We must be willing to LET GO of the life we’ve PLANNED, so as to have the life that is WAITING FOR US. — Joseph Campbell
Maybe I need to push myself out of complacency and into embracing belief in myself and commitment to my own joy. Otherwise, I settle for what’s familiar, what keeps me stagnant.
I’ve been having these thoughts for days–weeks?–now and I can’t let them go. I am in a strange space, where my body doesn’t feel good, and my head is foggy more often than not. I’m not fueling myself well, and I’m letting stress and escape trump even the movement I love so much.
I’ve been on this crazy journey, this mission to find myself and settle into my center, to find peace with my body and my head. And I’ve come SO FAR with that. I’m SO proud of the work I’ve done to begin the lifelong process of unraveling so many years of self-hatred. Except that somehow, in the last few months, something has been shifting. I didn’t see it at first, but I’m seeing it now. Little ways that I’m sliding back into old OLD habits…eating ONLY for emotional release, intentionally choosing negatively impactful foods, seeking out all the wrong things. In a time I thought I’d escaped, it was punishment. I found subtle ways to punish myself, in the guise of reward or treat or indulgence, for what I saw as my own lacking. Now…I don’t know what it is now. I don’t know if it’s that, or something new.
In the process of finding a safe space, I needed to be gentle, to sit back, to relax into myself. But now it’s time to push, to not remain in this place, to revisit the edges of my comfort zone and see what comes of stepping outside the boundaries of what I once believed limited me. I don’t know what that means, or what the next step is for me, but it’s time to find something. I’m hoping I can lean on some of you to help me find my way, because I’m feeling a little lost right now.
How do you come to terms with results when they require a focus on the same tools that trigger unhealthy thought processes?
When you’ve spent years extracting yourself from the diet and weight loss mentality, how do you make sense of weight loss? How do you celebrate an apparent result of choices made, when that result represents something that could trigger some seriously detrimental thought processes?
I don’t know what the answer is here. The truth is that this whole thing is complicated for me. I’m not really weighing myself right now, but I do occasionally step on the scale…because I own one? Because I’m curious? Because it’s ingrained to consider my weight as an important piece of information? I can’t say for sure.
So as it so happens, I weighed myself just before starting both half marathon walk training and Pure Barre classes. I didn’t do it because I was starting those things. It just happened that way. When I looked back and realized I’d completed a month of both, I got curious about weights and measurements – I’d taken those a month earlier for the sake of picking the right sizes for Halloween costume pieces – so I figured I’d see where I was at.
A quick comparison made it pretty clear that I’d made some changed. In fact, I’d lost five pounds and a little over three inches.
I was thrilled. Elated. Then, frankly, a little scared. I lost weight! Yay! Yay? Is it alright to be happy about it? If I AM happy about it, is it just because I’m still wrapped up in old thoughts about health and success? If I celebrate weight loss, I feel like I’m just back to using that as a measure of success…which has proven to be drastically untrue for me.
So I’m trying to focus instead on something better. I made changes that I enjoyed making. I chose movement that made me feel good, gave me space to clear my head, and made my body feel strong and capable. As a result of those choices, and either despite or unconnected from my food choices at the time, I felt better and stronger. I had more energy. I struggled less with mood fluctuations. As a side effect of these choices, I experienced some weight loss and a measurement decrease. Those changes were NOT the point, are NOT the goal, and CANNOT be counted on as continuing changes even if my behavior remains otherwise the same. The target I am chasing is the way my activity choices made me FEEL (awesome), the way they made me THINK (clearer), the way they made me MOVE (with confidence). Those are the things I’m chasing as I continue my journey.
And that’s where I feel like I can turn my focus to food. If it’s about losing more weight/inches, my attempts to eat better are never going to work. In fact, lately I’ve been trying to focus on WHY I continue to eat in ways that don’t best serve my body, and the more I think about it the more I feel like having any sort of appearance focus on what/when/why I eat is going to be counterproductive for me. If, on the other hand, I can focus on the things that will make me feel my best, be my happiest, provide me the most energy to get happily and productively through my days…then maybe I can make the choices that help me thrive.
