Stress Eating

Heavy Heart

Death has been on my mind a lot lately. A few people I know peripherally have lost someone close to them in the week, both were children. One was due to a long battle with an illness, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Recently Michael and I met with an attorney to to have a Will drawn up. It seemed like the responsible thing to do as adults and newlyweds who have assets. It didn’t bother me going into it because I’m practical and pragmatic in most things. I’m a planner. If I can plan for something, I will over-plan for it. That’s just who I am. So we met with a local attorney and had the papers drawn up. It still didn’t bother me until it got down to the nitty-gritty stuff. Like who gets the animals if we both go at the same time? I sure as hell don’t want them sitting in a cage at the humane society, where my cats will most likely be euthanized because they are older. I know that when we have kids someday and update this shit it’s going to be even more complicated and emotionally trying–who will take care of them when we both go?

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We also filled out Advance Health Directives–you know, the unplug me if I’m not waking up kind of forms. I’ve always known that I didn’t want my life prolonged if I was never going to wake up or get better. I watched two aunts die very slow, very painful deaths due to a genetic disease that had them in a nursing home with a feeding tube unable to communicate for the last decade of their lives. As a little kid visiting them, I knew then and there I didn’t want that. So it was fairly easy for me to fill out my wishes for the Directive.

It wasn’t comfortable, by any means. Especially when Michael and I started discussing different things and scenarios. We both tried to make jokes, to lighten the mood, but it was still uncomfortable.

I don’t know that anyone deals with loss very well. I know that I didn’t deal well with the big loss of my life, my grandfather. That was the start of my weight gain and depression issues. I had a flare-up of similar feelings this summer as I was preparing to marry the love of my life. It should have been a happy time. Mostly it was, but the stressors that popped up in the planning process triggered feelings in me I didn’t know how to deal with. Well, I did, I ate food I shouldn’t have. Hence the pounds creeping on. The closer the wedding got, the more anxious I felt. I withdrew from a lot of people, I was irritable and cranky, I felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something horrible might happen to interfere with the wedding. My internal monologue was, I don’t deserve to be happy, something is going to ruin this. I won’t get my “DAY”.  I talked about this with my therapist. She tried to help me address the irrational anxiety attacks I was suffering from and honestly, once the wedding day was here, everything WAS alright and I WAS happy and nothing was ruined.

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Sure, these are all irrational fears and thoughts, everyone has them. But they were really overwhelming for me. I struggled. I didn’t share these feelings with very many people. I tried to share them with Michael but he doesn’t understand anxiety. He thinks it’s just something you can shut off. “Just stop thinking about it.” Mmmm. Right. I’ll do that.

Anyways. Last night after I got home from the gym, after Michael and I had eaten a delicious dinner he prepared for me and we settled in to watch some TV and relax, I saw something on Instagram from another blogger that made my heart stop and the breathe in my chest pause. She lost her husband.

You may have seen her blog, My Bizzy Kitchen, or you may have seen her comments on my blog. I’ve been a huge fan of her blog for years, since I first discovered blogs. She’s diabetic and counts her calories and her outlook on life has always been upbeat and positive when it comes to weight loss and keeping it off. Her recipes always look delicious and I’ve just enjoyed her posts over the years…

I knew her husband was really sick. He’d been in the hospital off and on this year and most recently he was there for an extended period of time. While I knew it it was serious from the bits and pieces she shared on her blog I had no idea it was this grave. When she posted last night that he had passed away at home surrounded by family, my heart broke for her and everyone there with her. Words just can’t describe how sad it made me feel.

It reminded me just how fragile life is. Things can change in a moment, completely unexpected, completely unplanned for. The rug is pulled out from your feet and you are on the floor on your back with a dazed feeling. That shock of grieve is something that, once you experience, you never forget. The disbelief. The sadness. The anger. All of it. I’ve felt it several times in my lifetime–my grandfather, my coworker a few years ago and one of my coworker’s daughters that died suddenly.

I hugged Michael and tried not to cry, feeling really sad about this blogger’s sudden sorrow. I started to think about the things that make me unhappy in my life and once again I asked myself, “If I died tomorrow, would I be satisfied with how I spent my time?” Would I be glad I spent time at a job that, while I enjoy the WORK, the environment is a toxic cesspool of unhappy, negative people? Would I be satisfied with how I spent my free time? Spending hours on Netflix disengaging because I just needed to escape? Or should I have spent that time doing something more fulfilling?  What about the countless hours every week I spend in the gym working out when I could be spending it with my husband and friends? People I love? Is the calorie burn more important than that? Is getting up early on the weekend to make a fitness class more important that sleeping in or snuggling with my husband for hours and being lazy? What about that Lean Cuisine I ate for dinner when what I really wanted was something REAL and delicious and nurturing? Was staying under my calories for the day more important that a happy, healthy, satisfied body?

