Thursday, December 26, 2013
Seeking Peace and Mental Time
189. That's what the scale said this morning. I have been giving a lot of thought about my previous progress, and have succumbed to thoughts of what if I had stayed on track? and,I was doing so good back then. But the more I lose myself in thoughts of the past success, the more aweful I feel. And I have come to the conclusion that, I cannot move forward in a healthy mental state if I am comparing myself to anyone else, including myself from 2 years ago. It isn't fair to me and it isn't helpful. 189 is 189, it's not a failure or even a setback, it is a place from which to start. Now that my classes are finished up for the semester, I have some time to focus on myself and my family more, yesterday I finished a book called End Emotional Eating by Jennifer L. Taitz. It has a lot of exercises in it, which I don't think I'll physically take time to write down in a notebook, but I did have a few awakenings about myself. For one, people are preconditioned to be more sensitive to certain emotions. For me, it is guilt and shame. I actually had to look up the difference, both are emotions that I have a really hard time controlling my response to, and both of them have sent me seeking food for comfort. Bigtime. I actually discovered shame as a huge issue for me when I was listening to a song over the weekend, and one of the lyrics is "I'm ashamed of all my somethings." I have heard the song a million times, but for some reason, it caught in my throat and I got really choked up. I have a lot of shame, but I don't always identify it's origin or delve into these uncomfortable thoughts. I numb myself with food instead of exploring it. I feel guilt over the littlest things, and whatever I did that made me feel guilt also causes shame, and then I eat until I feel like I want to be sick. I also struggle with feelings of not having any time to myself. Last semster really destroyed me. I would get up at 5:30 and get myself and the kids ready for the day, work 9 hours, most of the time I work straight through my lunch break, then pick up the kids, do their homework with them, get them fed and in bed, do a little homework and go to bed. The weekends are consumed with my own homework (lots and lots of papers in the classes I chose), taking care of the household stuff like grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning up after the pets and helping the kids get their homework done, and baking/cooking meals for the week. I am exhausted just typing it. It wasn't that I couldn't do that all, but the fact that I never got a minute's time to myself, to do something soothing and relaxing, and it really added to my stress. I ate like there was no tomorrow; donuts nearly every morning, chocolates, chips, candy, you name it. I even ate some chicken one day. I knew the whole time I was doing it, that it was suicide, and that I would have to fix this, but I honestly felt too drained on time and energy to try. One good thing about last semester was my class on the philosophy of happiness. I learned about Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. It totally opened me up as a person, and made me focus on what matters, rather than putting so much stock in that which is constantly changing. Divinity is within, but you can only tune into it if you rid yourself of all the noise around you. Turning off the noise of reacting emotionally is something I am getting better at, and I am learning to accept where I am right now, this moment, instead of focusing on what was, whether good or bad. Right now I am not as healthy as I would like to be. Right now my body is reacting with pain because I have been treating it poorly. One of the other lessons I learned from reading the book about emotional eating, is how mentally messed up we get when we restrict things. It is not a new concept. But what woke me up was how I reacted not to dieting, but to changing to plant-based vegan (which, at this point I can't identify with due to all the junk food I'm eating on the sly). I went vegetarian more than a year ago, on my own, because I don't like meat. I was getting a good deal of protein from dairy. Then, when my husband decided to go vegan, I felt guilty (there's my friend, guilt again) for eating dairy when it truly is not good for the body (so much antiboitics in that stuff, not great for humans to have coursing through them) so I made the switch. It worked for a while, but some of the food I made was bland and I just didn't put the effort into enjoying it. Truth is, I do enjoy all of the vegan food I make/try, but the mental block was there about restrictions. So I ate things that I was ashamed of, which is ridiculous because they are still vegetarian but not vegan. That caused shame, and you guessed it, comfort-seeking. So my lesson in this is, I am what I am. I am vegetarian. I don't have a problem with that. Maybe someday I will kick the dairy. Most days I don't eat dairy, but sometimes I just don't care enough. I am not living my husband's life, I don't have to live up to anyone standards but my own. And just as soon as I believe that, I will be fine! Danced today. The cortisone shot in my hip is wearing off after extensive holiday cleaning, so it bothered me a little but I realized it won't get better until I do, so I am trying to find ways I can be active without bothering it. My knee, however, feels pretty damn good, and that is a huge victory! I am not calling this a restart or a do-over. I am making new efforts to find peace.