Keep Moving: When you’re going through hell

This journey toward health encompasses so many things in my life. Basically, it’s connected to everything – my emotions, relationships, mental health, life circumstances… It’s all tied together. Especially when I’m falling apart.

As some have noted from reading my other posts this month, my plate is full.

There are many moments on many days when I feel the full weight of it all. All I want to do is eat my anger, fear, frustration, resentment, uncertainty, and a myriad of other emotions triggered by the situations and circumstances of my life.

Numbing myself with food has been my pattern since adolescence.

After years of chaotic living and trauma, my mother’s undiagnosed, unacknowledged mental illness took her life via suicide. I was 12 years old and under her brother’s guardianship.

I was dissociated from my emotions by then and didn’t realize or acknowledge the effects it had on me. There was no discussion, no Memorial Service, and no grief counseling.

Just. Move. On.

I disappeared into books…and eating even more than I’d already been overeating.

Fast forward nearly 37 years later and here I am. Working hard to get healthy in the midst of trigger after trigger for eating my feelings.

I have been doing a phenomenal job, if I do say so myself, of staying conscious and present of my eating. Using the app to keep a record of my food and staying with the recommended guidelines has felt good, but also made me make better choices, because I didn’t want to see bad ones.

Last night I lost the battle.

True confession: Two Wendy’s chicken tenders w/honey mustard, small fry, & “small” coke.

Emotions: frustration, anger

Outcome: feeling bloated & sick


The win that I’m taking away from this is that I caught myself almost immediately and didn’t shove the rest of the food into my face. I faced my feelings. Most importantly, I’m being honest with myself…and you.

I’m continuing to advance. I’m going to keep moving.



1/14/18, Open Letter

Some questions to consider and respond to on her blog:
What was the best thing that happened to you this week?
What was the worst thing that happened to you this week?
My favorite ice breaker (don’t ask why…. or ask, I’ll answer 🙂 ): how do you eat your bagels? Do you eat each side separately, or do you eat it like a sandwich with cream cheese in the middle?

Handmade Hearts

Hey everyone!

Happy Sunday and welcome back to my blog for another open letter! A lot of things- both good and not so good, happened over this last week! I’ll talk about the good things first, because there are more of those.

I was really proud of myself for being productive this week- one of the best things that I did (in my opinion) was create an email list for my blog! If you visit my website now, there is a pop-up that allows you to sign up for email updates, and you can sign up on Facebook too! But in the future, I’m planning on sending out weekly emails regarding my blog, hopefully Birthday emails too!

My open letters on this blog are a great way for me to keep in touch with all my letters, but using email systems is a way to get even closer. Getting…

View original post 1,011 more words


You have been my cocoon
Immobilizing me
Protecting me
From the world outside

Inside your soft barrier
I have been reduced
Simmering in the miasma
Of who I used to be

Within your walls
The essential me
The zygote
Cleaves and forms

I am becoming

I am struggling
Fighting to break through
Your insulating chrysalis
And soar as I am meant to

©️2018 lem

Facing Challenges: Surfing the waves of life

Momma never said there’d be days like this.

My momma didn’t live long enough to really tell me much. She died when I was 12. By then, we’d already lived a “hard knock life.” So, I don’t think I grew up thinking there were any kind of days other than “this.” You know, the days when you wake up and face challenges, frustrations, and disappointments from the get go?

Rumor has it that not everyone experiences life like that. At least that’s the bill of goods various forms of media try to sell us.

Sure, there may be those who haven’t experienced anywhere near the things I or others have. Yet, even they have their rough roads.

What do you do when life gives you a high five to the face?

For a long time, partially because of un/misdiagnosed mental health conditions, I got derailed, rerouted, and/or stalled out. This is especially true when it came to taking care of myself and my health.

Each and every time I started exercising and changing my eating patterns, another one of life’s obstacles would present itself and I would stop either because I couldn’t see my way around it or because I didn’t believe I had the capacity to do it anyway.

Well, this time is no different.

After three days of exercise, followed by two days when exercise didn’t happen, I was determined to get back on track. So, I got my workout clothes and a hoodie on and got outside to take what was going to be an hour walk.

I’ve had lower back pain and low-level pain in my hip for awhile…even before I started exercising again. I figured that as I continued to exercise according to plan, paying attention to my core muscles, my body would get stronger and the aches would diminish and/or go away

Instead, about a third of the way through my walk I experienced a burst of pain so intense tears came to my eyes. I almost gave up then and there, but I pushed through. I had planned on an hour, but cut it short to 40 minutes.

In the past, that kind of pain would’ve put me down, I would’ve thrown in the towel, and resigned myself to being fat and unhealthy. This time was different.

Pain exists to tell us when something is wrong and needs adjusting or fixing. So, I knew I couldn’t keep pushing myself the way I had been. That’s when I decided to take all of my workouts to the water and to rest that hip as much as possible, while still moving my body.

Turns out I have bursitis in my hip. I’ve been referred to physical therapy and the doctor said to use heat and ice and keep doing the water workouts. We’ll reevaluate after P/T is over.

I got hit by one of life’s waves, but I kept my balance, adjusted my footing, and stuck with it. I kept my head above water.

Ten Day Check-in

Yesterday I decided I would take pics every ten days to document my journey. It’s not really evident in the pictures yet, but changes are happening. I can feel them. Others are seeing them.

