Game of Life…

0acb2bdd8b9687e21a0f4984aeefcc19Ok, I have been distracting myself from writing this post for some time now and it is time to step off the hamster wheel. Yes…. I have not written for a few days now, no I did not completely fall off the wagon of eating, despite brain’s attempt to make me believe I am a lost cause lol.

Life happened and I am using every tool I am learning to work my way through the emotions of this game. I took a short solo trip over to the Island to get a tattoo, I was out of routine, I didn’t plan accordingly or ahead, however you’d like to look at it. I found myself getting quite frustrated until I realized that this is what happens. I spend so much time trying to plan things out, account for ever detail that I miss the beauty that is around me. I ate when I was hungry, I looked around for healthier options and despite there being a 7-11 store outside my hotel and my deep love of those giant sour keys, I didn’t go through that door. I wandered around Victoria and enjoyed what a crazy beautiful city it is. Despite my best attempt, I didn’t manage to hit my goal of 15,000 steps on my Fitbit, but it is on my target list for this week! I also managed to sit through 3.5 hrs of pure pain while my spine was tattooed!

I find that I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t about doing it perfectly. Nothing I, or anyone, does in life is ever going to be perfect, despite what society tells me, or us, it should look like. Am I trying my best? At the end of the day can I put my hand over my heart and say, “I did everything I could and I am happy with that.” That is my goal. If I can’t then what can I do differently next time, what can I learn. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what society thinks I should be doing, or what my friends or family think I should be doing, that sometimes I lose what I want to do.

In my mind I had it that fighting for myself was just about fighting for my health, making that the priority, but I am discovering that it is so much more than that. I am fighting for my life and what I want from it. I have spent so much time just….existing. Sometimes it feels like I am waking up for the first time, speaking my voice and figuring out what I want in this life of mine. It is both a terrifying and exciting feeling.

Mindfulness…

PhotoWell….today you get another 2 for deal!

The last two days has been an exhausting …literally. I do not know what is going on, but sleep is all I have wanted. I got 7 hours of sleep Sunday night and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open yesterday. Then I did something I swore I would NEVER DO…I fell asleep on public transit, I couldn’t help it. I sat down and then next thing I know I am opening my eyes and the bus is pulling into the Skytrain station. Then last night I was snuggled in my bed and asleep by 8:30PM. Even this morning I am still feeling a little sleepy. However, today I feel more alert that I did yesterday. I am not certain what is going on, but I am listening carefully.

I had one of those really great Sunday’s where you do just what you need to do, like laundry and a little cleaning. Then the rest of the day was spent doing things that I wanted to do. Had breakfast with one of the besties, went for a walk, took a nap, did a little writing, some reading, some meal prep for the week, painted my nails and dealt with an eyebrow situation. I was calling it Self-Care Sunday and it was delightful.

For about ten minutes Sunday evening I felt a little guilty about what I had eaten and that I wasn’t tracking. When I realized any thing I had eaten wasn’t done out of avoiding a feeling or trying to escape something. I ate it because it was freaking tasty and I enjoyed eating it. I didn’t binge eat or over eat and I realized that for the first time in a very long time, I had an entire day where I ate mindfully. It was a unique experience for me and it made me smile.

Yesterday was a typical Monday at work, always busy. I was on point with my eating, which included a sandwich from Subway and even a little bag of chips. That is one of the things I love about Weight Watchers. You can eat whatever you want, never leaving yourself feeling deprived or like there are foods that are “off limits.” It all boils down to choices, moderation and balance.

Today I am returning to the gym after I do one very important task…..VOTE!

Sexy In My Skivvies – Day 17

39195a95e1003785c5ac68cbe4b1f901Day 17…..wow what a day, I am still feeling the effects this morning….this post is going to be a little different to the way my normal posts have gone this challenge….

I will be the first to admit that yesterday morning I was feeling a bit cocky. I was feeling confident and had the attitude of “I got this challenge in the bag!” Wow was I brought down a few notches last night…..

I work for a pretty amazing staffing/recruitment company. I get to spend my days matching my clients up with really great new employees. The president of our company arrived in town from Toronto yesterday, so it was off for drinks and appies after work to mingle. As someone who is currently not drinking or eating food that I previously used to binge on, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I had the thought of “I did a juice cleanse last weekend, it CAN NOT be as hard as that was!” Boy was I wrong.

I arrived with the first group of people and was feeling confident and strong in my choice of soda water with lime. I had had a glance at the menu and quickly realized that even the salad would require quite a few modifications to make it workable but, I didn’t think we were going to be there long. Once the president arrived a bunch of appies were ordered. There was nacho’s, calamari, wings, cheese bread, dry ribs and the list could go on. The president, who was sitting right next to me, asked me why I wasn’t eating. So I politely explained to him that I am choosing to create a healthier version of myself and the food they were eating doesn’t serve that. I got the usual “Good for you!” and then another co-worker asked me why I couldn’t just have a little…..do you know how difficult it is to explain to someone why “just a little” currently doesn’t exist in your world? It was the first time I got up close and personal with my food addiction. I caught myself distracted from the conversation, staring at the food…hardcore staring…like I was a matador staring down a prized bull!  2.5 hrs in I was at my limit, I was really hungry, feeling social awkward…it was time to go home.

