Monday, August 30, 2010
It's that time again! August is almost behind us and we are heading into September, which offically marks the beginning of my favorite time of year!!!
Here were my August goals and results:
1. Stop treating the present moment like it is an obstacle to overcome. Cherish every moment... including this one. WIN
2. Practice saying no, when I mean no. WIN
3. Continue the C25K training 3 times a week and do yoga 3 times a week. Try to Zumba once a week and swim once a week. WIN MOSTLY I did complete my C25K training each week, but only made it to Zumba once or twice and didn't do yoga as often as I wanted to.
4. Continue practicing eating intuitively... let myself go through the process of synthesizing how I feel when I eat and re-learning how it feels to be hungry or be satiated. WIN
5. Above all else... honor myself. This means to feed my body properly and in the correct amounts and move my body when it needs to be moved and to care of my mind and spirit appropriately. WIN
Pretty damn good if I do say so myself... I think I might try another approach and not set any goals for September. I'd like to try living more intuitively as a whole, honoring my mind, body and spirit, feeding myself properly, exercising when I want to and how I want to and completing my meditations just because it feels good. I will take a few days to think on this. Maybe I will make a commitment to NOT track my food for the month. The idea of that scares me a little, which makes me think that maybe it's time to try to let go of that part of my 'routine.' Hmmmmm...
Monday, August 30, 2010
I've made some significant progress in the past few weeks. The most noteworthy of these, in my opinion, is related to physical fitness. I have rarely considered myself to be a 'fit' or 'athletic' person, but I have always envied others who are. I am the girl that drives by the skinny running girls on the road and stares with jealousy and envy. I have always wanted to be the girl running, but really just never was. Last night, I completed Week 6 Day 3 of the C25K program and I ran for 25 minute straight. While this may not seem like much af an accomplishment to most people, just a few weeks ago I was mortified at the very thought of having to run for just 3 minutes and physcially struggled to get through it. I am amazed by what my body is able to do and also stunned to begin to realize how much of our physical limitations are mental. If I believe I can or can't do something, either way, I'm right.
My run last night was magnificent. It was dark and cool. I went and ran along my favorite path and relished the cool air on my face as I jogged down the road. I settled into a good pace from the beginning and while I may still be pretty slow, I am not focused on speed at the moment and just enjoyed how it felt to be running along and not gasping for air or desperately watching the clock for the end of the interval. It felt incredible. As I enter into Week 7, I realize that there are no more interval running sessions in the program and I will miss them. I have also already planned to start the 'Bridge to 10k' program in 3 weeks once the C25K is completed. I simply love running. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get after every run. I love feeling so alive while I'm running. I love pushing myself beyond the mental boundaries that I had unconsciously set for myself. I love that I want to run and that I look forward to doing it.
I have some food news too... A remarkable thing happened this weekend. I ate pizza. To be more specific, I ate one piece of pizza and then I walked away from it. This has never happened before. Historically, I have been a 4 slice girl. We would always order an extra large pizza and I would chow down two slices, save the crust for the dogs and then go back for two more slices. I am getting more in tune to how much food my body actually needs to feel satisfied and so I did a little experiment with some pizza this weekend. I was hanging out with some friends on Saturday night and there were 2 large pizzas involved. I was pretty hungry, so I took a slice and enjoyed every delicious bite and the crust too (sorry dogs). I realized that after just that once slice, I wasn't hungry anymore and so I didn't go back for another piece. Not only that, but I didn't obsess for the rest of the night about how much I was deprived and wanted more. This is major progess for me. I was so excited by this new development that I repeated the act with some more pizza on Sunday. I am getting better at being aware of the quantity of food that will physically satisfy me and I am taking the process of eating back as a physical process and not a mental process. I no longer ruminate for hours after a meal about how I wished I could have had more, but didn't have more because of an infinite list of reasons that almost all have to do with self loathing. I simply ate less, felt fine and went about my day. I am starting to resemble something like a normal person and I'm really liking how it feels.
