May 6th

My childhood home has been vacant for the past three years, and recently I had a realtor friend of mine take me there. It was a weird, time warping experience.

I lived there from ages 6-14. What I remember from this experience was a collection of memories filled with community, grief, sadness, solidarity, joy and well all of the things. My house was white, the tiles were pink, the master bath had a jet tub, and it was two stories. There was a back yard, and my dad had built a swing set for me to play on where I spent many hours alone conjuring potions and sweet memories.

The road up to the house was over grown, uncomfortable and sad. I think I had this weird underlying expectations, at the same time had no expectations. The house itself had one large change, and other minimal changes. It was green on the outside with a purple door and the land surrounding was overgrown and changed (there were more outside changes than inside changes).

The person had rebuilt the back deck, added a hot tub and a door off of the back master bedroom. They had also taken out the swing set my dad had built, the garden beds, and planted trees where my dad’s RV use to live. My memories of the space though were so present, the nostalgia was there and then it hit me: I cannot get back any of it. It was gut wrenching.

I wasn’t really expecting to get any of that back by visiting there, or even by dancing with the idea that I could even buy the place.

What I did get out of it, was that no matter how sad I was there because my dad was so yelly, it was a reminder that he did do nice things for me. As an adult I value that swing set memory more than I ever had. I appreciate it more now because when I was a child I didn’t understand or value the time it took to him to build that swing set. At the time I was fairly selfish, and impatient. It was the one memory I had of him that didn’t include traveling, playing video games, or sourdough pancakes. It was the one thing he did that was outside of his comfort zone, it was something he did for me. In all that I’ve processed about my childhood, him doing nice things for me wasn’t something that I’ve been able to see.

 

 

 

 

Bread day.

Every Wednesday where I work we get a donation from Panera at the organization I work for. We call it bread day, but we get a variety of pastries, bagels, flat breads and whole loaves of different kinds of bread. Sometimes we get a lot, and sometimes we don’t get very much at all. On a side note: I work for a non-profit where we distribute the donations out to the people we serve. When there is an abundance, we tend to get a little excited about our personal interest in the donation.

I have always been triggered by this day, and I consistently wonder where else we can store this crap as right now it lives near my office and in the staff lounge. Last Wednesday, I noticed somethings interesting, that I too have been guilty of before. Greediness.

Because the staff lounge is so close, and Panera just happens to be so fragrant, we know when it’s arrived. The first thing that happens when it arrives, is it gets sorted. It gets sorted into boxes and then gets distributed to other programs through out the county. Then whatever is left, goes to our youth and families.  I got to work last Wednesday with out having ate breakfast, knowing that there would be a bagel that would be left behind with my name on it. As soon as the donation came, other staff members were in the staff lounge, excuse my french but like a bunch of hyenas. There was this scarcity in their voices, and sense of entitlement over whatever was present. It was an obsession with this bread day, what was available, what they could get, and who could get it.

It made me in the moment, take a step back, and really assess how I was feeling about the situation, which was; At first I jumped on the bandwagon of yes I needed to go grab the everything bagel I so desired, and then I breathed out and realized I just didn’t care. I didn’t care that Panera was there and I didn’t care what king of bagel I got (as long as it wasn’t one of those sugar bagels, cause those are disgusting AND if that’s was the only available bagel, I just wouldn’t eat it).

It made me realize again how far I’ve come. It was also awesome to be able to react to my own accord and be okay with not caring about which bagel I get. With this said, I remember eating my bagel, finishing it, not believing it was all gone and then wanting another one. I didn’t eat another one, just said out loud what I wanted and let it go. Next time I’m going to work on enjoying my bagel a little bit more. I will probably write about it.

 

More thoughts:

If you are eating to your diet, you shouldn’t have to worry about weight loss.

I was watching minimalist videos today, and stumbled upon other Youtube video’s and caught myself watching someone’s weight loss journey’s questions and answer’s youtube video. I could only make it through the first 5 minutes or so before I had a reaction.