So this coming week will be a week for me to focus on those choices. Even through the weekend, which for me is usually a time of acknowledged crap eating, I’ll be attempting to eat the foods my body needs. I’ll be interested to see what happens in another month if I can maintain the food choices that provide me with my best mind/body connection.
I made it until 1:45 before I had a near break down in the kitchen and ate some PopTarts. So… that went badly.
I also slept awfully last night so my plan for morning workouts was a bust too.
The PopTarts led to four whole wheat fig bars.
I stayed up way too late reading.
What went well:
I only had two cups of coffee.
I drank way more water than I usually do.
I had a super healthy lunch.
I started out the morning with meditation.
What went wrong:
Dog poop. Cell phone won’t turn on. Running late.
Waffle taco. Two bites. SO awful.
Another fig bar.
What went well:
Only two cups of coffee.
Lots of veggies at lunch.
Another morning meditation.
The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself.
Inspiration is just another word for renewal.
What else there is:
I’m feeling delicate, and frankly I have been for a while now. I know it means that something has to change, but I don’t know what. More than delicate, I’m finding the instances in which I think “I am sad” (versus ‘I FEEL sad’) are increasing overall, which concerns me because it means I’m missing something…some sign, some signal.
I’m having thoughts around dieting and weight loss again. It’s my go-to for when I don’t feel like I have control. Pics like this one tend to make me feel a little more that way sometimes. I know that if I did a certain set of things – a certain way of eating, a certain way of moving, I would lose weight. I wouldn’t be any happier, perhaps, but I would lose weight and some part of me, after so many years chasing that goal, would count that as a success. It’s also a reaction to being frustrated lately. No matter how many ways I come at it, how many tactics I attempt when it comes to making the food and movement choices that make me feel my best…it just keeps not happening. I set big goals, and then I just don’t. I eat PopTarts and read until 1am, wake up exhausted, drink too much coffee, and repeat. I watch people around me have success in meeting their goals, and I just…don’t. I tried shifting my goals. I tried focus on interior changes. I tried taking baby steps, then super baby steps, then nearly invisible steps, and I keep falling back into the same pattern of eating and (not) moving that just make the tired and cranky worse. The less I get off the couch, the harder it is to get off the couch. But the thing is? I hate getting off the couch. I seriously do. I want to sit and read and watch movies. I want to type and surf the internet and put my feet up. I always have wanted that. Sometimes I find interludes of a particular type of movement that keeps me motivated for days or weeks…and then I settle back into my preferred lack of movement.
But is that really what I prefer? I don’t feel better when I don’t move. I’m more tired, less secure in my own skin. And as I’ve previously established, the eating is about both confidence and control as well. I eat poorly when I feel insecure, when things feel too easily shifted or when I’m questioning my own abilities.
I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to break out of this routine, trying to eat right and exercise in ways I don’t completely hate. I just keep trying and trying and trying and I never succeed. I know it’s not a race, not something with a final end goal, but I never make progress. I don’t get stronger, I don’t get leaner. Not in a sustainable way or in the long term. I’m tired. I’m tired of constantly pushing to go workout when I’d rather do anything else. I’m tired of considering everything I put into my mouth because I can’t be sure without examination what’s behind the food choice I’m making.
I don’t want to be tired all the time. I don’t want to be short tempered. I don’t want to be more and more sad. I don’t want to give up on the things I believe are best for me. I really, honestly feel better when I’m making healthy choices. I just don’t know how to sustain it. I don’t know how to make it work long term. There always comes a point when I step away and then I can’t get back. I took last week off, and now I have even less motivation to do anything.
I don’t think I have a point here, and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m talking in circles…so that’s what I’ve got for now. I guess… I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking for help. Again.
