Weighty Matters

Just another WordPress.com site

One Day Can Make a Difference

My stomach feels much better today, less raw and uncomfortable.  It’s been smoothed by creamy, healthy smoothies, tea, lots of water, and soup.  My head, and by head I mean my mind, and my heart (emotions) feel much better today too.  Writing it all out last night and then making a plan and sticking to it today ending up being very self-affirming.  I was more clear-headed and better able to focus on my tasks.  Food was not a big issue; I wasn’t attacked by unending compulsion to eat in appropriately.

In program, we focus on one day at a time.  Now the day is winding down.  I’m chilling at home with a last cup of green tea and getting ready to settle in with the television shows I like to watch.  Tomorrow when I wake up and before my feet hit the floor, I’ll recommit to another day and know that it can make a positive difference.

Thank you for being here.  I hope you’re having a good day too.

Leave a comment »

Obsessing Less About Food

Compulsive overeaters spend a lot of time thinking about food.  We can obsess over what we eat, what we might eat, what we have eaten, when we’ll eat again and what.  What we should eat, what we shouldn’t have eaten.

Honestly, the food thoughts go on and on and on.

When I am doing well on program and leading my life abstaining from compulsive overeating, I notice that I am spend a whole lot less time obsessing over food and eating.  For me, this is one of the hallmarks of serenity in recovery.

I like planning out my meals, preparing and then not thinking about them until it’s time to eat.  When I’m doing well on program, I can live days at a time like this.  I do it one day at a time, but those days add up.  When I’m not doing well, I wear myself out emotionally and mentally.

Ever since Christmas, I’ve had a strong of really good days which is why I am feeling the serenity of not thinking about food, or a least why I’m aware of being serene.  There’s a marked contrast so it’s truly obvious.

A series of recovery days also free me from other negative feelings like guilt, frustration, sadness, self-directed anger and other messy stuff.

Positiveness, serenity, and hope are better.  Much better.

I feel more connected to my recovery than I have for a while.  I do not believe this is a coincidence since, for the first time in years, I am doing daily readings first thing in the morning and giving more time to quiet contemplation and other tools.  This practice helps me align myself for the day.  I’d forgotten how much it helps and plan to keep building on it as the days go on.

Leave a comment »

Post-Thanksgiving but Not Post-Thankful

I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday.  I enjoyed being with friends who are part of my work family.  We shared each other’s company, good will, and delicious food.  While I ate a little too much, I didn’t stuff.  I also enjoyed a few, satisfied internal chuckles when I compared my plate yesterday with what I used to heap on a plate and devour in the years before weight loss surgery.  It’s all perspective and stomach size that determines what’s too much these days.

Today, I’m engaged in what has become a mini-tradition — the post-Thanksgiving three-day detox.  I follow a plan that I discovered a couple of years ago on Dr. Oz which involves drinking four vegetable-fruit-nut-seed based drinks a day for three days along with some green tea.  The first time I did this detox, I felt really great during and after the three days.  I think the plan gives my body some relief, flushes out some icky stuff and, somehow, resets my metabolism.  Whatever the case, a few days of healthy drinks sure can’t hurt.

We’re closing in on the end of November.  Every day I’ve continued to acknowledge something(s) or someone or several someones for which I am grateful.  Even though it’s after that day of Thanksgiving, I am by no means past the time when I feel thankful.

I’ve known for years that embracing gratitude helps me, but I’ve never truly delved into figuring out why this is so.  I see various self-help leaders promote gratitude, read quotes all over the internet and, still, don’t know why gratitude is so often suggested.

So today I started Googling to see what I could learn.  Overall, the consensus is that gratitude is, indeed, a powerful force.

This blog post here has what I thought were great ideas, and also some useful suggestions.  The fact that it is not from a well-known self-help “guru”, but from someone who is a corporate coach for potential entrepreneurs did not detract from the message.  I particularly like what it says about expanding our focus, turning on our  natural well-being, and allowing ourselves to unconditionally accept and celebrate ourselves.

Then there’s this article by Robert Emmons, who is touted as a leading scientific expert on gratitude.  I’m interested in what he says and plan to look into his books.  This link goes to a site for the Greater Good Science Center, affiliated with the University of Berkeley.   I love that there is something called the Greater Good Science Center and need to poke around on the site some more.  Among other things in the article, Dr. Emmons says, “Gratitude also goes against our need to feel in control of our environment. Sometimes with gratitude you just have to accept life as it is and be grateful for what you have.”

That really resonates with me and connects to an important aspect of my 12 Step program.  In the Serenity Prayer, we ask for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Serenity starts with acceptance.  It looks like gratitude fosters acceptance, so it stands to reason that it might be a stepping stone to serenity.

There are several more sites and articles, but it sounds like they all have variations on the things I read at these two sites.  I enjoyed taking the information in, absorbing it and pondering what it means to me, how it feels, and what I can take away from it and use in my own life’s journey.

Along the way, I started thinking of the optimist-pessimist description of whether one sees a glass as half-full or half-empty.  For the most part, I think of myself as an optimist, but sometimes life throws challenges and painful situations at even the most optimistic of us.  Those times are the ones when I know I most need to dig down and connect with my gratitude.  At those moments it doesn’t matter whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.  I need to be thankful that I have a glass at all.

