Welcome to a new edition of Carol's Corner. This is one that will most probably bring you to tears and tug at your heartstrings and I wish to thank Betsy Jane Wegrzynek Deller from the bottom of my heart for having the courage to put this out for the world to see. You have no idea who you might be helping by doing this. So first my personal stuff. This is gonna be a long one so get comfortable and prepare to stay awhile . You won't regret it.
My pictures were taken on Friday, the first day I was allowed to do some weight bearing on my foot. We had dinner in Syracuse with a friend at a really nice Italian restaurant named Rico's. The picture above was taken there. My boot that night seemed to be the center of attention as many people commented on what I had done with it. Jo Ellen Jatzcak took the honor's with this ensemble calling it ” A Night In Italy.” But my husband get's an honorable mention for the most creative. He decided after seeing the pictures behind me that it should be dubbed “Shotgun Wedding.” We all got a laugh out of that one.
Went with my pearl like accessories except for the really cool black and white earrings I just purchased at my nail salon where I just got this awesome manicure.
So now set back and prepare to get emotional . This is the second installment from Betsy. She is entitling this,” Now that I got this far, how do I continue to push forward and not lose control?”
Before you hear her story in her own words here are a few current pics of Betsy and her family.
Losing weight is so hard, maintaining your weight is even harder; especially as a self declared emotional eater. I go for the food; whatever food, as quickly as possible as soon as stress hits my brain. It is not something I am proud of, but it is something I do, sometimes even unconsciously I am certain. In fact, I am fairly certain that I am in denial about this habit that can so easily unravel my constant effort. I am a contradiction of my goals, almost every minute of every day. I don't say I am constantly thinking about food, but it is always there; especially when I am stressed. I don't go out to get that certain food in town or at the store or at a fast food drive up, but I will forage through my kitchen, the laundry room cabinets and our extra refrigerator just looking for something to soothe my ache, my woe, my discontent with my current situation. I may not even like the particular food I go for, it's not even a fact of tasting the food or enjoying what it is, it's just filling the panic gap in my stomach that I can't find a solution for. It's being in a corner and stuck against a wall, feeling that I am alone and no one can understand “why” I am upset as I am. I don't even know if I know to be completely honest. I am hot and cold like a cup of tea. One minute I am content the next minute I'm a wreck, and it may not be over anything major. It's just my personality. I take it all in, what is “outside” my fence and what is happening inside my fence. I absorb it all and when I can't fix it or something is “not right” I go to the kitchen. I have tried journelling, I have the tried the dive into a walk dvd or to read a book until the moment passes me by.
Right now, as I type this I'm feeling this overwhelmed sensation, this need to “fix” all that is wrong and even more so out of my hands to control….and I am driven in my mind to go to the kitchen and find anything to feed my soul. I am not even hungry, it's just such a destructive habit. Last week, I went to visit my parents to help work out phone situations, every day things that go awry….and I proceeded to sit down and practically inhale at least 2 1/2 servings of my mom's pasta. I do not make pasta at home so much because of the obvious reason that I will be the one to eat it all….or my daughter who I am trying to keep from turning into me in regards to her relationship with food, and my husband is not a big pasta fan(lucky him!)….mom fed my sorrows and stress. And I let her. I just dove in, I don't even think I took a breath between bites and it tasted so good I could have cried. It's a favorite food of mine, and I admit I don't do well with it in moderation, hence keeping it away most of the time. After that, I ate some more, and some more, blindly at that, until I felt I was going to burst and then I just regretted my actions and felt bad. It's a viscious cycle of self inflicted pain. Before I left that day, I also had two bowls of lobster bisque and a reem of saltine crackers, a pear and Irish delicious cheese and some home made pepperoni bread…. all before 1pm….
I confess. I love food. I love to eat tasty warm wholesome delicious food. It's a pastime of mine, it's part of my heritage and my life. Since moving in with and marrying my husband, I have definitely made changes to this but instead of eating the healthy food in larger amounts as I did that day in my parent's house, I instead dive into cereals, or chips, or cookies ( God forbid) or worse a frozen burrito or two or three…..
