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.

 

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. 🙂

 

 

 

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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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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Labels.

I was going to entitle this post, “Addict? ADD? or both?” and then I thought, really Rachael?

I have a problem with labels.

Often times we will be labeled by other people, and their assumptions behind them. This is where stereotypes come into play. People like classification, and understanding. When we put labels on people, it makes us easier for us to understand them. It creates ideas about people, with out true understanding.

When we label things, even if you don’t think its’ true, people tend to live out those labels. It for some reason, puts limitations on our abilities to complete, or finish, or advance. It creates rules around how we should live, and it sometimes means we can’t be anything different, well at least in the eyes of the ones who have stereotyped us. It’s crappy. It’s crappy because people are not always what other people think they are, based off those stereotypes.

One of the labels that I take on is eating disorder not otherwise specified. I know it will always be with me, and also I know I break the mold from the usual eating disorder. I’m heavier-taller than most women. I have struggled with it since I was a kid, and also its’ not a “typical” eating disorder. I think it’s important to break stereotypes and stretch peoples minds. When I say I am a food addict, or I am emotional or a binge eater… People assume a lot of other things about me that may or may not be true. There is way more understanding though in eating disorder. Either way, it is treated similarly… Well at least I think it does.

When I wrote Addict? ADD? or both? I found some humor in that ADD are the first three letters of addict. Which is interesting because, when we are addicted to something, we get so far gone we don’t even know why we are doing it in the first place. I mean, there is so much more to it than just that. My thoughts on this are, we are so distracted from the original thing, it’s so hard to get back to the beginning. People who are ADD seem to have a hard time staying focused, and can run around in circles before they find there way. I know this, because I also have ADD.

The better I start to understand myself, and the more mature I get… The more I care about what I own, and how much I try not to care about what other people label me as. I once wrote about being an addict. Sure, I think addiction runs in my family. Sure, I have food addiction. At this point, I can realistically say that I drink sometimes more with some friends than other… Because I’m bored. Because my ADD cannot handle sitting, and talking about the same things over and over again. I need something that engages my body, my creativity. It’s a struggle.

I worked with a woman once who labeled me pretty quickly. I don’t really know what she labeled me as, and I could only assume she labeled me as a “goody goody” type person… Until she saw my tattoo on my arm, saw me take shots when we were out down town, and maybe even swear. She said, Wow, I didn’t expect that from you. Working in a social work field, I was a little surprised she was so surprised.

In the end, we are who we are, and we get to be who we want to be. Either way, I like to surprise people. It’s pretty fun being myself.