Sunday, August 29, 2010

Food Ignorance

I am a researcher. This is what I do, day in and day out. Research is a large portion of my job. I research things in my personal life too -- reading reviews before I buy almost anything of consequence, making spreadsheets with my nerd friends to plan our Disney vacation. I am a born researcher.

It should come as no surprise that I like to read about weight loss, living healthy, and exercise now. Almost anything I do of significance, I research. While I don't expect or think it is at all reasonable for others to do this, it sometimes really shocks (and very much saddens) me when people who are trying to lose weight have no idea what is going on with their bodies or with the food they put in their bodies.

Commence rant.

I was at a restaurant the other day and I overheard someone talking about my gym. It caught my attention and I began eavesdropping. One of the ladies was also giving a glowing review of the gym to someone who was considering joining. The lady giving the recommendation was quite large, although not as large as I was when I started this journey (if I had to guess, she was about 250). While she did mention that the equipment was in good shape, the main reasons she gave our gym the thumbs up were the interior decoration and the smoothie bar.

"You should really try this one smoothie. It tastes like a Snickers bar! That way I can have something sweet and not feel deprived!" I wanted to scream! Those smoothies at the smoothie bar are probably delicious. I don't know, I have not had one. The reason why is because they have about 400-600 calories each. Even the "light" smoothie has 250 calories. No thanks. A snickers bar has 270 bar. I of course kept my mouth shut.

It just made me sad. I see people trying their darndest to lose weight with all of these misguided attempts! A 600 calorie smoothie won't really do you any favors in losing weight, even if it has protein added and is sold at a health club. Neither will limiting your entire daily consumption to 800 calories and pushing your body into starvation mode. I hate how society has made eating healthy something mystical. It makes simultaneously angry and sad how ignorant people can be (probably myself included) about living healthily and eating right. Although this is not really rocket science, we have made it so.

Back in the Saddle?

Last week was the first week of school. I of course had mixed feelings about this. While I was really excited to see the students back again, I was not sure if I was mentally prepared to deal with everything. Since there for awhile even going to stuff at the local performing arts center -- something I used to love and probably one of my favorite things to do -- took a monumental effort, I was just not sure I could deal with all the busy-ness and stress that comes along with school.

For some reason -- despite all this -- I felt up to kicking this healthy living up a notch. As I mentioned in my last post, I decided that I would give tracking a shot. I totally did. I was over my points by about 30 (after using up 35 weeklies and the 37 exercise points I earned). I was fine with this. While I didn't aim to overshoot my points, I decided that just getting in the practice of tracking again would be a step in the right direction. And, it was.

I am pleased to report that I lost 3.8 lbs this week. I haven't lost weight that significant (except for the week I rejoined WW) since early June. I lost "only" 10 lbs this summer. And you know what? I feel fantastic about it.

This week I was talking to my mom and I told her I thought it would take several years (probably 3 or 4) to make my goal weight. And I was totally serious. And I am really truly fine with it (at least that is how I feel this week). I am seriously evaluating every step that I make. I am doing things at a pace where I feel comfortable and that doesn't freak me out. I am making changes I think I can sustain. And I actually believe that is way more important to me than making it "there" without doing the mental work it will take to stay "there." I am feeling way more in control of my life and eating than I have in awhile. Being in control is what will allow me to achieve my health and personal goals.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still here, and alive

