Friday, 6 January 2017

Tiny Steps

January 6, 2017

Yesterday was a tough one, from about one o'clock on. About that time I could feel anxiety creeping in. Silly little things like thinking that the mild pressure headache I had might be a stroke coming on. (Again, deep ingrained fear that my weight is going to kill me) As it started to escalate, I took action and I exercised by playing some hardcore rock band for about 45 minutes. Once I was done and nothing had changed I decided to take an anxiety pill, the first one I've taken during the day.

For the first moment or two I felt like a failure- I let it win, I couldn't white knuckle it, but then I stopped and really thought about it. I was wrong- I DID win. I could have white knuckled it. I could have dove into the bag of unopened chips we have in the cupboard. I could have pulled out the horrible, yet still chocolate, frozen turtles in the freezer, I could have make a HUGE plate of buttered pasta. But I did none of that, instead, I did the thing that was the healthiest for my body- I took the pill and settled the imbalance, and didn't stop there.

I took a hot bath, while watching "Being Human- US", Sam Witwer always makes me happy. After the bath I used some of my shimmery cranberry body lotion from the Body Shop that I keep for special occasions. Finally, I did the thing I haven't done for so long, the thing that truly feeds my soul- I sang. I opened the windows, put on my play list of broadway/pop punk/rock tunes and opened up full throttle. Man that felt good.   Here is a quick recording I did yesterday. Very raw and unpolished, but man- it felt good just to sing.

I went to the walk in clinic, under the impression that my family doctor would be there, she wasn't. That said, the doctor I did see was amazing. Apparently, my doctor keeps amazing notes, and he was able to prescribe something more focused to help with the anxiety and my eating disorder. He also told me to follow up with my doctor and she should be able to get me into some sort of eating disorder clinic, to also help. It was a pretty positive meeting.

Today so far, has been calm and upbeat. After blogging, I'm off to work on my "Let's Play" channel. I feel like I took a tiny step yesterday that has the potential to become an anchoring stone. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Strong Like an Amazon

January 5th, 2017

We had our first 'treat night' last night. For us, its one day a week in which we can indulge a little bit. Have that piece of chocolate our roommate bought for us a few days earlier, or aybe have a few potato chips.

I was quite nervous as it's been less than a week in which sugar has been out of my life, and with Laura bringing desserts, I knew I'd want to have something, so I planned for it.


-1/4 c quick oats
-1/2 tsp splenda
-1 tbsp raisins
-drizzle of milk


-1 zucchini, grated
-1/2 pasta sauce (tomato sauce, spices, chunks of onion, zucchini, mushrooms and a handful of black beans)


-1 small apple


-4 stuffed mushrooms (cream cheese, bread crumbs, cheddar, bacon, green onions, spices. Picture enough to fill 4 small mushroom tops)
-1 small stuffed jalapeƱo (same filling)
-3 slices ham
-1/2 cup mashed purple sweet potato/yukon gold mix

-1 apple, cored with oats, cinnamon and a negligible amount of sugar
-1 lindor chocolate

Laura, knowing we were trying to cut sugar, choose the amazing baked apples. Tasty AND healthy!

There were six chocolates to be had and we each chose 2. I chose a pumpkin spice and coconut. After having the pumpkin one, I opened the second, had a tiny nibble and thought, no... I really don't need or want this, and chose not to have it. That is a HUGE thing for me.

I am super proud of me today. I didn't feel deprived, in fact I felt like I indulged in food that I like, and I was able to stop and say no to something I really didn't want.

The other thing I did yesterday to help my brain was self care. I painted my toes and did my finger nails, things I love to do, but do rarely. Before Step got home and Laura arrived, I put on a t-shirt that I was waiting until I'm thinner to wear. The reason for the wait was that it sits right at pant button level and isn't long enough to cover the front of my stomach. I decided yesterday, screw it. The top is awesome and makes me feel sassy, so I'm wearing it, round tummy be damned. I also put on make up. I didn't do it because I thought Step would like me better, or society thinks I should, I did it because I loved the slightly rocker esthetic it created, it made me feel a little bad ass and confidant.

These are feelings I need in my life right now. Sass. Confidence. Bad-assery. They will help me form a strong foundation of self love, something I've been sorely lacking.

Now that my rambling and tea are done, I am off to work on my Let's Play Channel, and then exercise, and then sing, all things that will help me with my goals.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Out of the Dark (206.5)

January 4th, 2017

I'm so very proud of myself today. Last night was full of hard emotional discourse, the worse I've experienced in, maybe ever. It was the sort of experience that would generally lead to me eating things I shouldn't. Throwing in the towel, "just for tonight because I need comfort", but I didn't. I had a couple of cups of tea and reminded myself that it things were  going to stay this rough or get worse, I'd need to have my own back. I'd need to remember that I need to keep on track. I also needed to remember that if things got better, (which they did) I didn't want to be regretting allowing myself to get off track.

