Monday, July 26, 2010


To be a Mother is to know fear.

I used to say I wasn't afraid of anything tangible. I'm not unreasonably afraid of heights or snakes or anything like that. Spiders don't really bother me. That said I highly respect the fact that certain things can kill me and give them their due but I don't say freak out and run away of a picture of a snake like a girl I once knew.

The only thing I really feared when I was younger was to die alone. To never know love. Yes, I was definitely a teenager.

Now I am a Mother. Now I know what it is to fear. I fear that something will happen to my baby. I have a whole new level of empathy for every story I see on TV. It used to be I'd see the horrible things that happen and go "Oh man that sucks". Now I feel a true and gripping terror that it could happen to my child and I feel a depth of empathy and sympathy for the poor mother involved that I never felt before.

Now days if I have a nightmare I can pretty much guarantee you that it involves my being unable to stop something horrible from happening to my baby. And I can't just shrug them off. These dreams will haunt me for days.

Every story I hear about gives me the intense desire to run to my child and hold him tight and check him over from head to toe just to make sure he's okay.

And as much terror as I have for the baby I have now, I have ever bit as much, if not more for the ones to come. No matter what else happens with my Caleb I did get my wish I so fervently prayed for when I was pregnant. I had a healthy baby. So many, many people do not and I did and I was so amazingly grateful.

I'm so scared to do it again. To hold my breath for 9 solid months and pray to hear that first cry with everything I've got. I think thats actually part of my attraction to adoption. Somebody else has to deal w/ the pregnancy thing. I can know the kids full medical history and that they cry regularly before I bring them home.

No, I do not have an unnatural attraction to crying its just that thanks to a million movies and everything else I have associated everything being okay with a birth with that baby's first scream. They show up, and you pull them out and everybody holds their breath and you wait for that baby to fill his lung and start screaming in protest over the indignity of being forced from their warm comfy cocoon. It means they're breathing. It means their lungs work. It means life.

I do also have a fear of the pain. I am not a wimp. I've broken bones and torn ligaments and cartiledge and had stitches, and even migraines so bad they made me cry. Labor was so many levels beyond that I cannot even find words to express how painful it was. I couldn't think of anything but the pain when the contractions were happening and when they stopped I wanted to scream and sob and weep like I'd never wept before but all I could do was breathe because I was so exhausted and even though the active pain had stopped every muscle in my body was still tense and I was shaking. It wasn't like there was major relief from the pain between contractions. It was just like someone had stopped actively tightening the vise and had let go for a minute to get a good grip for the next go.

My epidural was the most amazing thing ever. The actual epi didn't hurt at all. Was just annoying to have to hold still through the contractions. But the amazing thing was that even though it took a while for the tension and base level non-tightening vise pain to fade, all of the sudden my torturer decided he had some place else to be and the vise tightening sessions stopped. And then just a while later the pain was gone. It was a miracle.

After that I was like heck I can do this ALL DAY.

The average first labor is 15 hours. I know LOTS of people who are in labor more like 20+ hours their first time so I'm inclined to think that 15 hour number has to include the people who start labor and finish w/ c-sections etc. My first labor from start to finish was 7 hours. I pushed for the whole last hour. I think it would have been more like 6 hours if Caleb hadn't had his hand in front of his face making the pushing that much harder.

Second labors tend to be much shorter. Averaging half the length of a first labor. I am so scared I won't get to the hospital in time for my epidural. An epidural takes time. They make you get 2 jugs of IV fluids first. Then you have to be able to sit up for them to put the epi in. Then it takes a little bit to go into effect. And if you don't have time for an epi you don't have time for regular drugs either because once its too close you risk depressing the baby's respiration too much when they come out. So its pretty much epidural or bust baby.

And if you go by the averages: my first labor was 7 hours, thats 3.5 hours for a second labor. Thats about how long it took them just to get me to my room, after making me hang out FOREVER in the OB Triage room hooking up monitors and taking blood and checking my crotch a million times.

It just happened to a friend of mine a few months ago. She's a big fan of the epi like I am. And they barely had enough time to get to the hospital and no time to get drugs.

Here are her words on the experience:

"Just a side note: I was informed that as you push the baby out someone dubbed the sensation the "ring of fire". This to me sounds more like something entertaining and circus-like. I think a more appropriate name would be "someone took a blowtorch to your crotch". And the "discomfort" of contractions? Really? Discomfort? More like insides hewn in several parts with a knife and fork."

