Sunday, October 31, 2010

What you do after the hill, is what counts!

So as promised, I went running Saturday. I did not go four miles. I didn't leave myself enough time. And if I'm honest with myself, that is okay. I think four miles would have killed me. So I settled for two miles and promised myself I would jog the entire thing. I almost did, I walked in about three places, and not for very long.

I had kind of an interesting experience though, so I thought I would share it.

I was on my little trail that I always run. I should take some pictures for you some time. Anyway, I haven't run for another two weeks. So this was not an easy run, and I knew it wouldn't be. But I just took it nice and slow - and went for it. Right in the middle of the jog (which is 2 miles long exactly), there is a hill. It's probably only about 1/8 of a mile, but I think it's pretty decent! Anyway, for the first part of the run, I was trying to focus on my breathing. And I'll be honest, I focused quite a bit on how BAD my feet were hurting, and how the cold air was my lungs burn, and how my thighs felt like rubber! Me - Me - Me! Not in a good "I'm living in the now and observing my surroundings" kind of way. More of a... selfish "everything is about me" kind of way. It wasn't good. And you know what's interesting, but then not really a surprise? It was hard! That was the hardest part of my run! I was tired, it was labor to keep going. I was in pain, and it wasn't going away! Anyway, I got to the hill, and my "coach" got going and helped me jog all the way to the top without stopping. Yay! Thanks coach (Yes, I talk to my voices - leave me alone)! As part of my encouragement to make it up the hill, I had told myself I could walk when I got to the top. So I made it to the top, and I walked. As I was walking (at a quick pace) I thought to myself, "You know if Jillian Michaels was with you, she would be yelling her head off at you!". Why? I guess the truth is that it's what you do after the hill that really counts. So I made it up the hill!! Go me!! But then what? I just give up? I stop running? Why? I wasn't 100% out of breath. I could have just slowed my pace a little to catch up with myself. Why did I have to stop jogging? So here is where my thoughts really took a turn, as did my run. I started jogging again. And started writing this post in my head.

You know, in life, we have to deal with a lot! Sometimes it's an immediate crisis, like losing a loved one, a car accident, a scraped knee, learning you have a very debilitating disease, loss of the use of a limb, divorce, not being able to have children - or at least having trouble doing so, etc. As I was thinking of these, I think it was interesting that they spanned such a wide scale of severity. I do not mean to belittle any one's crisis by comparing it to a scrapped knee. I guess I was just thinking that to every person, if what they are going through feels like a "crisis" well then it is one. Even if their crisis may not seem like much in comparison to someone else's.

Anyway... I was thinking about going through a crisis. What do we do? We bunker down. We deal. Or maybe we don't deal, and that's how we get through. Some of us hide ourselves from the world, while others constantly surround themselves with others. Some people need silence, while others have to have constant noise to drown out the feelings. Some people starve themselves, not on purpose I think (I wouldn't know, because I've never had this particular problem. :D But I do know people that have) and some people shovel the food in like it's going out of style. Some people shop, and others save. The point is, we all have our way of dealing with these times. And we do what it takes to get through the crisis. I think that during a time of crisis we need to be loving and kind with ourselves, and allow what needs to happen to happen.

But there does come a time, when we are able to move past the crisis - or the crisis is over. And I think this is a time we get to find out what we are really made of. I think it is a time we still need to be loving and kind to ourselves. We need to not necessarily judge ourselves for our weaknesses. But I do think we need to hold ourselves accountable and responsible. It's a time to look back on what just happened and look for the possible lessons that can be learned. It's a time to look at what is in front of us, what we have now, and decide what we are going to do with it.

I started thinking of people I know who have dealt with serious - life altering - crisises. I look up to these people so much, and hope that someday I can be more like them. These are people that have dealt with losing loved ones in tragic circumstances, divorce (some expected, some not expected), some with chronic diseases that will never go away, etc. And you know, these people I am thinking about are astonishingly positive. Instead of dwelling on their crisis, they have chosen to use it as a way to become a better person. And not only that, but to share their inspiring attitudes with others. These people have impacted my life and taught me that it's not what life brings you that matters - it's what you do with it.

So the point of all this, when you get to the top of hill, don't stop running! I did, and it was disappointing. I was disappointed in myself when I realized what happened. I want to fight a little more, stay engaged, stay in tune with the goal before me. And when I get to the top of the hill, I want to keep running!

The cool thing? After I thought about all that, I started thinking on the projects I briefly mentioned in my last post that I'm not ready to share yet. One of which has to do with serving others. I started thinking on that, planning, brainstorming. And you know what happened? From the time I started thinking of others, my jog became easier! My breath leveled out. The pain in my feet lessened. The rest of the jog I had no desire to walk. I wasn't worrying about "me" anymore. Talk about a big eye opener!

Lesson learned: Forget yourself!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bum in Blogland

Who is the bum you ask? Actually... you probably don't need to ask! I have not been really feeling like blogging. I haven't been posting as you can tell, and I haven't been leaving comments. Sorry. I read lots of blogs though, and am supporting you in my heart! Life has changed quite a bit for me recently, and I'm adjusting. I honestly don't know what that means for my blog at this point. But... I'm not letting it go. Just slowin' down a little.

Mike and I have been talking alot about getting out of debt. We've decided to make it happen and make it our main focus for next year. So we are getting started early. We'll be following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I'm pretty excited! We've already saved our $1,000 emergency fund, and paid off two debts. So right now we are trying to not spend money as often as possible and to increase our income. Luckily, my new job has a LOT of overtime available, as does Mike's. So as often as I can, I'll be working between 10-20 hours of OT a week. So between that and a couple of other projects I'm not ready to share yet (but I will), I"m going to be really busy! I'll try to get one or two posts in, but we'll see. I will still be working on making peace with food next year, but it won't be my only focus. So I'll be talking about a lot more varied things. I'm excited about that too! While blogging about my weight loss has been amazing, I'm excited for the same accountability in our financial world as well. Don't know that I'll be sharing numbers, but I want to take whoever wants to read on this journey as well.

So... I'm still kind of in the same funk I've been in for the last month. I'm still trying to pay attention to my body signals, but it's proving much more difficult then it was in the beginning. But then... that's life right? Everything is easy in the beginning. A friend at work shared a quote with me today: "Everything works, and nothing doesn't". It's so true! No matter what diet or budget or financial plan or whatever you choose - if you actually stick to it and work it, it will work.

