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Recovery days

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

OK, as you might have surmised from my status, I've been sidelined by allergies for a few days. "Recovery from illness" differs from "recovery from binge"... or does it?

When recovering from illness, you want to be sensitive to the needs of your body *today*, as opposed to its every day needs. You don't want to restrict, but you do want to eat things that your body in its current state can tolerate well. It may be a slightly different balance from the norm. Fair enough.

What about activity? Well, you want to pace yourself, not overdo.

Attitude? You want to be gentle with yourself, mentally and emotionally. Patient and kind.

When recovering from a binge, you pretty much want to do the same thing, right? What is a binge but a lapse, granted perhaps a mental / emotional one, but with physical effects? Those physical effects have to be dealt with gently, as do the mental / emotional ones.

So, not so different after all. What's the difference? We tend to add blame and shame to binges that we don't put on the flu, the allergies, or a trip to the surgery. With illness, we tend to rejoice over our increasing abilities. With illness, we tend to be grateful for life itself.

If we can bring that attitude to recovery from a "bad day", "bad week" or even "bad month" with food or exercise, won't we be so much better off?

To our health!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/14/2010 12:07PM

    Absolutely! Good point. I know that I assign more blame/guilt to a binge simpley because I feel it's something I have control over, vs. getting the flu or a cold. I'm such a control freak. You've given me something to think about and ponder today. Thanks so much!

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LJCANNON 4/14/2010 7:27AM

    I sure hadn't thought of it this way, but what you say makes a lot of Common Sense.
emoticonThat is why it is so important to surround ourselves with SparkFriends on this Journey. I am glad you are on this Journey with me.

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PENNYAN45 4/14/2010 3:15AM

    Having just come through the recovery from a binge - I couldn't agree with you more!
Great way to look at it!



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WALKINGANNIE 4/14/2010 2:47AM

    What a great way of looking at such a common problem. This is one of the things that I love about SP - the sharing of experiences that I can understand but with thoughts and perspectives that would never have occurred to me.

Lovely to have you back and hope you're well on the mend.

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EDIT - I had real trouble getting this message to send earlier today. Don't know where this emoticon came from!! Oops!

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Comment edited on: 4/14/2010 5:52:24 PM

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MSLZZY 4/13/2010 10:27PM

    Quite a different way of looking at it but so true! You are so wise. Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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DEBRA_T 4/13/2010 8:52PM

    Awesome way to describe it Barb! I am in the process of writing something for tomorrow that kind of mirrors this idea. I cannot tell you how it lifts my heart to think that after all this time of trying to drill down even harder on myself (when I need that least), I have finally come to a place of kindness, acceptance, empathy and love.

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NELLIEC 4/13/2010 8:48PM

    Putting the past behind and going forward is the best.

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When the news drives you to _____

Friday, April 09, 2010

Did you think I was going to say "binge"? Gotcha!

Actually, this is a serious blog entry. News articles some of my FB friends have pointed me at today have the photograph of the man who killed five of my son's comrades on November 5th last year. I have not been able to look at photos of that man's face without a huge feeling of disgust and ache and hurt. Why is it that the perpetrator of so much violence gets his picture plastered all over like he's some kind of hero? Meantime, those killed and wounded on that day remain obscure and anonymous to most of the world. Those of us who knew them keep them close, but are THEIR photos in the news today? No!

I believe that this is how prejudice gets started. The man's face has certain characteristics associated with his ethnic heritage. He perpetrated a heinous crime (there's no doubt he did it folks, he was personally known to the victims!) Plastering this face across the media along with tales of what he did... caused me, ME, raised liberally, taught to have tolerance toward all, to subtly begin to feel uncomfortable around one of my own doctors, who shares that racial / ethnic background... whose face has some similarities. To feel relieved when that doctor no longer needed to see me. I am not proud of this, in fact, I am shamed by it. But I recognize it as a fact, a gut-level reaction. Education is a tool to try to battle this, but eons of genetic selection have trained us to classify and learn to stay safe.

Sometimes I think too much news is bad for us. I know in my heart that there are many people of peace who share the same heritage. But I've been imprinted... do you look like this? I'm going to be very watchful around you.

