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Talking to Myself

Throughout the day, I have a lot of conversations with myself about food, or more specifically, about my food choices.  I’m beginning to realize how often I talk myself into making bad choices.  It is obvious to me that in those mental conversations, I can influence my behavior either way.

Even when I’m doing well, as I have for the last several days, I still have the internal chats arise — usually when I’m stressed, short on time, something’s happened that’s made me cranky, I’m tired, etc.  All of the vulnerable times open up the conversation.  A few days ago, I told you about being face to plate with a large red velvet cake and withstanding the temptation.  Trust me, I went back and forth about it a few times, but the positive program choice prevailed.

Last night, I almost got thrown off course.  I’d decided in the morning that I was ready for some lean chicken as a protein for dinner and planned to get a cooked rotisserie chicken at the supermarket on the way home from work.  Thinking even further ahead, I also wanted to pick up some onions and more carrots so that on Sunday, I could use the chicken carcass and vegetables to make some stock.  I needed a couple of other things to get me through the weekend, too.

The best laid plans went a tad awry when I got to the store around 5:15 and discovered that the only prepared/cooked chickens left were either the barbecue or maple-bourbon varieties.  (Side note: While I love the maple-bourbon combo on, say, ribs, I think I would find it disgusting on poultry.  I’m not fond of barbecue sauce on chicken either.)  I asked the guys behind the counter about more chicken and discovered that it wouldn’t be ready for another 45 minutes.

Ack! I was already hungry for dinner.  I couldn’t wait that long at the store because I needed to get home and let Nat and Pyxi out in the yard.  I could have picked up the fried chicken tenders that were sitting there all ready, or some of the pre-cooked pork roast but, darn it, I’d planned!  I’d committed.  I’d gone so far as writing down my meal in the morning.

The chatter of my own mental process was considerable and annoying.  Finally I took a deep breath and let the calmer, sensible side of me take over.  I decided that staying with my plan was more important than a little inconvenience.  I drove home to let out the dogs, staved off the hunger with a couple of pieces of celery, and went back to the store a little later to get the chicken and other items that I wanted.

This morning, the plan was to go to Tai Chi class, come home for my mid-morning snack, and then go to the massage therapist for some body work.  Well, I was delayed leaving class and didn’t have time to go home for the snack.  I knew that I needed to eat and drink something before the massage or I’d be starving, and possibly light-headed, by the time we finished the session.

There are a lot of places to go and get something to eat between where I was and my destination.  Lots of places with lots of easy, but unhealthy choices.  In my mind chatter I considered numerous possibilities, all of them poor.  Then I remembered that I also had to pass the only Health Food store in town.  Instead of going to a convenience store for a chocolate bar or almost-as-bad-but-masquerading-as-healthy protein bar, I went to the health food store and got a raw, no-sugar added-veggie & fruit juice and a package of organic walnuts.  Even though they were not the foods that I’d previously planned for that morning snack, they were the best possible option given the circumstances.  So, I gave myself a pass and counted it as a win.  Yes, I had to have another talk with myself to get to that point, but it worked.

I hope this doesn’t make me sound all crazy.  I haven’t reached the point where I walk down the street and talk out loud, after all.  I don’t blurt things out verbally in public places.  Communicating with myself is part of my process, and it’s proven to be a useful tool when I use it to successfully stay on track.  Granted, there are times when the chat goes more along the lines of, “#*$& it, I need a cookie”, but the goal is to not give into those urges too often.

As of today, I’m on Day 6 of reclaiming my recovery and if I sometimes need to talk to myself to stay on track, I’ll use it like I will every other available tool.

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Healthy snack suggestion:  A lonnnng time ago, I talked about baking kale chips for a healthy, crunchy snack.  A few days ago, a friend shared on Facebook that she’d made her kale chips in the microwave. I just had to try doing this today.   You see, I love kale chips when they first come out of the oven.  Unfortunately, after they’ve been in an air-tight container a while, they tend to get a little chewy.  I decided that if the microwave technique worked, I would always be able to make snack-sized portions in a snap.

I am thrilled with the results and it was so easy.  Just take clean, dry kale (stems removed) and toss it in a little bit of olive oil and salt or other seasonings.  Spread it on a microwave-safe plate and put it in the microwave oven for 3-5 minutes, depending on the wattage of your appliance.  Mine took 4 1/2 minutes.  I checked them and retossed about half way through.  The finished chips were crisp and tasty!