Monday, August 23, 2010
1. Author Geneen Roth begins the chapter telling her students that their relationships with food are the greatest blessings in their lives. That they are not going to fix this relationship, but should walk through the door and see what's behind it. When you think about this—that what you thought was a curse is actually a blessing—how do you respond? Do you feel like throwing the book against the wall or feeding it to your dog, or does it make you curious about the possibilities of using your relationship with food as an opening to the rest of your life?
This actually confuses me a little bit and I think this was the chapter in the book where I started to feel angry and frustrated. I don’t understand why my relationship with food should be such a great blessing. I don’t understand why it is supposed to be such a gift. I do understand that feeding my body right is the most important thing that I can do for it, but isn’t that more of a necessity than a gift? I am open to exploring my relationship with food as an opening to other aspects of my life, but I have doubts that it will be an opening to the ‘rest of my life.’ That is a pretty broad statement and I would like to hope that the rest of my life involves more than a relationship with food. This question frustrates me.
2. What would it mean to see your relationship with food as the greatest blessing of your life? What would need to change in your thinking? Your eating?
I suppose that to see my relationship with food as the greatest blessing of my life would mean that I would feed and nurture my body in the way that I should and the way that it wants me to. And in that way, it would be the ultimate act of self love. Perhaps, if I could make that mental shift, I would not see food as a reward, a treat or something to be ‘deserved,’ but instead see it as the ultimate kindness to myself to eat just enough and in the right amounts to fuel my body. I think that the change in my thinking has already begun. I have already begun to make better decisions and to listen and feel how my body responds to certain foods and triggers. I’ve noticed that I make smaller plates of food for myself and I notice that I am satisfied with smaller amounts of food. I still have work to do. I still think of certain foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and also still count calories, although with much less intensity than I used to.
3. Geneen describes her struggle of gaining and losing 1,000 pounds, loathing herself and becoming suicidal. She came to the realization that she had two choices—to stop dieting or to kill herself. Ultimately, she writes, it's about not fixing yourself. In Women, Food and God, she urges readers to end the war with themselves and with food. How long have you been fighting with yourself about your relationship with food? And…has fighting with yourself ever led to truly changing yourself? Are you willing to stop the struggle? What do you think you'll find? How would giving up this fight make you feel?
I have been fighting with myself in this regard for about 14 years. Since I have lost weight, gained weight, lost weight and gained weight, I don’t know that the struggle has led to much true change. I have learned more about the physical and scientific aspects of diet, exercise and the human body. I have learned about food and calories and infinite details about carbs and fat grams, but since I ended up right back in the same position over and over, clearly the statistics and the knowledge just were not the problem. The problem resides in a different place. A place that is unscathed by statistics. I would love to end the struggle, but it scares me. I don’t know that I can. I am afraid that if I stop trying to lose weight, it means I am giving up and I am afraid to undo the progress I have made. I feel like it is somehow ‘wrong’ for me to be at the weight I am at and not be ‘trying’ to do something about it.
4. Do you believe that engaging in the endless loops of gaining and losing weight keeps you connected to your friends and family, who are also engaged in the diet-binge cycle?
Yes. I have some friends who share this struggle with me who would be even less ready for me to ‘give up’ than I feel I am myself. It is a nice topic of conversation to have in your pocket to share with others. It is nice to have this common ground to come to and celebrate victories and console defeats. Some of my relationships are solidly bound by the ‘trying.’
5. On page 29, Geneen mentions the UCLA study on the effectiveness of dieting. Among those who were followed for fewer than two years, 83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost. If you were ill and the doctor suggested a cure that would make you worse, would you follow it nonetheless? How does it affect you to see that diets are not a cure?
Practically, this makes sense. What you want me to say is that no, of course I wouldn’t use a cure that I knew would ultimately make me worse, but I’m going to be honest here, so bear with me. I am sick. I would, indeed, take a cure that would make me worse in the future so that I could be thin now and I would hope for the best with my ‘It probably won’t happen to me’ mask strapped on tightly. I have taken diet pills, drank diet tea, taken water pills and prayed for the stomach flu.
