Psalm 23:4 - Pit Bull Translation

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for I am the baddest dog in the valley"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

RIP Nibbles

Nibbles crossed to the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. He was the sweetest guinea pig who went along with just about anything. Even Molly picking him up and carrying him in her mouth one day didn't ruffle his fur. He stood his ground against a nosy cat. But would lay on his back for a belly rub whenever you wanted. The stems of dandelions were his favorite treat. He never even minded getting a bath and having his nails clipped. An old soft toothbrush made the perfect brush. Obviously spoiled, he would only eat carrots if they were peeled. If you were eating an apple and didn't want the rest he would be more than happy to take it off your hands. We will miss him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Are you a compulsive overeater?

I've continued to be very busy on my healing path. Someone recently asked me how I knew I was a compulsive overeater. I told her there were a bunch of questions I found online at site. Since it took me two weeks to get up the courage to check the site once I heard about OA I figured I post the 15 questions here.

Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?
Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?
Do you give too much time and thought to food?
Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?
Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?
Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?
Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?
Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?
Do you resent others telling you to “use a little willpower” to stop overeating?
Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet “on your own” whenever you wish?
Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?
Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?
Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?
Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

If you answered yes to more than three of these questions you may be a compulsive overeater.

I can tell you it is changing my life and I'm not even talking about weight loss. Because it doesn't take long to realize that it's not about the food.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Touch of Writers Block

The words haven't flowed lately. At least here. I have to write daily logs and answer specific questions for my sponsor every day. I also have to journal my feelings and thoughts. All this has been a major writing commitment and doesn't leave much left in the creative writing juice jar. I will say though by writing it out it does seem to make things so much clearer.

I just dozed off with my fingers on the keyboard and pressed "d" for an unknown period of time. There were rows and rows of them. That means I need to go to bed. Still haven't caught up on my sleep from the weekend yet.

Tomorrow is a new day......

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Out of Sorts

One of the toughest things to do since joining OA is to go grocery shopping. I go with my list in hand, like I always have, but just walking past all the foods I love (a sick love, but love none the less) increases my anxiety with each step. Handing the job over to The Engineer has crossed my mind, but (isn't there always a but) he has a tendency to freelance and not stick completely to the list. That could cause a real problem for me. I'm not ready to have my binge foods just laying around the house, whispering to me, begging me to eat them.

I usually call my sponsor or someone on my team before I go inside for a little pep talk. Tonight no one answered their phone. I know I could call home or a friend but some things just need to be dealt with by someone who's been there.

I have been home for two hours and am still dealing with the residual anxiety. I really just want to go to bed but I can't sleep with this on my mind. I had a very busy weekend, and really need the rest.

The good news is my food supply is restocked. Lots of fruit and fresh veggies. Now if I can keep the vultures away I might actually get to eat some of it.

I'm also feeling some anxiety because one of my team is having a difficult time right now. Signs of relapse are creeping into their way of living. It scares me. There by the grace of G-d go I. We're going to have a heart to heart tomorrow.

The bond I have developed with people from OA in such a short time has been amazing. The level of trust within the fellowship is like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Tomorrow I will have been abstinent for 14 days, two weeks, even I can't believe it. I haven't felt this good since I can't remember when. They told me that my abstinence would become precious to me. I didn't understand. Now I do, I want to protect it and nurture it at all costs. It is the first step in my new life.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baseball Boy's Practice

Guest Blogger: Baseball Boy

Baseball Boy plays baseball for two years. He was the catcher and he batted two times. He ran to second base the first time he batted. No outs for him. The second time he ran to first base.

When he was catching he got hit with the ball five times. The one time he got hit with a fast ball. The second time he got hit on the toe. The pitcher was one of the coaches. The coach put down a glove and he said, "If you step back from the ball you will run a lap." And it was hard for Baseball Boy not to step back. Baseball Boy was afraid that he would get hit with the ball. When he finally stepped forward he hit it far. One was a pop up and one was a grounder.

The Scientist and The Vet were on another field practicing with a softball. They caught some and then practiced running bases and then chased geese. A pond was right behind the field and the coach said, "If you hit the ball behind us and it goes into the water you get a bonus."

After the practice we had to pick up all the equipment and then the coach gave us a Popsicle. Then we went home.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Tough Assignment

"Stay out of your head, it's a dangerous place."