I am making it folks. Not much to say, so let me do a quick bulleted list.
  • I tried Zumba for the first time since my back injury. While it did not hurt my back, my muscles were achy and tight. My knees also hurt. I am needing more sleep (8 hrs. vs. 7). It is how I imagine it must feel to be old.
  • I have been taking a class called Body Flow at my gym fairly frequently. It is a mixture of yoga, pilates, and tai chi. I have tried to like yoga on literally 5+ attempts before -- different teachers, different approaches, etc. and I have always hated it. However, I now love it for some reason even though I am not good at it. All of the stretching has been helping my back, which is why I signed up for it in the first place. It is also helping my mental well-being which is fantastic.
  • I mentioned how I've been back and forth on WW lately -- signing up, but then not tracking or caring and just trying to get stuff in my mental space fixed and unclogged. While the headgames continue to be an issue, I have tracked everything this week and felt good about it. I'm still eating what I want (i.e., Monday I had 41.5 points and yesterday I had 46.5 points whereas my points allotment is 29), but it somehow is helping to write things down. Also, I have have had a ton of exercise points to cover most of my eating.
  • The antidepressants are helping a lot. I still have times when I randomly burst into tears for no reasons, but thankfully they are further apart and only one time has it been in public (yoga class - embarrassing). The counseling is helping a lot too. I need to stop being so hard on myself, but 31 years of doing this constantly means it is hard to change.
  • The scale is starting to dip downward. For several weeks I was not trying on the weight loss front and just trying to eat in a balanced way (i.e., eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, make sure to get protein at every meal, etc.). I stayed between 235-237, which was ok for me. This morning I was 234 point something for the first time in several weeks. It feels great to feel capable of handling most of life AND making progress at losing weight for the first time in such a long time (maybe about May or June).
  • Several people commented that I had lost weight over the summer. Although this is not really true, I guess I must have toned up a bit. I just smiled and said thanks. I'm getting better at accepting compliments and not going into the "yeah, but..." crap.
  • I booked the trip with my friends to Disney World. I am really excited to head there in mid-November. I will be so delighted to go there and not feel ashamed to see pictures of myself when they take them so that they can sell them to you (e.g. at Splash Mountain).
I guess I had more to say than I thought! It's not organized, but I just wanted to let you know I am alive and I am making strides toward living a healthier life. I am realizing that health is so multifaceted -- mental, food-consumption, and exercise are all areas in which I am focusing. Sometimes, I can only work on one or two of these at a time, but not all three. And I am actually really ok with it and am not willing to beat myself up over not being amazing at all three all the time. But for now I am handling 2.5/3 and I feel fabulous about that!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Riding it out

Last week I didn't track for Weight Watchers. This week so far I haven't either. In fact, my eating yesterday was atrocious -- very stressful day. Today was a bit better. Through the last two days of intense boringness and stress (the paradox of all day meetings), exercise has been my sanity. I can't believe it. I was sooo looking forward to my Body Flow (yoga, pilates, tai chi) class yesterday and water aerobics today.

I would really like to get my eating together again soon though. My friend and I are tentatively planning a trip to Disney World in October. I really hope we are able to make it work. I really need something to look forward to. I have been in day-to-day survival mode here for so long; this would be something I can look forward to with joy not anxiety or dread. I would love to see and catch up with my friend (and possibly meet another great friend who lives in the Orlando area for dinner or something), and I can think of no better place to do it than the happiest place on earth! (which we both love)

Although I don't believe in the "Lose x lbs. by y time frame" type goals anymore (reason: I realize I can only control my behaviors -- while the scale is likely to follow, there is no guarantee and sometimes it does weird things), I would love to lose another 10 lbs (or more) in the next two months. While this seems doable, there has to be something better -- more manageable and measurable -- that I aim for. Maybe tracking at least half the weeks (or more) or something like that? Suggestions, peanut gallery?

Lately, I have just been riding it out. Working to deal with the emotions and the sadness that seem to come in waves. I am starting to notice a difference with the Wellbutrin. I am feeling more like myself, although I still sometimes feel sad and in a daze. I am working to cope with this and deal with the intense and overwhelming sadness in ways other than with food. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes not. I don't beat myself up over it and am working to give myself latitude. While a part of me is sad/angry with myself that I am not losing, I am very proud that I am continuing to work out regularly and with vigor and am maintaining my weight. I will get back to WL when I am ready. I have been in this mental holding pattern before -- and it was 9 months and 25 lbs ago. I am confident that I can deal with my issues, get things mentally squared a way, and -- when the time is right, get back to pushing toward a lower weight. I have been at this place before -- a self imposed plateau to get things in my head squared away so that I was back and re-engaged in losing weight, not resenting it. I am confident I will get out of here again. A healthy life, though, is not something you take time off from. I will continue to eat a bunch of fruits and vegetables, workout, and see a counselor to improve my mental health. But I'm not going to lie, I would love to get all this squared away soon so I am soon excited about losing weight again and willing to do the work it will require.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Please be nice to my friend"

I was talking to a friend I hadn't talked to in a looooong time -- since she moved out of the country very early in the year. It was so nice to catch up. It was funny, since she reads my blog she knows a bit about what's going on (at least the food-related parts and more lately all of the depression crap I have been slogging through).

