Thursday, September 18, 2014
I posted this on several of my teams... but it is where I need to be today.
Today, and this week... my priorities have been about my daughter still.. and I realized I need to put myself first so I can be better equipped to deal with other's needs. I do think that my "raison d'etre", or reason for being, is to faccilitate others and I get a lot of joy from it... but when I feel like my own needs are not being met, eventually I get grumpy or angry thinking that I incapable of doing the simple, basic things like walk every day or plan ahead to make healthy meals to keep healthy - when in fact it is just because I did not do things in the right order. You probably have heard the analogy about the rocks in the jar. I wrote about it in a blog once before and noticed that spark people has also put it in one of their motivational blogs. Here is the link, I do suggest you read it. It is easy for me to forget so I used to have a jar on my counter with rocks and sand... I wonder where that is?
I have been off track with food, I think because I am trying so hard to fit onto a little track. I know when stress levels are high I have to be kinder to myself. I have to ask myself if it is better to plan more food options (note the word option... I can decide I don't need that extra snack) or to find myself leaping in a wild frenzy into a bag of potato chips. I shook things up this morning and had a chicken and zucchini noodle stir fry. More protein than I usually have in the mornings and a good serving of veggies. It is now 11:00 and I am not feeling any grumbly tummy. Bigger track.
Speaking of bigger, I was just looking down at my muffin top over my pants and thinking I need to make friends with it. If I am going to make the choice to wear better fitting clothes (when I am standing) then I am going to have a muffin top when I sit. Not forever, but today. The alternative is to wear very loose clothes. They are more comfy and I don't notice the muffin top when I'm at the computer... but as I walk around baggy pants tend to fall down and they don't look flattering at all. Perfect clothes would work in both situations but hello muffin top, if there is going to be smoothness one place the fat has to go somewhere. I FEEL skinnier in looser clothes but that does not mean I look skinnier. My body is... what it is. I have gotten rid of my really large clothes - hurray! And I don't own smaller clothes... yet. All summer I could wear dresses and capris with loose waistbands. Now I am pulling out the yoga pants and jeans that I took at the end of last winter. They FIT. I am very much an hourglass shape but the belly fat does like to move around over my iron abs. I do have great abs muscles. Hurray for them. And... hurray for the muffin top. Accepting it is a process. Easier to feel "invisible" in the community wearing a sack than feeling like I fill a room because my clothes fit. Isn't that a weird sensation? That I take up more ROOM when my clothes fit bettter? Hm. Not that I have to sit often in public without a table between me and the eyes of the world. Or I can recline a bit and then there is no muffin top. In fact I made an effort to LOOK at other people and notice that they too have muffin tops. Not the really skinny ones. But many people. Some bigger than others. Hard to notice when you have a sweater or loose top of course. If I never noticed them before why do I think anyone else ever noticed mine? And if they did... so what? In fact... most people notice my face and eyes anyways. Unless someone has a muffin top fettish. It could exist, lol. If so, they woudl probably really enjoy mine today. hahaha, so today my muffin top is for them! The muffin top fettish group.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
My food dragon is certainly cunning and baffling and sneaky. I served a cake last night to friends and she said "doesn't this have sugar in it?" and I replied, "yes it does" and she said "and you can eat this?" and I said "yes".... and had this big wave of reality hit. I have been eating a modified paleo diet... I am calling it paleo plus, but the aim is clean eating without whites. But I pulled out this recipe and thought "ah.. no grains and whole oranges... perfect! And totally ignored pulling out the measuring cup and pouring in the white death. Even when she confronted me my mind could not immediately connect with why white sugar did not belong in my diet if this was a "safe" recipe. Well, this morning I know that it is a safe recipe for my gluten free family but NOT for me. And while I was at it I looked sweet potato chips in their crafty potato eyes and challenged them... If I can sit and eat a whole bag then they have become a danger food.
Sometimes I feel like I am an "adult" and I have food down pat. I am an expert. I am responsible. And other times I step back and see myself as a toddler running, falling, having tantrums. As an adult I ask myself advice and do checks and balances. As the "mother of a toddler" I pick her up and dust her off and tell her things will be OK. They will. I just need to be patient with myself.
It's funny how things happen in waves. I certainly have a "readiness" mode which turns off at times. I can recall something and wonder why I had forgotten because it was so important. Yesterday I woke up and all I could think was "I need a sauna". I have not had a sauna in ... months but I I used to use them as part of my cleansing ritual to slow down my mind and let in "answers". In fact yesterday I threw out my routine that I follow in the mornings and started with a brief walk while the sauna heated, did a quick bin of weeding and then sat down. Ideas came to me that I used to have that somehow have slipped through the cracks. And then last night when my friend confronted me... I think it was hitting the outside of an egg and the nice shiny shell of beliefs I have been carefully crafting got cracked. This morning I feel rather raw and exposed. Sugar.
