cripsy13

Musings, mutterings from the misguided.


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It’s been an interesting week on my new ‘less self indulgence’ lifestyle plan.

I’ve been keeping a written journal of what I eat, what I drink – and what I spend.  At the very least, an eye opener.  Yikes.

I met with one of the leading experts in obesity in the country last week – he was amazing.  If you’ve been following my blog, I’ve been involved with a local “Weight Wise” program, which is geared towards those who are considered obese or morbidly obese.  I’ve met with a psychiatrist, a nutritionist, a nurse and now the doctor.  The whole premise behind this program is to find out if I am a candidate for lap band surgery.  I have to go through a whole series of hoops and jumps before they will even consider it.  The best part of this whole experience is finally having someone understand that it’s not all ‘eat less, exercise more’.  This program is more than that.

He asked some questions that I really never considered a part of being overweight, but afterwards I realized – wow, those questions made complete sense.  He asked me if I had been promiscuous at any point in time in my life, and I will admit – I did go through a phase (of which I’m not particularly proud of) in my early 20’s.  I realize now that I wanted love – and I had confused sex with love (wouldn’t it be nice if we could figure that shit out WHEN we’re doing it?)  He asked me about my relationships with my parents and my sister, friendships…etc.  He asked me if I had a tendency to binge eat (which thankfully, I do not) and if I used alcohol as a ‘crutch’ (oh yes), did I overspend beyond my means (sigh, uh – YEAH) and a few other questions.  The questions he was asking had very little to do with my size or my weight, they were more geared towards my thought patterns and my personality, which can be defined in one word:  ADDICTIVE.  I was addicted with trying to find love, I was addicted to instant gratification and I was addicted to alcohol.  2 out of these 3 things were easily obtained by overspending (yet, another addiction).

Now, this is interesting.  There was an article in the paper this morning – “Weight loss plan can curb spending” (Postmedia news).  There was a line in there that jumped out at me:  “While the authors say not everyone who struggles with weight also has money problems, [Demetre] estimates over 50% of the population has issues with both.”   Wow.  I’d never thought to put the two together per se, but it makes sense.

We live in a society of instant gratification.  We want what we want, and we want it NOW.  We don’t budget for things like our parents did, we put it on credit.  We don’t scrimp and save our pennies, we just buy it and worry about it later.  We don’t do without – we all ‘need’ the new TV, the new iPhone, the new tablet, the new…(insert vice in here).  When I want to eat something, I want it NOW.  I don’t mean binge eating – I just mean regular, day-to-day living.  If I want sushi for lunch, I’ll got and get it ($15.00).  Then, if I want steak for dinner, I’ll go and get it ($15.00) and maybe a few more groceries that I really don’t need, but want ($25.00).  I’ve just spend $55.00 on things I don’t necessarily NEED.  Repeat that every day for about 5 days.  That’s $275.00 just on FOOD related items that I probably only need about $30.00 of.  Let’s add some wine on top of that ($60.00/week) and maybe a shirt or pair of shoes ($100.00) and I’m up to $435.00  For one week.

Great – so now I’m fat AND in debt.  But I can see how it goes hand in hand.  I eat and overspend to compensate for the things that I don’t have, which in turn creates more problems and gets me farther away from where I DO want to be.  It’s a vicious circle and I’m doing everything I can to get off the giant hamster wheel and back on solid ground.  Because the things that I want most – to be happy, healthy, a normal body weight – and to buy my own home – are things that only I CAN do myself.  It won’t happen right this very minute, but with some time and patience, I think I have a pretty good chance.

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Like they say, good things come to those who ‘weight’.  🙂

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So, I had a wee meltdown earlier this week.  Actually, it was bigger than wee, more of an intense 3 hour meltdown.

I had another meeting with Weight Wise, first thing on Tuesday morning (yah, who books a Weight Wise meeting the day after Thanksgiving? – me, apparently).  I always get myself into a state of anger before I go.  Why?  Because I’m pissed off that I have to be there in the first place.

I got off the elevator and walked into the waiting room and just stopped.  Dead.  The whole room was filled with morbidly obese people.  I’m talking people in wheelchairs, people who needed walkers, those that could only wear sweatpants because that would be the only thing they could fit into.  Part of me was horrified; another part of me felt anger.  Horrified because I couldn’t imagine ever being that large, anger because I felt lumped in with these people – there is no WAY I could relate to any of them.

