Weighty Matters

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Checking In Before the Holiday

The stormy seas on which I’ve been sailing lately have significantly calmed.  (Pardon the alliteration.)  More to the point, I’ve worked hard to reach a place of serenity, determining what I can change, what I can’t and recognizing the difference.  A lot of what is going on that was causing me so much stress really is out of my control.  I can only manage my actions and reactions, do my best, remember to breathe and kiss the rest to God.

I’m delighted that I’ve reached this point without binge eating through the tumult.  I’m doing a steady, consistently good job of sticking to my food plan.  Doing so not only makes me feel better physically, but also mentally and emotionally.  When I do not get side swiped by my eating disorder, overall I am in a much better place.  It’s still a matter of facing this one meal at a time, but I’m working the tools of my program.  I make sure that I plan ahead and prepare my foods.  I say no to the compulsive thoughts when they hit.  I find some other way to alleviate the stress-triggered impulses.

It helps that I’m losing weight again. A little here, a little there.  I’ll go several days, even close to a week, without any reduction and then see a couple of pounds have dropped off.  I really need to do my measurements again, too, because when I look in the mirror, I see a difference.  Having the numbers back up the visual will be good.

I’m going out of town this weekend for a Tai Chi workshop.  In addition to the regular set that we do, the Taoist Tai Chi Society also teaches some other sets, including one that includes sabre work.  I’ve never done this set and am excited to learn it.  I just think it will be a cool addition to my Tai Chi practice.  A friend from the society is riding up with me and ordered our sabres for us.  (They’re oak, not steel.)  It will surely be an interesting experience.  Plus workshops usually have more than a 100 participants.  Heck, some of them have 700 or 800!  Doing Tai Chi in harmony with so many people creates an entirely different energy feel.  I love it!

At the same time, I have a little apprehension about the food.  Meals are prepared for the workshop participants.  I know that I will be able to make choices that suit my food plan.  However, in the back of my mind is always the concern that I won’t make those choices.  Instead, if a white starch is available, will I take a spoonful out of impulse just because it’s there?  Sadly, with this disease, that is always a possibility.  So, I’m mentally psyching myself up to remain compliant to the plan and abstinent.  I’ve also thought ahead to my particular need to eat something every couple of hours.  Rather than put myself at the mercy of the workshop’s meal schedule, I have portable snacks ready that do not need refrigeration.  So, I can fuel my needs on time. This will keep me from getting over-hungry which often can lead to poor choices once food is actually available.

So, this is where I am before the three day holiday weekend.  I’m looking forward to a good time and keeping myself on an even keel.

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Feeling It

When I lived in a state of morbid obesity or super obesity, I only felt the ill effects of too much eating, or of eating too much crappy food after a binge. It really took stuffing myself with massive quantities of food for my body to complain. My spirit, my head, my emotions suffered, but I was so physically conditioned to eating a lot that lesser amounts didn’t make an impact. Even if my lesser amounts would have caused gastric distress in a “normal-sized” person, they didn’t register.

Now that I’ve lost more than 180 pounds, my body is much more sensitive and aware. This is beyond my surgically altered stomach. I’m not talking about how packing too much food in at one time triggers me to throw it back up. I truly notice physical reactions if I eat too much in a given day — even spread out over several meals — or if I indulge too often in crappy or not-as-healthy-for-me food.

This past week was a perfect example of this new awareness. As I’ve shared, I was incredibly busy at work with three days of media filming that required longer days, largely spent outside. My schedule of eating was thrown off and it was more challenging for me to find time to sit down and eat one of my normally healthy meals. Add in the stress and, let’s face it, I ate more crappy food than I usually would in a month. Ok, ok, the occasional small serving of french fries alone wouldn’t kill me, but when combined with other food items that have too much salt, too much fat, or too many carbs over a few days, my body sent clear messages. Eat crap = feel crappy. I bloated, I ached, I felt sluggish so I had to work harder to muster the energy I needed for the job. I’m sure this all made me feel even more tired at night. Overall, I was just off.

Sorting through all of this, crystallizing the realization, and processing the experience helped me take action to feel better. I ate unhealthy for so many years. Now that I’ve made it a practice to make healthy choices — not only in quantity and selection but in the quality of the food selections, I know how much better healthy feels.

Yesterday and today I’ve consumed mostly vegetables, fruits, and yogurt while also raising my hydration level. I haven’t had overly processed foods, nor anything that salty. It’s amazing to me how much better I feel, and in how short a time. I just took the dogs out for a long walk and felt really connected to my energy again. Honestly, I could have gone longer but Pyxi is still building back up after her mild injury. I may pop in an exercise DVD just for the hell of it.

I’m psyched that I’m more in touch with how and what I eat affects me. I’ll take it as another sign of my ever developing recovery. I like that, for the first time in my life, I’m aware of my body’s signals rather than being numb and oblivious.

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