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Pain Turns to Medicine

Fair warning, friends.  I will probably cite from Anne LaMott’s amazing book Small Victories often in coming days.  Her insights are sparkle like gems, resonate like soul-filling music in the best concert hall, and open my eyes and my mind to new viewpoints.  The book reveals what she calls “small moments of grace”.  For me, it’s uncovering small moments of understanding.  If these understandings lead to grace, so much the better.

Earlier this evening, I read a passage that, forgive the cliche, spoke to me.  I won’t retype the whole thing, but my small moment began when she shared a quote from Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet.  The quote reads, “Through love all pain will turn to medicine”.  LaMott says that the pain and failures she experienced slowly restored her to the person she was born to be.

She talks about experiencing the eating cycle of binging then dieting, binging then dieting, binging then dieting and never felt full without being stuffed.  Gradually, through school and life experiences, she began to,” … learn the secrets of life: that you could become the woman you’d dared to dream of being but to do so you were going to have to fall in love with your own crazy, ruined self.”

Later she shares that she had to accept that life was not going to be filling if she tried to become somebody else’s idea of who she should be. and when she got to that point she no longer needed to stuff herself “to the gills”.

Nothing was going to fill her except love and what I interpret from her description as self-acceptance, self-nurturing, self-care.

This is all such powerful stuff for me.  Now I’m not going to sit here and say that I hate myself.  That isn’t true.  However, I don’t always treat myself with the love that I deserve, the love that I would show to others.

Going back to Rumi, I feel like his quote means that the negative of pain cannot withstand the positive power of self-love.  When we let in the love, we transform the other emotions into something nurturing and healing.  The pain becomes medicine which treats the negative conditions so that they heal.  The emptiness is filled and we no longer need to plug the hollowness with food.

Day Four is winding to a close.  I’ve had another good day food-wise.  It wasn’t always easy today as I dealt with some circumstances that were unpleasant and upsetting.  However, I prevailed and didn’t seek to reduce the effects by stuffing in food.

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Little Wins

I almost called this post Small Victories, but that’s the title of a book I’m reading by the wonderful Anne LaMott and I didn’t want to steal it for my blog.  I will no doubt write a whole post about this book after I finish it, so stay tuned. :-)

It’s Day Three of Lean-Green-Clean and it’s been another day of good, clean abstinence from compulsive overeating.  Even though I mentioned a few posts ago how my body feels different when I eat clean versus when I eat crap, I am frankly amazed at how much better I feel after only three days.  My systems and cells are practically singing.  They’re much happier when I fuel them with healthy, nutritious food and don’t inflict big quantities of fat, junk carbs, processed foods, and sugar.  I’m also doing a better job of hydrating, which increases the wellness.  I have more energy too.

I’m sure there are people who might look at this and think, “Three days.  Big whoop.”  To a lot of people, eating clean, green, healthy food in appropriate volume isn’t difficult.  It’s, shall we say, normal.  For me, one day of abstinence from compulsive overeating is a win.  I can’t take the days, any of them, for granted.  I sure can’t look at the effort and consider it easy or think there’s nothing to it.  Humility and gratitude are important to my recovery.

On top of the overall day, I had a particularly special “win”.   A group of us got together right after work at neighboring restaurant for the send off of a dear co-worker who is going on to a different job.  I’d already decided that I wouldn’t order anything to eat, but instead just enjoy the time and then eat my planned-on meal when I got home.  It’s not that I can’t eat out at a restaurant, and the food is good at this place.  I just knew, however, that the portions would be huge and there weren’t many menu items that fit the lean-green-clean plan.  I felt strong and confident in this decision.

I hadn’t planned on there being a large cake at the gathering.  Red velvet with a cream cheese frosting, to be exact.  It was sitting right on the table in front of me . . . so close that I could actually smell the cream cheese and the sugar.  Others at the gathering offered me a slice and I didn’t even think about saying yes.  I sat there with everyone and that scrumptious looking/smelling cake for a good 45 minutes, just talking and sipping a glass of water.  It wasn’t even a case of white-knuckling my way through the event.  My mindset was strong, calm, and sure that I truly didn’t want to eat any cake.

That truly is a victory for me.  I faced down a substance that is usually addictive and didn’t give in to my disease.  In addition to checking in and noting how I feel physically, I need to spend some time acknowledging how recovery feels to me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

There’s a saying in program that nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels.  I’m celebrating that feeling tonight.