I truly, deep down in my gut, know that this will work (for me). That this is the means to the end. No not the end, to the journey (for me). I have faith in myself that I can be trusted with food, that I do not need to/have to depend on it emotionally, and that I can eat in a way that my body will go to it's natural weight - be that whatever it is. I just have to stay the course. I just have to pay attention and not give in to old habits. Just because I'm not "dieting" in the traditional sense, it is still work. It's just a different kind of work. And I keep telling myself that it took 15 years to get here, it's not going to change in a month. Patience. Patience. Patience! (Who has time for patience anyway?!) My dear friend Susan once told me that patience is the art of hiding your impatience! So I need to work on that art a little more! :)

So I think what I've decided to do is break down the steps into weeks. There are 10 steps to Intuitive Eating. So each week I will focus on one step. Of course I'll still try and do the others, but I'll give particular attention to that step. I hope this will keep me engaged, on target, and in tune. I am also going to start the 30 day shred. That's right, I'm giving up my non-plan plan for a... plan. :) My running has, unfortunately been non-existent. And with my schedule being the way it is going to be... I just don't know when I'll get to run. Because the only time I'll have is at night or early in the morning. Which would be fine - except for the fact that it's dark. I've considered running at lunch, but there isn't a shower at work, and 9 times out 10 I work through my lunch for the OT. Soo... I can do a 20 min workout in my home anytime. So that's what I'm going to do. And then I'll go for a jog on Saturdays, and hope it's enough to have me ready for my 10K in Moab.

I get so tired sitting all day, I know it's just sitting. But it just makes you lethargic. So I will be following this workout plan to 1. Give me Energy! 2. Help my day feel accomplished and help me feel good about myself. 3. Help prepare me for my 10K. 4. Tone my body. And 5. Yes, burn calories. I finally admitted to myself that I do want to do that. Although, I am happy to say it really is number 5 on the list and will not be my number one reason for working out. So the "plan" will be to do the shred Mon-Fri and a run each Saturday. I have five Saturdays until the 10K. So for the first three I will do a four mile jog. The 4th one I will do a 5 mile jog. And the 5th one I'll do a 6.2 mile jog. Whew!!! That's heavy, but I'm excited for the challenge!

As I was just proofing my post, I realized I talk a lot about plans. I change my mind a lot this year. That's just part of who I am I think. But here's the thing, even though I have changed my mind quite a bit this year, and I've had to make adjustments. For once, I've stuck to my determination to get healthy. I've had my down times, and my up times. But I haven't quit! And regardless of what the scale says at the end of the year, I did it. I stayed true and for that I am happy! With that said, I am committing myself to these two plans. The 30 day shred, and the 10 week focus thingy (I'll have to come up with a name :D). Just had to say it (or type it) out loud for myself, and for the accountability. 

I hope all my readers are doing good! I know each of us are working on different plans, different journey's, different diets or non-diets, etc. Regardless of what your doing, stay strong, be true to yourself, and most of all - LOVE yourself!!!! I know I sure love you!!!

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Full of It

So imagine you're on a hike. You come to a fork in the road. You're not really sure what the right way is. You don't really know if the way you choose will take you to your desired destination. But you choose. You make the choice. And you move forward with confidence. Along the way you see beautiful, rich-in-color blossoms and delight in the warm sunshine. You see a delicate doe prancing through an open meadow as the butterflies dance in the wild flowers. You feel God's love for you as you watch the bubbling brook as it laughs it's way down the mountain. It is a glorious trail, and you feel at peace. You come around the bend, and before you is a HUGE boulder indicating the end of the path. So, after leaning on that boulder to take a little breather and rest you turn around and go back. When you get to the fork again, you take the other path.

So the question is... do you get upset about the detour? Do you belittle yourself? Do you say and think hurtful things about the kind of person you are? I mean really... how could you have chosen the wrong path?! Do you get frustrated and think about quiting? About choosing the easy way out?

Or...

Do you relish in the journey? Do you thrill about the small treasures you were given along that short path? Do you thank your Father in heaven for the truly majestic world He has given us? And thank Him for the privilege of being here to witness those small wonders? Do you appreciate the break and rest you received and the strength you've been given to continue on?

If it sounds like I'm trying to say that I'm quiting - I'm not. I'm just admitting to myself that the last two weeks I have been on a detour. I have been reverting back to eating a LOT of fun foods and not so nutritious foods. But worse than that, I have been judging myself for it. I have been considering working out to make up for it. I have been cringing when I look in the mirror and obsessing about the way my jeans fit.

I've been feeling like a hypocrite.

Last night I was reading Intuitive Eating and I read something similar to the hiking scenario I shared. And they pointed out that a hiker would have chosen the later feelings and thoughts. They would not have been upset, but appreciated the detour for what it was. They would be curious and thoughtful about it, but not judgmental and mean.

Yesterday I ate so much food! I did not stop to consider my feelings, my thoughts, anything! I just ate - and ate - and ate! As I went to bed, I was sad. I felt physically horrible. But even worse, I felt spiritually empty. I felt disappointed in myself, and honestly, I felt like I was not the only one that was disappointed in my actions. As much as I talk about not judging my food choices - which I still believe is a true and good principle to live by. I also do believe there is a certain point where too far, is just too far. I went there yesterday. It wasn't the first time I'd been there. The difference? I was aware. I knew it. I saw it. And I did nothing to stop it. Being aware also brings with it responsibility. It was selfish. It was not in the name of learning. And I am not proud of my actions.

As I always say... so now what?

I guess now I find out what I am really made of! I find out just how much I've learned this year. I get to practice "moving on" and "forgiving myself" and "asking for forgiveness". Well I have begun that process today, and I feel much better. It was a real eye opening experience! So I guess it was for learning after all. Just not the kind of lesson I want to have again. I spent the day in quite a bit of prayer and reflection. And actually, it turned into a great day. I went to my meditation class and had a wonderful experience. The spirit was so strong, and I felt my Father's love for me despite my short comings. I also was shown that I have a long way to go - but that if I am willing to do the work - I will not be alone! I will not be left wanting.

Today I felt my hunger. I let myself get really familiar with it. I did not rush in to hurry and eat and protect myself from it. I guess I just needed to really see that, it won't kill me to be hungry. To listen to my hunger. To TRUST myself more. To trust my body more. After all, it is from God, right? So it comes with all these built in features. Like knowing when to eat, what to eat, and when to stop. And if I can just stop getting in my own way, I think the Lord could really make something of me.

Willow has this green ball that she just adores! She carries it everywhere! You can ask her "Where's your ball?" and she'll run all over the house to find it. When we first started training her, we taught her "drop". She would drop it exactly where you could reach it and prepare herself to go fetch it. She LOVES fetch and could play it ALL day! Then we took her to a family party and the kids played with her. And they said drop so many times, that she started to learn it was better to just run away. So now, even though what she wants more than anything is for you to throw the ball. When you say drop, she runs away.