That was a text I received around lunchtime today reminding me that I think too much. It came from a member of my team. I analyze and dissect trying to get to the bottom of any problem I come across. The problem is that when it comes to eating my mind is a very screwed up place indeed. So I'm trying to figure out a calculus problem with a broken calculator. I need to knock it off and accept help from people who have been living abstinent for years. They already have it figured out, why try to reinvent the wheel. My head knows they got it figured out and by following their path I too will find peace. So at least when it comes to food I have to stop thinking and start doing.

Accept help: It is one of my biggest defects. Asking for help is akin to admitting I couldn't handle it myself.

By questioning and not doing I am continuing to bog myself down in the details. It's all laid out. One day at a time, one step at a time. I'm fretting about steps I'm nowhere near. I am my own worst enemy.

One day at a time. Give myself a break. Progress not perfection.

Thinking is not a tool. Here is the list of tools I have to help me.

A Plan of Eating

As you might have guessed this has been a problem for me. I'm working on it, one day at a time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Outside my comfort zone

See that hand, the one with the dirt under the nails and all over the fingers. That's my hand. I had Baseball Boy take a picture of it because this was a once in a lifetime event. I wanted it recorded so in the future I have evidence that this happened. Especially once my mind erases it from my memory.

The Engineer, at my request, tore out all this old overgrown landscaping along the edge of our driveway and around the mailbox. I just wanted grass and a simple group of flowers around the mailbox. So yesterday he's got it all ready. But as usual our timing sucks and he had to stop to take Baseball Boy to a baseball game. It's little league so they kinda make up some of the rules as they go, like how many innings they are going to play. The Engineer had hoped to get home before dark and spread the seed/fertilizer and plant the little flowering plants (I think they're petunias). Well the coaches decided to play until it got to dark so that plan went out the window.
No biggie, he's got an hour or so after work today to take care of it.

This morning the phone rings and The Engineer is not a happy man. He just found out that rain is moving in and all his fluffy perfectly raked out topsoil will all pack down if it rains. This will make it difficult to start grass from seed and his flowers will not have soft soil to lay out its roots. So he calls knowing that he is up against someone who cringes at the feel of dirt under her fingernails. Who hates to sit on the ground and dig and refuses to wear gardening gloves because all they do is grind the dirt into your skin. He makes his plea and is met with whining. But he was well prepared this time with his defense and I was forced to concede. He almost blew it though. See I've never spread grass seed. As far as I'm concerned you stick your hand in the bag grab a handful and throw it. Who knew there was an art to this? I was not interested in a seed spreading lesson on the phone when I'm already unhappy with this job ahead of me. He took the hint and accepted that he was going to have to get what he gets.

I planted the flowers. Put the mulchy stuff all around them and threw seed and fertilizer willy nilly. I couldn't find the darn little garden shovel and had to use one of my spoons but that's why we have a dishwasher.

I gave the flowers a little water and wished them well. The Engineer will fuss over them and the new grass that will grow and in a month it will be a clean and beautiful area instead of the overgrown pit it was.

All day I waited for the dreaded rain to start; and it did, exactly one hour after The Engineer got home from work.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day-Not

Mother's Day is a tough one for me. My Mom was a tough one to please on Mother's Day, let's just leave it at that. Now she's been gone for several years and I miss her. I still work every year on Mother's Day as an act of avoidance. It doesn't matter anymore but I still grab that shift every time.

The kids have learned that doing more than making me a card and giving me a hug just stresses me out. It's amazing how no matter how much I try to do the opposite I wind up being the same. She wanted things her way; ex. an unattainable ass kissing: And I want things my way; ex. minimalist all the way.

I am comfortable with the way Mother's Day is celebrated around here. While I'm at work (enjoying turning over the responsibilities of parenthood for 14 hours) they make me cards and usually clean up. When I get in I get giant hugs and "Happy Mother's Day's. Dinner is already made, not a big deal, just a simple dinner, we eat together and talk about our day.

For me many of the holidays are ways we should be living our life. Respecting our parents, grandparents, the earth, appreciating our veterans and employees. Don't wait until Arbor Day to plant a tree. Fly your American Flag every day, not just Flag Day and the 4th of July. Unless a holiday celebrates a specific event I'm inclined to ignore it on that day and try to live it everyday.

