Short thoughts:

There was an anti-inflammatory nutrition class offered this past weekend and I went to it. The class itself scared me into wanting to drink more water. It also makes me want to take a larger scale nutrition class. I think with my new mindset, I might be more receptive to it.

When I showed up, I saw someone I had met once before though in a different context. She was my current partner’s ex girlfriends sister. I’m not going to give out any real information, more or less an interaction that we had. After I sat down, she stated she had some health problems and she needed to find new avenues and that’s why she was there. For some reason, I didn’t feel the need to tell her why I was there, also there wasn’t really an opportunity to share this information. I just found it interesting, that being in this space, in the nutrition class, we need to validate our presence.

I was there for more complicated reasons, and I didn’t feel the need to share, or validate why I was there. When it came down to it, I was asked to go, and I felt like I needed to be there. I mean, I’m re-learning how to eat, and take care of my body.

Things I learned: New recipes, malnourished cells vs nourished cells, ways to incorporate turmeric into different dishes, that most of the nutritional value of veggies are in the skin, and also… prepping and more in line with the patience of prepping.

Snow day!

Remember when you were a little kid and you prayed and prayed for a snow day? Once it started to snow you would sit by the window, and watch it fall, or go outside and run around, make a snowman out of hand fulls of snow that barley even covered the ground. Or… Stayed up late, watching it fall, and praying for school to be canceled. Only to wake up and there is more snow on the ground and school actually has been canceled!

That’s like me today, big kid snow day!!! YAY! And I’m using it to my full advantage. I laid in bed this morning, so tired from staying up the night before, fully taking advantage of the not having to wake up early for work thing. So it was 9 am when I blinkingly opened my eyes. I groaned a bit, and closed them, wishing to be sleeping again, but said NO RACHAEL.

Backing up a bit, I’ve been watching Glee re-runs. I know I know, cheesy right? Well, after the last year I’ve been sitting on the couch a lot, playing video games and watching TV. I’ve been running through re-run after re-run of the same old shit, and well… Glee makes me happy. So I started to watch it, and I started to get excited with all of the dancing and movement that takes place… So before going to bed I googled some youtube beginners dance videos to prepare for the next day, well… I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually do them, but I knew I had to at-least start somewhere.

So… This morning when I woke up. I thought about coffee as usual, and a shower, and then I thought.. Well if I’m going to shower today at some point, I should work out, and if I’m going to work out I need coffee. I pulled out my work-out clothes from the bottom of my dresser drawers, and put them on almost unwillingly, took my socks from my top drawer and bobbled down the stairs. I didn’t have any coffee at my house, and assessed the road situation with the snow. (PS it is still snowing) The main road looks fine, but in order to get there I’d have to plow my driveway. PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR WORKING OUT… DID I DO IT. NOPE!

I did make some green tea, I did pull my laptop out and set it up for a work out video. I did two-15 minute intensive dance video’s. A friend was writing to me through out the first one, so I took a lot of breaks, and the second one I went right through. I mean 30 minuets isn’t a lot, but it’s a start right?

I also have a small coaching business on the side and at this time I only have one client. She had written back to some questions I had asked her, and I jumped on board with responding, and here I am writing this post.

My short term goal: Work out for 30 min three times this week, or every week at any point in the day.

My long term goal: Get up early, like 6 am early, and work out for 30-45 minutes every morning.

Mindful eating.

This weekend in addition to my painting, I tried being mindful in other ways.

We went out to lunch yesterday and I caught myself in the moment, being in the moment and allowing myself to stay present with my food. Okay, with the chips and salsa, and some with my entree also. We went out for Mexican somewhere we’ve never gone before. They obviously make their own salsa there and it was tasty. With every bite, I stopped and paused, I was trying to figure out what was in it. It didn’t dawn on me for another 5 minutes that I was actually being mindful when I do this. I mean as an obvious lover of food, figuring out what is in food…  is second nature. It was a surprising moment in my day catching myself being mindful

I also spent a few more countless hours painting this weekend, and writing.

Mindful eating is hard for me to do… and It’s something I need to prioritize more over the next few weeks… and years of my life.

This post was short, only because the last one was a bit long and I wanted to include this. Thank you for reading.

 

Mindfulness

I have been challenged to be more mindful lately. IT’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my life over the past few years.

Coming from a life that was pretty disengaging, into a more engaging one, is a consistent struggle.

I’ve had moments of mindfulness in my days, and this is what it has looked like in the past 24 hours.

