Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Thank you all for your kind words yesterday - they were enormously helpful.
I admit it - I was really cranked yesterday - nervous and anxious and sad all rolled into a big ball. The truth is, yesterday was not about food or nutrition or health at all - it was all about family dynamics and old hurts and Other Stuff. The back story isn't too different from that of other families with aging parents - a little dysfunction, a little creativity, a little jealousy, a dash of fun - oh - and half a century of memories. There could have been more kindness, there could have been a whole lot of better choices made along the way - they could have made the decision to move a heck of a lot sooner. Whenever I hear people say "We kept mama home as long as possible I want to shriek "no No NO! Help them move while they can still put down new roots, make new friends, form a new life!" Alas, it didn't happen with mine. At the moment, after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, my parents are living in separate elderly situations about 70 miles away from me. Everything is twice the burden because there are two situations to deal with - two places to visit, two sets of nurses to talk to, two cleaning ladies to get to know.
There are other issues too - sibling issues - division of labor issues - Martha and Mary roles to play, some that fell upon us by chance, some by design. The long and short of it is yesterday looked to be a day of tension and sadness and ...
I don't do tension and sadness very well. In fact I flee from both - oh not in any denial sort of way. I just like to solve my way out of sadness and tension. I hate fights - though I will cary my weight in one if I must. But I would a whole lot rather make it work than be right.
You all know I have been working with finding my Place of Thinner Peace but the truth is, that peaceful place has a lot to do with everything else in your life too. I've been doing the right hand/left hand writing most every day since I first tried it last week and it's been a real eye opener. First off - you have to really slow down and concentrate on what your non-dominant hand is doing ... just to form any letters at all. That's why the first question you should ask yourself should be a polite formality question - How are you?
You have to slow down so much and focus so hard on a physical activity just to answer that your subconscious has an opportunity to let clear emotions float through the clutter of our word dominated organized thoughts. By the time you've scrawled out a "Fine, Thanks" everything seems to be in slow motion.
And yesterday, when I went to that quiet, slow place and asked how I felt, all the truth bubbled up to the surface and when I asked what I could do to help myself through the day, the word LOVE floated to the top - almost like that little triangular answer die in the Magic 8 Ball.
Remember the love.
Act with love
Know there is more love than anything else in the world and all you have to do is pick it up, put it on, accept it's warmth.
And once I did that - everything else fell into place. I could talk about IT to my husband. I could call my sister. I could be gentle with my dad. We had a totally fun day. My mom was home from the hospital and even up and dressed and looking herself again. Even the cell phone worked ... which, if you knew me ... would be the biggest miracle of all! I am singularly cell phone challenged.
So. There you have it. When the BIG UGLY looms in front of you, trying to scare the bejeezus out of you, just remember. There is more love out there than anything else and it's flowing onto you all the time. Just open up to that and suddenly that scary thing will just shrivel up into the big nothing it is and crawl away.
May you feel it today.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
As is so common when there are aged sick parents, our family dynamics right now are very tense. While little frustrations and tensions flutter around the edges of my life all the time, they can be a challenge and fun to work with. The big guys that are sitting on my head right now are Not fun to deal with.
And yet they must be because responding to them with chocolate or butter or something else in the fast fat food category, will not just make me fat. It'll make me sick. So there is nothing for it but to pull out every tool in my bag and use it to the best of my ability.
Today I will be deeper into the scene than other days as I take my dad out to do some much needed shopping. An unplanned visit to the hospital to see my mother and find out what the coming days will look like - she is quite ill but not with something fatal - will be added to the mix. I guess I had better do some serious preparations - yoga, pack lots of water, check in with the inner self, who is probably afraid - afraid to say good bye to parents and afraid of the demands ahead till she has to.
Funny how roiling emotions can make us do such stupid things, say such stupid words, feel such stupid feelings. Wouldn't it be good if we could look at those emotions - nod - acknowledge them, and then put them in a box somewhere to deal with later? Perhaps at Tara?
Gonna be a hard day.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I had hoped to see it today as well, but it was my scale reading yesterday. Today the number is up a pound which I am going to blame on the law of contrariness or maybe the Law of Salt Consumption or perhaps merely the GotCha Factor. The scale is down and it has flirted with further down so I know that illusive goal weight is somewhere up ahead for me. She is just being coy.
