This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Emotions.....eating me up.

Depressed. Frustrated. Stressed. Overworked. Over scheduled. Discouraged. Worried. Nervous. Anxious. Angry. Guilty. Sad. Mad. Tired.

That about sums it up. I have so much going on in my life right now I'm completely overwhelmed and just plain worn out. There is no quiet time for me right now except the gym or maybe during TKD class. There are so many emotions swirling through me right now. I'm finding it really hard to focus on my diet. Not focusing is bad. Clearly. I've made a few bad choices lately. Not a lot. But enough that I'm mad at myself. Again.

I haven't gained weight, in fact I lost a pound when I weighed in on Friday. I haven't weighed since the weekend when the bad choices took place. I'm trying to get my mind straight and focused before the cruise. I know.  A lot of you are probably thinking, what is she complaining about? She's got this vacation coming in just a few days.

The cruise is very emotional for me. My cousin,who died in March and was like my brother, and I had always talked about going on a cruise "someday". Of course that day never came and never will since he died so young. Now, our whole family is going for Thanksgiving. It is sort of a tribute to him. Don't wait. Love your family now. Don't put things off. That sort of thing.  We're going with my Aunt and her other son, his wife and daughter. My Mom, God mother and my husband and kids of course.  I am looking forward to the cruise. Some time to just rest and relax, but he will be on my mind. This first holiday season without him will be very very hard.

There are a lot of things about his death I am still struggling with. I know some of you are probably sick of this subject. But, it's my blog and if I don't get to write about my feelings, I won't be able to handle my eating.  I have a lot of guilt associated with his death. For reasons I cannot discuss here.   Intellectually I know it is misplaced. But, emotionally I'm trying to handle it. I miss him. And even now there are moments that I forget he's gone. Like the other day when I was starting to make a Christmas list and wrote his name there before I realized I won't need a gift for him this year. 

I've dealt with death before. I've lost people I loved.  But this one was different. For many reasons. For one thing he was a year younger than me. He was my friend and "brother". He had a lot of health and emotional problems that I tried to help him with.  I felt responsible for him. I wanted more for him. I feel like maybe I could have done more. I'm a doctor for goodness sakes. Of course, I did everything I could and his death was not my fault. But, those feelings are there. And they weigh heavily on me.

And then I'm worrying about my god-mother who is battling breast cancer. Luckily a cancer found when it was small, but unfortunately a very aggressive type. Her chemo treatment started. She's doing well considering. She's started losing her hair. And she's feeling pretty bad from the drugs.

On top of those very heavy topics, I am in the midst of a big computer conversion at work. It has to go well or after January our claims won't be paid and that would be BAD. So that is very stressful. Plus, I had to fire an employee and another one quit recently so we're short handed. People in the office are stressed because of all that mess. Plus the current political climate and uncertainty about Medicare and health reform are weighing on me.

Plus it's the holiday season. I have 2 kids who have birthdays and Christmas, neither of which am I in ANY mood to deal with. That produces a significant amount of Mommy guilt which just makes me feel worse.  My anniversary is in a month. 16 years and 21 together. I should be happy, but right now it feels like just one more thing I have to deal with.  Add to that stuff: TKD test coming up. School plays and parties. Yearbook orders and pictures. Boy scout activities. Blah, blah, blah.

So my mom asked me the other day if I was depressed. Apparently my Nanny has mentioned that she is worried about me. Now people are starting to notice and that's worrisome. Depressed? Probably. And that worries me since we're just now entering the time of year when my seasonal depression kicks in. I'm doing all the right things. Trying to sleep, exercise, talk and write about my feelings. I'll be OK. I've been here before. But, I'm worried I'll lose control and gain weight and that would just put me over the edge.

Yesterday I worked out with my trainer. Boy I dreaded going, but after 15 min on the elliptical my body felt good. It was a very difficult workout and I enjoyed it. It's nice to just focus on your body and I felt less stressed afterward.  I've been hungry this week. Really hungry. I don't know if it is the stress or maybe the carbs I ate over the weekend, but either way, I'm having trouble keeping my eating in control. I'm tracking, even the stuff I wish I hadn't eaten, including pumpkin bread and a brownie. There I said it. My calories were not overly bad, not more than 1300.  For now I'm staying the course. I suppose I'm learning as I go. 

