Monday, November 04, 2013
I stood in front of the fridge this morning, like any other morning, and sounding like my kids, I said, "What do I feel like eating?"
It's not a stupid question when you think about it. It's a very basic question that goes right to the heart of the matter: what do you FEEL like...and how are you going to FEEL after you eat something.
It's quite visceral...and brings in the whole food/mood equation that not too many people are aware about. Basically: what you eat will affect your mood.
Look it up - read about it. It's quite interesting and honestly, quite true when you start to analyse yourself and the different food you eat.
Today, for example, I put down the second cup of coffee. Why? because I have been feeling "funky" and I am trying to get out of my funk, so when my gut started telling me to quite it with the second cup... I did. Honestly, it's been telling me to quite the second cup for the last month, but I haven't listened because "I am too tired" and "I am too sluggish" and "I am the font of excuses to have the second cup because it's what society is dictating me to do" (yes, I can fall into that mindset when I am exhausted),
So this morning I dumped the second cup down the drain. Hey, if I really want another at work later, when the afternoon doldrums kick in and my head is aching from the lack of caffeine, maybe I will indulge, but right now...no thankyou, my body is telling me different.
OK - back to the question at hand: "What do I FEEL like eating?"
We broach this same question when we are at a restaurant, right? We open the menu and and out of our mouths comes: "What do I feel like eating?"
Everything is tempting - it's a special occassion - it's stuff we don't normally eat at home or else why would we be at the restaurant anyway? - it's a celebration - we want to try something new - the list goes on and on and when we are not in "diet" mode, we turn and automatically go for the gusto and get what we normally wouldn't get, or we totally get the thing we have been craving. Bring in the large portions and we are in regret mode about 15 minutes into the meal.
Did we get what we FELT like having? or did our brains hi-jack our gut feeling and did we choose something not so great for ourselves.
I am the perfect example of the paragraphs written above. I will get something "different" from what I would normally want to eat at home. I will get something "special" for the occassion...and I will get that appetizer even though my gut AND my head are screaming "NO, DON'T DO IT!" Guaranteeing my misery later on.
True story - sharing time now.
Hubby gets me a great gift for Christmas a couple years back. It's a broadway show surprise and we are going out to dinner too. So I prod him and ask him and tell him to make some sort of reservation at a nice restaurant - one that he would enjoy thoroughly. So we picked a Steak House (not naming it here because it's just a steak house - and any steak house would have posed the same result at the end of this story.)
We order soup (I had beef barley - could have been my meal). I order a skirt steak and what is presented to me is half a cow's worth - - no joke. I eat about a quarter of it and wrap the rest up. Just roll me down the street to the theatre now... I am quite full.
Oh - I forgot to mention: this was the day that "SNOWMAGEDDON" hit the tri-state area and we got 24 inches of snow that day into night...it sets the scene now... But I digress....
We get to the show, which is still playing despite the weather...we sit down, and the feeling of ICK really set in. It is so bad that I can't even enjoy what I am watching.
Gas... gas beyond measure begins gurling up inside me.
The show has started... there is absolutely no release available to me...the seats are crammed together like sardines in the rows...there is no other thing to do but clench and pray it passes into the cells of my body.... which of course it does not... it just doubles back into my colon and creates more misery all the while producing more gas.
The first quarter of my beloved Christmas present play is ruined with me sweating and clenching and miserable
After which I left to see if I could relieve this gastronomic nightmare I created by eating something "SPECIAL" at the a fancy dinner. (My gut prior to even going was wishing we went to a sushi place the whole time BTW - hindsight is SO 20/20)
There was no release by that point, even in a bathroom stall - the gas bubble was permanently lodged in my abdomen like a creature from Alien.
At intermission - hubby found me and he said it was OK if I wanted to go home...so we did.
We exited the building and it was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Moving felt great. If you know Manhattan, snow is different there..guanteed, we were looking at 10 inches on the rails. We booked home and took the 10:15 train instead of the 11:15. Glad we did - because the 11:15 train was stuck for 7 hours in drifted snow. I guess God had a grand plan with that gas bubble I got!