Every time I play this game with her, I think that this is the game I am playing too. Long ago, I knew how to listen to my body. I knew of God's love for me, never questioned it. I was kind and loving to myself, forgiving of others, and only wanted to be a helper. And my love for myself was not dependent on how my body looked. Then through life, I've learned some bad habits, and forgotten some good ones. Now, I am trying to get them back. And even though what I want more than anything is to give it all up to God and let him make me what he knows I can be, I just hang on so tight and run away.

I want to stop being so stubborn. I want to let go. I want to give more and take less. I want to think more about what I say before I actually say it. I want to be less of a hypocrite and more like Christ. I want to love more and judge less. I want to forgive myself for my actions over the last couple of weeks and recognize the detour for what it was - lessons learned. I did pick up some beautiful truths, and I just need to remember them. How am I going to accomplish any of this? Give up. Surrender! I have to stop running and turn my life over. He can do so much more with it than I can. One of the things Clint (my meditation teacher) said tonight is that the sooner I realize that my life is none of my business the happier I'll be. That when we truly give our life over to Christ and let Him work in us, that is when we really can figure out what it's all about. I've heard that before, but it struck a nerve tonight. All I can do is focus on today, on this moment. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but for this moment - for the now, it's time.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Growing Sometimes Hurts...

But it's so worth it!

What a glorious morning I've had! I slept in! I picked raspberries! And I went for a jog in the beautiful fall sunshine. As I had mentioned, we have started training for our 10k. Earlier this week I ran that two miles. Thursday I was suppose to go out again, but I bummed out (I did go for a two mile walk with my good friend Carebear, but didn't go for my run). Today we were slated for 4 miles, and I did it! I did not run the whole time, but it was a good work out. Running is becoming somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. It's a time when I can communicate with God. It's a time when I'm able to really settle my thoughts down and think about what's really going on. I can think about the whys and whats about my life. It's a time to ponder, and to cheer myself on.

I had posted about the voices in my head, well I have found another one - Coach. I have a coach inside me that pushes me through the hard parts. This voice is kind and strong. It pushes me while not forcing me. It gives me a choice but also tries to show me how strong I really am and when I want to quit - it encourages me to dig deeper and keep going. I like this voice!

So last week I had posted that I was going to focus on choosing foods that give me energy. And I did... until (famous last word...) there was a moment. Most people, if they had seen the moment, if they had been there, would have thought it was no big deal. But to me, it was a big deal. So big in fact, that I just crumbled. Almost instantly. And as I felt myself crumbling food was there to catch me. I had a bit of a relapse the last 4 days or so. I have been binging again. Feeding my emotions to take away the hurt, the pain, the fear, the doubt, and the heavy feeling of knowing generally what I need to do, but not knowing if I can do it. To protect those involved, I can not really go into details here (sorry, I know that bugs). This is something that I knew would happen at some point. I thought that I had been preparing myself, that I would be ready... I wasn't. It has taken me four days to dissect this thing down to the real problem. To figure it all out in my head, and to come to terms with what must be done. And the funny thing? What "must" be done, is something I really want to do! I'm just afraid of it. Because it's so much bigger than I am, what if it swallows me whole? I don't know. I guess I'll find out when I'm on the other side of it. Are you sufficiently confused? :D

I did come to some good conclusions on my run today.

Food does not feed the soul. We talk often of comfort food or of celebratory food. But as I discussed this with God today, I realized, food is just... food. It is meant only to give us energy so that we can LIVE! So that we can serve and love and enjoy life. I don't mean to say food should not be enjoyed - I think it should. I just mean, that every time I binge I think of it as feeding my soul. I'm "feeding" those emotions, right? Wrong! The plate of chips and 1/4 brick of cheese I ate earlier this week - that was not feeding my soul. That was shoving it aside for a carnal need. My soul did not need that cheese, nor did my body. It needed love, understanding, a listening ear (my own, or a friend's), acceptance, a chance to grieve, to shout, to feel. However, when I choose healthy food (because I want it, not when I choose it out of guilt) that is feeding my body good energy and truly feeding my soul. Because it's showing myself that I honor myself. That I respect my body and love it and want it to have energy. When I do that, I bring my body and soul together as one. I have a feeling I'm in for an emotional week next week. What with the meditation group coming up (meditation usually brings a lot to the surface for me), and this other thing I am going to tackle. So my focus this week? To love & respect my body AND soul by choosing healthy options. To get uncomfortable and allow myself to just feel these emotions instead of pushing them aside to stuff my face. Which leads me to the next thing I discovered on my run...

2. Several times this year I have said "I can do hard things". And that's true, I have learned that about myself. But I have not really got my arms 100% around being uncomfortable yet. To me, sitting with feelings and allowing them to do what they need to do is - uncomfortable! It's awkward and a little scary - because what if those feelings just completely overwhelm me?

This week, on my two jogs, I really focused on being in the "Now". In noticing my body, listening to it. Listening to my feelings, my thoughts, being aware of what was around in me, in front of me, etc. Really looking at my surroundings, the beautiful trees that are changing colors, the beautiful yards with flowers still blooming, smiling at people I see. And I realized that running for me right now? Not comfortable! My feet hurt again, my lungs burn, I get side aches, my legs get tired and feel wobbly. But... I just allowed myself to feel those things and then I kept going! So it turns out that being uncomfortable won't overwhelm me.

Today I went up a street I don't normally run on. It was a busy street, and mostly uphill. I power walked up the hill and when I was about 40ft to the top of the hill, I started to jog. I decided I would go to the next light that was quite a ways in front of me. My coach revved up and I turned the reigns over. She pushed, she yelled a little (but in a good way), she prodded, she didn't let me stop. There was one point while I was running that there was a break in the cars, and the thought came "Stop now, while no-one is watching", but right behind it was the thought, probably from Coach, "Who are you running for anyway? These strangers so they can give you a pat on the back? Or yourself? If this is really for you, then you run even harder when no one is watching!". So I did! I picked up the pace! It was very empowering!

As I got to about the last 150ft I REALLY wanted to stop. But I didn't I pushed through. I was going faster than normal and I pushed through. In my head was coach yelling "You can do this YOU CAN DO THIS, DON"T STOP, YOU CAN DO THIS!" And then there was my voice as well, talking to me about things. And right in the middle of this big push I had some big realizations about "the Moment" that broke me this week. I realized that the "moment" had given me so much in my life. Had given me strength and courage. Has always had faith in me and knew that I could do what EVER I wanted. And now it was my turn to return the favor. This amazing gift I have been given - my life changing forever this year - it was now my turn to give back. And in that 150 yards as I hurled myself toward the corner so I could stop running, I was given all the strength, courage, passion, and desire I will need to accomplish the task before me. I still don't know the details. I still don't have a clue how in the world I will do it, but I know that I am not alone in it, and that gives me comfort, joy, and excitement! God is so good!

