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2 steps forward, 1 step back is still progress

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I was so proud of myself for using calm kindness to choose to eat a little piece of cake on Sunday, which was a stressful day if ever there could be one one. Funny - when I ate a non-nutritious food with calm permission and loving kindness to myself, I only needed a little, had no trouble stopping when I no longer wanted any and it didn't leave me feeling stuffed, frustrated, down or any other of those baddie feelings.

But yesterday, when I was shopping and knew we were having company, and a party with kids this weekend, I purchased deserts and chips and such - Well. Harrumph. Lust was triggered - food lust - in my heart and I didn't resist it. I watched as I yielded to temptation, rapidly calculating in my brain just how far I was going to go over my calorie limit with another skinny cow frozen ice cream bar. Yes. I said another. This was true emotional eating.

I was lured by the images on the box. I was drawn by the promise of cold chocolaty goodness. I once again procrastinated my commitment to losing weight till ... tomorrow. At Tara.

The weird part of this was that I really was watching myself be a brat - insisting upon having my own way. My inner dictator is such a wuss. Unlike the martinets in the Marta Beck books, mine is more of a lazy overindulgent parent, giving in to the brat because it's easier than standing my ground. I think even my inner dictator must be fat!

Well, realization of making an error is a lot closer to change than mindless eating. Believe me - I was NOT mindless. If I hadn't had the stirrings of guilt hatching inside my conscience, those three ice cream bars would have tasted PERFECTLY delicious! Instead they were only good and I ate them too fast to really savor and enjoy them. There's always a price to pay when you violate your true north star path.

So. I count this whole experience as just a single step backwards .... which in my book, is still progress. And if it's not ... well ... I've got to get this house ready for company so I'll just have to think about it all tomorrow - at Tara.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 4/9/2010 8:02AM

    Awareness is definitely the first step. And we've all been there, or we wouldn't be here!

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U2ROXMYSOX 4/8/2010 10:29PM

    I can really relate to can be so frustrating, but at least, like you said, acknowledging it is a big step, it's making progress. Any maybe next time, you and I both can remember that feeling of guilt and control ourselves! And then it'll be like taking two steps forward and NO steps back! emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/8/2010 4:27PM

    Quite an interesting way to look at things, and with a sense of humor! I won't be visiting you-at Tara!

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MOOOOW 4/8/2010 11:19AM

    Been there done that. With what you wanted chips, etc. you may have had a sodium need. I rarely crave sweets and carbs but it is almost as if at times my body feels deprived of salt.
Pris emoticon

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SHEILA1505 4/8/2010 10:16AM

    Itty bitty baby steps - so long as they go in the direction you want them to go, not the other way, then it is progress even if it is not as much progress as you would like it to be.

Be good to yourself

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JKTENTATIVE 4/8/2010 9:11AM

    So, here are two questions: 1) Did you enjoy the food you ate? 2) Are you back on your healthy eating track?
The answer to the first question should be yes. It is perfectly fine to eat some goodies once in a while. Thin people do it all the time. The difference is that they don't keep eating. Nor do they beat themselves up about it. Sounds like you are heading in the right direction here - in that you knew what you were doing, gave yourself permission to do it, but I am not sure that you enjoyed it without guilt. The second question is directly related to the first in that it is much easier to get yourself back on track if you aren't beating yourself up. You sound like you are somewhere in the middle here. What is crucial is that you put it behind you, get right back on track and drink lots and lots of water today. It is also important that you be honest with yourself. Was this a controlled goodie for you or a near-out-of-control binge? A controlled goodie is in fact a victory. A near out of control binge is better than a completely out-of-control binge, but you should evaluate this and see what you can learn to help yourself stay more in control for next time. And, the only thing we can all be sure about - is that there will be a next time. So, since you are in this for the long haul, be sure to make this a learning experience and a step in the direction of a healthier you!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/8/2010 9:01AM


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CRAVE_FREE 4/8/2010 8:39AM

    Love the Gone with the Wind reference. And it is progress. Take progress anyway you can get it!

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Sweet Virginia Breeze

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I admit it. I am wildly partisan about my home state. I love our history. I love our geography. The music of the old tidewater accent, which still lingers in the conversation of the 50+ folk around here, lilts into my ears and makes me sigh and relax and start looking around for a gin and tonic. I have an inordinate pride at having been born here, delight in being able to survive our hostile summers, enjoy the infrequent snowy winters we get, and absolutely relish our glorious springs and autumns which are warm enough to go barefoot and leave doors and windows open, crisp enough to wear sweaters and mittens.

