Monday, June 29, 2009

Post-Florida thoughts

I'm now back from my trip, glad to be back in my own bed, and see my wonderful dogs again.

Here are some thoughts:

I do get overwhelmed at a large crowd, even if they are supposed to be family members. I find I can put on the happy face, feeling like I know these people, but really I do not.

I get uncomfortable in situations of a constant flow of alcohol. Every night, there was basically a "happy hour" which isn't my thing since I am not a big drinker other than liking some
fru-fru drinks like daiquiris, fuzzy navels, etc.

I get bored with unstructured activities.

I am not really that much of a beach person, especially when it is atrociously hot and humid. When I was younger, I really did love the beach. However, I did notice I could withstand the temperatures better than other people.

GPS devices make me feel more confident about driving. If some of you remember, I suffer from a bit of

I'm still wondering what kind of relationship my step-sister wants with me if any. That was a little bit of a letdown as I had hoped for some "bonding" experience. It's understandable since her cousins and relatives were there, and she was afraid of missing out anything.

I'm wondering if weight and body image issues will ever cease. I think it is wishful thinking at this point.

My sleeping habits do not change much when I am away.

Fresh seafood is much better than frozen.

Whoever thinks that having an AC on 62 or 68 degrees is really warm is absolutely nuts. Yes, the condo was at these temperatures which pretty much meant I was in jeans, sweatshirts, and blankets the entire time I was in the condo.

My highlight of the trip was honestly visiting with
Cammy and G.

Jackson's death can shed light on society's problems

I think someone would have to be living in a cave if you had not heard about the recent death of Michael Jackson. I did not hear about the news until late in the evening as I was driving back to Pensacola after meeting Cammy. Btw, Cammy is just as brilliant in person as she comes across in her blog. :-)

Although Jackson's death was an utter shock to me, I really wasn't sure how to react. This
piece in the Washington Post says it well. I was never a follower of Jackson, finding him a bit odd, but I did appreciate his music and talent. Reading the history of Jackson now places the pieces together of his actions and behaviors (though I do not excuse his own share of responsibility for his actions nor think he always made the best judgment), and in some ways angers me too.

I know
bloggers, news outlets, and the world in general are discussing Jackson's death ad nauseam, but to me Jackson's death isn't just about a Hollywood megastar who rose to the pinnacle of stardom and fell to the bottom. It's about the issues of society. Although various theories have been thrown around as to the popstar's cause of death, everything is in a speculative stage. One big speculation is prescription drug abuse. Though preliminary autopsy reports have shown no external, visible cause of death, the toxicology results have not come in yet. Some have said that he was taking a cocktail of 8 different medications, including painkillers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, a muscle relaxer, and an antibiotic. These have not been verified, so it will be interesting to see what if anything shows up.

If this is the case, one would wonder what on earth kind of doctor would even prescribe so many potent medications. The truth is probably more than we think, and especially in Hollywood where the number is likely disproportionately high. Even without doctors, people find ways of obtaining prescription drugs. These people can easily become enablers if the habit continues. This could well be the case for Jackson if this prescription drug scenario plays out in toxicology reports.

Another speculation is Jackson's physical health. Headlines ask if he had an
eating disorder or if rigorous exercise and stress played a role in his untimely death. There is no doubt that Jackson was on the thin side, especially the last few years, dealing with the child molestation charges. In this article, Jackson said he knew he was thin and needed to put on weight, especially if he wanted to do the 50 shows he was slated to do in London this July. If this is the case, it sheds more light onto males with eating disorders, an increasing trend lately.

Other issues that I think his unfortunate death bring up are child abuse and its repercussions and the plague of Tinseltown.
Studies have recently shown that those who suffer from child abuse have an alteration in a specific gene responsible for stress responses in the brain. It is known that Jackson and his brothers suffered from child abuse for many years by their father. I often wonder if Jackson ever received any treatment at all for this, and if that might have helped him assuage some of his eccentric behaviors, paranoias, and fears. According to Lisa Marie Presley, she wrote in her blog here how she tried to "save" him from what Jackson considered his inevitable death, dying similarly as her fathe Elvis did.

Lastly, Hollywood. Most of us know of its perils. Everything from underage partying to abuse to eating disorders to plastic surgery to enablers and money-grubbing people. (Reminds me quite a bit of the modeling industry as well) Many of the stars living there may look glamorous outwardly, but inwardly, they are sad, lonely people, desperately seeking approval in some form or another. This fit Michael Jackson well. And really, whether it is Hollywood or not, everyday, we see people like this. It's just that with Hollywood stars, it places a known face to the predicament we all struggle with.