Here is what I wasn’t expecting. I walked to the skytrain and I could feel emotion welling up in my chest. As soon as I say down on the skytrain….OH BOY….did those tears start flowing. Out comes the sunglasses, to cover the tears, and my phone. The lady sitting next to me was kind enough to hand me a tissue and a I proceeded to have a conversation with the bestie. The tears were an emotional release, facing your food addiction and not letting in win, took more power that I didn’t believe I had. By the end of my conversation with her I was present to a level of confidence that I had never had before. I had literally stared my addiction in the face and told it to “F*CK OFF!” That is the kind of confidence that I want to experience in all areas of my life and last night was the first taste of that.

By the time I got home at 8:30 last night, I had a little dinner, sat down on the couch and woke up at 3am, moved to my bed for a few more hours of sleep. This morning I am present to puffy eyes and a few ways I could have handle last night a little differently. I couldn’t have requested a modified salad without the worry of feeling guilty, I could have had a protein bar in my bag to combat the low blood sugar, which I am sure fed into the overage of tears!

I know that this is a journey and last night was one step in the direction towards my future.

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Peeling the Layers….

IMG_9745416901369_Lucas_Vignette_SmokeI have a bit of a messed up relationship in the food department, as I have been sharing recently. I learnt how to deal with life through food.

Growing up I had a pretty great childhood, my parents did everything they could to ensure that my brother and I had everything that we needed. It wasn’t until I was faced with my best friend moving away to Saskatchewan around grade 5 did I begin to get my first taste of “life isn’t fair.” How did I cope with her moving? I ate. How did I know to use food at such a young age? I watched my mother cover her feelings with food. You do what you see.

Then as the weight started to appear the bullying at school began and so did the constant consuming of food. I used food to make myself feel better. Happy, I ate. Sad, I ate. Angry, I ate. Confused, I ate. Didn’t matter the emotion I ate. Instead of feeling what I was feeling and processing the emotions, I ate. Eating was the only constant in my life, food the only real friend.

Since sharing with all of you about my addiction to food I have begun to notice a shift, especially over the last two weeks. I feel as if I am starting to wake up a little bit. I am not getting the same “relief” or “satisfaction” that I used to get after eating or what I have since discovered is binge eating. The temporary window of gratification is not there. I have begun to ask myself “Why am I in the kitchen? Genuinely hungry or avoiding something? Thirsty?” I leave the kitchen and occupy my time with something more productive (like writing this post!).  I have walked through the grocery store, headed to the till and turned around and emptied my basket, replacing them with food that truly nourishes my body. I have stopped in the middle of a binge eating episode and thrown out all the food.

I know that this journey is only just finally beginning and that there are more good times and more challenging times ahead, I am scared, excited, nervous and everything else in between…..

Hope you stay tuned….

Honesty Pt.2…

Relationship to Food...Happy Friday everyone!

I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for the outpouring of support around my last post. I spent a majority of the day fielding text messages and emails that ranged from supportive to not so supportive. I got questioned on my sanity and my intent, as well as some not so great comments, which I don’t concern myself to much with because it is the world of the internet and that happens.  Ninety percent of what I got was people relating to what I was saying and encouragement. Knowing you are not alone is a powerful feeling and motivator.

I ended that post with a “I am not sure what is next” type feeling. A few people have chimed in with offers of solutions, which were really great.  Over this last week I have really been looking into what is next. Here is what I know…

  1. Writing that post was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I don’t regret doing it for one minute. I am tired of having my self-worth tied to my eating habits and feeling nothing but shame about this area of my life
  2. I became an introvert because of this constant shame and lack of self-esteem, but those that know me, know that I am very much not an introvert. I am tired of hiding.
  3. I don’t have an exact plan of attack on how to move forward, but I know that I have a lot of amazing support and I promise to share my journey. I do have different avenues that I am looking at and researching, so stay tuned!

Honesty….

Stolen direct from the article link because it is the perfect depiction.

Stolen direct from the article link because it is the perfect depiction 😉

I am not really certain about where to begin this, so consider this a warning, it may be longish, although I will do my best to be concise. First I will acknowledge the fact that I am rubbish at blog posts lately, mostly because I have been trying to wrap my brain about what I am about to talk about. I would also like to take a moment and say this is a really hard blog post to write and in the few people I have discussed it with, brought up some strong opinions, I get it. You are entitled to have them, just be kind because this post is equivalent to me standing naked in an arena of 20,000+ people, so unless you have done that, or are willing to do that, shut it!