That sounds horribly judgmental of me, doesn’t it?  I think what it boils down to, is that I abhor in others what I see in myself.

After finding a place to sit, in the back of the room, I seethed with loathing.  A woman sat next to me, who breathed loudly through her mouth and kept belching, and if I’m going to be completely honest – she had the odor of unwashed feet.

OMG, WTF am I doing here?  I don’t belong here!  I’m nothing like these people!

Oh.  Wait a minute.  I guess I am, or I wouldn’t be here.  I have a weight problem.  Some of it is medically related; some of it is my own fault.  While I’m not as large as some of these people, I am considered morbidly obese.

That brings tears to my eyes.  My mother was obese, my father was overweight – the only one that lucked out in the family was my sister.

I dress well.  I have nice clothes and I always put in the effort to look presentable (by that, I mean wearing clean yoga pants instead of paint stained ones in public 🙂 ).  Part of the reason I was so angry at the people in the waiting room, was because inside I was yelling ‘I understand that you’re overweight, but why have you given up on yourself?’  I saw people in stained sweats and t-shirts, people who looked (and smelled) like they hadn’t showered for a month and a man who was wearing cut off shorts.

I realize that this sounds judgmental, and maybe it is.  I believe, however, that these people have just decided that they’re fat and therefore, they aren’t going to put any effort into their appearances whatsoever.  But – maybe this is just my issue.  Maybe I need to cut these folks some slack.  Maybe, just maybe – they’re not as wrapped up in what they look like as I am.

Maybe – it’s not all about looks – and more about health.  Feeling better.  Being able to walk pain free.  Not having to use walking aids to get around.

I need to get to that place.  I need to accept that I need to learn to love my body, fat, warts and all.  I need to find a place of peace in my soul that allows me to feel calm and accepting of who I am, right this very minute.  Does that mean I’m fine with the way I am?  No – what it does mean, is that I can be okay with my body at this moment, but only I can make the appropriate changes to improve it.  Which I fully intend to do.

My sister and I were chatting last week and we both realized that our dad had teased us mercilessly as kids.  Now, I KNOW he never meant anything hurtful by it – it was never intended to be malicious – but in speaking with my sister, we both understood that his taunts were a part of why we both grew up hating our bodies – we both have SERIOUS issues with how we look and are both very critical on our appearances.

So, my sister and I have signed up for a course called “Be Your Own Beloved” – a course which involves taking a picture of yourself every day during the month of November.  I despise having my picture taken because of my size, but I’m embracing this idea and am going to open myself up to try to see myself as others see me, not the distorted, sad and angry person I see when I look in the mirror.

Wish me luck!

(If you’re interested, here is the link to the online course:

http://www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com/be-your-own-beloved/


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About a month ago, I met with the psychiatrist in my Weight Wise program; a lovely woman named Margaret.  Determining my mental health (or lack thereof) is a crucial part of deciding whether or not this program is for me.

Margaret was wonderful.  She was easy to open up to and asked what I considered to be very relevant questions.  I told her my tales of being overweight since I was a kid, how I use food for comfort, the usual things.  It was very refreshing to speak to someone about my weight who wasn’t telling me that I need to eat more vegetables.  Who understood that my weight issues stem from my BRAIN and not necessarily what I put into my mouth (I should also explain that I have a number of physical issues that contribute to my obesity; not the other way around and it makes it twice as hard to lose weight).

I told her the regular ‘as a kid, I didn’t get (insert emotion here) and therefore I turned to (insert vice here).’  And, that as an adult, I still find great comfort in a bowl of potato chips while reading a book just before I go to bed.

I’ve since seen my case worker, who is also fabulous and she has asked me to track my food/exercise intake so that she can take a look at it the next time I see her.  I grudgingly agreed to do so – why grudgingly?  Because I’ve been down this road before and it’s not ended well.  I become obsessive over every single calorie.  It turns into a full time job just remembering to log that extra teaspoon of ketchup.  If I go over my calorie count for the day, I consider it a huge failure and I get very upset. Putting it in writing means that I have to commit myself to something and that’s not my strong point.  Like an ex boyfriend said to me years ago – “you want a commitment?  I can’t even commit to owning a goldfish.”