So instead of kissing my butt on one day and being completely disrespectful for the rest of the year let's make an effort everyday to be kind and respectful to the people around you and the earth we live on. This is my hope for Mother's Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Page Update

You may or may not have noticed the Live Feed widget I had added to the page. At first I thought it would be fun to see where everyone was coming from. It was, but (there is always a but) then I started to wonder if it would bother people to have it there. It was starting to make me feel weird because I came up on it too. Because I post pictures of my kids and dogs (the most often stolen breed, I might add) I don't want our names or town posted, yet there it was for everyone to see.

So it's down and it's going to stay down. All the lurkers will be anonymous again. I don't have anything running in the background so you can all surf around without me knowing. I hope I didn't scare anyone off.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Step One

We admitted that we were powerless over food --- that our lives have become unmanageable.

Unmanageable: Unable to control.
Powerless: Lacking strength; helpless.

Two big words right there. Staring me in the face.

Powerless over food? Until recently I just thought I had no willpower, and was a failure with no self control. I thought the constant eating and sneaking food to satisfy cravings was my own weakness. There was no one to blame but myself. Nothing more, nothing less. The self loathing, disgust and feelings of failure haunted me any time I stopped for fast food or donuts (with the excuse that I wanted coffee), ate when I was already full, piled my plate high and ate bowl after bowl of ice cream after everyone had gone to bed. I'd drop the kids off for a class and head to the nearest food joint to get my "fix." I also would eat when I was happy, sad, tired, angry, the list goes on and on. It's like I was eating over my emotions. Some foods, pizza, soft pretzels, ice cream, pasta, white bread I couldn't stop once I started. These have now been identified as my binge foods or trigger foods. When I ate them I physically craved them for days on end sometimes longer. Powerless over food, you bet, it was like it was whispering to me.

Unmanageable, that's a tough pill to swallow. Who wants to admit defeat. That they have lost control of their lives. That getting out of bed had become a supreme effort. That cooking and cleaning seemed like an overwhelming task. That I kept missing appointments and forgetting obligations. That on more days than I care to admit my kids fended for themselves. That as hard as getting up had become, falling asleep was just as difficult.

I'm working towards completing Step One. If you can't accept Step One nothing else will work. I am powerless over food, it controls me and even though I never woke up from a sugar crash, my poor diet (even a seemingly healthy diet isn't; when you freelance crap food) was finally catching up with my ability to function. Stuffed and overfed I'd sit on the couch, unable and unwilling to move. The physical demands of my job were beginning to wear me down. When you are carrying around 110 lbs of extra weight even walking the dogs was becoming a burden.

Tonight I complete day three of abstinence. I am eating only three meals a day and am not eating my binge foods or any white flour. I'm still working on my food plan. My sponsor is a no nonsense type of woman. I have hope, it's a small amount but it's more than I've had in a very long time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who Am I?


I Play TO WIN.

I Am Loyal TO A FAULT.

I Have A Heart MADE OF GOLD.

I Don't Know The Meaning OF GIVING UP.



by Faith Sylvester

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

Last night I went grocery shopping. Today a swarm of locusts my children proceeded to eat the following:

3 lbs of Red Delicious Apples
2 pints of strawberries
2 1/2 lbs of red seedless grapes
2 bananas
1/2 bag of baby carrots
6 sticks of string cheese
1 lb of bacon
3 bagels
1/2 lb of American cheese
3 bowls of various cereals

Then proceeded to complain they were hungry and there was nothing to eat. Did I mention that all this was consumed prior to 4 PM? None of the above stopped any of them from cleaning their plates at dinner time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Personal Discovery

Over the last few weeks as I explore myself and my habits with my sponsor I have learned a lot about myself. Some stuff I've always known. Some stuff I've known but blocked with denial and other stuff have been completely new to me. I am only beginning this journey.

I've always known I like to have things my own way. But it's one thing to know it in your head and know it in your heart.

Today something happened that might of opened up my heart to it, at least a little bit. Baseball Boy has had a wart on his knee for a while. We tried freezing it with over the counter products but all it did was respond by growing bigger.

Last week we finally admitted defeat and I called the doctor to make an appointment to have it removed. The appointment was this morning. Last Friday afternoon while sliding into second base the wart tore right off. I wasn't there, The Engineer was at the game with him, but reports were that he was okay until other parents started freaking out. In case you didn't know warts bleed a lot. They got the bleeding controlled and he stayed to cheer his team on for the rest of the game but for him the game was over.

