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Vacation day...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Not the weather I would have hoped for. I'm listening to booms and raindrops. And kittens playing with the little bell-containing balls. They managed to knock over a small fire extinguisher in the lower level of the house... looked guilty when I went to investigate the noise. Bit by bit they are taking over the house.

I scheduled today as vacation a couple of months ago, before Sgt. Son talked me into the state games 5K and I took a Friday off for that. When I did, I briefly contemplated canceling today's designation, but you know, there are no US holidays in August, and every so often, you just need a day. So I kept it.

For things like maybe a haircut, grocery shopping, and puttering around the house. I did have some thoughts about yard work in the cool of the morning, but now? Don't think so.

I also slept in, until nearly 6... ah, the luxury of stretching out in bed while the lightning flashes and the raindrops fall! And this day is mine, allll miiiine.... buhahahaha!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRYS13 8/13/2011 10:56AM

    Isn't it wonderfully glorious to have a day now and then to call your own?
Good for you!!

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ANGELCOWBOY1 8/12/2011 9:26PM

    Hope you enjoyed your day!

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WATERMELLEN 8/12/2011 6:55PM

    Hope you had a great day: essential for mental health every once in a while!!

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MSLZZY 8/12/2011 2:40PM

    Everyone needs a day off. I guess I should schedule one for me but for now, I'll keep plugging away. HUGS!

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GOHUSKERS2 8/12/2011 2:15PM

    Good day just for you.....we all need that, that's for sure!

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BARBAELLEN 8/12/2011 11:56AM

    My fantasy is a day all to myself with absolutely NO plans and everything going just right! If the weather isn't what you anticipate, you can adjust to whatever suits your fancy at any given moment. Even if what you decide to do ends up being NOTHING, that's probably what you needed to do. Too bad life always seems to botch up these fantasy days! Hope yours turns out just like my fantasy! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/12/2011 11:34AM

    I'm finally getting around to catching up with blogs. Hope you enjoy the day today! We've got cool/gloomy today with rain coming later this evening. Probably the same stuff you've got this morning. Whatever you do today, make it a great day!

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HOT4FITNESS 8/12/2011 9:37AM

    Enjoy your day!

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_LINDA 8/12/2011 8:59AM

    I love listening to and watching storms! 6 am? Wow big sleep in -no- lol. Sometimes I wish I could sleep in past 5 am.. A vacation day is just that -do what you feel like and have some fun.
Have a Fantastic Friday!!

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KALIGIRL 8/12/2011 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon
Get out emoticon and enjoy!

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Exercise and addictive TV

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I confessed this last year here on Spark, but as a reminder: I am a huge Big Brother addict. I've watched since season 1. My favorite player ever was Cassandra from Season 1... few people remember her, but she was a UN employee who had some really great life stories to share.

I loved Evil Dr. Will. The only season I didn't watch was season 9, as it was in the Winter... didn't fit my lifestyle of having a lazy Summer addiction.

Anyway, here's what I do these days: I exercise to justify the time I spend with the silly game. It works. It's on three days a week. I'm trying to get in three strength training sessions a week. Ah, the mind games we play to get ourselves to work out!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 8/14/2011 11:01AM

    "Whatever works"!!!

Good for you to make good use of your time.


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    Whatever works. I'm addicted to "bejeweled" and play it on my ipad while on the elliptical. Combined with the music I chose I get quite a workout while mindlessly blowing things up! The time flies. emoticon emoticon

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SAMI199 8/12/2011 8:15PM

    I am impressed-what a great idea!

emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/12/2011 2:41PM

    I tried watching last night and saw about 5 minutes, in 30 second intervals.
Not enough to follow what is happening. Enjoy!

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KALIGIRL 8/12/2011 8:34AM

    Love your MIND-ful games - Creative way to meet your goals! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 8/12/2011 8:04AM

    Never saw BB but know how addicting some shows can be. Using exercise to compensate for your guilty pleasure is a good trade off. I'll have to use that trick... emoticon

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REJ7777 8/12/2011 6:44AM

    Whatever works! emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/12/2011 2:18AM

    Ooooh, I am addicted to a LOT of teve shows for the moment - top model (for the moment it is New Zealands next top modek) Project Runway and Hellīs ktichen. I have never been keen on BB but think I got stuck anyway once (BB in swedish, that is)
We are getting reruns every day during summer on these shows and when I say Australias Top Model I realised that thse young women were really broing as human beings, still I love the photo shoots, love the way they turn out, but their way of behaving disgists me... but New zelands top modes somewhat restores the bad impression I have gotten from the series from Australia, USA and England - I suspect it is a question about how they edit...