Yes, on so many levels to be a Mother is to know Fear.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I have An Opinion

*Thwacks everybody who read the subject and thought "and this is new b/c???"*

Have you heard about Jamie Oliver and the "Food Revolution"? If not - PAY ATTENTION!!

Are you aware that this generation of children are the FIRST to have a SHORTER LIFE EXPECTANCY than their parents??? 

I sure wasn't. My jaw hit the floor when I heard that.

The projected life expectancy for the current generation of children is shorter than their parents.


I don't know about you but that makes me want to weep. I have this idea that every generation hopefully gets a little bit better. Hopefully you learn and grow and become even better than your parents, and hopefully my kids will learn and grow and be even better, happier, healthier people than me. That's the goal. That's the reason I try so hard to work through my problems so that hopefully I can keep from gift wrapping them and giving them to my children.

For the last hundred years the life expectancy has been growing by leaps and bounds. Miracles of medicine, nutrition and science has dramatically improved both the quality and the longevity of life. And now for the first time, we are significantly LOSING GROUND.

This is BAD folks. And I mean BAD, SCARY, I am willing to MARCH IN THE STREETS over this levels of BAD.

You only get once chance to teach and grow and raise your kids as best as you possibly can. And no, you're not always going to be perfect, but this is a battle worth fighting for. This is the future. These are your children. 

The problem? We eat over processed CRAP. It has a ton of calories and NO nutrition. Basically, the more you process a food the less nutrition you have in it.

Let me tell you a story that I have found I can apply to a WIDE variety of circumstances, both spiritual and physical. In this case we're going physical but think on it. This analogy has deeply impacted my life.

A few years back there was a particularly hard winter. So bad in fact that the deer were starting to starve because the snow was so deep they couldn't dig through it to get the grass underneath. The farmers were compassionate and didn't want the poor deer to starve, but didn't have enough grain and hay to feed both their animals and help the poor deer. So the decision was made to share some of the straw they used for bedding with the deer in the hopes it might be enough to get them through.

For those unfamiliar with animal feed, hay is basically cut, dried grass. Good hay is green in color and full of nutrition. Straw is the stems from grain. It has almost no nutrition. The farmers knew this but they thought something was better than nothing.

So they piled big piles of straw on top of the snow and the deer gratefully gorged themselves on their offerings and then with full bellies, the deer died. They'd starved to death.

Their bellies were full but the food that they ate was of no worth and so they starved. They had full bellies so they didn't even try to look for the life saving grass underneath the snow. They went with what was easy, and they died.

When you feed yourself and your children cheap, fast, easy junk food you are starving their bodies of critical, life changing nutrition. There might be enough calories, probably too many in fact, but there is not enough of the right things that a body needs.

I think I've been heading in this direction for a while. I knew a fair bit about nutrition, more than most, b/c of how I was raised and my previous struggles with my weight. But I couldn't figure out how to eat in a way that worked.

I think my first serious step in the right direction was Caleb. That little boy grows like a weed and I am so desperate for him to have what he needs to grow and develop like he should that it was the case that he usually ate better than I did. I've done a ton of homework to try to learn exactly what and how much he needs to eat to be healthy. But it concerned me, b/c him eating better than me is NOT going to fly when he gets bigger. He has to see Mommy do it.

And now I have Skinny Chicks. For the first time I feel like I really understand what I am eating and why. I feel good. I'm losing weight. 7.5 pounds in the first 2 weeks - before you freak- the first week was 6 pounds on a detox version of the diet, 2nd week was only 1.5 lbs, and I've been eating 400 calories every 4 hours, 25-30% protein, 50-60% carbs, no more than 10 g of fat through out. I don't feel AT ALL deprived or starved. My sugar cravings are 99% gone. Once in a while I'll start to think I want something and then I realize... no I really don't. I'm full. I'm not at all hungry. And I'm not CRAVING it. Its like I want it just b/c it was a habit to have it. Then I realize what I'm doing, don't eat the sweet stuff and I walk away satisfied. Its amazing.

I think Christine Avanti and Jamie Oliver are right:

If you read the label and it sounds like a science experiement - DON'T EAT IT.

If you read the label and you can't pronounce the things on it - DON'T EAT IT.

