Krissie: Oh Shit

Photo on 2013-07-02 at 09.04 #2 That expression is because all my clothes are tight and it’s my own damned fault and I haven’t gained everything back but I’ve gained enough that I’m uncomfortable and I’ll deal with it.
I’m not sure how it started. How things began to slip.
Well, part of it was most likely my mother’s death, and right now I’m dealing with the first anniversary of her death. Dealing with regret and guilt and acceptance and sorrow, both for her and for the loss of my entire original family, which was already never enough for me (I need family). So today is not about beating myself up, it’s about wondering why.
So, I had reached a plateau in my weight loss, figuring out what I was doing wrong (too many yummy additives to the salads, too many goldfish), and then I think my mother’s death stopped the weight loss. I wasn’t gaining, but I wasn’t losing and I couldn’t spend energy worrying about it.
But come the fall I started indulging. I can blame Kathy’s Restaurant (best diner in the world) for at least five of the fifteen pounds I gained back. I’ve gone back to the occasional fast food stop, though I’ve definitely stopped the french fries part. I’ve been drinking tons of diet soda. I may have gone down to one Tab or Diet Coke for most days, but then I fill in with diet ginger ale, which kind of defeats the purpose.
I’ve been eating candy on occasion. Only when I find white chocolate versions of traditional candies (Kitkats, Reese’s peanut butter cups, M&Ms) because I don’t like chocolate (sacrilege!). Since I don’t like chocolate I’ve never had a candy problem, and even indulging when I saw the good stuff wasn’t a huge problem. Just one more — I was gonna say nail in the coffin but that’s too negative.
Haven’t been able to swim much in the last year. Couldn’t afford the membership at the pool or the gas to drive there (25 miles away) or the time going back and forth. So I wasn’t getting exercise and that was making me turn to food even more.
I also had a stressful living situation which I still have to resolve (we have to get Tim out of the house and on his own), which makes me turn to food.
There are probably other triggers. I haven’t been going insane — I may have developed an affection for morning glory muffins and corn bagels, but most of the time I haven’t indulged. I haven’t been going on binges or stuffing, I don’t think I’ve touched potato chips (or any kind of chips) or cookies or the usual binge kind of thingss.
So first off I need to figure out how to get through the next two weeks, past the difficult anniversary. I don’t want to beat myself up, but I don’t want to give myself permission to pig out. That will just make me feel worse.
I’m also pretty sure I’m sensitive to gluten. Yes, it seems like that’s the diagnosis of the day, and I’m not intolerant. But I have all the common gut symptoms, energy symptoms, and quite simply, if I pig out on straight starches like crackers or bread my stomach will ache, which made no sense to me.
So I need to come up with a plan. Because I’m uncomfortable in my clothes, I have no energy, and I don’t feel good.
Any suggestions? I’m an emotional eater and I’ve got a lot of emotion going on right now. Am I right to hold off until I’m past the anniversary? Or should I slam down on myself right now?

51 thoughts on “Krissie: Oh Shit

  1. Mama_Abbie says:

    First, you do need to be kind to yourself for the next several weeks, but I think that you will be much happier with yourself if you can find a way to get past them without relying on food as an emotional crutch.

    What other activities make you feel better? Maybe when you get that urge to reach for a helping of goldfish you can pick up some crocheting or a quilt square and listen to a good audio book for a little bit. Or if Richie is around, indulge in an extra snuggle. This a time to indulge, so who cares if you don’t get as much done on the to-do list?

    I have been trying to stay more or less away from the wheat/gluten based foods myself – it’s not that I think that I am allergic to them, but they act as triggers. Once I start eating crackers, etc. (especially salty savory snacks) I keep going back for more. I don’t seem to have that problem with fruit or yogurt.

    So, for the next couple of weeks, no beating yourself up, but if you can be a bit more mindful, I think that you will be happier with yourself.

  2. Judy Warchol says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been feeling so low lately. I can relate because I’ve been wading through a funk for the last few weeks myself. I’m not a ‘pull myself up by the bootstraps’ kind of person. (maybe I should be?) But, I’m all for being kind to yourself in times like these.

    I’m all bubble baths, and reading-for-fun on the train into the city instead of reading-for-work, and I buy toiletry products to indulge in, e.g. lavender-scented hand lotions and lemongrass-scented face scrubs. And so, my inner Dresden ballerina gives your inner Dresden ballerina permission to eat goldfish crackers and drink ginger ale because it’s not like you’re shooting up heroin after all. They are JUST goldfish crackers.