I am being harsh on myself right now. I am laying it out there on the line and laying my wounds out to show all of you. I know I am not alone in this situation, but I feel alone in my house. Not because I am, but because I have a husband who strongly dislikes eating and all that it entails. He will eat, but only for sustinence and necessity more than for the love of food itself. He eats enough to survive and go about his day. His upbringing was nothing like mine. He was forced to eat foods he didn't like, and if the siblings and he didn't eat that particular food he would have to eat it the next day and so on and so forth. Now, years later, with my love and assistance I have him seeing a therapist to help him overcome the traumas of his youth. He is learning how to eat but it's a challenge every single day. I suffer in my mind and heart to watch him all but pretend to eat, pushing the food around the plate, all the healthy good for him foods because he doesn't enjoy the chewing breaking down process( possibly this is due to his full dentures and setbacks he may mentally face not having his own natural teeth….which was another setback in his youth from his parents, mostly his father.) I can speculate till I am blue in the face about his situation and his troubles…but I am not a doctor. I just internalize all the pain and I also internalize the leftover food! that food, that stress just goes right into my belly to gather and grow around my midsection. It doesn't matter how much exercise I put out daily, how many steps I take, how many miles I struggle through with Leslie and the gang, or how many crunches I do in my stability ball workouts….the stress of his eating habits or lack of eating is hard on me. I am his wife. I am here to ensure he is good to go every day. I am the one who makes the meals, tries daily to give him a meal he can enjoy, and not have too much repetition of certain more popular meals, and I don't take it very well when I see it wasn't a success for him. I just go eat more while I clean up the kitchen. It's a terrible pattern. It's no ones fault but my own. As Will Farrell” Marshall” said in Land Of The Lost “if you don't succeed it's your own damn Vault” as he shows the audience a picture of a pole vaulter making it over an unreal height of a vault….LOL….I use that statement a lot, because all of my failures with food are by my own hand. No one is forcing me to eat that cereal, or shovel in a bag of chips in less than five minutes….It's all my own damn vault.
Somehow I manage. Somehow in the course of 8 years I have gone from 186 up to 198- and now 169-175 and managed to teeter around there even with all the food changes in my life. I don't know how I've managed thus far except that I pour myself into a workout to combat the food intake. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it just makes my arms and legs hurt, and then I just crash and feel sorry for myself because it's not healthy to push my body that hard. I am not an avid strength trainer, I don't have a huge home gym, but over the years I have accumulated certain pains and injuries to my elbows and hips and shoulders. I am getting older. I like to think I can say I'm 31 not 41 because Leslie Sansone tells us walkers if we walk walk walk regularly than we can allow to take 10 years off our age…so her I am at 31! LOL I love Leslie, she is my exercise rock, her and my groups that I keep myself accountable to. Women I seek comfort and solice in when I am lost and downhearted on myself. Women who I have never met face to face that I can confide my deepest food woes in and not get punished. I admit, sometimes I have to hear the “grief” from my loved ones ( in the immediate household members) about my eating habits. When they go for ice cream and I say no thank you, I often get a little backlash that I need to enjoy myself the way I work out so hard. No one can understand how hard that is. A bowl of ice cream to me is toxic. Sometimes I can indulge if I am really craving it, but it's not good for me and to go sugar free or low fat ice cream is NO FUN. I avoid it most days. I can avoid many of those sweets a lot of the time. It's not always the sweets that take me down. Sometimes it's four slices of sourdough bread and a cup of coffee. Sometimes it's a bowl of mashed potatoes eaten straight out of the container cold because I can, and it tastes so good to me. I ate all the leftover stuffing last Wednesday in one sitting. This was about 2 1/2 servings as well! ( for those of you who may not know about PCOS-it makes carbs and processed white foods even harder to break down in the body. Sourdough is the best choice for a bread, so I eat that most days… But the other items are a NO NO NO…) then there are the moments at night time home with the family that's it's a cookie here as I pass through the kitchen, two before I sit back down with my husband on the couch ( and totally chewed up before I even sit back down), in my feeble attempt to hide that I ate them…..habits, shame, aggrevation, internalizing whatever has been up in the air today…. And so on and so forth….
