Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Right Direction

Yesterday, in the was a story on the use of anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes. The US Medicare and Medicaid programs aims to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs in nursing homes by 15%. Many many nursing home patients with dementia are on these drugs.

My Mom was one of them. She had been on Abilify and Seroquel. The side effects caused her to have uncontrollable muscle movements. When she first arrived in the nursing home, my Mom thought my father was having an affair with one of the nurses and went after the nurse. Mom was not a small woman. She was 5’11 and strong.There was not enough staff to control her and she was put on the drugs. As the disease progressed, she was still on the drugs.

She could not walk or talk and she was on these drugs. Her muscle movements became dangerous to herself and it was painful to watch. Finally when she was bed ridden, they took her off of the drugs and gave her anti-anxiety pills to calm the movements, which became overwhelming when she was in pain or uncomfortable. The chewing even after the feeding tube was put in did not stop. The teeth chattering was so loud sometimes that it was horrible to listen to and I attempted to calm her.

I am happy to see that steps have been taken to reduce the use of the drugs. Many patients who are on these drugs do not need to be and it is a step in the right direction. Whenever I saw an Abilify commercial that had the dementia patient warning, I inwardly groaned since Mom was taking it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Finished

I wasn’t going to do it. I got home from work and really, could have flopped down and read Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott (which is a book I LOVE) and called it a night but I did not.

Instead, I went to a boot camp. Yes, I did and I finished the class.

I think I will have a good night of sleep tonight.

I have a tiny rant. I was told I was not a “health and fitness blogger”. Since when is health and fitness blogging limited to only people who post food or their workouts or are solely weight loss related. WTF? Health and fitness encompasses more. This blog deals with the mind and the body and I am just as much of a health and fitness as the next person. Rant over.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Intuitive Eating: The Start

As I mentioned before, I have been reading Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A. I am finding it fascinating and I know that it can help me.


I know I have hit the end. I have lost 100 pounds 3 times in the last 3 years. That is a rollercoaster of 100 pounds loss and gains times 3. It is not good for me.  I have hit dieting bottom. Weight Watchers is not going to work. It is a good program but it is not for me. I am tired of dieting. I am tired of playing little games, obsessing on every little thing that goes into my mouth.

I have read the first 3 chapters and I am going to give me impression on it. One of the first things things that struck me was the amount of advertising money has increased from 1973 to 1991. In 1991, almost 5% commercials were on some sort of diet product.  I can imagine how much it has grown since then. Are we any thinner with those commercials – hell no. As a matter of fact, we have gained more weight.

What kind of eater am I?

I am primarily an unconscious eater. Food has filled in for many things lacking. It was a friend when I was lonely, angry, miserable, bored or sad. Loneliness has filled my life from when I was a teenager until recently. I separated myself from people but I was miserable. When I didn’t think my Mother cared, food was there. Food is there when I am bored. Food is just there. It is not just when I binged but if I was feeling down, the package of M&Ms were there as was the Burger King drive-thru. I was down a lot.

I also used food to handle unwanted and disturbing emotions. I used it to stop unwanted sexual advances. Who would want me if I was fat? Then the thoughts of worthlessness and its cousins joined in.

When I was actively losing weight, I did not follow any of the Intuitive Eating Guidelines.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality - No more counting points, saying that it is a “lifestyle” and not a “diet”, stop obsessing over when and what you will eat. I thought about food 24 –7. I was never so obsessed with food in my life.

2. Honor Your Hunger – I was constantly hungry because I obsessed over food so much.

3. Make Peace With Food – This is something that I will struggle with. I viewed food as bad. I had no trust in myself. I didn’t think I could have cookies in the house and have it last most than 2 days. I would eat the peanut butter right out of the fridge. It was me versus food. Food was the victor.

4. Challenge the Food Police – Can I be my worst food policeman? I can’t eat THAT. I could never just have a treat. I never ate dessert at a restaurant when I was at my highest weight. I couldn’t even treat myself once in a blue moon.