  3. Kieran says:

    Krissie, have you read WOMEN, FOOD, AND GOD yet? You can get it on audio. Please consider listening to that. Awareness is a bitch, but it will save you, both physically and emotionally.

    We overeat a lot, or eat the wrong things, because our brains want a seritonin boost and/or we have psychological wounds that require healing. And food is a way to feel better while that pain drains us.

    IMO, you shouldn’t wait for milestone “bad days” to pass before you take small steps to tend to the needs of your physical body. And remember, nothing is separate. When you love your physical body, you’re helping emotional Krissie, too.

    Small steps. Small steps…. They add up. Stay the course. Love yourself. If you can take the choices out of your diet as much as possible, that will help. Make your breakfast and lunch the same heathy meals every day. That way you will save up some willpower to handle dinner choices.

    Or make all three meals the same each day, rotating between three choices for each meal. Put a sign on your fridge:

    Breakfast: 1) oatmeal with peanut butter and raisins, 2) egg on flat bread with spinach and cheese, 3) half a grapefruit, wheat toast spread with almond butter

    Those are just random examples. Do the same list for lunch. Stock your house with these items, and don’t run out. You can do Healthy Choice for dinner with a salad on the side.

    Make everything as choice-free as possible in your diet so you can save your energies for dealing with your emotions, your writing, and for swimming or yoga or whatever physical exercise you get. That can include cleaning the house. That’s great exercise. Just walking, lifting, pushing…anything that moves your body.

    Good luck! And if you don’t want to get that audio right now, let me send you my copy. XOXO

  4. No slamming at Krissie. Tut tut. Even if it’s by Krissie herself.

    Emotional eating suggests you want to feel better. Then replace with things that make you feel better besides food. Breathe, look at pictures of puppies. Do a short mediation – even a 5 minute one. Sadly I can’t speak for the one via the Lifehacker post, it kept buffering out on me. Mobile ‘net sometimes blows.

    Need family? Close your eyes and think of your sisters, happily ensconced in their new homes. Think of all the Refabbers who’d be there for you when you need it.

    No need to slam, just engage in some mindfulness. You’ve started to achieve some things, so you’ll get to the rest.

  5. Jane F says:

    I was going to recommend another of Geneen Roth’s books. “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating” has become a real touchstone for me. She is insightful and truly empathetic but that doesn’t stop the process from being hard. I haven’t read woman food and god.

  6. Clancy says:

    I can’t speak to emotional eating, I barely manage to notice looking back that I’ve been doing it. I hope it gets easier soon.


    “I have all the common gut symptoms, energy symptoms, and quite simply, if I pig out on straight starches like crackers or bread my stomach will ache,”

    you might look up fructose malabsorption. I have trouble with fructose and polyols (sorbitol, mannitol). Eat too much of them, I am depressed, tired, cranky, in pain and with an extra flaky memory. Oh, and have near constant food cravings. Everything, except going out to dinner, is better without them.

    My apologies if I’ve said this here before. Memory, right? That and I was sick in ignorance for so long I want everyone to have heard of it, just in case.

    It got noticed and then popular recently and some sites are more accurate than others. Most don’t mention the mood and energy that are my biggest improvements. You are welcome to write me if you want more of my take on it.

  7. I love Geneen Roth. She’s the Anne Lamott of healthy eating. Similar authorial voice, I think.

    A suggestion: even if you’re not ready to commit to overall healthy eating (NEVER say “diet”), consider ADDING one healthy thing to your routine now. Find something you really love that’s healthy and that you don’t eat often enough. It’s a great time of year for it, since strawberries and blueberries and other healthy treats are at peak right now, and when they’re past, it will be almost apple/pear season.

    Find that one healthy thing and ADD it to what you eat every single day. (Addition feels better than subtraction, and it can also divert you from craving unhealthy stuff.) You’ll feel virtuous and you’ll be doing something healthy that feels like a treat, and you’ll be setting up a good pattern, AND you won’t be feeling deprived (which I think is usually the biggest stumbling block in changing eating habits).