My stomach is slightly less round…a smaller “apple” than it was. 😉 My clothes are a little looser. As a matter of fact I pulled down a pair of jeans I got about ten years ago, before I got pregnant with my third, youngest, and LAST child. I was between 225-240. I can’t remember exactly. What I do know is that I squeezed into them and got them buttoned while standing upright.


More importantly, I’ve exercised 8/10 of the days a minimum of 30 minutes. I kind of overdid it the first few days – my intensity was good, but the amount of time each session was a bit much.

During my walk on Sunday, I had a burst of pain in the front of my right hip. Turns out I now have bursitis in that hip. I’ve shortened the time per session to 30 minutes and taken it to the water.

The doctor I saw (who appeared younger than my 31 year old son) was very encouraging and gung ho about me exercising. He said exercising in the water was good and referred me to physical therapy. My first appointment is the 30th.

The biggest challenge, for me, is the fibro-fatigue. I’m really tired, not I worked hard and pushed my limits tired, but, my get up and go, got up and went. Some of that is parenting stress.

My nine year old experiences the world through the Autism Spectrum. I also suspect she’s got some preadolescent hormone changes happening. She struggles with emotional self-regulation and is easily frustrated and angered. She’s been having increasingly violent responses and I’ve borne the brunt of it.

I’m also tired from lack of sleep. Some of which is also attributable to the issues between me and my daughter. However, I’ve had poor sleep my entire adult life. It’s a trauma thing, apparently.

So, I’m tired and pretty much the exercise and, maybe, the dishes, are the only things I’m accomplishing on a regular basis.

I’m trusting this will not last and that my energy levels will improve by the end of the month.

Overall, it’s been a great start to 2018.<<<<<<<<

When life goes awry: It’s ok to not be ok

Last Friday was one of those days where the first domino got knocked down and the remainder of the day’s plans and goals crashed one by one.

I’m sure you’ve experienced something like that at one time or another. If you haven’t, best be prepared because you will.

My daughter had a MAJOR meltdown that morning – it got physically violent (she’s on the Autism Spectrum) and she wound up not going to school.

That meant I couldn’t go to the gym or pool. There’s no space or place in my tiny, overcrowded apartment for me to do anything, including stretching. It’s THAT crowded and cluttered.

I was frustrated and irritable at this disruption in the new routine of self-care by exercise. I didn’t take it out on my daughter, but I was experiencing a significant amount of resentment.

Parenting a child with special needs is HARD and I NEED the stress release of the exercise.

When there is a spike in stress hormones coursing through my body, especially in combination with other hormonal changes, a fibroflare is likely to occur.

“What’s that?” you may be asking.

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 28 years ago. Symptoms include persistent, fatigue and increased pain response to anything and everything. During my most intense episodes, just running a finger across my skin feels like a razor blade.

So, I’m struggling against the fatigue to still make exercise a priority. Each day I exercise, the fatigue makes me feel like I’m moving through molasses once the exercise is done. I feel completely drained. It doesn’t help that I also happen to be an insomniac.

There are days when I fight to get the kid to school and to bed, go to the gym or pool, and, maybe, wash dishes. The rest of the time I’m sitting and dozing off.

I’m trading the energy from other things so I can exercise. But, the exercise is what helps me mentally get through the day.

In the past, I criticized myself for not getting more done, or anything done for that matter. I couldn’t let myself be okay with not being okay.

This process is showing me that I can be.

Make it count: To track or not to track?

I hate tracking and logging things.

“I’ve always got too much going on to bother with tracking, it’s too much work,” I tell myself.

“I’ve been on enough diets and studied enough labels to know what I’m putting in my body…even when I choose to eat junk,” is another thing I tell myself.

it all boils down to this:

No matter how much I say otherwise, I don’t want that level of accountability. That level of honesty with myself is anxiety producing.

What will I have to give up?

Chips and soda – things I should’ve already given up because of the diabetes.

Eating out, for the moment, until I can figure out how to log nutritional content. Not that I eat out all that often.

Premade green tea. It’s got sugar.

All that being said, I’ve got to commit to developing healthy habits because of health conditions like diabetes and being at risk for heart disease. Changing what and how I eat is foundational to that change.

Ok. I’m going to do this but, don’t want to have to chase down the details of every calorie and macronutrient. I would drive both myself and the people around me batty.

I’m sure there’s an app for that.

Indeed. There are many. The one I chose is SparkPeople. It has a large supportive community of people also seeking healthy goals. There are articles, coaching tips, and, most importantly for me, a way to track food and exercise by just entering the food or scanning the barcode!

Not all foods are in the database. However, there’s a feature for you to add that item to the database.

Other features include the ability to post to the general community for support, for a status update, or write a blog post.

There are SparkPeople features which are accessible via computer, like joining “teams” with specialized focus.

Anyway, using the exercise and food log feature, the app calculates a target range of calories and the macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein). The ranges automatically adjust when exercise is logged and it measures the amount of calories burned.

I don’t want my health journey to be defined by or dependent on numbers. However, paying attention to those numbers and making food choices based on them, ensured my body got what it needed and I didn’t starve myself.

I already feel my clothes fitting differently and the scale says I lost five pounds, much to my surprise and glee. The power of the scale is hard to resist.

I choose to keep logging my food and exercise.