Julie's Mission at Home: A Soldier's Wife's Journey of Health, Family and Survival

Journey with me as I document my experiences in parenting, getting healthier, and being a wife to my wonderful soldier and a mom for my two boys!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Year!

I'm just overwhelmed with the love and birthday wishes from my Facebook buddies! Truly, that is one thing I really do enjoy about FB. The connection with people who, otherwise, I probably would never had seen or heard from again in this lifetime is just fabulous! This great network of friends, family, acquaintances and the like, all blobbed together and corresponding in various ways--just fantastic! I love it. So I have birthday wishes from family, former coworkers-turned-friends, classmates from 20+ years ago, and so forth. So fun! At a time when I honestly don't feel like doing much for my birthday, it was a pick-me-up. So I'm grateful for that, and it made my day.

Neal doesn't plan a lot ahead for things like this--really, he could have figured out a way to send a card prior to my birthday. He was able, at least a few times, to get to the PX and get a card. He certainly got other stuff at the PX in the last few weeks. But, alas, my birthday came upon him like a thief in the night, and he feels pretty horrible that he didn't get to send a card. I'm not hung up on it--but it's also kinda typical of him! I am not really hurt. Maybe a little tiny bit hurt, but not too much. It happens, and there is plenty on his mind right now to worry about and figure out. My bday should not be at the top of the list!

Weight Watchers is going very well--I have lots and lots of good moments, but some difficult moments mixed in. Very raw, scary, overwhelming moments sometimes. I debate with myself, sometimes trying to compromise, and I have to pray--HARD--to get out of that hole I'm starting to fall into. Ugh! To be totally free of this temptation! What a gift that would be.

However--and most importantly--I journal all of my intake, and am honest about it. Period. I know what the alternative feels like, and I do not want to go back. I am done lying to myself, pretending all is well, meanwhile killing myself. No thanks. Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels, or so I've heard. I want to find out. Like Jimmy Stewart, out on that bridge in "It's a Wonderful Life"--I want to live again. I want to live again. I can't go on with this shell of unhealthiness surrounding me. I have to continue, and my life depends on it.

Hey, it's Red Blobster tonight with Mom and Craig and the boys! Fun! I am planning ahead--lots of good options there, but also LOTS of pitfalls (read: garlic biscuits). So I'm looking to the fresh fish and seafood to be satisfying and tasty, and some fresh veggies (steamed and salad, methinks). Baked potato is also a good idea, dry, and then I can add what I want to it. Planning is so important with this journey! That, and not starving. When I get to feeling "franticly hungry," I'm in trouble. Just like our wonderful leader at WW has talked about with herself and her own weight loss/health journey--she just doesn't allow herself to get crazy hungry. It's not a good place to be, and temptations abound when you're there!

I've had to fight the temptation to transfer my overdoing. Like to spending. I have little resources for overspending, thank God, and we set it up this way when Neal was preparing to leave. This setup forces me to be even more "in the raw" with trying to fill voids inappropriately and to really face the behavior head-on.

I appreciate TLC and A&E programming--big-time! They have enough of these shows with horribly overweight/obese people dying and trying to live again, that it really really grounds me in reality. Wow.

I have, as of last Saturday, lost 11 lbs in 3 weeks. I will weigh in on Friday this week due to being gone all day on Saturday. It's going to be a blast! Plus I am doing lots of walking, so great exercise! Aaron has a competition with orchestra, then is going to Dollywood with his orchestra for a day of fun/rides/frivolity! I am joining in the bru-haha, and it should be so great! We love Dollywood. Perfect family fun place, truly. Plus I'm meeting up with some friends, so we can be buddies for the day! Great!

