Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Ask Myself...

How is it a person you know and love, say, like your husband, just as an example, can encourage you and tell you something repeatedly, like something specific to do, but then when a stranger, say, like a professional counselor, just as an example, tells you the exact same thing, it's profound and motivating and just what your heart's been seeking?

I mean, just as an example, of course...

So, when I've gone to counseling before (with this same lady almost 2 years ago, now...) I have a sense of time, money and urgency driving what I say and what I leave out.  I know we are on the clock and that clock's ticking so I'd better cut through the crap and get to the good stuff...or it's cut through the good stuff and get to the crap?  They both work...

Anyway, after filling out my intake "tattle tale" sheet which has a column on the left of symptoms, behaviors, or problemos and then columns to the right labeled for "Self, Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Mother's Mother, Mother's Father, Father's Mother, Father's Father," I was trying to get a game plan in mind as to what all I should vomit all over share with the counselor.

I started with a brief overview of being a closet eater starting at a young age, family dynamics throughout the years, my more recent triggers, what I do in the face of stress, and how I feel passionate about my non-profit but don't know if I'll ever get to do anything with it...

Before I knew it time was up and she said, "I have an assignment for you."

I anxiously awaited.  Oh boy, an assignment!  This'll be good...I'm going to get a game plan for not eating out of stress...

She said:  When we meet again in two weeks, have your business plan ready to share with me regarding your non-profit.

I said:  Sweet, that sounds awesome!  Totally!  (Or something enthusiastic like this...)

I said:  Wait. One. Minute.  How come my husband can tell me I need to do this for several months but you tell me one time and I'm all motivated to go for it?!

I don't have an assignment for food...but I think she's onto something.  Like encouraging me to dream and focus on something positive, something about which I am passionate and I know God's called me to, rather than continue the cycle of beating the crap out of myself and spiraling down, down, down.

Next appointment, December 29th, 10 a.m.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not Soon Enough...

Seriously, my counseling appointment tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Ironically, one of my favorite books is "One Minute of Margin," however I do not have one minute of margin to even read the thing to find out how to create more margin.  You see, I leave it in the bathroom where, before I had a toddler, I had more than a minute of margin to sit and unwind and take care of business.  Now, I hold "having to go potty" until I can hold it no longer and then run to the bathroom, get in and out quick, and run back out to monitor any toddler damage.

Today I am overwhelmed and just want chocolate.  This is annoying.  This overwhelm was triggered by a parent/teacher conference last night, but I don't feel like getting into it right now...

I need to cut things out of my life.  I need to cut people out of my life.  I need to scale back.  I need to say "no" and realize that if "no" received by someone else is fatal for them, that's their deal, not mine. 

Random thought here:  Maybe "scaling back" is manifested in my life by getting rid of excess fat through dieting?  Results.  Like how I love to purge closets and drawers in my house...hmmmm?

Anyway, who knows but what I do know is there isn't a clean surface in my kitchen, the dog follows me around all day doing upward/downward dog motions, I can't pee in privacy anymore and next to having a non-profit that is my passion and dream, the ideas and half-finished docs for a book, having a jewelry business that is a creative outlet for my frenzied mind, and being a wife and mom, it seems like I have to cut something out.

Let's can't be wife.  It can't be mom.  I can cut out my jewelry/creative outlet, but then I'll retain stress.  (Retained stress = large consumption of chocolate)  And so, it seems like the very thing I've been designed to do, my passion and dream to encourage women and really get my non-profit rolling is the thing I have to put on the back burner, again, and that makes me sick to my stomach and causes my throat to tighten just thinking about it.  I can't even see the screen right now b/c my eyes are all juicy.

I need to go take a deep breath and throw something, anything, away...

Question:  Have you ever felt like you were made for something but that very thing is the thing you have to keep putting on hold? 

Monday, December 5, 2011


Besides last Friday, I haven't weighed myself in the mornings for the last week and a half.  This, surprisingly, isn't necessarily good or bad.  It's kind of neutral...kinda.  And by "kinda" I mean, it's neutral in my head because I haven't been obsessed with numbers lately, but as a way to track something tangible, I'm not ready to pitch the scale just yet.

I know some people don't own scales and go simply by how their clothes fit, or if they fit.  I didn't own a scale for over 15 years and went by that method...the only problem was I would just go buy new clothes when the other ones didn't fit.  And by "new clothes" and "didn't fit" I mean a bigger size. 

For me, one size on the label can span a good 10 lbs, easily.  Just because I can still zip the jeans doesn't mean they fit, per se.  Hello, muffin top!

And, another change that has likely occurred because I've been busier than busy is I haven't written anything down in my food journal in over a month.  This mode of tracking health, weight loss, food sensitivities and such is one thing I need to revisit.

Here's a link to another blog, Healthful Pursuit by Leanne Vogel, where the girl designed her own food journal entry form.  I am going to use it as a guide, but not all of the components work for me and I'm also not a fan that one print out equals one day...I like to save paper and am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to this, so I'll be tweaking this.  However, either way, it's a great resource to track food sensitivities and how my body feels after consuming certain foods.  And, it'll be a good way to track the reason why I ate...

I already know, for a fact, that if I even look at a grain, I puff up, like a hot popcorn kernel, a puffed piece of rice cereal, or like this guy...Okay, maybe not exactly like him, but I do retain fluids, feel bloated, have achy joints (especially my left knee, wrists and fingers), ringing in my ears, have dark circles under my eyes and plump sausage fingers upon waking, and feel groggy in the morning when I've eaten too many grains (any simple sugars) in a day. 

