Stress and Guilt: My Constant Companions

I’ve basically fallen completely off the paleo wagon the last few days.  I have so many things on my mind, and I guess I didn’t realize how much organization and planning went into eating paleo until I didn’t have time to do it anymore.  Plus, my parents had us over to say goodbye before we move 2000 miles away…and served a delicious VEGETARIAN dish for our bon voyage.  Oh mom…have we met?  I was STARVED for meat when I got home after being there for 2 days.  I hope to get back on track today.  I cooked several paleo dishes last night and put them in the fridge for this week. 

BAB this morning was shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, and garlic cooked in olive oil, coconut milk and curry.  It was awesome!  Long live paleo!

So I thought it might be fun to make a list of all of the big changes going on in my life right now.  These things are causing some stress, but honestly, every one of them would normally cause me a lot of stress and all together it’s so overwhelming that I feel kind of normal.  Here they are:

  1. Leaving my job
  2. Starting a new job in a part of my profession I have little experience (working with kids)
  3. Leaving the Midwest, where I’ve always lived.
  4. Leaving my family.
  5. Leaving David’s family.
  6. Leaving the best friends I’ve ever had.
  7. Moving from a house to a 2-bedroom apartment with a 2-year old, 2 annoying cats, and a husband who eats taro chips very loudly.
  8. Sold my car a couple days ago.
  9. Bought another used car.  The original plan was to buy a second car when we got there, but we found a great deal here and probably saved ourselves 2K.  Now we have to arrange to get this car to Cali…probably a shipping service.
  10. Babykins going to be going to daycare for the first time.
  11. 4 days on the road coming up with a 2-year old and 2 annoying cats.
  12. Guilt.  this is probably the most stressful part.  Seeing sadness on people’s faces when I tell them I’m leaving.  Saying goodbye to may aging parents.  Taking my daughter from her cousins, aunts, and grandparents. 
  13. Selling the last of our junk, getting rid of things that I’ve kept for years just because they were given to me by people I love. 
  14. Today we’re giving most of Babykin’s toys to the local thrift shop.  She won’t notice.  Much.  More guilt.

Yep…the guilt is the worst part.

Good news though…I didn’t have an emotional crash at the end of my cycle.  The BHRT is helping for sure!

Stumbling Along

Diet continues to suffer.  I practically ate standard American diet food yesterday.  Breakfast and dinner were fine but I kept getting very hungry (low blood sugar hungry) during the day.  It was so intolerable that I actually ate “food” out of a vending machine.  My ability to plan and pay attention to details right now is really compromised.  I’m going to do the best I can and try to just forgive myself and move forward.

  • Today’s weight: 184.6 (incredibly and oddly stable the last few days)
  • Fasting blood glucose: 109 (yikes)
  • Breakfast today: Cod cooked in butter. 

My face is broken out in several pimples.  I don’t know if it’s the BHRT or if it’s stress.  Either way, I’m not pleased.

Off to visit family today and tomorrow.

One Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

My eating yesterday was all over the place.  I was snacking at 3:00PM, eating artificial sweeteners, and I ate chinese food last night that probably had wheat in it (and definitely had MSG).  A mess.

  • Today’s weight: 184.6
  • Fasting blood glucose: 104
  • Breakfast today: pork chops and eggs

Also, no yoga.  I forgot.

I was going through my clothes yesterday.  Most of the clothing I have amassed over the years does not fit or it is stained, or there is something about it that isn’t quite right.  There are only a few things that I actually enjoy wearing.  There’s nothing in my closet that fits me that is appropriate for my new job.  Last night I filled a huge storage tub with clothing I’m going to donate.  Basically I’ve been carrying clothing around with me in these big plastic totes, from residence to residence, waiting till they fit again.  Well, we’re going on 7 months of a pretty strict ketogenic diet (except the the last 2 weeks, when I seem to have lost my marbles a bit), and I’m unable to lose weight.  There’s no room in the van to Cali for clothes that don’t make me happy.  So I’m bringing the 2-3 shirts and 2-3 pairs of pants and the rest is going bye bye.

