I AM… Whatever I say I am.

Before I even knew what I knew when I wrote the last few blog posts I started changing the way that I was thinking. I mean… Come on, who wouldn’t want to stop that vicious and violent cycle running through your brain?

I started a painting series that is called “I AM”. (Painting has always been apart of my self care, and my own process.) I started creating this series before Thanksgiving and it came to me as I was seeing all of the signs around be say things like “Be Thankful” or “Be Grateful”. I grew up in a church that used affirmations to create change with in ourselves, so if you say something enough in your brain, you start to believe it, and then the goal is you become it. It’s a little cheesy. Anyway, when you read signs like that, it says “be ___________”, whatever that blank line is, it says BE that… Like you are not already that? Or you hadn’t been all along, or you are not right now.

My idea around the “I AM” seriese that I’ve been creating… is that when you read it as “I am Thankful”, it’s more action oriented. You don’t have to be it, you are it. It’s affirming you are “_____________”. I started to play with this a little more as a tool to help change some of my negative spiral thinking.

I had them all over my house for a while, and then I pulled them back and put them in my craft room so I can see them when I enter. It’s like a wall of positive self compliments. What’s better than that? I had some paintings that I painted that were all of the negativeness from my brain and body, and I replaced them with the positive ones. I will post both pictures. 🙂

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Moving on.

Right now, I feel fairly raw and newer in my skin than I ever have.

I am in the process of letting go of all of my knowledge about weight loss and food I’ve ever known, and letting go of expectations of being skinny, weight loss, and how I will get there. I am in a place of uncertainty, excitement and my motivation is no longer about a “how will I look” result.

***on a side bar, my motivation before was driven on this idea that I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough… whatever enough… the motivation was always to make myself better, or look better for someone else. . When we get to the “better” state for someone else, there will always be something to continue to change right? Who is this someone else exactly, and what are we trying to achieve here?

I started this Blog (I know I say this a lot), to talk about my process, and what is happening right now. As a place to see the growth over time, as someone puts in the work along their journey.

Rarely do we hear about the process and the journey, and we usually when we see people who are at a different place in their journey from our own we usually see the before and after picture and gather some of the journey, but rarely do we capture how hard it was to transform into whatever their after picture is.

We wish, we hope we dream about being where they are, wherever they are. We drool over their bodies, because we also want the admiration from people. We also want to stop that negative cycle and self talk I’ve talked about so much. Like I said before, we have been conditioned to not like ourselves and we have to be something were not. We are conditioned to believe we are not enough, exactly as we are.

As I step into this new un-adventured part of my journey, I have surrendered in a way. I have not surrendered to a higher power, and I’m not saying I’m powerless against sugar. Because that is bullshit. Seriously, it’s an excuse to not truly take care of myself. (I can say that I do better staying on track when I don’t eat lots of sugar, carbs etc. I tried that several times, I KNOW that if I DEPRIVE myself completely… It doesn’t work.) I have surrendered to myself, and the control, to the feelings of shame, guilt and living in the moment mindfully. Addressing the things, ALL OF THE THINGS.

I am de-constructing years and years of negative thinking based off of what other people have allowed me to believe about myself. I keep saying this statement to my therapist “Slowing it down the process even more” and when I say that I mean really… taking my time through the day and the things that I encounter. Not being willing to budge on my wanting to get better. This looks like… If I feel uncomfortable, instead of ignoring it (which would end up with me eating all of the scones like I mentioned in my last post), addressing it. Speaking my truth, and also talking myself through it in my mind. Giving myself a voice, not only out loud, but in my brain. My goal is to quiet that negative Nancy so much that all I hear is positive self talk when I encounter things.

If I KNOW ANYTHING, everything takes practice. It’s a slow process, and won’t happen over night.

Thank you for reading, I feel more grateful now than ever.

 

Parallels of two

I am not sure If I’ve written about this before, but with this food addiction stuff I’ve always felt like I was two people. The girl, the human struggling to be Rachael, and then the addict, something bigger and almost outside of myself that wants me to stay in this victim, shaming place with food, and my body.

Recently I have found even more parallels between these two that I wasn’t really expecting. Because I’ve been doing these patterns on and off for so long with weight loss and gain, I became really good at understanding what those felt like. It was late one night and I was on lots of cold medicine, but I saw the parallels between how I felt as a kid with my father and how I felt when I was totally out of control with my food and the spiral thinking.

Growing up I was always walking on egg shells and was always trying to make my father happy. I was always waiting for him to get angry, I got good at predicting his yelling, though it never stopped the way that I felt when it happened. I felt rejected, hurt, let down and left always dreaming for more. I quickly learned how to check out, and disassociate. It didn’t matter what you said back to him, he would make it your fault, he would harass and bully me.

I remember one time as a child, my mom was being yelled at, and I jumped into defend her. I remember his yelling switching to me, and me feeling all of those things I just mentioned which I did quite often in that house. I remember going into our computer room, locking the door, and sitting in the closet with my arms wrapped around my knees. My body felt shaky, or anxious and I felt like I did something wrong, or that I was the bad guy. I felt ashamed, I was to blame, and like I did something bad. Which eventually translated later to “I am bad”.