I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep going and I'm not going to give up on my goals. What do you do when you are hungry and having trouble controlling it?  Or maybe that never happens to you.  Some of it is emotional, but some of it is actual hunger. Like stomach growling hunger. Are you an emotional eater? I definitely am. Especially sweets and soda. Will this ever get easier? I guess that is some of my frustration. After losing 85 pounds and 18months I am still struggling with this issue.

And now, I'm going to get back to work. Getting behind won't do anything to help my stress.


  1. Just try to take one day at a time. One foot in front of the other for now. You will have a great break soon with that cruise. Maybe during that time you can figure out a way to get some more balance in your life. I struggle with that, too. Just too many things calling for my attention. What are THE most important priorities in your life?? Start there.Have you read Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction?? I found it through Alan's blog. It is graet. Worth skimming for you. http://www.poundsoffplayoff.com/2010/11/focus.html

    The untimely death of your cousin will be something that you process for a long time to come. Grief is processing and that is what you are doing. You loved him as a brother. SO a big loss. Never apologize for the grief you feel about his passing. Keep writing and talking about him especially with your family. That cruise will be a healing voyage for all of you. Chin up, my friend. My best to you, Michele

  2. I applaud your bravery in sharing your recent struggles. Out is better than in when it comes to the heavy emotional stuff! Too often as docs we feel like (or at least I do!) that we're not allowed to be tired/discouraged/whatever. Well, we are human, too.

    Try not to be too hard on yourself (I know, another common doctor trait!) and allow yourself to experience whatever emotions you need to right now. I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin yet am glad you and your family are honoring him with your trip. Hang in there.

  3. Ahh Ann, it sounds like you are really having a rough go of it. What would help? Besides the obvious, which is to turn back time and get your cousin back. Remember, you don't have to do everything yourself, and you don't have to go through this all by yourself, either...I'm glad you're writing about it, but sometimes a therapist can really help. Hugs to you - remember what they say, when you're going through hell, don't stop!

  4. You've been having a rough year, and as an emotional eater myself (sadly, "bored" is apparently an emotion too I've learned... yipes) I think I'd be in deeper doo-doo than you're in with the hunger, considering the year you've had and the time of year it is, with all that entails.

    Right now, popcorn is keeping the monster hunger pangs at bay. I also ate an entire pomegranate (the arils) for my snack this afternoon. Massive bulk helps. That said, I worked my way through October struggling not to over-indulge in Reese's products and failing miserably :/

    *hugs* chica. Hang in there. You'll do this.

  5. I wrote a lengthy comment about SAD, light therapy (which I personally use), carbs this time of year, and grief. It was lost to the cosmos.

    Big hugs from me to you. Grief eases up. I hope eating patterns get easier (struggling with carb longings also). This joyful time of year can be surprisingly hard.

  6. Grief can be a terrible thing, especially if you are not dealing with it well. Along with everything else you are having to deal with, maybe speaking to someone may not be a bad idea. Just take one day at a time. Maybe a nice massage may be something to relax you a little.......massage and some relaxation and some time to reflect.

  7. Doc, my thoughts are with you. Life is full of ups and downs. You are amazingly resilient and a support to us all. All my best.

  8. You are a doctor, not God remember. I think doctors have this public image of having all the answers. Be human, cry if you need to, and deal with one thing at a time. Could you hire a temporary worker to help at the office? Enlist the help of others. You might benefit from telling the family and the employees what you are going through. You will probably be surprised at how they will understand and "pitch in" as it were. Don't carry these burdens alone; pray about it and "keep calm and carry on". Take care.

  9. Sorry to hear you're feeling down, doc. It may be trite to say this, but it IS true. This too shall pass, and you WILL feel joy and laughter again...

    Hang in there! :)

  10. Sending you hugs and hoping for brighter days ahead for you.

  11. I think the idea of going on a cruise with your family as a tribute to your cousin is lovely. I can definitely relate to those days when it's hard to see the silver lining, but it is out there. Give yourself the time and space to cry and grieve when you need it.

    Perhaps scheduling a few extra sessions with your trainer during these upcoming stressful times will be a good idea. That way you will get some 'me' time, you'll get a focused workout so you don't need to over think a routine or plan ... plus it'll help offset any 'bad' eating ... it'll also help you work off the stress!

    Good luck. *hugs*


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