Hate me if you want… but let me share this with you as evidence of my sickness: A few years ago, a friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. She was also overweight. As I consoled her regarding her forthcoming chemotherapy, these words actually came out of my mouth: *You should probably know that we had a special kind of relationship and that this kind of thing was a generally acceptable thing to say. I am not really a monster.* “Well, on the bright side the chemo is going to make you really skinny.”
6. On pages 30–31, Geneen writes about a woman who focused on her desire to feel lean and trim rather than feel the loss of the love of her life. She confessed that she "always" gets abandoned, and in her mind being lean enough meant being strong enough to face the feelings she does not want to experience. What have you always believed you will have if you finally lose the weight? What power have you given away to being thin?
I believe that I will love myself more, be beautiful, be acceptable, be able to eat without scrutiny, be able to shop without being judged (by the store staff and by myself) and be taken more seriously by others. I believe that I will have more freedom, more attention, more support and more power as a thinner person. I will have a better sex life, more confidence to do more exciting things, more freedom to do whatever I want to do without the fear of being judged for my physical size.
I have definitely given away my sexual power. I don’t feel sexy. I don’t want to be naked. I have also fully relinquished my ability to do anything I chose that would have required me to wear shorts or a bathing suit or a sexy outfit of any kind (I recently appeared in a swimsuit in La Jolla to go kayaking… with a sundress over.) . I stopped enjoying going out with my husband because none of my ‘go out clothes’ fit anymore and I really didn’t want to buy anything ‘sexy’ in a size 16. I didn’t believe such clothes existed. It has been mortifying. I would rather not go out at all than stand there staring at the closet trying to shine a turd.
7. On page 32, Geneen writes that "women turn to food when they are not hungry because they are hungry for something they can’t name." A connection to the sacred, to what they find holy in their lives. If you had to define what is sacred or holy in your life, what would that be? What do you cherish most of all? Can you remember a time when you just the way you are, regardless of your size, was enough?
Peace and stillness are sacred and holy to me. The now. The spark of energy that ignites a life force in a ladybug, a human, a cala lily. A sense of wonder. This is what is holy and sacred to me. I am slowly reclaiming my connection to these things. It is the present moment that I cherish most of all.
I do not remember the last time that just being me was enough. I have had more moments of this feeling recently than any other time in my adult life. Prior to using my body as the reason to feel ‘less than.’ I used my mind, my personality, my clothes and my accomplishments, or lack of, to diminish myself. Over the years, I became prettier, smarter, dressed better, bought nice things and nice cards and got an education and a good job. I started my own business and met goals that I believed to be unattainable. I was an accomplishment junkie and when I had nothing else to hide behind, I got fatter and fatter and then I used this as my disguise.
Holy sh*t. I did it to myself so that I would have something to feel bad about when all of the other reasons slipped away….
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I've been paying a lot of attention to how I feel when I eat. For example, I try to ask myself the following:
What happens when I put my food on a smaller plate?
What happens when I eat with my hands?
How do I feel when I am physically full?
How do I know when I am really hungry?
I have discovered that boredom and exhaustion are huge triggers for me to want to eat. Unfortunately, the first food that I want at these times is a Snickers bar (damn you Snickers! *shakes fist*). Fortunately, the first food I want at these times is a Snickers bar. Let me explain: By knowing what my triggers are and what I crave when I am 'triggered,' I am now better equipped to know when I am really hungry and when I am just bored or tired. Yesterday, I was almost falling asleep at my desk at work and I was having a huge internal argument about walking up to the vending machine for a Snickers. A little voice inside of me popped up to mediate between Snickers me and Salad me and said 'Well, since we know that Snickers is a trigger food, are we really hungry?' And then Snickers me and Salad me both agreed that we weren't! Imagine that! A truce! So, I got up from my desk, heated some water and made myself a lovely cup of black tea.
I have also realized that when I eat food that includes me to be more involved, such as sushi or nachos, I eat slower and I eat less. I have been conducting something of an experiment with my favorite nachos lately and (this will be a great visual) instead of shoving down the entire box of nachos before I can even breath, I've been sucking the toppings off of the chips, one by one, porn star style. I'm totally getting the satisfaction of the flavors I want, without the added craptasticness, or calories, of the soggy corn chips. Last week, I ate too much and even without the chips, I was done long before I stopped deep throating the toppings. I felt overfull and sick for a good part of the afternoon. Today, however, a remarkable thing happened.