This journey is about finding genuine self care, regardless of what's going on in my life, and at this point, self care means not eating sugar. Not comforting myself with junk food.

I'm pretty proud of myself today.

I will generally be weighing myself 1ce per week, but I decided this week to have a look mid week. I've lost 3.5 pounds!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

One Minute at a Time

January 3rd, 2017 (210)

Yesterday wound up being a pretty fair day. My food intake was as follows:

-2 eggs, scrambled with nutritional yeast
-2 wedges of pomello

-3/4 c quinoa
-8 cherry tomatoes
-1/2 orange pepper
-2 oz turkey

-2 wedges of pomello

-turkey stew, full of veggies

-2 c air popped popcorn and nutritional yeast

As for exercise, there was a fair amount of house cleaning, as well as over an hour of rock band drumming, and being me, that means dancing in my chair while doing it.

Brain wise, there were hard moments. Step and I had an argument, which left me super anxious. We are in the middle of downsizing the stuff we  have so I can hopefully get a piano, (We see them for free on Freecycle on occasion, and right now, I have nothing to play music on.) and the mess is making me uncomfortable.

 On the upside, we took an entire car load of stuff to the Goodwill, and planned healthy eating for the rest of the week.

I still struggle with that little voice, the one that whispers, "There are Lindor chocolates in the freezer. No one would know if you had one. Besides, one won't hurt." But that's the thing. One WOULD hurt. One would lead to two and then to three, and by that point I'd convince myself that I'd already failed so I can just restart tomorrow. And since I'm doing that anyway, I should just go ahead and have the rest of the chocolate and anything else that I could find that is remotely, 'bad'. Then I would feel the effects of the sugar and feel beyond terrible.

This has been the pattern for far too long. But the voice is loud and beguiling. For now, I'm focusing on staying busy, and staggering out parts of my meals. I had some homemade veggie soup about half an hour ago. In a little while I'll have a salad with boiled egg. Then when Step is home at 3:30 I'll have some tea with him and start work on the podcast. By the time we are done that, it should be dinner.

One minute at a time.

Monday, 2 January 2017

A New Year. (210 pounds)

January 2nd, 2017.                   

210 pounds- first weight in.

A trip to the hospital the morning of December 31st is what brings me here. Nothing like a health scare to motivate you. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd intended to 'start behaving' come January first, but I'm coming at it from a different perspective than intended.

I suppose a little back story is in order.

My name is Tamara. Or Tami. Or Spam, Spammy-Lee Jones, The Spambonator, Spamboni, get the idea. I'm also called Tams, which is what most people online, know me as.

I am a singer, actor, writer, gamer and podcaster who, with my partner Step, does a weekly podcast called Kink Geek, where we talk about human sexuality, kink and nerd culture.

I am also a mostly monogamous girl in a poly relationship. A submissive with a VERY bratty side. A control freak. An introvert and incredibly empathetic. I have anxiety and depression. I have cats, but want so much to have a dog.

I also have an eating disorder.

To look at me, you would never know that I struggled with bulimia and anorexia in my teens and into my early twenties. Even to see photos of me during that time, you would never guess. I never got super thin, and that's part of the hard part about mental illness in general, it never manifests itself exactly the same in each case, everyone is different.

I got away from the bulimia by understanding what I was doing to my singing voice, if I didn't stop, I would ruin it, so I had to choose between that and music. Easy choice. Ok, not easy, but manageable.

The anorexia eventually turned into binge eating.

So now here I sit, probably 80 pounds heavier than I should be, having huge issues controlling my eating and fearing for my life.

I've always been active. I've danced since I could walk, I did gymnastics, competitively figure skated, directed musical theatre, gigged with my band, I  love walking in the forest. I can honestly say I never let extra pounds stop me from doing those things.

Four and a half years ago, I moved to London to live with my then girlfriend and now common law husband. When I moved in I was new to dating girls, polyamory and dealing with a partner with extreme mental issues. I was about 40 pounds lighter than I am now, having gone through a recurrence of my anorexia, after having cancer and a full hysterectomy. I was going running every day. I was the smallest I'd been in forever, but I was lost and in a horribly anxious state.

Our female partner was aggressive and at times violent. She had a manner of speaking to me that was a huge eating disorder trigger. For example- begging until I tired on her shirt, which I told her wouldn't fit me as she was smaller than I, and then telling me how nice it would look when I could lose enough weight to fit into it. I had such love for these people, but not enough love for me. I stayed in the situation when I should have gotten out, for my own mental health. Now, I don't regret staying, as eventually she left and Step and I have been together since.

During the middle of that mess, Step worked on being a Dom to me, starting on working on my food issues. We were both flying blind. All he knew was that I needed to eat, but quickly learned the sneaky ways of the girl with an eating disorder. There were huge battles, lots of screaming and crying, but eventually I ate.

Every time I finished a meal, he was happy, knowing that it was a victory. We both knew that I would put weight on, given the manner in which it was taken off, what I wasn't prepaired for, was the amount of weight I'd gain and that I would trade one disorder for another.