The questions she was answering were base off of her weight loss. The questions were “what size are you now, what size were you when you started, how much weight have you lost” and finally “how do you get rid of pesky fat in certain areas (like back, leg, etc)”… She started at a little over 300lbs and was in her 180’s. She started at size 18-20, and was presently size 12-14. She started at size 3x top, and ended at a medium-large top.

Her response to the last questions was “I gained weight in different areas at different times and places in my life, and I lost weight in different places at different times.”. I really appreciated her objective answer.

 

My perception is that people see those who have lost a lot of weight, and calculate how they can get there. It’s a pattern I’ve noticed in myself and also with my friends. It’s something to I was starting to notice more and more as I got sucked into the diet culture.

The questions that were asked were specific, superficial and almost irrelevant.

I was going to share my starting weight and sizes, but decided that it was irrelevant also. The point is, our bodies are different, our bodies respond to things differently. We are all different, shapes, sizes and we have no-real control over what our bodies look like. We just have control how we take care of them inside and out, and how we dress them.

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.

I don’t mean to brag but…

I’m an extremely good cook.

I’ve always loved cooking, but since watching Michael Polland’s documentary series on Netflix, I’ve tried to explore cooking in a new way. In the last year I’ve also bought several vegan cook books (okay 3) which have allowed me to explore a little bit outside of my comfort zone. I’ve worked really hard to make cooking more mindful and the result has inspired creative deliciousness.

I’ve been following vegan recipes, which have been more complex and over all so much more delicious. Cooking isn’t always simple, it is delicate, complex, meditative, and endures a lot of patience.

My relationship with food is changing. I can see it, and feel it. I do know that there is still a struggle, and that’s why I mentioned it in my past post. The struggle is there when I’m not following my intuition and passion. It’s there when I don’t recognize the present feelings.

But in the last few months I’ve been challenging myself in the kitchen. I’ve been working harder for the food I put into my body. I’ve been soaking cashews, letting dough rest, and baking vegetables in the oven in ways that I’d never tried before.

I don’t cook like this every day. But, I try a few days a week to explore something new.

What it’s done to help with this ED process: It slows down life, creates a more intentional vibe and process. Also, the slowing down piece creates a mind space that is less likely to be impulsive and compulsive.  It has helped me explore my intentional passion for food. I have developed more patience in the kitchen, which has allowed me to wait for things to be done cooking, and cool down enough to eat. I’ve also been able to access my creativity in a new way and try out new things. I’ve tapped into my curiosity and my desire for wanting to try new things just to see if I can do it.

I think it also has inspired a higher level of care of what I put into my body. I’m less and less interested in packaged foods, and more interested in making it. When I make it, I know exactly what I’m putting into my body, and I’ve worked for it. I feel more accomplished, and satisfied.

 

 

Avoiding.

Avoiding anything, especially the inevitable packs the pounds.

My weight spirals because I emotionally eat, I make excuses for my behavior and I spend more time playing video games, or watching re-runs of my favorite shows instead of living my life. Wait, I spend time checking out in-stead of living through the pain, and emotions of life.

I noticed myself doing this recently. I also noticed my teeth grinding increasing. Meaning, I’m not taking care of myself and whatever that means. This time it means, too much caffeine, not enough water, and drifting further away from my dreams than I anticipate.

I am in love with my partner, we have a pretty good thing going. We are fairly balanced, we enjoy doing things together, we make an amazing team in the kitchen, the yard, the house etc. Or at-least that’s my perception. He’s my person, what can I say? He listens when I’m not doing well, he’s patient and kind, cares about my well being, and happiness.

But we have different life goals, and I’ve been avoiding leaving, because the loss of him would be so great and grieving sucks.

I also have a really good thing where I live. I have a whole room to myself where I can paint and I have a garden to grow fresh vegetables and fruit. I feel really blessed to have had the opportunity to live here, and share my life with him.

I’m not serving myself continuing to stay here. I am deserving of something that I’ve always wanted (Marriage and at-least one child) and he doesn’t want those things. Which completely sucks.

