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.

 

 

Shattering effects.

I smashed my scale a few weeks ago, on the pavement in my driveway with a sledge hammer.

What I learned from this experience was more than what I anticipated. I wanted to do it as some sort of relief, and ritual in order to finally stop the worry and get rid of the thing in a way that was more fun than just throwing it in the trash. If you decide to take on this endeavor, I suggest put it in some sort of container before you actually do it, wear long pants, and goggles.

What happened: When the sledge hammer hit the glass, it exploded. I didn’t realize until after I had cleaned it up that it had actually hit me, and made my knee bleed. Also, the glass was everywhere, under our cars, in the grass, on my body… everywhere. I did not expect this to happen… But I guess I’m not surprised either.

When I was cleaning it up, it became this metaphor of eating disorders and weight obsession. Anything could trigger me at any point, which would leave this shattering effect on my life (or so I felt). When ever I felt like I had accomplished something (weight loss goal, conquering food goal), things would come up that I hadn’t fully addressed and then more would unfold, and then suddenly I was entrenched in food again and the obsession.

When I was cleaning the glass up with the broom, I would find new patches of glass I hadn’t quite gotten and would find more as I would push it to the main pile.

And after all the glass was swept up, all that was left were shards that were glimmering in the sunshine. Letting me know that the issues will probably always be around in some form or another.

Few weeks, or months later—–I can’t believe that I didn’t actually post this or finish it when I had written it… At this point it’s just this distant memory of shattered memories. Unrecognizable and I’m glad I thought It was something that I deemed important to write about. Smashing it was liberating and super telling. As I moved into my new place, I no longer have a scale to determine my worth. I’m not sure if it’s liberating or if I’m just curious. At this point, I am not in a mind set to be curious. I’m pretty stressed about my weight.

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.

Snow day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mindful eating.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mindfulness

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I AM… Whatever I say I am.

Before I even knew what I knew when I wrote the last few blog posts I started changing the way that I was thinking. I mean… Come on, who wouldn’t want to stop that vicious and violent cycle running through your brain?

I started a painting series that is called “I AM”. (Painting has always been apart of my self care, and my own process.) I started creating this series before Thanksgiving and it came to me as I was seeing all of the signs around be say things like “Be Thankful” or “Be Grateful”. I grew up in a church that used affirmations to create change with in ourselves, so if you say something enough in your brain, you start to believe it, and then the goal is you become it. It’s a little cheesy. Anyway, when you read signs like that, it says “be ___________”, whatever that blank line is, it says BE that… Like you are not already that? Or you hadn’t been all along, or you are not right now.

My idea around the “I AM” seriese that I’ve been creating… is that when you read it as “I am Thankful”, it’s more action oriented. You don’t have to be it, you are it. It’s affirming you are “_____________”. I started to play with this a little more as a tool to help change some of my negative spiral thinking.

I had them all over my house for a while, and then I pulled them back and put them in my craft room so I can see them when I enter. It’s like a wall of positive self compliments. What’s better than that? I had some paintings that I painted that were all of the negativeness from my brain and body, and I replaced them with the positive ones. I will post both pictures. 🙂

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Moving on.

Right now, I feel fairly raw and newer in my skin than I ever have.

I am in the process of letting go of all of my knowledge about weight loss and food I’ve ever known, and letting go of expectations of being skinny, weight loss, and how I will get there. I am in a place of uncertainty, excitement and my motivation is no longer about a “how will I look” result.

***on a side bar, my motivation before was driven on this idea that I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough… whatever enough… the motivation was always to make myself better, or look better for someone else. . When we get to the “better” state for someone else, there will always be something to continue to change right? Who is this someone else exactly, and what are we trying to achieve here?

I started this Blog (I know I say this a lot), to talk about my process, and what is happening right now. As a place to see the growth over time, as someone puts in the work along their journey.

Rarely do we hear about the process and the journey, and we usually when we see people who are at a different place in their journey from our own we usually see the before and after picture and gather some of the journey, but rarely do we capture how hard it was to transform into whatever their after picture is.

We wish, we hope we dream about being where they are, wherever they are. We drool over their bodies, because we also want the admiration from people. We also want to stop that negative cycle and self talk I’ve talked about so much. Like I said before, we have been conditioned to not like ourselves and we have to be something were not. We are conditioned to believe we are not enough, exactly as we are.

As I step into this new un-adventured part of my journey, I have surrendered in a way. I have not surrendered to a higher power, and I’m not saying I’m powerless against sugar. Because that is bullshit. Seriously, it’s an excuse to not truly take care of myself. (I can say that I do better staying on track when I don’t eat lots of sugar, carbs etc. I tried that several times, I KNOW that if I DEPRIVE myself completely… It doesn’t work.) I have surrendered to myself, and the control, to the feelings of shame, guilt and living in the moment mindfully. Addressing the things, ALL OF THE THINGS.

I am de-constructing years and years of negative thinking based off of what other people have allowed me to believe about myself. I keep saying this statement to my therapist “Slowing it down the process even more” and when I say that I mean really… taking my time through the day and the things that I encounter. Not being willing to budge on my wanting to get better. This looks like… If I feel uncomfortable, instead of ignoring it (which would end up with me eating all of the scones like I mentioned in my last post), addressing it. Speaking my truth, and also talking myself through it in my mind. Giving myself a voice, not only out loud, but in my brain. My goal is to quiet that negative Nancy so much that all I hear is positive self talk when I encounter things.

If I KNOW ANYTHING, everything takes practice. It’s a slow process, and won’t happen over night.

Thank you for reading, I feel more grateful now than ever.

 

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. 🙂