She said something when we talked around lunch that stuck with me all of yesterday. I couldn't stop thinking about it. She said after reading my blog for a few months, "You are so hard on yourself! When I read some of what you write I think 'Please be nice to my friend!' " Wow, is she right.

I need to fix this. I need to be kind and forgiving to myself, especially when I make mistakes. I need to take credit for what I have done. I tend to focus on how much of what's left I haven't done, and on how I have made mistakes even along the way of my journey so far. One of the books my psychologist gave me to read talks about this and says that the reasons mental thought patterns like this exist in our heads is because, at one time or another, they were working for us -- helping us. My friend even acknowledged that she is hard on herself, and that she would have never become as academically successful were she not hard on herself. The same is probably true of me as well.

...but there can be no doubt that this thought pattern -- at least in my personal life -- is harmful to me, and must stop. Just thought I would put it out there for myself, to document where I am, and for anyone else who might find this helpful and/or struggle with the same thing. Thank you to my friend for lovingly and supportively pointing this out - you know who you are :) I appreciate her being protective of me from afar -- protecting me from myself and from negative self-talk, and caring enough to bring this up.


Yesterday I went to the doctor to talk about meds. Lately, things here are somewhat better, but not always, and not to any sort of a level I would call "good". After mulling over the suggestion of my counselor to consider anti-depressive meds, I decided yesterday that this was a good idea.

First of all, my life and work are about to get a lot crazier. I would like to be able to handle all of the stress without crumbling up into a ball and crying all the time. Second of all, I hate feeling like everything -- seriously almost everything -- takes a monumental effort to start or do. Although this is getting easier, it's nowhere near easy. People who have been depressed before know what this feels like. It is absolutely miserable and debilitating.

So, I decided to visit the doctor. I have talked about my old doctor and how I despised him. A coworker recommended to me a new doctor, and I love her. My love for her grows each visit. She is polite and professional, but not really kind and warm. At first it was slightly offputting, but then I realized "Would you expect the same friendliness or warmth from a male doctor?", I realized I wouldn't necessarily, and then got over it. Now I really appreciate her well-reasoned, unemotional approach because I feel like I can trust her more -- she is not telling me what I want to hear or what she thinks will make me not feel bad, but what she believes (I realize anything else would be unethical or unprofessional, but my mind is weird how it works I guess).

When I went into to the office, I explained my situation -- that I had been seeing a counselor for about a month, that the psychologist had suggested that I consider meds, and that this was not my first journey through the barren wasteland of depression as I had successfully overcome depression just 18 months earlier with the help of a psychologist. I also explained my concerns -- that I didn't want to be dulled to the point that I could not feel anything (if that were true, I'd rather just feel sad because at least now I am occasionally happy; I'd prefer that to being a shell of a person with no feelings) and that I did not want to be on drugs forever. I also made it very clear that I was not coming to see her to get a prescription for something. I wanted to talk about the option. I am not opposed to taking these drugs, but I am also not wanting to jump on them for fun and I'm under no illusion that drugs will be a magic bullet that fix everything. Basically, I wanted to be sure that the next steps -- whether or not they included me taking drugs -- were well reasoned and likely to be the right ones.

The way my doctor handled this was amazing. She was very receptive to this approach. She asked me lots of questions, offered some funny but I think appropriate life advice, and had me fill out "tests"/surveys about anxiety and depression. The way the tests are scored, higher numbers mean more -- either more depressed or more anxious; scoring above 50 means you're at the clinical level (either clinically depressed or serious anxiety). On the anxiety test, I scored 46; on the depression test, I scored 61.

The ultimate recommendation was that I go on a medication. She wrote me a prescription for Wellbutrin which helps to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder, and helps people trying to quit smoking by reducing their cravings. I hope it helps. I need to be able to feel better and move on with living my life. If it helps me to better deal with cravings, even better.

Food lessons

I have not tracked anything this week, but deserve credit for not having any binges and for paying more attention to my hunger signal. I have also learned a lot of food-related lessons this week too. First of all, soup and salad will not fill me up unless there is a lot on the salad (i.e., lettuce and dressing - no go; something with beans and/or cheese and/or egg and/or avocado would be more substantial). I went out to lunch with people from lunch Monday and after the disasterous food escapades of Sunday decided to go with just salad and soup. No kidding, I was already hungry by the time I got back to work. All afternoon I was hungry hungry and no amount of anything from the vending machine was filling me up! Lesson learned - get something substantial for lunch to prevent a downward snacking spiral. Lesson #2 was that I really need to keep good snacks at the office. I have almonds but should keep apples there too. That way, when I get hungry I will have snacks that I know I like and are actually healthy for me rather than going to junk like Pop Tarts or Doritos from the vending machine.