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Creaky and Cranky

Day two of the lean-green-clean effort is pretty much a wrap.  I had another strong day of recovery eating-wise.  I’m working the tools by planning and preparing, doing readings, engaging in some spiritual reflection, and regularly giving myself pep talks.  I’m not, however, going great guns on my exercise.

You’ve all heard me whine often enough about my right knee with the considerable osteoarthritis.  I just got my tax refund back so tomorrow I’m calling the orthopedic doctor I was examined by last year and scheduling the two remaining shots on his suggested treatment.  I sure hope it helps because I know that my knee is worse than it was.

Worse or not, I can function and stay active with it as is, but what’s hampering my activity level right now is the heel pain I frequently experience in my left foot.  I haven’t been to a doctor yet about it, but I’m familiar with the symptoms and am 100% confident in my self-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.  When I first get out of bed or stand up after sitting at my desk for a while, it’s almost comical how much I hobble for about a dozen steps.  That’s how long it takes for the knee to loosen up and the tendons, etc. to stretch out in my foot.  The heel pain comes and goes but when it’s aggravated, every step nearly makes me wince.

There are things I try to remember to do, such as stretching exercises before I get out of bed or while I’m sitting.  I wear some comfy slip-on sneaks more often right now because of the cushy protection for the heel and the better arch.  I’m a big baby about having to wear shoes instead of flip flops.  I know the doctor would also tell me to not go barefoot.  Silly as it might be, I hate wearing any kind of footwear in the house and can’t quite bring myself to take this next healing step, as it were.

I hope that with the little treatments, stretches, some occasional over the counter meds to reduce inflammation, and at least wearing sneaks more frequently than I normally do, the plantar fasciitis flare-up will go away.  It did before.  In the meantime, when the foot doesn’t hurt, or doesn’t hurt horribly, I walk.  If I’m experiencing a lot of pain, I’m not a masochist.  I take things a little easier.  So far, even with heel pain, I can handle the pivots and steps that are part of Tai Chi.

I also try to not whine too much, even too myself.  After all, it’s only an arthritic knee and an inflamed foot.  There are worse physical problems I could have.

Do any of you watch Dancing with the Stars?  One of the celebrity contestants this season is a military veteran named Noah Galloway.  During his service in the war, he lost one of his legs above the knee and one of his arms above the elbow.  Let me have a cougar moment and tell you that the man is totally hot and ripped.  Go ahead and Google his image and you’ll see.  He’s also quite the dancer!  Every week I watch him and am inspired.  I’m so grateful to him that he put himself out there in the public eye and goes for it week after week after week.

I’ve seen Noah in person.  I’ve met numerous other veterans who have undergone truly horrible injuries.  My knee and my heel are nothing to complain about.  Not when there are men and women who deal with lost limbs and more.

When working to recover, it’s important for me to keep things in perspective.  For me, right now, that means not indulging too much in my creaky crankiness.

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Anatomy of a Good Recovery Day

It’s almost 11 p.m. and I’m going to bed soon.  I wanted to report that I’ve had a good day, one in which I stayed abstinent from compulsive eating and stuck to my food plan.  One day down and one day is all I need.  When I wake up tomorrow I’ll plan on making it another good day of recovery.

I know it’s helpful for me to reflect on what I did to have a good, abstinent day.  Sharing about it on this blog also serves as reinforcement.

Last night I talked about being prepared, so today’s effort actually began last night when I prepped the food I planned to eat while at work.  Can’t remember if I’ve explained my overall food plan in a while, but I eat six times a day.  That works out to three “meals” and three snacks.  Very often, there isn’t an appreciable increase in volume at the “meals”, although my tendency is to have dinner be a somewhat larger meal.  I’m trying to change that too, over time.

So, for today — I fixed a protein shake for breakfast with a small banana.  I had a couple of cups of hot black tea with a small splash of half ‘n half.  My mid-morning snack included a couple reasonable tablespoons of spinach-artichoke hummus with two celery stalks and half a dozen baby carrots.  I had a cup of green tea at work at around the same time.  After that I filled up my water glass too.  For lunch I prepared a chocolate protein shake.  That satisfied me until it was time for a mid-afternoon cup of green tea and a small apple for snack time.

For dinner, I steamed a spaghetti squash and cooked up some crushed tomatoes into a nice sauce.  I then put the two together along with a couple of ounces of fresh mozarella.  Another cup of tea in the evening was followed by about 3/4 of a naval orange.

As I said I planned to when discussing my homemade lean-green-clean plan, I avoided chocolate, all candy, bread, crackers, cookies, cakes and potatoes.