So now... I act. Now I pray. Now I find it in me to do what I need to, to give with all my heart, and hope that it is received. Thanks for coming on this run with me today. You didn't know it, but you were there too. I spoke to you a good amount of the time too. I must have written about 5 posts. Some I may post, others I won't. But you were there, you felt what was in my heart, and for now, that is enough.

Love someone today! Make someone's day and life better through your actions! And please know, that I love you!
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time to Turn Up the Energy!

So my writer's block - GONE! I have so many things I want to blog about but not enough time! A couple of maintenance things. Becky - I served in Alaska! LOVED it! :D Also, I haven't forgot about my blog candy, it's not here yet, coming later this week, I'll do a drawing soon. And will put everyone's name in who has left a comment since that post. Those who commented on that specific post - get their name in twice!

Anyway...

Yesterday was not the greatest day. It started out well, I had a tasty and healthy breakfast. But I sorta fell to pieces around lunch and dinner got even worse. Not that what I ate was terrible for my body, more the amount of food that I ate. And I wasn't really feel emotional or anything. This morning I was pondering on it in the shower and I think what is going on, I'm tired! I'm so tired all the time and I was trying to eat for energy. Problem is, the foods I chose are not the kind that will give me lasting and real energy. So today I tried something new.

I thought about all the things that could give me real energy.
1. Healthy food
2. Sleep
3. Exercise
4. Spiritual enlightenment

Huh. Interesting! Okay, not rocket science, but it was a wake up call to me none the less. So I need to break it down.

1. Healthy food: I actually have been eating great. I have been following my body, not overeating very often. And adding some fruits and veggies back in. I went to the store last week and hardly bought any play food. But I still am finding myself even when my body is craving a healthier choice, going toward the more fattening/starchy/sweet options. I don't think those things are bad for me anymore. I really don't. But I also don't think I can sustain life on them. They just don't give me enough energy. So today when I was considering what to eat, I asked myself "What will give me energy?" and "What will make me feel awesome?" (that second question came off of one of my Intuitive friend's blog, but I can't remember which one. If it was you, claim it!).

So what have I eaten today? First of all, I haven't overeaten at all! Yay! For breakfast Mike made his famous egg sandwich. It was on English muffin bread, with 2 fried eggs, ham, melted pepper jack cheese and mayo. Yum! Usually I can eat a whole one, but today I ate about 1/4 and was full. I went through our fridge as I made my lunch with ENERGY being the driving force and this is what I ended up with. Green grapes and fresh picked raspberries for a morning snack. Lunch was a LARGE salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, baby corn, cucumber, carrots, 1/2 avocado, ham, and my favorite home made 1000 island dressing. And some crackers crumbled on top. For my afternoon snack I had an apple and some more salad. (I couldn't eat it all) It was DELISH! And several people commented on how tasty the salad looked. It really was so good! I was thinking to myself, if most people saw a heavier girl like me eating this, they'd probably think I was dieting. But... I wasn't. I put a lot of dressing on, and I enjoyed every bite of that dressing. Before eating this way, I would have put probably 1/4 on. Or I would have put on the same amount, but felt guilty about it. Today, I just felt satisfied and energized! It was awesome! So this will be my new mini focus for the next week. "What will give me Energy?"

2. Sleep - I actually do okay here. We go to bed fairly early, because Mike has to get up at 4:30. I usually end up rolling out of bed at 5:30. But I think I want to try for 5 and maybe do some yoga or Pilate's for 30 minutes. Sometimes I think I get too much sleep.

3. Exercise - Exercise energizes me. Okay, not at first. When I first start working out, it zaps my energy for about the first 2 weeks. Then all of sudden I have TONS! I haven't been working out since I quit WW. I may have already said this - so I apologize if I'm repeating myself. But for me exercise has always gone with dieting. I stopped dieting, so I stopped exercising. Funny thing is, I've been missing it. I've been missing the energy that comes from it. The alone time that I get to just be in my head and think things through. The sweat. The feeling of accomplishment. I've realized that I like to exercise. I like to run. Not because it burns calories, but because it makes me feel good.

So I need to update my mini goal. I'm sad to say that I won't be able to hike the Above and Beyond hike this year. I thought maybe I could do it, but... I just am not where I need to be to be able to do it and enjoy it. I could push myself and I know I could finish it. But it would be so hard and painful that it wouldn't be fun and enjoyable. I don't mind pain, but I want this to be something that I can do holding my head high, not dragging my sorry butt up the mountain! So... I've decided to wait until next year. I know that it is in my future, so although I'm bummed, it's okay. My 10k in Moab is quickly approaching, so my focus will be shifting to preparing for that. Mike and I have started our training this week. Over the weekend we were talking about starting with 2 mile jogs and working up to the 6 miles. I told him I didn't think I could run 2 miles straight anymore. He said I could. Well, today I proved him right! It was VERY slow, but I didn't stop once. That is my goal, to run as much of the 10k I can and finish. I'm not worried about my time. I just want to finish. I'm excited about this, it's giving me something to push for, and will bring back the energy I get from the exercise!

4. Spiritual enlightenment - so I am a pretty spiritual person I think. I do my best to follow my religion, I do my best to be kind to others and put them first (that is a work in progress, but I do feel like I'm progressing),, I follow most of the commandments all the time (I haven't killed anyone today), and others I try my best to follow - like loving my neighbor. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm trying. But this morning as I thought about it, I realized that it's all kind of surface. I want to take it deeper. I want to know God and Christ on a personal level. I want to feel their presence in my life all day every day. I want to feel the spirit and know when someone is in need. And be in tune enough to know what it is I can do for them. I think I am going to have to try harder to get that. It's going to take some time studying the scriptures. More time spent in the service of others. Praying more often then once, maybe twice a day - but really learning what it means to live with a prayer in my heart all the time.  And I think it means to start meditating again.

I was a massage therapist. And in school I had the privilege of taking some classes on meditation. I had one of the BEST teachers for this named Clint Brock. He is so good. And so in tune with the spirit. I had some amazing experiences. I think some people look at meditation as weird, or evil. But I don't think so. I think it depends on the purpose of your meditation. So many times, we pray but don't give God any time to respond back to us. For me, that's what meditation is. It's quieting my mind so that I can hear the spirit speak to me. And I want so much to hear! To know, and to love! I'm excited about this part of my journey, and truly feel this will also bring me much energy! For book club we will be going to meditate with Clint next week and I am SOOO excited!!!

