Sunday, July 13, 2014
It's been a very strange week and I've been fighting something respiratory. As a result, there have been a couple of missed meals which has resulted in being extra hungry the last two days. It's been discouraging to feel that hungry again, but it's encouraging to know that I didn't go completely overboard. Little wins.
Today's scale day. Lost 0.8 pounds, which is better than gaining. Am I happy with it? Not really, but I'm trying to be at peace instead of beat myself up about it. I ate a solid breakfast this morning of two eggs, two Morningstar farms breakfast patties, and two pieces of Ezekial 4:9 toast with butter and jam. And coffee, I'll be heading back for my second cup shortly. Enough energy to get me up and going after a very long day at work yesterday.
I have much to accomplish today. Laundry, steam cleaning carpets, yardwork, cleaning my kitchen, cleaning my car. I'm already tired! However, it does need to get done and since my weekend was cut short by having to work for the 6th day of the week yesterday, I have no choice. Right now, however, I'm sitting in my living room with all the windows open listening to the planes fly over and the birds chirp. I don't think I've had my windows open all summer; it's been too hot. This morning? 65 degree with a light breeze, blue sky and full sun. Perfect.
Outside of that, I'm back in school again and on the countdown. 4 classes, writing my literature review and done. Done done and done! I'm ready.
I'm a couple days out from it being about one month of feeling more like myself and less hungry (overall). Though I didn't weigh myself when I started again (because quite frankly, I didn't expect anything to change), I am down 10 pounds from the beginning of June. That I'm proud of.
Here's to another good week, with hopefully another downward movement.
Sunday, July 06, 2014
"If we are going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy because empathy is the antidote to shame. If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive" (Brené Brown, Listening to Shame, 2012 TedTalk).
Isn't it funny how much of our journey's are related to shame in one way or another. If you haven't taken the time to watch either of Brene Brown's TedTalk's on Vulnerability (The Power of Vulnerability) or Shame (Listening to Shame), I strongly encourage you to. It touches a piece of the soul that I haven't experienced before. Links are at the bottom of the page.
I keep mulling over what shame needs to fester... secrecy, silence and judgment. It's been the overarching recipe that has defined my experience up until recently. I've held my story in secrecy, silence and abhorrent judgment. It's been painful. It's been destructive. It's destroyed my self worth.
Recently, I've found this neutral ground on my journey. Though I have recently been at my heaviest, I've also been at the most peace. This is strange. I'm used to obsessing over food, be it calories or portion size, nutrition or what not. Over the last two weeks in particular, I've been eating when I am hungry. Eating what I want within reason, not counting calories or portion sizes, just stopping when I'm done. Paying attention.
There has been SO much less shame about my choices. As if what I as choosing for myself wasn't good enough. IT IS GOOD ENOUGH. I'm choosing it, and that's the end of the story. That is very different for me. I've had my moments for certain, specifically centering around loneliness, but I've been using guided meditations to help calm me. I've never been successful at meditating on my own, but the guided meditations are right up my alley.
So, I'm trying to douse myself in empathy. It's an active task, not something I can be passive about. I don't have any real time to exercise between grad school and work, but when the lawn has to be mowed and the weeds need to be pulled, guess what? That counts. I never used to let it count. But it does. It counts big time.
I've never experienced anything harder than being kind to myself. I've been so rigid and hard on myself... for all my life... that breathing deep and acknowledging that I don't have to do it all or be it all has been life changing. I try to remind myself of this regularly now, and am thankful I have professional support to encourage me through.
Courage, according to Brown, means "To tell the story of who you are with your whole heart". Let's all choose to be courageous and tell our stories.
Tell me. What's yours?
The Power of Vulnerability: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brow
Listening to Shame:
Saturday, July 05, 2014
So, I didn't do anything special in June related to diet and exercise. The only variables were the following: I went on vacation, I bought a lawnmower, I went back on my medication. That's it.
It's been interesting, especially the last couple of weeks. I have been noticeably less hungry, but when I am hungry, I notice it. Coupled with that, there are all those EMOTIONS that lay dormant until I have space in my life to feel them, and I remember why I eat to numb. I haven't been, but I remember why I have in the past.
From my last recorded weight in June, I've lost 6.4 pounds. I'm happy with that because it came without trauma and excessive thought.
I find myself at a real precipice with everything related to my eating disorder currently. I am more aware of my patterns and behaviors than ever before. I know my go-to's to cope. I know my tendencies towards all-or-nothingness when it comes to diet and exercise. I know that I am capable of pushing myself to the brink of insanity with working out only to crash and burn because I realize I can't keep up the pace (nor do I want to).
