Random Musings on Food, Yoga, Weight Loss, Grief, and Other (Un)related Things

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about food, grief, my relationship with food, and all sorts of other life issues. Food has always been a comfort to me, even more so now. I’m not sure exactly what my intentions are with this entry other than to share random thoughts.

Weight loss is important to me.  It is. So is being healthy. But I’ve been on this road long enough to know that my journey just can’t be about weight loss. You see I want to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I have struggled with clean eating since my dad died and if I’m honest since a couple of months before he died. I haven’t been eating horribly by any means, but not clean either. But I want to, and I’m working on it.

Sometime last week I really decided to renew my efforts at looking at my current eating habits, and the results were inevitable. I watched my emotional self rise up. I could feel myself becoming needy. I felt a huge weight on my chest. I didn’t feel like going to yoga on Friday. I didn’t feel like going to yoga today (Monday). I didn’t feel like going to spinning on Sunday.

I could feel the oppressive sadness of my mood. I’ve made so many strides with food, but I need to make more, and I know that requires looking at how I assuage my pain with my eating.

I KNOW I have to do this because this is the only way I’ll succeed on this path. Have you seen the statistics on how many people are NOT successful at losing weight? How many people regain their weight after weight loss surgery? The stats are not good. And I know why they’re not good. If people don’t face their demons, the reasons why they gained weight in the first place, they’ll always go back to the behavior. I know that. I’ve lived that.

Continuing to work at losing weight, continuing to work at being healthy in every way means I have to look at some painful truths. It’s hard for me without my dad. I miss him more today than I imagined. My only other family really is my mom. It’s not that I don’t have other relatives, but I don’t see them. Yes, I’m blessed to have some awesome friends and a wonderful online community, but I still feel a certain loneliness that it’s just my mom and me.

I’ve felt so needy this weekend. But I didn’t really share that with anyone because I knew I needed to feel it. And as bad as I felt, and as much as I wanted to wallow in that state I still got up and went to yoga, went to spinning because I KNEW and I KNOW that to succeed I have to work through it. I can’t go around it, or I’ll never see the other side.

Food, as I’ve expressed before, represents a certain love, a certain escape. Yes, those are certain falsehoods, BUT it’s helped me through some rough times. It’s helping me now. But I’m ready to find a better way.

What does that look like? When I’m really successful at having a healthier relationship with the food I put in my body, it’s so simple. I keep a notebook and write down what I eat every day. No judgment.  Just observations. If I eat this for breakfast, then maybe I won’t eat that for lunch. I’m looking more now at eating whole foods and not processed foods. My body feels so much better when I’m eating natural foods.  Bathroom habits go much more easily, if you know what I mean.

And if I have an emotional reaction I write that down too because I have those ALL THE TIME.  I am an emotional eater. I am a reactor.  Not like I used to be though.

That’s why yoga will always be a part of my life. Even on days when I’d rather wallow in self-pity, throw a temper tantrum, cry huge tears, I’ll always go to yoga because it helps me find a way through the cr*p. And you wanna know a secret? My body is soooo much more toned for doing yoga as much as I do.  You should see how much I can hold in my core now!! It’s kinda cool! Being physically active helps me feel better.  That’s why I went to the spin class on Sunday. That’s why I went for a walk in the rain on Saturday. Any weight loss is a side effect. I LOVE feeling the clarity that comes with being physically active.

I made it through this weekend. In the words of the philosopher Barry Manilow “I made it through the rain / and found myself respected / By the others / who got rained on too”. I’ll make it through this. I am making it through this. One yogic breath at a time. You’ll make it through the rain too. All you have to do is ask. All you have to do is make the effort. There’s an awesome world out there just waiting.  And it’s only one thought away!!!  Choose that thought! I am!!!  Actually, I don’t know any other way to be…….

I meant to end the entry there. Then I started thinking about Ralph Waldo Emerson and his thoughts on self-reliance. I’ve spent most of my life living for others, wanting and needing their approval. I’m learning to trust myself and that’s no easy feat, but it’s worth it. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind” — the genius of Emerson speaks loud and clear.  Trust myself. Trust my heart. It’s the only way.

IF you’d like, please feel free to follow my daily journey on facebook via my community fitness page:

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaHawaiianPrincess

and my personal facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/IggieSue

Image

Advertisements

It’s Never Enough: reflections on 48 hours without technology

It seemed simple enough at first: 48 hours without technology (without fb, iphone, computer, Internet, etc.); 48 hours to sit with my grief. I thought I was ready. Well, really I was.

Before I my 48 hours began I went to the store. After all I had to buy food as I was preparing for Armageddon. Walking around the store I found myself searching for chocolate: candy bars, cookies, sugary junk. I specifically wanted two of the jumbo m and m cookies Vons usually carries, but they didn’t have any in the two-pack for sale. That’s when thoughts of candy cr*p started swirling about in my head.

But the longer I walked around the store, the more I realized that none of it would make me feel better. None of that food would fill the hole in my heart. It would and never could be enough to really make me feel better, to make my sadness go away.

Sadness that had more to do than with my dad. Sure that’s a huge part of my right now, but the rest of it: at my core I have difficulty realizing I’m worthy of love, that I can be loved. I’m sorry if that makes any of you feel uncomfortable, but that’s a huge part of my truth, and a significant driving force in my desire to improve my life: I’m working on showing my Self that I am worthy just the way I am.

That’s really what I’d be sitting with; that’s really what scares(d) me. No technology, no sugar, just me.

I didn’t know what I was in for.