Each spring there will be 8 to 10 weeks when I can leave my front door open in the morning while I putter about the house and goof off here on the computer. I must explain that there are no screens on the front door. It's a wide double door made from a set of interior parlor dividers we picked up at a salvage yard, lo, those decades ago when Himself built the house.
I say built with no reservations. Every evening for three years he came home from work and sawed, hammered, nailed, plumbed, screwed, wired, and everything else one has to do to build a house. Now and then he had friends with him who helped - there was a time when Ed, Ned, Ted and Fred were working on this house. I swear it. Not a joke. But the bulk of it he did all by his lonesome. (there is a back story about why I did NOT help but that is for another time) I have never known anyone with such an ability to finish a project as he has and I admire it with all the fervor of an ENFP who, in fact, grieves, when she comes to completion and can take no pride in her accomplishments till long after they have faded into history.

Now in our comfortable middle age we have gotten a little too lazy to push for a front screen door. Since there are enormous windows with screens in them, it's not too important anyway, but the delight of coming down in the morning, sometimes while stars still flicker between the thin leafy lace of the April trees, and just leaving the door open so that the sweetness of freshly turned earth from the farm fields and the wake-me-up songs of birds vieing for territory can drift over the threshold is a sweetness beyond description. A shivery tingly giddy sweetness I wish I could box up and send to all my loved ones.

And so. today there is nothing here about diet or weight or nutrition or exercise. Today it's all about how blissful it is when April comes and I can leave the front door open. Wont you step inside?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMSTRAW 4/12/2010 7:34AM

    I love your home, how grand you DH could do it! I love VA and feel the same as you, except about the occasional bad winter, I could do without them! I love to take people around Danville and show them the cobblestone streets of yesteryear, point out the changes since my childhood, tell about our museum being the last capitol of the confederacy. I love VA people, got to be the best in the world! Thanks for sharing our home with everyone!

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MSLZZY 4/7/2010 3:42PM

    I'm afraid your front door would not stand up to South Dakota winters but how nice to be able to open the door and let the fresh air in. I have been opening windows in the kitchen and bathroom most days unless the breeze (wind, in some cases) is blowing straight in. A little
ingenuity on my part. It freshens up the house so nicely and makes for great sleeping.
Have a great day!

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CLAIRESML 4/7/2010 2:53PM

    I enjoyed your blog and story. I also love Robbin Thompson's song and always will. thanks much for posting. emoticon

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AEBROWNSON 4/7/2010 2:19PM

    I lived in Virginia (Farmville) for about 4 years and loved it. Loved the weather, the people, pretty much everything.
And I'm an ENFP, too!

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WEDDWT 4/7/2010 11:54AM

    Ahhh, thanks for giving us a view and description of your little slice of heaven. A complete contentment about being you think the birds you hear vieing for territory feel the same about their nests?

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SHEILA1505 4/7/2010 10:54AM

    That is a wonderful tribute to your DH (and friends) and enormous love for your home.
We didn't build from scratch but spent 15 years around kids' arrivals renovating an old house and then I continued alone for another 8 trying to get it finished before I eventually sold it. A complete mixture of emotions about those adventures !

Keep well and keep smiling

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JLITT62 4/7/2010 10:30AM

    Hey, it definitely doesn't have to be all about food!

That is so cool that your husband built your house -- such an accomplishment. Mine is very handy, but doesn't have the time. And we might just kill each other if we actually had to decide on how to build a house.

Enjoy the cool breezes before the humidity sets in!

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SANDYJAS 4/7/2010 9:15AM

    Are you a professional writer? I love your style!

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CRAVE_FREE 4/7/2010 8:30AM

    MMMMMMmmmmm, you just made me feel so at home and relaxed. Thanks for sharing your home with us today.

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THANKS! Every day. For friends. For family. For memories.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thank you all for your sweet kind loving support yesterday. Mama is improving and though she's still in hospital, I am sure she will be released soon. And truth is - Mama doesn't mind being in hospital. She loves to be waited on and she loves to lie abed. And she is a former nurse so she likes to chat with the nurses about the way things have changed.

It struck me yesterday that I would like to begin a journal to write down the things I want to remember about my parents. they were challenging parents and yet typical of their era, and yet magically special. My relationship with my mother was not just life shaping but wonderful. I can count on one hand the times she and I did not get along. My dad was extremely difficult and yet .. also very special and he gave me things I treasure to this day.

