This is a place for me to be truthful with myself in a way that matters. So I’m going to talk about some of the things that have changed, even though it’s going to be TMI for some of you. The rest of you might find this refreshing. I’m hoping that I do, too.

Along with having a big ol’ butt, my thighs have always touched. Like, always. Since I was a child. I’ve got pictures to prove it, but I’m not posting any here. This all goes to say that the thought of the “thigh gap” has always been alien to me, even when I was young and skinny. It’s awesome that some bodies have that feature, but this particular body just isn’t made that way. That being said, 40 lbs. ago, I could wear skirts without stockings and suffer no major issues. Now if I do that, my thighs rub so much that I get the equivalent of rug burn within minutes. Once, at a fancy party, I actually got such a terrible friction burn on my thighs from wearing Spanx, that by an hour in, my thighs were bleeding. I was also wearing high heels that gave me blisters, and it was a work affair where I had to mingle and make small talk (Have I mentioned how much I hate small talk? Let’s just say way more than bleeding thighs.) so the entire night was pure torture. Of course, I never even thought of mentioning any of this until now. That’s just how things go when you dress up. Women are taught from a young age to grin and bear it, and unfortunately this ends up coloring our lives in ways that some of us end up finding untenable. (I believe I hit my “this is complete bullshit!” limit about two years back). But you know the motto: beauty is pain. Sigh.

Sometimes, if I want to dress up and know that I don’t have to walk much, I’ll chance applying a friction stick like runners use. But in summer here, that stuff sweats off in no time. And I don’t know about you, but my fat thighs sweat a lot more than my thinner thighs used to. Everything sweats more, and there are more places for sweat to accumulate. So now I don’t wear skirts without leggings or stockings, or sometimes biker shorts, which I dislike even more. It’s a drag on hot days, but that’s what you’ve got to do when you’ve got big thighs.

There’s also that my stomach is bigger, which I generally try to hide by wearing fit-and-flare dresses, and blouses that don’t make me look too pregnant. I put zero additional effort into that venture, though. First off, I don’t have any clothing budget, so the things that are in my closet are what I have to wear until they wear completely out (maybe longer, at this rate). Also, I’m not wearing Spanx. Aside from my last bloody experience with the Spanx shorts, I also generally dislike any piece of clothing that I have to roll out of like a scuba diver. There’s also the fact that the crotch opens up slightly so you can kinda push the pieces out of the way when you need to pee, but the opening is definitely not big enough to prevent contact with some sort of drippage, so then you’re just walking around in pee pants for the day. So gross. (Don’t believe me? That link above is by another Anna with a hilarious/terrible story about accidentally peeing in her Spanx.)

Speaking of big thighs, my calves are bigger now, too. I was a runner in high school, and now with walking everywhere and hiking/backpacking when I can, I’m lucky to still have a lot of muscle beneath the fat layer. My calves are well-defined still (though I used to have stunning legs, and now my legs look awkward – tiny ankles tapering out, out, out into big ol’ thighs) but they’re just a teeny, tiny bit too big. Now I suddenly have to wear wide-calf boots. WTF.

I used to wear heels and wedges all the time, but when I gained weight, my center of balance shifted. Now I can barely walk in heels, and when I do wear them, they’re very painful (which is probably just an “I’m getting old” thing, but still). I now only buy comfortable shoes, even if that means they sometimes look schoolmarm-ish. Nothing higher than a 2.5-inch heel, nothing without substantial padding.

Talking about padding, that leads me what is easily the most disappointing part of getting fat: my boobs. I was 155 lbs and a 34B bra size for years and years, until suddenly I wasn’t. Once I started gaining weight, I went up to a 36B and hung there for a while, and then a few years ago I went in for a bra sizing and found out that I was actually a 38D. It was like suddenly getting tits overnight. At first I was overjoyed, because if I had to be fat, at least I could have tatas for the first time ever. Except that it doesn’t really work like that. First off, they get sweaty. Then you’ve got to be so careful about exfoliating at the bra band line to avoid breaking out (tit zits????? Ugh!) And in my case, I might be wearing a larger bra size, but they’re still just as wide-set, so I still don’t have cleavage. In the end, they still look just as awkward and unimpressive as before, just bigger and more obvious at it.