Sigh - I need to get a life. Wait, I have one, but I choose the sofa too much!

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_LINDA 8/12/2011 1:10AM

    I am so glad I gave up TV watching, nothing on there interests me, but unfortunately, computer and Sparks time has filled the void. Hard to get much exercise on the computer except sitting on an agility ball, would be easier riding a stationary bike or doing a machine while watching TV. Or lifting weights..
Being addicted to only ONE show is actually pretty good..

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MNTWINSGAL 8/11/2011 10:48PM

    Barb, I didn't remember this about you...or somehow I never knew? BB is my guilty little secret as well. I DVR it so that I don't spend a whole hour on it, and I have been known to walk the treadmill while it's on....sometimes....but I wouldn't miss it! ******SPOILER ALERT: I'm so disappointed that Brendon, not Dominique came back tonight.

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NYKIMMIE 8/11/2011 10:16PM

    i love BB too,evil Will n Boogie are some of favorites. emoticon

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The recurring theme of balance

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It is August. Next week the public school here start up again... what a short Summer it has been! The hours of daylight are now waning, although it is not easy to recognize it. The sounds, the smells, the sights all point to the inexorable march of our most limited resource: time.

Many of my ponders (I won't call them full meditations) this year have centered on how I shall live my life. Through much of my life the struggle to achieve a certain weight has provided a metaphor, but there are other recurring themes as well. How to establish order and harmony (the "one thing" initiative) is something I have often struggled with.

Part of the reason for the "one thing" initiative is to help me feel better about my imperfection in this area of life. I'm finding myself foundering. Fatigue / low spots hit in these kinds of initiatives, too. As with reaching a new size, and wondering "what next", reaching a level of order, and finding it fraying around the edges can be a little disheartening.

The kittens have certainly added to the number of things to do, and I've been reluctant to count what I do to keep them in order among my "one thing" recognition. That way lies a sense of burden, though. I need to expand my horizons, become less rigid about the order/harmony goals.

And I have to get back to that reward thing. Rewards and a sense of "I'm OK" are essential to life in general.

Bringing me back to "how can I live my life fully, despite having to work... and how can I live my life fully into the looming time of retirement, when I won't have the structure of work and the cycle of weekends?" Yes, I'm starting to think about how close that clock is ticking. How did it get here that fast? 50 years ago it seemed like forever away... where did those 50 years go?

I then begin to realize it went where every day goes... each day was lived. Some were lived fully, some were lived in a daze, some were mostly ignored by me while I set focus on a work project or a (God help me) video game, a book... whatever. Some were full of laughter, some of tears, some of resentment (which I now recognize for what it was), some of joy. But whatever each of those days held... they are gone, save for the memory of them.

What is ahead, today, is a new day, full of potential and moments. What shall I do with it? Will I recognize how precious it is? Will I remember to let people know that I love and appreciate them? Will I take time to smell the roses? Will I get something done that I can point to and say, "Yes! I did this today... this is my one thing!"?

Now that I have put it down here... I think I shall. Today will be a good day. Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 8/12/2011 7:07PM

    This reminds me of a poem from Girl Guide camp:

So here has been dawning another blue day,
Think, will you let it slip useless away?
Out of eternity a new day is born
Into eternity at dusk will return.
So here has been dawning another blue day,
Think, will you let it slip useless away?

Have to say, I have to struggle with a bit of "self-righteousness" from time to time. And as an antidote for that unattractive quality, some "uselessness" is pretty much key for me . . . also (as LINDA says) a generous allowance of just plain unimproving fun!!

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MIZCATHI 8/10/2011 3:37PM

    Your blogs of your current thoughts run so parralel to my own. I am 57 and still looking at my inner child, and wondering what I can do to kick myself in the butt so that I can once and for all reach my full potential. I think of this often, and my life becomes complacent as I list my "to do's" and largely ignore them. Sometimes, when I come across a notebook or a random to do list from months ago, I can cross off whole sections, but still the "list" lingers. What could I accomplish fully realized? I love reading, playing with the dogs, cuddling with my husband. Those moments are precious, too. I admire your "one thing" goals and I plan on putting something similar in action.

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MSLZZY 8/10/2011 3:14PM

    Interesting thoughts that mirror my own. Where has summer gone and what comes next? I guess I will take one day at a time and live it to the fullest. HUGS!

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_LINDA 8/10/2011 12:24PM

    Balance is a tough thing when you are working, trying to find time to do things for yourself. But it sounds like you are making the effort to do so. Imagine what you will do when you are retired! Enjoy the last of your time off, every little second of it! With this recovery, I am probably enjoying my summer more than I ever have, being at complete peace, not worrying about anything except healing. I have three weeks before, once again, the bridge club takes over a lot of my time once more. How about making your one thing something fun?

