It’s September

So I haven’t written all summer… and I should have. I’m getting over this idea that I go through these periods of writing and not writing. It’s okay, I’m writing again, and I’m grateful for these moments of clarity.

I moved out of my ex’s house. I wrote earlier that I probably truly wouldn’t be able to take care of myself there, knowing that it would never end the way that I wanted it to. So I had to leave. It’s not something I really want to write about right now, but I’m sure it will come. Just know that it was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever done.

I spent the majority of August, playing and taking care of my new place and the fucking fleas that still live here. I’m calling my landlord Tuesday in hopes he has better news and hopefully send these fuckers packing, they are not welcome here..

Either way, it’s September now and I’m trying to look up into the world in a new light.

Yesterday was tough, I cried all day because I didn’t feel good about things. I was sad because it suddenly sunk in how lonely life can be with out waking up to your person, and going to sleep with them by your side. You are suddenly solely responsible for yourself. Your own eating, your own waking up on time, your own bills, your own everything and not to mention your emotional well being. I ended my day among friends, while watching friends, drinking diet coke with vodka and smoking a cigarette. It was exactly what I needed, and I felt okay about it. I don’t make a habit of smoking, but I’ve been known to throw back a few every once in a while.

I went to sleep last night with this new mindset in mind. I was going to go for a run. Well… Walk run… okay mostly walk. But I did get a wave from a cute guy recognizing I was out taking care of myself. Now I’m not going to dive too deep into this because I want to write a post in a bit how I hit a deer with my car probably 3 Christmases ago…. It will make sense when I write it and the weird symbolism in it.

Anyway, It’s September, I have a lot of ideas, I have a lot of things that have changed besides my current relationship status, and I have goals to write more often.

 

 

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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.

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.

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!

 

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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Day 1

Today wasn’t so bad, but it was tricky.

When I’m on track, or when things get hard, one of the most effective things I can do is be prepared. I didn’t really prepare last night for today, except pull out some taco filling I had frozen last week. I also had plans to make a smoothie in the morning with spinach, protein powder (It’s called RAW, dairy free, soy free, vegan, and vegetarian), almond milk, frozen fruit and water. Today I woke up suddenly, and was in a hurry. I got dressed really fast, and followed through with my smoothie making plan. It really doesn’t take that long, so I shouldn’t have any excuses really.

I toyed with the idea of not bringing anything else, and a little voice in my brain said… Rachael!!! You know better. I have been getting the lettuce and spinach in the container, and threw some in a container to take with me to eat with my taco filling (fake beef (Quoran), corn, onion, bell pepper and chilies). The vanilla creamer is apart of a routine that I can break, and I know it… It just takes practice. I’ve also done sugar free flavors in the past, and they were not triggering to me for some reason which was great.

I ate my lunch around 12:45, and was hungry again around 1:45, which I ate two single serving tuna packets, and some walnuts as a snack later in the day. I keep several tuna packets in my desk drawer at work which help me when I forget to bring food to work.

There were several moments today that I felt I needed or wanted to eat candy. We have a bag of it in my work space. A co-worker was actually eating it right in front of me. At-least they were Tutsi-rolls, I don’t like those. Another co-worker also brought a giant bag of chips into work today and was munching on them all afternoon, AND another one went and got a cheese burger. Tomorrow I think I’m going to practice not paying attention to what they have and how much they have.

I  wanted an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon, but opted for a cup of tea instead.

It’s the end of the month, and I get paid tomorrow. I looked at my bank account today, and realized I had a little bit of extra money. Another co-worker bought a pizza yesterday after work, and it really stuck with me. I could pick up a pizza on my way home I thought! After realizing what I was thinking, I had to shut it down. It’s not that I will never eat a pizza again, just trying to get through this week, and the next few weeks and months. I think pizza will come again. I just need to get through the brain pieces.

Dinner came, and I made buffalo fake chicken (Quoran) and cauliflower. I had seconds, and all I want to do is eat some of the Halo Top ice-cream in my freezer. It’s 745PM, other than being tired because I didn’t sleep well. I’m full and happy. I’m going to finish drinking my 2nd water bottle for the day, and tomorrow I plan on drinking 3. It’s important to continue to increase my fluids as coming down off of sugar and carbs could give me a head ace.

I’ve got this!

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Shifting self care.

Self care looks very different to different people.

Recently I met with my counselor and we brainstormed some self care things. Of the list I made she said that she really liked the one of me “laying in bed with out electronics quietly” best.

Its the only one where I was still and almost in a meditative position. When I’m feeling at my lowest, or rather when I’ve had a bad day, my boyfriend will come home and find me in my bed. Usually with my phone, but more recently just being still in the space. It’s because its a place where I feel safe, and cozy. It also gives me the opportunity to be still in my mind and body, which I rarely allow myself to be.

It’s important for self care to be simple sometimes. Realistically, it maybe all we can really can handle at the time. I know at least for me, sometimes when I’ve engaged so much with people, or I’ve been really busy, or have had a rough day… All I want to do, is not do.

When we are engaged with something, we tend to use it for dissociation from the actual problem itself. This is okay, as long as we don’t get stuck here, or rather there. Then it becomes this cycle we cannot get out of. Dissociation, is much larger than this blog post can handle and something I am very good at. Briefly though, we use it to pretty much pretend like the problem doesn’t exist, and use something else to replace it, or to cope with it.

As an example for me: as a child I would eat food and watch TV. I would do this because I was lonely, I would do it because my father didn’t engage me, and also because well frankly he wasn’t nice to me all of the time. I used television as an escape from my problems. Dissociation is deeper than just that, it becomes a problem sometimes when you are engaging with people, suddenly you drift off in mid conversation. It’s like the light is on and nobody is home… It’s separating yourself from what you are feeling and what is present.

Self care, until recently has been watching television and zoning out. At this point it isn’t really self care anymore. It’s habit, and it isn’t serving me. Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy binge watching TV, and I think it is and can be very useful in relaxing and unwinding.

Because self care has been so repetitive, it is important to sometimes just be alone with yourself, with no distractions.

Other things I enjoy doing, and are also self care things include: Walks with friends, tea, warm baths, painting, cooking and writing. They are things that I want to take over instead of the “Nothing” things that I do (like zoning out on tv). Like all things, new habits take practice. Until then I will lay in my bed, quietly for self care until I am ready to actually do the other things. Until then, they are just fun. 🙂