I suspect most of us have this feeling ... that our parents were the best or at least the most colorful ... or most gentle or most whatever it is we value in them. It isn't as if I've forgotten the darker side ... and there was one ... but that I don't have to keep that part. I can just keep the precious stuff while knowing there was trash I threw away.

But the truth is, I know there are things I've already forgotten, though I love to pull out happy memories and savor them, look over them, enjoy them, as if they were jewels in a Queen's vault - and I'm the queen! So I believe I will start writing them down. Maybe someday there will be a grandson or granddaughter who would like to read them. Or maybe, like in a Nicholas sparks novel, one day my son will come to the nursing home and read them to me.

So. May you go to your Place of Thinner Peace today and pull out a treasured memory.
And may you feel the thanks I feel that you are my friend. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOOOW 4/6/2010 11:10AM

    I never cared for journaling because we always assigned them to students and then had to read them; however, this is not a journal but a written history that you are also discribing. I like your idea.
Pris emoticon

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CRAVE_FREE 4/6/2010 8:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 4/6/2010 8:35AM

    So glad to her you mom is doing so well.

I also have always gotten along really well with my mom, but my dad and I . . . often oil & water. We're too much alike. And yet I also see my husband in him (or him in my husband I guess) and we're so different.

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MSLZZY 4/6/2010 8:31AM

    Writing down your memories will keep them fresh and what a precious gift to children and grandchildren! Happy writing! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 4/6/2010 8:24AM

    What a great idea - it's a while since my parents were here and I still want to tell my Mum things I've seen or done - but it would be great to be able to leaf thru a book of anecdotes about them. Hmmm another projectW

With love

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/6/2010 8:10AM

    So very true. Relations with parents are always a blend of the good, bad, the glorious & the indifferent. Today, my mother is being relieased from rehabilitation following her back surgery and it's truly with mixed feelings that I see her return to her retirement condo.

I wish you and your mom all the best.

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You never know where help will come from

Monday, April 05, 2010

because all the messages I've been receiving about making choices and living my life from the watcher point of view and calming Custard, my inner lizard, and soothing my inner dictator ...

all this for the express purpose of losing weight by living in a calmer state

coalesced into a huge security blanket - or support beam - yesterday when I spent 8 hours in the emergency room with my mom - who, it seems, suffered a mini-stroke sometime yesterday, just before Dad and I got to her place for an Easter lunch.

When it became apparent to me that she needed to be seen by a doctor, the rest of the day ended up being one of those excruciatingly long stretches spent in the grey helplessness of an emergency room. the 2 hours it took to see doctors on a holiday seemed almost generous but the 6 more hours spent waiting for her to be admitted dragged on forever. I had lots of opportunities to go to my watcher place and think about life and death and sadness and joy and what I could possibly find to eat after 9 pm on Easter Sunday, when I would finally be able to leave the building and head home.

And that peaceful state ... that allowed for the possibility of death but didn't panic - that heard the WildChild say "Cake! Me wants Cake!" and thought about it and said "okay, if it's only 200 calories worth of cake you can have the richest gooiest cake you can find at Seven-11" Which it did. and which turned out to be about 1/4 of a slice. But WildChild was perfectly happy to throw the other 3/4's away since she got the piece she wanted.

And mama is much better. But she is very old and there will be an ER visit that doesn't have such a good ending. I'm just glad it didn't turn out to be yesterday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/5/2010 11:10PM

    I'll be praying for your mom and you! Hope all is getting better!

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CRAVE_FREE 4/5/2010 1:33PM

    You are amazing and inspiring. I am glad your mother is doing better. I like the idea of Thinner Peace and I'm wondering if I should run out and get this book you are reading!

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JLITT62 4/5/2010 1:18PM

    I, too, am glad that you don't have to associate Easter with a ER visit with a bad ending. If you can ever call an ER visit a "good" visit.

You did extraordinarly well. I'm sure your mom & your dad are very proud of you -- and for lots of reasons other than winning the struggle with food.

Here's hoping your mom can make a quick & full recovery.

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EDWINA172 4/5/2010 12:29PM

    Sorry that you had a rough day. My prayers are with you and your momma.

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AEBROWNSON 4/5/2010 11:45AM

    So sorry about your mom. I lost my dad last year...he had had a series of mini-strokes over the past 10 years.
I'm so glad you were able to control Custard. That's a great be able to eat the foods you want, and in quantities that satisfy but are not out of control.
Blessings on you!