I'm also looking forward to Friday night--GNO (Girls' Night Out), plus getting a requirement done for my class! We'll be having dinner and then going to see some live music stuffs at a local jazz place. So fun! I've been taking a History of Jazz class and I've loved it. The class will be finished after this last paper, and it will be my last class at Indiana University! I took a couple courses to enjoy and stay busy, and have loved them. I probably will take things more locally from here on out. Oh, and did I mention--I'm finally getting my diploma from IU! I officially graduate on May 8th! It only took 16 years to get to this point. :D

Okay, Andrew is fussing at me, wanting to nurse--so I will sign off for now! Thanks for all of your love and support. God bless you! Here's to 34!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just for Today

Just for today, I will decide to choose health. Just for today, I will work on loving myself a little bit more. Just for today, I will have patience with myself and learn to let go.
For today I will plan out my meals, I will eat with intention, I will embrace my choices, and I will forgive myself for my imperfections. For today, I will move some, laugh some, love others abundantly, and hope more and more. I will work on my faith and my vision and will not focus too much on tomorrow or the next day--today is enough.
I will look at my choices and think about them, really think about them and move with them as I act with purpose and confidence. I will pray, and then I will listen. That still, small voice is there--but I have to have an open heart to listen and discern in order to hear it. I will know that I do not have to do this by myself, that I am not alone, that even though I feel loneliness I am not alone, not alone. I am loved and I am a worthwhile woman and I have gifts, talents, and things to offer others. Loneliness and being alone are two different experiences, and being lonely is going to happen. But I am never alone.
I will embrace and search out my resources and will try to find ways to connect, energize, stay positive, and accomplish things, even small things, during my day. Just for today I will finish a project or two. I will love myself more. I will love my boys. I will be gentler, kinder, and will give my older son a break. He's only 11. He is not the reason I have aggrivations, heartaches, or stumbling blocks. Just for today, I will connect with him and love him up and give him the space he needs to grow into the man he's becoming.
Just for today I will keep loving that little baby, and I'll also give him space to laugh, to explore, to fall sometimes. It's okay to fail, and I will provide enough of a chance to tumble but enough protection to cushion the fall. I know someday I won't be able to cushion his falls--for now, for today, I can provide that. I can nurture and love and let go of the things I do not need to hold on to.
Just for today, I will live in today. Nothing more and nothing less. There, but by the grace of God, I will go.

Friday, April 16, 2010


(The first picture is the NEW 'DO, and the second picture is the OLD)


That's sorta my theme for life this year! After all, there are so many changes. It can feel a bit overwhelming if I look too far into the future--particularly when I start to chew on that one word--YEAR--and get carried away, worrying and wondering and feeling lost. This is counterproductive for my mission(s), so I avoid it. It's also not Biblical--I know that worrying does not add to my days, and I certainly can't change my circumstances (and definitely can't improve them) by worrying and fretting. I have to accept and love where I am, focus on this day alone, and move forward in that manner. Nothing else.

I got my hair chopped (again)! The last time I did it I had it done at a very low-cost chain, and it was cute but not a super-great shape for my face. As it started to grow, it was looking WAY ick. I went back to Bun Julie shortly thereafter, and stayed there until yesterday. I'll post some before/after-type pics so you can see. But to tell you, I had my very good girlfriend watch Andrew, and Aaron got to come home and be ALONE for the first time (!!!) for a little bit, while I had a very, very long appointment--1:15-4:14pm! Holy moly, folks! My butt was falling asleep, plus my wonderful hairdresser is on the shorter side (and those who know me know I am not) and I had to scrunch down in my chair part of the time, heehee. Thankfully I don't have the back issues I used to. Oh my, that wouldn't have worked!

So I knew I wanted color, and something that was natural-looking and young, and a new snazzy cut. Pam (my wondermous hairdresser) mixed a neato color for me, did an overall semi-permanent dye, then came back and did some highlights. Fancy! Then she gave me a really great haircut, and I can wear it straight (with work) or curly (just crunch with my fingers after it's wet). Yay!

I propel myself forward. I will spend time on myself, even a little, to feel good. I will follow my program of health. I will start moving more. I will, with God's help, succeed in improving the insanity I have had in my life. These changes are necessary, they are life-changing, they are "have to's" and I no longer have the luxury of choosing to bow out. I'm in it deep and I have to go forward. So hair it was! A fun pick-me-up! And no more grey, thankyouverymuch. I was looking downright ashy--grey was sprouting and making me dull! Boo!

Andrew and I are doing some gardening today--how fun! I need to get some new gloves, though, before I proceed. Then I think I'll set up Andrew in his playpen outside, and he can watch Mommy get dirty and plant bulbs of all sorts. And weed. And water. Fun! And hey, that counts as exercise!