So these are the things I am going to continue working on. I just needed to get it all out of my head and down on paper (or my blog, so to speak) so that I could define it and have direction.

One last thought, today while I was running, I realized that about 90% of my thoughts were of things in the future. It started with me picking a point to run to. I was picking points so far ahead, I couldn't even visually see them. No wonder it was so difficult. But when I would focus more on the now and pick a point in front of me and get there, it was so much easier. I started listening to my thoughts and realized how often I do that. I am living so much in the future, I'm not enjoying the now. I'm not feeling my body as it is now. But the now is just as beautiful and wonderful as the future will be. And if I don't take time to enjoy it, I'll miss out on some great things. And get to the "future" and it will be empty. I guess all I'm saying - live in the now! It's great to plan and prepare and be ready for the future. But the now is where we are, let's enjoy it!

What gives you energy? And how do you stay focused on the now?
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the One I Love!

Mike and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Wednesday. Well... actually, we didn't really get to celebrate until last night, but.... still. :) We worked in the temple Wednesday night, so that was an appropriate place to be, even if I only got to see him for about 5 minutes. Last night we went on a date, enjoyed dinner and time together. It was a wondeful evening, makes me so happy to have this good man in my life!

I thought that I would share some memories with you, and to journal my thoughts.

Mike and I met the day after I returned home from serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had returned to The Cowboy Grub to see about getting my old job back, and he was serving. We flirted over the next couple of weeks as I adjusted to being home. Actually, he purposely would put his arm around me or tease me because he knew it made me so uncomfortable! (For those who are unfamiliar with LDS missionaries, while you are on your mission, which is 18 months for girls, there is no dating. At all. In fact the only physical contact you can have with a male is shaking hands. Or a high 5. :D) So I was pretty awkward!

Then about two weeks later, he messed up a ticket for a party pretty bad. And since I was the manager on shift, I fixed it. To "thank me" he asked me if I wanted to go to dinner after our shift. Me being the bone head I am - did NOT realize he was asking me out! Ha! I just thought he was being polite, so I politely declined, as I had to close. But as he walked away I thought... "Hmm... I think he was asking me out!" It was like a light bulb went on and you could hear the forehead slap across the restaurant! I ended up not having to close, so I asked him if he still was up for it. Some day I'll have to finish the rest of our story, it's pretty funny actually! But for now I'll say we had a delightful date! That weekend he went to Idaho to visit some - cough cough - "friends". Upon returning he realized he liked me better! Asked me out on a second date and that was that. We were together every day for the next 2 1/2 months until he proposed. Another 2 1/2 months later we were married in the Manti Temple! And it has been a happy 6 years!



































As you can see, we've had a lot of fun! I couldn't find the wedding pictures, so I'll have to post them later, I know their somewhere! Anyway...

Mike, I'm going to keep this simple. I love you! I will always love you! It has been a delightful 6 years, and as I said last night - I think the next 6 are going to be even better!!!
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Shocked, Awed, Puzzled, and Humbled - just to name a few!

So if you read a couple a posts ago, you read about my pants that don't fit. Eek! And you've probably read me mentioning that I have gained somewhere around 10lbs. Well, this morning, I was really feeling that 10lbs. Mike and I were cuddling, and I quietly said "Mike, I'm gaining weight". And he gently said "I know". It wasn't mean or hurtful, just an acknowledgment of the truth before us. But then he tenderly said "But Sam, if you are going to do this, then that has to be okay for now". I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this man!! He is so good to me! He has NEVER made me feel bad about my weight! And supported me on every hair brain diet I've tried! And as such, fully supports this intuitive eating decision as well. Anyway... that was the end of the conversation on that and we moved on to other topics. He is working some overtime today, so after he left I ate - not nutritiously to be honest - but I didn't eat past fullness. So that was good!

I was thinking about the weight I've gained, and I really wanted to know how much it was. I'm not really sure why I wanted to know, or what purpose it would serve. I just... needed to know. Maybe so I could except what was really there and face it straight on? Maybe so I could lament it and eat more? Maybe.... I don't know. But before I really even had time to think about it I had unpacked the scale, put it in "it's place" and stepped on... ... ... and...

219.8 flashes up.

Which is less then the 220.2 I saw the last time I stepped on the scale - 3 weeks ago.

Which was just barely over the 219. 2 I was at when I started eating intuitively on Aug 25.

WHAT???!!!

Where was my 10lb gain I was so sure of! I can see a difference in my body folks! I can feel a difference in my clothes! They are tighter! All I can think is this, that because I stopped exercising, I've gotten a little puffier. The muscle I had building is not as defined (meaning I'm loosing muscle - bad - but I can reverse that!), and there for I look heavier and am... puffier. Does that even make sense? I'm not explaining it right, but it makes sense in my head, so I guess that's okay for now. :D

So what does this mean then?

First, I'll admit I was really relieved! I have worked really really really hard this year and I was sad to see it go by the way side. Even though I understood that it was for a good purpose, and that it wasn't long term, it was still sad to see it happen. Then I was happy. I haven't gained weight! I haven't gained weight! And then I was contemplative. I dissected what the real questions are here.

So what if I had? What would I have felt/thought/done/said then?

Why does it even matter? Aren't I suppose to be focusing on finding peace with food - rather than with the scale?

Does this validate intuitive eating? Or just mean I'm lucky?

Does this validate me as a person and make me happier?

Does the number on the scale really define me and get to dictate my attitude and happiness?

Here is where I have landed on all of that ("that" being all those questions, feelings, and thoughts tumbling around in my head)...

I am not my number. I am not my weight. I am me! And "me" is SO much more then a stupid number. I truly truly hope that even if I had gained 10lbs, I would come to that SAME conclusion. That it was 10lbs, and in the eternal perspective of things - so what about 10lbs!

So I haven't gained weight, what have I gained?

1. Understanding.
2. Peace.
3. Freedom from dwelling thoughts about food.
4. Freedom from a CONSTANT food obsession (not to say that it's all gone, but it's not constant anymore)!
5. The binge, while still present, is diminishing in it's power over me.
6. I have a sense of control that I haven't felt... ever? Maybe not ever... but .... well maybe ever!
7. Love! I have found a new way of loving myself! I love myself and am trying to treat myself with kindness. To not be harsh when I mess up, but to accept myself for my weaknesses and encourage myself to listen more - be aware more - and by doing so - have more. And when I mess up to learn from it, rather than judge myself for it.
8. A better relationship with Mike. It's not perfect, because I am not perfect! But I feel like we've been more loving, more understanding, more kind with each other lately. I think that some of that has to do with the fact that I am finding peace within me. The truth is when you are kind to yourself, it is easier to be kind to others. I feel a little sad that it has taken me so long to learn this. And feel bad that Mike has had to put up with my crap for so long, but I'm happy to say it's getting better!
9. I have found my power to make choices - not out of guilt - but because I WANT to make them. 
10. And lastly, a deepened understanding of God's love for me!

