Archive for June, 2007

We’ve merged into a phase of “micro-days.” My daughter has a cycle of 2-3 hours in which the same pattern repeats:

  • feel pain
  • take medicine as available
  • check temperature
  • try to eat and drink something
  • try to get comfortable
  • doze off for 5-30 minutes
  • wake up

About 4:30 this morning, I woke up with my typical feeling: like I’d slept not at all, but in reality quite some time had passed. DD had been awake a bit longer, and had cabin fever. We decided to drive to Stuttgart, in spite of the early hour.

It was a fantastic time to drive in that city! No one was awake except the first delivery men, and we could drive slowly and choose our paths. Clad in my slippers and lying on her favorite pillow, she directed me past all of her favorite places: the park near the station where she meets her friends, her friends’ house, the parents’ business, and more. It was really seeing the city through my daughter’s eyes.

Then we went back home, collapsed and slept for 2 hours.

My positives:

  1. The connection between my daughter and me is quite strong at the moment.
  2. I am eating quite normally, and have food currently in its rightful place, given my current stress
  3. I appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep
  4. Doctor has found a way for me to swim next week already with my stitches still in, thanks to waterproof bandages
  5. I’m good in a crisis.

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Still working on family illness and trying to keep up with work. Thankfully DH is an angel who understands that we both need time alone away from the sick room. This morning I went into work and he’ll go in this afternoon. Tonight I get to go out with a friend while he will be at work all day tomorrow.

My thinking goals are to stay positive, be open to creative solutions to keep the kid comfortable while she’s sick. Creativity is certainly needed, because she sleeps only an hour or two at a time, and needs lots of TLC in between.

On Tuesday night, I stayed up late with her, and finally fell asleep about 12 midnight. At 1:30, she tapped on my shoulder, asking for more hot tea. As I carried her cup downstairs, I missed the last step and fell, breaking the cup in the process. I was concentrating too much on the task and not enough on our spiral staircase.

The broken cup sliced into my thumb, right at the fleshy place between thumb and forefinger. DH decided it was too deep and big a cut to ignore, so he took me off to the hospital, where I got 2 stitches. Great way to complicate our life at the moment.

There are 2 bad things about the cut and stitches: 1) daughter needed to be reassured that it wasn’t her fault and 2) I can’t swim until the stitches come out. The reassuring the daughter came easy – such an accident could have happened at any time.

Swimming (aquajogging) is what I’ll really miss. That might even bump up against the closing time of my favorite pool, which will be closed during the school vacation. Bummer.

Eating hasn’t been too bad, but I miss getting enough vegetables. It was easy when I ate warm meals at work, but now that I’m home it’s harder. My goal is to eat moderately and not worry about eating less for weight loss.

My positives

  1. I’ll get to find a new way to burn energy for a couple of weeks. So far, it’s been going up and down the stairs at home a jillion times a day
  2. DD is really connecting emotionally with us, and the TLC is bringing us together
  3. I revisited in my head all of my old childhood haunts, and it was a pleasure
  4. These moments of hand-holding and comforting my daughter are very peaceful, reflective times
  5. I’m noticing very little emotional eating.

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Yesterday’s objective was to keep choosing to be satisfied, since I was essentially overwhelmed trying to do normal stuff and take care of my daughter as well. Poor thing has mononucleosis, so she’s really suffering right now.

In general, I fulfilled this objective quite well. “I’m satisfied with my satisfaction objective.” LOL

I took care of the kid, went to work, did what I could, went home, took care of the kid, made a hard communication with my boss, took care of the kid, went for a short swim, took care of the kid, collapsed into bed. When I was in the water, I was struggling to keep my focus, since there were so many other people swimming as well. I hate crowds, and anything that remotely resembles competing for resources (swim lane space) really distracts me. So I chose to be satisfied with my focus, finished my swim and went home.

I also chose to be satisfied with my eating, since I couldn’t spend a lot of time discerning the perfect hunger and perfect fullness. Ditto for my discussion with my boss. I don’t think she got the message that “management by objective” means giving me an objective and letting go. She has a problem with the letting go part.

Today I can reach for more. I’m working at home all day, which will lessen my stress a bit. I can take my work upstairs to my daughter’s room, so she doesn’t have to feel alone.

Today I choose to continue to practice satisfaction, and to organize my work so that I am not as stressed as yesterday. Since Friday after hours, I’ve received 22 emails from my boss, not including the ones I deleted already, plus we had a 2.5 hour teleconference yesterday. She’s all over the map at the moment, and I’m getting the fallout. Organization, even a simple task list, will make my life much easier.