I might also return to packing lunches. Although I love to go out to lunch with coworkers for the social benefit of it, I am hating more and more not knowing what is in my food. Were these veggies cooked in butter or oil? How much? etc... I need to mull this over some more. I would love to find a way to achieve a healthy balance on this.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Disappointment - aka an emotional vomit

Can I just say starting from about 7 PM last night, I want a do over? Because I do. Especially from today, around 9 AM.

First of all, Sunday is my new weigh-in day for WW. This was my first week back on the program an this morning I was down to 235.2, which is a 3.8 lb loss from last week. On the one hand, this is fabulous! GREAT news. On the other hand, I can't help but be a bit disappointed because yesterday I was down to 233 (2 lbs lower than what I weighed in today). I realize that it is completely illogical to be disappointed because this extra couple pounds is water weight, and also because losing 4 lbs in a week is fantastic! It all comes back to this root problem of being extra hard on myself which I always have been and, apparently, continue to be. I guess I will be in counseling forever.

This morning I went to church. It is my second time giving this church a go. I thought it was fine. I promised my counselor I would give it another go (the important thing not being going to this particular church or even going to church at all, but more just facing the fear of going). I did it. I even thought it was ok. After church, a couple people (Tara and Josh) I sat next to were friendly and chatty. I really appreciated that. I might even go so far as to say that I needed that -- as the new-to-this-church pastor gave his sermon, he said over and over things about how people 'out there' were lonely and feeling the need to belong to a family, and how important it was to be friendly, welcoming, and inviting. This could not have resonated with me more. I tried to hold back my tears (and did so mostly with success, but some did leak out from time to time), and was so genuinely appreciative that at least two of the people who attended the church listened to and acted upon the pastor's admonition to be friendly and make people feel welcome. I really, truly needed that. I left thinking, "You know, I kind of hate about 80% of church, and I absolutely understand why non-Christians think 90% of Christians are crazy...yet there are some underlying truths here that just keep drawing me back like a moth to a light even though I am terrified of putting myself out there and getting hurt again." (forgive the run-on sentence)

After church I came home and chatted with a friend online about a crazy conversation I had with a friend from grad school last night (hence wanting the d0-over to start at 7 PM last night). Fortunately, the friend reassured me that I am not in fact crazy, and that my point of view is logical and not just emotional or ill-reasoned. I felt validated.

I had an unshakeable craving for deep-dish Chicago pizza this afternoon. I decided to go get some. Now this is not at all WW points friendly. Especially if you get it with sausage. I decided I was going to do it anyway. I ended up eating half of a 12" pizza. I could have done more, but decided that not only did I not need to, but that I would regret it if I did. I wanted to take the other half home, but I ended up leaving it at pizza parlor because I cannot see a good way to enjoy this in moderation, save it for later (later being 1-2 months when I treat myself to this again, not tomorrow for lunch), or fit it into my current eating plan. Some googling online indicates that a slice of Chicago style pizza has about 500-600 calories. I ate four pieces; nice work, champ. The truth is I could have finished that thing though, so I do deserve some credit for not doing that.

I decided to go to the gym afterwards. I had not been since Thursday (though I did go biking and do an abs video yesterday), so I wanted to do some cardio and weight lifting today. After 18 minutes on the elliptical I said "You know what? This just is not going to happen today." I felt this unmistakeable despair and just these doldrums of life. Almost like I couldn't go on.

On the way home I was reflecting. Why did I feel so down? Why did "this" -- the overdoing the pizza, the quitting at the gym -- happen? I began to piece things together.

I think it is because I am afraid. I am really afraid of getting involved in a church. I am afraid of putting myself out there to once again either feel like I need to change who I fundamentally am to belong, or to feel like there is no place for me. It's as though I'd rather be lonely or sit on the sidelines than to try once again to get involved and have my feelings smashed.