I have been playing such a game. My daughters and husband have food issues and I have been doing great experiments finding foods that they can eat but somehow my food dragon has taken advantage and said that if I am cutting out some foods then a little sugar is OK. It all seemed wonderful on the surface but underneath I could feel simmering... doubts. I am NOT my kids or my husband. Sugar ... well, it is not as though any of the sites I have been using recommend sugar. It is something that my mind has attached to and said it was OK. So I have had a little. Here and there. A new tea recipe that is just a little better sweetened... another recipe that is mostl fruit but.... yup, a little sugar there. In fact I have been eating more fruit that usual. And the consequence? The night eating has been harder. Twice now I have eaten a whole bag of "healthy" vegetable chips. I know they are not healthy. But my mind played along with the camoflaged packaging that said vegetables. Are there other examples? When I think about things I have let into the house... I have not eaten them yet... but they are there.
So I guess I was ready. I have taken leaps forward but I have been coasting when it comes to my own needs and we all know that you can only coast downhill.
Addiction is baffling. I think Bill Willson's "Big Book of Alcholics Anonymous" has wonderful insights and examples of it's power over us.
"I am thinking about experimenting and seeing if I can just have a little with meals....."
I know the story in the book was taling about alcohol but how often have I said that I can have sugar with meals? I can even use my diabetes training to prove it. But that is not compatible with my addiction. The truth? Even in small quantities and once in a while, I am affected by sugar. It sets up cravings and help create the camoflage on other foods so I start to believe they are fine. A fellow blogger pointed out that she is experimenting with foods that before never "called" her. It is interesting that at the start of my problems I was drawn to savoury foods. It was the combinations of foods and spices that got me exciited so I could eat a LOT of lasagna or chili or burgers. I did not think about chips or candy or ice cream at all.... but the disease changed. I don't know today if I can absolutely identify what my trigger foods are because food is baffling, sneaky and cunning. When I het bottom it was sugar, salt, carbs....
And in my experiments to be clean, cutting out the whiles has proved very effective in reducing the power of foods to call or trick me.
I have tripped, tumbled. But I am ready to pick myself up and say it is OK. I am on the alert for sugar "attacks". And the first thing I am gonig to do... is give myself some TLC.
Monday, September 08, 2014
I don't know about you but I am very critical of myself. I have a positive side but I have a side that will beat myself up. I can do a dozen things right and my mind will focus on the one thing that I did not succeed at or did not do perfectly. I think it is part of my self sataboging. In the "old days" I could never stick to a diet, I never felt like I had willpower. At the long list of my successes I would always add "yes, but..."
I am very thankful for my spark friends who read my blogs because you are so good at helping me learn balance. You remind me to be kind to myself, gentle to myself. You encourage me to forget yesterday's binge or lapse and move forward. You share your experiences "when I exercise I notice I'm less hungry" or you keep me accountable for my actions and remind me of my goals. You slow me down to take baby steps or put on the cheerleading mode to get me to make a leap. You remind me about how far I have come and that I am have changed, that I am not the same person.
I wrote in my update the other day "don't be afraid to write things down because it is not a committment, it is an opportunity to challenge an idea". I think that is what blogging is. How I feel at any one moment is true at that moment but even the process of writing it down can make me change how I feel about it. When I write things here I am less afraid of them. I see them clearly. Sometimes I luagh at what I was thinking because if someone else had said it I would have said it was an absurd thought. When I write things here, small ideas can become big goals or stepping stones.
There is something here too about forgiveness. My spark friends are not judgemental. They can help be critical in a good way, making me clarify and question how committed I am to an idea, a way of eating, or a choice for how to pace myself. I go to write something and realize I sound whiny or complaining and replace it with a positive thought. Or I vent and realize that I was feeling some very powerful emotions that I could have eaten over.
I look at my endless list of blogs and see each as a "step" forward.
My spark supporters give me perspective. They help me realize that something that I was trivializing is actually a big accomplishment and that something that I was making into a mountain was actually a molehill.
My spark friends accept me with all my faults and failings. Something that I am still learning to do for myself.
When I blog I often realize "what happened". I try and explain where things went wrong with my food and realize there is a pattern. I write about how tired I am and realize I have not taken a rest day this week.