As with any high profile case like this, it will take awhile before a conclusive answer is determined if any. In the meantime, I hope these issues are addressed more as a general society. These issues are all growing problems everywhere, not just in a small spectrum of Hollywood.

I hope Michael rests in peace, free of his demons. He was an icon with a tremendous amount of talent. I hope he will be remembered for this and not the "wacko
jacko" persona which tabloids loved to exploit. As with so many things, it's sad that it is in death, we realize the impact an individual can have, whether it is simply family or an industry.

Note--*In other sad news, Farrah Fawcett passed away. Though hers was expected, it is still sad. I hope she is remembered as an "actress," and not just a pin-up girl of the 70s with great hair.
*Billy Mays, the sales pitch guy for any product, also died yesterday. His death is not yet determined.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hello from sunny Pensacola!

I just wanted to write a quick note from here. It's going okay so far. My schedule has changed slightly, so I'm actually coming back a day earlier than planned.

It's been an interesting few days. Monday night, I met the "family" on my mother's husband's side. There are quite a few of them here. I counted something like 35 adults and kids. Just trying to remember who they all are, what kids belong to whom, etc. is a lot. It is a bit overwhelming since I'm not an incredibly social person. But I'm trying to be "social" out of my comfort environment, including food events.

One thing for sure is that when I get home, 80-degree weather is going to feel like a cool wave since the temps here have been mid-90s-over 100s degrees. A definite new respect for people who live in this type of weather often. I'm surprised to even have seen as many runners and bicyclists on the road that I have.

Anyway. just wanted to do a quick post. Hope everyone is having a good week.

Monday, June 22, 2009

If Hollywood existed in just a pair of sunglasses

Well, procrastinator me has gotten most of the stuff done for my trip on Monday. Just have to pack and tie up loose ends. I finished all the dogs' stuff which is a boat load of belongings with four dogs--food, supplements, separate beds, treats, and toys. Seriously, it's like they are moving in. I'm going to have to take them two by two since my car will not fit all four, however, I'm apparently getting a bigger car very soon that will be able to hold all four on trips. Yeah!

So anyway, I'll have my computer with me. Hopefully, I can find an easy wireless connection and can do a few posts. But if not, I'll be back in a week. And if you follow me on twitter, I'll be twittering away when I can.

Since it is officially now summer, I wanted to leave everyone with some fun photos. I took these a few days ago with an old pair of
doggie sunglasses I had kept.

Even though we can't bring Hollywood to the dogs (or even to us, not that we would necessarily want to anyway), the dogs can pretend they are all Hollywood-
esque and stars! Of course, they are already stars in my book anyhow!

Daphne is feeling the groove in these shades.

Tovah is chillin' here. The crooked shades add some character.

I think Hank is pretending to be Stevie Wonder. Now, he just needs to add the head circling.

Baxter knows he can get all the ladies with these sunglasses. He even provides a close-up.

Baxter says it is tiring being a star.

Note--*Dogs are never tortured during any of these photo sessions, though they can appear that way at times.
*I apologize for being so negligent on blog reading/commenting/posting. Hopefully, I'll keep up better when I get back and have some more interesting posts.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The medallion

As I mentioned a few posts ago in the representation and power of objects, this is the medallion, a beautiful silver dollar. It seems generic, but as with anything, it all depends on the meaning. For now, I'm keeping it closed, put away until I can think about it some more. It's kind of sad how I place too much emphasis on this one object--a piece of metal.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday Hank!

Happy Belated Birthday Hank! His birthday was actually on Monday, though for whatever reason, I kept thinking Tuesday. In any case, better late than never.

Sometimes, I think Hank gets neglected on this blog, so I want to make sure he has his moment to shine. I wrote about his story last year
He is still my "ball" dog. He's always up for a game of fetch, although Tovah gives him a run for his money. Hank is also my "bone" teaching dog, letting puppies know they have not earned any puppy passes, so that bone is his.

all my dogs, Hank would sum up his life as eat, sleep, chew bone, play fetch. The older he gets, the more I appreciate what a simple life he has and lives. It aspires me to one day reach that type of simplicity minus the bone chewing and fetching. ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Once again, procrastination taking its toll

I leave for my trip next Monday, but once again, I'm in procrastination mode. Despite having gotten a lot done yesterday, I still have a ton more to do. I write an exuberant amount of lists, telling myself I'm going to get this, this, and this done, but when push comes to shove, I sit and read articles online, always afraid of missing the latest, current breakthrough, play mah jong on my blackberry, play farmtown on facebook (yes, it's the one application I'm addicted to on there), and continuously worry and make up scenarios in my head of what will happen next week, etc.