I have felt over and over again disappointment with churches and with Christians. Why do I still go to church (very intermittently, and with incredible fear)? Why are people who are supposed to care and exhibit the love of Christ so very often vapid and superficial and one-dimensional? Especially when they so often categorically reject my brother, who is one of the people I hold nearest to my heart for something I feel he has no control over (being gay)? And if I am over it, why do I care one way or the other, or even try to go at all? I have no idea. And why are people who are supposed to be friendly and welcoming so often cliquey, judgmental and just, frankly, so often boring? And so, on the way home, I bought a pint of ice cream (which honestly did not even taste that good) and the jar of Nutella I've been pining over for a month.

In 30 years of living and 25 years of church going, I would have considered myself a part of a reasonably well-functioning, healthy church experience once for about 2-3 years in grad school. Every time else I have either felt miserably uncomfortable, completely used, or have had my trust grossly violated. Predictably, I am not so excited about getting involved again. Especially with about a 10% success rate. Instead of feeling all this stuff -- this fear, this anxiety, this mistrust -- and dealing with it, I decided just to stuff it down and quiet it with food. Predictably, it tasted great but left me completely unfulfilled.

Now I am disappointed with myself. The only reason I joined Weight Watchers again (well besides the obvious that I wanted to lose weight, and that I know it will work) is that I thought I was mentally in a place where I was stable enough to get over these speed-bumps of life. Tonight I question that.

The general truism that "Losing weight is simple - you have to move more and eat less/better" is true, but it is far too simplified. I have to deal with whatever is going on in my head to have any hope of being able to make it through life without food as a crutch, or friend, or support. And that is where I am. And it really ain't pretty right now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thanks and update

Thank you for the feedback on the last post. I swear it was not a cry for attention or a manipulation to get you all to tell me nice things; nonetheless, I appreciate your kind words!! And Maile's comment meant so very much to me. I need to e-mail and tell her that. I just bought her book from Amazon, it arrived today, and I really can't wait to read it.

Anyway I want to let you know that life here is changing in some very unexpected ways. Sunday was a very hard day for me -- I went to the movies just to get out of the house, and I found myself crying more than I'd like to. If I had to describe it in a few words, the feeling would be "crushing loneliness." I made some important and big decisions as a result. Although the path forward is not clear, I at least am trudging forward on it and am certain that one way or another, things will change. (Sorry for the vagueness - one of the times I wish I either had more anonymity, or that certain people who I know read this blog didn't)

Some of this change is coming in a very timely and unexpected ways, and is teaching me about myself. Tuesday I was at water aerobics. I found myself talking with Gina, someone who has gone to water aerobics forever but who I don't see and talk to much since I started to work out mostly in other ways. At the end of the class, we were stretching and I was asking her about her favorite fruit and veggie stand because I had a huge craving for BLTs and I just couldn't shake it. To have a really good BLT, however, I think the T part is huge -- an anemic tomato from Walmart just won't cut it (plus, I love tomatoes in general it's not unheard of for me to go through about 3 lbs of cherry tomatoes a week). Next to Gina a stranger said "This is weird, but I have some tomatoes in my car that a coworker gave me. Do you want one?"

After the usual "Are you sure?"'s that ensued, I was delighted to take her up on her offer. On the way to the car, we were making small talk. When she learned how long I had been here and what I did, she asked me how I was liking things in Arkansas. Instead of just emphasizing the positives (as I usually do, especially with strangers I don't know too well or at all), I was honest with her. I told her how I really liked the area (which is the absolute truth, even though it has been averaging about 100 this week with heat indices reaching as high as 115), but how I had had a tough time finding a group of friends. She was not only sympathetic, but had solid suggestions on how to meet people, invited me to lunch the next day, and introduced me to someone who -- among other things -- is part of a very cool-sounding book club! WOW! In addition, I ran into someone at work who I hadn't seen for awhile who I like but had not really hung out with much outside of work. Instead of flashing my smile and telling her things were going fine, I was honest with her and told her a bit about how much my summer has sucked. She said she would invite me to one of her potlucks that she and her friends regularly have. WOW!

I am always afraid of coming across needy or broken. As a result, I try to put on a strong face and hold my head high in public, even when times are tough. Apparently, this can be pretty convincing. While I hate whiny sad sacks and hope never to become a huge needy mess, I think I need to be a bit more vulnerable and hold a little less inside. This honesty thing and letting people know when you are broken and need help may have some merit. The two solid connections I made this week to meeting more people and perhaps finding some friends here is evidence. I feel more hope on this front than I have had here in a long time -- maybe ever.