These are things I think about often. I don’t know the answer to any of them. I’m sure we all have feelings of regret like this. It’s important not to be overwhelmed by these feelings. Not every moment of every waking person’s life needs to be focused on the bigger picture…sometimes the stuff we HAVE to do, or SHOULD do really are the priority. But what about that trip to Italy I’ve wanted to take my whole life? I keep putting it off because the money saved should be spent on something PRACTICAL and I don’t want credit card debt…but what if I never get to see Italy?

I think we all get hit with these thoughts and feelings once in awhile. If you are a fan of MyBizzyKitchen, go over to her blog and send her some good vibes. I’m sure this is a really hard time for her and her family. My heart goes out to them. Hug your loved ones.

 

A New Year, A New Start

It was a bummer to be sick over the Christmas holiday. It started with a sore throat, which thankfully waited until Christmas night to start, and then turned into a cough. A co-worker had had strep-throat the week before I got sick so the sore throat sent me to the doc to make sure I didn’t have strep. Thankfully I didn’t! I spent the next three days on the couch or in bed. I had some good company, though!

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Both creatures were pretty good nursemaids. Bella was a snugglebug and kept me company wherever I went. If I was on the couch, she was there, if I was well enough to go sit at the computer, she was laying at my feet.  Fat Kitty is also a good companion when sick. He’s always there to snuggle and purr. And Bella and Fat Kitty are getting along better!

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Astonishing photo, right? I was shocked too. It was funny watching them together. They are now doing some sort of “play” that Fat Kitty is sort of participating in. At least, he’s less grumpy about Bella trying to play with him. While I was packing up the Christmas ornaments and taking down the tree, the two of them came into the living room and played some sort of weird game pacing around each other and walking around a chair. Fat Kitty would take a step one way, Bella would mirror him and then they’d do it again in the other direction. Fat Kitty was meowing the whole time. I like to think they were talking to each other.

Anyways, being sick for four days I got some quality TV watching in. 🙂 I wanted to recommend a few shows. The first is The Fall with Gillian Anderson. It was outstanding! What a fantastic tv show. I’d never heard of it but loved it and was so bummed when the season was over. I have no idea when it starts up again. Check it out! The other was Top of the Lake, with the chick from Mad Men. It was another really good show, a little weird but I liked it.

I also read a bunch. I figured out how to check out eBooks from the library for my Kindle and read a fantastic book I wanted to recommend. The first book of the series is called “The Crossing Places” and the second book is “The Janus Stone” by Elly Griffiths. I am SO glad I discovered this series. I love the characters, the writing is so easy to read and the stories are intriguing. The main character is an archaeologist (another topic I love) in England. They were the kind of books that make you sad when you finish reading it. Great, great books.

Speaking of books. According to Goodreads, my 2012 reading goal was 77 books (I don’t know how I came up with that number) and read 109. My goal for 2013 was to read 100 and I read 119. What can I say, I like to read and I’m a bit of an overachiever. My goal for 2014 is 125 books.

I resisted the whole eBook reader thing for a long time. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to books. I LIKE going to the library or bookstore and picking up a book that catches my eye. I LIKE the smell and feel of real books. But Michael got me a Kindle for Christmas and I have to admit, I freaking love it! It’s so cool. It’s also awesome I can get library books without leaving the house. I’ve been using this service, The Fussy Librarian, too. It sends a daily email digest of eBooks that are cheap or FREE!

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My FAVORITE thing about the Kindle is the Wikipedia/Dictionary feature. I love it. It’s so cool and I’m learning new words every day. Maybe this will help my scrabble game….:)

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Despite being sick for the holiday, I felt much better by New Year’s Eve–a little tired but better. I am so glad 2014 is here! Not only is our wedding getting closer, but it’s a new start. I definitely went a little crazy in December. LOTS OF STRESS EATING. I gained 2 pounds (as of Christmas) but then I got sick and didn’t count my calories for 5 days and didn’t go to the gym for 5 days and….yeah. I haven’t gotten on the scale yet to see the damage the cold did. I’m going to try and get back on track for the next few weeks and then assess the damage.

I don’t really do new year’s resolutions. I don’t think they work and if I want to change something about myself, why would I wait until January 1st to do it? Today is as good a day as any! Even though I’m not making resolutions, I do have goals. Like I’ve said in previous posts, I’m looking forward to getting back into running more. I think I can happily say that my knee issues are pretty much gone. Not 100% but like 95%. I ran almost 2.5 miles on Christmas Eve with no issues, we’ve done numerous longer hikes (5 miles) with no issues. So I think a goal of running a 5k in 2014 is doable!