All in all - there was a lesson learned. (yes, a hard lesson learned, but one learned anyway). The lesson was this: my gut and steak do not mix! Not in large quantities at least. So now, I avoid it when eating out. It will NEVER be what I pick off a menu. A steak house will have fish, or chicken, or a salad even, but "no thanks" to the beef, I will pass. (well, except for a really good hamburger) Hey - the gas could have also been from the barley - since I normally don't have barley, but still....barley is a whole grain, I would choose the soup again as my main meal instead next time! LOL
We laugh about the whole thing now.... I actually told a good male friend my tale of "whoa" and he couldn't stop laughing. Who talks about gas like that anyway? Well..... I guess I do now! LOL
Seriously, it's a great example of how to learn and listen to your body... I now veer to sushi and mexican as my out-to-dinner choices now. Lighter is better for me. Either that or let's make it at home so I can have portion and creation control over the whole thing without the guilt of overpaying for my misery! LOL
Why am I telling you this tale-of-woe today? Well, besides the previous question stated above - I have been a little "off" lately eating, and yesterday was a better day, and my gut is feeling better...and today will be another day of getting back to my "roots" of Sparking. I have my pineapple all cut up and ready to eat, I have a healthy lunch of turnip greens added to my plate. I have my dinner all ready packed for my late night at work. It's getting back on track with the foods that I KNOW will make me feel better - and in turn make my DAY better overall.
To feel good is half the battle some days! It's that little bit of taking care that matters when things are crazy and overwhelming. That little bit of control can mean the world to a person, just to feel better for the good of the self.
Self- care. Very important to do....and probably not done enough for most of us when we think about it.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
I actually have an honest to goodness day off from work today.
And I can honestly say that it is well deserved, despite the fact that I am off due to lack of appointments at the office! LOL The one office I am working at has been at full throttle since mid-September (which is good for the practice)...but so has my life, and today, is a day of rest....of not working late... of reconnecting with a BFF... of baking some pumpkin stuff for Halloween... of pumpkin carving... of this and that.... and yes, I will be extremely busy, but in a completely different way than a time-clock! and THAT is refreshing!!
I have so much on my "to -do" list....I don't even know where to start! I must PLAN!
OH! here is the update on my new school adventure: it's international...it's online..and it is very Spark-like to me. Which honestly, is a good thing, because Spark had it's steps, and I do well with steps. Tell me what to do, Yoda, and I will do it just as you command!! (yes, Chris Downie and Spark - you were Yoda to me at one point. Good, you were.) That is a nice thing to have when you are constantly thinking and doing for life. Steps in a life-changing undertaking are GOOD. I embrace them! Bring on the steps!!
What I am finding in the online community there is a giant sense of common joy, mixed with anxiousness, mixed with concern for going back to school, mixed with "how am I going to do this", mixed with the general feeling of being overwhelmed with the content and (in my observation) - the committment of a year.
Oooo.....the "C" word. "COMMITTMENT"
Most guys run when that word comes out
Along with the steps, I actually find comfort in this committment I am making for myself. Maybe I have an little bit more insight into this that the other people I am learning with...for there are a lot of various people and groups, thinkings and beliefs, theories and lifestyles coming together.... but nonetheless, I am not flipping out like others who are being vocal.
Seeing the horizon in the distance... helps.
Going into a program with an open mind... helps.
I have to thank Spark for all of the above. I have to thank this community and all the people I have met for the last 5 years too....every single person touched my life in some way or another... and that too.... helps.
BTW - if you thought the title of the blog was me being literally "committed" with men in white coats and all... then You have a pretty good sense of humor! And that kind of "committment", I have to say, depends on the day!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Yes, I overate.
On occassion it happens.
It usually happens at a party or a special occassion because of this one little mental nugget that everyone has and I will share: It's a special occassion and the food is special, and it's here, and it's paid for, because of such & such, and I really have to eat it... and as much as you can. You live to eat instead of eat to live.
True? oh yeah it is true.