For exercise, I took Nat and Pyxi out for a short walk this morning and a longer walk after dinner.  I also did a set of Tai Chi.

All of this – the food, eating and exercise – covers the physical aspect of the program.  For the emotional/mental part, I read the daily message in one of my books and revisited the written explanation of Step One.  Knowing how supportive my friends at work are about all of my efforts, I “came clean” to them by explaining my decision to go lean-green-clean to a stricter degree than usual.  I don’t want them to police my eating, but it’s helpful to my mindset if I’m honest and open about what I’m experiencing.  It helps me with my accountability to myself.

I also acknowledged to my Higher Power that I am simply grateful for all of the blessings and lessons in my life and asked for help in experiencing a day of recovery instead of relapse.  This balanced out the three-legged stool with the spiritual side.

For most of the day, the effort was fairly easy, relatively speaking.  Granted I psyched myself up for it and brought forth strong motivation.  Also granted, this was only the first day — one day.  Still, it’s something on which to build with a whole series of “one day at a time”.  Tonight has been the most difficult part of the day.  About an hour ago, I started feeling hungry.  At least, I think I was really feeling it, but it’s sometimes hard for me to differentiate between real, actual hunger and mental hunger.  Whether it’s one or the other isn’t as important as what I chose to do about what I experienced.  I chose not to eat something that wasn’t pre-planned.  I chose to remain in recovery.

That was the choice today.  That’s the choice I’ll wake up and make in the morning.  I’d like to have another good food day of recovery.

 

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Lean, Green, Clean – and a Little Bit Mean

I haven’t been away from the blog because I’ve been sulking about my relapse.  The day after I last posted I started on a whirlwind including a work-week away in Washington, D.C. for business.  It’s been crazy, that’s for sure.

I haven’t had a lot of time to myself but what little I’ve had, i used to really think about what I’m doing, what I’m not doing, and what I need to do.   I conducted a personal inventory and considered different approaches to get me out of relapse and back on the road of recovery.

Half measures avail me nothing.  I can’t pretend that if I just do the program mostly right I’ll be okay.  Not now.  Maybe not ever.

So, I retook the first step, which in the 12 Steps means that I admit I’m powerless over food and my eating disorder and that my life has become unmanageable.  To someone who isn’t familiar with the steps, powerless and unmanageable might seem dramatic, but I know what I’m feeling and experiencing and they are very real.

I also know how crappy my body feels inside and out.  You know, I never used to know the difference because for decades I always ate huge quantities of poor quality food and that’s what was familiar.  Then, after weight loss surgery I had a couple of years where I ate really high quality food and my system got to know how great that felt.  So, now that I’ve been eating less quality and more junk, I feel it in my sluggish system and lower energy.  Plus there’s the extra pounds I regained.  Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but enough that I feel them in my waistbands and see them in the mirror.

I am geared up and prepared to retake all of the steps and go to every length to regain recovery.  Right now, I don’t think this is something I can ease into, so I’ve decided to start off super strict  – lean, green and clean.

Vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, leaner proteins more often than red meat, less fatty cheese that I like to pretend is a protein, no fried foods.  Saying goodbye to a slice of toast here and there, a bagel, a potato and pasta.

I’m cutting out candy – even the one or two little bites that, in themselves, aren’t enough to mess me up, but that can lead me to the craving for more and more.  I’m cutting out processed dessert items – cookies, cake, pie, ice cream.  If it isn’t something that grew and was picked – as in fruit –  I’m not eating it.

Look, I know that all of the above mentioned foods are okay in moderation, but right now holding myself to moderation is the issue.  Believe it or not, it’s an easier choice to just say no.

I have a lot of tasty tools to help me.  There’s the aforementioned fresh fruits and vegetables.  I have good quality protein powders to mix up in smoothies.

I also have the knowledge.  I’ve learned so much in the last three plus years and all of this will help.

For today, I have the willingness.   Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have the willingness again.  A day or two from now when I’m craving something fried or want a sweet chunk of chocolate, I hope that the willingness and desire for recovery will be strong enough to battle the cravings and the possible bitchiness I’ll no doubt experience.

Yes, that’s a side effect.  Even when I rationally know that I’m doing the best, healthy things for myself, I can still get bitchy about the whole thing.  That’s the mean that I referred to in the post’s title.

My program books will be at my bedside, helping me work on the spiritual and emotional aspects of recovery.

Before I sat down to write this post, I prepared and packaged my food for tomorrow.  The fight for my own recovery is on, my friends.  I’m locked and loaded.

