Thursday, February 25, 2010

Conversations With My GP

Had my annual visit with my doctor yesterday, and we started weaning me off my meds.  I also noticed that he carries a little Macbook with him, so he can reference pretty much anything he needs without having to shuffle through a bunch of files.  Tres cool!
I mentioned that I'm looking to my diet to help with my anxiety and depression issues.  So he talked to me about that.  For an hour!!!!  It was so cool! How many GPs will take an hour out of their busy schedules to talk to a patient about their issues?  He also explained the process for weaning me off the antidepressants, talked about my workout programs WITHOUT nagging, and said "It's a good program, you're not overdoing it."  And my weight gain didn't even warrant a single mention.
At the end, he said something that really hit me: he said that people with anxiety and depression often come to realize that we may not be able to get rid of it entirely, but it becomes simply another facet of who we are and doesn't control us anymore.
For me, this is HUGE!!!!! I always wanted to be a calm, zen-like person.  The kind of chick who lets life's troubles roll over her like water off a duck's back.  But I'm just not engineered that way.  I was so happy to hear my doc talk about the genetic AND environmental causes of anxiety and depression; that it is a complex issue, and that I'm not a failure if I can't blissfully meditate on a pointy rock for 6 days.

As far as diet goes, I'm gonna try and go without some stuff for a while.  I've never liked extreme diets, because I think they usually lead to a binge.  But I remember something from Intuitive Eating, which is about taking care of yourself.  If you are diabetic, you don't eat tons of sugar, even though you may want to.  If you have Celiac, you must stay away from that crusty sourdough, as much as you want to tear into it.  For me, it may well be that sugar, caffeine, and too many starches are exacerbating my issues. I may also have formed a bit of an addiction to them, ESPECIALLY sugar!  He explained to me that the way these foods are absorbed by the body can effect brain chemicals.  I won't go into it, I probably wouldn't explain it very well.  Suffice to say, they are absorbed differently and don't feed the brain as well once they get into the bloodstream.  And they may well inhibit the production of things like Serotonin production, as well as leech calcium from the bones.  I'm gonna be 41 this year, and I need all the calcium I can get.  And  Heaven knows I can't afford to lose anything else from my brain, lol!
The good thing is, there are plenty of carbs I can still eat.  While I will try to avoid flour, I can can still eat beans, oatmeal, cassava, and, of course, non-starchy veggies.  Will I miss my potatoes and corn?  Oh, you betcha!  But it's worth it to see if I can calm down and chill out. 
I wouldn't be doing this if it were all about weight loss.  But, I must say, there is a part of me that's thinking "Yeah!  I'm gonna lose weight!  I'm gonna get a SMOKIN' bod outta this!"
Well, maybe I will, maybe I won't.  I'm going to try to focus on feeling better, getting more sleep, and finally, FINALLY dealing with my anxiety/depression!!!!
Combining diet with therapy (using EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which I'm finding VERY helpful! It's all about changing reactions to stress.), I hope to become, if not a Zen master, at least more duck-like.

I LOVE ducks!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Can You Say STRESS?!?!?!?!

So I was looking at the photo I referenced in the previous post, and I realized that...
I look like my DAD!
Which isn't a BAD thing, y'know, excpet,
my dad was a DUDE, you know?
And I don't wanna look like a DUDE!

Right now I can picture him up there, sitting with Howard Zinn and Robert B. Parker, nursing a beer, and saying "What's so wrong about looking like your old man?"
And, I repeat, NOTHING.
Except, well, I'm a WOMAN.
And, truthfully?  I don't think he'd be offended.

But I also realize something else:  I am STRESSED beyond belief!  This week, in particular, has been exceedingly difficult, and has led to not only overeating (and eating junk), but to a lot of yelling and cussing.
In front of my kids.
Which is NOT good!

