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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

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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Is it just me or does it seem the winds are strange this year?

When I was away in Tobermory there was a constant warm wind blowing.  It was especially prevalent on Election Day and in fact, the winds of change blew through Ottawa and beyond.  Most of the time the wind was gentle and soothing, but on occasion it whipped up into something approaching violence.

Since I’ve been home the winds seem to be shifting…making it difficult to point to one direction or another.  The leaves get whipped around, the dogs can’t seem to settle.  I’m having difficulty sleeping, which happens when the seasons change.  I can’t seem to settle…when I walk I feel connected and aware.  I’ve been walking at my usual morning time and again through the day, and I still can’t seem to settle.

My neck, head, face and jaw are in agony.  I’m going to see my RMT tonight and hopefully she can help relieve some of the pressure that is crowding my head.

The temperatures have been significantly above seasonal for this time of year.  I’ve yet to wear a pair of gloves and it’s November…strange.  But wonderful at the same time.

I’ve heard the word “El Nino” described for this winter…while that may mean above seasonal temperatures it can also mean more freezing rain than usual.  And that’s not good.  I’m not a fan of freezing rain.

This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday at the Church and I’m feeling a mixture of anxiety, sadness and pride.  There is so much to be said about the sacrifice of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces.  There is much to be said for the sacrifices of the soldiers who fight today.  And there’s the overwhelming need and desire for peace.  At heart I am a pacifist and yet I come from a proud military heritage.  And therein lies the tension.

I pray that God will be with me as I open my heart to preach.  I pray I will find the balance of that which unsettles me.  And I pray I will find the strength to heed the winds of change as they blow through my community, my life and my soul.

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Recently there has been a great deal of attention given to fat shaming, usually in the guise of “concern”.  There is a You Tube “comedienne” who recorded a video called “Dear Fat People”.  I started watching it, got frustrated, angry and then started to feel sorry for her.  I didn’t finish watching it because I’ve heard her arguments before.  The thing is, this woman does not know me.  She does not know my struggle.  Yes I’m fat.  But that’s not all I am.  That’s not who I am.

I am a 47 year old woman who has battled demons that she would likely never imagine.  I wouldn’t wish my burdens on anyone.  They have strengthened me.  They have formed me.  They have softened the hard edges in me.

There was a time when I was under-weight.  And I was in terrible shape.  Psychologically I was unwell.  Physically I was frail.  I wasn’t anorexic, I didn’t struggle with an eating disorder.  I was naturally under-weight and extremely sick.  At 16 I was in a car accident that changed me.  I became afraid of everything and everyone.  I sought comfort, in food.  So I ate, and I ate and I ate and soon I was a “healthy” weight.  But still sick.

As I have aged I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food.  There was a time when my diet was almost exclusively ready to eat or heat and serve.  And I was malnourished although I was overweight.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a delicate person.  I have an above average skeleton so I “hide” my weight well.  But I am overweight; I am fat.  You may think you know me, but you don’t.  And you likely won’t ever get to know me because all you see is my size.  Not my heart.

I am an Anglican Priest in a small town.  With my arms I have held those who were in mourning.   I have hugged those who are celebrating.  I have anointed those receiving the sacrament of baptism; and anointed those who have died.  I have written hundreds of pages of homilies, read thousands of prayers, and heard more stories than my heart can hold.  Some of those stories are of triumph and hope; some are of death and despair.  All of them are held sacred.  They are part of me.

I have witnessed people seeing the face of God for the first time.  I have listened as folks poured out their heart and soul, looking for forgiveness which they didn’t feel they deserved.  But they do.  We all do.

To those who feel sorry for me because of my weight, please don’t.  I have no desire to be on the cover of a magazine.  For those who judge me when I order dessert or french fries, go ahead.  Your judgment means nothing to me.

I have a weird relationship with food…I always have and likely I always will.  I struggle with food addiction, but instead of feeling a victim to it, I am re-learning to enjoy food, without guilt or shame.

I walk every day, sometimes more than once a day.  I walk for me, to see the world around me.  I don’t listen to music or compete with besting my time, but instead, I walk to feel the rhythm of my feet on the ground, to feel the rush of air into and out of my lungs.  I walk to strengthen my body.

My hearts desire is to make a difference in the world.  I have the best vocation in the world…to teach people about love.  I live that the best way I can.  And in doing so I am learning to love myself.

