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Archive for the ‘Food Addiction’ Category

I reached a major milestone this week…I drove home on Wednesday. Loading the car was an adventure as I overthought about putting the back seat down or what order to load things in. I made sure everything was at a weight I could safely lift so I put twice as many bags into the car to come home as I did when I left home.

Stopping half-way at a caf√© for a Chai Latte (first time I’ve had one of those) was quite good. I drove the last half hour home feeling determined and relatively pain-free. When I got home a friend was waiting to unload the car which was wonderful. We had a quick visit and she left.

A friend and colleague stopped by with his adorable new puppy and we had a cup of coffee and a lovely visit for about an hour.

I unpacked my clean clothes, toiletries, electronics and groceries. I took my time as I did all these things, stopping for a sit down and a cup of tea or glass of water. Then I had a lovely hot shower in my own shower, put on clean pajamas and snuggled into a freshly made bed. Bliss.

I was wide awake at 2:00 am. I wasn’t fretting about it, I realised it was because I’d had a cup of coffee at 4:00 pm and that was my first cup of coffee since I’d left home. Jeez.

Since I got home I’ve continued unpacking and making lists of chores to do, all fun little things like setting up a new recycle station in my storage cupboard. I bought some indoor plants and plant pots and plan to transplant them into pots with better drainage. I have two small sewing projects to take on.

I’ve been out to appointments, and while I’ve seen parishioners, given and received hugs, “shop talk” has been an absolute minimum. And I don’t feel guilty about that.

I’m still working on the “deep dive” and there’s still some yucky stuff to deal with, yet I’m striking a balance.

Yesterday I saw my family doctor in the morning and my counsellor in the afternoon. At the end of our session she remarked that this was the first session we’ve had where I didn’t talk about work for the entirety of the session. She said I look calmer, happier and healthier then she’s ever seen me. She said she was proud of me! I said I was proud of me too! Then she asked the difficult question…”So, how are you going to maintain this level of self-care when you go back to work?”

Fair Question.

The answer is difficult but necessary. Boundaries, communication and the realisation that I am just as entitled to look after myself as I am to look after everyone else. I don’t have to and shouldn’t have to put my needs last.

It’s taken me 52 friggin’ years, and I am finally understanding that I am a good person, a kind person, and I matter. I am going to continue treating myself as well as I treat everyone else. And sometimes even better. ūüôā

My relationship with food is still a big trigger and it’s part of the icky stuff I need to work through. I weighed myself before I had surgery and again when I got home and was shocked that I had lost 7 lbs. I’m not yet back to full-strength. I can’t walk as quickly as I was able to before because of an issue with my left foot.

I have not yet learned to be bored. I’ll need to apologise to my Bishop for that. Instead I’ve begun to daydream again. To take notice of my surroundings, be fully present when I eat and drink. To sit comfortably in silence or listen to music.

I’ve started writing poetry again…which I haven’t done since 1991.

This is work I’ve needed to do for years, no, decades. It’s brutally difficult work and I’m nowhere near finished. And yet I cannot imagine making time to do this work. I’m so very grateful that I’ve taken the time.

All it took was a hysterectomy and oopherectomy to make me take the time to do it.

I’ve missed my Parish and parishioners. I’m looking forward to being back to work, and doing God’s work in our small corner of Creation.

For the first time in a very long time I feel content.

Thanks be to God.

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All my life I’ve been an emotional eater…food was used as punishment and as reward. Over the winter my eating habits were atrocious…I would eat non-nutritional food far too often and usually I’d eat mindlessly. ¬†This winter was a tough one because I couldn’t get out and walk, which is one of my favourite forms of self-care.

So winter finally ended and Spring is trying really hard to get to the East Kootenays and especially the Elk Valley, but we’re getting there. ¬†I’ve discovered the trail system that links around and through the community. ¬†During Holy Week I discovered a new trail that I hadn’t hiked before and I hiked it. ¬†It rained and snowed, but I hiked it.

Easter Sunday I went out and hiked it again, and went a little bit farther.  Again, it rained, but I hiked it.

I’ve been out every day this week (granted it’s only Wednesday) but each day I’ve gone a bit further or tried a new path or link.

Today was a crappy day. ¬†I had an argument with a friend and I can remember a time when I would have eaten my feelings, as much fat and salt as possible…the emptier the calories the better. ¬†But today I didn’t do that. ¬†I went for a walk instead and had a conversation with them (they weren’t with me, this conversation was in my head). Originally the walk was going to be around the block…and then it was to the end of the street…and then to part of the trail…and instead of turning back I kept going and walked/hiked a 5 km loop of trail and then came home again. ¬†I was gone just over an hour.

I learned today that I don’t have to eat my feelings. ¬†I can walk them. ¬†I’m still learning to feel my feelings, but today I learned a new way to express myself. ¬†It may not seem like a big deal to you, yet to me it’s huge.