As I sat in the #ToughLove session at FitBloggin, I had a lot of conflicting emotions. I went to the session because I wanted to support Steve & Sue, and I thought it would be interesting. At first, I was feeling pretty resistant. I felt weird, and spent a lot of the session arguing in my own head. I wanted to disagree with what was being said, and at first I did. The more I sat with it, though, the more I wondered if the issue was that I disagreed, or that it was exactly what I needed to hear.
After much thought, I did what I’m finally learning to do well. I reached out to chat it out with a friend. At the risk of looking lazy, I’m just going to paste in the relevant stuff…
H: So now I’m in this spot where I want to do more, get stronger, and specifically clean up my foods…I am an emotional eater from a household of junk food lovers, and I don’t know how to clean up the food. Intellectual arguments don’t seem to work. I know the science. I know the worth of clean foods. I feed them to my daughter. And then I stress eat oatmeal creme pies at work.The session was a struggle for me because I want some accountability, but I’m so damned fragile right now and still trying so hard to figure out what I can do that won’t make me crazy again that I don’t know what help to ask for. Also, I’m afraid of being pushed (either directly or in a reactionary way) right back into the physically and mentally unhealthy things I was doing before.
T: They really ARE out to get us. I know playing the victim card feels like bullshit, but you know what, we’re absolutely the victims here. They are VERY well armed. They have huge budgets, research divisions, behavioral psychologists…you’re targeted SO SPECIFICALLY. (“They” being major food corps)
H: I’m a sugar addict and it scares me. I’m terrified of how much control it has. I’m trying to track my macros now, because I think upping my healthy fat and protein might help curb the cravings.
We talked about how the free snacks at work were a HUGE issue for me, and I got the suggestion to write to HR about it.
T: Talk about the marketing. Talk about the studies. Talk about the snacks that are available. Talk about how much you appreciate the company’s effort to fuel employees through their day, then talk about how TERRIBLE a job they’re doing at it. Then suggest resources that could make it better.
I admitted to being scared to rock the boat, and through a lot more conversation was finally convinced that I’m doing the right thing. By asking for the healthy snacks I need, I’ll be doing a lot of other people favors too because the sugary crap is dragging us all down. We talked more about eating cleaner, about organic foods.
H: I don’t feed my daughter that way. But when something has to give, it’s always me.
The more we talked, the more I realized what a disservice I was doing to myself, and as an extension, to my family too. I’m worth taking good care of. And when did it hit me?
T: If you’re making good choices for your daughter, and shortchanging yourself, she will see that. And children respond to actions over words. Careful you don’t teach her to put herself last.
CAREFUL YOU DON’T TEACH HER TO PUT HERSELF LAST.
Well, fracking frack. If that’s not a crying at work type of statement, then I don’t know what is. Further conversation and some serious workplace meditation (thanks, empty conference room) led to the weird realization that I crave sugar when I’m feeling insecure. Because WHAAAAATTTTT?!? I mean, seriously. Knowledge BOMB right there. So weird. I’m sitting with that in an attempt to recognize it, label it as such, and work from there.
In the end though, the long-azz conversations led to me actually wanting to participation in a #justtrollin post of my own. I’m calling myself out. I’m making it clear what I want and how I’m going to get it, and I’m opening up the doors to all of you to call me out (with love, please) when I’m not following through. I’ve been scared to do this, because I spent so much time away from tracking and weighing and working so hard on getting into the right headspace. Now that I’m there, I’m so scared of losing it that I fought the notion of this post. I felt like if I went back to any old habits (blogging? tracking exercise? measuring progress?) I’d somehow be undoing all the work I did. It took my own personal Badass Buddha to help me realize it would just be the next step to build on that work.
So here’s what I want, some of which was straight up stolen from other people’s #justtrollin posts.
Clean up my social media
Take clear, consistent steps toward cleaner foods
Keep up my strength training plan
Remember how awesome I am
Taking a cue from Thea, I pared down my social media accounts. I combed through my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and got rid of the people I don’t ever interact with. Thea’s right. I can’t have meaningful interactions with the people I actually care about when every feed is cluttered up with hundreds of posts from people who I never have conversations with. Now things are still pretty full, but much cleaner, and it’s easier for me to see the people I care about. Keeping everyone in the loop and staying up to date on their comings and goings helps keep the feeling of community strong, and that community is what helps keep me energized and motivated to make the right choices.
