Figuring out The Crazy

So I just got off the phone with a counselor because I think I’m going crazy. No, really. I feel off these days and I’m not sure why, so this post is me trying to figure it all out.

A few years ago when I did Weight Watchers, something was turned on in my brain that made me become obsessive about food. I thought about food and losing weight ALL. THE. TIME.  All I could think about was losing weight: what to eat, what not to eat, how to exercise, how much to exercise, etc.  It got to the point that I really felt out of control with it.

Then I started taking the appetite suppressants from my doctor and POOF! The crazy obsessive food thoughts were gone.  I didn’t think about food or losing weight anymore. It was such a great feeling to be able to think about something besides losing weight!  For the next year and a half, my brain and I coexisted peacefully.

Then in January I joined iChange and started doing the “diet” thing again and slowly but surely, those crazy thoughts, and anxious feelings started to creep up again.  I’m thinking about losing weight all the time, and how I’m so bad at it.  I keep thinking that if I could just get a handle on these food issues, I’ll be okay, but I can’t get a handle on them. I’ve binged more in the last month than I have in the last 2 years, and I don’t know why, but it seems to be getting worse.  I feel tense and on edge. Just thinking about iChange and counting calories makes me feel like I want to run the other direction. And I know that some of my iChange friends read my blog, so for those of you who do – please know that I miss you terribly, but I just can’t be a part of it for right now. I’ve got STUFF I need to deal with first.

I haven’t decided if I will go for counseling or not – real honest to goodness face to face counseling.  What would be my reason for going? What would I tell my husband (he doesn’t know any of this is going on – I’m very good at hiding it)?

I think the first thing I need to do is to stop trying to lose weight. I need to step away from the WHOLE weight-losing world for awhile and just focus on figuring out these crazy emotions. I’m not sure what that means for this blog – I might be absent here for awhile, I might start a whole new blog that is diet-free, or I might have two blogs and write simultaneously. I don’t know yet.

I’m trying to think of events or things that have happened that might have led to this “breakdown”.  I’m going to brainstorm for a few minutes, so bear with me.

  • Kids are out of school and my oldest is babysitting.  He’s done a very good job so far, but I think I do feel a bit of anxiety about the whole situation. He’s babysitting because we cannot afford to pay my neighbor what we were paying her last summer, which brings me to my next “issue”:
  • Finances are scary right now.  Shawn’s business hasn’t picked up this year like it usually does, so things are tight.  The oldest just got braces and the first payment is due this month, I’m getting a crown on my tooth that costs a fortune, I have got the shopping bug really bad, but I know that we can’t afford to spend much money right now. This causes a lot of stress that sits just under the surface.
  • The incident with my parents that happened over the weekend. It still bothers me. I feel like this is bothering me more than it should – like the way things bother you when you are pms-ing.
  • New office space – my boss sits behind me and can look directly over my shoulder whenever he wants.  It’s a big change for me in that I no longer have the privacy/time to peruse the internet like I used to. I used to spend large amounts of time reading blogs, and being active at iChange, but now I can’t do that with him right behind me.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I am caught up at work and my productivity has increased about 800%, but I’m wondering if I’m going through some sort of withdrawal or grief.  It sounds crazy, I know, but that’s what this whole post is about – my Crazy.
  • I ran my first 5k a couple of weeks ago. That was a pretty huge deal for me. Maybe I’m coming down off of the high of training and running. Have I mentioned that I have another race next weekend and have not run one single step since the last one?  I’m setting myself up for major disappointment if I don’t get my butt in gear.
  • I wonder if I’m going through some sort of midlife crisis.  The way my life has turned out is not at all what I expected it to be, but isn’t it the same with most people? We all have grand ideas of what we want our lives to be like when we are young and when those dreams die in a pile of unfolded laundry, do we just accept it and go with the flow? That’s what I have done.
  • I feel like I need to insert right here that I am mostly pleased with my life – I have a great husband, really awesome kids, I can walk outside and sit by the pond and watch the fish swim right now if I want to. I have a lot to be thankful for and I KNOW that I am so blessed…which is why I need to figure out what the heck is wrong with me.

I can’t think of anything else right now. I think I’m going to go get some aggression out on my elliptical. Maybe I can reverse a little bit of my latest binge.  If you stuck around this long, thanks for hanging in with me while I try and figure this out.  I welcome any and all comments/suggestions/advice you might want to provide.