And most importantly, I want my Caleb to grow up big and strong and healthy. I want to teach him to the very best of my ability. I want to feed him right.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Update #4759

So we're finishing up week 2 on the Skinny Chicks plan. So far so good. I think. She says to only step on the scale once a week so tomorrow is the next time I get to weigh myself.

The first week went great and I dropped 6 pounds which is nothing short of amazing. But then I had like a massive migraine and it made me so nauseated my eating was off for a whole day and there was a family gathering in there too so I'm hoping that doesn't affect things too much. So I'm kinda scared to weigh myself tomorrow.

I'm getting used to eating every 4 hours. Its a pain in the butt sometimes but its doable. And I'm starting to get creative and good at finding ways to do the foods I like, on the plan. For example, tonight I marinated and broiled chicken breasts and had some steamed brocolli and brown rice. But plain brown rice with no sauce or anything sounded really boring so I pulled my inspiration from my father's latest tales of making Dirty Rice and so I made the brown rice with chicken broth and garlic and tarragon. It was pretty good. I think I can easily double the spice next time but I was just learning this time around.

Otherwise life is pretty good. Adam lost his cell phone and his debit card in one week which was remarkably stressful but the upside is that it made us go renew our cell phone contract which we needed to do anyways AND it got us new phones! So now I have a royal purple crackberry (blackberry curve) and thanks to some cool discounts I got the data plan I wanted for only 5 bucks more a month than we were already paying (sweeeet). So thats happy.

Caleb's been a little bit of a rotten snot lately. He's got this nice shrieking whiney cry that he busts out with with the LEAST provocation that is DEFINITELY not my favorite. And he's cut back on throwing food off his tray now that I stopped reacting to it so instead he's taken to spitting food out and just letting it run down his bib and just being really ultra picky about what he will or won't eat. And if you try to force him to do anything he busts out with the howler monkey screeching. Not my favorite.

The upside is that he's also been a bit more of a cuddle bunny. I think he's working on a new tooth is a big part of the problem so it makes him irritable but b/c he doesn't feel good he likes to cuddle up with Mommy which we do like so I guess we'll take the good with the bad (like I have a choice otherwise...).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Random Aside

I am of the opinion that not knowing how to do something (we're not talking brain surgery here) is not an excuse to not do a task. All that is is a reason for delaying the task long enough to figure out how to do it. 

Maybe its just the way I was raised but if I wanna/needta do something and I don't know how to do it - by golly I go figure out how. I'm yet to find something that I can't learn how to do with a good teacher. And the teacher can be anything. Its amazing how much google, wikipedia and youtube have taught me to do. And thats not even touching the stuff other people can teach you and books and all manner of workshops and classes etc. 

So "But I don't know how to do X" is in no way shape or form a valid excuse in my book to not do X. In my book it should only delay X a little. 

My frustration at this exact moment is partially my own and partially somebody elses. B/c I'm sure I'd do well to remember that "The things that annoy us the mot about other people are most often the very things that MOST annoy other people about us." So I'm probably projecting SOME of this but not all of it. 

My frustration is that certain people see the need to change something. They even see how to change it and they recognize that it needs to be fixed and they commit to fix it and then NOTHING. No change. It just keeps keepin' on until the next big moment where it gets hauled out for examination and discussed again just how much it needs to change and then VOILA gets stuffed right back where it came from and NOTHING GETS CHANGED AGAIN. 

Come to think of it I think this problem describes quite large portions of the worlds problems and populace. 

Change is uncomfortable. We don't like it. We humans are lazy and we like comfort and the familiar. Even it it means slowly killing ourselves one little bit at a time, if we've been doing it every day then by golly we're highly likely to keep right on doing it until we're actually dead. B/c change is mean and icky and uncomfortable. 

And its 100% all right to get all sorts of ticked off that other people won't change and be better especially when we can so clearly see that it can only make their lives 100% better if they do change when all the while we're very happily chipping away at killing ourselves. 

I suppose its the old mote/beam analogy. And don't forget the "you can't save a drowning man when you yourself are drowning" bit too for good measure. 

But somehow trying to fix other peoples problems and blaming all of your problems on them is just so much more satisfying than actually dealing with your own. I mean I can totally see why everybody is doing it. 

Including me. 


So, fix me. What do I need to do to fix me....