Yesterday I took the day off, after being off most of the week for being sick. I already had the day pre-planned off… I spent the day doing some self care, shopping and getting my hair done. I came home, cleaned the house and worked on a painting. I am including it below, but will describe it and where my mind wandered and how I pulled myself back.

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I had the background of this painting painted, and hasn’t known what to add to it because it hadn’t seemed complete. It dawned on me a few weeks ago, but I had been fighting the urge to do it, and I think it’s because there are a lot of positive words on there I wasn’t sure I was able to own up to.

As I was doing it, I had to look up positive self affirmation words. For someone who doesn’t talk to herself positively, it can be challenging to think of positive words. The words I had a hard time writing were valued, gorgeous, eye-catching, desirable, able and pretty. Those are words I have not practiced saying to myself, or feel true. I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed.  I do have to say, I checked out briefly, I was watching tv, and our cable guy came to fix our cable box.

 

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.

Day 6

I missed writing Friday and Saturday.

It’s been a busy weekend, unintentionally.

Friday we were out with a friend for dinner, I ate a sandwich, mostly just the filling of the sandwich, and probably half the bread and a salad for dinner. I also had two drinks. Saturday came, and I can’t remember what I had for lunch, but we got our tree, set it up, and decorated it. We also put a new faucet in our kitchen for our sink. Well, we attempted to. Then my boyfriend wanted a new sink. So we bought one, and after taking out the old sink to replace it we found mold in the counter tops.

Since finding mold in the counter tops, we had to rip them out. Because we didn’t have a sink, last night we ordered Mexican to be delivered. I swore I ordered chicken fajitas, which would have been fairly okay, especially if I didn’t eat the tortillas. What came was chicken enchiladas. I made a mistake. I ate them, and they had flour tortillas. I ate the beans too, just not the rice. That was probably my only hiccup of the day.

TODAY we bought new counter tops. I sanded the wall where the glue had been from the previous “back splash”, I then taped up most of the kitchen and painted the wall a beautiful shade of robins egg blue.  We ordered take out again… We mostly don’t want to do all of the dishes… in the bathroom, because we were un-sure when the sink would go in. We ordered Thai food, which was pretty easy to get healthy.

It’s almost 9:30, I’m physically and mentally tired. Our house looks like a tornado came through. All of our kitchen drawers are in our living room, our kitchen aid is in the craft room, all of the pots and pans are in there too, along with our food processor… Trash can, recycle bin.. All living in the living room temporarily. It feels chaotic. It is chaotic.

Food this weekend wasn’t great, but… it wasn’t bad. I still haven’t dipped into the Halo ice-cream in the fridge. I haven’t eaten any of the cheeze-its my boyfriend bought from Target today… even though I want to. I haven’t drank since Friday. I did treat myself to a diet coke today. Which is something I haven’t had in a long time.

Also… The coffee I’ve gotten this past weekend have been 1/2 calf americano’s and I add some artificial sweetener and some half and half.

I’m ready for the week, and am looking forward to having my house back!

No picture today, but I have paint in my hair, paint all over my shirt, and probably on my face. My hair is wacky and my feet hurt pretty bad.

Goodnight, more tomorrow.

 

Day 3

I really have to prep my day better with food. I am also coming down from the sugar and the carbs pretty hard.

I have been crazy cranky for two days now in the afternoon. And I think if I pack my morning and lunch with MORE protein, I will probably feel better through out the day.

Today I had a smoothie for breakfast, and a giant “Italian chopped” salad for lunch, and then I had some nuts with some cranberries for a snack during the afternoon with some kombucha. I became so cranky that I was really having a hard time focusing, and my head was hurting and I was growling… Well not literally growling, but complaining about everything. It was a busy day, and I didn’t have much time to dedicate to the work at my desk until about 4:20 or so. I stayed there til about 5:15, came home and layed in bed for about twenty minutes quiet, and with my eyes closed. At some point, around 315 I went to get a n/f 8 oz decaf latte. I don’t know about you, but for some reason coffee is something that can calm me down pretty quickly, it’s a really bizarre phenomenon. Coffee is the one thing that I can sit down, close my eyes and when holding it I tend to breathe better. It’s not so much about the coffee, as the ritual and the familiarity in that piece.

I got up after my little nap, did the dishes and ate some veggie burgers, veggies and about 3/4 cup of rice. I felt so MUCH better after dinner. I am pretty sure I just need to eat more, since I’m eating less calories at a time. It really just all looks different when you are eating better foods.

My water intake has been less than ideal, but I’m still drinking it.