Weddings. - Gotta get what you paid for (ie. the gift's worth of what you gave the bride & groom)
Birthdays (I got caught up in this one yesterday - delicious homemade pizza - different kinds - had to try every single one of them, and homemade pumpin ale - OMG how could I NOT!) - different foods, you didn't have to make them, they went thru all the trouble and money, you gotta get what you paid for (Ah, the gift's worth coming into play AGAIN- yes, even on certain birthdays this can occur)
Holidays! We cannot forget them! Special foods, friends gathering - all good things!!! Gotta eat that thing that Aunt Martha makes only once a year and she is 91 years old and you might never have it made by her hands again so if you don't take that giant portion she divvy's out she will get so insulted and you cannot have her die tomorrow knowing that you didn't eat every last bite of what her old hands served to you herself! Right? oh, yeah...I'm right. It's the guilt eating that kicks in here...although we all know that we can make the stuff ourselves, and buy the candy at any other time in the year... but it's a holiday!! So we overeat.
Going out to dinner. You look good. The kids are at a sleepover. You and your significant other get duded up and go out, and spend an obnoxious amount of money on the full boat-load of food off the menu. Appetizer, soup, salad, main course, dessert. Too bad you were full right after the appetizer was served since your stomach and system is now used to eating to live instead of living to eat. So you keep going. You shovel it in. The amore of the night has now turned to "Let's stop and CVS on the way home and get some Tums, honey." and that romantic night cap with candle light is the two of you sitting on the couch farting up a storm. Nice. Romantique! N'est pa?
The next morning is always the walk and talk of shame.
I'm not feeling so hot.
Why did I eat that again? I was so full.
I ruined everything I just worked so hard on this week.
I am a failure.
Easy there buckaroo... Let's take a step back.
Be sorry and move on.
There are so many days like these that it is just what you have to do. Parties and holidays will always be there..you have to learn from the past and take the future with a new set of eyes and a more knowledgable skill set.
Things take time...maybe next time, you choose differently... maybe next time you go in with a game plan... maybe next time, you take that piece of Oooey Booey Butter cake from Aunt Martha, have an obligatory taste and chuck the rest while she is not looking. It's ok to do that you know, what she doesn't know won't kill her.
With every new day, you reflect on what was good, what needed work, and what you can do about choiced in the future.
I try and do this every day...even when I am still stuffed from the crazy eating and drinking choices I made the day before.
My goal is to drink my water, eat some pineapple, make my lunch, and by the end of this crazy day, I will feel better about today's choices and feel better overall since I worked on fixing the bad choices I made the day before.
Seriously... it can be as simple as that.
So I hope you guys have a great day, filled with better choices than yesteday...or the week before... or the month before...
Try and remember that every single day is
Friday, October 18, 2013
So now that I am back here....I will elaborate on a few things that have been going on in my world over the last few months. Yeah, yeah...I retired an office after 20 years of being there, I was on unemployment for about 2 seconds (Ok, months) and I decided to drop it because it was a p.i.t.a. to play the "claim game" to keep it open "just in case" I was unemployed again within the next year...ridiculous nonsence really IMHO...don't even get me going on the stupidity of how they do things there. Anyway, I started up my own direct selling business for extra cash, and I have 2 part time jobs... nothing like a busy person being busier than they can handle and then get thru getting the family back into the school-zone... so guess what? I was stressed and WAITING PATIENTLY for the day when things finally settled down.
So things have finally settled down. Whew!
SOMEthing was missing.
And no....it wasn't exercise.... that has been missing for months now.
At the beginning of October, I looked at my stressed out teacher husband (you have no idea, unless you live with one, what the new "core" curriculum is doing to teachers these days - the joy of teaching is basically gone. Very sad.) and it clicked in my head that we, as a family, have lost our joy.
We lost our joy in being to scattered and too busy and too disconnected with one another.
Again.... very sad.
Sure, we are there, running around, volunteering for each kid's activity (hubby assists with each kid's activity in some way, shape or form - whether it's running the Pack, or Assistant coaching football, or being on the Troop committee)... and I am working 2to 3 nights a week... so my voluteering days are limited, so I get karate drop-offs and the string ensemble rehearsal drop offs. Yup....we are constantly moving and running and from what I hear, it only gets worse the older they get!!