For years I have been writing this blog, making promises to myself and others about how this time is different and I am really going to lose the weight this time… and time and time again I sat in the doorway of failure. I have spent thousands of dollars of membership fees, books, pills, creams, juices and powders and nothing has worked.

I was having a conversation with a friend who is a recovering addict and he asked me if I had ever considered that I was an addict. I laughed it off because in my mind an addict is someone who abuses drugs or alcohol period. He never stopped asking and then he called me out on my “addict like behaviour” and I lost my marbles, haven’t spoken to him since.  A few hours later, I Googled “food addiction”, over the last week I have read the first 100-125 articles, websites, etc… that come up. Most of the articles that I read were fluff, conceptualized with famous names thrown in that I didn’t give much weight too, till I came across this article “Food Addiction – A Serious Problem with a Simple Solution.” It was as if this article was written for me.

For the logical, scientific people watch this link that is in the article (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn1cI8FNU6M), it makes sense, but for me, what drove it home were the symptoms.

  1. You frequently get cravings for certain foods, despite feeling full and having just finished a nutritious meal. – I will have just finished a super yummy, super healthy meal and I will be feeling really good about myself but if a craving hits and I don’t satisfy it, there are times when I start to experience anxiety, like a normal addict would looking for that “fix”.
  1. When you give in and start eating a food you were craving, you often find yourself eating much more than you intended to.– The whole concept of “a few” or “a handful” has always been lost on me. I will have the best of intentions, but when I have “a handful” potatoe chips, I look down and the bag is gone. I have “a few” pieces of pineapple and not long after, the whole pineapple is gone. Yes, I have even put some in a container and put them away, but when that container is in the fridge, or that bag is in the cupboard, forget it.Simply put no self-control.
  1. When you eat a food you were craving, you sometimes eat to the point of feeling excessively “stuffed.” – Have you ever had the thought “Well, I might as well eat them all, just to get them/it out of the house, so I won’t be tempted later.”? I get that all the time.
  2. You often feel guilty after eating particular foods, yet find yourself eating them again soon after. – Guilt and shame are two of the biggest feelings I experience on a daily basis. I eat foods and I feel guilt and/or shame for eating them so to cover up those feelings, I eat again, feeling guilt and shame and I am stuck in a vicious cycle.Most food addicts are eating to suppress emotions or feelings, I eat to cover up feelings of failure, abandonment, and resentment.
  1. You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving.- You need an excuse, come see me I am your girl. My favorites are “You earned it, because you ______” or “You had a rough day, you can eat that” I can justify any thing into a reason to eat. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
  1. You have repeatedly tried to quit eating or setting rules (includes cheat meals/days) about certain foods, but been unsuccessful. – I probably know more about losing weight and being healthy than Jillian Michaels, or all the trainers on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, combined – ok maybe not quite, but I know A LOT. I have tried every diet, pill and cream and have read website after website and book after book. I have spent thousands of dollars on trainers, membership fees and programs. I have had some success, but it had never “stuck”
  1. You often hide your consumption of unhealthy foods from others.This one was a toughie for me to swallow and be honest about. I have become really great at hiding my unhealthy food consumption from everyone. If we are out together in public I will rarely eat unhealthy items. My lunches I take for work are 99% ridiculously nutritious and healthy. I will wake up each morning with the best of intentions that today I resolve to stay on track and eat healthy, but the minute something goes wrong, something doesn’t go my way, or I get upset, the minute I get home the binge eating begins. That whole saying “What you ear in private, you wear in public” is a Muhammad Ali punch to the stomach.
  1. You feel unable to control your consumption of unhealthy foods, despite knowing that they are causing you physical harm (includes weight gain). – I know that my eating habits have lead me down a dangerous path. I have a pacemaker, I am slowly losing all my hair and both of these have links to my weight. As mentioned in the previous symptom, I wake up with the best of intentions and a mass amount of resolve. I go grocery shopping and I get home and there are items in my cart that I “hand to God” do not remember even putting in the basket. I go unconscious around food and this terrifies me.

The natural first responses seems to be “Well, just stop it, cold turkey” “Have a little self control” “Another great excuse.” My response has been, that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Little different with this one, because kinda, sorta, need food to survive.  You can give up heroin, cigarettes, and alcohol cold turkey with no real physical cost. I don’t eat, my body shuts down.

Why am I writing this? Because I am tired. I am tired of hiding, tired of feeling like a failure and tired of my excuses winning.  I have been to a 6/7 “Overeater’s Anonymous” meetings and that forum is not for me.  I don’t know what’s next, I haven’t gotten that far, but I do know that this was the first step. Writing this blog has always proven motivational and helpful for me, so this is where I decided to start..