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16 thoughts on “Figuring out The Crazy

  1. Have you thought about talking to your husband about this? If you are trying to hold this burden all by yourself, no wonder you are so stressed!

    Seeing a counselor certainly could help you develop some coping skills other than eating. And sometimes a neutral party is just what you need.

    Hugs.

    • Lori – I have thought about talking to him about it. I think he knows that something is up, because he keeps asking me “What?” lately – like “what’s up with you – you seem like something is bothering you” but I just shrug it off and say “nothing” because I don’t really know how to verbalize it. I think the next time he asks, I’ll try to get it out. He knows me well enough to know when something isn’t right. 🙂

  2. I get it. I get it, I get it. I.Get.It. Did I tell you that I get it? Holy cow. I was having little “ah hah” moments as what you said resonated with me. I think it’s great that you wrote down what’s been in your head so it doesn’t have to stay in your head. I’d like to have some of that one-on-one time with myself to do that.

    I just read Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth (used, Amazon) and am about to start reading it, again. Maybe I’ll blog my reactions to it (that would be a luxury). Anyway, it was helpful. I liked most of her insights. There’s almost a relief…a “it doesn’t have to be this hard” type of thing.

    It’s tiring to think about food. I hate counting calories, measuring, etc. My first bulimic experiences came when I was being such a “good girl” counting my calories, etc. Last month or so I was contemplating recording everything I ate. It was advised as being helpful. Something in me just rebelled. I’ve also had a lot of anxiety about changes.

    My life is good, the American dream, and I have nothing to complain about, really (although finances always feels fragile to me, we’re better now, but losing jobs and insurance is still fresh in my mind). ” I have a lot to be thankful for and I KNOW that I am so blessed…which is why I need to figure out what the heck is wrong with me.” — Jill, those could be my words (and probably thousands of others’). It reminds me of one of my first posts: http://fitby41maybe42.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-have-blessed-life-so-whats-problem.html

    I want to say you are not crazy, but I also don’t want to discourage you from seeking desired therapy. I don’t know at what point I would go for myself (the idea of its cost stresses me out).

    P. 29 in Roth’s book mentions a study that found “people who went on diets were worse off than people who didn’t.”

    I wish we could get together and just talk, let it out, review the book, walk and be.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It meant a lot.

    -gina

    • Gina – thank you thank you thank you for “getting it”. I’m sorry you understand this too well, but I”m also glad! I just discovered Geneen Roth’s book yesterday and thought about ordering it, and now I think I will since you recommended it.

      Hey – anytime you are in Oklahoma, feel free to stop by and we can have our own “crazy” session! 🙂

  3. Found your blog while surfing, and felt like it was me you were writing about. I belong to SparkPeople, and, while I love the whole concept, especially the community and the support, I had to stop the food (and calorie) tracking. It was making me crazy (ring any bells?) and making me think about food much more than before I started to track.

    I think the problem is we’ve had so many bad experiences with dieting, and thinking of food in terms of “bad” and “good”, and ourselves in terms of “bad eating” and “good eating”. I had to make the decision to not go down that road again. Yes, I want to loss weight, but not at the cost of my sanity!

    So if it takes longer this time, so be it. I am much calmer around food, and don’t obsess anymore (not much, anyway!). And I’m finding that taking baby steps towards eating healthier, like having a yogurt snack one day, or a salad for lunch with my protein instead of bread, is working for me. I don’t even think about calories anymore; I think about how I can satisfy my hunger and be good for my body. Not always successful, but the freedom from obsession is so worth it!

    • So how did you get from point A to point B? Did you read any books that led you down that path? I’m curious to know how you made the leap from “dieting” to “not dieting”. Thanks so much for commenting here – your words help me to believe that it IS possible.

  4. You are the best! You are one of the most real people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. You impress me more and more every time I stop by here. You think you’re going crazy, but the truth is that you’re very in tune with yourself. Being able to write it all out proves it. You’re absolutely doing the right thing – doing whatever it takes to clear your brain. I wish I could squeeze you.

  5. Jillie, I have been thinking about you A LOT the past few days. Missing you. Thinking about you in your office with your boss peering over your shoulder just like you described LOL.

    I’m so glad you are honest here. I liked what Lori said about sharing with Shaun, and also about sometimes needing a ‘neutral party’ to deal with stuff.

    I know I can’t solve this for you–you know I want to!

    And the relationship strain with your parents. Well, for me that is a big thing because when that happens to me it just over-rides everything EVERYTHING else in my life.