Basically, I'm doing everything BUT the things I really need to get done. I seem to continue to think that I must have all my laundry done, the house clean, my dogs' nails dremeled, and my yards (there are three large areas) nice and neatly trimmed (kind of hard with the consistent pouring of rain we've had lately). Really, most of these are things that can be put off for the moment, but my mind seems to feel these mundane tasks MUST be done.

It seems my procrastination voice is similar to my ED voice in that when I'm not getting the things that I know I
should get done, I berate myself for not getting them done. It's such a vicious, petty cycle.

Other factors that may be playing into my worries include:

Baxter's diarrhea since last Wed. It is getting better, but I worry it will come back next week. I debate on whether to actually go to the vet since I really don't think it really justifies a vet visit, just some "in case" medication.

My mother's un-helpfulness. I keep asking her if events are planned. She just says not really and that everyone does their own thing except at night when people get together. Obviously, I feel I need "structure." That, and I've been trying to figure out plans of getting together with people. I had forgotten I actually do know a lot of people in Florida. They're unfortunately, on the other side of the state, so it is doubtful I'll get to visit.

Major body woes. I think over the last month or so, I've gotten extremely fatter. I know, it's just my distorted thinking, but it's how I'm feeling at the moment. This just causes huge anxiety not only with my body but over food as well. Other times, when I'm feeling "okay," this is not as bothersome.

And lastly, I'm trying to figure out just where I have gotten all these mysterious bites. It seems I'll be taking my jar of bag balm with me. (Just a note, I've found
bag balm incredibly effective for anti-itching. Slightly greasy but worth it in my opinion)

Okay, end of vent.

Note--*By the way, procrastination is not new to me. I've written about it here and here. I guess I'm at least consistent. :-/

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The representation and power of objects

I called my mother the other day to go over last minute details of our upcoming trip. Specifically, I wanted to know if we were going to go grocery shopping there, so I could determine whether I needed to bring certain "Tiptoe" food or not. She said that we would be and not to worry about it. Half of me was glad, the other half not.

Just as I was about to hang up the phone, another conversation started:

Mom: Oh, I found that medallion.
Me (very surprised): Really, where was it?
Mom: It was in the jewelry box. Not the ballerina one, but another one. You are right--it is beautiful and quite heavy. There is no hole in it, but there is a chain with it.

I thanked my mom for finding it and then hung up the phone. As I sat in my car, I had a sudden surge of emotions that filed through every part of my body. It didn't make sense to me why I felt this way since I had originally asked my mom to look for this specific medallion.

I know it may not make sense to those of you reading this, but this medallion has a lot of history. It represents a time I wish to forget, a time of hurt, confusion, pain, and shame. I told my therapist C. about this medallion awhile back and said if I found it, I would burn it. I got this idea from a friend in college who I knew wound up burning all her love letters from her ex-boyfriend who did not treat her well. She told me it was a very cathartic experience for her. I began to think that maybe I could feel that way too if burned this piece of metal.

Now, however, I don't know. I don't know whether I am gutsy enough to burn such a beautiful thing despite the fact it represents not only an awful time in my life but a very twisted individual. I've thought about other things to do with it--pawn it, send it to
postsecret (might be too heavy for a postcard though), or maybe give it to goodwill. None of these feel "right," but at the same time I don't know what is the right or wrong thing to do.

By keeping it, it's similar to holding onto a pair of skinny jeans. Those skinny jeans torture and taunt us. They remind us of how we once were, things we once did to wear them, to belong in them. In the end, it's just a purposeless piece of fabric sitting in our closet. But at the same time, it's hard to let go of something with such a powerful meaning.
Note--*Hopefully, in the next week or two, I'll take a photo, post it here, and be able to elaborate further into how/what I'm feeling. If anyone has been in a similar situations or have words of insight/advice for me, I welcome them.

