Be The Momentum

Posted July 15, 2012 by thejaneellen
Categories: Uncategorized

I remember talking to Carnie Wilson (yeah, you better pick that up because I just dropped a name) a week or so after my RNY gastric bypass surgery.  I asked her what she ate for lunch and she told me some tuna in vinaigrette salad dressing and half an apple.  It sounded wonderful to me.  She was four years out at the time and maintaining her weight loss with no problem.  I was looking forward to the day when I, too, would be eating like that.  I was surviving on sugar free popsicles and chicken broth.  Now I am ten years out and appalled at how I forget what I should eat.  

Some days it’s yogurt, crackers and peanut butter, salad, and some chicken.  Now that may not sound like much to you, and may sound healthy to you, but it’s still not the best choice and it’s still not what I know how to do.  I am amazed at the ability I have to disappoint myself.  Am I setting myself up for failure?  Am I setting unrealistic goals?  

I don’t think so.  But the bigger questions it raises are 1.  Will I ever get out of this cycle of self-deprecation and 2.  Will I take the responsibility necessary to change?  You see, if you have accepted the simple fact that you are responsible for your failure then I feel you must also accept that you are responsible for your change.  

You hear “be the ball” well I say “be the momentum.”  So, it’s physics.  I think that if you just start the ball rolling, the ball of change as it were, then that will pick up speed and carry you on.  It doesn’t mean that it will always roll easily downhill.  In my ten years after surgery, my eating has gotten away from me plenty of times.  I’m thinking about bacon this very second.  Chocolate covered bacon.  It’s fair season, and I’ve never had it.  Just popped into my head.  Unbidden.  Unwelcome.  There nonetheless.

When I was moderating the support group the other day I heard myself saying the same things, again.  If you want to lose weight, or maintain your weight loss, you need to log it.  I prefer There are many such free options.  You need to take in your lean protein first, and your fluids. You need your vitamins.  Done properly, you really don’t need more than 1,000 calories a day.  

Here’s a thought, you and everyone in your family, don’t make any changes, don’t make any special food purchases.  Eat whatever you’ve been eating, just log it all.  See what you and yours have been consuming.  Then decide if it’s time to make a responsible change.  

I have already done that.  And I have already eliminated white bread, well, all bread from my diet.  I haven’t had a soda in ten years, so, they’re still gone.  The next thing I’m going after that I know triggers me to eat is sugar, glorious sugar.  Sugar comes in more than one form, so this will be tricky, but it’s part of my next phase.  For my way of thinking it is easier to just eliminate an entire group of things.  It’s just how I’m wired.  

Do what works for you.  Do what you can live with.  Do what will make you feel better and be healthier in the long run because that is the change you will be able to keep.

The cliches roll out so easily it seems.  In the case of your body and your health, and change, it’s not going to be easy.  At first.  Nothing worth doing ever is.  But you already knew that,


Taking It Back

Posted July 1, 2012 by thejaneellen
Categories: Uncategorized

I wonder, what was the first thought you had when you became conscious today.  Was it I am hungry?  I need a drink?  I need some pills?  I need my love?  I just want to go back to sleep?  I just give up?  Or was it I can’t wait to get going?  I can’t remember the last time I woke up and thought “I can’t wait to get going.”  I used to.  I used to think like that.  I don’t want to “blame motherhood.”  It has been taxing.  It’s not like I became a mom at 20 when I was chock full of energy.  Or at least had the potential to be chock full.  My girls are 15 months apart.  And I lost one in utero right before my oldest was born.  From the age of 39 to 41  I was basically pregnant for two years solid.  It took a tremendous toll.  It was not until after I had my girls, via c-section, that I had a ten-hour plastic surgery to help restore my body to some kind of normal.

Don’t argue that with me.  I used to have to wear paper towels under the folds of loose skin.  15 pounds were removed.  I did ask to have the skin in a jar.  OK, several jars. but something about medical waste, yadda yadda and there you go.  That was just the start of several surgeries I had to have.  But that’s all that is relevant regarding this discussion.  Much like many nights of sleep deprivation and creating a sleep debt, I feel like I never fully recovered.  I never really got my bounce back.

I want my bounce back.  And I am prepared to fight for it.  Paul has told me that we approach our addictions with the urgency of a drowning man.  To me, that means two things.  You either get start swimming and get yourself out of the water.  Or you drown.  The decision is entirely yours.