Today at a team lunch I finally realized something EARTH SHATTERING. Something that, in fact, just proves out my theory that this work I’m doing now is building onto the work I’ve done on my mental well-being instead of tearing it down. Ready for it?
It’s not about not having the pizza. See, we sat down to lunch at a reportedly awesome pizza place. I looked at the menu and thought, “I should get the salad.” I thought about it and I realized I had two distinct choices. 1) I could get the salad and feel virtuous. Virtuous, miserable, and unfulfilled as my coworkers ate pizza around me. 2) I could get the pizza, load it with veggies, and really enjoy my lunch. So I did. I got a thin crust personal pizza with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and spinach. It was wonderful, I loved lunch, and I brought half home for dinner. Making the right food choices doesn’t have to be awful and restrictive just because that’s how I did it for so long.
This is also the first week since I started my new job that I haven’t eaten an Oatmeal Crème Pie. I was eating 3-4 a day on some days. It was getting dark. Stepping away from them is step one in my attempts to clean up the food. First up, I’m cutting back my sugar. I’ve stopped putting any in my coffee, opting instead for coconut oil at home and plain half & half when I’m out and don’t have a nondairy option.
The NF eating plan calls for heading in the direction of paleo, but that just doesn’t jive for me so instead I’m focusing on the things I think will help me the most. Sugar is my first concern, and then I want to focus on drastically reducing the amount of processed food I take in every day. As always, I’m much better about it with Evi, but it’s time to make sure I’m taking care of my own needs too. Processed stuff is going to be difficult, as I’ve developed a lifestyle that’s fairly dependent on those “easy” foods, but it’s worth the effort. It might also be an uphill battle with Aaron a little bit, as I’m not sure he’s sold on the value of them, but I think if I can prove that it won’t be a significant price increase then I’ll be able to sell him on it in time.
Just like everything else, this is also about listening to my needs. I got my mom’s trainer to do my macros for me and I was tracking for a while, but in the end it was making me crazy again. I was angry all the time, and it took Aaron calling me out on it to make me see it for what it was. I stopped and was IMMEDIATELY more relaxed. Tracking just doesn’t work for me, and the truth is that if I’m working hard to reduce my sugar and my processed foods and I’m sticking to my planned workouts, I’ll be more than fine.
How you can help
Point me in the direction of easy, cheap recipes using fresh foods.
Share your tips for saving money while still getting fresh, local foods.
Tell me where you shop to save money on fresh, unprocessed foods.
Share ideas on how to make things like lunch snacks for kids that are cheap, easy, and unprocessed.
I’ve done decently well with sticking to the Nerd Fitness workouts so far, and I’ve also been pretty good about cutting myself some slack when life gets in the way instead of declaring myself a FAILURE for veering off the schedule. I’m not loving the workouts, but I’m trying to remember the purpose of them, and I do feel pretty awesome when I’m done. I was amused to discover a fair amount of motivation the other day when the gym was playing American Ninja Warrior during my workout. Turns out that watching people do cool things involving strength is pretty motivating sometimes.
I’ve switched to doing the first level of the bodyweight workout instead of the tutorial workout. I think the bodyweight is meant to be harder, but it was the better workout for me. The tutorial workout left me so painfully sore that I could barely walk or sit down for four days. The bodyweight workout left me feeling distinctly sore, but not in actual pain. Definitely the winner, and I think it won’t be too long before I can move to the second level of the bodyweight workout as long as I’m consistent about working out.
Finding time for the workouts is tough for me because there’s always something else going on. On the 4th I managed to go to the gym while everyone else headed to the pool and meet them later. Where I find issues is around timing. The best plan is for me to workout first thing in the morning, but I like to take my time waking up. Once I wake up and have my coffee, it’s time to get off to whatever our plans for the day are. During the work week I can go at lunch time, but it’s tough to take the time in a very busy new job. In the end though, these are all excuses. Yes, some work days aren’t going to allow the time for workouts. Yes, some weekends are going to be about family time and relaxing instead of working out and sweat in the gym. But most of the time? Most of the time I need to be making the time to workout.