Once you get to be this size, your bra choices start going down, and everyone tries to sell you these ridiculous full-coverage bras that cover WAY more area than I actually have. On top of that, they’re finally making beautiful, sexy little lace bralettes with no underwire, and it’s really tough to find them when you’ve got D knockers. In other words, I am going to be glad to trade these fuckers in for a smaller cup size. I might even have a party to celebrate.

It’s interesting to see all of these things in one place, where I can mull them over. In the moment, I just tend to carry around this irritation, pain, and disgust internally. I never talk about any of these bits and bobs with anyone, even my closest girlfriends. It’s time to air these things out, see how it feels to be open and honest with myself and others about the things that I’ve been clutching so tightly to my chest for way too long. I think that is going to be the only way I can truly free myself of the real things that have been weighing me down. But now it’s time to put this blog away and go eat shrimp for dinner – yay!

Today’s Weight: 191.4 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 5 minute TRX workout, 10 minute tabata routine via 8Fit, foam rolling & stretching, and a little over 13k steps.

Today’s Interactions: Lovely time with Theo at the gym, plus a short conversation with two tourists who were looking for cajun food. One of them had the most beautiful smile. I hope they enjoyed their dinner.

Day 9: Period

NewGirlPeriod

I didn’t sleep well last night, and was tired all day today. A few irritating things happened prior to work and at the office that made my day a little more of a hassle than it needed to be, but overall I managed not to let it upset me too much. To be honest, I think I’ve just been too low in energy for anything to make that much of an impression, one way or the other. All day long, I kind of shuffled along, doing the things I needed to do, not thinking too deeply about much else. I just didn’t have it in me, and I didn’t even have the energy to think about why that might be, until I had a jolt of inspiration: oh yeah, my period started this morning.

I’m incredibly lucky to typically not suffer any terrible side effects from the monthly shedding of my uterine lining. When I was a teenager, I had two heavy periods a month, something that was eventually regulated in college with hormonal birth control (thank goodness it never came back). Other than that, I don’t have intense cramps or headaches or nausea. I bloat a little, but it’s not that noticeable (especially now that I’m naturally more plump). My period is so easy to deal with that I have the luxury of basically getting to ignore it, save for having to buy tampons from time to time. For years, I mistakenly thought that I lacked period symptoms, but what I was actually lacking was a connection to my body.

A couple of years back, I was a member at a weight lifting gym called Iron Tribe. Though I can no longer afford the membership fees, the lessons I learned there were vital to my growth as an athlete and a woman. I loved weight lifting. I still do, though I get to do much less of it. One of the things that I learned – even though apparently I keep forgetting it – is that I was physically weaker a few days before and during my period. It was noticeable. One day I’d be doing multiple reps of a 160 lbs. deadlift, and the next I could barely manage one rep at 150 lbs. A box jump that had been slightly difficult was now completely impossible. Simple kettlebell swings would now have me sobbing in frustration. I’d suddenly get lightheaded, and was easily winded. Then I started to realize that it wasn’t just me. The other women who came in to work out on their periods complained of similar symptoms.

It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. It’s harder to see when I’m not exerting a lot of physical energy, but I’m weaker and more tired when I’m on my period. Our bodies are complex machines. There’s a lot going on in here, and during my period, I need to learn to give myself a break. I don’t have an excuse to not work out, but I do have permission to be kind to myself. Not being able to do as much doesn’t make me a lesser person. It’s just a measure of where I’m at that day. Some days I need to realize that I’m not being lazy – I’m genuinely tired, and need to take care of myself.

That being said, I ended up forcing myself to walk to the gym (I was so tired, it probably looked like the zombie shuffle). There I met my friend Theo for an invigorating gab session on the ellipticals, followed by stretching and foam rolling. And I think I’m going to go ahead and hit the hay, and aim for a nourishing 9-hour sleep…yum.

Today’s Weight: 192.6 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 30 minutes on the elliptical, 13k steps, and some stretching

Day 8: Thoughts Post-Meditation

I just got back from Refuge Recovery, and since the meditation tonight directly applied to my earlier post today, I wanted to take a second to document the process here. Tonight’s meditation topic was “Equanimity,” and during the 20-minute session, there were three phrases that we were asked to contemplate:

  1. All beings are responsible for their own actions.
  2. Suffering or happiness is created through one’s relationship to experience, not by experience itself.
  3. The freedom and happiness of others is dependent on their actions, not on my wishes for them.