I also have really tried not to want those things, which really only affirmed that I want them more. Also, I think what sucks out of all of the thought process I did around being married and having children, is I think my self worth is dependent on it and that If he really loved me as much as he did, he would want to marry me and have children. Which isn’t true. But I’m trained to think that my worthiness is depended on it, and also that because he doesn’t want those things… He believes that I’m not worth anything.

It’s a complete mind fuck of a situation actually. The longer I stay in this relationship (even if I think it is good), the longer I will deep down think that I’m truly not worthy, which only mind fucks my ED thinking and circulates the food intake. It’s pretty messed up.

I’ve been neglecting my writing not necessarily because of this, but it’s been a part of it. I’ve been spending more time disassociating with video games and re-runs than I have been engaging in life. Growing up in a DV home makes you a pro at disassociation, well at least for me it has been.

February 22nd, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve last written, this I know.

I haven’t been writing due to avoiding the truth about my life at the present moment. I’m not totally ready to write about this, but I can write about this allusive February 22nd day I titled this post.

In February, I had been contemplating becoming a vegan for the month of March. I think in the past I have written about wanting to eat more intuitively, and being vegan, is one of the most deepest intuitions I have about the foods I put in my body.

SO with this idea I started to plan (because I know planning is one of the ways I can be successful with food and goals), and realized between my friends bachelorette party, and wedding in March, I didn’t have enough practice and experience, or I wouldn’t by that point to fully eat vegan. I did join several vegan and vegetarian Facebook groups. It wasn’t a mistake, but it totally confirmed my feelings about being a vegan, and I ended up making the choice to become a vegetarian at that moment. I was traumatized.

I started reading a thread about documentaries, and all I could think about after just reading the thread (not even watching the documentaries), was about screaming cows. The next day I distributed all of the food that I had in the house that had dairy or meat in them. I had been cooking mostly vegetarian for the last 2 years anyway, it was an easy transition.

So, I’m a vegetarian now, aspiring vegan.

I no longer get cream in my americano’s, and now will use almond milk or even better coconut milk. I buy a lot of vegan cheeses and will use that quite often instead of regular cheese, and well I still eat eggs.

The first month was interesting to say the least. I went to an all day training about two days after this decision was made, and I didn’t fully prepare myself with the food for that day. There was a spread of food that was provided and the only things that were even close to vegan, and I know were not fully vegan because they were bagels, and fruit. ALL CARBS. ALL CARBS. I did bring some coconut yogurt, some veggies and hummus, and I ate a veggie subway sandwich with no cheese, and some chips. All I know was, when I went home at the end of the day was my head hurt and I was hungry. I also had chosen values over food. Meanwhile, I should have just ate the string cheese, because that would have probably helped in the afternoon.

Later that month, we got nacho’s and they had no meat on them, and I ate them… When I got to the bottom, I realized that the refried beans I had just consumed were probably 99% not vegetarian.

Lots to learn! Lots to come.

Sneaky grateful moments

It’s funny how my last post was about the changed girl, and then today I’m writing about something unexpected that came up that made me feel crappy at work.

Actually it’s been an off week, period, because of my period. Sorry if that is TMI, and not sorry at the same time because it’s totally a real thing for me and I shouldn’t pretend like I don’t get my period.

I couldn’t believe what happened on Monday and I was left embarrassed and on the verge of a panic attack. I had forgotten to turn in a paper to receive some money that I needed for my job. There is a process, a process which I’m familiar with and had used several times, over and over again. It was a surprise to me when I went upstairs and things had changed. I wasn’t able to formulate sentences about what I was asking for (Not really un-common for me). But my usual process usually looked like me putting a paper that I had signed from my boss in someones box, and then I would go to the front desk and their would be money in an envelope. I had forgotten to do the step where I put the paper in someones box, and when I went upstairs, I explained the process in which got miss understood for a different process. I am probably not making any sense…. Anyway, what ended up happening was 3 people were telling me something that I couldn’t identify with. What really happened, was I realized that maybe I forgot to turn the paper in. I put up my hand, stated I was feeling frustrated and that I needed to walk away. The result for me was: I felt stupid, unprepared, didn’t know my job and everything I strive not to be. I don’t like looking like I don’t know how to do my job. I literally stated to someone I worked with on my way back to my desk that I “was stupid” and with out anyone knowing I went into a back room and cried.