I also can’t forget the importance of conditioning workouts. Walking is something I love and it’s so beneficial. It’s also an easy thing to work in on weekends during family time. Yoga is SO important to me, so necessary to not only my physical health but my mental well-being…and for no reason I can think of, I’ve been letting it slide lately. No more of that.
How you can help:
If I’m not talking about working out, I’m probably not doing it. Call me on that.
Share your ideas, tips, suggestions on how to make time for working out when you’re busy. We’re all busy, and a lot of people are making the time, so tell me how YOU do it.
Share the details about when you choose NOT to make a workout your first priority.
If I go more than 2 days without posting a yoga pic on IG, call me on it.
Find ways to choose joy. I’m awesome. I know that a lot of the time, but I frequently forget it. It’s time to work on keeping my awesomeness in the forefront of my consciousness every day. I’m working hard on it, and it seems to be working right now.
How you can help:
Just keep being YOU. Seriously, I’m so inspired by everyone around me. My FitBloggin peeps and everyone else I’ve come to share this space with. Share your stories.
So we’re in this together, right? And ♪♫everything is awesome when you’re part of a team♫♪ .
Thanks in no small part to Mara, I had a total epiphany last night. As I sat on the couch, dreading the workout I was already “a day late” in doing, knowing it wasn’t what I wanted to do AT ALL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES… I thought about it.
I thought about Mara‘s beautiful words, her incredible vision, her tendency to know just what I need to hear. So what was it she said that got me really thinking? What incredible wisdom did she offer that made me finally realize I had an option to choose flexibility instead of declaring failure?
So there it is. Some heavy wisdom, right? And in seeing it, I realized it was high time I do just as she suggested and FRACKING LAY OFF myself already.
I stopped trying to force something that just wasn’t gonna happen. I rethought the plan to jump from all yoga all the time to five days a week of one hour strength/cardio workouts. I rearranged my plan to make a crap ton more sense in terms of my lifestyle and schedule, and I feel SO MUCH more relaxed about the whole damned thing now. So here’s the new version. It still includes all the same workouts, minus one buffer week at the end of the year.
It also means I have the rest of this week to get back to the serious yoga practice my mind and body crave. Fifteen minutes in the morning, or thirty at lunch, or thirty at night, or some combination thereof. Mmmm…Yoga.
And so, I’m ready to be easy with myself. To let the week flow. To stop stressing about stupid things like STICKING TO THE SCHEDULE ZOMG when all I’m really looking for is strength and sweat. If that’s what I really want (and holy moly, I just realized that IS what I’m aiming for) then who cares what schedule I stick to, what workout I do, what “plan” I follow? I’ll get up. I’ll move my body. I’ll sweat it all out. And I’ll do it in a sustainable, non-crazy making way that makes me feel GOOD instead of stressed out.
31 things to teach your daughter I want MY kid to know:
1. How to give a firm handshake.
2. To never wear clothes with something written across the buttthat make you feel uncomfortable or fake.
3. A man will never treat a woman better than he treats his mom. Pay attention to how the guys treat their moms, and run from the ones who aren’t respectful.Choose a partner who makes you feel respected and safe, and who inspires you to be your best self.
4. Look people in the eye when you talk to them.Cultivate confidence and self-love, which in turn will radiate love of others.
5. People will judge you by what you say. “I was like, um, totally!” does not qualify as a sentence.Express yourself with confidence and joy.
6. People will judge you by what you wear. Show respect for yourself (and see #2).Screw what people think, because they will find a reason to judge you if they’re so inclined. Be proud of who you are.
7. How to change a tire.
8. How to throw a football.lose yourself in physical movement in a way that brings you peace.
9. Don’t be afraid to use your voice – sometimes it’s the most powerful thing you have, and power is not determined so much by volume, as it is by passionate and consistent communication with respect.