My positives:

  1. Writing a task list calms me
  2. Choosing satisfaction is imperfect, but works.
  3. I got the basic message of “need an objective” into my boss’ head
  4. I nurtured myself with my swim
  5. I’m nurturing myself with working at home all day today

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My mission is to adapt my Thinking, Activity and Eating habits to permanently change to a moderate range of Emotional, Physical and Social behaviors.

One of the primary dissatisfiers in my life is that I am frequently not satisfied. Not satisfied with:

  • how much I ate or didn’t eat

  • the outcome of what just happened (whatever it was)

  • my performance in most activities

In short, pretty much anything. It’s clear that I need to learn to be satisfied much more often. Today seems like a good day to practice choosing satisfaction, since there’s no way I’ll achieve perfection in any task.

DD may have caught mononucleosis, and needs a lot of hands-on care. She’s currently in a feverish state, and needs plenty of crushed ice, cool washcloths and TLC. DH and I have already aligned our day to make sure she’s not alone at home, but it still makes it impossible to focus on my work until I achieve my normal standards. Already at 7:30 a.m. I’m tired from running up and downstairs.

I ate a normal breakfast because I choose to be satisfied with eating perceived normal amounts rather than chase the elusive perfect level of satiation. I’m posting quickly here so I can get to work and maximize my efficiency there, so I can return home for the afternoon sickbed shift. I’m satisfied that I won’t require 5 positives today, to save time. I choose to practice choosing satisfaction all day. I choose to be satisfied with a post without a photo, because it takes time I don’t want to spend on that activity today.

My positives:

  1. I’m glad to have satisfaction as my emotional exercise for today.

  2. I’m glad DD is trusting us to care for her in a useful way

  3. I’m glad I have flex time and can rearrange my schedule like this.

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Mission statements, at their best, give me motivation and lead me to clear goals. At their worst, they make me cynical (e.g. pretty much any of the stinkin’ mission statements from my last 3 companies)

So I’m building a mission statement for my recovery that will motivate me.

Here’s today’s draft:

My mission is to adapt my Thinking, Activity and Eating habits to permanently change to a moderate range of Emotional, Physical and Social behaviors.

This is so much better than my last draft, in which I stated, among other things, a physical weight number of 130 pounds. That was an illogical statement, because I simply don’t know if that will ever be remotely possible.

My new draft has a goal (a set of new permanent behaviors) that enables me to define some specific goals as I learn what they might be.

Examples of specific goals:

  • I check in with my emotions in stressful times, and find that they are usually not driven by negative self-talk
  • I go out for swims, walks on a regular basis without forcing myself
  • I reach out to others to have fun and productive experiences

Examples of specific habit changes:

  • Write positive observations about myself every day
  • Find and do more physical activities in which I feel safe
  • Look for hidden emotional eating events and try to avoid them

My positives:

  1. This is a mission statement I think I can actually use
  2. I practiced saying it for 45 minutes today while in the swimming pool
  3. It’s great that it doesn’t require that I reach 133.72 pounds, or any other artificial limits
  4. I feel a stronger sense that doing things makes me feel better than being on the sofa
  5. I’m taking it easy today and welcome it

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gun.jpgIn Trisha Gura’s book, Lying in Weight, she quotes Cynthia Bulik, a leading investigator of eating disorders:

Genes load the gun; environment pulls the trigger

Powerful words, and certainly seem to be true. Not everyone with a genetic background of ED gets one, nor does everyone in an ED-“friendly” environment.

Trisha also writes:

Those without an eating disorder ask, “How can someone override hunger, a drive as vital as life itself?”

Fear is an even more powerful driver than hunger. So is survival. When a child in a disastrous environment knows only eating as a survival or comfort mechanism, they pull the trigger. Perfectly simple, logical decision. The child later becomes a woman, yet often never completes the psychological transition to adulthood, because she uses food as a substitute for developing her own identity and choosing herself over other’s preconceived notions.

Now I see my path of choices:

  1. Food saved me from having to face bad issues in my life
  2. It became my way of avoiding all issues
  3. I began to want to not be fat
  4. Then I wanted to not have an ED
  5. I wanted to recover from the ED
  6. I wanted to recover from the issues pulling my trigger
  7. I wanted to stop using food as the medication for issues
  8. I wanted to develop other methods of resolving issues
  9. I wanted to become “normal”
  10. I want to be a normal thinker and eater, with all the flaws associated with “normal”

My positives:

  1. It’s comforting to see my choices throughout my life, and know I did the best I could
  2. Had a tough day yesterday, but handled it like an adult
  3. Began to be happy that I’m both recovering and losing weight
  4. Also began to believe that the weight loss is real
  5. Looking forward to learning more

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Unbelievably hilarious!

The part about Alli is at the end. See also Alli’s website.

The link to the Stephen Colbert video is Alli video. It expires on July 20, so don’t be worried if it’s suddenly gone.

(I’m still learning how to embed videos on wordpress.com)

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