But I digress... back to finding joy.
We went camping this past weekend and while it was still littered with the various activites of sports events for the weekend - we were forced to be a family and have fun while hanging in the popup and making fires for roasting marshmallows.
It was wonderful
And it also got me thinking of why we have been so stressed out...and how my "joy" of sparking was all but extinguished... how my body was being affected... and how all of that was playing with my head in one giant mind F---. (yes, you can use the F-curse right there)
I lost my own joy.
Brass tacks: I am maintaining, without exercise, without Sparking, without any help... but something is missing.
I miss the community. The likemindedness. The comraderie. The cheering of one another on.
I also miss the "me" I was when I was just starting maintenance.
I miss the figuring it all out part. The challenge of fitting it all in. And yes....I miss the body I had when that was going on too....because I was more active and under my pizza dough stomach, I still had a 6 pack that was rock solid... one that noone could see at all, but it was there! I swear it was! It's gone down to a 3 pack now, btw, but I am hoping the muscle memory will be there as well. ;)
So I decided this past weekend to stir up what I wanted to do 3 years ago. School and learning to better myself and others was there, but took a giant back seat because of work, family, and stress of how to actually go about going it...and that was with what I thought was a pretty good plan. I might as well have gone back to school full time to become a doctor because that is how daunting it was to do the whole Registered Dietician route. Nope....not going to work for me... so life came in and swallowed me and that dream up & put it on the waaaay back burner...not even on a simmer at that point either. The burner was turned 'off'.
This week I signed up for a year long course to become a Certified Health Coach. Yup, I did. It will help me do the other thing I want to do, besides coaching people like I do on here, but I will actually have something to "back it up" besides just Sparking and Maintaining for the last few years. With my other knowledge in my other field, I have a seriously solid background for an assembly workshop that has been mulling and spinning around in my head for years...one that I can actually visualize myself carrying out and doing for actual monetary compensation! Imagine that?!?! It's hard for me to actually, because I always just give give give....but I'm older and wiser now...I know better and deserve better too. But with that...I digress... because really, it's about helping people and whatever I get, that is OK with me since I am planning on doing this as a side gig until things take off.
Slow and steady wins the race....every time, as far as I am concerned.
So my joy today has been the walk I took...and the new world that I am undertaking with this new course.
Amazing how your mindset can change with just one simple thing or action.
Amazing how your heart and gut can tell what is right and wrong with something too.
So there ya go my old Sparkfriends....I hope you find some joy today and write about it....and if you have none that is visible, I hope you take another look - at another angle - and open your eyes, because it is there to been seen... you just have to want to see it.... and if you really DON'T see it...then it's time to make some joy on your own...no one said you couldn't do that either...
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
So this week, I decided that something "has got to give" in regard to my happiness in life.
Work is work. It sure is not what it used to be (how could it be?), and even though I know that....it is still frustrating and sad for me. Transition wise, I have settled in...and things are what they are. I have coursed out the year in fact...but not in a way that makes me happy inside. And for me...THAT is a PROBLEM.
I have these ideas in my head that will not go away...and I am finally giving them serious consideration when it comes to my own career path. But I need to have some schooling to back me up...so back I go!
It's a year long course, and I will not graduate officially until next year. In 6 months, however, I will be able to take on clients. I will reveal what it is that I am doing at a later date, but trust me....it ties into my journey here on Spark... a whole lot.
In the meantime...I will work, and study at night. I will be a mom, and study at night. I will be a wife, and study at night. I will run my own direct selling business for extra cash to pay for this course on the side....and study at night.
When I make decisions like this, I usually hem and haw, and get sick in the process. This time, I tackled that hemming and hawing straight on, made the decision and dove right in....and you know what? I felt right. Just like when I dove into Sparking back in 2008. No looking back...nothing to lose but weight and nothing to gain but my health back. With this, I have nothing to lose but some money and everything to gain back in my own career, or a start of a new path that is wild and crazy...but MINE.
Wish me luck everyone. I will be Sparking a lot more now.... it's going to be part of my "process".
Take care and have a great day!!!
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