5. Feel Your Fullness – What? Was I ever full? I was hungry after 5 minutes of eating.

6. Discover Your Satisfaction – What? Never.

7. Cope With Your Emotions – What? Never.

8. Respect Your Body – I hated myself no matter what my size.

9. Exercise – Yes, please.

10. Honor Your Health ~ Gentle Nutrition – I couldn’t do that if I did respect myself.

I am so ready to begin.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Forgotten Place

Since Memorial Day is tomorrow, I wanted to post about the Sailor’s Home Burial Ground in Quincy. I had found it on a previous walk but the other day I had my phone with me and I took some pictures. This is off the beaten path next to a salt marsh and if you didn’t look for it once you saw the sign, you would never have known it was there.


If you are in the area, it is located on Fenno Street near Wollaston Beach.



The Sailor’s Home is long gone but this lonely cemetery looks forgotten. These are all veterans of the War of 1812 or the Civil War.


Someone comes to mow the lawn but does anyone else ever visit these graves?



It was a serene quiet place but I hope these graves aren’t totally forgotten on Memorial Day.

I have been alone most of the weekend, doing a lot of reading. Tomorrow I may venture out. If I roam about Boston at least I will be out and not at home wondering “what if”…..

Friday, May 25, 2012

Calm My Crazy: Long Holiday Weekends

According To Denise

I met Denise from According to Denise at Bloggy Boot Camp last weekend. Since I post my Friday Happiness posts almost every Friday, I thought I would join this weekly meme and continue on with the tradition since my happiness does bring me calming vibes and I am much better when I am happy. Aren’t we all though?

Today I have a few things that make me happy. Here in the States, it is a long holiday weekend. Memorial Day is Monday. What is better then a 3 day weekend that signifies the start of summer?


I don’t have many plans this weekend besides barre class tomorrow morning, a little cleaning and perhaps some shopping. I hope everyone takes a moment out to think about why we have the day off. I hope if you are here in the States, that you have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Earlier today I stumbled upon this video on YouTube. I will let you view it before I comment.

I will never think of Photoshop the same way but I love love the message. Based on this post about my slight magazine addiction,  the photos we see in the magazines aren’t real. I need to watch this Fotoshop commercial at least once a day to get the message through my head.

Finally, while at dinner with the girls at the local restaurant, Abby Park, on Monday night, I had my tarot cards read. To say I was a skeptic was understating it. The only other time I had it done they said that Mom would recover. Enough said there. I went in with a big sense of skepticism.

After stating that I am a Scorpio, she told me that I am looking to make a huge life change and that I should do it. It will also happen sooner rather than later. I am thinking that Denver is possibly in my future and I will know in a few weeks. I am ready to make a change. Maybe I will meet an Idaho boy in Idaho or a Portland hunk in 2 weeks. Who knows?

It is something I take with a grain of salt but I need a change and the first step is doing my resume this weekend.

I do want to get my palm read since I have been wicked curious about it for a long time.

Have a great happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I was walking along a side street near where I live. There is a little swamp/pond/mosquito breeding ground there and this caught my eye:


I drive up this street at least every other day and I had not seen or known that that road was a turtle superhighway. I live in a city and I find it is pretty awesome that these turtles still come and go in the city.

If a turtle can do it, so can I.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beginning of a New Journey

Guess what came from the UPS guy today?


Let some food sanity for me start today. I am tired of abusing my body. I am tired of this binge, purge, binge, purge cycle that I have been on for so long. I will be talking about it as I read the book and apply it to my crazy disordered way to eating.  Boots was interested as well.

I wanted to talk about something that happened this weekend that totally threw me for a loop. I was at a party on Friday night minding my own business when a woman came up to me asked “How many kids do you have?” I said, “None” and before it was totally out of mouth she was gone.

Really? Must there be this competition from those with kids and those without. I am a late thirty something woman who is unmarried and childless. If I want to have friends at my age, I am bound to meet people with kids. I love kids. I wish I could have kids of my own. It does not make me any less of a woman. I have not been blessed with kids.

I know the woman who asked me that question had some major social issues that I can not begin to fathom. I will not let it get me down and it will not turn into a reason to be tell myself I am unlovable and go on from there for my lack of a husband and kids.