Friday, June 12, 2009


After I watched Intervention on Monday, I watched the following show, Obsessed, a new docuseries from the creators of Intervention. From the website:

A&E's true-life docuseries Obsessed examines the lives of everyday people imprisoned by unmanageable, repetitive behaviors and sometimes debilitating fear. Whether it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Hoarding or a variety of phobias, the unscripted series gives viewers a chance to see first-hand how an obsession can radically affect a person's life. By using cognitive behavioral therapy, each subject is taught how to understand the thought process which contributes to his or her symptoms and is coached on how to change these thought patterns, manage their anxiety and avoid the resulting debilitating compulsions. The show explores the stories of sufferers as well as the adverse effects their disorders have on their friends and family.

I normally don't quote as much as I did there, but I thought this show really captured all these elements so nicely, at least in this episode I watched. I'll try to give a brief synopsis of the two characters. (Brevity is not my forte)

Case 1:
Nidia is in her late 20s, has been married for eight years, and suffers from OCD, manifesting in the form of excessive hand washing and showering due to fears of germs, "cleanliness," and fecal matter. She rarely goes out of her house, avoids foods with fiber, like vegetables, and has daily rituals. The most pronounced and dangerous are her shower rituals which take anywhere from 1-3 hours, always after a bowel movement. She has literally scraped the insides of he
rself through use of instruments in order to feel "clean" enough. On several occasions, she has had to go to the ER due to severe blood loss.

Case 2: Rick is in his late 40s, is married, has one daughter, is working on a novel, and in general very "mathematical" and obsessed with numbers. He has several compulsions, like spinning in only one direction, adding up numbers on a license plate, however, his excessive exercise has hindered him the most. Rick's exercise habits started as a way to become healthier. He felt the more he did, meaning multiple times a day, the healthier he would become. Because his root fear was in aging and death, he felt like if he could control X and Y, he would obtain the outcome of Z that he wanted. Along with the exercise, he takes 40+ pills/supplements a day in the name of "health." He has not missed a workout since 1997.

Both of these individuals sought treatment, realizing how much they and their loved ones were suffering. With
Nidia, her marriage was at a "rocky" point due to her OCD. Although her husband loved her and tried to be supportive, he felt frustrated in not being able to help her. Nidia's OCD was affecting the life both of them had envisioned and wanted together.

With Rick, he was missing out on spending time with his family and not being as productive as he wanted with his writing.

The treatment for both of them was
exposure therapy, a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with the purpose of reducing anxiety by exposing the individuals to their specific fears gradually. Although exposure therapy has been successful, especially for those suffering from OCD, it is not for everyone either.

Nidia and Rick received 12 weeks of exposure therapy. The hope was for them to not only face their fears, but also to "sit" with their feelings, gradually reducing the anxiety. Though both had difficulties, Nidia had more success with hers. She learned to overcome her fear of germs through picnic and nature outings.She learned to lessen her shower rituals and feel okay about not being "clean" enough. In the end, her marriage stayed intact, and she was no longer imprisoned by her OCD.

For Rick, he was successful in eliminating his spinning and reducing the number of times he exercised to a point. He and his therapist disagreed on the criteria of "excessive," but Rick truly felt like he had accomplished quite a bit in a short period of time. He found he had more time to spend with his family, however, his wife still felt like he had somewhat of a problem.

Personally, I found myself relating to
both of these individuals. With Nidia, the thought she deserved to be in pain was heartbreaking to hear, yet so familiar. With Rick, his ambivalence of wanting to reduce his exercise but not give it up completely was familiar as well. Something else he said was that feared dealing with his issues, because he was afraid of finding out who he was. That deeply struck a chord with me.

Besides these relatable factors, what I liked most about this episode was how it showed the crippling effects of living with OCD and obsessive thoughts. I think people tend to forget it isn't just about performing a compulsive behavior repetitively, but rather that there is far more to it--that these individuals are severely suffering.. I'm sure a lot of us can certainly empathize or sympathize, but I'm not sure how much of the general audience can. This reminds me a lot of the people who tell victims of eating disorders to "Just eat," "just stop purging," "just don't exercise," etc. Unfortunately, if we could completely, and our brains worked with wondrous off/on switches, well, we'd all be cured then!

Any thoughts on this show? Do you think there is still misinformation out there on illnesses like
OCD or other anxiety disorders?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The nature of an eating disorder

The show Intervention recently kicked off their new season at the end of May. I don't watch every episode, but I do catch one every now and then. Last night's episode featured identical twin sisters, Sonia and Julia, both in their early 20s. I found this episode quite interesting, as there were many different issues displayed: biological factors, IDENTITY, family dynamics, co-dependency, and competitiveness.