How does this relate to healthy habits? Well, *not EATING uncomfortable feelings* leads me to write about them. And health goes beyond nutrition and exercise. Feeling safe is a huge part of being healthy. Having the ability to reach out to others is a big part of being healthy.

I'm facing a hard truth about my feelings. This, too, can be accepted, and given up to God, praying for the willingness to let it be healed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 4/10/2010 5:20PM

    I read your blog earlier Barb and it's made me think a lot. It raises hugely difficult issues and must have been a hard blog to write.

Your honesty reflects many other people's feelings. These truths are uncomfortable but exploring them as you are doing might help the world to become a better and more tolerant place. We can't help how we feel but we can help what we do about those feelings.

I hope that you can manage to find some personal peace of mind as you work through this complicated situation. My thoughts are with everyone affected by war.

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DEBRA_T 4/10/2010 7:29AM

    We struggle with our biological and evolutionary instincts don't we? Another aspect to this that I sometimes think about is the way in which we are made to feel guilty for these impulses, thoughts and feelings over which we genuinely have no control. Humans naturally gravitate toward those who look like them and away from those that don't. Just one reason why multi-cultural societies are so hard to establish and maintain; human instinct eventually "Balkanizes" them (check your average college campus). On the other hand, whatever instinctual feelings we have, we also have the power of rational thinking to overcome the feelings that have no basis in reality which you are doing in a very hard case. I join you in the lament about the free publicity that is afforded to those who commit the most fantastic crimes.

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MSLZZY 4/9/2010 11:02PM

    It is hard to admit one's faults and even harder to justify one's feelings. You were honest and that is more admirable than squelching it and pretending it doesn't exist.
You are not alone in this. But the news media has a tendency to fuel those feelings and opinions in a negative way. For that reason, I try not to overload myself with the news and the constant analysis of events. This may be wrong, too, but it helps me cope.

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PENNYAN45 4/9/2010 10:10PM

    Those are honest feelings that you have written about. We don't always have to like our feelings, but it is better to acknowledge them, rather than deny they exist. (That's where the overeating comes in, I think.)

Imprint is the right word, too. You and your son suffered a traumatic event - and at times like that, there are imprints made involuntarily on one's psyche. My son was in NYC not far from the twin towers when they fell, and I had an overwhelmingly emotional reaction to that event. My reaction of rage was very strong and it lasted a long time - for years.

So this is when we are grateful for our rational minds. As you mentioned, we know logically that not all people of a certain ethnicity are "guilty." And we understand that our feelings have formed from a trauma. So we allow ourselves our opinions and feelings, but we recognize them for what they are, and we don't always act on them.

If we are lucky, sometimes, after a while, we can soften.





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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/9/2010 10:06PM

    Personally? I think the criminals are given way too much media attention. And I think in some ways it almost encourages other "crazies" out there to copycat or do worse. How's that for cynicism?

And I also agree with you that plastering their mugs in the papers/on TV, leads some people to form prejudice against a specific race (or religion, or political views, etc.) So what's the answer? Perhaps reporting the news with no photos? Reporting the news only on the day it happens and perhaps the following day? How about more human interest stories about victims, their families or other more positive stories. We all know they're out there, but good news doesn't sell papers or help ratings, do they?

Oh, geez, I think you got me started. This just makes me crabby.

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I've settled on "caffeine"

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Yep, that seems to be the issue. I tested the theory by going to half-caf this morning before work and I thought I was only half awake. I bought a cup of coffee at work and zip! Fine again.

So... no more decaf in the morning. Full test!

In other news... I think I've talked myself into a five mile hike on Saturday on behalf of my nephew's boy scout troop... raise money for camp.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 4/9/2010 4:03PM

    Yep. Caffeine is my main remaining vice - and I love it.

A double expresso and a square of dark chocolate is my treat of choice.

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TODAYSAGIFT 4/9/2010 12:51PM

    Yeah, I think I'll stick with some study that came out recently that said massive amounts of caffeine decrease your risk in getting diabetes. That one sounds good!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

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MSLZZY 4/8/2010 10:08PM

    Funny how one little thing can make such a difference! Have fun Saturday! I'll be hoping for a beautiful spring day! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/8/2010 9:40PM

    I say, whatever gets you going in the morning. How nice that you'll be walking to help your nephew's boy scout troop. Just think of all the calories you'll burn while raising money -- a double whammy!