I am strong. ¬†I am capable. ¬†I am in control of myself. ¬†And my food choices today have all been healthy. ¬†This is a good step in the right direction. ¬†I’m proud of me…and it isn’t often I say that.

I’m learning a new way. ¬†I’m teaching myself to listen to myself. ¬†And that’s pretty awesome. ¬†Yay me!

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This is the third Friday I’ve been in my new home. ¬†The third Friday that I’ve taken as a day off. ¬†I have no desire to do anything and nowhere I really have to be. ¬†But there are things I’d like to get done.

As I’ve been unpacking boxes I’m piling them in my kitchen. ¬†Today I broke them all down and put them together for recycling. ¬†The community bin is across the street, which makes this OH SO convenient.

My kitchen is ready save for a couple of small things. ¬†I’ve been prioritizing wants from needs. ¬†I’ve got everything I need for the kitchen. ¬†There’s a few things I’ll obtain as I want them. ¬†For example, casserole dishes. ¬†I didn’t have any. ¬†I really didn’t need any but was out one day and came across an incredible deal. ¬†So know I have one that I purchased at 75% off.

I’m embracing a new attitude about “stuff”. ¬†If it’s something I will use (more than once) and will enhance my life, I will obtain it. Otherwise, nope. ¬†Don’t need it.

On my list still to obtain are a creamer and sugar basin for when I entertain, which I will be doing on Sunday.  An iron and ironing board.  Something I will be using, especially once I start home communions and will have linens to launder.

I am in need of new clergy shirts; the one’s I have are starting to come apart at the seams…granted, I have had them for 6 years. ¬†But I’m waiting for a sale as they are EXPENSIVE.

I also need new bras. ¬†The two I have are uncomfortable, too big and leave a weird line in my clothes. ¬†Living where I do means there’s no easy access to buying them, so I’m beginning to look online. ¬†Being a plus size gal makes it a tad more challenging. ¬†But I will succeed. ¬†I am determined!

Slowly I am mindful of a routine being established in my life. ¬†I like routine, I like order and I am finding for the first time in a long time, I have both. ¬†I work as hard as I ever did, and am mindful of myself and my needs. ¬†If I’m tired, I rest. ¬†If I’m hungry, I eat. ¬†I’m still struggling with food addictions, and overall am making healthier choices most days.

There are times I abuse myself with food. ¬†And I’m aware that I’m doing it. ¬†It occurs infrequently and I am pleased that I can recognize that it’s happening.

So today I’m going to have a shower and get dressed. ¬†Make my bed, go to the post office, drug store and grocery store, all of which I can walk to. ¬†I’m going to go to the hardware store on the other side of town. ¬†I could walk, but I’m going to drive. ¬†And if I don’t get what I am looking for there, I will drive to the next largest community; an hour away.

There is nowhere I must be today and no commitment I must keep.  Today is a day just for me.  And I LOVE that.

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I’m not even sure if that is a word…but it is now. ¬†It’s been ages since I last posted and that’s for a variety of reasons. ¬†Since Easter I’ve had a funeral, a wedding, have met with two couples who are getting married. ¬†Spent time in hospital at bedsides, attended meetings, and contracted a devastating 48 hour ‘flu. ¬†Aside from that there’s been not much happening.

This Spring I’ve been overtaken with the need to de-clutter. ¬†I’ve been consumed with the need for open space, for clean shelves, uncluttered tabletops. ¬†In short, everything in it’s place and a place for every thing. ¬†I decided two summers ago to empty the room that was, at one time, my home office. ¬†It became a storage wasteland for all the things that entered the house but didn’t have anywhere to go…so they ended up in that room.

That room is now empty of my stuff. ¬†There’s a growing pile of garbage at the sidewalk in front of the house because this week is the community garbage collection. ¬†There’s broken clothes racks, broken glass, broken chairs…just about everything but broken hearts…

And while there’s been a great deal of space opening in the house, there’s still boxes of things that need to be sorted through…books to be returned to friends or put in the box for the Church Yard sale. ¬†There’s more stuff than space, even though there’s a whole empty room. ¬†Thus, the discombobulation.

In the course of a couple of extremely busy weeks, I reached for Coke Zero, my go-to caffeine kick at Seminary…and in short order I was guzzling a horrifying about each and every day. ¬†I’ve also been eating a great deal of food that is little better than garbage and not drinking nearly enough water.

So last week I decided that I needed to get my unhealthy self back to healthy..

I purchased a Fitbit that tracks my sleep patterns, steps, stairs, water intake, calories in and out. So far I”m using it to track steps, stairs, sleep and water…will work up to the caloric thing eventually. ¬†I know I feel better when I drink water. ¬†I can motivate myself to drink enough with Fitbit. ¬†I”m not competing with anyone or anything but myself…even though that is an option. ¬†I need to spend less time in my head and more time outside, moving my fat ass around.