So, as of last Monday, I’ve been writing down what I’ve eaten.  Now, I don’t know what exactly is happening in my head these days, but to be blunt – I’m a pig.  I can’t stop eating.  I don’t care what I eat, what I drink or how much.  I liken it to a Roman feast (sans roasted peacock or stuffed door mouse).  Even during my worst times, I wasn’t eating like this.

I guess the big question is why?  Why am I feeling so out of control?  I’ve also been feeling very angry lately (I’ve actually had the same dream of chewing my mother’s face off several times over the past few weeks – let me tell ya, that certainly needs some analyzing).  I’m irritable.  I’m belligerent.  I’m mad at everyone for no good reason.  I’ve even apologized to my body for treating it so badly.

I’m existing blindly, without thinking, without feeling.  Because if I stop to think about the challenge ahead of me, I might just fall apart.  Or even worse – fail.

I found this in an article sent to me this week:  Sense of Failure – Many people can stake their happiness on the achievement of a specific goal, such as achieving exam results, earning a certain amount of money, or progressing a certain distance in their career. If for some reason they do not achieve this goal, they may believe they have failed in some way. This sense of failure can increase the likelihood of experiencing depression (http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk).

Interesting.  If there is one thing I hate more than anything else in the world, it is failing at something.  My mother had the Homer Simpson parenting manual, which states “If it’s too hard to do, don’t bother.”  So, when I did try something and failed, I either got the ‘told you so’ or the ‘it’s not worth it’ speech.  That’s sort of been my subconscious motto since I was a kid.  I’ve only recently come to understand it.

Basically, I’M what’s holding me back.  In as much as I want someone to come and fix this for me, it ain’t gonna happen.  I have a lot of people supporting me and want to see me succeed – but I can’t seem to find that support for myself.  If a friend is trying to accomplish something, I’m the first one in with my pom-poms and bullhorn cheering them on, but when it comes to cheering myself on, I’m sadly lacking in the pom-pom department.

Hmm.  Maybe it’s time to try a different cheer?

 

 

 


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46 Shades of Grey (hair)

I don’t remember getting here, but I have arrived!

Yep, in less than a week, I will be 46.  That’s one year closer to 50.  

I’m afraid.

To be honest, I’ve never thought about getting old.  I mean, I knew it was going to happen (eventually and obviously) but I’ve really not sat down and thought to myself ‘well, here you are.  I guess it’s time you started buying polyester pants and sweatshirts with kittens on them.’  Or, ‘Don’t forget to put orthotics in your shoes, because you know how much your back hurts when you forget.’

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I think that the big reason that this has come to a head is that I found my very first grey hair about two weeks ago (pun intended).

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Now, I always thought that was stupid.  Really?  A grey hair?  Big deal.  Well, to me it was a big deal.  It made me stop and think that hey, I am getting older and it’s time to stop putting off things that I need and want to do.

Like lose the weight I’ve gained over the past 10 years.  Take myself to Ireland.  Scrimp and save so that I can buy the condo I’ve rented and called home for the last 10 years.  Get my affairs in order (okay, yes I know I’m 46, not 106) – but some of these are things that I’ve never thought that much about.

I’m also realizing that as I get older, my body is starting to rebel against me (okay, let’s just call a spade a spade – it HATES ME).  I went to the doctor yesterday for one issue, and came out with two.  I am scheduled for a minor surgery in two weeks.  Next week I have to see a new doctor about something else.  I’ve some weird rash on my face that I’ve never had before.  In there are more appointments for my Weight Wise program.  Let’s not forget my counsellor!  

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All of it a bit overwhelming to someone who has the memory and attention span of a drunk fruit fly.  Which is where the problem lies.

I’ve found myself this past week trying to take too many things on.  I’m worried that the person I rent my beautiful condo from will want to sell as soon as my lease is up and thanks to my addictive personality, I haven’t saved enough for a down payment.  I’ve finally got a date for my surgery, which is a good thing, however not something I’m looking forward to.  I’ve got a crap load of weight to lose and I’m struggling with that and how I need to make some very serious changes to my lifestyle and I’m not sure if and when I’ll be ready to that (thankfully, next week I meet with the shrink from my WW program and she’ll be able to provide some help).

And, the more these things pile up, the more I push people away and just want to be by myself.