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NELLIEC 4/8/2010 9:25PM

    While I was never into much caffeine like some people, a number of years ago, I discovered that it gives me the shakes. Somehow I don't want to appear palsied!

So now the only caffeine I get is from small amounts of chocolate!

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LJCANNON 4/8/2010 9:06PM

    Congrats on the walk. emoticonI am doing my first 5K on April 17 and my 2nd one April 25th, both for charity.

emoticonI definitely am with you on the Caffeine monster. But I have cut down to one (LARGE) cup of coffee with Breakfast and one cup of Green Tea at bedtime. If I don't have caffeine at bedtime, I wake up with a horrendous caffeine headache. Good way to ruin a Day!!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/8/2010 8:42PM

    Oh, yeah, I get the caffeine withdrawal headache around 10am if I don't have my caffeine. Several times I gradually cut back. But seems like every time I give it up, there comes a sleepy demanding day I think I just can't do without it. Soon I'm back to needing it daily. My teeth are looking quite bleached and white, but I've slipped and had a couple cups of that dark, staining liquid. But really there are far worse vices, you know.

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This has been an interesting experience

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

OK, yesterday's sluggishness? Could have been one of two things... the higher cholesterol / fat of the breakfast out on Sunday, and my body not being used to it, or the mostly decaf coffee I was drinking Monday morning not having the punch I'm used to.

Anyway, I stayed up to watch Butler lose to Duke last night... on a squeaker of a missed bucket at the buzzer. emoticon But what a great ride! And today I was coming out of my fog at work... getting my stride back.

There may be a lot quicker turnaround from not-so-great-behavior than I thought. Healthy habits are addictive, you know? I'm just not at my best when I don't stick with them!

Back on track for sure today... treadmill and weights. Feel much more on MY game! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 4/7/2010 12:49PM

    So pleased that you're back on your game Barb and that you continue to inspire us with your progress. It's all the more impressive because you acknowledge the difficulties and tell us how you deal with them.

I'm also back in routine after a break from the norm and feel much more able to manage when there's a regular pattern and structure to follow.


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BLUEANGELLK 4/7/2010 12:21PM

    The body knows what to do if the brain stays out of the way!!!

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PATRISNA 4/7/2010 9:16AM

    You are doing great. Keep going strong. emoticon

Hugs,
Pat

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RITAROSE 4/7/2010 7:46AM

  Good for you!! I love hearing your encouraging story, you are doing a fantastic job!
Have a great workout! emoticonRitarose

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SHARON2014 4/7/2010 6:03AM

    Our bodies know best, now if our brains would just catch on!! Have a great day today! emoticon

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PONDERTHIS 4/7/2010 2:21AM

    Way to go~! You're an inspiration to me! Thanks for posting this. I keep forgetting that fat can go to my head....LOL
Hugs and love,
Anne
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ANDEEJC 4/6/2010 11:45PM

    I agree with you. I don't understand why I am so reluctant to go to the gym. I know that I feel so much better when I am done. Why is it that even though I know I feel a lot better when I am eating right and working out that it is still or hard for me to do so. You would think that my body would just want to feel that way. Maybe it's my head. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better and are back in step. It is crazy how food can be so good, yet make us feel so bad. Have a great day and keep up the good work.

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MSLZZY 4/6/2010 10:37PM

    emoticon

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KA_JUN 4/6/2010 10:07PM

    Healthy habits are addicting! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/6/2010 10:02PM

    I could not agree with you more! I was so worried when I had problems on Thursday, Saturday AND Sunday. Monday I was back on track almost 100% and today I was. I think it really is about the habits we establish. Thank God I'm replacing old unhealthy habits with new healthy habits.

I'm glad you had the same revelation!