I sometimes think wistfully about the days I could lose weight by dieting and exercising.  I did it over and over!  And regained it every time within a couple years. 

Stupid diet industry.

Stupid unhealthy body.

Gotta go. 🙂

Stress and Candy

Yesterday was not great, food wise.  I ate candy at 3:30PM.  I was hungry.  I’ve been hungry a lot lately.  I was just getting the point where I wasn’t getting hungry at lunchtime anymore, and now I’m hungry all the time and not eating enough at mealtimes.  The rest of my meals were paleo-friendly.  I think stress does weird things to a body.

  • Today’s weight: 184.6
  • Fasting blood glucose: 104
  • Breakfast today: pork chops and eggs

I keep writing things and then deleting them, because really…who cares.  I don’t even care about the minutae of my life. 

Usually when I’m feeling stress I can look forward and see the other side of it, and there’s comfort in knowing when it will end.  I don’t see the end these days.  I’m just getting started on this stress rollercoaster.  I haven’t even left yet.  New (much smaller) home, new job, child in daycare for the first time.  The stress is just getting started. 

Ok, that’s it.  I’ve been talking about doing yoga for about 12 years.   Tonight I’m going to start. 

I mean it!

Wednesday

I lied in my last post…well, that’s not true…I didn’t lie.  I was just wrong.  I work this week and then we go to see my family…and then I work next week and then we see David’s family…and then we leave.  Only 1.5 weeks of work left.

I’ve been quickly getting in all of my maintenance medical appointments while I have comprehensive medical coverage with a very small copay.  Today I’m doing a Life Line Screening that I’ve been meaning to do for a few years now.  It uses ultrasound technology to evaluate for stroke (carotid artery), atrial fibrillation, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, and osteoporosis.  This actually isn’t covered by insurance but I just want to do it to get baseline data and they happen to be offering it in my area this week.  Tomorrow I’m having an eye exam so I can order more contact lenses.  Then Monday I’m going to the dentist.  Insurance with my new job is an HSA – a Health Savings Account.  That basically means a very high deductible.  No incentive financially to do preventitive care, so getting it all done now.  I also ordered 2 months worth of hormones.  I hope it’s a smooth transition to a new doc when I get out there.

Yesterday I ate shrimp and chopped clams cooked in bacon fat for lunch (with an almond cookie) and then for dinner I had cocoa crack.  Not very nutritious and not optimal, but that’s what I wanted.  And some chicken.

  • Weight this morning: 184.6
  • Fasting blood sugar: 94
  • Breakfast this morning: hamburger patty, cod, and eggs.

Tuesday

Yesterday I ate pork for lunch, chicken for second lunch (first lunch was poorly planned) and then grass-fed nitrate free bacon for dinner.   

  • Today: Weight 184 (down a pound from yesterday, but up 3 pounds from my lowest)
  • Fasting blood sugar: 97
  • Breakfast this morning: eggs, curry beef, a few shrimp, and a small piece of cod…oh and an almond-flour cookie I made last night.

I’m continuing to take the Wiley Protocol hormones.  I haven’t noticed a big change in how I feel, but my life has been so disrupted this month that I wouldn’t expect to feel fabulous.  I actually don’t feel “moody” – just anxious about the move.  So maybe they are having an effect.  I’ll see how it goes over the next couple months.

I had my last Human Rights Committee meeting at work yesterday.  Someone said I should have brought cupcakes.  My friend said, “They would be sadcakes.”  That made me laugh really hard and also feel very sad.

I’m in a constant state of hypervigilance right now…trying hard not to forget things.  I’ve got things listed on eBay, I’m selling a car, we’re buying a van,  I have to reorder meds, and get all of my loose ends tied up with my consulting work.  I’ve become addicted to my Wunderlist App to keep my organized.  We had a garage sale last weekend and sold off most of our furniture.  I’ve been sorting photos, old love letters, books, music…lots of it is going right into the trash. 

This weekend we’re going to see my family.  Then I work all week.

Then the next weekend we’re packing the van.  Then I work all week.

Then we’re leaving.  4 days on the road with a 2-year old and 2 old cats!  Yay!