Sometimes I will never understand people but in some ways, I don’t want to.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Takeaways from Bloggy Boot Camp

I like attending blogging conferences. More so for the contacts and friendships I make then for the information I gather from these conferences. I attended my second Bloggy Boot Camp in Philadelphia this weekend.

I really enjoyed seeing a few of the great bloggers I met last year at Bloggy Boot Camp. I was hoping to make some new friends as well.

I also learned a few things about me and blogging.

1. I lack motivation to take my blog to the next level.

One of the blogging workshops was how to go from a small blog to a big blog. My blog is not necessarily  a small blog but it is not a medium blog either. I just lack the motivation to take the time to do the things that should help my blog. It kind of goes along with a lot of things in my life. I just have no motivation. I would love to show everyone that you can have depression and live a normal life. I just have to get that shot of adrenaline to take the next step to reduce stigma.

2. I am a writer. 

You may have notices that I changed the wording under Losing the Shadow Behind Me. It now says:

Boston gal living life with depression.

The Writing Seminar had us write a 6 word biography and I liked mine so much I changed my blog. 

All in all, I enjoyed this Bloggy Boot Camp. I met some great people and hopefully made some new blogging friends while I was there.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Happiness: On A Bus

As this posts, I will be on a bus going from Boston to Philadelphia to attend Bloggy Boot Camp. I had such a good time last year, I decided to go again this year.

This song is an oldie but goodie. I love this song and the video speaks to me so much. Here is Beautiful Girl by INXS.

I had such a crush on Michael Hutchence in college and INXS is one of my favorite bands of all times. Such a music talent gone too soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Really Body?

I woke up this morning feeling better. I had a doctor’s appointment and while the appointment went ok, I tried not to see the weight but unfortunately that darn visit summary that they give to me has it prominently displayed with the BMI number so that I could miss it.  It was 8 pounds lower than last night. Really body?

It did not help that I was to upset to eat dinner last night and I did not eat breakfast. Oddly, I was not hungry (probably because my ED was in force) but my body just mystifies me. I will never understand it.

Another thing I discovered that one of my blood pressure meds (I am on 2 and most likely I will be on them for the rest of my life since when I lost weight before, I did not get off) was causing my feet to swell, which I have been noticing lately. So they switched it and now I try a new medicine, which hopefully, will cause my feet to shrink again.

Tomorrow I am off to Bloggy Boot Camp in Philadelphia. I have a bus ride early in the morning so I must get bed early for what Not So Secret Sister says is a“butt crack of dawn” wakeup. I have a post already scheduled for tomorrow and I will post when I return on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Sham

Two posts in one day? What is the world coming to.

I went to get weighed in at Weight Watchers tonight and it will probably the last time I do it.

I gained 6.4 pounds, basically everything I lost, despite how active I have been. It was demoralizing and horrible. I could not help but feeling how much I suck and how much of a sham it is that I try to deny that my self esteem is based on that frigging number.

I try to tell myself that I will not put too much weight in that weight number. I lie. It is everything and it focuses me on how much of a failure I am.

How do I break this never ending cycle?

I am going to continue to be active and watch what I eat. It was recommended that I read this:

Life in Synergy offers some nutritional guidance as well and I might look into that.

I am such a mess tonight. I need to get lost in reading I think, to take my mind off of things.

2012 I'm Blogging About Mental Health Day

It's I'm blogging about mental health blog party day! it is the day I am most proud to write about my struggles and hopefully reduce the stigma associated with it.

Did you grow up with a parent with untreated mental health problems?

I did. While Mom was not diagnosed there was definitely something going on and it eventually lead to the dementia that took her. Dad often tells me that I had it easier than my siblings because I remember Mom as she was before she got sick and my younger siblings don't have that to fall back on.

While it is not a competition to see who had it worse, I disagree with my Dad. I felt like I was abandoned. To have a Mother who professed love and was very loving to go to one that said you weren't family and withdrew from everything was not easy for a 10 year old to digest. I turned to food to fill that void. 

I try to forgive her behavior and think it is the disease but to this day, I have trouble thinking what was the disease and what was her coldness. To my 10 year old self, I withdrew myself. I did not want to be hurt by her so I tried to avoid her as much as I could by tending to lock myself in my room. While my remembrances of this time tend to be generalized, I do remember feeling not loved by my mother. 

