Monday, November 16, 2009

After Chocolate, a PROPER Introduction....

Moving on from the C word,,,,,

I should introduce myself, give you a little background. So, here's the skinny (she says, ironically) on me. I am 35, and originally from the south of England. Five years ago I married my Rhode Island man, and we now live in Massachusetts, in a one bedroom apartment between the Y and the Supermarket. (These two places may feature heavily in these blogs, as I am usually found either swimming at the Y - a good day - or swimming in the big freezer which has the cheesecakes in it at the supermarket - less so...) We have one cat, who, in my opinion, has the most personality, and indeed the biggest variety of facial expressions, I have ever seen on a feline. I didn't say it was a GOOD personality. Her name is Parsnip, and her nickname of 'Snippy suits her well.

But seriously...

I have struggled with weight and health issues for many years. From childhood, I think food was always my way of dealing with feelings, my coping mechanism. During my teen years most people who knew me would have said, I think, that I was strong - I had arthritis from the age of ten and spent a lot of time in pain and in hospitals or in physiotherapy. I LIKED people thinking this, but I think it made me feel like I HAD to be, and that, combined with family issues I couldn't talk to anyone about, laid the ground for the full on eating disorder which my 'coping mechanism' became. For the next twelve years I was in and out of treatment for bulimia and depression. I had varying degrees of success with this, and through a combination of two great therapists of different types, some amazing friends and a lot of faith, I had a great deal of recovery.

About seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had just come out of my third time through treatment for bulimia, and it was just one thing too many. I felt guilty, thinking it was my fault because of the eating disorder - I now know that while this certainly contributed to triggering the disease, I also have a family history of it (being adopted, I only found this out later). I never really dealt with this properly, or got a hold on my treatment, before I was taken up with other things, and the next couple of years involved meeting my (now) husband, going through the visa process to live in America, moving countries and getting married!

Now, while most of these were wonderful things, I combined a lot of those 'most stressful life events' in a short time, along with some things left over from the past too. I felt like I should just get on with it when I was homesick, so I didn't talk to anyone - anyone seeing a pattern yet?! I desperately missed my best friend back in England (still do, Sarah!) I was angry - I worked so hard to get free of bulimia, and not be obsessed with everything I ate, and now I had diabetes and had to watch and count and record everything? Of course I had my lovely new husband, but this is me we're talking about - when I should have opened up to him, I was busy working on 'Perfect American Wife' (oh, my distress when I turned an entire load of laundry pink....!)

So, here I am now. Things are better - I am making a life in America. I have not stopped getting homesick but I have accepted that a little of that will always be part of my life, and that is ok. My dear husband and I have just celebrated out fifth Wedding Anniversary and at last I have some proper 'girlfriends' here - the sort you can call when you need to, and when they need you.

My struggle, still, is my weight and my diabetes, I am all for accepting yourself as you are - no one should ever be made to feel that they are less because there is more of them. I, like many, experienced this attitude in school and you do NOT forget. But for my health (and, ok, because I WANT to wear those clothes!) I need to lose the weight, and I need to get my blood sugar under control.

I am afraid to take away my way of coping with feelings, because I have relied on it again for the last five years.
But I believe there is another way. With this blog, I invite you to join me on my journey, and my hope is that THIS time, I don't give up - and that I end up with a story that will help you, if you are reading this and have been in some of the same places as me.

Chocolate - What Else Would I Blog About?!

Once again - yes, for the 638th time, give or take a few - I am starting a blog. There have been previous rushes of enthusiasm to share myself with the world, or possibly with myself (its all so much clearer if you write it down, don't you think?) but I have a tendency to give up because its not perfect.

Because that is how I tick - if I can't do it perfectly, I will throw my toys and go home. At school, I used to get in trouble for ripping pages out of my exercise books and throwing them away. The teachers didn't understand - my writing wasn't good enough, so I had to start the page again. Now, that may sound a little over the top - and it is. I know that. I'm not crazy, Well, ok, I'm crazy, but the looniest people are the ones who don't know they are, right?!

But let me put this in a way that some of you might relate to more. Hands up (I can't see you, but I want you to wave anyway, 'k?) anyone out there who has ever started a diet, or a health plan, or a commitment to exercise, and, when you ended up eating that doughnut on the second day (or, if you're me, about half an hour in!) you give up and go for the full on chocolate, cheese and Chinese meal because you might as well start again NEXT Monday now?

Ok - now I have your attention!

This blog is really to share with anyone who relates. I will share a lot of my story, and you will see it continue as I kick and scream my way back to health. (I am predicting this, as I AM pretty stubborn, and by that definition of insanity being 'doing the same thing over and expecting different results' I am probably insane.) I should warn you, I cry quite easily too. And if you come between me and my chocolate, you may need to be familiar with the concept of prayer. My husband has learned this. He knows to back away slowly while saying 'go ahead dear, you deserve it,due to your many gifts and radiant beauty, and the way your enthralling personality lights up my life'.

Yes, ok, ladies, if my husband actually said this, I , like you, would need to be REVIVED with chocolate, but a girl can dream...

So you see my problem? I set out to start a blog about my journey back to health and so far the whole thing is about chocolate. As my American friends would say, 'go figure....;'!

To be continued........"0)