163 will at last enable me to claim the "I Lost 10 lbs" button here on SP. 10 lbs in 7 months seems absurdly slow progress, but gaining 10 lbs in 7 months would look like a runaway train. Isn't it funny how numbers mean different things depending on the direction they're going?
Ahh - and that is an important thing to remember. We think of ourselves as static, but we're not. We are always only somewhere between here and there, now and then, yesterday and tomorrow. Important thing to remember when there's a disappointing number on a scale somewhere. It's why we're advised to look at our weight infrequently over a span of time - because the number isn't important - the movement is.
Eh. I don't, of course. I don't follow the good advice. I'm not ready to give up my security blanket of daily weigh ins. Most of the time I don't let a single day bother me. And, as I love to say, down is down.
I had thought I'd have a lot more to say today but instead it is grey and raining and everything has that soft shut-in feeling. My brain is still on snooze. I believe I shall finish up the latest Alexander McCall Smith offering from Botswana. And do some knitting math.
May your Sunday be full of rest.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I'm back and I am done with the weeks of food centered events that daunted me so back at the end of March. Tomorrow is my weigh in and it'll be interesting to see how I've done, scale wise, but I already know how I've done on just about every other healthy front.
Very very well.
I'll go into that more tomorrow, when I can fold in any numerical successes I might have, but I do want to talk about the trick I used on this most recent trip. It's a Martha Beck 4-day win trick too and not one I would ever have thought of trying if I hadn't had the back story to it so I'll give you both. First the back story in extreme brevity. A rescue dog who had been starved as a puppy would bury a bone every day, on the floor beside his new, loving owners' fireplace. Of course, the bone was not buried, but lying right out in plain view, but the dog, who suffered fear of hunger, felt like it was safely buried and so long as nobody paid any attention to it, he was a perfect pet. Threaten his stash and the dog went ballistic. His fight-or-flight trigger went off whenever he felt like he might be deprived of food. He didn't overeat. In all ways he was a normal dog except over his need to have is cache, stored safely away.
In other words - our lizard brain will go ballistic if it even Feels like it doesn't have an adequate cache. But so long as it has one, the reptilian brain quiets down. The stash can be stored off site - perhaps not on the floor by the fireplace, but certainly not on our hips and thighs. Maybe packed away in a suitcase or a kitchen cabinet.
I know this goes in direct contrast to popular thought .... don't have contraband food in the house. But I had never yet been able to survive the groaning tables of rich food served by the folks at Graves Mountain Lodge, accompanied by lots of other people sitting beside me, piling it on, without joining them and I've been going there for 12 years. What if I knew I had a stash of chocolate wonder in my suitcase back up in my room? What if I could tell myself "pass on this and just go back and dig your spoon into that dark chocolaty nutella jar"? What would happen?
I'll tell you - I was able to get through 4 mammoth meals eating only 3 bites beyond that sensation of "Oh, I'm no longer hungry". Not 3 bites past feeling full, but up to the point of "not hungry". That's 3 bites spread over 4 meals. I was never "full" the whole time. I was always Just Right. In fact - I forgot about the Nutella by the second day and only remembered when I was unpacking last night and found it in a side pocket of my bag. And I never actually ATE any!
A huge bell is going ding-ding-ding-ding-ding in my brain. My WC is saying "Aren't you glad you listened to me?" I had a simply delightful time and by that last meal I felt actual Confidence as I sat down with friends and selected, from just a few heaping platters, the small bit of lunch I wanted.
Knowing I had that chocolate option was a great comfort. It made it easy for me to say "nah - I'll pass on desert" because I knew if I wanted something later ... it was there. What a discovery.
Don't think I'm advocating a house full of junk food. But having my bone packed in the suitcase really took the pressure off me. It freed me from the buried, hidden, denied, emotional pain of Fear of No Food. An irrational fear, I admit, but hey, there nonetheless. And years of Not Listening to that fear haven't helped my weight. I'm willing to give listening to it a try. Listening and finding a soothing counter to it.
Happy Saturday to you - I am rewarding myself with a New Knitting Project!
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