Are you drowning in food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or any other form of addiction?  There are many.  I remember being addicted to the TV show Emergency.  It was on four times a day, depending upon the channel you watched.  My sister and I wanted everything to stop so we could watch it.  Mom put a stop to that.  This was, after all, before YouTube and DVR’s.  Funny, now that I can watch the entire series, I haven’t even thought about it, until now.

You know the opening montage in All That Jazz when Roy Scheider playing a character based upon the great choreographer Bob Fosse attempts to start his day?  Sometimes I feel like that.  If you have to go through anything close to what he does in those opening moments, trust me, you have a problem.  And you’re in denial if you think you don’t.  Hey,  I call it like I see it.

Today may be the day that you assess your situation.  Are you being mentally or physically abused?  Are you mentally or physically abusing yourself through torment or addiction of any kind?  Is it OK with you to wallow and founder?  Or are you going to spend today taking it back?


Posted June 30, 2012 by thejaneellen
Categories: Uncategorized

Recovery is a sticky wicket.  Of course, I would have to look up just precisely what a wicket is, but I am sure, it is, indeed, sticky.  Recovery from carbohydrate addiction is unpleasant at best.  I have spent the past ten years, the time since my RNY gastric bypass, thinking about food.  Re-thinking food.  Thinking about how food can solve my first world problems.  You know what the answer is?  Hunger.  The only problem food solves is hunger.  And you feel just as full after eating something healthy as you would eating something not healthy.  Full feels the same.

Now, the bigger issue, if your head is hungry, if your heart is empty, if your soul is aching, those are other problems.  Food will not fill those empty holes.  Nor will drugs, alcohol, sex, or shopping.  OK, maybe shopping will.  I am still willing to give that a go.

I have, within the past three weeks, actively turned my food addiction into a new quest.  I have been most fortunate to have a person in my life who knows better than I do.  His name is Paul and he accepts no bullshit from me.  That is good because I am quite full of it.  I can rationalize my way into a a pizza parlor at such a rate.  Even I am amazed at what I hear myself say regarding why I did such and such with food.

Paul is 12 years sober and is guiding me through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I am now taking those steps and applying it toward food addiction.  I have admitted I am powerless over food.  Just today, I discovered I am actually powerless.  There are so few events over which I am in control, I really don’t know why I spent so much time trying to control them. My type A personality will get the best of me.  I cannot control my mouth, my friends, my children, I can barely park the car.

I never really took to alcohol because to really do it right, in my mind, you would have to get drunk.  And I just didn’t like to give up my control.  Instead I chose to give up my control to food.  Which meant I could still waddle a straight line.  But really, when it came down to it, I was still and am still powerless.

Today, as I was out of my mind, I was crazed in the kitchen.  Instead of a handful of chocolate chips I grabbed sweet peppers and hummus.  Full is full.  I had a few bites and the crazy “I have to eats” went away.

If it were not for the constancy of Paul I don’t know what I would do.  I can hear his voice in my head.  If I want something so badly, try setting a timer, he suggested.  He has made himself available to me in times of great distress.  And even I can find a way to not grasp the simplicity of that commitment.  He does not judge.  He does not control.  He just suggests and guides.  Regarding the timer he says, see if you can last minute by minute, hour by hour.  That goes the same for any addiction.  Those minutes and hours add up to days, and eventually, years.  I have already lost 5 pounds since I started going through this process with him.

Now, as to your addiction, well, you can find your own Paul.  Believe me, you are bound to find someone who knows their 12 step program and will actively guide you through it.  Let me tell you this, it takes immense trust, commitment, faith (in yourself, your sponsor, and whatever you perceive as a higher power), hope, and acceptance.  It is a grueling process.  But, honestly, has anything else healed your internal wounds?

Is everything perfect for me today?  No.  But I can sleep tonight knowing that I have not eaten bread or cookies or chips or any other trigger foods for me.  And each day I don’t eat them, is another day I beat them.

Recovery from Addiction Part 4

Posted June 24, 2012 by thejaneellen
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Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food and alcohol addiction

Recovery from Addiction Part 3

Posted June 24, 2012 by thejaneellen
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Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food and alcohol addiction

Recovery from Addiction Part 2

Posted June 24, 2012 by thejaneellen
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Jane Ellen and Paul talk about food alcohol addiction

Recovery From Addiction Part 1

Posted June 24, 2012 by thejaneellen
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Jane Ellen and Paul talking about food and alcohol addiction while going through the 12 steps of AA