  8. Cindy says:

    A couple of years ago, life hit rockbottom for me. I only ate comfort food. If I took my daughter to get her blood drawn, I’d pick up donuts on the way back. If she ended up in the ER, and we drove home at midnight, I’d stop at the drive-thru and pick up double cheeseburgers. I usually try to not keep too many “bad” snacks around when I’m feeling weak. And I allow myself my favorite snack one time a day. It keeps me from going face down in the cookie bag. I love red wine and chocolate. I love them together. So usually I’ll have them in the evening as a treat.

  9. Tricia Halliday says:

    You should wait till the anniversary is done with. Denying yourself when you are having a hard time will just make you want it more.

  10. stephanie says:

    Like others have said, I think it’s about small steps. Pick one thing to change each week or twice a month. Look at reducing refined sugar. Give it some time.

    Another book I love is Michael Pollan’s ‘Food Rules’. When I feel myself reaching for my favorite choc chip cookies at the grocery I try to remember: Eat real food. Mostly veggies. Nothing with more than 5 ingredients or ingredients an average 3rd grader can’t pronounce.

  11. Redwood Kim says:

    I agree that while it’s not agood time to make a large scale change, it is always a good time to make small ones, and better choices. A little more exercise, here and there. Shop the produce aisle first. Indulge in seasonal fruit rather than crackers. As one of my favorite cookbook authors says, “Up the good calories.”
    You get through this one, too, you know. It’s tough, but you’re tougher.

  12. Comfort eating is so hard to get over. Be good to yourself during this time of emotional stress. Think in terms of little treats, move a bit more than you are now, flush your system of toxins, and even if you don’t lose the weight during this time you will at least be proactive and that will make you feel better about yourself.

    During our excessive heat wave of the past week, I made my own electrolyte water: 120z filtered water, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, small pinch of sea salt, (you can add Stevia to taste, but I don’t.) I often throw a couple of berries in instead, strawberries cut up.

    I write down the hours from 6am until 7pm on my refrigerator board and place a check mark for each drink taken. Some hours it will be 8oz others 4-6 oz. Staying ahead of dehydration is important in this heat. If you wait until you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated. And yes, I monitor the color of my urine. : )

    I know it isn’t hot where you are, but by doing this I’ve been reminded that drinking a small amount every hour takes care of a lot of my dietary cravings. And it makes my system, my energy level, and my brain work better.

  13. I think that thinking about the anniversary of your mother’s death as a Big Day makes it bigger. It dramatizes the grief, gives it a stage. You have so many death anniversaries in your life that they shape it, they become the barriers you bump up against, such as the idea that you can’t relax until Mom’s deathday is past.
    I’d start by dumping the deathdays and adding birthdays. Remember your mom on the day she was born, make her favorite food, look at the pictures you have of her, remember the happy times. Remembering her death does her no honor, it wasn’t what defined her, or your brother, or your nephew. They were so much more than their deaths.
    Or not. I am not a therapist nor do I play one on TV.

  14. Lola says:

    Diet drinks are fattening?

    Keeping the weight off is so damn hard. I lost 15 pounds too and regained half of it. For me it takes vigilance and an awareness of what I’m doing (am I moving or sitting for hours in front of the computer?) and what foods I put in my mouth. Easier said than done.

  15. Carol says:

    Krissie, is the comfort food comforting you? Sounds like not, sounds like it’s punishing you, on so many levels. So my wish for you would be awareness. Awareness that what you’re about to put in your mouth isn’t going to feel good for even the time it takes to make its way to your stomach, let alone take away the angst over the disturbances in your life. That’s probably the only change you need to make, but it is the hardest.

  16. SheenaJade says:

    I was coming here to say almost exactly this. I don’t comment here much but I read almost every day and this seems to be an ongoing issue for you. It seems like one of the side effects of the amount of loss that you’ve had to endure is that almost every month has a negative memory attached if you choose to focus on it.

    I’d try to give everyone their birthday, or another day that has meaning to you if you prefer, and take back the rest of the time for yourself. Grief is clearly different for everyone and some people need that reflection so if it’s the best way for you to manage then that’s completely fair it just seems like it would be a challenging way to process it.

  17. Oh, it’s by Geneen Roth! I have a number of her books – I’ll check it out. And as always, Kieran, you’re very wise without being preachy.

  18. romney says:

    I’m an emotional eater. For me, food is a distraction. I’m better if I tackle the things I’m trying to distract myself from or do things that make me properly happy (not temporarily food happy).