I wanted to also bring up something that I admitted to my counselor yesterday. This idea that I think fat is bad, because it’s been ingrained in my mind for so long from being called that and treated so badly when I was younger. I have also been really obsessed with what other people eat, all of the time. The first day, I could tell you all about what other people eat, and then today when we were out celebrating a co-workers last day in her position I was glancing around the table and eyeing all of the people’s food.

My eyes stopped at several people’s plates, and I closed my mind. I breathed. I said… Rachael, it’s not something you need to worry or care about. I opened my eyes and focused on the people around me and the conversation, and engagement. The conversation I had with my counselor was more about if I’m judging myself with my own eating habits, that’s how I’m treating other people. The better I treat myself, the better I treat others. Less judgy and more open and positive.

Anyway, I’m so sleepy and I need a shower before bed. If you have jumped on board with me to eat better, and cut out the crap. Comment below with what has been working well for you! ❤

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Day 2

It’s been a different day than normal.

I was lucky that I had a counseling apt today, she was super helpful and of course on board with my plan. She usually is on board where ever I’m at. She’s pretty good at helping, when I need help, and has given me lots of feedback before about food stuff. A while ago she suggested I had two proteins for breakfast, and two for lunch, mostly because living with a vegetarian, we don’t have real meat at home. I also know that in the past when I’ve been successful, I’ve eaten more meat protein during the day. It helps keep me energized an full longer.

Wednesdays is also bread day at work. I work at a non-profit, we get donated bread and treats from our local Panera for our families and youth at our organization. What sucks, is it gets brought to my floor, right next to my office. Every Wednesday I walk in and will walk into a plethora of bread smells. I have really thought about all of the places that bread could go instead of that room, but there is no other place. It’s a break room, the only break room we really have. It’s where the bread lives on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If there are too many bread snacks there, someone will bring snacks into our office area. So often times there are scones, cookies and bagels right in front of my face. I didn’t eat any today, and that will remain the same as time goes on.

I left early today for an interview. This isn’t normal either. My plan was I was bringing a smoothie, and would leave at 12:30, knowing I would be hungry and needing to go home and eat before I got ready. 12:30 came, and everyone and their mom, or so it felt wanted to talk to me. I at some point, I had to apologize for being cranky because I knew I was hungry and had a plan and needed to execute. I ended up looking at my co-worker and saying… If you could finish this, and completely take care of it I will buy you a coffee. What I was asking him to do, was sometimes my job and sometimes his job, and probably more my job than his. And then I left.

I ate some lunch, went to the interview… And replayed all of the questions in my head with what I wish I would have said differently. After talking with my boyfriend, and replaying some of the things, he said I actually did pretty well. It really felt like a learning lesson more than anything. It’s the first time I had interviewed for anything in a while. It was helpful to practice. We will see what happens.

This is starting to feel like a long post, so I will try to wrap up the evening quickly… Even though it probably is the most important part of my food stuff for the day.

After my interview, I ended up going grocery shopping. If I’m in it to win it, or if I’m being dedicated to my goal, I need to be prepared. I bought easy protein. After brainstorming with my counselor this morning, I found out that they sell cooked, prepared chicken breasts in separate packages at Trader Joes. YESSS! So I bought them, plus some chicken burger type things that are easy to cook and low in calories. I also bought a few other things that will probably help me stay successful.

I ate two cheese sticks in the car, a little package of trail mix (both from trader joes), and then I ate a few bites of left over sweet potatoes and apples from Thanksgiving, and then…. I went out with my boyfriend for dinner and had three tiny chicken tacos on corn tortillas, a 6oz of beer, kombucha, and came home and had a bowl of left over buffalo cauliflower.

I stopped at that. The cauliflower seemed excessive. I don’t know how many calories I’ve eaten today, or yesterday and I’m trying not to care. Counting calories makes me crazy. I don’t really regret food today. I think the only thing I would have done differently would have been the 3pm range to 6:30 range with the cheese, trail mix and sweet potato apples.

I wasn’t sure when my boyfriend was going to come home, and it was almost too early to eat something big. SO I snacked, and after the sweet potato mix, I stopped. If I would have given it more thought I probably would have eaten one of the chicken burgers I brought home instead. That would have curved my snacking and extra eating when I got home after tacos. I also need some sort of snack between my smoothie and lunch, maybe that’s a good time for some nuts? Maybe. 🙂 I’m also going to switch up my breakfast as well.

It’s almost 10:20, I almost didn’t write tonight, but I am glad I did. I’m pooped.

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