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KALIGIRL 8/10/2011 9:06AM

    Here's to continued good days!
My one thing today is sending hugs your way emoticon

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DEBRA0818 8/10/2011 8:35AM

    The struggle to find balance and meaning in our lives is a struggle well worth undertaking, though it provokes us from time to time with its elusive nature. I was just speaking about you this morning with great admiration for the wonderful balance you have achieved in your life. You rock!

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DEBRITA01 8/10/2011 8:25AM

    Thanks for the reminder to make each day count! Time passes way too quickly and it's important to stop every now and then to reflect and plan for the future. Here's to balance and living in the moment..."Spark On!" emoticon

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ELRIDDICK 8/10/2011 8:13AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Out in the sunshine

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

If "disease of isolation" is the dark side of being a compulsive eater, honesty and open communication is what brings it out into "the sunshine of the spirit".

After writing openly yesterday morning, I went on to a good, normal, balanced day. There's something to be said for routine and habit. But there's more to be said, in my case, for acceptance, honesty, and making the next decision a good one.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the wild things have taken over the house. I will get microchip identification for them on Saturday, so that I won't feel bad when (I won't say if) the Prisoner escapes the house to explore the wider world of OUTSIDE. You can see he's fascinated by it.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/11/2011 11:37AM

    I live alone and don't solcialize and have always been this way meaning the last friend I had was in early grade school. I don't think it lead to my eating poorly and gaining weight. That was my own choice, just as it was my own choice to get out of that lifestyle. In the end, you can only blame yourself for your choices on the way you live, not your environment. This journey is all about yourself, not anyone or anything else. Its the ultimate selfishness, putting your needs above all. Here is hoping people chose the healthy path.
Good for you for protecting your kitties!! All too often cats are allowed to roam with no means of identification.

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MSLZZY 8/10/2011 3:16PM

    We all are fascinated by the "outside world" so we venture forth to see and
behold what life has to offer. But we return to normal and balanced with
the feeling of accomplishment. We came, we saw, we conquered and life is good.

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KALIGIRL 8/10/2011 1:08PM

    I've never thought of isolation as a disorder as we can choose being alone and separated from others. I guess the question is why we're alone and if the separation includes hiding...

I totally agree "honesty and open communication is what brings (anything) out into "the sunshine of the spirit" and love the metaphor!

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LJCANNON 8/10/2011 12:50AM

    Yep, I think a microchip is a definite necessity! LOL!! emoticon

And I think you are Right On about the 'Disease of Isolation' analogy. That is why Sparking is so important to this Journey, I think.

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The dark side... the one we don't speak about...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Those of you who are familiar with the language of the 12 steps and particularly with OA (Overeaters Anonymous) know that it is referred to as a disease of isolation. This is because when the disease is in charge, it encourages us to hide from others while it goes on its merry way... pulling us into binge eating.

This is why among the tools of OA are a lot of connections with other people: call someone (Sponsor or another OA member), write about it, go to a meeting, etc.

Compulsive eaters (like me) have physiological responses to certain foods, the way alcoholics have them to alcohol, or drug addicts to their own substances of abuse. In the case of food, it is a slippery slope.

All that said, regular followers rejoiced with me over my Friday evening behavior... not being attracted by the ice cream or the chips. I celebrated it on my blog. But you notice that I brought two foods that are weaknesses into my home. The Mounds bar disappeared that night. The peanut butter remained, to call my name from the cupboard.

Saturday morning, in the middle of the bike ride, I had "second breakfast"... in order to "make weight" for my annual maintenance. This included a healthy wrap. But it also included an icy sugary coconut mocha coffee drink.

I made weight. A finish line. Goal met... which brings in the celebratory mind-set.

The physiology of the extra sugar and fat, though, added to the downward slide. emoticon On Sunday I wasn't feeling so hot. Even after writing my "going forward from here" blog, even after my morning workout... in the afternoon, I caved to the craves. I recognize that I was eating partly in an attempt to make myself "feel better". I ate things I don't normally. It added up to maybe twice my daily norm, in terms of calories (yes, of course I tracked it).

The thing we don't often blog about but those of us who are subject to binge eating and compulsive eating live with is the fear of relapse. We know how easy it is to gain not the two pounds I needed to gain... but ten, twenty, or fifty or more... because once starting down this slide, if not arrested at once, if we cave to the crave for a longer period... it keeps on going, and going, and going. Fed not just by food, but by shame and feelings of unworthiness.

Today, that's not going to happen. Remember about kicking perfectionism to the curb? Essential!