I have shared how frequently I have a problem and will be commenting on someone else's blog and realize that I am hearing what I need to hear in my own words. So many of us have the same issues yet the "aha" comes from helping each other.
The more I write I realize that being honest with myself is key. My spark friends will suggest "see a doctor" or "that seems extreme" or "you are not alone" and help me choose or stay on a path.
How often do I see something and think "oh, I knew that", or "I used to do that and it worked for me too".... or "I could do that, and I want to!" There is inspiration here. Validation.
Does it work to lurk? Hmm. Probably not, for me. Because just as I said before, the act of writing something out can change my mind. So I might start to write that I agree with something but as I do a niggle in my mind tells me that there is a different way to do it or I suddenly recognize a possible "ambush" ahead and can give a warning.
In these pages are inspiration and ideas and motivatoin. There is truth, support, reality. There are links to "help". Sometimes I hear things that make me uncomfortable and that is good too. I realize what I am looking for or needing and what I want to avoid. There are so many choices in spark people. Individual styles and personalities, different paces and such a wide range of goals. I feel so lucky to have found this site. Keep blogging and please keep reading my blogs. There is compassion here and hope!
Saturday, August 30, 2014
I am reading the writing diet book and the first chapter about "morning pages" I read more carefully this time through.
What happens when you are writing each morning?
-the pages are a way to touch base with yourself and see how you are feeling
-as you spend time writing you learn to be more intimate, be honest, and figure out where your problem areas are, blocks, misconceptions...
-and then in that writing process you start to see solutions, possibilities and direction
I paused when it sunk in that writing to yourself is like learning to have a relationship with yourself. A healthy one. One that is critical but also supportive. I know that part of my problem with my food dragon is the lies it tells me.
I certainly have not had a good relationship with myself. There are "secrets" and memories that will fly up like mud under a tire and splat against my forhead to remind me that there is another side of me. And the dragon gives food way too much power.
But writing yesterday I started to get a gliimpse of the person who I also know is me. She is very intelligent and creative and powerful. Then I found myself exhausted and had to go for a nap. The book describes the process of tapping into "energy" and I could FEEL that. The potential of me. And at the same time I didn't feel ready to face that.
Today as I was writing I wrote about this "relationship" I realized I was tapping into and it scared me. I have some memories of manic episodes where I used to have to use food as a sedative. I really could be amazing.... but there was a cost. I had no balance. I was all over the map. These days I feel like I live a "boring and safe" life partly because I had to put my family first but partly because my body/mind betrayed me. I had a bad car accident with head injury and then arthritis and injuries and depression kind of "rewrote" who I was. I had to wonder about how food fits into that. Do I use food to try and keep myself boring and safe? If so, I am a slave to my food dragon when I accept a mediocre life? This may be too "artsy" thinking for some people... but it makes sense to me. Food is a block, a wall. So is the fat. But there have been moments, like when I have had an inspired conversation with someone or written a song on the harp or completed a physical challenge like a long hike or gone for a long kayak...when I have felt like food was only an energy source... and I was shining through. A lot has changed. Many many years ago I had an eating disorder (those never really go away but it was full blown and I had no control over it)and when I accepted that it kept me alive during a difficult time it was part of a process of healing. And then I also reached the point in my life when binging and purging were no longer the best way for me to keep surviving. A lot of my circumstances changes including a supportive husband and good carreer and wonderful family. And with all that, I have been changing continually... tweeking and growing and healing. So perhaps the reasons that I kept myself in a box are also changing. Maybe... it is time to go to the next stage of my life?
Interesting to me is that after writing this time and having to go for a nap I dreampt. I may drean but I am rarely aware of what the dreams are about. This one was about the view from the room that I was living in. It kept changing and sometimes felt "right" and sometimes I knew I was just visiting.
The books says as we become more intimate with our thoughts we will find ourselves more fascinating..... and fall in love with ourselves. Not the body, not the limits, but who we ARE and are meant to be. And... as we do that, food will lose importance. We will lose weight. I think that I had some doubts but there is some truth. When I am engrossed in something, when my mind is doing something else, when I am energized, I am not thinking about food or craving it. It is when I am stressed, unhappy, tired that I want food. I am not sure about the "Fat" me but I suspect it is about my "history" and making myself uninteresting, invisible. Even writing this week my response was not to feel stressed and want to stuff my face, the way going to a counselling session might have, it was to want to sleep. It strikes me that this may even be part of a healing process. Sleep. Hmm.
Anyways, I do think I am fascinating even if this is just a book, just a thing to try. There are worse things I suppose than falling in love with myself! My next book may have to be about dream interpretation!
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