Emotional Eating With Ben and Jerry

eat it!

Image by Darwin Bell via Flickr

After a very small dinner tonight I ate Ben and Jerry’s half-baked ice cream, with whipped cream. After that I had one purple bunny peep, cheddar Sun chips, a piece of raisin bread and I’m still on the hunt. If  the stores would be open now I would grab my license and run out the door to search for the new M & M’s with coconut that I saw in the stores a week and a half ago. That was my mistake. I should have bought them then, eaten them and have gotten them out of my system. Instead, during a time of stress and emotional eating, I’m raiding the fridge and searching in the cupboards.

When it’s this kind of emotional hunger, I don’t get full. I eat and eat and look for comfort and in the act of eating mindlessly, I, for a few moments push my stress and anxiety and worries away. But, it doesn’t last. I’m full but I’m not; I’m sure there is another victim out there that I can kidnap. If I had jelly belliesI would be happy. That is what I want to eat now, one after the other, slowly, not biting them completely because I do not want to disturb my TMJ, that nasty, sharp-pained nuisance. I’m not supposed to eat the Jelly Bellies but I truly don’t care, I want them anyway preferably now.

I’m not hungry, I tell myself, and physically that’s perfectly true. I am hungry emotionally having had  two days of pure, unadulterated anxiety and sadness and heartbreak and stress, illness and loved ones and more stress.  I hold my hand over my bulging stomach and know I shouldn’t eat more and know that I will. The only decision is what to eat and when to stop.

After searching my son’s room, with his help, he only had empty Starbursts wrappers. No good. His girlfriend offered to do a “jelly belly run” for me which further endeared her to my heart. After tearing the kitchen apart I found a great substitute, cut up pineapple chunks: fruity, juicy, chewy, not jelly beans but the same idea. I ate those thinking I was in the clear. Until I found the Yodels……

I’m not ashamed to write this, this is no hidden blog post, this is for people like me, that once in a while binge eat, grin, and regret it the next day. No matter what a Psychologist would say, I think it’s okay as long as I go back to eating healthfully tomorrow. So there. Yes gain, no shame.

Eat that Weight Watchers.

The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

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Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane

My Favorite Way to Start the Day

coffee filter

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Once I wake up (and luckily not to a jarring alarm clock) I get out of bed, gingerly, checking out my various aches and pains and I hear my dog’s thumping tail so I go to greet her. Before I even start my ritual of a very strong cup of coffee, I sit on the green couch, and she pulls herself into my lap and I hug and kiss her. I know the exact way she likes to be stroked, she shows me where and when, she nuzzles against me. I let her out, feed her, rinse out her slimy blue water bowl and refill with fresh, cold water. It’s only after that, which is true love, that I put water in the tea kettle, put a #4 Melitta filter in my old, cracked plastic, brown coffee cone and use three heavy-handed scoops of strong, espresso coffee mixed with a dark roast. A large serving of fat- free half and half, one or two Truvia, (or Purevia) depending on the strength and wait anxiously for the tea kettle to screech. I like to have my coffee alone so I can gather my thoughts and plan for the day. I listen to the cardinals tweet outside at my bird feeder and watch the yellow finches eat breakfast. There is no better way to start my day.

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My Fellow Epiglottitis Peeps- A Follow Up

throat diagram

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When I first had my two bouts with Epiglottitis (OUCH)  no one had ever  heard of it. Even my ENT said and I quote: “how the hell did you get that?”  If I could have spoken in spite of the pain I may have said ” How do I know? You’re the doctor.” But speaking, swallowing, breathing was pure torture and being in such intense pain makes you less than quick with a comeback. When I first posted “Calling Epiglottitis A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement” I wrote it for myself. Why did I have to get this pain? But, if it’s something unusual, it softly calls my name.

When I had Epiglottitis I told people it was the worst pain I had ever had, that childbirth was a cinch in comparison. When my two awful experiences had finally passed I asked every Dr. and medical person, if I could SOMEHOW prevent this from happening again. The answer was an unequivical “NO.” I scheduled an appointment with my internist just to discuss this and begged, pleaded and cried for the vaccine that is given to children. Another “NO.”  She said it was for infants only. That seemed drastically unfair. After all, if those babies could have it why couldn’t iI have it? Give me 100 times the dose if you want, anything not to have to go through horrific, burning, stabbing, knife-in-the-back-of-the-throat pain again.