Today, I shall treat myself gently, as a human being, not a monster. Today I will nurture me, with foods I love that are good for me, too. Today I will have my normal activity. Today I will rejoice in being alive and in a day of recovery.

Life IS good, even when we have rocky patches. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKI0531 8/10/2011 11:29AM

    What a wonderful blog. I just happened to come across this while on another friends. Words from the heart. Very comforting specifically the latter part where you tell yourself to treat you kindly. Thank You.

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/9/2011 10:51PM

    I love the idea of nurturing yourself with healthy choices! Good for you! We all need that mindset!

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MIZCATHI 8/9/2011 6:29AM

    You are always reflecting and turning an negative into a positive - thank you.

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J-ALEXIS 8/9/2011 6:05AM

    OA is fabulous! As is your comment, "Remember about kicking perfectionism to the curb? Essential!" We ARE human, and many of us that battle with our weight are afflicted with a true disease--binge eating disorder. Recognizing that we must not be perfect is important. It is much too stressful to believe perfectionism is the only way. And for many, like myself, perfectionism can lead to stress and stress can lead to binging.

Your words are well-written and clearly expressed the battle that you dealt with. I can soooooooo relate.

Thanks for sharing!!! It means a great deal and offers us "food for thought."

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/9/2011 2:05AM

    I will compare it to alcohol - after six years or sobriety I fell very at ease and secure with alcohol, I can feel the temptation to be "Normal" but I have no cravings - it is more the psychological thing that I sometimes long to have that symbol for "the good life" that I lived with. But it is not hard and my fear is not pesent all the time.

With food it is so different. As you say, I can never no if itīs only "one bite" or the start of an earthslide, a total collapse that will make me eat and eat and eat... I donīt know if the people who surrender to always weighing their food and never eat ouside plan without discussing with their sponsor - maybe they get the sam secure feeling as I have with alcohol today. But I have not reached that kind of abstinence and to me the fear is always nagging my heels... thanks for writing!

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AMJSATURN 8/8/2011 11:57PM

    I can say this also, you are not alone .

Thanks for putting into words what I feel and never ever would verbalize let alone write for others to read.


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MSLZZY 8/8/2011 11:39PM

    So true! HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 8/8/2011 7:03PM

    Sure does resonate with a whole bunch of us here! Your absolute candour is the very best indication that yup, you'ver really licked this: temporary error, "oh well" and right back at it!!

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LEANJEAN6 8/8/2011 5:23PM

    emoticon--Yeah!! You deserve to care for yu!!! Lynda

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KATIE33MAHALA 8/8/2011 2:24PM

    You are a strong woman, I hope to be even half that strong, and with even just a little of your willpower! Its hard finding that place, to feel good, to feel like its not just a constant battle, to find exceptance! ( for one's self)

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KALIGIRL 8/8/2011 12:30PM

    "rejoice in being alive and in a day of recovery" - can't do much better than that!

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_LINDA 8/8/2011 12:11PM

    You are awesome!! GREAT attitude and response to a cave in. This is the strategy success is made out of!
Well done!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOURNEYTO60 8/8/2011 9:39AM

    I love how you really try to learn the premise of our actions and use your tools to face and overcome obstacles. Your blogs are helping all of us!

My daughter was visiting this week and has had a stressful couple of weeks, pulling things together in her young life. I took especially good care of her and then realized that I have to take especially good care of myself to be there for my family, friends, and students. I don't expect everyone else to be perfect, so I can't expect that of myself. I can expect a really good effort and consistency!

It is exciting to think that we can all find support here!

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SHARON2014 8/8/2011 9:29AM

    How timely this blog is for me! I have been giving in to cravings and excuses the past 2 weeks.

"Today, I shall treat myself gently, as a human being, not a monster. Today I will nurture me, with foods I love that are good for me, too. Today I will have my normal activity. Today I will rejoice in being alive and in a day of recovery."

emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/8/2011 8:59AM

  Wish I could give you a real hug, but SPARK emoticon being sent to you.

You are wise to recognize perfectionism is something that has to be kicked to the curb. That's a HUGE one for me. It is an obstacle to starting things, continuing things and/or finishing things. If it's not done perfectly than it's not worth doing . . . BAD attitude!

Just know you're not alone, your have TONS of support here and soooooo glad you blogged, because that's making things REAL. Only when we do that can we step forward.

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DEBRA0818 8/8/2011 8:29AM

    How I wish that I could be normal and use food occasionally for entertainment and comfort, but unfortunately, I usually blow right past satisfaction and end up in the ditch. As you say, fueled additionally by shame and feelings of unworthiness. I applaud your ability to take such a sensible view of the weekend. You're doing the next right thing!

emoticon emoticon

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