Lately much of this blog has taken a decidedly non-WL turn. Although many of the issues I am dealing with are not related directly to WL, they are all paradoxically so very related to it. Food has been my friend in the past. Food has helped to numb loneliness and pain. Binging and gorging yourself is so much easier than actually facing up to the feelings and stress and anxiety. I think it is no coincidence that my gaining the 60 lbs. I lost the first time back coincided with losing my grandma, traveling manically around the country trying to find a job, finishing my dissertation, moving somewhere where I knew no one, and ... continuing to know not that many people and having no really close friends in a new place.

Facing the pain, dealing with it, and finding ways to overcome it and let myself heal is where I am right now. I absolutely need to overcome this and not let this derail my decisions to become (and remain) a healthier me.

I decided to rejoin WW. I have such convoluted feelings for WW. On the one hand there are the positives: most notably, that if you follow the plan it absolutely works and you will lose weight. It helped me learn portion control. It helps me to be accountable for my decisions. It lets me plan for and enjoy occasional treats. Lots and lots of pros. The negatives are largely a function of my own neuroses (becoming obsessive, thinking about it all the time), but I am willing to give WW another shot to push on to becoming healthier. If I become too obsessed, I will stop.

That's life in Casa de Sarah. Long update. Lots of hard work going on here -- most of it mental and emotional -- but I am really determined to overcome my addiction to food and my depression, and to live a fulfilling life in every sense of the word.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


What is inspiration, what does it mean to be inspired?

Miriam Webster provides plenty of definitions, but the most relevant here are
in·spired - \in-ˈspī(-ə)r\ - transitive verb

1 a : to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration

c : to spur on: impel, motivate

I don't know what to say about this. I think this word is cheap, and bandied about too freely. A blogger whose blog I read -- and that I usually like -- is particularly liberal (in my opinion) of reminding us what an inspiration he/she is, and how he/she motivates him/herself. I don't feel like this. I am sure this person is a normal person like we are. Yes this person has lost an inordinate amount of weight -- like many of us have done and/or are trying to do -- but let's put this in perspective. We're just attempting to right the wrongs we have done to our body. We're not overcoming adversity that any of us have not caused ourselves. We're not talking world peace here, just losing weight. And while that is great, and healthy, and wonderful, I don't consider the vast majority of weight loss stories "inspiring". Sorry, Valerie Bertinelli.

Included in these weight loss stories is my own. I am just a regular person, living a pretty regular life. I feel (usually) normal. I don't feel special (no more special than anyone else, really). I don't think I exude anything particularly inspiring. I am proud that I have lost 60 lbs. But I don't think that that qualifies me as someone who is inspiring.

I think it is funny how we see ourselves. I'm not necessarily talking about the you you face in the morning, before you put on your makeup, or shower, or do your hair -- the physical appearance. I am talking about who you fundamentally think you are -- your values, your beliefs, your habits, your self esteem. I consider myself normal, not inspiring.

My mom sent me my birthday present, and I got it today. It is a book with all of the archives of my blog painstakingly organized (something I absolutely am not) and nicely printed to read. Her explanation of the gift said,

"Thought it would be neat to have on a shelf somewhere to pull down and look through when you want to be inspired by YOU."

While the gift itself was thoughtful and meaningful and well-done, what really means the most to me is that she thinks I am capable of being an inspiration, and that she is proud of what I have done so far on this journey to get healthy and, more fundamentally, change who I am and how I see myself. She is like me in that she thinks that words like "hero" and "inspiration" are often bandied about too freely, and often abused -- so for her to think that I am capable of inspiring someone is really meaningful.

Incidentally, I had a counseling session yesterday. The details are not important, but it was very draining (yet insightful) as most of them are. I left feeling like crap, but knowing that I had more puzzle pieces that I needed to fit into figuring out the path forward. A blogger whose blog I read posted a link to a non-WL blog that I think is truly inspiring. Maile lost her husband and son, and yet she soldiers on. If she can go to work and make it through, I can too. And I will. And I will really draw inspiration from her. 99.99999% of us will not have to deal with anything nearly as painful as she has, and she is making it with candor and humor and grace. She inspires me. Reading her story will make you realize that your life -- truly -- is not that bad.

Clicky Web Analytics