I need to start the Skinny Chicks program. 
I need to do better with my VT. 
I need to do better with my personal scripture study. 
I need to do better with my calling. 
I need to manage my time better. 

I think taking care of the first and third items on that list will be of the greatest value and help me work towards the other 3 more than doing any of the other 3 will fix all of them. So I think thats where I should start. 


Wish me luck...


Do you ever wonder if something might be wrong with you.... I was a psych major and like to think myself remarkably intuitive when it comes to other people and I know I'm a million light years better at self awareness than I used to be but sometimes I still wonder if I'm completely diluted and there really is something massively wrong with me. Or rather there was something massively wrong and now that I'm starting to get better I can actually see or  or its been wrong all along and I'm just now noticing???

People with depression find all sorts of creative ways to self medicate. Some do it with food (popular option in Ami World I might add), some shop or gamble, or do drugs, or any number of similarly creative options. I took advantage of my abilities with people and went for "codependent". I think. I see that now. I'd kill to read my psychologists notes from when I was a kid.

I think part of it was survival. Mom got sick. Dad was working and dealing with a sick wife and was not exactly a model husband at the time so I got stuck with a whole lot of growing up in record breaking time. Its not fair or right but its life and it happened and I found out early just how strong I was. And in some ways I'm grateful.

The hard times teach you a lot so be grateful for the lesson. And try to work through it fast and learn whatever it is you need to learn as quickly as possible so you don't have to go through the lesson AGAIN. At least that probably the single biggest lesson the hard times have taught me. Learn fast or do it again. The suckiness sucks but its there to teach you so if you want it to go away figure it the frick out.

And I recognize that I have this tendency (to go the codependent route) now so I try to avoid it in big way. But sometimes I worry that I've completely failed at it. Mostly b/c I find myself in situations that I look and go, oh I can see why she's here, and her, and here, but why am I here? Which leads us to wonder if we're just massively arrogant and self diluted.

And yet, some of it makes sense. More like, if you consider the past, the present makes more sense and its more that I'm coming out of it than that I'm still in it and thats why I see it for what it is.


I'm just afraid that maybe I don't see it and so I'm really in it. But I don't think I am. B/c denial is the first sign right?

And now I'm talking in circles.

I look back now and I realize how amazingly blind I was in certain areas. But this was a whole new ball game and I'd never seen this one before. And yet, I feel to the core of my soul that it was the right choice to make. I knew it then and I know it now. I was lead to make that choice. It was the right one. And so these things are crappy and they suck. But I think I'm here in part b/c I'm the friend, the one who jumps down the hole with you b/c they've been down there before and they know the way out.

And so at times its frustrating that things aren't better than they are, or that they're not instantly fixed. But I have to remember that I didn't get this way in a day. And we're talking about reprogramming decades of bad patterning. But the heart is good. The desires are pure, the love is there and in all the right places.

So no, I don't think this is the codependent thing. I think its started to head there once or twice but through divine intervention has mostly stopped.

I think with time, and love and perseverance and a whole lot of divine guidance it really will be okay. I think what I see are shadows of old bad patterns. Some tried to trap me, some have in the past. But mostly their shadows. Tendencies handed down.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Big Fat Saga

My weight problem started when I was just barely a teenager. I think I was in the 7th grade. I got a stomach virus that made it impossible for me to eat more than like a piece of toast with out puking. The doctor said I didn't have mono but that I had "a mono-type virus". I was sick for several weeks, until after school got out for the summer actually. And then I got strep throat and tonsillitis at the same time and a sky high fever. But when I got better I could eat again. My doctor said the fever must have finally killed the virus.

But then eating like a bird (b/c after months of not eating my stomach was TINY) I gained a bunch of weight and ballooned all the way up to a size 12/14. I was very self conscious of my thighs and arms. And I stayed there, mostly, some clothes I would fit into more like a 14/16.  My freshman year of high school I tried one of the low fat diets and wound up gaining 10 pounds. So much for that idea.

Then I started dancing my sophomore year of high school. That was a good year. When I started dancing I actually gained 40 pounds and lost 4 sizes. I was down to a size 10/12 and I felt great. But the weight crept back. By Christmas break of my junior year I was up to a size 16/18 and I hated my self. I was horribly depressed and cried constantly and seriously considered anorexia or bulimia.