I thought maybe I’d have some HUGE revelation, some massively profound breakthrough, but, as the hours passed, I found myself craving escape from myself, wanting to go so far with out that I’d never see within. I spent so many hours in bed, but not asleep; rather, in a state of melancholy. Then I started looking through pics and found so many of me as a child, with the same smile I have now. And my dad—so many pics of him, yet not enough. Seeing those pics brought sad and joyful tears to my eyes.

There’s so much about him that I just miss. His voice. His laugh. All the times he’d tell me he loved me. A random memory of a time as a young girl when we watched a movie holding hands. I don’t remember which movie, but when I close my eyes I can still feel his hand in mine……..and I can feel the moment when our hands let go……………a little girl and her father, a precious moment in time.

Those memories and new ones yet to be created will be the only way to really fill the hole in my heart.

And at the end of the 48 hours without external technological influences that’s the revelation I’m left with: allow the loving memories of the past to shape the beautiful potential of the future that is this moment………………….

Image

7 Days Without Processed Sugar; 7 Days With Me

Sitting in my office yesterday with one of my office mates, Terrie, our conversation about health care somehow turned into a discussion of processed sugars and how awful and yucky and tired they make us feel. Before either of us knew what we were doing, we made a pact to avoid ANY and ALL PROCESSED SUGARS for SEVEN DAYS!!!  We made plans to report back to each other during our office hours next Tuesday, October 29th.  I left the office fully of giddiness at the adventure that awaited me, not fully realizing the ramifications of my decision until a few hours later.

After school, I had a bit of time before meeting a friend for dinner, so I decided to go clothes shopping. I didn’t really think I’d find anything—I’m a summer girl and prefer to wear a summer/spring wardrobe all year round. As I browsed through the store a neon lime green pencil straight skirt caught my eye.  I HAD to try it on.  I LOVE lime green, as did my father.

As I stared at the image of myself wearing the neon creation, I didn’t see myself in the mirror; rather, I saw a misshapen green blob that belonged in a D-level horror movie. In those moments, all the hard work I’d done on myself disappeared, and I wanted to eat, to eat sugar: candy, chocolate, cookies, oreos, any food with sugar, but not just one serving, multiple servings. This self-improvement project I’m on suddenly felt as though it wasn’t going anywhere.

Image

But I’d made a commitment, I’d made a promise, and not just to Terrie, I’d made it to myself. In a year that has brought me a sea of changes, I desired even more, especially one that would take more in the direction of my dreams. My food addict brain and heart, though, had other crafty clever ideas, such is the nature of addiction.

I’d promised no processed sugars, but I didn’t promise no overeating, no over-indulging. If I couldn’t make myself feel better with processed sugars I could do it by simply overeating, overeating ANY FOOD! Consuming too much of any food would take the pain away, well not really. It would just mask it, and my addict brain wanted very much to mask the pain, the pain of so much, yet so little. Food has been my best friend, lover, constant companion for so long that letting go, really letting go—well I can’t quite describe that but it’s another layer of loss, of mourning but also of celebration.

My rational brain and heart knew that I’d come too far to go back, so I woke up with another plan, another idea: for the next seven days, I’d share my food with the world, so that’s what I’ll do. I don’t plan on being perfect. I don’t promise not to over-indulge, but I’ve jumped off too many proverbial cliffs and thrived beyond my wildest imagination.

So, for the next seven days, on my fb page I’ll post reports and or pics of my food. It’ll be another step in my journey to reach my goals, to be healthier, and in that NO ONE, not even ME can/will stop me!

https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofaHawaiianPrincess

Here’s a pic of  Wednesday morning’s brekkie:

Image

Imageis

Opening a Can of Worms: My Day in Food!

A Can of Worms

A wise soul once told me I could find strength through vulnerability. I’m discovering he’s more than right, especially now. Having food issues, I can find no greater vulnerability than sharing my food habits. Today, I’m sharing my food with you. I didn’t plan a special day, a perfect day—it’s just a day, a part of my evolution. People have asked me how I’ve lost weight up to this point. What do I do? Count calories? Follow a specific program?

The truth is my relationship with food is an ever-evolving process. The most helpful tool I’ve ever utilized is simple: writing down my eating choices. It keeps me honest with myself and allows me to reflect upon how the food I eat makes me feel. So, here’s what I ate today, with some commentary and pictures.

Breakfast:  fresh dandelion, black kale, and pepper jack cheese omelet. When I sautéed the dandelion and black kale I didn’t use any oil. I just added a bit of water along with garlic and onion. I also used two eggs. Sometimes I remove one of the yolks but today I just used both whole eggs. I topped it off with two pieces of toast (I can’t believe it’s not butter—it’s what I had, but I’m aiming to eat natural foods) and a pear.

Image

Lunch: A vegetarian Caesar salad with avocado and grilled tofu.

Image

Random Beverage: Pink Lady Health Ade Kombucha (most of it exploded all over my car, so I actually only drank a bit of it.)

Image

Dinner: Twice-Baked potato with sautéed fresh dandelion, black kale, pepper jack cheese AND COCONUT BACON!!!!  COCONUT BACON RULES!!!  I topped it off with a fresh pear.

Image

Not pictured: my ego (medium) non-fat caramel latte. I did not plan this. I messed up something (not a huge deal) at school and had an emotional reaction. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I reacted. But it’s better than what I really wanted to eat: pumpkin mellow creams—so yummy, so sweet, and sooooooo UNHEALTHY.  Don’t believe me? Read this list of ingredients:  sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, salt, gelatin, dextrose, honey, artificial flavor, sesame oil, yellow 6, red 3, yellow 5, blue 1. But, in their defense, they are fat free!!!

Image

Overall, not the best day, not a perfect day, but it’s okay. And that’s okay for now. That’s all I’m asking of myself at the moment.