From the outside looking in, all say I look amazing. My mom comments on how thin I look every time she sees me. Our new larger family now living with us, two young adults seemingly healthy and vibrant and able to eat whatever they want, both tell me not to worry and to enjoy the foods I like because I am working out every day so hard…my husband weary and tired of me being unhappy when I put on a pair of jeans that are tight around the middle… And telling me he likes them tighter anyway…. they all mean well. I know they all mean well, and they may really mean what they say about the way I look. However, if I can't feel comfortable in my own clothes, after working so hard for the last year in the walking groups, setting myself up in the public eye to lose ten pounds to get down to 160-155 and feel better overall…and ending up where I am today, scared to step back on the scale for fear of knowing that I am back up to 175 easily is hard to swallow. It's hard for me to look at my drawers of jeans and know that I cannot put those ones on because the middle area will be tight and I will be upset with myself….I love to have them fit loosely, it's easier to breathe, to move, to do anything. I don't like tight and constricted. I like comfortable and pretty. I don't want a wedgie and inability to breathe in the car with a seatbelt on. I don't like my belly ring stuck on my waistband because it's cutting me off around the middle. My brain beats my body up, I verbalize my self hatred and disappointment in myself every single time and it gets me into trouble with my husband every single time….which leads us to an agreement to disagree about how we eat and look at food. All unrest in my mind. He can't share his dislike and I can't share my self hatred. I need a therapist like he has to help me appreciate the person I am regardless of my physical size. I need someone to tell me I am ok and I won't balloon back up to 196 overnight, teetering on 200 and bursting at the seams. But alas, I have my walk ladies who are there to support me, to tell me it's ok and to start again….and I run to them whenever I feel I can't find my own peace and calm. I am so grateful for my ladies. I am so grateful to have women out there who can appreciate my effort, my setbacks, my constant self abuse. I am human. I am driven to do right, but I am so weak inside. I ask God for strength. I ask myself for courage to overcome. I tell myself to be nicer to myself. I tell myself not to feel guilty if I want to lay down at 3 pm and close my eyes….even if only to keep me out of the kitchen. Sometimes I have to go to bed to Keep Out of the kitchen, but only after I have already eaten three meals in a matter of hours and often before noon. Sometimes the bed is my only safe haven where I can turn off the want to eat.
It's all in self control. I am sure that a doctor would advise me to journal what I eat and to be HONEST about what I eat, down to each and every bite. I do that about 70% of the time. I have an app on my phone to keep me accountable….husband of mine, the wonderful man that he is even asked the doctor how to handle the stress eating and he came home with a list of the top five best stress beaters. All things I am familiar with. All things I try from time to time, when I feel like putting the effort out there: reading a book, doing an activity, writing about it, focusing on something else, walking away from the situation that is upsetting you. How can I walk away from myself?LOL, it's not possible. I don't dislike myself. I say I am simply my worst critic….in all aspects of my life. In my artistic ability, in my writing ability, my mothering and wifing abilities, as a daughter and sister even and especially as a friend….I am my worst critic. I don't do enough. I am not enough. I am never going to be enough. I have no monetary value. I am not employed in a job making real money to support and take care of my family. When I begin to think of all the things I don't do good enough, I start to unravel like a thread on a snagged sweater. Pretty soon I am in the kitchen, hand on a soda, and in the reem of saltines aimlessly eating…until both are gone. Then, I am in the bed closing my eyes to my weakness, trying to pretend it didn't just happen. How have I never ended up a binge/purge person I know not, except that I don't enjoy being sick or throwing up. I suffer enough with migraines. I can't even really drink alcohol due to the Polycystic ovaries because of getting sick in the end. I admit in the last few weeks I have taken on having white wine with some juice in the evening…. To drink it full on would be be a whole bottle for me ( not to mention being sick) because I like to be drinking something, anything at all times, perhaps that is a hand to mouth issue? I am mixing it in ice and juice to lower the intake of alcohol but also intaking all that unnecessary sugar in the juice… all in the effort to be calmer and more happy in the evening after a day of motherly setbacks, children issues, older parent issues, neighbor trouble I want to help, etc etc etc….I don't know that it's working to calm my mommy nerves, but I am certain it's adding to the scales numbers and my middle girth widening. I hear that having a glass of wine with dinner is actually good for you, but is one enough for me? Much like my favorite song by “311”, ” Five Of Everything” about the trials of drinking, of having too much in a society obsessed and driven to have more than the next guy…. not being content with just one thing but needing 5 cars, or drinks, or animals, or pills…whatever that person's weakness may be….I will end up having 5 or 6 of those mixed fruit spritzers thru the evening…and 2 ounces times 5-6 adds up. When is it enough and satisfactory? When will I like myself enough????