And as I look back over the past few years, I see that my stress level has been consistently high, and I've been in denial. But this past week has really opened my eyes, and I need help.  Help with the kids, with the housework, with managing my moods.  I'm already in therapy, which is a good thing.  But I need to be more honest with my therapist, and I can only do that if I'm truly honest with myself.
My kids are very forgiving.  They don't hold a grudge.  But yesterday, when I was yelling and cursing, I think I scared them a bit.  And I always said I would NEVER make them feel that way!!!!!!  And I certainly DO NOT want them to learn that kind of behavior, especially from me!  If I can deal with things calmly, then they will learn to do the same.

For so LONG I have been focused on my weight.  Which lets me defer the focus from where it belongs: on my feelings and my reactions to those feelings.  It's time to buckle down, grow up, and deal with it once and for all.  I may not like what I see when I look inside, but I like what I'm doing now even less.  Sometimes I really don't like myself.  And Sometimes I need to cut myself a break.

I'll figure it out.  It won't always be pretty, but it's gotta be done.

So here goes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Richard Simmons

We all know him.  You either love him or hate him, as it's hard to be indifferent to all that energy and all those sparkles.  If you ever saw THAT clip of him on "Whose Line Is It Anyway" you probably fall into the former category.
I've always been a fan.  When I was a kid, my friend's mom was on his program.  She had the workout videos, the snacks, and the Deal-A-Meal.  We'd walk into the house to find her Sweatin' to the Oldies, having a grand old time.  And I was fascinated.
As I got older, he never seemed to age.  And I started wondering why he kept showing up on "Letterman" when all Dave did was make fun of him.  I finally realized; Dicky has a sense of humor!  He doesn't take himself SERIOUSLY!!!!!!  But he does take his WORK seriously, and he actually cares about us fatties.  The ones the rest of our culture have deemed Too Useless To Live.
Last night I was watching Dr. Oz.  (Seriously, I'm lusting after that man's brain!  I mean, yeah, he's attractive, but he's SOOOOOO SMAAAAART!!!!!!!) And who should appear, but Richard Simmons!!!!!  He's about to release his 59th workout DVD (!!!!!!) and was showing off some of his moves.
And you know what?  It looked like FUN!
So today I went on his website, and he has two workouts that (sorry) jumped out at me: "Sweatin' to the 80's"  and "Sweatin' to Broadway."
And my little heart went pitter-pat.
I can work out to SHOWTUNES?!?!?!?!  Where has this DVD been all my life?
And, yeah, sure, once in a while an instructor at the gym might throw an 80's tune into the mix, but they're few and far between.  But an ENTIRE workout set to synth-rock?  Oh, I am THERE, BABY!!!!
I have to see if they have these at the library.
Because, while I kindamaybesorta enjoy my "Insanity" workouts, sometimes you just gotta mix it up.  And I'm feeling too old and fat right now to be jumping around so much.  Maybe I can do "Insanity" 2-3 days a week, plus other cardio, plus my yoga and Pilates.  And I've missed my Spin classes.  Wanna get back to those, too.

I guess I'm just not the kinda gal who can follow one prescribed program for too long.  I get bored and don't get any results. Plus, I CAN'T do "Insanity" as prescribed AND teach 4 days a week!  My legs will fall off!  And sometimes ya just wanna have FUN doing your workout, rather than pray for it to be over.

Finally, this morning I had Hubby take a full-body picture of me in my workout clothes.
(Um. YIKES!!!!!)

I'm thinking of posting it.

It'll motivate me.

Or get me cast as "Tweedledum" in the "Alice In Wonderland" sequel, 'cause I'm kind of cute and round and cranky.

When will this week be over?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Damn Right it's That Time of the Month, So Back the F*** Off!!!!!

Faux News is insisting that all the snow that's been falling is proof positive that global warming doesn't exist.  Of course, every environmental scientist, including my brother-in-law, who literally spent years in Barrow Alaska, above the Arctic Circle, has been saying for years that this is precisely what would happen. But then, the folks at Fox never let a little thing like years of scientific evidence stop them.

