Saturday, August 13, 2011

Strip Me

My title is so named because I was listening to this song by Natasha Bedingfield when I started writing this post and it kind of fit. Although, the song and my post are not exactly about the same topic, maybe they will be eventually. Let me explain.

This song is about power. About a woman knowing her power and calling on it. And truthfully, I'm just realizing that I have given my power away. But listening to this song gives me hope that someday I'll get there. She's saying that even if you stripped her down, you couldn't take her voice. My post is more about the fact that I am starting to strip down layers of... protection that I have built up. I am stripping myself down in a lot of ways - I feel very exposed.

Abstinence for me right now means not binging, And I have been abstinent 13 days.

I have been really emotional lately. Today was kind of an up-down-up-down-up day. As I thought about this, and the last week, I realized what might be going on. For the last 12 years or so I have used food (in the form of a binge) to cope with... everything. Sure, I've had moments of sanity. But a good majority of that time I have been hiding. I have buried myself in food (and books, TV, and spending money). I haven't faced my life honestly, or those around me really. It has been my way to
get by. To hide from my feelings most especially. So... this last two weeks I've taken that away. And my feelings are raw and exposed. And honestly I haven't managed them in the best way. I think the Lord knew I just needed some time letting go of the binge (which is far from complete - but it's a start), and that I wasn't ready to face this. But tonight it was put in front of me that just not binging isn't enough. I also get to start learning how to manage these feelings so they don't come out exploding on anyone standing within 20 feet!

Like I said, I am stripping myself down. It hurts and it feels right. It's difficult to take a hard long look at yourself and to learn a new way to live. But I just know that the outcome will be well worth the effort!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mish-Mash of Happenings

In this post you'll read about Over-eaters Anonymous, Abstinence for me, Wendy's Chicken Nuggets and Fries, a Car Accident, and lastly my dinner at an African restaurant.

This has been a good and wild week! 

Overeaters Anonomouyos 
I should probably learn how to spell "anonomoyous" as I spell it wrong EVERY time and have to spell check it!( I left my original spelling for you to see what I mean) Ha! Anyway... I attend a small group that has only been going for about a year or so. We usually have about 6 or7 people and a big night is 7 or 9 people. Well... this Thursday, there were 16 people!!! It was huge!!! So exciting! It's amazing the energy that comes from having that many people there having the same struggles and working the same steps.

If you read my last post, then you already read about my answered prayers. What I didn't really tell you, is that along with those answered prayers came abstinence. I have been abstinent for 5 days. Abstinent right now is simply not binging. I am going to define it a little more then that, but want to do that with my Sponsor. I have a person in mind for my sponsor, but haven't made it official yet. The last time I did this a couple of months ago, I was abstinent for about 9 days I think. And claimed I was on Step 3 or 4. But the thing about it was, I had to claw my way through each of those 9 days to not binge. It was hard. 

The difference this week is I used a workbook that goes along with the 12 steps. I did a lot of journaling for the first step. And through that journaling, my eyes were thrust open regarding some issues I've been giving a blind eye to.  Step one states that "We admitted we were powerless over food and that our lives had become unmanageable". This was always a hard one for me to swallow or to own. It felt negative and defeating to me. But this week through my journal and answering the questions in the work book, it became very apparent to me that it is in fact truth. My life has become unmanageable. Sure there are parts I do okay with. But for the most part, it's spinning wildly! And the fact that I am powerless over my food - well... the fact that I have lost and gained 20-40lbs about 7 or 8 times in the last 7 years, I think speaks loudly enough for that. 

I was answering the question "Am I in touch with my feelings or have I buried my anger and fear in false cheerfulness?". And as I wrote that I am not in touch with my feelings (and often use fake cheerfulness to hide that). And that I use to need a trigger such as anger or fear to trigger a binge, but that I no longer do. I just binge because that's what I do. And if I do in fact have an emotional trigger - all the better because now it's justified. That is the moment when I realized that I truly have given my power over to food. And there was something truly freeing about this. It wasn't as if the hope had been sucked out of me as I expected it would be. To the opposite, I felt like there was this weight lifted off my shoulders and I was finally free. The truth shall set you free!

This week, it was probably about Wed or Thurs before I thought to myself - "Hey self, we haven't been binging! Yay!", after which followed a prayer of gratitude. Because really, this didn't come from me or self. It came from God. I am going to put together an abstinent vase today. I was reading one of my previous posts about meditation being like a book, and each time you do, it's like turning a page. Doesn't feel like much, but when you see those pages start adding up - it shows how far you've come. I was thinking that I might make a visual aid of my abstinence, so that even though one day may not feel like much, I'll be able to see how far I am coming. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Wendy's Chicken Nuggets and Fries
We went to visit some family this week, and they had just had Wendy's for lunch. Mike stole a couple fries and I grabbed one from him. It was good, and I wanted another. After we left I suggested that we stop by Wendy's to get some Spicy Nuggets (which I LOVE) and a fry. So we stopped and each got a Spicy Nugget and a large fry to share. I didn't feel guilty about this. I was hungry. And I didn't feel like there was so much food that it would turn into a binge. I slowly enjoyed my tasty nuggets, and had my share of the fries. Yum! But as we drove, it sat in my belly and I noticed something. Fried foods do not make me feel good. It wasn't painful necessarily, but I could tell that it wasn't really giving me any energy, I could feel it just sitting in my stomach like a rock, and I was just uncomfortable. It was just one of those moments where I could be honest with myself that the choice I had made was not a good one. Not because of guilt but because it didn't make me feel good. And the next time I'm craving nuggets, I hope to remember this lesson and that I will choose something that will not only taste good, but will give me energy and help me feel good! 

