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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Giving up the Junk… Again.

I have decided to give up the sugar and the junk food again… for like the 9 millionth time in my life. And… Like every time I try to announce it, as some form of accountability. Well… What you’ve already discovered, maybe, if I wrote about it, is the real accountability comes from you. YOU have to decide and want to do it, and follow through which can be really hard.

I, like every time, usually have made some public announcement, or start a blog… much like the one here. Only I’ve already started the blog, and since I started this blog for many reasons, one of the most major reason was to give people the in-on the process piece of getting from A-B.

So… I have decided to give up junk/sugar/carb food… AGAIN… Only this time, I will write one blog post every day for a week to talk about how it goes and the daily struggle of overcoming the first week of detoxing from the crap. I will also take a picture of myself in real time, mostly to just show the real life piece of this journey.

This is my What the FUCK have I been doing to myself face, the I am vulnerable no make-up just got out of the shower face, the I AM TAKING RESPONSIBILITY face. Frankly I’m a little scared, food scares me and I know when I’m not “on” sugar, or not eating crap, it is easier to not feel so obsessed all of the time. win_20161128_21_42_00_pro-2

I will write more tomorrow, and let you know how day one went.

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.

 

 

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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Scale no more.

I have gained 30lbs back, and this is what I kept track of before I stopped weighing myself.

What gives you say? AND YOU DID WHAT?!

Well… First of all lets address the “I stopped weighing myself piece”.

I stopped weighing myself because of the nasty games I would play in my brain. You know the ones. What really took the cake, was when I had lost weight, or when I wasn’t as heavy as I thought I was, I used it as an excuse to eat more. How fucked up is that? I can’t believe how weight, or a scale can manipulate you like that.

When I did weigh myself, I would find that I would be disappointed in myself. I found that it made me feel like shit, and my self worth would be less if I wasn’t down in weight. I know that I feel like my self worth is based on my weight, so why would I keep continuing to use a tool that would continuously re affirm something so nasty.

I know there will be a point where I will have to weigh myself again. Like if I go to the DR, or eventually I’d like to get to the point where I am able to step on the scale to check where I’m at, and not let that number control what happens to my mind or body.

It’s been a pivotal step in my growth, and helping me gain back my self worth.

I don’t really care about the weight I’ve gained back. Okay I do, but not in the way that you would think. I care because I can’t keep buying new pants. I’m broke.

I’ve been really trying to focus in on things that are important to me, and following my dreams.

Perceived Progress.

This is not a weight loss journey, it is a journey to help my self become a better person and to stop fighting this obsession with food.

I wanted to talk for a minute about perceived progress.

As you know, I’ve talked about progress in the past, in a very specific way that has been more geared towards the relationship with food, and my voice in food… And really the way I can manipulate my food in order to get the results I want with my body.

This is not the message I want to get across when I talk about progress. It’s not about weight loss, it’s not about the manipulation of your surroundings to get the results you want in your body.

I will talk more about my voice in food in the future. I think I mentioned it before, but It is a huge important part of this journey.

Confession

I’m a fucking addict. I have codependent traits and recently they came out in different ways that I didn’t really expect.

Something that has been holding me back from my weight loss and the real picture staying on track with my food and my personal journey has been the amount of drinking I’ve indulged in lately. Actually, it’s more than just that, it’s much deeper and a little unsettling.

I have mentioned before my awkward manner, if I haven’t here is a little window into that… I am socially awkward, super introverted unless I have to be, which leaves me to be anxious and unsettled in social situations… of course this is unless i choose them myself and have some sort of investment in them.

Lately I’ve been engaging in social situations I hate, and it’s not because I want to, but because I’m being supportive of friends who want me to be there AND I want to be and like to be social (Such an oxymoron). Either way I’ve been coping with alcohol, which has been helping but not exactly in the way I am most interested.

I was using it to stay social, to numb out, to appear to be engaged, to make it through, or to listen to peoples antics. It’s something to do, to keep my mind busy while people go on and on, or to stay engaged, or to appear normal among a crowd.

Either way, it’s holding me back. It’s engaging that little coping addict inside, and feeding it in a new way. Once I picked up on this, I stopped. I stopped drinking, and using that as a crutch. What this means is that I’ve had to stop showing up to some of these things, and recognize that it’s okay. It also means that I need to be more present in the present as I’m with my friends. It also means that I need to breathe through the anxieties and the boredom.

When I say I’ve stopped drinking, i don’t mean that I’ve stopped completely. I will still have a drink, and usually it’s a beer I enjoy. It’s usually more of a mindful act and I am really careful about how and when I drink it. The mindfulness and presence I think is the key.

It also might mean that I need to branch out a little bit. Find people who’s conversation makes my spirit sing.

Progress part 2

I posted a while ago about the progress I’ve made with my eating disorder.

With ordering food the way I want, and the things I do less and less these days.

It’s been a while since I’ve read that post, and all though yes, I’ve made progress… In the last year, that progress has allowed me to stay complacent in my addiction issues… Lord Voldemort (See previous post), muwahahaha, has taken over and allowed me to use these progress ideas as staying intact with its evil side.

I’ve been getting better about getting out of the spiral thinking. It has taken a lot for me to call a friend, or go for a walk, write, read, make lists, make some tea, take a bath…or engage in a different activity in order to get out of it.Sometimes the dwelling takes over and I just have to wallow in it sometimes and that’s okay too. (More on the dwelling later and the importance of grieving).

I’ve been getting really good at being more honest about my food stuff with my friends, family and strangers (less likely with strangers). This has helped normalize what has been going on for me, but also has allowed my family and friends accept me for the whole person I am. I want to say that sharing my story has been much harder with strangers, but as you can see that’s not true (since I’m sharing with you).