Though these concepts are familiar to me, they are very difficult to process and accept on a deeper level. As I repeated each phrase to myself and turned everything over and over in my mind, trying to find a way to soak these thoughts in and make them my own, it all got boiled down to one thing:

  1. I am not responsible for your happiness.

Suddenly it all started to make sense to me. There are so many things that I have not done in my life because I didn’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. I’m not talking about the obvious things that you wouldn’t want to do, like running over their dog or egging their house. I’m also not just talking about interacting with people I know.

I refrain from doing completely innocent things because I don’t want to upset strangers.

For example, a couple of years ago I was on an adult kickball team. I played one and a half games before quitting. The team captain didn’t think I was a strong player, and called me off the field when it was my turn to play, so I quit. Or at least that’s why I told people I quit. To be honest, the circumstances were rather shitty – she was loudly rude to me in front of a lot of people because we were losing, and I was an easy target, though I hadn’t missed any catches or done anything specific to call her rage to my direction. But that’s not why I gave up that night. I gave up because she (unknowingly, one would hope) validated a thought that is always first and foremost in my mind: I’m letting everyone down. It only took one person criticizing me to feel like my personal opinion of myself had been proven, and I might as well stop before I ruined everything for everyone.

In my daydream during Zumba class, I was vividly picturing a club scene where I tried dancing salsa and looked bad doing it. But when I picture this scene, even if my description fails to hit the mark, the negative aspect isn’t failing – it’s letting those around me down by my failure. There’s a spirit to a room full of people dancing to the beat, a harmony. In the real world, someone dancing slightly off beat in a room full of people hardly gets noticed. But in my imagination, I am the cause of disorder and disarray. And when people stop to stare, I don’t care that all eyes are on me – I care that I’ve ruined their evening with my ineptitude.

Of course, this general feeling applies to my entire life. How often have I ignored my own needs to make sure that I negatively impacting anyone else’s life? How many times have I been steamrolled in conversation? Can I add up all of the things I haven’t done because it might interfere with someone else in a way I can’t even imagine? The deeper down the rabbit hole I go, the more I see that I’m overly concerned with making sure everyone else has a nice day. But what about me? Who makes sure I have a nice day?

Today’s Steps: 18,515 (including Zumba)

Day 8: Learning The Steps

 

salsa-barbara-ruzzene
“Salsa” by Barbara Ruzzene

In Zumba class this morning, I spent much of the hour avoiding looking at myself in the mirror. Part of that was because I am slow to catch on, and need to watch the instructor’s feet intently to get in time. However, a larger part is because I caught a glimpse of myself at the beginning of class, and was grossed out by what I saw: two left feet and completely out of sync with the rest of the class, sweaty hair plastered limply to my forehead, too-small tank top clinging to improperly propped breasts (also due to a too-small and very old sports bra), the gray of the tank top blending seamlessly into the gray of the workout pants, an already beet-red face adding the only color in the entire picture.

I spent much of the class attacking the moves with dogged determination, considering why it is that I love Zumba when I know I look absolutely ridiculous. The fact is, I might be heavy and plodding, but when I get the footwork right, it makes me feel good about myself. A little less awkward. I get to climb out of my head, and live in a body that’s doing what I’ve asked it to. It’s not Zumba that I love, though the class is a decent enough outlet; it’s the solo salsa steps that I truly crave.

As the class danced, I started to daydream a little. I imagined moving to a place where I could add solo salsa dancing to my weekly routine. In my imagination, I went to the club to dance with everyone else, but I was too sweaty, and had two left feet. Where the other women undulated, evoking passion and mystery, I shimmied and shook in all the wrong places, inviting ridicule, or worse, pity. I resolved to persist, to get better, to fit in with the other women there, the ones who had grown up imbuing their every day motions with a salsa rhythm, that smooth sexiness rolling off of them without a second thought.

Back in reality, at the end of class, one of my favorite songs came on. It’s always the same steps with this tune, and I moved along without thinking about anything much at all. I looked up and caught a second of myself in the mirror. My hips swayed just right. My arm movements looked relaxed, not forced or awkward. My steps were on the beat, and in the right place. An easy smile touched my lips. For a moment, I was beautiful.

Today’s Weight: 193.4 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 1-hour Zumba class, 10-minute 8Fit workout, and I’ll update this once I know how many steps I got in. I’m going to walk to Refuge Recovery tonight, and I’m already at 12k steps, so guessing I’ll hit at least 17k or so.