Looking back after she died, I had a hard time focusing on happy things. I ended up finding "happy" pictures but it was hard. 

Did I inherit my depression problems from my Mom? Maybe. Did they form my life? Certainly.

Am I moving on from what happened? I am trying to. The actions of our parents have a huge affect in out lives, one that to this day, I am trying to overcome. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Walk at the Beach

I was so happy the rain held off tonight so I could get a walk in. I have come to sort of depend on walks to clear my mind, mostly, if the music is blaring. 

I found another lonely lock on my walk tonight.


I wonder how long it has been there and who put it there. I did some research about the locks and it seems it is a love thing. I wonder if a couple put the lock there and if they are still together.

Some of these pictures are from yesterday and not tonight’s walk. I was worried about rain so I did not stop and take a lot of pictures.


I live about a 15 minute walk to the beach. I like walking along the beach, as do many others in the area. The beach is not the nicest beach and is very rocky like a lot of New England beaches but I do like living so close to the water.




The whole beach walk is about 2 miles so down so it makes a good workout. Not So Secret Sister lives along the street so sometimes I might stop to see if she is at home.

When it is not to crowded like it was last night, I can go and think.  I tend to overthink but something about walking along there calms me. Maybe it is the sound of the ocean and the salty smell. I don’t know but it is one of the better things about where I live.


The water actually looks sort of nice in this picture.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there. I survived my first Mother’s Day without my Mom. The last week was very hard. Every other email I got proclaimed “What to get your mother!”. I just really just wanted to forget about the whole thing.

I had wanted to go to the cemetery unfortunately I posted about it on Facebook. I was hoping to go alone. I  do what I needed to do for myself there. My father and Not So Secret Sister replied that they wanted to go as well.  So instead of going alone, I went with Not So Secret Sister and Dad. It went well.

She now has a flat headstone but no grass around her. Hopefully they will put some sod down soon. My other sister was visiting as well and it felt good to see everyone. I suppose other Mother’s Days will be easier. I am happy this one is over.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday Happiness: Unusual

This song is super catchy and cute. I normally don’t go for poppy type of music. I am more of an alternative rock type of gal who tends to gravitate to more bitter music but I having been trying to listen to happier music and this song fits the happy part.

This is Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

I have to say the guy in the video is part of the appeal for me and the little surprise at the end, well, that just makes it awesome.

There are also fan videos of this song that make me smile. This one with the Harvard baseball team is the best, in my opinion.

If I was not sort of old enough to be their mother, I would head to Cambridge for them.

Today is a gorgeous out and I had a coupon for $30 at Kohl’s to use by tomorrow, so I stopped by an outdoor mall in Hingham. I did get a pair of sneakers for $5.99 after the $30. I went to Talbot’s and tried on some clothes.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hard Work Pays Out

I am like this little duck that is part of the Make Way For Ducklings statues in the Boston Garden. I am walking along.


I took a class tonight at Life in Synergy. When I was putting my shoes on at the end of the class, the instructor came up to me and said, “Have you lost weight? You are looking great. Your butt is looking great.” I can’t tell you how that made my day. I have been working out more. I have been taking care of myself and for once, I took a compliment and said thank you. It just made my day.

Did you have anything good happen today?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Good and Bad Memories

A former school classmate posted an old elementary school picture from the 5th or 6th grade on Facebook.  When I look at that picture all I can think about is the bad memories.

When I visit my hometown, instead of remembering the good, I can only think about the bad.

Why do we remember bad memories first over good memories?

I don’t necessarily think of one bad event but just a general bad times thought. That school picture was a time after my brother was born that Mom started to fall into mental illness (with this I have my idea for my I’m Blogging About Mental Health post next week). I don’t remember many specific instances just a conglomerate of many instances. I don’t remember when she told me that I was not her family only her parents and siblings were her “family” but I do remember her saying that a lot.

While looking up why we remember bad memories over good memories, I came across this article from the New York Times that talks about people who overgeneralize memories have a better chance of being depressed.

This quote from the article struck very close to home:

“Without detailed memories to draw upon, dispelling a black mood can seem impossible. Patients may remember once having felt happy, but cannot recall specific things that contributed to their happiness, like visiting friends or a favorite restaurant.”