That's when my mom said she was trying the Mayo Clinic diet and it was actually working for her. That got my attention because my mom had every bit as hard a time losing weight as I did so I tried it. Between February and May of my junior year I lost 50 pounds on the Mayo Clinic diet. I was a size 10 at 5'8. I weighed 150 pounds, which sounds like a lot, but I had boobs and hips and a TON of lean strong dancers muscle.

My fellow dancers hardly noticed my weight loss (b/c they saw me every day in a leotard) until one day in April, we were watching videos of our dancing from early fall so that we could see the progress we had made and people started doing double takes from the video to me and back again. "Wow! You've lost a lot of weight!" These were not people inclined to hand out praise so I loved it.

I had done a play in fall semester which had required me to wear a skin tight unitard for the entire show, so my theater troop knew exactly what size I was then. But because I couldn't afford all new clothing as the school year wore on I just kept wearing my progressively baggier t-shirts and jeans held on with a belt. Then end of the year formals rolled around and I bought my first formal dress. A figure hugging A-line gown, when I stepped into the room, literally every person turned around and drop jawed. That was one of the greatest nights of my life in terms of kudos. Every single person complimented me. The boys drooled. It was great.

That is the size I want to be. That is the size I dream of being. Its my ideal. The only time in my entire life I have EVER had a person tell me "I would kill to look like you."

I managed to keep the weight off eating normally for my entire senior year. The summer before I started college I gained 10 pounds but I wasn't worried. I'd start school and start dance again and I'd be fine.

The first week of college, Thursday, I looked up to see if the bus that was pulling up in front of my building was the one I wanted. I missed the step and fell the last 3 steps, massively twisting my ankle. It turns out I tore 3 ligaments in that ankle. I spent the next 3 months in physical therapy. I had no transportation, I lived off campus with upper classmen who had other friends, and so I sat on my butt and I felt sorry for my self and I ate. And I gained. The physical therapists said I shouldn't dance anymore. At least not with out an expensive flexible brace that I couldn't afford.

Spring semester dawned and I decided to get back in shape by dancing again. I loved to dance more than anything. And so in the first weeks of class I was on the tennis court behind my apartment building doing a kick warm up. Step left, kick right, step right, kick left, right kick to the side, left kick to the back (theres a turn in there). About half way across the court, I went to turn, pivoting on my left foot and kicking with my right. Except I turned and from the knee down, my left leg didn't. I fell on the knee...

I then spent the next 3 months back in physical therapy. I'd over extended (read permanently shot) my patella ligament, and chipped my knee cap to boot. If I wasn't VERY, very careful my knee would pop out of joint at the slightest provocation. Now my dreams of dancing again well and truly died. I became deeply depressed and food was my security blanket. My freshman 15 was more like my freshman 40. Plus the 10 pounds the summer before school started, I ended my freshman year by breaking the 200 mark.

I also developed adult onset acne and began seeing a dermatologist.

My sophomore year dawned and I moved in with a friend from back home, who as the semester wore on, turned out to be deeply troubled psychologically. The stress was intense. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and began treatment. I was working part time, going to school full time, and going home every single weekend to care for my family. My grades suffered. I destabilized mentally and had to add medication to my existing regiment to restabilize. I depended heavily on my food security blanket. I didn't realize how much weight I was gaining b/c there weren't any scales in our apartment until I would go home to visit my folks and I would step on the scale and be shocked. I'd swear to do better, and fail.

Spring semester saw me in a different housing situation, that unfortunately wasn't much better than the first. Mom was getting better but still delicate. My dermatologist declared she'd tried everything and that my problem must be hormonal and referred me to my gynecologist. I saw the gyno who told me my hormone levels off my ovaries were sure to be high "be cause you're fat" and ran a battery of tests to be sure. My androgen levels were off the charts so she referred me to an endocrinologist. He said that the stress of my first year plus the weight gain had thrown my hormones off. He started me on steroids that made me gain more weight. At least my skin looked better....

I'd signed up for an intermediate swimming class that semester. The beginners class was for people who didn't know how to swim at all and I was a good strong swimmer. I got to the class and discovered I was the ONLY over weight person there. Every body else was super lean swim team types. I was intimidated but delighted that for the most part I could hold my own. But after spring break and the ongoing chant from my parents, I stopped going to class. I didn't even drop the class, or write the professor to explain. I was too ashamed. But I simply couldn't face getting into a swim suit in front of all those people one more time. It was the first time I ever failed a class.