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The Dragon of Depression is breathing fire at me once again and I’m doing my very best to dodge out of the way.  There are so many things I have to do.  There are so many things I regret doing.  There are so many things that I wish I had the courage to do.  There are so many things I wish I could do, had I the self esteem to do them.

There are so many people I miss, who are not here with me as I travel over the hill, but the one I miss most, is my dad.  He’d be standing with me at the top of that hill, holding my hand – smiling – imparting his wisdom – “Kid, sometimes ya just gotta sit down and separate the pepper from the flyshit.”  

And then you know what he’d do?  He’d push me head first down the hill and laugh his ass off.

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Miss you dad.

 

 

 


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Letting go of the past…

This is a very personal story.  

I grew up in a home where love was taken away for doing something wrong (or perceived of being wrong).  Signs of affection were few and far between.  My mother had a theory that all people were inherently bad; if someone did something she considered a ‘slight’ – that person was banned for life (even if it wasn’t intentional – that person was never given the chance to explain or discuss the situation).  My parents didn’t have any ‘couple’ friends, I can remember only ONCE being babysat by my older sister.  My dad wasn’t encouraged to visit his sisters or their families, as my mother disliked all of them (for reasons unknown).  I remember my grandparents (my father’s mom and dad) visiting once or twice when I was little and that’s about the extent of that relationship.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live 3 hours away that I’ve never met.  

I grew up an emotional idiot.  46 years later, I’m still that person.  But, I’m working on it.

As a young woman in my early 20’s, I would do whatever it took to find a potential mate.  If someone expressed any interest in me, I was on them like glue.  Of course, back then I didn’t know that I had serious abandonment/lack of affection issues.  If they left me, I was devastated – what had I done wrong?  Was it because I was fat? (I believed that was always the main reason – even though back then, I wasn’t fat).  Wasn’t I good enough?  Pretty enough?  Smart enough? Mind you, it also didn’t help that my very first boyfriend in Grade 10 dumped me for the school slut. 😛

I met He Who Shall Not Be Named at the age of 22.  He was my world.  I adored him.  He made me laugh, he made me feel sexy, he made me glow.  He was everything I wanted.  He was my soul mate (or so I thought).

He emotionally abused me (I didn’t know what it was back then).

I turned myself inside out for him.  He was evasive.  He had the emotional aptitude of a 12 year old.  He lied to me.  He cheated on me.  He treated me with disrespect.  His friends made fun of me because I let him do whatever he wanted to me – because (I thought) I loved him.  I found out a couple of years later, that he was engaged to be married to a girl who lived in a different city the entire time we were together.

I told him that I loved him and he laughed at me.

He turned me into a paranoid, weepy, clingy wreck of a woman.  We’d split, get together – a million times.  He could still make me laugh.  He still made me feel sexy.  He made me feel like a bag of shit, when I’d wake up the next day after spending the night with him and him telling me I needed to leave.

This went on and off for 10 years.  The last time I saw him was 13 years ago, when we went out for dinner and he came back to my place and stayed the night.  He even told me beforehand that he was seeing someone who lived across the country.  I didn’t care.  I still loved him.

The past 10 years have seen a lot of ups and downs in my life.  I’ve lost both of my parents – the death of my father was my complete undoing.  Never in my life had I felt so lost, so sad – so abandoned.

But, with all bad things – came good things.  I learned to be responsible – no more dad to bail me out.  I learned to make my own decisions.  I worked hard and started moving up different corporate ladders.  I made terrific friends, my sister and I became very close and I was proud of who I was and what I’d been able to accomplish with very limited education.

However, I never did learn ‘how’ to have an intimate relationship with a man.  After a few failed attempts at them, I closed my heart off to avoid further pain.  I did counselling, I learned meditation, I read self help books – because there was something – something I couldn’t put my finger on.  All I do know is that nobody since HWSNBN, have the feelings I had for him even come close.

He’s married now, or so I’m told.  In moments of loneliness, I sometimes fantasize about running into him.  But then I stop cold:  I’m fat.  I would be mortified if he saw me now.  The fact that I’ve got a terrific career, great friends, a nice vehicle and a beautiful home doesn’t even enter in my my consciousness.  He’d see me as the “Thank God THAT never happened.”  

