Sometimes I feel like I am so in my head all day that it doesn't make sense how little I actually have figured out about myself. And sometimes, when I go through extreme periods of having way too much on my plate, I don't feel that I get the chance to be in my head at all, which leads me to getting really stressed out and pissed off that I am catering to everyone's needs but mine. All of the months since April have been that way, extreme chaos at work, being the only person left in my department while scrambling to quickly get someone cross-trained and look for new hires meant (and unfortunately still means) that a lot got dumped on me that was never supposed to be my responsibility. It leaves me constantly feeling like I'm cleaning up other people's messes after them. I could go on and on about all the different areas of stress, but I'd sound like a broken record for sure. One of the reasons I chose meditation as my project is because it forces me to spend that time on myself, sliding into the dark within and exploring what demons live there. A side effect of that deep thinking and focus is that it opens the door for more thinking and focus during the day, and helps me shift my thinking a little bit.
This week is a good example of what the past several months have been like for me in my journey for myself (I'm going to call it that for now, because I wasn't really on a weight-loss journey at that point). Monday morning I was doing my usual, waking up with a quick scroll through Facebook while listening to the morning news. Someone had posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough bars, and my mind was hooked on the idea immediately. I rarely look at the recipes and I never ever make them, but without a second thought I made my plans to get some cookie dough to eat at work, and then when I was ready to leave the house I did just that. It made me giddy thinking about how good it was going to taste and the perceived level of happiness it was sure to bring. When I got to the store, there were so many options, most on sale, most in that annoying plastic wrapper that only tears and doesn't keep it fresh. Then I saw the gigantic tub of Tollhouse and it was amazingly low priced for the size. I simply couldn't pass it up. I was extremely extra agitated and stressed out at work because of a customer who was very upset with my office, calling me several times a day, and I just couldn't make him happy. I ate and ate and ate until my stomach felt like it was going to blow up from fullness. And then I ate a few more bites. And later, a few more. By Tuesday evening, I had eaten half the tub and was trying to decide whether I should bring it home and bake the rest or keep it there to snack on Friday, when I'll be back in that office. I left it there, partly because I knew if I brought it home I'd have to explain to my kids and husband why there was only half a tub left, and partly because I still want it to be an option on Friday. And if it's an option, and I've already gone to the trouble of buying it, I might just as well eat the rest. That is my logic.
Today I was at a different office, one where I don't have a fridge in my workspace (I have to share one with the rest of the staff, oh the horror) and I wasn't really intending on bringing any sweets in, because of how awful they have been making me feel, but as I was grabbing some fall jackets for my kids at the store, I saw Starburst flavored candy corn and I just had to try it. It is pretty awful, but I still ate most of the bag at work today. Again, it made me feel so bloated that I felt like breathing was a workout. THAT is BLOATED!
Sugar has always been a problem for me, a massive trigger. Once I have some I can't stop wanting more and more until I detox from it. The interesting thing is, This week I have been bringing fresh salads to work for lunch, and with some feta cheese and a little sprinkle of vegan ranch dressing, it tastes so good I actually can't wait to get home and have more. But I never do have more at home, I slip into comfort mode and eat whatever is quick and easy- chick'n sliders or an Amy's organic burrito or something quick and easy. So many times lately, I have looked through all the good food I spend a fortune on every week and say, "Ugh! Nothing sounds good. I'm so bored with all the food we have in the house!" The salads I am having for my lunch are me finally listening to my body and what it needs, not what my mind wants.
I think things went really astray when I began reading Geneen Roth's books. I learned so much from them, and made some great progress with beliefs I had that stemmed from childhood, that I wasn't aware of before. But, she advocates for having exactly what you want to eat, to stop dieting and eat what you want. The idea is that you will be satisfied with a lot less food if you eat what you want, and it will also take that food's power away a little. The trick is, to only eat when you're hungry, and to stop the instant you are satisfied. Oh and, to listen to your body and the way it responds to certain foods. I never heard a word my body said because for the majority of my life I have eating crap, so I was used to how that made my body feel; that was my norm. All of these ideas are way easier said than done. I just took the 'eat what you want' thing and ran. And now I am so big and unhealthy and I am finally waking up out of the funk. The past week of sugar-stomach have shown me that I need to change things up.
I am toying with the idea of going back to my old friend South Beach Diet because they have a vegetarian version that would be quiet easy for me. I think I need a sugar detox soon or I'll pay dearly for it with my health. I will invest more time in thinking in planning this weekend and if I do it, it will probably start on Monday. I have to do something, I feel so unhealthy, old and fat. I know I can fix that. I need to stop saying yes to everyone else and put my own needs back in focus again. This is life. You can't say it isn't interesting!