Lately I am more mindful of what makes me happy – specific music, a good book, seeing friends but going back in time, I have a hard time saying, “Yes, such and such made me happy.” I can’t think of anything.  I just have a general sense of blackness.

Do you overgeneralize memories like me?  Are you more mindful now of what makes you happy or sad?

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Walk for Hunger

I walked 20 miles yesterday. Yes, all 20 miles!


There was perfect weather for walking. The sky was threatening with some black clouds in the morning but thankfully, it did not rain. The temperature vacillated between warm and cool.



About 43,000 people walked yesterday. It was amazing to see all those people stepping out to support the Great Boston Food Pantry.  The walk takes you up Commonwealth and Beacon Street, around the Chestnut Hill reservoir and into Newton, Watertown, Brighton, Cambridge and back into Boston.




The people at Project Bread put signs all over the route and I liked this sign. I do have a lot of heart and sole.


There were some great views on the walk. We walked along the Charles River and this was the view near the end.


This dog even walked most of the 20 miles. Way to go dog!


I was happy to see the balloons at the end! I felt great. Unlike last year, I wasn’t hobbling much and at the end, I felt awesome. I was very cheerleader like, which for me is totally unusual as I am not usual a rah-rah person. My feet felt surprising good. I only had one major blister and my feet looked pretty good, considering.



I took today off, to relax. While I am a little sore and my lower back is hurting, I am doing better then I thought I would.

I am looking forward to next year!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday Happiness: Imagine Music

I love music that puts a little jump in my step. This band, Imagine Dragons, has such a cool name that I would bound to like to their music. It definitely puts a little bounce in my step when I listen to it.

You might ask why I love music so much. It is a relatively new thing with me. I always liked music but lately, I just seem to love it more.

This sign kind of sums it up for me.


Music just helps me express my feelings. Bitter sad music for depressed times. Happy upbeat songs for when I trying not to pay attention to the depressed feelings.

Tomorrow I am walking in the Walk for Hunger. I will definitely do the feet test like when I walked this time or not get upset if I can’t finish like last year. Hopefully, all will go well!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Which Way To Go?

I decided to do a sponsored post but was thrust into controversy. Live and learn. I deleted the post.

I am trying to decide on the direction of this blog. I love writing. Not only is it therapeutic, it is probably what I was meant to do. I used to write stories in notebooks when I was a kid and it was always a dream of mine.The first blog goal is to have one blog that consolidates everything. I would like to incorporate book reviews, have more design options and put everything into one blog because having two is just too much.

I am going to convert to Word Press. After almost 4 years blogging, it is time. I don't dislike Blogger. I like it more because I post generally with Windows Live Writer. It is time to grow up. Besides, when I go to places like Blogher, all of the technical sessions are about Word Press and I want to go to them. 

What do you, as a reader of my ramblings, want to see?

I will continue to be honest. I still write for me and to get the crazy thoughts out of my head but after 4 years, it is time to think about where I want to go.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why I Will Never Be A Daily Weigher

I know what I am about to say is not rational. I know your body goes up and down up to 5 pounds per day. I know that I will weigh less in the morning than I do in the evening. I know.

My mind does not think rationally about weight. It just doesn’t. After therapy and groups, I wonder if it ever will.
I am participating in a challenge amongst friends on Facebook. They wanted a starting weight so first thing in the morning I stepped on the scale Friday morning before I stepped into the shower. I liked what I saw. It was a good 275.
Then, tonight I went to Weight Watchers where I saw 277.  I hated what I saw. I hated that I felt like I was going to cry. I hated the hate that the number drew up.
What was different? I weighed in at night with clothing on a different scale.
I wish I could look at the number and not feel anything. I wish I felt indifferent. I don’t. The fluctuations, daily changes, bodily functions and everything effect your weigh ins. That constant movement of the number would drive me crazy.

I can not do it to myself. I would drive myself insane. I did lose 3 pounds from the last weigh in totaling 8.4 pounds gone. That is a lot of butter sticks (about 33) , why can’t I be happy?

Once a week is good enough for me.