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Rant Alert:

Has anyone else seen the television ads for the “Mixify” initiative? Apparently Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper and Pepsi are reaching out to our country’s youth to help them learn how to balance what they eat and drink with their activity level.  The cynical part of me says that they want people to exercise more so that they can keep drinking soda.  The less-cynical part of me says that achieving that balance is important and if the ad helps young people do this, then who cares who’s delivering the message?

The cynical part of me just looked at the other part and said, “Yeah, right.”

What really gets me about the television ad is the actress doing the voiceover.  To my ear, she sounds a great deal like First Lady Michele Obama.  Since her husband took office as president, Mrs. Obama has campaigned to fight childhood obesity, increase children’s activity, and help everyone develop better, healthier eating habits.

I can’t help but believe that the beverage companies’ ad agency deliberately tried to link the Mixify campaign to Mrs. Obama.  They probably went through dozens of auditions before they found someone with a similar voice.

Honestly, I don’t know why, but the commercial annoys me every time I hear it.

 

 

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Eating Away Self-Esteem

Aside from the obvious health and life expectancy risks the negative effect that I hate the most is the damage that compulsive overeating and obesity do to my self-esteem and confidence.  I may seem and act strong and secure, but the mental and emotional struggle to get there are very real.

It’s like the act of overeating, or of eating compulsively, just erodes away my core emotional strength.  I start to doubt myself and my abilities.  I begin to worry about how I’m perceived.  I project that my weight enters the room/meeting/situation before me and sets me up to be judged and evaluated on how I look.  If I’m not on the alert for this internal process, I start to shrink within myself and begin “playing smaller”.

Playing small is a reference from Marianne Williamson’s great reminder piece.  In it she proclaims that “Your playing small does not serve the world.”  I’m here to tell you that playing small doesn’t serve me either.

I seriously don’t like that my eating disorder leads to me undermining myself.  It’s difficult enough to fight the external impulse of food without dealing with the internal challenges.  Every piece of my confidence that erodes needs to be replaced.  I have to devote mental and emotional energy to shoring up my core and my foundation.   It’s damned exhausting.

It’s such an odd thing that food and eating have so much power beyond being or providing fuel for the body.  Food needs to stay in its place in life as that fuel.  No more, no less and no different.

The coming week is filled with industry-related meetings.  These will require the best of my energy on all three levels – physical, mental and emotional.  I’m already prepping, not only the paperwork, notes, and other materials, but also myself.

My confidence has taken a hit in the last few weeks.  I need to build it back up again.  My confidence took a hit but it isn’t out for the count.   I’m picking it up and setting it straight so that I will function without fear in the way that I need to and how I know that I can.

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Self-Directed Anger

I’m pretty pissed off at myself.  I’m angry about the way that I’m eating, the food choices I’ve been making, and the unhealthy behaviors that I continue to reinforce.

It might be difficult to understand the difference between beating up on myself and being angry with myself, but right now, this type of anger actually feels healthier and more productive.  It’s better than turning it inward into depression and then eating over it because I’m sad and depressed about my disease.  It absolutely is a lot better for me than denial.   It’s also cleaner and more constructive than just telling myself I’m badbadbad, useless, weak-willed and all of that crap that I am also capable of saying.

I’m looking to use this temper and straight-talk myself into positive action.

One positive action is as simple as acknowledging the anger and all of my feelings and then letting myself experience them instead of smothering them with food.

So, anger can be positive when appropriately channeled.  It helps to reinforce the wake-up call that I desperately need and then shore up the motivation and constructive actions to reclaim recovery.

Speaking of reclaiming recovery, I went through half a dozen boxes from my storage unit today, sorting through things that I’d put away for quite some time.  In one of the boxes, I found two of my OA books.  No coincidence that they would reappear in my life right now when I so badly need them for study and healing!

No coincidence at all.

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When Eating Runs Amok

I feel a great need to apologize for not posting in quite some time.  It’s been a whirlwind around here, including a five day visit by friends who stayed with me, followed immediately by a business trip.  It’s a busy holiday season in the Keys right now, so I no sooner got home from the trip before I launched into the fray.  Sorry about that, everyone.  I hope you’re all doing well.

Time for some brutal, denial-busting honesty.  I’ve been eating off of my food plan like crazy.  While I’m not in binge mode, I’m definitely eating wayyyy too many carbs and too much sugar, not adhering to my planned meal/snack times, and grabbing food compulsively just because it’s around.  This is full out disease eating.  Not only is it affecting me physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  I am trying not to freak out, but I’m growing increasingly fearful that I can’t rein myself in, that I’ll gain all of my weight back, that I’m a bariatric surgery failure.  In short, that I suck and am badbadbadbad.