Day 7: Love And Reese’s Pieces

Trainspotting2

Sorry if you missed me yesterday. I actually wrote a pretty long and involved post about the planning and preparation that goes into making sure that my weekend doesn’t derail before it begins. The beauty of this blog as a self-help tool for me is in the writing, and I did find that in the process of putting together yesterday’s post, I discovered some things that have a habit of pushing me off of the deep end into abusing food (namely any activity that requires me to make small talk with strangers or acquaintances, which appears to encompass about 95% of social engagements, so that’s going to be a really fun issue to tackle – not). Anyway, working this out in writing was useful, but I didn’t have time to finish the piece, electing instead to go to the movies with my boyfriend. We’ve been in a weird place lately, and don’t see as much of each other as we used to, so when I found out that Trainspotting 2 was playing at the Broad Theater, I impetuously purchased tickets for the both of us. Such a great decision; it really hit the spot. I loved being back in the middle of this crazy film friendship, finding out where Rent Boy, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie were, 20 years later.

Overall, it was a great night, though I wasn’t as successful as I would have preferred to be in being mindful of my food and drink intake. I find it nearly impossible to go to the movies without eating way too much. My all-time favorite activity is to go to a double matinee by myself on a Sunday morning, starting off with a jumbo soda and popcorn (the size where you can get free refills), and peppering the experience with candy or Dippin’ Dots if the mood strikes. No, I don’t do this anymore, but honestly it’s only because I don’t have a car, so I can’t get to the cheap movie theater out in the ‘burbs anymore. If you’re reading this and worried that’s where I went off the rails last night, don’t worry – I was actually pretty good. Before leaving, I was smart enough to eat a small, healthy meal, so when we got to the theater, I had a few bites of the boyfriend’s popcorn, a beer…and most of a giant bag of Reese’s pieces. Oh well, can’t be perfect 100% of the time.

Afterwards, we went back to my place, drank a few more beers, and talked about real things until the wee hours, which I’d call a perfect night. No putzing about online or watching TV, no politics or social media, no one else around to turn the conversation to lighter subjects – just us, giving each other the time we deserve. We’re both going through some intense life transitions right now, and we work opposite schedules, so we don’t see that much of each other. We also both quit Facebook at the beginning of April, and I don’t know if either of us knew how much we “talked” via sharing and liking posts on each other’s walls. Add to that anxiety and depression on both sides of the aisle, food issues on my side, and your general boundary exploration that happens once you’re three years into a relationship, and we’re in a weird place together.

What’s absolutely magical about our very real friendship is that I can be completely honest with him about all of these things without fear that he’ll take it the wrong way. We’re opposing signs (Scorpio and Taurus), and have always shared this dogged determination to understand and really absorb how the other person is faring. We’re each other’s shadow sides, for better or worse. So last night, we had a really good, long conversation about what we know and don’t know about what we both want, our growth as individuals, and how we’ll continue to keep the lines of communication open and provide avenues for both of us to be free and explore and make whatever next steps seem best. There were no revelations, but that’s OK.

ChooseLife

Just a note that this blog isn’t here for me to talk about love and dating, but I do want to make sure to note this portion of my life here, since no one is an island, and no issue stands alone. It is going to be impossible for me to overcome my issues with food and dieting and body image without taking an honest look at how my relationships affect my emotions and food intake.

But on to today. Did I derail myself through last night’s exploits? I’m not entirely sure yet, but I don’t think so. I woke up and made a great breakfast – scrambled eggs, sauteed spinach and garlic, half of a baked sweet potato, and a scoop of salsa. Now I’m at the cafe, having an iced coffee (black, no sugar), and catching up with the blog. I had originally planned to go to the gym to work out, but I can’t see that happening. So what I’ll probably end up doing is completing a short workout from 8Fit, maybe going on a run around my neighborhood, and calling it a day. If I don’t have the energy to do all that, that’s OK, too. It was a great first week of working out, and I know I’m going to Zumba tomorrow, so I’m allowed a break if I want.

Once I’m done here, I’ll go home to do some food prep – I’ve got a rotisserie chicken to cut up for chicken salad, plus eggs to boil, and I’m sure something else I’ve forgotten. Then maybe I’ll clean the house, throw out some more junk, and then attempt to do some “real” writing for the first time in a while – work on one of the fiction projects that I’ve been rolling around in my head for years. We’ll see.