10. Basic self defense – be able to get out of a situation, and run fast. And use that powerful voice.
11. Teach them how to apologize well, ask for help when needed, and that anger is more harmful to the person who harbors it than to who it’s directed at.How to apologize with grace when you’re genuinely at fault, how to stick to your guns without being mean, and how confidence means knowing when to ask for help.
12. What’s in the magazine is photoshopped. Confidence is more attractive than size 2 jeans.Women come in all shapes and sizes. Learn to love your body for the amazing things it does for you every day, and make your food/movement decisions out of love and respect for that amazing, powerful body of yours.
13. Laughter can diffuse many a challenging situation. Especially when you can laugh at yourself.
14. Block out the voices. Not every opinion is worth listening to – listen to the ones that matter, and learn whose opinion you’ll allow to shape your thoughts. 15. Advertising is full of hidden agendas. Don’t fall for it. “Maybe she’s born with it… maybe it’s Maybelline” – really? Maybelline didn’t make her anything she wasn’t born with.
16. How to hit a baseball, throw a punch, and use a compass… or spike a volleyball, roundhouse kick, and use a protractor. Just keep your interests as varied as your beautiful spirit. (Hey, you started out with robots, dinosaurs, and planets and just yesterday declared yourself a doctor scientist astronaut.
17. How to write a proper thank you letter, and how to type…even if you type with four fingers like your Mom.
18. How to manage money.
19. Appreciate the little things (and little refers to more than diamonds and pearls).Appreciate the small gestures in life that make you feel most at peace and in balance.
20. Read often and much. Read works of classic and contemporary literature, fiction and nonfiction. Don’t be ashamed of what you love to read, no matter what anyone else says about it’s quality.
21. Walk in someone else’s shoes.Volunteer for a cause that you feel passionate about.
22. Listen well, both for what’s being said, and for what’s being omitted. Learn to think critically and reason for yourself.
23. Dream big, and set realisticincredible, boundless goals. You can accomplish more than you think you can.
24. Girls can do most things as well as boys can, in general. But know your personal limits, what your own strengths and weaknesses are. Once you know them you can use them to your advantage.Know your strengths and play to them. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work with them. Cultivate radical self-love.
25. Most things worth having or worth doing require sacrifice. Know what you’re willing to sacrifice, and for what.
26. No regrets. Learn from the past, but don’t dwell on what could have been.
27. Just because it’s never been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Push the limits.
28. Basic sewing skills.Find joy in crafting, even if you suck at it…. paint or draw or sew or knit, take photographs or make collages… whatever lets you create.
29. How to handle herself online – using good be aware of online privacy, remembering that anything shared can go viral (including pictures in poor taste), and knowing that people online aren’t always who they say they are.
30. Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Listen to that voice, and don’t silence it.
31. The world isn’t all there is. Rely on God more than you rely on anything else, including yourself.your inner strength and the strength of the people who love you. When all else fails, call your mom and dad. They will hold you up to the last of their strength which, when it comes to you, is boundless. And remember that you’re stronger than you think.
And a few more, just from me:
If you want to dye your hair a ridiculous color, ask for my help. It’s just hair and it will grow back, but it will turn out infinitely better with someone who can see the back of your head.
Don’t get caught up in what someone else thinks is right for you. You know yourself best (except for maybe me) and what feels right in your heart is probably the best bet.
Don’t lose sight of your heart. It will break, and it will heal, and it will be stronger for it.
If you hate me and your dad, call your Banana.
Move a little every day, in a way that makes your body and your soul feel vibrant and strong. There is no right way.
As in The Impatient Cow. No? Nobody? Well, apparently I AM the impatient cow.
I’ve been fighting with myself way too much these days. Everything is a struggle. The exact same habits and mindsets that helped me lose the weight I dropped are suddenly the reasons I’m consistently making choices I’ll regret. While there have certainly been times I’ve thrown up my hands and stopped trying, this is the first time EVER that I’ve tried this hard and constantly struggled unless I was really struggling with some rough emotional stuff. So I started thinking about it, started trying to sniff out the issues.