I struggle because I see several of my friends hitting their diet and exercise hard right now. I know the compulsion... I want to be that person... but the rational, kinder part of me who is now more aware is reminding me that it isn't sustainable. And if it isn't sustainable, it isn't worth it because I'll be more miserable as I backslide. It's really difficult in that respect.
I told my therapist that I was starting to think about losing weight again. I also told her that talking about it is ultimately my kiss of death. I acknowledged that I know enough now that I can admit I don't have much time or energy outside of work and grad school, and so to add in wanting to lose weight may be setting myself up. I told her that I know the majority of my weight loss would have to come from different food choices, simply because my time is so limited, and that I thought my goal should be about 5 pounds per month because even that would mean (in theory) 60 pounds in a year. I talked about a couple of changes I wanted to make.
She then threw down the gauntlet. She challenged me to just se how this month goes, since I am feeling less hungry and I'm adjusting to medication. She encouraged me to not make any other changes than what I had already done, and just see how things play out. Just notice.
My reaction? "That doesn't feel like it's enough".
Well, isn't that the truth? Nothing ever feels like it is enough, so this time it has to be enough. I have to just notice this month, adjust as I may, and re-evaluate next month. 5 pounds may not be "enough" when science says I can lose 8 pounds per month safety, but what can I say? It was hard enough to get down to my lowest weight the last time, and last time I wasn't "done". This time? This time I am making peace that where I was might be the end game after all. If it is difficult to get there, it will be difficult to stay there. I am hoping this time I am setting myself up for longer term success since I am taking care of all aspects of my health.
You know the best part about all of this is that there is no one size fits all solution. What works for others may not work for me and vice versa. And that's ok. Part of the journey is figuring out what works for yourself... not according to others... just you.
I am feeling more calm and blessed after writing this blog. Thanks for checking in.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
I've gained 30 pounds since I started grad school 2 years ago. Yep, there. I said it.
From my lowest? Let's just say I am back up at my highest. And then some.
The gloom and rainy tapping on the window should really indicate my mood, after all my trip to Europe was cancelled last week after the professor at my school quit. And while that would be enough, I had already purchased my non-refundable airfare. For $2000. True story.
Instead? Instead I am in a very weird place. Between my eating disorder and my struggle with depression and anxiety, I made the decision to get back on and increase my medication (with my doctor's blessing).
It was almost an instant shift... from oppressive to acceptable. And then it got stranger. A couple days in, I noticed that I just wasn't as hungry. I thought it was weird. I'm not intentionally eating well, or counting calories, or exercising. In fact, historically in times of crisis in my life, I am eating out of control.
Not this time.
It took me a couple days to recognize it, about a day to be curious about it, and an "aha" moment in which I remembered that this medication was supposed to help with the eating disorder symptoms, as it often made people feel less hungry when taking it.
No way. No way no way. I had been on this forever. All I did was change the dose.
But it's the only variable that I changed and so I can't ignore what are very obviously different behaviors.
Eating normally. Normal amounts. Normal food. Feeling a sense of fullness. Not finishing a meal because it's sitting in front of me. It's strange, but it's a blessing and a look inside people's lives who probably don't obsess about and/or over food. Food is just food I guess. You eat when you are hungry, you stop when you are full. I guess that is how it is supposed to work.
Since it's been nearly 2 weeks now, and the results have stayed consistant, I'm going with it. I'm thankful that even if it is short-lived that I can see what it's supposed to be like. Even when I was at my healthiest, I was counting every calorie I ate and compensating accordingly. Perhaps that wasn't so healthy after all.
This journey I am on to unravel my eating disorder really has moments of greatness. I am going to count this among them.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I finally have a free moment to blog. It's been a busy two weeks, with a trip to Toronto to visit RAVENSONG37 and CARMINACG and then a work trip to Madison, Wisconsin, among other things.
It had been over two years since I was in Canada visiting my peeps, the trip was overdue. It was mellow and relaxing, just what I needed.
Becky and I were able to spend some quality time together; she's such a gracious hostess. Moreover, I was able to walk the Gutsy Walk with her in support of her fight against Chron's disease. This girl is brave
Ava came to meet us for Indian and a night of wine, which turned into an afternoon of one-on-one shopping the following day. It was so awesome she made the effort to come out and see me!
On top of the awesome friendships, there were all kinds of messages from the universe. I was listening. I also found a book called The Power of Less. I'm excited to blog about the questions the author asks as a way to pare down my life; the perfect find.
Back to reality after the conference tomorrow (aka, bloody mary's with chips and salsa for breakfast will be a thing of the past). One more day of enjoying the perfect weather in Madison.
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