I put the nacho down.
Let me say this again....
I put the nacho down.
It went a little like this -
Snickers Me: OMG NOM NOM NOM
Salad Me: I think we're feeling a little full.
Snickers Me: Who cares... this sh@t is delicious and there isn't that much left. Let's just kill it off!
Salad Me: I don't know. Remember last week when we felt sick and gross all afternoon?
Snickers Me: Nope.
Salad Me: Sure you do... We even rubbed our belly and noted that we felt a little gag impulse from the fullness.
Snickers Me: Hmph. *shoves in another mouthful*
Salad Me: Really... it's time. Back away from the nacho. That was it. You're going to make us sick. Don't be an a$$hole.
That was the poof of the argument ending and me physically closing the box and taking it to the trash.
So, there you have it... confessions of a nacho addict.
Next up: Chili dogs.
Monday, August 16, 2010
This weekend was strange. It had some fantastic highs and bizarre lows. An old friend came from out of town to visit. I have a very different relationship with this friend. We've been very close at times, and very distant at times, so when she announced that she would be coming to stay with me for a few days, I had some mixed feelings. I love Lola dearly and I was, of course, so glad to see her, but I actually do better with this friend when there is some distance between us, so by the second day, I was ready for some space. It's hard for me to describe my relationship with Lola, but she has always had a strange affect on me. When we spend time together, I always end up feeling completely drained and exhausted, as if she sucks the will to live straight out of my veins. That might sound dramatic, but I can't think of any other way to describe it. I was a little apprehensive of the visit anyway because my life has changed so much since she moved out of state. The changes in my health and weight were some of what concerned me the most as one of our favorite pastimes, historically, was eating and drinking together.
Lola arrived late Thursday night. Things went pretty well. She has gained some weight. Weight has always been an issue for both of us, and she's never really put much effort into changing her situation. She weighs a little over 210 now and is in a size 16-18. I am currently 179 and in a size 12-14. Many times over the weekend, she commented on my eating choices, but she refused to acknowledge the progress I have made health wise. In fact, whenever I tried to talk about it, she would change the subject. Multiple times, she talked about the two of us being the same size and she was totally and completely insulted when she remarked on some pants in my closet that she loved and I offered them to her. I was confused and a little frustrated by all of this, but chalked it up to her inability to accept her own situation. She drank too much on Friday night and then seemed frustrated that I got up early Saturday morning to work and run errands. At 2pm when she got out of bed, she asked me to go and pick up a latte for her and then she announced that she would be staying until Monday morning. This is the demarcation point where the good visit turned bad and I was done.
I can here you thinking 'Why is she blogging about this here?' I guess I just wanted to express my feelings in a forum where I think others might be able to relate. I have a difficult time understanding people who don't support those they love because they can't accept their own situation. My health and weight loss successes are an important part of my life right now. I want to share them with those close to me. I don't want to feel like I have to hide my successes for fear that they might make someone else feel bad about their lack of success. The bottom line is, if you want to change your situation, your going to have to take some kind of action. Resenting my success for the sake of your self worth isn't going to do anything positive for either of us. I would also like to hope that the people who love me can put their own issues with themselves aside in order to celebrate my successes with me and be happy for the positive changes in my life. For most of the weekend, I ended up feeling like I needed to hide who I was and who I was becoming for the sake of keeping someone else happy and content and validating their lack of action. After some of the work I have been doing with WFG (see prior blogs), I don't ever want to feel like I have to hide myself from anyone ever again, but it makes me incredibly sad that someone who I really hoped would support me and be a cheerleader for me seemed to want nothing to do with that part of my life.
I think that we were both surprised when last night, after a long day out and about, I threw on my tennies, announced that I was going running and then trotted out the door to do my C25K run. I did invite her to come along, but ultimately left her on the couch with her book while I went and took care of me for a little while. I won't lie... I looked forward to those 40 minutes out on the road all day long. After all, I am a DONE girl.
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