And? Nothing. Sure I have stress. Yes I’m terrified about this potential leg issue. But the stress isn’t new, and the problem was happening before the foot/leg pain started. So… what the what?
Aaron has been maxed out on stress lately too, working half of most weekends and still not keeping up thanks to understaffing. We sat down to talk it out last night, and boom! Lightning bolt! Suddenly, I know what’s wrong.
We’re maxed out. Between the basic job stress and parenting and running the household and a long commute… we just have nothing left. Every “free” moment is spent grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, laundry, dishes, windows, car repairs… And it’s (perhaps not shockingly) wearing me down. I don’t get many chances to recharge.
I’m grateful for my job and thrilled that I still love it. I’m glad we have a safe place to live and enough resources to raise a healthy, happy little girl. But.., I need more. On a given day, I have about 2hrs of mental free time when I’m on the bus but not answering work emails. I think that time is keeping me sane, but I’m essentially immobile.
I have about 45 minutes of potential active time every day, but any time I miss work I worry about falling behind because my job is so important to me, so if I take a day off I’m unlikely to take a gym break for several days before and after.
The less I move, the more vindictive the my food choices become. The worse I eat, the worse I feel and the harder I have to fight to get out from under the guilt. I end up, as I am right now, trapped in this heavy fog of self judgement and guilt and sadness.
There’s nothing I can do about put schedule right now. We’re working as beat we can on moving to somewhere that would significantly decrease my commute and not lengthen Aaron’s, but that is an expensive and lengthy process.
But I’m not powerless. I DO have choices. I can decide how this effects me instead of just letting it happen to me. Björg and I can choose where the feelings take us.
And therein lies the impatience. I honestly believe my attempts at I tuition eating were working…. or they would have I’d is been more patient. If I’d been willing to sit in my own head longer, work to really understand my mind/body connection better, I think I would have been on the right track.
And tracking? So not working. If you look at my food diary since I went back to tracking (please don’t) it’s totally ridiculous. It painfully showcases someone who’s at best not listening and at worst medicating with food. It’s bad for my head and worse for my heart. No more. It’s time to put in the work.
And that’s the crux of it. Intuitive eating takes work. I’ve spent too many years restricting calories, moralizing food, and guilt tripping my body… it won’t be as easy and natural as “intuitive” suggests because I have no damn clue how to listen to my body. But I was getting there and it’s time I commit to doing it for real.
So what’s the plan? MORE YOGA!!! More hiking, when I get the all clear to do so. More soul lifting forms of movement. And food? I thought long and hard about what really makes me happy, and the answer hit me in the face… literally. I was cleaning up my bookshelf, and one of my favorite healthy books (despite the stupid title) fell off.
Recycling some old favorite posts from a now-defunct group blog. This one got TONS of comments, many emotional and somewhat angry ones…
My husband and I were both raised Mormon. Independently of one another, we both stopped going to church after high school. Now, as adults, we are happy and comfortable with our personal belief systems and neither of us have any interest in going back to church, any church. My husband’s belief system leans more toward the scientific and rational, while I still entertain some spiritual beliefs that don’t have a particularly secular explanation… but in the end we’d probably both call ourselves agnostic. Basically, neither of us believe that we can be sure one way or the other and, at least for me, I’m just not sure it matters. In the end, shouldn’t we be good people because it’s just the right thing to do, independent of judgment from on high? And any God who might be out there… wouldn’t he/she/it be rather pleased I’ve lived a good life and been kind to others? There’s just something about the notion of an all powerful being who will punish me for not believing despite the quality of my life that seems a little… self serving? Narcissistic?