My parents chant that I needed to lose weight, that had started clear back when I gained the first 10 pounds the summer before my freshman year was now a deafening roar. If I needed confirmation that I was over weight, I didn't have to look in the mirror. All I had to do was call or email my parents who would begin by telling me how the entire world would come out sunshine, daisies and puppies if only I lost weight, and I wouldn't eat that if I were you.

I finally snapped and informed my parents that if they ever mentioned weight to me again I would never speak to them again. Thankfully they listened.

I tried various diets but nothing stuck and I'd wind up binging. Every diet I tried only resulted in an additional 5 pounds. I finally decided to aim for not gaining weight. My junior year I was 230 pounds but at least my weight was stable. My housing situation was wonderful, finally. I managed to wean off the steroids and my hormones leveled out. My junior year was amazingly good for me. My darling roommates taught me that "chubby girls get married too" and that "if they're the kind of guy that won't want to date you b/c your a little heavy, they're not the kind of guy you would want to date in the first place". Armed with these revelations I did good. I wasn't at all the size I wanted to be but at least I wasn't gaining.

I went on my mission and gained about 10 pounds. I started having serious problems with my migraines though. And at one point, I discovered my two companions who were on the fluffy side, had both been required to lose weight before being called on a mission. In fact, one said to me "I'm surprised they didn't make you lose weight before they let you come out." I think the Lord protected me on that front. Because if they'd told me I had to lose weight to serve, I would have sobbed my eyes out and never gone. And going on that mission was one of the best things I could ever do in this life or the next.

I got home from my mission, and discovered yoga and working out with my girlfriend Carol. I had a great living situation again, and by doing "intuitive eating" I managed to drop 15 pounds and tone up a fair bit so I got married at 230 pounds and a size 20. Thanks to my curvy shape, and some really great foundation wear I got compliments all around (many people asking just how much weight did I lose) in my wedding dress. I might not have looked exactly how I wanted but at least I looked okay.

I was frustrated because I could eat better than anybody else I knew (ie very very little) and exercise like a mad woman and not hardly make a dent. I'd tell myself the numbers on the scale didn't matter, that what mattered was my health, my clothing size, inches lost etc. But it was frustrating to not watch the weight fall off like my friends did.

More than anything else my sweet husband has taught me to love and accept my body. I definitely do not look the way I want to. But I can't hate myself anymore. I am still beautiful and I am still okay. But I am not healthy. And my joints hurt. So I try to lose weight...

After I got married, I gained 10 pounds. Attempted to diet, lost the 10 pounds, and then rebounded back 10 pounds plus 10 more. 250. Then the migraines went super nova. I wound up nearly bed ridden with 1-5 migraines per week. This went on for a couple months until I broke down and saw an neurologist and slowly but surely we started to bring my migraines back under control.

But I steadily gained weight. I wasn't working out. I was cooking because I loved food. And every time I'd try to go Mayo Clinic again I'd wind up with an extra 10 pounds.... My husbands sweet tooth was contagious and my in laws with their massive food fest family gatherings and tons of take home leftovers didn't help. I'd get depressed and sugar binge. Hate that I'd done that, starve myself, eat a salad, sugar binge again.

I did that all the way up to 275 pounds. And then I got pregnant and I magically lost 40 pounds with out even trying. In fact I was even bad! My doctor was shocked and did lots of extra ultrasounds to make sure the baby was growing okay. He was just fine. In fact, he was on the big side. It was determined that my natural metabolism really did suck that bad. It was depressing. I was terrified to have the baby. I knew that I would rebound because thats what I do. I lose anything, and it comes back and it brings friends. The best I could hope for was that I might maintain the lost post baby.

One month post baby I was back down to 235 pounds. I looked amazing. I could fit into clothes I hadn't worn in years. It was great.

And then I had to increase my food intake to try to increase my milk supply. And my migraines destabilized b/c of the crappy sleep post baby and the hormone changes. A few other high stress things in my life happened and I reached for my security blanket. Food. Chocolate. Sugar. Cake. Ice cream. Brownies. Ya know there is nothing in this world like gaining 10 pounds to depress you and make you want to eat a whole pan of brownies.