As I get older, I’m much more attuned to my emotions, my thoughts and my actions.  I will often be sitting quietly and I’ll have an epiphany of sorts about something – and in those moments, it’s like a small piece of a wall breaking off somewhere in my psyche – it amazes me and scares me all at the same time.

If you’ve been reading my previous blogs, you’ll know that I have a huge struggle with food addiction and am just starting a new program through our health service where I live.  I’ve been on the waiting list for 2 years, been offered a place 4 times, but it’s just now that I’m ready.  Why?  I’m still not entirely sure.

I was watching a movie on the weekend and out of nowhere came this overwhelming feeling of anger, sadness, nausea and pain…I let out a howl that came from the depths of my soul – I hate him.  I truly hate him.  I hate what he did to me.  I hate that I let him be a part of my head and soul for all these years.  I hate that I allowed him to determine who I am.  I hate the fact that I let myself get to this place, where I replaced love and affection with bags of potato chips and bottles of red wine. You know what the worst part is? Is that for all these years, I wanted to apologize to HIM for acting like some batshit crazy bitch. WTF?

It was like a black piece of my soul had turned to dust and had been replaced with tiny seeds of love, happiness, kindness to myself and acceptance.  I say tiny, because while they have been planted, I need to learn to nurture them, to love them and to let them grow into something bigger and more wonderful than anything I can possibly imagine.

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NOW, JUST WEIGHT A MINUTE…

Last week was my very first meeting with the Alberta Health Services Weight Wise Program.

The day itself started out badly and I won’t get into that (yet another health issue), but when I got there, I had to park 6 blocks away, so by the time I got into their offices, I was soaking wet from the driving rain AND mad and even more pissed off that I had to be there in the first place.

I looked around the others in the waiting room.  I do NOT mean this in a judgmental way at all, but these people were HUGE!  They were twice or three times my size!  They had special chairs in the waiting room to accommodate morbidly obese people (which, according to my doctor, I am)…that made me even angrier, to think that I am considered to be even in the same category as these people.  I’m nothing like them…nothing!

By the time my case worker introduced herself, I’d worked myself into quite a state and had a huge chip on my shoulder walking into our first meeting.  I was rude, abrupt, snarky…and then all of a sudden, I started to cry.  Heaving sobs.  I was crying because I had to be there.  I was crying because of all the shitty things my mother did to me to make me turn to food and alcohol to solve my problems.  I was crying because all I’ve wanted in my life was to be thin and loved.  I was crying because I knew how much work was ahead of me.  I was crying because I didn’t think I had the stamina, determination, willpower to go through with it.

My case worker sat quietly and just kept handing me tissues.  Once I’d finished bawling, we started to talk about my life, how and why I came to be in their offices and what I expected from the program.  She was good – oh, she was good!  We talked for nearly 2 1/2 hours about everything – from my psychological issues to exercise to my batshit crazy mother.

Her ‘diagnosis’:  Psychological.  99% of it.  Before I can go any further in the program, she has set up an appointment with a psychiatrist to talk to me about everything.  She read through my food diaries and said she knows that I am perfectly capable of eating properly and that she can tell I know what I’m doing.  But she also said that she thinks the medications I’m on for my depression are NOT working, rather possibly hindering my efforts.  The one component that I had to fill out a questionnaire on was for ADHD.  And, according to my score – I’m a poster child for it.  She isn’t able to confirm that diagnosis (I’ll have to wait to see what the shrink says), but she said it’s very common with obese people – or anyone with an addiction – we’re ‘smart enough’, we just don’t follow through on things because we can lose interest quickly – NO!  GASP!  MOI?  Shit.

I have a long, long road ahead of me and it’s going to take time…first, I have to get a handle on the mental issues that have been stored in my brain for so many years, and then in time, with my head on its way to healing, hopefully, my body can follow.

I’ll have to learn to be patient with myself – not something I’m good at.  I’ll have to learn to be kind to myself (again, not so good) and I’ll have to learn that this isn’t a diet…this is a new way to look at living my life.  Some days are gonna be good, some bad.  I asked her when I left what amount of weight they expected me to lose for my next appt. and she put her hands on her hips and looked at me and said ‘did you not listen to ANYTHING we talked about in there?’