    And you said it yourself–the stress about finances that sits just under the surface. It colors everything too.

    Well, Jill, you know I love you. Whatever I could do, I would do for you. Email me if you want. Here is a new blogger that I just found (after I read your post) and it seemed like she was someone you could really relate to, like I was meant to find her for you. She posted a guest post on Christie’s blog http://www.honormyhealth.com/2010/06/03/katie-health-for-whole-self/, and then here is her about page: http://www.healthforthewholeself.com/about/

    • I wish you could fix this for me!!! Knowing that you are always there is such a comforting thought. I’m going now to check out those links – I’ll email you later! 🙂

  6. I have been reading your blog for a while but I just wanted to comment this time. I really want to lose weight but the thought of having to give up stuff freaks me out and makes me go into panic mode! But when I stop and think about the changes I need to make, they’re very small and no reason to panic. But I just seem to be having issues with it still. In the past when I’ve needed to lose weight I had a “go get’em” attitude and was usually successful. I’m not sure if turning 40 this year has anything to do with it.

    Thank you for being real in your struggles and brave enough to share it with all of us.

  7. Aw, Jill! (((hug))) I’m sorry you’re dealing with The Crazy right now. You’re not alone, I think we all tend to do this. Especially when you’re dealing with all the stuff of life: working, parenting, and probably not much time to recharge your batteries. In fact, I think that was part of it for me: “Heck, I can’t get the sleep or me-time I need, so at least I can treat myself to the food I want! And it’s not like I’m going to ruin my figure, either, because it’s gone-baby-gone already!” (Yeah, I know. Talk about The Crazy! Funny, it *seemed* to work really well, until the big D caught up with me.)

    Even more than eating foods better suited to my metabolism, I think exercised has helped the most with emotions. It knocks that gnawing, depressed feeling on its butt. A couple of days of intense workout work the best, but if all I can do one week are lunchtime walks, it’s more effective than nothing.

    As for a post 5K let-down, that might be part of what you’re feeling. I think you’ll do fine in your next one, especially if you let go of any expectation except finishing and having a good time. (Yep, easy for me to say and yet hard for me to do.)

    And yes, I agree with Lori: if you can find some time and quiet to talk to your husband about how you’re feeling, it might make you feel less alone and burdened. If you’re not sure how to say it, well, you’re a good writer; what about printing this entry and having him read it? Maybe preface it with telling him that you’re CRAZY about him and your family, but that you’re just feeling anxious about all the stuff that’s going on lately. Does he know what you mean by “The Crazy?” Guys tend to like to problem solve, but sometimes they’re just good at reassuring, especially if you let them know you want that.

  8. I know The Crazy, I’ve been there too. The only suggestion I have is to take care of yourself and stay away from the scale. I hope you don’t stop writing, just change the focus from the numbers and go with what you’re feeling. Hang in there.

  9. Counseling! It is a BLESSING. Do it if you can afford it. (Free, untrained pastors, etc., aren’t always as helpful.) I have benefitted at various times in my life from good counselors. Don’t try to figure it out by yourself. It could be a lot of things. I know what you’re talking about… the end of school brings out the CRAZY in me, too. Most parents can’t wait for summer, but not me. Loss of time, loss of privacy, loss of freedom. It all feels like loss to me. Plus, you have to be the “bad cop” all the time, keeping the offspring from watching too much TV, eating too much junk food, fighting w/ each other, etc. From April on, my anxiety level builds until my stomach literally hurts. I’ll be thinking about you!

  10. I am all for going to a counselor. I agree that you should share with your significant other.

    I have recently cut out coffee. Which doesnt seem like much, but i have lots 5lbs already. I love coffee so much, but evidentially the kind i drink is full of calories.

    Hang in there.

  11. Okay, I can’t help but to laugh, in relief mind you, that I am not the only one out there that has the same thoughts your having right now. I know this was from last month, but did you ever go talk to someone, or tell your husband? When ever I have tried to explain to my husband how I’m feeling, he always tries to “fix it”. God Bless him! I too just decided to call and talk to a councelor. I have my friends, but it always seems to get turned around and we are discussing “their” issues. I have enough “clutter” of my own so that is why I decided to go to someone else I don’t know. My apointment is tomorrow! So I shall see how it goes. Mean time, isn’t it nice to know your not alone? Oh and if you get the chance, stop by my blog I just started. It is my new way of shedding pounds!

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