And so here I am 285 pounds. The largest I have ever been at any point in my entire life. The most I can say is that I seem to have stabilized again here. In spite of my loving and supportive husband I've had a few moments of incredibly dark depression. At one point I gave up all hope of ever losing weight. I thought for a while that getting the lap band surgery was the answer. The only way I could eat until I was full and not eat too much for my horrible metabolism.

But I know several people who have had bariatric surgery. And yes one or two of them the difference has been stunning. But most of them... they lose some yes. But then it comes back. They're not AS big but they're definitely not small. Definitely not small enough to justify such a risky surgery.

I know several people who have lost a ton by counting calories. I started eye balling what I eat. I'm actually not to bad on the calorie count, but the massive sugar cravings are what kill me. I'd have to give up the chocolate. And I'm not there yet mentally and emotionally.

And so I'd given up hope. I'm terrified to diet because one more diet is whats going to send me over the 300 mark. And I think I might just die of depression if I cross that 300 mark. I will sob buckets and buckets of tears if I do. As I watched the scale creep back up, I'd set limits, okay if it hits this number that it. I'm going to go do x diet. I'll join weight watchers or do the protein thing or become an anxorexic. Anything. And yet I don't dare. I've done all of those. And every one of them the result has been the same. Regardless of the weight loss, I wind up with a net gain of 10 pounds. Every single time.

And so hopeless and depressed I've watched the scale climb. Too scared to even try anything to stop it and haunted by the fear I'm going to wind up so wide they'll have to bury me in a square box.

Scared that this isn't a way to live. Its a way to die. And young. There are not fat old people.

I'm larger than my mother and my sister. A lot larger. They both look GREAT compared to me and they're not little people.

My husband has gained weight and I feel like its my fault. I'm a bad influence. Every body else in his family is skinny so clearly the fault is mine.... I know thats stupid but its how I feel.

And then I read this article on the The author is Christine Avanti, she's a nutritionist, and I like how she talks. She makes sense. She's funny. It strikes a chord. I see she has a book. The title makes me laugh. "Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads". I go to I look up the book and read the exerpts. I laugh at her style. Her thoughts and her story are almost word for word my own (even if she was no where near as big). I'm amazed and decide to buy the book. I like the way she thinks. I'd like to hear more.

For the next month or two every time I'm in a store and I happen to think about it, I look for the book, but no luck. Then I'm in a Barnes and Noble and I snag my own shiny new copy. The first several chapters get devoured.

Its a revelation with every page. I'm excited. I'm shocked. If what she's saying is true I know exactly what I've been doing wrong.

Then suddenly I stop reading the book. In fact I actively avoid the book for several days. What the heck is my problem?

Then it clicks, I'm scared to hope. I gave up hope, it died and it was a painful death. I don't want to go through that again.

So I bury the book for a week until I finally talk to my husband and admit what I'm doing. He gives me the pep talk I need and I start reading again.

I am now 3/4 of the way through the book. I'm in the big section of recipes that comprises the rest of the book, save the appendix. She has answered every single question. She's logical. She uses GOOD solid science. She takes the psychology of the average female into account. Mentally I am confident that what she says can and will work for me.

Emotionally I am terrified out of my freaking mind. I'm binge eating scared. I bought mini chocolate covered donuts AND cookies at the store and I have hidey holed them and am munching on them steadily through out the day scared.

I'm crying scared. And yet I think I wanna try it.

I just.... if this doesn't work.... its gonna be the thing that pushes me over that 300 and if that happens... I'm going to die.

Fear is the opposite of faith. So right now I've got to give this to God. I'm going to binge on my donuts and pray about it. If He says its okay I'm going to go for it. I'm going to go both barrels and jump on this thing like its the last nut on earth.

But right this moment, I'm scared. And I'm mourning. I'm mourning the temporary reduction in french fries and hamburgers and cookies and cake and ice cream. I will not give those up entirely. But I'm going to have to cut way back. I'm going to have to change. And thats always uncomfortable, at least initially.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. What I've been doing has got me 285 pounds of pain and misery. I want to be healthy. I don't want it to hurt every fricking time I move. I want to run and play with my baby and not be so fricking tired all the time.

The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over expecting different results.

What I have is not a way to live, what I have is a way to die. I need a way to live and I think this is it.

Now I just need the courage to try...