*On a side note: After hearing myself say “I am stupid” out loud to someone, made me stop in my tracks. At that moment, I wasn’t sure if I was going to laugh at myself or cry because it sounded so silly. I chose the latter.

Who is this girl?

It was triggering and un-expected. It was also a miss-understanding and a mistake. I haven’t had a melt down in a while, and I haven’t felt so negatively in months about myself. While I was in the back room crying, I could feel my body fill with anxiety. I took some breaths, and talked myself down. I really was okay. I had to remind myself that they were not intentionally attacking me, and not intentionally making me feel stupid. They were explaining a process that I knew, I just didn’t use. Also… because of being in that moment, and being confused, I couldn’t find my words.

Having practiced new patterns, positive self talk and self soothing… I am now able to recover from these moments quicker, and they happen less and less.

I am grateful for that.

 

Girl you’ve changed!

Suddenly you realize things your friends are posting on fb look gross and overwhelming to eat because they are too sweet… loaded with so much sugar it gives you a headache. These are things I would have been addicted to in the past. I would have catered to when I feel I’m my “fuck it” times, and now…. It just makes me sick looking at it. I feel pretty good and proud about myself right now.

The next best thing.

Last week my counselor gave me this language to describe this over arching thing most of american’s are going through “Weight loss culture” and it struck a chord with me.

I maybe have touched on it before, but I don’t think I dived into the depth that I was ready for yet. I’ve actually had something saved on my google drive for about a year that is titled “The next best thing”. The next best thing, for me was whatever the new thing was for me I would follow, to accomplish the weight loss goals I was after. The goals, of course mean weight loss.

I talked about the unrealistically about this previously. But the bottom line is, no matter what you do, or how much you do it, and or how much weight you’ve lost.. You may never be satisfied with how you look… We are obsessed with this idea that we are NOT GOOD ENOUGH AS IS. We are trained to think that way, and get stuck in this weight loss culture obsession and get sucked into the “next best thing” or trend.

For me these trends would be the end all to everything: every eating problem I’ve ever had, every weight loss issue, everything and all of it. I WOULD BE CURED.

Here I am, 227lbs, highest ever 279lbs and I KNOW those trends don’t work for me. I have fallen for Weight Watchers, Solutions (a weight loss clinic), Nutritionist, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, other running apps such as C25K, a personal trainer, HTC (for a hot minute), juicing, joining and dropping out of gyms several times a year, paleo, vegetarianism, and more.

Some of these ideas I’ve catered to briefly but have not fully fallen into their trap. Some, I’ve committed to for a significant amount of time and have had a lot of success with. Either way, I understand the commitment piece, the HIGH of accomplishing goals (weight loss), being rewarded for it, and then when you are no longer loosing, the disappointment and let down of being unsuccessful long term. I understand the BATTLE to stay committed, the mind games… and other things that go along with this addiction.

I read recently that Americans have spent 60 billion dollars over a year on gym memberships, weight loss products, trainers, apps, programs and more… If 75 million people are working towards loosing weight that’s an average of $800 a year! This culture is such a misconception. It has been a way for people to feed your insecurities while making a profit. If it works for them, then it will work for you! Plus, they know they can make money off of it. THEY KNOW PEOPLE WANT IT, SO THEY MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO CAVE INTO THEIR RESULTS, to make a profit. Poor fools like me (probably you too) fall for it every time.

What we don’t focus on is, what works for us? What works for you? What does your body want now? How do you want to treat yourself? How do I want to treat myself, and what works for me?

Always, more to come!