When I don't eat grains or literally eat them once a week, I have tons of energy, can spring out of bed, my skin clears, my joints feel fine, and overall, I'm a nicer person and just feel healthy. 

Everyone is different and what works for you may not work for me, and vice versa.

But, let me ask you this:  If you never eliminate a potential culprit, how would you even know if you have a sensitivity or not? 

You wouldn't.

As a mom to a one year old, this time around, I actually followed the doc's advice and introduced one food at a time to my baby.  Oh the novelty!  Sheer brilliance, I say!  This concept can be practiced with older kids and adults, as well, when trying to figure out food sensitivities and culprits, but instead of introducing foods, you are eliminating foods.  And though it's a little harder, it's not impossible! (My 9 year old is allergic to wheat and dairy but has eaten them since toddlerhood...guess how fun it is to eliminate cheesy-dillas?!)  Just find great alternatives, continue to serve them, and they'll either hate the new option and skip it altogether, or develop their palate for the new taste.  No one needs quesadillas, so it's really not the end of the world, for Pete's sake :)

The Elimination Diet isn't hard unless you are addicted to starches and sugars, dairy or your particular allergen. There's a lot of information on the website "The World's Healthiest Foods" linked in the previous sentence, but it's scientific and medically based, so take their advice, not mine, and above all else, listen to your own body and how you feel!  If you feel crummy, listen!  If you feel fantastic, that's your body saying, "More of that good stuff, please!"

I'm digressing!  My point is, I'm going to start tracking my food throughout the day again so I'm more conscious of what I'm eating and why, and then also track how I feel each day.  In the past I've written down my food intake for a number of reasons, but mostly just to track weight loss or gain.  Honestly, I am comfortable with that number on the scale from last week, but I'm more interested right now in knowing how I feel and which foods help me feel my best and which ones take me down dark alleys.  I've always been told to avoid dark alleys...

Counseling countdown:  3 days.  I'm looking forward to December 8th at 11:00 am when I head to counseling to talk about this more in depth with a professional.  If you are putting off that appointment, ask yourself why?  Why would you put off something that offers potential healing and freedom?  Maybe you don't need it, maybe just I do...but one thing I know is I am looking forward to this next season of my life...

...the season where I'm finally free to be me!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I love Merriam Webster!  And, I'm so thankful for the Internet where I can just jump over to the Merriam Webster website at any given moment and do word searches and studies.  I'm a nerd that way.

Anyway, I've been pondering the word formula recently.

Everybody wants one.  Many people and companies boast they have one...the "one", the magic formula that will cure:  input list of maladies and, by golly, the formula will clean it up, get 'er done, cure all, make you rich and then some.

I've bought into the formula mentality.  Believe me, I've bought a few things after watching info-mercials...just sayin'.

I've bought into it in more ways than just weight loss or fitness.  As a young Christian, I bought into the formula for behavior which was expected from a good church goer rather than believing the bottom line:  God's in love with me just the way I am because His love is unconditional.  His grace is called grace for a reason.  Forgiveness was a gift extended to us...not that I could earn.  Anyway, unknowingly I built walls between me and people I loved because in my ignorance, my love was conditional...formulaic. 

"If you act like this + think like this = good Christian girl"

I understand, *ironically, that in chemistry formulas are important, especially exact ones.  We tried to explain this to our daughter last night who wants to "blow things up" but doesn't want to do her math homework.

Math + Diligent Studying = Potential Chemist or scientist of some sort...

I've especially bought into the formula mentality when it comes to weight loss.  A trainer told me once, "Calories in have to be less than calories out, that's the only way you can lose weight."  I've believed this for umpteen years!  This is not entirely true nor is it the only formula that works across the board.  That's what Timothy Ferriss' book, "The 4-Hour Body" is all about.  He totally bucks the system and formula mentality by experimenting on himself, just to prove these theories or formulas, wrong, or inadequate at best.

I've been a Christian now for almost 25 years.  Over that time I've learned a lot more about God's character, who He says He is instead of who we say He is.  While resting at His feet I have learned a lot and had my eyes opened to my naive enthusiasm that was completely self-driven in my earlier years.  We've stayed the course.  He and I.  We have a relationship, not a formula of religious behavior.

As far as health and wellness goes, I'm trying to break free from the formula mentality.  And, when it comes to my body, eating and fitness, that's tough when I function well within structure.  I mean, obviously eating a Big Mac everyday with a side of fries is a formula, for sure, for malnourishment and disease.  Hello.  I haven't eaten at McDonald's since I was pregnant with Emily back in 2001, so this isn't a problem for me.  But a pan of brownie edges or a tray of chocolate chip cookies is another story... 

I know enough now that eating as closely to the way God designed food is optimal for me.  Limiting sugar and carb intake helps me feel my best.  Exercising and being outdoors always feels good, even if I didn't feel like it initially.  And, keeping myself busy keeps me away from the grazing mentality that is linked to stress and boredom.  I know these things.  I think I've been trying to figure out how to neatly fit them into a formula so I can wrap my brain around them, have it work and fit nicely into my lifestyle, and be on my merry way.

...except life doesn't fit neatly into a little box so I'm learning how to operate within something called "grace."  I understand grace extended to me from God.

Now I just need to learn how to extend it to myself...Do you?

*I failed chemistry in college...