Wow, I have gained 10 after all!  :D This is a journey I didn't even imagine would be mine for at least 2-3 more years. When I started this blog, and started reading and learning about intuitive eating, I would always just think that I would do that when I had lost the weight. But the Lord had a different plan and I am SO glad and grateful that he has directed me to this. Because now I don't have to wait 2-3 years for this. I get it now! And maybe it has stalled my weight loss. But... I AM okay with that, because really I have gained so much more. And I know that as I continue to grow in all those areas I listed, the weight will become less and less important. And then it will just come off anyway, because I won't need it anymore. I think that's the real reason I've been hanging on to it for so many years. Its not because the diets didn't work, or because of my lack of will power. It's because it's been protecting me, hiding me, and was my way of loving me. But... I'm learning that I don't need protecting anymore. And I don't need to love myself that way anymore, because I have found a better way to love. And it feels so right!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Something's Missing

So today I had an argument with Mike. Let me be frank, I started it. I didn't mean to, but I did. And I'm very sorry about that - which I have expressed to him with many hugs and kisses!

But after our argument, something interesting happened. He went down to change the oil in my car (thank you!) and I am trying to read my book club book before next week (Eat Pray Love). So I sat down to read for a few minutes...

In the kitchen.

Where the food is.

After a fight.

See where this is going?

Although I was pretending to read, I was really rehashing what had happened, and my part in it. Those voices I spoke of yesterday? They are alive and active today! There were all sorts of blame and mean thoughts a flyin'. The Food Police and Nutrition Informant were just warming up and before I know it, I've got a roll in one hand dipping it into my FAVORITE 1000 island dressing (Homemade from the Cowboy Grub - if you're local you should go try it!) and "reading".

In other words I'm mindlessly eating to numb my shame and hiding from the pain by reading.

But there was something missing - the mindlessness. The numbness. The oblivion. It was gone.

It was like I'm doing the actions of what normally brings on the numbness and what shelters me from the raw feelings that if felt will probably kill me. Or at the very least bring me to my knees in agony! But instead? I'm just watching myself eat this food and getting NO payout for it! And thinking "Why am I even doing this"? Normally in the middle of a binge I get so frenzied, that I can only focus on the food and getting it in faster and faster. This time, it was like I was eating the food... but also like I was apart from myself watching it and having totally rational thoughts about it. And I only had three rolls - which for me is like a warm up ...

And I just stopped.

Not because I felt guilty, or because it was the right thing to do, or because eating so much food was going to make me gain, or because of any other reason - except that I realized it was no longer necessary.

I could deal with these feelings. I could deal with the fact that I hurt someone I love and accept the responsibility of that, the consequences of that, and yes - the shame. And that maybe rather than eating about it, I should focus some time on how I can improve my actions so as to not hurt again.

I think that the "binge" is losing it's draw and power over me! I'm saddened that it took a fight with Mike for me to have this lesson, but at least two good things came out of it! I learned I do have power over food. And my eyes were opened to some loving changes I need to make.

I know it will probably not be the last time I want to binge, but today was a victory for me!  
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

That's the Difference....

Yesterday Mike and I were going to hike to dog lake. I went to put on a pair of pants that fit me last month, and they were way too tight with a muffin top. I didn't physically hyperventilate, but I instantly felt the panic start to rise up my throat. But before it even made it's way to my mouth to let out a terrified scream something happened...

But before I tell you what...

I'd like to introduce you to the voices in my head, along with principle 4 in the Intuitive Eating book. All these quotes are directly from the book, and if you are at all interested in trying this I highly recommend you pick it up! *I'd like to interject here that truly this principle can apply to anyone no matter what eating path they have chosen. Please don't stop reading just because you are not interested in Intuitive Eating! While some of what I'm about to share may only apply to an Intuitive Eater, I encourage you to pull from it what you find helpful and apply it to what you are doing.

"We have become a nation riddled with guilt about how we eat. Even non dieters experience eating angst. In a random survey of 2,075 adults, 45 percent said they feel guilty after eating foods they like! And nearly all of our clients also feel that way - guilty, guilty, guilty!"
- Page 112 Intuitive Eating

I have lived my life in a guilty state for probably the last 15 years or more! Guilty over the foods I eat, who I am, what I've done, who I had become, what I haven't done, etc. I think that is what draws me so much to this book and way of living. Is because I am tired. I am tired of feeling guilty all the time. I am tired of not liking who I am. I am tired of judging others and feeling judged. I don't think that is how God intended for me to spend my life, and I don't want to anymore. Principle 4 is about learning to hear, distinguish, and challenge if need be the voices in your head. It's about gaining freedom from the guilt - and I for one am ready!

The Food Police - "The Food Police is a strong voice that's developed through dieting. It's your inner judge and jury that determines if you are doing "good' or "bad." The Food Police is the sum of all your dieting and food rules. "  I have said it before, and I'll say it again, I believe that we do have to show some righteous judgement in this life. Some things really are just bad. Stealing from a bank - bad. Killing some one - bad. Wearing socks with flip flops - bad. ;) So at first, I struggled a little with this voice. But the more I thought about it and have listened for this voice, what I have heard is not righteous judgement coming from it. I have heard hurtful, spiteful, meanness! I have heard hate and loathing. I have heard unfair judgements and criticisms - all about myself, food, and my choices on food. This to me is the Food Police. And it's true - some of where it is coming from is made up of all the different "rules" I have learned through the years from the myriad of diets I have tried. I think every person's Food Police is going to look, sound, and be different. It is up to each of us to decide what that voice is, and to challenge the things it's telling us! The main point - this is typically not a nice voice. If someone in real life were saying these things, you would not listen, and not be around that person. So why do we continue to let said voice live inside us?

The Nutrition Informant - "The Nutrition Informant provides nutrition evidence to keep you in line with dieting. The Nutrition Informant voice may tell you to fastidiously count fat grams, or eat only fat-free foods, often in the name of health.... This voice colludes with the Food Police. It operates under the guise of health, but promoting an unconscious diet."  The interesting thing about this voice, is that it can be turned into an ally - The Nutrition Ally when the Food Police has been exiled. "The newly emerged Nutrition Ally is interested in healthy eating with no hidden agenda... One distinguishing factor between the Nutrition Ally and the Nutrition Informant is how you feel when you respond".