As mentioned, that was two weeks ago and frankly, I’ve done everything in my power to completely sabotage any efforts previously made.  I’m hoping that my meeting with the shrink will help shed some light on what it is that causes me to treat myself this way.  Who knows, maybe the shedding light will lead to shedding the weight!


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Ugh.  Well, I’m back for round 1,457,989 of trying to lose weight.  I would rather put hot pokers in my eyes than exercise or count calories.

However, my weight is at an all time high and now that I’m middle aged (sob), I really have to get my poop in a group and do something about it.  My doctor (bless her) is supporting me all the way, as it’s now impacting my health.  I’m too young to feel this old.

I became the fat kid in Grade 4.  I remember that, because the class pictures always had me in the middle with the other kids surrounding me (Gawd, I hope they don’t still do that – it was just plain cruel).  I was also very tall for my age, so that made things even worse.  It was right around then that I started comfort eating.  To this day, there isn’t anything a bag of potato chips can’t fix.

Fast forward to high school…size 14.  Not bad, right?  NOOOO!  I thought I was huge, disgusting and couldn’t wear the same clothes the pretty, popular girls wore.  I tried (Oh GOD, how I tried) to make it seem like it didn’t matter.  But it did.  I look at those pictures now and shake my head…what was I thinking?  I was freaking GORGEOUS!  I was tall and curvy!  I wasn’t fat!  But to a teenager, if you were out of the norm, you were a monster.  Well, in your own head, anyway.

Early 20’s – I was hot stuff.  Yep, still around a size 14, but knew how to dress and I was a true chick of the 80’s.  I had the hair, the miniskirts and the stilettos.  I went clubbing every chance I got.  Still, I had zero self confidence and if some guy asked me to dance or go out, I figured he had to be blind or desperate.   I think in today’s world, we use the word ‘skank’.  Not a very happy time in my life.  Although I did rock the neon look J

I met the one love of my life at age 22.  It was a dysfunctional, fucked up relationship that went on and off for about 10 years.  I look back now and realize just how batshit crazy I was at that time.  A man paid attention to me, had sex with me, took me out on dates and spent time with me!  Wow!  I was crazy about him and when he broke up with me, I was beyond devastated.  I blamed it on my weight – what else could it have been?  Ha!  Many years later, I found out that not only was he dating me at the time, he was engaged to someone else AND dating another woman (I knew how to pick ’em!)  My self confidence was shot, I gained a ton of weight and for a number of years after that fiasco, any time a man showed the slightest bit of interest, I did whatever it took to keep him interested.  Looking back, I did some pretty awful and stupid things, of which I was (I was going to say am – but I’ve forgiven myself for those indiscretions)  deeply embarrassed and ashamed of.  It took me a long time to figure out WHY I did those things – and that’s a story for my therapist 🙂

Since that fiasco, I’ve dated a few men, most of whom were complete assholes, but I kept putting up with them because hey – it was SOMEONE.  It didn’t matter if they treated me like shit – I had a man in my life!  Yay!

Not yay.  I woke up one day about a year ago and went ‘wait a minute – what the HELL are you doing?’  I’d been seeing someone for a number of years – let me rephrase that – sleeping with someone – for a number of years, but that’s all it was and at that moment, I realized it wasn’t enough.  I wanted the whole enchilada.

I’ve been overweight nearly my entire life and yet I’ve wanted to be thin my entire life.  It wasn’t until I realized that I had to have faith in myself as a human being – not for what I looked like – but for who I was in order to have a true, honest, meaningful and loving relationship.  I’m now working on having the confidence in myself to appreciate who I am, not just what I look like or how much I weigh.  Because confidence is SEXY!!!!

I’ve got over 100 lbs. to lose and I started a couple of weeks ago.  In the past, it became an obsession.  I measured every single calorie.  A potato chip didn’t pass my lips for weeks or months.  If I went over, even by 5 calories – OMG, I’M HIDEOUS!  Every single time I tried to lose weight, this would happen.

Now that I’ve become a lot more accepting of myself – I’m doing my best.  By that I mean I’m trying to follow a healthy eating plan – and have been quite successful thus far – 8 lbs down.  However – GASP! – last night I had some potato chips and they were GOOD.  Am I beating myself up today?  Nope, just dusting myself off and carrying on…and now if you’ll excuse me, I hear some baby carrots calling my name…maybe I’ll just have a wee bit of dip to go with them.