Getting on Track

Well, I’ve decided I need to post to this blog on a daily basis if for no other reason than it keeps me focused on my health.  My habits are starting to fall apart under the stress of moving.  I even ate bread a few days ago.  And dairy.  And I’ve been snacking.  And I ate potato chips.  Falling apart.

So I’m back to writing every day and I’m going to report what I eat every day.  Not because I want to beat myself up or because I’m weak willed…I just know I need this structure in place to make the rest of the foundation-shaking crap going on feel ok.  My health is worth it, and I feel better every day that I eat right.

So…

  • Weight this morning: 185
  • Fasting blood sugar: 116
  • Breakfast: grass fed beef, eggs cooked in coconut oil, liverwurst

Gotta go.

Home

I see now that this move is going to be very difficult.

I’ve picked up and moved several times in my life.  I moved from Milwaukee to Minnesota the day after I graduated college.  I moved to St. Louis 2 years later, and then to Chicago 3 years after that.  Finally up and moved after 11 years in Chicago to where I’m currently living – Small Town Illinois (STI) – for work.  In each of these cases my worldly possessions fit in a car.

I’ve been in STI for 7 years now.

In each move I’ve made I left people.  When I left my hometown my dad didn’t talk to me for 2 months.  When I left Minneapolis I said goodbye to good friends…but it didn’t feel sad.  It was just what people did.  We were in our early 20s and no one stayed anywhere for very long.  When I left St. Louis I was thrilled (didn’t love it there).  And when I left Chicago I knew it was time to go.  But leaving now is the hardest of all of them.

There are people here I really care about, and who care about me.

And I don’t have to leave…I’m choosing to leave.

It feels…not good.

But it still feels right.

Life

I haven’t been writing much because I figure this is my health blog…and really, who wants to hear about the rest of my life.  So as I have gotten busier and completely overwhelmed with the prospect of moving across the country, leaving everyone I know, and changing jobs I have drifted away from thoughts of writing here.  It’s not health related…right?

But it occurs to me that this is my blog, and I can continue to use it to process what I care about in life, even if it’s not interesting to anyone else.  Also, this very much does affect my health.  Stress has played a massive role in getting me to where I am now, healthwise.  I’m trying to undo the damage already done over years of handling stress poorly…and now life is causing stress again.  I guess I’m going to keep using this blog to talk about myself…but the subject matter will be idiosyncratic, and probably not interesting to most.  I’m creating a new blog category called “Life.”  These posts will live there. 

A couple comments about my health…yesterday my weight was the lowest its been in years…broke the barrier and dropped to 181.  That was exciting.  We’ll see if this is a trend or if it’s just another pound to add to the already-lost 10 or so over the past 6 months.  Hormone supplementation is going ok.  I’m more moody…but it may be stress-related.  I’m going to have to find a new hormone doc out in Cali. 

I haven’t had much time to read Dr. K’s recent blog posts or read comments at his blog.  Any spare time I allow myself I use doing escapist activities, like watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy.  Reality is too much right now.

I feel a lot of guilt for leaving.  I know I shouldn’t, and if someone I knew was doing what I’m doing I’d tell them that they have to do what’s best for them and their family, and I would encourage them.  That’s what everyone has been saying to me, and I appreciate it.  I still feel guilty.  I’ve always felt guilty though.  I should really get over it.

So I have a house full of furniture I need to make disappear.  Anyone need a couch?

 

Needs

Since I found out earlier this week that I would be moving cross-country and uprooting every aspect of my life it feels like the foundation I’m standing on is being continually shaken.

I’ve been thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The theory is that people have different levels of needs.   They start at the bottom of the hierarchy (Physiological) and progressively spend their life working their way up, as they meet the needs at each level.  On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I’ve dropped down from working on Esteem to working on Safety:


This blog lives in the Esteem level.  Now that I’m back to thinking about security, money, resources, health, this blog feels out of reach to me.

I’m sure once things calm down a little – maybe as soon as I have a plan for getting this move accomplished – I can jump back up the hierarchy and have something to say about becoming optimal again.

I hope it’s soon.  I prefer to have these more basic needs met already!