Yes, I know that’s the disease talking, but when my eating runs amok, so do my feelings.

Have I mentioned at any time that I really, really hate having an eating disorder?

Can you fathom how much I resent watching friends and colleagues eat full meals and not gain weight when it sometimes feels like all I have to do is look at a portion of something and the pounds adhere to my body like someone stuck them there with glue.

While maintaining my bright, smiling, positive personality on the outside, inside I am a whining, scared, pissed-off-at-myself, beyotch.  To top it all off, on my trip I wore heels more than I do at home.  They aren’t stilettos or skyscraper height by any means, but even a two-inch wedge puts my knees and hips at a different angle.  I have unaccustomed, random, phantom heel pain – in my left foot, i.e. the opposite of my bad right knee.  Of course pain couldn’t cooperate by at least being on the same side, right?  So, my body also aches and my joints hurt, which makes it that much harder to exercise.

Have I mentioned at any time, that I really, really hate it when I whine?

So, I’m doing what I can do.  I still walk the dogs twice a day.  I am committed to doing my Tai Chi daily, which truly helps by loosening up tightness, keeping my circulation and joint fluid moving, and providing some Zen-like stress relief.

The food?  Well, the food is a different challenge.  At a time like this, a broken jaw could be useful because with it wired I’d be limited to liquids and the occasional mushy meal.

I need to act like a true addict fighting for recovery and Just. Say. No.  No to the candy and other sweets.  No to grabbing extra food that wasn’t planned for.  No to giving up and giving into the disease.

I am not a failure and I refuse to be.  I will not give up the physical recovery I have worked to hard to attain.  I. Will. Not.

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Better Quality Sleep

In recent months, I’ve seen numerous references and articles addressing the need for enough hours of quality sleep every night.  Every article/reference included information that we lower the quality of our sleep when we have electronic devices in the bedroom.

*insert sly wink, hehehe chuckle, snorty giggle and merry-eyed look here*

I’ll see you your entendre and double it.  I don’t mean those electronic devices, naughty-minded people.  The articles are talking about cell phones, tablets, even, televisions.  The gist of the info suggests that when these electronic gadgets are present and turned on (Okay, enough with the sexual innuendos! :-) ), they are distracting us from the full quality sleep that we need.  Even if we aren’t actually using them, they affect us.

Hmmmph, I thought the first few times I saw this mentioned.  Could this really be the case?  I mean, it’s not like I wake up every time my phone chimes because of a new email received, or that I come awake to play my turn in Words with Friends.  After all, even though my phone is plugged in and sitting on the bed-side table in close proximity to my brain, I have it switched to vibrate.  Isn’t that enough, I wondered.

Apparently not, according to all of the stuff I read.  From what I understand, if my phone is on, my subconscious is not completely resting.  It’s still, on some level, listening and registering the buzz of the vibration or, if the phone is still set to full sound, the little chimes and beeps.  Ordinarily, I would cite the articles, but I don’t have that info handy, so I’m proceeding with the less scientific, “Hey, I read about it in lots of stuff”.   Finally, after about half a dozen different references came my way, I thought, “What if?”

What if there’s something to these claims?  What if someone actually published a peer-reviewed study, obtained solid, verifiable data, and can fully support this theory?  What if, instead of logging the full throttle Zzzzzzzzzzs, I’m short changing myself.  Maybe I’m only getting Wwwwwwwwws, or, even worse, only Uuuuuuuuuus?

Above all, why am I depending on the iPhone for the time and the wake-up alarm when right there on the table next to the iPhone is a perfectly good, working clock radio?

So, last week, just for the sake of checking it out for myself, when I went to bed, I turned off my phone.  Total black screen.  Much to my surprise, when I woke up the next morning, I noticed a difference.  I felt better-rested with that lovely, content, oh-I-really-slept-well feeling.

Afraid that it was a lucky coincidence or a fluke, I tried again the following night.  Same great affects the next morning.  I’ve now done this for at least a week of sleeps and my own personal little data set says the articles and references might be right.  I’m enjoying a better, deeper, quality of sleep than I do when I sleep with the phone on next to my bed.

There are other studies that suggest good quality sleep is also important for successful weight loss.  I’m still collecting personal data on that idea, but for now the phone remains off when the lights go off at Casa Stella!

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