Being the Outcast is not so bad

January had a very overbooked feel to it for me.  At work, we were busier than in what is typically our busiest month (December) so much so that there were several occassions where I had to leave things undone at the end of the day, which I really don't like to do.  At home, there were extra meetings, appointments and repairs/upgrades to our appartment.  Despite having a week off in January, I have been feeling like I am still trying to catch my breath.  Maybe what I am really looking for is calm.  Peace. 
I am still spending a lot of time on geneology, searching for missing links and trying to make sense of documents written in German when I don't speak one word of it!  It feels almost like an obsession for me at this point, like it is drawing me in, and I do feel like there must be a reason behind it, there is one family in particular that I desperately want to find out more about and keep hitting dead ends.  It is frustrating but I feel like it's a challenge to try and find out more about them.  So I have spent time on that.  It has been a bit of a distraction, but I think in the long run it will be very rewarding.
That being said, I haven't been focusing on food much at all.  I eat, I wait until I'm hungry, then I eat again.  I am having issues keeping my veggies fresh, and by the end of the week I end up dreading eating my meals.  It is something I'll have to nip in the bud early on otherwise I get into situations like I have with my lunches this week.  I made a nice tofu stir fry with water chestnuts, those little baby corn thingys and even straw mushrooms.  It sounded so awesome.  I flavored it simply with soy sauce, which I happen to love.  When I got to work on Monday and had my first taste of it, I nearly lost my lunch.  It tasted so off, tinny like the can the veggies come in, and just plain, not appetising.  So I had to waste a whole week's worth of lunches because there was no way I was going to eat that.  Plus, reheated tofu has a texture of the sole of a shoe.  Yech!  So this week for lunch I am actually having 4 cheese pizza hot pockets.  So healthy, right?  SMH!  So, more planning is needed for next week.  And maybe a purchase of some of those "green bags" that help keep produce fresher longer.  my greens/lettuces are really getting limp fast, I think it's my fridge at home. 
I did get a package of sugar-free shortbread cookies on Monday and brought them to work.  I have eaten a total of 4 of them.  It was a total impulse buy with very little thought put into it, but since it happened, I am happy to see that they really have no power over me.  I even forgot they were in my cupboard at work this morning until my stomach started to growl.  I think right now, I am more at a point where food is not that interesting to me so when I have to eat I just go for convenience.  That means I will have to be even more diligent about keeping productive things around me.  Reaching for cookies, even if they are sugar-free, is not the end of the world, but offers my body no nutrients with which to flourish. 
Anyway, another project I am about to dive into is going back to the dentist for the first time in (gulp!) twelve years.  Yep, I am not a huge fan of the dentist.  In the past, we were never financially secure enough to go.  Isn't it pathetic that we live in such a wealthy nation and things like good dental care and eyeglasses are a luxury?!  But that's a rant for another time!  As part of my lack of self-love and self-care, my teeth have been a thing I have been very lazy and laid-back about and now they are needing some TLC.  It is something I have been thinking about doing, but a recent cracked tooth helped finally motivate me to make the call.  Once my dirty little secrets are all out in the open, the work can begin and I can move on.  It feels good to think about moving from the work portion to the maintainence portion, just like the fantasy that is common in weight loss.  I know for me, the poor care I've taken of my teeth is another expression of my whole body shame and disapproval I've allowed to encompass me in the past.  Now, I feel like doing this one thing, a thing that should be just a normal thing that people do, is sending myself a huge message of self-love.  I want to keep my own teeth as long as I can.  It is one more thing that will enhance my life, I just have to get through a little embarassment and shame on the first visit.  I think it will be another growing experience, as silly as that may sound. 
Next up?  Eye exam.  I know that probably sounds funny since I work in an eye office, but we who work in the field are the worst about getting real exams.  We test each other's vision and make lenses, if I can tell I need a stronger bifocal I order it that way.  At least that's only been 2 years and I am in a situation where, if something were going wrong with my eyes, I have help right next to me.  I don't get my exam done at work though, due to having a different insurance plan through my husband, so it is something that needs to be scheduled, which is always a challenge!
So that's what I'm working on right now.  Taking care of some of the periphery health stuff that I've been ignoring for a while.  Now that my focus isn't on "being skinny" but maintaining health, these things cannot be ignored.  I have had many doctor visits for other parts of my body, uterus issues, knee issues, exhaustion and peri-menopause issues, heart calcium scoring, breathing tests, cancer tests, degenerative disease and thyroid tests.  Fortunately, everything has come out squeaky clean (except the peri-menopause/hormone levels which can't be helped).  Now it's time to work on the easier stuff like teeth and eyes.  Well, hopefully the teeth will be easy.  Like everything else, the longer I let these things slide, the worse the outcome is going to be.  Taking care of it now gives me a better chance of keeping my teeth longer. 
I still have a distant goal in mind of getting off the Diet Coke.  I have not had any in the house this week, just at work, but I am finding that I am drinking more than usual at work.  My mind is like a sassy child when it smells restriction.  My soda consumption is going to be a tough thing to get under better control, but maybe that's the key, allowing myself 2 a day instead of telling myself I am going to quit altogether and should never have it.  I throw my hands up right now, but I know I will put focus on that goal soon.  I love drinking iced tea in the summer, if I haven't already cut down by then I will try to switch at that time, having soda only as an occassional treat.  If I can have an entire package of buttery shortbread cookies in my posession and only eat a few within the course of a days, I'm sure I can eventually ween myself off Diet Coke.  My teeth,bones and pocketbook would be all the better for it!  It may not change the way I look but that's not the point.  And maybe that'll be just the thing to make it work and stick, just like this new way of eating I've adopted. 
I am in a good place now.  I know this journey happened when it was supposed to for me, even though I find myself wishing I'd known how or what to do earlier on.  I think I did know, but I was afraid to let go of certain things that I am now starting to free myself from.  When you are a part of a crowd, encompassed by it, it begins to feel like the only place to be and it's hard to break from the crowd and go your own way.  The sucky part is that, this self-guided side trek is the key, its the answer everyone is looking for, it winds through murky, muddy, swamp water and sometimes it seems to grab you like quicksand, but that inner battle is what leads to peace.  Smaller pants sizes do not lead to peace and they don't calm the inner demons.  A new workout DVD or gym membership is great, but it doesn't fix the inside stuff that trips us up on our way to a goal.  It feels magical to break the obsession with food, but realy the power is in awareness and breaking cycles of thinking (or rote actions) that don't serve us.   Dieting didn't work for me, I moved on from it and I've never been more content or at peace.  I wish everyone would stop dieting and just move toward happiness.   In my experience, the two are at polar opposites, and one is definitely more enjoyable! 


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