Yesterday’s Weight: 194.0 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 7,574 steps, including a 35-minute/2.5 mile run/walk

Day 5: This Sh*t Takes Time

Thoughts this Afternoon:

Let me start by saying that I overate at lunch, and now I feel sick. It happened, it’s over now, there’s nothing I can do to change any actions that have preceded this moment. All I can do now is examine how I feel and see if there’s a way to use the information to work towards not doing this in the future. Well, that, and try not to puke. I seriously feel ill, guys. I did not see this coming.

Luckily, though I ate too much for one sitting, if I look what I’ve consumed over the course of the entire day, I’m well within a normal limit of food. It’s not like I ate an entire birthday cake. The meal in question was a medium-sized wrap sandwich thing, some chips & salsa, and a side of rice and beans, eaten in two sittings, over the course of three hours. Pretty much nothing, by my typical “I’m going to eat this entire Kia, hubcaps and all” standards. Even so, I ate half of my meal at the restaurant, decided to pack the rest up for dinner and despite that, still tucked into the leftovers not even an hour after we got back to the office. Now I feel like you could roll me down the hall like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

willywonka_rollingviolet

First off, the things I’m proud of:

  1. I was craving a Diet Coke while we were out on errands, but I talked myself out of one by promising that I could have it with lunch if I still wanted one then.
  2. Drank an unsweetened tea with lunch. Considered the Diet Coke and didn’t really want it anymore.
  3. Ordered a moderately healthy meal – a shrimp & veggie wrap with a side of rice and beans. Not a huge burrito with unhealthy stuffings, nothing deep fried, and nothing smothered in queso. I thought briefly about getting a salad, but it sounded too depressing. This was enough of a shift in the right direction for now.
  4. I ate half of the food, then got a to-go box. It felt like a no-brainer. I was very happy with this part.

Now, the things I’d like to change:

  1. I didn’t want to go out to eat lunch. I ate breakfast a little later this morning, and I wasn’t hungry again yet. But my coworker wanted to treat me to lunch, and more importantly, I knew HE wanted to get lunch, and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I could have found a way to say no if I really wanted to.
  2. During lunch, I was doing a good job of paying attention to how full I was getting, but I still ate a few bites mindlessly while waiting for the server to bring me a to-go box.
  3. Once I got back to the office, I ate the rest of the food out of boredom. I wasn’t hungry, and that would have made a great dinner after the gym.
  4. I ate even though I was uncomfortable.

This feels a little like my subconscious is trying to sabotage my gym trip this afternoon, but joke’s on me, because I’m still going to go. Just maybe a little later than originally planned, because I’m pretty sure I’d puke if I tried to go in the next half an hour.

Thoughts Tonight:

Man, I’m exhausted. Gonna keep this short. I worked my butt off at the gym with a 35 minute run/walk and a circuit training session via my new workout app. Afterwards, I made the executive decision to go and buy groceries, even though I was a little apprehensive that I’d make some impulse buys that wouldn’t fit my budget and might lead to true binge. I didn’t want lunch to merely be the prelude to something larger and shittier, so when I got to the store, I took my time and thought through every purchase. Was $4 over my weekly grocery allowance, but that’s because I bought cage-free/free range/organic eggs and allowed myself a treat at the checkout – a coconut LaCroix. But the things I did get were awesome, and I’m going to have very tasty, healthy meals this coming week.

I was supposed to talk with my friend Trin tonight at 7, but she had to reschedule, which actually worked out perfectly. It let me shower, get a little housework done, make a pitcher of tea, and bake sweet potatoes (now you know how Southern I am, lol) before my friend Danica and I talked at 8:30. I don’t talk on the phone very often, because it’s so difficult to find the time, and I don’t like talking on the phone (or Skype, for that matter). I prefer communicating in writing if at all possible. But now that I’m not on Facebook, I don’t see any of my best girlfriends, since they all live out of the state (or out of the country). So I’m going to have to make time to hop on the phone if I want to do the work of maintaining these wonderful friendships. All the talking out loud really drains me, energetically, but it’s very much worth it. I loved getting to catch up with Danica after months of only communicating via social media posts and the occasional text.

Today’s Weight: 193.4 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 18,850 steps (including a 35 minute run/walk at the gym), and a circuit training session on 8Fit.