  19. Actually by planning for the anniversary it ends up being no biggie. Ad the bad feelings are, in the first few years, merely sensory reminders. It’s the 4th of July and the fireworks and all that shit bringing up memories of last year. It wears off after a few years. Trust me, I’m an expert.
    So planning to be upset quite often takes the edge off it. But in this case it’s also knowing that by the end of next week I’ll be past it, which is reassuring.

  20. How about adding some things? Like sparkling water loaded with sliced lemons and limes and cucumbers instead of the diet sodas; watermelons and cherries for snacks, etc.

    And I suggest you need to put all the death days into Nov 2, Day of the Dead and have a giant, all-out celebration for all of your loved dead ones. Do it BIG on that day and leave the others where they are. You can laugh and remember in a good way instead of a sad way.

    Will you want your children to be depressed for weeks ahead of your death date? Or celebrating and cheerfully remembering you in celebrations all the rest of your life?

  21. So much wisdom here today!

    I agree with adding something good, like berries. I find that plain or honey-flavored yogurt (usually greek, for me) with fresh berries is as good as having ice cream or cookies or something. Or even raspberries with milk. Mmm. But, whatever it is you like that is fresh and in season, go with that.

    I’d say start doing the little things (fresh fruit, diverting your comfort to something like quilting) now, rather than letting it wait until after the anniversary. Doing so will help you feel better all around: accomplishment usually does, even if it is small accomplishments.

    Take good care of yourself.

  22. Auntie JB says:

    I agree with so many of the above comments. Especially:

    * Don’t “slam down” on yourself. Lift yourself up. Make choices that make you feel better physically.

    * Adding healthy things instead of restricting other things is not only psychologically better, it actually works. I find I usually have less room for the other things when I add a healthy thing.

    * Try not to obsess so much about food. Instead focus your efforts on increasing your movement. This has been my biggest challenge. I have a psychological road block about the exercise “requirement” and thinking about food all the time makes things worse for me. However, when I move my body I feel so much better. Yoga is a great way to gently move your body regardless of your fitness level. Recently I found this website which makes yoga seem so much more approachable for me:

    Even a little stretching every day reminds me that I have muscles that can do things. As I get older I seem to forget that…

  23. toni says:

    Yes. Sadly, they are. The chemicals in them to keep them low-to-zero calories and still taste good *also* keep your body’s triglycerides from doing whatever it is they’re supposed to do. So instead of your body burning fat, the switch is flipped to “off” and the body stores the fat instead. So the diet drink in and of itself isn’t fattening–it’s what it does to your body for the next foods that you eat that is the downfall.

    Plus, there are chemicals in the drinks which are designed to make you hungrier. It’s a multi-billion dollar business – and many of the owners and makers of the diet drinks *also* own snack companies. They are designed to make you eat more than you had intended.

    I have followed this research online. I was first taught this by an endocrinologist and I didn’t want to believe him. Then I saw a bunch of research out of a couple of universities and I still didn’t want to believe it, because I am a die-hard diet Coke fiend. Then I quit them to drink only water and lost 15 pounds pretty fast. Started slowly adding them back in, thinking ‘oh, one isn’t that big of a deal’ and now, 6 weeks later, without anything else changing, I have gained that damned 15 pounds back. This ticks me off, but yeah, I’m going to have to quit them for good if I want to keep the weight down.

  24. Lola says:


    What about flavored seltzer? I drink a lot of that too. I can forgo the Diet Dr. Pepper for lemon-lime seltzer.

  25. Maine Betty says:

    Exactly. No slamming. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. How you choose to be kind is up to you. But you are not a bug, you are a person.

  26. Kieran says:

    Almost everyone I know who loves diet drinks has a weight issue. Diet drinks interfere with proper liver function. While your liver is busy getting rid of all the fake sugar in diet drinks, it can’t properly metabolize your other calories. You’re sidelining the liver from its intended function.

  27. Kieran says:

    Krissie, you’re kind to say so. I dread sounding like a know-it-all and worry that I do sometimes.

    I don’t care that this is just an internet board–I have genuine affection for you and want to see you succeed. You’re very lovable. If you lived here in SC, I’d want to make you part of *my* family. I hate hearing that you feel the loss of family because I understand. Family is everything to me, too.

    Now I sound like a nutter. But that’s okay. I throw it all out there. That’s just who I am.