Most of us already know that genetics has an influence on eating disorders, so I'm not going to discuss that at length. However, since these two girls were identical, there was a higher likelihood that if one developed an eating disorder, the other would as well. (study
here) The interesting thing was that their sister, the eldest of the three, did not develop an ED.

From the family standpoint, the biggest issue I saw was never treating the girls as separate individuals. Thus, they never truly were able to develop their own IDENTITY which can be a core issue of an eating disorder. As teenagers, the two physically developed differently, Sonia, the younger of the two, was thin and slim, while Julia was more curvy and considered the "chubby angel." This seemed to be when anorexia first reared its ugly head, starting with Julia who began to exercise and get into karate. Then, Sonia became interested in the sport, and everything escalated from there, having a snowball effect in illness and further competitiveness between the two. Each one wanted to be recognized for something of their own, especially Julia.

Then, they developed a major co-dependency issue, especially when both were attending the same college and living together. Eventually, they both left college and came home. This only further exacerbated their rituals and rules, leading to the two of them to "feed" off each other. I thought these scenes between the two of them really showed the effects of the nature of the illness. You saw how both were incredibly isolated, never leaving the house, declined visits to their older sister's house, saying harsh words to their sister and parents, their daily rituals, etc. It was incredibly sad for their older sister to hear the things they said to her, like that they were never close. But it truly did show the mark of the illness in how they were so void of emotion, feeling, and attachment from anything other than their disorder.

There was something else Julia said that I found startling. She said how she felt like Sonia was copying her in her anorexia and other behaviors, but at the same time, she was her nightmare too. Just imagine, being an identical twin, living together in the same
environment, with an eating disorder. It's like waking up to see she shadow of your nightmare in living form as the anorexia. How that must be so difficult.

At the intervention which the girls had separately, you could see how clueless, helpless, and distraught their parents felt. They simply did not understand the disorder nor how raising of them as "one" versus separates impacted the girls' lives so much. Even down to the letter they were supposed to write for each individual girl, they wound up writing the same letter for each girl. By the end of the show, they did realize this mistake.

Sonia and Julia did agree to treatment, although they worried about being separated. But it seemed for Julia, there was almost a sense of relief actually, at least that is what I saw. Both girls were treated at
Remuda Ranch in VA, though their treatment was separate except for dealing with their co-dependency issues. At the end of three months, they had reached a healthy weight and were maintaining it. They plan to go back to college in the fall and live in separate apartments.

I'd say my only real discrepancy was whether the "tough love" approach should have been taken. It's something
Intervention is known for. In many cases, it works, since there is usually an "enabler" involved. The interventionist said how the parents were enabling this, because they allowed it to go on. Clearly, Sonia and Julia were not doing well in the home environment together, so something did need to change. Whether it was exactly their parents is questionable. I think the dynamics did need some revising, however.

Did anyone else see this episode? What were your thoughts?

Monday, June 8, 2009

That piece of fabric called the bikini

Andrea_owen posted an interesting article on bikinis on twitter. The article was about Zoe Magee, designer of the Zoe Swimwear line in San Francisco. She designs an assortment of different types of bikinis as well as offers a variety of sizes, including separate tops and bottoms.

Zoe considers herself a bikini therapist. People come in and ask her what looks good on them. Apparently, she gives a pretty honest answer, but at the same time helps people to feel good about themselves.

When asked "who can wear a bikini," her answer was, "
Anyone can, if they have the attitude and the confidence."

This struck close to home, because I remember at one point in my life, I did have that confidence. There wasn't a care in the world that I sported a bikini in front of all of my classmates at some after school party. Nowadays, I wouldn't be caught dead in one. After having a ubiquitous statement of, "if you lost five pounds, you'd be a knockout" while wearing a bikini in my early teens, that pretty much did it for me. My straps were hung up with no intention of ever wearing a bikini again.

Since then, now going on something like 14 or 15 years, I have not touched a bikini much less any swimwear but on
rare occasion. This is mostly to do with awful body shame, self-consciousness, and lack of confidence. I'm always mesmerized by women of any shape or size who can flaunt a bikini with no thought whatsoever. A part of me wishes I could be that woman. A part of me wants to be that woman. A part of me doesn't k now if I have what it takes to be that woman.

So what are your thoughts on bikinis? Are you able to wear it? Do you feel self-conscious or confident in one? (Okay, I realize I may be asking the wrong audience as this may be rhetorical, but please share your comments anyway :-))

Upcoming family vacation

In exactly two weeks, I'll be attending a week long family reunion event. Actually, it's a family reunion for everyone else, but for me, it's more like meeting dozens of strangers. I'm trying hard not to go into flip-out mode, but this, along with other issues on my mind (another post) kick my anxiety into high gear.