Day 4: Redux

Probably should have trusted my instincts more; there was no meditation group at the Healing Center tonight. Even so, it wasn’t a complete dud of a trip. First off, I hit my Fitbit daily steps goal on my long walk around the Healing Center. Secondly, I had a mini adventure, and got out of my head for a little bit, despite the adversity. Best of all, I was able to identify some triggers, then stop them in their tracks.

The New Orleans Healing Center is a total maze. There are four floors, with multiple stairwells leading up to various places that you can’t get to by other stairwells. It’s super confusing, but luckily I don’t get stressed out by getting lost or turned around, which is good, because I spent about 15 minutes wandering around in circles. There’s lots of signage, but it’s not entirely clear, so I got to the second floor and couldn’t find the stairs to the third floor, and ended up taking the stairs to another second floor, then realized that the first second floor was actually the mezzanine? Yup, totally lost.

After a while, I found an elevator, but when I got to the fourth floor, there was a security gate pulled over the elevator exit, so I had to go back down to the second floor, where I found a set of exit stairs that took me up to the fourth floor, but then the door was locked. I honestly still don’t know if I was taking the right stairs or not. For all I know, there was a whole other set of stairs on the other side of the building, and the meditation group is happening right now. But it was already past the event start time, so I decided to call off the search for the missing mindfulness group and move on with life.

As predicted earlier, as soon as I realized that I wasn’t making it to a meditation meeting tonight, my very first thought was to go to the food co-op and buy something tasty to cheer myself up. But I took the thought and sat with it for a moment, dissected it and took the time to talk it through and ask myself if I was really hungry, or if I was using food to smother my emotions. As soon as I paid attention to the root of the impulse, it wasn’t strong anymore. I was able to put it away and move on.

I decided to look at all of the flyers and leaflets and bulletin boards (there are many throughout the building), to see if I could find any other meditation group information that might be useful. On the ground floor, there’s a little thrift store that’s always closed when I happen by, but today it was still open. I walked in, and there was a gorgeous tie-dyed maxi dress sitting front and center on the first rack. It was just so vibrant and cheerful, I had to at least try it on. The shopkeeper was this chipper, energetic young woman who brightened up the room when she came over to ask if I needed help, so my mind was half made up before I even found out if the dress fit. Then, when I was trying it on in the bathroom, I came out of the stall to check myself out in the mirror, and another woman was there. She and I chatted for a minute, and she told me that I looked so happy in the dress, it seemed perfect for me. It’s a teeny bit snug in the boobs, but in a good way. My cleavage looks amazing! I’m so used to feeling like a frumpy stuffed sausage in all of my clothes; it’s nice to notice something nice about myself. I’m totally rocking my new frock this summer at the beach.

As I left the Healing Center, on my way past the food co-op I again had the impulse to go in. This time the thought was, “I’ve been so good today – I deserve a treat!” So in less than 30 minutes, I had the impulse to eat because I was frustrated, and to eat as a kind of prize for good behavior. It almost felt like a little kid trying a different tactic to get a treat. I again thought it through as I was walking out, and gently just reminded myself that I wasn’t hungry, and there were other ways to be happy. Thought process filed away for later dissection.

Once I was outside in the sun, safely past the temptation of the co-op soup bar, I thought maybe it was time to find a diversion instead of heading straight home. I decided to text a couple of girlfriends in the neighborhood to see if anyone was out and about and wanted to hang out for a little bit. It turns out that one of them will be available in 30 minutes or so, so she and I are going to take a walk around the neighborhood with her dog.

Down the street from my house, I caught something cool out of the corner of my eye: a really pretty wine box was sitting on the curb. There was a man nearby in his side yard, doing some clean up work, so I politely asked if the box was his. He showed me how it had a little termite damage, and then gave me a second box that was sitting in his garage. Score!

Today’s Interactions: I initiated conversations with three different hotel guests in the elevator today, and ended up meeting people from Raleigh and Nashville. I also spoke with the shopkeeper and a nice lady stranger at the Healing Center. I asked two different people if they wanted to hang out (one said yes!), and then when I got home, I initiated a conversation with my landlord about the new flower garden that he’s planting in the front yard. Later, I went walking with the friend who said yes, and though I don’t know her that well, I decided to take the plunge and tell her about the binge eating and seeking help. It was a great talk, and I think we might help each other, as she had some ideas for me, too.

Definitely patting myself on the back for getting completely out of my comfort zone today, and not freaking out about it. Go me!