  28. I’ve experienced the same thing with Diet sodas. If I stop drinking them, I lose weight. A friend of mine who limits her kids’ sodas likes to mix a little powder from an Emergenc-C Vitamin C packet with water. She says it satisfies their craving for effervescence. Here’s a link to Emergenc-C Vitamin C — they offer free samples.

  29. Lots of good suggestions today. I read an article recently that mentioned air-popped popcorn as a good snack – one of the suggested toppings was a small sprinkle of cinnamon.

    My hair stylist always keeps a big container of water loaded with lemons and oranges on hand for clients – I had 3 glasses tonight, it was so delicious. If you like tea, what about making herbal sun tea? Or soda water with a shot of fruit juice?

    Good luck!

  30. Micki says:

    His new book is all about pulled pork barbecue, and flavorful, chewy break, and stinky cheeses and one more thing — I think it was beer. So eating real food doesn’t need to mean hardship. (It means putting in a lot of time, though. But man . . . Michael Pollan is so seductive.)

  31. I’ve been casting around for a few months wondering how to take charge of my eating patterns, since even my fat clothes were uncomfortably tight and I generally felt uncomfortable all of the time–physically uncomfortable.

    Then I read sf/f writer Catherynne Valente’s blog recently (two posts, parts 1 & 2, called something like Same Girl, New Skin) about her recent weight loss of 90 pounds, after years of struggling with weight, crazy crash diets, etc. I identified with a lot of her experiences and issues, so I decided to try what has worked for her–which is just using an app called My Net Diary. (She uses it on her smartphone. I’m using it on my trusty new iPad Mini. Cost $10.)

    You enter physical information and your goal, and it tells you how many calories a day to target, recommends what balance of fats, carbs, and proteins to aim for, etc. You enter everything into it each day–food, drink, exercise. (I generally do this each time I eat or after a meal. I don’t wait until the end of the day.) You can enter recipes into it, indicate how many portions, then it’s store thereafter. (So, for example, I made a chicken curry a few days ago–6 servings, some of which I froze. Having entered the recipe, now I just click on “Chicken Curry” and “1 serving” if that’s what I eat.

    Progress not perfection. The first 4-5 days, I was about 500 calories over my limit every day, but instead of quitting until I’m PERFECT, I kept entering everything–and SEEING it (in a completely non-judgmental zone–this is an APP after all, not an exasperated dietician or head-shaking doctor, etc.) really helped me start feeling more able to take charge. I’ve had very few days, in 2 weeks of doing this, where I’ve met the daily goal for calorie intake, but I’ve had a few, and I didn’t sweat and struggle through them, and I’ve been more and more mindful of what I’m eating each day–in an aware way, rather than a self-loathing way. It’s something I feel like I can keep doing, and keep adjusting for healthier results, for a long time.

    There are no forbidden foods, no ketosis, no flavorless “meal packets,” etc. And it’s been easy to see with this app that, oh!, one reason my calorie count is so high is that I eat a lot more fat grams than I realized. I assumed I was eating too many carbs… but so far, I don’t think I’ve actually gone over even once. It’s my fat intake that’s adding calories, which I had no idea.

    Anyhow, thought I’d toss that out there for consideration, because as someone who’s done every crazy diet and who’s been casting about for some time for somtehing that will get me start getting back into my clothes without feeling tortured or going crazy, I’m finding this very sane and doable.

  32. Nicole Goldstein says:

    I think Jenny is right about the anniversaries – you build them up. That aside for a moment, don’t throw away the next two weeks. Get some veggies in the house and try a modest improvement.

    Over 2 weeks, try to eat 10% better.

    That’s it. Whether that’s less wheat, less soda, more veggies is up to you, but give it 10%.

    I think is you say “screw it for two weeks” you’ll feel worse about the results.

  33. Hang in there, Krissie. We love you. There’s such great wisdom on this page I don’t really have much to offer. But, I’m betting that if you drop the diet drinks and the flour you’ll lose weight and feel much better.

  34. Chris S. says:

    As long as it doesn’t have the horrible “diet” ingredients.

    Do your local stores sell those tiny airplane sized cans? They can be helpful: you get to have a little bit of something you love without having too too much.

  35. Therese says:

    Hi, Krissie,
    I’m chiming in with the “no slamfest here” crowd. Is there any (foodless) ritual you could do to help with the grief and milestone anniversary? What else is there that can comfort you?