Car Accident
Last night I was in a car accident coming home from work on the freeway. It wasn't terrible, and no one was hurt thank goodness! It was right before some off ramps, and some guy was not paying attention and all of the sudden slammed on his brakes. The guy behind him swerved and missed him, but the girl behind him hit him, and I hit her. We weren't going very fast, so luckily the damage was really minimal. My car and the girl's car (she was 16 and freaking out - I felt bad for her!) only really had scratches. The first guy his bumper was fallen slightly and will need some work. Anyway, so we called the cops, they came, we got off the freeway, filled out the paperwork, and then waited for what seemed like forever. Finally he came and gave us the other drivers info, our tickets and we were able to leave. As I said, no one was hurt. But it's so crazy the adrenaline that rushes through you. For the first 10 min after it happened I couldn't get my hands to stop shaking. And then I was totally fine, laughing about it even! It wasn't until he gave me my ticket and I drove away that I started crying - not because I was hurt - but because we would have to pay a ticket. And that our insurance could go up. We just can't afford those right now. Luckily Mike has been working some overtime but I HATE HATE HATE that his hard work will have to pay for this, instead of go on debt. I don't feel like I wasn't paying attention, it just happened, but it still sucks. Oh well... it could have been SOOOO much worse! I'm just so grateful that no one was hurt and that the damage really was minimal. 

African Restaurant
So my friend introduced us to this African restaurant and we love it! The food is sooo tasty! I made a picture of it to show you what it looks like and to tell what it comes with. You have this spongy bread that you rip into pieces and sop up the different foods and eat it with your hands. So good! If you're in the Salt Lake valley, you should give it a try!This picture is of their Ultimate Combo for Two.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

What a beautiful week!

I have to say, it really has been a great week (with some clouds, and thunder storms - both in the literal and emotional sense, but that's for another post)!! Just having my blog back, even though I've only posted once, has been great! I can't believe how much I missed it. 

Also, a week or so ago I had a pretty lengthy discussion with God and got some answers. I am approaching my relationship with Christ in a new way and I love it! I feel like I am in a better space about who God is, what He expects of me, and what I need to do. Because of this communication, I have several things I have felt prompted to do. 

One was to cancel Netflix. That was hard! We just have been watching too much TV, which leads to much laziness and eating! So we did it! This means the only thing we really have access to are our movies, and the occasional show on Hulu. I feel really good about this move! 

Another one was to stop hiding socially, and to have some conversations I've been avoiding. I have started working on the not hiding, and had the conversations I was avoiding. Let me just say, I have wonderful people in my life and I love them!

The last one is to get a blessing from Mike, which will be done this Sunday. 

Overall, I'm feeling very good about all this. I feel like I have been asked to do something, and finally held up my end of the bargain. God always does his part, I'm the one that falls short. But I guess that is where that new perspective I mentioned comes in. 

I used to always pray with guilt. Do you know what I mean? Like everything I had done was bad and wrong, and that made me a bad and wrong person. If you asked me to describe God to you, I would have said he was a loving, kind, and forgiving Father that want us to be happy (and much more of course). But in my prayers, I wasn't really acting like that was my belief. The way I would pray and think, it was if he was a cruel man that withholds from me when I am "evil" and that he is berating me for not being perfect - even though He wasn't. I was the one holding onto that perception. And because of that, two way communication was limited. Have you ever tried to have a relationship with some that you feel like doesn't "get you"? Well that's exactly what was happening! I wasn't really getting Him. 

I had some ah-ha moments recently and as such, have tried to change the way I pray. To pray in a loving manner not only to God, but also myself. To not let my own self disappointments and frustrations come out in my prayer, and not to mistake those feelings as if they are God's feelings. I have found that by doing this, I am much more open to receiving the Spirit, and to really hearing what Heavenly Father is trying to say to me and to teach me about myself and Christ. 

I'm not sure if I'm making sense, I'm kind of tired. 

Anyway... it's been beautiful! And because of this shift, it has been a very different week for me. As has this post. I was planning to post about Over-eaters Anonymous and my experience with Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets today. But... my fingers took me in a different direction. Guess you'll have to come back tomorrow night for those stories!!