So we’ve decided to raise our daughter in the way that makes the most sense to us. As she grows up and begins to question the world around her, we’ll help her understand that people all over the world believe all kinds of different things. As an intelligent human being, it’s her job to find the belief system that is right for her and makes her feel happy and fulfilled. If she has a burning desire to become a Catholic or a Wiccan or whatever floats her spiritual boat, I’m behind her. I did my fair share of exploring various religions, and it helped me to come to where I am today, which is a very comfortable place independent of any organized religion. If she asks about God, we’ll help her explore her own thoughts and feelings about it. I have ZERO problem with her choosing a religion whenever she wants to, as long as she chooses something that makes her happy, that’s pretty much all I need from life.
There’s just one little snag… Her father and I did get something from our church attendance. We both got a good moral background that helped us not to be drunken partiers or crazy promiscuous as teenagers/college kids, and I like how that has helped informed who we are as adults. Of course, my friends and family tend to joke that I am secretly Amish, since I have never been a big drinker, never done any drugs (not even marijuana, not even once), and was always sexually responsible. I want our daughter to grow up with similar values, but the truth is that I think we can instill them without the help of the Almighty. In fact, our background in the church might have given us a little too much morality… For years with both had some issues with guilt and self-consciousness when it came to intimacy even though we were happily married, thanks to years of being told how wrong sex was. So maybe it’s not such a bad thing that our daughter won’t get any religious themes when it comes to morality. A cleaner, simpler lesson for her will be to just do the right thing. Do it because it’s right, not because you fear retribution or judgment.
This weekend at a Greek festival we saw one more aspect of church that we feel like is missing from our non-religious lives. Community. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone had the support of this vast social and religious network. Even though we live in a small town, the people here are not quick to make and maintain friendships, and in the end our neighborhood (which has thousands of houses within it’s sprawling borders) feels less like a community and more like a random collection of strangers. We have friends, but most of them live pretty far away and not many have kids. So how do we foster the kind of social atmosphere that will help our daughter to understand the worth of friends and loved ones beyond the family? Play groups? Clubs? Classes?
I just spent ten minutes putting together a spreadsheet to prove (to myself? to you?) that I don’t have enough time.
Then I deleted it. Because guess what? I don’t have enough time. Neither do you. Neither does everyone I know who gets their workouts in, or makes healthy food a priority. None of us have enough time. We MAKE the time.
If I want this to happen, I have to MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
I know. Rocket science, right?
But here’s the thing. I’m on the precipice. I’m steps away from letting go, eating crap all the time, gaining back all the weight, and constantly feeling exhausted and awful. I’m barely treading water.
But then a comment from a lovely friend on the last post reminded me… I AM STILL TREADING WATER. Even if it’s barely. Even if I’m hardly holding on… I AM STILL HOLDING ON. And so, I’m not beaten. I’m still trying. Every day may be a restart lately, but at least I’m bothering to restart.
The job is very busy, and still new. I’m anxious to make a good impression. That being said, I’m allowed a lunch and so it’s my responsibility to myself to take it. Let me not set up the expectation so early on that every moment of my time is theirs for the taking. I will be focused, dedicated, and hard at work for every OTHER second of the day, but for one hour of the thirteen I spend away from home every day now, I will make my health (and sanity) a priority. It’s going to take some shuffle to figure out how to make that happen, but it WILL happen. I owe it to myself.
I thought about the family reunion we’ll likely be attending this summer, and how much I’d like to be healthy and comfortable in my own skin when we get there. And then something ever bigger happened. Evi asked to go to DisneyWorld for her 4th birthday.
Now, it’s not going to happen FOR her birthday, since we wouldn’t have any prayer of saving up the money for airfare and the park by then, but we all agree that she’s ready to go sooner rather than later. And I need to be up for it. I need to have the energy to GO!GO!GO! with her at her first Disney visit. I need to be able to walk with her, run with her, carry her all over that place. I need to have the strength and energy to keep up with every second she’s willing to spend in such an awesome place.
And so, I’m doing this. I’m taking control again. I’m ignoring the Pizza Hut binge I literally just finished. I’m going to do this right again. I owe it to me, to you, to HER. You can’t let down a princess. (Especially not one who’s recently developed an obsession with TinkerBox and, as such, will shortly take over the planet.