Normally, I don't even do "family" vacations. But since, my mother and her husband have been haranguing me to go for the last three years (I politely declined each offer), I thought I'd at least make an effort this time. I have been reassured that there will be people my age, and that there won't be a lot of kum-ba-ya moments. Although I did hear, one aunt is apparently trying to organize everything, including making sure everyone has each other's phone numbers and addresses. It could be worse if she wanted to have everyone wear t-shirts with "C._____ family reunion."

So why am I so worried?
1) a bunch of strangers whom I know nothing about
2) visiting with my step-sister/sharing a room which may feel awkward
3) change of routine/eating habits
4) feeling
very out of shape/disgusted with my body
5) general stress
6) no real escape

I'm trying hard to look at the positive--that this could be a great experience, that I'll meet interesting people, that people really won't give a hoot about my appearance, that I really can be okay in awkward feeling situations, etc.

Okay, time for more self-talk. Maybe in two weeks time, I'll feel slightly more optimistic.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A milestone of a birthday!

Happy Birthday Baxter!

Today, Baxter turns 10. I cannot believe how swiftly time has gone by. Other than the ever so present white on his muzzle, ears and the increase of stray whitish strands on his legs, he has aged well. In human years, Baxter is probably somewhere between 62-66 years old, depending on which formula you are using.

Although it is hard to admit he is getting up there, it is the inevitable truth. I know I talk a lot about my dogs, but they truly have been such constants in my life with Baxter being my first actual dog I raised on my own. I could not have asked for a better dog. He really has seen the worst and best of times in my life, and I don't know what I would have done without him. So Baxter, know that mommy loves you and thanks you from the bottom of her heart at all you have taught her thus far!

As a gift from his grandmom (my mother), he received a Nina Ottoson toy. Well, I admit I've been wanting these for the dogs for a long time, but I knew he would find it enjoyable. Here are a few photos of him playing with the dog tornado. Essentially, he has to learn to spin the bones to reveal the treats.

Once he has that, then you can make it more challenging by adding little bones over the treat slots, so the dog must learn to remove the bone to get the treats. As you can tell, Baxter quickly caught on to this and found it enjoyable.

Full set of photos here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How family can remind you how far you have come

My dad recently came to visit me this past weekend. Overall, the visit went okay. It seems as long as he is not asking too much about my future plans or mentioning graduate or medical school, things seem to be fairly kosher. Back in October, he set a new record of talking about these topics 15 times in a 4-5 day period. Now, his new record for less mentioning of these topics is 6 months. I never hold my breath entirely that he will just stop talking about it, but it does seem there is some behavioral change which has all around helped our relationship.

As my parents like to do when they come visit me, we went grocery shopping. They just continue to think I do not have enough in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Now, I have a whole house full to feed an army!
Gah, it's a little intimidating.

Since Luna and
Clif bars were on sale at Whole Foods, I did buy a good number of them. When we got home, here is how our conversation went:

Dad: You know those Luna bars you eat have a lot of calories.
Umm, no, not really. Why do you think that?
Dad: Well, just look at the label. Those things are small.
Me: Yes, but if you read the label, there is protein,
carbs, and fat, all things your body needs.
Dad: Why can't you just eat a candy bar?

Back in high school and college, I would never have touched an energy bar, because of the calorie count. In my freshman year of college, my mom became worried about me and decided to send a whole bunch of energy bars. At this time, the options were not as vast as now, and the bars did not taste very good. In protest, I took one bite out of each one, proclaiming I had tried them all (technically yes but not exactly what she wanted to hear) and hated them. I vowed never to touch one again.

I don't remember when I started eating them or why. For several years, they became the staple of my breakfast, and the only thing I would eat. Today, I literally only use them as snacks or eat something else along with them as a breakfast.

The post isn't just about eating energy bars, it's more a reminder of how my thinking and behaviors have changed. It also gives me a good alarm bell in gauging if I'm ever headed downhill in that I would retreat back to thinking how Luna bars or any other energy bars had too many calories. (
Kim wrote a good post on knowing when you're in relapse)

I'm still not to the point of just eating a candy bar and don't know if I ever really will as candy bars have never been my thing, but that's okay. There are still other goals to reach beyond just energy bars, but it is one step on the staircase.