So for those of you who cast judgment when you see me; my clothes, my hair, my weight, my diet…go ahead.  I’d rather you cast that venom in my direction, then to someone who isn’t as strong as I am.  You see, your words mean nothing to me, they don’t define who I am.  Only I get to define who I am.  Only God will judge me.  Actually, many will think they can judge me, but only God’s judgment matters to me.

So go ahead, bring your fat shaming.  I know who I am.  I know of what I am capable.  You don’t.  And likely, you never will.

I am Fat Woman, hear me roar!

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When I was recently away for two weeks I read a book that changed my focus and, in fact, my life.  Since that time I’ve been back at work, working as hard as before, but with a better sense of peace.  I am able to recognize things within my control and much more often, things outside my control.

I no longer feel the need to micromanage everyone around me.  My house is a mess, there is dog hair everywhere, but instead of fretting about it, I go for a walk, meditate or pray.  I watch a movie or read a book.  And then I vacuum or sweep the floor.  My “must do” list is much shorter than my “may do” list.

I’m eating healthier, drinking lots of water and moving my body every day.  I no longer race around, I walk, sometimes at a good clip, other times barely above a saunter, and take in my surroundings.  I stop to smell a flower or say hello to a dog (always with permission of the dog’s owner).  I say yes to meeting a friend for coffee and then walk to our meet (if at all possible).  I’ve stopped taking responsibility for other people’s actions and reactions.

In short, I’m regaining control of my life and letting go of the things that have cause me distress and devastating unhappiness.  I have finally realised that the only person responsible for my happiness is me.  Those two weeks away meant I could unwind and simply be.  I reordered my priorities and now I’m quite near the top of the list.

The realisation that I’m a priority, and by spending time doing things that make me happy is not selfish, but necessary.  Doing that helps me remember my balance and priorities.  I’m worth it.

I will never be an extreme athlete.  It’s not something for which I strive.  I will never be a cover model.  I will never be the size I was in high school again.  And that’s okay.  I’m overweight.  Or maybe I’m undertall?  Either way my goal is to be happy, not because of a dress size or numbers on a scale.  More than happiness I crave peace and calm.

I still have a riotous sense of humour that can come out in unexpected and often inappropriate places.  I’m unique.  I’m quirky.  I’m weird.  I’m different.  In short, I’m me.

My choice is to seek the good in every situation.  And in every person.  Every day I give thanks for something…it may be something small or something huge.  But it’s something.

I try not to take anything for granted.  I try to celebrate something in every day.  Yes, there are times when I will be hurt.  Yes, there are times when I will hurt other people.  But I truly believe if you speak the truth in love, you will always find the strength to speak the truth.

This next year will be about changes.  Some internal, some external.  All good.  All healthy.  All God-given.

Look at me go!

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I weighed myself before I went on vacation, and I was horrified at the numbers that presented themselves to me. I vowed not to gain any weight while I was away, and lose some, if possible. I became very mindful of what went in my mouth and when. I made conscious decisions about food…not necessarily caving in to cravings. And there was ice cream…but in moderation.

Since I came home, I have continued with the breakfast smoothie in the morning. Yogurt, milk, fruit of some description and away we go. It fills me up, keeps me going all morning long and by the time I come back from the office, or wherever my morning in spent, I’m ready for a simple lunch.

I stepped on the scales yesterday, just to see how things were progressing and discovered I have lost 10 lbs. Now, I’m quite certain most of the weight was released when my stress began to release. But I am liking how my clothes are fitting. I am noticing some of the latest clothing I bought is too big for me.

I’m not expecting to lose 10 lbs a month, but this makes me very mindful of being back on track. I don’t have a “goal weight”, but what I have is a desire to be healthier. On Monday night my beloved and I went to talk to a family counsellor and she is amazing. We are going to work individually with her and together, as a couple, with her. She has recommended a book that gives good advice on the correlation between health and diet.

It also recommends vitamins and minerals to take to supplement a healthy diet. The problem with all the GM foods we eat is that they don’t contain the vitamins and minerals that they once did. So we have to find that somewhere else. Once I’ve read the book, I’m going to make a list of what I should be taking and then go get them. It will be incorporated into our food budget, and I am expecting that little by little, I will feel even better. Little by little I will feel like I am regaining some of the control I lost.

Grocery shopping is still a major challenge, but I have a “market bucket” that I use when I go to the grocery store. I have a list. I still to the list. Once the bucket is full, or my list is complete, I leave. It’s a new system for me, but seems to be working.

Baby steps…one at a time…but they do seem to be working. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

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