I digress, I can talk about all the things I can't give up….and I tell myself I shouldn't have to completely give up…but it's not easy. I won't ever get full control of my eating habits, no matter how hard I try because I am emotional, I am human, I love FOOD…..But I do know that I will never be a binge person and hurt myself that way….I am not good at that sort of punishment. I will dive into the pills to encourage bowel movements or take one too many Metformin I use to maintain the PCOS because it can bring on ” the runs and move the food through the system faster, especially if it's a greasy, high carb food, sugars etc”.. these are my punishments sometimes, but more often I prefer to be “regular”. I don't like feeling bloated, but all the same it's punishment.
I want to like myself. I want to stop the cycle, but 30 odd years of feeding emotional needs through food has brought me to this point. Struggling to eat and not feel that everything I eat I gain 5 pounds from. I hear folks say it's a psychological thing, to speak it into existence, to talk negatively brings about the actual negativity and so on….but for me, whether I am feeling positive or negative, I still can't eat what I want. I still can't just sit down and enjoy all the goodies and junk the world provides so freely. I can't break the foods down the same as other individuals. I can't and won't ever be able to sit down at the table like my husband and take in a large bowl of cereal, a bowl of ice cream, 8 chocolate chip cookies and 16 ounces of whole milk one right after the other without a consequence. I will gain. I wish I had a wand to wave over him, that would induce incredible hunger inside him for healthier more wholesome foods but I can't. He wishes he could enjoy food as I do, that he like to eat as I do, as many do….and he is trying. Thankfully he is truly blessed with wonderful bodily systems and he is as healthy as a horse. He has the ideal human setup. It is amazing. Doctor's look at him in awe and wonderment that he is able to eat as he does and isn't 400 pounds, or sick. I can't really say it's a good thing, but it is him. It's his makeup. I envy him daily. I am desperately doing my best not to feel bad as I sit and slowly eat my meal with him and catch him taking tiny, almost childlike bites because he wants to get though it and get to his dessert and the things he loves to eat. It pains me daily. But I love him. I am never going to stop trying to find creative ways to get the proteins into his system, I am not going to stop baking his cookies and treats because he does eat them wholeheartedly. I know it's not always healthy but if he eats it I am happy. What I need to do is find MY path. I need to stand up and say this how it has to be like it or not….for ME. I have to find a way to love myself enough not to dive into food over silly situations that I can't fix, including my husband's eating habits.In many ways I have helped him. But in the process have I helped myself?
Betsy there are no words to thank you enough for laying it all out for the world to see. You are an amazing woman and stronger than you think you are. We love you . I look forward to many more installments in your amazing journey. This will be a huge blessing to anyone who comes here to read your story. To my readers reach out to me and let me know how this has blessed you so I can share your thoughts and feelings with Betsy. Till next time, God Bless.