Yesterday I had to drive a lot.  And I was tailgated. A lot.  In traffic.  And at red lights.  Yeah, THAT'S effective!

The Daily Beast should never, ever, ever, ever,ever,ever,ever let Lisa Hilton write another article for them.  EVER!  Check Leslie's blog entry from yesterday over at "The Weighting Game." She writes much more eloquently about it than I ever could.

Tomorrow I'm teaching Pilates from 7-9 AM, then getting re-certified in CPR.  For 7 1/2 hours.  WHY it takes 7 1/2 hours, I don't know; my initial certification took ONE hour.

My son and I both have a nagging cough, left over from The Cold (See previous post).  It really s**ks.


It's gonna be a looong week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Some very exciting things have been happening here.  Other than the fact that we ALL have what seems to be the same cold. 
Yeah.  Not fun.

Well, let me just say that WG is starting to fade out the in-home therapy she has been getting for nearly 3 1/2 years.  But this is good, because...
And not just ANY school, the Morgan Autism Center in San Jose!!!! One of the oldest schools in the country devoted solely to kids with special needs, mainly Autism (hence the name). AND, she could conceivably  stay there until she's 22 years old!   She'll get picked up at 7:15 AM (ugh, lol!) and brought home at 3:30 PM.  And the best part? 
Because they recommended it.  I'd never even heard of it.  But last week I went down for an interview and to see the campus, and knew right away that this would be the PERFECT place for her. 
The first sign was that the program director brings her dog to work.  She is a 13-year-old retriever who loves everyone, and lets all the kids (and adults, too, more on that later) pet her.
When I saw the classroom, I found out that not only do they have assistive communication devices, but speech and occupational therapy are part of the everyday curriculum.  Every student spends the entire day, other than snack, lunch, and recess, one-on-one with a teacher.  All the teachers do 15-minute rotations with all the kids.  Also, this school very rarely has any openings, so when this one came along, for a 6 year-old, I took it as another sign.
After I left, Hubby called and asked me to pick up a job application for an assisted-living complex in San Jose.  Turns out it's 3 blocks from the school!  When I went over, there was a cat and his human sitting outside.  I pet the cat and chatted with the human (better than the other way around, right?), and it turns out that not only did he, the human, grow up near Boston,  he knew my dad!  Had, in fact, given him a lead on what turned out to be a HUGE news story!
Coincidence?  I don't believe so.  I have to wonder if Dad was up there pulling a few strings.
(A few other weird things: the school is right off of Santana Row, where my boss used to work, at the same club that owns the one we now work at.  It's also near the Winchester Mystery house, which we took a tour of a few years ago when my parents were visiting.)

This past Thursday I brought WG to the school so she could spend an hour in class and see if it would be a good fit.  I went to a nearby mall to get some coffee and calm my nerves. (I know, I know, trying to calm nerves with coffee is light trying to put out a fire with lighter fluid.) By the time I got back, they were ready to offer her the slot.  And told me that not only could she start Monday, she could start taking the bus right away!  She LOVED it there, and they fell in love with her.
Of course!  I may be biased, but pretty much everyone falls in love with our kids.

The school caters to kids of all ages (and will even potty train WG!), but also has adult groups.  I'm not sure EXACTLY what that entails  (but also don't have to worry about it just yet).  We're even thinking it might be a good place for LG when he starts middle school, if they have room.
We'll see.

Speaking of LG, Hubby took him to the rock climbing gym with his buddies on Friday night.  And not only did  LG climb, he sang WHILE he climbed! Then he took a shower and went into the sauna with the guys. With a towel wrapped around his waist, just like Daddy.  He was a little startled at first, but then he settled in and started singing again, much to the amusement of everyone else in the sauna.  (They only stayed 5 minutes.  Don't want too much exposure, lol!)

SO that's the news from here.  I've gotta go fill in a few thousand pages of paperwork to send with WG tomorrow.  Have a good night!

P.S.  Yeah!  Go SAINTS!!!!!!!!