The biggest lie I’ve been telling myself though has been… “I don’t binge like I use to”. I binge with more awareness these days, awareness of the why I do it, and when I do it and the whole time I’m doing it. I don’t zone out and I choose different foods to snack with or binge with (Mostly because I don’t keep certain foods in my house). In the end, I still do it and that is indicative of the ED (eating disorder).

The more I share also with my friends, family and strangers, the more complacent I have become with it. Somewhere and some how I have accepted it, and have made it okay to eat foods that are alluring that suck me into my ED.

So here I am with my progress… Not quite where I was, not quite where I want to be, and more growth to come… After all, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Isolation is it’s favorite form.

I’ve always felt like I was two people. The one who is an addict and the one who is fighting to be herself. As my eating disorder shifts again, I am reflecting on it’s direction and the nasty part of myself that I really hate to admit is there. The addict inside lours me into so many things, and sometimes when I eat things it doesn’t feel like I have a choice.

I recently met with my counselor who talked about the addictive self and how sometimes it reacts and lours you in to things with out you even realizing it’s happening. It’s an entity that takes over and strikes when you least expect.

It’s also that piece that lives inside your brain that allows us to get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking. The one that goes in circles of how bad of a person you are. The one that calls you fat. The one who says, step on the scale and see how fat you are today. The one that says, you are too fat to do anything else so go ahead, sit on that couch AGAIN today (actually, it really says, go ahead sit on that couch again today because no one likes you, or everyone is too busy to hang out with you). Or the one that allows you to make excuses for your behavior, again. Excuses like… Oh you don’t want to go to the gym with me, I guess I won’t go. It’s an enabler for unhealthy behavior. **I chose unhealthy behavior instead of bad behavior because I no longer want to stigmatize myself as bad.

It likes making sure you are alone, so it can fully take over your body. No matter how many boundaries you set up for yourself, no matter how prepared you are the sneaky addicted bastard steps in and says “I know how I can get her to come back to me”. You know how Voldemort takes over people in Harry Potter and makes people act like his puppet? Gets them to do anything he wants, and makes you his puppet!?

That’s it. The addiction, says “drink, go ahead, drink with your friends, you will have fun, it’s the only way to connect with anyone, it’s the only way to not be awkward, its the only way to fit in…” What he’s really thinking is… “If she drinks, she will eat, and in a few days that girl will be all mine again”.

LORD VOLDEMORT also says things like… “It’s CHRISTMAS!!!! Everyone else are eating cookies, go ahead, treat yourself, you’ve been so good this season” What he’s really thinking…. “Later… I will have her with a whole box of Christmas snacks on the couch, where we can be alone together.”

You are probably thinking, what the fuck? This is the best way recently I can really describe it. It builds you up, allures you in with it’s goodness, and then it isolates you, beats you down and abuses you. You get so numb that you just sit there on the couch watching TV, or crying because you don’t think you can stop. Voldemort, at that time is winning.

Unfortunately it’s been isolating me lately, and after my last counseling apt my counselor spelled out all the ways that I had made excuses and was isolating myself in the last few months in about 5 sentences. She called me out, and all I could say was “That FUCKER”, relating to the addict self.

She is helping me get “Clean” again. Cutting out all the shit that allures me in and well of course I will continue to write and see her. I will no-longer be dancing for Lord Voldemort.

**In the future I will be writing about authentic relationships, and the impact while being sucked under lord Voldemort.

 

 

They are not just words.

You know that saying “Sticks and stones may brake your bones, but words could never hurt me?” Does that ring a bell from your elementary and middle school days?

Well, as I’m sure you have learned by now that words… will pretty much be remembered forever. In this blog post I will not use names, but will say all of the things that I can remember that has stuck with me since I can remember. I’m sharing mostly to vent, but also to let you know, you are not alone in how it affects our mind and body in the process.

First the words, then the process…

“Boar”

“Hah”, after walking in with make up too white for my face and a new haircut.

“What smells?” “Probably Rachael”

“You need mental and physical help for your weight”

After my friend donated her old Aberocrombie and Fitch jeans, I try them on and they didn’t fit “Maybe take this as motivation”.

“You would be so pretty if you lost weight”

“Do you stuff?”

Two of these statements were stated to me by friends, two were by the same person and one by a parent. None of it was said to hurt my feelings specifically (well maybe the first two were), and they probably didn’t know I heard them say things.. Either way, it has been apart of my journey and identity to this day… Okay.. It has been apart of my identity until about 5 years ago.

As we go around in life we pick up identities that we may or not intentionally create for ourselves. One for me was fat. Not just the identity that you were fat, but that being fat was bad. Being fat was gross, unhealthy and something that no one wanted to be.

The funny part was, I wasn’t that fat. No one talked about me being different at the time, I just got this idea that I was because I was so much taller and bigger than everyone else. I was 5’10 in the 7th grade and probably a size 12-14ish. I was probably the right size for my size, and the poor naive girl that I was didn’t even know what stuffing meant.

But because I had all of these people telling me that fat, not even fat, but being big was bad, I hated myself. I isolated myself, ate out of loneliness and well, eventually I became fat and became that person they hated and I hated myself even more.

I never threw up, or starved myself, it never really appealed to me. I did though remember thinking about food a lot in high school. I remember eating soy beans and thinking that they would be a good snack to help loose weight. That’s when I found out that I was allergic to soy, beans. They made my tummy hurt so bad, which was incentive to eat more, because then I wouldn’t want to eat at all.

The past 5 years I’ve spent undoing this damage. Undoing this “I hate myself” mentality. People like me and i’m starting to embrace that, and have started to like myself as well. It has taken a lot of time, and a lot of patience with myself to get to a healthier place, but it is possible.