    I’m still struggling with losing my dad at the end of March (1 month after my stepmom passed) and I wasn’t even all that close to them. I still have moments when I think I should call him and, crap, I can’t call him ever again. (My mom died 33 years ago.) And it doesn’t matter how old we are, being an orphan is scary and sucks hairy donkey balls.

    Hugs and more hugs, all around!!

  36. Yes, but in the meantime, you’re poisoning this week by thinking about it.
    Thinking ahead here, when the truck hits me, I do not want you doing the deathday thing for me. I want you to remember all the times we laughed until we almost passed out. Remember the day you bused that guy’s lunch before he was through because you wanted his table? Remember that time in the car when you gave me a gift and said, “You’re gonna like this or else,” and I told you I was gonna cut a bitch? Remember “What did the Amish ever do to you?” That’s what I want you to remember on my birthday. Or the day of the dead. Whatever day I die is irrelevant, what’s important is the days I lived, especially the days I spent with you. Respect me by celebrating me, not the day I was too slow to get out of the way of approaching Death (who spoke in all small caps).

  37. We call her Nettie D. here. She saved my life during the oh-my-god-I’m-diabetic months. Then I moved and we lost touch, but I’m going to fire her back up again. Along with giving up Diet Coke, of which I drink GALLONS. Damn.
    Original post here:
    And then search for “Nettie D.” We’re evangelists, too.

  38. Well, I wasn’t going to say exactly what Jenny said, but close. I do understand if you need to plan for these so that they don’t hit you out of the blue. I like Barbara’s idea of celebrating the Day of the Dead for all of the dead people. Still, unless you plan to do something to mark the day and the year passing, a rock on the graves, a picnic at the cemetery, watching the fireworks from someplace that you shared with the person, then I don’t understand how this helps.

    My father died on Christmas morning. It will be 10 years this Christmas. There are so many benefits to his dying on this day. I used to be afraid of it as a kid. What would I do? Christmas would be ruined. Only it wasn’t. In fact, we celebrate him every Christmas. We go and have breakfast at Charlie’s Chili – everyone is invited. My seestor and I still do our “heathen” Christmas eve – sunset at Blackie’s dive bar in Newport, home for tamales, and then the Christmas Eve service at the Lutheran Church and no one in my family has ever been Lutheran. We just got with some family friends.

    This year I want a life size picture of dad that we can put on one of the benches and then we can all have our picture with him. However, my brother would be very upset by it so we probably won’t be doing that.

    What I am trying to say is that unless your plan is to own the day and your emotions, then “planning” for a crappy week is counter productive to me. Loss sucks but really all it means is that you had people to lose.

    We all grieve in our own way, but ultimately, we each need to decide how to benefit from the grief. Grief, for me, is the seasoning of life that reminds me how wonderful and sweet life can be. It’s like baking. You always add a little salt to bring out the sweet.

    Oh, and I am back at Weight Watchers and moving, moving, moving. Get rid of the diet sodas and the goldfish. Those little minions are sabotaging you. I’ve had to ban the Trader Joe’s orange and cranberry scones from the house. The 7th Day Adventists have some pretty decent programs dealing with depression (nope, not one of those either). Here’s a link and I have no idea where you live in VT but I have a friend who took the program and swears by it. (She wasn’t a 7th Day Adventist either).

  39. “I’m also pretty sure I’m sensitive to gluten. Yes, it seems like that’s the diagnosis of the day, and I’m not intolerant. But I have all the common gut symptoms, energy symptoms, and quite simply, if I pig out on straight starches like crackers or bread my stomach will ache, which made no sense to me.”

    I’ll second the suggestion that you look into Fructose Malabsorption. You might wonder what fructose has to do with crackers and bread; wheat (and onions and other less common foods) have fructans in them and fructans are a polymer of fructose ( FrucMal tends to be the third or so answer down the chain when you notice problems with wheat, after Coeliac Disease and Gluten Intolerance.
    The thing is, depending on how serious it is, you might not experience symptoms every time you eat the problem foods. There’s a breath test that’s done after having a large drink of fructose. After getting diagnosed and changing my diet (note that I didn’t eat less, just ate different stuff) I dropped from a 18/20 to a 14/16 clothing size (Aust) without exercising. And FrucMal is associated with decreased tryptophan, which might exacerbate any depression symptoms. So it might be something to consider.