Of my lowest times, when I felt like I hit rock bottom with my food and body stuff… I remember I was about 240-250. I cannot remember exactly how much, and it doesn’t really matter the number, but it wasn’t my highest. I was in college, alone in my room, and I was sitting up against the wall, in the furthest corner in my bed, with my arms wrapped around my knees (as much as I could with a bigger body). I remember feeling full to the brim of food, anxiousness, uncertainty, starving for help, on the verge of a panic attack, scared, stress, fear and… well you know the feelings when you’ve lost control.

Both experiences, all though were different, were similar in how I was reacting. I essentially, just kept this abusive person with me all along with my body and food. I mean he did tell my mom once that I needed mental and physical help with my weight. That didn’t help my perception of myself and my body, at all.

Sorry for this long post… I promise I’m almost done. When I decided to stop the dv with my father, I stopped talking to him for a while. Because he couldn’t hear very well, he argued with me in email, IN EMAIL. I can’t remember what I said to him at the time, but it pretty much said “I’m done”. I tell people now that I stopped talking to him because I was tired of being abused as an adult. I was tired of having my expectations of him be shattered all of the time. I was tired of feeling like, maybe this time will be different and then allow it to continue to happen. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I had to change my perspective and approach in our relationship if I wanted anything from it, and of course my expectations. We can’t change anyone but ourselves.

I had attended like 5 alanon meetings, let go of my expectations. I grieved for months, and maybe still do today to an extent about what I would not get from him. It was hard, and since then I have taken the emotional piece out of our relationship and approach things tangibly, and factually. I let him know what is happening in my life, and do not engage any sort of emotion with him. Once, he yelled at me on the phone. I said… “Dad you can be angry, but you do not get to yell at me”, then he told me why he hated talking on the phone. I learned my lesson, while standing my ground at the same time.

A lot of this food and body stuff will shift in time, as I let go of the control and the dv aspect of it. I am seeking a new relationship with myself which includes building on positive thinking, being in the moment more with who I am. All of this is hard, and new to me, and I’m sure there will be plenty of grieving.. And I’m ready for it.

Progress Noted

More progress noted:

I can’t remember the last time I binged.

I haven’t said I’m cured by any means… But, I really truly cannot remember the last time I’ve binged.

I’m not sure when or why I stopped.

(Possible trigger moment, I’m going to talk about what happens when I binge, or why I do it.)

I think I stopped because I’ve been trying to take care of myself better emotionally. I think that binging comes when I feel mentally and physically exhausted, it’s the thing I do, after I’ve done other naughty things all day, usually it’s with foods full of sugar. The only way I can describe it, is that I am so Stressed out and I don’t allow myself to feel anything too deeply. It comes as a progressive thing, and usually starts with mindless eating over the day. It starts with me, eating something,  (more on the line of carbs because that is usually what is available at work most of the week) eating anything really, because something else happened. I believe I do this now out of habit.

I can remember a time recently where there were scones in our office and I was caught in this non-awareness loop. You know the ones… Where we are doing our life, and we are not present with what’s going on, like we check out. What happened was, I was feeling stressed out because of something that was happening with one of the youth I was working with at work.

Side bar: Actually writing this, triggers something I didn’t realize before… Which will tie into my next blog post a lot more (which I’ve already wrote on paper)… Ready for this one? I’m a little shocked myself. What I’m about to write you, is totally live and candid and I wish you could have seen my brain produce it. When I am feeling uncomfortable about a conversation I have to have with youth at work, I tend to check out and procrastinate with shoving food in my mouth. What happens with my body and my mind at the time, is I get so anxious and worked up (hence stressed out), and allow myself to check out of those feelings and use to alleviate them. The interesting corrilation though, is that these feelings that I have at this time, are very similar to the ones that I had as a little girl when my dad would engage in arguing with me. (I will address this more in the next post, I promise.

Going back to the example I was giving before, I caught myself mid scone, okay mid-3rd mini scone, and said… “WOAH, Rachael, what are you doing right now?” and I threw it away, and started to talk to myself positively. I can’t remember what I said to myself then, but I know I started to say things like:”You are safe, you are okay, breathe, and you will get through this. I started to create more of a positive dialogue in my brain about what was happening in the moment. With time, the more we practice, the easier self soothing becomes down the line. Also, if I spend time worrying about what others think, the harder it is to take care of myself right now, in this moment. And, why worry about something you have no control over or, in the real reality… we don’t know how someone is going to react, and worrying about something you don’t know, only keeps you trapped in those spiral thinking mind traps.

Going BACK to the binge piece, because I’ve been able to stop myself more and more in these daily traps, I think the binging stopped. It’s usually that when I allow myself to continuously follow through with those daily traps, that I would get home and be like “fuck it”, or intentionally do it because I cannot cope with what is happening around me at the time.

It feels good to be winning for a while. 🙂

 

 

 

Embarassed

It has become fairly apparent that I didn’t follow through with my week of writing and not eating sugar. I didn’t finish, and I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t and haven’t been writing.

This embarrassment comes from this feeling of obligation and this feeling of living up to an expectation I have for myself that isn’t really real.

I’m also embarassed because I want what other people have. I want to be skinny, I want to have a family, I want money, and to be able to support myself on my own, by myself. Either way, dreaming of what other people have, prevents me from taking care of myself right now.

Jealousy, only perpetuates that vibrant verbal cycle in our brain.