The Diet Rebel - "The voice of the Diet Rebel often bellows loudly in your head. It sounds angry and determined. Some of the things it may yell at you: "I'll show you, you think I should lose five lbs, huh - I'll put on ten!" or "Let's see how many cookies I can stuff in before mom comes home"." This voice is in direct rebellion to the Food Police and the Nutrition Informant. But it's not a healthy rebellion, and keeps me on the roller coaster of binging and over eating by trying to be defiant. However, this voice can also turn into an ally and become the Diet Ally. The Diet Ally - "Use the Diet Ally to help you protect your boundaries against anyone who invades your eating space. Use your mouth for words, instead of food in a direct but polite manner." (as I started to comment on the Dieting Rebel, this whole next piece just kind of came rolling out - I guess I needed to express myself) Eating is a very personal and individual thing. I think that we need to let each person do what they need to do and encourage them in the path that they have chosen. I'm finding that to be the case with this shift from dieting to intuitive eating. I have been feeling a little judged, but to be truthful, I have been judging too. I think the main reason I feel judged is because I know that I am now doing something so drastically different than what most of my readers and friends are, that my inner voice (maybe something along the lines of the Food Police) is telling me that because I'm doing something different, now people won't like my blog. My insecurities kicked in and before you know it, I've told myself all kinds of crazy stories. The truth? There may be some that don't like it, and will stop reading. But I believe that most of the people that read my blog, read it because of me. Not because of my fantastic knowledge of dieting, or food, or intuitive eating. But just because I'm being me and because they love me for me. Just as I have been feeling judged, I have also been a little pushy about sharing my excitement. Because now I found something that makes my heart sing, I want to share it! If I have left any comments or posted anything that has hurt some one's feelings - I'm sorry! That is not my intention. I am just going to do my thing on my blog, and encourage others to do theirs when I leave comments. This doesn't have to be about judgement, it can be about accepting each other right where we are at. Some of my friends don't get it. It's different and it scares them. The idea of not thinking of weight loss first or of not dieting or not getting on a scale at least once a day is inconceivable. And I've received some well meaning comments on my blog and off that have actually really hurt. This is where my Diet Ally comes in, and helps me find the voice to say this is my right to choose how I want to eat and live. And I'm okay with the fact that you don't get it. In fact, I'm not asking you to get it. I'm just asking you to love me for who I am, and I'll love you for who you are. My talking about it in life, and on my blog, is my way of processing what I'm learning and journaling about it. I'm not trying to push this on anyone. I know that I've left some over zealous comments, but I am really trying to rein those in and to just offer encouragement. Each of the blogs I read, or friends I speak with are different. And what works for one, is not going to work for another. I guess I would just like to throw out the challenge that we all just love each other for who we are. Accept that we each may make different choices, but that that is what makes this world so interesting! (Sorry, I guess my Diet Ally had more to say than I thought.) 

The Nurturer - "The Nurture's voice is soft and gentle and has the soothing quality that might be associated with the voice of a loving grandparent or best friend. It has the ability to reassure you that you're okay and that everything will turn out fine. It never scolds or pressures. It's not critical or judgmental. Instead, it is (or can be) the vehicle for most of the positive self-talk in your head". I find that this voice is really hard to hear. But this is also my favorite voice! This voice is kind - it's the me that wants so badly to treat others and myself with love and respect and tries to always look on the bright side!

The Food Anthropologist - "The Food Anthropologist is simply the neutral observer. This is the voice that makes observations without making judgment. It's a neutral voice that takes note of your thoughts and actions with respect to your food world, without an indictment." I also find that this voice is very quiet and often goes unheard. I have to try really hard to hear it, but I'm getting there. I love that there is no emotion tied to this voice. It's just - here are the cold hard facts. Take them as you will.  

The Intuitive Eater - "The Intuitive Eater speaks your gut reaction... The Intuitive Eater is a compilation of the positive voices of the Food Anthropologist, who is able to observe your eating behavior neutrally, and the Nurturer, who holds you with supportive statement to get you through the tough times, as well as the Rebel Ally and the Nutrition Ally." This is like all the happy voices rolled into one. Not there yet. :)  

Okay, so here is my interpretation of what all this means. I think it's your typical good vs. evil. On one side, you have the yucky mean voices. On the other side, you have your super positive - almost too "the world is happy" voices. You have the anthropologist in the middle - I look at him (why it's a "him" I don't know, just is) as the reality check. And when you can finally use all of them for good, that is when you have the Intuitive Eater voice driving. I know - now I sound REALLY crazy! :)

So let's go back to the tight pants. I pick them up and before I've even put them on, the Food Police "I bet those aren't going to fit, you've been eating so much crap, you've gained too much weight!" and the Nutrition Informant pipes in with "Yeah, I told you not to eat at Del Taco, but did you listen to me? NO! And then you just ate too much (stupid) and now (the Food Police chimes in here) you are too fat to fit in those pants, which never looked good on you any way, (Nutrition Informant finished with), you should have a salad for dinner!". I put the pants on, zip them up, look in the mirror and see the muffin top and my Food Police and Nutrition Informant start doing the polka because they are SO excited that they were right!! "See!! All this garbage about listening to your body - see where that has got you?! Just go back! GO back while you can (stupid)!"...

In the past, I would have been cowed and said "ok" with my head down and had salad. OR, my Diet Rebel would have kicked in and said "Oh yeah - well screw you guys - I'm going all the way since I've ruined things already! Hey Mike - let's order Domino's!".

But here is the difference... that's not me anymore! So within the same breath of those two knuckle heads doing the polka - the Nurturer and Anthropologist stepped in. And here is the cool part  - I HEARD THEM! The anthropologist said "This Intuitive Eating thing, while it may look like I have just fallen off the bandwagon, as I have with every other diet I've ever done, I haven't. Although I am eating foods that I know will not help me lose weight, and amounts of food some days that I know will not help me lose weight, I am hyper aware of my surroundings. Of my feelings. Of everything that is passing through my lips and how I feel about it. Although I am eating a lot - it is not mindless. It may not be calculated, but it is not mindless." And then the Nurturer chimed in with "And sweetie, that is the difference! You are taking time out for you and that is okay! It's okay that you've gained a little weight, because it won't be staying! You are being so brave and I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of the courage you are showing and I know that this weight will come off soon. Just keep being brave! These pants are uncomfortable, let's put something on that feels good and that we are comfortable in". So, I decided to listen to the later voices. I calmly changed my pants and went on a beautiful hike with my husband! Which was a whole other story to tell - so stop by tomorrow! :)

I hope the introduction to my voices as been entertaining and also informative. I hope it will help you identify your own voices. So often I read other blogs or talk to friends, who also belittle themselves and are so down on themselves, their choices, etc. If this is you, and you are in that place - I beg you to stop. To LOVE yourself! You are a good person and you deserve good things. Happy things, and a happy life! And if you have a voice that is telling you otherwise - please challenge it!!!

