Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mindful Green Beans

I practiced mindful eating today with green beans. Leftovers heated up at work can't be too sexy. Or, can they?

I decided that I shove the whole green bean in my mouth all at once if I eat with a fork. So instead I used my fingers and was able to eat them much more slowly.

Then, I realized that I don't like the tips. Why should I eat something that I don't enjoy? Shouldn't every bite be as good as possible? I can stop perpetuating eating things that I don't love here and now. With these green beans.

I realized how crispy the green beans were. How the splash of olive oil I cooked them in was very nice. And the garlic and toasted almonds were a perfect addition. If I had mindlessly eaten them in front of the computer while working, I don't think I would have realized a thing about the olive oil or crispness. And I likely would have gone home wanting to eat copious amounts of the almonds. Mindfully eating these makes me feel like this was enough and the few almond bits were good and that was enough for this meal and for now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Scale Relapses

I have weighed myself twice. Last Thursday I binged and then Friday I weighed myself. Did well with my eating since Friday but for some reason felt compelled to weigh myself on the pesky scale at the gym at my work where I take yoga classes. The only progress I can gleam from this was all the times I didn't weigh myself in these few days when I wanted to. And the fact that with today's incident I did not end up with a balanced number - I got off before I could figure out what the actual number was.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recapping Past Numerology

Laying in bed next to my poor, feverish 2 year old this morning, I realized that I last weighed myself on February 13. It was 155.8 for whatever that is worth. Wow, I daresay this is the longest I have gone without weighing myself since last July. Progress! I've been dancing around with various blogging adventures and pseudonyms in good anonymous 12 step form, but for new followers and lurkers alike ... I started at 173 on March 2, 2011 when I realized in my step work that I was in a point in my recovery to address my lifelong issues with food. Last August I got as low as 147 but it was already seeming very hard to maintain that number without a lot of deprivation. The body felt REALLY damn good, but the brain did not. September I maintained at the same. Then nearing the end of October, low and behold deprivation was leading to me battling the binge cycles which is where I hung out ever since. I think my happy weight is around 150 so I am not too far off from that but really the number is a number and I know the feeling that I have when I am serene with food ... I feel close to it today. So, for TODAY, seeing a higher-than-I-like number would definitely set me back.

I feel like I need a 9 day chip for abstinence from weighing myself. Seriously.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scale and Number Withdrawls

I woke up at 1am with a raging headache. Before I came up with a game plan to address said headache, I found my first waking thoughts to be that I should weigh myself. I did not weigh myself. Instead I took some ibuprofen and heated up a lavender rice sock to put over my head. I was back asleep by 1:30am.

This morning I also thought that I should weigh myself. I did not.

I think I still managed to eat too much yesterday. I found myself counting various aspects of nutritional information and that automated mental counting that I have done for years in my head only made me feel bad. More evidence of insanity by numbers. My clothes feel too tight. As much as I want a number to validate this, I know it'll only make me feel worse. If I feel worse about my state of being then I may binge even more. I know I am likely up a few pounds - what is seeing the number going to do for me? If by some chance the number actually were to look okay or even lower than what I think then I would also be likely to binge as some form of reward for being "low". Either way I look at it - seeing a number that I deem too high or too low could both all too easily take me down the binge path.

I need to find serenity with food without numbers to validate my progress. Even as I type that I wonder, "but how will I be able to state how awesome I am doing?". Well I guess I can state now that I don't feel like I am doing well and so having a number to declare "see, its too high!" doesn't really matter as I just know its not good. And even if the number is okay, I don't feel serene and I feel guilt around my eating. When I do feel serene and confident about my relationship with food, then I trust my body shape will follow suit.

For today I am focusing on not weighing myself. I feel overall shame about myself and I am trying to just let that be, allow myself to feel it and not morph into a binge. I know it can pass and it will pass after I ride a more serene wagon of food recovery. I will take a yoga class at 11am coming up here, I am looking forward to having an hour in which I can feel at peace with my body and its current state.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shame of the Muffin Top

I haven't weighed myself for a good number of days now. I can't be sure how many to be honest with you. Maybe a week? Its like I am in the fog of a scale detox.

I am not supposed to be weighing myself at all. As of last summer my work with a therapist had led to that decision. I was starting to become too similar to the old anorexic me and my weight loss rate was decreasing so I was becoming less thrilled with my weigh-ins and that was triggering more obsessions. So I asked my husband to hide the scale. And guess what? I found the damn thing a few weeks later. I will creep to its hiding spot. Retrieve it. Weigh myself. And put it back. I have weighed myself less since last summer however it is still destructive, too much and that number has way (pun intended) too much meaning attached to it in my diseased food addict brain. To top it off there are, oddly enough, numerous scales in bathrooms at work. Not sure why, I really wish they weren't there. Each one is going to state a different number to top it off based on wonky haphazard calibration.

I would be okay with weighing myself once a month for accountability's sake as a means of a check-in. The problem is that I can't seem to stick to that. And the thought that I just wouldn't ever weigh myself again feels - so scary. So, so, so scary. Its like losing a friend that you feel like you can't be friends with anymore. You know its the right thing but you can come up with many good reasons to stay friends.

So I am coming out of some weeks of ugly eating that I am not proud of. I am feeling shame about how I did so great last year losing this weight, but yet I have seemingly gained a few of those pounds back. I can't be sure but seeing and feeling a renewed muffin top in my jeans that a few months ago were actually loose can't be a good sign. This shame is starting to consume me and I am feeling more depression the last few weeks than I have for a long time. I am weighed down (puns are usually intended here) by the guilt of what I am carrying around. I have been keeping up appearances with my loved ones that I am maintaining my weight loss and yes all is well over here in food land. Then I know and realize that I am lying as I am struggling with food and so then more guilt piles on.