How does one get it? What is it? Apparently, it’s a virus. I know, when there is something doctors don’t know for sure they call it a virus but apparently this is one and a nasty one at that. It could be related to the Herpes Simplex virus, I was told, but maybe not…..It is frustrating and painful and so far this year (fingers crossed) I didn’t get it but I do live in constant fear of getting it again. No joke.

Did anyone get it this year? I  hope you didn’t or if you did that it was a mild case (oh, who am I kidding there is no such thing as a mild case, it’s outright torture.) My ENT treated it with Prednisone, Valtrex and some special rinse, (and maybe something else, not sure) it helped…..after what seemed like an eternity.  It will not go away on its own, beg for pain medication.

For those of you who wrote back to me with your comments, thanks. We helped each other. Never before had I heard of this bolt of lightning in the back-end of the throat, and hearing from you made me feel better, validated. Unbelievably, my blog post “Calling Epiglottis A Bitch Is A Mild Understatement” gets so many hits on my blog consistently. As you know, I blog about everything: food, Fibromyalgia, feelings, fun, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Chronic Pain,TV, music, food, children, parents, grief, love and loathing. I blog when I am happy or sad, about funny things, family (they are not too happy when I write about them) my dog and dessert. But, this post about Epiglottitis constantly and consistently gets hits and I’m wondering why. Do more people have it now? Did it become an epidemic? I thought I was the only one in the world that had it, (clearing my throat) twice.

Here’s to you, my Epiglottitis Peeps, If anyone has any updates or insights, let me know. Or if you have had it recently, I am here to commiserate. I wish I could offer you a magic cure, I wish I could offer myself a magic cure  but none exist. I’m here, though, to share your pain. Believe me, I understand it completely!

p.s. One important tip: if you have had this once, and feel a bad sore throat coming on, go directly to an ENT and not an Internist. My ENT gave me that advice, don’t wait around a week, like I did, waiting for it to get better. Get it scoped, diagnosed and treated before it gets any worse.

Stuff I Collect

A selection of seashells, hand-picked from the...

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I don’t collect things like coins or stamps or Mickey Mouse dolls, though I did have a brief flirtation with both foxes and cows and an occasional stuffed animal. Now, the only thing I collect (and I won’t say memories because that is way too sappy) are seashells. I’ve always loved seashells, the beach and the ocean since I was a child. I remember going to the beach, Jones Beach, very early on Sunday mornings, with my friend Micky (now Michal) and her father, Teddy and my parents and sister, Edna (now Emma). They would come over and bring kaiser rolls, you know the ones that have the tiny speckled blue-black seeds on top. I would look at Teddy’s cut roll which was always piled high, with at least an inch of butter on it, if not more. That image has always stuck in my mind. Also, we ate soft-boiled eggs those magical Sundays and while I was brought up, by my European parents, to slice the “head” of the egg with a knife, Teddy always tapped his egg on top with a tiny silver spoon. I remember that image and his face as if it had happened yesterday.

I’ve always loved the beach and the water and it I started way back then, when I was not more than 5 or 6 to walk on the sand and pick up shells. I still have shells from wherever I go, just a few. My most recent shells are from this past trip to Barcelona and the Coast with my husband. I will put them together in a tiny, special, delicate dish and those shells from Spain will remind me of the soothing sun, the glittering green water, my wonderful husband and our amazing vacation.

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Saying Good-Bye To Oprah

Signature of American television personality, ...

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I loved the peachy-pink dress you wore on the last show, Oprah. I didn’t think this last show would be your own last lecture, a love letter, a synopsis from you to your adoring fans but in retrospect, it was what you were all about. Teaching. I admit I wanted to be able to cry, with you, for you and for me and the rest of the world but you saved that, and rightly so, for the last ten minutes.  Your walk from the stage out was like watching a play, with emotion, but not with regret. How wonderful to be you.

I imagined I would get to see an emotional Oprah, one that showed your vulnerability, any slight doubt you had, any separation anxiety. But, I, was the one with the separation anxiety and loss, not you. I was the one who needed an emotional good-bye, you didn’t. Truly amazing. For the last twenty-five years I have grown up with The Oprah Winfrey Show. Today, even though I tape the shows I had to see it live.  “I have to watch Oprah from 4-5pm today” I told my children. They understood and at 16 and 18, they have their own favorite shows, their loyal friends, their own lessons to learn, their own truth to find. We will have to teach them what we learned from you.