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SHEILA1505 4/5/2010 11:15AM

    Oh Bess - I am so glad that your introspective couple of weeks had the required effect and that you were able to handle the heart-rending events of Easter Sunday. And I am happy for you that you and your Mom have managed to fend off the inevitable for a while longer so you will be able to spend some more invaluable time together.

Keep strong and try to keep smiling

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MYFEETHURT 4/5/2010 9:32AM

  Oh, this brings back memories of our first trip to the ER for the same thing. Scary is the word that comes to mind for me. For me...back was a cigarette that kept calling my name. Thankfully those are out of my life now. That SMALL piece of cake you ate is actually a VICTORY. You had the taste...a welcome reward of relief for that very hard day...but not the whole cake. That, my friend, is HUGE. So happy your dear Mama is o.k. Hope she continues to improve. emoticon mary

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/5/2010 9:08AM

    I'm glad your mother is OK for the moment. Glad you were able to be introspective and self-aware enough to satisfy the immediate need without letting the situation spin out of control and into a nutritional mini-disaster.

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MOOOOW 4/5/2010 8:25AM

    I lost my mother 20+ years ago after many trips like yours. I truly know what you are going through. All of your blogs have been such an inspiration to all of us, I so hope that your insight is giving you the strength that you need. My thoughts are with you.
Pris emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/5/2010 8:17AM

    I love that you were able to get what you wanted and needed at that point in time. Sorry it came under such circumstances, though.
I'm glad too that it wasn't yesterday, but you know that one is never ready, but one handles what must be handled. Just as you did so ably for yourself yesterday.

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Living in Thinner Peace

Sunday, April 04, 2010

More Martha Beck talk today - because when Bess is struck with what her Big Darling calls "Bess' Passions" she really likes to share.

So - Thinner Peace is that state when you have calmed your Wild Child and reassured your Dictator ... when you say to them "May you be well. May you be free from fear. May you know that I love you as a part of me that helps keep me safe."

Just typing that starts the peaceful juices flowing through me so I think I will spend a lot of time in the Place of Thinner Peace. PTP. (oh. dear. I am SUCH a sucker for acronyms.) It's rather fun to go there and just look around - ask myself, once the two warring factions have called a truce, "How do I feel?" Not JUST as far as food goes, though I spent a LOT of time there yesterday asking those questions, but also about work, or about being ticked off at Someone who might be sucking up my limited home time asking for help with his hobbies. All sorts of stress type triggers can be looked at from the PTP and seen for what they are, not what either the frightened the Wild Child or offended the Dictator thinks they are.

In fact, this trick of stepping back from the emotions I'm feeling seems a lot like what my Lenten Project was about. If you remember, I was to snap a rubber band whenever I got ticked off at someone or some thing or some situation, and then write out ways to deal with it. So I see now that I was headed in that direction all along. A little Dictator-ish with the rubber band snap and all, but still headed straight.

I had lots of opportunities yesterday to ask myself "So how do you feel about food right now?" and sometimes I was hungry and so I ate, and sometimes I wasn't and so I didn't. But never once, even in the 50% off Easter Candy Aisles in Walmart where I did have to get some Other Things yesterday, did I feel attacked or in any sort of food danger. I just breezed by, armoured in my cloak of Thinner Peace.

And as this is the day of the Prince of Peace's triumph - I wish all of you who celebrate Easter a special peaceful joy filled holiday and for those who do not, may you have the peace and joy as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXBALLARD 4/5/2010 7:07AM

    It was a blessed Easter! Thank you for sharing about PTP. It really makes sense. I've got Beck's book on request at the library.

Congrats on maintaining PTP yesterday.

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JLITT62 4/5/2010 5:19AM

    My biggest problem lately is that it doesn't much seem to be about the emotions, it's about the appetite.

I've been working hard to eat healthy, get in more whole grains & greens -- been successful -- but am still just way hungry. Which isn't a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Maybe it has to do with some of the limitations of Passover . . .

Well, anyway, I am glad you have found your PTP. May you continue to be cloaked by it!

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MSLZZY 4/4/2010 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOOOOW 4/4/2010 10:39AM

    I am now familiar with Martha Beck, I will look up some of her writings. Again a very good blog and I again thank you.
Pris emoticon

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JAYJO64 4/4/2010 8:10AM

    I really like Martha Beck's writings. Finding Your Own North Star is one of my favorites.

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HARPERLADY 4/4/2010 7:47AM

    happy easter emoticon

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