1 Comment »

Keep Calm and Be Well

I was going to continue the idea started by Hope in the comments and go with Keep Calm and Eat Kale as a title. Then I decided that Eat Well was more universal.

That realization yesterday that these slow months of remaining weight loss have been necessary in order for me to build lasting recovery has done me a world of good. It’s like my emotions can stop fighting each other, or my emotions and my mind can quit blaming each other — or something. Today I’ve been extremely calm and matter-of-fact about eating, food, and the weight I still want to lose. It’s no surprise to me that I haven’t had to struggle to stay on the food plan either. No white-knuckle abstinence today, thank goodness. Lack of obsession over food, absence of compulsions all further advance the calmness. There is a lot to be said for serenity.

I had another realization over the weekend. More accurately, I finally accepted something that I realized a while ago. Yes, I am incredibly more fit and much more physically active than ever in my life. However, I also need to be aware of some limitations. Remember when I talked about not needing to take over-the-counter pain meds very often anymore when I used to take them a couple of times every day? That continues as long as I respect my body, specifically my right knee, and not push it further than it’s good for it to go.

The Saturday of the 5K walk, I logged more than 16,000 steps. That evening, my knee throbbed a lot and I finally took some ibuprofen tablets so that I could sleep. All week long I stayed in the 10-12K steps range with walking and some bike riding. Occasionally my knee got stiff or twinged, but at no time was it really bad, nor did it interfere with my life. This past Saturday, I topped out at close to 16K steps all with walking, no bike riding. I also pushed my intensity on the treadmill that night.

Small wonder that when I tried to sleep, my knee really hurt. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any ibuprofen with me at the hotel. I did my best to adjust, cushioned my knee with a pillow, got some ice for a while. Eventually, I fell asleep but discomfort woke me up a couple of times before the throbbing eased.

Yesterday with the long drive home, I didn’t reach the usual 10,000 steps. Mentally and emotionally, I need to remind myself that taking a day off is not only okay, it’s a good suggestion. Today, I am back on track, beginning with a 40 minute walk before sunrise.

I’ve been trying to gradually raise my step level to average 15,000 steps every day. Now I get that this is an unrealistic goal at this point. It is one thing to encourage myself to work out and make sure that I don’t get lazy and complacent. It is another thing to push myself to the point of pain. If I do that too often, I risk truly messing myself up which could make it so that I can’t keep up with my fitness regimen at all. That’s a worst case scenario that I want no part of. So, I’m going to continue with my average of between 10K-12K steps per day and make sure that I ride my bike as much as possible, which greatly reduces the impact on my knee. With this approach and my Tai Chi, I can continue improving my physical condition and remain fit.

2 Comments »

Rolling with What Comes Along

Well, not exactly. So yesterday was my lazy day to recover from all of the excitement, walking and hours of standing that made up for my unique New Year’s Eve experience. After writing the post, I had a lovely soak in the tub, scented by the great lavender bath salt bomb. The only problem was that the product was so natural, it included dozens of lavender seeds. These made the cleanup a little bit of a challenge, but it was worth it.

I settled in for a good, relaxed night’s sleep. Around 2:30 a.m. I was awakened by the gawdawful stench of doggy diarrhea. My poor Nat didn’t even have time to whimper and wake me up, that’s how bad it was for him. Between waiting for his system to settle a little and cleaning up, it was a good hour before I got back to sleep. 4:30 a.m. – round two – but this time, he was able to warn me and I got him outside in time. 6:30 a.m., yes again. That time I just stayed up.

There are many reasons that I love my job. One of them is the fact that, since we are an animal facility as an organization, everybody understands and cherishes the importance of our animal family members. Whether the finned and flippered ones at work, or the furry ones in our homes, they matter. If one needs to go to the vet’s office, we can take the time as paid sick time, just like we would if it was a human child. I also have remote access so I can log onto my computer at home and connect to our work servers and a mirror of my desktop. This, coupled with my bosses’ understanding, made it possible for me to stay home, monitor Nat’s condition, and wait for his vet appointment. I could do this and still accomplish a great deal of work. It was a great thing, too, because Nat had to rush outside at least three more times before the afternoon vet visit.

He has a bacterial infection and is now on antibiotics and anti-diarrhea meds. They are already helping. Tomorrow, he’s coming into work with me so that I can continue to monitor him and get him outside if he has a sudden, pressing urge. Again, that’s how we operate with regards to our furry family members. It’s a blessing.

Dealing with a sick dog didn’t get my new year off to a bright, shining start, but it is what it is. I made the best of it by being productive on work projects. I was also able to accomplish my exercise. Nat was still enthused about going out for a couple of walks, as was his sister Pyxi. (Thank goodness his illness is bacterial and not contagious. It’s tough enough to deal with one sick pup. I don’t need two!) At the end of the day, enough time had passed since the last bout, that I felt comfortable leaving him for a short amount of time and I got out for a short, five mile bike ride. After dinner I did my weight training routine and some extra in-home walking to make my 10,000 steps commitment.

Through it all, I remained in a good place with my food and am serene in my emotions. Sure, the unplanned illness created challenges, often messy and smelly ones, but that doesn’t mean that I have to get so upset that I eat over them. I was concerned for my sweet boy, but concern doesn’t need to lead to a binge or eating inappropriately. when stuff happens, it’s important to roll with it, get it handled, and go on with life as desired.

Tonight as I prepare for bed, I’m pleased to know that I did all that.

3 Comments »