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HONORINGGOD 4/6/2010 10:01PM

    we all fall down ,but sparkpeople get right back up amen emoticon

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Holiday lessons for those who eat emotions

Monday, April 05, 2010

Emotional eaters have a balancing act when it comes to holidays. Easter was tough for me, not because of temptations of food (I didn't buy candy, I went out with a sister who is supportive of healthy habits for my holiday meal), but because of the uncomfortable emotions surrounding the set-up of holidays in general.

Being "of a certain age", there are memories of years past to compare. It's easier for a holiday to bring mixed feelings. In every emotional day and hour, there is a reflection of the opposite emotion. Amid joy, there is longing or sadness. In grief and sadness, comes healing. In commemorating the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection, come memories of those who left this plane this year. The men and women fallen from my son's unit (and others in service). The minister who wrote the touching words to "Rejoice this Easter Day!" which we sang also departed this year.

Easter was harder for me than Christmas was. My son was home such a short time ago on leave, it was harder letting him go again. But I got through yesterday, without eating to comfort. I find that if I am not numbing the feelings with food, I can appreciate their layers.

This was a victory of a sort. Still, I found myself walking through today weary, having a hard time finding my stride at work. This evening I saw SusieMilo's blog entry... and my heart just flows out her and her family in their loss and grief.

What I hope to achieve and learn from all of this: to sit with the sadness, acknowledge it, and let it wash over and be healed in a Love that is pure. I pray for the comfort of others, as well.

May we each find the comfort and healing that comes in a healthy relationship with our emotions, and a healthy relationship with food, treating our bodies and our minds with kindness and compassion.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/6/2010 7:46PM

    So sorry that your holiday was difficult (as they so often are); but congratulations on handling it as you wanted to do.

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PENNYAN45 4/6/2010 7:26PM

    You have written about many of us here in this blog. And you have expressed it well.

Unfortunately, holidays do bring to the surface many of the emotions related to losses suffered.

It is good to acknowledge that while food may dull some of the feelings, it does not erase them. Those feelings are best let out in the light of day and dealt with rather than buried to surface at another time or in another way.

And those of us who are Susie's friends had a very sad day on Monday.





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WALKINGANNIE 4/6/2010 1:10PM

    Thank you for sharing your feelings with us, Barb - and well done for dealing with your emotional eating when you could so easily have given in to temptations.

We feel our emotions in layers as well as finding them in food tastes. This blog reaches the deepest layer - fear of losing those who are dearest to us. No words can begin to express how we feel when that fear becomes a reality. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child (at any age) and to those, like you, who are separated from loved ones in difficult circumstances.

Life is precious. Health is precious. Perhaps the best we can do to in this community is to acknowldege the importance of fitness and to work on making our own lives as healthy as possible and to keep on supporting each other.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/6/2010 12:02PM

    What a beautiful blog. You said it so eloquently. I am so glad you were able to resist emotional eating and enjoy the process of feeling all of those emotions. That is something I will need to aspire to.

I wish you a great week ahead and look forward to your next blog entry.

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SHARON2014 4/6/2010 8:13AM

    thank you, this touched a chord with me. We lost my dad and others this past year. So it was just my DH, mom and a recently widowed friend who went out for breakfast after church - a far cry from Easter baskets, coconut cakes and deviled eggs of past years. thanks for the insight. emoticon

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XINIXINIX 4/6/2010 7:41AM

    Learning to "appreciate the layers" - phew, that will take a lifetime. Thanks for the the great blog.



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PATRISNA 4/6/2010 6:29AM

    Barb this is a wonderful blog. You wrote everything about our emotions during holidays so well. Thank you.

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PONDERTHIS 4/6/2010 1:23AM

    Barb, this is a great blog! You so clearly talk about feelings and food, and the value of not eating to stifle the feelings. You are very inspiring to me with this post. Thank you.
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Anne

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MSLZZY 4/6/2010 12:02AM

    So true! Take care, dear friend!

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DEBRA_T 4/5/2010 11:53PM

    The temptation to eat is strongest when the feelings are generated by the incomprehensible. But, of course, how to comprehend it if one shortchanges the process by eating?

This was a very sad Monday indeed. Makes me want to hug everybody.

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SKINNYME815 4/5/2010 11:35PM

  I am glad you are getting in touch with yourself, I wish I could Holidays are so hard on me.

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