    Whatever the problem is, nailing it down and getting the right treatment might be the thing to get you off the weight loss plateau and making progress, and without having to be too hard on yourself.

  40. Aunt Snack says:

    I think starting the food changes before the anniversary is the way to go because it gives you something other than the BIG DAY to focus on. It is something you can actually control, while the death of our loved ones is not.

    I was worried for months about how I would deal with the 20th anniversary of my best friend’s death. Those multiples of five and ten always pound me with sadness about how many years he missed for no good reason. When the big day came and went without me even noticing, I initially felt horrendously guilty. But later I decided that Nick would be proud of me for remembering him with joy from day to day and honoring the good things we did together. When I was diagnosed with depression, he urged me to join a choir, no matter how rinky dink, so I could do something that would be pleasurable and get me out among people ( and stimulate endorphin production! ). He would really be happy to see me take his advice and do something good for myself. And this is the first year I really put his advice to work on “his” day.

    I can light a memorial candle for him any day.

  41. Kelly S. says:

    It seems like you spend weeks, possibly months, every year fretting and dwelling on people’s deaths. In some ways, it is like you are giving up your life for them but they are gone and can’t actually appreciate or use it. Instead the people who are alive and love you are saddened by your hurt. I’m certain you talk with your therapist about this and s/he is much more qualified than I am to help, but I would encourage you to shift all that energy & focus, or as much as you can, to Richie, Tim, your BFF, Kiam, Jenny, Lani and others who are still alive and with you.

  42. H says:

    Try to focus on taking care of yourself in general — drinking water, eating fruits and veggies you enjoy, thinking positive thoughts. Weight loss isn’t a downward slope, and your body will actively fight you to get weight back on. So don’t go crazy cracking down, just… be kind. Pick the pretty-good-for-you things first, and there will be less room for the sorta-bad-for-you things on the other end.

    A day at a time, chica. 🙂

  43. I agree!

    This year, it’s the 30th anniversary of my father’s death and the 15th anniversary of my mother’s. Do I miss them and mourn them? Yes. However, I’ve brought myself to the point where my life is not controlled by the mourning.

    I’m an emotional eater, too. That’s the heart of my eating disorder. When Dad died, I put on the 105 lbs I’d worked so hard to lose. The immediate grief was too much. I’d lost about 70 pounds and then Mom was diagnosed so, pretty soon I was eating to cope with caregiving, knowing we were losing her, and so on.

    Since my weight loss surgery, I’ve worked really hard on finding alternatives to eating over my emotions. A month or so ago, I read a great sign on FB that food is the most abused drug and exercise is the most ignored antidepressant. I’ve really embraced the whole increased-activity thing, whether it’s an energetic Zumba class, a good walk with the pups, or a nearly meditative Tai Chi set.

    As I approach the anniversaries of my folks’ passing, I remember that neither one of them would choose for me to relapse into poor eating because of them. I also focus on my new, healthier behaviors, like celebrating the good.

    Last year when my cousin was killed in a motorcycle accident the day after her 56th birthday, it served as a stark reminder to live your best life, to embrace the adventure and to never postpone joy. Remember this, almost more than anything else, helps me not fall back into the food when I’ve had a tough or upsetting day. The sugar or carbohydrate binge does nothing positive and only interferes with my joy.

  44. Skye, Greek yogurt has also been a terrific addition to my healthy eating. Yesterday I knew friends would be over to watch fireworks. I bought fresh strawberries and blueberries and was all set to add whipped cream. (I love whipped cream!) Right there in the dairy section, I had a talk with myself. Bought 0% fat vanilla Greek yogurt instead.

  45. coloradohope says:

    I just had to add this post, although it’s a late addition. I’ve had a lot of loss in my life as well. What I’ve found is important for me is to really grieve when the grief comes up. My best friend took her own life almost three years ago now, and if I try to fight the sadness, it sticks with me, but if I let myself really feel the loss, it passes until next time. I’m almost always in tears for the first 10 minutes each time I drive a car alone. And of course I do wallow sometimes as well, until I remember what is really going on.

    BTW, you are a real dear, and you are not alone here on this earth. (And yes I know that you can be cranky and that you’re really smart and so on, but I love your courage and your honesty and your freshness.)

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