And while I am learning to love myself, I am in need of health and that will come by caring for as well as loving myself. It’s not about losing weight, although that is something I want to do. ¬†It’s not about scoring points on a chart. ¬†It’s about doing all these little things that will help me to feel better, look better and be better.

If I don’t lose one pound, that will be okay, because I know with more water, more movement, less stress and better eating, I will be healthier. ¬†And my body will thank me for that.

So while the de-cluttering of the house continues, the cleansing of the body begins.  As the garbage goes out and the treasures go to the Yard Sale, I will still and quiet my mind.

I believe it will be then that my discombobulation will begin to lift and I will feel more like myself.

Oh, how I have missed myself…and as soon as I find where I tucked my yoga mat away, that will be another goal realised.

Time to get up and get moving, the administration will wait until later.

Now where’s that water bottle…

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As a rule I generally don’t feel compelled to respond to articles I read, but this one made me cringe with every paragraph.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-brooks/being-fat_b_6097544.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

What upset me most was the undertone of self-loathing and helplessness. ¬†It devastates me that people walk by this delightful human being and don’t recognize her humanity. ¬†It’s a basic feeling that everyone needs and deserves…to be recognized for our inherent human dignity. ¬†I am not skinny. ¬†I haven’t been since high school. ¬†I look in the mirror and most days I am comfortable with what I see. ¬†Yes, I’d like to lose weight, but I don’t think weight defines my personhood.

I have called myself fat. ¬†At times I still call myself fat. ¬†And I am fat, by society’s standards. ¬†My mother is underweight, significantly so, and is the first person to notice any weight gain. ¬†It bothers me, but I don’t see her every day so I can usually shake off what she says.

There are times when I get looks from people, but I don’t care. ¬†I know skinny people who have body dysmorphia, the same as me. ¬†I am a food addict and I work at making healthy choices every single day. ¬†Some days are better than others.

But I am more than what the scale tells me.  I am a gifted preacher and pastoral presence.  I connect with people on a spiritual and individual level.  I am an attentive and mindful listener.  I work hard at what I do.  God has blessed me in many ways.

I have curves, I have cellulite, I don’t like having my picture taken because I have not learned (yet) how to smile without looking artificial. ¬†I am not as active as I should be. ¬†I know I should get off my ass and move more than I do.

Yet I refuse to be judged because I cannot shop the petite section of a store and my dress size is in the double-digits. ¬†I like my curves (for the most part). ¬†I like how a dress hugs my hips and shows off my breasts. ¬†I like feeling sexy. ¬†And sometimes I actually do feel sexy. ¬†I don’t think I would if I was as skinny as I was in high school. ¬†Back then, I was built like an ironing board…and ironing boards are not sexy.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud women of all sizes. ¬†I know women who have struggled with ¬†and are currently struggling with eating disorders.

Being fat is not a sin.  While it may be seen as socially unacceptable, so is smoking in public places.  So is child abuse.  So is ignoring the homeless and refusing to see them as anything other than a nuisance and burden on society.

To Kathleen Brooks, know that you are a beautiful and remarkable woman.  Stop projecting what society is saying and making it baggage to carry around.  it is not your burden or cross to bear.  You are a talented, remarkable warrior woman. You have curves and hopes and dreams.  You have lived a remarkable life.  You have an incredible story to share.

Live your life out loud. ¬†Don’t wait for someone else to make it okay. ¬†Please stop putting yourself down. ¬†You have a great life NOW. ¬†You are successful and have survived kidney disease and transplantation! ¬†That is no small feat. ¬†You are woman, learn to roar…and share that roar. ¬†Live your life larger than life. ¬†And live it out loud.

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All my life I have struggled with naming my emotions. As a child I was not allowed to be angry. Raised voices were a “no-no” in my house. We were to be bright, happy yet silent as children, an interesting combination.

As a child I learned to be a pleaser, and if my Mam or Dad were angry/upset, I would do everything I could to make them happy; overachiever, overworking, entertaining, being the clown, etc.

Growing up, if I was presented with an angry or upset person my first instinct was to make it better for them. Recently, I’ve found myself feeling a heightened sense of outrage at the injustice I see around me. I am experiencing emotions, without really understanding what they are.

For example, this morning I was driving in the village and as I approached one of the two intersections with traffic lights, I had the green light, so continued through the intersection. At that exact moment an elderly man was making a right hand turn against the red light. He did not see me. Thankfully I was able to stop before we collided.

As I sat in the intersection he gave me a disgusted look, yelled “bloody women drivers” and waved me through. I had stalled my car on an incline, so it took me a few seconds to get the car running again. Instead of waiting for me, he continued on his way, making a sharp right turn at the next street.