Fall in Utah - one of my favorite times!!

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

What a Week!

Before I start - I was suppose to draw a winner for the blog candy yesterday, but haven't gotten too it. I'm going to do it Monday night and give anyone who still wants in a little extra time. Just post a comment on this post about anything, and you're name will go in the drawing! Thanks!

So I have had some writer's block going on. I look at my blog, and all the blogs on my blog rolls every day. Well, I don't read every blog every day. But over the course of the week, I usually have stopped by them all. And every day I think of something I want to post about. But when I sit down to actually do it? I can't! I don't know what is going on.

Some of the things I've thought about posting on?

*What TERRIBLE drivers we have in Utah!!! With the new job, I now have a 30 minute commute on the freeway. And what have I learned from this experience? People are rude!! I am not claiming to be the best driver. In fact I often make mistakes that I know frustrate other drivers. And although I do speed quite often, I try VERY hard to be a courteous driver. Slow down, move over, let people in, don't cut people off, etc. But I get so upset when people are BLATANTLY rude!!! GRRRR

*The excitement I feel about the fact that I am finally figuring things out at work. I'm still rather slow, and am asking a TON of questions. But it is starting to come together and I am asking less questions and accomplishing more!

*Why I can't seem to leave the last two bites of any meal alone - even when I am completely satisfied and no longer feel hunger! I can be completely aware and in the moment. And listening to my body and my hunger and will get down to just those last two bites... and I think "I am done".  But inevitably, between the time it takes me to put it in the garbage, it's made it in my mouth!!! WHY! Habit? I'm not really full? It just tastes good? I don't know!

*How I again realized that I no longer want to wait for "until I weigh..." to live my life. There are things I've been putting off, it's time to stop putting them off and live.

*Some sadness and frustration I've been feeling at seeing others progress and myself not progressing in such a visible way. Several of my blogging friends and friends in real life (I hate that saying, because I think my blogging friends are friends in real life as well - but you know what I mean, right?) have been hitting some big weight loss milestones. And while I am THRILLED for them, I have to admit there has been some sadness and jealousy felt. I know that I've gained somewhere between 5-10lbs. And most of the time, I am perfectly okay with that. I am at peace with this path and deep down I know that I am making progress. I am more at peace with food then I think I have EVER been! And I am starting to crave, buy, and eat real food again. It's not just all play food (a new name for junk food). I have started exercising again and I feel awesome about that! I think the problem is that I have not completely given up my attachment to having a weight loss goal. And so when I see others doing it, and I'm not, it's easy to fall into comparing myself to them. But I am working on it, and I am aware of the... problem? That's not the right word, but basically I know that one, I shouldn't compare myself to others. And two, I've chosen a very different path and therefore the results are just going to be different. And three, I do want to find peace and happiness with myself as I am now. And because of that, I know that eventually - hopefully sooner than later - I will want that more then I want to lose weight. And the funny thing is, it's probably when I get to that point, that I will actually start to lose weight again!

*The giddiness that I felt when I had the perfect eating day yesterday! Not because I ate only healthy foods or certain amounts - but I followed my hunger signals, and didn't go past my satisfaction/no longer hungry signal once!

*The sickness I had from binging SO bad on Thursday night! I wasn't able to go home after work to eat dinner, as I had a Pampered Chef show I was doing for a friend. And I went to Del Taco for dinner. I do recognize that is probably not the most nutritious food I could eat, but it was what I wanted. But... I just ate WAY too much and far pass my signal to stop. I blatantly ignored it just as some of my fellow Utahans blatantly ignore traffic rules! I was MISERABLE the rest of the night, and the next day! Yuck! But... the good news, I didn't beat myself up over it. Well, actually I started to. But then I recognized the voices in my head and chose which ones I am going to listen to. So although I felt awful, it was a learning experience.

*The empowerment I felt when later that same night, I again wanted to eat (although I don't know how I could have), but recognized I was wanting to feed some emotions (the emotions of seeing others lose weight and feeling sadness that I wasn't as explained above) I was feeling - so instead I sat with those feelings until I finally realized I was exhausted and just needed some sleep. Sitting with your feelings is so interesting. If you've never done it, try it. The next time you are feeling the urge to eat, but know you're not hungry. Just sit somewhere in the quiet and listen to the thoughts in your head. If you have ever wondered if you are crazy, this will prove to yourself that you are. Because as soon as you get quiet, you start hearing the cacophony of voices in your head. The one telling you to eat, the one observing your not hungry. The one telling you it's safe to feel this feeling and it won't kill you and to love yourself. The one that is SO insistent that you eat something or you will die! It's.... an experience. And the loudest one is the one telling you to eat. So you really have to listen, and each time it speaks, tune in to what the others are saying. Try it. Anyway... I went to bed!

*And lastly, an analogy presented it's self yesterday morning as I was still contemplating all of the above things! As I was driving on the freeway, there was no one in front or behind me for several hundred yards in each direction. I basically had this little pocket of empty space all to myself. And yet I found myself speeding up so that I could catch up to the pack. But then, I thought, why do I want to do that? So that I can then drive behind someone and be frustrated that they are not going as fast as I want to, or doing something that bothers me. So I slowed down. I enjoyed where I was and being alone on the road. I felt safe and secure (I tend to get nervous driving on the freeway, when I was 15 I was in a 15 car pile up and it left a bad taste in my mouth), in control, and was actually comfortable going 10 miles slower than I normally go. I know, I shouldn't speed as much as I do! Anyway... as this happened, it just kind of hit me that the same thing is going on with my weight loss/peace with food journey. I have been comparing myself to others who in a sense are ahead of me right now in their weight loss. I was wanting to hurry up and catch up with them. But... I don't want to diet anymore. I just don't. And I'm not trying to knock that for anyone else or anyone else's decisions. I realized that this path I have chosen is a slower path, and if I'm really going to do it, then I've got to be okay with it. But... by doing so, I have found safety and security, I have been more comfortable with food and with myself, I have found an empty space where I can learn and grow and am in control.

I am okay.

I know that my blog has not seemed like the happiest blog lately. But I truly am happy! I am excited at where I am in my life right at this moment, and I am hopeful for the future! And even though it was kind of a busy and rough week, all in all, I'd say it was pretty good! And now, it will end with a beautiful fall weekend, where I will get to listen to the leaders of my church in our bi-annual conference, go hiking in the beautiful mountains and enjoy the fall colors with my sweet little family, and hopefully get a little rest!

As you can see, I've had LOTS on my mind!!
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