Oprah, you have been a friend to me and to people all around the world. “Your life is speaking to you, what is it saying…?” For me, it is saying that I will miss you, that I have learned so much from you, that 4-5pm will feel empty without you. You told us that “when it was the right time to leave, there was no regret, not bittersweet, just sweet.”  I know I couldn’t be like that. Sometimes, I second guess myself but I know how to listen to my gut, to my feelings, to search inside my soul. I always knew that but you validated my feelings; you cheered me on as a woman and especially as a parent, as a stay at home mother.

Oprah is a teacher, an educator, a spiritual and religious woman, that was very clear today.  You were on our own, to thank us, the audience, for making you feel special and loved and validated.  “We too can find our own passion, in whatever way we choose. We can help people, be kind to one another and stave off bad karma by putting forward only good karma.” Yes, we have heard it before but it was good to hear it one last time. To remind us all of what is important, to be kind and give to others.

We will spread the love, we will spread the joy and the passion. You were the love of our lives too, Oprah, as we were yours. After 25 years, I have to say good-bye to a friend who has been on television all of my adult life. I grew up with you and I have learned a lot of lessons from you. I feel sorry for this new generation because they will not have you in their lives to teach them. We will just have to pass down what we have learned from you; as you see, you will be in our hearts forever.

I will say good-bye, because I have to. Thank you for all that you have done for this world. I will truly miss you.

On Acquired Tastes

It Was Their Fault……

salmon

I cannot eat salmon and I blame this on my Junior High School's best friend's mother. That's right Susie K. I'm talking about YOU. I went to your country house with by BFF, Linda, and you served me salmon mousse. I was all of 14 years old and when I told you I didn't eat salmon, you told me it was tuna!!! You made me eat it and ever since then I cannot eat anything slightly related to salmon.The smell of salmon in any form makes me gag. Believe me, I have tried to taste it in various forms because it is so healthy that I want to like it but I just can't. Never, Nada, Not A Chance.

My mom once forced me to eat lamb chops and I didn't want to. Like a good, European child, I had to eat it and so I did. Five minutes later I went to the bathroom and threw up. I can't eat lamb either except if it is in the form of a gyro all mushed up with spices and then I pretend it is chicken.

There are things that happen that you really can't change and some you can try to change. While on vacation in Spain, I tried an olive. I've always hated olives but I ate this one, tentatively and slowly. I think I liked it. I also think that I liked it because i was overlooking the sea, sitting in the sun and the olive just seemed to fit. I would try olives again, and maybe I will learn to like them. Salmon and lamb? Not a chance. I never forced my kids to eat anything that they didn't want. True,, they don't eat everything but I would never even THINK about forcing my children to eat something. I encouraged, yes, absolutely, but I never forced, and I never will.

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There's Only One Barbra

WHAT MUSICIAN/BAND WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN A LIVE CONCERT?

I don’t think of her as a musician, I think of her as an amazing artist. There’s no one else like her, her voice, her range, her beauty. I regret that I did not see her live when she was playing near the date of my 50th birthday. Major mistake. Epic fail. It was too expensive….nothing is too expensive if it is a lifetime dream. I wish I had been more adamant, I wish my husband had listened, I wish we had gone to the concert, spent an excessive amount of money and gone out to a lavish dinner. It would have been worth all the money to be able to reflect back and remember that memory years and years later.

BARBRA STREISAND

1) Barbra Streisand

2) ” ”

3) ” ”

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When Paying Top Dollar Pays Off

Vanilla Slice - Just Fine Food

Image by avlxyz via Flickr

Not Into Shoes, Clothes, Jewelery, Make-Up……

Oh, everyone knows what I am going to say…..GREAT FOOD. It’s only for a celebration, no one (that I know) can enjoy this every day but a couple of times a year? Absolutely!!! I don’t care about shoes, clothes (much to my 16-year-old daughter’s dismay) jewelry or “things.” My only luxury is buying a book but recently I have just been taking things out of the library. My top dollar is probably very different from rich people but it doesn’t matter. Whatever you can afford, a great meal is worth it, but for me, only if you share it with someone you love.

p.s. Dessert options MUST be heavenly.

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Nope, I Still Haven't Seen It

Cover of "Last Tango in Paris"

Cover of Last Tango in Paris

My husband and I just talked about a movie that was a classic and neither of us have ever seen it. It’s called “Last Tango In Paris.” I don’t plan to see it “for myself (?)? but we do plan on seeing it together sometime. It’s so expensive to go to the movies that we haven’t been to one in a long time. However, we do have Netflix and have found that really helpful. It’s nice to watch a movie in our home where we can pause to get a snack and not miss anything or just take a break if the movie is too long. This is a movie I haven’t seen, it’s even nicer that my husband hasn’t seen it either. It will be our movie date.

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