After a couple of years I fell into a binge eating pattern, triggered by anxiety and depression.

Depressed that things aren't going well? Let's buy gobs of junk food from the bulk food store and watch horror movies. Don't worry about it, you can always start fresh tomorrow.

And that's the core issue- there is always another tomorrow. I could always justify that tomorrow we would start on a new, healthy eating plan. And we did. And it would last a couple of days, until the next cycle hit.

On and on. We tried anti-depressants and they helped a little, but didn't curb the food issues.

For me, the last year has gotten so bad that I dread eating. I dread bringing junk into the house becasue I know I can have a piece of chocolate in my hand and think, "I shouldn't eat this. It's going to end up killing me.", and I'll eat it anyway. There has been a total loss of control.

There winds up being so much tied up in this problem. Self loathing, fear of being like this forever, not wanting to engage with people because you know they are looking at you. Not wanting to go out into the world because you feel hideous. You become the master of the selfie. You would think, looking at my photos that I post and I'm average weight, average in looks, but that's after hundreds of photos, of tilting my head just so. In all of the others, I feel like I look like some old, fat, ugly thing. It's insidious.

Through it all I keep doing the podcast, mentioning on occasion our struggles, but keeping the tone light, so know one knows how dark things really are. The only one who has any idea is Step and my sister in law.

Step tries really hard to help, but he can't fix my problems, not alone.

The last few months have been the worse. I worry myself to the point that I can't sleep, afraid that I am never going to be able to control my eating. I'll keep binging until I die of a heart attack, or I'll finally just stop eating all together. I've been trying to hang on to the thought that after the New Year, we can make a real effort to get healthy.

I'm an intelligent person. I love to learn and know more than most people about the way the body processes food. About what is good and what is not. Until now, that knowledge hasn't helped. I haven't' been able to over ride the compulsions, but I've been telling myself THIS time will be different. Just get through the holidays and all of the amazing food and I'll be clear.

This thought has given me free reign to eat whatever I like, but not without consequence.

It started a couple of weeks ago. Every time I'd have a few cookies, or some chocolate, I'd feel fluttery and light headed afterwards. Ah...blood sugar spike. I'd had my blood sugar tested when I was in for oral surgery the month before at it was at 19 after a breakfast of chocolate chip muffins, so that had me concerned. I also had high blood pressure at that appointment, so high they weren't sure they wanted to do the procedure, but after my assurance that I have white coat syndrome (which I do) and my BP dropping to a more reasonable level they went ahead.

The fear still stuck with me. High blood sugar. High blood pressure. Sounds like I'm heading for HUGE trouble.

These fears have been in my mind since then and I've become hyper aware of how I feel internally. It all came to a head a few days ago. I started to notice before bed that my heart seemed to be pounding hard and fast. It scared the crap out of me. I kept it too myself for a few days, certain that it was just too much sugar.

Then the evening of the 30th I finally told Step. I was almost hysterical. I was so afraid that there was something wrong with my heart. We eventually decided to try to sleep and go to the walk in clinic in the morning, which of course wound up being closed.

I finally decided that piece of mind was worth a potential day long wait in the ER on New Years Eve day, so off we went.

At admittance my stats were 179/97. Pretty scary, so they pushed me through really quickly. Off to get an EEG, then into the first to be seen area. I got put on a BP machine, to track the goings on over the course of 40 mins. Over that time the numbers dropped over 20 points.

Within an hour the emerg doctor came to see me. I told her everything that was going on. She asked it I had pain (no), tingling (no) and an number of other questions to determine if a heart issue was happening. After a look at me EEG results she told me that my heart was perfect.

What she thinks was happening, was that my anxiety was sending electrical signals to my heart to beat faster. Yep, screwed by my brain again.

She gave me some anti anxiety meds to try before bed, until I can get to the family doctor and follow up. Yes, my blood pressure is still not as low as I'd like, and even on the meds I can still feel that scary poundy feeling, but it isn't crippling.

I've been so terrified over the last few days that I'm having heart trouble, that it's pretty much scared me off of junk food. Now I know as I lose weight, that will change so I need to be aware of it. If nothing else, it's given me the true impetus to start making changes.

Last night Step and I went for a walk around the block twice, after spending the entire day cleaning and moving things in the house. Today I woke up and chose scrambled eggs and pomello for breakfast. Lunch will be veggies and some sort of protein. I know we are grocery shopping after Step is off work, which usually means will grab take out, so instead I'm making a turkey stew, full of veggies. It's a small start. So is this blog.

I need support. I need to feel a sense of not being able to hide things. Blogging has always helped me in the past so I think this is another great tool for me to work on success. Youtube is another option, but I'm not sure I'm that brave.

I'm going to keep track of my weight and and loss at the top of the posts, so you can follow along. Please feel free to comment, tell me your story, or just say hi. This is a long road I have taken the first step on, and it's always less scary when you don't have to go it alone.