My friend D. joined me at WW last week--it's great to have a buddy do the program with you. Believe me, having a partner of sorts is sooo helpful and makes life easier. I am hoping her hubby is on board with the whole Weight Watchers thing--I know it can be quite a change. I know my hubby will be excited to go with whatever once he's back, but for now he's eating the "thank you Uncle Sam" meals with some variety of quality! I think he's looking forward to some home-cooked foods in the future.

That's one area I'm a little nervous about: Eating in NYC. I want to be able to enjoy the food, but I also am going to be counting WW points and working that system, and it will be easy to overdo. I just have to really plan and feel confident, and also count those activity points for all the walking we'll be doing! Plus there's a pool (and whirlpool!), so exercise is definitely possible. Likely. Guaranteed, really, based on the walking factor. So that's good.

I hear Andrew stirring. Well, actually, he's yelling to me from his crib. So, must go for now--coffee is cooling and I'm ready to nurse and see how the little man is doing this morning! Hope you are having a blessed week! Ciao for now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week one: completed! I feel successful and dazed. I had a sense that things went well this past week--I really did. I had a good handle on my points (how WW people keep track of food amounts) and was honest. Really, that's been the biggest challenge in the past with me--honesty. I figured out that if I could lie to other people, I could lie to myself. So I lied to myself about how much I was eating and voila! I got...huge. Pretty big.

I have friends who have never seen me "fit" or smallish, so they just simply don't know any different. The layers I have built up over the years are some sort of shelter for me, but why I do not know. I really don't. It feels that somehow it's about rejection--that somehow I am sheltered from "real" rejection or hurt with my layers of fat. I won't be rejected or hurt based on factors that are of the heart, mind, or soul if I am first judged by people based on my body fat. So I can just shove all the people who have disappointed or hurt me into this big category of "People Who Didn't Like Me Based on the Fact I am Fat." I realize this may sound crazy, but I honestly believe and feel deeply that this is part of the struggle I've had. ( Yes, I've been in counseling and am continuing to be, if you wondered. I realize this stuff is bigger than I am and a third party can be immensely helpful.)

Somewhere, down deep, I have had this sense that important people in my life have been rejected, or no longer loved, based on the fact that they gained weight. I didn't have this in the front of my mind as a child, but as I learned snippets of things over time, I believe I formed this irrational idea that this is what happened to someone I loved, and could/would happen to me as well. So it's like, if it was going to happen, I might as well be the one pushing it on and being in "control" of it. Yep, I brought the crazy to town with that one, but am reassured that this is, in fact, not uncommon. Whew. So, whereas people with anorexia have a need for power over food/eating and manipulate it by not eating, I have done the opposite since I can remember...for years and years. When I have been out of control, this is what I have done. That, and I had the sense of stuffing down feelings, stuffing down things I didn't want to think about. It was a welcome distraction and it felt good in the moment. Oh, but then the guilt.

That guilt is overwhelming. Just almost a blinding pain, when it really sinks in. So disappointing and it just fueled that self-pity, self-shame and the anguish of feeling caught in a web that I created and was now out of my control. I had become truly out of control.

I feel freedom now like I haven't in years. Last week was nearly like a detox week for me--I really had to focus on not just one day at a time, but sometimes one hour at a time. With God's help, I made it through my first week and felt pretty great--I knew I hadn't lied to myself, to God, to anyone about my food choices, and I enjoyed eating and moving a little bit more. I began to feel some freedom I hadn't felt in a long, long time.

You might be interested to know that I actually lost 9 pounds last week. Nine! That just shows how out-of-whack I was before I started Weight Watchers and made this commitment. Holy moly, people! NINE. I wasn't expecting, nor will I expect in the coming weeks, that kind of loss in that amount of time. I attribute this weight loss to simply the drastic changes in healthy living that I made, suddenly, and my body's (over?) reaction to those changes. But I will not look a gift horse in the mouth, friends. I'm pleased with this jump-start.

My husband and I spoke for a bit yesterday and he was so encouraging and happy for me. He started to talk about what could happen in my journey in a year's time, but I stopped him. I cannot focus on an entire year. I can't really think about next week, even, or really even tomorrow. This applies to the big stuff in our lives right now--my health journey, and his deployment. I cannot think about this "big picture," but just here and now. Just today. I cannot handle any more than that. He totally understood. He loves me so. I'm so blessed.