I was fuming, and felt that I had every right to be angry. But it wasn’t until several hours later that I could actually name the emotion of anger. I had every right to be angry. But I also had every right to be grateful that we did not collide and nobody was injured…other than egos and pride.

Lately I am realising that the predominant emotion I am feeling is anger…almost to the point of rage. By nature I am a caring person. I take satisfaction in doing for other people. It is in my vocation to give emotionally, spiritually, etc.

I believe part of the reason I am now on a medical leave is because I am feeling such great anger and frustration. I feel that many of the people in my life, especially in my immediate family, are taking much more than they are giving. Instead of seeing that I am doing for them because I want to, I am feeling anger that they are not reciprocating and/or they are not appreciative.

I am not supposed to do things to receive thanks. And yet, right now, it is something I need.

Why is that?

I am, by nature, an optimistic, balanced, happy person. But not lately. I’ve been surly, miserable and downright snarly. I raise my voice much more often, I feel an emptiness inside and I’m looking for something to fill it. Most often, it’s chocolate. But the thing is, the chocolate isn’t filling the void. It’s expanding my waistline.

Slowly it is dawning on me that I am looking for everyone else to make me happy, instead of seeking to make myself happy. I want everyone to behave the way I feel they should; instead of accepting them for who they are.

One of the most destructive enabling behaviours is the phrase “It’s just the way s/he is”. There is a parishioner who is a bully. He shouts, insults, bangs his fist on the table, in order to be heard and to get what he wants. It is hard work to deal with him. And when I challenge him on his bullying behaviour I am taken aside and told “It’s the just the way he is”, or “he’s much better than he used to be”. Neither of which are acceptable.

I believe that everyone should be held accountable for their behaviour and that everyone should do their best to understand how the other person is feeling. Seldom is this behaviour extended to me and, I have to admit, it upsets me.

Slowly but surely I am realising that there are very few things I can control. The only emotions I control are my own, especially once I name them and own them.

The Canadian Mental Health Association came out with this great chart meant for children, to identify what it is they are feeling. I think I need one for my office, so I can identify what I am feeling. It’s strange to be 46 years old and unable to identify basic emotions.

Life is a learning curve and lately the curve has been steep.

If I were to make a list of the things that make me happy they would include taking a bike ride through the village; walking the dogs; doing yoga outside; yoga inside; dancing around the house like a fool; writing letters to friends; reading a novel; writing in my journal; taking a warm, soothing bath with epsom salts and baking soda; blogging.

As I look at this list, I realise I don’t do any of these things as often as I should.

I will do more things on that list on a more regular basis.

Starting now.

Some realisations that have come to me are: My happiness does not depend on anyone other than me.
I have every right to be angry and express that emotion. Further, I can express anger without guilt. I can disagree with someone without being a bad person. And if that person thinks I am a bad person, that is their emotion to own; not mine.

I do not have to be held hostage by a crippling fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. It never stopped Jesus. And aside from the crucifixion, it worked out alright for him (in the end).

I have been mired up in anxiety, angst, frustration, anger and rage. It’s time to do, say and live in a way that makes me happy.

That’s not selfish; it’s self-care, and self-loving.

So that will be what I focus on for the rest of 2014…and perhaps longer than that.

Starting now.

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Juicing seems to be going okay. I invented my own juice this morning and I quite like it. I even saved the recipe for later. It’s 2 apples, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 lemon, 1 thumb of ginger. Tangy and tasty. Not sweet, but not bitter. Yummy.

I have slacked on walking because the weather has been so cold and my schedule has been such that I’ve not made time for the walking track. I am sure, once the weather improves, that I will get back to walking with the dogs every morning. Even 20 minutes with them made a difference. Come on Spring!

I am enjoying cooking at home, and we are going through a lot of groceries, but this is a good thing. The positive things is the groceries are being consumed, not rotting and having to be thrown out. I have made a commitment to 30 days of juicing, but I already know I will be juicing every day for a very, very long time.

The downside of juicing is the mess with the juicer, but it makes life much easier to have the juicer. So I guess its worth it.

As we approach Lent I am determined to make this my healthiest Lent. Every year I pick something up that is good for me, and set down something that is not. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about living life to the fullest. Taking on things that scare me. Trying my best to take one day at a time.

This year I am going to eliminate all processed foods from my diet for the 40 days plus Sunday’s of Lent. I am going to juice every day. And I am going to move my body in some way for at least 20 minutes a day.

As far as the Spiritual side of Lent goes, I will spent at least half an hour in meditation or prayer, as I want a closer relationship with God. Every year I try to follow a devotional for Lent, but have yet to complete one within the 40 days. This year I am not putting that pressure on. I will read every day, but it doesn’t need to be from a specified Lenten devotional.

Tuning up my body as well as my mind, heart and soul. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am certain I can get there.

One step, one sip, one bite, on prayer, one moment at a time.

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