This morning at the doctors office the nurse tells us it's better to cut it off then freeze it. They will numb his knee cut it out and then freeze the root. Most of it was torn off anyway and it made sense.

The doctor comes in and she's on a mission. This one didn't waste any time with small talk. Baseball Boy is being brave until she turns around with a syringe, clear liquid dripping from the end of the needle. She wasted no time in going for the knee with the needle. Baseball Boy reaches over and grabs onto me. She takes his leg and just gives him the shot. There are some tears but no hysterical crying. After the knee is numb (which is almost instantaneous) she gets a flexible razor and shaves that thing down. Before I know it she's spraying the spot with the freezing stuff (that's the technical term ;-) ). Explains what to expect and we're done. Both the nurse and the doctor tell Baseball Boy how great he did and leave.

Baseball Boy is fine. I on the other hand am ready to freak out. Not from the blood or the procedure. But because all that happened so fast. They had explained what they were going to do, no surprises there. But when Baseball Boy reached over and grabbed onto me I wanted to stop. Right there and calm him down. When she didn't I felt powerless.

I couldn't wait to get out of the office. I felt like I was about to freak out. I had no control in there, the resulting feelings overwhelmed me. Normally if something like that happens I would bee line it for food. Now I know I can't do that. I have to face the feelings not cover them over.

We get in the car and I ask Baseball Boy how he is. I'm expecting him to be as freaked out as I am. His response surprised me. He said that it wasn't too bad. That he liked the doctor. I asked him why he grabbed me when she came at him with the needle. I thought it was because he wanted her to stop but he told me he just needed to hold all of me and not just my hand. Stopping her would have made it worse for him not better. Stopping her would have only made it better for me because I thought I had to stop her for him. He didn't need that. I needed to control the situation not let Baseball Boy and her control the situation.

I know as his parent it is my job to protect him. But I'm always preaching how you have to let them protect themselves with your guidance. I didn't let him do that, I did what I needed, yeah I thought it was what he needed but I didn't listen to him. He didn't say stop or try to get away after she grabbed his leg. He just rolled to the side and grabbed me.

So I learned a lot today. Baseball Boy applied what I had already taught him. I am proud of him for that. I am proud of myself for seeing that it wasn't about me having to control the situation to make it okay for him, even if it took me time to figure it out. It still took me a while to relax over my lack of control in the doctors office. I'm not totally over it yet. But I see it and that's the first step.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

His name was Jack.

This afternoon I'm at a friends house when I met him. The deep brown eyes, the soft blond hair. A smile that could melt your heart.

When I saw him I couldn't resist, I know I'm committed, I know I have responsibilities and by bringing him into my life I could destroy it all.

But I couldn't stop myself. Willpower? I had none. A new love had entered and I closed my heart to those I left behind.

I was feeling overwhelmed and went for a walk. He followed me and before I knew it we were strolling side by side. Connected in a way I hadn't expected.

He had a family. He apparently didn't care, for he followed me where ever I went. It wasn't long, he had me in his grasp. Soft, warm kisses spread across my face. I was swept away.

Time flew by and I had to go home. A final hug and soft kiss would have to hold until next time. Thoughts of Jack, so warm and strong stayed with me all the way home.

I entered the house carefully, afraid that they would see it in my eyes. Or smell his scent on me.

Only a moment passed after I walked in, it was obvious. His anger was controlled but his disappointment was deep and shone in his eyes. I tried to walk around him but he wouldn't let me pass. He flung himself at me and buried his head on my shoulder knocking me to the ground. Taking huge breaths in, there was no denying the betrayal.

The scent seared into his brain he knew one day he would meet the one who had stolen my heart. He walked away, his head hanging low and went to his crate to come to terms with his pain. Malka tried to comfort him, recognizing the scent of puppy on her mother's clothes but Mickey feared his life would never be the same.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Incredible Edible Egg

I wanted to share this with everyone. Both eggs were laid by our chickens. Both are full sized normal laying chickens. Okay, end of disclaimer.
Isn't that egg on the left huge. Holy mackerel you should have seen the size of the egg. We probably should have taken a picture of the egg before we cracked it open next to one of our regular eggs. It was even bigger than a jumbo store bought egg. When I first saw it all I could think about was the poor chicken laid that without an epidural. I expected to see two yolks (an uncommon but not unheard of event).
Moments after this picture was taken it was slid into a sizzling frying pan. Ten minutes later it made it's last journey in a recognizable state.
It was delicious.