As I wrap up this afternoon and head into the evening, I have fear. Between now and when I go to bed is always my worst time of day. I feel a piece of shame lifted knowing that somewhere I have admitted that even me has fallen off the wagon. I eat healthy enough. I have a decent yoga practice that I'm cultivating. My family and I are working on our relationships. But yet - I have binged too many times recently for me to feel very good about myself. I am not sure which wagon I want to climb back on. It seems like most of what I've tried aren't long-term solutions or even if they were meant to be - they haven't turned out to be as such for me. Then I get instantly the uniqueness complex as is common for addicts of all types: "I am so unique that nothing will work for me". And I know that's rubbish and simply not true. I think we all have to investigate numerous options and protocols as it were and compile the right blend of what is going to work for us. And revise as time goes on. I think I had something that worked for me last year. I now have enough evidence that its no longer working and so its time to create a new recipe ... again, pun intended.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eating in Recovery

When trying to view food through the lens of a 12 step program, I have found that some pretty profound realizations can be made quickly. If you are ready. Until you are ready to admit powerlessness over reckless behavior with food - then you can 12 step other aspects of your life and leave the elephant in the room alone. Eventually you can't squeeze your largeness around the elephant in the room like you may have once done. So you then see the need to figure out this food thing.

As I was doing the first few steps of recovery work, I noticed an inclination to add "emotional eating" to every question I answered as part of my step work. After several months of this, it finally dawned on me. Huh. I seem to keep wanting to do some work around my relationship with food. Interesting. A few more months passed and I took the leap to address food in a 12 step program centered around recovery from compulsive overeating. It was the third step and looking at the concept of God Hunger that I realized that literally I was hungry for God. Feeding my hunger for God with FOOD, however, was simply not working for me.

As a connoisseur of all varieties of dysfunctional eating, including but not limited to past experience with anorexia, I easily leaped into a losing weight mode. I went to 12 step meetings for overeaters weekly and counted Weight Watcher's Points Plus as the basis of my new "food plan". My mind was freer. I felt less trapped inside an eating machine and more inside the body of a person. I started to see weight coming off. Slow and steady but it was definitely going down. Then as I neared what I believed to be that pesky thing called a goal weight, I wondered how I would be able to stay in the point counting mode forever. Since I was so into it, it seemed hard to imagine that I would ever go a day and not count nutritional information of one variety or another ... but I think subconsciously I knew it wasn't really going to last forever.

Point Counting. Does it work? Yeah it works. It helps to have an easy way ("there's an app for that") to keep track of what you are eating and see that you are done for the day. I also liked keeping track of how awesome I was doing in the realm of eating copious amounts of fruits and vegetables and drinking more water regularly than I had been known to do. I definitely was making better choices while on a weight loss path than ever before. If you track your points well and stick to them, guess what? You loose weight! Isn't that the point (pun intended)?

Sure I guess losing weight was the point as I was starting out about 20 pounds too heavy. However what really took me down this path via my step work was something more in tune with an overindulgent relationship with food. What ever happened to that venture? Well, as I found out, about 5 minutes after initial panic over eventually having to maintain my weight ... I found it hard to continue to loose. Its like the cues of deprivation kick in and the mind goes overboard that it needs to not be deprived.

So over the past months of going back and forth between deprivation and binge cycles, I find myself more or less right back where I started. Albeit, I am actually still down those 20 excessive pounds. And I should be happy about that. However the anorexic in me says that I need to loose more. The compulsive overeater in me is all about finding reasons to not be accountable. And the soul in recovery in me knows that the path to serenity with food does not involve counting and numbers, which seem to further perpetuate the obsession.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Weekly Yogini

I got back into yoga last summer. And I say got back into it with a bit of a sigh. As, I have this pattern of creating healthy habits to enrich my lifestyle. And then. I sheepishly abandon them. It is always some major life change that comes up. Knee surgery, college, planning a wedding, graduate school, job travels, illness, pregnancy, new babies, emotional catastrophes. So many intrusions to what should be a zen routine.

I had walked away, pun intended, from most physical activity when suffering the ills of hyperemesis gravidarum during my second pregnancy. As the little one was over a year old, I dusted my lazy bones off and headed back into the yoga studio last summer. As I was saying before I described my obnoxious physical hibernation track record.

Usually I have to do everything all or nothing. I resumed my yoga practiced with the commitment of once per week. In my one night off a week, I would get lost in the sweaty confines of a local vinyasa class. And that would have to be enough. With all of our other family commitments and goings on, once a week was going to be as good as it got.

I trusted that for that period of time once a week would be sufficient and I would enjoy the time that I had practicing. So for about 3 months, once a week was all I did. I let go of the idea that I needed more. I savored the time that I did have. When other students of the studio chatted about the class they took yesterday, the class they were planning on taking tomorrow and the workshop they were signing up for next weekend - I knew that was what they were able to do and I was in a different place. I would answer people's queries of what class I was taking next with the honest answer. I'll be back next Wednesday. And the Wednesday after that. Once a week. That's what I'm doing. That's *all* I'm doing. And that is enough.

Amazingly I found that from one Wednesday to the next I could actually feel some endurance kicking in. I could find progress in my poses. My flexibility of yesteryear was returning. Faster than I thought. Don't you read things like you need to do a form of exercise five times a week or even three times a week to get any benefit at all? That's what I thought anyway. Well, some did prove to be better than none.

In three months time I was able to get my heels back down in downward dog. I could hang out in plank for some breaths without trembling. My fingertips reached the floor again in triangle. I could bind my arms and grip my hands in some twists. Not all, but a few. My past life's flexibility as a dancer returned, nearly untouched since its last performance. One day at a time I went to yoga when I could. Once a week. And that was enough. It was progress. Not perfection.