Well, anyway, here we are in Day 2 of Week 2...just coffee thus far, but plans for a quick breakfast before heading to church. So, ciao for now! (Chow for now, maybe?)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nearing the end of Week One

Hey! I am really, really grateful. I have had "bad" start-up weeks before, when I frankly wasn't ready. I wasn't in "that place" and just joined, started, and POOF! was off the wagon again.

The wagon terminology isn't a mistake there--there is absolutely no question that this is a food addiction that I struggle with. Everything about it mimics the struggles of alcoholics, except instead of alcohol, it's food. Difficult thing, that. Alcoholics do not have to have a portion of alcohol every day of their lives, even in recovery. I have to eat. So, yes, a struggle.

I have bolstered up my defenses to aid me all around this goal I have! Weight Watchers' meetings once a week, online resources and support, my blog (more cathartic than you might know), programs on t.v. that bring my particular issues front and center for me to really think about, be real about, NOT ignore and not pretend as if they do not exist. No more playing hide and seek with what has really been going on in my life for so many years. And no more worrying my family, my friends and particularly my children regarding my health and wellness. Mental, emotional and physical--it all ties together.

So, I sit here eating out of necessity--I didn't get all of my veggies/fruits in today, and although I want to break the habit of night eating, I really really really want to be on program as much as possible. Having one and a half veggies today wasn't right, and not healthy. So, it's carrots right now, raw. And a fresh red delicious apple and a seedless orange! Really a nice little fresh snack, nothing heavy and nothing overwhelming. In the past, though, night eating has been a trigger for overeating, so this is something I want to generally avoid.

Oops, almost forgot--I am now starting to read Twelve Steps for Overeaters as well. I have had it on my shelf for, ooooh, three years? Just haven't even cracked that thing open. Very symbolic of my eating issues: I thought about change, I looked it over, I practiced a bit, I put it on the shelf and sort of pretended it wasn't there, mostly. I decided that eating and stuffing down feelings and wallowing and existing in my particular way was more important and felt better than being healthy. The change and the honesty that is necessary for weight loss and health have overwhelmed and scared me tremendously the past few years. Maybe someday soon I can explain this more eloquently. I am not sure. I just thank God for giving me the boosts daily that I need.

I have been speaking with my hubby on a fairly regular basis while he's where he currently is. Other than being pretty emotional from time to time, I'm doing much better this week. Thank God! He sounds great, is getting stuff done, dental work (again) on Friday. Busy! But nearing the end of week 2 and staying positive. I miss him a whole lot. A whole freakin' lot. Sometimes it is a physical pain. Other times it isn't nearly as pronounced--more a dull awareness, but generally okay-feeling. But when the emotional stuff comes up, or wells up in my throat, sometimes I can't even think of holding anything in and I just need to cry. It happens.

I'm going to post a picture I do not love of ME, but I really do love of our family. It also serves as a good example of a "before" picture, but before I would ever officially put a "before" pic up.

That's all for now--I promised Neal I would take care of some stuffs online, and I need to before I doze off! Ciao for now!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weight Watchers, Week One

By the grace of God, I have begun.

Pretty glad to have joined WW on Saturday. Not that I'm excited--I maybe should be, but "excited" isn't the right word for how I feel. I have come to rely on food to make me feel better, and have had quite a past with my weight gain/loss/gain again, so I suppose I feel apprehension and trepidation alongside forward-thinking ambition. I want to save my life. If for no other reason, at least for the sake of my children. For that matter, for my family. For my God. I don't like that I am the fattest person in my group of friends, in my family, in many of my groups. It hurts. I'm ashamed. But all of this sometimes has not been enough for my motivation. Sometimes there is just a dense fog in my brain and heart, just keeping me isolated from the things that should motivate me and inspire me. It's times like that that I feel like such a failure. I don't want this anymore. I want to be free of it.

Anyway, so. I started Saturday! I went to the meeting, I felt great, I was happy to go. I was welcomed warmly by some who knew me from before...over 100 lbs ago, too. So here we go. Fresh start, fresh attitude, a renewal. A reawakening. Very appropriate for Eastertide, I would say! A Season of renewed hope and birth. This is the birth of my new life. I want to live.